Friday, 10 February 2017

BMW Motorrad

BMW sets new sales record in 2016, up by +7.5 percent in Europe

BMW Motorrad achieved another record year in 2016, selling 145,032 motorcycles and maxi- scooters as it continues to close in on its 200,000 by 2010 objective, representing +5.9 percent growth (136,963 units in 2015). 

Stephan Schaller, President BMW Motorrad: “2016 was once again a highly successful year for BMW Motorrad. For the sixth time in succession we have been able to set a new sales record”

Stephan Schaller, President BMW Motorrad: “2016 was once again a highly successful year for BMW Motorrad. For the sixth time in succession we have been able to set a new sales record. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all our customers worldwide for the enormous trust they have placed in us. Over the last six years, BMW Motorrad has increased its deliveries to customers by around 50% (2010: 98,047 units / 2016: 145,032 units). We are well on the way to achieving our planned sales target of 200,000 vehicles in 2020”.
The most marked growth in sales in 2016 was seen in all European markets. There was an increase in deliveries to customers in France (13,350 units / +6.4 %), Italy (12,300 units / +10.3 %), Spain (9,520 units / 19.4 %) and the UK (8,782 units / +7.1 %), for example. All in all, some 7.5% more vehicles were supplied to customers in Europe, including Germany, as compared to the previous year. 

The Chinese market continues to show considerable growth potential for BMW Motorrad with a dynamic increase in sales. As compared to the equivalent period of the previous year, deliveries increased by +52.7 % to 4,580 units. Sales in Thailand (1,819 units / +42.1 %) and Japan (+ 6.7 %) were also well above the previous year.
Germany remains the biggest single market for BMW Motorrad. With 24,894 units sold, BMW Motorrad achieved growth of 4.5% and led the market as a whole. BMW Motorrad is also ahead of the field in the relevant BMW segment over 500cc capacity in Spain, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia and South Africa. In the USA, BMW Motorrad achieved its second-best sales result to date with 13,730 units.
The water-cooled R 1200 GS is the most successful BMW motorcycle.  The top-selling BMW Motorrad series is traditionally the R series. Equipped with the hallmark BMW Boxer engines, the share of sales achieved by these motorcycles in 2016 was 77,787 units or 53.6 %. At the model level, the two travel enduro bikes R 1200 GS and GS Adventure led the BMW top-seller ranking. In a significantly tougher competitive environment, +12.1 % more large enduro models were sold than in the previous year (R 1200 GS: 25,336 units / + 7.0 % and R 1200 GS Adventure: 21,391 units / + 18.8 %). The touring classic R 1200 RT followed with 9,648 units (-11.9 %) in third position.

R 1200 GS – BMW’s top selling model

The sporty BMW S models – the Supersports bike S 1000 RR, the power roadster S 1000 R and the adventure bike S 1000 XR – have developed into an additional pillar of strength within the BMW motorcycle range. A total of 23,686 S models were supplied worldwide. The share of these models in the total sales volume was 16.3 %. The Supersports motorcycle S 1000 RR (9,016 units / - 5.8 %) and the adventure bike S 1000 XR (8,835 units / + 74.6 %) are currently fourth and fifth in the BMW Motorrad ranking.
In 2017, BMW Motorrad continues its new model offensive with the widest range of motorcycles in the company’s history. As Schaller says: “We intend to remain the benchmark in the segment of premium motorcycles. To this end, we will continue to consistently pursue our model offensive in the BMW Motorrad segments of 310 to 1600 cubic centimetres capacity. For the 2017 season, we will be offering our customers 14 new or revised models”.
The new G 310 GS is due to be launched in the second half of the year. Like the G 310 R does in the segment of BMW roadsters, the second model of the BMW G series transfers the hallmark features of the GS family into the new BMW segment below 500 cubic centimetres. In the “Heritage” world of experience, customers will have a choice of five different models in 2017. The R nineT derivatives “Pure”, “Racer” and “Urban G/S” extend a range that will also include the R nineT Scrambler and the freshly revised lead model R nineT. While each of the five models has its own distinct and classic form, they all share the unique air-cooled Boxer engine. Whether featuring specific improvements or radical revisions, there are new products to be found in all series – such as the new R 1200 GS, the new S 1000 R and the new K 1600 GT and GTL.
The new K 1600 B is targeted specifically at the US market. With the launch of the “Bagger”, BMW Motorrad is extending the luxury segment with the in-line 6-cylinder engine to include a highly emotional and exclusive motorcycle. As Stephan Schaller says: “In the years to come, the USA will be the second most important market for BMW Motorrad after Germany. We see great potential there. In the next few years we aim to tangibly increase our market share in the USA. In fact we’re already laying the foundation for long-term growth by introducing new products tailored specifically to market needs such as the new bagger and the classic R nineT family in the “Heritage” segment, and we’re also extending our sales and distribution structure”.
As part of the planned expansion, BMW Motorrad is enlarging its worldwide dealer network. Especially on the American continent, and in Asia in particular there are plans to expand to a total of 1,500 sites.
Based on its comprehensive strategy, BMW Motorrad says it remains on track for growth. Schaller went on to say: “With our exceptional model offensive we have laid the foundation for a successful motorcycle season in 2017. We feel very confident moving ahead into the new year, and we expect to see ongoing sustainable and profitable growth. These forecasts, of course, assume a stable economic environment”.

