Thursday, 26 May 2016


Kawasaki sales up by 12% in Europe

Kawasaki's financial results for its full 2015/206 financial year (ended March 31st, 2016) show motorcycle and related powersports vehicle unit sales up in Europe for the period by over 12 percent at 64,000 units (from 57,000 for their 2014/15 financial year).
Motorcycle sales in the United States totalled 51,000 units (up from 49,000 for the year-ago period), but with unit sales in Japan flat at 15,000 units and emerging markets down heavily (340,000 units from 409,000), Kawasaki's overall worldwide motorcycle and related powersports unit sales performance is down by nearly -10 percent (524,000 units from 581,000).
However, the growth in sales to developed markets has seen Kawasaki's motorcycle industry financial performance improve, with net sales +4.3 percent at 333.5 billion Yen (329.2 billion Yen in 2014/2015), generating a +0.8 percent improvement in operating income (to 15.7 billion Yen).
Kawasaki is forecasting motorcycle orders and net sales to be down by some -8.5 percent for its 2016/2017 financial year, with the operating income generated by its motorcycle and related powersports industry sales down by -2.2 percent for the year ahead.

Spanish motorcycle registrations

New motorcycle registrations + 16 percent in Spain in April

According to the latest data released by the motorcycle industry trade association in Spain (ANESDOR), the motorcycle market there was up by +16.32 percent for April 2016, at 13,101 units.

For the first four months of 2016 the motorcycle market is +16.23 percent at 41,594 units (compared to 35,787 units for the first four months of 2015).
Total PTW registrations in Spain are +14.43 percent for the year-to-date, at 46,079 units so far in 2016 (April was +14.59 percent at 14,435 new registrations).
Honda is market share leader so far this year in Spain, with 7,054 units sold in the first four months, representing a 17 percent market share and 22 percent growth over their sales for the first four months of 2015; Yamaha is second with a 14.7 percent market share (6,106 units, +22.3 percent over their sales for the same period last year).
The top selling motorcycle in Spain for the period January to April 2016 was the Kawasaki Z 800. The top selling scooter was the Peugeot Tweet 125 - indeed Peugeot as a whole are up by +54.8 percent in Spain so far this year (Kawasaki are +45.7 percent, BMW +28.7 percent, KTM +19.9 percent, Piaggio +19.5 percent).
The ANESDOR Secretary General welcomed the figures, but also points to issues that he believes still need to be resolved - not least the 40 percent tax burden carried by a new motorcycle. "The review of this and other inefficiencies in Spain's current tax system need to be addressed if we are to incentivise fleet renewal - the average age of motorcycles in Spain is 14.7 years."
Scooters represented 62 percent of new registrations in Spain in April (8,151 units), with road bikes representing 34 percent (4,462 units).

Japanese motorcycle production exports

Japanese motorcycle production exports to Europe +16 percent for first quarter 2016

The latest data released by JAMA, the automotive trade association that includes representation of Japanese motorcycle manufacturers among its membership, shows exports of 250cc+ Japanese made motorcycles to Europe in March at +16.75 percent (22,831 units) and +16.11 percent (63,151 units) for the first three months of 2016.

In total PTW terms exports to Europe were +19.72 percent in March 2016 (24,190 units) and +15.92 percent (66,072 units) for the first three months of the year. Although that is the best number seen for the first quarter since 2012 (67,882 units), it still compares very badly with the 149,402 PTW units produced and exported to Europe from Japanese factories in 2008.
Motorcycle exports to the USA were +31.69 percent in March (9,883 units), but are still down at -2.64 percent (27,994 units) for the first quarter (compared to 162,066 units in the first three months of 2007).
The increasing number of units being made by the Japanese manufacturers elsewhere in Asia, the US and South/Central America goes some way to explaining the data, though the majority of higher value, larger displacement machines, especially those being exported to Europe, are still made in Japan.
Their overseas factories are primarily engaged in making and selling scooters and smaller capacity units in 'emerging' markets (where import tariffs are high) and in making ATV/UTV units - especially in the United States, where demand for such machines is strongest.


Aviator 2.2 helmet

The Aviator 2.2 helmet from Airoh is an evolution of their Aviator 2.1 helmet. Available in three different shell sizes and made with high quality 100% carbon Kevlar, the company says it is one of the lightest and "best performing" helmets in its class.

Feature updates are its reduced weight, the expanded field of vision, a new chinguard air intake, a new rear spoiler and the new maximum protection peak. Care has been taken with the inner lining - made and designed with the latest generation of materials, ensuring breathability and optimal ventilation. Aviator 2.2 is equipped with a dust filter and an emergency system for the release of the cheek pads (A.E.F.R.).

The extensive range of accessories consists of the Go-Pro kit, covers for the air intake that can be used in the event of rain and mud, an extended peak and a screw and tool kit for carrying out any adjustments. Locatelli say this helmet is identical to that used by their professional champions.


