Thursday, 14 June 2018


KYMCO “Ionex” open energy platform

At the Tokyo Motorcycle Show in March, KYMCO unveiled what it describes as a “game-changing electric scooter solution that eliminates all barriers to going green”.
The Ionex scooter charging architecture is the world’s first multi-function open energy platform - a rechargeable Li-ion battery system that KYMCO says has the potential to eliminate waiting times, massively improve battery portability and deliver a range of up to 200 km.

The system uses shared outlets and public charge locker infrastructure to charge removable battery packs that are housed in an ergonomically efficient smart energy bay that is said to make doing so a lot easier than has been the case so far.
Weighing less than 5 kg and with a carry-friendly design, the under-floor battery placement is said to help the electric scooter achieve the lowest possible center of gravity possible while creating “the largest under-seat storage ever”.
Each KYMCO Ionex scooter has an internal core battery, so it can still be ridden with the portable batteries removed. The core battery is kept constantly fully charged by the removable batteries. Ionex automatically selects the optimal battery to charge the core battery and decides on the right battery to supply power. It makes all batteries work seamlessly work together.
KYMCO claims that the Ionex energy architecture eliminates the two primary obstacles riders face in making the decision to “go green” – range anxiety and the (currently) limited number of charging stations.
The batteries can be home-charged, and during the day an extensive Ionex Charge Point Network will mean riders can hand over their battery to have it charged; most charge points can fully charge a battery in less than an hour. Ionex also offers extra batteries for rental, these can be stored under the seat.
Additionally, the Ionex Power Outlet Network are locations where riders can use the public outlets to charge their battery; KYMCO says it has designed the charger to be easily portable and to fit neatly in the scooter.
“To scale everything to the next level, the Charge Point Network, Extra Battery Rental and Power Outlet Network all embrace the spirit of the sharing economy. Everyone is invited to take part in this open energy network. Aside from raising their public image, participating businesses can draw potential customers to their establishment”.


Yamaha: Q1 net sales revenue +3.7%; unit sales down in Europe

Reporting that earnings were “up solidly in the first quarter” and that profits rose “in all major product categories”, net sales for Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.'s consolidated accounting period for the first quarter of the fiscal year ending December 31, 2018 [the quarter ending March 31st 2018] were 405.6 billion yen, (an increase of 19.5 billion yen or +5.1% compared with the same period the previous fiscal year), and operating income was 41.2 billion yen (an increase of 3.9 billion yen or 10.5%).

Profitability improvements continued in the emerging markets motorcycle, marine and industrial machinery and robots businesses, absorbing the effect of the appreciating yen, and leading to increased sales and income.
In motorcycle terms, net sales were 241.2 billion yen (an increase of 8.7 billion yen or +3.7% compared with the same period the previous fiscal year), and operating income was 14.5 billion yen (an increase of 0.6 billion yen or +4.3%).
Unit sales in developed markets decreased due to factors such as a decline in total demand and irregular weather in Europe. Unit sales in emerging markets such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Brazil increased, but decreased in the Vietnamese 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. In terms of operating income, high profitability was maintained in the ASEAN region, helping to increase income, but, due to decreased income in developed markets etc., operating income overall was on par with the same period the previous fiscal year.
No changes have been made to the anticipated consolidated business results for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2018, with sales forecast to reach 1,700.0 billion yen in net sales.


Husqvarna continues AFT Singles support

Organisers AMA (The American Motorcyclist Association) managed to inject a new lease of life into the American Flat Track Racing series in the United States - America’s oldest and many would say most authentic and iconic motorcycle race series.

