Friday, 15 February 2019

BMW Motorrad

BMW Motorrad - 2018 sees eighth all-time sales high in succession

BMW Motorrad says it sold more motorcycles and maxi scooters in 2018 than ever before. Compared to 2017 deliveries increased by a further +0.9%. As of December 2018, a total of 165,566 vehicles were delivered to customers (164,153 units in 2017).

Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad, said that “2018 was another very successful year. We achieved a sales record for the eighth time in succession. I would like to thank our customers most sincerely for the great trust they placed in us again in 2018”.
The company says this marks another step “towards reaching the planned sales target of 200,000 units in the year 2020. Schramm went on to say that “the 2018 sales figure shows that our motorcycle growth strategy is taking effect. This success was achieved due to the market launch of six new models as well as the powerful BMW Motorrad product portfolio, and we still have a great deal planned for the coming years.
“Our ongoing model initiative in the premium segment continues - we will further expand our product range with emotional and innovative new products in 2019, too. We will also be increasing our involvement in motorsport significantly”. In the 2019 season, the new BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team will be lining up from the start with the BMW S 1000 RR.
With 23,824 units, Germany was the largest single market for BMW Motorrad again, but “the good performances in the other big European markets and in the US were also a major cornerstone for these successful sales figures”. BMW’s most important markets in 2018 were France (16,615 units), Italy (14,110 units), Spain (11,124 units) and the UK/IE (9,224 units), as well as the USA (13,842 units - another record high).
BMW says it is continuing to expand in China and Brazil, too. With 7,561 BMW motorcycles and scooters sold and a growth rate of over 35%, China together with Brazil (7,361 units/+11%) are among the markets with the strongest growth. In India, with 2,187 units sold in 2018, the BMW Group’s own sales subsidiary has successfully established itself following the start of business there in 2017.

For the first time more than 51,000 units of the R1200/1250 GS and GS Adventure travel enduros were sold. With a total of around 84,500 units, “the traditionally strong R Series once again confirmed its leading position in the overall range”, with the R nineT model variants also playing a significant role in 2018.
Some 18,773 units of the sports-oriented BMW S Series were sold worldwide, with the S 1000 RR Supersports, the S 1000 R Power Roadster and the S 1000 XR Adventure “showing that they continue to be an important pillar in the BMW Motorrad range”.
Below 500 cc, 24,363 units of the G 310 R and G 310 GS models that were introduced in 2017 were sold in 2018 - both being among their “Top Five” sellers.
“Sales of the 6-cylinder models are also developing very positively. In its second year of sales, the K 1600 Bagger, which is tailored specifically to the US market, is proof of the unbroken trend towards large-capacity, emotional touring bikes,” said Timo Resch, BMW Motorrad Head of Sales and Marketing. “With 8,306 units sold and a 25% increase in sales, our 6-cylinder models were among our big winners in 2018.
“The USA especially is an important market for these models. We will continue to increase our involvement in the US in order to strengthen BMW Motorrad’s position there. We will respond to the special market requirements in the USA with a further highly emotional and very authentic BMW Motorrad product.”
BMW says it is offering its “most powerful product portfolio of all time in 2019” and that it is in “excellent shape all round. We expect to see further growth in sales for our vehicles in 2019 and we expect our new products from the R 1250 Boxer family, the much anticipated new S 1000 R as well as the F 850 GS Adventure, all to be received positively. We are also expanding our urban mobility product range with the market launch of the C 400 X and C 400 GT scooters”.


Arai migrates its Variable Axis System technology to a new SZ open-face


Show season saw Arai unveil three updates or new helmets to its 2019 range - Urban-V, Profile-V and a new SZ open-face - the SZ-R VAS (Variable Axis System).
Arai launched its first generation SZ open-face helmet in 1988 - aimed at the busy urban riding environment of downtown Tokyo. It has constantly evolved over the last 30 years, with each generation of SZ model “majoring on comfort, convenience and, of course, protection” and since its debut it has “become a favourite in Europe for professional riders, tourers and commuters alike”.


Based on its experience with the SZ Ram-X, especially in Paris, the ‘VAS’ designation refers to Arai’s Variable Axis System’, as already seen in four full-face models - a technology that is designed to improve the impact protection and “glancing-off ability in a critical area”.
The completely redesigned compact PB-CLC2 shell (the same as used in QV-Pro) is reinforced by a SF (Super Fibre) belt in the front and at the back to make it even stronger. 

