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key business information for the UK motorcycle and scooter industry
Key business information for the UK motorcycle and scooter industry • November 2020
SEGWAY +PLUS+ SPLASHDOWN
More Euro 5 stock lands in the UK
Dualways brings an exciting new off-road hybrid range to the UK. Full report page 8
Job Support Scheme details
Bull-it goes direct Reducing your returns rate IOM TT 2021 in question Marketing to the unreachable Italian brand buys TCX boots Trade Talk – the manufacturers Making airbags accessible November2020
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November 2020 : Issue 233
4 The final countdown 6 Bull-it Jeans goes direct 8 New Segways stun 9 Derogation changes 10 Dunlop gets BMW boost 12 Yamaha sells Motori Minarelli 16-25 Trade Talk: Manufacturers 26 On the move – New trade signings 27 Dainese acquires TCX 28 Norton settlement still vague 29 Wilby rebrands to PIB 30-31 International news – Indian sales surge 32-33 Off-road news – High interest trade account 36 Bennetts takeover bites the dust 38 Phillip Youles – Fed up with Covid excuses 39 Guildford Triumph disappears
58 42 the business
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40 REACTION Happy in the weeds 41
OFF THE CUFF Light-hearted industry viewpoints
42 MOTOMONDO Mash means business 46 MCIA Sales, Brexit and Euro 5 transition 48 BUSINESS BEAT Reduce your return rate 50 DIGITALLY CHARGED Reaching the unreachable
66 USED BIKE DATA From Autotrader and Glass’s Guide
52 MARKETING MATTERS Silence is golden, but volume is key
67 ON THE MONEY Roger Willis on the IOM TT 2021
54 THE BUSINESS ESSENTIALS Job Support Scheme – how will it work?
69 INTERNATIONAL SHARE PRICES A snapshot of global performance 70 NEW REGISTRATION DATA MCIA statistics, NMDA and BDN reports
56 MOTODIRECT PRODUCT LAUNCH What a difference a year makes 58 PRODUCTS Retail profit opportunities
NOVEMBER 2020 3
Having entered the final quarter of 2020, the vivid contrast in dealer sales performance between the second and third quarters of this year is behind us. BDN compares notes and ponders on what comes next.
BDN Financial editor Roger Willis Grant Shapps is entirely fixated with bunging lthough business soon gathered speed bicycle vendors, pushing potentially lethal on the back of unrequited demand e-scooters on to city streets and trying to bully in June, once showroom doors were the populace back into the disease-riddled allowed to fully reopen, we were still left with confines of trains, trams and buses to stop their an unforgettably grim memory of Q2. Over the operators becoming an even greater burden on three months, registrations plunged by 37%, the public purse. The fact that such mass transportation is still representing almost 12,000 fewer bikes sold. But then as Q3 unfolded, the only remaining mainly carrying fresh air rather than passengers is an ongoing bonus for us, fear seemed to be a risk of of course. Being the lessrunning out of stock. By the No help frightening alternative is a end of September, magnificent gloriously new experience. quarterly demand had been whatsoever But other aspects of Covid’s sated by 26.3% growth overall has been second-wave resurgence – an additional 7852 machines certainly aren’t. registered versus the same forthcoming The government’s illperiod last year. conceived and disastrously For up-to-125cc products from the mismanaged rolling lockdown oriented towards short- Cummings/ programme, and arbitrary haul commuters, Q3 was gathering limits, are a footfall exceptional, featuring a Johnson hindrance for all public-facing massive 40.7% increase to businesses. And, as we go to 17,221 small motorcycles, government press, they seem set to scooters and mopeds. In the nine months of 2020 to date, this sector has get more extreme. Never mind the now shrugged off Covid-related tribulations possibility of Christmas being cancelled, obligatory shutters completely and actually grown by 7.4%. The 126cc-plus sector bounced back too, but to may be in place through a lesser extent. Its total Q3 figures rose by 16.3% November. Finally, hard facts on to 20,449. However, recovery was attenuating during September, down to only a 4.1% monthly Euro 4 derogation volume improvement. And on a nine-monthly basis, this is difficult to find. Are we sector languished 17.2% in arrears on 47,053. likely to see a repeat rush A forthright MCIA-initiated promotional to preregister affected campaign extolling solitary travel virtues and inventory residues, like dedicated trade commitment get all the credit the December 2016 Euro for advances we have made. Despite industry 3 fiasco, as the deadline representatives assiduously door-stepping approaches? Going forward politicians, no help whatsoever has been into the New Year with a forthcoming from the Cummings/Johnson distress preregistrations sellthrough to face definitely won’t government. Department for Transport head honcho help recovery momentum.
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STAND-OUT BRAGGING RIGHTS undoubtedly went to Lexmoto and BMW Motorrad. The former’s budget-friendly commuting offer has become a major force in the burgeoning up-to-125cc market, right up Honda’s tailpipe. The latter was a massive profit generator for its dealers, considering those sales and the substantial increase mostly represent premium large-capacity motorcycles at the high-net-worth end of 126cc-plus action. Yamaha’s progress wasn’t as healthy as it looked, coming from a particularly weak performance in the same quarter last year. As for Triumph, a comparatively small gain can be attributed to inventory famine, especially in the adventure sector. Furthermore, this Anglo-Siamese enterprise almost dropped out of the chart, only 20 bikes ahead of KTM – which flaunted a puissant 32.4% increase. It has to be said that manufacturer-inspired discounting by one means or another remained a common denominator, both for generalised demand titivation in relation to slow movers and hopefully ensuring good riddance to underogated Euro 4 stock surplus.
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NMDA survey available online
he National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) has announced that the Autumn 2020 edition of its Dealer Attitude Survey has gone live and will be available online until November. The NMDA started the confidential bi-annual survey to bring together the views of motorcycle dealers. It says that findings from previous surveys have enabled it to strengthen its members’ voice around issues with manufacturers and government departments. To ensure dealers can efficiently complete the survey the NMDA has positioned this edition almost exclusively online, and asks dealers to visit www.snapsurveys.com/nmda to complete it. Dealers can also email: jordi. firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a copy of the survey in the post, which they can fill out and return free of charge.
Bull-it Jeans now direct from Covec C ovec’s motorcycle clothing brand Bull-it Jeans is to supply dealers direct from its Hampshire base. The news follows a realignment of its global business to address changing business conditions following the Covid pandemic and Brexit. Keith Bloxsome, Covec managing director said: “Since 2016 when Brexit became fact, we changed the way we ship by directing deliveries straight from the factory in Asia to our EU distributors. This nullifies the Brexit affect, allowing product to pass through EU customs duty free. That will continue from 1 January next year, the same as it has for the last four years.” Established in 2010 and a winner this year of the Queens Award for International Trade, Bull-it has become an export leader in the motorcycle clothing sector helping it to withstand the pressures of the pandemic, says Bloxsome. “Markets around the world were affected in different ways – sales in Australia, USA and Germany, for example, saw no real interruption in business – so
when lockdown in the UK ended, it was pretty much business as usual. This year looks like being a record £2m sales year for Covec, sales of technical materials have flourished and added to that OEM production for global brands has given us excellent foundations for multi-sales channel growth.” Announcing the decision to supply direct he said: “Changing buying patterns required a review of how we can support dealers and distributors, to that end we are bringing distribution to UK dealers back in house. We feel our knowledge of technical textiles can be better communicated from the talented team we have here in Hampshire. We are really excited about making the brand desirable to the consumer and profitable for selected partners. Dealers can count on our revenue controls and we can now help them directly. Being robust in this current and uncertain world, is paramount. Covec Ltd 01489 582707 email@example.com
Pre-pack reform on the way THE GOVERNMENT HAS ANNOUNCED planned changes to the UK’s insolvency regime that will affect how firms that have failed are sold through what is known as a ‘pre-pack’ sale. This process is an insolvency procedure where a company arranges to sell its assets to a buyer before appointing administrators to facilitate the sale. If the proposals are transposed into law, pre-pack sales to connected parties – that is, directors or shareholders that were involved with the management or ownership of the failed business – will be subject to mandatory scrutiny. As the Insolvency Services points out, “Prepack administration sales are widely considered to be a valuable rescue tool. However, concerns have been raised that arrangements may not always be in the best interests of creditors.” The reality for many is that while they’re
considered to be a powerful and legal way of selling the business on to a trade buyer or third party, a pre-pack does leave many who lose out with a nasty taste in the mouth since the transaction is not completed on the open market. According to Paul Taylor, a partner at City law firm Fox Williams, “Every five years or so, the insolvency profession seems to try and wrestle with the public outcry about the use of so-called pre-packs.” As he points out, “In its simplest terms, this is where Widget Manufacturing Limited goes into administration, and the very next day Widget Manufacturing 2020 Limited is operating the same business and being owned by the same shareholders … the only crucial difference is that several key liabilities – usually owed to landlords – are left behind in the insolvent business.” The problems associated with pre-packs
aren’t new and attempts to further regulate this area of insolvency practice led to reforms in 2008 and 2013 and the Introduction of Statement of Insolvency Practice 16, known as SIP 16. But the process, which mainly relied on the insolvency industry regulating itself by a mixture of greater transparency and emphasis on valuation of transferring assets, hasn’t proved to be the boon that it was meant to. As Taylor explains, feedback remains that “SIP16 is not fit for purpose and given the increased level of business failures, with plenty more Covid insolvencies waiting in the wings, it is no surprise that government has indicated a willingness to look at this again.” Any new legislation in this area will apply to England, Scotland and Wales; insolvency matters are a devolved matter in Northern Ireland.
New Segways stun S egway Powersports is coming to the UK and exclusive distributor Dualways is looking to set up a national network of proactive dealerships. Launched at EICMA 2019, the range of road legal hybrid and petrol powered machines comprise ATV, utility and sport side-by-side models. Targeted at the leisure and agricultural markets, a total of nine, high-tech, road-legal high-performance models will be available with initial deliveries starting from December. Aside from the electric drivetrain technology Segway is famous for, all the new models feature an advanced telematics system. This unique app-based operation notifies the owner about service intervals and updates, battery condition and fuel range. It also tracks suspicious movement to aid theft detection and sends a warning to others in the event of an accident. Dualways has a strong pedigree of importing and distribution in the UK, successfully relaunching the
TGB ATV range, plus launching various in-house brands that have seen much success, such as 10Ten MX and Amped Bikes. The company has also built up its aftersales, parts supply and dealer support systems. Dualways MD Henry Maplethorpe commented; “This is a perfect time to distribute this exciting range of products from such a well-known brand. Not only does Segway Powersports have model ranges to fit each of the UK market segments, we have seen massive growth in those areas during the lockdown period. Additionally, we have never been in a better position to service new dealers with stock and backup, after upgrading our own systems and resources. We’d love to hear from dealers who want to partner and grow the Segway Powersports brand in the UK.” Dualways firstname.lastname@example.org powersports.segway.com
Export screen sales surge Remember, dealers need to be informed before consumers. We require trade relevant information about the item, retail pricing and up to date contact details. Plus good quality imagery. Send your information and images to: email@example.com or British Dealer News, 10 Daddon Court, Clovelly Road Ind Est, Bideford EX39 3FH
Call us on 01237 422660
VE (UK) REPORTS A BIG GLOBAL increase in demand for its “Made in England” VE Actif scooter flyscreens. Celebrating the company’s 32nd anniversary in 2021 owner, Norrie Kerr was as energised and straight talking as ever speaking to BDN about the screen’s export success. “Our screen team has been flat out manufacturing VE Actif screens since the end of last year. We have managed to keep up with UK demand, but now we are upping production to cope with the export market. In the last few months we have taken multiple orders from numerous countries including Australia, USA, France, Italy and Germany, and we are also seeing increased sales from the UK market. Every screen gets the personal treatment and is hand fettled, with the finish better than it’s ever been.” The VE gaffer has still firmly got his eye on the long game and says the reason VE has increased
business through Covid is down to the company’s honest, and straightforward trading style, linked with expert product knowledge provided by long standing experienced staff, many of whom have worked for the Kerr family for over 20 years. “Since moving to our new premises in 2018, we realigned our overheads to mirror market conditions. We then reviewed logistics to improve efficiency and improve margins for our dealers. The improvements have served us well and dealers are seeing the fruits of our labours,” said Kerr. VE has been manufacturing its range of Actif screens since 1992, after it bought machinery, ovens and mouldings from a Midlandsbased manufacturer which had previously been making screens for Feridax and moved the operation into the original VE Harrington Mills HQ in Long Eaton, Notts. “Graham, our top screen maker,
set to work and is still making the screens today! Alongside him is newly recruited apprentice Ryan, who is assisting with the increase in production needed to keep our new customers supplied,” said Kerr. VE has always catered for Lambretta and Vespa models but has recently developed screens and fitments for Royal Alloy, Scomadi and Lambretta V, in a full range of auto and classic fitments. Early screen moulds for some classic 1960s Vespa models, including the GS160, VBA, VBB and Sportique, are in line for production as well as moulds for early shaped classic screen bases. VE continues to offer an extensive range of colours and screen blades in round or squaretop shapes. See the new Flared screen with handlebar fitments on page 62 of this issue. VE (UK) 0115 946 2991 firstname.lastname@example.org
Industry demands urgent Euro 4 derogation changes
he MCIA is calling for urgent adoption of EU derogation rules appertaining to powered two-wheelers by the DfT, as the 31 December 2020 Euro 4 registrations deadline looms. Noting that the Council of the EU and the European Parliament have endorsed a European Commission proposal, known as Article 44A, which will allow EU bike manufacturers and importers more options with derogation quantities, the MCIA has appealed for the DfT to follow suit in the UK. By adopting Article 44A, the government could allow UK-based manufacturers and importers more flexibility with registering their stock, helping to alleviate another pressure on their businesses in this most challenging of years. The MCIA has pointed out that, despite very positive UK bike sales since June when dealers were released from lockdowns, the previous lack of business at the height of the sales season makes the proposed derogation volume impossible to achieve. Without an amendment to current restrictions, dealers and their suppliers will be forced into a desperate scrabble to preregister Euro 4 inventory exceeding derogation limits before the deadline. This will devalue what will effectively become pre-owned machines, when sold through to customers in the New Year – imposing an additional burden on the bike trade.
