Friday, 19 January 2018


Honda European motorcycle sales revenue +29.5 percent April - September 2017

For the three months ended 30 September 2017 (the second quarter of their 2017/18 financial year) Honda has reported total global sales revenue from its motorcycle business of 510,109 m yen (3.75 bn euro), yielding a segment profit of 68,520 yen (503 m euro).
For the first six months of their financial year, motorcycle sales revenue was 1,018,649 m yen (7.5 bn euro) for a 147,362 m yen profit (1.08 bn euro).

In Europe the company reported sales revenue up by +44.7 percent at 30,809 m yen for their second quarter (226 m euro), taking their six months year-to date to + 29.5 percent at 76,464 m yen (562 m euro).
Euro conversions are approximate at 4th January 2018.
In other Honda news, the company has celebrated the 10th anniversary of its motorcycle production plant at Iquitos City, located in the Selva, Amazon rainforest area of Peru. The company started operations there in 2007 with some 40 employees and today has 120 people working there, with cumulative motorcycle production in the last 10 years exceeding 300,000 PTW and ‘MotoKAR’ three-wheeler units. Honda first started production in Peru in 1975.
Based on its longstanding commitment to “build products close to the customer,” Honda began motorcycle production in Peru in 1975 in Trujillo in northern Peru. In anticipation of increasing demand for motorcycles in Peru, Honda established HSP, a new production operation, in Iquitos in 2006.
Meanwhile, Honda R&D Co., Ltd., the R&D subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., has signed a 5-year joint research and development contract with SenseTime Group Limited, a China-based IT company with strengths in the area of AI technologies.
Specifically the project will evaluate and develop moving object image recognition technologies powered by deep learning technology, currently one of the most advanced AI technologies. The joint research project will combine SenseTime’s moving object recognition technologies with Honda’s AI algorithms for scene understanding, risk prediction and action planning.
The two companies will develop highly-sophisticated automated driving technologies, which will enable complex automated driving in urban areas to establish automated driving technologies to “realise a collision-free society.” The two companies also plan to expand their joint activities into the area of robotics.


Motorex becomes Husqvarna official oil partner

Langenthal, Switzerland based Bucher AG, the manufacturer of the Motorex line of powersports lubricants, has announced that it is to be the official lubricant partner of Husqvarna Motorcycles and of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team.
In addition to increasing visibility of the Motorex brand through involvement in top-level racing activities, Motorex engine and gearbox oils will be used as the first fill in all Husqvarna motorcycles, with their Motoline care and maintenance products being recommended for all servicing of Husqvarna motorcycles through the worldwide Husqvarna dealer network.

Husqvarna says that “in 2013 Husqvarna Motorcycles re-established their position as one of Europe’s key motorcycle manufacturers, achieving sales and production records year-on-year ever since. Husqvarna strives to develop high-quality products that appeal to motorcycle enthusiasts around the world. Swedish-inspired design and a pioneering tradition help Husqvarna position itself as a premium brand in both the off-road and street sectors.
“Like Motorex, Husqvarna Motorcycles are committed to competition. Establishing the global Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team at the start of 2016, Husqvarna have further strengthened their presence in all off-road disciplines worldwide.

Motorex’ partnership with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing began on January 6 when team riders took to the start of the Dakar Rally, the AMA Supercross Championship and round two of the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship. Pablo Quintanilla (Chile) and Andrew Short (USA) will compete aboard FR 450 machines in the Dakar Rally, while Jason Anderson (USA) and Dean Wilson (Great Britain) will spearhead Husqvarna’s Supercross participation on their FC 450 bikes. Colton Haaker (USA), Alfredo Gomez (Spain) and Billy Bolt (Great Britain) will represent Husqvarna and Motorex in the SuperEnduro Championship.
Edi Fischer, CEO of the Bucher Motorex Group, said: “This new cooperation comprises all the components needed for success – a dedicated cooperation in R&D, in production, in racing and in aftermarket business with Husqvarna dealers.”
Ronald Kabella, Motorex Powersports Director, added: “As a pioneer in off-road racing, Husqvarna is another strong partner for us in Motocross, Supercross, Enduro and Rally racing – all disciplines where, as a brand, we are traditionally well established.”
Stefan Pierer, CEO of the KTM Group, is quoted as having said: “With this strategic partnership with Motorex, Husqvarna will continue their exciting and dynamic forward progression. Focused on pioneering development, it is of crucial importance to partner with a globally acclaimed lubricants manufacturer - one with whom we share the same objectives.”

