Wednesday, 8 March 2017

German motorcycle registrations

German ‘Bike Park’ at record levels

Some markets have seen the return to growth have a greater impact than others, and information released in February by the IVM, the motorcycle industry trade association in Germany, cites the growth having gone straight to the statistics for the overall size of the ‘Bike Park’ in Germany, the total number of motorcycles and other PTWs on the road there, with new record levels reached.

Now positioned as Europe’s second largest market in new motorcycle registration terms (behind Italy still, but ahead of France now), the IVM says that there are now more than 6 million PTWs on the road there in total, or at least road-registered, with 4,092,288 of them classed as motorcycles, with an additional 1,942,465 PTWs of under 50cc.
The latest monthly data from the IVM (at the time of going to press) showed motorcycle registrations for January in Germany at a statistically misleading -26.85 percent, but on such low volumes (1,812 units) it is likely that the sales of pre-registered Euro 3 units will have meant that the market was at worst broadly level with January 2016, in all likelihood somewhat up.
In total Powered Two-Wheeler terms (PTW), the German market was -36.69 percent at 2,210 units registered.
The top-selling motorcycle in Germany in 2016 was BMW’s all conquering R 1200 GS, with 6,932 units sold, and it maintained that position in January, with another 279 units sold. However, 2016’s second and third best sellers (Yamaha’s MT-07/3,398 units and the Kawasaki ER-6n/2,629 units) were supplanted by the BMW R nineT (115 units of all variants) and their S 1000 RR third (72 units); Honda’s CRF 1000 ‘Africa Twin’ is now up to fourth from fifth, with the Ducati Multistrada now fifth – but all on such low volumes that it is perfectly possible that enough pre-registered Yamahas were sold that the MT-07 could have maintained its 2016 momentum.
Indeed with 11 models in the Top 20, it is no surprise that BMW has continued to hold on to its number one spot in market share terms, scoring a massive and no doubt equally massively miss-leading 37.06 percent of all January’s new motorcycle registrations in Germany; Honda is shown as second at this stage with a 9.32 percent share, Ducati is third, followed by Yamaha and Harley-Davidson, as Europe’s ‘petrol heads’ continue to gobble up them “Big Inchers” in increasing numbers!

KTM Industries AG

KTM forecasting 300,000 unit sales by 2021

In guidance issued for investors at the beginning of February, KTM Industries AG, the holding company that controls the majority of the shares in KTM AG, the KTM and Husqvarna branded motorcycle production business, is projecting in the region 7 to 9 percent compound annual growth of revenue and production of some 300,000 motorcycles in 2021 (including those made by Baja in India and elsewhere) – close to a 50 percent increase on sales achieved in 2016. 
Having made a successful primary listing debut on the Swiss Stock Exchange SIX in Zurich in November, as the second largest Austrian company listed there (KTM Industries AG group shares can still be traded on the Vienna Bourse), preliminary postings at the end of January show the group forecasting record results for 2016.
Revenues of 1,343.0 m euro are 10 percent up on 2015 (1,223.6 m euro), with EBIT improved to 122.3 m euro (+8 percent from 112.9 m euro in 2015); the preliminary result after taxes increased from 65.0 m euro to 83.8 m euro (+29 percent).  In 2016 all operational divisions are said to have increased revenues as well as earnings.
Combined KTM and Husqvarna motorcycle sales are put at 203,340 units for the twelve months, leaving KTM again claiming number one spot in manufacturing terms in Europe (in terms of units), ahead of BMW and Ducati [and Piaggio in terms of in-class motorcycles produced in Europe] and able to say that it is also “the fastest growing motorcycle brand worldwide. The export ratio is sustainably over 95%, with more than 50% sold outside Europe”.
The Pankl Racing Systems AG division closed 2016 with record results due to a very strong fourth quarter, with the new Formula 1 regulations bringing a further boost – KTM took its shareholding in Pankl from 55.9 percent to 94.5 percent by the end of 2016.
In 2016 WP AG “equipped a new set-up with updated exhaust production at its Munderfing, Austria facility, completing its long-term modernisation project. Through the closer connection to KTM AG, further growth of the vehicle group is secured.
The group hired an additional 516 employees in 2016, 428 of them in Austria, taking the group’s global employee head count to 5,069 people, 3,916 of them in Austria and about 15% of the total described as being in R&D roles.
The group made total investments of 144 m euro in 2016, in model development, operating facilities and infrastructure, including the exhaust production and motorsports centre in Munderfing, Austria, the extension of the production capacities in the KTM headquarters in Mattighofen and their new high performance drivetrain production facility at Pankl in Kapfenberg.
The business year under review was also characterised by additional acquisitions of shares in Pankl Racing Systems AG, which thereby strengthens its strategic position effectively within the KTM Industries Group. KTM Industries AG increased its current share in Pankl Racing Systems AG from previously 55.9% to 94.5%.
Based on the order situation at the end of January, the company said that it expects further organic growth in its core areas in 2017, with investment in new models, infrastructure and development further increased.


