British Dealer News Dec 2021

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www.britishdealernews.co.uk British Dealer News

key business information for the UK motorcycle and scooter industry

Key business information for the UK motorcycle and scooter industry • December 2021

Inside!

Complimentary 2022 Wall Planner Honda dealers honoured New head at Visordown Norton rebuilds

20 YEARS AT THE TOP Tim Maccabee moves on after two decades at the helm of Ducati UK Full report page 12

December 2021

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December 2021 : Issue 245

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55 TRADE CLASSIFIEDS Small adverts, big opportunities

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DECEMBER 2021  3

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42 THE BUSINESS ESSENTIALS Business wills

FEBRUARY JANUARY

CONTRIBUTORS Roger Willis; Dan Sagar; Alan Dowds; Rick Kemp; Adam Bernstein; John Featherstone; Brian Crichton; Mick Duckworth; Suzanne Potts

from all the team at British Dealer News www.britishdealernews.co.uk

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Honda dealers honoured 30th celebrations for Staffordshire Triumph Lexham cover incentive for Sunra Ducati UK boss bows out after 20 years New era for RGS Motorbikes Mallory’s autojumble move Norton rebuilds On the Move – New head at Visordown Obituaries Motorcycle Live – Embrace the atmosphere Off the Cuff – Trade opinions Shipping still in crisis International news – Half-time question marks Off-road news – Dirtbike showtime

JUNE

4 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 25 26 28 32

JULY

the news

HEAD OF CONTENT Andy Mayo: editorial@dealernews.co.uk tel 01237 422660; 07780 857693

SEPTEMBER AUGUST ER OCTOBER DECEMBER NOVEMB

the team

Contents

Contents

12/11/2021 06/10/2021

13:40 12:19


Business news Customer Satisfaction After Sales 2021 winners Thunder Road Gloucester. From left: Martin Bayfield, Dave Mobberly (managing director), Mike Smith (general manager), Steve Hounsell (general manager), Dave Smith (owner) and Neil Fletcher (head of motorcycles, Honda UK)

Honda dealers honoured O ne of the benefits of being a big sponsor of England Rugby is getting the run of Twickenham Stadium for your annual dealer conference. With the 2020 event being cancelled due to Covid-19, Honda grabbed the chance of hosting a posh day out at Twickers with both hands. Rugby also supplied the star presenter – former England international and Lions player, and TV presenter Martin Bayfield. Together with Honda UK president Jean-Marc

Streng and head of motorcycles Neil Fletcher, Bayfield handed out the gongs to Honda’s top bike dealers. More than 70 of the Japanese firm’s dealerships attended, and there was no shortage of merriment after such a long break in organised festivities. Neil Fletcher, head of motorcycles at Honda UK, commented, “It was brilliant to see the dealers face to face again. It’s been a long and challenging last 18 months but to come back

with an event of this nature and hold it at the home of England Rugby was fantastic! While it’s been a difficult time for everyone due to Covid-19, our dealers have worked tirelessly and endeavoured to support our customers during this time of substantially increased demand over the last six months, and I’m very thankful for their assistance on this. By continuing to work together, combined with our plans for further growth, we are all very excited about what the future holds.”

Customer Satisfaction Sales 2021: Two Wheels Neil Roberts (managing director) and Neil Fletcher (head of motorcycles, Honda UK)

les 2021: Kent Motorcyc President’s Award manager) les (sa ns Lyo dy th An Martin Bayfield wi l) ipa ll (dealer princ and Hadrian Powe

Celebrating 60 Years with Honda: Lings Chris Jary (managing director) and Honda head of motorcycles Neil Fletcher

4  DECEMBER 2021

ce of trophies CJ Ball picked up a bra e and the vic ser rs – one for 50 Yea aler Balance De a nd Ho the ng bei other 1 202 Scorecard Award Rhodes collected Sales manager Steph Jean-Marc m fro s the two award er tch Fle il Ne d an g Stren

Celebrating 45 Years with Honda: HGB Mike Harrington (MD) and Neil Fletc her

Celebrating 60 Years with Honda: Padgetts Jean-Marc Streng (preside nt, Honda UK), Helen Padgett (sales manag er) and Clive Padgett (managing directo r)

Celebrating 55 Years with Honda: Fowlers Jean-Marc Streng, James Bruno (general manager) and Neil Fletcher

Years with Hond Celebrating 50 Co & Victor Devine d Neil Fletcher an e vin De Victor

a:

Dealer of the Year 2021: Miles Kingsport Martin Bayfield hands the trophy to Shane Reid (sales area manager, Honda UK, on behalf of Miles Kingsport)

Images courtesy of Ben Fisher Photography

www.britishdealernews.co.uk


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Business news

Prize winner – A new Triumph Trident went to Bing Bingham, han ded over by Staffordshire Triumph proprie tor Bob Sheldon (right)

Triumphant Staffordshire T

he remarkable success story of Staffordshire Triumph marked another milestone in October when its proprietor Bob Sheldon celebrated 30 years in the trade and 20 years of being a Triumph dealer. Bob started his working life down the pits as a miner, then set up a business buying and selling motorcycles from his home in Stoke-on-Trent back in 1991. Dedicated premises followed, and in 2001 Sheldon took on the Triumph franchise, and the business has gone from strength to strength. Now in 12,000sq.ft premises in Tunstall, one of Stoke-on-Trent’s six towns, Staffordshire Triumph is one of those shining gems of inspiration to all those starting out in the industry. Hard work, determination, and a passion for excellent customer service are key to Sheldon’s success in building a loyal, returning customer base. Sheldon decided an open day was in order to celebrate a brace of anniversaries and put up for grabs a brand new Triumph Trident as the main raffle prize. Punters had to visit the showroom to buy a ticket and attend the open day to claim the prize. The raffle

8  DECEMBER 2021

generated more than £5000 for the Midlands Air Ambulance charity. The charity angle was only a side benefit to the day, with the main focus being on meeting as many customers as possible to thank them for their support over the years. Sheldon and the team served more than 800 hot drinks and 686 hot pork baps, so it’s safe to say that those attending didn’t go away hungry! Looking forward, Sheldon says “It’s been a fantastic 20-year relationship with Triumph, and I’m looking forward to continuing growing the business alongside the brand, which is making big strides in broadening its appeal to a wider cross-section of riders. With the new 1200 Tiger, Speed Triple RR and Tiger Sport joining the lineup, the future looks exciting and bright.” Sheldon acknowledged that the last 18 months have been challenging, but with customer footfall returning to almost normal levels, he is optimistic that they are over the worst. “Component shortages are problematic industry-wide, but we’re getting on with running our business and overcoming the hurdles as we hit them.”

Hard work, determination, and a passion for excellent customer service are key to Bob’s success in building a loyal, returning customer base The dealership has hit its first-quarter target and is on track to hit second-quarter figures too. Sheldon is also keen to join Triumph on its anticipated off-road adventure and keenly awaits developments. When the winner of the Trident raffle was announced, Sheldon was delighted to reveal that it was a second-generation customer of the business, Bing Bingham, who scooped up the prize, which was a fitting outcome for both the busness and the winner. “It was great to see the bike go to a customer who has already bought several bikes from me and also his dad before him. The whole team at Staffordshire Triumph had a great day, a lot of hard work went into it, but it was really worthwhile. “Next year sees us celebrate ten years in these premises, which were at one stage Triumph’s biggest showroom in Europe.” Will it be time for another open day? “Let’s recover from this one first!” says a smiling Bob Sheldon!

www.britishdealernews.co.uk


Y E A R S

LUNCH IS ON US! We’ll be offering all our valued motorcycle dealers and training schools a free lunch at this year’s Motorcycle Live show to the value of £20.* To celebrate the return of crowds at Motorcycle Live this year and the return to the NEC in Birmingham, Bikesure are giving back to the motorcycle community. Visit our staff at our stand (3D12) to claim your voucher and enjoy a meal on us.

JOIN THE BIKESURE DEALER SCHEME TODAY AND EARN £50 FOR EVERY POLICY SOLD FROM YOUR REFERRAL! BENEFITS INCLUDE: • Specialist Schemes Multi Bikes, 125cc and Scooters, Classic Bikes, Electric Bikes Plus much more • All Dealer Point of Sale Supplied • Dealer Support Team on Hand • Referral Payments

0800 916 1250 bikesure.co.uk dealers@bikesure.co.uk

*£20 is in the form of a refreshment voucher. One voucher per business. Your business must be signed up to the Bikesure dealer referral scheme before 4/12/2021

A U T H O R I S E D A N D R E G U L AT E D B Y T H E F I N A N C I A L C O N D U C T A U T H O R I T Y.


Business news

Digital dealer divide MOTOR AND MOTORCYCLE RETAIL TECH specialist iVendi has identified what it says is a yawning gap between pandemic-associated trade adoption of online technology, from quite advanced customer handling solutions to relatively rudimentary approaches. According to iVendi chief executive James Tew, Covid forced dealers to accelerate digitalisation plans and that the sector has made huge progress – but capabilities vary widely. “It’s no exaggeration to say that dealerships have moved on perhaps five years in 18 months as a result of the pandemic, thanks to tackling the effects of lockdowns and a need for remote selling,” he opined. “However, those dealers who have adopted e-commerce products will have seen differing results and this is where we have seen a new digital divide becoming apparent. “Some technology is well-established and relatively good at simply generating applications and online reservations. But it doesn’t really achieve much beyond that. For some, it’s as much as they want to achieve online. Others have really looked to reap the rewards of digitisation and now have in place comprehensive online customer procedures, able to replicate almost every step that might take place in a face-to-face showroom sale. “Optimising a digital purchasing channel involves handling more complex situations, such as adjusting vehicle and part-exchange prices, up-selling warranties, managing finance declines, negative equity and more. All of these factors feature in the majority of purchases. But older tech solutions won’t be able to resolve them, effectively bringing the online journey to a halt. “Better technology makes handling these points easy and really highlights where the digital divide lies. It’s the difference between relatively rare sales without complications and those complex processes that make up the vast majority of real-world transactions. We have seen dealers who have moved to more advanced systems continue with a relatively high level of online sales in the post-Covid market, while those using older technology have seen more of a falling off.”

10  DECEMBER 2021

Lexham cover incentive for Sunra

S

unra ePTW brand distributor Moto Electric has formed a partnership with specialist motorcycle and scooter broker Lexham Insurance to offer preferential rates to its customers. “Establishing the Sunra brand in the UK isn’t just about bringing new products to the market,” explained Moto Electric director Logan Black. “It’s also about ensuring we support both our customers and dealers as comprehensively as possible. Having a trusted insurance partner is an important element of this, for which Lexham is incredibly well-positioned.” Lexham sales and marketing director Andy

Goodson added: “The electric market is, of course, relatively new to us all and there are some misconceptions about risks, both in terms of theft and in total loss situations. The reality is far more conventional and so we’ve been able to work with underwriters to look at rates from a real-world perspective. As such, we can offer Sunra owners a truly cost-effective approach in general to their insurance cover.” www.lexhaminsurance.co.uk www.sunra-uk.com

Autumn fall gains momentum According to the latest data published by the MCIA, registrations fell by 3.4% in October ALTHOUGH OCTOBER SAW THE FOURTH consecutive monthly decline, the deficit was smaller than in recent months. The year-to-date registration tally now sits 11.4% ahead of last year. However, due to the disruption caused by Covid-19, a fairer comparison is with 2019’s prepandemic monthly totals. Compared to October 2019, 19.7% more machines have been registered this year, which is a very impressive result. Recent feedback from dealers suggests that enquiry levels for new machines in October fell, which is not uncommon as autumn gains momentum. Despite this, the majority of dealers held the view that demand is at least on par with last year.

Dealers have expressed their concerns about how supply constraints may affect the season ahead, with a number reporting that customers have cancelled orders due to anticipated long lead times. However, many dealers are optimistic that 2022 will be buoyant, with strong order intake and consumer spending confidence remaining high. Paul McDonald, Leisure Vehicles Editor Engine band highest registered models October 2021 Power Band

Model

0-50cc Vmoto Super Soco CPX 51-125cc Yamaha NMAX 125 126-650cc Royal Enfield Meteor 350 651-1000cc Honda NC 750 X Over 1000cc BMW R1250 GS Adventure Data courtesy of the MCIA

www.britishdealernews.co.uk


WE’VE WON! Within a month we’ve won not one, but two awardsan achievement that we are all very proud of.

Our customers voted First Response Finance as the ‘Best Car Finance Provider’ in the Consumer Credit Awards 2021. The second recognition came from our dealer partners who voted us ‘Finance Provider of the Year (Sub-Prime)’ in the Car Dealer Power Awards for the second consecutive year. Cars, motorbikes, vans- it doesn't matter what type of vehicle we are financing, our award- winning service remains the same.

First Response Finance Ltd, 5 Regan Way Chetwynd Business Park, Chilwell, Nottingham, NG9 6RZ. Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.Registered in England No.


Business news

CEO, Francesco Milicia, Claudio Domenicali, Ducati Booth, MD, DMC director of global sales, Chris ee cab Mac Group and Tim

Tim Maccabee with Prince W illiam, The Duke of Ca mbridge at Motorcycle Live

Tim Maccabee sharin

g a joke with Shane By

rne

New chapter for Maccabee Tim Maccabee, MD of Ducati UK, is moving on after 20 years. He spoke to BDN about the change and his time running the Italian firm’s UK division

T

here are a few names that are a part of the landscape of the British bike trade. People who’ve been in a role for what seems like forever. And when they move on, it can feel like a small earthquake, a tear in the industry’s space-time fabric. Tim Maccabee is one of those names. He’s been boss at Ducati UK almost from the beginning, joining in May 2001, the year after it took over from independent importer Moto Cinelli. But now, he’s leaving the firm at the end of 2021, handing over to a new MD, and moving onto a new chapter in his professional life. We spoke to him at his Ducati UK office in Silverstone, and the first question was, “Why? What’s behind the decision to move on?” The answer was short and straightforward: “20 years is enough. This is genuinely by mutual consent – we know my replacement, Fabrizio Cazzoli, and he’ll arrive before I leave. Fabrizio first joined Ducati at the factory in the logistics department in 1997 and has been running Ducati China and Japan for the last four years.” What’s next for Maccabee? “It’s a little bit TBD. I don’t have a role

12  DECEMBER 2021

to go to, but I do have a bit of a plan that has nothing to do with the industry. Advising, non-exec, consultancy, that sort of thing. Something to that effect may happen – a portfolio of activity.” Will he be enjoying a bit of time off? “The fact is I haven’t sorted

here for three or four weeks, and then I was basically running the company with Peter Brooking.” How did Maccabee end up at Ducati? “I was at Ford for 13 years before that. Before I joined Ducati, I’d not long bought a bike, after being out of it for a while because of kids etc. All I could justify was a Yamaha SRX600 (which had a little bit of character), but I’d have liked to buy a Ducati. I looked at the possibility, phoned up a dealer

In the early 2000s, we were at 2.9%, and now we’re knocking on the door of 7% of the over-500cc market anything, it’s been a mad 18 months, so I want to just settle for a little while and work out what happens next.” Two decades is indeed a long time in any top job. Maccabee arrived at a time of flux in Ducati’s operations: the firm was owned by the American Texas Pacific Group, which was making changes all across the business. And one change was to move from an independent importer – Moto Cinelli – bringing bikes into the UK, to a Ducati-owned UK division. “Ducati UK was formed in 2000 when Ducati bought out Moto Cinelli,” said Maccabee. “I took over from a chap called Piero Guidi, then there was a guy called Michael Locke who was

and said, ‘do you do PCP?’ Because I’d worked with Ford Options (the car firm’s PCP scheme) and I knew you didn’t need a big deposit and you don’t need a big monthly payment … but they just went “What?” Ducati was my aspirational brand.” What would he say are the highlights of his time there? “I’m proud of how the brand has grown over the years in the UK. It’s clearly to do with the bikes we have and the reliability, but our market share is slightly more than double what it was back then. In the early 2000s, we were at 2.9%, and now we’re knocking on the door of 7% of the over500cc market. “Our volume, actually, has been

between 2000 and 3750 units, sort of 750 either side of 3000 ever since, but the price of the bikes has gone up, so I think the brand is in a much better place globally and in the UK.” Part of that is down to better products from the Bologna firm. “We had Monster, Supersport, Superbike and ST. The ST and Supersport didn’t sell, so you really only had Monsters and Superbike. Now we have Superbike, Monster, Multistrada, Scrambler, Diavel ... so much more variety of product in the marketplace. We’re a very engineering-led, and productled company.” But Maccabee reckons the dealers also had a major part to play. “My job was to take that and transform it into a UK offering via a network of dealers. And working with dealers over the years, there’s been some fantastic relationships. I’ve really enjoyed working with the dealer network. I worked out recently that the closer I am to the dealer network and the further away from the factory, the less annoyed I get! Generally, I don’t find working with dealers difficult. Even if you need to have a difficult conversation, it’s not. It’s just business. Sometimes I’m representing the brand, and I have to say what I have to say. So yes, dealing with the network has been a pleasure, some of the characters have been an absolute pleasure over those 20 years.

www.britishdealernews.co.uk


Business news

“I think the standard of the and Milan to mention a few … network we have has improved The food in Bologna is also very immeasurably over time. You have good and getting to go there with Chris Booth with the DMC group, people who know what the hell the brothers down in Ducati they’re doing when booking a Alton, which was a small town- restaurant is really quite special.” There’s a poignant edge to friendly family dealership. They used to sell 30-40 bikes a year, and Maccabee’s final highlight though, as he remembered a now they’re doing 160-180 bikes, the My job was to close friend, Paul Smart, who had professionalism, enthusiasm and take that and sadly just passed away when he spoke managerial skills transform to BDN. “I’ve been are incredible.” very privileged to Away from the it into a UK spend time in the business side, UK mixing with there’s been offering via racers and the plenty of personal a network of the racing fraternity, highlights for and I’d become Maccabee too. dealers quite a good friend “There’s been a lot of time enjoyed with dealership of Paul Smart. We’d visited and owners and managers at the hotel stayed at his house, he’d come and bar in Italy after the Global Dealer stayed with us, and he’d probably Conferences! If you want that become my best friend in the in layman speak, I considered it motorcycling world. We walked my duty (and a point of honour) around at race meetings, we went to be together with the last to Sweden together and rode man standing at the bar after together, so yes, I’d probably pick our conferences in a variety of that friendship as one of the real locations around Italy – Sardegna, high points.” Sorrento, Rome, Lake Como See page 23 for Paul Smart’s obituary.

