Friday, 9 June 2017


Honda’s Atessa factory makes
its millionth SH

Honda’s Atessa factory, founded in the Abruzzo region of central Italy in 1971, has reached a historic milestone - the production of one million units of the perennially popular SH scooter series.

Honda’s original SH50 started production in Belgium in 1984

The second generation SH100 was produced at the Atessa factory when it opened in 1996

The SH story began in 1984 with the production - in Belgium - of the SH50 ‘motorino’ moped. Manufacture of the second generation SH50, and the new SH100, moved to Atessa in 1996. Honda’s main European manufacturing plant has remained the home of SH production ever since and now makes all three currently available SH models: the SH300, SH150 and SH125.
The 2017 SH 125 – along with the SH 150 and 300, Honda sold 17,000 SH scooters in 2016

The SH125 model has been produced at Atessa since 2001 and was Europe’s best-selling scooter in 2016 with over 17,000 units sold. The latest version of the SH125 went into production in December 2016 and features LED lights front and rear, remotely operating Smart Key and new styling that is even more refined and sophisticated, while retaining a classic SH look.

Swedish motorcycle sales

Swedish motorcycle sales -6.79 percent January to April 2017

The latest data from McRF, the Swedish motorcycle industry trade association, shows new motorcycle registrations at -24.35 percent in April at 1,662 units (+28.19 percent in March at 1,596 units) and are running -6.79 percent for the year to date (January to April 2017).

As was the case elsewhere in Europe, there may well have been some Euro 3 inventory pre-registrations in Sweden at the end of last year, but Per Johansson, the CEO of McRF, explains that there were three fewer retail days in April 2017 compared to last year, and that while mild weather probably boosted March sales, April was colder and wetter.
In total PTW terms, April saw 3,255 new machines registered (1,593 mopeds, +2.25 percent, 3,211 YTD) to leave the market about level at 6,987 total units YTD (6,904 in the first four months of 2016); March had been +27.57 percent with 2,665 new PTWs of all kinds registered.
In 2016 Sweden recorded +8.00 percent growth in new motorcycle registrations for the full year at 10,178 units; total PTW registrations were +10.18 percent at 21,347 units in total.
This year’s MC Massan Swedish motorcycle show at Stockholm at the end of January saw strong attendance - in the region of 53,000 visitors. In 2018 the show will return to Gothenburg from January 25 to 28.

News Briefs

British performance and handling technology firm HM Quickshifter has announced SpeedMob as its U.S. importer and distributor. Known for their strain gauge based technology, Quick Shifters are available for all riders, from the top-level MotoGP Teams to the street enthusiast. Their top of the range HMSS GP system “uses intensive and very advanced mathematics and digital signal processing (DSP) to identify when the gears have fully engaged. This nullifies the requirement for kill times and not only ensures the shortest possible kill times between shifts, but also ensures the smoothest and safest gear changes possible regardless of the conditions, load, rpm or gearbox characteristics”.

Italian sportsbike parts and accessory specialist Bonamici Racing has announced a partnership with Aprilia Racing for the 2017 season to run in the WSBK Championship, SuperStock1000 Championship and Italian CIV SBK.

A new ‘plug in’ subsidy scheme for electric motorcycles in the UK has seen its first customers benefit from the incentive. Introduced by the UK Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to increase the uptake of electric vehicles, the buyer of a Zero FXS (average range of 60 miles, top speed of 85mph) saw the price of his new bike reduced by £1,500 (or 20% of the total purchase cost).

The next edition of the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2018 is going to be held in Mongolia, in central Asia, in the early summer of 2018.

Italian manufacturer Sidi is the official boots provider for Husqvarna Enduro, SuperEnduro and Extreme Enduro Team Riders. This two-year agreement will see all six Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Enduro, SuperEnduro and Extreme Enduro team riders based in Europe wearing Sidi boots throughout their 2017 and 2018 racing campaigns.

French brakes manufacturer Beringer has appointed Frog Specialities Llc. as its exclusive U.S. importer and distributor.


