Thursday, 24 November 2016

MV Agusta

MV Agusta secures undisclosed investment

Troubled Italian motorcycle manufacturer MV Agusta Holding (a major investor in MV Agusta Motor SpA) has announced that it has signed a “binding agreement” (November 17th) for “a capital increase” with New York City based asset manager Black Ocean Group.

MV Agusta CEO, Giovanni Castiglioni

The recapitalisation is one stage in a restructuring plan that the company says “has the aim of consolidating its leadership in the production of high-end motorcycles under the MV AGUSTA brand. The closing of the transaction is expected to coincide with the homologation of [the] MV AGUSTA restructuring plan”.
Black Ocean itself is part of an international holding group, the Ocean Group, an investment group founded by entrepreneurs Oliver Ripley and Timur Sardarov in 2005. Ocean Group’s core business is “creating and building businesses” with interests in a diverse range of sectors, including private aviation, agriculture, real estate, corporate finance, banking and services, technology, media and internet, with offices in New York, London, Geneva and Moscow.
Oliver Ripley, CEO of Black Ocean, said of the investment: “We are very pleased to become part of such an iconic Italian company and excited by the opportunity to build this into a truly international brand and industry leader”.
Giovanni Castiglioni, CEO of MV Agusta, is quoted as saying “I am very pleased that we have reached this agreement with Black Ocean. Beyond the strengthening of our capital, which is important for the future growth of MV Agusta, I strongly believe that Mr Sardarov, Mr Ripley and their global team will be able to contribute with their entrepreneurial and managerial skills in the consolidation of MV Agusta as a key player in the super premium motorcycle market”.

The details of the agreement have not been disclosed, with no indication as to how this will affect the 25 percent equity position that AMG Mercedes has in MV Agusta, or Castiglioni’s stated aim of disengaging with AMG – a relationship that he was also fulsome about when it was announced, but which has turned sour in the past year.
In March 2016 it was announced that the company had filed a "Composition" with its creditors – an Italian variation on the theme of what is known in the United States as a Chapter 11 creditor protection filing.
The intention was to allow the company some time in which to restructure its finances - in MV Agustas' case that meant dealing with the 40m euro of debt that was reported on its books at that stage. The filing gave MV Agusta to the end of 2016 to renegotiate its finances, granting them an interim 'payment holiday'.
The company said that in 2015 it achieved 100m euro in sales (some +30 percent up on 2014), with turnover growing from 30m euro in just five years. However, plagued by back orders, MV has had to slow down production from the 8,000 plus units at its peak and accept that its ambitions to see that number grow into the 15,000 to 20,000 bracket were unrealistic.
The restructuring plan will need to see the rationalisation of its 20 plus over-populated offer, massively reduce its 15 percent of turnover R&D spend, generate sufficient capital to allow it to service its debt burden, fund ongoing production and put it in a position to buy back the 25 percent stake it sold to AMG Mercedes for 30m in 2014.
Indeed, the company will also need to repay a 15m loan it took from a consortium of Italian banks in late 2014 to top up its cash flow (having burned through the AMG cash and the $20m dowry Harley-Davidson left it with in order to be able to tackle the AMG 25 percent issue). That loan was conditional on AMG's shareholding not being reduced below 20 percent without it being first repaid in full.


Modeka 70th anniversary

German apparel specialist Modeka is celebrating its 70th anniversary, and to mark the occasion the company will introduce a jubilee jacket at INTERMOT.

Called 'August 70' in honour of August Oberkoenig, who founded the company 70 years ago in 1946, the vintage look jacket is made from washed, used-look buffalo leather with perforated leather for ventilation at the chest, top of the arms and back.
Additional features include removable CE protectors at the shoulders and elbows and a loop for attaching to jeans; sizes S to 5XL. Available from October 2016.



Forcefield ‘Tornado Advance’

Comfort on a motorcycle is of paramount importance. Being warm, comfortable and protected not only makes the ride more enjoyable, but also helps concentration and aids awareness when needed most. The aim is to make sure you can move, with little restriction or discomfort.
Forcefield says that the technical approach they have used for the design, construction and materials of their ‘Tornado Advance’ range has resulted in a product that is able to work at its best while keeping the rider warm, dry and comfortable.
Tornado Advance “is a range that keeps the wind out and has thermal properties - the perfect combination as a mid-layer”. Defender fabric (forward facing) is windproof, water resistant and breathable, it has a water resistant rating of 8000mm, so will help keep the rider dry, and there is also a micro fleece lining.
The material used to complement Defender is thermal and breathable Thermolite, which is made with engineered hollow-core fibres that trap air for greater insulation; it is said to dry 20% faster than other thermal materials and 50% faster than cotton. Thermolite is also anti-bacterial, stopping the development of bacteria caused by perspiration.



Exan XSR 700 options

Italian exhaust manufacturer Exan has a range of exhaust options available for Yamaha’s well received 689cc twin cylinder XSR 700.
Their Black X-Evo is a curved trapezoidal carbon with “sinuous lines for a cool and aggressive look with all the details typical of artisan production”.