Spanish motorcycle registrations

Motorcycle registrations up in 2016, further growth predicted for 2017

According to the latest data available from ANESDOR, the motorcycle industry trade association in Spain, new motorcycle registrations for 2016 were up by +17.08 percent at 154,074 units. This is the best result since 212,467 motorcycles were registered in 2008, and the third year of sustained growth since the low of 87,498 motorcycles were registered in 2013. 

As has been seen elsewhere in Europe, registrations in the final two or three months of 2016 do not necessarily reflect sales as manufacturers and their dealers advance-registered existing Euro 3 compliant inventory in advance of the December 31st cut-off – Euro 4 compliance became mandatory for all new motorcycle models throughout Europe effective January 1st 2017.
There were 171,304 PTWs registered in Spain, an increase of +16.07 percent over 2015. This represents the best performance since 177,563 units were registered in 2009, and the third year of sustained growth since the market low of 102,580 registrations in 2013.  For context however, there is some way to go before returning to pre-recession levels, which saw 395,653 PTWs registered in 2007.
Moped registrations in Spain were +7.70 percent for 2016 at 17,230 units. High displacement motorcycles saw the fastest growth of 21.6 percent, with 62,625 units registered in 2016.
Over the last 6 years, the total number of motorcycles on the road in Spain has increased by 10 percent, from 2,311,346 in 2007 to 2,996,212 in 2015. The number of 7-year-old+ motorcycles has grown by 62 percent during that period. The average age of motorcycles is 14.7 years, which compares unfavourably to other countries such as the UK (13.7), France (10.5) and Italy (8.6) – ANESDOR are advocating incentive plans for new motorcycles.
ANESDOR’s sustainable plan for the future includes increased availability of parking for motorcycles, improved visibility at intersections, create and expand the advanced stop zone (and facilitate filtering), excluding motorcycles from pollution-related movement restrictions, improving the taxation on bikes (Spain has the highest taxation for 250-500cc motorcycles in Europe), asphalt maintenance campaigns and promoting campaigns for harmonious cooperation between all types of road users.
ANESDOR Secretary General, Jose Maria Riano, said that “2016 has been a year of consolidation of the positive trend of PTW growth”. He added that “growth is influenced by the change in European emissions regulations for motorcycles, with Euro 4 having an effect on very strong growth in recent months”.
He went on to highlight the positive contribution of the motorcycle in urban mobility: “The evolution of the market indicates that the motorcycle is chosen by millions of people for their daily commutes, and increasingly by logistics companies. This choice derives from the growing awareness about lower environmental impact among other factors”.
Looking ahead, ANESDOR predict a 3 percent growth in 2017 and expect to register 176,500 units (157,700 motorcycles and 17,800 mopeds), in spite of the adverse effect of Euro 4 regulations.


SC-Project wins HRC contract

Honda Racing Corporation has announced a new partnership with Milan, Italy based exhaust manufacturer SC-Project as their official Repsol Honda Team exhaust system technical sponsor. The SC-Project logo will feature on the RC213V bikes of reigning World Champion Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Only founded some 10 years ago by Marco De Rossi (seen here on the left) and Stefano Lavazza (right), SC-Project has quickly built into a major player in the performance exhaust market, selling through a global distribution network and producing over 40,000 exhausts a year.
The brand is strongly established in the racing world, having enjoyed many years of technical cooperation and racing success at the highest level, including the MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 and SBK World Championships. SC-Project was technical partner to Johann Zarco’s Moto2 team as it earned the 2015 and ‘16 world championships.

For HRC, Tetsuhiro Kuwata, HRC Director and General Manager of their Race Operations Management Division, said “we are happy to welcome SC-Project as official sponsor of exhaust systems for our Repsol Honda Team. SC-Project has strong experience at the top level of worldwide motorcycle racing championships, and we are sure this alliance will prove very successful in terms of mutual cooperation and racing achievements”.
Marco De Rossi and Stefano Lavazza said that “for us it’s an honour and a joy to be technical sponsor of exhaust systems for the most important team in MotoGP. Currently SC-Project is one of the leaders in exhaust systems for motorbikes, with leading technology developed at the highest level of competition. We are sure that the collaboration with HRC will improve our brand profile and exhaust technology still further.
“After 2015 and 2016 saw us gain the world championship title as exhaust supplier for Zarco in Moto2, we are proud to now have the opportunity to battle for the senior world championship with Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa”.