EICMA 2017 review part 7

Beringer: The respected French brakes specialist was founded in 1985, and many customisers consider the company’s 6-piston radial calipers and Aerotec master cylinders and discs to be a “go-to” choice for high performance braking applications, especially when upgraded suspension systems and controls are being used;


TecMate: The manufacturer of the market-leading OptiMate programme of battery chargers, diagnostic and maintenance systems for AGM, GEL and standard lead-acid batteries is on a crusade to educate the market about the advantages and safe and proper use and maintenance of lithium (LiFePo4) batteries for powersports applications;


Ferodo: New from the brakes specialist, the FERODO MXR disc range covers most popular motocross bikes, with all MXR discs incorporating Ferodo’s unique Dirt Expulsion System (DES). They are manufactured with Ferodo’s cross drilled holes design in order to improve braking performance and consistency; in off-road conditions, traditional hole designs tend to act as a collection point for mud, gradually reducing performance and increasing wear. This is further compounded when the mud starts to bake and harden at the high temperatures often experienced during MX use. Ferodo’s cross drilled hole pattern expels dirt and mud, maintaining the braking performance, reducing the risk of pad glazing and prolonging the life of the braking parts;


Stylmartin: “The adventure never ends” with Stylmartin’s new ‘Matrix’ boots, featuring full grain, water-repellent leather uppers, waterproof and breathable lining, gear shift, malleolus, shin and fibula protections and Vibram outer sole;


Vertex Pistons: Celebrating 23-year-old Kiara Fontanesi’s 5th women’s MX World Championship in six years in 2017, new products this year from the Italian piston and performance specialist included an enlarged range of street pistons. Developed in the World Championship, in collaboration with Team Gresini and several other series, including Superbike and Supersport, the Vertex street range includes 15 models in replica or high compression versions for selected Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and BMW and Ducati models. Provided in kits with segments, pins and mounting rings, they feature a minimum limit weight for their category and an increased compression ratio with a “great performance increase without any loss of reliability”;


Nexx Helmets: Andre Varandas, Marketing Manager. The Portuguese manufacturer’s 2018 line-up will be available for dealers in November, and from the highlights teased so far, it looks like Retro is its “new black”. As part of the X.GARAGE Collection, there will be the off-road X.G 200 helmet, along with a backpack, a facemask and a complete line of off-road retro-inspired goggles. Also new for the adventure segment is the new X.WED 2 helmet;


SBS: A new branding programme is the latest in a series of upgrades to the Danish brake pad manufacturer’s market presence that has also included entry into new market sectors, including the brake disc market;


Yamaha Motor earnings “strong” in first 3 quarters

Yamaha Motor Co. has raised its 2017 income forecasts after it announced consolidated business results for the first nine months of its 2017 financial year (the period to 30th September 2017) with net sales up by +10.4 percent and a +35.9 percent increase in operating income.

Net sales for Yamaha Motor Co.’s consolidated accounting period for the first nine months of its fiscal year (ending December 31, 2017) were 1,250.7 billion yen, (an increase of +117.9 billion yen or +10.4% compared with the same period the previous fiscal year), and operating income was 120.8 billion yen (an increase of +31.9 billion yen or +35.9%).
In the emerging markets motorcycle business segment, net sales increased thanks to higher unit sales in the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, and operating income increased thanks to the effects of product mix improvements and cost reductions such as promotion of the platform transition.
Despite decreasing in Indonesia due to the market slump there, unit sales and net sales of motorcycle products increased overall.
In developed markets, all businesses (apart from power products) saw increased sales and income.
Net sales of motorcycle products overall were 782.0 billion yen (an increase of +82.8 billion yen or +11.8% compared with the same period the previous fiscal year), and operating income was 54.5 billion yen (an increase of +25.8 billion yen or +90.3%).
Operating income increased in emerging markets - principally the ASEAN region - thanks to the effects of product mix improvements and cost reductions such as promotion of the platform transition and increases in developed markets, as well thanks to the effects of yen depreciation, leading to increased income overall.
In other news, Yamaha has signed the UN Global Compact (the “UNGC”), a voluntary initiative promoted by the United Nations in which participating companies and organizations “create a global framework to realize sustainable growth by acting as good members of society through displaying responsible and creative leadership. Participating companies and organizations are required to support and enact ten principles.

