Friday, 28 April 2017


New ‘double-style’ Yard Built XSR700 by Rough Crafts

Yamaha’s Yard Built project has engaged with noted Taiwanese custom motorcycle engineer and former AMD World Championship competitor Winston Yeh of Rough Crafts fame to kick-off its 2017 programme.

Having set a high bar with his ‘Guerrilla’ XJR1300 two years ago, Winston has chosen the XSR700 from Yamaha’s Sport Heritage range for his second ‘Yard Built’ bike.
With no cutting or welding to the frame as part of the ‘Yard Built’ ethos, Winston was free to go “Signature Style” on the “punchy” mid-range XSR700. The result is not one, but two masterpieces. Simple to change kits transform the XSR700 in under an hour between a cafe racer style street machine, ‘The Corsa Scorcher’, and a dirt track ready scrambler style bike, ‘The Soil Scorpion’.
“This is our first ‘double-style’ custom build from one machine”, commented Yamaha Motor Europe Marketing Coordinator Cristian Barelli. “The build really proves for me the versatility of the XSR700 as a base for customisation. Whether you want to create a cafe racer or a scrambler, this proves that you can do both, without losing the core soul and rideability of the original machine”.
“The XSR was an amazing base to start with”, commented Winston. “I love the tubular frame of the 700, and the power to weight ratio is perfect for a motorcycle. With the newly designed shorter frame and detachable rear frame loop, you really don’t need to cut the frame to make a proper custom shape.
“I found myself having a hard time deciding should I go with clip-ons and make it a cafe racer, or with flat bars and make it a tracker, and that’s where the idea came in: why not make the shaping as a body kit, and customers can use their own ideas to mix and match suspension, wheels, brakes and handlebars to build the bike they want”?
Wanting the kit to be as versatile as possible, he designed a set of triple clamps that can run a set of YZF-R1 forks along with an axle, brakes and wheels designed for the R1 front end. He then used the same design rear wheel made for the 700 to get a direct bolt-on front and rear custom wheel with inverted forks.
To achieve the one bike, two builds concept, he went to the Shark Factory for their X2E fully adjustable remote control digital suspension, making the set-up adjustable on the fly for tarmac riding or dirt fun.
The cafe racer version of the build features ultra-lightweight carbon fibre wheels from Rotobox and clip-ons from Gilles Tooling, and an Akrapovic titanium tail pipe for the YZF-R1 wraps up the performance side.
The scrambler version features lightweight forged wheels from Wukawa Industry Co., a hand-made flat bar, and an Akrapovic titanium XSR700 high pipe modified to be tracker style. Whilst the cafe racer makes its statement with velocity stacks, the scrambler runs Sprint Filter waterproof filters to make it safe to play in the dirt. Both builds share trusted custom brake set-ups from Beringer.
The ‘Faster XSR’ body kit itself was made with a full carbon fibre mono body with a smaller aluminium tank underneath, fully bolt-on without any modification, fabricated by MS Pro.
The detail on the Corsa Scorcher cafe racer is outstanding, with a Rough Crafts custom header on the exhaust. The brake calipers and rotors are standard XSR items feeding into the Beringer top set. A Wukawa Industry sprocket runs the rear, with Gilles Tooling rear sets and MS Pro footpegs.
MS Pro controls keep everything on point on the bars, next to Rough Crafts custom grips and custom fin style risers. There’s more signature in-house work with the Rough Crafts grill type headlight, fuel cap and, of course, the carbon body unit. Last but not least, Rough Crafts velocity stacks set off the motor itself.
The ‘Soil Scorpion’ transformation sees the XSR standard rotor and calipers removed in favour of Beringer items on the Wukawa Industry forged wheels. The new riding position is helped by Rough Crafts signature fighter bars and MS Pro controls.
The build is finished off with two subtly different paint jobs by long time Rough Crafts collaborator Air Runner Custom Paint.

J.Juan Group

José Luis Juan is new CEO of
the J.Juan Group

The Barcelona based J.Juan Group has announced that daily management of the business is now being passed on to a younger member of the second generation of family ownership, with 45-year-old José Luis Juan taking over as CEO.

José Luis came back into the business in 2005 with extensive and impressive business experience and academic achievement already on his résumé, having spent time with the likes of IBM, La Caixa, and global professional services provider Accenture.
The Physics and Electronic Superior Engineering Barcelona University graduate, who also has a master's degree in Management from the ESADE business school in Barcelona and another in networks and telecommunications by La Salle University in the United States, takes over at an interesting time for the business his father founded in 1965.
The challenge of creating a corporate structure for the management and further growth of Europe’s second largest brake systems manufacturer (and global #1 in the manufacture of braided hydraulic hoses) comes after the turnover of the business grew from 30 million Euro in 2014 to a forecast of 43.5 million at the end of 2016 (+40% in just two years, having doubled in the past eight years) and with the Group’s plans calling for it to double from there by 2020.

José Luis will be supported by the experience of his brothers, Angeles and Carlos Juan, who will both remain with the Group in Vice President roles; strength in depth where the management of the business is concerned will be at a premium in the coming years.
With customer demand driving growth and expansion, their production facilities are being used profitably just as quickly as they are able to develop them. The Group’s factories at Gavá and Sant Cugat near Barcelona, Jiaxing, Zhejiang, near Shanghai, Jalgaon, near Mumbai in India and, soon, at Monterey in Mexico, look likely to be operating at full capacity quite quickly.
As an OEM supplier to most of the major motorcycle manufacturers and many of the smaller ones too – they have 80 OEM clients all over the world and equipping a claimed 90% of western bikes – there appears to be no end in sight to their growth opportunities. The enlargement of their production capacity in Europe, China and India has been essential to meet the orders from their existing customers.

