Thursday, 19 June 2014

German motorcycle registrations up

German motorcycle registrations up slightly in May

After a strong start to the year followed by a small decrease in registrations in April, German motorcycle registrations were up slightly in May. There were 11,900 units registered, up 2.6 percent over May 2013 (with 11,601 registered).

For the year to date, German motorcycle registrations are running at 10.7 percent up, on volume of 55,929 units (compared to 50,541 units for the first five months of 2013).


However, there was a decline in overall PTW registrations in May - down -2.5 percent with 16,610 units registered, compared to 17,029 in May 2013. For the year to date 76,160 units have been registered, up 9.4 percent from 69,626 units for the equivalent period in 2013.

The growth in motorcycle sales in Germany continues a recovery trend first seen in 2012, and which accelerated from late 2013. Although sales of new small cc models in Germany continue to be sluggish, the turnover value of the growth being seen will come as a welcome trend for German dealers and is already being reflected in increased optimism among Germany's aftermarket parts and accessory manufacturing and distribution community.

If this trend continues, then expect to see a level of optimism among exhibitors at this year's INTERMOT expo in Germany of a kind not seen since 2006.

BMW Concept Roadster

BMW Concept Roadster

BMW still shows no signs of retiring its characteristic boxer-twin engine - it features as the power-plant in another new concept bike design, unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, Lake Como, Italy, in May.
The Concept Roadster takes a different styling direction to the well received R Nine T that went into production as an anniversary special last year, and both represent different offers to the "Harley Beater" LowRide concept unveiled by former design chief David Robb at EICMA four or five years ago.

Ola Stenegard, the current Head of Vehicle Design BMW Motorrad, says of the Concept Roadster that "it is exciting to look at, and at least as exciting to ride." Citing the “the interplay between the fuel tank, seat and radiator" as being "modelled to perfection in flowing style", it certainly has plenty of urban ergonomic credentials and design ideas, but is clearly aimed at a younger wheelie-popping hooligan torque-beast market for which the BMW brand would be an alien concept, rather than the riding demographic mid-point at which the BMW brand is generally to be found.
As such this iteration of Roadster thinking is a robust Concept , and another tick in BMW’s box as they continue to back brand value reinvention with convincing design and engineering solutions - a streetwise minimalist street fighting ‘Beemer’ for the stunting generation.

Based on a tubular space frame with single sided swingarm, the power from the 1,170cc 125hp twin makes it to the rear wheel via a Paralever cardan shaft drive, and the self-supporting, aluminium seat/tail section is machined as a one-piece unit.
While the Brembo brakes are likely to feature on the final version (if this concept is to make it as far as production), the Concept Roadster's near race-spec Ohlins suspension is unlikely to be offered as standard at an entry level price-point, and while the stylised exhaust collector and upswept single megaphone look true-to-concept, even BMW’s engineers may struggle to get that design configuration through emissions testing and noise controls.

Comment: By IDN Editor Robin Bradley

Will Eurozone deflation kill off the recovery in new motorcycle sales after just six months?

JUST as you thought it was safe to get back into the water, the surprise fall in Eurozone inflation from 0.7 percent in April to 0.5 percent in May is a reminder that the economic recovery in the 18 nations that share the single currency remains far from robust.

Many commentators and politicians are now beginning to ring alarm bells about the possibility that Europe could be heading for a deflationary spiral that could result in negative interest rates and a moribund business climate of the kind that haunted Japan for so long.

It is widely expected that the European Central Bank (ECB) will have taken dramatic action by the time you are reading this – action that needs to be engineered to reverse a downslide into “lowflation” that will see consumers and businesses delaying spending amid expectations that prices will fall further still.

Despite the optimism being expressed by politicians and the hype that investment banks would have savers and consumers believe, a sustained recovery has yet to take hold in the Eurozone, with growth slowing to a mere 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014, down from 0.4 percent in the final quarter of 2013.