Meanwhile in India, Yamaha saw its FZ25 recognized at the CII Design Excellence Awards, winning the “Two-Wheelers Commercial” - “Mobility Design” category. This competition is hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry, and the accolade represents the company’s first honor in these awards, received at its first application.
Made and sold in India, Yamaha’s FZ25 was recognized at the CII Design Excellence Awards, winning the “Two-Wheelers Commercial” - “Mobility Design” category

Now in their seventh year since establishment in 2011, the CII Design Excellence Awards recognize outstanding products manufactured and/or sold in India. Produced and sold in India by their subsidiary India Yamaha Motor Private Limited, the FZ25 is a street model motorcycle featuring a new 250cc BLUE CORE engine, which is said to deliver “both riding enjoyment as well as excellent fuel efficiency and environmental performance”.

Design notes – Yamaha logo; building pic if we have it, and for this combo piece, at least for the MW version, can you rip the pic of the FZ25 from here …

FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE)

2018 FIM International Six Days Enduro dates changed

The 2018 FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE), originally scheduled for Oct. 22-27 in Viña del Mar, Chile, has been rescheduled to Nov. 12-17 at the same location.
The International Six Days Enduro is the world's largest annual off-road motorcycle competition. Since 1913, countries have sent their best off-road racers to exotic locations around the world to be tested on everything from sandy beaches to rocky crevices, to deep woods and motocross tracks for the event's top prize: the ISDE World Trophy.
Each year, countries from all over the world send teams to compete at the ISDE. The World Trophy Team features four riders that compete for the world title, along with the Junior Trophy Team, which features three riders, and the Women's Trophy Team that features three riders.
In addition, each country can send a number of three-rider club teams. Teams compete for team honors, while individual riders race for a gold, silver or bronze medals, which are based on a rider's finishing time relative to the leader. 

Widely regarded as the “Olympics of Motorcycling”, the ISDE is the most prestigious off-road motorcycle event in the world. First held in Carlisle, England, in 1913, the ISDE is one of the longest-running events on the calendar of the FIM calendar.
Originally known as the International Six Day Trial, the event was held primarily on roads in the beginning – although the “roads” of the era were often as difficult as today’s trails – and were designed to test both machine reliability and rider skill. Today, the ISDE, a name it adopted in 1980, is primarily an off-road event that traverses some of the world’s most extreme terrain.
Europe was the exclusive domain of the event until 1973, when it first made a trip to the United States. The event has since been held as far afield as Chile, New Zealand, Brazil and Australia.
The rules of the ISDE have evolved over the years, but it has always run under an enduro-type format, where riders have to follow a set route at a set pace over six days. In addition, there are strict controls on when a rider may work on his or her machine and the availability of tools and spare parts. The mileage of the event can vary, but is well over 1,000 total miles.
In August 2017 France won both the FIM World Trophy team championship and the Junior Trophy on home ground on the occasion of the World Trophy’s 92nd year at Brive, France. The French team of Jeremy Tarroux (Sherco), Loic Larrieu (Yamaha), Christophe Nambotin (KTM) and Christophe Charlier (Husqvarna) won the World Trophy by a six-minute and fourteen-second margin of victory ahead of Australia, Finland, Portugal, Great Britain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Brazil, Norway and Switzerland.
Australia won the women’s event for the fifth consecutive year.


TRW-Lucas sintered Road and Track pads, floating discs for BMW and new accessories

Website downloadable, the new catalogue from TRW-Lucas is “packed to the brim with an almost infinite variety of spare parts and accessories from the legendary TRW-Lucas brand” with “everything from performance brakes and clutches to handlebars and levers, from foot controls and registration plate holders to lowering and jack-up kits,” according to the Neuwied, Germany based company.

New products include general type-approved SRT Sinter Road & Track brake pads that are said to “guarantee the extra bite to allow safe and powerful braking on the street as well as on the track.” Described as offering high friction, consistent efficiency and fade-free braking, the premium sintered compound is “inseparably bonded to the backing plate using NRS technology - a hook matrix on the backing plate that moulds into the friction material, which TRW-Lucas says “rules out the loss of the pad material, even under extreme thermal conditions such as during mountain pass descents or in racing. The new Sinter Road & Track brake pads are totally compatible with OE discs and, of course, with all the TRW-Lucas brake discs.” 

