Wednesday, 19 December 2018

INTERMOT 2018 Part 3

AFAM: Powersports Distribution Group (PDG - owned by Dutch equity investor Torqx) acquired Dutch distribution businesses Hoco Parts and Motoria in 2017 and bought the Nazareth, Belgium based sprockets, chain and batteries specialist DC AFAM from German owner KettenWulf six months ago. AFAM was established in France in 1978 and Dynachains a year later in Belgium as two entirely separate, independent businesses. German manufacturer KettenWulf acquired Dynachains in 1992 and AFAM in 2002, combining the two businesses as DC AFAM in 2003. DC AFAM also sells oil filters under the ISON brand and entered the highly competitive Lithium ion battery market with Shido in 2011. Earlier this year they launched the Shido Connect LiFePO4, describing it as the “first smart battery ever”, a Bluetooth enabled battery that can be monitored in real time via an Android or Apple smartphone;

MACNA: Designed and distributed by Dutch apparel specialist Splash Design, the award-winning MACNA riding apparel range is a feature-rich, high-tech programme with some notable firsts to its name - not least the innovative ‘Night Eye’ technology - a patented approach to night riding visibility that sees a normal, grey motorcycle jacket light up in the headlights without the use of conventional high-visibility materials or vests. Instead, microscopic glass beads in the Night Eye fabric work like small mirrors and reflect the light right back where it came from - lighting the rider up from a long distance;


Fehling: The well-known German accessories manufacturer offers dealers access to one of the largest handlebar, engine guard, protection parts, luggage rack and related parts ranges in the industry. The company specialises in anything that involves tube bending and designs and makes all its own products in-house at its factory near Dortmund in Germany. Founded in 1945 as a specialist metal-forming and processing engineer, the company specialises in motorcycle parts, currently employs around 25 people and is still in the founder’s family ownership;

DP Brakes: The UK based manufacturer was the originator of sintered brake pad technology, still the foundation of what is said to be the best braking compound formulation available;

Rusty Pistons: Owned by the company behind the Biker’s Crown retail network and Tribolite riding jeans brand in the Czech Republic, the Rusty Pistons apparel programme is as authentically retro, Rock-n-Roll and righteous as they come;

Cardo Systems: The most exciting new rider communications system in years, Cardo followed up the big leap forward represented by its user-friendly ergonomics of its PACKTALK line by knocking the ball out of the park with next generation Voice Command Operated PACKTALK Bold - featuring voice command activation, coupled with multi-rider Dynamic Mesh Communication technology. The latest news is of its exclusive relationship with noted audio specialist JBL;

iXS: Swiss apparel to bikes (Yamaha), tyres and parts manufacturer, brand owner and distributor Hostettler AG announced Anselm Zessler (53) as the new Managing Director of its iXS own brand apparel and Motochic third party distribution divisions at the start of the year, having previously served as Head of Research & Development for iXS, overseeing the launch of several innovative new programmes. New products this year have included an entirely new, CE-certified collection of motorcycle apparel featuring the Montevideo Touring & Adventure collection, which received the internationally recognised “Red Dot Award” in the category “Travel”. Also new was its RS-1000 sports line, featuring interchangeable coloured slider elements for motorcycle outfits;

Hornig: Recent new products from the German BMW parts and accessory specialist include a vibration isolating GPS mount for the F750GS, aluminium oil filler plugs for F750GS and F850GS models, and a range of products for the K1600B, G310R/GS;

Stat Facts


Post-License European Training Quality Label Awards for KTM and Honda

The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) backed European Training Quality Label (ETQL) Awards programme continues to pick up momentum with two of KTM’s Riders Academy training programmes and The Advanced Motorcycling Course at the Honda Safety Institute (HSI), near Barcelona, achieving accreditation recently.

The awards were granted after a site visit and inspections by safety experts from the German Road Safety Council (DVR), a German NGO active in the field of road safety.
The Academy, which was launched in 2018, provides courses that build on the latest empirical research on rider behaviour and training, as well as the experience of Klaus Schwabe, one of the leading German experts in motorcycle safety. 

