British Dealer News June 2024

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key business information for the UK motorcycle and scooter industry Key business information for the UK motorcycle and scooter industry • June 2024 DEALER NEWS UK NEWS EVENT NEWS
40 years
K hits the
Bimota returns to WorldSBK
Scottoiler toasts
big 3-0
NMDA switches on dealer survey
Stafford Classic gains momentum Downing Street leak gives petrol power 16 more years – Full story page 7 GOVERNMENT TO EXTEND PETROL ENGINE BAN? 01670 856342 ADVANT BY LS2 ALWAYS AHEAD
shuts in Sheffield


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SMC shuts in Sheffield

SMC, a long-standing retailer in the Sheffield bike scene, is closing its showroom this summer after 25 years. Owner Frank Hayes, is winding down his working life, selling the premises, and focusing on his smaller store, Steel City Classics, in nearby Unstone.

“I’m closing the Sheffield branch because I’m over 60 and want to slow down and spend more time with the family,” Hayes told BDN “We’ve been in business for 25 years, and I never really had an exit plan. It was only when talking to the family that they said I need to slow down a bit.”

Hayes decided to close at the end of last year and aims to finalise the closure by August. “We started the process in December, and we wanted to inform the staff first. We waited until March so they could start looking for other jobs or stay with us until the end of August. We’re taking some staff across to Steel City. We talked to the staff, and then our manufacturers. Ducati,

want us to stay with them and will move to our other premises; all our suppliers have been supportive. I’ve received some lovely messages, and people have actually come by in person to say thanks.”

Hayes is selling the SMC premises instead of the business as a going concern. “I didn’t want to sell the business because I started it and wanted to finish it; I didn’t want someone else to come in. I own the property and am selling it. Any outstanding warranties or commitments will still be honoured at our Steel City branch. The SMC property is 15,000sq.ft, and we’re putting it on the open market. It won’t necessarily be a bike shop, but we’ve had some people from the trade inquire about it.”

The Steel City store in Unstone is managed by Flip Taylor and is also an Indian dealership, which Hayes believes will now expand. “We’ll develop at Unstone, it’s a nice area, nice shop, we have some classics, some used bikes, and obviously Indian. We’re going to revamp and

extend it and renovate the workshop. We had 22 staff members at Sheffield; there are six to eight staff members at Steel City, so it’s easier to manage. We see big things for it.

“All the Sheffield staff have found new opportunities, but some are staying to clear the remaining stock. We have ramps, desks, chairs, parts, and clothing available for any dealers interested. Get in touch if you’re interested!”

SMC Business news
didn’t want to sell the business because I started it and wanted to finish it
Frank Hayes, SMC’s owner
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Government to extend ICE ban?

According to a recent report in the Daily Telegraph (12 May), the government is to extend its deadline on the sale of petrol-powered motorcycles by five years from 2035 to 2040. At the same time, it will confirm that the sale of petrolpowered mopeds will be banned from 2030.

Known as the Torygraph in political circles, the Daily Telegraph is well known to have hotline access to prime minister Rishi Sunak and his Downing Street advisors. This gives extra credibility to the Telegraph’s story and also adds weight to one industry spokesman’s recent comment that the government will make an announcement before parliament breaks for its summer recess on 23 July.

Although of long-term concern, the extension of the ban on ICE motorcycles gives the industry 16 years to further develop alternative sources of power. That time could easily be reduced if there is a change of government following the election on 4 July. The Labour Party has been highly critical of the Tory’s extension by five years of the ban on ICE-powered cars, and will probably want to reinforce its eco credentials, if Sir Keir Starmer gets into Downing Street.

The 2030 ban on the sale of petrol-powered mopeds is (technology-wise, at least) of less concern. Moped sales last year (including electric-powered machines) totalled 5533, a reduction of 23% on 2022. Within that were 1762 electric mopeds (under 4kW), which was a fall of 40%, with registrations decimated by the government’s cut of the Plug-in grant available on mopeds. This was cut to just £150 in 2021 and was withdrawn completely in April 2024. At the same time,

the grant available on L3e motorcycles (125cc equivalent and above) was also reduced to £500 and limited to bikes up to £10,000 retail value. This will continue until April 2025.

Commenting on the Daily Telegraph’s story, Craig Carey-Clinch, executive director for the National Motorcyclists Council, said: “The Telegraph’s article was speculatory, but the NMC’s position remains clear – phaseout should not be to arbitrary UK-only targets but instead should move in pace with international developments and the

2040 may be a move in our direction, particularly if the intention is “from 2040”
Craig Carey-Clinch, NMC executive director

evolution of global technical regulations. The policy must be implemented in a way that does not damage rider choice in the marketplace or lead to market withdrawal by manufacturers.

“There must also be technological neutrality, allowing full scope for eFuel developments for current and historic ICE motorcycles, plus developments in hydrogen technology, rather than just battery electric, given the current concerns riders have about the viability of this technology for touring, leisure and sport motorcycles.

“2040 may be a move in our direction,

particularly if the intention is ‘from 2040’, because creating an absolute deadline creates many hostages to fortune, as we have seen with the politics of car ICE phase out in recent months. Plus, there remain several question marks over current charging infrastructure planning and provision for a fully zero-emission fleet of the tens of millions of cars and motorcycles that the government wants.”

Alfie Brierley, the Motor Cycle Industry Association’s director of policy and public affairs, said: “We don’t want to speculate on the final response, but we remain committed to advocating for realistic, pragmatic, and proportionate phase-out dates that won’t negatively impact the UK market. We’re continuing to work with officials and ministers on this.

“The dates must align with our vehicles’ use cases and their environmental and urban mobility benefits. Additionally, we need to consider architectural, technical, safety, and alternative fuel challenges, especially for large-capacity L3 motorcycles, which face entirely different challenges compared to L1 mopeds.”

According to an update from the MCIA, the grant for electric mopeds ended because they cornered 40% of the market in 2022 (though there’s no mention of the subsequent massive decline in 2023…). The grant had previously delivered £7m in subsidies to help the changeover from petrol to battery electric bikes, with more than 12,000 electric bikes sold under the scheme.

The scheme will continue to subsidise L3e (125cc+ equivalent) electric motorcycles at the current rates for at least another year.

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Stafford classic gains momentum

Recovery momentum was very evident at the International Classic Motor Cycle Show at the Stafford Showground (20-21 April) following the double blow of Covid and Brexit in 2020, which caused its cancellation that year.

The queue to get in on Saturday morning did not subside until 11.30am. Bonhams’ auction turnover was up compared with April last year – £3m/95% sell-through against £2.8m/88% in 2023) – and foreign accents began to be heard again.

The head of events company Classic Bike Shows, Nick Mowbray, said: “Club stands were up to 80 from 70 last year, Carole Nash insurance was back as the main show sponsor, and the sun was out. All very encouraging!”

Star guests were TV daredevil and former TT

rider Guy Martin, and motorcycle dealer and eleven-time TT winner Phillip McCallen from Lisburn, Belfast. McCallen became a dealer in 2001 and now has franchises for Triumph (2002), Kawasaki (2005) and KTM (2008). He moved to his current purpose-built premises in 2010 and is a UK top ten Triumph dealer.

Indoor traders at the show included Jodi Kirkham and wife Jade on their Speedwear clothing stand, which was shared with Davida helmet manufacturer Dave Fiddaman, who is back on the scene with a new range following temporary closure as a result of Covid.

Among outdoor traders was Sam Jones of Stafford regulars Yeomans Motorcycles (est 1972), of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. They used three vans and a trailer to transport 15

bikes to the show. Among them were three highly-prized Norton International singles.

Jones, a former rugby semi-pro and tree surgeon, is running the family business following the death of his father, Steve, who bought it in 1992. Jones is keen to keep up the Yeomans’ emphasis on original matching numbers of British bikes and original spares.

“We have 60 bikes in stock, and we have launched a website for spares, doing our best to source genuine original parts. We are taking on more commission sales and we plan to open a larger showroom in the summer,” he said.

“The pre-1940 market is strong in Europe. And there’s a growing trend for oily rag original bikes, especially Triumphs. I have a big personal collection, and many of my friends and the Bike Shed scene in London are getting into these types of classics,” added Jones, who attended his first bike show as a four-year-old.

Leading Italian event organizer-dealercollector Alessandro Altinier couldn’t resist buying a bargain £10,000 Norton Manx in the Bonhams auction. Auction top seller was a 1938 Vincent-HRD 1000 V-twin at £228,850. And the amazing 48-cylinder 4200cc Whitelock Kawasaki special pictured in April BDN romped past £60,000 top estimate to make £92,000 (prices include premium). It is believed an American collector spent £400,000 on Vincents at the auction.

8 JUNE 2024 Business news
Guy Martin, Phillip McCallen and interviewer Jack Burnicle pack ‘em in Show organiser Nick Mowbray 1938 Vincent was the £228,850 auction top seller Auction bikes hit £3m turnover


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NMC responds to proposed e-bike law changes

THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN consulting over changes to the rules around electrically assisted pedal cycles and the National Motorcyclists Council has responded with its views based on feedback from its members and the wider bike industry.

The proposals had two main aspects: firstly, doubling the power output of legal e-bikes from 250W to 500W, and secondly to allow electric assistance without pedalling up to the speed limit of 15.5mph. The changes have several aims: helping less fit and disabled riders switch to an e-bike without the burden of pedalling, extending the appeal of e-bikes to areas where there are many steep hills, and finally, improving the abilities of cargo e-bikes, used for larger delivery loads in cities and other areas.

The NMC acknowledges the potential benefits of the proposed changes for accessibility, but it also raises serious concerns.

“Given the current issues arising from the unregulated, illegal and sometimes antisocial use of some e-bikes and other light electric PTWs which are non-compliant with the current e-bike regulations, the council’s members feel that this consultation is premature and could potentially exacerbate these problems.”

The NMC also proposed its own comprehensive solution.

“There is an urgent need for a wider regulatory review of all unregulated light electric powered two-wheeled products, which do not fall under the current specific e-bike regulations. The NMC urgently calls on the government to properly commence this longdelayed review, emphasising the importance of addressing these issues in a timely manner. The review should incorporate the areas covered within this consultation, which can be considered part of a wider framework for ultra-lightweight electric PTWs and micromobility.”

Covec extends range with Dane and Macna

British riding jeans specialist and distributor Covec, has announced two new brands. Best known for its BullIt protective jeans, but also a distributor for other brands, Covec has signed up as the UK distributor for the Dane and Macna clothing firms. It has also announced an end to its distribution deal with French firm Furygan.

Dutch firm Splash Designs owns both Macna and Dane. Dane has a wide range of premium hightech textile clothing, while Macna boasts a leather production factory in Italy. The brands offer a comprehensive line-up, covering virtually the whole market in terms of range, from adventure touring outfits to made-tomeasure leather race suits.

Announcing the news Keith Bloxsome, Covec’s owner, said: “I first met Splash Designs seven years ago. They’ve been our Bull-It jeans distributor in the Netherlands since then. They didn’t realise we had distributor potential, too, but we went over six weeks ago for another event, and they mentioned they needed a UK distributor.”

Bloxsome says that his position in the UK market will be a massive benefit to the new brands.

Dane clothing has already signed up leading retailers

“What we have is relationships. People sell to people. We’re good friends with J&S, Infinity, Sportsbikeshop…” And he believes those leading players will make up most of the sales for Dane and

We’ve worked with Splash to put together a package where we can make it affordable for dealers and customers

Macna. “Helmet City, Infinity, Bridge, Sportsbikeshop and J&S are all really good businesses, and their model is volume. So those five would probably account for 70% of the business.”

What’s behind the change? Bloxsome recognises that while Bull-It is a strong brand and riding jeans are still in demand, there’s a natural ceiling for a business focusing on just one product line. And to expand, he needed to go

beyond that. “With jeans, we might have another 20% growth; in Australia, we’re the biggest jeans seller. We have a fantastic distributor, and they understand our technology. But we can double our turnover, we think, with our contact base in the UK in a short space of time. We currently do £2m in Bull-It sales, and we know we can double that with the addition of Macna and Dane in two years.”

Will Covec be holding stock in the UK? “Yes, we moved to a big new warehouse three years ago. Before, we had two small warehouses not far away, but the developer sold the site, so we pushed on and we now have a big warehouse with big storage capacity.”

How will the product ranges look? “Macna and Dane both align technically with Covec. Dealers thrive on having a concept tech story to sell. Leathers, I think, are on the rise again. RST has done a great job marketing that space. I wouldn’t see us holding lots of leather stock or making many made-to-measure suits, but we will offer the service and have leather in stock.

“The adventure bike market is strong, and you have to offer something better than what is out there. We’ve worked with Splash to put together a package where we can make it affordable for dealers and customers. We’ve got a £2000 suit with Dane, and a £1500 and £1000 option. With Macna, we have a £600 suit, so we’re trying to hit all the price points.

“From an industry perspective, our objective is to double turnover with high-quality products that are tech-sound in fast-moving times.”


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BMW goes automatisch!

BMW has unveiled its latest piece of hightech kit: an automatic transmission for the latest R1300 Boxer engine. The new setup, dubbed Automated Shift Assistant (ASA), adds computer-controlled actuators to the standard transmission hardware, which looks after the clutch and gearbox operation. The rider can choose between either a full-auto ‘D’ mode twistand-go auto box or an ‘M’ mode manual override, with a foot lever to change gears. There’s no clutch lever at all, so the entire clutch function is automated for pulling away, gear shifting and stopping, while the foot lever is just a switch with no mechanical link to the shifter mechanism. The shifting algorithm takes into account the riding mode selected and how the bike is being ridden, so in a rain or touring mode, the bike will shift up at lower revs, but in a sport mode, it will rev higher, more so if the rider is using full throttle.

BDN saw the new ASA system demonstrated during an event near BMW HQ in Munich, and the prototype R1300 GS looked to be completely normal as the test rider rode past on an off-road test route. Only when he waved his left arm and leg in the air was it

clear something unusual was happening!

One useful practical aspect is security: when the ignition is turned off with the bike in ‘Park’, the gearshift and clutch are locked, and there’s no way to disengage the rear wheel from the engine. So, a thief can’t simply roll the bike away without turning on the ignition with the key. The ASA also rules out bumpstarting a bike with a flat battery, though, so there are some swings and roundabouts there.

The system will be available for the 2025 season, costing around £900 as a factoryfit option and adding 2.1kg of weight to the bike. The system was developed on the new 1300 Boxer motor, but there’s nothing in the tech that couldn’t be applied to other engine layouts like the S1000 inline-four or F900 parallel twin. We’d expect the new ASA system to feature on a new 2025 model first – either the R1300 GS Adventure or a new touring R1300 RT. Business news
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Scottoiler hits 40

Becoming the generic name for a product is a sign of a brand’s success. Hoover is the most famous example, of course, replacing the term “vacuum cleaner” in the second half of the 1900s. Scottoiler has arguably taken that a stage further: not only is it the generic term for an automatic chain oiler, it utterly dominates the sector, with very few alternatives.

The Glasgow-based firm is celebrating 40 years of supplying its automatic chain lubricators to bikers. Its founder, Fraser Scott, was tired of replacing chains on his bikes, so he came up with the idea of a vacuum-operated automatic oiling system in the late 1970s. The first kits were launched in 1984, and the firm has not looked back since. Fraser Scott died in 2022, but his legacy – and the name – lives on with thousands of highmileage bikes worldwide.

We spoke to Fionn Crossan, Scottoiler’s marketing executive, about how the firm is faring as it enters middle age. “We’ve sold over half a million Scottoiler kits worldwide, which has saved more than 1.265 million chain and sprocket replacements. Scottoilers have travelled 13.75 billion miles, and our customers have saved £253m over the 40 years.”

It’s a great export story as well, of course. How many countries does the firm sell in now? “We’re able to sell anywhere in the world, and we have distributors all over Europe, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, and Canada. We just signed up recently in the States with a brand new distributor, Van Leeuwen.”

How is the market changing for Scottoiler? Crossan points to an increased focus on environmental concerns. “It’s definitely a transitional period for the bike market over the last few years, with a greater focus on environmental efficiency across the board.

We’re excited to see larger community events such as the Adventure Bike Rider Festival doing so well as these are doing a lot to welcome in a new generation of bikers.

An impressive success story then – but what does the next 40 years hold for the Milngavie, Scotland, firm? “Over the next 12 months, we have some exciting new product launches to announce, but that’s all under wraps for now. However, our goal as a business is to keep making reliable products that work for any kind of motorcyclist. We’re very happy to have been around this long and look forward to many more years! We’ll be attending the Adventure Bike Rider Festival and Motorcycle Live this year, and we’re always keen to meet those working within the same industry. If you’re reading this and want to work with Scottoiler, contact:”

CJ Ball gets flexibility from new software

NORWICH DEALERSHIP CJ Ball and Son, has praised a new software system from the Mad Devs company. The Honda and Suzuki retailer says that the new iStoreDOCS software platform has helped optimise its customer management functions both for in-person and remote sales. The software claims to help firms customise a sale around each individual customer’s needs, adding financial products and accessories as required.

Stephanie Rhodes, sales manager at CJ Ball & Son, said: “We are always looking for new

ways to improve the customer experience. The new technology from iStoreDOCS allows us to be much more flexible when supporting customers through the buying process and supports our ambitions for online growth.”

Daniel Rea, sales director at Mad Devs, said: “We work with bike dealers to develop tools to help them operate more efficiently. In an economy where every business faces pressure on costs, technology is important in helping teams work more efficiently and maintain profits.”

of its


12 JUNE 2024 Business news
SCOTTOILER edition vSystem oiler kit to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Limited to 500 units, it is in the colours of the original Scottoiler and comes with a numbered certificate.

Dealers urged to complete NMDA spring survey

THE NATIONAL MOTORCYCLE Dealers Association (NMDA) has announced that the spring 2024 edition of its Dealer Attitude Survey (DAS) is now live and will be available for dealers to complete until 9am on 3 July.

The NMDA runs the confidential DAS to bring together the views of motorcycle dealers and provide fresh insights into relationships with their respective manufacturers. Dealers are surveyed on a wide variety of topics

including sales, profitability and the transition to electric. The survey findings have acted as a critical barometer within the industry, and previous DAS results have enabled the NMDA to strengthen its members’ voices around key issues facing the industry.

Dealers can email: of the survey, which can be filled out and returned free of charge. An analysis of the survey will be featured in the August issue of

CFMoto wins Red Dot Design Award for 800NK

Chinese motorcycle manufacturer CFMoto, has won a prestigious Red Dot Design Award for its 800NK flagship naked machine. The 800NK features a sleek modern roadster chassis design and is equipped with high-spec components. The 799cc parallel twin weighs in at 186kg and produces 94hp. This marks the first Red Dot award for a Chinese motorcycle company, and coincides with CFMoto’s 25th anniversary.

Carles Solsona, CFMoto’s design director, expressed his excitement, stating: “To win the prestigious Red Dot Award is a great result for the whole team. The 800NK embodies the core values of our brand: design, technology, and performance. This achievement is a great way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our company and recognizes our commitment to developing our own design philosophy.”


THE MOTORCYCLE ACTION GROUP SAYS IT SEES A potential for a drop in bike theft in coming years. The riders’ rights group targeted police and crime commissioners in the May local elections, and says that many candidates engaged with its campaigning, and have pledged action.


SAD NEWS FOR PROPONENTS OF A UNITED front for bikers’ rights groups: the Motorcycle Action Group has left the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations. MAG says the split is down to its unhappiness with FEMA’s approach to the coming electrification of bikes.


THE NATIONAL MOTORCYCLE MUSEUM HAS announced the winner of its winter 2023 raffle. Kelly Norrington won the new/old stock Triumph TSX 750 after celebrity specials builder Allen Millyard drew her ticket out of the hat at the Stafford classic bike show. The NMM has also released details of the summer raffle prize: a 1962 BSA Rocket Gold Star, restored by NMM experts. Buy tickets (£2 each) and find out more at

TELLY KING COLE BACK ON THE BOX SHED AND BURIED IS BACK FOR A SIXTH series this summer, with Henry Cole, Allen Millyard and friends back in action, reviving vintage bikes, classic cars and other antiques found in Britain’s sheds and outhouses. The series kicks off on 11 June on the Quest channel, found on Freeview channel 12, and is also available on the Discovery+ streaming website


THE SPRING SHOW HAS JUST FINISHED, AND ITS organisers’ minds are now on to the next Stafford Classic bike show. The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Magazine show kicks off on 12 October and is set to feature a proverbial star-studded lineup, including Carl Fogarty and Frankie Chili. More details are due to be released over the summer months, but tickets are on sale now:


THE MOTORCYCLE ACTION GROUP HAS released its manifesto for the general election. The document, called Move on Motorcycling, majors on opposing electrification, licence reform, better road safety and improved anti-theft policies.

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Trade on the Pale Blue Dot

The world is in trouble.

On the one hand, there is conflict between Russia and Ukraine and also between Hamas and Israel – and potentially its neighbours, too.

On the other hand, there are heightened tensions between the world’s trading partners. While this is nothing new – Donald Trump, when president, poked the bear – the problem could be about to get worse.

Indeed, the financial newspaper Nikkei Asia thinks that if Donald Trump wins the US presidential election in November and implements his proposed 60% tariff on all imports from China and a 10% universal baseline tariff on goods from elsewhere, he will stretch World Trade Organisation rules beyond breaking point.

Importantly, the publication thinks that it would “eviscerate” the principle of equality “so cherished” by the WTO (that is, Most Favoured Nation status for all members). At the core of the matter is that global institutions “derive as much legitimacy from their foundational assumptions, shared philosophies and stakeholder buy-in as they do from codified regulation”.