"action needed to reverse downslide into ‘lowflation’"
While economic indicators appear, broadly speaking, to suggest that underlying factors continue to move in the right direction, especially in terms of labour market statistics, nobody should think that there is recovery juggernaut in play, because analysts and economists have actually been trying to have their alarm bells heard for some nine months now.

It became apparent as early as last summer that producer price deflation in China among other places was more than a response to continued over-supply and sluggish domestic demand (in the case of China).

That deflation was being immediately exported to Europe (and elsewhere) and there were calls for the ECB to fend off the risks of deflation as long ago as August 2013.

However, as is so often the case with “inconvenient truths”, those calls went unheeded by a European political elite that has been desperate to paint the pavements gold in advance of electoral judgements that would see them being forced to take responsibility for years or even decades of inaction and lack of foresight.

Fast forward to May 2014 and those votes have not gone in the way that the established generation of political leaders would have hoped and we are now faced, in the case of the European Parliament, with the prospect that Europe’s levers of influence are now going to be pulled by the least economically educated generation of so-called politicians ever seen.

Just at the time when Europe needs more than ever to be able to get smart, it looks like we’re just going to get small again.

At least from our point of view the electorate in The Netherlands had the good sense to elect Wim van de Camp for another year into the Parliament, so we will continue to benefit from the realism that he has stamped on EU Parliament and Commission negotiations in matters that affect the PTW industry.

Economically, the risks faced currently will have very different manifestations to those of a ‘conventional’ recession in that we will be faced with a long-term period of economic stagnation.

The motorcycle parts and accessory aftermarket in theory would see its sales increase as, again, fewer consumers buy new machines.  However, that was also the conventional wisdom as we entered recession in 2008, and we all know how that ended.

As ever, the one primary USP that the motorcycle industry can cling onto is the passion for riding two wheels and the economic, urban and environmental advantages that two-wheeled transport continues to have in its favour.

After six months in which new motorcycle sales statistics appear to have finally shown that we are starting to see genuine and sustainable growth, it is to be hoped that the impacts of a deflationary spiral can be averted and growth sustained.

Bitubo Suspension

Alpha Technik to be Bitubo Suspension technical consulting centre for Europe

ALPHA Technik have been the Bitubo Suspension importer for Germany since 1994 and as a result of that 20 year collaboration have now become Bitubo’s technical consulting centre for Europe.

The partnership consists of development and customisation of suspension set-ups for race teams, retailers and end users as well as service of Bitubo products.

Alpha Technik has a track record of providing suspension support for many of the biggest factory race teams in the world and is equipped with the latest available technology, which means Bitubo will certify that set-ups and service undertaken by Alpha Technik meet Bitubo’s own internal procedures.

Gianni Mardollo, owner of Bitubo, said that “the long relationship that we have had with Alpha Technik has been excellent for both of us, and this new arrangement is a logical extension of the relationship that already exists between our R&D departments and development of ABE homologations”.

Selve di Teolo (PD), ITALY
Tel: +39 0499 903 475

Givi Air Jet Helmet

Air Jet unisex open-face helmet

THE Air Jet from Givi is a new open-face unisex helmet equipped with a full ventilation system and available in a range of high impact colours.

With the 10.4 Air, Givi was one of the first companies to offer a demi-jet helmet with true mesh protecting shell ventilation. With the Air Jet, the company claims that it improves on existing technology available on the market.

The features and look are the result of a new design which creates a summer helmet equipped with a full ventilation system by working on the internal structure of the shell, which takes full advantage of the depression generated by the large slide intakes installed in the front and by the two rear extractors.

The new helmet includes a new and more protective profile around the neck area, a sun visor and a completely removable interior lining.
Along with classic white and matt black, it now introduces Military Green, Purple, Mocha and Neon Yellow for its motorcycle helmets.

Sizes are XS to XL, and the weight is 1,150 g. The shell is made from Polymer and the interior is hypo-allergenic. Closure is by micrometric chinstrap buckle. 