TRW-Lucas brake discs for BMW motorcycles are now also available with riveted floaters, just as in the newest original parts, which is said to make replacing the brake discs easier. The company is also offering high-grade steel replacement brake disc bolts that meet the original specifications in disc service kits for a wide range of popular makes and models, supplied partially with thread locker, the kits have the correct model-specific quantities.

TRW-Lucas say their SP Edition racing rearsets are “in a league of their own. These sophisticated rearsets are especially designed for ambitious sports riders. With their filigree contours and black anodised surface, the ultra-lightweights give each sportsbike an individual touch”. Made from high-grade aluminium, they are CNC-milled, come with a certificate of conformity (TÜV) and are individually adjustable up to 28.5 mm horizontally and up to 18 mm vertically. The footpegs are foldable, and almost all the systems can be easily converted to reverse gearshift. 

Available in two lengths and four colours, their new adjustable brake and clutch levers can be matched to the design of almost any motorcycle. They are “ergonomically perfect, allowing optimum control of brake and clutch pressure, with glove-friendly adjustment wheel and available in two versions with general type approval – an 80mm “Street” design and a 50mm sporty “Racing” version, both in black, silver, titanium and the special gold; the standard black adjustment is also available in optional colourways.


Swiss motorcycle registrations

Swiss motorcycle registrations +1.86 percent through October 2017

The latest new registrations data released by Swiss industry association MotoSuisse shows motorcycle sales at +9.74 percent on low volumes for October 2017 and +1.86 percent for the year-to-date at 25,859 units.
Overall PTW registrations were +5.39 percent for October (2,113 units) and were broadly “flat” for the year-to-date at -0.71 percent (43,314 units).
Motorcycle registrations for the 2016 full year were -3.4 percent (26,391 units) after being +17 percent in 2015. In total PTW terms, the market in Switzerland was down by -6.21 percent at 45,897 units for the full year 2016.
In motorcycle market share terms, Yamaha had top spot for the ten months through October 2017, having sold 4,625 units, with BMW second (4,243 units), Harley-Davidson third (2,794 units), Honda fourth (2,662 units) and Kawasaki fifth (2,657 units).
Yamaha’s MT 07 was top seller (1,168 units), followed by the Kawasaki Z 650, the BMW R 1200 GS and the F 700 GS, with Yamaha’s MT 09 in fifth spot. Vespa is the top-selling scooter brand, having sold 3,553 units in Switzerland in the first ten months of 2017.

Premier Helmets

Premier launch VYRUS and confirm 5-year warranty on all helmets from 2018

Brand new from Premier for 2018, this full-face helmet is for “all those who love long-distance travel but also like to experience the pleasure and spirit of sports riding. High quality for high performance - the result of research by the Premier R&D Department”.

Called VYRUS, it boasts a “cutting edge design and offers maximum aerodynamic performance without compromising comfort. Thanks to our detailed study of aerodynamics, VYRUS is as noiseless as it is possible to get – ultra quiet – making it ideal for both touring and sports use”.
Made from a thermo-plastic material that is highly resistant to impact, with the ability to dissipate the energy resulting from any kind of impact, the inner shell is moulded in variable density EPS to ensure maximum protection and absorption. The interior is available in two different sizes. 

The ventilation system involves three adjustable air vents (one on the chin and two on the upper shell) with fresh air channelled around the inside before exiting via the adjustable rear extractor, allowing internal climate (temperature) tuning.
VYRUS comes complete with an accessory that is said to increase safety margins during long trips in the sun - the dark scratch-proof internal sun shield eliminates the need for sunglasses, but can easily be disabled when entering a tunnel thanks to an ergonomic lever located on the lower left edge of the external shell.
The visor can be replaced and adjusted without the use of tools. Injection-moulded in transparent polycarbonate, it is 2.2 mm thick, anti-scratch treated and suitable for use with the Pinlock anti-fogging system - a Pinlock lens is provided as standard. It has an external housing through which the cables for Bluetooth technology can be routed.
As with all Premier helmets, the interior is in sanitised-treated, anti-allergenic fabric and fully removable and washable, while the strap features a rapid-release fastener for micrometric adjustment. A removable wind stop and nose guard are included as standard. VYRUS is homologated according to current standard ECE 22-05.
As of January 2018, Premier says all its helmets “will benefit from another important new feature, with helmet warranty valid for a period of 5 years following purchase, subject to registration on the Premier website”.