If Trump’s tariffs are implemented, Nikkei Asia believes that major US trading partners would retaliate, leading to the “most significant global trade war since the 1930s”. Countries unable to stomach a trade war with the US will start forging small trade deals with each other, leaving a “patchwork of coerced agreements with heavy mercantilist overtones”, with those unwilling to meet Trump’s terms facing “mounting tariff walls”.

But for the moment, Joe Biden occupies the White House. During a recent speech in Pennsylvania, he announced plans to triple tariffs of 7.5% on Chinese steel and aluminium. He also promised to block a Japanese company’s acquisition of US Steel.

Of course, Biden may have just been posturing because of the forthcoming presidential election. Regardless, the move won’t do much for free trade.

On the face of it, any USbased trade war is precisely that, a war on those that trade with the US

On the face of it, any US-based trade war is precisely that, a war on those that trade with the US. However, the matter could spill over into other markets –including Europe and that could have an effect here.

Anyone with an eye on history will remember how President Trump started a trade war in 2018 with China and applied stiff tariffs on goods it sent to the US. Back in July and August 2018, US and Chinese tariffs on each other’s goods were evenly pegged at $34bn and $16bn, respectively, according to the BBC. By September, the US had applied $200bn of tariffs on Chinese goods, while the Chinese had reciprocated with $60bn in tariffs on US imports. That carried on until Joe Biden assumed the presidency. Notably, the Carnegie

Endowment For International Peace reckoned, in January 2021, that Trump’s trade policies actually hurt the US more than it helped and led to the loss of 245,000 jobs.

Similarly, in 2018, the US introduced tariffs on €6.4bn of European steel and aluminium exports. In response, the EU introduced rebalancing tariffs on US exports to the EU worth €2.8bn.

According to a February 2024 report, Trump is thinking about directly punishing the EU over trade with a broad minimum 10% tariff that would also be aimed at China. Part of his thinking is to ‘persuade’ the US to become more aggressive towards China. However, he also is unhappy with the trade deficit with Europe.

Ultimately, trade wars pose a threat to most countries and create financial instability that prevents investors from conducting business abroad. They affect growth and the wealth of individual nations. And if followed to the logical conclusion, trade wars damage the wealth of individuals and their ability to make purchases.

Putting the futility of this into context is the “Pale Blue Dot” photo. Taken by NASA’s Voyager 1 probe in 1990, the grainy image is one of several of the solar system captured some 3.7bn miles from Earth before Voyager headed for interstellar space. Showing striations of sunlight, in the righthand beam is a single blue pixelof Earth. Everything that ever has been or will be occupies that one pixel.

Earth, let alone wars of any kind, just doesn’t count. Wars are pointless; let’s hope that reason wins the day.

14 JUNE 2024 Business news

Cambrian signs up as official UK importer for CEAT tyres

CEAT is one of the lesserknown tyre brands, but it has grown its profile since becoming an OE fitment on Royal Enfield’s popular recent models. Now, the Indianowned rubber firm has a big new distribution deal in the UK with top tyre distributor Cambrian Tyres.

CEAT was originally an Italian company, formed in Turin in 1924 to make electrical cables and other rubber products, including tyres. After financial woes in the 1980s it was briefly owned by Pirelli. However, it’s had strong links to India since the 1950s, and is now based in Mumbai. It makes tyres for trucks, cars, tractors, bicycles, and motorcycles.

Richard Hemingway, business development manager at

Cambrian Tyres, said, “We are delighted to become the official UK importer for CEAT’s motorcycle and scooter tyre range and look forward to building the brand in the UK. This collaboration marks a significant milestone for Cambrian Tyres, allowing us to offer riders a wider selection of premium tyres at competitive price points.

“In today’s evolving motorcycle industry, providing high-quality products at accessible price points is crucial. The addition of CEAT tyres allows us to fulfil this demand, offering riders exceptional performance and reliability without compromising on affordability.”

More info on the CEAT range is at, or call 01970 624004.

British lock company receives police approval

BIKE SECURITY SPECIALIST HIPLOK has become part of the policeendorsed Secured by Design accreditation scheme. The Leamington Spa-based company manufactures specialised anti-angle grinder locks and ground anchors for bikes, and has become recognised for the smart design and reliable performance of its products. Now, it has gained the support of Secured by Design (SBD). SBD is a division of the UK police service’s Crime Prevention Initiatives organisation, accrediting numerous security products to provide consumers with peace of mind when making purchases.

Ben Smith, co-founder of Hiplok,

stated: “Joining Secured by Design emphasizes our dedication to offer practical security solutions for riders worldwide. Our expanding range of innovative, high-quality locks and security products are designed to keep bikes safe and ensure peace of mind.”

Doug Skins from Secured by Design commented: “Bike theft has become a profitable venture for many criminals, with tens of thousands of bikes stolen across the UK annually. I am pleased that Hiplok has joined Secured by Design, expanding the range of products that have been tested and certified to meet the exacting standards expected by the police.”



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Bimota returns to WorldSBK

Kawasaki’s Bimota project is taking a new direction for 2025, with the Japanese firm announcing a World Superbike campaign under the banner of its Italian sub-brand.

Kawasaki bought Bimota in 2021 and has seemingly struggled with a clear plan for the exotic subsidiary. But this new campaign makes sense: Kawasaki will supply its ZX-10R powerplant to be fitted in the Bimota-built race chassis, adding an extra element of interest to the series. The new Bimota race team will replace the factory Kawasaki WorldSBK programme, keeping many of the staff and facilities.

Bimota has some real heritage in world championship racing, of course. It won the 1980 350GP title with Jon Ekerold, took the TT F1 title with Virginio Ferrari in 1987, and also won a series of WorldSBK races. The last win was an incredible finish by the late Anthony Gobert on a Suzuki-powered SB8R in 2000.

Kawasaki Motors CEO Hiroshi Ito said: “Bimota has an enviable reputation for excellence in motorcycle design and manufacture. As part of our vision for the

evolution of this world-famous brand, we see racing as a logical next step in product development and brand exposure on the global stage. Our commitment to WorldSBK is as strong as ever, and we hope this new racing project will energise fans of both Bimota and Kawasaki. The passion for race success remains, and we look forward to the presence of the Bimota by Kawasaki Racing Team on the 2025 WorldSBK grid”.

Bimota COO Pierluigi Marconi added: “The engineering, technology and day-to-day business support already offered by Kawasaki has put Bimota firmly back into the consciousness of the media and potential customers; now is the time to take the next step in our evolution.

“Bimota has had racing as part of its DNA from day one. To compete in WorldSBK, alongside developing our new product range while expanding the European and global dealer network has an undeniable logic to it. The unparalleled experience of the existing Kawasaki racing team experts plus the full support and cooperation of Kawasaki Motors in Japan fills us with pride and optimism.”

R&G teams up with Eazi-Grip tank pads

TWO TOP BRITISH-BASED AFTERMARKET brands are joining forces. Hampshire-based R&G and Lancashire firm Eazi-Grip have announced a

and track. These products will also be made available via R&G’s extensive global network of distributors and dealers, while R&G will also help Business news
Pierluigi Marconi, Bimota COO Hiroshi Ito, Kawasaki Motors CEO
Jack Taylor, R&G’s race and sponsorship manager, seals the new deal with Andy Sherlock, works director of Eazi-Grip
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Oxford’s Dave K party marks 30 years’ service

David Kinnaird, known in the business as Dave K, is celebrating 30 years of service at Oxford Products. Sales director

Kinnaird (right), who is the company’s longest-serving employee, celebrated the milestone with his fellow directors at a shindig in the Cotswolds.

Kinnaird said: “I was interviewed in early 1994 for a rep’s job in the North East, and they couldn’t decide between me and another guy. So they started us both and let the best man win… he left after a couple of months, and the rest is history!”

Back then Oxford was turning over £2m annually, and the firm reckons Dave now generates that himself each month.

Oxford chairman Alec Hammond underlined Kinnaird’s contribution to the company: “Dave is the beating heart of Oxford Products. He has been at the centre of our success story for the last 30 years, inspiring exceptional sales achievement and always leading from the front. The company would simply not be what it is today without Dave K.”

Bickers takes on Moto-Master

AFTERMARKET SUPPLIER BICKERS, has added another brand to its line-up, announcing a deal with the Moto-Master off-road parts firm. The agreement covers the full range of kit, including levers, brake discs, hydraulic lines, brake pads, chains and sprockets.

Moto-Master is probably best known for designs like the Ultra-Lite and Flame brake rotors and has won a host of national, European and World Championship titles in almost all disciplines of motorcycle sports –it’s also one of the most successfully used brands in MXGP.

Jöran Harkema of Moto-Master said: “We are delighted to be adding Bickers as a distributor of our off-road range in the UK and Ireland. With a proven record of next-day delivery and excellent

customer service across the UK, it was an easy decision to partner with Bickers.”

Derek McMartin from Bickers added: “Moto-Master speaks for itself in its quality, performance, and innovation around the globe. We are excited to be adding another industry-leading brand to our portfolio and expanding the range of brake products available from Bickers to give our customers more choice.”

For more info on the full MotoMaster range, call 01394 604040, or visit

MV Agusta launches new promo deals and cuts Enduro price

KTM-owned premium Italian bike maker MV Agusta is pushing hard to increase its sales in the UK, with new promotional deals and a “realignment” on the price of the new Enduro Veloce adventure bike.

The deals kick off with a spring promotion, giving a £2000 tradein contribution to customers buying one of the firm’s 2023 models. It includes a wide range of bikes, including the Brutale

800 and 1000 models, plus the Dragster, F3, Rush, Superveloce and Turismo Veloce. The contribution is valid for any make or model of trade-in bike.

Meanwhile, Agusta has also dropped the RRP on its new 2024 Enduro Veloce adventure tourer. The previous guide price was £21,800, but that’s been reduced to £20,000 on the road.

MV Agusta UK has said that every official dealer will have a demo bike from June onwards.
The new Enduro Veloce has had a price cut before it is even in showrooms

ROKiT hits the market

IF YOU’RE A BRITISH OR WORLD superbike racing fan, you’ve probably spotted the ROKiT logo on the side of a BMW Motorrad M1000 RR superbike. The black and white branding is the title sponsor on Toprak Razgatlioğlu and Michael van der Mark’s WSB bikes, and is also the main sponsor for Leon Haslam’s BMW team in BSB.

But what is ROKiT? You might have assumed it was some obscure foreign company, maybe an Asian food brand or a European financial services firm. In fact, it’s a 25-yearold global organisation, originally set up as an IT company specialising in video compression software for early smartphones. But it’s now evolved into a multi-channel brand selling worldwide in areas as diverse as energy drinks, e-scooters, smartphones, modular housing, beers and spirits (it’s also behind the ABK beer sponsorship of the BMW F900 Cup.

Now, it’s set to launch as a motorcycle product supplier, starting out with a range of cleaning products, casual ROKiT BMW race team wear, and other useful accessories. A much wider range of products is apparently on the way.

BDN spoke to the people at the heart of ROKiT in the UK, to find out what it’s planning. Stuart Furnival is sales director at the ROKiT group, while ex-BSB racer Gary Mason is CEO of the new motorcycle division. Steve Keys of Ulti-Moto is also involved, as part of a partnership between ROKiT and Ulti-Moto for supply of its bike cleaning and ceramic paint protection products. “ROKiT came to Ulti-Moto because they wanted to make sure they were going to market with the best product,” said Keys. “So we’ve put together three packages; everything to clean paintwork, clean and look after helmets, and then a ceramic paint application that can be applied at home and lasts up to six months.”

Mason told us how the


motorcycle link came about, after he met up with one of the ROKiT founders. “I met Jonathan [Kendrick] in Los Angeles about something totally different, and I explained my background. He’s heavily involved in many motorsports, so he came to a WSB round at Donington, loved it, and it kind of evolved from there. He appointed me as CEO of motorbikes to look after sponsorship, and now we’re building the product around the racing.

“We’re helping a lot of youngsters in racing. We’re actually business partners with the Haslam family – it’s a great name for us, Leon being the Pocket Rocket, and Rocket Ron. Then we’ve got Superteens, eight in there, in Supersport we have the McManus brothers [Eugene and James] on a Ducati, and also the ABK Cup. We’ve definitely invested in the sport, and you’re going to see a lot of exciting things happening.”

ROKiT is launching a range of retail products this month: the bike care product range in association with Ulti-Moto, BMW WorldSBK and BSB team wear, tyre inflators and smart sunglasses. But other forthcoming product are staying under wraps at the moment. We asked Mason what the plans are – is the firm thinking about clothing, helmets, hard parts? “I can’t go into that but watch this space,” said Mason. “There are a lot of exciting things coming, this is just the beginning.”

Race retailer and kit maker Dredd is selling the new ROKiT range at BSB rounds, and the range is also available online from Infinity and Furnival is looking for other partners though: get in touch with him at stuart. or 07774 006006.

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Bob Lloyd 1942-2024

Bob Lloyd started his working life as a long-distance lorry driver for Walls ice cream, driving regularly from Gloucester to Scotland. Later he moved south and joined TranAm, owned by his brother Rick, as a sales representative, where he covered the South West and Wales. His excellent work meant the territory was extended to include all of Ireland, which he managed while taking his golf clubs with him on every trip!

Bob’s hard work and dedication was rewarded when he was promoted to national sales manager running a team of ten salesmen while still looking after his Irish clients. Later, he joined Bifax, a new company run by Simon Garle. He then moved to Nevis Marketing, at


revamps management team roles

ITALIAN BOUTIQUE BIKE MAKER AND OFFroad specialist Fantic, has announced a new CEO and vice president. Paolo Fontana has been appointed as the new CEO at the Fantic Motor Group, while Mariano Roman, the newly appointed president of the Italian trade body ANCMA, takes on the position of VP at Fantic. He will continue his leadership in the areas of product, R&D, and racing.

Fontana said: “It is an honor for me to take on this role, and I am thankful for the trust that the board and the members are placing in me. Our goal is to ensure that the entire group can express its huge potential, and for my part, I am fully committed to it.”

that time headed up by Robert Culverwell. Bob covered the South West and continued to see his beloved friends in Ireland. Bob’s exceptional sense of humour made him wellliked by everyone who got to know him, both within the companies he worked for and with the dealers he called on.

Bob leaves behind his children, Sarah and Sharon from his first marriage, and Natalie and David from his second marriage to Debbie. He will be missed by the many who have worked with him or have known him personally, but his legacy will never be forgotten.

Bob’s funeral service was held at Hinton Park Woodland Burial Ground on 2 May.

Lukas Distribution has new BSA manager for the North

Eathan Cooper has joined BSA importer Lukas Distribution, as the new franchise manager for the firm's northern territories. According to the firm, Cooper will “oversee the expansion and management of the motorcycle distributor’s franchise network in the north of the country, driving growth and fostering strong relationships with dealers across the region”.

Cooper (right) comes to the role from a position in a major motorcycle franchise, where he worked his way from apprentice to account manager in just seven years.

“Eathan’s experience and passion for the industry make him the perfect fit,” said Luke Gregory, MD, at Lukas Distribution. “His skills will be instrumental in driving our dealer network forward and ensuring our continued success in delivering the BSA brand to customers across the region.”

“I am excited to join Lukas Distribution, where I hope to bring new and fresh ideas to the table and contribute to the company's continued success,” said Cooper. “I am looking forward to multiple opportunities, from developing and expanding the dealer network to pushing and generating new sales for BSA.”

Cooper’s appointment comes at a pivotal time, says the firm, as it continues to expand, having recently added six new dealerships across the UK.

Lukas Distribution

Kymco appoints Butterworth

Kymco UK has announced a new senior area manager for the northern part of the British Isles. Damian Butterworth took on the new role in early May and will look after the full Kymco range, including bikes, scooters, three-wheelers, ATVs, mobility scooters and powerchair products. Based in Leeds, Butterworth has 35 years of experience in the industry, including work at Honda’s marine and ATV divisions.

“I aim to bring a wealth of experience that will support and guide the Kymco dealer network,” said Butterworth. “I will ensure a quality support programme is in place for our growth plans for the future across all our business sectors.”

Kymco’s national sales and marketing manager, Neil Keeble, said, “I am excited to have Damian join the Kymco sales team. He brings a wealth of knowledge

and experience and is a further example of our continued drive to fully establish ourselves in the UK ATV and two-wheel marketplace to emulate our brand position in the mobility sector, where we are a renowned market leader.

“Having worked alongside Damian for many years, I am confident his appointment will greatly benefit our dealer network and Kymco UK as we continue our long-term growth plans.”

Contact Damian Butterworth at or 07803 000 017.

OBITUARY 20 JUNE 2024 On the move

Suzuki signs-up Coles

SUZUKI HAS APPOINTED JON COLES AS ITS DEALER DEVELOPMENT general manager across motorcycle, automobile, marine, and ATV. Coles takes over from his predecessor, Mark Hallam, who retired in March.

As part of the Japanese brand’s senior leadership team, Coles will be responsible for all aspects of network development, including new dealer appointments, sales training, regular mystery shopping exercises, and corporate identity.

Coles has worked at Suzuki GB since 2007 and has 25 years of experience with the Suzuki brand, having worked within the dealer network before. He first joined the aftersales division at Suzuki as technical coordinator before progressing to the role of regional sales manager and then technical manager. More recently, he was general manager of aftersales services.

Coles said: “I am very much looking forward to settling into my new cross-divisional role in dealer development, with key responsibilities to include helping ensure that Suzuki remains the number one brand for trust as well as supporting our network to be fully prepared for the future.”

New sales manager at Polaris

Neil Pirie is the new district sales manager for Polaris UK, looking after northern England and Scotland. He’ll be overseeing 30 Polaris Off Road dealers within that area, supporting them with stock optimisation, managing enquiries, maintaining brand standards and driving sales volume.

According to Polaris, Pirie comes to the job with an impressive CV, including serving

in the RAF Regiment and excelling in sales management roles with prestigious manufacturers like Subaru, Volkswagen, and BMW.

Reflecting on his new role, Pirie (above) said: “Having always been an outdoors guy, from my time in the military to now, I love vehicles and driving.

With my motor industry background, I feel I am in an ideal position to enhance the off-road team and the dealer network.”

JUNE 2024 21 WE’RE HIRING We are currently looking for an experienced Motorcycle sales executive to work in our busy Honda showroom in Ruislip Manor, Northwest London. Please forward your CV with a covering letter to: Dealer Principle, HGB Motorcycles (Ruislip) Ltd, 69-71 Park Way, Ruislip Manor, HA4 8NS or email to A competitive salary and benefits package will be awarded to the successful applicants which will reflect both qualifications and experience. Contact Alison on 01237 422660 SELL UP OR RETIRE? Looking to from only £185 32 3937 6390 WWW.DFCAPITAL.BANK CAPITAL Flexible, straightforward inventory finance DF CAPITAL What inventory finance? To put simply,inventory finance helps businesses fund stock.This can be very useful to motorcycle dealers as they typically have a significant amount of inventory their showroom floors. finance the retailer to obtain and display stock without using own cash,which can then use for other business expenses or investments.At the end of the agreed term,or when the bikes are sold,the finance is repaid. In nutshell, inventory finance could help motorcycle dealers to effectively manage their inventory levels, manage their cash flow, and expand their business at the same time as maintaining a wide selection of products to meet customer demand, especially during peak seasons. So how DF Capital help me? We help motorcycle dealers release cash tied up in new and used stock and awardwinning products include: UnitStockingFinance Unit stocking is simple and efficient way of keeping your showroom stocked freeing up your cash. Your vehicles are used as primary collateral, meaning funding secured against them, and DF Capital has been providing funding for the motorcycle industry since it was founded in 2016. Our award-winning inventory finance is designed for dealers, manufacturers and distributors across the country, helping them achieve their growth ambitions. you pay us back when the unit is sold, or the end of the term, whichever is sooner. You can choose from a range of terms for each asset, depending on the current needs of your business. Unit stocking lets motorcycle dealers free up cash held in inventory and can also be used to help you buy in more units, keeping you stocked up and your own customers happy. FloorplanFinance Floorplan programmes are delivered in partnership with manufacturers distributors and enable dealers to gain standard terms when placing orders with manufacturers, without having to pay upfront.For manufacturers and distributors,floorplan programmes can help to standardise payment terms, 2 A motorcycle orders bike, or already has a stock, and requests funding for it Preferred repayment terms, which have mutually agreed, are selected Subject to approval, DF Capital buys from the or pays the vendor How this work? 2024 TRADE DIRECTORY sponsored by: 020 3937 6930 Get touch find out more: 2024 TRADE DIRECTORY OUT NOW Scan to Read On the move? sponsored by On the move
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When people look back at their working lives there is probably one key moment that changed their career. For me it was in 1990 with the opportunity to help relaunch the Triumph brand. Any correlation to the previous failures of British motorcycle manufacturers in the 1960s and 1970s were instantly dismissed following an initial meeting with owner John Bloor, who brought me fully up-to-date with his

In part two of his walk down memory lane, Bruno Tagliaferri recalls his role in making Triumph into one of the world’s leading motorcycle manufacturers

plans. I just could not believe the level of thought, research and private investment that had already taken place. How had they kept this project quiet for seven years, when most of the British motorcycle press were barely more than 60 minutes away down the A47 at Kettering and Peterborough? For me there was absolutely no doubt Triumph would be successful. The question no one could answer though, was how successful? Very few, if any would have predicted that within 30 years, it would be building its one millionth bike.

