Wednesday, 31 December 2014


Piaggio revenue +6.5 percent for third quarter

Despite a soft first half to its current financial year, Piaggio's third quarter (to September 30th 2014) saw the company report "significant growth" in all the sectors in which it operates. Total consolidated revenues were €301.8m - which is up +6.5 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013.

The statement from the board of directors of Piaggio & C. Spa, chaired by Roberto Colaninno, stated that "revenue growth combined with the activities of cost control and productivity have allowed us to bring the main indicators of profitability, relative to sales, at the same level in the first nine months of 2013.
"Of particular note, the progress of the Piaggio group in the third quarter compared to the third quarter of 2013 presents results that are clearly growing, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of revenues".
Third quarter revenues in Europe were +1.4 percent compared to the third quarter a year ago, Asia +9 percent and India +18 percent.
Roberto Colaninno: Piaggio has maintained its leadership of the European PTW market with a 16 percent share overall

The group's EBITDA was +24.6 percent at €41.3m, with net income in the third quarter up by 92.6 percent at €5.4m, compared to €2.8m in the third quarter of 2013.
Piaggio say that year over year unit sales for January to September 2014 were +2 percent - marking a strong recovery from its disappointing second quarter.
The company claims that it has maintained its leadership of the European PTW market with a share of 16 percent overall and 25.1 percent in the scooter market.


Suzuki sell 20,767 units to Europe in first 6 months of current financial year

Suzuki announced that net sales in its motorcycle business decreased by Y15.1 billion (-10.9 percent) to Y123.5 billion year-on-year for the first six months (ending September 30th 2014) of its current financial year (ending March 31st 2015) - mainly due to the decrease it is seeing in Asian sales, according to the company.

However, in the same period it has cut the Y1.0 billion operating loss it saw in 2013 to Y0.2 billion for its second quarter this year.
In motorcycle unit terms, the company sold 573,000 units worldwide in their first six months - 540,000 of which were exported, with 20,000 of those going to Europe and a further 20,000 to North America.
The decrease in Asian sales that the company points to saw them sell 443,000 units in Asia in the first six months of their current financial year, compared to 543,000 for the year ago period.
In other news, Suzuki has decided to relocate the motorcycle assembly undertaken at its Toyokawa plant (Aichi prefecture) to the Miyakoda district located in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka.
The relocation comes as a part of ongoing consolidation of the motorcycle business into the same district as a response to the earthquake and the tsunami, and the decrease in the domestic motorcycle production volume.
Currently, Suzuki’s motorcycle business is dispersed in three different locations: the motorcycle technical centre (located in the Ryuyo district in Iwata, Shizuoka) for the engineering and the development; the Takatsuka plant (located in Minami-ku, Hamamatsu) for the production of the engines; and the Toyokawa plant (located in Toyokawa) for the assembly of the motorcycles.
In the midst of the decrease in the domestic motorcycle production volume, due to the increase in local production for local consumption in overseas markets, Suzuki will consolidate the motorcycle assembly of the Toyokawa plant into the Hamamatsu plant, located in the Miyakoda district, to consistently operate from engineering, development and testing to production of the engines and the powertrain and the assembly.
The end of the production at the Toyokawa plant is scheduled for July 2018. The Toyokawa plant started its production as a motorcycle plant in October 1971.
Suzuki’s domestic motorcycle production volume marked its highest in FY1981 with approximately 1.6 million units; the production volume of the last fiscal year was 180,000 units.


Optimate power accessories system

AS the established PowerSports market leader in terms of making sure riders have access to well maintained batteries, it was only logical for TecMate to turn their attention to how else that power can be used.

Starting, powering riding and engine systems, lights, controls and audio all require a reliable power source, but the nature of the riding experience is maturing quickly.
Power take-off points, such as bayonet/cigarette lighter style plugs, have been the default resource on the motorcycle for everything from cell 'phones to the new generations of heated clothing for a long time.
Their disadvantages include relatively low current rating, connection stability, fixed or limited positional options and, fundamentally, are different to the fittings that modern portable devices use.  So why not reverse the thinking and use similar fittings and connections to those that now populate the most common devices that people want to be able use on-the-go?
That is exactly what TecMate has done in developing a systematic approach to delivering motorcycle-wide access to the power of that well maintained battery.
The company behind the Optimate and other leading battery maintenance and charging products has developed a modular power kit that expands with the rider’s requirements, anticipating the wide range of "current" (!) needs, as well as offering a future-proof powered accessory connection solution that can grow as the rider's requirements evolve.
The range is based around a system of cables, connectors, splitters and USB and LED accessories. 

