Motorcycle Parts. Americans Unite!

Like most members of the industry, almost on a daily basis I receive emails offering me to have motorcycle parts prototyped and produced in China. Most of you who are not professionals think that these offers come directly from Chinese companies. Yes, for some. But a majority are sent by American or Canadian based companies. I am getting irritated and decided to publish one of these offers I received this morning in my email box. Americans unite!

“ARC United Corp. is a USA based company  We have one mission – to bring the cost savings of Asian sourcing to the small and mid-sized manufacturer without the hassle and risk normally associated with international procurement. It’s no secret that the cost savings from Asian sourcing, primarily in China can be drastic. Cost savings of 50% to75% are possible in many cases. However, most small and mid-sized companies have no idea how to source in China and be assured of quality parts.

This is where ARC United Corp. can help. We are headquartered in Southern California with our corporate office in Taiwan and engineering offices in Shanghai, China, Dong Guan City, China and Taipei, Taiwan. Each facility has a complete in-house engineering and quality control staff. When you request a quotation from ARC United Corp. the job is evaluated by our engineering department then the job is forwarded to several of our pre-approved vendors. There are literally thousands of companies in China that claim to be able to do the work you require. However, our engineers and QC staff have done an on-site inspection of any vendor that we allow to do your work in order to apply to our ISO 9000 standards.

During tooling and production our engineers and QC people will be involved in your project every step ofthe way to make sure nothing is left out or done incorrectly. You will receive a first article report done by our engineers with samples prior to initial shipment and be able to enjoy the savings while relying on ARC United Corp. to ensure the quality. ARC United Corporation. Please call for a free design evaluation & quotation.” Jay Navarro. 2275 E. Francis Street. Ontario, CA 91761. T: (909) 230-5148 F: (909) 230-5149. [email protected]. (Followed by a long list of services offered)

30 Responses to “Motorcycle Parts. Americans Unite!”

  1. 1 Brandon Apr 29th, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Hmm…Harley must do some work with these people.

  2. 2 Mark Jags Apr 29th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    It sickens me to read that. I know it’s unavoidable to buy Chinese made goods these days, especially consumer electronics and other everyday stuff. But we must make an effort to find American made products whenever possible to keep our citizens employed. Yeah, it may cost a little more (but not always… a cheap exhaust component for my car that was made in where????…USA) but I’d rather spend a few more bucks and keep my neighbor employed.

    Mark Jags

  3. 3 Lee Jammer Apr 29th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Cyril I like the picture you chose. Very symbolic of a new sad economic reality. You are an American motorcycle if assembled in the US from Chinese made parts ———-> Harley-Davidson Motor Co,

  4. 4 Cantrell Apr 29th, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Seems to me that we saved their asses from Japan during WWII. Then we fought them directly in Korea and indirectly in Vietnam. They were then and still are a communist country and no friend of this Vietnam Veteran. People need to start thinking about saving America for our future generations.


  5. 5 Rider2 Apr 30th, 2010 at 12:44 am

    ummmm this has been going on for many years and not only in the motorcycle industry. No surprise here. Having done business with Asian countries for many years, I have visited many manufacturers, not only in this industry. Believe it or not, the Asian companies with contracts with specific US companies use the same machines we have here, and have qualified people running them, trained by US engineers. The only difference after that is the cost of labor, union issues and other factors that most people don’t understand. If you would only know what is actually coming from China in every product you are using every day, you would not buy a single item at your local store.

  6. 6 Apr 30th, 2010 at 4:17 am

    Rider 2 makes the very true point that retailers, distributors and inside the industry guys like Cyril already know. Very few products you can buy for a motorcycle are made anywhere except Asia. I know of several US manufacturers that use Korean or Chinese parts inside American cases or simply to the final assembly in the USA so they can still label it “Made in the USA” purely as a marketing point. The sad part of it is that many times one company will be marked made in China and another made in America and the components originate from the same factory however the company that labels Made in China is at just being more honest 🙁