There were two things John stressed during that first meeting that stuck. Firstly, he emphasised the importance of having team players within the company. As I went round the factory with John, I instantly witnessed that camaraderie –everyone knew him and called him by his first name. Secondly, he asked me to bring only the

good things I had learned at Honda and leave the bad ones behind.

If the rebirth was to be successful, then that team ethic had to be inherent in the dealers. The initial bikes were not going to sell themselves. We were inevitably going to have the challenges of technical issues and periods of slow sales, and we faced some very strong customer loyalties with far more established brands than ourselves. The dealers we selected had to remain firm advocates despite these, and other, challenges.

In my time at Honda, it had been about volume and being number one. With Triumph we simply had to be supportive and attentive, growing a genuine partnership and making dealers feel they were part of the factory.

The Cologne and NEC bike shows in 1990 had helped generate more than

550 franchise applications. Numerous internal sales tasks needed to be put in place in the space of several months, but the most important would be the appointment and make-up of the first dealers – the beauty being we could start with a clean sheet. Once we had identified optimum locations, a short list of names was created. We felt 30-35 dealers was the right initial size to cover the country, a figure that even today has not exceeded 50. I knew many of the Honda proprietors but not too many with the other brands, so every dealer had to complete a comprehensive CV from a template, outlining their dealership’s performance and finances, supported with images giving them the chance to show what made them special. Around 50 dealers were shortlisted, and once I had visited them all, final selections were made. The itinerary alone took three full days. There were some tough decisions, and some dealers were naturally disappointed at not being successful, telling me so in no uncertain manner, including some I had known

22 JUNE 2024 Bruno’s journey –Part 2
Every opportunity to get a celebrity on a Triumph was taken. Ian Wright, ex- England footballer and pundit, was one of many

for quite a while! It definitely toughened me up. Standing firm was absolutely the right decision. It also ensured the brand was in safe hands. A third of those shops are still Triumph dealers today. For those chosen there was a real degree of pride. Reassuringly, when we announced our dealers list, it was referred to in the trade press as the “Who’s Who” in motorcycle retailing”.

In the build-up to the launch, we got the whole dealer network down to the factory. I wanted all of them to leave on the same high as when I had been first taken round. By the time we got them back into the works canteen they were buzzing, and I overheard an established dealer saying to another: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could start making profit again!”, something indicative of that era. Their first bikes were only a week away! Those first four or five months were frenzied but so exciting. We would go down to the despatch area each night, and on a good day eight bikes would come through for manual invoicing. Some nights John and I would put the lights back on and go on the shop floor with a scalpel and coloured adhesive decal packs and cut out the shapes and

apply these to the various bikes. Years later we laughed about it, admitting how rubbish we both had been as stylists. It’s magical moments like these that made my time at Triumph so special. There was never any intention to take on the competition. What we could do though was to focus on areas of manufacturer/ dealer relationship that I knew dealers valued, such as access to myself and key staff, good communication, showing appreciation of their efforts and providing that vital opportunity to make profit. We always recruited good dealer-facing staff, particularly out in the field i.e. people who were good listeners, good motivators and good at follow-up.

In the early years we would also tap into dealers’ vast knowledge. As a new company they were our eyes and ears, and they knew what was happening in the market. We got them in at every opportunity to provide feedback on not only our products and our colour schemes, but also what was proving successful with the competition. John invariably sat in on these meetings. The Daytona 675 is a great example of where dealers helped fine-tune the conceptual direction we took with this

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JUNE 2024 23 Bruno’s journey –Part 2
Philip Youles, of Youles Motorcycles, Blackburn, hands over a specially-painted Triumph Bonneville finished in the club colours of Bruno’s beloved Burnley FC to a club official. The bike went on display at the club, and Bruno got a personalised shirt in return
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three-cylinder sports bike. It became an instant success. In return we were quite demanding: for example, when setting out our terms, demonstrators were mandatory. When I researched the competition, the majority of their dealers did not have demo bikes. As a new brand we believed they were essential.

Another key move was opening the factory to dealers and their customers, something no other manufacturer could do, and which created instant confidence in our manufacturing and quality processes. Within weeks we had dealers bringing groups of 20 prospects, and in the early days I would squeeze in two tours a week myself. Nick Jefferies, at the time our dealer in Shipley, told me that if they brought 20 customers down, you would expect to sell five Triumphs. It soon became obvious from the demand, that we needed a fulltime tour guide, and we found the ideal person – an actor who loved Triumphs. Today that concept has been fully developed into the wonderful Triumph Visitor Experience Centre allowing visitors to appreciate the company’s history and enjoy a comprehensive tour.

Prior to the bikes going on sale there was naturally a degree of nervousness about the first press bikes. We need not have worried-the first Trophy 1200 test by MCN was an absolute belter. The rest of the tests from the monthly publications were equally positive. In our first calendar year, which saw us only on sale for nine months, we outsold Ducati!

The following year the honeymoon was somewhat over, and the press became more critical, particularly with the

compromise and modularity in our range. The tall spine frame, for example, featured across the entire range for several of the early years. Riding position, tall and heavy engines and dated colour schemes were commonly mentioned. The factory took the criticism on board, with changes taking place by the next model year, in many cases sooner. The press, in turn, praised us for being a listening and reactive company.

got involved supporting riders with bikes. It was a win-win. We did not lose a single race, and it was great for our parts business! Today this model is a true collectable.

But for me the real bastion of Triumph’s model introductions was an early one, the Daytona T595. In 1996 we were barely selling 2000 bikes a year in the UK, but we came away from the NEC show with 1850 firm customer deposits for this model. As a new player we were firmly showing our credentials to the outside world, in the most competitive sector of sales. Triumph dealers were to become absolute masters at taking orders for bikes that had yet to go into production. Three dealers each got more than 150 Daytona deposits, with the late Steve Lilley in Shepperton hitting 185. We and the dealers also had field days on many later arrivals such as the Rocket 3, Thruxton 1200, and Bobber.

In our first calendar year, which saw us only on sale for nine months, we outsold Ducati!

Within two years we were seeing some incredible new model introductions as the factory sacrificed some of its modularity and compromise. The first was the Tiger 900. The press had told the outside world that a three-cylinder enduro style bike could never work but it went on to be one of the factory’s greatest early sellers, particularly in Europe. It led to the early acceptance from customers that Triumph could make great adventure bikes. It was soon followed by the Speed Triple, a proper café racer which had a huge influence on our image and future model direction. It was enhanced with the creation of the popular Speed Triple Challenge race series, which ran for several years. It attracted some of the best racers in the country, such as the late David Jefferies, Michael Rutter and veteran Ron Haslam. Nearly all the dealers

We gave customers the choice of either changing the frame at the factory or at their dealer. Most opted for the factory. At the next NEC show a burly character came on the stand asking who was in charge. We all froze, but on speaking to him he told me he had been contacted by the factory and been offered a frame replacement. He went on to say that we had dropped off a courtesy bike for him to use while the factory did the work, but we went further and replaced his ageing chain and resolved an engine flat spot that his dealer was unable to rectify. A week later he got his bike back, and he had come on to the stand to thank us for our unbelievable service. It was this unprecedented level of care that earned us the MCN Manufacturer of The Year Award for 1997. It was to be one of numerous product and recognition awards the factory has gone on to receive.


The Daytona also helped clearly demonstrate at an early stage that we genuinely cared about our customers. Within months of the bike going on sale there were stories surfacing that, worldwide, a handful of chassis had cracked upon impact. We worked closely with the DVLA, who did not deem it a safety-related recall. Triumph, however, made the responsible decision to change every affected frame for what was merely a perceived issue.

Friday 15 March 2002 marked a very sad day for all Triumph employees, when the factory was ravaged by a major fire. On the following Sunday a group of us were called in to create a recovery plan and prepare communications to our worldwide dealers and the media. During a long day there was no need to send someone out for food, as many of the staff’s partners brought food and cakes to the factory gates, emphasising the tremendous worker spirit that had been created in our first 12 years. By the end of Sunday, we had a plan in place, which included the recruitment of two experts experienced with similar disasters. They would work closely with our insurers to ensure the rebuild progressed swiftly. Luckily, well before the fire, the factory had exceeded its capacity, and a second factory was already in place less than half a mile away. It meant we already had a new home from which to operate and within days a fleet of Portakabins became our offices. It wasn’t all bad, we had a TV in our Portakabin and could watch the World Cup! By the Monday following

24 JUNE 2024 Bruno’s journey –Part 2
Bruno collects the 2004 MCN Manufacturer of the Year award from Suzi Perry and Marc Potter Bruno being presented with a Rolex watch by Triumph chairman John Bloor for 25 years service in 2015

the fire, it was business as usual with our dealers. Communications prepared the day before were promptly sent to all importers, dealers and the media. Parts orders taken on the previous Friday from all over the world were also despatched that day. If we needed reassurances of the company’s resilience and determination, this was that moment. Andrew Winton of Two Wheels, our Edinburgh dealer, later told me that seeing that commitment from the factory was the deciding factor in him wanting to create a new Triumph standalone store, which he opened within 12 months of the fire.

The fire meant the stock in our outside warehouses was soon exhausted, and we had just added some new dealers. I managed to buy some bikes back off of our dealers and arranged for them to be sent to the new ones. Then, to show the network we really cared about their businesses, we arranged to bring back 35 containers of new bikes held in our overseas storage centres. It helped maintain Triumph sales, and just as important, dealer morale. Within six months of the fire we were building bikes again, inviting dealers to come and see the rebuilt factory with their own eyes.

Triumph’s ability to keep raising the bar with new models and concepts has been a major driver in keeping dealer motivation high. These and newly discovered niches in the market elevated our sales, and around 12 years ago we became the largest big bike brand in the UK, a position the company has either retained or been very close to ever since. We peaked at 24% market share for several months.

For me, just as important as the dealer owners were their staff, and at every opportunity I enjoyed training them at the factory where you could really get to know some of the people at the sharp end. I ran several courses, but the most enjoyable was our brand induction days, when we called in dealer’s new recruits and then spent an entire day running through everything relevant to them, finishing with a factory tour. The driving force for me had been the help and guidance I had got on entering the industry as a young man. The feedback we got from their bosses on their returning to

work was incredible. We had instantly developed a dozen or so advocates for our brand. Furthermore, as I visited dealers I had an instant connection with these guys. I was told by my dear friend Phillip Youles in Blackburn, that I was the only salesperson in the industry who regularly went into his workshop to chat with his technicians. If you went in with some

doughnuts as I often did, you really were the daddy. For me these guys were as important as the A&E staff in hospitals. With all these good memories, retiring was a difficult call. I would be leaving behind a great team and wonderfully supportive dealers who had made my job easy. I am still in direct contact with both camps. Bringing back all these memories was a wonderful surprise farewell evening with suppliers, staff and ex-team members. Despite having said my farewells to a number of dealers, the majority still joined me that night. It was a re-enactment of my life wonderfully hosted by my friend, now Triumph’s general manager, Devron Boulton, and thoroughly researched by my team. My wife was a surprise guest – she knew all along this was happening. Nick Bloor, CEO, said something very special as he wrapped up the evening, that left me feeling very proud. He told the audience that in the history of the current Triumph company, no one had brought more people together than I had. I could now happily retire knowing I had been able to repay Triumph back for the faith and trust Nick’s father had shown in me three decades earlier. ■


Classic street range remains available, for further information please contact your preferred tyre distributor

JUNE 2024 25 Bruno’s journey –Part 2
Andrew Wood, formerly of Woods Motorcycles Abergele, at the Factory Visitor Centre having brought a group of his customers to see the factory
Goodyear Tyres UK Limited, 2920 Trident Court, Solihull Parkway, Birmingham Business Park, Birmingham B37 7YN.

FOLLOWING THE ACQUISITION of Paaschburg & Wunderlich by Bihr (part of the US Arrowhead group) the German entities of Paaschburg & Wunderlich and Bihr are set to merge by the end of the year and will operate under the name Paaschburg & Wunderlich.

The merged company will prompt several key developments, focusing on expanding the growth of its leading own brand, Highsider, across Europe. As such, the product portfolios of proprietary brands – Shin Yo, LSL, V-Parts and Vicma – will be reassessed and integrated into Highsider. Further details on this process will be released in the coming months.

Additionally, the business will also streamline its range of supplier brands. As a result, a portion of the existing brands it distributes will be phased out and replaced by equivalent products from Highsider and other brands within the Bihr portfolio. These strategic decisions aim to position Paaschburg & Wunderlich with the most relevant technical accessories brands in the sector.

Commenting on these moves, Paaschburg & Wunderlich managing director Peter Hakanson (below) said: “This merger and the new brand strategy represent a significant step towards an even stronger market position for us. We are confident that the combination of proven expertise, excellent service, and a comprehensive brand portfolio will provide even greater value to our dealers.”

For further details, contact

Paaschburg & Wunderlich MD

Peter Hakanson

Q1 profits in retreat


After the relatively amazing amount of detail provided for its motorcycle division’s centenary full-year 2023 figures, BMW Group bean counters slammed their corporate desk lid firmly shut on any full explanation for distinctly disappointing Motorrad performance.

Revenue suffered a 6.5% decline to £750.5m. Associated operating profit plunged by 31.2% to £91.2m. Operating margin fell from 16.5% to 12.2%. Net profit sank further, 31.8% down to £64.5m. Quarterly BMW retail motorcycle and scooter sales worldwide retreated by a relatively modest 3.1% to 46,434 units.

A somewhat vague outlook reference predicting improved demand and an increase in deliveries to customers – tied to “full availability of models, including the R1300GS” –suggested that Q1 model mix had actually been fraught, hence the profitability slump. Additional information relating to motorcycle products, efficacious or otherwise, remained entirely absent.

Generalised warnings were flagged up, though. “The situation in the Middle East became increasingly volatile,” we were advised. “And it must be assumed that the threat posed in the Red Sea by Houthi militia will cause some logistical challenges.

Without exception, developed-world motorcycle manufacturers on both sides of the Atlantic swallowed a common denominator of weaker revenue and falling profitability during the first quarter of 2024. So is the often premium-priced gravy train, upon which most of them rely, running out of steam? BDN financial editor Roger Willis crunched their numbers

Our outlook does not account for any further escalation.”

BMW Group is evidently monitoring these developments and potential implications for its course of business from the war in Ukraine. “In view of growing unpredictability, actual macro-economic and geopolitical developments in some regions may deviate from expectations.” Well just fancy that. Sighs of relief all round from under-informed Motorrad dealers?

€-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 8 May


Along with fellow members of Volkswagen’s Brand Group Progressive portfolio of luxury marques, Ducati has been afflicted by logistics issues, supply challenges and weakening consumer demand. At least it missed out on some of the other woes assaulting Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini.

Revenue for the Bolognabased motorcycle manufacturer slumped by 18.9% to £224.2m. This was mainly attributed to shrivelling sales, especially in China. Resultant operating profit more than halved, 52.4% down to £23.1m. Operating margin sank from 17.8% to 10.5%.

Ducati’s overall global retail sales during the period fell by 16.2% to 12,394 units. Taken by volumetric deliveries to customers within each model segment, the Scrambler subbrand was actually 21.3% up to 1423. But Naked/Sport Cruiser spanning Diavel, Monster and Streetfighter products, declined by 32.4% to 3401. Dual/Hyper, which includes the Hypermotard, Desert X and Multistrada ranges, incurred a 4.1% loss to 5604. Sport, encapsulating Supersport and Panigale Superbike kit, dropped by 28.5% to 1966.

Carving the geographical pie for deliveries, Europe accounted

26 JUNE 2024 International news International news
European Arrowhead brands merge

for 64%, rising from 61%. The USA took a 12% slice, up from 11%. But Chinese consumption (including Hong Kong) was cut in half, down to 3% from 6%. Other markets represented 21%, falling from 22%.

Quarterly Ducati motorcycle production was a fairly marginal 3.2% lower on 16,652 units. Scrambler slightly more than doubled to 1889, 105.1% up. Naked/Sport Cruiser fell by 26.8% to 4833. Dual/Hyper added 17.9% to 7051, while Sport was 22% down at 2879.

€-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 3 May


Although Harley’s results statement was slightly better than Wall Street analysts anticipated, virtually all of its percentage shifts went the wrong way. No surprise then, that investors slashed a savage 15.8% off its share price value on the day of announcement.

However, HDFS operating profit fell by 7.8% to £43m. High interest rates and greater provision for loan defaults in the US domestic market, “relating to the current macro-economic environment”, were held responsible.

Harley’s LiveWire electric motorcycle spin-off, in which it has an overwhelming majority stake, delivered a 39% revenue slump to just £3.3m on unit sales rising by 85.7% to 117. That registered an operating loss of £23.3m, against a loss of £19.6m in Q1 last year.

Total Harley-Davidson branded motorcycle shipments to dealers worldwide in the quarter were 7.3% down to 57,672 units. The touring segment was 9.7% up to 35,356. Cruisers fell by 26.2% to 15,691. Sport/lightweight retreated by 24.6% to 6585. Adventure was 23.6% adrift on 1662.

Global retail sales were essentially flat, falling by a mere 20 units to 39,405. North America provided most of the meat and two veg, 5.6% up to

Harley supremo Jochen Zeitz introduced these results by putting on a brave face, claiming this was “a good start to the year”. But his full-year 2024 outlook guidance said otherwise

Consolidated revenue for the combined enterprises of HarleyDavidson Inc (HDI) suffered a 3.3% decline to £1.383bn. Quarterly HDI operating profit fell by 28.8% to £210.2m. Net profit attributable to HDI plunged by 22.7% to £187.8m.

Within that, turnover from motorcycles plus related products and services by the HarleyDavidson Motor Company (HDMC) was 5.2% down to £1.178bn. Associated operating profit dropped by 29% to £190.5m. Operating margin sank from 21.6% to 16.2%. An allegedly planned decrease in early-season motorcycle shipments and weak export sales largely took the blame, despite North American retail sales improving on the back of new touring bikes introduced at the end of January.

Revenue generated by consumer credit and dealer inventory funding arm Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS) increased by 11.5% to £198.6m.

chain issues and electrification challenges, have wiped the smile off Piaggio Group’s corporate face.

Consolidated revenue fell by 21.3% to £368.3m. Operating profit was 7.8% down to £35.5m. However, operating margin improved from 8.2% to 9.7%. Pre-tax earnings were 22.5% lower at £24.3m and net profit also dropped by 22.5% to £16.1m. Net debt grew from £373.4m to £428.5m, in line with typical early-season working capital requirements.

Quarterly global unit sales during the period declined by 26.7% to 91,400 powered twowheelers, blamed principally on reduced uptake in Asia. Turnover from PTWs was 24.1% down to £285.4m. That figure included spares and accessories, the revenue from which fell by 9.5% to £30m.

Rebalancing of inventory by Piaggio’s worldwide distribution networks, in anticipation of new emissions laws, also had an impact on turnover.

Piaggio claimed a 19.6% share of the scooter segment in Europe during Q1 and further strengthening of its position on the North American scooter market to a 27.3% share – without providing supporting data. Also in North America, it says work is continuing to consolidate its motorcycle market presence through the Aprilia and Moto Guzzi brands –again lacking details.

Triumph boost for Bajaj


manufacturing giant Bajaj Auto, is aiming to achieve a September target of 10,000 units per month for the single cylinder 400cc Triumph models it now makes under a partnership contract, according to Bajaj chief financial officer Dinesh Thapar, in a recent post-results conference call with Reuters.

Thapar had previously mentioned this goal in a January briefing, without specifying the timeline. Bajaj’s current monthly Triumph output is about 6500 units. The company, which owns a significant stake in KTM parent Pierer Mobility, also produces a large volume of KTM and Husqvarna machines under contract, for both domestic and export consumption, as well as an extensive own-brand range.

27,486. The EMEA region –principally Europe – was 11% down to 5264. Poor performance in Germany and France, as well as absent inventory of 2024 Street Glide and Road Glide models, were the reason. Asia Pacific was 12.3% in arrears on 6034. Latin America added 15 more machines to achieve its scant total of 621.

Harley supremo Jochen Zeitz, introduced these results by putting on a brave face, claiming this was “a good start to the year”. But his full-year 2024 outlook guidance said otherwise. He expects HDMC revenue to be flat or potentially 9% down. And HDMC operating margin will sink to somewhere between 12.6% and 13.6%. HDFS operating profit will either be flat or up by 5%.

$-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 29 April


Falling sales in Asian markets, plus the spectre of stockpiling to avoid Red Sea component supply-

In his outlook commentary, Piaggio Group managing director and chief executive Michele Colaninno, said: “The Far East has been showing signs of steadying and we expect to see a moderate improvement in sales during the year. Healthy signs of recovery are also emerging on the Indian market, the good performance of which will benefit from political stability after the elections there.”

He also highlighted “important investment plans in Italy for the coming years, so that we will be ready for the current energy transition”. This refers to a subsidised upgrade for Piaggio’s Pontedera plant, to produce allelectric PTWs. Finally, honing his obfuscation talents, Colaninno added: “Our decision for an intelligent verticalisation of the development and production of strategic assets will be the key for efficient management of new technologies.”

€-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 9 May

Since its latest deal was launched last year, Bajaj has reported building and then wholesaling about 42,000 Triumph motorcycles into indigenous Indian dealerships. Of these, 18,800 were sold in its fourth fiscal quarter to 31 March. Nevertheless, Triumph-badged products only accounted for 2.1% of Bajaj Auto’s vast total PTW unit sales in Q4, which were reportedly around 26% up overall. Its resultant Q4 net profit climbed by 35.1% to £184.3m (19.36 billion rupees), CFO Thapar was no doubt happy to point out, beating local analysts’ average estimate of 18.26 billion rupees.

