Ultra Motorcycle Company Entering The European Market

It’s never been a better time for Europeans to buy American products. With an exchange rate giving each European 1.60 dollars for 1.00 Euro, everything US made is a bargain…even after shipping to the old continent. Add to this a very depressed economy and you understand that even our motorcycle companies try to penetrate new markets looking for revenues in a strong currency.So, I was not surprised when Ultra Motorcycle Company informed me of a distribution agreement they signed with Belgium based Legend Motorcycle Group to distribute their Ultra motorcycle line of heavy weight V-Twins throughout Europe. The Ultra brand was recently re-acquired by company founders Kraig Kavanagh and Jeffrey Silvers. Legend Motorcycle Group, founded in April 2008 by Joss Dewit, Bart Jannis, and Hugo Van Caubergh of Belgium, was formed for the purpose of introducing the Ultra line of motorcycles to the European market. Ultra Motorcycles of Europe will initially offer 3 models to the European dealers: the Intimidator 300 chopper, the Apache pro-street and the Groundpounder. All 3 models will share a Right Side Drive powertrain and an S& S Cycle 124”, engine. Ultra Motorcycle Company.

30 Responses to “Ultra Motorcycle Company Entering The European Market”

  1. 1 Sheridan Jun 29th, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Well done, as I stated in another topic previously, I think this is the key to survival for the high output production custom builders. With the American economy slipping into large scale recession while other economies are booming, this just seems like a logical step. I imagine if Ultra has modified their bikes to meet Euro compliance standards, they would also be pretty close to Australian standards as well so send them down here too!!

  2. 2 Matt Jun 29th, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    I thought Ultra was filing Bankruptcy!?

  3. 3 Cyril Jun 29th, 2008 at 10:45 pm


    I know it’s confusing, even for myself. In November I posted this article:

    Then, I received info from Ultra Motorcycles stating that they now address the European market. Only the european market and no more the US market?

    To follow…

  4. 4 Gar Jun 30th, 2008 at 10:07 am

    It is such a shame that Freddie Campo, the man who originally purchased Ultra out of their FIRST Bankruptcy, has taken such a bath on Ultra and now the original “losers” have the comapny back and spreading the poison to Europe. I suppose all I can say is better them than us. Sorry Cyril!

  5. 5 rodent Jun 30th, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Yeah our dollar ain’t worth shit thanks to George.

  6. 6 madpuppy Jun 30th, 2008 at 10:33 am

    I hear ya rodent, we could all get out of this mess real easy, if we started selling our wheat, oats and rice at $135.00 a bail/bag to them like the price of oil they sell us. Oh wait, that’s to freaking easy, the Idiots in D.C. won`t ever figure that out

  7. 7 Dave B. Jun 30th, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Here’s a thought MadPuppy, let’s not sell them any food at all. I’ll bet that would get thier attention!

  8. 8 Gar Jun 30th, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Dave B. Now that is a plan I can live with. Let them eat their oil!

  9. 9 Rinke Jun 30th, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    This is not something new. Saxon Motorcycles Company from Casa Grande Arizona allready acquired a full European Type Approval on two models last year. Please see their European website www. saxonmotorcycles.eu and see the bike riding thru Paris on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BSyjryc5Ks. Currently they are the only US custom manufacturer who do have a European whole vehicle type approval.

  10. 10 Jose Plascenia Jun 30th, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks for the post on the Ultra Motorcycles venture into the European market.
    There’s a bit of confusion in some of the comments. I hope this can clear it up a bit.
    The auction that was held back in November/December started off wrong from the beginning. It was a moving sell after two of the original founder were finalizing purchasing the company back from Fred. All the flyers that were printed by the auction company were titled “liquidation” instead of the agreed “moving”, and that’s where the confusion and phone calls started.
    After lots of PR phone calls and explanations I have managed to bring the company into good light, and I thank you again for your support.
    Now to clear up one more rumor. Recently Motorcycle Industry magazine published a story in their July issue that Ultra had filed for bankruptcy. Here is the real deal. The bankruptcy goes way back to 2001, and Robert Whitmore the trustee for some reason has decided to file the final report 7 years later, but the story on the magazine can easily be read and understood in a negative manner.

    I hope this clears up some of the rumors going around.
    Once again thank you for your support. And yes, we are still servicing the American market, keeping production low and in demand while we scout for strong dealer in key geographic locations.

