Rivera Primo. 40 Years In Business.

rivera1For all those interested by motorcycle vendors’ background and history, a summary of the main events of Rivera Primo doing business during 40 years from 1973 to today.

1970 -Mel Magnet re-worked automobile SU Carbs in his garage and sold them at his Rivera TV repair shop in Downey, CA.
1970 – Mel met John Ventriglia when John went to his TV store to buy a SU for his 1968 Shovel Chopper
1972 – Mel’s first SU customer: Bianchi Motors of San Fransisco.
1973 – Mel Magnet started Rivera Engineering working full time out of his garage located in Pico Rivera, CA.
1974 – “Search for King Carb” Shootout by Custom Chopper Magazine won by 1 3/4” SU against S & S, Mikuni, Posa & Weber.
1976 – Mel sells his 1960 Jag XK150 and flies to Birmingham, England to persuade the SU factory to sell him direct.
Rivera21977 – Mel purchased Primo Products (also known as Primo Belt Drives).
1978 – Rivera picks up Leinweber Cams as their sole distributor.
1978 – Dave Mackie’s 1974 74” shovel fastest stock production HD w/ SU Carb sponsered by Rivera.
1978 – Rivera sponsers Frisco Choppers’ Dennis Philipie’s 1974 Shovel with IDBA racing.
1979 – Rivera moves into two room facility located adjacent to Whittier Harley Davidson.
1979 – Rivera starts DellOrto carb business for V Twins.
1980 – Mel receives his first U.S. patent for his SU tickler pump which resolved a hard starting condition on the SU.
1981 – Rivera moves to 6000 Sq. Ft. facility on Western ave. in Whittier, CA.

Rivera31986 – Rose Seright joins the company in sales.
1987 – Mike Seright joins the company.
1987 – Dynatek ignition picks Rivera as their first HD distributor.
1990 – Rivera enters into an agreement with Feuling Motors (now defunct) to manufacture the Rivera/Feuling 4 Valve Heads.
1990 – Bianchi Motors buys first set of Rivera/Feuling 4 Valve Heads.
1990 – Rivera unveils their new Taper Lite™ Pushrod product line.
1990 – Rivera unveils their new Pro Clutch™ product line.
1993 – Rivera moves to 13000 Sq. Ft. facility on Lambert Rd. in Whittier, CA.
1995 – Jim McClure’s first person to go 200 mph on “Da Judge” in the quarter-mile on a Rivera sponsered HD drag bike.
1998 – Rivera® supplies most of the industry’s new bike manufacturers with primary drives, clutches and transmissions.
rivera41999 – Ben Kudon joins Rivera.
2000 – Yesenia Flores joins Rivera.
2004 – Rivera unveils their new Powerdrive™ Transmission product line.
2004 – Rivera Engineering® & Primo Products® combine into Rivera Primo Inc.®
2005 – Rivera Primo Inc. moves into 40000 Sq. Ft. facility in Whittier, CA with on-site manufacturing and R & D department.
2005 – Giggie Gilliland joins the company as R & D manager.
2007 – Rivera unveils their new 4 to 6 Speed Conversion Kit product line.
2008 – Mel Magnet; President & CEO of Rivera Primo Inc.® passes away quietly in his Whitter, CA home.
2008 – John Ventriglia assumes the title of President of the company.
2008 – Rivera Primo® unveils their new HedLED™ Lighting System product line.
2009 – Giggie Gilliland rides his bike into the sunset.
2012 – Rivera Primo® unveils their new TransparaGuard™ Crystal Clear Polycarbonate outer belt guard product line.

Rivera Primo will celebrate with its dealers at the 2013 Cincinnati V-Twin Expo on Saturday February 2 from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Hilton Netherlands Hotel

7 Responses to “Rivera Primo. 40 Years In Business.”

  1. 1 rebel Jan 15th, 2013 at 10:16 am

    congratulations! very helpful guys and gals at rivera/primo, and highest quality parts.

  2. 2 LenNY Jan 15th, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Congratulations Great products, great service Made in USA see you in Cincinnati.

    LenNY Sinnet

  3. 3 sollis Jan 15th, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Impressive !

  4. 4 JIM B Jan 15th, 2013 at 7:29 pm


  5. 5 Buster Jan 16th, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Good products and people.

  6. 6 Chris Jan 17th, 2013 at 11:03 am

    From the timeline above:

    “1995 – Jim McClure’s first person to go 200 mph on “Da Judge” in the quarter-mile on a Rivera sponsered HD drag bike.”

    From the S&S Cycle Website:

    “Andy Gotsis set a record of 7.016 second ET at 200.31 mph on May 6, 1995 aboard this supercharged, fuel injected, nitro burning drag bike, campaigned by the S&S sponsored Hubba Hubba race team under the leadership of George Smith Jr. This was the first v-twin to exceed 200 mph in the quarter mile.”

    I can’t seem to find the date of McClures 200 mph run.

    Who was the first to 200 mph in the quarter mile, Gotsis or McClure?

  7. 7 Ben Kudon Jan 23rd, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I am pretty sure it was Jim McClure, but I was wrong once!

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Cyril Huze