Friday, 8 January 2016

BMW Motorrad

BMW showcasing helmet heads-up display and motorcycle laser lights technologies in Las Vegas this week

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week is to the Electronics industry what INTERMOT is to our own.

BMW has a corporate exhibit there, showcasing various products and research from its Munich "skunk works", among them a laser light for motorcycles and a helmet with a head-up display.
BMW Motorrad points to its long history of motorcycle lighting development and optimisation, including the introduction of adaptive headlights for riding in curves, LED daytime running lights and "dynamic" brake lights for BMW motorcycles.
At CES BMW is presenting a K 1600 GTL concept vehicle, with the BMW Motorrad laser light for motorcycles used on it derived from a technology developed in their automotive division.
The company says that "not only do laser light headlamps generate a particularly bright and pure white light, but they even achieve a high-beam range of up to 600 metres, which is double that of conventional headlights. The safety of night-time riding has now increased significantly as a result, due not only to the increased range, but also to the precise illumination of the road. Moreover, the laser technology has a very long service life, thanks to its compact, robust and maintenance-free construction".
The laser light has been incorporated in the K 1600 GTL concept vehicle as a feasibility test. BMW is testing the use of this headlamp technology in series vehicles in the course of its preliminary development.
At the moment, the technology is still too cost-intensive for use in production units, however, it is expected that the economies of scale resulting from their large-scale use in the automobile industry will result in an improving price structure - making their use in motorcycles practical "in the medium term", according to the company.
Also seen here, their heads-up display helmet builds on their 2003 introduction of what was at that stage the first automotive heads-up display as optional equipment for cars.
In the case of the motorcycle helmet, HUD technology (as it is known) has been a long sought after goal with several projects claiming to be close to its realisation at various stages of the past decade or more, and one (Skully in the USA) currently hoping to bring such a product to market this year following a crowd sourcing programme to finance the project in the past eighteen months.

BMW say that with a view to offering this technology in motorcycles of the future, a pre-development process was conducted in which a BMW Motorrad helmet was fitted with an innovative heads-up display function. This enables the projection of data directly into the rider's field of view. BMW say that "this means that the rider no longer has to glance at the instrument panel and he is able to concentrate fully and without distraction on the road traffic".
All displays are freely programmable - ideally to provide the best-possible support for rider safety, and only information that is helpful and relevant to the current situation should be displayed to the rider at any given moment.
BMW claim that in respect of future V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication, it might also be possible to display impact warning and other safety information in real time, and that route planning and navigation and other visualisations could also be displayed.
BMW also say that the helmet with heads-up display also could be fitted with an integral/internal action camera pointing forwards, located inside the helmet, to record video footage of the journey, with a second camera oriented towards the rear performing the function of a 'digital rear-view mirror'. This technology could also enable the visualisation of other riders in a motorcycle group, allowing the rider to see where his companions are at any given moment.
The helmet, which would also be fitted with an integrated mini-computer and loudspeakers, would be controlled from the left-hand handlebar fittings, using the BMW Motorrad multi-controller.
BMW also state that the necessary information display technology can be integrated into some existing helmet designs, without affecting either wearer comfort or rider safety. The operating time of the system with the two currently planned replaceable batteries will be around five hours.
BMW Motorrad say that they want to develop this innovative technology to series-production level "within the next few years".

Andreani Group

Andreani suspension courses

More than thirty participants, including people from Russia, Taiwan, Greece, Dubai and Slovakia, attended the last of Italian suspension specialist Andreani Group's specialist English language suspension technicians courses held at their "Suspension World Academy" at their Pesaro headquarters, south of Rimini on Italy's Adriatic coast.

The high-tech facility that Andreani has developed for their suspension courses features a bidirectional telemetry simulator and a maxi screen connected to some of the advanced suspension testing, diagnostic and calibration/tuning equipment developed by former professional motocrosser Giuseppe Andreani in the 27 years since he founded what is now one of Europe's leading specialist suspension businesses.

The two-day course structure covers maintenance, overhauling and tuning of all the major brands of suspension for street bikes, with the second day dedicated to off-road suspension with special reference to off-road race suspension set-ups and tuning.
Along the way, Andreani's technical and race support team staff share their knowledge and insights into many of what are often regarded as the "dark arts" of suspension - knowledge that can only be accumulated from many years of paddock experience such as the theories and techniques of chassis setting and front fork and shock absorber optimisation.
Their next international technicians course will be on February 10th/11th 2016.

