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