Thursday, 31 March 2016

2016 ACEM Conference

2016 ACEM Conference - "The Safe Ride to the Future"

The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers, ACEM, will be hosting "The Safe Ride to the Future", a major international conference on motorcycling safety on 27 April 2016.

Stephan Schaller

The event will take place at the Renaissance Hotel, 19 rue du Parnasse, Brussels, from 11:00 to 15:00.
"Motorcycles play an increasing role in urban and leisure mobility across Europe. At the same time, motorcyclists remain vulnerable road users requiring dedicated attention. The industry continuously works to ensure high safety levels for powered two-wheeler users. Yet, there is a clear case for increased cooperation between manufacturers, policy-makers and other key stakeholders.
"The conference will explore how all relevant players can take up this challenge and better work together to further improve motorcycling safety in Europe. As part of the conference, ACEM will launch its new European Training Quality Label and organise an exhibition on motorcycle safety technology".

Speakers at the conference are scheduled to include:

- Stephan Schaller (ACEM President, BMW Motorrad President)
- Antonio Perlot (European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) Secretary General)

- Alisa Tiganj (Member of the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Transport and Mobility)

- Inés Ayala Sender (Member of the European Parliament)

- Szabolcs Schmidt (European Commission's Directorate General for Transport and Mobility, Head of the Road Safety Unit)

- Gianfranco Burzio (European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA),
Safety Director)

- Antonio Avenoso (European Transport and Safety Council Director)

To see the full programme and to book see


Ducati teams-up with Arai and Rev'It!

Ducati has teamed-up with Arai and Rev’It! for a full-face helmet and textile jacket combo that is designed for "greater riding safety in bad weather or in conditions of poor visibility", according to the Italian motorcycle manufacturer.

The HV-1 Pro full-face helmet is produced for Ducati by Arai. Its external shell in Super Fibre Laminate makes it robust and lightweight, ensuring optimum ergonomics for the best fit.
In creating the HV-1 Arai-Ducati, great attention has been paid to ventilation, ensured by a series of air vents and extractors that optimise the flow inside the shell, thus allowing excellent visibility and preventing any misting or condensation on the visor. The graphics stand out for their chromatic asymmetry, which coordinates with the fluorescent yellow paint of the reflective details.
Equipped with the Pro Shade System - a combination of two visors (one transparent and one that acts as a sun shield) that are raised and lowered with a simple hand movement - the HV-1 Pro helmet is said to pair perfectly with the Tour HV fabric jacket, produced by Rev’It!. 

Thanks to the removable liner, the Tour HV jacket can be used all year round and is particularly appropriate for use in bad weather, when the certified hi-vis yellow fabric inserts and reflective prints ensure greater safety. The jacket is equipped with CE protectors on the shoulders and elbows and suitable for use with a G2 Wave back protector (to be purchased separately). The internal membrane guarantees that the item is 100% waterproof.


Yamaha dealers "Yard Building" again for 2016

Yamaha Motor Europe's 2016 'Yard Built' dealer competition will see Yamaha’s European dealers again "mix it" with some of the best custom bike builders in the world to create their own 'Yard Built' projects from Yamaha’s Sport Heritage range.
Yamaha say that "dealers have been busy over the winter and now they need the public's help to choose the best build!

"Further to recent collaborations with iconic builders such as Portugal’s 'it roCkS!bikes' and Yard Built newcomers GS Mashin of Switzerland have added fuel to the fire and motivated the dealers to really pull out all the stops. The results show that the only limits are the imagination. The builds prove everyone can take a brand new bike from the Sport Heritage range and personalise it to their liking - opening the world of custom possibilities to bike owners who have considered their own custom, but were afraid of the technical knowledge required".
The competition has simple rules - the bike needed to be from the current Sport Heritage range, and an unspecified number of genuine aftermarket accessories had to be used.
This year Yamaha Motor Europe is awarding special prizes to the best custom build in the following three engine categories: single-cylinder and parallel-twin, V-twin and V-four and finally inline-four. Voting closes on the 31st March. Yamaha say they will be opening up the competition to the public later in the year.
The initiative started two years ago with a Yamaha Yard Built campaign that saw invited customisers collaborating to create builds based on the Sport Heritage range. The competition last year then saw European Yamaha dealers create 41 of their own interpretations of the platforms - over ten thousand bike fans from across Europe cast votes online to help choose four category winners for unveiling at the Glemseck 101 event in Germany in September.

