Thursday, 11 December 2014


EU motorcycle registrations +6.8 percent January - October

The latest data from ACEM, the Brussels-based European Industry trade association, shows cumulative motorcycle registrations in the EU up by +6.8 percent for the first ten months of 2014 (739,150 units).

Year on year motorcycle registrations have increased in most of the key European markets, including Spain (+ 19.8 percent), UK (+11.8 percent), Germany (+8.1 percent), France (+3.7 percent) and Italy (+2.1 percent).
Cumulative PTW registrations in the EU are +1.2 percent for the first ten months of the year, at 1,050,780 units. The Spanish (+16.2 percent), UK (+10.2 percent) and German (+2.9 percent) markets have seen growth, but others such as Italy (-1.1 percent) and France (-1.3 percent) were essentially flat for the first ten months of the year.
The moped market continues to shrink. The EU saw sales down by -9.8 percent for the first ten months of the year (311,630 units compared to 345,540 during the year ago period), with registrations down in the UK (-1.9 percent), Spain (-5.2 percent), France (-8.3 percent), Germany (-14.4 percent) and Italy (-15.8 percent).

Comment by Editor Robin Bradley

INTERMOT and EICMA confirm continued growth and dominance of the "premium" end of the market

THIS year's major industry shows both displayed evidence of early stage market recovery being underway, in terms of visitor numbers and with regard to the reports that we here at IDN heard about sales in the aftermarket parts and accessories sectors.
The Adventure Tourer and 'Naked' street bike sectors still appear to be the primary focus for high-volume parts and accessory product lines, but with plenty of top-end products (such as exquisite rearsets and wheels for the most recent Ducati and BMW models in particular), the trend towards "premium" products in quality and design terms, and towards rider conveniences and ergonomics, continues to dominate the direction that is leading the vendor community out of the downturn.
While both shows had unsold exhibit space in their halls (especially EICMA), and while there were still notable absences from the exhibitor line-ups (also especially at EICMA), the smaller booth habit that many parts and accessory vendors have been adopting for some time now meant that there was still sufficient critical mass at both exhibitions to keep even the most demanding dealers and consumers engaged.

"that is obvious from the comparative visitor demographic"

 As ever, the "real estate" was dominated by the OEs, though they too have also cut down their footprints in recent years. Having embraced housekeeping to ensure that they stayed in-the-game, the aftermarket is managing to make smaller booth spaces pay off, with a sense of purpose and focus dominating their exhibits.
That's not to say that there were no spectacular booths, especially at EICMA, and especially among the helmet manufacturers, where there continues to be an arms race among the likes of Airoh, Nolan Group and LS2, as those who see themselves as the brand "players" staking their claims for market leadership moving forward.
INTERMOT has clearly reconfirmed its reputation as the leading "international industry and public event" for high mileage motorcycle riders, which is obvious from even the briefest comparative scrutiny of the visitor demographic on the busiest of the consumer days at both shows.
With over 200,000 trade and consumer visitors packing the aisles of Europe's fifth largest exhibition complex, this year the City of Cologne has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first time the international motorcycle industry came to town, with the albeit much remodelled Koelnmesse facility itself marking its own 90th anniversary.
Meanwhile, four weeks later, EICMA marked its 100th anniversary with an excellent series of retrospective 'Decade' exhibits that purposed much of the unsold hall space with a well conceived series of exhibits that showcased the trends in the 100 years of market evolution seen at their shows.
EICMA's post show release said that their attendance was also up over the last show, by a claimed 14.7 percent over 2013. However, there remains widespread scepticism among industry observers and exhibitors alike in connection with the total number claims that EICMA makes, in common, it has to be said, with those issued by other motorcycle exhibition organisers in Italy.
EICMA say that 45,910 of the 628,000 visitors who "crossed the gates" at the Rho Fiera Milano were "trade" visitors of one kind or another (with 31 percent of them coming from outside Europe), and that they hosted 1,053 exhibitors from 34 countries.
In that other expo arms race, the one of expo rivalry, INTERMOT claim around 960 vendors, from some 37 countries, with visitors of one kind or another from 105 countries in total - indeed 69 percent of their exhibitor footprint comes from outside Germany, which is certainly a higher percentage than the largely domestic Italian exhibitor footprint seen at EICMA.
Regardless of the numbers, the general view at both shows was that there is the return of some kind of growth, and of a return to a market in Europe that favours quality over price, with large displacement riding leading the way.
EICMA still has its much larger share of apparel, race and smaller displacement exhibitors, and that remains a major differentiator between the two, and still a major characteristic of the domestic Italian market.
INTERMOT on the other hand is much more connected to street performance and robust longer distance riding solutions. Overall though, the conclusions to be drawn from the two events are similar.
Despite the macro-economic concerns that continue to haunt the Euro currency bloc, the modest growth now being seen in new motorcycle registrations Europe is beginning to filter through to the aftermarket parts and accessory industry - even if the reality is that this is still affecting sentiment rather more than actual product volume growth, with improving profits in the sector still due at least as much to judicious business management (such as buying smaller expo booths!) as they are to actual increases in sales revenues.