General Manager Emmanuel Donati - "the versatile modular system is available with comprehensive in-store promotional and POS support"

The fuse protected system offers options for connecting and charging most USB devices and includes Garmin and Apple compatible adaptors. SAE and DIN connectors and cable extenders connect to the battery via permanent leads to take power and charging options to the front and rear of the motorcycle. Accessories include a 12V LED flashlight, battery and vehicle charge system checker and voltage alert/charge-now indicator for standard/wet cell and sealed AGM and gel batteries.

Polini Motori

Muffler for Vespa P200E – PX200

THE Evolution muffler has been developed to achieve the maximum performance and exploit power of the Piaggio 200cc engines for Vespa PE and PX equipped with Polini cylinders.

The Expansion, with its aggressive look, is completely hand-made and has 11 cones, and the silencer, made of black anodised aluminium, has a 60mm outside diameter with the base being detachable to change the deadening material.
All these features are said to improve the general engine performance, both in acceleration and in speed.

Alzano Lombardo (BG), ITALY
Tel: +39 035 2275 111


Adjustable Vario handlebar riser

ABM's product range now includes the Vario riser, which can be adjusted seamlessly to cater for different height requirements and sitting positions.

Various versions are available in silver-red and black-red, which fit onto the ABM Booster handlebar with a diameter of 28.5 mm. Shortly also model-specific kits will be available, which will comprise most manufacturers and models.

Development, design and production of the new Vario riser, like all ABM products, take place in Germany, and Managing Director Christian Mehlhorn explained: "We have long wanted to find a solution which gives riders in addition to a more relaxed and individually optimised sitting position a modern design and optimal ergonomics."

Breisach, GERMANY
Tel. +49 (0)7667 944612


Rearsets 2015 S 1000 RR 2015

BONAMICI Racing has released a set of race inspired rearsets for the 2015 BMW S 1000 RR 2015.

CNC machined from 7075 aluminium billet, the rearsets use bearings throughout to dramatically reduce friction and there is also a spring on the brake lever to assist it return to position after use. The actual peg position can be adjusted to six different positions. Black anodised is the standard finish for the rearsets, but Bonamici can provide other colours on request.

Magliano Sabina (RI), ITALY
Tel: +39 0744 919939


New suspension options from Showa

SHOWA made their European expo debut at EICMA this year and showed a range of new suspension options and technologies.

Highlights of the product launch were its ‘Balance Free Front Fork’, which the company says uses world-first technology consisting of a "balance-free structure with an inline piston unit, and a ‘Dual Bending Valve Front Fork’, employing a dual-bending valve structure".
Showa’s Balance Free Front fork has been designed to cure the issue of conventional dampers suffering from pressure balance fluctuation

The Balance Free Front fork and matching BFRC lite (Balance Free Rear Cushion - lite) rear shock have been designed to cure the issue of conventional dampers suffering pressure balance fluctuation via the use of a new hydraulic circuit.

Showa has paid attention to the outside of the cylinder of the damping force generation mechanism on the compression and rebound sides to enable smooth and optimum oil flows. The company says that the resulting improvement in damping force responsiveness enables outstanding traction and absorption properties.

Showa’s Dual Bending Valve is claimed to achieve a performance level equivalent to that of a fork cartridge, which enables the company to offer innovative technology at a competitive price. It uses original technology developed by Showa (a claimed world-first) to provide linear damping characteristics in accordance with the stroke speed, while at the same time offering a weight reduction of 250g per unit compared to a conventional cartridge structure.

Showa claims its Dual Bending Valve fork technology is lighter than equivalent fork cartridges

Further new products include the ‘SFF-BP lite’ (Separate Function front Fork with lite design Big Piston). It is a high-performance inverted front fork from the company’s Southeast Asian production facility, which makes it possible to offer the product at a competitive price. Fitting the damping force generation mechanism into one fork leg reduces the number of parts and the complexity of the design. 

