AMP RESEARCH HISTORY
AMP RESEARCH is an American design and technology company, located in Tustin, California, that invents, builds and markets products designed to improve the function and utility of cars, light trucks and SUVs. The company’s motto, ”Innovation In Motion” captures the eclectic mix of breakthrough products AMP Research has brought to the market since its founding in 1980.
AMP RESEARCH – INNOVATION IN MOTION
AMP Research History, Part 1Watch Now...http://www.amp-research.com, AMP Research History in Photo, Part 1: Moto-Cross Internationales, Leitner Automotive, ATK & AMP Bikes.
AMP RESEARCH is an original-equipment supplier of unique car and truck accessories for Ford, GM, Hyundai, Kia, Fiat, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Suzuki and Mercedes-Benz. Automotive accessory products designed, manufactured and marketed directly by AMP Research include the AMP Research PowerStep™, BedStep®, BedXTender HD™, MotoXTender® and Alloy Fuel Doors.
From the industry-leading 1980s four-stroke ATK motocross and off-road motorcycles that presaged today’s dominant four-stroke machines, to the unique AMP RESEARCH and Mercedes-Benz full-suspension bicycles of the 90s, to today’s pickup trucks and SUV accessories, every AMP Research product has been conceived, engineered and developed by Horst Leitner, the company’s visionary founder and owner.
Born in a small town near Salzburg Austria in 1942, Leitner became a top-rank off-road motorcycle racer, competing in the F.I.M. Motocross World Championships in Europe, winning four gold medals in the grueling International Six Days Trial, as well as capturing the Austrian National Motocross Championships.
After completing his engineering studies in Graz Austria, Leitner tackled the challenge of improving the suspension function of the motorcycles he raced. His efforts resulted in the A-Trak and AMP-Link chain-torque eliminators, inventions that greatly improved the ride quality, handling and performance of on-and off-road motorcycles and, later, ATVs.
ATK – AN AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE COMPANY
Leitner moved his family to Southern California, the center of the motorcycle industry, living in a motor home in Tustin, California while he built his own company, ATK Motorcycles. ATK machines had a huge impact on the design of off-road motorcycles of the time with their unique combination of four-stroke power, smooth chain-torque-free suspension and electric starting. ATK dominated 4-stroke motocross through the ’90s and an ATK machine won the legendary Barstow-to-Vegas off-road desert race, competing against giants that included Honda, Yamaha, and Husqvarna.
An A-Trak-equipped Honda CB750F streetbike won the 1979 Austrian FIM Formula 750 Road Race, competing against far-lighter and more-powerful purpose-built two-stroke race bikes. Because the race was held in pouring rain, the added traction and control afforded by the A-Trak system allowed its rider to outrun the usual front runners.
During this period Leitner also did design and engineering work which included a braking and transmission system for Polaris snowmobiles, and a radical 125cc motocross motorcycle prototype for KTM which led to the current linkage-free rear suspension on today’s KTMs. He also invented the EZ-Pull clutch device for Harley Davidson motorcycles, reducing clutch effort by 50% with a simple bolt-on unit. Leitner eventually sold his interest in ATK Motorcycles to concentrate on AMP Research bicycle, motorcycle and automotive products.
In the 1990s, Leitner turned his attention to innovating in the mountain-bike world, creating the now-legendary AMP Research full-suspension bikes. Characterized by Leitner’s revolutionary four-bar articulating front fork, energy-saving Horst-link rear suspension and the first cable/hydraulic bicycle front disc brake, these ultra-light, all-aluminum bicycles set the standard for mountain-bike technology. AMP Research also produced similar Mercedes-Benz bicycles, which were marketed through Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the United States and Europe. Leitner later licensed the Horst-link technology to Turner and Specialized Bicycles, which is the design foundation of their full-suspension mountain bikes.
AMP RESEARCH AUTOMOTIVE INNOVATIONS
In 1998 AMP Research turned its primary focus to the automotive world. The AMP Research Bed X-Tender™ for pickup trucks is a construction of tubular aluminum and glass-reinforced resin connectors which extends the cargo area of the bed over the folded-down tailgate, letting owners fully utilize the space created with the tailgate in the horizontal positions. The AMP Research Bed X-Tender™ can be flipped forward for compartmentalized storage when the gate is up, and can also be removed for carrying larger cargo items. 2009 saw the introduction of the AMP Research Moto X-Tender®, with a unique slant-back design, which allows more room in compact pickups for motorcycles, ATVs and other longer cargo.
POWERSTEP™ – POWER-DEPLOYING RUNNING BOARDS
The AMP PowerStep™ provides a running-board/retractable truck step utilizing a patented, kinematically-engineered linkage and electric motor. The AMP PowerStep™ extends when any vehicle door is opened, and retracts under the vehicle, for added ground clearance and reduced aerodynamic drag, when the doors are closed. By 2010, over 30,000 Power Step systems had been sold, both as line-installed OEM components on Ford and GM vehicles and through multi-step distribution in the automotive aftermarket under the AMP Research brand.
BEDSTEP® and BEDSTEP2™
To make climbing into the bed of a pickup easier, Leitner invented the BedStep®, a clever retractable truck step mounted to the bumper/frame attachments at the rear corner of the vehicle that can be extended down with the flip of a toe to facilitate climbing up into or down from the pickup bed, and which retracts under the rear bumper, nearly out of sight, after use.
In Mid-2011, AMP Research began shipping BedStep2™, new side-access steps for pickup truck beds that mounts on either side, just behind the cab. providing a faster, easier and safer route to access toolboxes, equipment and cargo in the bed.
In 2011 Amp Research introduced a newly re-designed and improved Tailgate extender and cargo enclosure, the BedXTender HD. The toughest, most durable created to date, with patented rounded-rectangle tubes and new torque-resistant composite uprights.
ALLOY FUEL-FILLER DOORS
AMP/Leitner develops a competition-style aluminum fuel-filler door for OEM use on the Mitsubishi Eclipse, an innovation that was also used by Ford on the Bullit Mustang, Hummer H2, Dodge Challenger, Ram, Jeep Wrangler, Mazda MX5, and Hyundai, Kia Soul.
Since 2000, AMP Research has been located in its own 40,000-square foot engineering, R&D, administration and manufacturing facility in Irvine, California. In late 2011, AMP Research moved to a larger, 55,000-square foot facility in Tustin, California.
Horst Leitner and AMP Research hold over 45 US and international patents for automotive, motorcycle, bicycle and other inventions.
MXA Magazine May 2013
AMP Research SEMA 2010 Press Conference (80.4 KiB, 1,109 hits)
MXA April 2009 - Old Soldiers...Horst Leitner (1.8 MiB, 1,703 hits)
PULPMX.com – ATK 604e Article July 19, 2012