From left to right: Víctor Zaragoza Faig, coordinator of the Honda Safety Institute; Marc Serruya, Branch President at Honda Motor Europe Iberia; Albert Cavero, PR & Motorcycle Safety Promotion Manager at Honda Motor Europe Iberia

Training sessions are conducted in small groups of no more than six riders per trainer and are open to motorcyclists using any brand of bike. The KTM Riders Academy plans to organise between 40 and 50 training sessions in Austria and Germany, involving about 300 motorcyclists.
Commenting on the ETQL award, Stefan Pierer, President of KTM AG and current President of Brussels based ACEM, said: “I am delighted that the two KTM Riders Academy motorcycle training programmes have received this important recognition at the European level. Training at our Academy aims to improve both the cognitive and the motor skills of the motorcyclist, increasing both safety and the pleasure of riding.”
Antonio Perlot, Secretary General of the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM), said: “The European Training Quality Label is granted to the best post-license training programmes in Europe. It is one of the main elements of the motorcycle industry’s safety strategy, and we are confident that this initiative will help motorcyclists to easily identify the best training.” 

From left to right: Christoph Schipper, Managing Director of KTM Austria; Norbert Zaha, Managing Director of KTM Germany; Stefan Pierer, CEO of KTM AG and President of ACEM; Klaus Schwabe, motorcycle training expert (KTM Rider Academy); Christoph Doppler, motorcycle training expert (KTM Rider Academy)

The EMTQL is a voluntary certification scheme that recognises the best post-license training programmes delivered in Europe. Launched by ACEM in 2015, the scheme helps motorcyclists to clearly and easily identify high quality post-license training programmes. The label is open to a wide range of organisations based in Europe, including training schools, motorcycle manufacturers and public bodies. 
To date, a total of 27 post-license motorcycle training programmes have been certified in Spain, France, the Netherlands, Austria and Germany.
The HSI was created in 2009 and has 20,000 square meters of tracks and facilities, designed exclusively to train motorcycle users - it is the largest facility of its type in Europe. More than 20,000 motorcyclists have been trained at the HSI since it opened in 2009. In 2017 alone, about 3,000 people were trained by Honda at this facility.

Polish new motorcycle registrations

Poland: new motorcycle registrations -0.85 percent to October

The latest data from the motorcycle industry trade association in Poland (PZPM) shows the second quarter and summer recovery in sales of new motorcycles continuing, with sales on low volumes at +30.39 percent (841 units) in October, having been +21.92 percent in September (1,040 units); they were running at -0.85 percent (13,294 units) through October 2018.

New mopeds are -29.64 percent YTD (15,306 units), with total new PTW registrations for the ten months to October at -18.66 percent (28,600 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.
When the used motorcycles receiving their first registration in Poland are factored in, the total number of new and used motorcycles sold was +19.36 percent in October (4,180 units), having been +14.82 percent (5,051 units) for September and were running at +6.71 percent (70,316 units) for the YTD.
New and used mopeds were -21.26 percent YTD (23,719 units) and total new and used PTW registrations were -2.07 percent YTD at 94,035 units sold.


Vertex 2019 off-road pistons

Respected Italian specialist Vertex (VP Racing) has had a great 2018 race year. In off-road terms, Kiara Fontanesi won the WMX, and five titles were won by Vertex riders in the Enduro World Championship with Eero Remes (E1), Steve Holcombe (Enduro GP and E3), Ruy Barbosa (EY) and Andrea Verona (EJ1), in addition to the results achieved by the official teams in MXGP and MX2, including Kawasaki Racing, HRC, Yamaha Monster Energy, Kemea and Wilvo and TM Racing - “once again confirming Vertex pistons as crucial for champions’ engine preparation”.

Its off-road pistons line has benefited from all the data and feedback from winning, with an expanded range of high-tech 2 and 4-stroke pistons available in Replica, High Compression, Big Bore and GP-Racer's Choice versions for 2019 bikes. 
Vertex forged aluminium Replica pistons are the “ideal replacement for the original piston, with an excellent quality to price ratio, racing profile, anti-seize MoS2 coating and original segment kit”.
Vertex’ Sales and Marketing Director Lina Saccani says that “our High Compression pistons are produced with specific dedicated forgings that have the shape of the top completely revised by our R&D engineers to produce an increase in the compression ratio that improves power and torque.