It’s still early days, as far as assessing the impact of Triumph offerings on “premium” Indian motorcycle market leader Eicher’s Royal Enfield brand. Eicher is also now challenged by Hero MotoCorp’s production of similarly single cylinder 440cc Harley-Davidson branded “premium” machines.

JUNE 2024 27 International news


Honda’s 20 million bike prediction

Full-year results from the world’s biggest and most successful motorcycle manufacturer are never perfect. But Honda always gets much closer to perfection than anybody else. Its latest performance was another splendid example.

Annual motorcycle business revenue climbed by 10.7% to £16.511bn. Operating profit was 13.8% up to £2.852bn. Operating margin increased from 16.8% to 17.3%. Honda’s bike earnings almost exceeded its automobile business operating profit, which came in at £2.875bn on a hugely larger turnover figure.

Perhaps surprisingly, global motorcycle sales volume had grown by only 0.3% to 18.819 million units. But that concealed quality outpacing quantity. Asian head-count had actually deteriorated by 0.6% to 16.016 million.

Economic downturns in Vietnam and Thailand reduced respective sales in those markets

Honda found global success, with particularly good fortunes in India, Europe, Latin America and the US ameliorating inferior numbers in Asia

The triumvirate of Japanese motorcycle producers still cheerfully counting their billions of yen across traditional fiscal years from April to the following March don’t always hit the jackpot, but they never stop trying. Excellent service to shareholders was delivered by two out of three in the past 12 months to 31 March 2024. And interestingly, all those macroeconomic woes that get western bike manufacturers crying into their beer weren’t regarded as worthy of a mention in any corporate reporting statements from Japan

by 14.8% to 2.05 million and 1.4% to 1.435 million. Other more minor losers included China. And Indonesia, where the Astra Honda joint venture shares its bounty with British conglomerate Jardine Matheson and is therefore less profitable, only managed a 6.5% gain to 4.77 million.

However, Honda’s whollyowned enterprises in emerging

markets responded. HMSI sales in India put on 12.5% to 4.53 million. And output at the brand’s Brazilian manufacturing hub in Manaus, serving Latin America, grew by 9.9% to 1.236 million. Overlapping some of these numbers, unspecified other regions saw their sales rise by 1.7% to 1.624 million.

The picture in developed markets with much higher profit margins was more attractive. North American sales rose by 8.5% to 498,000. European countries did even better, 26.8% up to 440,000. Only Japan’s domestic sales dipped marginally, 2% down to 241,000.

The forecast for Honda’s new fiscal year predicts global motorcycle sales volume will expand back in the direction of a 20-million-unit mark, with 5.2% growth to 19.8 million. Asia should recover by 5.6% to 16.905

million. Other emerging regions are expected to put on 7.1% to 1.74 million. The European target is 8% up to 475,000, while Japan will disgrace itself with a 17% decline to 200,000. North America is scheduled to be a loser too, falling by 3.6% to 480,000. -£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 10 May


The powersports and engine division of Kawasaki Heavy Industries struggled to escape troubles evident at the end of Q3, to conclude its fiscal year with an overall poor performance.

Turnover posted only a marginal 0.2% increase to £3.019bn. This was blamed on falling sales of motorcycles destined for emerging countries and general-purpose petrol engines, despite increased sales of motorcycles in Europe and fourwheeled vehicles for the US.

Operating profit copped a 32.8% decline to £245.1m. Operating margin fell from 12.1% to 8.1%. Profitability was impacted by stagnant revenue, plus higher sales promotion expenses and fixed costs. Fines imposed by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, in relation to a recall of certain offroad vehicle models, didn’t help.

Revenue from motorcycles supplied to the developed world improved by 3.2% to £1.109bn. However, total related wholesale volume was 11% down to 211,000 units. Within that, Japanese domestic sales were 14.8% up to 31,000, North America sank by 27.7% to 94,000, and Europe increased by 13.4% to 76,000.

Emerging markets motorcycle revenue was 10.7% down to £526.4m and volume plummeted by 26.7% to 233,000. Worst hit was the Philippines, suffering a 31.6% decline to 143,000. Indonesia dropped by 9.3% to 39,000. Latin America rose by 9.1% to 12,000. Various other markets combined fell by 28.3% to 38,000. Previously strong markets in China and Thailand didn’t warrant numerical inclusion.

Turnover from utility and off-road recreational vehicles, ATVs, and personal water-craft, which were mostly aimed at the US market, was 12.6%, up to £919.2m. Wholesale volume increased slightly by 1.1% to 88,000.

Irrespective of these setbacks, Kawasaki is thoroughly upbeat about the new 2024/2025 fiscal year. It points to substantial growth in the US and European motorcycle markets as well as continuing advances in the US utility and offroad recreational vehicle markets. Investments to expand existing US vehicle plant production capacity and commence operations at a new plant in Mexico are also under-way. Launches of more battery-electric and hydrogenelectric vehicles are imminent too. Financially, Kawasaki forecasts revenue in the new year rising by 21.5% to £3.66bn and operating profit recovering by about 40% to £346m.

-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 14 May


The second year of Suzuki Motor Corporation’s motorcycle business reorganisation has delivered modest dividends again. Turnover rose by 10.1% to £1.879bn. Operating profit was 33% up to £119.7m. Operating margin reached 10.6%, improving from 8.8%. As usual, the biggest revenue source was Asia, rising by 11.7% to £949.9m. Within that, India grew by a ballistic 36.8% to £621.1m and was credited with

much of the operating profit boost. Europe’s contribution improved by 19.6% to £240.2m. North America was just 2.3% higher at £251.4m.

Suzuki’s motorcycle production was static on 1.914 million units. Only 101,000 of these were made in Japan. Global unit sales rose by 2.4% to 1.912 million. Indian consumption climbed by 20.4% to 891,000. Asia, excluding India, fell by 11.9% to 702,000. Within that, China was 8.4% down to 394,000 and the Philippines dropped by 16% to 164,000. Elsewhere in emerging markets, Latin America was 3.8% down to 191,000.

In the more profitable developed world, European sales increased by 27.4% to 39,000. But North America declined by 5.3% to 30,000 and Japanese domestic numbers fell by 15% to 39,000.

Forecasts for its new 2024/2025 fiscal year show Suzuki is anticipating production to be 1.2% lower at 1.89 million units and sales 1.1% down to 1.892 million. The good news will be a 2.4% sales rise for Europe to 40,000 and North America improving by 10.6% to 33,000. However, Asian sales are likely to fall by 1.2% to 1.574 million.

-£ currency translation at forex rates applicable on 13 May

JUNE 2024 29
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Kawasaki’s declining emerging market sales led to a hefty reduction in profits, but the firm remains upbeat and is planning expansion of its hybrid and electric ranges Suzuki’s improvement in profit was in part due to better sales performance in India and Europe, while Asia, the US and Japan were all down

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Working with Eric Sulley

BDN’s Industry Greats profile on Eric Sulley and Bruno Tagliaferri’s reflections on his time at Honda (BDN, May) brought back many fond, interesting and daunting memories for me.

I worked daily with Eric at Honda during the late 1970s and early 1980s when I had probably my most challenging and intriguing times in employment. A character, a teacher and one of the best salesmen our industry has ever seen, with a style never to be repeated!

At well over 6ft tall and always smartly dressed, Eric dominated any occasion and was the centre of attention wherever we went. Dealer visits, business lunches, agency meetings, evening occasions, shows and the memorable annual Honda seminars. He was ready and normally on the ball for every occasion. Yes, he liked his Bollinger Champagne and yes, he was a pain in the butt at times, and yes, he was controversial in some eyes, but he got the job done with panache and he met the company brief required of him in the 1970s. In the 1980s he probably went a bit too far when times and the market were changing quickly. Those changes caught him, and many others, out!

Up until around 1982, Honda couldn’t do much wrong. Big sales, big market share and big profits were made, and it was up to each subsidiary (Honda UK in this case) to spend the profits on its own growth. Advertising, promotions and entertainment were the order of the day. It was big business. At this time Honda UK had more than 850 dealers, compared to around 60 today!

I was only in my mid-20s at the start of my time with Honda and Eric, so it was a bit of an eye-opener at times, and trouble did seem to follow us from event to event. Eric didn’t actually drink as much as some would have you believe, if you watched him carefully just a glass or two of Bollinger would send him over the top and, at times, he would fall asleep during an evening meal! But, after a quick power nap, he was ready to go again, just when everyone around him was knackered!

Eric did have a habit, after a drink and during evening meals, of making promises that he couldn’t deliver. He would then say to me in the morning; “Rog, I committed an indiscretion last night, can you get me out of it”. Most of the time it was a relatively easy task, until he met his match in actress Liz Fraser (of Carry On films fame) when, at a London restaurant, he promised her a new Honda Prelude sports car! After trying to get her to see that his promise was made after too much vino, she refused all my excuses and threatened to go to the Sunday

papers if the car wasn’t delivered. After many weeks of wrangling with her and her solicitor, I managed to broker a deal where she paid a contribution towards the car and carried out a free celebrity showroom opening.

Later she invited me to an evening meal to thank me and brought along an actress friend, none other than Joanna Lumley! My work was more than rewarded! Towards the end of the meal Eric and a few mates strolled into the restaurant. A bit worse for wear, he joined us and asked Liz if she was happy with her car? Liz replied that the deal had been done and she had paid her contribution and the car was hers. To which Eric replied; “Paid? You shouldn’t have paid; you should have had the car for free.” At which I lost my temper with Eric and threw my glass of drink all over him. Of course, I was immediately sacked, but reemployed the next morning in the cold light of day. After many entertaining evenings I was often sacked by Eric and re-employed the next morning, it became a regular thing at which we both later laughed.

It was a weekly occurrence to invite a dealer or two to Chiswick for lunch, whereupon Eric and I would take our guests to Oscars Restaurant in Kew, and still be there for an evening meal! The time was well spent sorting out dealer issues and moving on to sealing a deal. These were the days of ‘hand-shake’ deals. Fifty plus bike orders were common. By the end of the evening meal the order had been phoned backed to Chiswick and processed through to shipping. Today, it would probably take days of admin to close such a deal.

The annual Honda dealer seminars to launch new product deserve a book in their own right! The glitzy showbiz events cost a fortune, worked well in taking orders, but often caused

some sort of drama! A famous early 1980s one at Wembley Conference Centre was when we created a 60ft spaceship on stage and, to the theme tune from the film Close Encounters, opened its doors for Eric (wearing a stetson hat) to exit in front of a 500-plus audience to the intro music of Dallas. Alongside him was Miss Great Britain (Diana May) and a flock of dancing girls adorning twenty or more, new bike models.

Much drama often followed the regional seminars. We finished one at a hotel in Southampton and after blowing the electrics throughout the entire hotel with our mechanical rigs, we then went to a restaurant for a late meal. Later, Eric and I walked back to the hotel, after agreeing to leave early the following morning for a long drive to the next roadshow. On arrival in Newcastle, we went to our hotel in Gosforth and were met by the CID, who took us to separate rooms for interview under caution. It turned out that while we were in the Southampton restaurant a young lady had been murdered in the car park, and we were the only clients dining at that time! The murderer was later caught.

As well as blowing the hotel electrics in Southampton, we also caused a full evacuation at a Nottingham hotel after setting off the fire alarm. There were many other disasters along the way. On stage, and after a swift drink to calm the nerves, Eric would often forget which new model was coming out next, misquote the model number and name and give the wrong spec. It became known as part of the show and added to the entertainment! Each seminar launch was followed by lavish drinks and food for the dealers and other guests. Some readers of this will remember those annual seminars well!

30 JUNE 2024 Reaction
On a visit to Honda’s Power Road, Chiswick, HQ, Soichiro Honda thanks one of the staff. To Mr Honda’s right is Roger Etcell with Mrs Honda

Back to the late 1970s and the arrival of the low-cost Honda Express moped and the need to sell it in volume. As was often the case, Eric was ballsy, he believed TV advertising was needed and against his Japanese colleagues’ full agreement he went ahead. The ad agency at the time (Cunningham Hurst) came up with the idea of using Twiggy and of course Eric loved it and immediately commissioned the filming of what was to be the most expensive single model ad campaign in the industry. It was a huge success and got much admiration from Tokyo head office. Arriving at the filming day for the TV ad we found that Twiggy wasn’t too confident about riding the bike, so I had to spend two-hours teaching her. Of course I could have done it in 20-minutes! My role was tough at times!

Cunningham Hurst remained the ad agency for Honda UK for many years and also handled the Honda car account. But by the early 1980s it was time for a change and many of the top London ad agencies were hungry for the account. A round of agency pitches was required, and after attending all of them with Eric, we finally ended up at the offices of ABM (Allen, Brady & Marsh) one of the country’s leading agencies. Its pitch was out of this world, with Peter Marsh on his knees personally singing their proposed TV commercial and having the road outside of their offices closed to allow the band of the Royal Marines to march past and play Eric’s favourite tune as a finale! They had researched that Eric was an ex-Royal Marine. Of course, they won the account.

By the early 1980s Honda had taken over the Isle of Man for TT week with bike shows in the Villa Marina, functions at the Castletown Golf Links Hotel (sadly now derelict), firework displays on Douglas seafront and many other activities, thus allowing Eric to rename the place Honda Island! Although he never really got to grips with racing, Eric always attended the annual TT occasion with great enthusiasm.

Dealer sales competition holidays was another of Eric’s great annual promotions. The top 50 or 100 dealers, often with wives, were treated to lavish holidays in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, the Seychelles and many other exotic locations. Some years it was a trip to Japan for factory visits and entertainment. It was always interesting to watch the flurry of last-minute bike orders arriving at Chiswick in order to secure a dealers’ place on a forthcoming trip. Eric would often send me off to these holiday destinations six-months in advance to do a recce. It involved long flights to places such as Tobago, Florida and elsewhere to check out the hotels etc. It was an important role, of course!

Having previously worked at dealers Gander and Gray and Johns of Romford, my time at Honda went from the technical service desk to sales and marketing and then on to being head of the motorcycle division. During the boom times of the 1970s and early 1980s when the pound was strong against the yen, everything was rosy. As I said earlier, Honda couldn’t do

anything wrong, but times change quickly and by 1982/83 the atmosphere at Power Road was different and it was during this time Gerald Davison returned from the now defunct NR racing project to a new role at Chiswick with a personal goal in mind. It was well known that Gerald and Eric didn’t get on, but I now had to work for them both, neither of whom would talk to each other and both using me as a go between! Gerald brought a more

look where Triumph is now! I experienced the same issues later while working as commercial director for Silverstone Circuits with the motor racing industry wishing to join forces to promote more interest in car racing. The real winner was Lord March at Goodwood who wouldn’t join the group.

I had got to know Eric, his wife Muriel and the family very well. They attended the opening of my Bike Studio showroom in North London some four years after Eric had left Honda. Eric’s son was an airline pilot and eventually moved his family to Australia from where just recently Eric’s grandson contacted me to ask about his late grandfather’s life and times in London. What could I say?

Write to BDN with your points of view on the topics that make the trade tick: BDN, 10 Daddon Court, Clovelly Road Industrial Estate, Bideford, EX39 3FH

professional and structured approach to work which I welcomed. He was a pleasure to work with. I always felt it was a great shame the two didn’t get on. With Eric’s strength in sales and Gerald’s expertise in technical matters they could have been a formidable pairing for Honda, but it was never to be.

On behalf of Honda I worked on the second 1985 industry advertising campaign, attending regular meetings in Coventry and in London. The first Saatchi campaign was a disaster. I wasn’t a fan of the concept, and much time was wasted. Trying to create a successful joint campaign with a mixture of companies, all with their own goals and targets, was always going to suffer from a conflict of interests. I couldn’t imagine John Bloor getting involved if he had been in the market at the time and

With much thanks to Eric and Mr Honda, my ten plus years at Honda was for sure the best time in my fifty or more years of working life. I was very privileged and very fortunate and enjoyed every moment. With a company car, the free choice of any Honda motorcycle to ride on any day and travelling on business to Japan, USA and across Europe plus test riding prototype models, what other job would offer such amazing privileges?

A major highlight for me was meeting on several occasions the great man himself, Mr Soichiro Honda. On one occasion, when he was visiting Chiswick head office, I was asked to introduce him and his wife (at his request) to each and every one of the 100-plus staff. There are many great stories about Mr Honda, especially the one recounting how the 1958 Honda C100 Super Cub (later named the C50/70/90 Cub) was originally created. This was the bike that put the company on the world map and provided the profits for them to go international racing, from which road models such as the CB750 were born. Such an amazing man, a self-taught engineer, entrepreneur, and, without a doubt, the top salesman in our industry. A statement that Eric, l know, would have agreed with.

Roger Etcell, Honda Classics, Daventry

JUNE 2024 31 Views
We want your
More than three years after “leaving” Honda, Eric Sulley was guest of honour at the 1987 opening of Roger Etcell’s Bike Studio showrooms in Harrow, North London. Still in that trademark white suit, Eric never lost his enthusiasm for the bike business

Thanks for the memories!

With a grandfather and father into riding motorcycles, there was a likely chance that I’d have been a rider too, but it was my first trip to spectate at the Isle of Man TT as a nine-year-old pillion on my dad’s Norton Dominator that really got my attention and, as it turned out, shaped my working career and life in a way I could never have imagined back then. Nearly 54 years later, I’ve been fortunate to have spent most of my working life involved with motorcycles in one way or another.

And doubly fortunate to have found my wife, soul mate and work buddy of nearly 30 years, Karen, who shares my passion for motorcycles and our great industry. Whether we’re at a racetrack, visiting dealers, distributors or riding from Luxembourg to Stranraer non-

The man in the white suit

I STARTED IN THIS STIMULATING industry as a sales representative for Greeves Motorcycles in January 1964; then after 30 plus years at the coalface, I entered the equally exciting classic market… working simultaneously for Sotheby’s in the auction business and for Louis Vuitton on the Concours side of things. If my abacus is still accurate these several activities have absorbed approximately a quarter of a million hours. I’m also a voracious reader, so, since 1964 and now, I’ve enjoyably digested a huge quantity of interesting print material. According to the abacus this totals around five million words.

Given the irrelevant arithmetic, above, I feel qualified to state that Colin Mayo’s 10-page historical analysis of Eric Sulley [BDN, March and April issues)] is one of the very best articles ever, whether in a trade or a consumer publication! Not only did he brilliantly chronicle the market’s devastating decline, but he listed the frightening

stop, two-up on an Aprilia RSV Mille, we’ve had a blast because it involved two wheels and related products. We’ve both worked in other industries briefly, but the pull of the motorcycle industry was always too strong – magnetic, I guess.

However, it hasn’t just been the motorcycles and products themselves that have made our working life so enjoyable. The unique people and characters we’ve worked for, worked with and come into contact with through our industry who share a common passion have made life within the motorcycle trade so much fun.

To everyone that we’ve had the pleasure of working for and with over the decades and all the great folks we’ve known, thank you so much for all the support, fun, friendship and memories (some good and some bad!) we’ve all

figures involved…by which I mean the registration figures, and not the industry figures in charge of those various sales campaigns.

During my 15-year stint with Norton, Eric Sulley was mostly regarded as a plus, rather than a rival, for he was inherently committed to expanding the overall market, dragging the lesser lights with him. As Mayo confirmed and as far as our two-wheel community is concerned, Eric was surely The Man in the White Suit?

shared together – it has meant a lot to both of us and is very much appreciated.

As we now shift gears and start a new (retired) life in Spain, being able to spend more time with our family who have supported us so fervently, and having time to ride a motorcycle on these racetrack

Getting the best from brakes

Msmooth, winding mountain roads will re-ignite our love of the simple and awesome pleasure of riding a motorcycle because, for us and many like us, that’s what life is all about – family and motorcycles, ye cannae beat it!

y initial thought on reading the letter from Mike Abbot (Reaction, BDN April issue) was that the introduction of ABS on all 125cc and over machines should have reduced accidents, but if you don’t know where the limit is, then ABS isn’t going to help you. Also, if you are not taught how to steer when heavy braking, then a skid is almost inevitable.

I think his proposal to introduce brake training is an excellent idea. Modern brakes and tyres allow a phenomenal amount of braking power to be used, but the rider has to be prepared (and practised enough) to use all the braking power available. From my 2023 BMW R1250 R ride data, I can see that my last three rides had a maximum braking effort of 0.7g, 0.8g and 0.9g. But at no time did I feel that I was anywhere near the maximum braking capability of the bike and its tyres. I will certainly be practising maximum braking when safe to do so, I am obviously not quite at the limit yet! By the way, on modern BMW bikes, the use of the back brake is pointless in an emergency stop as the ABS system is already working it for you.

Compare the BMW with my 1979 Suzuki GT250 X7 and the braking power is woeful, combined with a complete lack of feel from the front brake. I certainly have to leave a lot more space up front! In this case, the rear brake is a valuable asset. Training would have to reflect different types of machines and technologies, not just current bikes.

Mike Jackson, Romsey, Hampshire

Finally, a brief perusal of YouTube (or similar) will show that a lot of riders are still incapable of identifying hazards and are riding too fast for any given situation.

Silly mistake

THERE WAS AN INEXCUSABLE OMISSION FROM THE LIST OF INDUSTRY Greats at the conclusion of the Eric Sulley profile (BDN, April): Norrie Kerr. As a dealer and then distributor, Norrie has been a lifelong participant, supporter, and advocate of the scooter movement and a very obvious Industry Great. My apologies. Next time we meet a ‘wee dram’ is called for.

