Thursday, 16 March 2017


KTM announces “ground-breaking” 2-stroke fuel injected Enduro machines

KTM says it is marking a “major global milestone” by announcing that it will unveil the world’s first serial production fuel injection 2-stroke Enduro machines at an official launch this coming May. 

The KTM 250 EXC TPI and KTM 300 EXC TPI models will be introduced to the market as part of their model year 2018 line-up.
The Austrian manufacturer is well known for its investment in new technology and says “now the game-changer is finally here. With KTM’s unwavering commitment to being at the very forefront of off-road motorcycle sport, in which the orange brand has achieved many championship wins over the years, the latest exciting development in technology has come to fruition.

“It has been no secret that KTM’s Research and Development department in Mattighofen, Austria, has been developing this technology, which offers considerable benefits over carbureted models, including drastically reduced fuel consumption while also no longer having the need to pre-mix fuel or alter the machines’ jetting.
“Not only that, the new 2-stroke TPI models offer a completely new experience in terms of power delivery and rideability, which once again demonstrates KTM’s commitment to its off-road roots, following on from the all-new generation of Enduro machines released last year.
“As market leaders in this segment, we believe the new 2-stroke fuel injection technology, known as TPI (Transfer Port Injection), is revolutionary. More information will be available during the international media launch, which begins on May 15, 2017.
“This is an incredibly exciting development for KTM. We have been developing 2-stroke fuel injection for some time, and our goal was to create competitive motorcycles with all the benefits of fuel injection, while fitting into our READY TO RACE mantra” said Joachim Sauer, KTM Product Marketing Manager.
“There has been extensive testing and considerations for our Research and Development team to take into account during this process, so we are very motivated by this next step and world first in technology, as we take a major step forward in this segment. We are certainly looking forward to unveiling the new 2018 KTM 250 EXC TPI and KTM 300 EXC TPI machines in May”.
KTM say that in Europe the bikes will arrive in dealer showrooms in early summer. In the USA and Canada, the new 2018 KTM 250 XC-W TPI will be available in very limited quantities in late autumn.

Italian motorcycle registrations

Italian motorcycle registrations -11.43 percent January and February

With the now customary reader health warning about the reliability of new motorcycle registration numbers for early 2017 (see our Spain report with regard to the Euro 3 effect), the latest data released by ANCMA (the Milan based motorcycle industry trade association for Italy) put new motorcycle registrations for the first two months of the year down at – 11.43 percent (at 10,286 units), but with sales of the pre-registered 2016s, the picture is likely to be one of a level market, year-on-year, or even one with some modest further growth.

For the full year 2016 motorcycle registrations in Italy were +21.49 percent at 75,936 units, a third straight year of growth.
In total PTW terms, January/February registrations were -10.02 percent at 22,389 units in total. For the full year 2016 they were +13.26 percent at 193,814 units – also a third straight year of growth, the Italian market having fallen to a low of 153,933 total PTW registrations in 2013.
The top-selling motorcycle in Italy in January and February 2017 was Honda’s CRF 100 L Africa Twin (511 units), followed closely by BMW’s R 1200 Gs Adventure (508 units); the positions were reversed for the full year 2016 with BMW’s R 1200 GS the top seller (3,329 units), followed by Honda’s Africa Twin (2,840 units); Yamaha’s MT-09 Tracer (2,609 units – third so far this year also); Honda’s NC 750 X (2,355 units – also 4th so far in 2017) and Ducati’s Scrambler 800 (2,264 units – also 5th so far this year).
Scooter registrations were -11.96 percent for the first two months of 2017 at 5,402 units.
Enduro style models are the strongest of the “major” sectors in styling terms in Italy so far in 2017, closely followed by Naked/’traditional’ style bikes.


SBS adds street and race series applications for 2017

When IDN met with the Danish brake specialist’s Chief Sales Officer Christel Munk Pedersen last year, we asked her if she was able to summarise what her experience has taught her about what dealers need from a brake pad manufacturer.
Her answer was simple and to the point: “Access to wide and comprehensive product range is one of the basic criteria – a range that is being constantly updated for the newest models, and that offers confidence-inspiring quality and compounds that are engineered for the application”.

