Friday, 7 December 2018

Motorcycle registrations in the UK

UK: motorcycles +3.54 percent to October

The latest data from the MCIA (the Motorcycle Industry Association) shows motorcycle registrations in the UK at +0.93 percent (6,748 units) for October, having been +3.97 percent for September (11,724 units) and running at +3.54 percent YTD (89,347 units) as the UK market continues to grow slowly.

The small UK moped market continues to decline by -21.91 percent YTD (4,609 units), with total PTW registrations running at +1.91 percent YTD (93,956 units).
The top-selling motorcycle in October 2018 was the Honda CRF 1000 (279 units), with Honda’s PCX 125 leading the scooter market (210 units).  Honda was market leader in October with 1,554 units sold in total; followed by Yamaha (884 units), KTM (591), BMW, Lexmoto, Triumph, Kawasaki and Harley-Davidson.
As is being seen elsewhere in Europe and beyond, the fastest growing sector in percentage terms is the 126-650 cc market in the UK, where sales are +17.7 percent YTD (17,705 units); the largest single motorcycle sector by displacement is the 651-1000 cc market, which is down by -7.01 percent YTD at 23,004 units. Motorcycles over 1000 cc are -0.9 percent YTD at 19,298 units.
The MCIA is reporting that the total number of motorcycles registered for road use in 2017 was 1.26 million units.

Ferodo and Champion

Ferodo and Champion win on the track and the dirt in 2018

It has been another good year on the track and in Enduro racing for Ferodo and Champion.
In World Supersport, Ferodo and Champion are Kallio Racing Team technical partners, and 2018 saw Kallio’s Sandro Cortese win the World Supersport Championship.

Kallio Racing Team, World Supersport Champion: Sandro Cortese won the World Supersport Championship in technical partnership with Ferodo and Champion.
Photo: Robert Murdoch

On the dirt, Enduro racing gets bigger and more popular every year, and Enduro GP Team Costa Ligure Beta Boano Racing Sport delivered on Ferodo and Champion’s investments as technical partners, with Brad Freeman winning the E1 class and Matteo Cavallo the EJ class.

Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team: Michael Van der Mark finished 3rd overall, sponsored by Ferodo
Team Costa Ligure Beta Boano Racing Sport, Enduro GP: Brad Freeman won the E1 class, Matteo Cavallo the EJ class in technical partnership with Ferodo and Champion

Back on the track in the World Superbike series, Ferodo sponsors the Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team, with Michael Van der Mark finishing 3rd overall.


AIMExpo Hosts “Record Number of Trade Attendees” in Las Vegas

The MIC owned AIMExpo made its inaugural foray to the western United States when it was staged at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in October, with the organizers stating that it “proved to be a resounding success” with a “record number of trade attendees,” saying that there were “more than 7,000 dealers, media members, industry personnel and exhibitor attendees – a 12 percent increase over the 2017 event.”

That prior event was staged at Columbus, Ohio, and 2019 will see the show return to the Midwest venue for four days at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, September 26-29.
MIC Events says this year’s record number was “anchored by the largest dealer presence to date at AIMExpo presented by Nationwide. More than 2,500 dealers made the trip to Las Vegas, with representation from all 50 states and more than 50 different countries. These retailers were eager to see the latest products from the 505 exhibiting companies that filled the show floor to capacity, and also take advantage of the inaugural Dealer Summit. 

“Following a keynote address by the Department of Interior’s Senior Advisor for Recreation, Rick May, attending dealers were given an array of opportunities to stimulate their business, completely free of charge. From the “Dealers Only Luncheon presented by KTM” to the Powersports Dealer Seminars @ AIMExpo presented by Powersports Business, retailers were given critical education towards enhancing their business and key insights on how to evolve to better serve the millennial consumer.”
Larry Little, Vice President & General Manager MIC Events, said: “With the move to Las Vegas and our commitment to providing dealers with activities that will ultimately impact their bottom line, we saw a dramatic increase in dealer registration and attendance this year. The introduction of Dealer Summit, and its specially curated elements aimed at benefitting their business, helped bring the largest breadth of dealer attendees we’ve seen yet, with an incredible increase of more than 21 percent compared to last year.”
AIMExpo was the centerpiece of the inaugural Powersports Industry Week, which also included Las Vegas BikeFest, Monster Energy Cup, Suzuki Sunday and the Las Vegas Ride for Kids charity ride. Registration for demo rides at AIMExpo Outdoors! is described as having been “at capacity throughout the weekend, while a total of nearly 9,000 consumers paid a visit to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.”