EICMA 2015 Part III

EICMA 2015 part III

Motoweek presents a selection of "Milan Show" exhibitor and product news. In a year that saw long-delayed R&D investments finally result in a tsunami of new product initiatives, exhibitors capitalised on the positive business environment and strong international industry visitor attendance seen this year ...
PREMIER HELMETS: Recent product news from the Italian manufacturer includes their EC 22-05 homologated 'Le Petit' tri-composite fibre mix open face helmet, which is said to be one of the smallest helmets available on the market in Europe and is now additionally available in full carbon construction; their SHARP 4-Star rated 'Trophy' retro styled full face design; and their lightweight aerodynamic 'Touran' moulded DCA (Dyneema, Carbon and Aramidic) and pure Carbon version full face;


DRAGGIN JEANS: The latest news from the Melbourne, Australia based manufacturer includes 2016 sponsorship of the new Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) Ducati team that has been set up for 2016. The brand new Desmo Sport Ducati factory team has been set up by Cube Racing team owner Ben Henry, joining forces with three-time World Champion Troy Bayliss and current Superbike Champion Mike Jones. Draggin CEO Grant Macintosh, seen here at EICMA, said that "Aligning the Draggin brand with these huge Australian Champions is really exciting for us. Draggin Jeans are the original Kevlar jeans, and we've been manufacturing our high quality motorcycle clothing since 1997. Our big claim to fame is that Draggin is the only motorcycle apparel brand in the world to pass both CE Level 1 and CE Level 2 certifications";


ALIANT: The Italian manufacturer has been developing lithium iron phosphate batteries since 2009 and introduced its YLP07 earlier this year. Designed specifically for use on enduro and off-road motorcycles, it is said to be half the volume and weight of other lithium batteries but still capable of starting a four-stroke, 450cc single cylinder engine. To complement the battery, Aliant also offers a 12V 10Amp multi-platform charger (the CB1210) with a robust heat-sink boosting aluminium case, increasing electric conversion efficiency. It features new firmware that is said to allow it to adapt its charging profile automatically to 12V lead acid batteries and 12V lifepo4 batteries;


HJC: Basking in the reflected glory of Jorge Lorenzo's World Championship win, the Korean manufacturer is capitalising on the success RPHA-10 programme (Revolutionary Performance Helmet Advantage), including the well received RPHA Max modular helmet, RPS-10 sport/street helmet and the RPHA X off-road model with the new feature-rich, high-tech RPHA-11 premium full face;


TURBO KIT: Headquartered at Murcia, Spain with over 4,000 sq m of R&D, manufacturing and shipping space; among their new products for 2016 Turbo kit (TK) has launched its Hydrotech 7 exhaust series featuring hydroformed Euro III catalyzed hexagonal mufflers for 125/300cc KYMCO- XCT series models and Yamaha XMax 125/250s and the TMax 530 ABS models, available in choice of 'standard', black or white finish, plus a new H-5 full carbon muffler;


CGM ITALIA: The company says that having all aspects of the production process under the supervision of CGM's own technicians gives them direct control at the production plants they use - current full-face and modular designs include their "Air Stream System" and Air Stream liner with channelling to optimise ventilation performance and comfort;


Piaggio takes € 70 million R&D loan

Piaggio has agreed a € 70 million loan with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to fund Piaggio Group research and development projects.

The seven-year loan covers R&D projects to be conducted at the Piaggio Group’s Italian sites.
The investments planned by Piaggio for the three years 2016-2018 will enable the Group to "continue and intensify its R&D work to bring to market innovative, eco-sustainable scooters, motorcycles and commercial vehicles that are safer and more reliable, with lower fuel consumption and emissions".
For the EIB, the loan is part of a core lending programme to support research into and the development and implementation of cleaner, more efficient technologies for transport, in order to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from traffic.
For the Piaggio Group, the loan agreement will support "the development of innovative technological product and process solutions in active and passive safety, sustainability (including electric motors and reduction of fuel consumption in combustion engines) and customer satisfaction, based on research into new mobility concepts, new driver-vehicle interfaces, and communication and web access protocols".
It is said that the loan, whose borrowing conditions are described as "highly competitive compared with current market conditions" will also "further strengthen the Group’s financial structure and extend its average debt life".
At the end of October the Piaggio Group reported that their capital expenditure in the nine months to 30 September 2015 amounted to 68.2 million euro (+19.6% from 57 million euro at 30 September 2014), of which 39.9 million euro was for R&D expenditure (34.8 million euro in the first nine months of 2014).
While the company has returned to profitability overall, it is carrying some -495.8 million euro of debt on its balance sheet.