Sinter rear for Honda SBR 500

That is a straight forward and simple answer, but one born from years of experience on the track and massive investment in R&D and manufacturing processes.
Their ability to respond quickly is impressive, and goes beyond simply pad shape and deep into offering dealers the right compound choices – choices that meet the variety of needs their customers have, from race to street, from wet to dry and from urban cycle riding to touring and off-roading.

Carbon Tech for the Kawasaki 300 Ninja

An example of their responsiveness came in January with the release of new applications for 2017 and prior models, including race pads for the KTM390, Yamaha R3 and Kawasaki Ninja cup series and the Honda CBR 500 in a choice of ‘Carbon Tech’, Sintered and ‘Dual Carbon compounds; ‘Carbon Tech’ pads for Brembo’s road racing callipers, and sintered pads for Kymco’s 500 and 700 off-roaders.

Front Dual Carbon for KTM RC 390

A selection typical of the wide-ranging output that is routine for the SBS R&D team, and exactly the kind of range and responsiveness that Christel described.
“Our ambition is to be first with the newest and last with the oldest”, Christel went on to say. “There should not be any motorcycle – whether street, off-road or racetrack - for which you cannot find a compatible SBS brake pad. Therefore, product range development has the highest possible focus for us, and we spend a lot of resources on our product management, identifying and developing new applications constantly”.

Those resources include their 13,000 sqm (approx 140,000 sq ft) Svendborg, Denmark factory, the 120 people they employ there and the importers who sell SBS products in over 50 countries - oh, and let’s not forget the hundreds, maybe even thousands of weekend and top-line racers who have trusted in the SBS brand down the years and helped develop street pads that dealers can stock with confidence.


Spanish motorcycle registrations

Motorcycle registrations in Spain -20.80 percent for January/February 2017

The predictably misleading new registrations data for the first months of 2017 has emerged from Europe’s trade associations – thanks to the rush to pre-register unsold Euro 3 models before the December 31st deadline rendered them obsolete.

According to the latest data available from ANESDOR, the motorcycle industry trade association in Spain, new motorcycle registrations for the period January to February 2017 were down by -20.80 percent at 14,006 units (17,684 in 2016), but that makes no allowance for the several thousand of pre-registered Euro 3 bikes that nonetheless have probably found happy buyers and attractive prices – probably boosting the “official figure” sufficiently to, at worst, make for a flat market, but in all probability for one that has continued to grow.
Moped registrations in Spain do not appear to be having equivalent pre-registration blues though, with the January and February market there up by +24.22 percent, albeit on low volume (2,431 units), leaving the total number of all PTW units newly registered in Spain in the first two months of the year at -16.32 percent, 16,437 units.
Honda remains market share leader in Spain, taking 21.1 percent of the motorcycle market there year-to-date (2,954 units), followed by Yamaha (13.8 percent), Kymco (9.1 percent), BMW, Piaggio, Kawasaki, Sym, Suzuki, KTM and Triumph.
The top-selling motorcycle remains the Kawasaki Z 900, followed by the Yamaha MT-07.
So far in 2017, 73 E-Bikes have been registered, representing 0.5 percent of the motorcycle market.
So far in 2017, scooters represent 54 percent of sales of vehicles greater than 50cc at 7,584 units YTD; motorcycles of 126 to 750 cc represent 31 percent of the market so far in 2017 at 4,371 units, with 750cc+ machines representing 20 percent of sales (2,756 units) YTD.
The Spanish market has seen 269 ATV/Quad/UTV models registered YTD, with Polaris the major player (82 units), followed by CF-Moto and Can-Am.


Yamaha growth, but results hit by appreciation of the yen

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. Has announced its results for its 2016 full financial year (the period to December 31st 2016), reporting total group net sales of 1,502.8 billion yen (approx. 12.5 Bn. euro), a decrease of 128.3 billion yen (-7.9%) compared with the previous fiscal year. 