Tenneco buys Öhlins

Founder and Chairman Kenth Öhlin has sold a majority share in Öhlins Racing AB (Sweden) to Monroe Shocks and former Marzocchi, Italy, owner Tenneco Inc. Öhlins will become a subsidiary of Tenneco. 

Kenth Öhlin (left) has sold a majority share in Öhlins Racing to Tenneco, seen here with Tenneco co-CEO Brian Kesseler

Founded by Kenth Öhlin in 1976, when he created his first motocross shock, Yamaha Japan bought a majority stake in Öhlins in 1987, with Kenth buying back 95% of the business in 2007. He will continue to be part of Öhlins, serving on the board and retains a minority interest in the company. Henrik Johansson will continue as CEO of Öhlins.
Earlier this year it was announced that Tenneco had bought Federal Mogul, the owner of Ferodo brake pads and Champion filters for $5.4bn. Öhlins have distribution in 50 countries and manufacturing facilities in Europe and Asia.
Kenth Öhlin commented: “Together, Öhlins and Tenneco will be a very strong constellation. After considering the strengths of both companies, I made the hardest decision of my life — to sell my life’s work. I am absolutely convinced that we are going to develop very positively in the future, and that Öhlins will benefit from the opportunities that will now arise due to Tenneco’s entrance.”
Brian Kesseler, co-CEO of Tenneco, said: “Öhlins’ technology team will allow us to rapidly grow our premium product offerings for current and future customers, as well as help us win a larger share of business in developing mobility markets.”

EICMA 2018 - part 4

RST: Distributed by Bihr (among others), the British CE approved race, sports and touring apparel brand is a familiar sight trackside at many major events. From race leathers to textiles, boots and gloves, RST ranges include Pro series, Trackteck Evo, R-18, Blade and casuals. RST is the official apparel line of the Isle of Man TT and worn by leading racers, including three times Suzuka 8Hr winner Alex Lowes and 2018 British SuperBikes Champion Jack Kennedy;;


Shoei: Celebrating another Alex Marquez MotoGP World Championship, new products from Shoei include the March 2019 available 5-layer laminate Advanced Integrated Matrix (AIM) GT-Air II full-face. Features of the three-shell size SENA RSL2 comms ready design will include multiple density EPS liner, mist retardant CNS-1 Pinlock visor, enlarged QSV 2 sun visor and wind tunnel engineered aerodynamics;


Puig: The Barcelona based performance plastics specialist has channelled its long experience in the design of aerodynamic accessories into creating a new range of ABS Sports Plus products, intended to enhance the appearance of racing motorcycles like the radical Yamaha MT-09 (FZ-09). The company says that “these parts are distinguished by their small size and versatility, which allows them to be mounted alone, as a cover for the front, or together with the visor, which channels the air and significantly reduces turbulence for the rider”. Many combinations are possible, so that the rider can set up the level of aerodynamic protection according to personal preferences. Their easy-mount sport or touring fairings increase protection in all riding conditions;


Società Generale Ricambi (SGR): The internationally connected Italian distributor’s impressive portfolio of leading brands includes SBS brakes, Rapid Bike, OptiMate, Supersprox, MIW filters, Bel Ray oils, ProGrip, D.I.D. chain, K&N filters, Pirelli, Michelin and Mitas tyres, Vesrah, KYB, Yuasa, Kryptonite, YSS, SkyRich and many more;