KTM Motorsport

Among the investments made in 2016 was completion of an all-new 12m euro race department facility, opened in October 2016.
The company says that since its first World Championship title in 1974 (Gennadij Moiseev, MX 250), the brand has up to now earned 269 more World Championship titles and 15 consecutive Dakar Rally victories. “In the last two seasons we have taken the final big title in off-road motorsports, first place in the Supercross World Championship; now, after an early victory in the 2016 Moto3 World Championship, KTM is entering Moto2 in 2017 - the intermediary category of road racing and the next step towards the premiere MotoGP class”.
Stefan Pierer, CEO of the KTM Group, said: “In 1992 KTM Racing was still a single small workshop, and successfully tackled Rally and Motocross alongside the initial niche of Enduro under the strong leadership of Heinz Kinigadner. Meanwhile, since Pit Beirer took over our motorsport in 2006, the team has grown to more than 300 employees worldwide and employs more than 60 factory riders. Five percent of our annual sales revenues flow into our motorsport operations, and we are Europe’s biggest sport motorcycle manufacturer”. 

With an area of 18,000 sq m, KTM’s new Motorsport facility is located directly behind KTM’s engine factory in Munderfing and is flanked by the new KTM Logistic Center and the WP Group


Husky +43 percent in 2016

Husqvarna has recorded a third consecutive year of record breaking sales, reaching total global sales of 30,700 units during the 12 months to December 31st 2016 – putting unit and turnover growth at +43 percent.
In fact, the business has come close to doubling both their production and turnover in the last two years. 

This result follows the 32% gain in bikes sales during 2015 and “underlines the brand’s positive strategy of growth. Generating the largest ever turnover in the brand’s history at the end of 2015, Husqvarna’s annual, worldwide turnover increased significantly in 2016, reaching more than 200 million euros”.
2016 saw Husqvarna successfully launch the all-new 2017 line-up of FE and TE Enduro models. In addition, the new 701 Enduro and 701 Supermoto models “with the latest class-leading engine technology” were also released during the second half of the year.
Husqvarna completed their range of motocross bikes with the introduction of the 2016 TC 50 and TC 65 models. Together with the TC 85 and an extensive line-up of full-sized 2-stroke and 4-stroke models, Husqvarna now offers a complete range of nine motocross bikes.
In 2016 Husqvarna also unveiled the serial production version of the VITPILEN 401 and the SVARTPILEN 401 – the brand’s first “Real Street” motorcycles, slated for showroom availability late 2017.

Parts Europe

Parts Europe with more brands, more products and more pages for 2017

The Parts Europe catalogue has been growing every year since the company opened its giant state-of-the-art distribution facility at Wasserliesch, near Trier in Germany in 2008. Every year the Parts Europe Street catalogue grows, and with it the staff at the European headquarters – some 160 people now make Parts Europe one of the largest distribution teams in Europe.

This year, there are some 370 fewer pages in the main catalogue, but the company is also now offering a unique new dealer guide to tyres, service and workshop items, chemicals and lubricants that provides their dealers with an additional 580 pages of high turnover, high margin and often exclusive brands and product items.

The ‘Street’ catalogue is still a beast though, at 1,624 desk-bending pages of the most “outstanding selection of top brands and new products in the industry”.
Available in print and online, they detail the complete Street inventory available from the European operation of the world’s largest parts, accessory, performance, tuning, service and apparel products distributor.
A wholly-owned subsidiary of the US based LeMans Corporation, a 38 million euro investment has produced a 16,500 sq m distribution centre offering 750 brands and over 280,000 products.

Japanese made motorcycle exports

Japanese made motorcycle exports to Europe +7.76 percent in January

The latest data released by JAMA (the automotive trade association in Japan, which includes representation of motorcycle manufacturers among its membership) shows exports of 250cc+ Japanese made motorcycles to Europe up by +7.76 percent in January 2017, despite the hangover from Euro 3 pre-registrations (19,689 units) – the strongest January export figure since 2009.

For the full year 2016 exports to Europe were +18.83 percent at 180,290 units – the best full year performance experienced by the Japanese factories in terms of exports to Europe since the 201,000 exported in 2010, but still a long way south of the 420,000 exported in 2007 and 461,000 in 2000.
Exports to U.S.A. were -12.22 percent in January at 5,008 units, the lowest January number since compatible records are available. Global Japanese made motorcycle exports were essentially flat overall for January at +0.6 percent (30,473 units).
Japanese manufactured total PTW exports to Europe were also up in January at +9.23 percent (20,586 units) – also the best January performance since 2009. To the U.S.A total PTW exports were -23.43 percent at 8,138 units and -4.37 percent globally at 38,002 units.
Total worldwide Japanese manufactured PTW exports were +2.61 percent for the full year 2016 at 428,619 units – their second lowest in the 21st century, having appeared to have bottomed out at 417,000 in 2015; they peaked at 1.641m units in 2000.
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 Japanese brand machines, especially those being sold in 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.