ACEM DEROGATION WITH UNANIMOUS AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE EU COUNCIL OF Ministers, European Parliament and European Commission in place, Europe-wide motorcycle industry body ACEM has won a critical deal on Euro 4 legacy stock derogation. This will see EU Regulation 168/2013 on the Euro 4 to Euro 5 transition deadline adapted to allow sell-through to 31 December 2021 of all Euro 4 machines that were in stock when Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns were introduced across the EU – officially established as 15 March 2020. The industry has estimated this volume equated to around 550,000 bikes. Those remaining unsold will now benefit from an extra year’s grace. Any Euro 4 products manufactured or imported after that date will still have to be registered by 31 December 2020, because the Euro 5 introduction hasn’t moved. The MCIA is essentially calling for this deal to be replicated by the UK government.
New campaign direction for MCIA
he Motorcycle Industry Association is moving onto a second phase of its UnlockYourFreedom campaign in the light of government advice changing to reflect new transport guidance. The revised campaign will focus more on the positive aspects of getting on PTWs, rather than a comparison between public transport and PTWs, while still remaining relevant to varying circumstances across the country. MCIA marketing manager Gina Evans explains: “We have added information with regards to protective clothing
and insurance options to the campaign website, which all helps to form a one-stop site that can provide advice to anyone looking to get on two wheels. “And to allow our members to get involved in the campaign, we have updated the suite of visual assets. These are available by emailing info@mcia. co.uk and we are encouraging members to use them in digital promotions and social media posts. Tag posts with #UnlockYourFreedom and add us in on Twitter @MCIATweets.” www.unlockyourfreedom.co.uk
NOVEMBER 2020 9
Dunlop gets BMW booster
MW Motorrad has chosen Dunlop’s SportSmart TT as OE fitment on the new limited-edition M1000RR development of its S1000RR superbike. Commenting on this coup, Dunlop Moto Europe original equipment manager Miguel Morais enthused: “We are proud that BMW has awarded Dunlop with an exclusive supply agreement for the firstever ‘M’ motorcycle. Every M1000RR will be fitted with the SportSmart TT, which underlines and endorses the high performance and technology of the tyre.”
Although BMW’s new machine takes its ‘M’ prefix from the brand’s high-performance car range, the motorcycle is actually a significantly re-engineered and upgraded homologation special primarily aimed at customer race teams. This means it must initially have a road-legal specification, and be manufactured in sufficient quantities, to earn accreditation within Superstock and Superbike competition rules. But like similar raceoriented propositions such as the Ducati Panigale V4R, many examples will end up in the hands of welloff individuals for
DVLA launches faster duplicate logbook service
he time it takes to receive a duplicate logbook (V5C) has been slashed from six weeks to just five days, as a result of a new online service launched by DVLA. The ‘Get a vehicle logbook (V5C)’ service is the latest DVLA online service. Every year DVLA issue around 500,000 duplicate logbooks where motorists have either lost or damaged their document. Julie Lennard, DVLA chief executive, said: “The DVLA’s new online service to apply for a duplicate logbook is quick and easy to use and means customers who have unfortunately either lost or damaged theirs will receive their new document within a matter of days. “We know how important a logbook is to
track-day and extreme road-riding activities. So, as Dunlop is obviously keen to point out, a race-inspired bike requires race-inspired tyres. The SportSmart TT fits that description as it has the same NTEC RT technology as used in Peter Hickman’s Isle of Man TT-winning Dunlop tyres. This allows the rear pressure to be lowered for track use, enlarging the contact patch and maximising grip. And a unique feature of SportSmart TT is its Speed Vent tread which has a groove pattern that opens and closes when the tyre turns, creating a vent-like effect to improve heat dissipation.
NMDA BACKS NEW SERVICE
motorists so if you have lost or damaged yours, the quickest way to get your duplicate document is go to the DVLA website.” DVLA staff have been working in the Swansea office throughout the entire pandemic, but with South Wales currently subject to local lockdown measures there are fewer staff than usual on site. This means if dealers post applications for replacement documentation to them, which must be processed securely on site by a member of staff, they will take longer than if applied for online. www.gov.uk/vehicle-log-book
THE NATIONAL MOTORCYCLE DEALERS Association (NMDA) has welcomed the DVLA’s new online services, saying they are the quickest, easiest and often cheapest way to deal with the Agency. Paddy O’Connell, head of the NMDA, commented “We encourage motorcycle dealers to use the DVLA’s new and updated online services. Dealers will benefit from a quicker, slicker and even more enjoyable handover process for their customers. The time saved on admin by using the online services will reduce costs, save time and simplify dealers’ interactions with riders, increasing customer satisfaction.” The NMDA recommends that dealers avail themselves of DVLA’s full online services which, as well as the new replacement V5C service, include informing the Agency of vehicle sales. The full list of services is available at www.gov.uk/ guidance/dvla-coronavirus-covid-19-update
Manx menace Scottish dealer
lasgow dealership TT Motorcycles, established two years ago by Chris Adam, has been forced into renaming as CA Motorcycles following legal threats. Big-league international law firm Evershed Sutherland, acting on behalf of the Isle of Man Government’s Department of Enterprise, recently wrote to Adams, insisting that he must immediately cease using the TT name due to trademark infringement. Evershed Sutherland’s letter said: “TT Motorcycles and the stylisation of the TT logo that is in use on your website are highly similar to the TT registrations
owned by our client. In view of the high level of similarity between the respective marks and the substantial goodwill enjoyed by the TT registrations, there is a risk of confusion as members of the public may consider your services are connected to our client’s business.” It then went on to suggest the Isle of Man Government could therefore incur damage, such as “loss of sales or dilution to its brand.” Speaking to Scotland’s Daily Record newspaper, the dealer complained: “It’s been a sore one, to say the least. I’m just a wee business from Glasgow. I can’t compete with a government on this. It’s kind of bully-boy tactics, the way it’s been handled.”
Scottish dealer Chris Adam has been forced to change his company name
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Yamaha sells Motori Minarelli
amaha has sold its Motori Minarelli employing the MT 700cc twin platform – the European engine-building operation to retro XSR700, MT-07 Tracer and Ténéré 700 niche Italian bike manufacturer Fantic adventure bike. Presumably all of their motive Motor in a deal that raises more questions power is sourced via Minarelli. And thereby another question mark must hang over MBK than answers. According to Yamaha Motor Europe, disposal Industrie’s future. The elephant in the room has to be a recently of the factory, which is based at Calderara di Reno near Bologna, is in line with Yamaha’s concluded EU-Japan free trade agreement. This agreement will eliminate import duties global engine manufacturing strategy. A long-winded explanation from YME claimed this strategy leverages on: “the increase A tariff-free vista in efficiency through global deployment of engine platforms, and optimisation of beckons, removing production capacity through consolidation of the raison d’etre combustion engine manufacturing in the main volume markets”. Consolidation is obviously for offshoring the key ingredient here. In other words, production of goods Minarelli is surplus to requirements. Yamaha first bought a stake in the company from Giorgio Minarelli, son of its founder, in on Japanese wares, such as motorcycles 1990. Steadily increasing investment led to full and associated sub-assemblies, entering the control as a subsidiary by 2002. It was already European Union. A tariff-free vista beckons, churning out 125cc four-stroke automatic removing the raison d’etre for offshoring scooter powertrains for the Japanese parent, production of goods into the markets for as well as two-stroke products for which which they are destined – particular when its cheaper to bosh them out on home turf. Minarelli had been originally famous. Much of the YME joint statement with Besides supplying proprietary engines and transmissions to a wide variety of independent M i n a r e l l i European manufacturers – including Piaggio p u r c h a s e r Group’s Aprilia brand, Beta, Malaguti and Fantic was about Rieju – Motori Minarelli’s biggest customer is strengthening from within the Yamaha fold. Way back in 1986 prior to involvement with Minarelli, Yamaha had acquired a majority shareholding in MBK Industrie, the former Motobécane moped concern. Located at Rouvroy, a suburb of Saint Quentin in Northern France, MBK was initially developed as Yamaha’s European scooter assembly hub, became whollyowned in 2000 and also started to make motorcycles four years later. As well as producing the 125-400cc XMax scooter range, plus YZF-R125 and MT-125 small motorcycles, MBK now assembles The future of European production of Yamaha models larger machines for European consumption has been thrown into doubt by the sale of Minarelli
synergies and reinforcing their strategic partnership: “to move collaboration between the two companies to the next level in the fields of motorcycle and e-mobility”. Previously, the only recent “collaboration” many observers had noticed was YME licensing a version of its YZ125 two-stroke motocross engine, made by Minarelli, for use in the 2021 model-year Fantic XE125 2T Enduro, along with some Yamaha parts-bin chassis components. Attractive as it might be, rumours that the bike had achieved Euro 5 emissions compliance were taken with a pinch of salt. Of course, Fantic’s flagship Caballero 500 street scrambler (currently running a Chinese Zongshen motor) and its smaller cousins will benefit from Yamaha technology through the Minarelli link. And there is an e-mobility connection, in as much as Fantic already has the funky 250w Issimo e-bike range and also makes MTB-style pedelecs. To be fair, Fantic has prospered under managing director Mariano Roman, formerly a veteran technical supremo at Aprilia. Its annual turnover has grown to about £39m with 120 employees across two factories. Minarelli, on the other hand, has been downsizing over the past decade, its staff reduced to around 200 personnel and revenue shrinking to somewhere in the region of £50m. A sweetener for the deal is engine production continuity on contract to Yamaha, to feed MBK. Fantic also intends to use spare Minarelli capacity to assemble motorcycles at Calderara di Reno. The combined businesses may well be sustainable in the medium term. Nevertheless it’s hard to shrug off the suspicion that much of Yamaha’s prognostication was simply windowdressing, in the face of unavoidably forthcoming electrification, for a hard-nosed decision to scale back or eventually abandon European production altogether.
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’ s r e r tu c a f u n Ma
‘May you live in interesting times’, goes the (supposedly) ancient Chinese curse. And it’s fair to say that in 2020, with a virus pandemic that had its roots in China, there hasn’t been a dull moment. COVID-19, and the resulting upheaval of societies worldwide, has overturned all norms, and it’s no exaggeration to say none of us have ever had to deal with anything like it.
DN has been looking at how 2020 has developed for the whole motorcycle industry over the past couple of months. We have spoken to dealers themselves, then we listened to accessory and kit distributors. And this month we are looking at the bike manufacturers and importers. We asked them how they coped in those unnerving early days, when the pandemic moved from China and Italy to Coventry and Ipswich, and the government closed down almost the entire UK economy outside food and the NHS. They took us through those uncertain days in April and May as the whole industry adapted to a ‘new normal’. And we come right up to date, with a look at the incredible, unexpected sales success on showroom floors through the summer months, from June to September and beyond. The story that emerged was an intriguing one. There was near despair as firms closed their shutters in March, and parent firms
invoked emergency plans adapted from those for disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis. Cashflow became as vital to the trade as PPE was to the NHS, and big players like Honda and Kawasaki supported dealers with payment holidays and interest freezes. Then, through April and May, the entrepreneurial spirit of the dealers came to the fore, along with the need for customers to keep riding. Workshops were buzzing with services and repairs for key workers’ bikes – and the go-getters in the trade were selling bikes via Google and Facebook, taking payments online and delivering alcohol-sanitised machinery to customers’ doors, all while following the new social-distancing rules. By June, when the UK government allowed shops to re-open, another tsunami struck. But this was a positive one: pent-up demand from bored, cash-rich home-workers led to a run on new big bikes. And commuting bike sales also hit the roof, as punters poo-pooed public transport, plumping instead for scooters and
small-capacity bikes as safe, isolated, low-cost replacements for a potentially-virus-laden train carriage. Before we knew it, a new problem appeared: stock. Factories in the Far East had been hit with shutdowns at the turn of the year, then cautious sales directors had adjusted predictions down massively in March, when it looked like disaster was looming. Suddenly, in July, bikes were flying out the doors, and a mad scramble ensued, with firms striving to get fresh metal onto showroom floors. As we go to press in mid-October, everyone we speak to in the trade is cautiously optimistic. Where industries like airlines, travel agents, cinemas and nightclubs have been completely clobbered by Covid, biking has proved to be surprisingly resilient. 2021 has dark clouds above it though, in terms of a Covid resurgence, economic woes, rising unemployment and the ‘known unknowns’ of Brexit. When it comes to ‘interesting times’, it seems like we’re not quite at the end just yet.