NIGEL GOODMAN DUCATI’S NETWORK DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, NIGEL GOODMAN IS also leaving the company, retiring after 21 years. According to Tim Maccabee, the timing is purely coincidental: “Nigel took the decision to retire, and from a company point of view, it made sense for that to happen at the point of handover from me to Fabrizio. There’s no replacement at the moment and that’s not something I’m going to do. When a manager leaves, you get the opportunity to shuffle the deck a little bit, and that’s a management position that Fabrizio Cazzoli will have the opportunity to shape.” Goodman commented: “I have enjoyed a fabulous career in the motorcycle industry with ten years at Pirelli before joining Ducati UK when the company was formed in 2000. “I have decided to retire from Ducati just before I hit my 60th birthday but I’d really like to thank the great people that own and operate our dealer network and for the support that you have always offered me. Thanks also to all of the companies that I have worked with over the years in delivering top quality business support programmes and all my colleagues at Ducati, whether in the UK or overseas. You guys are the best and it’s been a blast.”

Nigel Goodman with wife Karina and dog Bruno

www.britishdealernews.co.uk

DECEMBER 2021  13


Business news

From left: RGS MD Brian Ausden, workshop manager Gary Farrow, development manager Gordon Riseley and MoT and fabricator Simon Lines

New era for RGS Motorbikes A phone call to RGS Motorbikes at 8am on a Saturday brought an instant response from the boss Brian Ausden. That’s surely proof that RGS is serious about business. The Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, bike set-up – a division of RGS Motorsports – is working on plans to make 2022 a year of significant growth on two wheels. The winter months will be spent on: • Investigating a new bike franchise including adventure bikes • Organising a series of 2022 on-site bike meets, dyno days and evenings • Inviting suppliers, clubs and owners with collections to attend on-site bike events • Attending more outdoor events and shows in 2022 • Centralising the bike workshop and MoT bay • Adding a mezzanine floor, increasing floorspace from 1000 to 1300sq.ft • Cafe area, reception and store planned for mezzanine • Examining electric bike sales potential • Possible acquisition of neighbouring premises • Increased used sales and buying and selling for customers • Continued support for drag race bikes, especially dyno runs • More promotion, including flyers and social media

NEW BUSINESS MANAGER Further evidence of commitment to bike buildup comes from new business development and facilities manager Gordon Riseley, who joined RGS in March. After 30 years away from bikes he has attended not one but two courses on riding and roadcraft to make sure he was on the ball before buying a Honda CBR600. A former circuit car racer and currently a

14  DECEMBER 2021

sprinter, he is in charge of putting the RGS Motorbikes growth plan together and making sure it works financially. Ausden has a passion for Italian bikes and would love a Latin franchise. Riseley listens indulgently and then reminds the boss that whatever they choose, it has to make money. Ausden nods. He had taken on KSR of Austria, which he sold between 2017 and 2019, but rising costs, especially container shipment prices, and Covid-related problems had seen margins dwindle to the point where it was no longer viable. So, a lesson learnt. Latin would be lovely ... but only if it pays.

FUN FACTOR To lace the season ahead with a bit of fun, RGS has bought a Russian three-wheeler – a Tula two-stroke. Never heard of it? Who has! Amazingly it runs and the pick-up bed has been earmarked as ‘The Handlebarbecue’ – the ideal platform from which to serve barbecues at planned on-site bike events. A further novelty to get customers talking at bike events is a 1950s 250 Ariel Leader. Painted all blue it looks like a plastic mould fairground ride. In its day in the 1950s it was a landmark machine. This one may end up as wall art.

WORKSHOP SERVICES Underpinning the 2022 growth plans are the key aspects of service, repair and MoT tests. At present these services account for 80% of bike business. Gary Farrow runs the workshop assisted by apprentice Brad Bennett. When things get really busy Simon Lines is called in from the car side. Lines, who has been with RGS for four years, is bike MoT licensed and can turn his hand to fabrication and mechanical work. Workshop manager Farrow has been in the bike trade all his life, starting with Dave Mason Motorcycles in Kettering, Northamptonshire,

RGS Motorbikes and RGS Motorsports owner Brian Ausden (above) separated the bikes from the cars in 2015 and plans major bike growth in 2022

aged 16. Other local bike businesses he worked for include Queensberry Road, Nene Valley, R&N, and InTwo Motorcycles. He also spent four years in Jersey setting up the bike business for Bikers starting in 1998. His customers there included 1992 Formula 1 world champion Nigel Mansell, who bought a Harley-Davidson and is active on the bike front in Jersey (see BDN September 2021). Farrow, Honda trained and coming from the points and carburettor era, can deal with bikes, scooters and quads of all types old and new. Recent projects have included a Honda 90 custom and restoration of a military Harley-Davidson Rotax. At RGS they aim not to turn anything away. The services include engine rebuilds, remapping, track bike preparation, dyno services, performance parts, tyres, plus selected used bike sales. Products and service items on site include Motul, Bike It, Mammoth, Dynojet, Wemoto, Fowlers, Larsson, and David Silver Honda.

THE RIGHT BIKES AND SERVICES Summing it all up RGS MD Brian Ausden says: “There are so many things we want to do. We want to grow the business and become a new bike dealer next year. We intend to do a lot of promotion and attend several events. We’re looking at it as a new era and we aim to make a significant impact in the world of two wheels. “Since I bought RGS Motorsport in 2010 I have tripled it’s size and we now need another unit. When I started I had one member of staff. I now have eight and I need another. In the bike world demand is now high and supply low. We want to fit the market with the right bikes and the right services.” RGS Motorbikes 01933 229977 rgs-motorbikes@gmail.com www.rgs-motorbikes.co.uk

www.britishdealernews.co.uk



Business news

MCE invests in recycling write-offs SPECIALIST MOTORCYCLE broker MCE Insurance has invested a further £100,000 to expand its Green Parts sideline, which dismantles and recycles written-off bikes. This has been spent on more warehouse space for the salvage business and increased staffing to strip bikes. MCE Green Parts plans to treble revenue through 2022, after parts sales grew to more than £1.5m in its first year of trading. “We are now successfully recycling about 30% of our nonfault claims write-offs, and are targeting 50%,” explains MCE’s Simon French.“We only had capacity to strip up to around 10 bikes a month, whereas now we should be able to manage at least 30. That should mean we have enough component inventory for a monthly turnover in excess of £200,000.” According to French, this spin-off business was established initially to reduce waste and save money in claims events. But MCE Green Parts has become a significant and profitable revenue centre in its own right. “Like all insurers, we have to make decisions about what is most cost-effective when managing a claim, which sometimes means writing off a bike that really could be repaired and back on the road with relative ease,” he adds. “But that just didn’t sit comfortably with us, hence the development of our Green Parts division.”

Mallory’s autojumble move M

allory Park race circuit in Leicestershire embarks on a new business venture in 2022 by introducing a series of six autojumbles. Track owner Stuart Hicken (pictured), a former road racer and lifelong bike fan who took Mallory on in 2013, has appointed Andy Warren of Past Time Motorcycles, Croft, Leicestershire, to run the Saturday series. A trial autojumble, the firstever stand-alone autojumble at Mallory, was held on 30 October. Heavy early morning rain didn’t help the debut, but Hicken and Warren received enough positive feedback to convince them of the potential of this new addition at the circuit. All six autojumbles will be on hard standing, in the paddock and pit areas. Jumblers will have access to pit garages plus awnings on a first-come first-served basis. Mallory plans to erect up to 30 new mini marquees before next season to give more traders shelter. Said autojumble organiser Warren: “We are keeping the fees down and we will give traders as

much space as they need. I am an autojumbler, so I know what traders need. We want to make it a good experience for them. We are charging only £10 for cars and £20 for vans no matter how big. And traders can camp overnight free. Public admittance is £5, and they will be allowed in from 7.45am. There will be no extra charges for ‘earlybirds’.” Said track owner Hicken: “We are planning a series of other improvements at Mallory. As well as the new mini marquees we will have new caterers – Athlone – with a wider diversity of cuisine. We are re-introducing the Vintage MCC’s Festival of 1000 Bikes on 16-17 July and an autojumble will be part of the Festival in the paddock on both days. “The first autojumble will be held on Saturday 26 February and the last on 1 October. We haven’t set dates for the three others so far, but one will be in the summer with stalls on the circuit oval, rather like the big Eurojumble held on the track at Monza in Italy. The oval section at Mallory is one mile around and it

will allow buyers and spectators to walk right round. “We think this Monza treatment will be really popular. With Mallory being so central and with good access and exit there should be little or no queuing. And all the autojumbles will be on solid ground.”

RACE BASE Hicken runs his Hawk Racing Buildbase British Superbike team from Mallory. The circuit attracted its best bike crowd for five years at October’s Race of the Year. Hicken plans on running 20 bike race meetings in 2020. He has built up Mallory based EMRA (East Mildand Racing Association) from 98 to 200 rider entries and the overall club up to 610 members. Mallory ran its first race meeting in April 1956 and the track also hosts practice and track days.

EXHIBIT IN 2022 TRADERS WISHING TO EXHIBIT and trade at Mallory autojumbles in 2022 should contact organiser Andy Warren: 07739 885523; pasttimemotorcycles@gmail.com.

BikeTrac launches Lite tracking MOTORCYCLE TRACKING specialist BikeTrac has announced a new slimmed-down tracking unit that will be launched at Motorcycle Live in early December. The BikeTrac Lite is aimed at cost-conscious riders and is ideally suited to low capacity or older machines. The unit offers the same tracking features included with the brand’s premium device, such as GPS and radio frequency technology, but is stripped back to be a simple fit-and-forget, costeffective alternative. BikeTrac’s Bill Taylor announced

16  DECEMBER 2021

the new Lite device, commenting: “We are delighted to launch this new simplified product. Conversations with our dealer network have very much driven our plans to bring this to market alongside our more premium product. Dealers now have another retail opportunity to offer to owners of smaller capacity machines and scooters, or larger capacity models of a lower value. As a result of slimming down the

services offered on the Lite we can pass the cost-saving down to our dealers, who in turn we hope will see more riders adopt tracking as their chosen line of defence, adding an additional revenue stream from customers who would have previously not considered a tracking product.” While BikeTrac’s premium offering still provides customers with feature-rich functionality, all customisable from their own app

and web portal, the Lite works silently in the background, with movement notifications sent via text and email along with access to BikeTrac’s Secure Operating Centre available 24/7. The BikeTrac Lite has an SRP of £199, with subscription costs of £5.99 per month or an annual fee of £60. Dealer margins remain strong, with 0% finance offers available to dealers as well as consumers. BikeTrac 01327 317980 bill@biketrac.co.uk

www.britishdealernews.co.uk

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22/01/2021 16:01:18


Business news

Dr Robert Hentschel talks of 10 year production plan

Norton is now ‘fit for the future’ Massive TVS investment at new Solihull factory

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he biggest upheaval in the long and tumultuous history of Norton is well underway. In a large, converted warehouse factory just off the M42 in Solihull, the Norton brand is being rebuilt from scratch by a start-up staff of more than 140. The Norton Motorcycles building is imposing on the outside and fitted out inside with ultramodern facilities, evidence of big spending on top of the reputed £16m paid in 2020 for the trademark and assets by TVS Motor Co. Support has come from the UK government and West Midlands Growth. Said to have the capacity for producing 8000 motorcycles a year, the plant is home to Norton design, engineering, purchasing, sales, marketing and customer support. A dealer network is planned for the UK and the rest of the world. Dr Robert Hentschel, who took over as CEO from interim boss John Russell last May, has a biking background and was previously with car manufacturing specialist Valmet. He told a press gathering invited to view the new plant that a 10-year product plan is already in place. “Norton is now fit for the future,” he said. “It is a powerful and prestigious brand. Our new models will be built to the most exacting standards, combining modernity with Norton values of simplicity and elegance.” Inevitably there will be electric machines in the mix and range development will take at least two years, although Dr Hentschel said surprises could be expected at the end of 2022. Meanwhile, Norton has boldly opted to thoroughly rework the mechanically troublesome 961 twins and 1200cc V-fours developed in the 2008-2020 Donington era rather than let them fade from public view. In the case of the V-four, re-engineering is crucial since Donington era machines are notoriously kept off the road due to multiple technical defects, some potentially lethal. Everything down to nuts and bolts is being examined, while components are now made to exacting standards by trusted suppliers instead of simply being shipped in from China. Full engine tests are still in progress.

18  DECEMBER 2021

Building a Commando Classic twin in the yet-to-be-filled assembly area

“We don't trust anything,” head of quality Chris Temple, formerly with Aston Martin told BDN. “We are even making new drawings.” The reworked, highly-priced four is sold as the Norton V4SV and a special derivative will feature at Motorcycle Live. Until the considerable work needed to make Nortons Euro 5 compliant is completed, they will go through the Single Vehicle Application (SVA) loophole. Owners of grounded V4s are being offered deals on the new models, although Norton is not legally obliged to compensate Donington customers. Rights to the twin-cylinder engine were sold to Jinlang in late 2019, which could make the future of 961 Commando models uncertain. A factory tour underlines how far-removed sophisticated Solihull is from ramshackle Donington. Welding in the frame shop is totally different, with tube from a new supplier, cut sections used to analyse welds and a consistent, standardised technique demanded from every welder, some of whom are ex-Donington. The engine building room is temperature-controlled, ceiling filters remove

Components are now made to exacting standards by trusted suppliers instead of simply being shipped in from China particles from the air and parts go through three stages of pressurised ultrasound washing, plus drying, before assembly. Bearing fitment and application of sealant is totally automated. The current three machine assembly stations will multiply as staffing and shifts are stepped up. After a rolling road test, complete bikes are checked in two inspection bays and any rectifications dealt with, when customers can watch. A ‘craftsmanship review’ audit, including a road test, will be used for first-offs, random quality checks, and addressing customer issues. Norton is, at last, getting the investment, quality control and stability it needs to become a credible world-leading brand.

www.britishdealernews.co.uk

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09/11/2021 15:23


Business news

ON THE MOVE IVENDI EXPANSION

DARREN SINCLAIR HAS BEEN APPOINTED as iVendi’s first chief commercial officer as the company embarks on ambitious plans to double its revenue over the next three years. Sinclair was previously a Cox Automotive Europe board member responsible for the operational and strategic leadership of the company’s digital retail solutions businesses, Modix and Codeweavers. He also spent more than 20 years at Auto Trader UK. Sinclair said: “iVendi has created an enviable market position for itself with a strong presence in the digital automotive retail sector both in the UK and Germany, offering an advanced and scalable solution ideal for manufacturers, retailers and lenders. “The company has ambitious and credible plans to expand rapidly over the next three years and I am delighted to be asked to be part of that adventure. There is huge potential here to build on alreadyimpressive achievements.” James Tew, CEO at iVendi, added: “Darren is one of the most experienced and capable people in the automotive digital retail sector and is a significant addition to our board as we embark on our next phase of expansion. Darren’s appointment follows recent news that Paul Bennett has been appointed to iVendi’s newly created role of Senior Vice President of International Business and Banking Alliances. SECURITY STRENGTHENED Simon Hunt has also joined iVendi as head of information security and compliance. He has previously worked as a freelance consultant for the company since 2017. Entering the IT sector in 1988, Hunt has operated as an analyst programmer, a business unit manager in the IBM Business Partner programme and, since 2009, as an independent specialist in information security. His experience encompasses everything from banks, insurance companies and large retailers through to SMEs.

Hancocks heads up Visordown

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taff journalist Simon Hancocks (right) has been promoted to head of content at Crash Media Group’s Visordown digital motorcycle publishing presence, overseeing editorial output on the website. According to Crash Media, his elevation came after a string of impressive months in terms of site traffic, culminating in a record month in October 2021 of just shy of 1.5 million unique-users. “Simon has proven over a number of years that he is an excellent content creator and this promotion is

a recognition of his hard work and dedication,” said Crash Media managing director William Miller. Commenting on his appointment, Hancocks opined: “The past three years have seen massive growth for Visordown and that is something I’m very proud of having played a small part in. With the UK motorcycle industry going through a period of flux currently, being head of content for such a big brand at such an important time is a real honour.”

Miller has also welcomed Samantha Creedon-Gray (left), a former accounts manager at MCN publisher Bauer Media, to the Visordown team as its new commercial manager. “We have been searching for the right individual to take Visordown to the next level commercially for some time and Sam really fits that bill,” he added. “She has a huge amount of experience in the motorcycle industry and will be a great addition.”

Yuasa’s snack packs ACU Awards night cancelled THE ACU HAS DECIDED NOT TO HOLD IT’S 2022 Awards presentation event that was due to take place at the National Motorcycle Museum on 22 January, due to the continued rise in winter Covid-19 infection rates and as a duty of care towards staff, members, and the up to 700 guests who attend. Suitable alternative dates and locations to present the trophies to the award winners are now being sought. The ACU Awards will return to the National Motorcycle Museum on 21 January 2023.

AVAILABLE FOR FREE with purchases from participating distributors across the UK and Ireland, GS Yuasa’s Winter Warmer snack packs can help to power workshop technicians over the colder winter months. Due to the effects of lockdowns and last year’s MOT extension, the number of vehicles entering workshops is expected to be higher than average over the next few months. Combined with the fact that battery failure is more prevalent over winter, the battery manufacturer is advising technicians to check the battery on every vehicle. Jon Pritchard, general sales and marketing manager at GS Yuasa said: “Our snack packs have proved incredibly popular over the past few months, in fact we’ve fed over 50,000 hungry workshop technicians since the campaign launched! To find out more visit www.yuasa.com

OBITUARY

Phil Gooding 1952-2021

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hil Gooding, the founder of Grand Prix Scooters, Leicester, died on 13 October following an accident at his home. He was 69. Norrie Kerr, MD of scooter parts and accessories distributer VE (UK), writes: “Grand Prix Scooters was Phil’s means of enjoying himself after he

20  DECEMBER 2021

retired from the police force, where he had achieved the rank of Inspector. His knowledge of scooters was well known in Leicester and further afield. He enjoyed the business side of being a dealer, but meeting customers and working on scooters was his forte. “Phil was a welcome and

regular visitor after myself and Dave Webster started the Midland Scooter Centre in Nottingham many years ago. He enjoyed a joke and the fun side of scootering. I always liked his cool attitude and found his honesty and decency very refreshing. My sincere sympathies to his wife Margaret and family.”

