It goes without saying that suppliers are the lifeblood of J&P Cycles, and one of our longest-running partnerships is with Rivera Primo, a quality motorcycle parts manufacturer that operates out of a 40,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Whittier, Calif.
Formerly known as Rivera Engineering, Rivera Primo was founded by a television repairman named Mel Magnet who came up with the great idea back in the early ’70s to use a British carburetor on the Harley-Davidson V-twin engine. This carb, which was usually found on Jaguars and MG automobiles, was known as the SU (abbreviation for Skinners Union). The SU was fantastic right out of the box, and Mel discovered it was much better than other carbs of the time — and even more so when adapted for a motorcycle. Rivera Engineering became the sole supplier of the carb, with Mel setting aside his TV sets and making the modifications necessary to adapt the devices to Harley use.
Rivera’s founder and mentor passed away in 2008, and the company joined forces with Primo Belt Drives to become Rivera Primo Inc. Branching out over the years, high-performance Harley parts became the staple of the company’s wares, including high-compression pistons, Leinweber cams, Mikuni carb systems and Del’Orto dual-throat carbs.
Primo belt drives have been the industry standard for the last quarter century, with offerings for almost any Harley application that you can think of. Tough, strong and durable, Primo products made having a belt drive a feasible alternative to the heavy bulky chain drives that came standard on H-Ds. This innovation, coupled with improvements in clutch technology developed by Primo, make the Brute IV with Pro Clutch one of today’s outstanding driveline values.
And while the parts are primo, you can’t run a successful partnership without good people. The sales and tech support we receive from the Rivera Primo staff is as excellent as their products. Company President John Ventriglia has always been patient with the questions I have tossed his way over the years. He knows his company’s products and has a confident and easy manner when we speak. With John, you never feel like you’re being a nuisance when you ask a question he’s heard a million times before.
And Ben Kudon, the company’s executive director, is another source of knowledge about the parts sold at Rivera Primo. I’ve known Ben since the early ’80s, and he’s a walking encyclopedia of motorcycle information. If you’ve been to our annual J&P Cycles’ open house, you’ve probably seen Ben, because he’s a fixture at that event. Stop by and say hello next time. He’s a delightful guy to speak to.
What I’ve given you here is a brief glimpse of a supplier that has worked with us over the years to provide you, our customers, with the finest products that we can. It also serves as a tip of our hat to John and Ben and the rest of their staff and thank them as we look to more business in the future. With the help of Rivera Primo, we keep the world on two wheels!