Colin Mayo, BDN publisher

32 JUNE 2024


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Rieju launches E-Tango

Spanish small-bike specialist Rieju has launched a new superlightweight battery-powered model. The E-Tango is a road legal moped-performance 5hp bike with a 30mph top speed. It’s halfway between an e-bike and a full motorcycle, in the mould of the Talaria and Sur-Ron brands, and comes with adjustable suspension, disc brakes both ends and a steel perimeter frame. It’s also available in non-homologated de-restricted form, with a full 12hp output. Pricing is TBC, more info at:


Lorenzo fronts Vmoto entry into Malaysia

Electric scooter brand Vmoto has launched in Malaysia, with a high-profile launch event in Kuala Lumpur starring Vmoto ambassador exMotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo. The event, at the Starhill luxury mall in Bukit Bintang, the shopping and entertainment district of Kuala Lumpur, was held alongside Vmoto’s Malaysian partner Ebixon, which has extensive electric vehicle experience in the local market. Attendees saw the full range of Vmoto’s battery-powered machines, including the CPx Pro scooter and TC Max motorcycle.

“We are thrilled to introduce Vmoto’s electric vehicles to the Malaysian market in partnership with Ebixon,” said Charles Chen, MD of Vmoto. “Our mission is to provide ecofriendly, high-performance mobility solutions that enhance the lives of people in urban environments. With the support of Ebixon, we are confident that

Vmoto will resonate with Malaysian consumers.”

“We are excited to collaborate with Vmoto to bring their state-of-the-art electric products to Malaysia,” said Khoo Chee Kong, MD at Ebixon. “Vmoto’s commitment to quality, performance and technology aligns perfectly with our values and aspirations. Together, we look forward to revolutionising urban mobility and contributing to a greener, smarter future.”

Back in Europe, Vmoto also signed up to support the EICMA Riding Fest, a new event held at the Misano circuit organised by the people behind the annual EICMA bike show in Milan. Riding Fest was a massive demo event to kick off the season, with all the major manufacturers offering test rides on track and road, back in April. Vmoto supplied its electric scooters as paddock transport for all the EICMA staff at the event, as well as offering test rides.

Dealer Days include Zero demo rides

Getting customers onto a bike is something many dealers like to do when it comes to clinching a deal. And it’s even more important when it comes to new tech such as Zero’s electric-powered machinery.

So, the American battery bike specialist has announced the return of its nationwide demo ride program for this season. It has a series of National Dealer Days planned for the first part of the summer, in May, June and

July, with more coming later. Zero’s dealer network will offer a range of demo models, from street bikes to adventure machinery.

Dale Robinson, UK country manager at Zero, said: “We love our National Dealer Days. They give us such a good opportunity to not only engage with our loyal customers but also showcase the joys of riding electric to those who haven’t yet made the leap. We have some fantastic models available for everybody to enjoy, whether it be our full-

scale SR/S or DSR/X, right to our FX and FXE, which can be ridden just with a CBT. There’s a great opportunity for customers to engage with our knowledgeable staff and learn more about electric vehicles and the Zero brand. With the misinformation circulating about EV technology, these events provide an invaluable opportunity for riders to get accurate information and discover the benefits of embracing electric mobility.”

Electric news
header - 1 12/03/2024 11:36

Yamaha expands electric operations on two- and four-wheels

Yamaha Motor Europe has announced a couple of new developments which can be loosely grouped under the “electric mobility” heading. Firstly, the Japanese firm has opened a new e-bicycle Drive Unit assembly line at its factory in Saint Quentin, France. The new manufacturing plant will assemble the firm’s high-tech PW series S2 motor/pedal unit, used on its highvolume sports and trail bike range. It’s a notable step, with Yamaha bringing back manufacturing to a European Union-based factory rather than China or South East Asia.

At the other end of the performance landscape, Yamaha has signed a technical partnership agreement with legendary racing chassis manufacturer Lola Cars to develop high-performance electric single-seater racers for the Formula E World Championship. Lola will be producing a race car chassis for Formula E teams, with Yamaha developing and supplying the electric powertrain.

Neither of the moves are directly linked to electric motorcycle or scooter development – but both will presumably provide Yamaha with plenty of insights and experience into general battery-powered EV technologies and production.

GERMAN-BASED E-SCOOTER BRAND HORWIN HAS RELEASED DETAILS of its latest sporty scooter. The battery-powered SK3 PLUS has a 12hp midmount motor that gives a 60mph top speed, smart regenerative braking function, and around 80 miles of range from its two 45Ah batteries. A full charge takes around 4.5 hours, there’s a full 7in LCD dash-board, and features include an anti-theft system, LED lighting and keyless ignition, which come as standard. More info:

JUNE 2024 35
Heiji Maruyama, managing executive officer and director for Yamaha Motor, seals the deal with Mark Preston, motorsport director at Lola
Electric news
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Horwin launches sporty new SK3 PLUS scooter

From a low base, the electric PTW market continues to make minor progress. Set against its own poor standards, April proved to be a fairly good month. Registrations rose by 23.2% to 414 units plated, with an overall market share of 4.2%, improving from a mere 3.4% twelve months earlier.

Most of the action is still confined to the lowpowered mobility sectors, and growth (or shrinkage) is a bit like snakes and ladders. April saw the up-to4kW moped business surge by 59.2% to 226 units, led by a 49-strong fleet of Chinese-made Niu MQi Plus Sport scooters. However, 4-11kW products of approximate equivalence to 125cc ICE machines also ridden under the A1 licencing regime, went the other way. Their headcount sank by 22.6% to 127 units. Best-sellers were 38 samples of the Sur-Ron Ultra Bee, a street-legal trail bike with dual-sport pretensions.

Then the A2-licenced 11-35kW sector veritably

Alternative powered two wheeler registrations for April Alternate power rolling year

boomed, soaring by 525%. That actually translated as an increase from four to 25 units. Of these, 15 were recently-launched LiveWire S2 Del Mar motorcycles, almost certainly provided as dealer demonstrators by LiveWire’s Harley-Davidson parent. The rest were unidentified, but probably consisted of BMW CE 04 maxiscooters.

Over-35kW models were subject to a 28.6% decline, falling from seven to five. Two of these were Zero Motorcycles SR/F models. A further 31 “exempt” or “unknown” bikes made up the numbers, rising from 19.

For the four months of 2024 to date the dominant up-to-11kW sector has grown by 9.7% to 1062 units. The rest are, to all intents and purposes, irrelevant, given total electric registrations YTD are 10.4% up to 1188 units. YTD ePTW market share stands at 3.1%, up from 2.8% in the same timeframe last year.

36 JUNE 2024 Electric news
Registrations data
Registration statistics supplied by the MCIA; tel 02476 408000;
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 2022/23 2023/24 BEST SELLING MODELS 2024 YTD 1. Sur-Ron Ultra Bee 113 2. Vmoto Super Soco CPX 79 3. Sur-Ron Light Bee 64 4. Niu MQi Plus Sport 57 5. Lexmoto Cypher 49 2024 / 2023 Registrations by power band Year to date Highest registering model by power band Apr Regs Apr 2023 % Change Apr 2024 Apr 2023 % Change 142 +59.2% 605 428 +41.4% Niu MQi Plus Sport 49 164 -22.6% 457 540 -15.4% Sur-Ron Ultra Bee 38 4 +525.0% 38 17 +123.5% LiveWire S2 Del Mar 15 7 -28.6% 20 14 +42.9% Zero Motorcycles SR/F ZF15.6 2 6 +166.7% 32 35 -8.6% Stark Varg 80 8 13 +15.4% 36 42 -14.3% 336 +23.2% 1188 1076 +10.4% 2024 / 2023 Registrations by style Apr 2023 % Change MOTORCYCLES Apr 2024 Apr 2023 % Change 1 100.0% Adventure 4 2 100.0% 50 -32.0% Competition 66 51 29.4% 0 0.0% Custom 0 1 -100.0% 0 0.0% Modern classic 6 19 -68.4% 0 0.0% Naked 35 17 105.9% 9 366.7% Road sport 0 2 -100.0% 1 600.0% Scooter 62 100 -38.0% 80 75.0% Unspecified 7 0 0.0% 1 -100.0% TOTAL 180 192 -6.3% 142 59.2% TOTAL REGISTRATIONS Apr 2024 Apr 2023 % Change Apr 2023 % Change 2 350.0% 415 336 23.5% FOR MORE INFORMATION: W: E: £139.99RRP COLOUR: BLACK, BLACK/WHITE SIZE: SM - 3XL A full feature leather glove that delivers on every count. Sprint Feel the road and enjoy the ride CERTIFIED TO EN13594:2015 1KP


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With off-road correspondent Rick Kemp

Urban Moto takes on Rieju Hard Enduro

Urban Moto Distribution has been appointed as the exclusive official distributor for Rieju Hard Enduro bikes in the UK. Rieju, a well-known name in off-road competition, acquired the rights to the former GasGas enduro twostroke motor and platform in 2020 after the GasGas brand was taken over by KTM.

Rieju has a strong presence in the offroad racing scene, having recently won the Spanish National Enduro title, and has participated in prestigious international events and championships, such as the FIM World Hard Enduro Championship and the Super Enduro FIM World Championship. Rieju riders Rosie Rowlet and Will Hoare are currently leading at World Championship level.

Rieju’s Hard Enduro range comprises various models from the MR Pro 125 four-

stroke to the special edition MR 300 Six Days, catering to riders of all abilities. Urban Moto Distribution says it is fully equipped to provide comprehensive support for the range, including parts, technical assistance, and marketing resources. Interested dealers are being encouraged to secure their area and to take advantage of the opportunity to receive race team and rider support, with stock readily available.

Urban Moto says it is also introducing a Racer Support Programme, offering qualifying riders factory-backed technical support through the Urban Moto Performance centre, as well as exclusive pricing on parts and accessories.

Urban Moto Distribution 01522 589461

Ducati Riding Experience

LOCATED AT THE SWEET LAMB OFF-ROAD CENTER in the stunning Cambrian Mountains in Wales, the new Ducati Riding Experience Adventure Academy offers riders 6600 acres of adventure bike terrain to explore, and gives Ducati the opportunity to demo the performance and capability of its adventure bikes at one of the finest off-road riding locations in the country.

There are dedicated training areas designed to develop riding skills, as well as miles of trails for learners to practice their new-found prowess. All of this takes place on private land ideal for safe, effective, and enjoyable training.

The academy’s training is led by Mark Molineux, a multiple enduro, motocross, and rally champion with a legendary reputation in the sport, along with a team of top riders and trainers who are dedicated to helping riders at all levels to improve their off-road skills. International guests from the Ducati adventure world will also participate as guest instructors on selected dates to provide an international perspective.

The academy offers four levels of training, from Rookie to Level 3 courses, catering for all abilities including raw beginners with no off-road experience. The fleet at Sweet Lamb includes the new Multistrada V4S, Multistrada Rally, DesertX, and DesertX Rally models.

Booking for the Sweet Lamb courses is available at – a Rookie Day is £295, and a full two-day adventure weekend is £599. Demand for places at the academy has been high since the announcement last year, and only limited places are left for this riding season.

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Death of a Dalesman

It might be a bit of a cliché, but the phrase “they don’t make ‘em like that any more” springs to mind. Pete Edmondson, who passed away last month, was already a legend when I first met him more than 45 years ago. His infectious smile and unwavering enthusiasm for motorcycling and off-road sport, which seemed to be in his very DNA, endeared him to all who knew him. This passion was not only a part of his life but also a legacy he passed on to his sons and grandsons, who have successfully represented their country at international off-road events over the years.

One of Pete’s most significant contributions to the motorcycle industry was the Dalesman motorcycle, which he produced in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This motorcycle, based on the Puch M125 two-stroke and available in trials, scrambles and enduro options, was a testament to Pete’s ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit. Dalesman Competition Products, set up in Otley, near Leeds, was a hub of innovation and success. Pete seized the opportunity

after Villiers, which supplied engines for a large number of off-road brands, ceased operations and before the Spanish brands of Ossa, Bultaco and Montesa established themselves in the UK. In those days, a brand new Dalesman could be purchased for the price of a brake disc today.

Helping to keep the prices reasonable was a deal done with Leeds Prison, whereby some of the more skilled inmates produced parts, including silencers, for the Dalesman. Production volumes at this time were about 100 per month. Sadly, the commercial and export aspects of the business were taken out of Pete’s hands, and production eventually ceased in 1974. He continued to be a leading light in the off-road industry, but production of the Dalesman was an exciting time for Pete, and he never forgot it. He was not the sort of person to sit around twiddling his thumbs, and up until quite recently he could be found trading at shows and events.

To say that Pete was a one-off would be putting it mildly – he will be greatly missed.

Motoz tyres now available from Performance Parts

PERFORMANCE PARTS HAS ADDED MOTOZ TYRES TO ITS LINE-UP. ACCORDING TO the company, Motoz produces the best high-performance off-road tyres on the market. Motoz is an Australian brand that manufactures off-road tyres to meet the everincreasing requirements of serious off-road riders, with a range of specialist enduro, desert, adventure, hybrid, and motocross tyres.

Motoz tyres are made in Thailand at a privately owned factory which has been producing motorcycle tyres for more than 40 years. Motoz is the only off-road tyre made by the factory, and Motoz owns all the moulds and tooling required to produce its tyres the way it wants them. It also owns the intellectual property, patents, and international trademarks for the range. The process is ISO 9001:2008 quality-assurance certified (BVQI) and audited by TUV Rheinland.

Bickers in new partnership with Airmousse

BICKERS IS NOW THE OFFICIAL DISTRIBUTOR FOR Airmousse motorcycle products in the UK and Ireland. This includes both Enduro and Motocross Race Performance mousses – the first time the Swedish brand’s Race Performance line has been available on the UK market.

The range of tyre foam inserts is tailored to meet the varied needs of professional riders, with the Race Performance line segmented into categories including Mini MX, motocross, enduro, soft enduro, and extreme, giving comprehensive coverage of the market’s needs. Every mousse comes vacuum-packed with a Styrofoam insert to help keep its shape for a longer shelf life.

Airmousse has also developed The Mousse Maximizer, an extensive list of off-road tyres from all the major manufacturers with the recommended mousse size. Dealers can simply look up a tyre and Airmousse will provide the mousse to fit.

“Airmousse has outstanding products that lead the market in performance and longevity. The technical innovations in these mousses are like none other, and the Mousse Maximizer chart further backs its commitment to being an industry leader. We are really excited to share this new brand with our customers, delivering the best mousse we have supplied to date,” commented Derek McMartin of Bickers.

Bickers 01394 604040

CFMoto’s new adventure tourer

CFMoto has unveiled its latest innovation – the 450MT. The firm says the 450MT has been “crafted to redefine adventure touring”, and is powered by a parallel-twin powertrain which minimises weight without compromising on power, thanks to an optimised intake and exhaust system, and “strategic ignition angle alteration”. This gives the MT enhanced low-end torque, with peak torque achieved at just 6250rpm.

The frame is a trellis-style affair fitted with KYB suspension front and rear along with spoked wheels to give an all-up weight of 175kg. The ABS and traction control system are by Bosch.

The 450MT is available in Zephyr blue or Tundra grey at £5699 OTR.

40 JUNE 2024 Off-road news

MXGP announces new partnerships

Infront Moto Racing, which manages the television, marketing, and promotional rights of the various FIM Motocross World Championships, has announced its partnerships for the 2024 season, providing trackside sponsorship and other forms of promotional support across the world.

Mips, a Swedish company specialising in helmet-based safety which partners with more than 150 helmet manufacturers worldwide, will be the official safety partner, while AFAM, which designs and produces chains and sprockets has also partnered with Infront.

In addition, Infront has signed a multi-year partnership with Hoco Parts, the Netherlands-based motorcycle parts and accessories supplier, which operates across much of Europe, including the UK.

A celebration of scrambling’s genesis

IT WAS IN LATE MARCH 1924 THAT MEMBERS OF THE CAMBERLEY Motorcycle Club organised a race for road-going motorcycles over two 25-mile laps of army-owned Surrey heathland. There was no name for this type of event, so, in deference to Yorkshire’s already well-established Scott Trial, it was entitled The Southern Scott … and described by the organisers as a “…right old scramble”. Just over 80 riders competed, including Rex Judd and Gus Kuhn, although it was local lad Arthur Sparks, appropriately mounted on a Scott, who emerged as the winner after more than two hectic hours. The new sport of scrambling enjoyed enormous growth over the next quarter century, especially in Europe, where it was universally known as “Moto Cross”. Move on nearly a century, and it was in 2021 that the Witley Motorcycle Club (established circa 1921, effectively serving riders in the Guildford area and always active with off-road competition events) was inspired to recognise scrambling’s 100th birthday. They began seeking permission from the Ministry of Defence – a complicated process – to re-enact a tribute event on the land upon which the original Southern Scott had been held. And, quite remarkably, they were allowed to plot a five-mile lap in precisely the same location; a difficult task, given the terrain is now extensively forested.

Approx 150 riders with a wide variety of machines duly pitched up for Scramble 100 on 24 March. Competitors, perhaps more accurately described as participants, were split into specific categories… whereupon a superb day’s relatively gentle riding unfolded for the benefit of a large crowd of classic enthusiasts scattered across Camberley Heath’s historic landscape. In addition to the bonus of an unusually sunny day, some members of the Sparks family were also in attendance. Whilst Olde England may have created both cricket and football for the globe’s 205 nations to enjoy, let’s not forget to add motocross to the UK’s generous list of bequests!

Yamaha celebrates 30 years with tales of YORE

The Yamaha Off Road Experience (YORE) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Established by enduro racing legend Geraint Jones in 1994, the centre has become one of the leading offroad rider training and experience centres in the UK over the past three decades.

Geraint, along with his sons Rowan and Dylan, and a team of skilled support riders and instructors, runs the Yamaha Off Road Experience in the picturesque Hafren Forest just outside Llanidloes. Their popular experience days are now fully booked well in advance.

Starting out with XT500s, DT125Rs and later a fleet of YZ125s, the Yamaha Off Road Experience now runs specially developed

courses using Yamaha’s latest enduro bikes. The Ténéré Experience allows riders to explore the Welsh hills on Ténéré 700 machines, catering for riders of all abilities.

In 2022, the Jones family unveiled a brand-new Welcome Centre, further enhancing the off-road experience.

At the launch of the all-new Ténéré 700 Extreme, Yamaha Motor UK presented the Joneses with a 30th Anniversary award during the event.

Geraint Jones commented, “We really like the relationship we have with Yamaha. They’re almost like family, which is why I think the collaboration has thrived for as long as it has.”

Jeff Turner, marketing manager at Yamaha, added, “It has grown and grown, and all these years later, it’s become what I believe to be the most professional and best-organized off-road experience in the country – and with the best facilities.”

JUNE 2024 41
Off-road news
Hoco Parts MD Arno van de Glind with Marionna Leiva and Hoco’s head of product management Erwin Plekkenpol Infront Moto Racing marketing director Marionna Leiva with AFAM general manager Rolf Verhagen Mike Jackson

Beat Business Beat


Employers can monitor staff in the workplace, but the law places limits on what they can do

Research commissioned by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) revealed that 19% of people believe that they have been monitored by their employer. 70% said they would find workplace monitoring intrusive, and just 19% would feel comfortable taking a new job if they knew that their employer would be monitoring them.

With the rise of remote working and developments in the technology available, many employers are looking to carry out checks on their workers. Beyond that is the need for employers to protect valuable items or to put in place processes to aid complaint resolution.

However, while legislation does not prevent monitoring, it must be done in compliance with data protection laws. If monitoring is excessive, and undermines employee privacy, then it may well contravene data protection laws. This could then stand in the way of an employer looking to rely on data obtained from monitoring, for example, for disciplinary purposes.

Monitoring can include tracking calls, messages, and keystrokes, taking screenshots, webcam footage or audio recordings, or using software to monitor productivity. It includes the use of biometric data for building access controls and to monitor timekeeping and attendance.

And when it comes to those working at home, the ICO points out that workers’ expectations of privacy are likely to be higher than in the workplace. And that the risk of capturing family and private life information is higher as it can be inadvertently captured.

In October 2023, the ICO published revised guidance for employers on monitoring workers lawfully. There were several key takeaways from the new guidance.


To monitor workers, employers must identify a “lawful basis” under GDPR. “Consent” is unlikely to be appropriate in the context of the employment relationship. The “legitimate

interests” basis is the one that is likely to apply in most circumstances. When considering this employers must balance their legitimate interests and the necessity of the monitoring against the interests, rights, and freedoms of workers. This can be done by carrying out, and documenting, a “legitimate interests assessment” (LIA). An LIA can be done in conjunction with a DPIA (see page 43). If an employer relies on legitimate interests, then workers will have a right to object. This isn’t an absolute right, and an employer can resist the objection if it can demonstrate compelling legitimate interests for the processing, which override the interests, rights, and freedoms of the worker or if the processing is for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.


The ICO points out that monitoring can involve capturing ‘special category data’ such


as a worker’s political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or information about a worker’s health, sex life or sexual orientation.

Also, if an employer uses biometric data for identification, such as for access control, it will be classed as special category data. In such cases, as well as having a lawful basis, the employer must identify a special category processing condition. Again, obtaining the worker’s “explicit consent” to the monitoring is unlikely to be appropriate in most cases. A special category condition may apply where the employer is monitoring to ensure the health and safety of workers for compliance with a legal obligation. Otherwise, it may have to comply with one of the “substantial public interest” conditions set out in Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act; for example, where it uses CCTV to detect and prevent crime and incidentally capture special category data, it could rely on the public interest condition of “preventing or detecting unlawful acts”. If relying on a substantial public interest condition, it will also have to have in place an “appropriate policy document”.