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OBITUARIES

Russell John 1961-2021

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otorbike expert Russell John passed away on 13 October 2021 in the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in South Wales after a four-week fight with Covid-19. He leaves his wife Helen, their 26-year-old son Thomas and 21-year-old daughter Cassie. A friend and colleague to many in the industry, Russ studied motor mechanics at Afan College before beginning his career as an apprentice with Kickstart Motorcycles in Port Talbot at the age of 16 in 1977. He stayed there for 15 years working for owner Paul Reynolds. Russ then joined M&P in Swansea before moving to Doncaster-based megadealer Carnell in 1997 as a buyer. This was just as the business was enjoying its heyday as Europe’s largest dealer. Many will remember how Carnell became a destination to ride to and hang out on a sunny weekend. During his time with Carnell, Russ met his close friend and business partner David Willoughby. The two established Bike Gear in 2003 and had 14 very successful years with branches in Leeds, Doncaster and Bridgend.

Russ then went on to set up BikerHut with Jackie Davies in 2018. The Bridgend-based business quickly became the go-to place for motorbike clothing and accessories because Russ knew and loved everything about biking and worked hard to provide the very best products on the market. Customers knew that they were always guaranteed a first-class service from him. But life changed forever for Russell and wife Helen in early 2020 at the start of the pandemic when Russell was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His strength of character and determination, coupled with Helen’s refusal to let cancer beat him, meant that he pulled through, becoming an inspiration to others and raising much-needed funds for Pancreatic Cancer UK. It was only this summer that life was starting to return to some kind of normality for Russell and Helen. They were enjoying time together, walking, gardening, and sharing time with Thomas and Cassie but Covid hit the family in September and, despite being double-jabbed, Russ did not

pull through. So many friends and colleagues from the motorbike world have shared their memories of Russell with Helen, Thomas and Cassie over the last few weeks. After 44 years in the industry, he touched many people’s lives and will be greatly missed by all.

Graham Hardy Ron Gardner 1929-2021 he funeral of carburettor designer and OE equipment, 1942-2021 manufacturer Ron Gardner took place but Gardner was

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G

raham Hardy, of Motofax, died on 14 October aged 79 following a short illness. Although motorbikes had played a big part in Graham’s life from an early age, it was not until 1977 that Graham launched his career in the motorcycle trade, when he began working for Rob Hunter and Co. as a wholesale sales rep. During this time Graham met his wife Gill, and in 1985 the couple bought and took over the running of Motofax. The wholesale company supplied motorcycle spares and accessories to a larger number of dealerships across the South of England. As the company grew, Graham’s three sons chose to join the family business: Stewart in 1988, Andy in 1989, and Adam in 1990. In 2001 Graham and Gill retired to Spain, leaving their sons to take over the running of the business, which they still do to this day. Graham maintained a number of valued friendships with his customers throughout his life and he will be missed by a great many.

22  DECEMBER 2021

at Burgess Hill, West Sussex, on 8 November. Gardner died on 21 October aged 91. His uncles and father Alfred, who ran one of the first East End London garages, paid particular attention to carburation. Ron inherited this interest, especially relevant post-war when petrol was severely rationed. Ron studied engineering at Kingston Technical College. Aged 16 in 1946 he devised a water injection system for his Rudge single to improve performance and economy. While at college he started working on motorcycles in his own time. This provided the opportunity to experiment on a variety of machines. When out with his girlfriend one evening his bike fell off its side stand and the float bowl was knocked off. Desperate to get her home on time to her formidable father, he connected the fuel line to the water needle valve he had devised and was amazed to find it worked. It spurred further development, ultimately resulting in the Gardner carburettor design that placed the needle at the top in a fixed position, but with convenient exterior rotation adjustment of a flat face needle for mixture. The slide and jet tube moved together at the bottom of the body. There was no main jet. He made and sold his first carburettor in 1950 and responded to demand while tackling a variety of jobs until his fame spread and he could devote himself full-time to carburettors. Demand reached a peak in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Top competitors such as works Yamaha rider Chas Mortimer chose Gardners. Dennis Poore at Norton-VilliersTriumph wanted to switch to Gardners as

now too busy as a carburettor consultant to other industries including RollsRoyce light aircraft engines and Vauxhall and Ford cars. In 1976 Ron’s wife Daphne fell seriously ill, so he gave up full-time business to nurse her and Don Godden at Godden Engineering was granted a licence to make Gardners in the late 1970s. Thankfully Daphne regained her health, and the Gardner story took on a second lease of life when Ron and son Ian went to a Brands Hatch classic meeting in 1994 with the Gardner sign on their van, and found themselves beseiged with enquiries. In 1995 Ron, Daphne and Ian set up the Gardner Carburettor Co, with Dave Varney working on assembly at a home workshop. Sadly Daphne died in 2005 and five years ago Ron’s health began to fail, so since 2018 Gardner retail has been handled by Dick Linton at FCL Racing. Since Gardner production resumed 25 years ago 800 carburettors and 300 float chambers have been made. Intelligent, and with an inventive mind, Ron Gardner was full of ideas and inventions that this short tribute can only hint at. Thanks to continued supply of the Gardner carburettor, the genius of Ron Gardner lives on.

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M

otorcycle dealer (1974-1998) and works road racer (1970-1974) Paul Smart died on 27 October in a road accident at Flimwell, East Sussex, on his Ducati Monster. He was 78. The accident involving a car is under police investigation. As a boy Smart lived near Brands Hatch race circuit, Kent, and took up road racing in 1965 (125 Bultaco). He scored his first win there (125 Honda) that year and went on to become a works rider for Triumph, Kawasaki, Ducati and Suzuki. His hallmark riding style was knee-out, almost to an exaggerated degree. It worked. He tamed some of the fastest, most wayward handling three-cylinder two-stroke projectiles in motorcycle race history. His greatest victory was Italy’s inaugural 1972 Imola 200-mile race, created as a European version of the glamorous Daytona 200-mile race in America. On a 750 Ducati V-twin, he put Ducati on the big bike map. Previously Ducati was a small-capacity motorcycle manufacturer. The win was so significant that Ducati honoured it by introducing the limited-edition Paul Smart 1000 LE V-twin (2000 examples) in 2005. Smart attended the launch in Italy. Fun-loving and easy to get along with, Smart was a popular rider who married Barry Sheene’s sister Maggie in 1971. That year he scored second places at world championship level (250 and 350 Yamahas) and was equal

top points scorer (750 Triumph-3) in the inaugural three-round AngloAmerican Match Race series. He was UK team captain in 1973 and 1974. In 1974 he broke both legs in an accident at Mallory Park. That year he became a motorcycle dealer in partnership with Roy Francis. They had been in the same class 1973 – Paul Smart and wife Mag gie, Barry Sheene's at school in Maidstone and were sister, celebrate double vict ory at Snetterton fellow road racers, Francis racing between 1961-1969. They took over Chisholms of Maidstone, partners decided to centralise by first closing Kent’s first Honda dealer. This was a success, Tenterden and then Maidstone. Moving all Smart and Francis being in Honda’s top 20 stock to Paddock Wood in 1993 under the Paul Smart Ltd banner. dealer list for several years. In 1998 Motorcycle City made an offer for The partnership worked well, Smart’s fame attracting customers and Francis’s mechanical the business. Smart, who rode motorcycles all his life, was initially reluctant to let go, but and admin skills anchoring the business. Looking to expand they joined forces with decided the time was right after all. He then concentrated on hobbies including Trevor Springett at Paddock Wood, Kent, in 1976, later taking over completely as a Kawasaki centre, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and riding his and then adding Bultaco, Fantic, Montesa, JCM collection of motorcycles. He maintained close and Hinckley Triumph from 1991. They were links with the bike world, attending shows and one of the first to sign with Triumph and the link events in the UK and Europe and acting as an ambassador for Ducati. was a success from the start. A high-profile key player in the burgeoning In 1978 Smart decided to retire from road racing to concentrate on the business. In 1984 glamour period of 750 racing in the 1970s, Paul he and Francis took over Karl Pugh Motorcycles Smart leaves his wife Maggie, daughter Paula and son Scott, a former GP and BSB rider and in Tenterden, Kent, selling Suzuki and Puch. Now up to three motorcycle centres the 1997 British 250 champion.

Ken Sprayson 1927-2021

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aster frame builder Ken Sprayson who made frames for world champions Mike Hailwood, Geoff Duke and John Surtees, and provided a frame repair service at the Isle of Man TT for 50 years died aged 94 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, on the 15 October. He had been in for tests and fell victim to coronavirus. A proud Brummie, Sprayson’s skills with his hands were so evident that as a schoolboy his headmaster made him ‘school foreman’, fixing locks and so on. Aged 14, during WW2, he started work in a Birmingham sheet metal factory. In 1950 he joined Reynolds Tubes – a division of Tube Investments – in Tyseley, Birmingham. His first job was making assemblies for RollsRoyce Merlin engines. Diversifying, Reynolds became the main supplier of frame tubes to the British motorcycle industry, and soon also added volume frame production, starting with McCandless “Featherbed” frames for Norton, and frames for Douglas. Later BSA, Ariel, Ambassador and Tandon joined the queue. In 1953 Sprayson, who had a natural gift with the welding torch, was given his own experimental department. His first project was to develop the Earles leading link fork. His first frame design was for TT rider Maurice Cann’s 125 Mondial. This machine is now in the Sammy Miller Museum. Displaying an intuitive knack for where to heat

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tube to bend it and how metal behaves, Sprayson soon found himself in great demand from factories and competition riders. He became Reynolds’ key man in the motorcycle world. Ken Sprayson, aged 90, at the 2018 Telford off-road show

He also travelled the world representing Reynolds at shows, primarily in America where Reynolds Tube customers included Schwinn bicycles. Sprayson relished being so deeply involved in the bike scene, especially at grand prix level, and was always willing to help. He travelled to events with top riders including Geoff Duke and motocross world champion Jeff Smith, usually with his welding gear. Sprayson’s biggest job at Reynolds was

overseeing construction of the chassis for Richard Noble’s Thrust II jet car which took the world land speed record at 633.5mph at Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA, in 1983. Sprayson left Reynolds in 1981 but continued to support the Isle of Man TT repairing frames. He stopped only because classic tube frames had largely been replaced by frames that tended to break rather than bend, and race teams preferred to replace rather than repair. Post-Reynolds, Sprayson was recruited as consultant and frame maker on a variety of projects for motorcycle companies including Royal Enfield Imports, BSA Group, and Goodman Engineering. Other consultancy work came from Manchester University, his old firm Tube Investments, and the Korean government. In Korea he lectured on frame design and welded assemblies, mainly for two leading Korean motorcycle and scooter manufacturers. In retirement Sprayson stayed in contact with the motorcycle world attending leading shows and giving talks, often illustrated with his own excellent photographs. “I was very lucky to be let loose on so many projects and mix with so many top riders,” said Sprayson. “I had no formal education but I was good with my hands.” His funeral took place at Yardley Crematorium, Birmingham, on 11 November, followed by a reception at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull, Birmingham.

DECEMBER 2021  23

Business news

Paul Smart 1943-2021


Business news

Embrace the atmosphere M otorcycle Live, in association with Bikesure Insurance, opens its doors at the NEC, Birmingham, from Saturday 4 to Sunday 12 December. The nine-day show boasts more than 55 manufacturers on parade for the first time since 2019, showing a selection of debuting 2022 metal. The Test Ride Zone, sponsored by Shoei, Sidi and Spada, will offer the public test riding facilities on a selection of models. With the government announcing that all new motorcycles sold in the UK must emit zero emissions from 2035 onwards, an Electric Test Ride Zone will also host some innovative manufacturers’ products available for indoor test rides. The National Motorcycle Museum presents a Classic feature for classic enthusiasts with a display of TT-winning bikes that have tackled the iconic 37.75-

mile Mountain Circuit. Custom Heroes, supported by Back Street Heroes magazine, will showcase some of the finest custom motorcycles in the UK, while the Black Horse Stage will be hosted by James Whitham (pictured) and Steve Parrish each day, introducing a wealth of motorcycling entertainment. Tuesday 7 December is the dedicated trade day, partnered by WMS Group, offering eligible trade visitors the chance of four free tickets – simply apply by visiting: expoware. io/motorcyclelivetrade-2021. Finlay McAllan, managing director of Motorcycle Live commented: “With only a few days left until Motorcycle Live opens its doors to visitors, the atmosphere is building to an all-time high. With more than 55 manufacturers now confirmed, we can’t wait to see the brand new 2022 models on display in the UK for the first time.”

CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF BSB TARRAN MACKENZIE, THE 2021 BENNETTS British Superbike champion, will be in attendance on the 11 December for the 25th anniversary of the BSB championship. His championship winning McAMS Yamaha machine will also be on display, alongside the Cadbury Boost Yamaha his father Niall won the series aboard 25 years ago. Other Bennetts BSB stars confirmed for 11 December include Bradley Ray, Christian Iddon, Danny Buchan, Glenn Irwin, Jack Kennedy, Kyle Ryde, Lee Jackson, Luke Mossey, Peter Hickman, Rory Skinner, Ryan Vickers, as well as 2011 champion Tommy Hill. “BSB Day has proved to be a huge success in previous years, with the final Saturday being one of the most popular days to visit,” said Finlay McAllan, MD of Motorcycle Live. Stuart Higgs, series director of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship said: “Motorcycle Live has traditionally been the final event of the year for the motorcycle industry. We are delighted that there will once again be a day dedicated to all things Bennetts BSB. The 25th anniversary season didn’t disappoint with an incredible rollercoaster that went down to the closest finale since 2010.” Motorcycle Live 2021 opens on the 4 December with doors opening at 9:00am.

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CUFF

A snapshot of views and opinions from around the trade

STAFFORDSHIRE TRIUMPH

STEVE BAILEY (PICTURED ABOVE) IS GENERAL MANAGER OF THE STOKE-ONTrent dealership and reports increasing interest in the Triumph range from the mid-twenties age group. “It’s been a good but challenging year for us all, but 2022 looks very promising with the Tiger 660 Sport and the new Tiger 1200.” Reflecting a view shared by many sales executives, he added: “We have had to transition to online selling, but I miss the personal satisfaction of meeting the customer and closing a sale in the showroom.”

AMS MOTORCYCLES

“HERE IN CAITHNESS, THERE IS LITTLE YOUTH INTEREST IN TWO WHEELS, and we mostly sell to the thirty-plus age group, which has kept the workshop massively busy this summer.” In recent years, Paul Stevens in Wick has had plenty of experience rescuing riders with breakdown and tyre problems on the famed North Coast 500 – Scotland’s answer to Route 66. He says he has resisted turning his showroom into a biker hotel but looks forward to welcoming returning riders from all over the UK and Europe. He adds: “We really do need to campaign for a change in licensing, it’s destroying 16- year-old interest.”

MILES KINGSPORT

“WE’RE PROUD TO BE long-standing Honda dealers, achieving a 28% territory share up to September. We’re also proud of winning the Honda Dealer of the Year award for 2021, but I reckon we all have lessons to learn from the last few months’ supply situation. There are testing winter months to come, so we must keep it tight and manageable at all levels.” Andy Kirkup, MD at Miles Kingsport in Hull makes a further suggestion: “Manufacturers must improve machine security. Theft is increasing and becoming a major problem. Yes, trackers work, but if your new pride and joy is vandalised and dumped and probably written off, it can mean a customer lost.”

EVESHAM & WORCESTER MOTORCYCLE TRAINING

“THERE’S PLENTY OF EARLY INTEREST FROM 16-YEAR-OLDS FOR MOPEDS with parental approval, but the complexity of licensing and costs for getting a full licence from CBT to A1 is prohibitive for many. The route to four wheels is an easier alternative.” This comment from James and Tina Langston in Worcester, who work closely with the DVSA.

DERBY KAWASAKI

“I COULD NOT WISH TO deal with a better manufacturer than Kawasaki. The UK team puts its best efforts into supporting us.” So says Richard Hulland in Derby, who makes the timely comment as a large delivery of bikes arrives to fill his depleted showroom! He adds: “We put a lot of effort into creating customer respect and brand loyalty, it definitely works for us through repeat sales.”

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MOTO RAPIDO DUCATI

GEORGE HAWKINS IS SALES MANAGER AND HE’S DUCATI TO THE CORE! “We’re in Winchester, but most sales for us are into London and the Southampton area. We are definitely old school, and it works for us because we try to keep every sale personal. It’s looking good for the new V2 Bayliss and V4 Multistrada models for 2022.”

Business news

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FLITWICK MOTORCYCLES

CAROLE LINSDELL AT THE FAMILY BUSINESS NEAR BEDFORD, SAYS: “THE industry has made a good recovery, but we see stock shortages really beginning to bite. Yes, we have to be optimistic going into winter, but I’m worried how the bottom line will be affected if the lack of stock continues. It will be interesting to see how importers and manufacturers rise to the challenge in our changing world.”

Give BDN your “Off the Cuff” thoughts. They might just make a difference! e: editorial@dealernews.co.uk t: 01237 422660 e: john.featherstone1@hotmail.com t: 07541 998290

T 0117 971 9200 E info@thekeycollection.co.uk W www.thekeycollection.co.uk

DECEMBER 2021  25


Business news

Shipping still in crisis T

he world lurches from crisis to crisis even though the pandemic seems to be receding. Rising inflation, constrictions on fuel, shocking increases in the cost of energy – it’s just one problem after another. Global shipping is a case in point. It’s in trouble as demand is surging and both ships and containers are still in the wrong places. The BBC reported at the end of September that there were some 73 container ships stuck outside of two of America’s biggest ports – Los Angeles and Long Beach, both in California. Collectively, they handle 40% of all cargo containers entering the US. Pre-Covid rarely would more than one ship wait for a berth. But now, combined with rising imports the system cannot cope. The result is that the US is seeing shortages of toys, timber, new clothes and pet food – and prices are rising as a result. The issue is exacerbated by the size of ships that are now so large that they take much longer to unload. The only solution the two ports can offer is to expand their hours of operation so that movements can be made at night when roads are quieter. Similarly, Felixstowe recently reported suffering from the same issues – partly due to a shortage of HGV drivers. It normally handles 70,000 containers at any one time; it’s now clogged up with 100,000 containers. Lars Mikael Jensen, head of global ocean network at shipping giant Maersk, has said that some of its largest 20,000-container ships are waiting outside Felixstowe for between four to seven days. JT-RACELITE-210x76.pdf 1 29.10.2021 12:38:41 Legal and business services firm DWF recently said of the crisis that containers are

still in the wrong places after factories closed and transportation ground to a halt in light of Covid: “Whilst shipping containers were being exported from China as it recovered from the initial effects of the pandemic, only a relatively small proportion arrived at their destinations owing to the EU and US’s strict lockdown procedures. These caused significant delays for shipments, adding weeks and sometimes months to delivery times as ports were closed or operated with a skeleton workforce.”

