Wednesday, 26 February 2014

German market growth

Growth continues in German market

Following a modest but positive trend in 2013, data released by the IVM (the German motorcycle association) shows that the German market has started this year with strong growth compared to January 2013. Total PTW sales for January this year in Germany were 3,947 units, up 34.34 percent on January 2013.

Within that figure, motorcycle sales were up 41.13 percent at 2,728 units, meaning that the larger displacement end of the market took 69.12 percent of unit volume in Germany in January.

Industry observers are of course pointing to the weather as being likely to be as much of a driving factor as economic considerations, positive though they are in Germany at this time. While January has been wet, it has been relatively mild without the extreme cold and snow seen in 2013.

Reinforcing the trend towards larger displacement models, top-end scooters were up by 30.25 percent, with smaller displacement motorcycles and scooters up by 23.20 and 11.61 percent respectively.


As reported in MotoWeek recently, data released in January by ACEM, the Brussels based motorcycle industry association, shows Germany to have been Europe’s second largest PTW market in terms of the total number of machines in use at the end of 2012 (Italy having the largest ‘bike park’ in Europe). ACEM’s estimate puts the market as being worth some 5.75 million units – a figure that has stayed remarkably stable (despite the downturn, since at least 2005).

Last year Germany was Europe’s third largest market in annual new PTW registration terms, with IVM data putting the market up by 1.31 percent at 129, 357 units, 87,423 were motorcycles (+2.65 percent). In terms of the last decade, ACEM data shows the German market to have peaked in 2006, at some 275,000 total units registered - meaning that, if sustained throughout 2014, the market stabilisation and modest growth being seen currently may be about to end a cycle of decline that has seen the German market lose 38 percent by volume in new registration terms in the last 7 years.

As with elsewhere in Europe, it would appear that the trends being seen in Germany mean that there is an ageing ‘bike park’, which should have positive implications on a moving forward basis for new unit sales, pre-owned motorcycle values and demand, and the demand for workshop activity, parts and accessories.

Czech Rebublic shows

Czech Republic - two shows, same weekend


Said to be the largest motorcycle expo in central and Eastern Europe, MOTOSALON will be staged by BVV Trade Fairs on behalf of Czech trade association AIA (Automotive Industry Association) at Brno, Czech Republic, March 6 to 9, 2014.

Described by the organisers as an "international fair for motorcycles, ATVs, accessories and clothing", the event is said to have attracted some 40,000 visitors and feature 95 exhibitors and 15,000 sqm of exhibition space when it was staged in Prague in 2013.


The show alternates each year between Prague and Brno, which is the second largest city in the Czech Republic. Well known as home to the Czech MotoGP since the 1930s, Brno, in Moravia, East of Prague, is near the Austrian and Slovakian borders - 130 km from Vienna and Bratislava, 320 km from Budapest and 550km from Warsaw.
The same weekend sees a second motorcycle show being staged in the Czech Republic, one that is held in Prague every year, and that, according to the organisers (INCHEBA PRAHA spol. s r.o.) regularly attracts around 50,000 visitors.

Motocykl 2014, at the Incheba Expo facility in Prague, is an independently operated annual event - that is to say that it is independent of the Czech motorcycle industry trade association. This year sees its 18th annual show, and among other attractions it features what will be the 10th annual Bohemia Custom Bike Show.

According to data released by Brussels based motorcycle industry association ACEM, the Czech Republic saw sales of some (9,317 PTWs in 2012, nearly 7,000 of which were classed as motorcycles.

The market there has suffered the same effects of the downturn seen elsewhere in Europe, declining from a 2007 peak of 16,106 PTW registrations, after several years of steady growth.

ACEM data puts the total 'Bike Park' in the Czech Republic at 976,911 units, split pretty much equally between motorcycles and smaller cc units - a figure that has continued to grow steadily throughout the downturn from the 793,934 reported for 2007.

The total population of the country is some 10.5 m people, some 8m of which are believed to be of riding age - meaning that an estimated 12 percent of those who can ride legally own or have access to a PTW of some kind.

This is said to reflect a long standing passion for two wheels that goes back many decades - indeed at its peak in the late 1920s there are believed to have been some 40 plus different motorcycle manufacturers and brands being produced in what was then Czechoslovakia; today only Jawa, CZ and Blata remain.

UK market growth

UK Motorcycle Market grew in 2013

According to data release by British trade association the MCIA, while the total PTW market in the UK remained down in 2013 (-1.88 percent compared to 2012) motorcycle registrations were up at +1.16 percent (81,180 units), making the UK the 5th largest PTW market in Europe in 2013.

However, as has been seen elsewhere in Europe, the year ended well, with total PTW sales in the UK up by 11.27 percent compared to December 2012 (at 4,116 units) and motorcycle sales for the month up by 16.75 percent at 3,548 units.

Commenting in January on the results achieved in the UK last year, MCIA CEO Steve Kenward said that "the motorcycle market in the UK has taken longer to pick up than the car market. The majority of our sales are to leisure customers, and so upgrading the bike regularly became a casualty of reduced disposable income. That seems to be changing from what our members are reporting with regard to intention to buy in 2014.