Fairness is a key data protection principle. It means an employer should only monitor workers in ways they would reasonably expect. For example, CCTV in staff changing rooms – designed to prevent theft – is unlikely to meet this requirement. However, CCTV positioned outside the changing room could be justified.


Transparency is about being clear with workers about how and why the employer processes their information. It is fundamentally linked to fairness. Apart from exceptional circumstances where covert monitoring is justified, employers must inform workers about the monitoring. They must be clear about why they are monitoring and what they intend to do with the information they collect.


Monitoring technology has the capability to gather more information than may be necessary to achieve the desired purpose. The ICO highlights that this risks ‘function creep’, where information is used for wider purposes than the original intention. So, the monitoring must be proportionate to the objectives. For example, there should be no need to monitor the content of a communication if monitoring the traffic/log file will be sufficient for the purpose. Similarly, an employer must not collect information, or hold on to it for longer than is necessary just in case it might become useful in the future.

To monitor workers, employers must identify a “lawful basis” under GDPR


In the interests of data security and proportionality, access to the information gathered from monitoring should be restricted to those who need access. Employers will need to identify the most appropriate person/people to access the information they collect and train them how to handle the information in compliance with data laws.


Where an employer outsources its monitoring activities to a third-party data processor, for example, using technology such as software as a service under which the service provider handles the data, then as the controller it must have in place a data processing contract with the third party as required by GDPR.


Under the GDPR, employers must carry out a DPIA before undertaking any processing

or monitoring that may result in financial loss.

The ICO also advises that, as part of the DPIA, employers should seek and document the views of workers before introducing monitoring, unless there is a good reason not to. This is a new recommendation, and likely one which most employers will not previously have followed.


It’s important to remember that employers may have to make the personal information they collect through monitoring available to workers if they make a data subject access request unless an exemption applies.


In the light of the ICO’s new guidance, employers need to revisit their policies and practices on monitoring to ensure it is proportionate to the objective as the powers that the ICO has are broad and will be used where sufficient cause is given.


Nigel Miller is a partner in business law firm Fox Williams LLP.

with Adam Bernstein Business Beat Cloud-based Dealer Management System DeepBlue CloudDMS Web Phone 020 8541 4131 Email



advice to improve how you promote and sell productsyour servicesor


Market research has now been around for more than a hundred years. To mark the occasion, Dan Sager goes through the key aspects of this useful and often overlooked discipline

Knowledge is power, and market research will help you make better and more informed decisions about products, customers, and strategies. It’s big business – Nielsen, a global leader in audience measurement, turned over $3.5bn in 2021. The good news is that you don’t have to spend big bucks to research the market; there’s plenty you can do yourself.

Before starting, it’s worth understanding two distinct approaches: primary and secondary research.


You can start immediately. In fact, you might already be doing this without even realising it. Primary research involves finding out what your customers – existing and potential – want to buy. There are four main ways to achieve it;

1. Interviews: Either talking to customers when they’re in your store or, if your business is web-based, via email or online chat

2. Surveys: Online questionnaires or paper surveys provide a more structured insight into customer preferences. For statistical reliability, aim to collect at least 100 responses

3. Observation: Where do your customers go in your showrooms (or how do they move around your online store)? If they visit without purchasing, what do they look at? Sometimes, what they don’t buy tells you more than what they did!

useful to you. Typical sources of secondary data include:

4. Experiments: Physically testing different product offerings or marketing campaigns allows you to gauge customer reactions and identify the most effective approach

The good news is that you don’t have to spend big bucks to research the market

Using Primary Research gives you fresh data that is directly relevant to your specific needs and target audience. You could uncover nuances and motivations that preexisting data might miss, and, of course, you have complete control over the process. On the flip side, it can be timeconsuming, and its scope is often limited to the people you can reach, making it difficult to draw general conclusions. There’s also potential for bias – asking leading questions that give you the answers you hope to hear, or possibly avoiding asking those difficult questions.


Other organisations may have already collected and published data that is relevant to your business. All you have to do is find it and then extract the facts and figures that are

1. Industry reports: The MCIA releases monthly statistics on new motorcycle registrations, while other organisations, such as insurers, sometimes publish reports on market trends

2. Government data: Agencies like the ONS (Office for National Statistics), DVSA and DVLA provide detailed information on rider behaviour, demographics, registered vehicles, training statistics and more…

3. News articles and publications: You’re reading BDN, so you can tick this off the list!

Secondary data is readily available, making it a budget-friendly and quicker option. It often provides historical trends, allowing you to compare your findings with past data. However, available data may not align perfectly with your specific research objectives and might not reflect the most recent market trends or customer preferences.


If you haven’t done any market research, it’s never too late to start. Try picking sources from both methods, and you will swiftly become better informed about your customers and the market in which you operate. This will help you make decisions that will contribute to future business success. 


We shine the spotlight on focus groups –do they provide helpful insight or are they false friends?

44 JUNE 2024 Marketing Matters
DAN SAGER FOUNDED THE FAB-BIKER PR agency in 1996 and has been advising businesses in the motorcycle industry on marketing matters ever since. Here he shares some of the most important lessons he’s learned during that time.

The National Minimum Wage still catches out employers

The National Minimum Wage may be 25 years old this year, but employers are still being caught out for not paying staff correctly

Mid-February the government published the latest list of employers that have been caught out not correctly paying staff and breaching National Minimum Wage legislation. The list is one of the longest yet with more than 500 employers named. While some of the underpayments were very small, 20 involved six figure sums, 98 involved five figure amounts, and one employer was found underpaying staff to the tune of £5.1m.

Mark Stevens, a senior associate at law firm VWV, says the NMW sets the amount of pay due to most workers from school leaver age up to the age of 21, with the


for younger

employees and apprentices, they too saw significant pay increases

National Living Wage (NLW) applying to those aged 21 or over. “All workers,” he says, “except those who are genuinely selfemployed, are entitled to receive the NMW or NLW.”

The NMW/NLW is calculated by including most financial awards or payments, but excluding allowances such as regional or on-call allowances, unsocial hours payments, tips and gratuities, or any benefits in kind, with the exception of accommodation up to a specified amount.


“Prior to April 2024,” says Stevens, “the NLW applied to those aged 23 and above. However, from April it expanded to include 21 and 22 year olds.” He continues: “The NLW increased by 9.8% from £10.42 per hour to £11.44 per hour. For a full-time employee working 37.5 hours per week, this equates to a minimum annual salary of £22,308.”

As for younger employees and apprentices, they too saw significant pay increases from

46 JUNE 2024 Business Essentials The
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CATALYST A Constellation Software Company 0116 230 1500 | |


April. As Stevens explains, an 18-20 year olds’ hourly pay increased to a minimum of £8.10 per hour. Additionally, 16-17 year olds and apprentices saw their pay increase to a minimum of £6.40 per hour “which,” says Stevens, “is a huge 21.2% increase from the current minimum in this bracket.”

It’s for this reason he recommends that employers undertake a pay audit to examine the impact that these changes will have on their pay structure.


Under NMW legislation, employers have an ongoing obligation to keep certain records in relation to the hours worked by, and the payments made to, workers. On this Stevens explains that “all the information about the pay received by a worker in a particular pay reference period must be contained in a single document.” He says that records can be kept on paper or computer but since 1 April 2021 “records must be kept for a minimum of six years from the end of the pay reference period following the period to which they relate.”

The ‘pay reference period’ is defined as the period of time that the pay covers. So, for example, if paid daily, the pay reference period is one day, if it’s weekly, the pay reference period is one week, and it’s paid monthly, then the pay reference period is one month.

It’s important to note that, as Stevens points out, the pay reference period cannot be longer than a month.

Like other forms of employment legislation, the NMW is incredibly complex which is why Stevens has seen “underpayments being the result of a misunderstanding of the law rather than any deliberate failure by an employer to comply.”

Indeed, there are a number of common scenarios where he’s witnessed employers falling short of NMW. He recommends caution over five distinct problem areas.

Firstly, there’s employment status. Where this is misclassified or where a worker is

‘off-payroll’ employers can fail to pay the correct NMW. Then there are issues over salaried staff who are relatively lowly paid and regularly work long hours; employers fall short when taking into account the hours worked in relation to the rate of NMW.

Another area to keep tabs on is working hours. This may apply if a worker is required to arrive early or stay late for training, debriefing or staff meetings; these hours

In particular he warns that they can bring a claim for unlawful deduction from wages under section 13 of the Employment Rights Act 1996; a breach of contract, either in the employment tribunal or the County Court; or a claim for unfair dismissal or detriment under the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.

And then there are the financial penalties that can be brought to bear; employers found to have not paid their workers the NMW

constitute ‘working time’ therefore they should be paid at NMW. Employers also need to be aware of staff uniforms as employers that require staff to pay for their own uniforms out of their salary can cause pay to fall below the NMW.

Lastly, employers sometimes slip up where they fail to increase a workers’ pay following a birthday which moves them into a new NMW bracket.


For any regime to work there has to be a potential stick and so employers found in breach of the legislation may face significant legal repercussions.

Stevens says that “it’s important to remember that underpaid workers can launch formal and/ or legal action. Those who think that they have suffered an underpayment of NMW can raise a formal grievance to their employer, complain to HM Revenue and Customs or bring a number of claims against their employers.”

can face substantial fines – currently up to a maximum of £20,000 per underpaid worker.

Last on Stevens list is the risk of adverse publicity. As he says, “the government’s ‘name and shame’ scheme can put a negative spotlight on employers found to be in breach of the NMW legal requirements. This could result in significant damage to the employer’s reputation.”

And for the worst offenders there’s criminal prosecution. “This,” says Stevens, “can occur if employers persistently refuse to comply with the law and to co-operate with compliance officers.”


The National Minimum Wage is nothing new and this year celebrates 25 years of operation. While it’s well known that there are some employers who deliberately seek to underpay staff, the majority just make accidental errors. For them the best advice is to look at the risk factors and seek to deal with them. 

JUNE 2024 47 Business Essentials
with Adam Bernstein
Records must be kept for a minimum of six years from the end of the pay reference period following the period to which they relate All-in-one Business Management Soſtware for Motorcycle Dealers CATALYST A Constellation Software Company 0116 230 1500 | | Complete Business Solution. Easy to Use

RS Bike Paint is a family business now in its second generation, under the management of Philip Allen, who married the founders’ daughter Heidi.

“The company was formed in 1978 by Heidi’s parents, Arthur and Renate Bancroft,” says Allen. “Arthur worked for various paint companies in the North of England, and his skill lay in matching colours – not specifically for the motorcycle industry, but if there was such a customer with a paint colour issue, Arthur was the man to sort it. He subsequently met Renate at

a dance in Manchester. They got together, and she persuaded him to set up their own company. So they opened a motor factors in Barnsley and sold paint all over South Yorkshire.

“In the early 1980s the miners’ strike kicked in, and business took a turn for the worse. Then, one day, a motorcycle customer turned up and said, ‘I understand you can match paints?’ Arthur stripped the bike, matched the colour and repainted it.

Fortunately for the business, Arthur kept the formula. It didn’t take long for the word to get around, and new motorcycle

A perfect match

RS Bike Paint has recently moved from its Yorkshire birthplace to the Hertfordshire Garden City of Letchworth. Its database of more than 60,000 motorcycle and scooter colours enables it to match original paint shades from 1902 right up to the latest models, even if you don’t have a colour code. As BDN’s Rick Kemp witnessed, it’s something of a dark art

customers began arriving.”

You could say it was a lightbulb moment. As the business expanded Arthur recorded all the colour formulae on cards, which were cross-referenced with manufacturers and models, and were all kept in a filing system. Fast forward a few years, and the business was expanding. Daughter Heidi, now in her late teens, was spending more time in the office. Apparently, her mother had taught her how to do VAT returns by the time she was 10 years old! One day, she opened a cabinet full of the formula cards, turned to her father and said, “Dad, what are these?” Dad replied, “Please don’t touch those – they’re the foundations of the business!” To which Heidi responded, “I know what they are, but why aren’t they on a spreadsheet?” To which Dad replied – you’ve guessed it –“What’s a spreadsheet?”

Forty years on, and with the

record keeping now safely moved away from paper and pen, Allen details some of the progress the company has made: “We’ve collected more than 60,000 paint records for motorcycles over the years, and we know that we now have the largest paint database for motorcycles in the world today.” Ironically, this situation has come about because the motorcycle market is relatively small compared with four-wheelers. Motorcycle manufacturers don’t stock or supply dealers with paint. The colour code label under the seat is an internal manufacturer reference for the entire bike, not a specific colour. RS updates its colours annually, which takes a working week, so it’s usually done over the Christmas holiday period.

As you would imagine, RS’s work is often the result of accident damage, and this frequently involves sourcing

48 JUNE 2024 RS Bike Paint
Heidi and Philip Allen have been running RS Motorcycle Paint since Heidi’s parents, founders of the company, retired

parts. “This is why we try very hard to form relationships directly with the manufacturers,” explains Allen. “We are officially affiliated with five manufacturers at the moment – HarleyDavidson, Kawasaki, Triumph, BSA, and Bimota – and we are talking to two more.”

The longest relationship is with Kawasaki, which began in 2011, and the newest ones are with BSA and Bimota, which both came on board last year. Typically, RS will be sent colour master plates by the manufacturer, which is what it has to match to, after which approval is usually needed before it can go ahead. The matching process is carefully concealed, as it has taken decades to perfect, and it’s what makes RS unique, so giving away the secret recipe is not an option.

Apart from the manufacturers’ recommendations, most of RS’s work comes directly from owners themselves and body shops. About 70% of RS’s business comes through the internet, with the rest by phone.

We know that we have the largest paint

As the paint is handmade to order, there are no sell-bydate issues, but RS still aims to dispatch all orders within 72 hours. As most paints are classed as dangerous goods, RS has acquired a licence to ship globally and can also use a registered courier. And it’s not just paint we’re talking about. RS can provide everything required, from touch-up bottles to enough paint for complete frame and panel resprays. All paints are available in 25ml touch-up bottles, 400ml aerosol cans for larger repairs, and tins of 250ml or larger for

spray gun application. It can also supply all the preparation and refinishing products needed to complete any repairs, including water-based, basecoat solvent and cellulose, depending on the age of the colour and complexity of the finish. Of course, the above also applies to accessory manufacturers who want to offer colour-matched luggage and fairings.

RS Bike Paint moved to its present location at the end of 2023, which has given many benefits. It’s self-contained, has room to expand the business, and is ideally placed for nationwide delivery and air freight. ■

RS Bike Paint

CPM House, 10 Works Road, Letchworth, Herts, SG6 1LB 01707 273219

Proven targeted digital campaigns at scale, via

• Bespoke digital display advertising –reach the right bikers for your campaign.

• Social Media. MCN has 1.4 million followers.**

• MCN Newsletter. Sent weekly to 154k+ subscribers.**

• Email marketing to the MCN database. 101k+ subscribers.**

• Advertorial with guaranteed views on

**Source: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, X - Mar 1st 24, Responsys Jan 2024

If you want to know which is best for you speak to our expert digital team to find out. e-mail Call 01733 395071

Requiring exposure to a very targeted audience of BMW owners, MCN presented a cross-media campaign to suit our aims. We achieved better than expected sales results and gained exposure to third party resellers too. We have just signed up for another campaign.

Mark Atkins, CEO, Weiser Technik, Inc.

JUNE 2024 49 RS Bike Paint
Philip Allen with a small selection of the 65,000 paint shades that RS has on its database
database for motorcycles in the world Paint
can be created to order – whether retro or modern
colours from across the years
“ ”
MARKETING? The UK’s LARGEST dedicated motorcycling
*Source: Ipsos Iris 2023 DIGITAL
website* is just one way
can connect you to motorcyclists online.


The latest new products, with Colin Williams

TCX Lady Blend 2 56

TCX’S NEW LADY BLEND 2 BOOT HAS A VINTAGEinspired design with more than a hint of equestrianism in the styling. The leather uppers have been infused with hot oils and wax, rather than the more normal dyeing, giving a distinctive finish, and the last used to shape the boots has a narrower heel and a thinner toe box, which are said to be better suited to female feet. A T-Dry waterproof membrane provides weather protection, while inserts on the toe, ankle and heel areas improve crash protection. The Groundtrax soles have a heavy-duty tread for grip on tarmac as well as pegs. The Lady Blend 2 comes in a choice of brown or black, in EU sizes 35-42 (roughly size 3 to 8 in UK sizing), for an SRP of £199.99.

Nevis Marketing; 01425 478936;

Alpinestars Tech-Air 7X

A NEW UPDATE TO ALPINESTARS FLAGSHIP TECH-AIR AIRBAG SYSTEM FOR RACERS, trackday enthusiasts and sports road riders, the new FIM-approved 7X system has been refined to be sleeker and offer more protection than its predecessors. The system provides protection to the shoulders, chest and back, and the length has been extended to also protect the coccyx. There are two app-switchable modes – race and street – which have optimised algorithms for each scenario. It can be worn as a standalone system under a suitable leather suit or jacket, or it can be worn as an integrated system with Tech-Air compatible garments, which adds an LED status display on the left sleeve.

The 7X uses 12 integrated sensors, three triaxial accelerometers and a triaxial gyroscope to constantly monitor the rider and send the results to the ECU, which then uses the appropriate algorithm to identify a crash situation, triggering the system and inflating the airbag within 44 milliseconds. Alpinestars says an inflated airbag reduces impact forces by up to 90% compared to regular CE level-1 protectors. Battery life is up to 20 hours, and the Tech-Air 7X is Bluetooth enabled, allowing over-the-air software updates. It comes in sizes XS to 2XL for an SRP of £949.99. Alpinestars; 0039 0423 5286;

CFMoto 450CL-C

CFMOTO IS TAKING BIG STRIDES IN TERMS of becoming a bigger presence on the European motorcycle market, extending its range of Chinese-made machinery upmarket with a combination of bigger capacity engines and distinctive styling. The new 450CL-C opens up a new sector for the brand, with classic-inspired cruiser lines and retro detailing such as two-tone paintwork and polished metalwork. The 449cc twin outputs 40hp with a promise of plenty of low-down torque to suit its laid-back appearance. Gases exit through a dual-chamber exhaust system to give an appropriately rorty note, while the final drive is via a Gates belt drive, rather than a chain. Tech is kept up to date with the fitting of a circular TFT display up front, which can show navigation (via a smartphone app) along with the usual speed and distance data. It comes in two colour option – Nebula black or Bordeaux red – for a retail price of £5599. CFMoto;

50 JUNE 2024
Product news

Off-road Akrapovič

BGM crank 5

BGM IS A GERMAN-BASED SCOOTER TUNING brand concentrating on Vespa engine and clutch improvements. Its new adaptor kit allows a Malossi 210/221cc kit to be mounted on to a Vespa PX125 or 150cc motor, or any similar three-port engines of the same capacity, such as those used by the LML Star. The kit includes a replacement crankshaft with a 60mm stroke and 125mm connecting rod, a 14mm steel adapter plate, an aluminium spacer, plus stud bolts and screws. It does still require some machining of the crankcase, and obviously you also need the Malossi kit too. SRP for the adapter kit is £299.99. VE (UK); 01159 462991;

THE AKRAPOVIČ EVOLUTION LINE EXHAUST FOR the revised 2024 Kawasaki KX450 models is a complete titanium system that weighs in at a sprightly 1.3kg lighter than the stock system. The headers feature an integrated resonance chamber with an embossed logo, while the end can has a titanium tip and is emblazoned with a new, longer lasting, logo. Power is up, by 2.6hp, and torque has been increased by 2.5Nm at 7500rpm compared to OE figures according to Akrapovič’s dyno. It’s not road-legal, but does comply with FIM noise limits so can be used on circuits and at events. SRP is £1638.