Photo Credit: American Flat Track/Zach Prescott

Much of the excitement centered around the AFT Twins presented by Vance and Hines, in which traditional rivals Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle went head-to-head on their respective new 750cc race bikes.
For 2018 the Singles series, that runs alongside the Twins class, sees Husqvarna continue as the Official Motorcycle of AFT Singles with its race-proven FC 450 – and is again putting up an $88,700 contingency winnings purse for this year’s Singles competitors.
“We are delighted to continue to partner with Husqvarna Motorcycles for the 2018 season,” said Michael Lock, CEO of American Flat Track. “The AFT Singles class is the perfect combination of fast-and-furious pro flat track racing and young, talented athletes on production-based bikes. Husqvarna’s commitment to the class in general, and specifically in bringing AFT Singles its first-ever factory-backed rider in Shayna Texter, is a real boost for the sport.”
“Husqvarna Motorcycles is proud to be the ‘Official Motorcycle of the AFT Singles Class’ for the second year running,” said Husqvarna Marketing Manager Jenna Parker. “We are excited by the developments in the American Flat Track championship series and look forward to seeing the sport continue to cultivate enthusiasm for motorcycling.”
Husqvarna Motorcycles will put $4,650 up for grabs for Husqvarna FC 450-mounted riders in all 18 rounds of the 2018 AFT Singles season. Additionally, a $5,000 bonus pool is available to riders who finish in the championship top three aboard Husqvarna equipment.

Polish new motorcycle registrations

Poland: new motorcycle registrations -28.76 percent Q1

After being down by -41.84 at 15,032 units for the full year 2017, the latest data released by the motorcycle industry trade association in Poland (PZPM) put new motorcycle registrations in the Polish market at -33.32 percent for the first quarter of 2018 (1,225 units) and -28.76 percent for the YTD (2,093 units).

Until last year’s reverse, new motorcycle registrations had grown consistently in Poland since 2013 and stood at record levels at the end of 2016 (25,844 units).
New moped registrations were down by -55.50 percent (Euro 4 effect) with total new PTW registrations -43.66 percent YTD (3,739 units); in 2017 they were -10.18 percent for the full year (44,669 units).
However, new model registrations are only ever part of the story where the Polish market is concerned. Poland is an important market for pre-owned vehicles (from elsewhere in Europe) that are receiving their first domestic Polish registration; these machines provide valuable service, maintenance and PG&A income for Poland’s franchised and independent motorcycle shops and the vendors they buy from.
Combined total new and used motorcycle registrations are running at -17.65 YTD (12,573 units); new and used mopeds combined are -44.11 percent YTD on low volumes; total new and used PTW registrations are -24.39 percent YTD at 15,494 units, having been -6.75 percent for 2017 at 109,393 units.

News Briefs

Race Winning Brands (RWB), the Mentor, Ohio based parent company of Dutch piston and performance specialist ProX Racing Parts, has bought Rekluse, the Boise, Idaho based clutch manufacturer. A “portfolio company” of Kinderhook Industries Llc (of New York, who bought the then ProX parent company PMI from Dover Corp in early 2007), RWB, which describes itself as a “leading manufacturer of high-performance and racing application focused components”, also owns Wiseco and JE Pistons among others.

Royal Enfield parent company Eicher Motors and Polaris Industries (Indian Motorcycle) have closed down the ‘Multix’ personal utility vehicle manufacturing joint venture they established in 2012. Despite initial success with the project, Eicher Polaris Pvt Ltd is said to have lost money throughout its operation, with a $14.13 m loss for the year ended March 2017, taking Eicher’s total investment in the project to north of $40m.

American distribution to manufacturing giant MAG has successfully completed its reorganisation process and emerged from its bankruptcy protection filing of November 2017. MAG is the parent company of well-known U.S. businesses such as distributor Tucker Rocky and parts and accessory brands and manufacturers such as Vance & Hines, Kuryakyn, Roland Sands, Performance Machine and UK based Renthal.

Monroe shock absorber and former Marzocchi Suspension owner Tenneco has bought Federal Mogul from controversial billionaire activist investor Carl Icahan for some $5.4bn. Federal Mogul owns a number of businesses and brands that make powersports industry product of various kinds, most notably Italy based Ferodo brakes and Champion spark plugs and filters.

Ducati has opened a new flagship store in New York City.  The new dealership, with a renovated showroom of more than 700 sq m, is strategically located at 155 6th Avenue in SoHo in New York and opened its doors on April 19. Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said: “This new Monobrand Ducati Store represents a further step forward in the process of continuous improvement of the quality of our network internationally.”

UFO Plast

Original 2018 and vintage plastics kits

Italian off-road specialist UFO Plast has become well known for their riding gear and accessories, but their core business has always been replica and replacement plastic components for MX machines.

