Friday, 29 January 2016

Dainese Vs. Alpinestars part II

Airbag Wars - Dainese Vs. Alpinestars part II

Following the news about the apparent legal dispute between Alpinestars and Dainese (concerning aspects of their competitive motorcycle airbag product offerings), Dainese has moved to counter claims made by Alpinestars in a press release that denied that Dainese had taken any legal action against them in Germany (or elsewhere).
According to Alpinestars the dispute centres on an alleged patent infringement concerning the material it uses in the construction of its airbag.
Dainese has countered Alpinestars’ claim that Dainese had not instigated legal proceedings against it by saying that "legal action has in fact been taken in the German market with a Munich court granting an injunction on the sale of Tech-Air products in Germany and that similar action is underway in Italy".
Dainese’s statement says that the Munich court "released two autonomous preliminary injunctions against a German Alpinestars dealer, confirming that the Alpinestars Tech-Air system infringes two Dainese patents in Europe" and that "Dainese has also recently filed, before a German Court, an additional lawsuit against Alpinestars, seeking compensatory damages for infringement of Dainese’s patents and the halting of commercialisation of the Tech-Air system in Germany".
Dainese go on to say that they have "never received a cease-and-desist letter from Alpinestars and that they, Dainese, have [also] filed a lawsuit against Alpinestars before an Italian court, seeking compensatory damages for infringement of Dainese’s patents, as well as an urgent preliminary injunction for halting the commercialisation of the Tech-Air system in Italy".
Dainese say their patents have been "released by the European Patent Office following a long verification procedure, and are therefore registered and fully valid".
This one will run and run!

Spanish motorcycle registrations

Spanish motorcycle registrations +19.55 percent for 2015

According to the latest data released by the motorcycle trade association in Spain (ANESDOR), the motorcycle market there was up by +34.55 percent (8,447 units) in December and +19.55 percent for the full year (131,595 units). 

In moped terms the Spanish market was +29.29 percent in December and +8.95 percent for the year (15,999 units); in total PTW terms the market was +33.78 percent in December and is +18.13 percent for the full year (147,594 units).
ANESDOR say that the market growth in Spain is expected to continue in 2016 with total PTW registrations reaching 162,000 units, further growth of around 9 percent, with motorcycles again expected to be the primary growth sector in the Spanish PTW market.
Jose Maria Riano, the General Secretary of ANEDOR, said that "2015 was a very positive year for the sector in Spain" and that in looking beyond the statistics "the motorcycle is clearly the choice of transport for millions of citizens in Spain, especially for their daily commute - PTWs are a major solution for mobility in Spain, reducing travel times between 50 and 70 percent, and reducing congestion and pollution".
Pointing to the greater age of the PTW fleet in Spain than is the case in neighbouring and nearby countries, he again repeated his call for greater government support for the sector, "the average age of PTWs in Spain is 14.7 years. Despite the growth the fleet actually aged further in 2015. We believe that a review of the financial framework in which the PTW industry operates is needed in Spain, and that simplifying driving licenses would also favour fleet renewal".
Honda led the way in Spain in market share terms in 2015 (21,845 units), followed by Yamaha, Kymco, Piaggio and Suzuki. The top selling model in Spain in 2015 was Kymco's Agility City 125 (5,825 units), followed by Honda's SH 125 and Kymco's Super Dink 125. The top selling large displacement machine in Spain in 2015 was Kawasaki's Z 800 (2,228 units).
Catalonia in North Eastern Spain is the strongest regional market, accounting for 27.5 percent of 2015 registrations, followed by Andalucia (19.5 percent).


Ducati draXter

Following the launch of Ducati's XDiavel cruiser at the 'Milan show' in November 2015, the company has already unveiled an additional model - the all-new draXter concept.

Described as "interpreting the XDiavel world from a sports viewpoint", the project was developed by the Ducati Design Center's Advanced Design area - "a section dedicated to exploring the future style and design concepts of Ducati motorcycles.
 "Their ideas and sketches have allowed the Ducati prototype department to come up with the draXter, starting from a standard production XDiavel. The beating heart of the draXter is that of an extreme dragster with premium racing componentry. This is particularly evident, for example, in the suspension and brakes, taken directly from the Panigale Superbike. 