Ferodo Racing

Ferodo Racing – “WSBK ideal for race development of street pads”

When it comes to “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday”, it doesn’t come much more authentic in race support terms than the decades long pedigree that the Ferodo brand has been famous for.
A fixture at the historic circuits, series and championship battles of the past, Ferodo, and their ‘sister’ brand Champion, are racking up promising results again this year.

After posting two 4th place finishes at Phillip Island, Alex Lowes said: “The team have done a good job over the winter, and I’ve improved in some areas”

Ferodo is official technical partner of the Crescent Racing Pata Yamaha Official World Superbike Team for 2017 and kicked off the season seeing former British Superbike Champion Alex Lowes finishing 4-4 on the Yamaha YZF R1 at the Phillip Island, Australia opener at the end of February, with his team mate Michael Van der Mark crossing the finish line 9-7.
At the time of writing the team were headed to Thailand for the second WSBK round of the year at the 4.5 km Chang International Circuit opened in 2014.
The Ferodo brake pads used by Lowes and Van der Mark are derived from the same XRAC ‘SinteredGrip’ pads that the Italian manufacturer sells for race applications through its dealers. 

Rated “Excellent” for friction level, bite, fade resistance, durability and performance under wet braking conditions, XRAC pads by Ferodo “offer unparalleled braking performance and incorporate our innovative Array Cooling for 15% disc temperature reduction due to the radiative cooling effect the design generates”.

The “trickle down” for Ferodo and their dealers is in the race-gained experience that backs up their top of the line ‘SinterGrip’ ST, HH rated XRAC performance matching road bike and SG off-road sintered compound pads, which bring to the street and on/off road riding, with their equally durable and equally wet riding friendly SM maxi-scooter ‘SinterGrip’ pads specified for the heavy duty urban cycle, what modern day large displacement maxis have to endure. 

Ferodo offers two race pads – the CP1 Ceramic Grip Compound is a carbon-based composites formula bound together with a ceramic resin – said to be ideal when caliper temperatures need to be minimised, offering “excellent modulation for superior feel and control”

It doesn’t stop at the Pata Yamaha WSBK team though, with Champion being an official technical partner of Aprilia Racing in MotoGP (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), WorldSBK (Aprilia Racing Shaun Muir Racing), SSTK (NUOVA M2 Racing); and Ferodo and Champion as official technical partners of Kallio Racing in the WorldSSP (Niki Tuuli & Sheridan Morais) and Renzo Ferreira & Kimi Patova in the Supersport 300 World Championship.


Pure&Crafted III

The third edition of BMW’s successful ‘Pure&Crafted’ Festival is slated for 26 and 27 August – with a new look and new “authentic Berlin location”. After two successful years at the Berlin Postbahnhof, the festival now moves to a larger space, its new home being the former Berlin power station Altes Kraftwerk Rummelsburg. 

The site is said to “offer impressive industrial charm and promises greater diversity than ever for all friends and fans of motorcycle culture, New Heritage lifestyle and down-to-earth guitar music. With captivating live shows by Interpol, Car Seat Headrest and Razz, Pure&Crafted brings a very distinctive experience and late summer atmosphere to Berlin”.
In addition to the music, the spacious outdoor area will once again include an international custom bike show this year, as well as acrobatic performances at the Original Motodrom – “guaranteed to send adrenalin levels shooting up to unprecedented heights”. In the architecturally impressive former power station machine room of the Altes Kraftwerk there will be returning features such as the General Store with its numerous exhibitors and attractions and Food Court.
On the Sunday “the focus will be more on the theme of motorcycle culture and New Heritage lifestyle. “Pure&Crafted invites anyone with a sense of curiosity and adventure to savour the uniquely relaxed festival atmosphere and round off the weekend with an eventful day – complete with motorcycle ride-out and kids’ programme”.


Full face X-Carbon and X-Fiber

2017 sees the introduction of carbon to GIVI’s helmet range with the launch of their new 40.5 carbon fibre full face - also available in a composite fibre version.
It has a “slick and aerodynamic design”, the technical features of both versions are the same, the shell material, weight and colours are the distinguishing factors.
Both versions have two shell sizes and a high-performance ventilation system, which uses in-house designed channelling on the internal EPS. The internal hypoallergenic, removable and washable lining has been made more comfortable thanks to micro holes drilled into the sponges.
Ultra-modern graphics, light fluorescent touches of colour for the X-Carbon and “decisive colours” for the X-Fiber with a mix of shiny and matt underline the look.
Anti-scratch tinted sun visor, nose-guard and wind deflector are standard equipment, and GIVI may also be fitting a Pinlock lens inside the visor (already pre-disposed). The respective weights are 1,210/1,250 g and 1,310/1,350 g. Closing is by strap with metal hook and micro-ratchet regulation and there are two top air vents and one on the chin guard, all adjustable, plus back ejectors.