At Sant Cugat, north of Barcelona, the company has been granted reindustrialisation permission (in November last year) for a former Delphi Automotive manufacturing facility which the Group acquired, where J.Juan will localise all its European production of brakes, with the Gavá facility to the south-west of the city focussed on the production of braided hydraulic hose products.
The beginning of 2016 saw the completion of a programme of expansion for their Chinese factory, 10 years after the Group founded it – a factory where productivity is said to run at some 100,000 Euro for each employee. J.Juan China has gained an important position in the Asian market. 

At the end of August 2016, J.Juan inaugurated production of motorcycle brakes in Jalgaon (India) at the factory it is using there. Owned and operated by the world’s third largest car brakes manufacturer Chassis Brake International (the France headquartered former Bosch brakes division), brakes branded KBX and J.Juan will be contract-manufactured there to the Group’s own specifications, and using its own tooling, for the 12 million PTW a year Indian market.
The big technology story for J.Juan in India has been the success there of its Gavá developed Combined Brake System (CBS) – subject to the model, ABS and CBS have been made mandatory for all new 125cc+ motorcycles sold in India from April 2017.
So, at the beginning of 2017, after years of effort and leadership, Angeles and Carlos Juan have put their trust in the younger brother of the family to take over the leadership of a company that is much transformed and set for dramatic further growth in the years ahead.
Hopefully their knowledge and experience will be there for the business to draw on for years to come, as José Luis Juan builds new foundations for further growth and development of a business that enjoys a hard earned, carefully developed and very valuable reputation throughout the global motorcycle market.


LighTech partners with Bihr for France

Leading Italian parts and accessory manufacturer LighTech (based near Venice) has announced an exclusive distribution agreement for France with Bartenheim based Bihr S.A.S.

LighTech finalised their deal with Bihr to distribute their products in France at the Bartenheim based distributor’s recent Paris sales meeting

A division of the Belgian Moteo Group since 2010, Bihr was founded in 1975 by Cyrille Bihr, and has grown to be one of Europe’s largest motorcycle parts and accessories distributor with sales offices in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Scandinavia (Duells) and Spain.
With some 12,000 dealers supplied from a state-of-the-art 30,000 sq m headquarters warehouse at Bartenheim near the Swiss and German borders in north-eastern France (along with 12,600 sq m at Totana, Spain, and 20,000 sq m near Stockholm, Sweden), the company says it achieves a 95.8 percent fill rate, with some 160,000 part numbers available (30,000 added in 2016), covering 350 brands.

Best known for custom parts for street bikes and sportbike models, LighTech has also added a touch of elegance to the TMAX 530

Bihr has been involved with LighTech for several years already. Pichard of Switzerland, which became Bihr Switzerland, was already selling LighTech products, so adding France is an extension of an established programme.
Bihr is currently working to build a large inventory for its French platform in order to be able to deliver LighTech’s products in one day for approximately 80 percent of the programme. The remaining items can be special-ordered. LighTech’s 2017 catalogue edition will be available for Bihr’s French dealers soon, and the whole range for the TMAX is already available and introduced in Bihr’s Scooter product-specific catalogue.

Alex Gelbcke, Bihr CEO, said: “We are confident that there is a strong interest for LighTech on the French market, mainly because of the quality of their products and the brand’s reputation. Mixed with Bihr’s know-how, this should be the beginning of an excellent partnership between our two companies for the coming years”.
Bihr says it has approximately 2 million individual products in stock at any one time, and effective immediately that will include the full LighTech range of stylish, high quality replacement and upgrade parts for many of the most popular current motorcycle models.
LighTech was founded by Fabrizio Furlan in 1997 as an extension of his family’s specialist metalwork business, which means it can draw on three decades of precision-manufacturing experience and an ISO 9001 accreditation backed reputation for quality and innovation that has its origins on the racetrack – having worked closely with elite teams in the WSB, 125GP and 250GP championships.
That quality and experience is evident in the range of technologically advanced motorcycle performance parts and accessories for road bikes that LighTech’s 2,500 authorised dealers can choose from - with over 7,000 Ergal products available in six different colourways, over 400 titanium products and a host of other accessories.


Andreani taking it to the Max

It isn’t only street and sportbikes that can get the Italian suspension specialist’s “Andreani treatment”.

This kit is a substantial handling and performance upgrade for Yamaha’s popular TMAX, the 530cc maxi-scooter that takes the suspension demands normally associated with scooter suspension and chassis designs into a whole new league.
Andreani have ‘stepped-up’ to provide a much-needed package that includes an evolved front fork kit that includes an Ohlins RT43 front fork, with TIN treated (titanium coated) inner tubes and CNC-machined Ergal radial 100mm axle clamps.

Adjustable in spring preload, compression and rebound, the kit also includes a set of machined triple clamps designed in-house by the Andreani Research and Development team that draw on the Italian company’s years of track experience.


Omnia Racing

All-new Rotobox ‘Boost’ carbon fibre wheels

Italian distributor Omnia Racing is offering the new carbon fibre ‘Boost’ wheels launched at EICMA in November by Slovenian manufacturer Rotobox.

