Thursday, 11 May 2017


Honda +15.8 percent in Europe for first quarter of 2017

Honda saw global Group motorcycle unit sales grow by +3.6 percent to 17.661m units for their 2016/2017 financial year ended March 31st.; on a consolidated basis (directly and wholly owned operations) sales grew +6.3 percent to 11.237m units.

For the fourth quarter (January through March 2017) global Group unit sales were +1.8 percent (4.248m units); on a consolidated basis sales were +2.1 percent (2.633m units).
In Europe, consolidated unit sales were +15.8 percent at 66,000 in the final quarter (January to March 2017) and +6.4 percent for the full financial year to March 31st at 217,000 units.
Honda says it has seen further decreased sales of motorcycles and ATVs in the United States (-4.5 percent for the 12 months at 294,000 units) as the overall market there continues to stall; in Asia it has seen increases in Pakistan, Vietnam and Thailand (decreases in Indonesia) to leave them +10.0 percent at 9.513m units. Sales in Brazil were down.
Its 4th quarter Group motorcycle unit sales resulted in a +3.8 percent increase in sales revenue at 453.7 Bn yen, a 38.1 percent increase in operating profit and an 8.4 percent increase in operating margin.
Motorcycle sales revenue for the full year to end of March 2017 was actually down -6.1 percent at 170.1 Bn yen, with operating margin reduced to 9.9 percent.
Overall, corporate fiscal fourth quarter consolidated operating profit was up at 201.9 billion yen. Consolidated operating profit for the fiscal year (April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017) amounted to 840.7 billion yen, an increase of 67.0 percent compared to the previous fiscal year.
Consolidated operating profit for the fiscal fourth quarter (January 1, 2017 through March 31, 2017) amounted to 138.1 billion yen, an increase of 201.9 billion yen compared to the same period last year.

BMW Motorrad

BMW Motorrad Q1 deliveries +5.5 percent

BMW say its motorcycle division had a successful start to the year, delivering 35,636 motorcycles and maxi-scooters (2016: 33,788 units) to customers during the first quarter, which is 5.5% up on the previous year. 

Revenues grew by 7.0% to € 623 million (2016: € 582 million). “Higher volumes and positive sales-mix factors helped our motorcycle segment profit to jump by 33.0% to € 125 million (2016: € 94 million).
“Influenced by seasonal factors at the start of the motorcycle season, the segment EBIT margin came in at 20.1% (2016: 16.2%). Profit before tax also improved by 33.0% to € 125 million (2016: € 94 million)”.


Is VW looking at a possible Ducati sale?

Reuters has cited unnamed sources as indicating that German Audi/VW owner VAG is considering the possible sale of Ducati as Europe’s largest carmaker streamlines operations to help fund a strategic overhaul following its emissions scandal.

Citing “two people familiar with the matter”, Volkswagen (VW) is said to be cutting spending across the group, including cutting thousands of jobs at its core passenger-car brand, to help pay for a multibillion-euro shift to embrace electric cars and new mobility services.
VW has tasked New York headquartered investment banking boutique Evercore (EVR.N) with “evaluating possible options including a sale of the Ducati brand, which its Audi division (NSUG.DE) acquired for about 860 million euros ($935 million) in 2012”, the sources told Reuters.
“While Wolfsburg-based VW has started reaching out to potential buyers to sound out their interest, no decision has been taken on whether the brand will be sold”, they added.
VW referred to Audi for comment; Audi and Evercore declined to do so.
According to Reuters, one of the sources said Ducati made annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of roughly 100 million euros and could fetch a valuation of up to 1.5 billion euros, or 15 times its core earnings - a multiple similar to that of Italian supercar maker Ferrari (FCHA.MI).
Reuters say that a banker close to the industry said potential buyers were likely to offer VW an earnings multiple of more than 10, and that Ducati may appeal to motorcycle businesses or investors in China, such as those who bought tyre maker Pirelli two years ago. India’s Hero (HROM.NS) is quoted by Reuters as another potentially interested party; though given Hero’s “stubbed toe” over its involvement with Erik Buell Racing and previously announced but indefinitely delayed plans for Europe, it is likely that there are other Indian corporations, with and without current powersports industry involvements, that would be more likely candidates – candidates such as 51 percent Peugeot Scooter owner Mahindra and Mahindra. 