Operating income was 108.6 billion yen, a decrease of 21.7 billion yen (-16.7%); ordinary income was 102.1 billion yen, a decrease of 23.2 billion yen (-18.5%), and net income attributable to parent company shareholders was 63.2 billion yen, an increase of 3.1 billion yen (-5.2%) compared with the previous fiscal year.
The fluctuation in operating income compared to the previous fiscal year was caused by profitability improvements of 36.5 billion yen thanks to increased sales of products in the higher price range, and cost reductions through development methods such as for platform and global models and manufacturing methods such as for theoretical-value-based production, being overshadowed by negative foreign exchange effects of 43.8 billion yen and increased expenses etc., resulting in decreased income of 14.4 billion yen.
In addition to the continued appreciation of the yen against the U.S. dollar and the euro, the foreign exchange effects were driven by the yen continuing to appreciate against the currencies of emerging markets such as Indonesia, Brazil and India. Excluding foreign exchange effects, consolidated net sales increased (by 29.3 billion yen or 1.8%) and consolidated operating income increased (by 22.1 billion yen or 16.9%) compared with the previous fiscal year.
For the fiscal year, the U.S. dollar traded at 109 yen (an appreciation of 12 yen against the previous fiscal year), and the euro at 120 yen (an appreciation of 14 yen against the previous fiscal year).
Net sales of motorcycles were 930.1 billion yen (a decrease of 102.4 billion yen or -9.9% compared with the previous fiscal year), and operating income was 36.0 billion yen (a decrease of -3.2 billion yen or 8.1%).
Unit sales increased in markets such as India, Vietnam and the Philippines, were on a similar level to the previous year in developed markets, but decreased in markets such as Indonesia, China and Brazil.
Global net sales decreased due to foreign exchange effects. Operating income increased in emerging markets thanks to greater sales of products in the higher price range and the effect of cost reductions, but decreased in developed markets due to foreign exchange effects, leading to an overall decrease.
In developed markets, Yamaha says it is progressing initiatives regarding reductions in distribution inventories, the finance business and further structural reforms. In addition, active work continues to expand sales and reduce the break-even point in the healthy Indian market, and structural reforms are progressing amidst the Brazilian and Chinese market slumps.


Metzeler MC 360 tyre sets three world records

The brand new Metzeler MC 360 tyre which, thanks to its promising features, has already caught the attention of off-road enthusiasts, and before its market availability (which starts in April) already has three world records in its trophy cabinet.
At the beginning of March this year, the tyre was subjected to the final stages of a test that challenged it with extreme trials in Chile at the Nevado Ojos del Salado volcano, situated at the border between Argentina and Chile. 

At 6,891 metres high, it is the highest volcano in the world, and the MC 360, with the Honda Africa Twin and CRF450RX, established three records in riding it:
1) From zero to 5,900 metres above the sea level in less than 24 hours
2) 5,960 metres as maximum height for a twin-cylinder motorcycle
3) 5,977 metres as maximum height reached with a motorcycle in less than 24 hours


The team for this record expedition was composed of Salvo Pennisi, Metzeler’s Head of Testing Department, Carlo Fiorani, Honda’s Head of Racing Communications, the industry journalists Francesco Catanese and Karsten Schwers, and Fabio Mossini, the enduro champion, now part of the Honda Sud America team.
The first record set was a real team victory: Francesco Catanese, Fabio Mossini and Karsten Schwers riding the Honda Africa Twin and Salvo Pennisi, riding alternately both the Africa Twin and the CRF450RX, managed to reach 5,900 metres, after starting from sea level, in 22 hours and 30 minutes.
The second success was an individual record scored by Fabio Mossini, who managed to bring his Honda Africa Twin to 5,960 metres above sea level, the highest level ever reached with a twin-cylinder motorcycle.
The third record, another individual one, was set by Metzeler’s Head of Testing. Riding the CRF450RX, he set the record for the highest climb above sea level ever reached by a motorcycle, bringing his single-cylinder Honda to 5,977 metres of altitude in 22 hours and 40 minutes. This came after a challenging climb to reach the Atacama hut at 5,200 metres when riding the Africa Twin.
Both the Africa Twin and the CRF450RX had been equipped with the new MC 360 tyres, in prototype sizes for the Africa Twin and standard sizes for the CRF450RX.
The adventure in Chile represented the final and most severe testing for the new tyre, aimed at assessing its level of performance, wear, versatility and resistance to tearing in extreme conditions, with temperatures ranging from +40° in the Desert of CopiapĆ³, down to -15° on the Andes.