Performance Parts; 01327 706139;

Airoh J110 3

THE J110 IS A TWO-IN-ONE HELMET, SWITCHING from being an open-face Jet-style lid to a full-face helmet thanks to a detachable chin bar. It is double homologated (categories P and J) so can be used on the road in either configuration. The shell is carbon composite, helping it to achieve a low weight of from 1070g, and comes in two shell sizes for a snug fit and sleek outline. Inside is a removable and washable Coolmax liner. Ventilation is limited to a single vent in the chin guard, but obviously in Jet mode you have all the venting you need. It comes in a wide range of plain or graphic designs with prices from £199.99 SRP. Bike It; 02380 658700;

Pyramid Duffle bag

THE SMALL, OTHERWISE UNEXCEPTIONAL, TOWN OF Duffel in Belgium gained recognition by being the home of the holdall. Duffel was the source of the heavy woollen cloth used for the eponymous Duffle bag, but Pyramid’s new far more practical 40-litre Duffle bag has dropped the wool in favour of seamless 500D PVC, making it waterproof, flexible and easily cleaned. A full-width opening makes it easy to load the bag, and the roll top closure and air-release system keep bulk to a minimum. There’s a four-point strapping system that is suitable for almost any motorcycle, and the bag then clips or unclips in a matter of seconds. Once it is off the bike, there are carry handles and a detachable shoulder strap to make it easier to transport. It comes in black or grey for an SRP of £39.99. Pyramid Motorcycle Accessories; 01427 677990;

JUNE 2024 51 Product news
CLEANING PRODUCTS AWARD WINNING A carefully formulated, award winning range of specialist cleaning products to make your pride and joy ‘best in show’ Chain Cleaner OC200 1L Bike Wash OC100 SCAN HERE TO SEE MORE Or visit the dedicated website AWARD WINNING CLEANING PRODUCTS

Davida v4 5

IT’S NOT OFTEN THAT A NEW LID APPEARS FROM British brand Davida, so the new ECE 22.06 certified v4 deserves some attention. Davida says its new lid is the result of refining 40 years of feedback from its original 1970s-style Speedster into the design process, and the result is a lightweight fibreglass shell with a multi-density EPS liner that comes in four sizes to keep the silhouette as low-profile as possible. Inside is a removable Airflow fabric liner, along with traditional webbing straps and a double-D ring fastening. A goggle strap retainer is fitted at the rear for those who want the period look. It comes in four suitably retro colours – matt black, cream gloss, silver gloss with a black stripe, and gloss black with gold stripes, for an SRP of £180. Davida; 0151 647 2419;

Duchinni Michigan

WE SAW A PREVIEW LAST YEAR (BDN OCT 2023), but the fully-finished version of the Duchinni Michigan jacket is now available. With Duchinni becoming an exclusively youthoriented clothing brand, the Michigan is a junior version of the Weise Michigan retro casual jacket, with the same leather arm stripes and diamond quilted shoulders as its bigger sibling. It has a 600D fabric outer shell and CE-approved shoulder and elbow armour, with a back protector fitted as standard too. To keep junior in fine fettle, there is a waterproof membrane and a removable quilted thermal liner for all-year usability, along with a quartet of zipped external pockets and three internal pockets to carry all the chattels a young person needs. To ensure that a growth spurt doesn’t make the jacket useless in short order, there are extension zips on the sleeves which give an extra 3cm in length, enough for another season or two. If comes in sizes to suit kids from age 6 to 16 for an SRP of £139.99.

The Key Collection; 01179 719200;

Mutt DRK-01

DESIGNED IN BIRMINGHAM, MUTT SAYS ITS NEW DRK-01 IS A STEP UP IN performance and reliability, so the 13hp 125cc and 26hp 250cc machines have big expectations to live up to. Central to the DRK-01 is a new liquid-cooled engine and six-speed gearbox fitted into the twin-tube cradle frame. Chunky 51mm upside-down forks and twin rear piggyback shocks provide suspension. The 18in wheels are designed by Mutt with a distinctive sawtooth rim, and the CNCmachined levers, integrated rear light and stainless steel exhaust enhance the custom-built look. At the front, an LED headlight leads the way, but otherwise tech is minimal, with emphasis given to keeping the whole bike stripped-back and streamlined. The bikes are only available in matt black, at £3995 for the 125 and £4750 for the 250. Mutt Motorcycles; 0121 439 4774;

HJC RPHA 12 56

HJC HAS UPDATED ITS TOP-FLIGHT SPORT HELMET, with the new RPHA 12. The new lid is rated to ECE 22.06 and features a new lightweight carbon/aramid fibre shell which has improved aerodynamics for greater stability and a new, larger, visor opening. The interior liner is made from quick-drying anti-bacterial fabric, and the Pinlock-ready visor has a two-way pivot system for improved sealing. Ventilation is taken care of by four intakes on the front, along with no fewer than three exhaust vents to expel warm air. It comes in sizes from XS to 2Xl in a range of plain colours or vibrant graphics, with prices starting from £399.99. Oxford Products; 01993 862300;


Dainese Metal 7 5

DAINESE’S NEW METAL 7 GLOVES ARE THE ONES THE ITALIAN company issues to its MotoGP riders, so you’d assume that they are the pinnacle of the firm’s hand protection range. They are made from goatskin leather with an aramid fibre lining, joined together with aramid fibre stitching and pre-curved for comfort. Protection levels are, as expected, high: Pro-Tek titanium inserts are moulded into the PU knuckle protectors, and TPU sliders are fitted on the fingers, along with Distortion Control Protection on the little finger – a PU insert fitted to prevent over-rotation. All this leads to the gloves getting EN13594 Level 2 certification. They come in black/red, black/yellow or plain black for a hefty SRP of £399.95, but then top-level racing tech never comes cheap.

Nevis Marketing; 01425 478936;

Motorex V-Synt

SWISS OIL SPECIALIST MOTOREX HAS DEVELOPED TWO NEW OILS specifically aimed at big-capacity V-twin and V4 engines, such as those found on Harley-Davidsons and Ducatis. The V-Synt 4T 15W/50 and 20W/50 oils are fully synthetic and have been blended with additives to increase wear protection and provide a high level of shear stability. The fully synthetic base means performance remains constant even at high temperatures. They meet the requirements for use in Harley’s latest Revolution Max engines, and also meet JASO MA2 standards, making them suitable for wet-clutch motors. SRPs start at £19.99 for a 1-litre bottle, with 20-litre boxes and 60-litre drums also available for workshop use. Bickers; 01394 604040; Product news
Visit: w or call us: +44 (0)1484 641 073 THE UK’S NO.1 DESTINATION FOR TYRES Orders over £100 ex VAT Net. go carriage free. AWARD WINNING CLEANING PRODUCTS


LS2 Storm

LS2’S BUDGET FULL FACE FF800 STORM II helmet has been given a new graphic option. The new Tracker graphics are available in red/black or blue/yellow/ black colourways and have carbon-look detailing. SRP is £149.99.

LS2 Helmets UK;


OXFORD HAS ADDED A NEW SMALL SIZE OPTION for its ear-protecting Filterbuds. The new size is the same diameter as the regular Filterbuds, but is 2mm shorter to intrude less into the ear canal making them more comfortable and effective for people with smaller ears. SRP £19.99. Oxford Products;

EGIG for Vespa

Triumph Rocket 3 Storm

ITS BEEN 20 YEARS SINCE THE ROCKET 3 WAS launched, bringing some major muscle power to the Triumph range. Obviously, once you have staked your claim with the world’s biggest production motorcycle engine, the only way onwards is more! So the Rocket 3 Storm’s motor has been given a session on the dyno to extract some more horses – an extra 15hp to be exact, making it the most powerful bike in the range – and a small boost in torque, which peaks at 4000rpm. A high-revving screamer this is not.

Harley-Davidson Smart Vest

The Storm also gains new lighter-weight 10-spoke wheels which are said to improve handing and make the bike more nimble, or at least as nimble as a 300kg-plus motorcycle can be. It comes in R or GT trim guises, the former a gargantuan naked starting at £23,195 and the latter a more laid-back cruiser with higher bars and a more forgiving pillion perch for an extra £700.

Triumph Motorcycles; 01455 251700;

HARLEY HAS TEAMED UP WITH DAINESE TO PRODUCE THE D-Air Smart Vest – an airbag-equipped vest which provides protection to the chest and back areas. The D-Air tech uses a series of sensors (number unspecified) to monitor the rider and processes the data to decide whether an impact is about to happen. It is powered by a rechargeable battery with up to 26 hours of life, charged via USB. Some clever tech means the system is activated by sensing a running motorbike engine, or if speed goes above 6mph. This means that the airbag won’t be deployed if the rider trips or falls while off the bike. The vest itself comes in ladies’ and men’s versions, both made from black heavyweight leather, which is perforated for ventilation. Stretch side panels are fitted for comfort, and there is an LED fitted on the chest which indicates the status of the airbag system. The ladies’ version comes in sizes XS to 2XL, while the men’s version comes in sizes S to 2XL, for an SRP of £754.

Harley-Davidson; 0208 891 9088;

THE WELL-KNOWN TUNING mantra; “There ain’t no replacement for displacement” has been influencing engine tuners looking for more power for decades, and Italian scooter specialists EGIG are not ones to buck the trend. The latest project to come out of its workshop is an engine kit that claims to be “the biggest capacity production kit for the small frame Vespa”, taking the small-capacity scooters out to a whopping 187cc. The kit includes cylinder, crank, manifold and various essential items for fitment. It is by no means a plug-and-play setup, as the crankcase needs machining in several areas to allow clearance. It is suitable for a range of Vespa 50, 90, 100 and 125cc models and has an SRP of £895. VE (UK); 01159 462991;

Vario bags 5

DESIGNED TO FIT SNUGLY INSIDE BMW VARIO PANNIERS, AS FITTED TO the R1300 GS, Hornig’s case bags provide a simple method to make it easier to transport luggage around without having to go through the rigmarole of detaching the side cases from the bike. There’s a main compartment which can be extended for extra capacity, plus a smaller zipped pocket for small items. A carrying strap adds convenience. They are handed left or right, and have an SRP of €79.90 each.

Hornig; +49 9971 996610;


Nexx X.WST3

THE LATEST HELMET FROM Nexx is a Europeandesigned streetfighter style full-face which comes with the options of an aerodynamically honed carbon or multi-composite fibre Matrix2 shell. Both are ECE 22.06 certified, and each comes in three different shell sizes to ensure a snug fit and a minimal profile.

The X.WST3 has an antivibration EPS lining, which adds a flexible rubber layer sandwiched between the inner and outer EPS to reduce buzzing and vibrations caused by turbulence. The visor has a unique spring-loaded side plate system which pulls it back against the duallip beading to prevent leaks and minimise wind noise, and it also comes equipped with a Pinlock – a 120XLT Max Vision on the Carbon models and a 70 on the Matrix2 models.


Inside there is a soft-touch X.Mart Dry fabric liner trimmed with synthetic leather, and it is ready to fit an XCom3 Bluetooth comms system for music and calls on the move. The Matrix2 models have an SRP of £329.99 in plain colours, or £349.99 in the graphic options. The carbon version is £429.99 and is only available in a solid carbon finish. Motohaus; 01256 704909;

Neco Moto NC50 4

THE SUPERMOTO-STYLE NECO MOTO 50 IS aimed at the youth and urban markets, offering a geared alternative to the plethora of twist-n-go scooters that dominate the moped sector. The motor is a DOHC 50cc four stroke fitted with fuel injection, electric start and the all-important five-speed transmission. The chassis hasn’t been skimped on either, with 17in wheels and disc brakes front and rear. SRP is £2399. HDM Trading; 01507 499107;

RS Workshop B1000-D bench

THE B1000-D IS A NEW workbench suitable for any motorcycle workshop. It has a payload of up to 1000kg, making it capable of lifting even the heaviest of Harleys, and has an extra-large 2.25m deck. Drop-down sections front and rear allow for wheel removal, and an optional side extension kit increases the width to make it suitable for quads . The hydraulic scissor action mechanism keep the whole thing compact, and is operated by a wired remote. Trade price is £1725+VAT. RS Workshop Equipment; 01832 741007; 01273 595746 • Stainless Steel Cable • Polyimide Lining • Freeze & Seize Resistant Compound

Muc-Off Portable Washer 5

MUC-OFF HAS LAUNCHED A NEW PORTABLE JET wash, said to be ideal for cleaning a filthy motocross or enduro bike after a race or training session. The company claims it is the world’s first snow foam-enabled mobile bike washer, and it will run for up to 24 minutes, giving plenty of time for a snow foam application and a rinse off. The 500W motor provides up to 65bar of pressure, and there is a 20 litre integrated tank for water. It has two modes – Boost and Eco – allowing a choice between maximum power or maximum run-time. The four wheels and foldable towing handle make it easy to transport, and a 5m hose means you don’t have to keep moving the machine. The starter bundle comes with four lances, including one dedicated to motorcycle use, to give a range of cleaning options for an SRP of £250. Other bundles add an extra 20-litre water tank, a 65-litre storage bag, an extra 40V rechargeable battery and Nano-Tech cleaner in various configurations, with the top of the range Ultimate bundle including everything for £425.

Muc-Off; 01202 307799;

Updated chargers

OPTIMATE HAS UPDATED ITS WEATHERresistant dual-port USB charger for use with both USB-C and USB-A devices.

The OptiMate chargers can be plugged straight into a standard 12mm DIN power sockets found on various BMW, Ducati and Triumph bikes. The O119 is a “straight” design for dash-mounted sockets, while the O114 features a 90° angle to suit sockets that are fitted below the seat. Both versions feature two output ports: one is a 3300mA continuous charge rate USB-C, commonly used for smartphones, sat nav and digital cameras, and the other a standard USB-A.

There’s built-in protection for the motorcycle battery too. When the engine is turned off, the charger automatically shuts down after one hour, or it will shut down if the battery drops below 12.4V.

Both chargers have an SRP of £32.90 and come with a USB-C to USB-C extension lead. ProBike; 01604 660555;

GBRacing BMW protection

GBRACING HAS LAUNCHED A RANGE OF GUARDS TO suit some of BMW’s parallel twin models. With the F900 R used in a single-make racing series, and the GS models used in areas where they could clatter into rocks and roots, GB saw the need for covers to protect the alternator, clutch and water pump housings. The covers suit the F900 R/XR/GS and GS Adventure models, plus the F850 GS and F750 GS from 2019-2023. Pricing is £107.98 for the alternator cover, £98.69 for the clutch cover and £82.76 for the water pump cover.

GBRacing; 020 8275 2630;

Know More & Purchase Smarter with MBG Motorcycle Buyers' Guide (MBG) will bring you the up-to-date information from more than 100 suppliers from Taiwan & China. Check our website for more information: or contact us to get a free copy of MBG PRO MEDIA COMPANY LIMITED 貿易風國際有限公 司 How to reach us: BUYERS’ GUIDE MOTORCYCLE Tel: +886-4-726 4437 Fax: +886-4-728 4657 Be sure to mention MBG when contacting manufacturers for more information.

All round GS protection 4

WUNDERLICH IS KEEPING BUSY DEVELOPING NEW OR UPDATED products to suit the latest generation of BMW GS. Its new protection plate is a guard for the R1200 GS’s final drive differential which is said to significantly reduce the risk of damage from rocks and stones. It is made from 2mm aluminium sheet, and leaves the oil drain plug accessible for servicing. Fitting uses three existing mounting points, so no cutting or drilling is required. It is finished in black powdercoat and costs €99.90 SRP.

To protect delicate GS riders from the elements there are two new windshield options – the Sport and the Marathon. The Sport is slightly higher and wider than the standard OE screen, giving a little more protection, but for the ultimate in wind-stopping the Marathon screen is significantly larger – up to 525mm high by 440mm wide. Both version are made from 5mm thick scratch resistant PMMA, and are available in clear or smoked finishes. The Sport screen can be used on bikes with or without ACC (adaptive cruise control), but the Marathon comes in specific ACC or non-ACC versions. All versions – Sport, Marathon, ACC, non-ACC, tinted or clear – are €199.90 SRP.

Wunderlich; +49 2641 3082-703;

Oxford Spartan Air

A NEW ENTRY-LEVEL SHORT BOOT SPECIALLY DESIGNED FOR FEMALE RIDERS, THE new Spartan Air is made with a microfibre and Cordura upper and a rubber sole. Aimed at warm weather riding in an urban environment, there is no waterproofing, but instead the breathable construction allows for improved air flow for better summertime comfort. It achieves level 1 in abrasion resistance tests, and level 2 in impact cut tests, and the toe and heel counters are reinforced. Fastening is by lacing with a Velcro strap to keep everything tidy. They come in black, in sizes UK3-UK8, for an SRP of £89.99. Oxford Products; 01993 862300;



JUNE 2024 57
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On the Money

I’ve never been enamoured by politicians. But like many people in the motorcycle trade, a spirit of free enterprise beats strong in my heart, so personal sentiment tends to lean towards the Tories. However, the past few years of chaotic economic mismanagement pivoting around Brexit’s disaster, the House of Commons government benches stuffed with corrupt carpet-baggers, and Downing Street occupied by serial incompetents, has pretty much destroyed any vestige of faith in the Conservative Party.

The latest Prime Ministerial incumbent, Rishi Sunak, has particularly made my blood boil. A billionaire teetotal vegetarian born with a silver spoon in his gob, Sunak nevertheless claims to be wedded to Thatcherite principles of individual freedom. But he has proved to be the exact opposite of what it says on his tin. Apart from his farcical attempts to ship asylum-seekers to Rwanda, Sunak’s swansong wizard wheeze, before the British electorate give him the bum’s rush, is straight out of some Nanny State totalitarian playbook.

When he first acquired MP status, Sunak swore his oath of office on the Bhagavad Gita, a weird tome of Hindu scripture extolling mythical pagan gods and animal worship. No doubt

it now shares a library shelf with his treasured copy of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and an elegy on how to sink boats full of refugee children.

Promoted as his timeless personal legacy, Sunak has exercised his semi-divine parliamentarian right to push through a bill to create the UK’s first smoke-free generation, “in a landmark public health intervention”. Once this legislation is in place, it will become illegal to sell tobacco to

Sunak has

holidays of 1961, I was a bored and impecunious nine-year-old. Invited to mow the next-door neighbour’s lawn for financial reward, acceptance of the offer immediately made me a whole florin richer. Approaches to other neighbours, selling services priced in similar two-bob bits, soon had substantial earnings burning the proverbial hole in my pocket.

Having been previously seduced by sharing the odd Woodbine dog-end with school

exercised his semi-

divine parliamentarian right to push through a bill to create the UK’s first smoke-free generation, “in a landmark public health intervention”

anybody born after 1 January 2009. The age for permissible tobacco products purchase will then increase annually by an additional year, progressively stopping younger people from ever experiencing the delights of a crafty fag. As a veteran cigarette smoker, to say I was outraged would be an understatement.

Perhaps this is an appropriate moment to consider the lifelong benefits I have enjoyed from smoking, and henceforth motorcycling. In the long summer

friends, spending my loot on “forbidden” cigarettes seemed obvious. Each florin inserted into the outdoor vending machine at a nearby newsagent delivered a packet of ten filtertip fags. And there was a bonus. My less-clever mates could be suckered into paying sixpence for a solitary ciggie. So the two-bob packet could be worth a fatter five shillings, fully traded on. I was not only smoking but also saving.

It didn’t take me long to

realise there were other sources than anonymous vending machines, either. Most smaller retailers were happy to sell cigarettes to anybody who was just about tall enough to place coins on their counters.

Back at school that autumn, with lawnmowing in abeyance and my tenth birthday approaching, I got a Sunday job mucking out hen huts at a local poultry farm, to nurture nicotine-flavoured cashflow. Covert tobacconist activities also continued. The thrill of powered two-wheelers entered my consciousness too.

The farmer’s son, a couple of years older than me, had an ancient Francis-Barnett field bike to thrash around their big paddock while a few miserable sheep cowered in one corner. He taught me the rudiments of riding it and I was completely smitten. By Easter 1962, my cigarette business surplus had translated into an equally ancient Raleigh moped, soon followed by a quicker 70cc BSA Dandy scooterette with its leg shields discarded. They were both scrapyard challenges, really, subsequently replaced by an exGPO BSA Bantam – long in the tooth but boasting altogether better condition. It had cost me the princely sum of eight quid and survived unscathed until the summer of 1963, when it

International Share Prices


Better than expected quarterly corporate earnings reports from major US retailers relaxed investors, and Wall Street stocks rallied throughout the week. Driven by selfevident consumer confidence, analysts shrugged off concerns about the interest-rate reduction timetable – on the basis that it’ll happen sooner or later – so why worry about exactly when?

Most market indices reflected this sense of bonhomie with consistent gains. S&P 500 stocks finished 1.5% up, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average put on 1.2%. The NASDAQ Composite did even better, climbing by 2.1%. However, S&P’s MidCap 400 remained fairly weak, only managing a 0.7% advance, as manufacturing enterprises (including US powersports players) clearly weren’t enjoying the benefits of resurgent opportunities.


Teutonic shares faded after disappointing quarterly declines for the German energy and industrial sectors. This was expressed by Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax index turning negative by 0.4%. Among motorcycle-related automotives, BMW took a notable spanking.

The mood was better elsewhere, though. In Italy, Milan’s FTSE MIB index stacked on 2.1%. Nevertheless, scooter giant Piaggio’s Q1 profit slump was punished with a share price reversal. In Austria, the Wiener Börse ATX rose by a useful 1.7% and KTM parent Pierer shares made a remarkable recovery.



Bank of Japan currency support intervention became quieter, but didn’t stop,

as yen volatility continued – making it harder to translate the bottom lines in full-year and Q1 corporate reports into anything meaningful to western comprehension. Nevertheless, the Nikkei 225 index spanning exchanges in Tokyo and Osaka rallied, rising by 1.5%. Yamaha Motor was last to release data among the big-four Japanese motorcycle producers and immediately earned status as the week’s hot biker stock.


The end isn’t yet in sight for voting in India’s gigantic general election, but Mumbai’s investment community settled down, and the two key market indices tracked each other closely. S&P’s BSE Sensex 30 rose by 1.8% and the NSE Nifty 50 added 2%.

Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motor shares topped

60 JUNE 2024 On the Money

was confiscated by PC Plod, who caught me red-handed on the public highway.

By the time I passed the 11plus and ascended to Grammar School, the world had changed. Amateur ciggie commerce dried up because most of my contemporaries were smokers by then, buying their own fags, given

weekend casual employment exploitation of one sort or another was the rule rather than exception. New driving forces involved knowing which pubs would serve underage drinkers and ensuring proximity to girls. Buying a decent motorcycle was sadly beyond the reach for most, me included.

USA (dollar)

In 1970, I abandoned North Yorkshire for the bright lights of London and a student lifestyle. And when I tired of the poverty that entailed, a series of proper jobs got me back on the motorcycle ownership ladder and into a motorcycle journalism career. By 1980, incidentally when the dwarfish Rishi Sunak was spawned, I was earning a good living, writing about and riding bikes.