Felixstowe normally handles 70,000 containers at any one time; it’s now clogged up with 100,000 containers As a result, firms have been paying over the odds to receive containers faster than their competitors. DWF noted that “freight costs have soared from early 2021 to now and the cost of shipping cargo from China to Europe has quadrupled.” And the surge in online sales is driving an increasing need for very large ships which will only compound the problem. Beyond that, DWF reckons that more cost will be added to the process as marine insurers “feel the pain with notifications across various insurance lines as vessels are delayed, cargo is undelivered, contaminated and lost, with consequential losses and business interruption losses claimed along the way.”

According to a report on Bloomberg, the problem is going to deteriorate further – well into 2022 – before it gets better. It quoted Karsten Michaelis, head of ocean freight at DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific who said: “We do not expect freight rates to stabilise in the near term.” His firm is offering alternative routes and modes of transport but warns that “we have to be prepared that costs will stay at elevated levels and are not expected to go back to pre-Covid levels.” His comments, at the end of August, came as the supply chain sought to cater for the seasonal surge in demand for consumer goods ahead of Christmas as factories rushed to get their goods to US and European markets on time. The problem is amplified by a dearth of workers – a point driven home by a joint open letter published at the end of September by the International Chamber of Shipping, a global trade association for shipowners and operators. Also signed off by the IRU, the world road transport organisation, IATA, the International Air Transport Association, and ITF, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, the letter called for “freedom of movement for transport workers, for governments to use protocols that have been endorsed by international bodies for each sector and to prioritise transport workers for vaccinations.” But until the logistics process works its way out of trouble, firms will be left to either wait on stock, pay through the nose for expedited shipments, reroute shipments to less congested ports, or take a leaf out of Costco’s book and charter ships to specifically carry their own goods.

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International news

International news With financial editor Roger Willis

Half-time question marks

G

enerally, Honda’s motorcycle business told a tale of impressive recovery in a half-year statement. But pressures from pandemic resurgence in Asian markets, abetted by microchip shortages and rising input prices for steel and other raw materials, progressively took the edge off its advance. Global revenue from bikes flaunted a 33.4% boost to £6.675bn. Operating profit rocketed upwards by 86.1% to £966m. Operating margin grew to 14.5% from 10.4%. Worldwide wholesale shipment volume of Honda-branded machines was 29.3% higher at 8.173 million. Within that, more lucrative developed markets made the biggest gains. North American volume was 51.8% up to 214,000 and Europe put on 48.4% to 184,000. Japanese sales were somewhat tempered, rising by 15.6% to 126,000. In the emerging world, Asia added 25.7% to 6.915 million. Other regions, predominantly

28  DECEMBER 2021

The three Japanese bike brands still sticking to traditional fiscal years running from April through to the following March now have six months of sales under their belts. Among them, only Kawasaki seems to be fuelled by unalloyed optimism. Honda, and to a lesser extent Suzuki, are hedging their bets. BDN financial editor Roger Willis suspects that might be a wise move Latin America, did best, 64.6% higher at 734,000. Brazil, where Honda has a very large bike manufacturing hub at Manaus,

revenue fell slightly by 2.5% to £3.303bn in Q2. But on a similar basis, the Q2 operating profit contribution sank by a firmer

Pressures from pandemic resurgence in Asian markets, abetted by microchip shortages and rising input prices for steel and other raw materials, progressively took the edge off stood out – 67.9% up to 506,000. However, problems were evident in the July-September quarter. Versus Q1, motorcycle

strong demand elsewhere. Although, for the year to date, Indonesia’s volume was 74.5% up to 1.906 million bikes and India has recovered by 13.5% to 1.698 million, Vietnam and Thailand were struggling against renewed mass infection rates. The former is now 8.2% down to 916,000 YTD. And only 326,000 of them were delivered to dealers, a 44% shortfall, in Q2. While the latter was still ahead by 11.6% at 485,000 YTD, its Q2 deliveries had plunged by 50.6% to 148,000. Indian figures also turned negative by 2.6% in Q2. In response to these concerns and chronic semiconductor shortages inhibiting its ability to satisfy demand, Honda Group has cut its full-year profit forecast for a second time. Yen-sterling currency translation at forex rates on 9 November

16.3% to £440m. According to Honda, Covid resurgence in some key Asian countries was the primary culprit, despite

GOOD TIMES ROLL FOR TEAM GREEN An amazing turnaround for Kawasaki’s motorcycle division has seen it become the biggest

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International news

revenue and profit generator included supply-chain risks of for the entire KHI group. Half- parts shortages, principally yearly revenue grew by 48% semiconductors, and logistics to £1.354bn, a total that was disruption. also 40.5% higher than the equivalent six months in pre- MIXED PICTURE FOR SUZUKI pandemic 2019 and equated to Suzuki’s motorcycle division almost a third of KHI’s overall has safely escaped red ink in the turnover. same period of 2020 with sound Motorcycle income from progress. But sales in some developed countries, led by key developed markets took a Europe and North America, rose spanking. by 61.6% to £515m. Bikes for Revenue recovered by 33.6% emerging markets in Asia and to £779m and operating profit Latin America put on 73.9% bounced back to £45m, from to £297m. Utility vehicles, a £24m loss. Set against the ATVs and personal watercraft equivalent six months in precontributed £318m, an 8.5% Covid 2019, turnover was 5.9% improvement. General-purpose down but earnings were 305.9% petrol engines, mostly destined higher. for North America, were 70.5% Strong revenue performance up, adding £224m. in emerging markets claimed Wholesale motorcycle volume much of the credit. Asia in developed markets climbed stacked on 54.2% to £373m. by 50.8% Other regions to 92,000. An amazing were 60.7% up Notably, US to £142m. The orders more turnaround developed world than doubled was less fruitful. to 38,000 for Kawasaki’s Europe added just and Europe motorcycle 5.3% to £104m. was 17.9% A better model up at 33,000. division has mix led by the But Australia Hayabusa seen it become new flatlined. In and GSX-S1000 e m e r g i n g the biggest variants kept it m a r k e t s , on the straight numbers were revenue and and narrow. But 47.6% up to America profit generator North 124,000. The was 3.8% down P h i l i p p i n e s for the entire to £84m. Japan were 25% rose by 13.7% to higher at KHI group £76m. 65,000, sales Worldwide almost trebled to 21,000 in volume grew by 15.7% to Indonesia and they doubled to 781,000 bikes. Asia dominated, 20,000 in China. with a 20.1% improvement Divisional operating profit to 617,000 of them. Notable reached £122m, against contributors were China and respective losses of £34m and India. The former posted a 12.9% £22m in the first halves of the increase to 223,000, while the previous two fiscal years. And latter boasted a 36.4% rebound motorcycle profit represented to 258,000. The Philippines also the vast majority – 91.1% – of did well, 27.8% up to 72,000. KHI earnings before interest and Vietnam was the prominent tax. Its aerospace, energy and loser, 19% down to 8000. marine engineering operations European markets shrank by all lost money. 24.1% to 18,000. North America Responding to such excellent lost 45.9% at 17,000. Japan performance, the division’s redeemed itself with an 11.7% second-half and full-year rise to 30,000. revenue forecasts have been Citing parts shortages and respectively raised to £1.526bn Covid-related production delays, and £2.88bn, the latter Suzuki has slightly reduced increasing by about £200m. its full-year motorcycle sales Although the results overview forecast to 1.633 million, a 6.4% said strong demand is expected annual rise. Europe is likely to to continue, especially for two be flat, on 31,000. and four-wheeled off-roaders Yen-sterling currency translation at forex rates in the US, qualification factors on 11 November

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DECEMBER 2021  29


International news

The view from cloud nine Major manufacturers counting their beans on a calendar-year basis are now nine months into fiscal 2021. All have staged impressive recoveries from the pandemic and many are ahead of where they were before its arrival. But notes of caution are creeping in. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports

L

ike all of its premium-sector competitors, BMW Motorrad has been recovering at pace during 2021. But semiconductor shortages affected its third quarter. Global retail sales for the brand rose by 20.8% to 156,609 motorcycles and maxiscooters, and were 14.4% higher than the same period in pre-pandemic 2019. Revenue grew by 31.8% to £1.924bn. Operating profit bounced back mightily, 193.6% up to £274.8m. Operating margin recovered to 14.3% from 6.4%. Similarly, pre-tax profit surged by 200% to £275.6m. But BMW Group admitted that all of its operations were increasingly impacted by supply-chain bottlenecks for semiconductor components during the third July-September quarter. This resulted in production shortfalls and lower sales volumes, offset by some positive price influences. Motorrad’s Q3 figures had weakened in line with that warning. Volume fell by 7.4% to 48,999 machines delivered to customers, although associated revenue marginally improved by 0.6% to £545.3m. But quarterly operating profit was 13.3% down to £33.2m and pre-tax profit suffered a 9.1% retreat to £34m. BMW cautioned that revisions to full-year forecasts were likely, given semiconductor shortages are yet to show any signs of easing. So ongoing high demand in combination with limited supply-chain capacities could result in further production problems. Having said that, the motorcycle segment is still expected to record a significant annual retail increase versus 2020, due to upbeat market trends. Operating margin is predicted to lie within an 8-10% range, leading to a higher return on capital invested. Euro-Sterling currency translation at forex rates on 3 November

BOLOGNA BOTTOM-LINE BOOSTER Ducati has plenty to boast about in its year to date. But Audi, its direct parent in the

30  DECEMBER 2021

Volkswagen empire, left some questions unanswered in a combined results statement. Revenue rose significantly, a muscular 41.3% up to £608.6m. Operating profit went ballistic, recovering from the equivalent Covid-soured period last year by 318.8% to £56.6m. “Both items not only surpassed the prior-year figures, but were even way above the pre-pandemic level of 2019,” said Audi, bragging on Ducati’s behalf. Global retail motorcycle sales grew by 28.1% to 49,693, already exceeding the full-year tally in 2020. Diavel, Monster and Streetfighter products together delivered the largest volume to customers, 19.4% up to 15,571. Multistrada and Hypermotard machines piled on 50.9% to 14,912. The Scrambler sub-brand added 26.4% to 9523. Panigale and other sports models were 16.2% higher at 9687. European markets were responsible for 53% of these purchases. The US bought 15% and China 7%. Bike production had risen by 38.3% to 47,184. Audi confessed that its car output had been severely inhibited by worsening semiconductor shortages in the third quarter but made no mention of Ducati in this context. Also absent was any reference to Ducati’s move towards electrification, through a forthcoming role as control fleet supplier to Dorna’s FIM MotoE championship in 2023. The Audi Group’s official stance is that it will launch all-electric new models only from 2026 onwards. Whether that applies to motorcycles as well remains opaque. Euro-Sterling currency translation at forex rates on 29 October

HARLEY PROSPERS ON HOME TURF Although Harley-Davidson’s figures were skewed by reflecting various stages of pandemic grief and a parallel self-inflicted restructuring shake-up last year, the most serious obstacles it currently faces are supply-chain bottlenecks and weak export demand. For this year to date, revenue from

motorcycles and related products stacked on 36.3% to £2.71bn. Total turnover, once a contribution from the HDFS consumer credit and inventory funding arm has been factored in, rose by 29.8% to £3.143bn. Then earnings, set against the dire position in 2020, went crazy. Operating profit surged 542.5% to £604.9m and net profit was 543.3% up at £457.6m. Harley didn’t actually bother to quote these percentages, labelling them “not meaningful”. July-September data calmed down somewhat. Overall revenue for the period increased by 17.1% to £994.5m. Quarterly operating profit grew by 48.1% to £148.8m and net profit put on 35.6% to £118.8m. Harley-Davidson supremo Jochen Zeitz, modestly monikered as chairman, president and chief executive, described this performance as “a solid third quarter”, thanks to increased shipments, stronger sales and favourable model mix. But he went on to say: “Our teams continue to work to mitigate the impact of ongoing supply-chain challenges that our sector faces.” Wall Street analysts had been stressing such problems and anecdotal evidence that Harley had canceled dealer orders it couldn’t fulfill, before they got egg on their faces when gloomy estimates were soundly beaten by reality. Harley’s share price, which had fallen by 4% on the day prior to the results announcement, promptly recovered by 6% the next morning – before falling back to a 3.6% daily gain. Harley has indeed ramped up wholesale shipments to dealers over the nine months in question. But almost all of this input – a 50.2% rise to 104,190 bikes – has gone into the US domestic market. Machines shipped elsewhere were just 0.5% higher at 55,229. Shipment mix was illuminating. Conventional touring steeds were 51% up to 79,485. Cruisers climbed by 22.2% to 52,117. And Harley’s new “adventure touring” presence with Pan America

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Dollar-Sterling currency translation at forex rates on 27 October

RAMPANT RECOVERY AT PIAGGIO Italian flag carrier Piaggio Group has posted its best performance since 2007, which chairman and chief executive Robert Colaninno described with a remarkable degree of understatement as “obviously satisfying, given problems ensuing from the pandemic.” Group revenue reached £1.122bn, growing by 32.7% versus the equivalent period last year and 9.9% ahead of the pre-Covid position in 2019. Operating profit was 53.1% up to £82.9m with operating margin increasing to 7.4% from 6.4%. Pre-tax profit rose by 71.3% to £70.8m and net profit came in at £43.9m, 77.1% higher. Net debt fell by 16.2% to £317.1m, against the level in September 2020. This was attributed to “careful management of working capital and operating cash flows generated by positive business performance”. Turnover from powered two-wheelers, plus associated spares and accessories, climbed by 39.3% to £944.5m. Scooter and motorcycle sales volume worldwide across the Piaggio brand portfolio was 28.9% up at 366,000. Indian market numbers almost doubled and the Asia-Pacific region put on 39%. Western markets in the EMEA (mostly Europe) and the Americas increased by 15.3%, with Italy adding 22% and a 62.6% upturn in North America. European scooter segment leadership continued thanks to a 23.1% share and scooter share in North America strengthened to 36.1%, up from 27.3% in the comparable period last year. Piaggio’s scooter segment overall claimed a double-digit percentage rise globally, led by record Vespa brand growth of more than 40%. Piaggio Beverely and Liberty big-wheeled scooters, plus Aprilia scooters, also apparently made significant contributions. In addition, the Group says its Aprilia and Moto Guzzi motorcycle brands both achieved record results, delivering their highest volumes and revenues ever. However, investors on Milan’s Borsa Italiana were signally unimpressed by this results presentation, wiping 7.6% off Piaggio’s share price on the day of release and failing to regain confidence in its veracity during subsequent days’ trading. Euro-Sterling currency translation at forex rates on 2 November

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POLARIS TAKES A DIVE Overall numbers for US powersports giant Polaris Industries still looked quite good nine months into 2021, with an apparently consistent growth trajectory for its minority motorcycle business at least. But recovery for the company’s key off-road vehicle (ORV) sector began to unravel drastically in its third quarter, as component shortages struck hard. Year-to-date revenue across all Polaris divisions climbed by 23.7% to £4.382bn. Operating profit reached £403m, bouncing back from an operating loss of £36.7m in the same period last year. Net profit recovered to £296.3m, from a net loss of £53.7m. ORV sales, including snowmobiles, rose by 22.5% to £2.732bn. Revenue from motorcycles, encompassing the Indian and Slingshot brands, was 31.5% up to £415.9m. But Q3 results told a different story. Total group revenue flatlined, rising by just 0.3% to £1.425bn. The quarterly motorcycle contribution had maintained firm wholesale

Harley-Davidson’s figures were skewed by reflecting various stages of pandemic grief and a parallel self-inflicted restructuring shakeup last year positivity, adding 16.5% to £141.3m, although retail sales had evidently dropped by 12%. However, ORV turnover also based on wholesale shipments sank by 6.2% to £878.4m. Worse, Polaris admitted that North American ORV retail sales had decreased during the quarter by about 24%, Side-by-side vehicles had taken the brunt of this decline, with quadbikes losing around 20%. The excuse for both motorcycles and ORVs was lack of product availability in dealerships due to parts supply-chain issues. And given these constraints, the company announced reductions in its full-year 2021 adjusted earnings and sales guidance. That went down like a lead balloon on Wall Street, where investors wiped 7.9% off Polaris shares on the day these results were published. Dollar-Sterling currency translation at forex rates on 28 October

YAMAHA GATHERS SPEED Results for Yamaha’s motorcycle business, which constitutes the vast majority of its Land Mobility division, have easily outpaced last year. And turnover is a even slightly ahead of the same period in 2019. But Asian sales volumes and revenue haven’t recovered to prepandemic levels yet. Global revenue for powered two-wheelers grew by 27.9% to £4.997bn, and beat the 2019

total by 1.4%. Asia was the biggest contributor, 29.9% up to £3.026bn but still 5.5% down on 2019. Smaller emerging markets led by Latin America did much better, stacking on 45.7% to £663m and easily in front of 2019 by 15.4%. In the developed world, Europe delivered £807m, improving on 2020 by 15.6% and the previous year by 16%. North America achieved double positivity too, 28% higher than last year at £239m and 13.7% up on 2019. Japan was behind the curve, though. Domestic turnover put on just 3.4% to £196m versus last year and dropped by 1.3% against 2019. Oceania – a posh name for the region including Australia, New Zealand and a collection of Pacific islands – simply isolated its Yamaha outposts from the depredations of Covid, adding 3.9% to £51m in the equivalent nine months of 2020 when the pandemic first emerged, followed by a further 35.4% to £69m this year so far. Proof that slamming your borders shut to disease-riddled foreigners was an efficacious solution? To date, Yamaha’s worldwide wholesale volume has recovered by 26.9% to 3.434 million motorcycles and scooters. That tally was nevertheless 10.1% behind headline figures in 2019. Emerging markets were largely responsible. Asian volume increased by 26% to 2.738 million machines this year but was 15% adrift from 2019. Other regions put on 44.4% to 410,000 but were 15% down against 2019. However, developed market recovery was consistently stronger. European numbers, at 156,000, were respectively 7.6% up in 2021 and 3.3% higher versus 2019. North America rose by 33.3% to 52,000 and was 8.3% better off than two years previously. Japan has accounted for 78,000 bikes, an increase of 18.2% from 2020 and 9.9% from 2019. Direct earnings data for Yamaha motorcycle operations is no longer available. But a fair idea can be extracted from Land Mobility performance – which also covers off-road vehicles and snowmobiles, plus pedal and electrically-assisted bicycles. Revenue for the division as a whole has risen by 29.3% to £5.742bn (of which 87% was generated from motorcycles). That was in turn a 4.3% improvement on the position at the end of Q3 in 2019. Operating profit soared to £393m, from a truly lamentable £58m in the same period last year, and was up by 71.1% against 2019. Yamaha’s presentation quoted pertinent factors affecting its full-year forecast. They are the usual litany of woes, such as global supply-chain disruptions, accelerating prices for raw materials, and the adverse impacts on parts procurement and production due to the resurgent pandemic in many Asian countries. It added an expectation that ongoing parts shortages will worsen. But the company says it anticipates steady demand and expects developed motorcycle markets in Europe, the US and Japan to grow by about 10%. The picture for emerging markets, particularly those in Asia, is far more mixed. Yen-Sterling currency translation at forex rates on 10 November

DECEMBER 2021  31

International news

1250 models added 8555, slightly more than half of them arriving at dealers in Q3. However, the Sportster/Street segment was in rapid decline, 33.6% lower at 19,262. That may change in Q4, if sufficient quantities of the latest Revolutionengined Sportster S roll out of the factory gate. A divergent global retail pattern underlines Harley’s domestic focus. Worldwide ninemonthly sales were 9.1% up to 160,287. But US market recovery accounted for 107,421 of them, growing by 24.4%. The only positive export destination was just over the border in Canada, 30.6% up to 7403 bikes. The EMEA region, which mainly means Europe, fell by 17.7% to 24,580. Asia-Pacific was 9.9% down to 18,263 and Latin America, for what it’s worth, plunged by 45% to 2620.