  7. 7 struckthunders Apr 30th, 2010 at 4:49 am

    Vision, you had better do some research into the USA laws regarding Made in USA and Assembled in USA. statements
    Made in USA must have more than 50% of either all the parts used or more than 50% of the labor or a combination of both is required in order to legaly say Made in USA. If the components are made outside the USA and final assembly is done here in the USA then the Assembled in USA can be used.if 50% or more of the final cost of the total is in USA labor
    Why does anyone who rides a Harley think that a part has to be made in the USA when a large % of what goes into a new Harley is made off shore just like many other vehicles assembled and sold in the USA. the % of items no matter what it is that carry the legal and true Made in the USA is very small. This is a world market not a country by country market any longer when will this sink in? If the new Harley’s were 100% parts made and labor to assemble in the USA the new Harley would cost at least double the current MSRP which most of us cannot afford at the currently.

  8. 8 Apr 30th, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Actually as an American who lives and works outside the USA it is huge concern to me and I have spent quite a bit of time “researching”. The Federal Trade Commission is the agency that regulates the label and they require a product to be entirely or virtual entirely made in the USA and of components Made in the USA in order to legally use the label. In practice however many companies find that it is more advantages to advertise as made in USA without the inconvenience of actually fulfilling the requirements. They get around it in a myriad of ways from assembling things in Siapan, Guam or Puerto Rico to making their own cases and then filling them with imported components. In most cases they figure that the gain outweighs the risk and IF it ever becomes and issue they can claim compliance based on the face the the rule is not clear cut or some other loophole. By the FTC’s own survey the majority of Americans had an expectation of what the label meant that went well beyond what the FTC required and way beyond what was found to be in actual practice……And that is why I said that the label is often used as a marketing point but may not always be as factual as the consumer expects.

  9. 9 Apr 30th, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Lee Jammer, where do you get off by saying – “You are an American motorcycle if assembled in the US from Chinese made parts ———-> Harley-Davidson Motor Co,”
    Hey bubba, back it up with facts. But of course you cant. Just another unjustified, false and unpatriotic slur on one of the very, very, few American companies that still have world wide respect. Don’t confuse t-shirts with motorcycles please.

  10. 10 industrial biker Apr 30th, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Er, Showa suspension made in Japan. Brembo brakes made in Italy. That’s just 2 that I know of.

  11. 11 BigWave Apr 30th, 2010 at 7:12 am

    I was just about to chime in about the “Harley-Davidson made in China” comments that hit this board from time to time when I read Doc’s message. AMEN! I’d like someone to point to a made in China part on a current model Harley-Davidson. Facts I can believe, but uninformed generalizations dont support the claim..

    The Showa and Brembo examples don’t address the “made in China” claim Even the poster recognizes that they are made in Japan and Italy, respectively. In those examples H-D is buying from a world leader in the particular components being purchased.

  12. 12 fuji Apr 30th, 2010 at 9:08 am

    .big wave
    H-D is buying from a world leader in the particular components being purchased.
    But I thought Harley Parts are the best. Getting real confused here. Wow

  13. 13 fuji Apr 30th, 2010 at 9:26 am


    Are you the same Doc as in HEAVY DUTY Magazine good job.

    What we need is a Aussie company to build / manufacture parts for Harley the right way. But then again that is off shore. Oh well

  14. 14 Apr 30th, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Like Cyril, Jaybrake receives calls and emails about this same thing. We even make it quite clear to anyone who visits our site, reads our ads, or looks at our catalog… Jaybrake is Made in the USA. We also make it clear that we machine our products in house in our own machine shop. With this being said, we still receive phone calls and emails pitching how we could have our products made cheaper overseas which in turn increases profits and could even reduce our employee workforce further increasing profits. The only thing I can say about that is; we have close to 200 employees and their families depending on this company for a paycheck….. I sleep fine at night. There are U.S. based companies who have products made overseas and do not try hiding it. Likewise, there will always be companies trying avoid the question…