Flero (BS), ITALY

Tel. +39 030 358 1253

Metzeler Sportec M7 RR

Metzeler Sportec M7 RR

METZELER has introduced a new supersport tyre – the Sportec M7 RR, which it claims offers the highest levels of handling and safety, even on wet, rough and dirty asphalt.
Introduced to replace the existing Sportec M5 Interact, the new Sportec M7 RR is said to offer up to 20 percent greater mileage. 

Metzeler’s Sportec M7 RR tread features a groove layout designed to provide grip in the dry, while at the same time offering water drainage and excellent cornering stability. To achieve this the longitudinal grooves are interrupted by elements of the compound to improve the stability of the tread, the regularity of wear and increase the thrusts in acceleration. These elements are also said to contribute to maintaining the grooves well open when the tyre is in contact with the road to drain water.
In the lateral grooves, the depth decreases gradually towards the shoulder area to increase the compactness and the lateral thrust when cornering at maximum lean angle in the dry; their width, on the contrary, increases towards the shoulder area to ensure an effective drainage of the water at a high angle of bend.

Metzeler has developed a new range of compounds for use in the Sportec M7 RR. The front tyre is mono compound with 100 percent silica. The rear is dual compound, where the shoulder has a 100 percent silica to provide chemical grip on both dry and wet surfaces, supported by a harder compound in the substrate for high levels of stability and cornering precision.
The radial carcass of the new tyre is composed of a special version in rayon. The structure is claimed to be much more rigid and able to maintain its shape under conditions of greater stress and deformation from the load, and above the radial structure is a 0-degree steel belt with Metzeler’s ‘Interact’ technology with different tension zones that offers a progressive behaviour at every lean angle. 

The Metzeler Sportec M7 RR is available in the following sizes: 110/70 ZR 17 M/C 54W TL, 120/60 ZR 17 M/C (55W) TL, 120/70 ZR 17 M/C (58W) TL (M), 150/60 ZR 17 M/C 66W TL, 160/60 ZR 17 M/C (69W) TL, 180/55 ZR 17 M/C (73W) TL, 190/50 ZR 17 M/C (73W) TL, 190/55 ZR 17 M/C (75W) TL, and 200/55 ZR 17 M/C (78W) TL.


Tel: +49 (0)89 14908 0

OptiMate Lithium 0.8A

OptiMate Lithium 0.8A features specific programme

THE OptiMate Lithium 0.8A is a LiFePO4 battery maintainer that “protects the battery in the most effective way”, according to manufacturer TecMate International.

Designed as an affordable single or 4-Bank optimiser that has been specified for protection and maintenance of low voltage, LiFePO4 battery technology features include a specific programme that recharges and balances cells efficiently and safely and a maintenance programme that delivers current to the vehicle circuitry “protecting and keeping the battery at 100% charge”. 

TecMate CEO Martin Human explained that “LiFePO4 starter batteries are becoming more and more popular as an aftermarket replacement. However, those batteries need special care to perform at their best, so we have developed a dedicated charger/maintainer for their regular maintenance.

“The OptiMate Lithium 0.8A is the perfect solution to make sure that the often expensive Lithium replacement battery will remain charged at 100% at all times, with all 4 of the 3.2V internal cells balanced – thanks to the exclusive OptiMate Lithium maintenance programme that we have developed”.

The company says that for quick charging and saving discharged batteries, the “bigger brother” OptiMate Lithium 5A remains available from TecMate – with 5 amps of charging current available and advanced recovery features.

Tel: +32 (0)16 805440

Rebel suit from Richa

Rebel suit from Richa

RICHA’S 2014 clothing line includes the two-piece, sports styled leather riding suit Rebel.
Both the jacket and trousers are constructed from a combination of cow and goat skin leather with stretch nylon panels for improved comfort and ease of movement. The jacket includes a removable thermal lining.

Rider protection is offered by D3O protectors at the back, shoulders, elbows and knees. There are also removable knee sliders on the trousers, and a long zip to connect the trousers to the jacket. 

Tel: +32 (0)55 423435