Parts Europe: 2019 will see the Wasserliesch, Germany based distributor celebrating 10 years since the first stage of its all new state-of-the-art 16,500 sq m European warehouse and headquarters facility was completed – a palace of logistics excellence that has been running at near capacity for several years already. Internationally recognised for market leading brands such as Thor Motocross, ICON helmets and apparel, Moose Racing and Drag Specialties custom parts, the company has been adding brands almost weekly in the past three years and offers dealers access to one of the widest and deepest parts, accessory, performance, service and G&A programmes available in Europe. The company offers more than 600 brands and works to continually adjust its portfolio to the needs of the market;


Yoshimura/Euro Racing: Co-located with its Italian distributor Euro Racing, Yoshimura is never slow to unveil new exhaust systems for the latest models. Although it was only introduced three weeks before EICMA at INTERMOT, Yoshimura’s Keiko Oshimi is seen here with the new exhaust for the much anticipated new Suzuki Katana;;


Vertex Pistons: Recent new products include a top-end piston kit to make repairing and upgrading 2 and 4-stroke off-roaders easier and more practical with a choice of OE replica or race/high- performance piston and a new line of New Nano Gel electrolyte technology with a maintenance-free higher discharging capability Pb-Ca Tin alloy grid structure;


GPR: Founded in 1968, 2018 saw more race success for the Milan based exhaust manufacturer with its successful partnership with 2018 Moto3 World Champion as Team Del Conca Gresini (Jorge Martin and Fabio Di Giannantonio). With Euro 4 compliant systems for many of the best-selling late-model performance bikes, recent new muffler designs include a new M3 Black Titanium Limited Edition Moto3 replica slip-on developed in conjunction with Gresini Racing, including with 2017 Moto3 World Champion Joan Mir as well as Jorge Martin and Fabio Di Giannantonio this year. Available for all main sports and naked style street bikes, the M3 is totally handmade in Milan, Italy, in black titanium with a high temperature resistant ceramic coating. The brackets are in carbon for high strength and light weight with a 304 stainless steel link pipe. Fully TIG welded, the compact and lightweight design is available in a homologated version with removable db killer and either as a slip-on or as part of a complete 3-2-1 or 4-2-1 full system;


UFO Plast: Recent new products from the Italian off-road specialist include the Saichen cooling vest and entry level ‘Quiver’ helmets – a new neck brace-ready and ECE 22.05 homologated design made from high-strength polycarbonate (high resistance thermoplastic resin) with removable and washable internal pads, air vents and rear extractors and adjustable visor height;


Hevik: The company’s updated Portland EVO jacket provides improved weather protection while retaining its vintage look. Certified to the prEN17092 draft standard, it has a new outer fabric, now made of 450D polyamide, paired/bonded with a softshell, new waterproof and breathable Humax internal membrane that is tested to a water column rating of 10,000 mm, detachable thermal liner and a series of viscoelastic protectors certified to CE Level 1 for the shoulders and elbows;



Shown at EICMA, initially on a Honda Africa Twin, DigiShox (DS) is a new Bluetooth enabled electronic front cartridge and rear shock absorber adjustment and tuning system from Italian suspension specialist Bitubo. DS is also available for Suzuki GSXR1000 and 2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob. 

Controlled from a handlebar LED panel and via a CPU and GPS/lean angle sensor, an iOS or Android Smartphone App allows the rider to control and set either of the two available DS Bitubo kits (Race or Street/Full), taking rider control of suspension settings to a new level.

Rear monoshock, allowing electronic adjustment of rebound, compression and spring preload, and manual adjustment of length
Electronic control of the Bitubo DS replacement front fork cartridges delivers electronic rebound and compression control and hydraulic spring preload tuning.
The DigiShox rear monoshock delivers electronic rebound and compression adjustment with manual spring preload on the race kit, electronic spring preload adjustment on the street/full kit and manual shock absorber length adjustment on both.
The system allows for 12 different setting combinations to be selected, modified and stored, and Bitubo says the time taken for adjustments to be implemented is among the fastest available and that the set-up changes are a function of speed.