Fluo kit for Honda CRF 2018

“The huge availability of plastics for motorcycles is one of the workhorses of our production,” says Vito Consoloni, UFO Plast CEO.
“We have OE replacement and upgrade plastics and components available for more models than any other manufacturer in the world, because we have been producing spare parts for all the most important off-road brands and models in the world since 1987”.
The original UFO plastic line for Japanese off-road motorcycles, KTM and Husqvarna has been expanded with versions dedicated to Motocross and Enduro 2018 models. 

Honda vintage kit
“Characterised by double injection technology and high-quality materials, together with state-of-the-art production based entirely in Italy, kits include front and rear fenders, front number plates, side panels, fork slider protectors, air box filter panels and radiator covers.
The kits are available in different colours, from OEM colours through to the fluo, and in some versions with designs and stylised stickers. The company also produces the widest range of original plastics dedicated to Enduro motorcycles and vintage cross motorcycles starting from 1987.



R-Racer screen for ZX-10R and R-Fighter footpegs

Now available from Spanish specialist Puig is the R-Racer 3 mm high-impact acrylic racing screen for the Kawasaki ZX-10R. Developed in close collaboration with the Kawasaki WSBK team, “the design is the result of years of partnership with the dominant team of the world championship for the past few years, providing experience and riders’ feedback from high-end competition.”

The main feature is its pronounced higher than original design, providing a more aggressive and sporty look. Its shape clears air pressure by 1,42 kg (tested at 150 km/h), which delivers a 38% improvement in the rider’s protection with a sporty riding position - this is said to represent “significant results, especially on the helmet protection and upper body section, without losing the aerodynamic coefficient (Cx), so the performance of the bike remains unchanged; available in multiple colourways.
Also seen here, Puig’s new R-Fighter series footpegs have been “developed to achieve maximum safety and confidence on either sports or touring bikes”.

Described as being designed for a “sporty riding style with more grip to provide more confidence in risky riding situations”, the design is said to have been inspired by the look of gear teeth. Machined from lightweight billet aluminium, they are said to provide a better surface and high-quality finish. “The metallic finish of these footpegs is intended for a more aggressive riding style, while the R-Fighter S model, with a rubber insert, is intended to soften the vibrations of the bike for daily use”.



MT-07 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 is a selection from Fehling’s extensive range of options for Yamaha’s popular MT-07 – upper and lower engine protection guards, side bag holder and rear luggage rack – all in steel, in black.

Also shown here are model-specific accessories for Yamaha’s XV 950 Racer – a side bag holder, rear luggage rack and 38 mm one-piece extra large engine protection guard – also all in black.

Fehling design and make all their own products in-house at their factory near Dortmund in Germany. Founded in 1945 as a metal forming and processing engineering business, the company specialises in motorcycle parts for most popular current (and older) makes and model, currently employs around 25 people and is still in the ownership of the founder's family.



Introducing - “The New Tucker”

Tucker Rocky has announced that it is to retire the historic reference to Rocky Cycle in its name and re-brand simply as ‘Tucker’.
Founded by Texan Ed Tucker as a wholesale motorcycle oil business in 1967, then bought and subsequently expanded by Bob Nickell in 1972, the TR name came about through the acquisition of Rocky Cycle in 1986 before the combined business was sold to Indianapolis based Lacy Diversified Industries three years later.
In introducing “the new Tucker” as a “rebranding that honors the company’s rich heritage” and “showcases its status as a world-class leader in powersports distribution,” Tucker President Eric Cagle said, “the Tucker of today offers unrivaled services to our dealers and brand partners. From distribution, sales and customer service; to marketing, advertising and brand building, we are dedicated to the support and growth of powersports.”
As part of the rebranding, Tucker V-twin becomes a new overall program concept for “the new dark side of Tucker” that specializes in V-twin for the Harley aftermarket and broader custom parts and accessory dealer and bike builder community.
Biker’s Choice remains alongside Twin Power, BikeMaster and other Tucker and well-known group industry brands as part of a comprehensive portfolio of business opportunities for Harley and V-twin dealers. The company says that “more Tucker V-twin information will be announced soon.”

