History

 

 American Born and Raised

For all those interested by our background and history, a summary of the main events of Rivera Primo's 49 years in business, from 1970 to today, is listed below.

 

1970 – Mel Magnet re-worked automobile SU Carbs in his garage and sold them at his Rivera TV repair shop in Downey, CA. Mel's customers ranged from a little old lady looking for a TV set to a big, burly biker looking for a new carb to make his Harley go faster!
1970 – Mel met John Ventriglia when John went to his TV store to buy an SU for his 1968 Shovel Chopper
1972 – Mel’s first SU customer: Bianchi Motors of San Francisco.
1973 – Mel Magnet started Rivera Engineering working full time out of his garage located in Pico Rivera, CA. 
1976 – Mel sells his 1960 Jag XK150 and flies to Birmingham, England to persuade the SU factory to sell him directly.

1977 – Mel purchases Primo Products (also known as Primo Belt Drives).

1978 – Rivera picks up Leinweber Cams as their sole distributor.
1978 – Dave Mackie’s 1974 74” shovel fastest stock production HD w/ SU Carb is sponsored by Rivera.
1978 – Rivera sponsors Frisco Choppers’ Dennis Philipie’s 1974 Shovel with IDBA racing.
1979 – Rivera moves into two room facility adjacent to Whittier Harley Davidson.

1979 – Rivera starts DellOrto carb business for V Twins.
1980 – Mel receives his first U.S. patent for his SU tickler pump which resolved a hard starting condition on the SU.
1981 – Rivera moves to a 6000 Sq. Ft. facility on Western Ave. in Whittier, CA.

1986 – Rose Seright joins the company in sales.
1987 – Mike Seright joins the company.
1987 – Dynatek ignition picks Rivera as their first HD distributor.
1990 – Rivera enters into an agreement with Feuling Motors (now defunct) to manufacture the Rivera/Feuling 4 Valve Heads.
1990 – Bianchi Motors buys the first set of Rivera/Feuling 4 Valve Heads.
1990 – Rivera unveils their new Taper Lite™ Pushrod product line.

1990 – Rivera unveils their new Pro Clutch™ product line.
1993 – Rivera moves to 13000 Sq. Ft. facility on Lambert Rd. in Whittier, CA.
1995 – Jim McClure is the first person to go 200 mph on “Da Judge” in the quarter-mile on a Rivera sponsored HD drag bike.
1998 – Rivera® supplies most of the industry’s new bike manufacturers with primary drives, clutches and transmissions.

2004 – Rivera unveils their new Powerdrive™ Transmission product line.
2004 – Rivera Engineering® & Primo Products® combine into Rivera Primo Inc.®
2005 – Rivera Primo Inc. moves into a 40000 Sq. Ft. facility in Whittier, CA with on-site manufacturing and R & D department.
2005 – Giggie Gilliland joins the company as R & D manager.
2007 – Rivera unveils their new 4 to 6 Speed Conversion Kit product line.
2008 – Mel Magnet President & CEO of Rivera Primo Inc.® passes away quietly in his Whitter, CA home.
2008 – John Ventriglia assumes the title of president of the company.
2008 – Rivera Primo® unveils their new HedLED™ Lighting System product line.
2009 – Giggie Gilliland rides his bike into the sunset.

2012 –  John Ventriglia rides his bike into the sunset. Keep the rubber side down and the wind in your face! 
2012 – Rivera Primo® unveils their new TransparaGuard™ Crystal Clear Polycarbonate outer belt guard product line.

2019 –  The rebirth of our fathers vision. Using technological advancements to reach more customers than ever and delivering the parts that makes Harley Davidson the love of our lives.