“This project has proved a great validation that the custom scene is truly alive and kicking - not just in the niche custom world, but that it has now been embraced across Europe by our dealerships”, commented Yamaha Motor Europe Product Manager Shun Miyazawa.
“The end results have been really impressive, with some stunning builds that wouldn't be out of place sitting alongside the top custom builders. More importantly it shows that our Sport Heritage range of motorcycles is the perfect base for personalisation".
Many of the builds featured genuine Yamaha as well as aftermarket bolt-on accessories, showing that riders can achieve quality results without any cutting or welding to the frame.
The VMAX category winner was Liberty Yam of France with a tribute to legendary Yamaha France icon ‘JCO’ - muscular Café-Dragster build in 60th anniversary yellow and black colours. The XJR1300 class was won by internationally respected German dealership Motorrad Klein with a purposeful, race-inspired machine that made more than a passing reference to WSB racing star Noriyuki Haga.
The winning XV950 came from Portuguese dealer Yamaha Motor 7 with a dual colour scheme scrambler-inspired build; the winning SR400 was a classic café racer style interpretation of the popular SR platform by Motor Madrid.


Polaris 2015 Q4 and full-year results

Polaris Industries Inc. has reported that its sales for the full year 2015 totalled a record $4,719.3 million, an increase of +5 percent compared to sales of $4,479.6 million for the full year 2014.

Sales for the fourth quarter of 2015 totalled $1,105.6 million, a decrease of -13 percent over last year's fourth quarter sales of $1,275.0 million. Including their respective PG&A related sales, motorcycle sales were +33 percent for the fourth quarter at $162.6 million and +67 percent for the full year at $698.3 million.
The growth was primarily due to continued strong retail sales for Indian motorcycles and the Slingshot "moto-roadster." North American consumer retail demand for the Polaris motorcycle segment, including Victory, Indian Motorcycle and Slingshot, was up low-single digits percent during the fourth quarter, while overall motorcycle industry retail sales of 900cc and above declined high-single digits percent in the fourth quarter.
Polaris say that interest in the Slingshot continued to be strong as the Company completed a first full retail year for it - a year that far exceeded the Company's expectations for sales and profitability. 

Product availability for Indian Motorcycle and Slingshot improved considerably in the 2015 fourth quarter as throughput at the Company's Spirit Lake, Iowa motorcycle plant increased and the new paint facility purchased in Spearfish, South Dakota, began production.
Victory Motorcycles’ retail sales were down mid-teens percent in the 2015 fourth quarter primarily due to continued low product availability. For the fourth quarter and full year 2015, Polaris' motorcycle business gained a significant amount of market share.
"While 2015 was a difficult year, we did manage to grow market share in each of our businesses and increased sales and earnings per share for the sixth consecutive year. That said, our performance failed to meet our earlier projections, as both external and internal challenges restrained growth and profitability", said Scott Wine, Polaris' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

"The strengthening dollar and weakening oil markets, combined with an unseasonably warm winter, constrained demand for off-road vehicles and snowmobiles, placing pressure on dealer inventory and forcing us to curtail shipments in the fourth quarter.
"While our execution to plan did not meet our historically high standards, we have taken numerous actions to position Polaris for better performance in 2016.
"Our outlook for 2016 reflects another volatile year in powersports driven by near-term growth pressures from weak end markets as the threat of a worldwide economic slowdown looms. However, we have been in this situation before, and we know how to manage through difficult economic climates. We will continue to optimise dealer inventory, aggressively manage operating costs and other risk exposures, and provide our end-consumer with products and services that exceed their expectations.
"Concurrently we will continue to invest in projects that accelerate future growth and our lean journey, such as the Huntsville, Alabama plant, which is scheduled to begin production in the second quarter of this year. I believe we have the best team in powersports, a strong and diverse portfolio of brands and products, broad capabilities across all our disciplines, and a proven strategy that will continue to create value for our stakeholders in the years to come".


Misano cartridge for Africa Twin

The R&D department at leading Italian suspension specialist Andreani has added to its popular Misano range of fork cartridge kits with this new fitment for Honda's 2016 Africa Twin.

Developed with over 25 years of race experience and track success, this new Misano cartridge is designed specifically for the OEM forks with a 20 mm diameter piston and increased oil passages.

Adjustable in compression, rebound and spring preload, it features a sophisticated hydraulic system that guarantees excellent braking, turn performances and increased comfort.



KV8 Multivision demi-jet

Kappa's KV8 Multivision demi-jet features nine versions in four lines: 'Basic', 'Cosmo', 'National' and 'U-Star'.