Omnia Racing Special Parts

Universal E13 approved 'Lighthouse' fairing kit

This Italian made 'Lighthouse' universal light group kit is "an object of extreme simplicity, but of absolute beauty", according to Naples based Omnia Racing Special Parts.
Available for a wide range of applications, from custom choppers through to Naked bikes and Streetfighter style specials, it features clean lines and contemporary technology in a lightweight, strong and durable brushed aluminium design in which the black parts can be painted in any custom or OE colour to match the bike.
Fully approved (E13) with H4 bulbs, the lights are fully adjustable and the 28.5 cm high, 20 cm wide by 15 cm deep kit mounts easily to any bike with the universal-fit brushed aluminium bracket.
Founded in 1994 by Fabrizio Bertollini, this is one of thousands of parts available to dealers throughout Europe from Omnia Racing.
A leading Italian distributor of famous name parts, accessory and performance brands (such as Ohlins, AFAM, D.I.D, Bitubo, HP Corse, Ixil, BMC filters, Hevik, Kappa, Shad and Rizoma), Omnia also offers access to many hard-to-source parts from manufacturers in Italy (Robby Moto Engineering and Discacciati brakes to name just two) and leading manufacturers throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

The company is looking to expand its already impressive international network by partnering with selected additional franchised dealers and independent retail specialists throughout Europe.



'BRIG' IFT waterproof summer gloves

German specialist Orina has developed a thin and flexible waterproof summer glove using their own custom IFT processing technique in conjunction with an AquaFit membrane.
This technique is said to "minimises the gaps between the different layers of materials, resulting in thin gloves with a perfect grip", according to the company. Anti-bacterial TEXRA lining quickly absorbs moisture and transports it away from the skin to keep the wearer cool and dry.

The outer shell of the Brig IFT is composed of strong but flexible SORATEX material; hard knuckle protection and Carbolex protector at the edge of the hand protect the areas prone to injuries. Stretch panels on the fingers and below the knuckles provide freedom of movement and comfort; the high-quality Technalin.Gold cowhide leather at the palm, paired with silicone printing, allows for a secure grip.

Conductive material on the thumb and index finger allows the operation of most modern smartphones and similar mobile devices.



OptiMate USB chargers, designed for power sport!

Purpose-built for motorcycle and all powersports vehicle applications, OptiMate 2.1A USB chargers are 100% true power rated, with a continuous 2.1A delivered to power hungry devices such as tablets and phones. The built-in Apple 'handshake' guarantees your iPhone or iPad is going to charge at the appropriate maximum - for example the iPhone 6 will charge to 70% in one hour. 

The in-line sealed design protects the electronics against rain or snow and the charge socket's rubber boot and sealing cap removes easily to shake out accumulated dirt or water. If the charger is left hooked-up when the bike is parked, the built-in vehicle battery protection shuts off when the battery voltage drops to 12.5V.
These days a USB charger has become an essential piece of kit for riders, but the problem is that there is more to USB charging than simply the maximum charge current rating. Many shop-bought USB chargers just don't cut it where the rigors of the motorcycle electrics or the riding environment are concerned.

A smart phone or tablet has to 'qualify' the USB charger before it will hook-up to take a charge. First it checks the voltage (5 volts is the USB standard), then it verifies what the maximum current is that the USB charger claims it can deliver. If it gets the wrong signal, you might see the 'Not charging' message pop-up or the phone limits the charge current - in other words, it charges a lot slower than it should, even if the product claims it can deliver more and faster.
The OptiMate range of motorcycle compatible accessories is extensive.  The O-103 comes with the DC 2.5mm plug that is commonly used in all heated apparel - the ideal companion for tankbags fitted with the OptiMate O-30 tankbag power entry; the O-104 comes with a molded BIKE (DIN) 'Hella' plug that fits all BMW, Triumph and Victory OEM sockets; and the O-107's SAE connector fits all industry standard SAE connectors.
The OptiMate O-100 SAE 'stubby' and sealed O-102 with 40" cables both deliver 1000mA and shut off before the battery voltage drops into the 'difficult to crank' level, and the O-110 USB splitter allows a rider to simultaneously charge two devices, such as the GPS and a camera.


UFO Plast

Kombat back protector and shorts

Fuelled by their continued race success, Italian off-road apparel and accessory specialist UFO Plast has further new and updated product lines for 2016.
The company's range is "diverse" to say the least, providing everything the leisure or race off-road rider could require.

Their EU Level-2 approved 'Kombat' back protector, for example, has a multi-layer internal shell made with two layers of flexible and breathable Microshock material with a layer of honeycomb material in between. The internal protection is removable and washable, the straps and belt are adjustable. Entirely made in Italy, the UFO 'Kombat' is available in two graphics, two adult sizes and three kid’s sizes.

Also seen here, their Italian made 'Kombat' shorts are provided with lateral padding to prevent blows and abrasions and removable back padding, all made of Microshock with added technical materials such as Airnet for "outstanding freedom of movement" - sold in adult and children’s sizes in graphics that match the 'Kombat' back protector.

UFO Plast has also extended its range of off-road grips with their new 'Axiom' designs. Said to give superior grip and comfort thanks to the special triple density rubber, they are offered in six colour versions to match the main off-road motorcycle brands, with black background and white insert.