Motomondo Andy Davidson is UK sales manager at Motomondo, which took over the Mash motorcycles business after Three Cross ceased trading in the summer. The middle of a pandemic may not sound like a great time to launch a new business – but Andy told us how the firm is making a success of it. “We’ve just got started from September in the UK, but our HQ in Benelux started to sell twice as much as last year from May. For the UK market, sales are also growing (50-650cc) so the future looks good. Since we took over the Mash brand on 1 September, we have taken on 10 new dealers and counting.
How have you been managing with stock levels? A lot of companies have been running low on some models. “We have plenty of stock – both in the Netherlands and the UK.” What sort of forecast would you make in the short and medium term? “For 2020, we’re keeping motivated dealers on board and finding new ones who will join us in our journey. For 2021, with Mash 2.0 it’s full speed ahead. We have a press launch planned for our new 650 X-Ride and a lot more will follow soon!”
Arun Gopal is the head of international business [Europe and MEA] at Royal Enfield. He took us through 2020 from the Indian firm’s point of view. How did you respond to lockdown in March? “Well of course this was something that we never thought of or experienced in our lives before. Whoever thought a virus would bring society to its knees? Like everything else there is a learning curve – how do we cope without traveling? But technology has helped us significantly. When you can’t have face to face meetings, you need to make up for that with more phone calls and emails. What we’ve done is follow regulations, make sure we don’t do anything wrong. We need to make sure employees, dealers, customers are all safe. Then we ensured that we gave absolute priority to any requests coming from key workers – service, parts, etc”
Did you use the UK government furlough scheme? “At our UK technical centre in Leicester, we did have a few people on furlough but the business team, which I’m a part of, it was almost business as usual, all of us were working even harder, to communicate back to the India team. We didn’t take a break.”
to their doorsteps, socially distancing, so they didn’t need to come into dealers. And this has been amazing, dealers all stepped up, many ideas came from them. And people who ordered bikes before lockdown, we were delivering the bikes to their door. “We love offering test rides, but sadly most of the regional shows closed down which was very sad. So we stepped up online promotions, and MotoGB stepped up with an online reservation system, plus the central program we run, that generated much-needed leads for our dealers.”
What about once lockdown started to ease? “As soon as the doors opened in June, we saw a significant resurgence in the industry – and for Royal Enfield too. Then we offered customers test rides
What do you think was behind the sudden increase in sales? “I live in London, and for me today, riding a two-wheeler is the most practical option anyone could have. I mean I’m not scared of using public transport, I know a lot of care is being taken with cleaning and people wear masks but you never know. So for me, moving around on a bike is the most practical option.” The big problem for many firms has been stock levels. How did you cope there? “We were extremely fortunate, we had sufficient inventory at the start of the season, and there were enough containers on the ships reaching the UK and other parts of Europe. So when the shops opened up, we had sufficient inventory. A few dealers did run out of the 500cc series platform since it is at the end of series, and people wanted to take the last opportunity to get one.”
Lexmoto Lexmoto is one of the biggest players in the market in terms of sales. We spoke to the firm’s Paul Wakely to get their take on 2020 so far. “Despite the obvious troubles and disruption to most of the industry, it’s been an exceptional year for Lexmoto. We pride ourselves on being an easily accessible brand that helps to get our customers mobile, and this has been especially relevant this year as commuters have looked for alternative and affordable means to get from A to B while being able to remain socially distant. “The lockdown swept the rug from under everybody’s feet and we couldn’t have predicted the impact that Coronavirus would have back at the turn of the year. A lot of our dealers closed, for a little while at least. However, we remained open and operational at Lexmoto during the course of the lockdown to fulfil the parts side of business (CMPOparts.com) and help keep key workers on the road, though we were operating with skeleton staffing to ensure that our workers remained safe. “We were able to keep fulfilling orders and the dealers that remained open reaped the benefits early and were exceptionally busy. Sales during the lockdown period remained steady – there was an obvious drop off during April and into some of May as most stayed at home, but sales figures remained surprisingly good despite this. When the restrictions were relaxed a little and people returned to offices however, things just took off for us. “Over the past few months we’ve experienced record-breaking sales and seen
a huge increase in demand for our range of Lexmoto motorcycles and scooters. There was a time when our stocks were running a little low due to delays in shipping from overseas, but that’s mostly passed now, and we’ve been enjoying bumper sales month after month since, with plenty more stock coming in to keep ahead of the extra demand. “Lexmoto has benefitted hugely from the surge in customers looking to get mobile. As most of our range is focused around smaller capacity machines that can be used on learnerlegal licences, it’s picked up the slack that’s been caused by the overwhelming demand for those who have been unable to book driving tests. After all, you only need a valid CBT and provisional licence to become legal on the road with most of our machines, which has helped with accessibility to the brand. Combine that with the affordability of the Lexmoto range and it becomes a very tempting prospect to the daily commuter who might otherwise be forced to take the bus. We’ve also just released a new range of electric vehicles too and see this helping our brand reach a new and emerging market through the rest of 2020 and into 2021 and beyond. “Some of our dealers have found 2020 more difficult than others, but generally speaking, the overall consensus has been really positive. Most have been exceptionally busy, and we’ve been proud to help support them through an otherwise uncertain period. “The transition into Euro 5 means that we’re going to be really busy in the months to come, but its business as usual. We don’t do
the traditional bike launches where we send the UK press to other countries with massive budgets and instead prefer to keep it simple. This is definitely playing to our advantage as we flow through a period where international travel is uncertain or restricted and also means that we can focus on the new product launches we have without any delays. It also lets us strike while the iron’s hot and get new models out to dealerships as soon as they’re launched – meaning that they’re able to offer them to customers straight away. “Overall, 2020 has definitely had an interesting dynamic – perceptions of motorcycles and scooters have been rapidly changing to the industry’s benefit. COVID-19 has certainly brought about some big challenges in an ever-changing landscape, but it’s also opened up some fantastic opportunities at the same time that have particularly benefitted us here at Lexmoto.”
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Yamaha Motors UK Adam Kelly, GM, sales and marketing, Yamaha Motors UK spoke to BDN on 2020. “With dealers effectively closed between March and June we clearly saw a dramatic reduction in business which was unavoidable. The closure also saw our team at YMUK having to adapt to remote working as our first priority was to protect the safety of all the staff. Half the YMUK staff were furloughed during the lockdown and I am glad to say now are all back to work. “Having undergone a network review in recent years which involved creating a profitable, viable and sustainable dealer network, we have only had one showroom closure which is looking to reopen again soon. Other than that all our dealers are now back open and operational. However, we are also fully aware that despite this, the considerable impact to the business has not yet run its course and we understand that the financial impact will at the very minimum, run well into the spring of next year. “In terms of dealer support, with our introduction of the YOU Online dealer concept, many dealers have indeed adapted to remote selling and were able to manage many sales without customers visiting the showroom until collection or in many cases, not visiting the showroom at all based on other developments relating to distance selling with our finance providers Santander. Trying to support in every way possible, we also offered and supplied PPE kit to the network in preparation for reopening. “Once dealers reopened our Area Sales Managers returned to work and immediately supported the dealers by way of ‘ON Line’ dealer meetings and remote support. We also kept up regular communications with weekly
newsletters ensuring dealers had all the information required in each area of the business. Face to face meetings are now taking place again respecting the government guidelines to protect our staff, dealers and customers. Of course this is an ongoing and changing environment and we are reviewing on a daily basis. 2020/21 forecast, marketing, new product launches? “In terms of a forecast for the remainder of 2020, we see a continued positive demand. However that will not reflect fully in our sales due to the stock shortages. Due to show cancellations the first opportunity for new models to be seen will be in our dealership showrooms so we can embrace that great opportunity for showroom footfall and test ride opportunities. To support this, we will be approaching future marketing with a strong digital approach and with the launch of our new CRM programme, our aim will be to increase our database by offering our customers the opportunity to open a MyYamaha account where both Yamaha and our dealers can communicate the right information to our customers based on their interests and needs. “Despite global factory closers due to COVID-19 we are happy to report that the R&D division within Yamaha has been ‘full
steam ahead’ resulting in no delay in new model development. The 2021 line up is aimed at the key volume sectors where we are looking forward to bringing more customers into the Yamaha family. EV development also continues and the next 5 years will see up to ten electric two wheelers ranging from motorcycles and scooters to e-bikes, for both commuting and leisure usage. “As with the transition to EU4 we have managed the stock to ensure the End of Series derogation guidelines are met with only a small number of dealer stock units needing to be sold or registered by year end. All other stock can be carried forward and sold within the next two years. In terms of EU5 updates, we have a small number of models, MT-10, XSR900 and R3 for example, that will have a gap until the EU5 version arrives next year. Most of the casualties to EU4 with no replacement were lower volume models except YS125 and we will make geared 125 announcements in 2021 ensuring we continue to play a part in this important market. The areas of stock shortages until Q1 2021 revolve mainly around our Urban Mobility segment where not only have factory closures effected supply, the increased demand from new customers and the owner/rider in the delivery sector have exhausted supply.”
restrictions were relaxed. And, of course, we’ve established the new GasGas dealer network during this time. In fact we’re actively looking to recruit new dealers for all our brands in key areas with significant support packages in place in order to do so.”
so we weren’t going to meddle with a one-sizefits-all approach. The key to business survival was not how we went in, but how we came out, so stimulating demand through strong promotions at a point when customers were confident to buy was the best support we could offer.”
KTM UK Matt Walker, KTM UK managing director gave us his insights on 2020. How did you react to lockdown in March? “KTM UK obviously followed the lockdown rules as soon as they were announced. During lockdown we aligned our staffing levels to respond to dealer demand, so with many dealers in the network closing for this period, we furloughed some staff with the remainder working from home. These staff were focused on the immediate operational needs of the dealer network before adapting the business to service the network in the new working environment.” How did your dealer network adapt through the crisis? Are there any changes in the pipeline for the network? “We’re proud to say that we haven’t lost any dealers, in part we’re sure this is through the measures we implemented to support our dealers’ cash flow and the provision of information to ensure they could maximise support available from the government. Our focus was on supporting dealers in lockdown and then offering the best opportunities to them once
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The stock issue was perhaps a surprising problem – how have you coped there? “With production halted both in Austria and India for some time, supply has been affected to an extent, but most dealers would say, on balance, that they’re at the position they’d want to be in at this point given everything we’ve been through.”
What other measures did you put in place to help dealers? “We weren’t prescriptive to dealers about what they needed to do. Many are multi franchise, and they all know their own premises and customers
Are you postponing any new products for 2021? “Manufacturing was the last element to return to work in Austria, so the R&D teams were busy while production had stopped to ensure disruption was minimized. KTM is planning to release exactly what was planned before Covid came along, and in Austria we are currently looking to fill 200 roles and 45 apprentices have just started at the factory. 2021 is going to be an exciting year for new products.”
Honda UK Neil Fletcher is head of motorcycling at Honda UK. He gave BDN a running report of the year to date. “Well, ironically we started January and February really strong, we were all looking forward to spring with new products and had lots of good stuff going on. And then that initial lockdown came, but we didn’t know how long that was going to go on for and that was the biggest challenge. We saw it as a short term issue at first and then it became clear that wasn’t the case. So as time went on we had to react. With dealers closing very quickly, the first thing we did was to make sure we were in touch with them and said don’t worry too much, we’ll put in place what we need. “The first thing we did was set up a review into all the payments due from dealers, and we pushed those back for a month at first, and then we kept doing that. Then we had to shut our office too, and we furloughed a number of the sales team and were working on a skeleton staff ourselves. And to be honest, a big organisation like Honda normally is planning a long, long way ahead, so for us it was a very different set of circumstances. We had to move to planning week by week almost day by day.”
“We had to adjust too; for example, we didn’t really have an online portal with Honda Finance so we had to adapt really quickly to that, which has been a benefit I suppose of having to do things differently. And the dealers appreciate that. All it’s done really is accelerate what was happening anyway.”
Had you received any notice on what might happen from Japan or Europe? “Yes, we’d been monitoring it. I keep in touch with my equivalents in Italy, Spain, France and Germany in particular, and I was anxious to see where they were at. I looked at Italy especially because they were in the heart of it, and when we looked at that we thought yes this is here to stay. “We tried to give the dealers as much confidence as possible throughout. Biggest problem was cash flow for everybody. Immediately, overnight, there was no income coming in for anyone. We were very lucky to have fantastic support from Japan and the European office, that’s one of the benefits of an organisation like Honda – we have contingencies. We’ve had earthquakes, tsunamis, all sorts, in the past but no-one expected this.”
“In our case, our opening stocks at the start were a bit low because we had a strong start, so we had to try and mobilise production from Italy and other places as quickly as we could. And that’s been good. It’s been a good bounceback and yes, it surprised us how sustained that has been and how quick and powerful.”
How did your dealer network react in terms of day-to-day running? “Dealers are ultimately entrepreneurial, and what they did was look at local conditions, and looked at what they could do. Some didn’t have any choice, if they were shielding or whatever, then they had to close the doors and we supported that. We left it entirely up to them. Different dealers reacted differently, a lot were proactive in terms of sorting interaction out with customers online, which was a trend anyway. Customers are so savvy online now they are very willing to go a long way down the sales process online now. “I still believe that the final sale is much better through a local dealer. But obviously, during this period that wasn’t something they could always get. And there were dealers who were proactive and willing to deliver bikes to customer’s houses etc.