BMW Motorrad

BMW Motorrad sold 116,000 units in first 11 months of 2014

As of November 2014, BMW Motorrad had sold 7,0 % more motorcycles and maxi-scooters than in the equivalent period of the previous year, at 116,463 units (compared to 108,872 in the first 11 months of 2013) - which already puts the company above its total 2013 annual record of 115,215 units.

In November they sold 7,411 units, an increase of 0.9% over November 2013.
Heiner Faust, BMW Motorrad Head of Sales and Marketing, said that "this excellent retail result is mainly due to solid growth in the European markets, Asia and the USA. The sales figure for Germany, our largest individual market, is just above last year's high level".
The company says that demand continues to be strong for the R series models launched in 2014, with the new air/liquid-cooled Boxer engine as well as for the purist Boxer roadster BMW R nine T and the sporty 4-cylinder roadster BMW S 1000 R.
"Clearly we are appealing very effectively to our customers with all our new models. Our shooting star is the R nineT, which has made it from zero to fourth place on our bestseller list as of November.

"Meanwhile, our new Supersports bike for model year 2015 - the S 1000 RR - has received outstanding reviews in the motorcycle press. We are very much looking forward to seeing the first comparative tests among current competitors.
"We are also getting very positive market signals for our other four new motorshow presentations, the R 1200 R roadster, the sports touring bike R 1200 RS and the S 1000 XR in the new Adventure-Sport segment, as well as the mid-range F 800 R".


KTM sales and profits up as Freeride E enters production

KTM say that the first nine months of 2014 saw the company sell 115,731 KTM and Husqvarna brand motorcycles, the highest ever achieved by the Austrian manufacturer for the period.

The Freeride E-SM is a "dedicated sport motorcycle, powered by electricity, for urban areas, that complies with the restrictions of the A1 licence, so 16 year olds can ride it on public roads"

The company says that the "successful launch of the new 1290 SuperDuke and the start of sales of the new Husqvarna model range were crucial for the success" and that KTM achieved an 8.4% share of the European market for the period concerned.
Profits are said to have increased by 34% to €61.3m, with net margin increased to 9.5% from the 8.5% recorded for the year-ago period. The company, which is 48% owned by India's giant Baja Auto, says it expects to have seen further increases in sales and revenue performance once their full 2014 financial year is concluded.
In September the company underlined its continued commitment to new product developments with the securing of a six year R&D loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

KTM CEO Stefan Pierer (seen here third from right) with Friedrich Roithner (front, third from left), VP of the European Investment Bank. KTM has secured a 6 year €75m EIB RD loan

The focus of research that the loan will fund will be road safety, fuel consumption, lightweight construction and electric mobility projects.
In which connection, KTM has now put its Freeride E into volume production with selected dealers in the first markets to be targeted for the bike, undergoing high voltage training in advance of dealer deliveries - scheduled in the early part of 2015.
There are three versions, with the E-SX intended for closed circuit riding, the E-XC being fitted with everything required for riding on public roads, and the E-SM, which KTM describes as a "dedicated sport motorcycle for urban areas".
KTM has hired You Tube street trials star Danny MacAskill as an official Freeride E ambassador, and feedback from KTM's E-Parks around Europe "has been really positive for this quality product, which we hope to see on many tracks and trails in the near future", according to KTM's Thomas Kuttruf.

Weighing 110 kg and delivering 11 kW of continuous power, the ESM complies with the restrictions of the A1 driving licence, so 16 year olds can use it on public roads.
The 300V lithium-ion battery is said to provide up to an hour of riding power at a capacity of 2.6 kWh and 16 kW of peak power.


Gaerne launch 2015 Gore-Tex touring boot collection



EICMA saw leading Italian boot specialist Gaerne unveil the results of their collaboration with W. L. Gore - the makers of the noted Gore-Tex fabric.
The Gaerne G.Prestige - a hard-wearing 1000% waterproof long distance touring boot

Manufacturer by Gaerne in Italy, the first products to debut with Gore-Tex fabric membranes include the G. Prestige, a hard wearing 100% waterproof long distance boot for "hardcore touring riders". Available in all popular sizes, in black with colour accents, Gaerne say that the G.Prestige will "deliver unprecedented dry comfort and durability".
In addition to the waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex membrane, the CE certified G.Air touring boot features upper microfibre with Cordura inserts, front and rear instep plastic inserts, thermoplastic protection for the ankle and shin, gear-shift protection, anatomically designed and removable inner sole, and an ergonomic rubber sole for multi-surface and on-bike grip.