Featuring five thinner, lighter, stronger spokes, they’re immediately distinguishable from the European company’s award-winning RBX2 elliptical spoke designs.
Up to 50% lighter than original equipment rims, ‘Boost’ wheels are a more aggressive looking alternative to Rotobox’s popular RBX2s. The thinner spokes have larger “windows” between them than the current RBX2’s smooth, rounded ones. The ‘Boost’ spokes are ribbed for additional torque resistance and have invisible joints that make them appear seamless.
These hollow ‘Boost’ spokes are also lighter, stronger and even more aerodynamic than those on the RBX2 wheels, for incredible straight-line stability, nimbler handling, improved suspension compliance, more effective braking, greatly reduced unsprung mass and less gyroscopic effect in cornering.
Much of this is due to the exclusive 3-Component Composite, a complex formulation of carbon and epoxy, reinforced with stainless steel wire. The 2.5 mm thick wire is integrated into both sides of the rims, increasing impact resistance in the most critical areas. The world’s only one-piece, carbon monocoque wheels, Rotobox products are manufactured utilising a high-pressure Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) process that consistently turns out flawless, watertight rims.
The new high-pressure core technology used by Rotobox achieves a higher density of armature in the composite, extreme matrix accuracy and a greater smoothness of the wheel surface.
The carbon fibre surfaces can be ordered painted up in Rotobox’s palette of colours, with splashy graphics, stripes or any logo. For protection, the wheels come in a choice of matt or glossy finishes covered by a UV-blocking clear coat that accentuates their carbon weaving.
As direct replacements for stock rims, model-specific Rotobox wheels come in convex and symmetrical designs for motorcycles with dual- or single-sided swingarms. Their CNC-machined 7075 T6 aluminium billet brake disc and sprocket carriers can be customised with optional anodising colours.
The high strength delivers a permissible maximum static load of 280 kg on the rear and 180 kg on the front wheel. Typically, the weight is 5.51 kg for the convex and 6.69 kg for the symmetric set.
They are supplied with a cush-drive, spacers, easy access, 90-degree aluminium billet valve stems and a choice of ceramic or steel bearings. They meet JASO T203-85 safety standards that include lab-based tests measuring cornering, radial, torsional and impact performance; available in 3.5 and 6 inch sizes with 2-year warranty, and optional premium SKF ceramic bearings.



Handguard LEDs boost visibility

New from the originators of the popular ‘Storm’ handguard, Australian specialist Barkbusters, are these auxiliary LED lights. Designed to be fitted to its handguards, either as white running lights or amber turn signals (or both in the case of their VPS and Storm handguard designs), they are said to add to safety by increasing the visible distance to the bike midpoint, resulting in a significant improvement of the rider’s visibility to other road users.

Available in both white and amber for fitment to JET, VPS and STORM plastic handguards, they maximise visibility to approaching vehicles and provide additional running and/or signal lighting to motorcycles.
Sold in E-marked pairs, each indicator or auxiliary light consists of 15 super-bright LEDs that offer outstanding visibility in traffic while keeping power consumption low. Sporting a sleek and innovative design, the lights allow parallel mounting functionality so that both indicator and position lights can be mounted together on one handguard.
An optional resistor (load equaliser) is also available for use with the indicator lights to correct the flash rate if necessary. The long life span LEDs only draw 0.4 amp per indicator light and 0.2 amp per running light.



Dual shell size polycarbonate ‘Stunt ‘Blizzard’

Italian specialist Caberg continues to develop its popular sporty look, compact design polycarbonate ‘Stunt’ full-face helmet.
The two-shell size ‘Blizzard’ is a new for 2017 version, with a double visor system (Double Visor Tech) and integrated anti-scratch treated sunshade visor. The outer clear anti-scratch visor is prepared to take a Pinlock lens.
Ventilation is provided by three glove-friendly wide air vents, with the lower vent on the chin guard driving air directly to the inner side of the visor to avoid misting. The top vent channels fresh air inside the helmet through the numerous air grooves.
The washable and breathable, hypoallergenic lining, chin guard wind stop and breath guard are all removable; it is available in various colourways with matt or gloss finishes, weighs 1,450 (smaller) and 1,500 (larger) grams (+/- 50 g), features micrometric buckles and is homologated to ECE 22.05.



‘Mission’ touring gloves

The new ‘Mission’ touring glove sees a popular “Orina classic” return with an updated specification that includes abrasion-resistant Gigatex material (52% Polyurethane, 48% PET) on the inner hand and the cuffs and improved Carbolex protectors on the edge of the hand, with especially soft Technalin. Gold cow’s leather on the unlined inner hand offers excellent grip, while the back hand is completely underlain with Kevlar.

Conductive material on the index finger and thumb means most mobile devices with touch screen can be operated, and with a wide selection of men’s, women’s and children’s styles available, including fitments for larger hands, there is a ‘Mission’ for everyone.



‘Wave’ discs for Africa Twin and MT-07

Spanish brake component manufacturer Galfer is well known for its brake discs, especially its unique ‘Wave’ disc design. The company is always updating its programme of over 3,000 fitments, and the latest to be released are the front and rears for Honda’s CRF 1000L Africa Twin and a front for the Yamaha MT-07.
Front floating ‘Wave’ disc for the Africa Twin

Made in laser-cut stainless steel with a high carbon content, Galfer’s ‘Waves’ are direct replacements for the stock disc (so no alternate brackets or hardware are needed), so are therefore TÜV certified (KBA nº 61147 / 61148).
The lower unsprung weight (between 15-25%) means improved performance, with the design noted for its improvement over stock disc braking power, better heat dissipation, excellent resistance to corrosion and less tendency to warp.

Rear fixed ‘Wave’ disc for the Africa Twin

The ‘Wave’ is said to maintain cleaner contact between the surfaces of the pad and disc; the carrier is available in anodised high-resistance aluminium (7075 T6 - 6082 T6) and the brake track in stainless steel (AISI 420), adding further options for personalisation to an area of the bike not normally associated with custom detailing.

