S&S Cycles purchases Crane Cams patents, trademarks

Crane Cams has changed hands, but apparently its famous high-performance camshafts will continue to be built and sold under the same recognizable name.

Bruce Tessmer, marketing manager for Wisconsin-based S&S Cycles, has confirmed the company’s purchase of Crane Cams’ intellectual property and says Crane Cams products will continue under that banner.

Cranes Cams closed down in February and all its assets were put on the auction block after attempts to reorganize failed. The auction took place Wednesday at the headquarters of Cranes Cams in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Also involved in the purchase was former Crane Cams President and CEO Lance Harris. Harris recently organized Triton Performance Valve Train LLC. The new company purchased the automotive valve train inventory. Harris could not be reached for comment.

Tessmer said S&S would add the Crane Cams motorcycle camshafts to their existing product line using many of the same Cranes Cams suppliers and distributors. “The product won’t really change,” Harris said. “Motorcycle camshafts will be made here [in Wisconsin], made to [Crane Cams] specifications, and sold under the Crane Cams name.”
While manufacturing will be done at S&S Cycle’s Wisconsin facilities, a service center employing about five people will be set up in the Daytona Beach area. The office location has not been determined, but Tessmer said they are planning to have the office open and ready for taking orders by the end of April.

Tessmer said the decision to buy the intellectual rights to Crane Cams came very quickly. “We started looking seriously about a month ago, and we made some proposals then, but the procedure had already gone too far to do anything,” Tessmer said.

Then, within a week of being able to see the auction bill, they began to pull a plan together.

“Up until yesterday this was not a done deal,” Tessmer said the day following the auction. “It wasn’t until the last gun was fired and the dust settled that we knew what we had.”

The company is excited about the future, however. “It was a great opportunity,” Tessmer said. “It fits right into our manufacturing capabilities and our industry. In the past, we’ve ventured into areas that weren’t a good fit, but this is just a natural.”

S&S Cycle has been in the business of manufacturing high quality, high performance engine components for over 50 years.

Much like Cranes Cams, S&S Cycles started small and grew into a leading supplier. It was started in the basement of the founder’s home in Blue Island, Ill. in 1958, and moved to the small, southwestern Wisconsin community of Viola in 1969. In 2004 an additional facility was opened in LaCrosse.

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