The record climb started on February 24th in CopiapĆ², the capital of the Atacama region, in Chile. Things were made even tougher by the challenge to reach the extreme height in 24 hours without the support of oxygen.
After 5 days mandatory naturalisation at increasing heights, where one of the riders and one of the technicians supporting the team were forced to give up due to increasing symptoms of acute altitude sickness, the team left from the Pacific shore at Bahia Inglesa on Friday 3rd of March at 1.20 pm local time.
After a challenging 300 kilometres ride through all kind of asphalts, screes, dirts, endless stretches of sand and deep mud pits, the team reached the base camp of Laguna Verde at 4,300 metres of height. The Metzeler MC 360 had, already in this first stage, shown exceptional versatility, providing maximum stability in any condition, power of traction and reduced wear with an outstanding level of resistance to rips and tears.
On the morning of Saturday March 4th, at the crack of dawn and -5° C temperature, the team set off to climb towards the top of the volcano. From the Murray hut, after an exhausting 40 kilometres ride to reach the Atacama hut 5,200 metres above the sea level, the four riders composing the team went through the toughest stage - Fabio Mossini, Karsten Schwers and Francesco Catanese with the Africa Twin and Salvo Pennisi with the CRF450RX, all using Metzeler MC 360 tyres.
Following a dramatic climb to the Tejos hut, 5,837 metres above the sea level, and after riding through stretches of sand and ice sheets, the group had to deal with an unpleasant surprise - at 5,900 metres there are some impenetrable icy patterns, also known as “penitentes”. Such patterns, typical in this kind of area with very strong wind, were obstructing the chance of climbing any higher.
This is when Fabio Mossini and Salvo Pennisi decided to accept the challenge posed by the volcano and try the last effort. Luck smiled on the brave and Fabio Mossini, with the big Africa Twin, on the MC 360s, managed to reach 5,960 metres to set the World Record for twin-cylinder motorcycles, following the path opened up by Salvo Pennisi, who had just managed to get his CRF450RX to 5,977 metres above the sea level to set the absolute height record ever reached by a motorcycle in 24 hours.


Rebelhorn apparel – versatility, style and protection

Rebelhorn is a popular riding apparel product line, introduced by leading Polish distributor Powerbike in 2010. Already being exported to 10 different countries, the company offers dealers access to a programme of over 140 products for four of the strongest selling sectors of the market - Tour, Street, Classic and Sport.

Runner II jacket - “very comfortable and classy. The Runner II jacket offers perfect fit and protection”. Made in 100% full grain cow leather with a soft and breathable, moisture-wicking polyester mesh lining; features include the ‘Rebel Clima System’; the ‘Rebel Protect System’ featuring CE elbow and shoulder protectors, back protector pocket and double or triple stitching, and the ‘Rebel Ergonomic System’

Brand Marketing Manager Joanna Sobieka told IDN that “Rebelhorn is a brand that we have created from scratch. From the initial assumptions through the concept and design solutions, ending up with rigorously quality controlled finished products.
“We use modern materials and advanced technologies. Each product with the Rebelhorn logo is carefully thought out, and therefore functional. We continually seek out new materials and solutions, add innovative features and then exhaustively test garments where it matters - on real motorcyclists, on the road.

Hardy Pro jacket - “packed with features that truly set a new standard. Designed with the modern touring rider in mind, Hardy gives a flexible fit, perfect ventilation and incredible comfort”. Made in 500D Cordura Nylon and Ballistic with a polyester mesh lining, the ‘Rebel Dry System (a detachable waterproof and breathable REISSA membrane ensures water resistance); and ‘Rebel Clima’, ‘Protect’ and ‘Ergonomic’ systems

“The exhaustive product evaluation process includes analysis of how they perform in impact and accident conditions. We conduct in-house testing and spend a lot of time researching improvements. Therefore, we can guarantee to our dealers that each product they sell with the Rebelhorn logo is comfortable and functional.