“On the other hand, our Big Bore pistons have a profile that is closer to standard, but with a larger diameter with a relative increase in the displacement, which leads to a considerable improvement in performance.
“At the top of our range, GP-Racer's Choice pistons are hot forged with high resistance VP-310 alloy and equipped with the T-Bridge - an exclusive machining concept inspired by F1 pistons. We use a DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coated pin, segments in chromed or nitrated steel (depending on the application) and a special shape of piston head that allows the maximum compression ratio with a great performance without any loss of reliability”.
The GP-Racers Choice range is available for Honda CRF 250/450, Kawasaki KX250/450F, Yamaha YZ250/450F, Suzuki RM-Z 250/450, KTM SXF250/350/450 and Husqvarna FC 250/350/450.



New generation smart chargers

French distributor and accessory specialist SIFAM has launched two new battery chargers for automatic charging and maintenance of batteries for motorcycles, scooters, Quads and jet ski models.

Lead battery charger

Both have 100VAC-240VAC input voltage, 47HZ-63HZ input frequency, 4-14.6V output voltage, an LED charge status indicator, and overcharge, reverse polarity and short circuit protection. 

Universal battery charger

The lead battery charger has a 0.8A output current; it is a connect and forget charger.
The universal battery charger has a 2A output current and will charge all lead or lithium motorbike batteries. It automatically detects whether a lead or lithium battery is attached, and the battery is then charged accordingly. Although it charges all battery types, it was specifically designed to improve the performance and durability of new generation lithium batteries, and automatically controls the charge level, ensuring the rated voltage is never exceeded by charging only when necessary. It is also a connect and forget charger.



‘Alpha’ soft bags

The new 7-piece ‘Alpha’ range of soft bags by Kappa are “practical, light and functional, aimed at increasing comfort and safety during both short and long haul trips”. Lightweight yet strong, they can be matched or used individually, and are easily attached to handlebars, fuel tanks, saddles, side frames (in pairs), luggage rack, engine guard or the rider.

The brand’s new entry-level collection complements the top-of-the-range Racer bags. Made from UV-resistant polyester, the bags are classic “all black” that will match any colour or style of motorcycle.
Features include reflective inserts, waterproof covers, rubber non-slip bases along with a secure mounting kit which prevents the bag from moving, various compartments and spacious pockets with a transparent map holder are included with the three tanklock bags, as well as zips, shoulder straps, carrying handles and attachment straps.

The ‘Alpha’ range includes a 14-24 litre expandable tank bag, a 30-40 litre double tank bag, a pair of 16-25 litre expandable side bags, a 5-7 litre expandable rear saddle/engine guard pouch, a 2.8 litre handlebar pouch, a 2-litre capacity leg pouch and a 9 litre tanklock bag.



‘Jack’ crossover ankle boot

At EICMA, Italian specialist Stylmartin unveiled this new this “stylish and versatile ankle boot”. Crafted in full grain leather, it is 100% waterproof and is CE certified.

The boot features a water repellent outer, internal malleolus PU protectors at both sides of the ankles, an insert in matching leather in the gear shift areas, waterproof and breathable lining, superior padding, double closure with laces and zip plus an anatomic anti-bacterial and exchangeable footbed.
A leather badge on the side, with metal rivets, is embossed with 1979 (the year the company was established). Available in black in sizes 39 to 47, ‘Jack’ has EN 13634:2017 certification.