    Thank You,
    Jose Plascencia
    Dealer Development
    Ultra Motorcycle Company, Inc

  11. 11 Sheridan Jun 30th, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Jode, contact Supercycles here in Australia (http://www.supercycles.com.au/) if you’re interested in entering our booming economy. Supercycles organised the Australian compliance for Hellbound Steel, Pro-one and now Saxon, so they know what they are doing!

  12. 12 madpuppy Jun 30th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Dave B.
    Jun 30th, 2008 , Yes that is a very good idea ! I like that also.

  13. 13 Pep González Jul 1st, 2008 at 7:35 am

    I have a doubt, Ciryl. A
    re you sure that the three motorcycles assembled Motor S & S of 124 ci? I think they use a 113 engine.

  14. 14 Gar Jul 1st, 2008 at 9:59 am


    What am I missing here? Your comment that Saxon is currently the only US custom manufacturer who has a European whole vehicle type approval doesn’t seem quite true considering that Ultra is being imported into Europe now.

  15. 15 mario durocher Jul 1st, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    hi everybody i would like to know if i can trust ULTRA bikes ….i saw a very nice 2005 pro-street motorcycle ….should i buy or ……..not and if not what s wrong whith those bikes thank you


  16. 16 mario durocher Jul 1st, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    you can write to me for the ULTRA BIKE …….flyingroller56@hotmail.com

  17. 17 Dave B. Jul 1st, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    Mario, I have never been a dealer for Ultra, (or any other production custom for that matter), but I have serviced, painted, repaired, modified, etc. several of them over the past few years in my shop, so I have seen them inside and out. All I can say is, as production custom bikes go, Ultra seems as good as all the others.
    If you like the bike, buy it. If Ultra goes under, or any of the others for that matter, find a qualified shop to maintain it, upgrade it, or whatever you choose to do with it in years to come. Remember, custom bikes were here decades before the production custom manufactures, just make sure the bike you buy has good quality components from well known suppliers and you should enjoy years of enjoyment with easy parts replacement/service when needed.

  18. 18 Gunrunner Jul 2nd, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    I respect your comment Dave B., but Ultra has always been an unreliable product that has tarnished the custom production world for years. I have heard of many comments for years that ring like “Well, I tried one of those custom manufactured bikes and it was nothing but problems, and the company would not take care of my bike, so I went back to Harley.”

    So that guy might not understand reputable companies like Big Dog.

  19. 19 Rinke Jul 2nd, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Hi Gar,

    Currently Saxon is the only semi-custom motorcycle company which has a EU whole vehicle type approval. We welcome Ultra on the European market however they didn’t obtained the whole vehicle type approval (yet). It is most likely that this will take about a year to comply with all the regulations and pass al tests so they will probably aim to launch in season 2009. If you have other information please share this with us. :-), By the way, did you see the video on YouTube? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BSyjryc5Ks

  20. 20 Dave B. Jul 2nd, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Gun Runner, from my perspective all production customs are pretty much the same: they all have more motor than starter & battery capacity, they all have dreadfully tacky paint, the ugliest seats on the planet, a clunky cumbersome feel & appearance, and instrumentation that rarely works and is always ugly. None will last the test of time as a brand or style. Until very recently they all pretty much used the same components from 3 main suppliers of brakes, engines, driveline, etc., (except frame and wiring harness), and I predict none of the current production custom companies to be around in 10 years… not even one. Get pissed if you want, but mark my words.
    So my point was, to buy what you want with no regard to service from where you bought it, they won’t be there when its time to work on it anyway. They barely know how to build them, they damn sure can’t design a pretty one, no one should expect service from companies selling fads.

  21. 21 Gunrunner Jul 3rd, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Dave B. I said that I respected your comment. I’m not pissed about anything – I was just stating a known fact in my earlier comment.

    Your second reply is out of line, and vastly untrue. For you to state that all custom v-twin manufactures are the same is wrong. Yes, the small guys will come and go, and I agree with you on that, but what you have just stated from your last comment is exactly what I was trying to say.

    I was also stating that not all manufactures are the same – especially for the one that has been in business for 15 years already and produced over 25,000 bikes out into the field. There is absolutely no other custom manufacture that can come close that performance.

    Yes, Big Dog uses S&S motors, Baker Trans, and Performance Machine brakes; they are all American made companies and simply the best in the field… why use anything else.