A new Tucker logo is described as representing core values of contemporary logistics excellence in a Powersports industry context. “The forward-facing square and large notched “T” combine to create a symbol of speed and innovation. Bold red was chosen to represent Tucker’s passion to deliver the best brands in powersports. Known in the industry for being dedicated to supporting its customers, the all-lowercase “tucker” is appropriately friendly,” explained Taz Sobotka, Senior Manager of Marketing.
“The need for speed is innate in powersports enthusiasts and imperative as a distributor. The Tucker ‘Power T’ logo conveys the visual allusion of speed and movement that represents the feeling of freedom we all love about powersports.”
Tucker says that is sees the individual pieces of the new logo coming together as one “to symbolize the unified qualities that make the company a world-class distributor. The new name symbolizes the vision and values of Ed Tucker’s humble beginnings when he started the company in 1967. Over 50 years later Tucker continues to deliver the most powerful brands in powersports.”
Tucker says the new look will debut June 16th on location at the American Flat Track OKC Mile with Cory Texter and his CTR crew, and the High Point AMA Pro Motocross National in Mt. Morris, PA with EBR Performance/Altus Motorsports Yamaha and rider Ramy Alves.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018


KTM scores points in battle to be collision avoidance ‘TechMeisters’ 

KTM says it has “demonstrated its commitment to improving safety for motorcyclists and reducing accidents” as the first motorcycle manufacturer to demonstrate Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Detection systems. 

Still in the development process, both of these features use sensor-based technology to help detect and prevent a collision from the front or rear. The prototype systems were unveiled on a modified KTM 1290 Super Adventure S to a select group of media before being live demonstrated at the ÖAMTC driving technique centre in Marchtrenk, Austria, on May 2.  

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is not designed as an emergency brake system but works when the machine is in cruise control above a designated speed. The system can detect a vehicle in front, ranging from the size of a motorcycle and above, and then locks on to maintain a distance of two seconds by automatic throttle control and – if needed – gentle application of the front brake.
The finalised packaging of the system is still in development along with adding the ability for the rider to customise the operational distance and speed. When fully developed, it is expected that ACC will be able to respond faster than any rider in such a given situation.
The ‘blind spot’ on a bike is usually checked by a long, rearward look, which can be dangerous in heavy traffic situations. Blind Spot Detection (BSD) adds another set of eyes in such demanding riding conditions or during a particularly long ride. BSD uses a short distance radar to ACC to alert the rider to the potential of an undetected rear collision – such as when changing lanes – by way of a visual warning on the TFT display, as well as with illuminating superbright LEDs integrated within the rearview mirror glass, also boosted by an audible signal.
These game-changing features will be part of new electronics packages offered on certain KTM models, beginning from Model Year 2021. This technology will also create provision for other sensor-based systems further in the future, already in development.
After personally demonstrating the effectiveness of these systems to the journalists by riding the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S without his right arm and leg on the machine’s controls, Gerald Matschl, Vice President for KTM Research & Development, said: “As a company, KTM is committed to improving rider safety and also to reduce accidents. We have a lot more development and many thousands of kilometres to test these systems in the real world before we can implement them on series production bikes, but they are coming in the near future, and we are sure they will make a difference.”
KTM PR Manager (Street), Luke Brackenbury said: “When it comes to KTM applying electronic rider aids to its sportmotorcycles, it has always been the same approach to offer features that help riders control their bikes without losing the joy of riding. Improving safety for motorcyclists is part of our responsibility as a manufacturer, and KTM has demonstrated this in the past as the first company to offer two-channel ABS as standard on a 125 cc machine with the KTM 125 Duke in 2014 in the same year as introducing the pioneering cornering-ABS function. With ACC and BSD, we hope to make motorcycling safer still.”
As a motorcycle technology leader, KTM currently offers a wide range of leading electronic rider aids across most of its 2018 Street range. The goal of such systems is to either help improve rider safety or add to the enjoyment of riding.
Lean angle-sensitive systems can be found on the new KTM 790 Duke and all of the 1290-powered machines, which includes Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) with the revolutionary cornering ABS function, along with Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) and multi-stage traction control. On some models, semi-active suspension is offered along with Hill Hold Control (HHC), Automatic Turn Indicator Reset (ATIR), Quickshifter+ and cornering LED headlights.