The recovery was much stronger in June and July than many people expected it seems? “It was a surprise how quickly it happened. We had a fair bit of momentum pre-lockdown so we did expect that to still be there. But the thing that really pushed it was when Boris Johnson said ‘avoid public transport’, and that has made a massive difference. If you look at the market, what you might call commuter bikes were the ones that picked up really quickly. And those are the ones people have been trying to meet demand for.
We tried to give the dealers as much confidence as possible throughout
With no NEC or London shows now – do you have other plans for marketing and customer engagement? “With the shows, normally we’d be planning almost a year out with the NEC, and EICMA is where Honda would launch new bikes. We always have a busy programme of dealer events and shows, so we’ve had to rethink all of that, and we’ve gone more into digital communications, with our database or followers on social media. Interaction has been really good during lockdown of course, because everyone’s sat at a desk looking at a screen... “But it will still be a challenge – we have a lot of bikes to launch over the next few months, and the NEC and our dealer conference was a good way to do that. We’ve actually set up a mini-studio in the office, and we did a virtual dealer conference which was really well received, so we’re going to do that with product training on new models. We also need to understand that dealers don’t want to travel at the moment too, so we need to find a way to give them what they want. In a way it’s quite exciting!” What predictions would you make about demand for the rest of this year and into 2021? “We’re very confident about October at the moment. As far as demand is concerned, there are bikers who want
to get out on their bikes, there are commuters who want go get to work and be free of restrictions and we’ve definitely seen people coming back to biking who perhaps already have a licence, haven’t ridden in a long time and want to get back into it. Testing is back up and running too – most of our dealers have a training school associated with it and for them that is a great source of new customers obviously. There’s a lot of demand for CBT, Mod1 and Mod2 tests, so we’re really pleased with that. “One thing I’m really pleased about is that we haven’t lost a dealer through this period. They’ve been very open with us about their scenarios and what they need, we’ve tried to help as much as we can, and we have a network, going into the new year, which I think is in pretty good shape.” Do you have any worries about the effects of a decline in the overall UK economy? “I think you have to look at the whole massive package of support that’s gone into the economy and be conscious of that. I think we’re one of the more positive sectors for sure and I think the demand is going to be there going into the New Year. The situation is going to be there again in the spring, isn’t it? If anyone thinks the economy is going to boom next year, I think that’s very optimistic. But I don’t think that should put us off. Bikes sold at the top end for leisure, you do wonder about that, but I think the evidence is there that people lucky enough to be in work or financially secure, are looking to spend. And again, they’re unlikely to be going away on expensive foreign holidays again next year so there’s no reason that sort of money can’t come into the dealers in our sector. We’re planning for the worst, but hoping for the best!”
Established in the UK for over 10 years, Zontes motorcycles are produced by one of the most technologically advanced manufacturers in China, in facilities that would rival manufacturers worldwide. Zontes motorcycles are clean sheet designs, with a purpose to lead and not follow. With the introduction of an all new Euro 5 range, now is the perfect opportunity for you to join the Zontes family. An initial range of three Euro 5 Zontes 125cc models are available from October 2020. Constructed in three unique styles; naked sports, modern street scrambler & sports adventurer. Each model shares an all new Zontes single cylinder, water-cooled engine.
Displacement: Compression Ratio: Fuel system: Max Power: Max Torque: Transmission: Clutch:
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Other common features include Bosch ABS brakes, USD forks, mono-shock rear suspension, lightweight alloy swing arm, LED lighting, digital dash display and much more.
And for the next step, we introduce the updated ZT310-T now available in Euro 5 specification. The 2020 update offers two wheel sizes/seat heights, with the option of diamond cut alloys or spoked lightweight aluminium rims. Updates also feature a full TFT colour screen, larger brakes and Bosch EFi and ABS.
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* Subject to approval.
Kawasaki Motors UK Howard Dale, general manager at Kawasaki Motors UK, took time out to give BDN an exclusive look into 2020. Can you take us through the start of the pandemic from the Kawasaki point of view? “We saw what was coming from the European branches, so before 23 March we did a work from home test day to see if everything would work. Before then, there was hardly any working from home – so it was quite a change. Then within a few days, lockdown was announced, so we were ready for it, sort of. We told all the staff to work from home, and we’ll see you when we see you! “We set up Skype teams, so that people in sales, admin or marketing were in contact and talking every day, my management team Skypes at 3pm every day so we kept up to speed. “We got through March and April into May, and the majority of the dealers closed down particularly at the beginning. There was a variety of reactions – some hunkered down, shut the doors and waited it out. Others looked at what parts of business they could keep open,
and the majority kept the service departments open to support essential workers. And that meant it was really important for us to maintain services for the dealers – parts, technical support, warranty, so they still had service as normal. “So the next thing we had to do was work out how to support dealers with their showroom doors shut for two months. Some dealers were selling remotely, doing finance online, sanitising machines, delivering bikes to people’s door – it was all possible if you wanted to do that. Next problem is how do they pay for them? Their cash flow stops during April and May, so we extended all payment terms for 60 days and then in May we still weren’t sure what would happen, and we extended another 60 days. So dealers had a total of 120 days to take the pressure off them in terms of cash flow. And with the stocking plan, you get a certain number of days which are interest-free then interest is charged, but we cancelled the interest payments on anything due there. Just to help to keep the businesses alive while they couldn’t do what they would normally do. On a daily basis,
Covid secure branded screens installed at Kawasaki HQ our regional business managers continued to talk to dealers, to find out what the situation was and how we could help. “Staff-wise here, we delayed furloughing anyone for three weeks because we wanted to understand the situation. The government had a three week review, so everyone stayed at home for that period, until it became clear that this was going to go for some time. So it made business sense to furlough a number of staff. At any one time we had around 50 per cent of staff on furlough, but we rotated
it three weeks on, three weeks off, so they didn’t lose touch with the business and their team. The important thing was to keep people involved so they didn’t feel they were marginalised. “Then the next thing was how do we make our office safe when it is time to return. We installed a load of protective screens etc so we were confident when we did return it would be safe to do so. Myself and my managers were here and worked all the way through it, so there was someone in the building all the way through. It was important we kept
Clements Moto Dean Clements, managing director of Clements Moto was busy warehousing new Euro 5 stock on the day we called but he was quick to give BDN an inside look on the year so far. “Initially we were just dealing with tech support and spare parts for dealers that were operating workshop only during lockdown. But by May we started to send small quantities of motorcycles to dealers that were operating online or by appointment for key workers. Then, we became incredibly busy late April into May with Fantic eBikes. From the unlocking of automotive retail in June we have been very busy.” Can you update on your network – did you lose any dealers? “We lost a few dealers, one or two that surprised me and one or two that were dying but wouldn’t lie down prior to all of this. Proactive dealers found safe ways to operate, I hope within the rules. We also introduced a ‘Click and Collect’ feature to our brand websites to facilitate remote sales but without stepping on dealer’s shoes.” Are the sales reps back on the road for you now? “Reps are on the phone and on the road by appointment.”
Euro 5 stock lands at Clements Moto How did you manage in terms of stock – many folk are low on some models? “Ditto. But we’re receiving deliveries from Italy every week and both Chinese brands are now delivering and producing Euro 5 models now.”
and Fantic is launching a new range of MX and Enduro competition machines. In November, we will launch the Fantic 2021 eBike range and in December/January will launch a Fantic speed-pedelec – our first cross-over between the motorcycle and cycle markets.”
What are you forecasting for the balance of 2020 and into 2021? “We’ll keep working as hard and as fast as we can and maximise the opportunities for our dealers and our brands … and deal with circumstances as they develop. Trying to forecast through something as unpredictable as this seems foolish.” Are new products and launches going ahead as planned or have you held anything back? “Launches have been delayed, but we have the new range of Zontes Euro 5 125cc models
Much of the industry faced stock problems once lockdown lifted – how did Kawasaki manage? “The biggest issue with all of this is it’s a pandemic not an epidemic, so it affects things globally, not just in the UK. Production lines were shut down for a time both in Thailand and Japan. And from the planning point of view we sat down and said what should we do? We had a planning process in May, and the natural reaction was to turn down orders. Normally you can make a fairly good guess on what you need, but this time, there was no crystal ball, no manual to work out what to do. March was affected by the last week locking down, April was a disaster, so of course we
reduced incoming stock, because why wouldn’t you? The market could be down 30 or 40%; April and May are prime time in the market. “But we’re lucky – the dealers themselves were well stocked in March, and we have a central warehouse in Europe which services all markets. There are virtual warehouses for each market; France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, and if one market is slow on one model but you have demand, you can move stock from one to the other, and that stock transfer is happening weekly. “Honestly, in June, we expected the market to slowly ramp back up and then maybe July and August would be better than expected with the latent demand. But it went off like a greyhound out of a trap right at the start of June. There was strong demand during June, July and August through September and now into October. Yes we are short on some key models, as probably everyone is, but we have been working with corporate planning in Holland to try and bring forward production and delivery of 2020 bikes so as we go through winter and spring into 2021 we’ll have product available.”
How was the sales increase spread across the Kawasaki range? “The biggest sector that went mad was scooters and 125s, and we’re not strong in that sector. So we’ve seen good sales for everything from 400cc upwards which is where we sit. But we have missed out on that sector of the market which has sold so well.”
things we’ve been trying to get done for some time.”
became available due to COVID-19. We got out on the road as soon as they were in place. Clearly there are still restrictions in place and we’ve implemented every safety measure to ensure the team and customers are protected.”
What would be your view on the short-medium prospects for the market? “The question now is will that recovery bubble burst, or is it going to continue into 2021? You’re going to see it slow down anyway because there just isn’t the stock available. So what is going to happen in the spring season? Is demand going to continue? Or has the frenzy of activity this year sated that need? “I think there are two aspects at the moment. One is to take a look at the general economy, and it’s a mess. But the most worrying thing is that every time you look at BBC News, there are more redundancies. And you know in normal times, that always leads to less disposable income and lower
demand. Will people be confident enough to spend on big ticket items? “Alternatively, you can flip to the more optimist view – which I take – that there’s never going to be a better time to get on a motorcycle. There might be a vaccine and you might see a way back to normal, but people will still be reluctant to get on public transport or car share, so motorcycling has a very good opportunity over the next 6-8 months. I think next year could be good.”
Mutt Motorcycles Will Rigg, CEO of Mutt Motorcycles navigated 2020 with BDN. How did you cope with Covid from March to August as a company? “The UK business pretty much stopped during lockdown, we kept a skeleton staff manning the workshop side and managed to supply bikes to a lot of key workers who couldn’t or didn’t want to use public transport. We have a fairly small and dedicated team so we were for the most part able to keep operating with remote working – a lot of our business is overseas so in the initial lockdown period we were still very busy managing our business in the Far East. “Then the European stores came back on stream with a vengeance a few weeks before the UK, so really we’ve been very lucky and able to keep running. With some areas of the business being quieter we were able to make quite a few back office improvements,
What was going on with your dealer network during that time? “We haven’t lost anyone other than a couple of distribution changes we wanted to make anyway. I’m not aware of any doors closing permanently. Though the differing pace of dealers getting back to trading was surprising – some rapid and making the most of pent-up demand, some being very slow and missing opportunities. “Online enquiries have always shown constant growth and went through the roof during lockdown. Sales demand in every market shot up considerably post lockdown, we did our year’s forecast around under six weeks.” Have your reps changed how they work? “We put a new dealer support team in place straight after lockdown, lucky to find some good people that
How have stock levels been? Many folk report being low on stock “Yes, extremely low. We’ve been on a solid growth curve for a while which is always hard to forecast now with a new level of unprecedented demand means we’ve been continually selling out with, at times a long forward order list. Not knowing how far to carry on with Euro 4, plus supply chain disruption/delays has exacerbated the problem this year.” What is your short-medium term forecast? “We expect to finish 2020 above plan and have a very strong order book for 2021 from several territories. We have already
massively increased capacity and stock holding to ensure we fulfil demand in 2021.”
Are you holding off any new products and launches? “We launched some new models in 2020 but due to Covid they didn’t hit the market until fairly late in the year, so we want to give them some room first, there will be refreshes and significant updates later in the season. We have some completely new models and capacities in work but timing is not clear as yet – development was considerably held up this year.”
NOVEMBER 2020 23
a presence here.” “We have three business managers, and during the first weeks, their job was to understand what dealers needed. But then as we got into the next stage of lockdown, everything became a bit more stable, dealers were used to their situation, so one regional manager was furloughed at all times, on a three week rota.”
