Friday, 2 May 2014

New Secretary General for ACEM

New Secretary General for ACEM
The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) has announced the retirement of 10-year Secretary General Jacques Compagne (61), and the appointment of Antonio Perlot as its new Secretary General, with effect from 1st May 2014.
Compagne has seen a remarkable period in his 10 years - 10 years in which the regulatory and downturn challenges have been immense, but 10 years in which the status and influence of ACEM as a Brussels based advocate for the interests of the motorcycle industry has grown massively.

His experience will not be lost to the industry though as on retirement he will take on the role of Senior Advisor to the ACEM Secretary General and Executive Committee.
Antonio Perlot (43) is an Italian-Swedish national who has substantial experience in the motorcycle sector and EU interest representation. He has been ACEM Public Affairs Manager since 2006, advising the industry on public and regulatory affairs. 

Between 2001 and 2006, he worked for the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA), first as Campaigns Officer, then as Secretary General. Prior to that, he worked as an EU public affairs consultant representing clients from different industry sectors and, before then, in the NGO sector.

Mr. Perlot holds a Degree in Political Science (specialisation in European integration) from La Sapienza University, Roma, Italy and a Master’s Degree in Diplomatic Studies (International Relations, International and EU Law, Economic policy) from SIOI, Roma, Italy.

Commenting on his appointment Mr Perlot said: “It is a great honour to be given the opportunity to serve as ACEM Secretary General. Having worked together with Jacques Compagne for the last eight years, being trusted with his professional legacy is a positive and motivating challenge. With the support of the Secretariat, I am looking forward to continue representing the Motorcycle Industry and developing further the ACEM presence at EU level”.

Stephan Schaller, President of ACEM and President of BMW Motorrad, stated, “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Perlot as the next Secretary General of ACEM. He has a great depth of knowledge and proven experience in the sector. I am confident that he will build upon the remarkable work of Mr Compagne, who during the last 10 years has successfully led and turned ACEM into the effective association it is today. On behalf of all ACEM members, I would like to express our highest appreciation and wish him all the best for this new chapter in life”.

Harley First Quarter Figures

Harley shipments up nearly 11 % internationally in first quarter

HARLEY dealers worldwide sold 57,415 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 54,254 motorcycles in the year ago quarter (up 5.8 percent); in the U.S. dealers sold 35,730 units, up 3.0 percent compared to sales of 34,706 motorcycles in the year-ago period.

In international markets, dealers sold 21,685 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the first quarter, up 10.9% (19,548 motorcycles in the first three months of 2013), with sales said to be up 20.5% in the Asia Pacific region, 8.2% in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa), and 8.9% in Latin American markets. Canada was down by -2.4%.
Keith Wandell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. said: "Our dealers had a solid quarter of retail motorcycle sales. Sales in the Asia Pacific region were up strongly, and we are encouraged by the continued growth of new Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales in Europe. Domestically we achieved first quarter retail growth of 3.0% in the midst of a long, cold winter". According to Wandell "there's also great news for Harley-Davidson in the annual reporting of our demographic market share data".
According to Polk/IHS data 2013 saw Harley post a sixth consecutive year as the number-one seller of new on-road motorcycles in the U.S. (both in terms of their 'in-class' 601cc-plus displacement market and across all engine size bands) to young adults age 18-34, women, African- Americans and Hispanics (Harley's "outreach" customers) and Caucasian men age 35-plus (which Harley describes as "core" customers). The Company says that compared to 2012 it grew its U.S. market share and also increased its share gap to the nearest competitor in each of these segments.
"Together with our dealers, we continued to expand the appeal of our products and the Harley- Davidson experience", said Wandell. "Harley-Davidson dealers sold more than four times as many new, on-road motorcycles, 601cc and up, to U.S. young adults last year, and among riders age 35-plus, more than nine times as many to women, more than six times as many to African Americans and more than seven times as many to Hispanics, as the nearest competitor".
According to Harley-Davidson's internal data, retail sales of its motorcycles to U.S. "outreach" customers grew at more than twice the rate of sales growth to core customers in 2013 compared to 2012.
First-quarter 2014 diluted earnings per share were $1.21 (up 22.2%) on "higher motorcycle shipments and continued improvement  in operating efficiencies". First-quarter net income was $265.9 million ($224.1 m in Q1 2013) on consolidated revenue of $1.73 billion ($1.57 billion in Q1 2013).
"Harley-Davidson delivered gains on many fronts in the first quarter, with shipments up 7.3%, strong margin improvement and solid growth in dealer new motorcycle sales", said Wandell.
"Our Project RUSHMORE motorcycles were in high demand in the quarter and we began shipping the Harley-Davidson Street 750 and 500 into select markets".
First-quarter operating income from motorcycles and related products grew 25.6% to $347.7 million ($276.8 m in Q1 2013); operating income in the quarter "benefited from higher motorcycle shipments and higher gross margin compared to the prior-year period", according to the Company.
Revenue from motorcycles grew 13.1% to $1.31 billion ($1.15 billion in Q1 2013) - the Company says it shipped 80,682 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide during the quarter, which it says was "in line with guidance and a 7.3% increase compared to shipments of 75,222 motorcycles in the year-ago period".
Revenue from motorcycle parts and accessories was $198.1 million during the quarter, up 7.7%, and revenue from general merchandise, which includes MotorClothes apparel and accessories, was $64.1 million, down 11.1%, compared to the year ago period.
Gross margin was 37.7% in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 36.7% in the first quarter of 2013. First-quarter operating margin from motorcycles and related products was 22.1%, compared to operating margin of 19.6% in last year's first quarter.
Operating income from financial services was $63.2 million in the first quarter of 2014, an 11.7% decrease compared to operating income of $71.5 million in last year's first quarter - Harley says that "first quarter financial services results reflect a higher provision for credit losses".