Off-road news

The UK’S TOP SELLING OFF-ROAD RACE WEAR 01900 873456 www.wulfsport.com

Off-road news With off-road correspondent Rick Kemp

Dirtbike showtime

M

ortons has announced that both its dirt bike shows will be held at the Telford International Centre next year. First up will be the Classic Dirt Bike Show sponsored by Hagon Shocks over the weekend of 12-13 February. At the other end of the year, in order to catch most of the 2023 models, will be the International Dirt Bike Show. The Classic Dirt Bike Show has become established at Telford. In contrast, the International Dirt Bike Show has had a somewhat itinerant existence, having been held at various venues, including Stoneleigh Park and the Staffordshire Showground. The shift to Telford became possible thanks to a £250m investment in the purpose-built Convention Quarter, which offers everything that Telford might have initially lacked. These two events will firmly establish Telford as Dirt Bike Central, both in terms of location and importance to the trade. The Telford International Centre, or TIC as it’s known, has a lot going for it: more than 100,000sq.ft of exhibition space; all the food and beverage outlets you would expect, and some that you wouldn’t; on-site hotels with more than 500 rooms on offer and all less than an hour’s drive from Birmingham. Essentially, what’s not to like, either for the exhibitor or the visitor? Morton’s event planner Nick Mowbray commented: “We are delighted to be moving the International Dirt Bike Show to the Telford International Centre, which we know extremely well from hosting our annual Classic Dirt Bike Show there. Our new venue will allow the show to expand and provides further opportunity for new features.” He added that while it was important to maintain the event’s grassroots appeal, moving to this practical and popular venue will allow the show to develop and bring in new elements, which he says will be revealed in due course.

32  DECEMBER 2021

Focusing the action on Telford, located in the heart of the UK, means easy access for dirt bike fans from across the country. The Classic show is always well attended and is something of an annual nostalgia fest. Catering for that aspect in February will be two confirmed guests of honour in the differing shapes of Arthur Browning and Derrick The Telford International Centre Edmondson. For the benefit of readers under the age of 50, Derrick is the lunchtime. One of the all-time great enduro eldest son of Pete Edmondson, manufacturer riders – nine gold medals over a 16-year period – of Puch-engined Dalesman Motorcycles in he was also a first-division scrambler in the days Otley, Yorkshire, during the 1960s and 70s and when it was televised, a professional speedway elder brother to multi-Enduro World Champion rider for nine years, a British Championship Paul. Derrick is a nine-time class winner of the grass tracker, and a respectable trials rider. British Enduro Championship and a BBC TV Arthur, as well as Derrick, will be on stage over Kickstart trials rider. He has continued to be an the weekend, sharing his classic tales. active industry personality over the years. www.classicdirtbikeshow.co.uk Arthur Browning is a legend in his own www.dirtbikeshow.co.uk

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Off-road news

SHORT CUTS UNITED IN DIRT

THE UK HOSTED THE FINAL STOP OF THE successful and entertaining 2021 United in Dirt GasGas Tour. Having stopped off in Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Belgium throughout summer, the UK leg was held in the unique surroundings of Butts Quarry in the picturesque Peak District. Gathering on pleasant autumn days were a collection of journalists, influencers and dealers who were let loose on the full range of range of GasGas machinery including e-MTBs. GasGas has been very pleased with the United in Dirt Tour, having hosted hundreds of guests across each event, There are big plans for the Tour in 2022, so stay tuned for details on how to join the fun next year.

RHL KEEPS ACU CHAMPIONSHIP

RHL ACTIVITIES HAS ANNOUNCED THAT A contract extension has been agreed with the Auto Cycle Union to hold the rights of the ACU British Motocross Championship. Registrations for the 2022 season of the FIM-sanctioned Motocross Championship in the UK will be opened shortly. “We are ecstatic to have been given the rights to the Championship for three years. 2021 was a learning year for RHL and we have learnt a lot with things that have worked, things that haven’t really worked, and also things we need to improve on. Hopefully everyone will see the changes we make for the 2022 season as we continue to grow the Championship into the best in Europe with the support from the Auto Cycle Union,” said Gareth Hockey, director of RHL Activities.

GRIPPING STUFF

Bridgestone has launched its Battlecross X31 motocross tyre, which is designed to give riders increased confidence on unstable surfaces. Available in six sizes, the new tyre will be available in the first quarter of 2022. The Battlecross X31 applies Bridgestone’s Castle Block Technology on the shoulder blocks of the front tyre and all the blocks on the rear tyre, which, through a convex section, enhances traction thanks to an extra edge effect. The Castle Block Technology also increases contact pressure, which Bridgestone says gives a secure feel with improved grip and consistency on changing surfaces. The additional edge effect provides higher cornering grip and traction on different types of terrain. A new asymmetric block pattern for the rear helps to improve the X31’s traction performance, as does the redefined bunker groove size and positioning. This is all combined with the addition of a cooling fin on the sidewall, which leads to less degradation and gives the tyre a consistent performance.

34  DECEMBER 2021

RXR quads T he new 10Ten RXR youth quad has joined the line-up of 10Ten pit and dirt bikes from leading distributor Dualways. The RXR is powered by the YX110 engine, which delivers steady and controllable power. It incorporates a fully-automatic transmission, making it suitable for both novice and more experienced junior riders. It also features an adjustable thumbthrottle restrictor to regulate maximum speed plus a safety ignition cut-out lanyard. Other features include reverse

selector, triple disc brakes, an adjustable rear shock, fullyenclosed footwells and LED lights. SRP is £1299.

Can-Am at LAMMA

A

n NEC show not to be missed if you like big boy’s toys is LAMMA, the Lincolnshire Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Association show, held on 1112 January 2022. Can-Am will be showcasing its new Traxter HD7 and HD9 SSVs alongside other popular Can-Am models and the Can-Am off-road team will be on hand to highlight the brand’s exclusive partnership with the NFU, as well communicate the importance of ATV and SSV security and the benefits of Can-Am’s Digitally Encoded Security System. James Dalke, BRP commercial manager UK and Ireland, says, “We are excited to physically be back at LAMMA to showcase the

latest additions to our growing off-road line-up to an engaged and interested audience who use ATVs and SSVs on a daily basis. We also see this show as a great platform from which to promote and highlight the importance of rider safety to visitors and as part of this we will be hosting the Farm Safety Foundation on our stand.” For more information visit www.lammashow.com

Can-Am’s 2022 HD9 SSV

Aprilia adventure APRILIA HAS DEVELOPED AN ADVENTURE VARIANT ON ITS 660 platform. Joining the RS and Tuono models is the Tuareg 660 – a name revived from the 1980s. The specification includes an electronics package designed to allow mixed-ability riders to tame the twin-cylinder motor developing 80bhp, and the APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) package has been developed specifically for the Tuareg 660. It includes traction control which can be adjusted to four levels or disabled, cruise control, three level engine braking control and three different engine maps. A Quick Shift which allows changes up and down the gearbox is provided, along with four pre-programmed riding modes that control all the above electronic features. Prices start at £10,600 SRP.

Dualways; 01623 708607; drew.m@dualways.com

Viva Triumph Espana TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES HAS opened a Triumph Adventure Experience in Spain. This is the first, and currently the only, Triumph Adventure Experience facility in mainland Europe. Located a 15 minute drive from Malaga International Airport, it features more than 400m2 dedicated to adventure motorcycling in a new, purpose-built arena at the foot of the Sierra de las Nieves National Park, on dramatic natural terrain with stunning scenery and 360-degree views. Courses run from October to April and visitors will be riding the latest generation of Triumph Tiger and Scrambler motorcycles. Triumph Adventure Experience Spain will provide riders with full motorcycle licenses, from all over Europe, the opportunity to progress through levels of off-road training as well as lighthearted, fun adventure experiences. These are guided group sessions of light off-road riding, utilising some of the best roads and trails across the Malaga and Andalusia regions. Matt Reed, operations manager for the Triumph Global Adventure Experience in Wales has supported the development of this new facility: “The views and even the road riding sections of the operation are incredible. Triumph Adventure Experience Spain has a lot to offer customers; with the brand-new facilities, the purpose-built, multi-terrain arena, the close location to Malaga Airport and the talented instructors. It is an overall fantastic experience which will attract riders from all over Europe.”

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Renntec Alan, left, and brother Geoff now own and run the company

Made in

GREAT BRITAIN Renntec has a 25-year track record designing and making quality motorcycle accessories. Rick Kemp visited the Wimborne, Dorset, factory to investigate

T

he company strapline of Renntec Manufacturing is ‘Ready For Anything’, which can be interpreted in many different ways, from product to business climate. When the company was first set up a quarter of a century ago in Wimborne, Dorset, it probably referred to its products, never envisaging Black Monday, Donald Trump or Covid-19. Being a private company supplying a fairly stable retail market, however, it has been able to keep its head down and carry on to the point where today it manufactures almost 650 different lines of motorcycle accessories. Renntec products have a lot going for them right now. They’re designed and made in the UK, and raw materials are also sourced in Britain. Prices are very keen when compared to OE, particularly the German variety. The products appeal across the market sectors – adventure, touring,

36  DECEMBER 2021

commuter, sports and custom. The luggage range, branded as Metal Mule, is extremely adaptable thanks to its Renntec-made frames. Racks, grab rails and sissy bars are available separately or integrated, depending on the market sector, and engine bars are available for most popular models.

Today it manufactures almost 650 different lines of motorcycle accessories All Renntec bike accessory products conform to the same philosophy: they can be fitted and removed without having to adapt the motorcycle. This not only makes those tasks more straightforward, it also means that the motorcycle remains in its original condition, which is beneficial when the time comes to move it on. Other products available from Renntec include paddock

stands and the sub-brand Moovamoto, which is a paddock-stand-cum-trolley which, as its name suggests, is handy for moving bikes around in a garage/workshop environment. The custom market, often neglected by other mainstream manufacturers, might not be huge but it’s consistent. Owners are always prepared to buy a bit of extra bling for their bikes, so the padded and chromed sissy bars go down well. Additionally, there are radiator and oil cooler grilles, finished in stainless and black options, which fit different categories of bike. Recently the company was bought over by brothers Geoff and Alan Giles. Alan relates the circumstances: “My brother Geoff has worked here for a couple of years doing development work for Renntec and Metal Mule. Prior to that he spent 15 years in Hong Kong building custom motorcycles. He’s the engineer in the family and takes after our father – he can whittle things out of virtually any material. I was in retail for 20-odd years before joining the family firm. We’ve both

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Renntec

rtment

spatch depa

Alan in the de

As part of the new set up, the website can now handle customers’ direct transactions. Once the current trading restrictions have been sorted, Renntec will be able to focus been riding bikes most of our lives – our dad built machines for us when we were kids – so on its export markets, particularly the USA, Japan and Australia. Triumphs sell well in it’s in the blood. I only passed my car test 10 these countries and Renntec has a lot of years ago! In fact, there are six of us in the product for the Hinckley manufacturer’s family and none of us drove a car until we expanding range. The export markets find had a family of our own. it profitable to put the two Made in Great “Lockdown changed things for me, and Britain brands together. the opportunity came along to take over the Official dealers are reins here. Renntec and pretty much a thing of the Metal Mule are both made Renntec and past, particularly as no one in the same place and we Metal Mule are holds stock anymore and will be integrating the two consequently there’s no brands a bit more as it both made in makes sense to promote them together. Adventure the same place bike sales are still growing and we will be and Metal Mule is the perfect product for that integrating the market.” Racks and grab rails two brands a bit have been the mainstay more as it makes of the business for some time with engine bars sense to promote the runners up. Alan continues: “We’ll be them together doing development work throughout autumn and winter in readiness for the 2022 selling season and I have to say we’ve had a cracking summer this year.” Retail outlets have traditionally been Renntec’s main customers with M&P and Crescent Suzuki being major players. Prior to the Giles’s take over, the now defunct Tri-Motive acted as a wholesale distributor.

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financial commitment required. This opens the door to anyone who would like to add Renntec products to their list of motorcycle accessories.  Renntec alan@renntec.co.uk www.renntec.com

DECEMBER 2021  37


Business beat

Business beat The Chancellor’s third budget didn’t pull a rabbit out of a hat. Instead, it was a calculated move that may lead to lower taxes… just before an election

AUTUMN BUDGET 21: NO RABBITS HERE

I

t’s not often that anyone in government makes a public apology, but this is exactly what Chancellor Rishi Sunak did when he presented his third budget at the end of October; he had been told off by the Speaker of the House for announcing many of his plans to the media first. The headlines grabbed most attention. In detail, the Chancellor is to spend £150bn to keep the wheels of the economy moving; he can do this because the post-pandemic economy has bounced back faster than many anticipated which should lead to higher tax receipts (buoyed partly by rising taxes which may fall before the next election). The Office for Budget Responsibility reckons that instead of growth of 4%, the UK is likely to have grown 7% this year. As

38  DECEMBER 2021

a result, Sunak has an estimated £20-30bn leeway.

The Office for Budget Responsibility reckons that instead of growth of 4%, the UK is likely to have grown 7% this year. As a result, Sunak has an estimated £2030bn leeway On the flipside, we are all going to have to cope with rising inflation that might

peak at between 4.4 and 5.4% in 2022. This will probably lead to rising interest rates, and therefore higher borrowing costs, to control spending. While business rates reform has been dodged again, Sunak announced several changes that should please, albeit temporarily. The announcements include the freezing of the multiplier until 31 March 2023, a 100% relief for 12 months against any higher bills that follow from eligible green improvements made to premises, more frequent revaluations and the extension of transitional relief for SMEs. And for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, there is to be a 50% relief on business rates – but only to a cap of £110,000 per business and only for one year after which SMEs will find themselves

www.britishdealernews.co.uk


Cloud-based Dealer Management System

with Adam Bernstein www.abfeatures.com in the same boat as larger concerns. These announcements are helpful, but they don’t really address the real issue – that many think business rates are not fit for purpose especially in light of the growth of online. Indeed, many physical retailers were hoping for, but disappointed that they didn’t get, a specific tax levied on online traders. However, businesses should be glad that the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) of £1m, that was due to drop to £200,000 on 1 January, has been extended to 31 March 2023. AIA enables businesses to claim 100% of eligible spend off their tax bill in the year of purchase. On the subject of investment, Sunak announced the allocation of £1.7bn in infrastructure spend in more than 100 areas around the country as part of the ‘levelling up’ the government has talked about. Businesses struggling with energy prices that are now at stratospheric levels won’t be overly pleased with a 6.6% rise in the National Living Wage for those over 23 years of age to £9.50 an hour from 1 April 2022. Other age bands covered by the National Minimum Wage will rise similarly. And will employers be happy with Sunak’s announcement of a £3bn increase in the government’s skills programmes, including investment in T-levels, the apprenticeship levy and traineeships? Maybe not as some commentators have said that many firms don’t understand or know how to take advantage of them, and even if they did, the schemes don’t really deal with the current labour shortage – especially where HGV drivers are involved. The £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit was not reinstated. However, those on the benefit and who are working will keep more of it as a result of a reduction of the clawback from 63p to 55p per pound earned over a worker’s allowance. Sunak believes that claimants should be £9 a week better off. However, in reality, they will still be struggling with a huge rise in the cost of living.

www.britishdealernews.co.uk

Phone 020 8541 4131 Web deepbluesystems.com Email sales@deepbluesystems.com

HMRC is still planning to change the way that the self-employed and partnerships assess their tax liability. Known as Basis Period Reform, it’ll establish tax liability not on the business year but instead, on the tax year. This will mean more administration and higher tax receipts to the tune of £2bn from those that don’t realign their business year to the tax year. The budget, despite hopes, did not derail the plan although implementation has been pushed back a year to 6 April 2024.

Businesses struggling with energy prices that are now at stratospheric levels won’t be overly pleased with a 6.6% rise in the National Living Wage for those over 23 years of age to £9.50 an hour from 1 April 2022

Levy of 1.25% (and similar levy of 1.25% on dividends) are still in place. Firms may be relieved, considering the marked rise in the cost of fuel to an all-time high, that Vehicle Fuel Duty is to be frozen for 2022-23. Notably, petrol, at the time of writing was 142.9p a litre compared to 114.5p a litre a prior. Allied to this, Sunak has also frozen HGV Vehicle Excise Duty over the same period. But for cars, official documentation notes that it’ll rise by RPI, presently 4.9%. And lastly, with taxes at their highest for more than 70 years, many may need a drink to wind down at the end of the day. Depending on the choice of poison it could be cheaper – or more expensive – following a reform of the duty rates that will be based on alcohol strength. Rose will see 23p a bottle shaved off the duty, but that on port will rise by £1.09. Whisky will not change. 