Suzuki GB Paul de Lusignan is director of motorcycles at Suzuki GB, and he sat down with BDN to take us through 2020 so far. “Usually we have over 100 people working in the office so the question was how can we keep people working from home safely? The first thing was a big IT project, we bought a load more laptops, more mobile phones, sent people home with their computers and made it all work, our IT people turned that around in a week. Virtually nobody worked from home before lockdown, so for everyone it was a really big change. “But of course we’re also running a warehouse operation and you can’t do that from home. So how do we keep our parts service open? Can we keep deliveries of bikes open and running, both from legal point of view and from a logistics point of view. Both of those things we had to deal with, and you know the team in the warehouse on both parts and bikes were fantastic. They worked so hard, they changed their working patterns, they worked shifts, and those staff worked hard to ensure we continued to work for the dealers. They’re an absolute credit to Suzuki, and the feedback I’ve had is that the dealers really appreciated that. “So the parts business we were able to keep going – there was disruption, of course, but we were largely able to keep functioning and even on new bike deliveries. Things were difficult, but our logistics team worked super hard to try and solve those problems as quickly as possible. Did Suzuki GB furlough any staff? Did HQ stay open? “We were able to use the government furlough scheme and that definitely helped us through that period. I think the vast majority of our staff are back now. Head office stayed open, yes, from a functional point of view all the way through, but actually there were very few people in there. At the height there might have been one or two in there just for the post and that kind of thing, really nothing much more than that. And as lockdown eased we started to have shifts of people back into the office, but of course a lot of that has since changed back again.” It seems like there were three types of dealer during lockdown – some closed down, some stayed open for the workshop, and some were running fully, selling bikes online. Does that ring true for Suzuki? “Yes. People had to make the right decision for their business and their staff and we respected whatever that was, they had to do that and we were pleased they did do that. What we really noticed was that government advice was changing on a regular basis, and at a certain point we started getting advice from BEIS that you can keep trading, you just
can’t have your shop opening. We got that out to the network immediately, some were doing that already, but it encouraged many more to say we can get back to trading. I like to think of it as contactless trading – it could be telephone or internet, but you can supply and look after your customers without them coming into the showroom or even meeting them. Some dealers were better equipped than others but I think most now have that opportunity. “In terms of dealer support – one decision we took very early on was we thought cash will be very important so we took a decision to pay additional bonus money to all dealers in March. It wasn’t contracted, we just gave them a payment, and said here’s a bit of cash, we hope it will help you through this period because we know it will be tough. And we also took targets away for a few months, we said there are no targets, we will just automatically pay you a bonus every month.”
Paul de Lusignan
The next big event was June when shops could open up again. Were you surprised at the speed of the business pickup from commuters and people with spare cash? “There was clearly a massive pent-up demand that came from a number of areas. There were the seasoned bikers, who were desperate to get back out, they’ve been working in the shed on the bike, and as soon as the opportunity came they were out there. We also definitely had an impact with customers with licenses but weren’t active bikers, and they thought – I’ll get back on a bike and use it to get to work and back and avoid public transport. “Then there were other customers who never had licenses, who thought, yes, a 125 would be perfect for commuting into work, so three different groups of people. And we couldn’t be more delighted. One of the really nice things is that two of those groups weren’t really in our customer base So they’re now revitalised and could be our customers for a long time in the future now. “Hobby and holiday money is definitely coming into it – I look after the marine side at Suzuki as well, and we have the same effect there. People want to enjoy their leisure products and their hobby and they just want to get on with it.”
Did Suzuki have any troubles with maintaining stock levels? “I bet every business person in the country in March was busy thinking ‘I need to make sure that I don’t have too much stock’. And probably caution was better than being overstocked at that stage. So every dealer in the country would do the same thing – not just in bikes, in everything. The other thing is, the factory has a supply chain, and everyone in that chain is affected too. If the supplier who makes your wheels is affected, and you can’t get wheels, you can’t build a bike. And it takes time to get all that up and running again once you decide you need new stock, there’s a lead time. But the upside is, lean stock is good for dealer profitability on the units they have got. Because high demand and less supply is good for pricing and profitability. We also had sales of ex-press and ex-demo fleet bikes to the dealers, and those all sold really well and really quickly. There is always demand for high quality used stock.” How will you adapt to the lack of the NEC and Milan shows in terms of marketing and communications? “That is a quandary – how do you cope when one of your biggest marketing activities is not there anymore? Imagine this crisis without the internet – Zoom, Teams etc. But we do have those tools, so we will use those online resources to make sure we can launch our products to our dealers and customers even if we can’t be with them in person. At Suzuki we have a great webinar tool, Suzuki Connect, and that allows us to talk to our entire dealer network, we can have a meeting without them leaving their offices or desktops to do it. Of course we can’t wait to get into a hotel where we can meet and have a beer with our dealers, that is so critical. There’s nothing like propping up a bar together and talking about life!” What would your predictions be for the short term and into 2021? “We had a Suzuki Connect meeting with all dealers just a few weeks ago, to talk about what was going to be available for end of year, and suggested they might want to pre-order. As a result 75 per cent of stock before year end is already sold to dealers. So they are optimistic about the start of next year and want to make sure they have stock available. We also have an exciting 2021 coming – Covid of course has had an impact, but it’s been minimal and we’re really looking forward to it. “Lastly – I’d like to thank the dealers for their perseverance and hard work during this time. I know it’s been a massive stress for them and their businesses to get through this. I’m sure there will have been a lot of sleepless nights so I’d like to thank them for all their efforts in coming through that. And that applies to everyone at Suzuki too – they’ve all really worked so hard to give the dealers all the support they could, so we could all continue to have a fantastic business. So thanks for that!”
Mark Knight, general manager at Piaggio UK, gave us his firm’s experience of 2020 so far. How did you deal with the initial impact of lockdown? “When we got to 23 March and the full lockdown announcement, we had an instant communication to the team, everyone working from home until we got more guidance from the government. We all knew something was coming, but not to what extent. It was a huge issue in northern Italy, then it cascaded out from there. “We took a decision to put a percentage of the team on furlough, but of course as a manufacturer we needed to keep the lights on. So some of the team were still active full time – 80 per cent on furlough, 20 per cent active. There were still customers out there needing to get from A to B, and we needed to support the network at whatever capacity there was out there. The main office in Orpington was open throughout the whole duration, phones permanently manned for customer service needs but we did close our training centre in Silverstone.” How did your network adapt? “In terms of dealers, some took a calculated decision and closed the business. Some kept their workshops open, and they gave exemplary service to key workers, to keep them mobile – NHS, police, vital service workers. Then there was the third category – dealers with a strong online presence, who didn’t just survive; some of those dealers were busy. Even though the retail front of house was closed to the public, online business was still very active, delivering bikes to people’s houses. Overnight, the business model moved forward by maybe four or five years, because now the general public could click and buy. So businesses that were active online continued to get bikes out the door, providing a service.”
What was behind the surge in sales postlockdown? “We saw a growth in the scooter market for sure post-lockdown, which is great news. People who were commuting on public transport, they wanted to remove themselves from that risk and the ideal way to get from A to B back into work was to move onto two wheels. When everything started to reopen, you saw a shift with scooters and bikes coming out of sheds, so they went in for services or repair. So we saw growth in the initial stages of re-opening, and that is still being fruitful for the industry, not just Piaggio.
Even though the retail front of house was closed to the public, online business was still very active, delivering bikes to people’s houses
Did you lose any dealers during lockdown? “No – thankfully, we retained all of our network. In fact, we have opened two new dealers – Mototechniks in Ipswich and Graftons Motorcycles in Northampton. What does 2021 hold for Piaggio? “Well for 2021 we have the 80th anniversary of Piaggio, and the 100th anniversary for Moto Guzzi, so we’ll be celebrating those. We have a lineup of events ready to go for that in 2021, but it just depends on how Covid goes that will decide what can happen. We also have plenty of new model introductions as well. We’ve got production coming on at the end of the year for the new RS660, and we’re really excited about that. It’s a new segment in the market for us so it’s exciting that we have a product that will appeal to a new customer.”
Were you able to keep stock levels up? “Lockdown had its stress points, because the public wanted to buy bikes as a safety mode of transport and the market could only gear up so fast in reaction. And that demand wasn’t only in the UK, it was worldwide, so that had an effect on all of us. Stock levels are increasing now though, which is good, and the Euro 5 models are coming into production. We’ve been requesting additional volumes too, to cope with that demand.” We’ve lost the NEC and Milan shows – how has your marketing plan changed? “It’s disappointing that we don’t have an EICMA or Intermot and no NEC this year, but
TRANSITION FROM EURO 4 TO 5 ALL THROUGH 2020’S TRAVAILS, THERE’S been two other massive potential headaches lining up for the trade: Brexit uncertainty of course – but also the changeover from Euro 4 to Euro 5 regulations. There’s confusion on two fronts with the Euro 5 rules: first, will the EU allow the industry more time to manage the changeover because of Covid? And secondly, what will happen after the UK leaves the EU transition deal in January 2021? Currently, as happened on the switch from Euro 3 to Euro 4, there are rules which mean you can still retail a small percentage of sales as new Euro 4 machines over the next year to clear stocks. One possibility is that the UK sticks to this plan, with the EU not giving more time because of Covid and the UK following those rules after the transition deal ends. Or, the EU will give more time, and/or the UK government softens that 2021 cliff edge in terms of Euro 4 machinery, depending on what deal the UK has
we have increased the output of our digital marketing campaigns, which started back in May.”
after December 31. The alternative is to preregister remaining new Euro 4 machines, losing cash as they are sold as ‘used’ bikes rather than brand-new. And it’s not looking like anything will become clearer without bigger news on Brexit, or an announcement from the EU. Howard Dale, GM at Kawasaki UK gave us his view. “Honestly the situation is quite simple for us, the EU has suggested they might extend the period from 1-2 years for end of series derogation sales, and the UK government can adopt that decision if it wants to – but it hasn’t decided yet.” In the meantime, the trade seems to be erring on the side of caution and acting as if there will be no relaxation of the regs. Howard Dale again: “We’ve got no choice other than to plan with certainty so will use the same methodology as we did for Euro 3/4 because we can’t take a chance. It’s just too late to do anything else. All that would happen anyway is that dealers would have two
Mark Knight years to sell end of series bikes rather than one.” Matt Walker, MD at KTM is also confident of dealing with the changeover. “Euro 5 has not suddenly crept up on us, so we’ve been managing stock for some time in order to transition smoothly into next year.” Encouragingly, low stock of bikes in the trade post-lockdown means that the whole changeover will actually become less of a problem for most firms anyway. They’ve been selling all the bikes they can source, so the impact of the changeover is reducing. The truth is, there aren’t huge stocks of unsold Euro4 machinery lying around now. As Howard Dale says, “The ironic thing of course is that for us we reduced incoming stock, then had a massive demand which reduced current stock, which means the problem of the end of derogation in December is less. We will have some pre-registration to do but not much really.”
NOVEMBER 2020 25
ON THE MOVE CARDO SYSTEMS CARDO SYSTEMS HAS BOLSTERED ITS TEAM WITH THE appointment of Eyal Manzoor as head of sales EMEA. A keen motorcyclist with 19 years of international experience in sales and business development, Manzoor joins Cardo Systems with an in-depth understanding of global markets. “I am very pleased to welcome Eyal to Cardo Systems. His appointment will allow us to build further on the already strong foundations we have across EMEA in the motorcycle communication space and strengthen our business relationships with distributors, dealers, and ultimately, Cardo customers,” said Jonathan Yanai, VP global sales. “I’m delighted to join such a dynamic and inspiring company in a fast-growing market, and I look forward to driving the business growth in the EMEA region along with Cardo’s sales team and channel partners,” added Manzoor.
HARLEY-DAVIDSON HARLEY-DAVIDSON HAS HIRED GINA Goetter as its new chief financial officer. She replaces Darrell Thomas, the company’s treasurer, who had occupied the role on an interim basis since former long-serving CFO John Olins was summarily purged by Harley supremo Jochen Zeitz in early July. Thomas will return to his old duties. Goetter joins Harley from Tyson Foods, America’s largest meat packer and processor of beef, pork and chicken products, where she was latterly a senior vice president and CFO of Tyson’s prepared foods division. Prior to that, her career path involved various ascending managerial positions at General Mills, another US food giant noted for branded baking products, breakfast cereals and snacks. Commenting on her appointment, Harley chairman and chief executive Zeitz said: “Gina will add to the fresh perspectives and new capabilities now represented at the leadership level. We have a diverse management team structured in a new way that is designed to fuel brand desirability and lead Harley-Davidson as a high-performing organisation.”
BMW DIRK DREHER, A FORMER SENIOR EXECUTIVE AT THE BMW Motorrad motorcycle plant at Spandau in Berlin, has become factory director of BMW’s UK car engine production plant in Hams Hall, North Warwickshire. He succeeds Bernd Gress, who is moving to a new role within BMW Group based in Germany after three years in charge at Ham Hall. Dreher’s career with BMW Group spans almost 20 years across a variety of management roles. Most recently these included vicepresident of logistic planning and vice-president of overseas supply at BMW Group headquarters in Munich. The plant employs more than 1000 staff and produces three and four-cylinder petrol engines for a range of BMW and Mini models.
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New blood at agency D
igitally Charged has strengthened its sales team with the appointment of James Ellwood as sales manager. “We’re growing rapidly and we need talented people to help us to expand and look after our existing and valued customer base,” said Chris Day, founder of the creative agency. “We’re in the process of forming new relationships with the likes of eBay and Sky to provide exciting new offerings to our customers. We will continue to develop our core services such as our programmatic business, but we’ve experienced a surge of interest recently as people realise the increased importance of digital in this new world, and with that they expect more. “Change was inevitable but Covid has accelerated things. We are determined to stay ahead of the curve. “I know we have the right person in James. His experience with Bauer Media and more recently with Close Brothers Finance brings the skills and understanding of the industry which we need in order to increase our capability. He will fit straight in.” “I am really looking forward to joining Chris and the team at Digitally Charged. I have worked with Chris in the past and I can’t wait to get started working with him again,” confirmed Ellwood. “These are really exciting times for the team and I am delighted to be part of it and helping the business as it continues to grow.”