New Design Building for Yamaha Design Center

Yamaha has announced today plans to construct its New Design Building within the grounds of the company's head office in Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan. The New Design Building "will become the focal point for cutting-edge design initiatives that drive product design development and new innovation". 

Largely constructed from steel, the five story building will provide a leading-edge design environment, featuring a spacious clay room where engineers and designers will work together on creating models, and digital design development equipment to enable effective, innovative creation via virtual design techniques, as well as office space. Construction is scheduled to begin in January next year and is expected to be completed by the following December.
With the aim of strengthening the organisation’s overall design functionality, Yamaha Motor newly created its Design Center in January 2012. This was an initiative with the intent of improving the company's corporate value through design. Yamaha Motor is engaging in a range of proactive initiatives including the announcement of the design concept model GEN series carried out as part of the company’s cutting-edge design development, and the "project AH A MAY" and "&Y" etc., which were joint design projects with Yamaha Corporation, along with design management of products across the globe.


Fastmovers from LighTech

Always known for their quality of presentation and packaging, as well as for the quality and precision of their parts and accessory design and machining, Italian specialist LighTech is offering dealers this new Point of Sale (POS) programme for its most recent products and the best-selling items for the most popular current models.

LighTech bicolour axle slider kits are bike-specific designs

Made from aluminium for sturdy, durable service, this easy to assemble floor standing POS display will catch the eye and become a popular feature with regular and casual customers as the stock revolves to feature applications for the most popular makes and models sold in the dealership.

LighTech's chain adjusters feature positive-lock adjustment and stamped scale

Founded in 1997 by Fabrizio Furlan, these days LighTech make and sell over 7,000 high- strength, lightweight parts and accessories in Ergal alloy and over 400 titanium items - from bolts and protectors such as frame sliders to controls, rearsets, lights and covers.
The CNC machined chain adjusters seen here are made from a single solid block of 7975 Ergal and 6082 alloy and available in a selection of anodised colours. Sold in matched pairs, the positive-click adjustment and stamped scale ensure accurate adjustment; available as model-specific fitments for a wide range of popular makes and models, including the new 2015 Yamaha R1, Aprilia RSV4 and GXX-S 1000; optional chain adjuster lifters for use with spool-type rear stands are also available.
The bicoloured front and rear axle slider kits, also seen here, protect the fork and rear axle. They are bike-specific designs that use either threaded or well nuts. Available for a wide range of popular makes and models, including single-sided swingarm Ducati and MV Agusta models.


Design Engineering Inc.

EXO Series severe-duty exhaust wrap

Design Engineering Inc. (DEI) has released an enhanced version of its award-winning thermal barrier products with their new EXO Series exhaust wrap. 

Designed to hold-up against the rigours of off-road and extreme-duty use on and off highway applications, this new wrap is a dual-layer design, using a combination of hi-temp glass fibres covered with a 304 grade stainless steel exoskeleton.
This unique construction maintains good heat protection while offering superior abrasion and impact protection. DEI’s unique Air Gap Technology keeps direct contact of the glass fibre off the hot surface, maintaining an insulating air barrier.
Despite its "burly" appearance, the EXO Series weighs nearly the same as their existing wraps and comes in a special 1.5" (38mm) width, making it easy to install on motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs and other vehicles with tight radius exhaust bends. In addition, the stainless steel exoskeleton layer ratchets together when overlapped, saving time and making installation much easier.
"There has been strong demand from customers looking for an exhaust wrap solution that holds up better in extreme riding environments and high-performance or severe duty applications such as high mileage heavyweight touring. We are excited to be the first in the industry to offer such a solution", said DEI Powersports Brand Manager Brian VanKoevering.
Each kit includes a 1.5" x 20 foot (6m) roll of wrap, stainless steel locking ties and installation tool.