Thursday, 13 December 2018

Comment by Editor, Robin Bradley

Not all statistics are equal

Our industry is heavily dependent on statistics. From show attendances, inventory and margins to displacements, performance calibrations and registrations - we float in a sea of statistical dependency.
But, to channel American author Mark Twain (who credited 19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli for the “Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics” quote), for sure not all statistics are of equal validity.
In this era of so-called “fake news”, the famous (infamous?) epithet still highlights how statistics can be bent, shaped and moulded to support any argument, any agenda, any interpretation of any (apparent) facts some 150 years after it was first coined.
In the case of our current market, there are two statistical issues that are vexing those who seek clarity - visitor statistics at the market’s two major industry shows (INTERMOT and EICMA) and the true new motorcycle sales trend that appears to be hidden underneath the Euro 3/Euro 4 transition impacted registration data for 2016, 2017 and, increasingly apparently, for 2018.
In the past three or four years there has been much debate about the comparative merits and demerits of INTERMOT and EICMA - much of it revolving around the attendance numbers and how even the OE manufacturers, including those with an effective ownership stake in INTERMOT, appear to be voting with their own feet by staging ever more new model launches at Milan rather than Cologne, even in the even numbered INTERMOT years.

 ‘the problem is interpretation and context’

Well, that has way more to do with the exhibit discounts that EICMA is “persuading” the manufacturers with (to launch at EICMA and specifically NOT do so at INTERMOT) than the attendance numbers, because they understand the reality of the attendance number claims (they see the real figures) and “get it” where the comparative value per visitor comparison between the shows is concerned.
EICMA persists in making unsubstantiated visitor number claims. Again, after this year’s show, their press release talks about percentage increases without actually naming a number - I think it is some years since ANCMA, the trade association that owns EICMA, have cited an actual hard figure - which makes one think they are trying to roll back on the notoriously inflated claims being made as the motorcycle market endured the “dark decade” following the 2007 financial crisis.
Conversely, however, Koelnmesse, which stages INTERMOT, is a member of a domestic German expo centre trade association that insists that all member expo numbers are independently audited - so although they are always citing an apparently lower figure than EICMA, we know it is a true number at some 220,000. INTERMOT 2018 matched the 2016 record number the show has attracted since moving from Munich.
Then there is the issue of how many EICMA visitors are of riding age, and what kind of mileage and ownership profile (and therefore aftermarket value) they actually have.
At both INTERMOT and EICMA I spent 30 minutes sat in the central ‘causeway’ watching the visitors (in both cases on the Thursday - a public day), and the contrast couldn’t have been starker. At INTERMOT the vast majority were clearly riders - you could tell by what they were wearing or carrying. At EICMA? Not so much.
Honestly, in 30 minutes I didn’t see one single person wearing or carrying riding gear, not one. Those who looked like they might ride (at best between a quarter and a third of the traffic watched) were in the minority and were clearly low mileage, mostly urban scooter riders.
Sure, an important and growing sector, but not riders who underpin the industry balance sheet with the kind of mileage and spending needed to sustain the investments that multiple ‘big ticket’ shows like INTERMOT, EICMA and others suck from budgets.
Meanwhile, what of the registration statistics? Well, this month we lead with the latest quarterly statistics from ACEM on the front cover and have some three pages of statistical reports from 10 different countries on three continents.
Not for one minute is there a suggestion that the figures themselves are in any sense dubious, in strict terms they are not. They are accurate and, for what they are, entirely reliable and coming from impeccable sources and compiled diligently by hard working people whose job is simply to “do the math” - and for that everyone should be grateful. It isn’t easy work and does take a certain talent and mindset.
No, the problem lies with the interpretation and context - and again, this is really nobody’s fault as such, but as I said in the last edition, I think it behoves everybody just to be aware that all may not entirely be as it seems.
I met a few people at the shows who had read my October Comment and thought that it made sense, and in fact made particular sense in the context of the “real world” feeling they had for just how well the market is really doing at present.
The issue isn’t with the headline figure. Selling (or rather, registering) 830,694 in total motorcycles in the nine months to September is a perfectly good number, especially in the context of the 2013 nadir.
It is the 2017 comparison of +8.2 percent that is likely to be misleading a lot of people in the aftermarket (the trade association and OEM professionals ‘get it’) into thinking that growth is flowing like milk and honey again. It isn’t!
As we here at IDN have pointed out on multiple occasions this year (and will do so again next year when the final 2018 numbers are available), it is the “official” 2017 figure that is tainting the comparison.
The 50,000 to 80,000 “units” that were pre-registered in 2016 (especially in the final quarter) in advance of the Euro 4 compliance deadline at the end of that year were (mostly) sold by dealers in the early months of 2017, even at some often quite deep discounts, favourable terms and with generous accessory and G&A bundles as incentives.
After the return to growth seen in the second half of 2014, the market has had two very good years in 2015 and 2016, but then the registrations picture had started to level off by this time last year and has continued to plateau in 2018.