Made in polymers, it weighs just one kilogramme, with a removable 'ecoleather' external finish. It features an anti-allergenic inner lining and removable cheek pads and is described as comfortable in cool temperatures, but with the capacity to provide effective ventilation in summer. As standard the KV8 is supplied with a short, transparent, anti-scratch and glasses-friendly visor, with additional options including a (75%) smoked version and a longer, more protective visor - also available transparent or (75%) smoked.

The 'Basic' includes basic versions of the KV8, in gloss white and matt black with Garnet red inner lining. The 'Cosmo' shows a clever use of a bi-colour effect on the shell with "sinuous" lines in two versions with graphics in white/black and silver/black and a black inner lining. The 'National' makes stylish use of the Italian, UK and US flag and has a black inner lining. The 'U-Star' is characterised by "stellar" graphics, with the same pattern used for the two versions - matt silver shell with red and blue graphics and gloss shell white with graphics in an attractive black pattern with black inner lining.
The helmet has a one size shell, weighs 1,000g and has a buckle with quick-release system and micrometric adjustment; options include Bluetooth interphone I302BK.

KAPPA S.r.l.


Wunderlich goes hybrid

German BMW parts and accessory specialist Wunderlich made a big impact at EICMA in November last year with their latest customised BMW special.
Having already shown a 156 horsepower GS LC based Scrambler prototype last year, at EICMA they unveiled what they say is the first BMW R 1200 GS LC ever seen with additional front wheel drive. 

Always "stretching boundaries", Wunderlich's follow-up to their 156 hp GS LC Scrambler concept and "White Star", a 30th anniversary R nineT Cafe Racer conversion, was this Hybrid GS conversion. Featuring dual-wheel drive courtesy of a regenerative braking system, a 7.6 kw electric front wheel gearbox delivers power-assisted traction to help power the GS through the dirt, up slopes and through curves, and with an electric only option the bike will make up to 20 kph with the engine turned off and 3 kph power-assisted reverse

Wunderlich CEO Frank Hoffmann said that "our concept vehicles have become a traditional feature that symbolise our expertise, creativity and manufacturing capabilities. They are all about showing what is possible and establishing design standards that speak to the quality and ergonomics of our products".
The Wunderlich GS hybrid has a ten-kilowatt electrical front wheel gearbox, which offers several new "sturdy" advantages. The big enduro does not just have much more propulsion on the ground, but the powered front wheel also draws the GS through curves quickly. "The increased performance can be clearly felt in the driving operation", said Hoffmann.
The emphasis is on efficiency - for example the energy produced while braking the GS is used to recharge the battery. The front wheel operation, which can be adjusted while riding, can be used entirely on its own. It can operate at up to 20 kilometres per hour on electric with the combustion motor turned off, and used as manoeuvring assistance, the electric motor even allows for reverse function at three kilometres per hour - extremely practical for parking the heavy GS on a slope.

Wunderlich have a wide range of accessories available to enhance the R 1200 GSD riding and ownership experience, including lights, covers, screens and  strengtheners, risers, cruise controls, hand-guards, footrests/pegs and levers, mirrors, protectors and luggage - a massive range of hard and soft luggage options, from their X-2 series hard cases as seen on the Hybrid to this tankbag kit "Safe", a multi-functional travel companion with a 3M-SCOTCH reflection fabric and 25-litre capacity with big, detachable map compartment

Nearly all the changes to the GS series, including the chassis set-up to balance out the additional weight, were developed in-house by the Wunderlich development and engineering team, with assistance for implementation of the electric concept from Italian electric mobility specialist Evolt, who co-developed some of the electrical components.
Of course, when not "stretching the boundaries", Wunderlich's day job is designing and manufacturing parts and accessories that are made to improve the riding experience, and here we also see one of their recent product line additions - a cockpit fairing for the R1200R LC.



MIZU crash cages

German parts and accessory specialist MIZU manufactures a wide range of parts and accessories for many popular motorcycle makes and models - from adjustable clutch and brake levers, lowering kits and swingarm extensions to triple trees and risers, carbon fibre body parts and covers and a wide range of RST brand parts for Harley-Davidson and custom bikes of all kinds.

Seen here for KTM models, their crash protection cages deliver important protection both off and on-road. Manufactured in high quality stainless steel, they protect the engine and the most important components and accessories.
Shown here in KTM orange, they are also available polished and as model-specific configurations for the rigorous demands of R1200 GS riders.