"This styling exercise has accentuated the lines and proportions of the XDiavel, making them more extreme than ever and turning the draXter into a unique, breathtaking "racer".
"The number 90 on the side of the Ducati draXter recalls the racing world, yet also pays homage to Ducati's 90th anniversary, being celebrated this year".

Eric Buell Racing

Bill Melvin buys remaining EBR assets

Is the saga of the EBR (Eric Buell Racing) assets sale finally over? Well, yes and no. The sale of the assets in question, the intellectual property and remaining tooling and equipment left after India's Hero Motorcorp (a major EBR investor and shareholder) had bought the assets they laid claimed to, has now been finalized.

Bill Melvin, CEO Liquid Asset Partners: "I believe EBR has established themselves as one of the premier motorcycle manufacturers in the world and has strong potential as a viable business"

At the third time of asking, Bill Melvin's Liquid Asset Partners (LAP) have successfully bid $2.05 million, outmanoeuvring Bruce Belfer (Atlantic Metals Group, New Jersey), the first auction winner, and another potential bidder (US Heritage Powersports). LAP is the company that Harley-Davidson used to sell off the assets of Buell Motorcycles when it closed the business in 2010, and have previously been involved in several other powersports industry asset disposals, such as "Gilroy" Indian, American Ironhorse and Cannondale.

However, there will now therefore be further twists to come in this tale with Melvin now seeking buyers for the assets he has acquired, and having stated that he hoped to be able to see some kind of further reincarnation of the business building bikes again at some stage in the future.

Italian motorcycle registrations

Italian motorcycle registrations +14 percent for 2015

The latest data released by the motorcycle industry trade association in Italy (ANCMA, Milan) shows new motorcycle registrations there for December up marginally on low volumes - 1,612 units put the market up by +1.45 for the final month of the year.
For the full year 2015 new motorcycle registrations were up by +14.36 percent on 62,449 units - compared to 54,607 units in 2014.

In total PTW terms December was +13.95 percent (4,893 units), and the total PTW market in Italy in 2015 +9.54 percent for the 12 months (171,043 units).
The top selling motorcycle in Italy in 2015 was the BMW R 1200 GS (3,222 units), followed by Yamaha's MT-09 Tracer (2,618 units), the Ducati Scrambler 800 (2,476), Honda's NC 700/750 X (2,292 units) and BMW’s R 1200 GS Adventure (2,006 units).
Honda own all three of the top spots in the Italian Scooter market with over 22,101 of their SH 150/125/300 variants sold in 2015.
Piaggio's Beverley 300 was the fourth best selling scooter (6,168 units), followed by the Kymco Agility 125 R16 (4,598 units).
Naked style bikes (+33.46 percent), Sport bike models (+17.46 percent) and Touring models (+21.24 percent) were the main growth sectors in Italy in 2015, with, as elsewhere in Europe, the strongest growth in motorcycle displacement terms coming in the 751-1000cc market (+8.16 percent) and 501-600cc power band (+5.37 percent).
July was the strongest sales month in Italy, followed by June, April and May; over 72 percent of total PTW sales were made by the end of July in Italy in 2015 with motorcycles (62,449 units out of 171,043 total PTWs) constituting 36.5 percent of unit volume in Italy in 2015.


KTM revenue exceeds the billion-euro mark for the first time

KTM saw sales and revenue increase again in 2015, setting a record for the company for the fifth year in succession.

Including its Husqvarna brand, the company sold 180,801 units (+14 percent) for revenue of 1,012 billion Euro (+18 percent). KTM is therefore laying claim to being the fastest growing motorcycle brand in the world for years.
The company saw a significant increase in EBIT (Earnings Before Income Tax) to 95 million Euro (+26 percent).
In 2015, KTM invested around 110 million Euro at its Mattighofen and Munderfing facilities in Austria, 30 percent more than in 2014, and now employs some 2,515 people in the KTM Group worldwide.


Will MOTOBOT dream of electric beer?

Yamaha has announced that its humanoid riding robot - MOTOBOT - has "moved into its second phase of development, and that the current partnership in joint development with SRI International is set to continue".