Front floating ‘Wave’ disc for the MT-07

In other news from the Spanish manufacturer, the well-known Italian racing team of former world champion Fausto Gresini has signed a partnership with Galfer for the 2017 season to use dual front and single rear ‘Wave’ racing discs on the Honda Moto3 Factory 2017 HRC NSF250RW bikes of Fabio Di Giannantonio and Jorge Martin. This follows HRC validating Galfer’s CW1 discs and certifying them for use on the official HRC Moto3 2017 bikes.



LeoVince add to GP Duals fitments

Now available for the Ducati Scrambler 800 and Kawasaki Z 800, LeoVince GP Duals are available as slip-ons or full systems, made in AISI 304 stainless steel for durability, with a high temperature resistant metallic, ceramic based matt black paint applied as a finish on both of the double bodies.

The LeoVince logo is engraved into the opaque ceramic paint using modern laser technology; GP Duals are EU-approved and easy to install, thanks to the laser-cut muffler connection bracket.
The past three years saw the company sell over 360,000 exhaust products, with revenues up by 21 percent. In 2016 the company introduced over 100 new products and applications, and now has over 600 active SKUs, 124 employees, a 23,000 sq m facility and sells to 38 countries through 70 plus distributors.
GP Duals are also available for selected BMW (R nineT), Honda (CB 500 F/CBR 500 R), Suzuki (SV 650 and GSR 750) and Yamaha models (slip-ons for the MT-10, complete systems for the MT- 07/9 and XSR 700/900).


Wednesday, 19 April 2017


The new BMW HP4 RACE has carbon fibre monocoque chassis

BMW has released details for its much anticipated new HP4 race bike, with 750 models planned to be “individually crafted for top performance on the race track”.

The company says that “fascinating technical solutions for maximum performance on the race track have always been the hallmark of hand-picked factory racing motorcycles modified to perfection down to the last detail. With the new HP4 RACE, BMW Motorrad presents a purebred racing bike in a production run of 750. It is individually crafted by a small, highly specialised team, ensuring the very highest level of quality.
“In terms of engine, electronics and spring elements, the new HP4 RACE is in the same category as current superbike factory racing machines, even surpassing this level in the area of suspension with its carbon fibre frame. Weighing 171 kilograms when fully fuelled and road ready, the new HP4 RACE is even lighter than the factory racing bikes currently used in the Superbike World Championship and is only slightly above the MotoGP factory racers in terms of weight.
BMW had been known to be working on carbon fibre chassis technology, and with the HP4 RACE BMW say they are “the first motorcycle manufacturer in the world to present a main frame made entirely of carbon fibre and produced industrially in small series, thereby making this future-oriented technology available for anyone to purchase”.
The frame weighs just 7.8 kg, with front and rear wheels also in carbon fibre, enabling a weight reduction of approximately 30 per cent as compared to light alloy forged wheels, while retaining a “deliberately rigid” design.
BMW say the HP4 RACE has a “purebred racing engine similar to specifications 6.2 and 7.2 of the Endurance and Superbike World Championships. The peak output is 158 kW (215 hp) at 13,900 rpm. The maximum torque of 120 Nm is reached at 10,000 rpm. The maximum engine speed has been increased compared to the engine of the S 1000 RR from 14,200 rpm to 14,500 rpm. With the aim of achieving the best possible performance, a 6‑speed close-ratio racing gearbox is used with optimised transmission ratios and various secondary ratios (diverse pinions and chain sprockets included).
Additional features include Öhlins spring elements, light alloy underslung swingarm and Brembo monoblock brake calipers from the Superbike World Championship, weight-optimised electrical system, 2D dashboard along with Dynamic Traction Control DTC, Engine Brake EBR, Wheelie Control and other electronic features.

An overview of the highlights of the new BMW HP4 RACE …

  • Carbon fibre main frame in monocoque construction, weighing just 7.8 kilograms
  • Self-supporting carbon fibre rear frame with three-stage height adjustment function
  • Carbon fibre wheels offering a weight reduction of some 30 per cent as compared to light alloy forged wheels
  • Öhlins FGR 300 upside-down fork
  • Öhlins TTX 36 GP spring strut
  • Brembo GP4 PR monoblock brake calipers with 320 T-type racing steel brake discs (thickness 6.75 mm) at the front
  • Racing engine at World Cup level with an output of 158 kW (215 hp) at 13,900 rpm and a maximum torque of 120 Nm at 10,000 rpm
  • Close-ratio racing gearbox with adapted transmission ratios
  • Weight-optimised electrical system featuring light lithium-ion battery with 5 Ah
  • 2D dashboard and 2D data recording, including logger
  • Dynamic Traction Control DTC (programmable for selected gears at 15 levels)
  • Engine Brake EBR (programmable for selected gears at 15 levels)
  • Wheelie Control (programmable for selected gears)
  • Launch Control
  • Pit Lane Limiter
  • Light trim parts made of carbon fibre with snap fasteners
  • Paint finish in BMW HP Motorsport colours
  • Production run of 750 units, each individually crafted


New Honda R&D centre for ‘Cooperative Intelligence’ systems

Honda has announced the establishment of a new research and development unit with responsibility for commercialising ‘new value’ areas that include robotics, artificial intelligence, connected mobility systems and energy management. 