It is also rumoured that former Ducati owner and current Aston Martin Lagonda co-owner Investindustrial and former Ducati CEO Gabriel Del Torchio could also be “in-play”.
“It is an asset for trophy buyers with bigger interest in the brand than in the technology”, one of Reuters’ sources is quoted as saying. It remains unclear whether large competitors such as Polaris, Harley or Honda might be interested, they added.
Reuters also reports that if VW does not attract sufficient interest, it may also consider a stock market flotation for Ducati.
Volkswagen Group profits have soared in the first quarter of 2017 as those cost-cutting measures kick in. Group profit before tax rose 44.3% to 4.6bn euros, one of the carmaker’s highest quarterly results to date.
Meanwhile, the group’s troubled flagship brand also saw profits surge. Volkswagen brand operating profits rose to 869m euros from 73m euros the year before. VW last year overtook Toyota as the world’s biggest selling carmaker. Quarterly profit at Audi slipped to 1.2bn euros from 1.3bn euros a year earlier.


‘Vintage’ fabric jacket

The ‘Vintage’ is a double-layer polyester 600 jacket that has been oeko-tex certified - a prestigious international, independent control body which certifies the quality and non-toxicity of raw and semi-finished materials.

According to Hevik “it’s one of those fabrics that gives you a good feeling of quality and comfort immediately”. Embellished by colour bands and elegant leather finishes on cuffs and neck, internally the garment has a removable thermal layer, “making it suitable for most of the year. We have also developed a lining with a central area perforated in 3D mesh to improve breathability - an important consideration in double-layer garment technology”.
The cut of the ‘Vintage’ is “sporty and form-fitting with comfort guaranteed by the adjustment options at the hips and cuffs; a double fold neck protects from the wind and the level 1 (CE EN 1621-2012) protectors on shoulders and elbows and back protector pocket bring genuine riding features to retro-styling”. Available in black with white and red inserts and grey with black and grey inserts.

HEVIK S.r.l.


Barnett billet clutch basket for Ducati

California based specialist Barnett manufactures a wide range of clutch components for most leading makes and hundreds of models of sportsbikes, cruisers, street bikes and off-roaders.

Their patented Ducati clutch basket is CNC precision-machined from aerospace quality billet aluminium and utilises their proprietary “second generation” stainless steel inserts, which are said to be 50 percent harder for extreme wear resistance.
“The end result is an incredibly durable basket that ensures a long life and smooth, consistent clutch engagement”. Available in red, black, or gold anodised.



Custom details for 2017 Z1000SX

British manufacturer Powerbronze has released parts designs for the 2017 Kawasaki Z1000SX.

Highlights include Airflow ("Double bubble") windscreen for improved aerodynamics; pre-drilled rear huggers, carbon front mudguard, a solo seat cowl, cooler grill, carbon chain guard and fork protector kits.
Made of high-impact, durable plastic or steel, they are all available in a range of colours, supplied complete with full instructions and all necessary hardware and brackets/fittings.
Other recent models to get the “Powerbronze” treatment include the 2016 Aprilia Tuono (Airflow screen, hugger and replacement belly pan) and the 2016/17 KTM 1290 Superduke (hugger).

The company also offers hand-polished standard screens for most popular makes and models, CNC laser-cut in their own factory in England.



Mitas adds new dual-purpose tyre sizes

Czech tyre manufacturer Mitas (part of the Swedish Trelleborg Group) is extending its TERRA FORCE-R dual-purpose tyre range and adding five new sizes from March 2017. After the extension, the range will include eight sizes. Mitas’ TERRA FORCE-R is designed for maxi enduro and trail motorcycles and is meant to be used 90% on-road and 10% off-road.