Honda European unit sales +7.8 percent for 2017/18

Honda has announced that Group motorcycle unit sales for its financial year ended March 31, 2018 (its fourth quarter and full year 2017/2018) were 17.661 m units worldwide for an operating margin of 9.9 percent, and that it expects to sell 19.554 m units this year at a 13.1 percent operating margin, with unit sales exceeding 20 m units in 2019. 

Honda says the growth is due mainly to sales [and capacity] growth in India, Vietnam and Thailand. Honda Group unit sales include those of Honda and its subsidiaries and affiliates; on a consolidated basis, motorcycle unit sales were 11.237 m units for 2017/18 and are expected to be 12.954 m this year.
Indian sales set a new record at 5.775 m units, which was +22.2 percent over 2016/17. Total worldwide fourth quarter Group unit sales were 4.747 m, which was +11.7 percent. On a consolidated basis, fourth quarter European unit sales were 61,000 units; 234,000 for the financial year (+7.8 percent). In North America fourth quarter consolidated sales were 81,000 units and 313,000 units for the full year (+6.5 percent).


Austrian TÜV for
LighTech levers 

Italian parts, accessory and design kit specialist LighTech announced restyled and upgraded brake and clutch levers for 2018. They are now certified to TÜV Austria (KBA 91595), and this KBA code will be engraved and visible on each lever.

This certification means that all LighTech levers passed the demanding quality and mechanical tests from TÜV Austria - the official document is available for all distributors, dealers, resellers and consumers to download via a link from the LighTech website.

A new logo design featuring the Italian flag is being used on LighTech’s levers to emphasise that theirs are 100 percent Made in Italy products, and new orange colour rubber inserts are available for their “Alien” levers.


MAGURA in new aftermarket sales operation launch

In addition to its international distributor and subsidiary network, German manufacturer MAGURA has announced a new pathway for dealers to buy MAGURA aftermarket motorcycle products – through MAGURA Bike Parts GmbH & Co. KG.
“As a result, motorcycle retailers will benefit from MAGURA‘s long-standing aftermarket experience in the bike and service sector. In this way, motorcycle shops will in future have access to a Europe-wide distribution network with B2B Shop and a proven service infrastructure.

“The aim of MAGURA Bike Parts is to use its proven sales expertise to give retailers straightforward access to motorcycle products throughout the whole of Europe. Broad-based sales, marketing, logistics and service teams guarantee a professional approach and on-schedule product distribution. Retailers can order products quickly and easily online in any of the six languages offered by the B2B Shop or via the hotline. Technical consulting in ten languages and sites in the Netherlands, France, Italy and Great Britain ensure quick response times”.

MAGURA go on to say that “for more than 90 years, MAGURA Powersports products have been setting standards as OEM solutions used by renowned motorcycle makes such as BMW and KTM. Thanks to products such as the first hydraulic clutch for KTM Motocross motorcycles or the first hydraulic fitting manufactured using specially developed composites technology for BMW, MAGURA has been a part of the success of these brands.
“Brakes, handlebars and hydraulic clutches improve motorsport performances and make everyday motorcycle riding more comfortable. The first tests with special and custom aftermarket products have been conducted successfully. With the official launch of aftermarket sales throughout Europe, MAGURA is taking the next important step in the development of the motorcycle sector”.

Featuring patented Hard Core Technology (HCT), popular MAGURA products include its HCT compact hydraulic master with enhanced response for improved performance and safety, and MAGURA HYMEC, the easy-to-mount hydraulic alternative to conventional mechanical clutch operation that is said to require up to 25 percent less strength needed for clutch action and a clearly defined, constant bite point.


H-D invests in Alta Motors

Harley-Davidson has announced that it has made an equity investment in San Francisco Bay area MX E-bike maker Alta Motors, “a leader and innovator in lightweight electric vehicles”.