Honda Riding Assist

Named ‘R&D Centre X’, the unit will have a particular focus on the developing of new products driven by the convergence of these areas.
R&D Centre X will “harness Honda’s expertise in manufacturing inherently reliable hardware and its passion for helping people to realise their hopes and dreams. The remit of the new unit is distinct from Honda’s existing R&D operations that focus on specific business areas such as automobiles, motorcycles, power products and aircraft engines.
“Central to the development of innovations in the fields of robotics and advanced mobility is the goal of creating systems with ‘Cooperative Intelligence’ – artificial intelligence that can relate to and work cooperatively with people. Honda envisages a ‘truly human-centred intelligent robotics society’ in which robotics can empower, gain experience from and empathise with human beings”.

Centre X will combine core strengths with the latest advancements in data and artificial intelligence

Since its foundation, Honda says it has “realised the expanding possibility to create new value from rapidly-advancing digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and ‘big data’. Responding to such changes, Honda will empower R&D Centre X to combine its core strengths with the latest advancements in data and artificial intelligence to continue to create products and experiences that can improve the quality of people’s lives”.


SBS’ “Partners in Racing” concept supports product development

Danish brake pad manufacturer SBS has been involved in the motorcycle racing business for almost 25 years now, and every year they have cooperated with leading international and national race teams and top riders.
At SBS this concept is known as “Partners in Racing”, and it is central to their ability to test and develop new and existing product. “The programme plays an important role in our product development process”, says SBS Race Manager Allan Østli. 

Allan Østli, SBS Race Manager, with Kenan Sofuoglu’s Kawasaki – “our ‘Partners in Racing’ concept is important for our product development”
Photo: Lars Rulffs

“Brake pads are one of the most important components in motorcycle racing. In today’s racing, only a very few overtaking manoeuvres are the result of acceleration and pure engine power – the braking zone is where most of the action happens. With “Partners in Racing” we get our products tested under the toughest conditions, and we get very useful feedback from the people who really know what braking is about. This is an important add-on to our own test activities”.
The feedback from the world’s racetracks results in R&D engineering staff being able to improve and develop the company’s brake compounds, not only for race use, but also products that are used on the road – classic “track trickle down”, says Allan.
“Especially when it comes to riders’ preferences and feelings for the final “finger-tip” performance -   our race tests and our close partnerships with riders and their teams have a deep impact on our R&D work”.

 “the pad for podium positions”

Down the years some impressive names have contributed to the SBS mission – champions such as Carlos Checa, Kenan Sofuoglu, Andrew Pitt, Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes, Troy Corser, James Toseland, Michael Dunlop and many others are not the worst references to have when talking about racing and braking.
In 2017 the list of teams and riders that take part in World Championships as SBS’ partners “is more or less endless”, says Allan. Riders such as Nicki Hayden and Stefan Bradl (Ten Kate Honda World Superbike Team) and Marcus Reiterberger and Jordi Torres (BMW Althea Racing Team) in WSBK.
In Supersport SBS have Roberto Rolfo (Team Factory Vamag), Kenan Sofuoglu and Kyle Ride (Kawasaki Pucetti Racing) and Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) using their product, with Thomas Luthi (Car Expert Interwetten) in Moto GP2 and Philip Oettl (Südmetall Schedel GP Racing) in Moto GP3.
In the World Endurance Championship “where durability is the key parameter”, SBS has a long-lasting partnership with the Swiss Bolliger Team, who have a long record of world championship top 5 results, and French Superstock world champions Tati Team.
On a national level SBS has a test and development cooperation with Shane “Shakey” Byrne and Marvin Fritz, who both achieved 2016 championship wins in the British Superbike and IDM German Superbike Championship respectively.
SBS is also active in Motocross GP Championship racing - for 2017 the list of partners includes the ICE1 Husqvarna team owned by Finnish F1 driver Kimi Räikkönen, Wilvo Yamaha featuring Shawn Simpson and Gautier Paulin, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team, and others.
In June SBS will continue its history of involvement in the unique demands road racing, again supporting Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson at the Isle of Man, the NW 200 and other events.
For the race teams competing on asphalt, SBS typically offers the Dual Sinter compound for the front. Allan explains that “this compound was introduced 10 years ago, but we have developed it regularly since then based on the feedback from our partners – feedback that has allowed us to also be testing some new innovations this season. For the rear, we typically recommend a carbon tech or a sintered compound, depending on riding style and motorcycle”. For Motocross, SBS recommends special sintered racing compounds.


OptiMate 4 – Version 3 has landed

First introduced in 2008, TecMate’s OptiMate 4 quickly became established as one of the most popular battery chargers in their line-up. 

Version 2, introduced in 2010, had two major updates - high frequency, fully electronic power conversion (able to receive global 100 – 240Vac power) and a dual program feature. Program 1 gave direct charging to a 12V battery via the battery clips or permanent battery leads with M6 (1/4”) rings; program 2 allowed charging to be activated through the CAN bus controlled 12V power port on BMW motorcycles.
The OptiMate 4 dual program was the first to solve the problem of the BMW rider periodically having to turn on the key to re-activate their battery maintainer to prevent their battery running down; OptiMate 4’s keyless program communicated seamlessly with the BMW CAN bus control and guaranteed 24-7 maintenance without the need of supervision.
The keyless entry and additional features, such as the ability to save a battery from as low as 0.5V and pre- and post-charging testing (allowing the user to monitor charge progress), quickly made OptiMate 4 dual program the most popular and trusted charger in global powersport. 
The new Version 3 retains all these advantages and more. The more efficient power circuitry (California approved) now delivers 1 Amp of charge current and refinements in the software control further speeds charging - with the visual LED instructions on the charger itself helping keep the user informed of charge progress at a glance.
Two models of the Version 3 are available - the standard V3 OptiMate 4 model and a dedicated BMW CAN bus edition. 