Touratech windscreens: “More comfort, great looks”

Touratech says its in-house manufactured windshields offer “better protection from the elements and boost the aerodynamics of a wide range of adventure bikes. They are available in different heights to suit the size of the rider and the intended use”.

The “form and function of the upper edge of the windshields are based on our rally racing experiences. The design is patented in the USA and provides optimum coverage and the cleanest airflow while still keeping a relatively low profile and great looks. The material used is a shock-resistant “Plexiglass”, which complies with the German general operating permit (ABE) standards.
“The aerodynamic optimisation guides the air streams over the head of the rider without unnecessary turbulence. This means the shield is not only flicker-free, but also improves the riding experience for the rider and passenger”.
Touratech windscreens are currently available for the BMW F 800 GS and R 1200 GS/ADV, Ducati Multistrada, Honda NC 700/750 X, NC 700/750 S and Honda CRF 1000L Africa Twin (as seen here), Yamaha MT-09 Tracer and KTM models 1190/1050, 1290/1190/1050 and 690 Enduro/R.
Depending on the bike model, the Touratech windscreens are available in various sizes to suit the rider's height and the application, in a transparent or tinted version.



Shoei RYD Street full face

New for 2017 from Shoei, the RYD Street helmet is made in four shell sizes from an organic fibre and multi-composite fibre laminate (AIM) for a “shock-absorbent shell with optimum rigidity”.

Features include a variable density EPS liner system, removable and washable cheek pads (individually adjustable), and a 3D centre pad combine interior safety and comfort. Shoei’s Emergency Quick Release System (EQRS) facilitates safe and fast helmet removal in the case of an accident; mist-retardant CWR-1 Pinlock visor; integrated spoiler for “optimised aerodynamic performance” and multiple venting and extraction with three inlets on the brow and chin and two exhaust outlets at the rear.
Optional accessories include choice of 14 visors, different sizes/thicknesses of cheek and centre pads, breath guard and chin curtain; ear pads are included, and the helmet is prepared for intercom installation.
The RYD joins Shoei’s full face line up as a fourth option alongside their X-Spirit 3, NXR and GT-Air.



More Monster

Austrian exhaust manufacturer Remus claims it has found an additional +4.7 hp for the 1200R Ducati Monster with its ‘Hypercone’ slip-on muffler.

Available with stainless steel, stainless steel black or titanium sleeves, with plug-in Euro 4 catalytic converter available for the stainless steel application, the weight-optimised design is said to be 3.2kg lighter than the stock muffler it replaces and to deliver an extra +3.5 Nm torque.
Power peaks at around 9,600 rpm with a maximum output of some 155.5 hp with sound insert; the torque is strongest in the mid-range peaking at 126.1 Nm; with sound insert at around 8,000 rpm.



Stealth Evo racing boot updated

Stylmartin, established in Montebelluna, Italy, in 1979 by Antonio Binotto, still draws its design inspiration from the founder’s creative vision, according to owner Calzaturificio Antis.

Their top-of-the-range Stealth Evo racing boot has been updated for 2017 with improvements to the plastic components and a redesign to improve foot movement. The signature black and white look is emphasized by the use of contrasting and stylish matt and shiny finishes and new graphics on the upper.
Stealth Evo has all the full technical features of their standard Stealth boot, including an upper in microfiber and a breathable air mesh lining. Protections include polyurethane shin protection and shift pad, jointed, flexible front shock absorption, and an anatomical heel design with shock-absorbing internal padding. There are open/close air intakes on the shin plates, heel and back, and toothed bands with an adjustable button; micrometric lever and protected zipper mean secure fastening.
The anatomic footbed is anti-shock and anti-bacterial with silver thread; the sole is anti-slip in hard-wearing rubber with a changeable titanium slider on the toe and PU at the heel.


