Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Riderscan's new ITS and safety survey

Riderscan launches new
ITS and safety survey


The Riderscan project is launching its third and last survey targeting European motorcyclists.

Focusing on new technologies and powered two-wheelers, the survey will feed results into the master Riderscan report on Traffic Management, providing a unique opportunity for European motorcycle riders to express their views on upcoming Intelligent Transport System (ITS) technologies.

The survey is divided into two main sections. The first is about the rider and his or her mobility habits – the objective being to gather information about the road use experience and rider road habits in general. The second section concerns ITS applications for PTW safety.

All riders (whether employed within the motorcycle industry or not) are encouraged to take the survey by following this link www.fema-online/riderscan


The findings of the project will be used to inform regulators on a wide range of issues that face of all forms of PTW road use, and to provide evidence of whether specific regulations and technologies that either already are or may come under consideration in the future are likely to warrant inclusion in future legislation on safety or traffic management grounds.

Being undertaken by FEMA (the Brussels based motorcycle consumer lobby group) and supported by the EU itself, the implementation of intelligent transport system technologies simultaneously represent opportunities and difficulties for PTW users and manufacturers unless implementation decision making can be firmly anchored in robust research.

The broader issue of whether or not (and how) PTW users can benefit from new ITS  technology deployment will be at the heart of the European Motorcyclists’ Forum agenda in Brussels on 5th-6th March 2014.

The current state of the art of ITS technology has not yet undergone any specific impact assessment with regard to PTW use, and the third European Motorcyclists’ Forum, which is being hosted by MEP Bernd Lange, will open at the European Parliament premises on March 5th (from 3pm to 6pm) with discussions continuing all day on March 6th at the Thon Hotel EU in Brussels.
Bernd Lange, MEP is hosting the first day of the third European Motorcyclists’ Forum in the European Parliament premises on March 5th

In addition to contributions from Bernd Lange, who is co-chair of the European Parliament’s Forum for the Impact of Automobiles on Society, speakers will include Jacques Compagne of ACEM, Eric Thiollier of the French Riders Federation (SMC), Jesper Christensen of Swedish Riders Federation and Szabolcs Schmidt from the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport at the EU.

Honda sales up

Global Honda sales up
for fiscal third quarter

For the third quarter of its current financial year (October, November and December 2013), Honda is reporting worldwide motorcycle unit sales of 4,251,000 units, which is up by 0.44 percent over the same period in 2012; for the nine months to December 31st 2013 sales are reported at 12,521,000 units, up 1 percent over the first 9 months of its 2012/2013 financial year.

The company is forecasting full year unit sales of 17,095,000, which will be up by 1.6 percent over the prior full year, but is down by 0.23 percent over its previously announced FY14 forecast.

In Europe Honda reports third quarter sales were down at around 27,000 units compared to 29,000 units in the previous third quarter.

The company is reporting a small year on year increase in North America (at 63,000 units from 62,000 units) and Japan (up to 52,000 units from 51,000), but its strongest growth is in Asia where Honda reports 3.68 million unit sales, which is up by 14 percent from 3.23 million sold in the same quarter of 2012 – with India and Indonesia reported as delivering strong increases in demand for the company’s products.

Suzuki profits up, sales down

Suzuki profits up, sales down, debut new prototypes

Suzuki has reported a 13.1 percent decrease in motorcycle sales volume for the first nine months of its 2013-14 fiscal year, but managed a 17.8 percent increase in net sales revenue from its motorcycle division as a result of favourable exchange rate changes.

The company says that it sold 1,544,000 motorcycles over the nine-month period, down from 1,776,000 units during the first nine months of their prior financial year, with the bulk of those sales decreases in the Asian market – in China alone, Suzuki sales decreased by 180,000 units.

Their sales in North America were about level with the year ago period, and at 55,000 units their domestic Japanese sales have also been holding broadly steady. In Europe, they’re reporting sales are down 1,000 units from the 38,000 sold previously.

Overall, Suzuki’s motorcycle business is still operating at a loss, albeit reduced from the 10 billion yen seen a year ago to 4.6 billion yen for the nine months to Dec 2013; this despite a total overall corporate profit of 82.5 billion yen (up from 48.4 billion yen last year).

Suzuki is forecasting sales of 2,037,000 motorcycles by the end of this fiscal year, down 11.9 percent from 2,312,000 for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Following the arrival in showrooms of the 250cc Burgman and V-Strom 1000 this spring, Suzuki is keeping the pipeline full with the unveiling of two new concepts at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show in November 2013.

Suzuki will be hoping that the positive press reports following the launch last month of the new V-Strom 1000 (first seen as a prototype at INTERMOT in 2012) translates into sales when the model hits dealerships in the next couple of months
Seen here is the Suzuki Recursion Concept, a compact roadster powered by a new 588cc parallel-twin featuring an intercooler turbo. Said to provide both high fuel economy for city riding and ample torque for open roads, Suzuki say that “the style and design of the Recursion is aimed at providing all the running performance of a bigger capacity motorcycle while retaining the handling benefits of a middleweight machine”.

The Suzuki Recursion Concept roadster

Also shown at the Tokyo motorcycle show in November was the Extrigger, a lightweight electric mini bike aimed at new and young riders. Suzuki say that “while small, the Extrigger features a host of quality components including a lightweight aluminium frame, upside down front forks, and disc brakes front and rear”. It is powered by the same electric motor that appeared in the Suzuki e-Let scooter.

