For 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.
1977 – 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.
1986 – 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.
1999 – 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