  22. 22 Dave B. Jul 3rd, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    I fear the big ones will come and go too, Ultra, BigDog, AIH, possibly Indian(again, although I hope not), Rucker, BigBear, and so on. They came in on the boom and will go with the bust because the type of bikes they make are “fad” bikes and that trend is largely over, at least to the point it cannot sustain the large scale at which these companies need to produce in order to survive.
    What will survive however are the smaller custom shops that have been around for years… they build what BigDog can’t (or won’t), and service the Titans, Ultras, Texas Choppers, etc. that the out of business “chopper” shops sold already. And I can’t count how many times I’ve overheard people say at bike events, “Was that a Rucker, or a BigDog?” “Is that a Iron Horse or a kit bike?” So yes, they all look more alike than different, and they’re all pretty much made with the same components. Same dough, same cookie.
    I respect your opinions and comments as well, even though we may disagree on these topics.

  23. 23 Jersey Devil Motorcycles Jul 7th, 2008 at 10:18 am

    As a vendor the last two years at Daytona and Myrtle Beach bike weeks we get many questions about importing into Germany, England, France and Canada but as a small licensed manufacturer, I don’t know how to go about importing into another country. With today’s economy the way it is, our bikes appeal to everyone because of the quality, design (you can ride them not just look good) and their priced for the working class. Do you have any information on what an American made bike would have to change to be imported into the European market and how we would go about importing to another market? Any specifications or if you could aim me in the right direction that would be great.

    Ray Sami
    Jersey Devil Motorcycles LLC

  24. 24 Dave B. Jul 8th, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Try contacting Colleen Swartz at 414-380-9005, Master Link International.

  25. 25 B Rock Jul 8th, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Dave B sure talks like he knows alot about Big Dog, but he does not. BDM came around before the chopper fad, and will be around long after it is over. A well run company adjusts it’s overhead to reflect the current market. Samller shops might build what BDM does not want to, but that does not make it a quality bike. BDM has the experience, foresight, and engineering to produce a quality bike, and to back it up with a great warranty, and good customer service. Good luck with Joe Bob customs, down the alley. BDMs ugly bikes have been selling for years, and winning awards doing so. Keep your doomsday prophecies to your self! The American made cusom motorcycle industry will be stronger than ever after the bad apples are sorted out

  26. 26 Dave B. Jul 8th, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Before the chopper? BigDog opened in 1994, the “modern” chopper has been around for 40 plus years, and their classic style remains popular even though many of the pioneers are gone now, Harmon, Denver, etc. But some of the old guys like Hernandez, Mondo, Sugar Bear, are still around and still produce cool stuff.
    I don’t have anything against BigDog or any other production custom manufacturer, I just think their designs are boring and rapidly reaching their sell-by date, and the marketplace is reflecting the same. You may consider us to be Joe-Bob down the street, that’s OK, we never needed anyone’s approval before and we won’t need it tomorrow.
    Fact is, people still line up to see the Captain America, whether original or a facsimile, 40 years from now I doubt a “PitBull” will attract anything but the dogcatcher.

  27. 27 Sheridan Jul 9th, 2008 at 5:20 am

    Ray, if you’re interested in exporting to Australia contact the guys at Supercycles (http://www.supercycles.com.au), as they organised the whole deal with Hellbound Steel, Saxon and Pro-one.

  28. 28 Bart Jannis Jul 16th, 2008 at 3:10 am

    If you have questions about EU-approval or about the EU-version Ultras, you can always ask me direct

    Bart Jannis
    Ultra Motorcycle Company Europe

  29. 29 RC Oct 9th, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    I wish you luck on the European market. I’m sure you will have sales. Limited, but sales non the less. From personall experience of living in Germany, I have a hard time believing that TÜV would actually approve licensing of most of these bikes. I had to have several changes made to mine in order to pass. I hope you have a good R&D team of Engineers. You won’t get much of a second chance.

    It’s great that many American products are in demand, and now more so due to the drop in our dollar.
    I still have ties there, but it ain’t helping my business…

    I just heppened upon this, while looking for Harley Davidson production stats.

  30. 30 Radd Rob Reese Sep 28th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Good luck to the Euro’s finding parts to replace those shoddy forward controls and fork seals when they begin to spew oil all over their 22k investment. I was finally told by a custom builder in San Jose, CA where I live that the fork seals that I needed were the same kit as a Honda CB900. It took at least a week to find out that I had a Spyke inverted fork but there wasn’t even a rebuild kit available. I was hoping for alot more for an ALL USA product. What I have is a great motor surrounded by inferior components. My next ride will definately be a Harley again!!!

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Cyril Huze