The ‘SFF’ (Separate Function front Fork) has been created for light motorcycles and small commuter models with engine displacement of 150cc or smaller.

SFF has a structure, with its spring reaction and damping force generation in tubes on either side,  that reduces the number of parts and complexity. Using only one spring is said to reduce by half the sliding resistance with the inner tube, improving responsiveness and ride comfort. 

The BFRC lite (Balance Free Rear Cushion - lite) rear shock is designed to complement Showa’s Balance Free Front fork

Martorellas, SPAIN
Tel: +34 93 565 6852


Esatech system back protector 
ZANDONÀ’S range of protective wear for motorcyclists includes the Esatech Back Insert back protector for road riders. The Esatech has been designed to fit the specific pocket included in the back of many motorcycle jackets, and features an external plate made up of a hexagonal nitrile anti-shock structure (Esatech System). The structure has been formulated to absorb high impact energies and to dissipate the output of the energy over its surface. The underlying layers are composed by E.V.C. (Evoluted Viscoelastic Cells), and waterproof, anti-shock material with a high performance to weight to thickness ratio. This in turn is perforated to allow perspiration to travel from the contact area to the outside.

The Esatech, which has a maximum thickness of 21mm, has reached level 2 performance according to EN1621-2 normative.
For off-road riders Zandonà has its jointed knee guard, designed to help prevent collision damage to the rider’s shin and knee. The guards are composed of a high-performance, force-dissolving external structure made from special plastic-alloy with an internal thermoformed transpiring support.
The shape and positioning of the elastic straps is said to guarantee stability of the knee guard, while the jointing, which reaches about 90 degrees, allows it to comfortably follow the legs’ movement. 

Caerano di San Marco (TV), ITALY
Tel: +39 0423 569135


New Domino Soft Plus grips raise the bar

Domino, the leading Italian handlebar, throttle, grip, lever and switch specialist, has introduced its A260 Soft Plus off-road grip.The company says that it is "designed to help with the most severe and critical off-road uses, it is the result of strict laboratory tests performed by Domino R&D engineers in cooperation with the excellence of our testers.

"The A260 Soft Plus is a reference product for its category, which has been created to deliver the optimum mix of ergonomics, comfort and durability. The simple shape enhances the qualities of a racing grip, to bring a new generation of design to the market, and its slightly convex shape under the palm of the hands makes holding the grip easier, even in the most demanding of conditions."
The A260 is manufactured using a double injection process with polymers that "are the result of in-depth laboratory studies".
Also seen here, the company has put technologically updated versions of its cult-status '60s and '70s 'Lario' and 'Rally' throttle controls back into production.
Now in demand for use on restored bikes from that period,  Lario throttle control is supplied complete with a throttle cable adjuster and a stroke limiting device (minimum stroke with closed limiting device 15mm, maximum stroke with open limiting device 25mm, quickness 2.9 degrees/mm).

The Rally throttle control is described by Domino as being its café racer version, and, as such, is a simpler and more compact model (maximum stroke 42 mm, quickness 2.9 degrees/mm). It also has a retro-style grip in Para rubber colour.

Sirtori (LC), ITALY
Tel: +39 0399 211286

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

German motorcycle registrations

German motorcycle registrations +15.4 percent for November

The latest data released by IVM, the motorcycle trade association in Germany, show motorcycle sales up by 15.4 percent (2,007 units) for November, with registrations for the first 11 months of the year up by 9.7 percent at 94,477 units - the highest seen for Germany since 2008 (100,684 for the January - November period).

For much of this year the German market has been showing a less positive performance when smaller displacement models were taken into account, but in November total PTW registrations in Germany were +21.4 percent at 3,475 units.

For the Year to date, total new PTW registrations in Germany were +7-9 percent at 137,406 units.


Horex out of business

GERMAN specialist motorcycle manufacturer Horex has had to give up on its plan to continue production despite their insolvency filing of August this year.

The company used social media in early December to announce that it had closed its doors and dismissed its staff.