Fuel II boots - “offering paramount protection, while allowing you to make incredibly precise and incredibly minute inputs at incredible speeds; fully CE certified to EN13634” - fault-tolerant, very light and modern microfabric material; non-slip, oil resistant outsole securely sustains the foot on the footrest; strengthening for gearshift lever; interchangeable sliders; tough heel protector provides solid protection; antibacterial insole provides freshness; mesh interior guarantees good air circulation and thermal comfort; large flexible panel for freedom of movement

“The wide selection of motorcycle clothing that we offer means that the Rebelhorn brand offers dealers versatility with comfort and riding conditions and preference options for every type of ride”.



‘Madsen’ wax cotton jacket

Developed by Hevik in Italy, this new, short, double-layer men’s and women’s version addition to their wax cotton line is said to feature a sporty look, excellent fit, high-quality details and level 2 CE protectors.
The ‘Madsen’ uses an external fabric treated with wax-based paraffin, which “makes the jacket waterproof and pleasant to touch”, with the differences between the male and female versions being in the cut of the jacket - the technical features are identical, including the 3D mesh breathable lining and the removable thermal lining that makes ‘Madsen’ an all-year option.
Details include air vents at the shoulders and back, with zip opening, neck and cuff leather detailing, and technical trouser attachment. Available in black or grey, ‘Madsen’ has CE EN 1621-2012 level 2 certified protections on shoulders and elbows as standard and a pocket for a back guard.

HEVIK S.r.l.


Gaerne sponsor Everts managed Suzuki MXGP team

Stefan Everts, the 10-time World Champion Belgian rider, has teamed up with his former boot supplier Gaerne, who will be the 2017 sponsor of the Suzuki MXGP team that Everts now manages.

Ernesto Gazzola (left), founder of Gaerne, with Suzuki MXGP manager and 10-time World MX Champion Stefan Everts

“Another circle is completed”, the Belgian champion said. “When I first rode with Suzuki I wore Gaerne boots, and now I have come back to both brands! It’s a weird coincidence, but nothing happens by chance. So, this collaboration will be for sure a great support in the next seasons.
“Gaerne is an excellent company that manufactures each single item with great passion and one of the best boots in the world as far as safety and technology are concerned. This is the real made in Italy”!
Marta Gazzola, Marketing Manager at Gaerne, and daughter of founder Ernesto Gazzola, seen here left with Everts, said: “Stefan is the greatest champion ever. In his role as team manager, he’s doing his job with as much professionalism and commitment as when he raced. The Suzuki MXGP Team managed by Stefan Everts are a guarantee of success, and have ambitious goals that they’ll reach without any difficulty”.
Kevin Strijbos and Arminas Jasikonis will be wearing Gaerne SG.12 boots in the 2017 MXGP series. Designed in-house by Gaerne’s R&D department, it features the Italian specialist’s patented DSPS (Dual Stage Pivot System). The new design features a slimmer shape in the toe area for an improved feel of the shift lever, a steel toe cap, adjustable, interchangeable aluminium buckles, special rubber inserts for bike grip and heat resistance and a “Dual Composite” anti-shock rubber sole.


Monster and Hypermotard clutch kits

Well known Italian clutch specialist Surflex is one of the world’s leading complete clutch, clutch component and special version clutch system manufacturers. Their new, versatile, “100 percent Made-in-Italy” clutch disc kits for Ducati Monster and Hypermotard models include friction plates and ‘steels’ that are interchangeable with the original unit.

The features of the precision applied organic friction material and additional discs improve the transmission of the engine power through the drivetrain, delivering smooth, reliable and consistent clutch performance with improved feel and reduced lever effort.
Elegantly presented in a special black case that showcases the package in a manner appropriate to the decades of friction material engineering experience that goes into every Surflex clutch product, full instructions make securing the improvements offered straight forward. Applicable for Ducati Monster ‘14-‘16 and Hypermotard ‘15-‘16.