Harley-Davidson continues to expect to ship 279,000 to 284,000 motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide in 2014, an approximate 7% to 9% increase from 2013. In the second quarter of 2014, the Company expects to ship 92,000 to 97,000 motorcycles, up from shipments of 84,606 motorcycles in the year-ago period. The Company continues to expect full-year 2014 operating margin of 17.5% to 18.5% in the Motorcycles segment. The Company also continues to expect capital expenditures of $215 million to $235 million in 2014.

Polaris First Quarter Figures

Record first quarter results for Polaris

POLARIS Industries has reported record first quarter net income of $80.9 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, up from $75.5 m in 2013. Net sales for the first quarter 2014 totalled $888.3 million, up 19 percent (from $745.9 m).
“I am extremely pleased to report record sales and earnings for our 2014 first quarter", said Scott Wine, Polaris’ Chairman and CEO. "This represents the 18th consecutive quarter of record earnings performance, with first quarter sales up 19 percent - led by continued excellent performance from our Off-Road Vehicles business and rapid growth within our motorcycle, small vehicle and PG&A businesses in both North America and internationally”.

“We remain true to the long-term corporate strategy to become an $8 billion global enterprise, and we further expanded the breadth and reach of our PG&A business with this month’s acquisition of Kolpin Outdoors”.
Motorcycle division sales increased 52 percent in the 2014 first quarter to $78.9 million due to the shipments of the new model year 2014 Indian motorcycles. Consumer retail demand for Polaris motorcycles, driven by strong Indian Motorcycle retail sales, was up about 50 percent during the 2014 first quarter, while first quarter North American industry heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle retail sales were up low-single digits percent from 2013.
Sales of Polaris motorcycles outside of North America increased 140 percent in the first quarter of 2014 as compared to a year ago, driven by strong shipments of Indian motorcycles.

International sales to customers outside of North America totalled $165.1 million for the 2014 first quarter, up 44 percent over the same period in 2013. The increase in first quarter sales resulted from strong sales growth in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region with sales up about 50 percent; over two-thirds coming from the April 2013 acquisition of Aixam, and a 28 percent combined increase in sales to customers in the Asia/Pacific and Latin America regions. Both ORV and motorcycles gained market share outside of North America during the 2014 first quarter.
Gross profit increased 19 percent to $258.4 million or 29.1 percent of sales for the first quarter of 2014, compared to $216.6 million or 29.0 percent of sales in the first quarter of 2013.

Vectrix Electric scooters

Vectrix Electric scooters in Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing

IT LOOKS like the final chapter in the troubled Vectrix story may well be about to be written, with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in the United States, an action that usually results in the liquidation of any remaining assets of a business.
Based at New Bedford, Massachusetts, with an assembly plant in Wrocław, Poland, Vectrix ceased all US operations as of December 31, 2013, although at that point it was planned to maintain the plant in Poland to fulfil obligations under a joint venture agreement with Daimler AG's Smart division.

At EICMA in November 2013 Vectrix still actively marketing the brand and promoting new battery technology within weeks of Chinese parent company Gold Star Battery suspending operations

First introduced in 2006, the Vectrix was a maxi-size scooter, and was said to be the first commercially available high performance electric scooter. Plagued by battery and production issues, the company first entered into a sequence of bankruptcy actions designed to protect it from its creditors in 2009, with its assets ultimately being acquired by the Chinese Gold Peak battery group at the end of that year.