INTERMOT 2018 Part 2

Central Wheel Components: For students of vendor longevity, raise a glass for Central Wheel Components of Birmingham, England. Founded in 1897, the company has celebrated 120 years of continuous operation. The company stocks more than 15,000 motorcycle wheel rims and 500,000 spokes and nipples at any one time, most manufactured in-house. Its SM Pro Platinum rim is widely recognized as the world’s strongest and lightest aftermarket MX/off-road rim. These days the company is based at Coleshill, England, near the UK’s National Motorcycle Museum;


Touratech: Initially only being sold in Germany and Switzerland, the German Adventure Touring specialist is offering a complete motorcycle for the very first time - the Touratech World Travel Edition, a fully touring equipped BMW R 1200 GS. The bike is given the Touratech Desierto V fairing trim kit (a decal set developed by Rubber Dust) with yellow powder-coated components and powerful side-mounted auxiliary lights to emphasize its dual-purpose credentials. The original fork legs are replaced by expedition-compatible components from Touratech Suspension. All functions of the electronic suspension are fully retained, but the suspension package is said to greatly improve off-road and long distance on-road handling. The selection of vehicle-specific components is “designed to guarantee maximum functionality and practicality with an attention to detail that comes from our years of experience - such as shifting the gimbal vent to increase the wading depth or the little protectors at the throttle valves all prove our long-distance travel expertise”;


Paaschburg & Wunderlich: The distributor and parts and accessory designer made the headlines earlier this year when it announced its acquisition of German parts maker and bike builder LSL Motorradtechnik GmbH from founder and former Harley dealer Jochen Schmitz-Linkweiler. Noted for top-end parts and expansive series production ‘Clubman’ and special bike building programmes, LSL warehousing and sales activities have been relocated to the P&W facility at Glinde, near Hamburg. The LSL development department, design and engineering teams have stayed at the existing LSL facility at Krefeld under the continuing leadership of Schmitz-Linkweiler. P&W existing own brands include HIGHSIDER, Shin Yo, Takkoni and Moto Professional;;


Barkbusters: The Australian handguards specialist has announced the release of its new state-of-the- art, aerodynamically designed AERO-GP lever guards - “conceived with safety in mind, but created to be beautiful when fitted to your machine,” says Robert Veljanoski, Barkbusters General Manager.  “The innovative design will complement the look of today’s street bike aesthetics while providing the essential protection needed to prevent accidental activation of the brake or clutch lever during close quarters racing on the track, with street riders protected when riding in large groups, tight spaces and during lane filtering on congested urban roads. The adjustable reach means a perfect fit and they are sold with an additional aerofoil included.“ The sleek, functional aerofoil can be fitted for increased wind protection or removed in seconds for a compact sporty style;


Sol Motors: The Stuttgart, Germany based designer says the 2018 German Design Award-winning ‘Pocket Rocket’ is not an E-bike, as it goes too fast (though it is battery powered), nor a moped, as it has no pedals, but instead is a ‘NoPed’ - “defining a new category of electric two-wheelers”, saying that it is the “perfect urban commuter vehicle”;


D.I.D. Europe: The chain of choice for chain drive conversions, recent new technology from the Japanese specialist has included next generation “Anti-Shock Performance” chain that reduces the process of “Plastic Elongation” caused by the momentary excessive tension that causes the chain pin holes to deform over time - resistance to such deformation is said to be increased by up to 25 percent;