Similarly, Making Tax Digital for Self-Assessment is to be brought into effect from 6 April 2024 (for partnerships from 6 April 2025). This means that those caught by this change will need to submit their tax return data electronically and without manual intervention. Previously announced changes to Corporation Tax from April 2023 – a rise to 25% on profits over £250,000 and a taper on profits between £50,000 and £250,000, and the new Health and Social Care

DECEMBER 2021  39

Business Beat

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The pigeon just knocks all the pieces over, poops all over the board, then struts around like it won.” With customer complaints, always try to move the conversation off social media. Usually, it’s best to apologise and then send them a direct message, suggesting that they contact you (or the relevant department) by phone or email. Then hide or delete their THUNDER public complaint if you can. Thunder C Deciding what language is inappropriate THUNDER C can be daunting – after all, we’re discussing der C FIM social media for motorcycle businesses, not THUNDER CThun FIM running a Sunday School – however, here 42 E HOTLINE 01670 8563 are some general guidelines. Swearing and TRADWWW .LS2HELMETS.COM racist, sexist or discriminatory terms are ON THE ROAD... CK... OR ON THE TRA out. Threats and other forms of aggressive R BACK WE’VE GOT YOU behaviour also cross a red line. As a rule, we find it best to both delete these comments and ban/block the user immediately. Incidentally, this applies to comments directed at you as well as spats between followers on your page. To sum it up, your social media should be a welcoming place to visit, where people come to share a common interest and treat KS each other with respect. HU GE ST OCL E AVAILAB That shouldn’t be too much to ACCELERATE ask for.  EL MOD NEW

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40  DECEMBER 2021

E BUYER

Sometimes, even companies that follow best practice will experience trouble on their social media and it is generally caused by two distinct types.

T

ED SUPERBIK

Y

ou’ve figured out what tone to adopt for your social media and are busily posting away, responding to comments and messages and generally engaging with your followers. Everything in the garden is rosy until one day, things get toxic out of the blue. Like a pub brawl on a Friday night, social media storms can erupt out of nowhere and escalate fast, so it’s wise to take precautions that will prevent potential triggers. Whatever your views are on Brexit, BoJo or climate change, keep them to yourself. You might think you’re only making a lighthearted comment on current affairs, but not everyone shares your opinions or sense of humour. Politics and religion are divisive and most definitely off-limits if you want to keep the peace and your audience. Think about your choice of words and images too. Without wanting to advocate ‘political correctness gone mad’, we’re living in the 21st Century, so that 1990s centrefold from your favourite bike magazine is best left in the attic. There are other, less obvious ways to provoke trouble as well. Slamming the competition might be tempting, but their customers will feel that you are criticising their judgement and react accordingly. And exaggeration is almost inviting people to take you down a peg or two – it’s fine to be proud of your products or services, but it’s all too easy to come across as arrogant or boastful.

Lexham Insura

UARY FEBRUARY JAN

ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR AND HOW TO HANDLE IT

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20 22

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0116 230 1500 | sales@catalyst-uk.com | www.catalyst-uk.com

The Business   The latest news and views in the world of business

Will you bother? Having a will is rather like life insurance; it’s essential to others but of no real benefit to the Testator. However, without a will, families and business partners could be left high and dry

B

usiness owners are not exempt from the cycle of life, and with the complexities of owning and running a business most certainly should have a will in place. Sadly, many do not, and their families are left to cope with grief as they sort out the deceased’s business affairs. In fact, ensuring that a will is in place, and that it’s kept up to date and, if necessary, renewed every three to five years or when circumstances change, is good practice. As to when to renew a will, several specific circumstances will make the matter more urgent. These include getting married or entering into a civil partnership as this invalidates any previous will; on getting divorced or separated from spouse/civil partner as even if the divorce was amicable, few would wish their previous partner to inherit their estate – a will would still stand after separation or divorce, unless altered; when a spouse or civil partner dies; if children or grandchildren come along; if children predecease the person with the will; and where a business is sold and there is cash in the estate rather than a business asset.

THE IMPORTANCE TO BUSINESS OWNERS For Elaine Skelton, a director at BHP, it is essential for those running their own business or who are a director of their own

42  DECEMBER 2021

If this were the case, company to have a If this were the case, regardless of how many correct will in place. As partners remain able or she notes, “without a regardless of how willing to carry on the will, their estate will many partners remain business, the surviving follow the intestacy partners would have rules, and their able or willing to to sell off the business business assets may be inherited by a spouse carry on the business, and its assets. A will, if correctly or family member who the surviving drafted, can also be knows nothing about used for tax planning, the business and does partners would have too. And as part of the not have the skill, knowledge, or appetite, to sell off the business planning process, she says that steps may to run it.” be taken to ensure Worse, she points out and its assets business assets qualify that “partnerships, on for Business Property Relief (BPR), a tax the death of a business partner if there is no relief which exempts business assets from will and partnership agreement in place, the inheritance tax (IHT). business could be dissolved automatically.”

www.britishdealernews.co.uk


IN TRUST Skelton highlights another option available to those planning a will – use of a trust: “If the will is drafted in a particular way, it is possible to reduce the overall IHT liability payable by the estate.” Mechanically speaking, she says that this is done by putting BPR assets into a trust so that no IHT liability would be payable precisely because of the availability of BPR. The surviving spouse or other family members would be able to benefit from the trust’s assets, but the value of the assets would be outside their estates. All other assets chargeable to IHT would be left to the spouse and family members. They could then use these chargeable assets to purchase the business assets from the trust. the shares from the And once the BPR assets have been owned Without a will, their deceased’s family members under the by family members for estate will follow the terms of the shareholder two years, BPR would once more be available intestacy rules, and or partnership agreement.” on the business assets, their business assets making them again exempt from IHT. RATE BANDS may be inherited by NIL But even where a Another consideration business owner has a will a spouse or family for trusts is the family and leaves their shares in home. Here Skelton member who knows says to “ensure that a tax efficient manner, Skelton warns that they the correct type of nothing about the “should also ensure trust is used so that that they also have a the Residence Nil Rate business and does shareholder agreement Band (RNRB) remains not have the skill, or partnership available.” agreement in place to She explains that the knowledge, or ensure that the estate is Nil Rate Band (NRB) dealt with properly.” She is presently £325,000 appetite, to run it continues: “All business per individual and is partners should be aware of what happens the amount of the estate which is effectively when one of them dies and how they need to exempt from IHT. This amount is available act.” every seven years, so it is possible to make And where a will leaves shares or business substantial gifts to the family every seven or partnership interests to anyone other years to reduce the eventual IHT bill. than business partners, Skelton recommends In addition, a RNRB of, currently, “a cross option agreement” should be put in £175,000 per person, is available if an place to ensure that the “surviving business estate is closely inherited by children and partners have sufficient funds to purchase grandchildren. But as Skelton cautions, “this

is only available if an estate is worth less than £2m. If an estate is greater than this, then the RNRB is reduced by £1 for every £2 the estate is over this limit.” This means that a married couple or civil partners have total exemptions of £1m before any IHT is paid if their estate is below £2m. This comprises the £325,000 NRB and £175,000 RNRB – for each spouse. Back to the trust, its assets remain in the estate of the surviving spouse, but further will planning can be undertaken with the surviving spouse to mitigate any IHT liability. In simple terms, Skelton says that “a will can be used to pass assets down the family line in a tax efficient manner by utilising the spousal exemption at first death so that the spouse inherits everything without an IHT deduction, either directly or via a trust.” After first death, she says that further will planning can again be undertaken to pass gifts to the family to reduce the IHT payable at second death.

IN SUMMARY Careful will planning can ensure that reliefs, together with BPR, are maximised and can significantly reduce IHT liability whilst ensuring assets are inherited exactly as an individual would wish. 

In tune with the industry, leading All-in-one Business Management Soſtware through innovation and expertise for Motorcycle Dealers Complete Business Solution. Easy to Use 0116 230 1500 | sales@catalyst-uk.com | www.catalyst-uk.com www.britishdealernews.co.uk

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Mivv exhausts 6 A TRIO OF NEW EXHAUST SYSTEMS TO TITIVATE YAMAHA’S LATEST MT09 have been revealed by Italian manufacturer Mivv. All three are Euro 5 compliant, providing a Mivv catalytic converter is added to the system. The Delta Race system sports a carbon end-can and claims to increase power by 4hp and weigh 1.6kg less than the standard system. The carbon fibre GP Pro has a removable protection grille on the outlet pipe of the silencer and claims a 6.1hp increase and a 2.3kg mass reduction over OE. Last and least (in terms of weight) is the X-M1 which is made with black stainless steel, adds 5hp to the top end and shaves 2.7kg off of the overall weight. Moto GB Distribution; 01706 212102; leovincegb@gmail.com

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CLASSED AS A DUAL SPORT HELMET, OR AN ADVENTURE HELMET IN the modern parlance, LS2’s Explorer is now available in a carbon fibre version. The shell comes in three sizes and is made from 6k twill weave carbon, it’s lightweight construction meaning the Explorer C weighs in at only 1380g, a full 80g lighter than the standard fibreglass composite model. The peak is adjustable or can be removed, and both the carbon and fibreglass models share hypoallerganic removable and washable liners as well as a flow-through ventilation system with numerous inlet and exhaust ports. Fastening is by Double-D ring for the carbon model, or micrometric buckle for the fibreglass version. A Pinlock anti-fog insert is included. Available in sizes XS-2XL, SRPs are £299.99 for solid carbon finish, £319.99 for carbon with graphics, £199.99 for solid-coloured fibreglass models and £219.99 for fibreglass with graphics. LS2 Helmets UK; 01670 856342; ukservice@ls2helmets.com

12/11/2021 06/10/2021 13:40 12:19

2022 WALL PLANNER www.britishdealernews.co.uk

DECEMBER 2021  45


Product news

Anti Odour Spray YOU CAN SAVE THE PLANET BY reducing washing frequency, yet still smell nice, thanks to Muc-Off’s new Anti Odour Spray. Silver ion technology in the spray takes the positive ions in the silver and links them with the negative ions found in bacteria to prevent the bacteria from developing, thus stopping any odour generation. It can be used on helmet liners, armour, boot liners, gloves and textile, leather and suede clothing. Muc-Off says it should provide freshness for up to ten washes before retreatment is needed.It comes in a 250ml bottle at an SRP of £11.99. Muc-Off; 01202 307799; sales@muc-off.com

Kymco DT X360 TAIWANESE SCOOTER MANUFACTURER KYMCO HAS RELEASED DETAILS OF WHAT IT says is a new “adventure crossover” scooter. It’s not as rough and rugged as Honda’s knobbly tyre equipped X-ADV, but it is equipped to give urban commuters enough versatility to let them get further out of town. An elevated seating position gives better visibility and raises the centre of gravity, and wider handlebars are said to help with manoeuvrability. Modern tech extends to keyless ignition and LED running lights The fuel-injected 320cc engine provides 28hp and 30Nm of torque. Brakes are discs front and rear, and the lightweight 14in front and 13in rear wheels are shod with “adventure oriented” tyres. Kymco; 01656 661 983; sales@kymcouk.co.uk

Heated gloves 5

GB protection Oxford indicators 5 SEQUENTIAL INDICATORS HAVE BEEN ALL THE RAGE on cars for a few years, and now Oxford Products has four new bike-friendly versions in different styles. The Nightrider, Nightglider and Nightstrider models have inside-to-outside strobing LED arrays and retail for £39.99 per pair, while the Nightsliders offer daytime running lights and indicators at the front and combined indicator, brake and tail lights at the rear for an SRP of £69.99 per pair. All sets come with resistors to regulate flashing rate and are a universal fit with an M8 bolt fitting. Oxford Products; 01993 862300; info@oxprod.com

THE GOOD FOLKS AT GBRACING have been busy creating new bolt-on protection products for BMW and Aprilia models. BMW’s S1000XR is treated to a set of high-impact composite material secondary covers to protect the alternator (£72.32), clutch (£82.48), water pump (£56.83) and pulse sensor (£58.72). A complete set can be had for £256.84 SRP with necessary fittings included. Aprilia’s sporty RSV4 is recipient of an alternator cover (£68.94) and clutch cover (£85.06), with the pair retailing for £146.28. The new middleweight RS660 gets covers for the alternator (£93.10), clutch (£90.36) and water pump (£73.87), or £244.46 SRP for all three. GBRacing; 020 8275 2630; enquiries@gbracing.eu

DESIGNED IN THE POPULAR “lobster claw” three-finger style, Keis’ latest heated gloves are aimed at proper winter bikers who aren’t afraid of single digit (or even negative) temperatures. Insulation comes from a layer of 3M Thinsulate and a Hipora membrane keeps water out as well as reducing windchill. Heat is provided by Micro carbon panels across the back of the hands and over the tops of the fingers which are powered direct from the bike’s battery, an optional battery pack or special glove batteries which fit into pockets on the gloves’ cuffs. Each glove has an independent heat controller to regulate the temperature for comfort. The G301 gloves come in sizes 3XS-3XL at an SRP of £200 including a lead to connect to the bike’s battery. Motohaus; 01256 704909; info@motohaus.com

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Product news

Scuderia kit 4 THIS NEW SCUDERIA cylinder kit will transform small block Lambretta 125, 150 and 175cc engines into 198cc firebreathing monsters. The Nicasil-coated cylinder is made in Italy with a unique five transfer port design and is suitable for many Lambretta models with small block crankcases with the more modern four stud exhausts flanges. The kit comes with a radial head, Meteor piston and a Scuderia-designed three stud inlet manifold suitable for 35mm rubbers. The kit can be used with a wide range of Dellorto or Keihin carbs. SRP is £495. VE (UK); 01159 462991; sales@ve-uk.com

Holy Freedom Prison 5

Rain Shield

A TEXTILE JACKET WITH MORE THAN a hint of gaol chic about it, the Prison is made from cotton canvas, treated to make it showerproof, cut to a sporty short length and equipped with five pockets. Inside is Holy Freedom’s signature checkered design cotton liner, with contrasting silk-lined sleeves providing the occasional flash of red. Protection for the rider comes from the CE level A armour fitted at the shoulders and elbows, and a back protector. Available only in a black/white stripe colourway in sizes XS-XXXL for an SRP of £245. Dot4Distribution; 0203 514 2413; info@dot4distribution.co.uk

MUC-OFF’S NEW RAIN SHIELD IS A RE-PROOFING spray for waterproof and breathable fabric formulated to restore factory levels of resilliance to moisture. Spray on, let it dry and then a hydrophobic surface is created which causes water droplets to roll off and prevents fabric becoming saturated. MucOff says its re-proofer contains no environmentally damaging PFCs, unlike some competitors. A spray bottle of Rain Shield is £9.99 SRP. Muc-Off; 01202 307799; sales@muc-off.com

Keis Power Controller ELECTRICALLY HEATED clothing needs to have its output regulated simply to avoid the rider being either gently cooked or frozen solid as the British weather does it usual trick of changing every five minutes. Keis’ new Bluetooth Power Controller can be plugged into any Keis heated garments that don't feature a built-in power controller and it then enables the temperature to be altered using the free Keis iControl app. Multiple garments can be connected and controlled by the app, which is available for both iPhone and Android. The Keis Bluetooth Power Controller retails at £45. Motohaus; 01256 704909; info@motohaus.com

Venhill R1 hoses4 THE NEW MANAGEMENT AT VENHILL HAS ADDED POWERHOSE PLUS braided brake line kits for the 2020-on Yamaha R1M to the firm’s range. The lines have a Teflon core, which delivers more efficient fluid flow to the calipers to increase braking force, with a stainless steel braid wrap to prevent pressure expansion. A coloured PVC jacket is then bonded on to keep water out. There are four options – five hose front (£133.63 SRP) and two hose rear (£58.18 SRP) kits which replace the OE rubber hoses, or a four hose front kit (£110.06 SRP) and two hose rear (£58.18 SRP) kit which combine and replace all the rubber hoses and metal pipework. Venhill Engineering; 01306 885111; sales@venhill.co.uk

Hevik Tuscon jeans THE ITALIAN CLOTHING BRAND’S latest biker jeans comes in both men’s and ladies’ models. The Tuscon jeans feature a high waist, straight-cut legs and a 2% dosage of Elastan mixed into the cotton fabric to add a degree of stretch and to improve the fit. The traditional styling has all the hallmarks of regular jeans – five pockets, contrast stitching – but come with CE class A protectors fitted at the knees. They come in stonewash blue for a worn-in look, in men’s sizes 46-58 or ladies’ sizes 40-50. Givi UK; 01327 706220; info@givi.co.uk

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Product news

SHORT CUTS

SEALY

SEALY’S RANGE OF MIGHTYMIG, POWERMIG and SuperMIG welders now come with a lifetime guarantee on the main transformer in addition to the one-year unconditional parts and labour guarantee on the entire machine. Sealy; 01284 757500

SUZUKI

SUZUKI HAS LAUNCHED AN ALL-BLACK special edition of the GSX-R1000R sportsbike. The Phantom is fitted with a Yoshimura exhaust with a carbon tip and some matching accessories, such as lever guards, tank pads and a smoke-tint double-bubble screen. To break up all the relentless matt black, the wheels and Showa forks are anodised in a gold finish. Suzuki; www.suzuki.com/gb

ALCOSENSE LITE 2

Merlin Mahala PART OF MERLIN’S EXPLORER COLLECTION – a range of clothing for rugged adventurers but with a dash of retro styling – the Mahala is a Cordura jacket which has been treated with DWR to make the fabric water repellent, but also has a removable Reissa Active waterproof membrane for really wet conditions. A removable 125g thermal liner is provided for high-altitude mountain passes and chilly winter commuting. D3O armour is extensive – LP1 shoulder and elbow protectors, a Viper Stealth back protector and a chest protector are all fitted as standard. A connection zip to attach to matching pants is provided, and there are lots of internal and external pockets for storage. Available in black/olive and black/sand in sizes S-3XL for an SRP of £329.99. Merlin; 01543 270299; info@merlinbikegear.com