  15. 15 Apr 30th, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Harley Davidson OEM/production bike components are primarily made in America as I do some business with quite a few of those same companies. My engine cases come out of one of those US factories and it is THE most highest quality item I have ever had and continue to have produced. There is a separation between accessories and OEM parts especially hard parts as these are made in the USA.
    We are in a global market place and at one point I used to have some things (accessories) produced in China but after visiting their country around 2003 and just after the American spy plane was forced down in China I decided to focus my efforts into made in America. It truly is a communist regime with total government control of their people including everything that gets written in their newspapers. It is all propoganda. Once we realize that their long term range is to be THE world super power and screw America it will most likely be too late for us to do anything hence why we can’t get our way in many overseas negotiations now. And to accomplish this the funding comes from Americans money doing business there. Harley Davidson realized quite a few years ago that China is too much of a high risk/volitile country to do reliable business with so they have been quietly looking towards India.
    Our Kiwi Indian motorcycles are totally made in America and always will be as long as I am alive. While I can cut down my costs and sell more at a cheaper price, I will NOT be that company. My drive is to support this country and its working class and needless to say create a niche market American motorcycle company. If I don’t keep my fellow Americans working I will not have customers who will be able to earn a living to buy my product. What goes around comes around. Let’s think long term of what we are doing and not short term financial gain.

  16. 16 Apr 30th, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Well said Mike! We share the same sentiments at Crocker Motorcycle! There are still a few of us that believe “Made in the USA” is the only way to go! Check out our progress and photo’s on the Crocker Motorcycle Facebook page. All of our parts and apparel are proudly “Made in the USA”!

  17. 17 Apr 30th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Kiwi and Crocker…
    Made in America, by American craftsmen is only way to go.

  18. 18 Rider2 Apr 30th, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    No offense to Mike at Kiwi and Michael at Crocker but you guys are not comparing apples to apples.
    Your companies of course make made in USA products. You are small specialty item companies. The fact that you use made in USA products is clearly a good added value for your customers which is great. I cannot imagine Indian replicas made with products other than US products. Same for Crocker. Remember when OCC built a POW chopper with a Revtech engine made in Korea? :-). I remember a post here that was pretty interesting to read… But you are small potatoes compared to HD who produces 140,000+ units a year. Your perception of cost versus profit has to be different from a purchasing department in Milwaukee. You don’t have shareholders looking at a +2 or -2 cents a share moving around on the stock market because of a fender made in China versus in CA.
    While everybody appreciates your efforts to keep it in the US, you cannot compare your companies to the big corporations. Kia who has a automotive plant in the US – and puts ads on TV saying their cars are now made in the US – still uses 82% of the parts they assemble here from their homeland. Like someone else said here… if only 50% is made in the US, it qualifies and from I can see, this number can vary without loosing his marketing impact.

    China exports billions of dollars a year here and that won’t stop. Believe me, they are a lot smarter than you think. They have different levels of quality implementation and know how to adapt to the customers. Some companies use the same machines we have here…. If I go there and say I need a Softail primary cover as good as a Primo one, they’ll make me one with the same quality at a fraction of a cost. If I say I need a $2 mirror delivered to my US warehouse because I want a US price point at $30 (hello margins!!), they will also make me one (well, a few hundreds at the time and they will all be junk). You would be surprised of the technology they have and the way they can kick our asses anytime they want. And that’s not talking about countries like Thailand, Taiwan etc… who are also kicking butts everyday.

    I am 200% for American made products but it is becoming really hard to find those when companies are cutting corners to stay alive. Except for smaller companies such as yours (nothing wrong with this), it’s simply a question of survival on the market. Sad but unfortunately true.

  19. 19 May 1st, 2010 at 4:09 am

    Thanks Big Wave. And Fuji, Castalloy is an Aussie company that makes cast wheels for Harleys, quite some years ago passing the Millionth Wheel mark when company execs came out for the celebration.
    Sure, we’re ‘offshore’ to you guys but hang on a minute, we buy heaps of Harleys, Victorys, Big Bear Choppers, Pro One, Saxon etc. Quid pro quo. And yes, I am the same Doc with Heavy Duty magazine. Those of you who don’t know us, check out and any manufacturers wanting to enter our market, please me through the web site and I will offer any help I can. Australia avoided most of the global financial crash and our economy is powering along nicely. We’re not a big market but many companies find it worthwhile to sell product down here.