TDR: Founded in 2000 and headed up in Europe by former Hyperpro executive Jan Belder, TDR Industries is a leading Asian motorcycle and component business with facilities spread across multiple Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Taiwan. The company is seeking new distribution and dealer partners, initially for a range of components for the Yamaha NMAX, XMAX and HONDA PCX models. The TDR product line is focussed on R&D, manufacturing and distribution of tuning, handling, style and maintenance products such as various sizes of ceramic cylinders, twin iridium spark plugs, camshafts, continuously variable transmissions (CVT), springs and clutch sets, roller weights, pulley sets, stainless steel air filters, gear ratios, brake pads, discs and hoses, handgrips and more. “TDR has a proven record and an exceptional reputation”, says Belder. “They deliver high quality and high performance motorcycle components in the South East Asian market, and we are pleased to announce that we are now starting to take our journey further into the European market in the coming months and years”;


Motoz: By reputation, the Australian tyre manufacturer offers some of the best dual-sport, Enduro or MX tyres money can buy. Listen to the “paddock chat” about their obvious quality and get some seriously top-end knobbies from the company’s new German warehouse inventory;

Spanish motorcycle registrations

Spain: motorcycle registrations +16.37 percent to October

The latest data from ANESDOR, the motorcycle industry trade association in Spain, shows motorcycle registrations +15.15 percent for October (14,354 units), having been +19.48 percent (14,998 units) for September. For the YTD the market is Spain was +16.37 percent at 138,008 units.

The moped market in Spain remains soft (-24.15 percent/12,501 units YTD) with total PTW registrations +15.64 percent in October (16,490 units), having been +16.91 percent in September (16,903 units) and are running at +15.61 percent YTD (156,166 units).
Jose Maria Riano, Secretary General of ANESDOR, says that “October was in line with the +13 percent to +20 percent growth in registrations in Spain seen for most of 2018 so far. The growth is partly down to economic recovery, but also due to more citizens turning to two-wheel transportation, especially in urban areas, because of its positive effect on congestion and the environmental advantages”.
ANESDOR says that some 49 companies sell 117 PTW brands in Spain. On small volumes (362 units) the previously growing rental channel declined by -5.5 percent in October compared to October 2017.
Honda is market share leader in Spain, taking an increased 20.20 percent of the market YTD (27,810 units); Yamaha is second with 15.8 percent (21,828 units), with Kymco third (10.3 percent, 14,223 units), followed by BMW and Piaggio.


Cardo to join forces with JBL for high-end communication system audio

Cardo Systems continues its evolution as the leading wireless communication systems manufacturer for motorcyclists with a link-up with JBL - a division of the Harman Group and one of the most respected names in the top-end audio industry.

With embedded audio software technology developed by JBL specifically for Cardo at their Los Angeles audio labs, Sound by JBL now gives riders the highest standard of audio quality in Cardo’s latest generation of Packtalk communication systems, including the Freecom 4+, “establishing a new standard of audio quality for motorcyclists. Our collaboration with JBL will deliver a superior audio experience,” says Dr. Abraham Glezerman, Cardo’s founder and CEO.

“We have been relentlessly committed to enhancing our users’ joy of riding ever since pioneering the Motorcycle Bluetooth category back in 2004. This partnership is yet another powerful example of the innovation behind that ongoing commitment. JBL and its world-class audio solutions will allow us to bring our customers a new standard of sound for the best riding experience possible.”
After interviewing thousands of riders over the course of 15 years, Cardo Systems says it discovered that, collectively, the three things riders are most concerned about when looking for a communication device are performance, ease-of-use and sound quality.
Cardo can justifiably claim to have reinvented performance by introducing the next generation Dynamic Mesh Communication platform, improved ease-of-use with industry-first one-step natural voice commands and are now bringing premium audio to one of the most difficult sound quality environments imaginable.
Natural voice command operation allows riders to simply say “Hey Cardo” without having to press any buttons, and the always-on device reacts instantaneously. The big safety benefit: hands always remain on the handlebar, including activation of Apple’s Siri and “OK Google” by voice command.
The all-new Freecom 4+ combines JBL driven sound quality with Bluetooth based natural voice command operation and a razor-thin control wheel, available at a mid-range price point. The Dynamic Mesh technology that underpins the Cardo Packtalk concept allows up to 12 riders to join and leave communications and conversations with fellow riders over a distance of up to 5 miles without the network crashing and the riders needing to re-establish communications because it doesn’t use the conventional “cascade connection chain” technique.
Instead it is, quite literally, a “dynamic mesh” that allows any rider to join and leave at any time. It also features natural voice activation and JBL audio grade sound quality in a glove-friendly, ergonomic and aerodynamic package together with state-of-the-art four-way rider-to-rider, rider-to-passenger and single-rider intercom.
“We are excited to offer top-end technology at an affordable price point for the consumer,” says Glezerman. “With its best-in-class sound, truly natural voice operation and the innovative razor-thin wheel, Freecom 4+ underscores again our ongoing and firm commitment to developing the industry’s best solutions and providing consumers with communication systems that perform extremely well for virtually any riding style.”
Glezerman concluded by saying that “the Freecom 4+ is the best equipped and best performing Bluetooth communication system anywhere” - and it is hard to argue with that claim.