The Suzuki Extrigger concept e-bike

JJ Sells Powersports

Industry veteran opens international consultancy

Former Bel-Ray Oils veteran JJ Handfield used the recent V-Twin Expo at Cincinnati to debut his own new company – JJ Sells PowerSports, LLC.

Handfield is leveraging his considerable long-term international distribution experience to offer American parts and accessory manufacturers (V-Twin and ‘metric’) a consultancy service to increase worldwide sales for their aftermarket products.

Handfield has four decades of powersports industry sales and marketing experience, domestically as well as internationally, and says that “my focus will be international. Many top selling North American companies and innovative American powersports industry products are not known or present outside the USA. JJ Sells PowerSports can open the door to the world market for these companies and their products.

“It begins with introductions to experienced and known players in the regions and countries of interest. We have distributor/buyer and industry contacts at all levels and channels on all six continents.”

No stranger to the international motorcycle industry show scene, Handfield has represented Bel-Ray and Spectro as International Sales Manager. “I’ve worked with distributors and been in motorcycle shops all over the world. I know these markets and what is required to generate sales, and can also leverage expo and media contacts to help develop brand awareness”.

UK registration growtrh

Growth trend continues in UK

Following the 1.16 percent growth seen in UK motorcycle registrations in 2013, and the accelerating growth recorded at the end of the year, motorcycle sales were up by 13.3 percent (3,893 units) in January 2014 (from 3,437 in January 2013).

Total PTW sales were down by 1.88 percent in the UK in 2013, but the upward trend seen towards the end of the year has continued in January, with 10.4 percent growth (4,517 units from 4,092 in January 2013). 

Sports/Tourers and Supersport models have returned to growth, meaning that all significant sectors of the UK market are now on an upward trend.

Honda remains market leader, followed by Yamaha, Triumph, Piaggio and KTM; the largest single-selling model in the UK in January was Honda’s PCX 125 scooter followed by their naked-style CBF 125 M.

According to the UK Motorcycle Industry Association the number of motorcycles in use in the UK in 2012 (the year for which most recent data is available) was 1.2 million PTWs, with 4.7 billion km (2.9 billion miles) being ridden (2011).

The industry concerns surrounding the impacts of motorcycle licensing and test changes that saw the number of rider test passes drop to 32,000 in 2009/10 from 70,000 in 2008/09 are now being somewhat alleviated by growth to 40,000 seen by 2011/12.

Surflex clutch disc kits

Surflex clutch disc kits

SURFLEX of Tradate, Italy, has a record of producing aftermarket clutch disc kits for the bikes produced from the 50’s to the present day.
All clutch kits by Surflex for road and off-road motorbikes are specific for the use to which they are being put. The metal core of the discs is made of either steel or aluminium, while the friction material ranges from organic to semi-metallic and syntherised mixtures.
All the friction materials used in the Surflex clutch discs are produced in-house and the formulations are developed as new materials and manufacturing options become available. The production is constantly updated by design and production of new friction plates and plain plates with the same original unit features or with modified disc kits, special Ergal made parts and complete clutches, both normal and anti-hopping ones.
Clutch kits by Surflex range from the typical case that road pattern kits are provided with, through to special plastic vacuum-sealed containers combining the kits for off-road patterns.
The range of clutch disc kits by Surflex are the result of more than 60 years of history and technological commitment on race tracks. 

Tradate (VA), ITALY
Tel: +39 0331 811795

Hyperpro suspension kit

Telelever BMW suspension kit

THE latest Street Box suspension kit from Hyperpro has been created for use on BMW motorcycles with Telelever suspension. The Street Box is described by the company as being an all-in-one box of front and rear shocks to revitalise suspension compliance to improve comfort and handling, as an affordable alternative to a complete suspension overhaul.

The Telelever Street Box kit is engineered, tested and tuned specifically for 26 of BMW’s ‘92 to ‘14 touring, standard, sports touring and sport bike models. While the kit can be used on bikes with BMW’s optional ESA system, riders have to forfeit the function.
Each kit includes Hyperpro’s advanced, emulsion-type shocks. The 360-series front and 460 model rear have steel bodies, 16mm chromium shafts and come with purple or black rising-rate springs. The shocks offer 45 positions of rebound damping adjustability and infinite preload settings; the rear shock has a convenient hydraulic adjuster.
Street Boxes are also built for BMWs with conventional forks. Each includes a single rear shock, fork springs, fork oil, fork seal grease, suspension manual and bike-specific setup data.

Tel: +31 (0)183 678867

Keis X2 trousers

Keis X2 heated trousers

THE latest addition to the Keis line of heated clothing are the X2 trousers, with a claimed 39 Watts of heat provided through strategically positioned panels.

Manufactured from breathable soft-shell material, with lightweight rear panels for a relaxed fit, the X2 trousers are designed to be worn under leather or textile motorcycle clothing. The heated panels in the trousers use micro alloy element technology, which is washable. Current draw is a 3.25 Amps, which will not tax the charging system on most modern motorcycles.
Like all Keis garments, the X2 trousers come with a fused supply lead so that they can be powered direct from a bike’s 12v battery. Alternatively, an adaptor is available to power the trousers via a cigarette lighter type socket. It is also possible to ‘daisy chain’ the power supply via the Keis X10/X20 heated vests or the X25 jacket. The trousers have dedicated zipped pockets to keep the cables tidy while in use. Keis has the X2 trousers available in sizes 28in-42in waist (XXS - 3XL).

Odiham, Hants, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1256 704 909