  20. 20 May 1st, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    sad but true, you can rarely find anything made in the US anymore….including a large % of the parts on the iconic American Harley Davidson. Problem is we all have some need to live beyond our means. Companies go to china so they can increase profitability, and then turn around and stick it in their pockets……..consumers buy chinese goods so they can afford the new car (chinese) or TV (chinese) or whatever other unneeded crap they are storing up. How do we fix that, maybe us working class can put in a few more hours so you can get another check…..or maybe it would be easier if we just borrowed it from China.

    Bottom line is folks have lost the love for their country and their neighbor, and replaced them with money and possesions. So much so that they are willing to pad the pockets of World Power Communist China, while robbing their working class neighbor of his job. Laziness……remember the settlers, or the workers of the industrial revolution, now thats a days work, and they are who made this country strong enough to support our weakness all these years. Modern Americans want too much for too little, unions demand men get paid far more than they are worth, and the rest have figured out an “easy “way to make more money than they need.

    I drive a truck with 300k on the ODO, and rust holes in the side, and it takes me wherever I need to go. (although I do have my choice of six motorcycles, all of which were either built from scratch or resurrected right here in Grottoes, VA) I rent my house from another dying breed…an American Dairy Farmer. I am also writing this during an 8- minute run time on My US Made HAAS CNC, (though unfortunately typing on a chinese computer), and this is my 10 hour mark on a Saturday. Im passionate about what I do and who who I love, and every day of my life is filled with these things…what else is there? I could of course just have it done in China, and probably make good money, maybe buy a new Foreign Ford or a big enough house that ill never even have to go into all the rooms, or maybe have a Marble logo inlaid in the new entrance to the shop……naaaaa. Im not saying Im better than anyone else, just that I TRY to do whats right, and I believe that leads to real wealth, but not necessarily money. When i lay down tired tonight, ill sleep well knowing i earned my money today, and didnt screw my neighbor for the sake of trying to impress him. And how am i surviving in the market? well enough to pay for what I have, keep my belly full , and keep my 2 wheels on the road!

    long story short, keep the farmers farming, the workers working, and the rest can go to ……….china

  21. 21 cyclereckr May 1st, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    The problem with all of this is one word “GREED” the desire for more!

  22. 22 mike corbin May 3rd, 2010 at 10:18 am

    As the jobs leave America, so does the economy.

    America was built on innovation and ” Can Do ‘ attitude..

    Can the ” American Craftsman Live On ? “

  23. 23 May 3rd, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Les Brown/ MetalArts- investment casting

    I have spent 26 years as a manufacturer in the USA. Over the years I have had several major accounts who pulled their parts and took them overseas. It’s just the bottom line for most companies.

    Our country needs labeling , like food labels, that have a breakdown of the components and where they were actually made.. not just “MADE(assembled) in the USA”. The consumer can then make an informed decision to support American jobs or overseas jobs.

    Labeling as such would be a real eye opener for most Americans.

  24. 24 jsdiamond May 3rd, 2010 at 11:42 am

    50% to 75% less cost of production… of course that doesn’t include ARC’s fee. So, I am assuming that in the end you’d end up paying a “made in the U.S.A.” price anyway, for a foreign made item.

    Not such a bargain.

  25. 25 Olly D. May 3rd, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Here in Australia, our manufacturing base is almost non existant, however we certainly buy from China and Taiwan and our economy is the best in the Western world at the moment. It is about supply and demand. Ask the great Arlen Ness where his manufacturing base is. He’s happy to have it all made in Taiwan. Its cheaper to make and the quality is A1. The Mid US, MidWest and Zodiac catalogues are full of Taiwanese parts. Whats the problem here? It’s been happening for years.
    I import bike parts from Taiwan and the quality is as good as it gets. My customers can buy great parts at realistic prices or they can pay more and have US made parts, or have it made locally and pay more again. Its a buyers perogative.
    Only a fool stands there and pays $200 for a part thats made in the US when he can order from another brand and have the same part for $50.
    My money is too hard to come by to throw it away.