Stylmartin Navajo Evo A NEW NAVAJO EVO FROM STYLMARTIN, IS AN ADVENTURE-STYLE touring boot designed to provide comfort over long distances and hours of riding. The leather for the uppers is treated to be water and oil repellent and is teamed with a breathable insole with anti-shock padding and PU armour on the malleolus area. Fastening is by a trio of adjustable quickrelease levers. The Navajos come in EU sizes 38-47 for an SRP of £235. Dot4Distribution; 0203 514 2413; info@dot4distribution.co.uk

ONE FOR USE OVER THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD, helping bikers ensure they are under the limit the morning after the night before, the AlcoSense Lite 2 is an entry-level personal breathalyser that can quickly provide a breath alcohol reading. It uses an intermediate level semiconductor sensor to detect the alcohol content in a breath sample and will show a reading and an alert on screen if the reading is near or over the limit. Settings can be adjusted to suit any UK or Irish legal limit. SRP is £44.99. Alcosense; 01628 778885

Grom hugger 56 PYRAMID HAS ADDED TWO NEW colour options for its huggers for the Honda MSX125 “Grom”. The new colours match Honda’s 2021 colour schemes for the urban fun bike of Force silver/Heavy grey/ Lemon Ice yellow and Gayety red/gloss black. Fitment uses the original bolts and fittings requires no drilling. SRP is £150. Pyramid Plastics; 01427 677990; sales@pyramid-plastics.co.uk

AVANTI

THE REDESIGNED AVANTI EX-BOX EXHAUST, manufactured by Supetune, is now available from scooter parts specialist VE (UK). It fits Lambretta series 1, 2 and 3 machines and is available in three sections. Each section has been refined to give more bottom-end and mid-range torque. Fitments include Li, SX, TV, GP, Servetta and Servetta Lynx models in 125, 150, 175 and 200cc engine capacities. VE(UK); 0115 946 2991

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Product news

Holy Freedom Zero SURE TO BE TEAMED WITH A Triumph or BSA with a lumpy tickover and an oil leak, Holy Freedom’s Zero leather jacket has vintage style and lots of counterculture attitude. Made from cowhide with an aged finish produced by a unique stone washing, waxing and pressing three-stage process, the Zero is decorated with a variety of old-school sew-on patches. Beneath the retro exterior lies Holy Freedom’s signature checkered liner with red silk-lined sleeves and removable CE armour on the shoulders, elbows and back. Also inside is a double-faced gilet that provides insulation and can also be removed and reversed for use as a separate garment. The Zero only comes in black, in sizes S-3XL, for an SRP of £399. Dot4Distribution; 0203 514 2413; info@dot4distribution.co.uk

Pyramid parts 4

Samco hose kits SAMCO SPORT SAYS THAT ITS HANDMADE SILICON hose kits smooth out water flow to reduce coolant temperatures. The latest kits are a nine piece kit for the Ducati 939 Supersport (£217.21 SRP) and a two piece kit for 2021 KTM 890 Adventure models (£57.97 SRP). Quoted prices are for the kits with blue, black or red hoses, but they are also available in a huge range of solid and camo-effect colour schemes at extra cost. Racbikebitz; 01763 249807; sales@racebikebitz.com

PYRAMID HAS NEW ADDITIONS TO ITS RANGE for Yamaha’s latest MT09. There’s a swish new 3D printed blanking block to close off the hole left when the pillion pegs are removed. They tidy up the rear end of the bike and also provide an integral mounting for the brake fluid reservoir. SRP is £35 for a pair. To keep the svelte new rear end clean there is a new hugger with an integrated chainguard. It’s made from 3mm matt black ABS and is considerably larger than the OE item to provide increased protection for the rear shock and the underside of the bike. SRP is £85.99. Finally, a radiator guard adds protection for the delicate and expensive radiator. Made from black powder-coated aluminium, the guard comes with a full fitting kit for an SRP of £50. Pyramid Plastics; 01427 677990; sales@pyramid-plastics.co.uk

BMW R18 rack IF YOU’VE GOT AN ENORMOUS RETRO STYLED BEHEMOTH AND NEED TO CARRY SOME stuff then you’ll need an equally imposing rack. BMW accessory specialist Wunderlich has made a big shiny chrome tank rack for the R18 cruiser which adds a dash of practicality as well as style. The rack is made from a combination of 12 and 16mm steel tubing and has a carrying capacity of 5kg, enough for handy essentials. For those wanting to be a bit more subtle, there’s a gloss black version, but if subtlety is your thing maybe the R18 isn’t the ideal bike to ride in the first place. Whichever finish is chosen, the SRP is €299. Wunderlich; +49 2641 30 82 600; f.wunderlich@wunderlich.de

Richa Toulon RICHA HAS ADDED A NEW COLOUR OPTION TO both the men’s and ladies’ versions of its Toulon 2 leather jacket. The new grey colour takes the total colour choices for the D3O armour equipped jacket up to four for men and three for women. Available in men’s sizes 36-56 and ladies’ sizes 8-20 for an SRP of £299.99. Nevis Marketing; 01425 478936; info@nevis.uk.com

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Product news

Cardo Spirit and Freecom 5

Indian eFTR 5 INDIAN MOTORCYCLE HAS INTRODUCED A NEW MODEL TO ITS LINE up. Not the big, brash and brawny cruiser or bobber that might be expected, but a mini-sized electric-powered dirt bike. With styling based on the FTR750 full-size flat-tracker model, the new eFTR has a steel tube frame with a 24V battery and motor allowing speeds of up to 14mph and a run time of up to 30 minutes. Seat height is 468mm, making it suitable for riders from eight years old upwards. Indian Motorcycle; www.indianmotorcycle.co.uk

THE NEW SPIRIT AND SPIRIT HD BLUETOOTH INTERCOMS FROM Cardo are compact waterproof units which mount on any helmet. Both allow communication between two suitably-equipped motorcyclists, with the standard model having a range of 400m, whereas the HD model ups this to 600m and adds in high-definition sound. The HD model also packs in bigger 40mm (rather than 32mm) speakers and an FM radio. Automatic volume control adjust the sound depending on the ambient noise and over-the-air software updates allow it to be kept up to date. Both models come as single units or twin-packs. The Freecom 2x and 4x allow, as you might guess, two or four people to communicate with each other respectively over high quality “Live” Bluetooth intercom at a range of up to 1.2km. Both Freecom models feature 40mm hi-def JBL speakers with three audio profiles and an FM radio, and the 4x also adds in voice control for hands-free operation. Again, the units come in single or twin packs. Pama; 0161 494 4200; sales@pama.co.uk

Touratech Extreme Edition luggage WHEN IT COMES TO AUTHENTIC ADVENTURES, OR EVEN WINTER commuting runs into town, you need properly waterproof storage to ensure that your spare pants stay dry. Touratech’s Extreme soft luggage promises to be totally waterproof thanks to three-layer laminate construction and sealed seams, and it has a bright yellow interior to make it easier to find small items buried in the depths. The range has been finished off with two new additions – a Midi tank bag and a pillion seat bag. The Midi tank bag fits with straps and clips and has an expandable capacity of 10-14 litres. There’s a Velcroed inner compartment divider, plus inner pockets for small items and exterior document and mesh pockets. The pillion seat bag is purely for solo riders and fits across the rear seat with Velcro straps, or for BMW R1250GS a base plate can be used to fix the bag and replace the pillion perch. Capacity is expandable from 12-18 litres and there are mesh pockets inside to keep small items secure. Touratech; +49 7728 9279-0; info@touratech.de

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Horwin C6 Pro 5 CHINESE E-MOBILITY MANUFACTURER HORWIN LAUNCHED ITS CAFE racer-styled roadster C6 model back in 2020, and has now added the C6 Pro, expanding the range, performance and rider involvement. The C6 Pro has a new version of Horwin’s oil-cooled electric motor combined with a five-speed mechanical gearbox – a world first for a full production electric motorcycle, according to the manufacturer. The 11kW motor that powers the C6 Pro gives it a top speed of 68mph, a range of up to 80 miles, and acceleration that whips it from 0-60 (km/h rather than mph) in five seconds. Panasonic supplies the Lithium ion cells which make up the 60Ah battery, which recharges to 80% capacity in three hours and should last more than 2000 recharge cycles. The C6 Pro comes in a black carbon effect finish with black alloy frame for an OTR price of £6407, including the government’s Plug-in grant. Artisan Electric; 0800 1588 264; info@artisanscooters.com

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50%

Product news

Bubble screen 5

Oxford Montreal 4.0 A TEXTILE TWO-PIECE SUIT, THE MONTREAL HAS HAD ANOTHER redesign and remodelling to bring this latest 4.0 model to fruition. The outer shell of both jacket and trousers is made of high-density polyester with a Dry2Dry membrane providing waterproofing duties. The HD polyester uses more densely packed fibres to improve durability and abrasion resistance, and impact areas such as the knees, shoulders and elbows have been reinforced with heavier-duty material along with Level 1 armour inserts, helping to achieve a CE A rating. Other features of the jacket include a removable thermal liner, fit adjusters on the hem, collar, cuffs and upper arms, stretch panels, lots of pockets and reflective detailing for improved visibility. The £159.99 SRP jacket comes in four colour choices – black, black/red, black/grey/fluo and black/fluo – and the £129.99 SRP trousers come in plain black or black/red. Oxford Products; 01993 862300; info@oxprod.com

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APRILIA’S NEW RS660 IS THE BIKE of the moment when it comes to race-style accessories. As well as GBRacing’s track-friendly protective covers (see page 46), Skidmarx has launched a tall bubble screen to reduce windblast for taller riders. The screen is 45mm higher at the rear edge than the OE item and is made from 3mm cast acrylic. It’s a direct swap for the standard screen, and is available in clear, light and dark tints for an SRP of £64.95. Skidmarx UK; 01305 780808; sales@skidmarx.co.uk

Suzuki V-Strom 650 5 SUZUKI HAS RELEASED NEW COLOUR OPTIONS FOR its V-Strom 650 and 650XT adventure bikes. The 2022 base model V-Strom is now offered in pearl vigor blue with white decal, and glass sparkle black bodywork with black wheels and a yellow beak graphic.

For the XT models there is a new pearl vigor blue and matt silver livery and an all-black scheme with blue and grey graphics. Both new colour schemes get blue rims on the spoked wheels. Suzuki GB; 08085 011959; bikes.suzuki.co.uk

Dunlop RoadSmart IV THE LATEST UPDATE TO DUNLOP’S ROADSMART TYRE TAKES IT INTO NEW CATEGORIES – NAKEDS, ROADfocused adventure bikes, crossovers – as well as its traditional home of sport touring. The RoadSmart IV comes in a wide range of sizes to fit 17 of the top 20 best-selling bikes across Europe, and its most popular sizes come in two varieties – an SP version for lighter and sportier machinery and a GT version for bigger touring bikes. Technical details are sparing at the moment, but Dunlop does say that the tyre is made using jointless tread technology, as well as having four new grip resins in the compound. Dunlop; 0121 378 7000; tyre_doctor@dunloptyres.co.uk

Contact Alison on

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DECEMBER 2021  57


On the Money

On the Money Market analysis with financial editor Roger Willis

C

hinese-made motorcycles have been getting steadily better for years. Sure, an initial invasion of the UK marketplace was driven by ludicrously cheap price points. And early detractors could rightfully claim that an abundance of quality wasn’t part of the deal. But that’s not really true anymore. Engineering and manufacturing standards have pretty much caught up with Japanese benchmarks, even if technology and design could be politely described as both dated and deeply derivative in many cases. Nevertheless, styling and specifications have improved too. Recognisable knock-offs are still common. However, typical cost-conscious British consumers aren’t overly concerned about that or any absence of the latest bells and whistles, because bikes born in China have remained remarkably affordable. Your average Flungdung XYZ might look suspiciously like a slightly long-in-the-tooth Honda model or whatever. But nobody, in the great scheme of things, actually cares. The key question, though, is for how much longer can this bountiful win-win situation, which has kept an awful lot of smaller dealers in business and satisfied riders on the road, carry on? The answer, from

of bellicose crypto-commie my professionally jaundiced perspective, is the end could soon totalitarianism and widely condemning the iniquities of be nigh. private entrepreneurial activity. Let’s begin with deleterious The immediate result has economic indicators. China’s been a massive wave of energy reputation as the budget-priced shortages and inter-linked workshop of the world is in soaring commodity prices, tatters. Factory-gate inflation adversely impacting Chinese is mounting rapidly. The official industry. In the first instance, producer price index (PPI) from Beijing mandarins ordered a Beijing’s National Bureau of reduction in domestic coalStatistics rose by an annualised mining output to meet climate13.5% in October, beating change targets and a pessimistic then subsequently Reuters poll China’s cancelled orders forecast of reputation as for large-scale 12.4% and up coal imports from from an already Australia, to punish horrendous 10.7% the budgetthe Aussies for gain in September. priced criticising China’s PPI gauges how workshop of woeful human much wholesalers record. In the are obliged to pay the world is rights same timeframe, manufacturers global oil prices for their goods, in tatters had risen sharply before the to $85 per barrel and liquified addition of logistics and other natural gas shipment costs have distribution costs. gone stratospheric. The collieryThese inflationary pressures gate price for Chinese coal has predominantly originate from shovelled on 103.7% to the yuanerratic dictatorial meddling renminbi equivalent of $360 a by Xi Jinping’s revanchist tonne. government. China grew into the The industrial effect was world’s second-largest economy two-fold. As cold winter weather by abandoning Marxist dogma arrived and seasonal energy and adopting “socialism with demand increased, power stations Chinese characteristics” instead were unable to access sufficient – a euphemism for unbridled fuel to maintain consistent capitalism. President Xi has electricity generation. Frequent now decided to turn the clock widespread cuts, rationing back, imposing his own version

available electricity, either shuttered factories altogether or subdued manufacturing output. Lack of appropriate energy also made blast furnaces, smelters and chemical plants intermittently inactive. So supplies of key raw-material commodities such as steel, aluminium and plastics, all of which you need to make cheap motorcycles, have become stressed, driving up manufacturers’ input costs. The average price of production materials climbed by 17.9% yearon-year in October. Consumer prices were also rising, with essentials like vegetables leaping by 16.6% in the same month. Heavy-handed state management of the ongoing pandemic, dedicated to achieving an impossible target of zero infections, also continued to ravage export supply chains as well as manufacturing. At the slightest hint of a Covid outbreak, rigorous wide-area lockdowns are imposed, irrespective of the consequences for trade. Apart from quarantining factory workers, gigantic maritime container terminals and freightforwarding yards around the Shanghai and Shenzhen conurbations have ground to a halt repeatedly from such prophylactic measures. Doomsayers claim the combination of these woes is now aiming China towards

International Share Prices USA –INFLATION CHECK

EUROPE – COVID SURGE SCARES MARKETS

JAPAN – SPLASH THE CASH

US central bankers started to cut their supportive bond-buying activities after consumer price inflation soared past 6% in October. Markets are now getting ready for the inevitable interest rate rises that will follow. Indices responded accordingly, with only the S&P 500 positive, by just 0.3% over the past week, while the S&P MidCap 400 sank by 1.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1.4% lower. Harley-Davidson shares began the week with tentative growth, rising 0.7% on Monday and 0.2% on Tuesday. But then investor optimism vanished and the price took a 2% dive on Wednesday into $37 territory. And there it stayed, flatlining on Thursday before falling again by 1.5% on Friday. That equates to a net loss of 6.1% since the beginning of November.

A rollout of new Covid infection curbs, including some complete lockdowns, across several eurozone countries prompted investors to run for cover. European stock markets averaged their first weekly decline since early October. In Germany, Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax index narrowly avoided red ink with a fairly marginal 0.4% lift. Surprisingly, Frankfurt-listed shares in KTM parent Pierer did better than that, given its manufacturing domicile in Austria is on the receiving end of a particularly vicious Covid surge, and the most severe impositions. Italian sentiment certainly crumbled and Milan’s MIB index dropped by a firm 1.4%. Piaggio took a harder beating and has lost virtually a tenth of its value in the past rolling month.

New Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida unveiled a £364bn package of stimulus measures to reboot his country’s Covid-ravaged economy, including generous cash handouts to consumers. On the basis that these might stimulate motorcycle purchases, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki enjoyed boosts to their share prices. However, having been rewarded for its strong quarterly results during the previous week, Yamaha was mysteriously punished by investors. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 stock index was circumspect about Kishida’s initiative, adding a modest 0.5% across the week of its announcement.

58  DECEMBER 2021

INDIA – COUNTING THE COST The post mortem on Diwali’s festive season failure to resurrect the

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stagflation, as progressively higher prices undermine demand. Therefore, without some sort of circuit-breaker, Chinese economic prospects look dire. Analysts are hoping that central bankers at the People’s Bank of China will intervene, loosening credit to provide a buffer for the economy’s slowing momentum until PPI inflation peaks. But they are already splashing vast wads of cash around to put the lid on a debt-default scandal spreading across China’s buccaneering property development sector – at the government’s behest. An excess of generosity, propping up manufacturers too, is hardly a good fit with President Xi’s realignment of private enterprise towards rigid state control. He’d prefer uncompensated expropriation.

Of course, inscrutable financial jiggery-pokery behind closed doors may yet save the day. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Creative accounting is only ever a short-term solution. In the motorcycling firmament, entrepreneurs will simply hunker down until the inflationary worst is over, trying to manage the narrowing gap between Chinese prices and those of developedworld competitors at the destinations for their exports. Some of this is currently visible in the UK and Europe, in the shape of product “westernisation” to push price points higher. Qianjiang’s historic Benelli marque, playing to Italian antecedents for all it’s worth, is a good example.

A snapshot of share performance across key manufacturers and markets troubled Indian motorcycle industry is obviously ongoing. Mumbai’s BSE Sensex 30 index finished a gloomy week 1.7% down and there was no sign of positivity for any of the five leading bike producers.

CHINA – NERVES STRETCHED Mounting concerns about a national economic slowdown and associated knock-on global inflation had little impact on Chinese markets. Shanghai’s SSE Composite index actually rose by 0.6%, while the CSI 300 flatlined. Eight of the 11 listed Chinese motorcycle manufacturers made gains, but volatility was extreme. Positive increments for Benelli parent Qianjiang and Honda partner Sundiro contrasted with painful losses for BMW associate Loncin and Guangzhou Auto – also a Honda JV partner.