James Ellwood 07552 420807 firstname.lastname@example.org
Beckley moves to bikes MARK BECKLEY HAS JOINED HONDA UK AS aftersales development manager, having been in aftersales with Honda UK in its motor trade division for nearly ten years. “It would be fair to say that motorcycles have always been a huge passion of mine having ridden for over 40 years, and I currently have five bikes in my stable. “I am delighted and excited to be in this role, and I am very much looking forward to working with Honda dealers to help improve their customer satisfaction, customer retention, and business growth. Contact: 07921 241625; email@example.com
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Dainese acquires TCX D
ainese has announced the acquisition of TCX, the well-known Italian brand of motorbike footwear headquartered in Montebelluna, in northern Italy. In a statement, Dainese said: “Thanks to craftsmanship, innovative technology and decades of field research, TCX is able to understand and meet motorbike riders’ needs, proposing solutions for all purposes, from racing, to off-road, to footwear designed for urban and leisure use”.
Cristiano Silei, CEO at Dainese Group said: “Improving safety in dynamic sports has always been the Dainese mission, committing to ongoing research into innovative systems that protect athletes from head to toe. We are extremely proud of this operation. TCX shares with Dainese a passion for product and adds technical and development skills that are fundamental in motorbike footwear. I take the opportunity to welcome the TCX team. We cannot wait to start working together”.
Premium-priced Langen stinkwheel prospers
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THE LANGEN 250CC V-TWIN, CREATED BY former CCM chief design engineer Christofer Ratcliffe, is reportedly replete with advance orders. And as a result, Ratcliffe’s Wiganbased Langen Motorcycles operation is looking to recruit additional engineers and technician/fabricators to expand its team. Launched in late September at Blenheim Palace’s exclusive Salon Privé Concours event, this direct-injection two-stroke combines 75bhp at 14,500rpm with a featherweight 114kg wet to achieve a 660bhp/ton power-toweight ratio that will outstrip most supercars. Asking price is a cool £28,000 plus VAT and Ratcliffe says around a third of the bike’s initial 100-strong production run were
reserved with £1000 deposits in barely three weeks after the presentation. Manufacturing is set to begin next summer at a rate of two or three hand-built examples per week. These machines will be certified as fully road-legal for the UK but confined to track days elsewhere. However, if there is sufficient interest from overseas clients, Langen will consider producing a further 150 units in homologated form for the rest of the world. Taken together, they will probably qualify as the last high-performance two-stroke road motorcycle series ever to be made. Langen Motorcycles firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01942 724059
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NOVEMBER 2020 27
Norton settlement still vague
aving rolled the bankrupt Norton Motorcycles UK concern into a legacy liquidation vehicle, NMUL Realisations, administrator BDO has pretty much sorted out secured interests and is approaching the point of pay-outs for lesser mortals. But who will get what, and how much, remains as clear as mud. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports. Armed with £16m from acquisition of Norton’s IP and physical assets by TVS Motor, BDO has first dealt with secured creditors holding charges against slightly more than £8.8m. Of these, insolvency initiator Metro Bank was owed £4.04m by Norton, which it has already collected, and £3.07m by the associated Donington Hall Estates – subject to a separate administration also conducted by BDO. This latter amount is doubly secured by a cross-company charge, so Metro will get it one way or another. A further secured £1.7m was owed by Norton to Tudor Capital.
Donington Hall, part of Donington Hall Estates, on the market for £13m
HMRC will be able to trouser outstanding taxation too. Unsecured creditors, comprising trade suppliers and lots of unfortunate customers who had coughed up deposits on bikes they never received, are apparently now due another £8.8m – rising from an earlier estimate of £6.2m. But, after BDO has extracted its nodoubt copious fees, the NMUL Realisations pot will have fallen to below £7m. So haircuts will be in order for any distribution. The property holdings of Donington Hall Estates, including Donington Hall itself, Priest House Hotel, Hastings House, the Lansdowne Buildings, Kings Mills Caravan Park and an 80-acre site in all, has been on the market since July with a price tag of about £13m. Buyers have yet to emerge and whether that is a remotely realistic figure in the current economic climate is open to question. Furthermore, the extent of liabilities such as mortgage defaults is
unclear, and so is the status of unsecured Norton creditors as potential beneficiaries. Finally, the position of savers in three pension schemes, who became unwitting investors in Norton Motorcycles when their funds were controlled by disgraced Norton supremo Stuart Garner as sole trustee, is unresolved. BDO is currently consulting lawyers and may take the view that they were simply shareholders, who lost their shirts to the tune of possibly £12m in total when the business collapsed, and are therefore due nothing. Obviously Dalriada, an independent professional trustee firm parachuted in by the Pensions Regulator after ousting Garner from his role last year, would disagree. Investigations by the Pensions Ombudsman and Pensions Regulator are ongoing. Sadly, their conclusion may be that Garner is personally liable for the pensioners’ losses, which suggests their chances of getting any money back are slim.
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eading Yorkshirebased motorcycle trade insurance specialist Wilby, which majors on its innovative award-winning Bike Dealer scheme, has remonikered as PIB Insurance Brokers. This move was initiated by Wilby’s parent PIB Group, which has brought together 11 constituents within its Specialty Division under a single brand to simplify its offerings. It will also complement services provided by the Group’s PIB Risk Management and PIB Employee Benefits businesses. Commenting on the change, Wilby associate director David Moffat said: “We’ve had more than 35 years of success operating as Wilby Insurance Brokers and are delighted to
announce this next chapter. A fantastic team has been integral to that success and the same familiar faces will continue to provide highquality service to dealers. We will also be able to improve the range of services we offer in the sector, by drawing on expertise from the wider PIB Group.” PIB Group Specialty Division chief executive Steve Redgwell added: “The team at Wilby is a trusted provider to the motorcycle trade and we are looking forward to seeing this experience strengthen in the coming years as PIB Insurance Brokers. Bringing these specialist commercial lines businesses under one brand will ensure we take an even more unified approach for the benefit of our clients.”
Insurer Wilby rebrands to PIB
SOUTHAMPTON-BASED WHOLESALER BIKE It has signed a deal to become the exclusive UK distributor of Intact batteries. The German brand offers a wide range including classic “wet” lead acid batteries, sealed AGM batteries, gel batteries and heavy-duty HVT batteries. Recommended retail prices start from £17.98 and Bike It carries full UK stocks. Tel 02380 658700; email@example.com
BEN HELP FOR TRADE HEROES
AUTOMOTIVE CHARITY BEN HAS BEGUN TO provide practical help to staff from within the industry who have lost their jobs, or are at risk of losing their jobs owing to the Covid-19 pandemic’s economic impact. This initiative was motivated by a 52% increase in requests for support in the April-September period this year. BEN health and wellbeing director Rachel Clift explains: “This has been an incredibly tough time for our industry and its people. The pandemic has left many people’s futures uncertain. So, in response, we have extended our services to provide the relevant support. We are helping automotive people to cope with their current employment situation, look to the future, as well as providing information, advice and guidance for job-seeking, CV building and interview skills.”
MV AGUSTA NEEDS PASSION Since 1945, MV Agusta handcrafts the most advanced and beautiful motorcycles in the world! The Company continues to grow into a much larger scale and is looking to expand its UK Dealer Network. With an exciting range of models and with increased investments in manufacturing, After Sales and R&D, dedicated dealers can look forward to a great future ahead. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mvagusta.com
NOVEMBER 2020 29
International news with Roger Willis, BDN Financial Editor
IRISH MOTORBIKE SHOW
THE CAROLE NASH IRISH MOTORBIKE AND Scooter Show 2021 has been postponed to the 4-6 March 2022 in line with the government COVID-19 restrictions on events. “We have made this difficult decision as this event depends on its appeal as an experience and so would not meet the expectations and needs of the Irish motorcycle industry and the show’s 25,000 enthusiastic visitors. We regret any inconvenience and thank you for your support and patience. We look forward to hosting a bumper event in 2022,” said show director Ruth Lemass.
ON THE BACK OF “SUSTAINED HIGH demand” for the KTM, Husqvarna and GasGas motorcycle brands, plus Husqvarna and R Raymon pedelecs, Pierer Mobility’s board of directors has just upgraded its sales revenue forecast covering the second half of 2020. The company now estimates turnover in the period will exceed £770m, up from a previous forecast issued two months ago of £724m. This equates to a rise of at least 11% against last year’s actual second-half revenue of £692.2m. Annual 2020 revenue of more than £1.31bn is anticipated, falling by around 5% from full-year turnover of 1.37bn in 2019.
Ten-year Zero deal for Polaris
o kickstart a clunkilyentitled “rEV’d up” electrification strategy, US powersports giant Polaris has signed a ten-year partnership agreement with leading electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero. The deal encompasses application of Zero’s proven powertrain technology to the Polaris off-road vehicle (ORV) and snowmobile segments. Codevelopment projects are already under way, with the first of several Zero-powered electric vehicles to be unveiled by the end of 2021. And, according to Polaris chairman and chief executive Scott Wine, his “rEV’d up” strategy aims to offer customers an electric vehicle option within each of the company’s core product segments by 2025 – presumably including its Indian Motorcycle operations. “We believe this transformative partnership will enable us to leapfrog technological hurdles
around range and cost, while providing a tremendous speed-tomarket advantage,” he added. In fact, the Zero tie-up represents a second suck of the electric sauce
Projects are already under way, with the first of several Zero-powered electric vehicles to be unveiled by the end of 2021 bottle for Polaris. In January 2015, it acquired Brammo’s electric motorcycle business. The top-spec Brammo bike was rebadged as a Victory Empulse and made in small quantities alongside Victory’s petrol-engined cruiser range until
2017, when Polaris killed off the Victory brand following its purchase and successful relaunch of Indian Motorcycle. During that period, versions of the Empulse were entered in the Isle of Man TT’s one-lap electric events. In 2015, Lee Johnston took third place and Guy Martin fourth for Victory, with respective 111.26mph and 109.72mph laps. Then in 2016, the late William Dunlop stormed to second spot at an average speed of 115.84mph. But the real benefit of the Brammo acquisition was it allowed Polaris to leverage Brammo bike technology for its Ranger EV Li-ion side-by-side ORV, which remains the best-selling electric off-roader in North America. It’s not without competition on home turf, though. Textron produces electric “stealth” quadbikes and ORVs for the US hunting market, in parallel with a conventional ORV range inherited from takeover target Arctic Cat.
Another soft loan for Piaggio PIAGGIO GROUP HAS SIGNED AN ADDITIONAL £27.4m loan contract with the European Investment Bank (EIB), to pay for R&D projects. It follows a previous borrowing arrangement agreed last year, taking the EIB’s overall commitment to Piaggio for R&D set out in its investment plan across the 2019-2021 period to £91.2m. The EIB is collectively owned by EU member
states and splashes their money around in pursuit of “EU policy goals”. These apparently include enhancing Piaggio’s scooter, motorcycle and commercial vehicle lines. This latest tranche of EIB funding, notionally repayable over seven years, is for projects to be conducted at Piaggio Group sites in Italy through 2021. Specifically, it will support development
of technological product and process solutions in active and passive safety, and sustainability, such as electric motors and reduction of fuel consumption in internal combustion engines. Piaggio notes that EIB generosity will also enable the company to further strengthen its financial structure, by extending average debt life and reducing average borrowing costs.
THE US MOTORCYCLE INDUSTRY Council has cancelled its annual AIMExpo trade show, which was set to run alongside a major Tucker Powersports dealer event in Columbus, Ohio. This edition of AimExpo had already been rescheduled from October 2020 to January 2021. In a statement, MIC Events general manager Cinnamon Kernes said: “We have made the difficult decision to postpone. And while this wasn’t an easy choice, it’s the right one. With local directives limiting gathering size, travel restrictions, and a myriad of other obstacles created by the pandemic, there are too many unknown factors. We look forward to bringing AIMExpo back in 2022.” Tucker Powersports chief executive Marc McAllister added: “While we at Tucker were very excited for the opportunity to be a part of the show this year, the health and safety of our dealers and supplier partners has to be our first priority. We want to respect public health restrictions and we don’t want to put anyone at risk. We are now looking forward to reconnecting with the MIC and AIMExpo in 2022.”
ndia’s huge motorcycle industry has leap- it makes for equity and technical partner Pierer frogged the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact to Mobility, as well as own-brand shipments to places substantially claw back domestic business lost like Egypt, East Africa, Indonesia and Latin America. TVS claimed a superior export gain of during the country’s economic downturn in 2019. 23.9% to 71,570. Similarly, some of these And as its traditional peak sales season progresses would have been BMW Motorrad towards the crescendo of Diwali’s religious festivities products produced under contract of rejuvenation celebrated in mid-November, most and destined for Europe and bike manufacturers on the subelsewhere. continent have extended And while we might tentative August recovery think of Royal Enfield as with far better gains in a significant exporter, September. Indian industry data says As ever, Indian domestic otherwise. In September, market leader Hero its overseas sales fell by MotoCorp was out in front, boasting a 16.1% year-on-Honda’s new CB350 H’ness is challenging Royal Enfield11% to just 4131 bikes. The formerly British brand is now under direct year rise to 697,293 motorcycles and scooters sold in September – up from an 8.5% improvement to assault from mighty Honda on home turf too. 568,674 during the previous month. Honda’s Indian HMSI has just launched a serious challenger to subsidiary HMSI consolidated second spot, climbing Royal Enfield’s domestic best-selling Classic 350 by 8.5% to 526,865, against August’s slight 0.6% “baby Bullet”. This Honda CB350 H’ness shares retro styling and long-stroke, single-cylinder increase to 428,231. Somewhat lower down home-market rankings configuration with the Classic but flaunts distinctly in third place, TVS Motor actually dropped by a superior build quality and technology. Its OTR price is the rupee equivalent of about marginal 0.5% to 241,762, although its motorcycle sales were 12.7% higher at 139,698. Bajaj Auto in £2000, approximately a couple of hundred quid fourth, on the other hand, was catching up fast, more expensive than the Classic. But that difference stacking on 23.8% to 219,500. Royal Enfield rose by buys an impressive list of bells and whistles. Apart from having a bit more power, the CB350 features a modest 1.9% to 55,910. Among major exporters, Bajaj led September’s traction control, LED lights, a semi-digital dash and field with a 16.3% increase to 185,351. Presumably alloy wheels. You could almost see it as a cheap and that tally includes the KTM and Husqvarna models cheerful commuter on UK roads.