Kellermann bullet light upgrades

Award-winning German lighting specialist Kellermann, originators of the bar-end indicator and bullet light concepts, are now offering the Bullet 1000 PL – a front indicator with integral position light from the very successful Bullet 1000 series – now also available with white light rings.

The Bullet 1000 PL, with yellow position light and a distinctly and classically American character, is already a big success in the Harley scene. But many motorcycle riders also expressed interest in a version with white light rings. This more European style position light complements the conventional white light of the main headlight.
Inventor Guido Kellermann says “lights are always a question of personal taste, and we are happy to respond to customer demand with the introduction of the Bullet 1000 PL white version”.
The Bullet 1000 with position light offers yellow or white park/marker lights in different materials and colours/finishes. Additionally, the Bullet PL white has the European ECE approval R6/R7 and therefore can be mounted on motorcycles and other vehicles, for example classic and custom cars, roadsters and hot rods.
The Bullet 1000 PL white is an indicator with an integrated position light in the shape of a continuous white light ring. 

Guided by the motto ‘Classic meets Hightech’, an indicator in the classic bullet shape, equipped with modern LED technology and many additional functions, was an award-winning concept at the time and “still represents the Gold Standard in terms of lighting power, durability, style and functionality”, according to Guido Kellermann.

One unique and uniquely useful feature of the Bullet 1000 PL is that when the indicator is activated, the position light is temporarily switched off to allow greater indicator visibility. Shortly after the indicator stops, the position light is activated again with the same fast response time built-in to Kellermann’s Bullet 1000 Extreme.
The position lights can be mounted either on the original park/marker light base or connected to the dashboard light of the motorcycle.
Kellermann launched the unique LED indicator series Bullet 1000 two years ago. Guided by the motto ‘Classic meets Hightech’, an indicator in the classic bullet shape, equipped with modern LED technology and many additional functions, was an award-winning concept at the time and “still represents the Gold Standard in terms of lighting power, durability, style and functionality”, according to Guido Kellermann.
Kellermann’s newly developed HPT (Homogenous Projection Technology) emits an intense, ultra-quick response homogeneous, ring-shaped light combined with a smooth reaction of the internal reflector, resulting in a “harmonic turn signal pulse”. The restrained design shape of the quality black, chrome or matt chrome finish metal housing blends well into most bike designs.
The Bullet 1000 is now available in four options - indicator only (Bullet 1000 Extreme), indicator with yellow position light (Bullet 1000 PL), indicator with white position light (Bullet 1000 PL white) and indicator with break and rear light (Bullet 1000 DF).


Design Engineering Inc.

DEI Titanium exhaust wrap in black

Avon Lake, Ohio based thermal barrier and sound control specialist Design Engineering is now offering its best-selling Titanium exhaust wrap with LR (lava rock) technology with a great looking satin black finish.

Extremely popular with customisers and performance tuners, Black Titanium is woven from the same high performing VR material as the original Titanium wrap - which is engineered to be stronger than glass fibre wraps for improved thermal performance, durability and reliability.
Installation is easy because the material is more pliable and no pre-wetting is needed. It is temperature resistant to 1,800 degrees F (nearly 1,000 degrees C) and is available in all of Design Engineering’s popular roll lengths.
Founded in 1995, DEI is a major manufacturer and supplier of high performance automotive aftermarket products selling worldwide to all sectors of the international powersports market. DEI specialises in the development of thermal and acoustic performance products.



Vertex 2017 4-stroke off-road pistons

In addition to their specific 2-stroke pistons range, Italian specialist Vertex has introduced updated high performance 4-stroke pistons for 2017 off-road models.

They are available in a choice of four different application-specific versions: Replica, High Compression, Big Bore and forged and treated high-resistance aeronautic alloy ‘GP-Racers Choice’ brand versions.
The ‘GP-Racers Choice’ range is noted for its top racing technology derived ‘T-Bridge’ exclusive feature – a racing profile and specially shaped head that allows the maximum compression ratio and great performance without any loss of reliability. 

The piston is coated with molybdenum disulphide to ensure flow and wear resistance, and features a nitride ring set, DLC coated pin and moly-coated, anti-rotation external hook clips. The ‘GP-Racers Choice’ range is available for Honda CRF 250/450, Kawasaki KX250/450F, Yamaha YZ250/450F, Suzuki RM-Z 250/450, Husqvarna FC 250/350/450 and KTM SXF250/350/450.



