KESSTECH’s SUCCESS STORY
Everyone starts small. Roland Kess, the founder of KESSTECH, shows with his success story
that it doesn’t have to stay that way. From the start, Roland Kess was dedicated to a passion
for motorcycles. For example, after completing his apprenticeship he became a master mechanic
for motorcycles and cycles.
1984 – THE FOUNDATION STONE IS LAID
In 1984, Roland Kess took the adventurous step into self-employment with a small motorcycle
workshop and a parts shop. Selling, repairing and customising Harleys determined the business
and, very soon, it was not possible to imagine the Harley scene without Roland Kess.
1995 – GROWTH THROUGH CHALLENGES
The introduction of the EC type approval in 1995, which regulated exhaust and noise emissions,
faced the company with new challenges. Legal exhaust systems, which still emitted the typical
Harley sound – this was the goal that KESSTECH’s developers were dedicated to from now on.
1997 – THE BREAKTHROUGH
With the reflection mufflers Panhead®1 and Knucklehead®1, KESSTECH achieved the breakthrough in 1997:
the first legal exhaust system with a static noise of up to 101 dB(A) was born. And with the associated
TÜV technical component report, these systems are still registered with the TÜV. This revolution changed
the company’s direction – from now on, the production and development of muffler systems became the main
1999 – THE STEP TO A TÜV-VERIFIED COMPANY
In 1999 KESSTECH introduced a quality management system and became a TÜV-verified company in accordance
with the requirements in international and German road traffic laws for acquiring a type approval and
in accordance with Schedule XIX German Road Traffic Vehicle Approval Regulations for acquiring technical
2001 – THE MECHANICALLY MANUALLY ADJUSTABLE SOUND SYSTEM (MMV)
The development and production of the MMV represented a further milestone in KESSTECH’s company history.
It can be opened and closed mechanically in seconds with the help of an adjusting tool and also has an
EC type approval.
2003 – EXHAUST SYSTEMS MADE BY KESSTECH
From 2003 KESSTECH started to make its own exhaust casings from polished and chrome-plated stainless steel.
From now on, the complete exhaust system in the KESSTECH design was available under the one roof.
2006 – FIRST GENERATION ELECTRONIC SOUND MANAGEMENT (ESM1)
As the team grew in size, the sound management systems developed further. With the electronically
adjustable baffle system ESM1 it was now possible for riders to activate or deactivate the sound
management system at the touch of a switch in ¼ second at all speeds and in any gear. The system
conforms to EC 97/24 in all switch positions, i.e. it is always legal. When the system is activated,
the electronics control the sound and the loudness completely automatically, so that all sound values
and all performance values are strictly complied with. The ESM2 represents the further development of
the ESM1 and today is the flagship of the KESSTECH product range.
2007 – THE PRODUCT RANGE CONTINUES TO GROW
The product range continued to grow further with the new baffle systems NV- (Not Adjustable)
and RNV- (Racing Not Adjustable).
2008 – ON THE ROAD
Since 2008, the black show truck that is now familiar at all Harley events has accompanied
the KESSTECH team and has placed the exhaust art from KESSTECH into the limelight.
2012 – CHANGE OF SHAREHOLDERS
In 2012, company founder Roland Keß decided to hand the wheel to the next generation.
Since then his daughter – Pamela Keß – and Christian Schütte have been shareholders and
managing directors of KESSTECH GmbH.
2013 – NEW SYSTEMS FOR BMW MOTORBIKES
In the past, the company’s product range was oriented in the first place to Harley-Davidson
motorbikes, but in 2013 systems for BMW motorcycles were offered as well for the first
time and the range was permanently extended.