MV Agusta teams up with Hertz
lobal vehicle hire brand Hertz has enlarged its Hertz Ride touring motorcycle rental fleet to include MV Agusta machines, in a deal cut with the Italian factory. Hertz Ride offers a range of high-end bikes for touring holidays in the US and several European countries. These will now been joined by MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso SCS and Dragster Rosso models, initially in France and Italy, plus Portugal
and Spain next year. They will also be added to the American Hertz Ride fleet at a later date. Commenting on the tie-up, a spokesperson said: “This collaboration couldn’t be more appropriate, as MV Agusta and Hertz Ride share the same motorcycling ideals in their constant search for innovation, and offering the best experience and the most enjoyable adventure when riding a motorcycle.”
TRADE AND DEALER ENQUIRIES ONLY. PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE ORO2U.COM OR CALL 01597 822666 TO BECOME A DEALER.
NOVEMBER 2020 31
US bike trade show called off
Indian sales surge gathers pace I
The UK’S TOP SELLING OFF-ROAD RACE WEAR 01900 873456 www.wulfsport.com
BOMBARDIER RECREATIONAL PRODUCTS (BRP) in conjunction with Société Générale is introducing a new 0% finance offer for the MY21 Can-Am off-road line-up including all-terrain (ATV) and side by side vehicles (SSV) when purchased new at a participating UK Can-Am off-road dealership until 31 January 2021. James Dalke, BRP commercial development manager UK, said: “We are confident this new finance offer will bring in new customers, while also motivating existing users to either upgrade their current vehicle or provide them with the flexibility to add to the vehicles they have available to use on their site.”
ALONGSIDE THE LAUNCH OF THE 2021 GasGas range, Maxxis announced it will be supplying its tyres as OE fitment on GasGas motocross and enduro bikes. Augustine Ting, managing director Maxxis Europe, confirmed: “We are pleased to announce our tie-up with GasGas. They have worked very hard on their 2021 range to bring the very best bikes to the market, and tyres are an incredibly important part of translating this power and agility to the ground. The quality of our tyres has been proven in several championships now, and we are pleased GasGas recognises this and chose our tyres based on their ability to maximise the performance of its bikes.”
or 2021 GasGas is offering no less than 19 models spanning all the categories – motocross, trials, enduro, cross country and mini. Pierer Mobility Group, also owner of the KTM and Husqvarna brands, bought GasGas in late 2019 and has now clarified the GasGas brand positioning within the group; KTM is the racing brand, Husqvarna is the premium brand and GasGas is the slightly less expensive fun brand. GasGas trials bikes will continue to be manufactured in the brand’s Spanish factory at Salt, near Girona, and as such, the
2021 TXT Racing and GP models in 125, 250, 280 and 300cc capacities are a development of the previous year’s models. The rest of the range is essentially brand new, borrowing technologies and parts from both KTM and Husqvarna. The cross country bikes are not destined for the UK but for the wide open spaces of the US, Australian and South African markets. The mini bikes are two-strokes in 50, 65 and 85cc guises, plus there’s the MC-E5 quick-charging electric version which gives up to two hours riding. The Euro 5 compliant enduro
range offers two-stroke models in 200 and 300cc and four-strokes in 250 and 350cc capacities. In motocross, the choice is a 125cc two-stroke or four-strokes in 250 and 450cc versions. At the time of going to press there were 17 confirmed GasGas dealers nationwide, but there’s room for many more and it’s now a brand with a degree of fresh impetus behind it. KTM UK is actively looking to recruit dealers for all its brands in key areas, with significant support packages in place to encourage interest. Dealers should contact email@example.com.
Improving quad security KTM
KTM HAS REVEALED A LIMITED EDITION 350 EXC-F WESS model. Unveiled by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Manuel Lettenbichler, the KTM 350 EXC-F WESS adds to the production model’s package with factory wheels, orange anodised hubs, a radiator fan and protectors, CNC machined triple clamps in orange, a plastic skid plate, and a grippy Factory seat. The biggest enhancement is the inclusion of WP XACT 48mm air fork technology for the first time on a KTM enduro machine. “The bike is a fantastic tribute to the skills we see in the WESS championship. For riders that want unique looks and class-leading four-stroke performance then this is another unmissable off-road bike that we at KTM are really proud of,” commented Joachim Sauer, KTM senior product manager off road. firstname.lastname@example.org
POLARIS BRITAIN HAS CONFIRMED AN INCREASED partnership with leading security experts, ATVTrac, with the announcement that all new adult machines from Polaris have been equipped with the proven tracking system as standard since 1 October. Polaris was quick to embrace tracking technology in 2016, endorsing ATVTrac for fitment on its machines via its authorised dealer network. Following positive feedback from both dealers and customers, Polaris Britain decided to fit the system as standard on all its adult machines. ATVTrac’s small and discreet unit boasts GPS, GPRS, GSM and RF technologies, which combine to accurately track and position the machine, enabling recovery of
stolen ATVs even in the most difficult locations. Owners have the benefit of being able to log into the dedicated app (or via web browser) to see the live location of their vehicle, as well as being able to check battery level and even journey history. On top of the security functions (which will text, email and call the owner should the vehicle be moved without permission), ATVTrac can notify users when a service is due and can monitor lone workers for added peace of mind. As well as working with all major police forces and having a dedicated 24/7 team, ATVTrac is also partnered with Securitas, working to secure stolen machines in circumstances where police resources are stretched.
High interest trade account
ulfsport has been one of the UK’s major manufacturers of offroad clothing and equipment for nearly 50 years and proprietor Bill Brown is a familiar industry face, not least for his ‘Save the Maico’ campaign. So how has the company been negotiating these perilous times? In a couple of words – pretty well. “At the end of last year, gearing up for Brexit, we decided to get lots of stock in thinking that if there were any complications at least we’d be alright on that front. The main part of our job is keeping the dealers fed with products, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. The Brexit date came and went and not a lot happened. I thought ‘Oh well, I’m going to need it over the next year or two anyway, so it doesn’t really matter’.” Of course, what nobody foresaw – how could they? – was getting hit by COVID-19. For Wulfsport, as with many other companies, things virtually came to a halt overnight when lockdown was announced. According to Brown, his customers were reducing their orders or cancelling altogether. “After a few weeks demand really started to pick up and it soon became apparent that most of our competitors didn’t have any stock. Most distributors in the off-road game in this country don’t have their own brand. It’s either American or European,
and they rely on short order times. Because we’re a manufacturer we work the other way round. We have all our stock in the UK and if there’s anything over then it goes to France or Germany or wherever.” Wulfsport doesn’t have reps, which keeps its prices keener, which in turn benefits its internet-based customers who are stockhungry. They tend to be more business focused and favour the high turnover/ low profit model, as opposed to motocross dealers who are more often enthusiasts. As Brown confirms, the youth market, which Wulfsport has always catered for, is more buoyant that ever. “I think Covid worked for us. Earlier in the year there were a lot of people sitting at home on furlough. They couldn’t go out, they couldn’t go on holiday, so what did they spend their money on? Their kids. Plus, the kids weren’t at school and were bored silly. Our specialist dealers have had an absolute birthday because kids are always growing out of stuff. “Usually we’re flat out with junior clothing during the three months up to Christmas and then it stops in January. That’s usually it for a while but this year it picked up again in March and it was like Christmas all over again. We do quite a lot with car racing suits and the stock car drivers buy our helmets, goggles and body armour. We also do kids’
Fantic to buy Motori Minarelli
antic Motor and Yamaha Motor Europe have announced their joint intention that Fantic Motor will acquire 100% of the shares in Motori Minarelli by the end of 2020. Minarelli has produced Yamaha engines under licence and also supplies its power units to Fantic. This move will see Minarelli retain its identity under Fantic ownership and allow Yamaha Motor Europe the opportunity to take a less active role, in keeping Fantic MD Mariano Roman with Yamaha Motor’s global strategy (see page 12). The acquisition will have to be condoned by the European Works Council but so far it has all the hallmarks of a done deal. This would seem to put Fantic in the proverbial win-win situation of having the security of its own engine supply as well as having access to the latest Yamaha engine technology.
Bill and daughter Ellie Brown
car racing suits, which are used like play suits – they’re a good advertisement for us. “Of course, we produce the full range of trials clothing and equipment, and – believe it or not – we’ve got the biggest range of offroad helmets in the world including trials helmets with drop-down visors.” And what of 2021 for Bill Brown and Wulfsport? Well, Brown agrees that the future is as unknown as it’s ever been. “What I will be doing is again carrying plenty of stock so as to be ready for any eventuality. It’s our own brand, so nobody can undercut us, and we’ve no rent to pay, so that gives us confidence. There’s nowhere else to put money at the moment, the banks and building societies are paying nothing, so it might as well go into stock.” And who can argue with that? Wulfsport 01900 873456 email@example.com
RHL to promote ACU Motocross Championship
HL Activities has announced it has been granted the 2021 rights to promote the Adult ACU British Motocross Championship from the Auto Cycle Union (ACU). RHL will become the commercial partner and ACU will stay heavily involved with the rules and regulations of the FIM sanctioned motocross series in the UK. Steve McCauley, ACU motocross chairman commented on the partnership: “2020 has been a year that both myself and my committee will not be sorry to put behind us for reasons which are selfexplanatory. We really felt it was time to shake the series up with a major re-vamp. Believe me when I say this isn’t just the committee passing the reins to a promoter. We will retain what has always been the backbone of our series with our superb traditional clubs whilst adding exciting new dimensions to spice everything up” Gareth Hockey, director of RHL
Activities said: “We are ecstatic to be given the rights to promote the Adult ACU British Motocross Championship. As many will know this is something I have wanted for some time and I’m pleased to be able to work with the ACU and the clubs which run the events to increase the promotion of the premier motocross series for our country.” Further announcements will be made in the coming weeks on www.mxgb.co.uk and www.rhlactivities.com
Gareth Hockey, director of RHL Activities
NOVEMBER 2020 33
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Brexit from bike safety? EUROPEAN MOTORCYCLE industry association ACEM has unveiled its safety strategy in response to the EU’s target of a 50% reduction in road fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. Presumably Britain’s MCIA, which remains an ACEM member, had some involvement – although content will have no bearing whatsoever on the UK after the end of this year, for obvious reasons. Evocatively entitled “The safe ride to the future 2.0”, this policy document sets out the motorcycle sector’s vision for what the EU calls “Horizon 2030”, in areas such as advanced safety technology and connectivity. It also elaborates on an ACEM initiative to increase the standard of post-licence motorcycle training through a European Training Quality Label and describes how ACEM is working with other European and national stakeholders, to promote the implementation of transport policies that encompass motorcycle safety. Commenting on the document, ACEM secretary general Antonio Perlot said: “There are more than 34 million motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in use across Europe. These bring considerable benefits, such as affordable mobility and reduced traffic congestion levels, as well as enjoyment through activities such as leisure mobility, sports and tourism. The motorcycle industry calls upon policy-makers to embrace inclusive mobility and safety policies, benefiting users as well as the rest of society.” Ironically, ACEM’s safety strategy was developed in conjunction with European coordinator for road safety Matthew Baldwin, a British-born bureaucrat still on the Brussels payroll. Pictured above: ACEM secretary general Antonio Perlot (left) and European road safety coordinator Matthew Baldwin (right) presenting the policy document
Bennetts takeover bites the dust
he Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has forced insurance giant Ardonagh to back-track on its acquisition of leading specialist motorcycle broker Bennetts. Ardonagh Group, which also owns big-league bike insurers Carole Nash and Swinton, completed the purchase of Bennetts in August 2020. But a subsequent investigation by the CMA highlighted concerns that a merger of Ardonagh and Bennetts, which are the biggest distributors of motorcycle
insurance in the UK, would result in a worse deal for customers. In order to address these concerns, Ardonagh has now offered to sell Bennetts, effectively reversing the £26m takeover deal completely. The CMA has accepted that this solution should, in principle, be capable of remedying the competition issues it had identified and is considering detailed aspects. If it is accepted, Ardonagh would have a fixed period of time to sell Bennetts to a purchaser approved by the CMA.