Also seen here, the G.Midland is a dual purpose touring and offroad boot made with a full grain waterproof leather upper with a layer of suede on the inside to provide heat protection. The waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex lining makes the G.Midland "the ideal choice for seasoned riders" according to Gaerne.

G.All Terrain

The closure system uses two aluminium adjustable and interchangeable buckles and velcro at the top to allow the closed boot to adapt to the shape of the calf.
The CE certified G.All Terrain with Gore-Tex membrane has been designed for adventure touring, dual-sport and ATV riding. Gaerne say that the lightweight full grain leather construction provides a comfortable fit and long lasting wear. Features include front and rear stretch inserts, toe and heel reinforcement with an interchangeable front plate and three aluminium interchangeable and adjustable buckles.

Black Rose

For female riders, the Black Rose is a fashionably designed Gore-Tex membrane equipped full grain leather boot with added Pro-Tec ankle shield system and side closures.

Coste di Maser (TV), ITALY
Tel. +39 0423 923169

Free Spirits

Fuel controller for modern Triumphs

FREE Spirits has created a solution for modern Triumph Classic models with electronic fuel injection that can run lean, a situation that is worsened when air cleaners or exhausts are changed. The controller from Free Spirits uses third generation Dobeck technology to establish the optimum fuel levels. 

All adjustments to the bike’s fuelling are done via three buttons on the unit, which does not change the original ECU, and allows the original settings to be stored. It is attached to the bike’s loom, using factory style connectors.
Free Spirits’ electronic fuel injection controller is compatible with ‘08-‘13 Triumph Bonneville, America, Scrambler, Thruxton and Speedmaster.

Carrè (VI), ITALY
Tel: +39 0445 390437

Andreani Group

Misano cartridge and CRF 450 upgrade

NOTED Italian suspension specialist Andreani offers the Misano cartridge for "more than 100 applications of street bikes, naked bikes, vintage bikes and maxi scooters", according to Luciano Ubaldini, their International Sales Manager.

Based on the expertise and technology that Andreani has built up in World Superbike racing, the Misano is a replacement for OEM forks. With a 20mm diameter piston and increased oil passages, the Misano has adjustable compression, rebound and spring preload, and features a "sophisticated hydraulic system that guarantees excellent braking and cornering and increased comfort".
Also seen here, Andreani have developed an exclusive easy-mount performance upgrade kit for the 2015 Honda CRF 450.

The kit includes a fork top-out spring with a calibrated load that increases the sensitivity and improves response, making the fork more progressive as the load increases, while simultaneously avoiding bottoming-out.
The kit also includes the end-fork for rebound adjustment on the rear shock absorber, to keep the settings separate and deliver improved response and efficiency over the stock fitment.

Pesaro (PU), Italy
Tel: +39 0721 209020


Bultaco brand helmets

The Bultaco brand name resurfaced earlier this year, with Bultaco Motors in Spain giving a preview to an E-bike programme they intend to produce under the name.
Recently the MAT Group near Barcelona in Spain has taken the name into the gear and apparel market with the production of "race pedigree helmets". The product line comprises jackets, gloves, watches, helmets and now also sportswear, and a product display stand is available for dealers.

The "Heritage Collection" of helmets includes the MK1 the Metisse, the Classic Black and Classic White, the Bandido, Lobito, Tralla, Metralla and Mercurio graphics, the MK2 the Classic 01 and 02, and the Streaker, shown here.
The Streaker is a limited edition helmet, with only 958 units produced. The shell is made with composite 12K carbon fibre material with one shell for all sizes. Made from expanded polystyrene material in two densities and two EPS sizes for maximum comfort, it is made with PU leather on the interior sides and has anti-allergenic fabric on the inner skin contact areas, plus a removable lining.
It also features an adjustable, quick release micro-buckle chinstrap. The visor is made with polycarbonate material which retracts into the shell. The helmet is certified to ECE 22.05 norm, and the chinstrap conforms to the same norm. The weight for the XS, S and M sizes is 1,000 +/- 50g, and for L and XL it is 1,050 +/- 50g.

Terrassa/Barcelona, SPAIN
Te. +34 837 336 566