"Iron" ankle boots

Calzaturificio Antis, established in Montebelluna, Italy, in 1970 by Antonio Binotto, still draws on its design inspiration from the founder’s creative vision in their Stylmartin brand.

Previewed at EICMA, the "Iron" boot is the latest member of their Sneaker/Urban range, made of full grain calf leather, with a water-repellent graffiti finish and artisan style features such as the eyelets, hand-waxed laces and the fire-branded Stylmartin logo.

PU ankle protectors are concealed inside the padded and stitched cuffs, with a double leather overlay protecting the toe cap and gear shift contact area. There is an anatomical, removable, breathable and micro-perforated footbed and the sole is of two-colour finish moulded rubber construction with black anti-slip grip.



Showa aftermarket suspension technology

Since making their EICMA debut in 2014, Japanese suspension giant Showa continue to develop an aftermarket offer that combines original equipment production values with proprietary damping technology in equal measure.

 BFF (Balance Free Front Fork, left) and BFRC (Balance Free Rear Cushion) electronically controlled dampers feature built-in sensors to convert conventional suspensions to “semi- active”

Last year saw Showa introduce its BFF (Balance Free Front Fork) and BFRC (Balance Free Rear Cushion) ¬electronically controlled dampers – dampers with built-in stroke sensor, making the suspension “semi-active”.
Tested on race bikes in the All Japan Road Race Championship (JSB1000) in 2015, the system has an electronically controlled valve and can be installed on existing motorcycle dampers to “generate optimal damping force according to the vehicle state”.
Developed specifically for high-end motorcycle applications (rather than using adapted automotive designs), the variable solenoid valve can provide “superior compression and rebound response. The use of a solenoid valve, including the oil pressure valve that operates the needle, made it possible to reduce the total valve size so that it can be installed in conventional dampers without modifying the damper body”.
The built-in-sensor sends information to the semi-active control system, so the suspension alone can provide appropriate damper characteristics through electronic control; by using the information provided by the IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit – increasingly a standard equipment item on larger displacement machines, especially sports models), vehicle dynamics are fed-back to make finer controls than were previously available.
Showa state that their aim is to develop a product that is capable of providing a natural riding feel that is equivalent to, or better than, the conventional dampers with circumstance-specific optimal control over suspension functions. 

Under the “Performance Pleasure Progress” exhibit theme, this year’s EICMA Showa booth promised to offer and deliver “ultimate comfortable travelling with fun” to their customers, through their “strong commitment to achieving superior performance when developing our technologies”.
Additional products included a premium upgrade kit for the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin and ‘A-Kit’ for the CRF250R/450R and a BFF/BFRC-lite premium upgrade kit for the Kawasaki ZX10R.
We will be reporting in detail on these in upcoming editions of International Dealer News, but something that caught our attention were two new coating and fork tube finish developments. Showa’s “Emerald Coating” is said to be the world’s first original thin film- forming technology, whereby the inner tube and rod surfaces are polished by a special process to achieve reduced friction and are treated with a multi-layer titanium based emerald colour coating that is superior in hardness and wear resistance.
Said to improve tyre responsiveness on all road conditions due to reduced friction, this new titanium based surface treatment is a multi-layer coating technology that is said to be very different to the surface treatments, surface accuracies, slide materials, slide configurations and lubricants that have previously been used in the motorcycle suspension industry.

Showa’s Emerald Coating is said to be the world’s first original thin film-forming technology – the inner tube and rod surfaces are polished and given a multi-layer titanium based coating to reduce friction

The emerald colour is made possible by adjusting the coating thickness to control the light wavelengths; the outer surface of the inner tube is processed in multiple steps involving chrome plating, special polishing, the titanium based multi-payer coating and then finish polishing.
This technology is being used on the new Kawasaki and Honda products mentioned.
Additionally, Showa’s new ‘Dimplush’ is a new surface finish concept for the inner surface of the outer tube. Conventionally, especially on motocross front suspensions, the inner surface of the front fork outer tube is mirror-finished to deliver surfaced flatness and hardness. Showa’s Dimplush retains oil in the numerous small dimples created on the inner surface, which act to increase oil film pressure to reduce friction. 

Rather than a smooth inner surface, Showa’s Dimplush finish reduces friction and improves suspension performance by machining a micro surface texture, creating pockets that retain oil

This effect works at any sliding speed, but is a big advantage for long stroke motocross front forks where friction reduction has been measured at between 10 and 20 percent.
The first model suspension to receive this micro-dimple process is Showa’s 2017 Kawasaki KX450F application, and the company says development plans are underway to apply this “versatile dimple process not only to motocrossers, but to street bikes and commuter models as well”.