The company exhibited at INTERMOT in October, and announced a plan to continue all business operations but it would appear that no fresh capital was available to help it continue production and that the debts incurred so far, especially in connection with attempts to develop its narrow angle V6 engine for the VR6 Roadster and Classic models had finally proven too much.

The European Motorcyclists Forum

The European Motorcyclists Forum
2 - 3 February 2015, Brussels, Belgium

"Safer Motorcycling in Europe now!" - that is the aim of the European Motorcyclists' Forum, and with the mission of "How to tackle motorcycle safety challenges for the next decade?" the EU co-financed RIDERSCAN project is organising its final pit stop of a tour that has resulted in one of the longest and most comprehensive research projects that the motorcycle community has ever undertaken.

Described as a "European Scanning Tour for Motorcycle Safety", the project has been "taking a magnifying glass to look at [several] countries’ expertise, experience and knowledge of motorcycling safety, access to powered two-wheelers, traffic and road environment issues, efficient safety campaigns and PTW safety strategies".

The end result will be to make recommendations for how EU intervention in safety issues that affect motorcyclists can be best devised and finessed to accommodate the very particular requirements of rider safety.

The project is now organising its last public event, at which it will present and discuss the results of the RIDERSCAN data collection process with motorcycling and road safety experts.

The event will consist of a full day workshop at the CEN-CENELEC meeting centre premises in Brussels; CEN (the European Committee for Standardisation) and CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation) are two of the three officially recognised European Standardisation Organisations.

That will be followed by a half day debate session in the European Parliament. Hosted by MEPs Inés Ayalá-Sender (S&D), Wim van de Camp (EPP), and the Transport Committee Vice-Chairman Dominique Riquet (ALDE), the forum will include the participation of Mr. Szabolcz Schmidt, who is Head of the EU Road Safety Unit and other speakers, to discuss the RIDERSCAN project outcomes in the context of the Commission's mid-term evaluation of road safety policy objectives and planning for 2011-2020. 

The event is being supported by the EU, FEMA and ACEM amongst others; for full details and to register visit:
+32 (0)2 280 42 72


Kawasaki motorcycle sales income - 1.9 percent for its second quarter


Kawasaki announced net sales of  ¥137.7 Bn for the second quarter (ending  September 30th 2014) of its current financial year (ending March 31st 2015).

That puts sales at -1.9 percent compared to the same 2014 financial year accounting period, and leaves the company still forecasting net sales of  ¥320 Bn for the full current financial year.

Kawasaki will be hoping that the huge hype generated by the launch of the Ninja H2 will translate into increased demand throughout their range

In motorcycle ATV, UTV and PWC unit terms, Kawasaki say they sold 21,000 units to Europe in their second quarter, with 36,000 sold to North America, 9,000 units in Japan and 201,000 of the 267,000 quarterly total sold to emerging and "other" markets.


Touratech suspension ESA and Cartridge Kit Extreme

IT is already ten years since BMW introduced what was then (2004) the first electronically adjustable suspension (ESA), allowing finger-tip damping control from the handlebar. That was followed by ESA II in 2009 - giving riders push-button road and load control over spring rates.

ESA turned out to be a first step, a first step in a logical progression leading to the development of the current dynamic ESA semi-active suspension system – an "intelligent" system that uses sensors to monitor the status of the motorcycle and terrain characteristics, optimising the suspension in milliseconds while riding.

With many BMW F 800 GS and R 1200 GS bikes equipped with their original ESA systems, even with the latest dynamic ESA, Touratech is now bringing out its own ESA version for these models.

Developed in partnership with Dutch specialists Tractive, Touratech's system is said to be an easy-install "Plug & Travel" ESA - one that is fully serviceable and tuneable to the customer's request. Tractive Suspension specialise in electronic suspension,  founded by the former WP Suspension core development team when KTM relocated the WP Suspension business to Austria. The white colour of the springs is a reference to this heritage. The team at Tractive previously invented ESA1 and ESA2 and is now actively involved in dynamic suspension development worldwide. The company says that "even for the newest models with dynamic ESA, Touratech is worldwide the only real replacement aftermarket supplier".

