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).