Ksenija Bitenc, Director of Motorcycle Tyres and Tube Product at Mitas, says “by extending the 90/90-21 tyre size to V speed index (240 kmph), we will get a perfect set for a combination of 90/90-21 54V for front wheels and 150/70R17 69V for rear wheels.”
Bitenc added: “TERRA FORCE-R is our flagship product featuring advanced technologies, which are the result of in-house research and development. This gives the tyre excellent grip, optimal balanced wear and maximum confidence for riding on-road as well as off-road.”
The dual-purpose TERRA FORCE-R tyre is “designed for daily commuters as well as adventurers who love longer trips with both passengers and luggage. Both groups of riders can enjoy a safe, user-friendly and dynamic riding experience. Riders will appreciate the excellent traction on wet or dry roads and outstanding performance on light off-road surfaces”.
The TERRA FORCE-R street-oriented tread pattern “ensures immediate grip, easy steering and manoeuvrability with good straight and corner stability. It is an excellent choice for riders of adventure motorcycles. Advanced technologies such as OGT3D (3-D Optimum Groove Technology), SCT (Strong Carcass Technology) and FEA (Final Element Analysis) are used - the result of in-house research and development”.
The two new TL rear sizes are 120/90-17 64H and 130/80-17 65H.



EXAN’s triple Yamaha offerings

Italian exhaust manufacturer EXAN is offering a selection of exhaust options for three of the best-selling recently launched Yamaha models – the 998cc MT-10, the Tracer 900 and the XSR 700.


For the MT-10, EXAN recommend their X-BLACK OVAL (rhomboid shaped silencer with removable dB-Killer, in stainless steel, titanium and stainless steel black), their X-BLACK EVO (lightweight, removable dB-Killer, in clear satin or satin black stainless steel), and their recently introduced race derived X-GP (classic round silencer, available road legal or race only; very light, significant power gains; the X-GP Hyper Naked adds a touch of aggressive retro styling, available in stainless steel, stainless steel black and titanium).
X-Black Oval

For the Tracer 900 Sports Tourer EXAN recommend a complete rhomboid shaped silencer X-Black Oval system, available in a choice of stainless steel, black steel, titanium and carbon. The complete system is said to save 4kg and offers a more “slender style” design for improved handling, especially in corners. Comes with removable dB-Killer for homologated or track performance.

Finally, for the twin-cylinder XSR 700 dealers can choose between the trapezoidal X-Black Oval with its carbon end cap and choice of plain or satin black stainless steel; the more traditional round “Classic” line in black stainless steel; their TAPER type II, also a traditionally styled system, and the Conical type II is available in clear or black finished stainless steel.
All are available with removable dB-Killer and said to produce weight savings and power gains.



Versatile M1 jet helmet

The versatile Jet version of Schuberth’s M1 is equipped as standard with integrated speakers and innovative concealed microphones (“a first in motorcycle helmets”, according to the company) for the optional SRC-System intercom - separately available as an add-on.

Numerous design options allow customisation, such as the seven colourways of the helmet’s outer shell and choice of standard grey or optional coffee colour for the inner lining. The clear standard visor can be replaced with optional 40% or 80% tint versions, or visors in a silver or blue mirror finish; there are five different sun visors to choose from, and also the option to remove the visor and use an accessory peak in titanium or matt black. The top ventilation scoop is available in titanium (standard) or in matt black.
The outer shell of the M1 is made of a composite matrix, thanks to which the helmet just weighs 1,395 g, but despite the low weight it is said to ensure “outstanding” shock absorption. Variable density EPS is used for a multi-piece inner shell that incorporates integrated ventilation channels to create a controlled flow of air through the helmet.
The M1 has the Anti-Roll-Off system, ensuring that the helmet remains securely in place in an emergency and a seamless, removable, quick drying anti-bacterial and breathable inner lining.



C45T steel PBR sprockets for Ducati models

Italian specialist PBR has added to its line of Ergal sprockets for Ducati models with this new C45T steel version, to offer dealers an alternate price/quality point.  

PBR apply the same quality control and precision CNC-machining to their steel products as to their Ergal line, with an advanced induction tempering treatment ensuring improved reliability and an increased durability for these rear sprockets than other steel products typically have.
Available in several toothing set-ups, the C45T sprocket line is available for all Ducati models from PBR distributors at very attractive dealer pricing.