"Though the UK motorcycle market has fared better than mainland Europe, it's been a tough few years, and those areas where there has been growth tended to be from new customers looking for more economical ways to commute".

Though small at 2,728 units for 2013 the Touring market in the UK was the fastest growing (+27.4 percent), and with Trail/Enduro models (+8.4 percent, 4,551 units), Adventure Sport models (+7.2 percent, 12,600 units), Customs (+6.5 percent, 7,296 units) and 'Naked' streetbikes (+4.3 percent, 17,941 units) all up.

The traditionally strong Sport Tourer (-7.9 percent, 4,037 units) and Supersport markets
(-5.2 percent, 11,716 units) continued to be soft, suggesting a shift in riding habits in the UK; though down by -4.4 percent at 20,099, scooters were the largest single PTW sector in the UK in 2013.

The MCIA said that the motorcycle industry contributes £7.2 Bn (approx €8.64 Bn) to the UK economy each year and directly employs some 60,000 people in more that 6,350 businesses.

Exhibitors reported strong positive interest at the MCIA's annual 'Motorcycle Live' consumer expo in November last year with over 106,000 show visitors; this year's show will be staged from November 22nd to 30th.

The GB Trade Expo (also at the UK's NEC/National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham) reported improved attendance up 20% over 2013 (more than 3,000 visitors representing over 1,500 businesses) at its 19th annual show in January.

Brussels based motorcycle industry association ACEM reports that the UK market's total
'Bike Park' was worth 1,224,849 total PTWs in ownership (making it Europe's 8th largest total market), declining from a recent peak of 1,432,092 in 2008.

Piaggio sales results

Colaninno views Piaggio results as “positive” despite decline


The Piaggio Group announced consolidated net sales of €955 million for the nine months to September 30th 2013, down from €1,112,3 million for the first nine months of 2012.

The company has successfully defended its margins but saw net profit decline to €27.8 million from €44.4 million in the first nine months of 2012, but says that had it not been for exchange rate effects, sales would have been higher, and states that it has maintained leadership of the European two-wheeler market with an overall PTW share of 17.5 percent (26.3 percent share in scooters).

The company says that global shipments of Vespa models were up 21.3 percent in the first
9 months of 2013, with sales of more than 146,600, and that Moto Guzzi is bucking the trend in Western motorcycle markets with 9.8 percent growth.

Group chairman Roberto Colaninno is quoted as saying that Piaggio’s performance for the period was “positive, and particularly significant when considered in relation to the macro economic scenario in the first nine months of 2013”.

In the first nine months of 2013, the two-wheeler segment of Piaggio’s domestic European market continued to show the sharpest decline recorded since 2007, with aggregate volumes now 55 percent lower than those of five years ago – in line with the overall European trend reported by ACEM.

From January to September 2013 Piaggio saw a downturn of 13.1 percent overall (-17.8 percent for scooters and -5.5 for motorcycles), with what it describes as “an unprecedented drop in demand on the Italian market”.

Piaggio have reported an overall drop of -5.5 percent in motorcycle sales for the first nine months of 2013, but Moto Guzzi is bucking the trend in Western motorcycle markets with 9.8 percent growth

The California 1400s and the limited edition MG V7s have been driving Moto Guzzi’s growth in major Western markets

MV Agusta wins at World Supersport series

MV Agusta back on the podium after 38 years

Jules Cluzel gave MV Agusta their first World Championship win in the first round of this year’s World Supersport Series at Phillip Island
38 years since Giacomo Agostini gave MV Agusta their last World Championship podium (Nuerburgring, 1976), MV Agusta returned to top spot on a World Championship podium at the Phillip Island circuit near Melbourne, Australia, last weekend.

Jules Cluzel (Yakhnich Motorsport) took the win in the first round of this year’s Supersport World Championship on his F3 675 Reparto Corse – having started from 14th place on the grid. 

Giovanni Castiglioni, President of MV Agusta, stated: “A marvellous win, an indescribable thrill. I want to dedicate this first victory to my father, whose faith in MV and the possibility of a successful return to racing was always unshakeable, and the late father of Brian Gillen, our Reparto Corse manager”.

In the first round of the WSBK series, Claudio Corti scored a 13th and 18th in the two races on the F4 RR.

Moto Park Show, Russia 2014

Moto Park Show, Feb 28 to March 2, 2014


Staged at Moscow’s IEC “Crocus-Expo” Centre, by RTE Exhibitions, Russia’s leading annual motorcycle expo (Moto Park) will be staged in Moscow starting February 28th.

This will be the 11th annual Moto Park, and it will again be co-joined with the Moscow Custom and Tuning Show 2014, which features an AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building affiliate custom bike show – the winners of which will be seen in competition at the AMD World Championship when it makes its INTERMOT debut in Hall 10 at Koelnmesse in October this year.

