WisBusiness: 50th Anniversary Celebration Planned for La Crosse’s S&S Cycle

By Gregg Hoffmann

La Crosse – Thousands of motorcyclists are expected here when S&S Cycle holds a 50th anniversary celebration in June of 2008.

S&S, which has facilities in La Crosse and Viola, plans to sell the first 50 cycle engines it produced to 50 of the top custom cycle builders in the world during the celebration.

That sale will be only one event during what organizers believe will be a rally that could attract 2,000 or more cyclists.

S&S was founded S&S was “founded on speed,” by world record holder George Smith Sr., in 1958. Now under the leader of Smith’s grandson, Brett, S&S remains devoted to producing engines and parts that make motorcycles, ranging from Harleys to custom cycles, go faster.

The company employs more than 400 people, ranging from engineers to workers on the assembly line. S&S opened a 170,000 square foot facility in La Crosse in 2005 and has its original plant in Viola.

S&S might be best known in Wisconsin for the development, production, marketing and sales of performance parts for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. But the company has more than 6,000 domestic and international customers, primarily dealers, distributors and most recently, American motorcycle manufacturers like Victory Motor Cycles, Indian, Titan and Big Dog. Tens of thousands of riders annually install S&S parts on their bikes.

The company’s line of Super carburetors, with a distinctive chrome teardrop air cleaner cover, has been the industry’s most popular carburetor for years.

S&S products also have won numerous awards in competition. Some recent ones include Hot Bike’s High Tech Product of the Year for its performance motors, American Rider’s Aftermarket Company of the Year, and Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year’s Special Award for “Relentless Research & Development.”