Sifam Group

CNC-machined parts from Sifam

Based near Nice in southern France, the Sifam Group (founded in 1994 by Pierre Manuel) has a fast-growing own brand apparel range that we have featured in IDN recently (S-Line). They are also one of the largest France based distributors with a wide range of famous name and own brand hard parts available from their 3,900 sq m headquarters warehouse.

Seen here, these brake fluid reservoirs are made from CNC-machined aluminium and are available to fit all models with separate master cylinder reservoirs. A wide window allows the rider to check the fluid level easily, and they are said to be stronger, more resistant and more durable than the OE plastic reservoirs they replace and bring a “custom touch to the bike in a choice of model match or contrast highlight colourways”.

Also manufactured in machined aluminium, these ‘Easy Clutch’ fit on all cable clutch bikes and allow one finger pull. The aluminium case is very light and gives a factory look to off-road models.

A large range of CNC-machined aluminium lever protector sets are available from Sifam for all the latest road bikes. These lever protectors, in a choice of custom colourways, will avoid the lever touching any close car or bike and activating the front brakes; they also protect levers from damage in the case of an impact.



XVS 1300 Custom accessories

Well known German accessory manufacturer Fehling offers dealers access to one of the largest handlebar, luggage carrier system and engine protection ranges in the industry.

Seen here are new accessories for the Yamaha XVS 1300 Custom, a range which includes their 38mm tube protection guard, baggage holder, rear rack, mounting bar for additional spotlamps and tubular sissybar with pad and carrier.

Fehling design and make all their own products in-house at their factory near Dortmund in Germany. Founded in 1945 as specialist metal forming and processing engineers, the company specialises in motorcycle parts, currently employs around 25 people and is still in the founder's family ownership.



Specialist S 1000 RR parts programme

We first wrote about Modena, Italy based Jetprime last year, when they had released details of a complete range of ‘Plug & Play’ handlebar switches for most popular sportsbike makes and models.

This new carbon fibre oil pan is said to be over 150 grams lighter than the stock design and allows lower internal pressure

Suitable for race or road use, they are designed and manufactured in-house by Jetprime, who are a chosen technology partner to the Althea BMW Racing Team in the World Superbike Championship and the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup.
Now the collaboration has resulted in the availability of a range of new products for the S 1000 RR, and this new lightweight oil pan in carbon fibre has been manufactured in an autoclave using a special production cycle to guarantee maximum strength, even at temperatures higher than 250°C. The process is said to produce a design that is also resistant to the vibrations and movements created by the engine.
It allows to decrease the internal pressure of the engine so that it can contain more oil and lower the oil suction point; it is also equipped with an aluminium CNC-machined plug which inserts pressure onto a special titanium insert, which is inside the oil sump itself. Jetprime say that this unique technique makes it possible to decrease the weight by over 150 grams (compared to the stock unit), giving “macroscopic improvements in the dynamic qualities of the motorcycle”.
A larger CNC-machined aluminium oil pan is also available as part of a growing programme of specialist components for BMW’s popular superbike.


Ilmberger Carbonparts

Boxer LC valve cover

Respected German specialist Ilmberger Carbonparts is offering a new valve cover for all BMW Boxer LC models.

Owner and chief engineer Julius Illmberger said that “the cover was developed by us and has a weight of below 500 g, which makes it much lighter than the original part, having a positive effect on riding performance and handling. In addition the part is made from a carbon formulation that is more robust and resistant than others used in the motorcycle parts industry, and the protective properties of our special clear coating adds to the durability of its looks and service life”.
The kit contains both valve covers, spark plug covers and the injection jet covers, bringing a touch of contemporary high-tech styling to the water-cooled Boxer powertrain.
Other matching protective covers are available from Ilmberger for both sides of the LC models, offering additional personalisation and protection options.



Italian Rizoma detailing for
Germany’s R nineT Scrambler

Italian parts and accessory manufacturer Rizoma is always quick to cast its eye over new models, and the 2016 BMW R nineT Scrambler was a natural for their eye for detail to be able to scope out opportunities for customers to individualise their bike.

At the front is a Rizoma headlight fairing with billet aluminium adapter and a cross-bar for the OEM handlebar fork stabiliser, matching up with a rear fender for the undertail to achive the Enduro look.
For long range street and off-road riding, LED fog auxiliary lights with aluminium covers and supports for back and side bags make the Scrambler long-distance ready.

The headlight protection and engine protection bars are essentials, while ‘Rally’ rider pegs with replaceable steel teeth, an adjustable shift lever, adjustable ‘3D’ brake and clutch levers and grips (available for all R nineT models thanks to the specifically designed adapter) help deliver grip and control for all conditions.
Additional detailing can be added with a selection of head covers, engine covers and intake tips; brake and clutch fluid tank caps; exhaust tips for OEM exhaust and four different license plate support styles all deliver the kind of large visual impact and smaller, subtle detail refinements that define the concept of “personalisation”.


Thursday, 13 April 2017


ACEM elects new top management

The Brussels based European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) has elected a new leadership team during its 2017 Spring Congress held in Berlin.
Mr Stefan Pierer, CEO of KTM AG, will become President of ACEM as of 1 July 2017. He will succeed Mr Stephan Schaller, President of BMW Motorrad, who will start serving as Vice President of ACEM on the same date. 