Presentations on the MOTOBOT took place at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January. Basically it is an automated humanoid robot that is able to ride a non-modified motorcycle - it was first seen at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2015.
The objective is for a riding performance of over 200km/hr on a riding circuit by 2017. In succession from phase one, phase two further develops the platform technology towards actual circuit riding. The sophisticated technologies developed in the project are ultimately intended to be applied to advanced technologies and rider support systems in the future.

The development of the MOTOBOT is progressing as an open innovation model project with SRI, one of the world’s leading research and technology development facilities.

Motorcycle Industry Council

More female riders in USA than ever says MIC

Female motorcycle ownership is at an all-time high according to the latest data from the Motorcycle Industry Council - having doubled in the past decade. The MIC’s latest Motorcycle Owner Survey found that women account for 14 percent of all U.S. motorcycle owners, well up from the 8 percent reported in 1998.
"Women continue to embrace motorcycling like never before," said Sarah Schilke, National Marketing Manager of BMW Motorrad USA and Chair of PowerLily, a group consisting of female motorcycle industry professionals. "Of the 9.2 million owners, more of them are women than we’ve ever recorded. In fact, the number of female owners better than doubled from 2003 to 2014. And, among the more than 30 million Americans who swung a leg over a motorcycle and rode at least one time in 2014, a quarter of these riders were women."
Among younger generations of owners, the percentage of women is even higher. Slightly more than 17 percent of Gen X owners, and 17.6 percent of Gen Y owners, are women. Among Boomer owners, women make up 9 percent.
"It’s encouraging that we’re seeing more women among the riders who are entering the sport," Schilke said. "Motorcycling is for anyone, and that’s being recognized by younger generations and non-traditional customer segments."

The Owner Survey also revealed what type of bikes women prefer. Cruisers are the choice of 34 percent of female riders. Scooters rank a close second at 33 percent, followed by sport bikes at 10 percent. In the survey, of some 48,000 American households, women were also asked to share their top three reasons for riding motorcycles. They answered "fun and recreation," followed by "sense of freedom" and "enjoy outdoors/nature." When it comes to purchasing a motorcycle, women rate "Fuel Economy" and "Test Rides" as the most important decision-making factors.
The study revealed that female riders are safety-conscious. While 60 percent of women took a motorcycle safety course, only 42 percent of men had any formal training. In some state motorcycle safety training programs, women make up 30 percent of the student population.
The median age for female motorcyclists is 39 versus 48 for males; more than 49 percent of women motorcyclists perform their own maintenance or have a friend or relative do it, instead of taking their bike to a shop; new bikes are preferred over used by 57 percent of female riders; 49 percent of female motorcyclists are married; 47 percent of female motorcyclists have a college or post-graduate degree.


'Tractionator' Adventure and GPS tyres

Following the launch two months ago of their new 'Arena' and ' Xtreme' Hybrid tyres comes news of two new street-able off-road tyres from the specialist Australian manufacturer.
Motoz say their 'Tractionator' Adventure tyre has been designed "by off-road riders, for off-road riders", and that up to 25 percent stronger than many other adventure tyres, it delivers "serious off-road traction".

'Tractionator' Adventure tyre

It is offered in two different compound choices - '4-Seasons' and a 'Summer' compound for hot conditions. The tread is designed to self-protect for long mileage and superior off-road cornering.

'Tractionator' GPS tyre

As its name suggests, the 'Tractionator' GPS is an adventure tyre for GPS-equipped riders. Motoz say "long mileage, serious traction and smooth transition from pavement to gravel to dirt, the GPS does it all, and well".
It is a reversible tyre to suit all conditions - either 50/50 pavement/off-road, or, fitted the other way round, mostly off-road. In 50/50 direction the GPS is described as a "well behaved street-able tyre with smooth cornering transition from centre to cranked all the way over. In the mostly off-road direction the aggressive straight-line hook-up and cornering drive is engaged".



X-Pro silencer for Scrambler 

Italian exhaust manufacturer Giannelli has released its X-pro silencer for the 2015 Ducati Scrambler. Made in stainless steel (silencer, end cap, internals, mid-pipe and mounting clamp) with black coated 270mm silencer body, it is equipped with baffle/db Killer, and at just 1.3 kg delivers a 3kg weight reduction over the stock exhaust. Dyno tested at 72hp at the rear wheel, it improves stock exhaust rear wheel power delivery by 4hp; meets 97/24/EC/9. Gianneli, Italy;