HP Corse

Evoxtreme for Hypermotard

‘High’ left or ‘Low’ right

Italian exhaust manufacturer HP Corse’s racing division has developed two versions (‘High’ or ‘Low’ ) of its ‘Evoxtreme’ performance exhaust system for Ducati’s Hypermotard.
Available in silver or black finished stainless steel, they are said to deliver increased power due to the reduced weight and greater agility due to improved throttle response. A weld-free slip-on design, the irregular shape of the silencer body is complemented by the slash-cut carbon fibre end cap for a design that the Bologna manufacturer says enhances the design of Ducati’s legal 821cc air-cooled V-twin supermoto.
HP Corse, Italy,

Monday, 5 June 2017

UK motorcycle registrations

UK motorcycle registrations -14.64 percent January to April

The latest data released by the MCIA (Motorcycle Industry Association) in the UK makes for disappointing reading, even allowing for the Euro 3 inventory pre-registration hand-over.

Motorcycle registrations in March were -11.29 percent (13,818 units) and -15.28 percent in April (9,743 units), which is also behind the 2015 market performance. For the year to date the UK market is -14.64 percent at 31,425 units sold.
Moped sales were -25.82 percent in April (-29.27 percent in March) and are running at -24.08 percent year-to-date (1,974 units).
In total PTW terms the UK was down -15.91 percent in April (10,283 units – the market was -12.68 percent in March) and is running at -15.26 percent year-to-date (33,399 units).
‘Naked’ style bikes remain the most popular in the UK (9,693 units), followed by Adventure Sport models (6,091 units YTD); the scooter market has seen sales drop by 28.4 percent YTD (5,617 units), and the historically dominant Supersport market is down -26.0 percent (3,238 units), with Touring and Sport Touring models down by -16.2 percent and -9.5 percent respectively. The only sector to show growth so far this year in the UK is the Trail/Enduro market, which is +4.1 percent.
In power band terms the only growth seen is above 1000cc with sales of the largest machines +1.9 percent YTD (7,377 units); the combined 651+cc market was worth 16,931 percent of total UK motorcycle sales YTD, which is 50 percent of the total.
The best-selling motorcycle model in the UK in April was Kawasaki’s Z1000 SX; Yamaha’s MT-10 was the best-selling middleweight motorcycle (651-1000cc). BMW’s R 1200 GS tops the Adventure Sport market, with the R 1200 RT the best-selling Touring model.

Honda unit sales +15.8 percent in Europe

Honda unit sales +15.8 percent in Europe for first quarter of 2017; +6.4 percent in Europe for 2016/17 financial year

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 only) sales grew +6.3 percent to 11,237m units.

For the fourth quarter (January to 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 decreases in 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 contract. Asia 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 fourth 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 were 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.

Austria – motorcycle registrations

Austria – motorcycle registrations +6.17 percent for Q1

The latest data released by the motorcycle trade association in Austria (Arge2Rad) shows registrations of new PTWs for the first quarter of 2017 broadly flat at -0.19 percent (7,684 units).

In terms of motorcycles of over 125cc, the market was +23.11 percent in March at 2,989 units, and is +6.17 percent for the YTD at 3,323 units.
In its home market KTM is market leader with a 22.12 percent share for the first three months of the year, with BMW second (16.97 percent), followed by Honda (11.16 percent), Yamaha (10.32 percent) and Kawasaki (6.62 percent).
In total PTW terms Vespa is market share leader, followed by KTM, Honda, BMW and Derbi.
In 2016, new motorcycle registrations for the full year in Austria were up by +19.54 percent at 15,004 units (the market was flat in 2015 at 12,551 units). In total powered two-wheeler terms registrations were up by +12.52 percent (43,621 units) for the full year. In January this year, Austria became the second country in Europe (after the UK) to launch an e-mobility purchase incentive programme.


Yamaha report Q1 sales revenue up worldwide, unit sales down in Europe

Net sales for Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd.'s consolidated accounting period for the first quarter of the fiscal year ending December 31, 2017 were 386.0 billion yen (an increase of +3.1 billion yen or +0.8% compared with the same period the previous fiscal year), and operating income was 37.3 billion yen (an increase of +5.0 billion yen or +15.5%).