Japanese made motorcycle exports

Japanese made motorcycle exports to Europe -10.02 percent for first nine months of 2018

The latest data released by JAMA (the automotive trade association in Japan, which includes representation of motorcycle manufacturers among its membership) shows exports of Japanese made motorcycles to Europe down by -24.82 percent in September (9,010 units), having been +2.10 percent in August (9,034 units) and running at -10.02 percent for the first nine months of 2018 (143,293 units).

Exports of Japanese made motorcycles to USA for September were +8.18 percent (6,019 units) and are running at +6.99 percent YTD (55,301 units). Total Japanese manufactured motorcycle exports worldwide are -5.62 percent YTD at 256,801 units.
PTW exports to Europe (motorcycles, scooters and mopeds combined) were -20.46 percent for September (10,352 units) and are 7.30 percent for the first nine months of 2018 (157,993 units); they are +6.91 percent YTD for USA (84,817 units) and were -3.83 percent worldwide (333,173 units).
The increasing number of units being made by Japanese manufacturers elsewhere in Asia, the US and South/Central America goes some way to providing historical context for the data, though the majority of higher value larger displacement Japanese brand machines, especially those being sold in Europe, are still made in Japan.
Their overseas factories are primarily engaged in making and selling scooters and smaller capacity units in 'emerging' markets (where import tariffs are high) and in making ATV/UTV units - especially in the United States where demand for such machines is strongest.
Japanese made motorcycle and moped (all PTW) exports fell off a cliff in 2009 to 583,879 from over 1m in 2008 and have continued to decline most years since then (463,123 units in 2017); they peaked at 1,641m units in 2000.


Andreani spring tester

Noted for its top-selling advanced suspension testing, tuning and tools programmes, Italian specialist Andreani Group’s DS1 electronic spring tester was developed by the company’s in-house R&D team to “perfectly and easily measure shock absorber and fork spring load”.
Designed as a tool for all technicians who want to deliver precision results when tuning or rebuilding race or street suspensions, and especially when building custom suspension installations or upgrading OE manufacturer standard front fork and shock absorber set-ups, Andreani says its ergonomically designed DS1 is “equipped with everything necessary for the technician to be able to work efficiently and accurately - the DS1 guarantees maximum accuracy of results”.
“This is due to the absolute reliability, precision and accuracy of its design and manufacture and of the calculations and calibrations used. It boasts a maximum load of up to 1,000 kg (10,000 N), a total range of 350 mm, and a sensibility to a tenth of a kilo”.
User-friendly features include an LED touch screen display, function keys for manual and automatic measurement, and the possibility to measure the static forces of both MX and MTB forks and shock absorbers. All the adapters for the main forks and springs on the market are supplied as standard.



Race and Euro 4 carbon M3 exhaust

Italian exhaust specialist GPR is celebrating its latest race successes - especially its wins in the Moto3 World Championship with Jorge Martin - with a M3 Moto3 replica dedicated to the “Martinator”.

An update of the line dedicated to Joan Mir, the M3 is 100% manufactured in “genuine matt carbon for a light and compact exhaust that is available in racing or homologated version for the best-selling sport and naked style models”.

For 2019 (spring launch), the Italian factory is also introducing a new concept, the “Sonic Revolution”, “an innovative design and use of advanced materials (titanium and ‘Poppy’ stainless steel) and precision manufacturing that meets the Euro 4 requirements”.