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Here, creation by Lexmoto of the new Voge brand, fronting credible 500DS adventure variants that swivel around a five-grand marker and above, is another. CFMoto has ascended further, with a semi-retro 7000CL-X roaring well past six grand on the road. Both could pass for Japanese bikes on close inspection of everything except the VIN plate. And as the spectre of President Xi’s reborn Bolshevism looms menacingly over them, a growing number of Chinese

Price Week Month

USA (dollar) Harley-Davidson 37.39 -2.6% +1.3% Polaris Industries 119.70 -3.7% -5.1% Textron 75.34 -2.2% +1.0% Europe (euro) BMW 93.20 +0.2% +8.8% Volkswagen 277.40 -2.5% -0.3% Pierer Mobility 82.90 +0.6% +4.8% Piaggio Group 2.83 -3.7% -9.9% Energica Motor 3.13 N/A -1.3% India (rupee) Hero MotoCorp 2683.05 Bajaj Auto 3544.05 722.85 TVS Motor Eicher Motors 2597.95 Mahindra 921.00

N/A -2.2% -2.5% -8.3% -0.9% +16.6% -4.6% -0.6% -1.8% +3.7%

Share performance as of 19 November 2021

entrepreneurs are “westernising” their domiciles in an exodus safely beyond the reach of his regime, while still sourcing products on home turf. Spain is a popular location for many. How long will it be before some follow the Indians – Eicher, TVS and Mahindra – in choosing to shift R&D and even production to Britain. We’ve got plenty of Chinese restaurants. A few more factories definitely wouldn’t go amiss. 

Price Week Month

Japan (yen) Honda 3324 +1.4% -2.8% Yamaha 3040 -4.1% -3.2% Suzuki 5332 +4.9% +4.3% Kawasaki 2086 +1.9% -11.5% China (yuan) Qianjiang 15.99 +8.9% +13.0% Zongshen 6.96 +0.1% +6.4% Sundiro 2.66 +10.8% +23.1% CETC Energy 17.91 +2.9% +12.4% Lifan 7.17 +4.4% +17.7% Loncin 5.50 -12.8% +22.8% Linhai 7.66 +1.1% +4.5% Guangzhou Auto 16.45 -9.6% -4.5% 183.60 +4.9% +14.6% CFMoto Xinri E-Vehicle 17.56 +2.2% -13.7% China (HK dollar) Jianshe 4.93 -0.4% -12.4%

DECEMBER 2021  59

On the Money

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New registrations

Registration data New scooter and motorcycle registrations for October 2021 2021 / 2020 Registrations by Style MOPEDS

Oct 2021

Year to Date Oct 2020

Change

Oct 2021

Oct 2020

Oct 2021 Registrations

Highest Registering Model by Style

% Change

Moped Naked

67

133

-49.6%

610

993

-38.6%

Rieju MRT 50

Moped Other

82

71

15.5%

722

465

55.3%

Multiple models

10 1

Moped Scooters

509

666

23.6%

4687

4391

6.7%

Lexmoto Echo 50

47

TOTAL MOPEDS

658

870

-24.4%

6019

5849

2.9%

1308

1194

9.5%

17594

14554

20.9%

Multiple models

99

528

521

1.3%

4736

4590

3.2%

KTM 300EXC TPI

48 226

MOTORCYCLES Adventure Competition Custom

838

529

58.4%

7405

6219

19.1%

Royal Enfield Meteor 350

Modern Classic

769

787

-2.3%

9600

8660

10.9%

Yamaha XSR125

94

1673

1853

-9.7%

21830

20507

6.5%

Honda CBF125M

160

Naked

529

734

-27.9%

7494

8555

-12.4%

Lexmoto LXR125

98

Scooter

Road Sport

2013

2130

-5.5%

23352

19004

22.9%

Yamaha NMAX 125

170

Touring

136

131

3.8%

2122

1886

15.2%

BMW R 1250 RT

35

3

2

50.0%

96

140

-31.4%

7797

7881

-1.1%

94229

84115

12.0%

Unspecified TOTAL MOTORCYCLES TRICYCLES Scooter

37

80

-53.8%

465

416

11.8%

Piaggio MP3 300 Sport

17

Other

25

25

0.0%

378

352

7.4%

Morgan 3 Wheeler

6

TOTAL TRICYCLES

62

105

-41.0%

843

768

9.8%

8517

8856

-3.8%

101091

90732

11.4%

TOTAL REGISTRATIONS

2021 / 2020 Registrations by Capacity ENGINE BAND

Oct 2021

0 - 50cc

Year to Date

Oct 2020

% Change

Oct 2021

Oct 2020

Highest Registering Model by Style

% Change

Oct 2021 Registrations

986

1034

-4.6%

8771

6689

31.1%

Vmoto Super Soco CPX

150

51 - 125cc

3300

3793

-13.0%

35977

32961

9.2%

Yamaha NMAX 125

170

126 - 650cc

1743

1639

6.3%

18786

17461

7.6%

Royal Enfield Meteor 350

226

651 - 1000cc

1308

1337

-2.2%

19864

17695

12.3%

Honda NC750X

93

over 1000cc

1180

1053

12.1%

17693

15926

11.1%

BMW R1250 GS

96

TOTAL REGISTRATIONS

8517

8856

-3.8%

101091

90732

11.4%

Alternative power registrations October 2021

BRANDS CHART Top Ten Manufacturers

Alternative power registrations data is also included in the overall market data shown in the tables above

October 2021

2021 / 2020 Registrations by Power

1. Honda...........................................1431 2. Yamaha...........................................897 3. Lexmoto..........................................571 4. Triumph..........................................506 5. KTM...............................................487 6. Suzuki.............................................463 7. Royal Enfield...................................436 8. Piaggio............................................276 9. Harley-Davidson..............................245 10. Kawasaki.........................................225

POWER BAND

Oct 2021

Under 1kW

Year to Date Oct 2020

% Change

Oct 2021

Oct 2020

% Change

14

2

600.0%

84

2

4100.0%

1-4kW

453

208

117.8%

4077

1336

205.2%

4-11kW

17

12

41.7%

163

83

96.4%

11-15kW

2

0.0%

9

15-35kW

2

5

-60.0%

35

53

-34.0%

Over 35kW

0.0%

26

8

225.0%

122

81

50.6%

Unknown

104

69

50.7%

595

400

48.8%

TOTAL REGISTRATIONS

618

304

103.3%

5085

1955

160.1%

2021 / 2020 Registrations by Style MOPEDS

Oct 2021

Oct 2020

Adventure

0

0

0.0%

49

28

75.0%

Competition

Change

EPAC

0

3

-100.0%

Naked

29

36

-19.4%

0

0

0.0%

212

88

140.9%

0

2

-100.0%

290

157

84.7%

Other L-Cat Scooter Unspecified TOTAL

MOTORCYCLES

Oct 2021

Oct 2020

TRICYCLES

Oct 2021

Oct 2020

3

2

50.0%

Other L-Cat

5

5

0.0%

Competition

11

9

22.2%

Scooter

3

5

-40.0%

Naked

60

36

66.7%

9

1

800.0%

TOTAL

8

10

-20.0%

237

89

166.3%

1

1

0.0%

321

138

132.6%

Adventure

Road Sport Scooter Unspecified TOTAL

Change

Oct 2021 Oct 2020 TOTAL ALTERNATIVE POWER 619 305 REGISTRATIONS Includes 3 Diesel PTWs Includes 3 Diesel PTWs

Change

Change 103.0%

Registration statistics supplied by the MCIA; tel 02476 408000; www.mcia.co.uk 60  DECEMBER 2021

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A FOURTH CONSECUTIVE MONTH OF negativity in October, if fairly marginal, still kept year-to-date figures in front of 2020’s and even 2019’s headline tallies. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports. According to the latest MCIA data, total monthly registrations fell by 3.8% to 8517. Motorcycles were actually 0.6% up to 5784, but scooters lost 5.5% at 2013, mopeds sank by 24.4% to 658 and trikes suffered a 41% dive to just 62. Really wet and windy autumn weather was hardly conducive to showroom footfall. The up-to-125cc (or 11kW) mobility sector dropped by 11.2% to 4286 machines. But 126ccplus bikes predominantly in the enthusiast/ leisure firmament stayed shiny side up with a 5% rise to 4231. Perhaps the brightest news came from headline numbers 19.5% ahead of the 7126 registrations recorded in pre-Covid October 2019. Outright highest-registered powered twowheeler during the tenth month of 2021 was Royal Enfield’s Meteor 350 baby cruiser, thanks to 226 machines plated. It was pursued by 170 fleet-friendly samples of the Yamaha NMax 125. Leading electric steed and fourth-ranked overall was Vmoto’s Super Soco CPx 4.8kW scooter on 150 units. Despite BDN advice to the contrary, the MCIA continues to count this among 1-4kW models which can be ridden on AM licences. Running from top down in the major brands chart, Honda and Yamaha made respective 12.6% and 10.9% volume gains versus October 2020. But Lexmoto in third dived by 48.1%, presumably due to a paucity of wares to sell. Triumph was 6.3% up, while KTM stock shortages elicited a 20.2% plunge. Contrary to that, BMW Motorrad

Rolling Year Comparison

put on 20.3%. Guest appearances by MotoGB’s Keeway and SYM brands in October last year were replaced by Royal Enfield and Harley-Davidson, bracketing Piaggio’s 14.5% rise in eighth spot. Most tragic of the lot, way down on the bottom rung in tenth, Kawasaki’s registrations slumped by a

Motorcycles were 0.6% up, but scooters lost 5.5% at 2013. Really wet and windy autumn weather was hardly conducive to showroom footfall

horrendous 50.8%. For the year to date against 2020, up-to-125cc mobility products rose by 12.9% to 44,748. And 126cc-plus machines enjoyed a 10.3% gain to 56,343. Total YTD registrations grew by 11.4% to 101,091. Motorcycles improved by 8.9% to 70,877, scooters were 22.9% up to 23,352, mopeds added just 2.9% to 6019 and trikes increased by 9.8% to 843. Among motorcycles, the adventure style segment was unchallenged leader, climbing by 20.9% to 17,594 and claiming a dominant 24.8% market share. However, year-to-date comparisons with the same period in pre-pandemic 2019 were less satisfactory. Although the booming up-to-125cc mobility market was an impressive 25.2% higher, larger capacity machines at the heart of most dealers’ profitability declined by 7.1%. Taken together, they were only 4.9% up.

It’s an unusual model to appear in the motorcycle and scooter best-sellers chart, but Morgan’s 3 Wheeler was a top-seller in the trikes sector. At least the S&S V-twin has some biking ancestry

NMDA COMMENT

R

Scooter Market Performance The percentage of the overall market made up of scooters

www.britishdealernews.co.uk

– especially in the lowest powered egistrations of Power Two segment. Overall, ePTW registrations Wheelers (PTWs) declined by increased by 103.3% to 618 units, -3.8% as the market enters its offhelping the year-to-date total to reach season in the final quarter of 2021,” said 5085 registrations. Paddy O’Connell, head of the National “In October, the over-50cc scooter Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA), sector was commenting on dominated by the the latest MCIA The NMDA is Yamaha NMAX 125 figures. optimistic that the with 170 registered “Whilst the Honda was market was down, market going forward units. the brand leader with 8856 sales, it is important to will remain steady ... with 1431 units registered, followed note that in 2020, as long as there is the by Yamaha with the industry was 897 units and responding to availability of stock Lexmoto with 571 pent-up demand units completing after a series the top three spots.” of lockdowns, resulting in the highest O’Connell added, “The NMDA is number of October registrations since optimistic that the market going forward 2008. There were also fewer issues with will remain steady for the remainder supply. of the year, as long as there is the “It is more useful to compare current availability of stock across the entire figures with a more ‘normal’ period of supply chain.” trading. For the year to October 2019, we saw 96,409 registrations, and in the same period this year there were 101,091, an increase of 4.9% . “Sales of electric two-wheelers (ePTWs) continued to perform well NATIONAL MOTORCYCLE DEALERS ASSOCIATION

DECEMBER 2021  61

New registrations

REGISTRATIONS WEAKEN AGAIN


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DEMAND AND PRICING REMAIN STRONG

D

emand for used bikes in October remained robust, with users spending a total of 16 million minutes browsing machines on Auto Trader Bikes. This level of demand means used bike prices remain strong, with the average two-wheeler on Auto Trader

12 months back, at a median of 27 days. This is considerably faster than the same period in 2019, where the median speed of sale was 36 days. This month our chart lists the fastest-selling used bikes during the period from 1 September to 14 November, based on the

Used bike prices remain strong, with the average two-wheeler on Auto Trader priced 3% higher than in October 2020 priced 3% higher than in October 2020, and 10% higher than two years ago. Used bikes overall have been selling a day faster than they were

with Lexmoto’s sporty LXR125 up at the top of the list, joined by a number of learner-friendly bikes in a range of styles taking the majority of the top-ten slots and claiming nearly half of the top 30 quickest sellers list. Adventure bikes seem to be the next most

median number of days the bikes were on site. There’s certainly been no slow down in the popularity of 125s,

popular sector in the list, with five entries out of 30, and it doesn’t come as a complete surprise that full-fat supersports bikes have completely dropped out of the fastest sellers list this month as we head into the grip of winter. PAUL EDMONDSON Product lead, Auto Trader Bikes

The fastest selling bikes on Auto Trader

Average days advertised before sale

1. Lexmoto LXR125_______________ 6 2. Yamaha NMAX 125___________ 7.5 3. Lexmoto Assault______________ 7.5 4. Triumph Tiger 900 ______________ 8 5. Yamaha MT-125_______________ 9 6. Triumph Thunderbird 1600 _____ 9.5 7. Honda PCX125 _______________ 10 8. Honda CBF125 _______________ 11 9. Yamaha YZF-R125 _____________ 12 10. Yamaha YS125 _______________ 12

11. Honda CB125F _______________ 12 12. Honda NSS125A Forza _______ 12.5 13. Honda CB125R _______________ 14 14. Triumph Speedmaster 865 _______ 14 15. Suzuki GSXR125____________ 14.5 16. Ducati Multistrada 950 _______ 14.5 17. KTM 390 Adventure ___________ 15 18. Yamaha MT-07 _______________ 15 19. Harley-Davidson CVO ________ 16.5 20. Triumph Trident ______________ 17

21. Yamaha Tenere 700 ____________ 17 22. Yamaha YBR125 ______________ 17 23. Honda Monkey _______________ 17 24. Triumph Street Twin _________ 17.5 25. Honda CRF250L ______________ 18 26. Yamaha FZS600 ______________ 18 27. Yamaha X-MAX _______________ 18 28. BMW R1250GS ______________ 18 29. Yamaha Tracer 900 __________ 18.5 30. BMW S1000R______________ 18.5

SEASONAL SLOWDOWN THE USED MARKET CONTINUES to be busier than normal although, as with the new market, trade has eased recently. Stock availability remains challenging, albeit there are signs of improvement as offers from the public increase as they look to sell as winter approaches. Some dealers plan to purchase stock throughout the winter months to compensate for anticipated new stock shortages at the beginning of 2022. Activity at auctions strengthened in October following dips in both August and September. Both

62  DECEMBER 2021

hammer prices and conversion rates were strong, although they

Dealers plan to purchase stock throughout the winter months to compensate for anticipated new stock shortages

are expected to soften as we approach the end of the year.

OUTLOOK Although used market activity remains buoyant for the time of year, dealers are experiencing a seasonal slowdown in retail activity. As we look ahead to early winter we expect demand to decline further, and taking this into account, values have been reduced across most sectors for Glass’s December edition. The exceptions to this are mopeds, smaller capacity scooters, commuters and off-

road motorcycles, where values have been held due to continued demand. PAUL McDONALD Leisure vehicle editor, Glass’s

www.britishdealernews.co.uk


Used bike data

AUTUMN’S HEATING UP AS BIKE LAUNCH SEASON ARRIVES THE CLOCKS HAVE GONE BACK, THE GRITTERS have been dusted off ready to go out on their rounds, and winter is approaching with gusto. But that also means a glut of new bikes is here, as manufacturers vie for the public’s attention as they launch their 2022 line-ups. In our bike reviews we’re seeing a resurgence of interest in sports bikes, with the sector now second only to nakeds as approachable new models such as the Yamaha R7 gain plaudits.

However, it’s Honda that remains top dog in terms of manufacturers, accounting for 19% of all sessions in our reviews section, and a huge 22% of traffic in our MCN Bikes for Sale section. The perennially popular CB500X and NC750X adventure/commuters are the two most searched for bikes in our classifieds, and there’s another trio of Hondas in the top 10. GARETH EVANS Online editor, MCN

Bikes for Sale Most viewed models

Trail

Retro

Classic

Touring

Supersport

Sport/Tour

Scooter

Naked

Custom

Percentage of views by type

Adventure

1. Honda CB500X 2. Honda NC750X 3. Kawasaki Z900RS 4. Honda GL1800 Goldwing 5. Yamaha R1 6. Honda VFR800 7. Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 8. Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade 9. BMW S1000RR 10. Yamaha FJR1300

MCN Reviews Most viewed brands

Other

Retro

Trail

Touring

Supersport

Sport/Tour

Scooter

Naked

Custom

Percentage of views by type

Adventure

1. Honda______________ 19% 2. Yamaha______________ 16% 3. Suzuki_______________ 12% 4. Triumph______________ 9% 5. BMW________________ 8% 6. Kawasaki_____________ 8% 7. KTM_________________ 5% 8. Ducati________________ 5% 9. Aprilia________________ 3% 10. Royal Enfield___________ 2%

Top 5 Bike Reviews by type

Naked

Sports

Adventure Sport

1. 2021 KTM 1290 Superduke RR

1. 2022 Yamaha R7

1. 2022 Honda CB500X

2. 2021 Triumph Trident 660

2. 2022 Honda CBR500R

2. 2014 Honda NC750X

3. 2022 Honda CB500F

3. 2020 Aprilia RS660

3. 2019 Honda CB500X

4. 2021 Ducati Monster 937

4. 2019 Honda CBR650R

4. 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4S

5. 2018 KTM 790 Duke

5. 2018 Honda CB1000R

5. 2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan

www.britishdealernews.co.uk

DECEMBER 2021  63


Mopeds

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Geared 125’s

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Electric Scooters

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