The company states that every aspect of this system is geared to long-distance touring, with lots of luggage, on almost any type of road surface, and that "Plug and Travel" means no modifications are required and components can be easily swapped out.

"As far as operation goes, customers can adjust the suspension in the usual way," says suspension product manager Jo Glaser. "We use the original BMW controls, but we have completely redesigned the shock absorber set-up.

"Our ESA suspension system will interest anyone who wants to take their F 800 GS or R 1200 GS touring. Riders who fit the Touratech Suspension ESA system not only get spring elements with a special set-up for touring, but the components – like all shock absorbers from Touratech Suspension - are fully serviceable.

"Riders whose motorbikes aren't equipped with an electronic suspension system can install our ACE system - a self-contained system that uses its own sensors developed by Touratech Suspension", said Jo Glaser.

"This means that even motorcycles which previously used conventional shocks can be fitted with an electronic suspension system. Currently the ACE suspension system is available for the BMW R 1200 GS (front/rear shock absorber), the Yamaha Super Ténéré up to 2013 (rear shock absorber), the Triumph Tiger Explorer (rear shock absorber) and BMW R 1150 GS/Adventure (front/rear shock absorber)".

Also available, the fully serviceable Touratech Suspension Cartridge Kit Extreme is a fully adjustable damping cartridge for the original fork that is designed to withstand the exceptionally tough conditions of enduro touring.

This "shock absorber for the fork" is said to deliver a "noticeably more sensitive response with high stability and the greatest possible resilience".

The company says that unlike open types, which use the same oil for both damping and lubrication, theirs is a closed system developed for the extreme stresses endured by sportsbike forks.

With this design the damping oil is located in a closed cartridge, leading to very exact damping control, similar to that of a shock absorber. The cartridge uses an internal piston of 35mm (which the company says is the largest in the market!), which allows for stable and precise damping setting. A special Motorex oil formulation is used for filling the fork legs to lubricate the fork.

Riders receive a completely filled cartridge fitted with the appropriate spring; only the original outer tubes are retained. Touratech Suspension closed cartridges are said to handle "even extreme damping frequencies on rough off-road rides. They are supplied with the unique Touratech touring set-up for the respective motorcycle. For individual settings – e.g. different loading conditions or for a completely personalised suspension set-up – it is possible to adjust the spring preload as well as the damping on compression and rebound strokes".

A built-in "hydraulic end stop" prevents the fork mechanically bottoming out when the bike is ridden hard. "This cartridge system provides hugely improved ride safety coupled with maximum ride dynamics", says Product Manager Jo Glaser.

Touratech say their Cartridge Kit Extreme is the ideal solution for all motorbikes that do not come with factory-fitted adjustable forks. It is available now for all BMW F 800 GS models, and the Triumph Tiger 800 XC and Tiger Explorer. Lowering kits of approx. 25-50mm for the forks, and a suitably adapted Touratech Suspension shock absorber, are expected soon.

Niedereschach, GERMANY
Tel: +49 (0)7728 92790


Keis expands heated clothing range for 2015

KEIS, a leading UK-based heated clothing specialist, has expanded its product line with additions that include remote controllers that allow the wearer to adjust the temperature wirelessly.

The controller has three settings with LED confirmation display and is supplied with a handlebar or panel-mounted transmitter. It can be used on all existing and previous Keis garments, except those with an integral controller.


The X2i heated under-trousers are an updated version of the existing Keis X2 design, but with an integral controller, so the heat can be controlled independent of any other Keis garments. The under-trousers feature a breathable, soft shell fabric front with lightweight rear panels, elasticated waist and strategically positioned heat panels that utilise micro alloy fibre technology to provide uniform heating.

There are also two new additions to the ‘Dual Power Range’, which can be powered either from the motorcycle's battery or a portable rechargeable Li-ion power pack. The X900 Dual Power outer glove replaces the old X800 design, now featuring a leather palm with breathable textile upper, a breathable waterproof lining and integral, three-level heat controller.

Another new Keis Dual Power piece is the ladies’ X30 bodywarmer, designed to provide a more flattering fit than the unisex X10. Made from breathable, lightweight soft shell fabric, it has a tailored fit and dedicated zipped pockets for the optional cables and controller.