MIPS Multi-directional Impact Protection System

Developed in Sweden by neurosurgeon Hans von Holst and Peter Halldin of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, the MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) low friction layer is designed to add to the protections already offered by approved motorcycle helmets by focussing on, and protecting against, the rotational motion (or kinematics) that can be transmitted to the brain from angled impacts to the head. 

 In standard helmet tests, the helmet is dropped vertically onto a flat surface. The results are helpful for measuring precise vertical impacts, but far inferior for measuring the more realistic scenario of an angled impact. MIPS has been developed for reality and increases protection against angled impacts and thoroughly tested at MIPS test labs.

Rotational motion is a combination of rotational energy (angular velocity) and rotational forces from angular acceleration that affect the brain and increase the risk for minor and severe brain injuries. Addition of the MIPS system to a helmet design “has been proven to reduce rotational motion when implemented in a helmet by redirecting energies and forces otherwise transmitted to the brain”.
MIPS works independently of impact direction. It is a multi-directional impact protection system – most motorcycle helmet impacts occur at an angle, and this is what can generate rotational motion. When the helmet impacts the ground at an angle, the helmet and the head could start to rotate if the friction is high enough. The brain floats in cerebrospinal fluid and can move slightly within the skull. 

In a helmet with MIPS Brain Protection System (BPS), the shell and the liner are separated by a low friction Layer. When a helmet with MIPS Brain Protection System is subjected to an angled impact, the low friction layer allows the helmet to slide relative to the head. The MIPS BPS is designed to add protection in helmets against the rotational motion. The rotational motion is a combination of rotational energy (angular velocity) and rotational forces (from angular acceleration) that both affects the brain and increases the risk for minor and severe brain injuries. MIPS BPS has been scientifically proven to reduce rotational motion when implemented in a helmet by absorbing and redirecting rotational energies and forces transferred to the brain.

Rotational force can cause the brain to move suddenly and with significant force, which can cause stretching, twisting or tearing in the brain and it is known that the human brain is more sensitive to rotational motion than linear motion. The brain is more sensitive to rotational motion due to the fact that it is very much like water or a gel when it comes to its shear properties. The brain, like water, is also incompressible. Therefore, linear motion will not affect the brain as much as rotational motion.

The illustration is based on data that was generated using a finite element computer model, based on measurements obtained from nine accelerometers in a Hybrid III crash test dummy head. The dummy head wearing a helmet was subjected to an angled impact using the MIPS test rig. The model illustrates strain in the brain from a similar angled impact when the dummy head is wearing a helmet without MIPS and a helmet with MIPS.

Although the hair and scalp can reduce friction between the helmet and the head, they are often ineffective at impact because the force between the head and the helmet is too high and the impact occurs too quickly to allow the hair and scalp to work. The MIPS low friction layer allows 10-15 mm of sliding quickly at impact. The sliding occurs for 3-10 milliseconds under a load of around 500-1000 kg/1,650 lbs. 

The all-new Thor ‘Sector’ MIPS helmet is said to offer exceptional performance at an entry level price. It is equipped with MIPS and a dual density EPS foam liner.

MIPS is an “ingredient brand” and technology that is becoming widely adopted by increasing numbers of motorcycle helmet brands (KTM, MSR, Answer, Kabuto, Thor, Bell, KYT, Fly Racing, Scott and more). The first helmet brand to incorporate MIPS appeared on the market in 2007. By 2017 some 60 brands were using MIPS and the company says it had sold 5.4 million units, with MIPS being used in over 300 individual helmet models/designs.
MIPS does not affect the outcomes of the present conventional helmet testing regimes; therefore it does not affect existing certifications and approvals procedures. In some countries, riders can receive pricing or benefits advantages from their insurer for riding with a MIPS equipped helmet.

The DOT/ECE certified Z1R F.I. ‘Flank’ helmet features dual density EPS with the MIPS system.

Moose racing:
The brand-new Moose Racing ‘F.I. Session’ helmet is DOT and ECE approved and features the revolutionary MIPS Brain Protection System.


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.