GIVI S.r.l.


SilverTail exhausts – performance and custom styling

Who said that custom can’t be synonymous with performance?
SilverTail KO2 exhausts by LeoVince prove they can be. Said to bring real American styling to “metric cruisers” in Europe, LeoVince say they invest just the same research, development and design efforts and resources into building their SilverTail custom style exhausts as they do with any of their award-winning performance street bike and off-road exhausts.

The exhausts are made of chromed steel, with selected models featuring header pipes up as far as the cylinder flange. They ship as kits that include a chrome heat shield casing cover, to avoid bluing in large displacement applications. The chrome is a 5-micron thick nickel layer with 50-micron chromium for a durable finish.
For those who want to deepen the custom look they can achieve, SilverTail provides muffler end caps in different stylistic forms.
The replacement of the “standard tail” with a custom style end cap (sold separately) is extremely easy and quick, customers can choose from a range of four different custom end cap styles. The removable baffle can be re-packed.


Pyramid Plastics

R1200 frame end cap kits

British parts, accessory and styling specialist Pyramid Plastics offers dealers worldwide access to one of the largest ranges of replacement and custom options on the market - from huggers and frame infill panels to fairing lower kits and belly pans, not forgetting their unique ‘Extenda Fenda’ concept, an easy and inexpensive solution to protecting the front and back of the bike from road debris, making it easier to keep the bike clean and maintain after riding on wet and muddy terrain.

Showing the range of their accessory offer, these frame end caps for BMW R1200GS, R1200RS and R1200R are model-specific designs that offer an effective and affordable solution, adding an aesthetic touch that is in keeping with the styling of the bike.
For the GS a 9-piece kit with two large custom-made angled caps includes four medium sized caps and three smaller ones; for the RS/R variants an 11-piece kit with two large custom-made angled caps includes six medium sized caps and three smaller caps.

All Pyramid designs are bespoke, precision-fit, model-specific solutions engineered to suit each individual motorcycle - the company has over 350 models of ‘Extenda Fenda’ and more than 15,000 items across the full Pyramid range available from inventory at any time. Founded in 1986 by industrial designer Ben Bowser, the company ships worldwide to over 50 countries.



Touratech Suspension expands its product range

Adventure touring specialist Touratech first joined forces with Dutch suspension specialist Tractive in 2011. The mission was to develop an exclusive Touratech suspension product line.

Five years on, and a complete ‘Travel’ product line of shock absorbers, steering dampers, springs and closed cartridges is now available for the Adventure and Touring market. This year saw the partnership result in the ‘Long Travel’ products programme, initially for models such as the BMW F 800 GS, KTM 1190 R and Honda Africa Twin. Said to “match the robustness of the existing Touratech ‘Extreme’ products, an increased stroke and specific set-up makes these products ideal for the hard-core Rally or Adventure rider”, says Lars W├╝rdemann, the Business Unit Manager for the Touratech suspension programme.
First introduced in 2015, this year also saw further development of the Touratech ‘Competition’ product line with shock absorbers, steering dampers and cartridges for a range of racing models such as the BMW S 1000 RR, Yamaha R1 and R6, Suzuki GSX R 1000. The range also includes electronic “Plug & Race” shock absorbers and cartridges based on the Tractive DDA patented technology, which fits with the BMW S 1000 RR original controls and connectors. 

EICMA 2016 saw a public debut for something that could become a revolutionary new product that finally deals with one of the apparently unavoidable issues that has affected motorcycle suspensions ever since the first bikes were developed – “Chatter”.
“Chatter” is the name given to the front wheel movements and vibrations caused by the suspension’s natural resonant frequency. Developed by Tractive, patent pending modules featuring a revolutionary new technique called Frequency Selective Active Damping (FSAD) actively diminish wheel movements in their natural frequency. Based on proven concepts (not unlike audio wave cancellation technology), but now applied to motorcycle suspensions for the first time, FSAD technology is claimed not only to improve “tyre to surface” feedback and traction, but also to extend the tyre life of even the softest compounds.
The functionality can be fine-tuned to match track conditions and rider’s preference - the FSAD modules are mounted externally to a racing front fork fitted with Touratech suspension cartridges and will be available in 2017.
Finally, Tractive and Touratech have already been active in the stereo shocks sector for a number of years, but because of customer demand and feedback, the companies have cooperated to establish a new product line called “Black-T“ to serve the urban riding market.