The VAS shield is 14 mm lower than the previous design, to keep the shell round and smooth for better glancing-off properties in this area. Compared to the previous visor, the VAS design has an extended shape to offer better visibility and improve wind protection.
Thanks to the dual system, the visor can be opened and closed much more easily and there is the possibility to add a Pinlock (as an option). There is also the option to use the PRO Shade sun visor, which up until now has only been available on the Arai’s full-face helmets - the brow vents have been redesigned and the new shape is said to be easier to operate and features a more efficient air intake.
The Diffusers (DF # 12) are the same type as used on the range-topping RX-7V. The angle of the fixed aero wing has been revised to be more in line with the shape of the diffuser in order to improve stability and reduce rider fatigue.
With the new speaker-ready interior and cheek pads, the contact points on the rider’s head have been distributed more evenly for a new feeling that is said to gently wrap the entire head and prove to be a better fit for long, oval heads. The cheek pad shape has also been modified to firmly hold each cheek (Facial Contour System/FCS). They feature the 5 mm peel-away layer to customise the helmet for a perfect fit. There is also a slit in the foam to make it easier to put on glasses.
An extra water-resistant layer has been added to the cheek pad foam to protect from the rain. There is also a foam piece added to the cheek pad to keep the ear pocket in place and remove pressure, further improving comfort. There is also a recess padded ready to receive a speaker; to hear it better and to reduce wind noise, foam has been added around the chinstrap.
The SZ-R VAS uses Arai’s original Super Fibre belt, which prevents the shell from cracking-in when a strong impact hits at the eye-opening area - it was originally developed for F1 helmets. PB-CLC2 is the same construction as used on the QV-Pro, the company’s top touring model. The SZ-R VAS also uses a new resin, which is said to be “extremely rigid”, but still finishes up lighter than before; the SZ-R VAS is also designed with a low centre of gravity.
Arai says the “smooth form” they favour makes it easier to glance-off and keep sliding. Internal air flow management has been improved - riding induces air to the forehead area and cools it dramatically. The new visor shape is said to give a clearer view that is more comfortable for the eyes and offers even less distortion compared with the previous visor shape. The new interior is constructed from antimicrobial material with deodorant and anti-fouling function. The cheek pads and interior are fully replaceable and adjustable.


The new Arai Urban-V open-face helmet “blends classic style with cutting-edge Arai protection, comfort and ventilation technology - it is old school and new school all at once, a classic retro-style open-face helmet, rich in period details like traditional stitched faux leather edge trim and interior accents.
“It’s packed with modern technical features that enhance comfort and protection, like (hidden) interior ventilation and a rounded outer shell silhouette. The Urban-V is constructed from Peripherally Belted Complex Laminate Construction2 (PB-cLc2) with F1 technology, hiding a high-tech, one-piece multi-density EPS inner liner.
 “The classic, rounder shape features timeless good looks and is also close to our philosophy that a stronger, smoother and rounder shape improves glancing-off performance while absorbing and spreading impact forces.
“Our proprietary (super fibre belt) Peripheral Belt, borrowed from the technology we put into our F1 helmets, helps increase shell strength and flexibility while maintaining low weight and a lower centre of gravity, aiding comfort on longer rides. Positioned across the top of the eye port, this band contributes to the use of a thinner EPS liner, which helps enhance the upward field of vision.
“A specially designed organic felt, sandwiched between the inner and outer layers of our proprietary Super Fibre Laminates, is used to reinforce and bond these two Super Fibre layers without adding significant weight”.
“Key to our philosophy of helmet construction is the use of a stronger outer shell allied to a softer interior liner that helps absorb and dissipate energy, acting much like the crumple zones built into a car. The Urban-V has both, and uses a high-tech, one-piece multi-density EPS liner with multi-stage venting channel in support of its PB-cLc2 shell”.


The Profile-V is a brand-new helmet from Arai. It has been designed for easier access on and off by widening the bottom opening at the front and sides, still offering the snug fit and the proven round shape unique to Arai, using the round and strong PB-e-cLc outer shell for impact “glance-off” and to spread impact forces while maintaining integrity - working with a softer, one-piece multi-density EPS inner liner to absorb and dissipate energy.
Incorporating the Arai Variable Axis System (VAS), a Hyper Ridge band reinforces the lower shell and a 5 mm flare around the base makes the Profile-V easier to get on and off. The VAS-V MAX Vision visor is Pinlock ready, and the optional Pro Shade System (PSS) can be fitted.
Additional features include full ventilation front and rear and a semi-removable interior featuring the Facial Contour System (FCS) of Arai’s range-topping helmets for a “super comfortable fit and ear pockets for speakers”.