Odiham, Hampshire, UK
Tel: +44 1256 704909


Brembo's new Bybre combined brake system

BYBRE, Brembo's brand developed specifically for brake systems on small and medium displacement scooters and motorcycles, has developed a new combined braking system.
Said to allow the optimum use of brakes and reduce safe stopping distances, the new system consists of a floating front caliper with three 24mm diameter pistons.


The central piston is actuated by a 14mm diameter rear master cylinder with integrated tank, while the two outside pistons are driven by a 12mm diameter handlebar-mounted front master cylinder.
A special valve positioned between the rear master cylinder and the front caliper determines the pressure distribution between the front and rear calipers.
Brembo claims that it ensures that when the brake pedal is operated, the rear wheel will always lock up before the front, providing better performance than a standard brake system. This type of system will become mandatory on all scooters and bikes up to 125cc under new EU regulations that come into effect in 2016.
In other Brembo news, the company says that it has been awarded TÜV certification for their race-bred Supersport and T-drive brake discs - which ensures compatibility with the latest ABS-equipped models.
Meanwhile, the M50 monoblock break caliper that uses process technology introduced for 500cc racing in 1994, and seen in 2011 on the 1199 Panigale, has been chosen by Ducati for its two newest and most powerful superbikes - the 1299 Panigale and the Multistrada 1200S.

Employing sophisticated "topology optimisation" programmes in which "iterative procedure allow design engineers to remove material from areas of the caliper where it is not needed, achieving maximum stiffness and minimal weight".
Other Brembo components on the two new Ducati models include a fixed rear brake caliper on the 1299 Panigale and a floating one on the Multistrada 1200S, front and rear brake discs, the PR16/21 radial master cylinder and PR 15/19 clutch master cylinder.
Brembo also supplies the forged wheels for the S version of the 1299 Panigale and a 265mm rear brake disc with the 2x28 floating caliper on the Multistrada 1200S.
Ducati has also used Brembo brakes on its new Scrambler model - a single 330mm flat-bell floating disc with a four piston caliper at the front and a 245mm disc with single piston caliper at the rear.
Brembo is also supplying the brakes for Kawasaki's track-only supercharged 300hp 2015 Ninja H2R and the street legal Ninja H2.
Brembo components and systems also feature on Suzuki's supercharged 588cc Recursion concept bike.

Curno (BG), ITALY
Tel: +39 035 605 1111


Richa Winter jackets

RICHA has released a line of winter riding jackets. The Touareg features a high-density polyamide / polyester outer shell, removable thermal lining, removable waterproof membrane. a removable internal D30 back protector as standard and D30 CE approved armour at the shoulders and elbows. 


Additional features include detachable waterproof chest pockets to allow maximum ventilation in warmer weather.


Described as being suitable for all seasons, the Infinity has a removable thermo lining and waterproof Ex-tex membrane. Like the Touareg, it is fitted with D30 CE approved armour on the shoulders and elbows, an internal D30 back protector also features reflective piping.


Richa’s Phantom jacket has a tailored design with a fixed membrane to guarantee waterproofing and removable thermo lining. The jacket comes with D30 protection as standard, armour on the elbows and shoulders, and a back protector.

Tel: +32 (0)55 423435

Friday, 19 December 2014

Italian PTW registrations

Italian PTW registrations fall by 16 percent in November

THE latest data from ANCMA (Associazione Nazionale Ciclo Motociclo Accessori), the Italian motorcycle industry trade association, shows that total PTW registrations fell by -16.1 percent for November, albeit on low volumes (5,723 units compared to 6,819 units in November 2013).

For the year to date, the Italian market is showing modest growth at +1.2 percent (151,714 units), compared to being -25.9 percent for the first 11 months of 2013 and -18.8 percent for the same period in 2012.
In motorcycle terms the Italian market is +3.4 percent for the first eleven months of the year at 52,968 units, of which Enduro bikes (18,006 units) and Naked style bikes (17,658 units) are by far the most popular sectors of the market.
Of the 151,714 total PTW registrations for the year to date in Italy (Jan-Oct inclusive), some 32.7 percent (49,620 units) were of 501cc or higher.