Despite several promising advances in technology, including their patented Planetary Gear Drive and energy recovery techniques, numerous manufacturing problems resulting in failed batteries and non-functioning scooters resulted in Gold Peak deciding to cut their losses and close down all Vectrix's US facilities at the end of last year.

BMW 'C evolution' e-scooter

BMW start production of their 'C evolution' e-scooter

Production is underway at the Berlin-Spandau factory of BMWs first entry into the E-bike market with their "C evolution" electrically powered maxi scooter.

BMW say that three and a half years of development has gone into the project, from the initial stage to the production stage. A new 800 sq m production line has been built, with assembly staff specifically trained in the specialist skills required, especially in terms of the high voltage work required.

The core of the "C evolution" are its lithium ion storage modules, identical to those that BMW is using in its BMW i3. Three of these modules are used, each containing 12 battery cells in an aluminium die-cast housing. The production process of C evolution is modular, with the battery packs serving as a central module and load-bearing element in the vehicle body. The swingarm unit, with liquid-cooled electric motor, timing belt with planetary gear and the front and rear frame are attached to the power module, before the complete drive train with high-voltage battery heads for final assembly, dyno testing and finishing.


Big Bike synthetic features MC technology

MOTOREX has added an SAE 5w/40 viscosity oil to its successful Top Speed 4t range of synthetic performance oils.
The oil is certified to jaso ma2 standard, meaning it fulfils "even the strictest requirements of the motorcycle industry".

Top Speed 4T is a high-performance oil specially developed by Motorex for use in large displacement, high powered, wet clutch motorcycles whose manufacturers do not specifically require fully synthetic oils. In Top Speed 4T, base oils are chemically refined and raised to the performance levels of fully synthetic oils by using MC (molecular converted) technology.
Due to its wide viscosity range, the new Motorex Top Speed 4T SAE 5W/40 is said to ensure a stable film of lubricant over a wide temperature range, optimising friction to effectively minimise wear. Tested for catalyst compatibility, it is also said to significantly lower oil consumption and ensure smooth clutch operation and shifting. Its suitability for engines with wet clutches is documented by an official MA2 certification of the Japanese Automotive Standards Organisation (JASO). The requirements of the API classifications SN, SL and SJ are also fulfilled.
Top Speed 4T SAE 5W/40 is available in one-litre packages with a practical integral spout, and in a four-litre package and in several sizes of containers for workshop use.

Tel: +41 (0)62 91975 75

Airoh helmets

Bluetooth ready Phantom' flip-up

Phantom represents the latest evolution of Airoh helmets and is characterised by advanced technical solutions that redefine the new reference standards in polycarbonate flip-up helmets, according to Airoh.

Particular attention has been paid to the development of “Airoh Combined Ventilation Systems”, that allows to obtain an optimal internal climate in all weather conditions. The aerodynamics have also been the subject of intense studies, and the rear adjustable spoiler allows to improve the stability of the helmet, even at high speeds.
The dual Homologation with P-J control, the safety chinguard system, the extra wide visor, the inner sun visor and Pinlock original lens all contribute to completely equipped helmet.
The helmet is Bluetooth-ready and comes in sizes XS to XXL. Available colourways are black matt, white pearl gloss, black metal, anthracite matt and yellow high visibility. Weight is 1,550 +/- 50 gr.
The helmet is entirely produced in Italy.

Almenno San Bartolomeo (BG), ITALY
Tel. +39 035 553101

CNC Racing

CNC Racing RPS product line

CNC Racing has equipped the Althea Racing Team's Ducati 1199 SBK Evo (which will be raced by Niccolò Canepa in the 2014 SBK World Championship), with PE400 rearsets that are the forerunners of its new RPS product line. 

CNC owner Luca Fornaini says that his Racing Producing System (RPS) parts will feature technical details based on experience CNC Racing has gained by working with the top-performing teams and riders from the SBK series in recent years, and the first of these parts are its PE400 rearsets for the Ducati 1199 Panigale.
Lightweight 7075-T6 aluminium is combined with steel hardware and carbon accessories in the reverse shift set-up rearsets. The controls also offer five footrest positions, and the brake and gear levers pivot on double ball bearings.

Luca Fornaini says that his new RPS (Racing Product System) product line is a programme of "race-bred precision-machined, high strength, light weight designs in which ergonomics and reliability have been the priorities"

The tip of the brake lever is knurled and foldable, while the gear lever tip turns and folds. To provide even more opportunity for customising, additional brake and gear lever adjustments are possible along precision-machined slides. The knurled footpeg folds up and can be locked in place with a steel spring pin.

The heel guards on the PE400 rearsets are made from carbon fibre, and the RPS line of controls also have mounts for attaching brake light sensors and workshop stand. 

Arezzo, ITALY
Tel: +39 0575 342010