50.6 ‘Stoccarda’ full-face helmet

This new full-face helmet from Italian accessory specialist Givi has “an easy fit and stunning visuals” and is said to represent the top-of-the-range of full-face helmets made with a technopolymer shell with improved sensitivity.
Featuring a hypoallergenic interior, compatible with intercom systems, it is Pinlock-ready, with the MAX VISION lens optimising peripheral vision. Other features include a sun visor equipped with a feature enabling intermediate adjustment and a high efficiency aeration system. ‘Stoccarda’ is available in three graphic designs (‘Splinter’, ‘Glade’ and ‘Perseus’) with a total of 10 colour combinations available, a female version (‘Mendhi’) and three solid colours.
The weight is 1,390 g and closure is by quick-release strap with micrometric adjustment. The ventilation system consists of three frontal air intakes: two on the front, one on the chin guard and two rear extractors. It is available in two sizes.



“Sixty Six” mm of radical capacity ‘performance jewellery’ for PX/LML 125/150 cc Vespas

Italian Scooter parts specialist Parmakit has added two new 195-205 cc 66 mm ‘Big Bore’ cylinder kits to its performance “Sixty Six” line available for PX/LML 125/150 cc Vespa engine conversions.

Parmakit’s “Sixty Six” 195-205 cc 66 mm Big Bore conversion kit for PX-LML 125/150 cc engines “is a thing of beauty as well as being powerful”

Both feature a bridged exhaust port, integral head (with side spark plug hole as appropriate) and come with a Vertex piston with two steel piston rings and gasket sets for variable timing (with added Viton O-ring for the LC 195 cc kit).
Core business for Parmakit is the design and manufacture of alloy cylinders - the company was one of the first to experiment with and develop new technologies, manufacturing techniques and materials for alloy cylinders.
Over the years the company has created a thorough and highly specialised processing cycle, such as gravity-fed foundry, CNC machining, durable nickel- silicon lining on the cylinder bore and more. With cast iron OE replacements and upgrades as well as its bench-tested alloy ‘Thermic Units’ performance upgrades (such as its “Sixty Six” programme), the company has created more than 50 brands on the market, with over 5,000 products in its range.
For both ranges Parmakit also offers components such as crankshafts, fuel pump units, electronic ignitions, clutch baskets and more. The company is also a major player in off-road and scooter racing.
Bridging the gap between the small and large block/large frame Vespa PX models, the radical 66 mm bore of the 'Sixty Six' cylinder brings them up to the same capacity of the original Vespa PX 200. When the 60 mm stroke version is combined with the separately available, complementary crankshaft, a total cubic capacity of 205 cc can be realised.
The port layout remains “traditional” - five transfer ports and a single ‘bridged’ exhaust with struts chamfered from behind to improve gas flow. On the opposite side of the cylinder the exhaust outlet is provided with a bolt-on flange, fully compatible with the original Piaggio exhaust mounting.

Seen here for LC 195 cc applications, both the kits have a ‘bridged’ exhaust port with chamfered struts to improve gas flow, integral head, Vertex piston with 1.2 mm rings and gasket set options/Viton O-ring as appropriate

The Vertex piston weighs 190 g, with its two 1.2 mm thick steel piston rings and the 16 mm gudgeon pin with clips, the total weight is 245 g; a 110 mm standard PX length crankshaft is needed. The combustion chamber has a 45 mm diameter and a variety of gaskets with differing thicknesses are included in order to adjust the transfer port timing and squish band clearance. Parmakit recommends a squish band clearance of between 1.3 mm and 1.4 mm.
Some engine case modifications are needed, but in addition to being powerful, the Parmakit ‘Sixty Six’ is a thing of beauty. The ‘beehive’ styling and precision machining of the cylinder head is a work of art, with a black anodised surface finish and contrasting silver fin edges (that protrude 2.5 mm into the bore of the cylinder) for the kind of ‘contrast cut’ look that is popular throughout the custom world currently - close up it looks like a piece of performance jewellery and is tactile and architectural in equal measure.