Z900RS accessories

German accessory vendor SW-MOTECH has turned its attention to the Kawasaki Z900RS as the so-called ‘Retro Trend’ continues.

The naked styling of the stock Z900RS is an ideal canvas for the bolt-on model-specific and universal fit part designs for a company such as SW-MOTECH.
Accessories used here include its Legend Gear tank bag and side bag set installed with their SLC ABS hard bag capable side carriers (Urban ABS side case and Blaze saddlebag set also available), patented EVO tank ring, fender kit and windscreen.

Also added to inventory recently, the SW- MOTECH PRO side carrier is now available for GS, Africa Twin, Triumph Tiger and KTM models. Made in 2.5 mm steel, it mounts close to the bike and will fit luggage options from the likes of Givi/Kappa, Hepco & Becker, Krauser and Shad, as well as the company’s own SysBags.



KTM 790 Duke tail tidy

British protectors and accessory manufacturer R&G has this new OEM replacement tail tidy/licence plate holder for the KTM 790 Duke. The stainless steel units move the licence plate tighter underneath the rear seat cowling, giving a much sportier and more stylish look. A bespoke licence plate bracket is provided in the kit, as well as a replacement E-marked stop/taillight with licence plate illuminator. The simple-to-install units are compatible with either OE or aftermarket indicators as standard and include plug and play connectors.
R&G, UK,


‘Spark’ Outlast gloves

New from German gloves specialist Orina are the ‘Spark’ Outlast short, well ventilated mesh gloves. Especially soft leather on the inner palm and elasticated Lycra between the fingers guarantee excellent grip and freedom of movement.

In addition to breathable mesh and air vents at the knuckle protectors, the inside features Outlast, a climate-regulating lining with stretch inserts at thumb and fingers and a silicon layer on the inner hand for a secure grip.
Other features include mesh on the back of the hand and Velcro at the wrist and cuff, plastic protectors on the knuckles, padding on the fingers and abrasion resistant Carbolex protector on the inner hand.



Race suspension upgrades for Ninja 400

British manufacturer K-Tech is now offering a DDS “Lite” shock absorber option in addition to existing upgrade packages for the Ninja 400 race bike such as its 20IDS cartridge kit for the OE front forks.
The DDS "Lite" shock absorber uses the latest suspension technology to offer unrivalled performance on the track and enhanced technology over the Razor-R product that is currently available.
The DDS “Lite” shock has been priced to comply with the FIM Junior World Supersport price cap, allowing riders to experience the performance of a type of shock technology that is only usually available for 600 and 1000 cc machines.
Features include 4-way adjustability, including 32 clicks of compression adjustment, manual spring preload and length adjustment, and K-Tech’s “unique ByPass valve adjuster, which controls both compression and rebound damping adjustment to assist with chassis control at low velocity shock movement – enhancing tyre feel and grip. The DDS system uses a smaller piston rod, which keeps the system more stable over a wider temperature range due to its small displacement. K-Tech 20IDS (20 mm Independent Damping System) front fork cartridges have a hard chrome piston rod and hard anodised, super finished aircraft grade precision CNC-machined components.
A complete replacement damping system designed to fit into original equipment front forks that do not allow for external compression adjustment, they have 30 clicks of independent compression and rebound damping adjustment and 18 mm of spring preload adjustment. Range of spring rates separately available.


Forma Boots

‘Legacy’ urban boot

The ‘Legacy’ boot is “one of the most important new entries in the 2019 Forma Urban collection”, according to the Italian boot manufacturer.

The full-grain vintage leather upper and gear change protection make the boot durable and comfortable. Other features include a cafe racer/urban rubber sole, a rear pull loop and padded collar, and zip, lace and Velcro closure. There is a reflective insert at the back of the boot.
The boot is equipped with Forma Drytex tubular lining, injection moulded TPU ankle protection and soft polymer padding with memory foam. The use of the Lifestyle Fit last offers a specific fit for the everyday cafe/urban user and also has a PP Mid Dual Flex midsole (covered with EVA anti-shock material) and replaceable anti-bacterial insoles with A.P.S. (Air Pump System).
Available in dark vintage brown, ‘Legacy’ is CE approved, designed and developed in Italy and made in the EC.