In the developed markets business, profitability improvements progressed in marine, industrial machinery and robot products, and electrically power-assisted bicycles, but remaining one-off factors, such as the appreciating yen and the effect of unrealized income etc., led to decreased sales and income.
Regarding the emerging markets motorcycle business, increased sales of products in the higher price range and profitability improvements through cost reductions and structural reforms etc. continued, which led to increased sales and income.
Ordinary income was 40.8 billion yen (an increase of +12.7 billion yen or +45.1% against the same period the previous fiscal year), and net income for the period attributable to parent company shareholders was +31.7 billion yen (an increase of +11.0 billion yen or +53.0%).
Motorcycle net sales were 232.5 billion yen (an increase of +2.7 billion yen or +1.2% compared with the same period the previous fiscal year), and operating income was +13.9 billion yen (an increase of +6.4 billion yen or +84.0%).
Unit sales decreased in developed markets such as Europe, North America and Japan. Unit sales in emerging markets such as Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand increased, but decreased in the Indonesian market etc.
Net sales decreased in developed markets due to an appreciation of the yen and lower unit sales, whereas net sales increased in emerging markets thanks to increases in unit sales and sales of products in the higher price range. Operating income increased due to the effects of product mix improvements and cost reductions etc.


World’s fastest motorcycle bound for Bolivia

The world’s fastest motorcycle, the TOP 1 ACK ATTACK, is bound for Bolivia for an epic adventure to exceed its own record of 376.363 mph/605.697 km/h. The twin-engine streamliner is going to make a run for the record on the remote Salar de Uyuni salt flats high in the Andes mountains between August 3-8, 2017.
The TOP 1 ACK ATTACK’s previous record-breaking runs took place on the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats, but the team is now travelling to Bolivia to conquer this new challenge.

“Bolivia has been selected because it has a much longer run up and down of 16 miles versus about seven miles at Bonneville,” explains ACK ATTACK pilot and three-time World Land Speed record holder Rocky Robinson. “This makes it safer, too. Wheel spin on driven – not thrust/jet – streamliners is a danger, so the acceleration has to be very gradual to avoid awkward handling. Distance is your friend!”

“Honestly, we would have preferred to set the record in Bonneville,” adds TOP 1 VP of Sales & Marketing Frank Ryan. “TOP 1 lives and breathes the American lifestyle. We produce and package our products in the USA before distributing them to 60 countries around the world. However, several years of bad conditions at Bonneville, coupled with record rainfall this year, means we have to travel to the top of the world to find optimal conditions. Those conditions just happen to be at 12,000 feet above sea level in the Andes mountains.”
Breaking down Bolivia by the numbers: Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 square miles) with an elevation of 3,656 meters (11,995 feet) above sea level. The high elevation will play havoc with fuel management, and the harsh conditions will take their toll on the entire team, but Robinson says they are on a mission to not only defend the current World Land Speed record of 376 mph/605 km/h, but also to be the first motorcycle to break the 400 mph speed barrier!
“When we started to build the TOP 1 ACK ATTACK in 2003, our goal was to exceed the record of 322 mph that had stood for 16 years,” said Mike Akatiff, builder of the TOP 1 ACK ATTACK, “but in the back of my head was the thought that we could build a bike to actually go 400 mph. We began challenging the record in 2004, and, with the backing of TOP 1 Oil, we have broken the record three times: in 2006, 2008 and 2010. The 2010 record still stands today at 376.363 mph, but I believe the bike is now ready to go much faster, and with a suitable race track we feel we can make history once again.”
Founded in 1979 by William “Bill” Ryan, TOP 1 Oil Products is a premium synthetic lubricant brand. TOP 1 prides itself as being an American brand and being run by the 2nd and 3rd generations of the Ryan family.
Built by Mike Akatiff, owner of Ack Technologies, an avionics company, the ACK ATTACK is a brilliant piece of engineering. The 20-foot long streamliner is powered by a pair of turbocharged/intercooled Suzuki Hayabusa engines, producing more than 1000bhp. The quest to be the world’s fastest motorcycle hasn’t been easy – the ACK ATTACK crashed three times during record runs, in 2004, 2007 (when it rolled 16 times) and 2011 – “but with great risks come great rewards.”