Left to right: Stephan Schaller, BMW Motorrad President; Stefan Pierer, KTM CEO; Michele Colaninno, member of the Piaggio Board of Directors and CEO/COO of the Immsi Group

The European Association will also have a new Vice President: Mr Michele Colaninno, who is member of Piaggio & C. SpA’s board of directors as well as CEO and COO of the Immsi Group, which controls the Piaggio Group and also holds investments in a number of important Italian industrial groups.
Stephan Schaller said: “I am delighted to announce that Mr Pierer will become the President of our European association. He is a widely respected business leader with substantial global experience and an excellent choice by our General Assembly to continue leading ACEM”.
Stefan Pierer said: “Mr Schaller has done an excellent job at positioning ACEM for the future. I know I speak for the whole European motorcycle community in stating how much this work is appreciated. I look forward to start my term as President and to work for a stronger association that promotes motorcycling across Europe”.
Michele Colaninno said: “The Presidium will work to ensure that issues such as free trade, road safety and environmental protection remain at the core of the work done at ACEM, taking into account the strategic directions adopted by the European institutions”.


Energica MY 2017 updated with increased power

Modena, Italy based high performance E-bike manufacturer Energica has achieved the European Euro 4 homologation and announced new, increased specs for its 2017 Ego and Eva models as a result of the tests.

Energica Ego Lunar White (Photo: Damiano Fiorentini)

Energica Ego, the electric sportsbike, now offers a higher power output of 145 hp, and Energica Eva, the electric streetfighter, revealed 108 hp.
The maximum power of the Ego is now reaching 107 kW (constant maximum power at 6.000 rpm), while Eva has now 80 kW (constant maximum power at 6.000 rpm).
The value of the maximum torque is increased too - for the Ego it goes from 195 to 200 Nm, while for Eva from 170 to 180 Nm.
The MY 2017 range is already available through the official Energica sales network with prices held at 2016 levels. The company is offering a “VP - Value Promotion” formula through June 30, which gives customers the choice between trade-in value plus bonus reward of € 6.000 on the purchase of a new Energica motorcycle within 24 months from customer’s vehicle delivery date, or extended term battery warranty. The limited warranty on a customer’s vehicle battery will be extended to 5 years or 100,000 km instead of the normal duration of 3 years or 50,000 km.
Energica says that with the Euro 4 homologation, the new Energica 2017 model year will have the OBD diagnostics (on board diagnostics). According to European regulations, the Energica motorcycles will have standard software that will communicate with a universal diagnostics tool, so any workshop will be able to get access to the data.

Venhill Engineering

Brass cable ends for reconditioned classic instruments

British specialist Venhill Engineering has upgraded its range of replacement speedometer and tachometer cables with new brass drive ends.

Traditionally the inner cable would be “squared-off” in a press, so that it fits into the drive behind the clock. However, many owners of classic European and Japanese motorcycles have the original clocks reconditioned, because genuine parts are no longer available. The reconditioned units often have different tolerances on the square drive compared to the original, so the traditional squared ends of those cables no longer fit.
Venhill’s elegantly simple solution is to use brass ends that match the newly reconditioned clocks more accurately, for a precise and tidier fit. Two sizes of speedo drive are produced - one for traditional British bikes (3mm across the flats) and one for Japanese models (2.5mm across the flats).
Some customers fit Japanese sized clocks to their classic British bikes – with Venhill’s new system they can produce cables with different size drives at either end.



Africa Twin colours for Xtrace helmet

Caberg has added to its Xtrace polycarbonate helmet line-up with ‘Africa Twin’ colours. The Xtrace was introduced in 2015, and is also available in two solid colours (matt black and white), and in the Lux design with a matt black base and yellow fluo graphics. It is available in two shell sizes.

Equipped with the easy to use DVT (Double Visor Tech) system with integrated sun shade visor, ventilation in the Xtrace is guaranteed by three wide, glove-friendly air vents. The lining is completely removable and washable and made with transpiring fabrics; there is also a removable wind stop and breath guard. Homologated to ECE 22.05 it weighs 1,500 to 1,550 g (+/- 50 g), depending on shell size.


Barnett Clutches & Cables

Barnett billet clutch baskets

Established in 1948, Californian specialist manufacturer Barnett’s clutch baskets are CNC precision- machined from the most durable aluminium and feature replaceable stainless steel inserts to prevent grooving of the basket where the clutch plate tabs make contact.

Oil passage windows are machined into the basket to increase oil flow to the clutch plates, resulting in cooler operating temperatures and a longer clutch life.
Grade 8 quality fasteners are included, and the backing plate is also included where applicable. Select applications come with the centre kicker gear already installed. These baskets are available for popular 80cc and up off-road motorcycles and sport ATVs.


Rainers Sports

‘S-80’ short boot with waterproof membrane

Founded in 1988, Rainers Sports in Spain is best known for their riding boots, with an “ever growing number of competition riders also choosing our high-quality Spanish designed and made boots”, according to the company.

Following on from the 999 GP carbon design boot that was seen in the last edition of IDN, this is their new ‘S-80’ short riding boot, featuring a Velcro and zipper fastening, a waterproof membrane, reflective insert on the back and ventilated TPU heel protector.
The padded and robust construction ensures safety and comfort, with non-slip all-surface sole and reinforced toe. Designed from much of the same technology Rainers developed for their 783 XRS and 879 TXT fully featured riding boots, the all new ‘S-80’ presents a more “relaxed” casual alternative.