The X-Black Ages style seems to “break” with the decidedly vintage styling of the XSR 700, “but the apparent contrast immediately creates an irresistible charm and mix”; available in two different materials - stainless steel plain, satin and black.
Decidedly more traditional, the ‘Classic’ line of round silencers with black stainless steel end caps and retro-style spout “perfectly complements the lines of the XSR 700”.
 The Taper type II has a traditional line – a “timeless product that is a natural for the XSR 700. The Conical type II is available in stainless steel clear and black”.
Extremely light, regardless of the model and the material chosen, these Exan options promise “improved driveability thanks to the savings in weight, and with an extraordinary power delivery at all engine speeds”. All these Exan muffler designs have a removable dB killer.



SHAD luggage options

Spanish luggage specialist SHAD has a wide range of accessories to increase the loading space of BMW’s popular S 1000 XR and other popular 2016 models – all sold with mounting plate and hardware.

Their SH49 is described as the most functional top case in SHAD’s high-end range, holding up to two full-face helmets, has a reinforced structure, Smart lock system and a 3-position hermetic closure. Options include ergonomic backrest and brake light.
SHAD say their SH48 is a “reference in design an innovation, a high-end case with an elegant and avant-garde shape, which has the highest technical performance and materials of the highest quality”. Said to be the lightest case of its class, it has a dual helmet 48 litre capacity, Smart lock system, 3-position pressure closure and retractile automatic handle. For the first time a case offers two colour options for the side reinforcements: dark grey or new titanium.
Their popular SH36 side case has a new integrated 3P side mounting system and rigid frame. The E-22 semi-rigid, extendable tank bag has enough capacity to hold a full-face helmet, a waterproof cover for mobile phone/tablet and a device recharge space. It is attached with a universal tank base, has a 16L to 22L capacity and an optional universal USB motorcycle adapter.



New Richa jackets, ‘Tracer Evo’ boots and ‘Extreme’ gloves

Richa has been celebrating its 60th anniversary this year with a new product launch blitz for 2016, massively updating and adding to their range.
Their CE-approved leather (with textile inserts) racing style, ‘Tracer Evo’ boots feature a waterproof Hipora membrane, plastic ankle and heel protection and a rubber racing sole for grip.

The ‘Airstream’ jacket is made from 600D polycordura with abrasion resistant ripstop. It has a comfortable polymesh lining, detachable PU coated taffeta membrane and full mesh ventilation panels on the sleeves and side. Featuring D30 armour at the elbows and shoulders and a CE Level 1 approved back protector as standard, there’s a thermo removable liner and membrane, waist adjustment through a press button system, plus retro-reflective technology on the upper arms, chest and back. 

Available for both men and women, Richa’s ‘Daytona’ leather jacket is made from high-quality buffalo leather with a classic cotton lining. It has D30 protection at the elbows and shoulders and a back protector as standard. It features a removable polyester thermo liner, short connection zipper for trousers, waist adjustment, a soft Neoprene collar and adjustable cuff width. 

Finally, their ‘Extreme’ Gore-Tex gloves are made from goat and cow leather with Nyspan and Neoprene and have a breathable windproof and waterproof insert. There are retro reflex prints for extra visibility, double Velcro wrist closures, an extra long cuff and hard TPU knuckle, finger and palm protectors. 



Lady Rock boots

First shown as a prototype at EICMA in 2015, 'Lady Rock' was mainly aimed at the pillion passenger looking for a fashionable ankle boot. The cropped calf leather upper with a leopard print pattern caught the eye of the female audience, and their interest and enthusiasm convinced Stylmartin to put it into production.
Although a passenger-specific boot does not require many of the heavy duty rider boot protective features, this is still a high-spec boot that retains certain signature elements such as the Vibram sole with its anti-slip grip and a breathable and waterproof lining. Fastening is by laces; the removable/changeable footbed is made from breathable, anatomically designed microfibre.



Desierto IV fairing

Touratech has updated its proven Desierto fairing programme with a Desierto IV fairing for the BMW R1200 GS/Adventure (LC) - “reinterpreting the concept of distinctive looks and maximum riding comfort”.

The characteristic Desierto fairing design sweeps above the headlight, and the distinctive wedge-shaped side sections “create a seamless link between fairing and tank”. The side sections are available in black, grey or white. The windscreen itself is at a steeper angle than the original, which is said to give a superior ride feel, enhancing the sense of space, and at the same time optimising wind protection without adding turbulence at helmet level. The standard adjustment configurations are used in the new Desierto design, so the height and angle of the windscreen can be modified as required while riding.
Touratech offers four different windscreens for the Desierto IV, a small version that is visibly lower than the original GS screen, providing greater ventilation and intended for more sporty riding, and a significantly higher screen for touring and travelling. Both are available clear or tinted.