News Briefs

Spanish luggage manufacturer SHAD was awarded the new International German Design Award 2017 for its SH36 cases in recognition of their “innovative design”. The accolade follows the International Red Dot award received for the design in 2015.

Honda is starting a joint venture with Hitachi Automotive Systems to produce motors for electric vehicles. A “memorandum of understanding” was signed between the two Japanese giants in February for a Hitachinaka City (Ibaraki) based enterprise that will be jointly capitalised to the tune of an initial 5 billion yen (approx. 40 euro). It is reported that the new company will have sales and production subsidiaries in China and the United States.

Spanish EV manufacturer Torrot (owner of Gas Gas) leads sales in the Spanish 2-wheel electric sector for January. The new Torrot Muvi urban electric bikes are boosting sales for the company, with the Muvi City version heading sales with 56 units sold in January, out of a market total of 268 units of all brands sold.

BMW Motorrad says it has had a good start to 2017 globally, with a total of 7,503 motorcycles and maxi-scooters delivered to customers in January, an increase of 0.2% on the same month last year.

Award-winning air filter manufacturer Twin Air is to support Rockstar Energy Husqvarna for the next three years in an extension of a partnership that has seen them being the official provider of air filter and performance accessories to the majority of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing teams. Founded in 1972, the Dutch company was the first to introduce the washable and reusable dual-foam laminated air filter.

2015 British Superbike Champion Josh Brookes (making his Norton TT debut) and fellow Australian David 'Davo' Johnson (seventh place in last year's Superbike TT) will ride the IOM for Norton in June on a race version of the recently launched V4 SS road bike in the Senior and Superbike TT races. Both riders will compete on the all-new SG6, derived from the recently launched V4 SS road bike.

Parts Europe

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

The Parts Europe catalogue has been growing every year since the company opened its giant state-of-the-art distribution facility at Wasserliesch, near Trier in Germany in 2008. Every year the Parts Europe Street catalogue grows, and with it the staff at the European headquarters – some 160 people now make Parts Europe one of the largest distribution teams in Europe.
This year, there are some 370 fewer pages in the main catalogue, but the company is also now offering a unique new dealer guide to tyres, service and workshop items, chemicals and lubricants that provides their dealers with an additional 580 pages of high turnover, high margin and often exclusive brands and product items.
The ‘Street’ catalogue is still a beast though, at 1,624 desk-bending pages of the most “outstanding selection of top brands and new products in the industry”.

Available in print and online, they detail the complete Street inventory available from the European operation of the world’s largest parts, accessory, performance, tuning, service and apparel products distributor.
A wholly-owned subsidiary of the US based LeMans Corporation, a 38 million euro investment has produced a 16,500 sq m distribution centre offering 750 brands and over 280,000 products.

BC Battery Controller

BC P12USB DUAL - 12V socket with double USB port

BC Battery Controller has introduced a restyled version of its P12USB DUAL accessory, a “practical 12V socket with a removable dual USB adapter and a universal mount for all motorcycle handlebars” thanks to the included mounting kit for 22.2 mm, 25.4 mm and 28.6 mm size bars.

Completely made in Italy, the socket can be used for charging smartphones, tablets, GPS navigators and other electronic devices, both through a 12V adapter (max. 2 amp) or through USB (5V, 2.1 amp + 1 amp), which is said to be enough for charging iPhones, iPads and similar devices, as well as for connecting a BC Battery Controller charger.
Sold blister-packed with hanging hole and multi-language description, the P12USB DUAL is equipped with a 145mm cable with battery install eyelets, allowing easy mounting, even when the battery is some distance from the handlebar. A QR code takes the user to video instructions for the kit.
Further features include waterproof connectors and a protective cap, short-circuit protection, automatic overload cut-off function and a protection fuse on the positive cable, close to the battery poles.