Uptown jet helmet

The new 'Uptown' jet helmet from Caberg is described as having a "classic and elegant look" and suitable for touring and everyday urban riding.

It comes in two polycarbonate 1,150gr (+/- 50gr) shell sizes with two frontal air vents and air extractors on the back "to guarantee perfect ventilation even on the hottest days". The exclusive Double Visor Tech system, with an easy to use inner sun visor, allows daylight riding conditions to be tuned for safety - the extra width of the outer transparent, anti-scratch treated Pinlock lens-ready visor adds to safety and convenience in urban and long-distance riding conditions. The retention system has a micrometric buckle for safe and easy adjustments, and 'Uptown' is equipped with a ring to secure the helmet to the motorbike.

The lining is completely removable and washable, made from highly transpiring fabrics. The helmet is also pre-set for the Caberg 'Just Speak' S Bluetooth wireless communication system - allowing cell phone connection, passenger communication, GPS system connection and mp3 player or mobile phone music listening; the system uses the Bluetooth A2DP profile.


Gilles Tooling

Scrambler ergonomics


Luxembourg based manufacturer Gilles Tooling has turned its precision manufacturing and ergonomic design and engingineering values towards the Ducati Scrambler with these new footpegs and chain adjusters. 

Described as "perfectly reinforcing the dirt tracker styling that the Ducati Scrambler embodies", their new RCT10GT-D05 changes the footpeg position via a rotating extension, so the rider can select the most comfortable for street or sport-style riding.
Adjustable toe pieces and levers have become standard features on Gilles' rearsets, with integral aluminium heel guards adding to the riding safety and long-distance riding comfort.

The Gilles chain adjuster with engraved scale helps to deliver precision chain tension to improve chain life and power transmission. An integral paddock stand adapter means the Scrambler can be lifted more easily and the axle block stays in the swingarm even when changing the rear wheel.



Road Line brake pads

Italian brakes specialist Newfren has updated its brake pads programme with new compounds and applications, offering its distributors access to a comprehensive range with coverage for most popular makes and model of on and off-road motorcycles and scooters.

Their Road Line now features a single premium R01 Sintered Race formula that Newfren say has been developed for Superbike, Superstock, Supersport and Supermoto models.
Described as an "innovative sintered racing titanium technology" with a friction coefficient HH+ rating, it features a new Zirconium ceramic "NWF Pro Tech" heat shield.
The company has two lines of sintered and organic pads for street bikes - the TT Pro range, which is said to be ideal for track and road use, and is recommended for the new generation of high performance street bikes and the Touring range - specially formulated for long distance riding, they are said to offer durability, comfort and stability in dry and wet conditions.

Newfren has five lines of brake pads for off-roaders, one of which is a specialty sintered race formulation, and three lines of scooter pads - including sintered and organic pads specially formulated for the demands of urban riding and the greater stopping performance demanded by the new generation of maxi-scooters.
Founded in the 1950s by Alessandro Barbero, Newfren were innovators and early adopters of a number of new brake technologies, such as bonded friction material, gravity and high pressure die casting and brake shoes without rivets.
The company is still in family ownership with Valter Barbero at the helm, and has just completed an 18 month multi-million Euro investment programme in new manufacturing technology at its 6,000 sqm facilty/10,000 sqm site at Cirie near Turin, where they make brake pads, brake shoes, backing plates, clutch plates and parts and brake discs and assemblies.


Wind Trading

WRP "Pro Bar" handlebars

Italian distributor Wind Trading is celebrating the success of the WRP "Pro-Bar" in the hands of 2015 MXGP World Champion Romain Febvre. 

The company says that as one of the strongest and lightest handlebars available on the market, it is used by top motocross teams such as Team Yamaha Factory Racing, Team 24MX, Team Kemea Yamaha, and others.
Made from 7075-T6 alloy, the Pro Bar handlebars feature 28.6 mm oversized tubing in the clamping area. The tapered design ensures they will withstand the hardest crashes while still offering a perfect flex ratio. They are shot peened and finished with an anodised finish for increased surface hardness; the left grip area is knurled to prevent slipping. 
The handlebars come complete with an injected polyurethane pad covered by a shiny sub-surface printed vinyl clear sheet and are available in 5 different bends, including a "Febvre Replica".