Moto Park regularly sees some 100 exhibitors and close to 80,000 visitors. Many of the leading manufacturers are represented at Moto Park, and these have included Harley-Davidson, Polaris (Victory and Indian), Honda, Yamaha, BMW, Triumph and Peugeot.

Russian market research specialist AutoStat ( reports that at the end of 2012 there were some 2.5 million motorcycles in ownership/use (the bike park) in Russia – five percent of the 47.9 million total vehicles in use there; the total population of Russia is around 144 million, of which 110 million are thought to be of riding age.

This means that an estimated 2 percent of Russia’s riding age population have a motorcycle of some kind, whereas in the EU the figure runs at something closer to 10 percent (35 million PTWs and a riding age population of approximately 380 million).

American Report 27th February 2014

To mark its 110th anniversary last year, Harley-Davidson held a rally last summer in Rome, at which it presented two Big Twins, one a 2013 Dyna Super Glide, to the Pope. Not known as a weekend warrior, Pope Francis signed the gas tank “Francesco” (perhaps his Harley chapter name?) and sent it to be auctioned, with the proceeds going to Caritas, a Rome-based charity. Sold at Bonhams’ Paris auction (to a European bidder) in early February, the bike far exceeded pre-sale estimates, raising €210,000, making it the sixth most expensive motorbike ever auctioned. 


Triumph Motorcycles America Ltd has announced a recall of certain 2013 Trophy SE models on which a design flaw may result in the left-hand centre stand mount being subject to fracture. The company is also recalling 2,800 Tigers and Trophys for an ECU fix.


BMW has announced a recall of more than 50,000 motorcycles in the United States (affecting 18 different model types/ 7 model years) for a potential fuel pump leak. A similar recall in Canada affects more than 6,000 bikes. 


A year after being bought from BMW by KTM majority owner Stefan Pierer, Husqvarna has opened a new 15,000 square foot facility at Murrieta, California. Having radically
re-engineered the plans that BMW had for the Marque back to a complete motocross line-up, the company completed relocation of manufacturing from Italy last year and unveiled an all-new Mattighofen, Austria built Husqvarna line-up at an opening weekend bash that included some 300 US Husqvarna and several legendary former Husqvarna riders such as Dick Burleson, Malcolm Smith and Mark Blackwell – nowadays a senior executive heading up Polaris Industries’ motorcycle manufacturing activities (Victory and Indian) and recently elected chairman of the MIC.


Following news last week that Yamaha have confirmed that they will again exhibit at AIMExpo (Orlando, October 16-19, 2014), Tucker Rocky, one of North America’s largest parts and accessory distributors, has also confirmed its confidence in the future of the exhibition by announcing an expanded presence this year. Now slated as a 4-day joint industry/consumer event, Tucker Rocky VP Marketing Hank Desjardins said that “AIMExpo addressed a void in this industry that was long overdue”. The organisers say that they already have 200 exhibitors committed to this year’s second annual event.


Kawasaki has announced a 10,000 Thailand-manufactured dirt bike recall in the United States because of a potential fuel leak between the tank and the fuel tap. Affected models are 2010 KLX110CAF/DAF, 2011 KLX110CBF/DBF and 2012 KLX110 CCF/DCF recreational off -highway motorcycles.


Suzuki’s financial data for the first three quarters (9 months) of its 2013-14 fiscal year reveal that despite a reported 13.1 percent decrease in motorcycle sales volumes worldwide, North American sales are holding up relatively well. At about 32,000 units, they are only slightly below the level achieved in the comparable year-ago period, and thanks to favourable exchange rate changes, their North American motorcycle sales revenue was actually up at 28.2 billion Yen ($275.7 million) from the 23.9 billion Yen reported for the first nine months of 2012-13.

Ilmberger Moto Gp sponsorship

Moto GP sponsorship and BMW parts from Ilmberger

ILMBERGER Carbon Parts has announced that it has signed on as a sponsor of German Moto GP rider Stefan Bradl.
“I cannot currently think of a better environment to represent the quality, innovative and technical standards of our carbon fibre parts as in Moto GP,” said Julius Ilmberger, founder of ICP Ilmberger Carbon Parts. “As a German company, and moreover with the best German rider, to be represented there, is simply the best.”
While Bradl will be riding a Honda in the 2014 Championship, Ilmberger has continued to develop parts for a wide variety of motorcycles, including the latest liquid-cooled BMW R1200GS.

From the ‘beak’ to the wind flaps, engine guards and covers, up to replacement covers for the complete tank, almost all of the standard plastic parts on the R 1200 GS can now be replaced with Ilmberger carbon parts. In addition, there are numerous accessories available too, including a rear hugger, hand protectors, and carbon covers are available to protect sensitive GS components.
All of the Ilmberger carbon parts for the R 1200 GS are manufactured from prepregs by autoclaving to ensure extreme strength. A clear plastic coat is then applied to offer scratch and UV resistance. All parts come with fitting instructions and type approval documentation.

ILMBERGER Carbon Parts
Oberhaching, GERMANY
Tel: +49(0)8961 33893