Alta’s 2018 Redshift MXR
Marc Fenigstein, Alta Motors Chief
Product Officer and co-founder

The two companies will collaborate on electric motorcycle technology and new product development. “Earlier this year, as part of our 10-year strategy, we reiterated our commitment to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders, in part by aggressively investing in electric vehicle (EV) technology,” said Harley-Davidson President and CEO Matt Levatich. “Alta has demonstrated innovation and expertise in EV, and their objectives align closely with ours. We each have strengths and capabilities that will be mutually beneficial as we work together to develop cutting-edge electric motorcycles.”
Harley-Davidson had already announced the planned launch of its first electric motorcycle, informed by their 2014 Project LiveWire. That, or an evolved platform informed at least in part by that experience is now, theoretically, on track for release in 2019.
“Since its inception, Alta Motors has designed and commercialised some of the world's most advanced electric motorcycles, enabling everyone from pro riders to new riders to experience the future of fast electric motorcycles. Riders are just beginning to understand the combined benefits of EV today, and our technology continues to progress,” said Alta Motors Chief Product Officer and co-founder, Marc Fenigstein.

Ferodo Racing

Ferodo new Ceramic Grip race compound

Ferodo Racing, official technical partner of the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team, has launched a new range of CPRO brake pads for circuit racing that incorporate their new CPRO friction material - a compound originally developed by Ferodo for GT car racing that uses the latest formulation techniques and technology.

Sandro Cortese, Kallio Racing team, competing in the World Supersport Championship 
Photo credit: Robert Murdoch

Seen here is Sandro Cortese of the Kallio Racing team competing in the World Supersport Championship, and Ferodo says the new pads “are currently being used in championships at world level, with riders winning several podium finishes”. 

The company says that its Ceramic Grip racing range provides the performance and modulation required by the world’s best riders with excellent bite and low disc wear properties on stainless steel and cast iron discs.
According to Ferodo’s extensive lab and track testing results, the compound delivers top rated friction level performance when hot, top rated bite, controllability and disc life with excellent bite and very good wet braking response and reliability.


HP Corse

HP Corse 4TRACK, Hydroform and EvoXtreme

Italian exhaust specialist HP Corse unveiled a new exhaust aimed at the Maxi Enduro/Scooter Sport Touring/Adventure markets – their new 4TRACK. 

4TRACK, seen here in titanium

Said to have been subjected to extensive bench and street testing for over a year, HP Corse says it is able to guarantee the 4TRACK’s reliability and performance gains compared to the OEM exhausts it replaces, especially in the all-important low and medium rev range where “real world riding needs the improvements most”.
The 4TRACK is light, has an octagonal shaped, hydroformed, weld-free end silencer body with laser engraved logo in titanium, satin steel and black steel. The 4TRACK is Euro 4 approved and has a maximum length of 380 mm.

For Honda’s X-ADV HP Corse has the Euro 4 compliant EvoXtreme exhaust available in silver and black satin steel with a carbon fibre back. The standard OEM replacement version is 360 mm long, but also available in a 310 mm racing version in light or black satin, with fitting for the original manifolds and optional 40 mm db Killer.
HYDROFORM for the Kawasaki Z900

For the 2017 Kawasaki Z900 HP Corse has its Hydroform and EvoXtreme. The Hydroform exhaust has a “compact line and proportionate volume”, silencer body in stainless steel moulded by hydroforming with “extraordinary shape outlet with different internal diameters and reduced thickness, but mechanically very rigid, weighing just over 1 kg”.

The inner perforated barrel is conical and tapered so as to maintain the same shape of the silencer and “optimise the outflow of the exhaust gases”. It is equipped with removable db Killer and available in light satin and black waxed versions.
The EvoXtreme is “designed to challenge the extreme, with exceptional performance, enhancing the power and character”. The silencer body is available in steel (black or silver) with a carbon fibre end cap with a cut profile where it meets the metallic body of the exhaust. “One of the aesthetic features that makes the EvoXtreme exhaust exciting is its irregular shape that reduces its profile towards the fitting without resorting to welds.
Equipped with a removable db Killer and marked with a laser-engraved logo, the EvoXtreme exhaust (260 and 310 mm) for the Kawasaki Z900 is available in either light satin steel or black satin steel.