Touratech R 1200 GS Rambler

Not content with developing adventure parts, accessories, suspensions, luggage, lights, boots, jackets and, well, just about everything you could imagine for the well dressed, well equipped 21st century adventure tourer, the only thing left for German specialist Touratech was to take the final step from conversion parts and kits to a whole bike make-over …

German specialist Touratech says their new R 1200 GS Rambler interpretation “takes it to the extreme” - well, extremely ambitious, yes - and, as far as the reaction from the notoriously hard to impress off-road media industry is concerned, they have managed to pull it off, and did so extremely successfully.

“A super-lightweight 1200 cc adventure bike with excellent enduro characteristics, high performance potential and fantastic suspension”. Well, that just about says it all really. And with a liquid-cooled boxer weighing in at less than 200 kilos that “bounds nimbly over rough terrain”, Touratech’s R 1200 GS Rambler conversion is “good to go”.
With a target weight of 199 kilos, their ‘K 199’ has got to be one of the lightest R 1200 GS conversions ever…a modern interpretation of the BMW HP2 – a motorcycle that not only looks like a sporty bike, but also rides like one. A bike that shows just how closely the touring and off-road sports product divisions at Touratech are interlinked.
Touratech CEO Herbert Schwarz had the pleasure of putting their K 199 to the test in the Azores (dirty work, but someone had to do it, right?), and his verdict has clearly been a positive “thumbs up” to his R&D team.
Touratech developed the Rambler in coordination with BMW Motorrad and built two prototypes, differing only in colour - one in the black-grey-yellow Touratech design, and the other in classic BMW Motorsport white, blue and red. Design implementation with clay model construction and prototyping were carried out at TT-3D in Murnau, while the technical components were developed and manufactured at Touratech in Niedereschach.
Touratech got clever by combining the engine-gearbox unit from the R 1200 R Roadster model with the shaft drive from the GS. This gives the Rambler a directly responsive, high-torque drive system with 125 PS that benefits from the Roadster’s stock tele fork.
With suspension tuned by Touratech Suspension, the boxer is extremely stable, even at high speeds. The use of modern materials and technologies, fairing sections made from super-lightweight aluminium tube in conjunction with carbon fibre, a titanium exhaust system, and a powerful but less heavy replacement lithium-ion battery, all help to bring the overall weight down. Compared to the standard model, the Rambler has shed nearly 50 kilos - making it incredibly agile, according to Herbert Schwarz.
Once the motorcycle was stripped of its fairing and all unnecessary mounting brackets, the frame was reinforced for hard off-road use. The original fairing was ditched to make way for the custom airbox with a fairing made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), and adapted protection bars.
Behind this is a self-supporting 16.2 litre aluminium tank, which also forms the subframe. Together with a separate plastic tank (1.8 litres) housing the fuel pump, the total tank capacity is 18 litres. The extremely slim seat, developed in a new process by TT-3D, does not require a base plate and is therefore extremely light.
Another unique feature on the Rambler is the front brake - a lightweight single-disc brake, as found on sports enduros, but with ABS. A CFRP engine guard panel protects the crankcase and sump. 

Tech Spec
• Airbox: carbon fibre reinforced plastic with original air filter (Touratech / TT-3D)
• Fairing: aluminium tube construction (Touratech)
• Tank: aluminium, lowered side walls, capacity approx. 16.2 l (Touratech / TT-3D)
• Fuel pump: in separate plastic tank (1.8 l) beneath the main tank
• Seat: enduro rally seat made from PU foam (Touratech / TT-3D)
• Frame: unnecessary mounting brackets removed
• Rear frame: aluminium with partially load-bearing function (Touratech)
• Handlebar & fittings: Magura TX handlebar, very light high-performance radial pump master cylinders for clutch and brake (Magura HC3)
• Triple clamp: custom-made by XTRIG
• Stem: aluminium tube construction (Touratech)
• Brakes: front 1 x brake disc Ø 300 mm; rear 1 x brake disc Ø 276 mm
• Brake lines: braided steel hose (Stahlflex)
• Bracket fork protector / brake hose guide: aluminium (Touratech)
• Bracket for number plate, rear light / indicators: plastic parts (Touratech / TT-3D)
• Rear light: BMW R nineT kit
• Main headlight: BMW G 450 X kit
• Indicators: BMW R 1200 GS
• Enduro exhaust system: titanium and carbon fibre reinforced plastic, custom-made by Akrapovic
• Rear silencer bracket: aluminium (Touratech)
• Battery: lithium-ion 12 V, 4.6 Ah
• Rear fairing: carbon fibre reinforced plastic (Touratech / TT-3D)
• Wheels: rugged Haan Excel rims (custom-made) with Metzeler Karoo 3 tyres; front  21 x 2.15 with 90/90 R21, rear 17 x 4.24 with 150/70 R17.
• Skid plate: carbon fibre reinforced plastic (Touratech / TT-3D)
• Sport mudguard: carbon fibre reinforced plastic (Touratech / TT-3D)
• Suspension: rear shock absorber custom-made by Touratech Suspension (Extreme type with 200 mm spring travel)
• Forks: original BMW F 800 GS Adventure fork with Touratech Suspension Extreme cartridge kit (230 mm spring travel)
• Footpeg assembly: titanium footpegs, aluminium bracket and heel guard

New Touratech catalogue 2017/18

“Streamlined, revised, updated, with a new format (16.5 x 21 cm), a fresh design and 1,576 pages, the Touratech catalogue 2017/18 presents a host of new ideas and innovative products for all adventures big and small on two wheels”, says the company.

The range comprises accessories for around 40 motorcycle models, including the 2017 version of the BMW R 1200 GS, accompanied by brilliant impressions from the “Red Continent” test ride with this motorbike. 150,000 copies have been printed in five different languages (German, English, French, Italian and Spanish).