Ongoing progress and prosperity has never been interrupted by any of the dreadful illnesses to which smokers are supposedly condemned. I’ve been in fine fettle, sparking up pleasurable ciggies, for approximately 65 years now, without regret or deleterious consequences. Over much of that span, I could also marvel at the carefree relationship between Big Tobacco and the motorcycle industry.

For several decades, its sports sponsorship sold bikes as well as

cigarettes. All hail JPS Norton, Rothmans Honda, Marlboro Yamaha, Skoal Bandits Suzuki, etc, until the public health mafia got them excluded from print and TV media advertising channels. Only fag-paper brands like Rizla and Swan have managed to hang on in there to some extent.

Sunak’s punitive lunge at the smoking fraternity may marginalise us even further, but I’m sure there’s a doughty core who will be around when he’s pushing up daisies. Besides, a lucrative black market for juvenile recruits to the smoking mission is bound to emerge. If you want to popularise a product, banning access will simply make it more desirable.

The only complaints I’ve got about modern cigarettes is the anti-smoking lobby’s success in removing brand logos from packets, plastering them with faked-up pictures of the terrible things that might happen, should you actually smoke the contents, instead. They’ve even removed useful information describing the amounts of nourishing tar and nicotine you can relish with every drag. At least these impositions make foreign trips more exciting – seeing how many properlydecorated contraband cartons at giveaway prices can be smuggled back into the country in the luggage of an average touring motorcycle, without detection.

the genuinely motorcycle-oriented pile. Mahindra made bigger gains but its modest quantities of retro BSA and other PTW brands didn’t really figure. After all, this company is also the world’s largest agricultural tractor manufacturer.

CHINA – PUTIN ON A BRAVE FACE Chinese factory output data raised hopes of an economic uptick, while President Xi Jinping conducted a love-in with Russian leader Vladimir Putin – the outcome of which is opaque, although Xi moderated his abuse of Western global hegemony. He badly needs to sell more exports in that direction, paid for in hard currencies rather than fairly worthless roubles.

In China’s listed motorcycle producer firmament Qianjiang, Zongshen, Loncin and CFMoto stand out as the only worthwhile investments.

Europe (euro)

Japan (yen)

JUNE 2024 61 On the Money Market analysis with financial editor Roger Willis A snapshot of share performance across key manufacturers and markets Contact 01237 422660 or Share performance as of 17 May 2024 Price Week Month
(rupee) Hero Moto-Corp 5089.20 +4.3% +20.8% Bajaj Auto 8780.70 -2.3% -0.3% TVS Motor 2184.45 +5.9% +15.0% Eicher Motors 4693.90 +0.8% +8.1% Mahindra 2514.60 +14.7% +20.7%
(yuan) Qianjiang 20.81 -5.4% +31.7% Zongshen 12.93 +11.8% +25.5% Sundiro 3.15 -0.6% +7.1% CETC (Jialing) 11.93 -1.4% +6.0% Lifan 3.25 -0.9% +5.9% Loncin 7.75 -2.1% +20.3% Linhai 8.22 -0.8% +11.8% Guangzhou Auto 8.67 -1.3% -0.2% CFMoto 163.56 +2.0% +18.8% Xinri E-Vehicle 11.97 -5.5% +10.5% Price Week Month
Harley-Davidson 35.39 +2.0% -7.0% Polaris Industries 84.35 -3.7% -3.5% Textron 89.17 +0.7% -4.4% Ideanomics (Energica) 1.01 -1.9% +21.7% Niu Technologies 2.39 +3.0% +24.5% LiveWire 6.73 -4.7% -6.9%
BMW 96.02 -5.5% -9.3% Volkswagen 140.40 +4.1% -0.6% Pierer Mobility 39.50 +5.1% -2.7% Piaggio Group 2.86 -2.1% +2.1%
Honda 1728 -0.5% -1.1% Yamaha 1467 +2.0% +6.3% Suzuki 1785 -0.1% +4.3% Kawasaki 5520 -5.2% +15.0%

Used bike data


THE YAMAHA R1 HAS CREPT INTO OUR TOP THREE most popular bikes for sale on the MCN website this April, indicating sports bikes aren’t dead just yet. The Honda Gold Wing is the second most popular, with the Africa Twin taking the top spot.

In bike Reviews, a quarter of all sessions look at naked bikes, with the most popular being the new-for-2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801. That’s followed by the legendary Suzuki Bandit 600 and then Yamaha’s MT-09.

There’s a growing interest in sports bikes, too, with

1. Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin

2. Honda GL1800 Gold Wing

3. Yamaha R1

4. Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

5. BMW S1000 RR

6. Honda NC750X

7. Honda VFR800

8. Harley Davidson Sportster 883

9. Suzuki GSX-R750

10. Yamaha Ténéré 700

the sector now accounting for 18% of review sessions. The most popular over the past month have been the BMW S1000 RR, followed by the Kawasaki Ninja 500 and the Honda CBR650R.

Adventure bikes make up 17% of all sessions, and the most popular is the Yamaha Ténéré 700 Extreme, followed by the BMW M1000 XR and the Honda NX500.

GARETH EVANS Online editor, MCN

0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% Review views by sector/type Adventure Sport Custom Naked Scooter Sport / T our Supersport T ouring Retro T rail/Enduro Electric Percentage of views by type 2024 2023 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% MCN Bikes for sale views by sector/type Adventure Sport Custom Naked Scooter Sport/Tour Supersport Touring Classic Retro Dirt Bike Percentage of views by type 2024 2023 Used bike data
hot and what’s
Most viewed models Bikes for Sale Most viewed brands MCN Reviews Most popular bike reviews by type 1. Honda 17.9% 2. Yamaha 13.1% 3. BMW 10.3% 4. Kawasaki 10.3% 5. Suzuki 9.7% 6. Triumph 9.1% 7. Ducati 5.7%
KTM 3.4% 9. Harley-Davidson 3.1% 10. Aprilia 2.7% Adventure Sport 1. 2024 Yamaha Ténéré 700 Extreme 2. 2024 BMW M1000 XR 3. 2024 Honda NX500 4. 2014 Honda NC750X 5. 2024 CFMoto 450MT Sports 1. 2019 BMW S1000 RR 2. 2024 Kawasaki Ninja 500 3. 2019 Honda CBR650R 4. 2024 Yamaha XSR900 GP 5. 2011 Suzuki GSX-R750 Naked
1996 Suzuki
2013 Yamaha MT-09
not in the
Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 2.
5. 2009 Yamaha XJ6 Online Auction Every 3rd Thursday @11.00am S T R I C T L Y T R A D E O N L Y 01530 833535 Motorcycle Auctions


otorcycles on Auto Trader’s site are now selling at the fastest rate they have so far this year, with the average used bike taking 37 days to sell. That is 26 days faster than the average rate at the start of the year. This, coupled with the number of sales year-on-year rising by 19%, makes for a positive start to the season.

The market also continues to show positive signs of change with an overall market health of

+1%. That is due to strengthened demand for used machines, which is up 5%, outweighing supply which is up 4%. Comparing this to last year when, for the same period, the marker was at -22%, it shows the market is currently in good health with plenty of optimism both within the trade and from retail customers.

-22.3% -20.0% -18.1% -14.9% -10.9% -6.6% -10.5% -8.1% 8.6% -4.5% -7.3% 3.0% 0.9% -30.0% -20.0% -10.0% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% Apr 2023 May 2023 Jun 2023 Jul 2023 Aug 2023 Sep 2023 Oct 2023 Nov 2023 Dec 2023 Jan 2024 Feb 2024 Mar 2024 Apr 2024 Yearonyear change in market health Used bike demand YoY Used bike supply YoY -10% -5% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% Apr 2023 May 2023 Jun 2023 Jul 2023 Aug 2023 Sep 2023 Oct 2023 Nov 2023 Dec 2023 Jan 2024 Feb 2024 Mar 2024 Apr 2024 Change in yearonyear sales volume 36 30 30 27 29 33 33 37 48 63 55 41 37 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Apr 2023 May 2023 Jun 2023 Jul 2023 Aug 2023 Sep 2023 Oct 2023 Nov 2023 Dec 2023 Jan 2024 Feb 2024 Mar 2024 Apr 2024 Average number of days to sell Used bike data
Average number of days advertised before sale The fastest selling bikes on Auto Trader in April USED BIKE MARKET HEALTH 1. Kawasaki Z750 7 2. Harley-Davidson Street Glide 10 3. Lexmoto LXR125 11.5 4. Suzuki Bandit 650 11.5 5. Yamaha NMAX 125 12 6. Keeway RKF 125 12 7. Suzuki GSX-S750 12 8. Honda CRF250L 13.5 9. Honda CB125F 14 10. BMW R1200 R 14 11. Honda NT1100 15 12. Triumph Daytona 675 15 13. BMW F650 15 14. Husqvarna Svartpilen 125 16.5 15. KTM 390 Duke 17 16. Honda Vision 110 17 17. Honda CBR600F 17 18. Moto Guzzi V7 17 19. Yamaha XJ6 17 20. Honda PCX125 17.5 21. Honda SH125i 18 22. Honda Monkey 18 23. Yamaha YBR125 18 24. Royal Enfield Himalayan 18.5 USED BIKES SOLD DAYS TO SELL

UK registrations

64 JUNE 2024 New registrations New scooter and motorcycle registrations for April 2024
International registrations Registration statistics supplied by the MCIA; tel 02476 408000; Highest registering ICE model by capacity Apr 2024 registrations Niu MQi Plus Sport 49 Honda PCX125 393 Triumph Speed 400 173 Honda NC750X 107 Triumph Tiger 900GT Pro 101 BMW R1250 GS Adventure 218 2024 / 2023 ICE Registrations by capacity Year to Date ENGINE BAND Apr 2024 Apr 2023 % Change Apr 2024 Apr 2023 % Change 0 – 50cc 276 260 6.2% 1017 1128 -9.8% 51 – 125cc 3049 2868 6.3% 11264 11131 1.2% 126-500cc 1887 1588 18.8% 7221 6013 20.1% 501 – 750cc 1239 1378 -10.1% 4420 5148 -14.1% 751 – 1000cc 1592 1747 -8.9% 6350 6445 -1.5% over 1000cc 1503 1671 -10.1% 6452 6929 -6.9% TOTAL REGISTRATIONS 9546 9512 0.4% 36724 36794 -0.2% 2024 / 2023 Registrations by style Year to date Highest registering model by style Apr 2024 registrations MOPEDS Apr 2024 Apr 2023 % Change Apr 2024 Apr 2023 % Change Moped Naked 67 31 116.1% 175 120 45.8% Lexmoto Cypher 22 Moped Other 72 84 -14.3% 297 318 -6.6% Talaria TL4000 15 Moped Scooters 363 287 26.5% 1150 1118 2.9% Niu MQi Plus Sport 49 TOTAL MOPEDS 502 402 24.9% 1622 1556 4.2% MOTORCYCLES Adventure 2062 1780 15.8% 8178 7330 11.6% BMW R1250 GS Adventure 218 Competition 541 637 -15.1% 1910 2366 -19.3% Sur-Ron Ultra Bee 38 Custom 724 680 6.5% 2467 2514 -1.9% Royal Enfield Meteor 350 104 Modern Classic 1071 1034 3.6% 4104 3952 3.8% Triumph Speed 400 173 Naked 1965 2334 -15.8% 7301 8217 -11.1% Honda CBF125R 123 Road Sport 876 783 11.9% 3437 2945 16.7% Honda CBR650R 103 Scooter 1921 1840 4.4% 7707 7594 1.5% Honda PCX125 393 Touring 201 242 -16.9% 830 1063 -21.9% Honda NT1100 32 Unspecified 10 26 -61.5% 87 63 38.1% TOTAL MOTORCYCLES 9371 9356 0.2% 36021 36044 -0.1% TRICYCLES Other 55 36 52.8% 120 137 -12.4% Carver S+ 80 8 Scooter 32 54 -40.7% 149 133 12.0% Piaggio MP3 300 12 TOTAL TRICYCLES 87 90 -3.3% 269 270 -0.4% TOTAL REGISTRATIONS 9960 9848 1.1% 37912 37870 0.1% <50cc 51-125cc 126-250cc > 250cc Grand Total Jan 2023 7222 11,114 6065 3047 27,448 Feb 2023 7271 15,978 4330 5186 32,765 Mar 2023 11,863 16,417 5311 5482 39,073 Apr 2023 8057 11,578 3316 5304 28,255 May 2023 6760 11,166 6205 4224 28,355 Jun 2023 6637 11,403 6168 7485 31,693 Jul 2023 7091 12,353 6344 6715 32,503 Aug 2023 7588 9297 6256 6582 29,723 Sep 2023 8728 11,039 6792 6414 32,973 Oct 2023 7751 13,060 6620 5935 33,366 Nov 2023 7391 13,641 5293 5983 32,308 Dec 2023 6465 12,609 3930 5254 28,258 Jan 2024 6916 10,846 3277 3740 24,779 Feb 2024 9765 9675 3379 4524 27,343 Mar 2024 12,586 10,734 3317 5809 32,446 Apr 2024 8997 8736 3855 5963 27,551 PTW REGISTRATIONS BY CAPACITY 0 500,000 1,000,000 1,500,000 2,000,000 2,500,000 200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017201820192020202120222023 0 200000 400000 600000 800000 1000000 200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017201820192020202120222023 Motorcycle Production Moped vs Motorcycle registrations Over 50cc Under 50cc

April 2024

1. Honda ............. 1976 (+6.3%)

2. Triumph ........... 1016 (+21.4%)

3. Yamaha ............. 960 (-12.8%)

4. BMW .............. 833 (+28.0%)

5. Royal Enfield ........ 532 (+10.4%)

6. KTM 526 (- 21.7%)

7. Lexmoto 508 (+75.2%)

8. Kawasaki 463 (+1.3%)

Rolling Year Comparison

April 2023

1. Honda 1859

2. Yamaha 1101

3. Triumph 837

4. KTM 672

5. BMW 651

6. Royal Enfield 482

7. Kawasaki 457

8. Ducati 310

9. Suzuki 304

10. Lexmoto 290

Registrations struggle for grip in April

AFTER UNDERWHELMING NEWplate numbers in March, April registrations failed to impress too, as new-season showroom footfall lacked purchase momentum. The MCIA’s total monthly headcount rose by a pathetic 1.1% to 9960 units. Whether this was attributable to weaker demand or absent inventory had to be moot.

9. Harley-Davidson 216 (n/a) 10. Suzuki 211 (-30.6%) Petrolhead

For registration statistics for alternative power two-wheelers, see page 36

Registration statistics supplied by the MCIA; tel 02476 408000;

Motorcycle registrations and production data from Japan


JAPAN HAS A BUILT-IN LOVE OF motorcycling. Spread across more than 14,000 islands, the country has a population of 124 million, which is around 77% greater than the UK. However, the motorcycle market last year was considerably larger than the UK’s, registering more than three times as many PTWs.

Despite that, the market got off to a rocky start in 2024, with the first four months of the year (Jan-Apr) all down compared to the same months in 2023.

Of the four capacity sectors Japan’s trade association (JAMA)

divides the market into, the moped market has fared least-badly so far this year, but historically it has been hardest hit. Up until 2007, the sub50cc sector made up more than half the total PTW market, but after the global financial crisis of 2008, not only were overall sales permenently reduced by around a third, mopeds lost their shine and have consistantly lost market share since.

The 2008 crisis also hit Japan’s bike factories hard, with production falling by more than 60% and never recovering as cheaper to run production sites were opened abroad.

BDN financial editor Roger Willis suspects a mixture of both. Motorcycles were on the receiving end of a 0.9% decline to 7450, countered by a 4.4% gain for scooters to 1921 and a better 24.9% improvement for mopeds to 502. Trikes were 3.3% down to 87. Petrolhead products overall were just 0.4% up to 9546. The up-to-125cc mobility and fleet delivery segment added a reasonable 6.3% to 3325 – by far the biggest slice of April registrations. Some 393 samples of Honda’s PCX125 scooter waved the fleet leadership flag. The only other prospering slot was the notionally A2-dominated 126-500cc segment, with growth of a fat 18.8% to 1887. Within that, Triumph’s Speed 400 was outright best-seller and Royal Enfield’s Meteor 350 deserved an honourable mention, as they also earned respective Modern Classic and Custom best-seller laurels. Every larger capacity class incurred losses. Machines in the 501750cc bracket fell by 10.1% to 1239, headed up by the bland but versatile Honda NC750X workhorse. Cashcow steeds in the 751-1000cc range surrendered some popularity too, 8.9% down for a second consecutive month, this time to a 1592 tally. However, Triumph’s Tiger 900GT Pro also held best-seller status for a second month on the trot. Premium 1000cc-plus products were 10.1% in arrears as well, on 1503 registrations. BMW Motorrad was rewarded with the best-seller

dog biscuit for its rump R1250 GS Adventure, which de-throned the new R1300 GS. That probably reflects inventory restocking issues, following particularly high R1300 GS sales volume in March.

As for the year-on-year brand ranking chart, some of it revolved around distortions from the doubledigit percentage registrations decline last April. Inevitably, Honda hung onto hegemony, 6.3% up. But PCX125 scooter fleet input accounted for about 20% of sales. Triumph stacked on 21.4% to a fairly distant second, with budgetpriced Speed 400 sales contributing 17% of its total. On third spot, Yamaha retreated by 12.8%.

BMW Motorrad enjoyed 28% growth in fourth place. Shifting swansong R1250 GS Adventure stock represented 26.2% of its headcount. Royal Enfield completed the Top Five, 10.4% up. KTM, in sixth, plunged by 21.7%. Contrarily, Lexmoto in seventh went ballistic, increasing by 75.2% – undoubtedly a bonus from inventory influx. Kawasaki in eighth virtually flatlined, a 1.3% rise equating to half a dozen extra sales. Harley-Davidson made a rare chart appearance in ninth, boasting just 216 units sold. No comparison was possible, because we weren’t blessed with such a visit 12 months earlier. Finally, Suzuki crept into tenth, its volume plummeting by 30.6%. That obviously means a grievous hangover of back orders awaited. In the four months of 2024 to date, total registrations have now risen by a mere 0.1% to 37,912. The internal combustion firmament has fallen by 0.2% to 36,724. Batteryelectric products have grown by 10.4% to just 1188 units. The word “positive” – attached to this data by a leading industry executive – is hardly appropriate.

JUNE 2024 65 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 18000 20000
Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr 2022/23 2023/24 New registrations
Jun Jul
Top Ten Manufacturers
products overall were just
0.4% up to

Q2 sees motorcycle registrations back on track

After a rocky end to Q1, with March seeing a fall in registrations, Q2 has started more positively with a 1.1% increase in total registrations for April, a sign that the new motorcycle market is getting back on track”, says Symon Cook, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA).

“In April, total registrations increased by 1.1%, from 9848 to 9960 units, with mopeds up 24.9% and motorcycles up 0.2% within that. Year-to-date figures show total registrations slightly higher than at the same point last year, increasing from 37,870 to 37,912, a 0.1% rise.

“Many motorcycle categories saw an increase in registrations in April. The adventure and road sport categories witnessed the most significant rises, going from 1780 to 2062 and from 783 to 876 units, respectively, equating to increases of 15.8% and 11.9%. Other categories such as touring and naked models saw decreases with a 16.9% and 15.8% fall respectively. April’s figures also reveal a decrease in 501-750cc motorcycles from 1378 to 1239 (-10.1%). However, 126-500cc motorcycles saw an increase of 18.8%.

“In the current market landscape, electric registrations increased from 336 to 414 units, an increase year-on-year of 23.2%, indicating that electric adoption is gradually, but steadily, rising.

“Honda remains the top-selling brand in the market, with 1976 units sold in April. Triumph comes in second with 1016 units. Yamaha completes the top three with 960 units, while Suzuki completes the top 10 with 211 units.”

Cook concluded: “Year-to-date figures show just a modest 0.1% increase in registrations, but there are certainly encouraging signs, particularly as we enter the warmer months of the year. It should also be noted that electric registrations have seen steady growth so far this year. NMDA dealers’ express confidence that the upcoming months will yield further successes.”

Glass’s motorcycle market overview


Industry Association (MCIA) showed that registrations in April grew by 1.1%. Following a decline in March, this is positive news. However, the next few months will give a clearer indication of market performance as the season progresses towards its peak.

Feedback from dealers in April suggests that the season has continued to be slower this year, with April feeling more like March for some. Although a combination of factors has hindered the market for some time, persistent wet weather has been the major culprit recently. However, the market did show increased growth as the month progressed, with some dealers achieving their targets, but this can be brand dependent.

doing well because used machines are a more affordable option, while others are struggling and doing better with their new machines. The overall impression is that the used market is currently marginally less buoyant than the new market.

Demand for used bikes in April was variable, with price, mileage and condition all being key. However, as with the new market, mid-range machines continue to be the most sought after, although demand for larger machines remains, and they are selling well for some dealers.

The market did show increased growth as the month progressed

The Triumph 400 Scrambler and Speed models continue to be successful, with no sign of sales slowing down. The bulk of demand is currently for smaller to mid-range machines, although larger machines continue to do well.


Sales and demand for used machinery have been variable. Some dealers report they are


April was a month of two halves, being mild to begin with and colder later. However, the wet theme remained throughout, resulting in continued poor riding conditions. May has started warmer and, more importantly, drier, providing some much-needed decent riding conditions to help give the season the boost it desperately needs. As June approaches and with daylight hours nearing their maximum, values are expected to remain firm across most segments.

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