  26. 26 Rider2 May 4th, 2010 at 12:59 am

    Olly D has summarized years of selling parts in the MC industry. From Arlen Ness to Custom Chrome, a tone of those parts are made overseas and they are far from stopping. It’s just a profit issue. As Olly D said, Chinese quality has improved, don’t need to order 3 containers of mirrors anymore and the design is actually getting better. You can feel bad for the guys that are still (try to) selling $1000 air cleaners but the bottom line is that distributors, retailers and shops are still the ones with the final decision. If they can sell 40 of something of lesser quality with 40%+ margin versus 1 made in the US with 20% margin, who do you think they will push first?
    Of course you’ll have the guy trying to buy as much American made parts to put on his bike but the bottom line is that those might not be as competitive. Check any rally in the country… why is Kuryakyn packed 24/7 with installations of (cheap, well not so cheap) chrome covers made in China? and why some vendors I won’t name here are sitting on their asses on a Saturday afternoon contemplating their made in USA $3000 front ends, $1200 front end and such. Sure it’s made with pride and it’s a great product, but does it sell to the regular Joe?

  27. 27 Bigwoody May 4th, 2010 at 10:34 am

    My job went away. Number 1 quality General Motors VanRoger Moore’s movie to plant from Lordstown,Ohio to Flint ,Michigan for 1 year.
    New design van strictly a cargo version was made in Oklahoma City, now closed.Wonder why G.M. is broke.
    Incidently van wouldn’t fit the Flint paint booths. 280 million to build a vehicle for 1 year.
    Design,engineering buy a Ford.

  28. 28 grayhawk May 5th, 2010 at 10:30 am

    We are a sheltered group if we think its a motorcycle industry issue. America was built and will only remain strong based on the viability of small businesses based in the US AND YES EVEN IF ITS A US BASED COMPANY THAT IMPORTS PRODUCTS. As unlike foreign based companies they pay US and local taxes and employ US citizens and sustain/support local economies.
    Support your small business’s and their niche’s and kudo’s to those that can make a living by manufacturing in the US. But even in some of those cases their raw materials are imported so simantics abound.

    Arc I believe was at the Cincy show and the front man I talked to was very inept at and about their products but I will say, “but not in ARC’s case”, there are some US businesses that import parts that are true to spec and quality and are utilized by many custom and oem companies and they produce very good products.

    Most larger companies that find it unprofitably to make inhouse outsource and spec out to bid no matter the item. Even small mom and pop stores of all persuazions buy imported product just at a higher price because they do not buy in quantity. One would be hard to find a shirt that has not a foreign entity involved, even the Florida farmers plowed under their tomatoes a year ago because it was cheaper to import then harvest, go to Hoovers and get the list of foreign owned companies and properties, folks America does not own America period especially when it comes to larger companies,proporties, and sindications. Even American companies that are stock option companies have foreign ownership to some extent and its the same globally as American stockholders have ownership in foreign companies, thus its a global world for all.
    If foreign country individuals would not buy American products we would be in poorer shape so sometimes this issue is muted and narrow summized, support your local businesses and entities where you can as that contributes to your local viability and buy what makes sense to you and yours. Get the kids off the couch an train new craftsman and build the trades back.
    Now for a more serious issue of foreign plyte or not see/click on the beer link below?

    Who Owns What Beers?

  29. 29 grayhawk May 5th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    See if the beer link shows this time if not google it if interested?

    Who Owns What Beers?Jun 30, 2009 … Anheuser-Busch was sold to a foreign company in November of 2008. …. A full list of Anheuser-Busch InBev beers can be found here and here. … The beers of Pabst Brewing are indeed American owned, but they are brewed …
    – Cached –

  30. 30 John May 6th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    If we all do more to stay American it will make a big difference . Just like sand on a scale, one at a time it will accumulate and change the direction of things. One at a time. Thats how the Chinese took our manufacturing away , one at a time. Give em Hell America. Lets take it back .Even with our politicians selling us out we can all make an effort individually and take it back. Focus on America .If you are an American and you manufacture here keep it here dont sell out. Remember the Alamo.

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