Motorcycle Live goes digital FROM 21-29 NOVEMBER 2020, BIKE FANS CAN ENJOY AN array of unique content, see the latest bikes and enter exclusive competitions with Motorcycle Live Online. Managing director of Motorcycle Live, Finlay McAllan said: “When we made the difficult decision to postpone Motorcycle Live this year, our thoughts instantly turned to how we could still offer our visitors a show experience. We’re looking forward to delivering, motorcycle and scooter launches, exclusive competitions, bargains and latest news to our fans over the course of the ‘show’! “By presenting Motorcycle Live Online over the ‘normal’ nineday show period, we hope to give our fans, followers and regular visitors plenty of entertainment, and give something back for all the support we have been shown throughout the years.” Motorcycle Live Online in association with Bikesure Insurance takes place between 21-29 November on www.motorcyclelive.co.uk and on Motorcycle Live social channels.
London mayor begs for bailout
ransport for London chairman Sadiq Khan congestion and clean-air strategies. Senior members of the Conservative government – who is also the city’s mayor – is seeking a new £5.7bn rescue package for TfL from have intimated that TfL will probably get most of the extra money requested but the UK Treasury. This will be strings will be attached. For the additional to the £1.6bn bailout previous bailout, Khan was forced TfL secured in May. to abandon a fares freeze he had Public transportation systems implemented after his election in London have been rendered in 2016. He was also obliged to obsolete by social-distancing increase congestion and lowmeasures and public reluctance emissions zone charges. to travel in close proximity. Since A similar multi-billion package the Covid pandemic struck, TfL’s for Britain’s railway network was income from tube and bus fares London mayor Sadiq Khan’s buses and trains are running virtually empty agreed recently due to similarly has plummeted by around 90%. In parallel, sales of small motorcycles and low passenger numbers. In that case, privatised scooters to commuters have rocketed, despite franchises were abolished and the system an absence of endorsement from Khan in his effectively renationalised.
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Top MCN trade gong for Lind Group
he Lind Group dealer chain has been crowned MCN Multi-Franchise Dealer of the Year (South) for 2020. And Lind founder and managing director Russell Dacre is understandably ecstatic to receive such prestigious recognition. “I’m so delighted, I’m shouting it from the rooftops,” enthused Dacre. “This award recognises the investment we’ve made in the business, but more so the dedication and effort our fantastic motorcycle teams put in to deliver a quality and personal service to our customers every day. “The part I love the most is
David Lilley general manager of Triumph West London, and Betty Hancock head of marketing for Lind Group
MCN’s photo caption, saying that we may be big, but we are personal. Big is relative. For me we’re just a whole load of passionate and dedicated individuals who keep
turning up to do our best for the world-class brands we represent and for our valued customers. I’m looking forward to keeping ‘big’ personal.”
THE FULL LIST OF MCN DEALER award winners is: • South Multi Franchise: Lind Group • South Single Franchise: Bahnstormer Motorrad • Central Multi Franchise: Pidcocks Motorcycles • Central Single Franchise: Vertu Honda Bikes • North & Scotland Multi Franchise: Padgett’s Motorcycles • North & Scotland Single Franchise: Ducati Manchester
Excuses, excuses PHILLIP YOULES, chairman of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association I’M SICK OF COVID. EXCUSES, EXCUSES, IT seems like most of the people we put our trust in are using the current situation as an excuse to not do their job properly... I’ve been banned from a pub today for locking my pushbike up in the wrong place. I strategically positioned it on the front where I would be able to see it from inside. The landlord came out, asking me to put it in a different place. Apparently, if someone sat on the bench outside, I’d have to go near them when unlocking it. He seemed to overlook the fact that it was raining and I’d be well away from them anyway. The ‘Covid empowered’ Landlord, got my back up with his tone. I told him politely where to go ... and he told me politely I wasn’t welcome back. Two hundred yards up the road is another pub. They were really friendly and seemed to want my trade. This is my point that yes, we need to be careful and wear a mask, wash our hands etc, etc. but we need to start treating each other like human beings again! Don’t fall into the Covid trap, it’s not an excuse to be rude to people. In fact, it’s totally the opposite and we need to be welcoming. That takes more of an effort with a mask on than in normal times. I have had to rethink our policies around many aspects of the business and we are enjoying a boom as a consequence. Keeping our front of house staff engaged and creating a positive buzz about the place is vital. Our businesses are offering an alternative to public transport or a channel for that holiday money that was going to be spent in Europe. Keeping the customer happy and engaged is more important now than ever. How about a sign saying “PLEASE WEAR A MASK” instead of “MASKS MUST BE WORN”? And if someone does
forget, then offer them one, politely? You know sometimes, when you’re excited, you can forget that you need one. Both of my stores are in the newly defined highrisk areas and people are likely to be apprehensive about visiting us and we will re-enforce the trading at a distance solution which if I’m honest, had slipped a bit.
Those manufacturers that do well, are often those that take note of the blind spot in their dealer relationships AUTUMN SURVEY The Autumn 2020 NMDA Dealer Attitude Survey (DAS) is now live. Please take five minutes (and it really does only take five minutes!) to complete the DAS. I find it interesting how often dealers openly speak out about the apathy within our industry and the lack of will to change the course of events, in particular the dealer/manufacturer relationship. Well, this is your opportunity to effect change. It’s your survey and it’s your chance to have a truly anonymous voice. Trust me, manufacturers DO take note of the results. Those manufacturers that do well, are often those that take note of the blind spot in their dealer relationships. Often with a little tweak here and a little tweak there, it can make all the difference. The industry still doesn’t have a clear direction on the imposition of Euro 5. I feel the ramifications will be pivotal to the success of new sales in 2021. Unfortunately a lot of this is out of our control, but how different brands handle this will determine the success (or not) of their network next year.
RIDE SAFE At the NMDA we continue to remind the government about the importance of promoting the Covid Ride Safe message, which certainly seems to be benefitting small bike sales. Let’s face it, who would want to use public transport with Covid around? So surely, we should make the most of this opportunity as it is in the public’s best interest to keep them safe. The supply of small bikes seems to be an issue, with all the major brands struggling. This seems really poor to me. There are executives with well-paid jobs that either haven’t planned properly or haven’t reacted quickly enough to the upturn. They will carry on receiving their salary whilst their dealers are struggling. We can’t sell empty spaces. I believe some Chinese brands are still able to supply so don’t be surprised if they mop up market share. When you think about it, it’s like having the ball in the penalty area then tripping up over your bootlace and chipping the ball straight into the goalkeepers’ hands… Above all get that survey filled in, keep safe and make the most of the last few months of 2020.
NATIONAL MOTORCYCLE DEALERS ASSOCIATION
he formerly three-strong Destination Triumph dealer chain across Southern England has been temporarily reduced to two outlets, after the doors of its Guildford showroom shut for the final time on 16 October. However, demise of the Surrey store had nothing to do with poor performance. It had been scheduled for closure anyway, as part of a mutuallyagreed realignment of territories with Triumph UK, effectively relocating to a much larger newbuild site in Billingshurst, West
Sussex. The planned move was supposed to be concurrent. But Covid pandemic lockdown delayed construction of the new premises, which now won’t be completed for several months. During this enforced interlude, aftersales support for Guildford customers has been diverted to Destination’s Solent branch at Fareham in Hampshire and the Washington outlet, north of Worthing in West Sussex. Updating the position online, Destination Group said: “Over the past 12 years at Guildford, we have enjoyed tremendous business levels
TMX resumes publication
eekly UK off-road sports bible TMX (Trials and Motocross News) is going back into print, with its first edition for seven months reaching newsagents on 5 November. Like many specialist titles, TMX was obliged to suspend print publication in April, when the COVID-19 lockdown demolished its advertising revenue and the events upon which it depends for content were cancelled. Announcing the revival online, a TMX spokesman said: “Not only will we be printing a brand-new edition each and every week, we’ll also be giving our website a little love and attention too.” Originally founded in 1977, TMX had become a cherished institution in the off-road world. But as dirtbike sport began to recover through the summer and into this autumn, the magazine’s failure to relaunch caused many in the trade and competition community to suspect its demise was permanent. BDN is happy to report that such fears are now without merit and hopes TMX has a bright future.
Delayed building work has meant Guilford Triumph’s move to its planned new premises in Billinghurst hasn’t gone smoothly
with our local biking community. Unfortunately, a timely transition to the new site wasn’t quite possible due to circumstances beyond our control. We will relay news of the Billingshurst opening as soon as we are able.” In a statement to its network, Triumph added: “We
can confirm that Destination Triumph Guildford has ceased trading. This is as a result of a mutual decision to optimise our representation for the region. We are working with the Destination Group to develop a replacement dealership and will share more details at a later date.”
McAMS continues as title sponsor MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT management service McAMS, has agreed a deal to continue as the title sponsor of Yamaha’s official team in the Bennetts British Superbike championship for a fifth consecutive year in 2021. McAMS first joined forces with Raceways Motorcycles when the then British Supersport squad stepped up to the Superbike class to be Yamaha’s official team in 2017. Since then, McAMS Yamaha has won ten BSB races and stood on the podium 41 times. Valentina Slater, sales director of McAMS said: “We are delighted to continue with Steve and the team at Raceways and Yamaha for a fifth year in 2021.
Steve Rodgers, McAMS Yamaha, and Valentina Slater McAMS “Our relationship with the team is much more than a sticker on the bike and garage boarding, the whole team feel like family to us and we have been on an upwards trajectory since we joined them in 2017. After coming close to winning the title this year, we can’t wait to come back and try again in 2021!” The deal makes McAMS one of the longest standing sponsors in the British Superbike paddock, having first joined the series as a supporting sponsor in 2014.
Brexit badge to replace CE mark
nce the Brexit transition period expires at the end of this year, the familiar CE standards compliance labels for motorcycling personal protective equipment – riding apparel including boots, gloves and helmets – will potentially disappear from our shores. All newly manufactured products distributed and sold in England, Scotland and Wales from 1 January 2021 will statutorily require UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) stamps of approval instead.
This doesn’t apply to Northern Ireland, which has been demoted to status as a semidetached adjunct of neighbouring Eire, an EU member state. There, CE markings will still be necessary, alongside the bold new British UKCA badge. But nothing has really changed yet. The European PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 has been translated into UK law, hook, line and sinker, to become the UK PPE Regulations. And the same accreditation companies, such as SATRA, will be approved bodies assessing
the efficacy of products on exactly the same basis, both in little Britain and throughout the great big European Union. Of course, the UK is now thoroughly entitled to change its PPE regulatory framework without reference to anybody else post-transition, whenever it takes the fancy.
NOVEMBER 2020 39
Guildford Triumph disappears
Your thoughts and opinions on the trade’s top topics
Your thoughts and opinions on the topics that make the trade tick are welcomed: firstname.lastname@example.org BDN, 10 Daddon Court, Clovelly Road Industrial Estate, Bideford, EX39 3FH
STAR LETTER Old fashioned, but I am happy in the weeds
really am surprised that the humble whispers in previous letters from my little shop have resonated enough to be heard. For many years I tried to talk to the industry I love, only to be met with laughter and immediate dismissal. It’s ironic that now my words have some small meaning. We all know the game is in decline, many offer reasons but I can only offer opinion based on what I see from the outside sitting on the veranda looking at the closing stages of a party I have always been rejected from. Here are some of the points I’d like to make. From what I can see the bike business is much like politics with decisions made by the powers that are often short sighted and offering only short-term fixes. Just like politicians, industry decisions and changes are made to allow those making them feel they have achieved progress, at least within the short term of their appointment. Almost inevitably they are changed and twisted by the next individual’s short-term views. Never is there a long-term plan. Let’s take new riders, for example. What’s the incentive? Ownership of machines is nearly no longer relevant. Government has long been planning significant changes to the modern transport system with electric driverless systems etc. As such the catastrophic introduction of PCP finance has aided government to diminish the sense of ownership which was so important
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to the motorcycle fraternity. Few and far between are the riders that say their bike is special to them. That’s replaced with the absolute sense that it’s not their bike to own and will simply return it when the agreement is up. I believe we will see the disastrous consequences of selling machines that riders can’t really afford. For too long people
From what I can see the bike business is much like politics with decisions made by the powers that are often short sighted have looked at the monthly cost not the buying cost and when we return to standard HP finance and those monthly payments are four/five times higher, more riders gone. Why would you spend 20K+ for a new motorcycle when a two-year-old bike is half the cost, an abundance of them having been returned to dealers? PCP is a short-term solution with no long-term plan behind it when it ends. Let’s talk about future dealer development. I have it on good authority that for an independent to move up to main dealer status is near impossible, unless you have a million in your pocket and own the building you’re in. If I had a million and the freehold the last place I would put it is in the hands of a manufacturer/importer. I asked two of the top five manufacturers what their plan was should a large multi-
franchise dealer suddenly close their doors? Their answer, “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it”. Well I believe that bridge is coming but will there be any one left to cross it? I approached my bank manager about potential funding if the chance ever came to join the franchised club and he told me in the 22 years he has served my area he has never lent to a bike business because there is no evidence that any investment will get a return. No longer do I hold any aspiration or excitement in looking forward to growing and employing more people. Instead I have come to terms with what we are, small, independent, stable, debt free and cash rich. For years I believed I was missing out, but now I very much thank the industry for saving me from the pressures and difficulties now being experienced by the network. I feel sorry for dealers, stuck between a rock and a hard place, dictated to in every way, unable to be flexible enough to cope with the rapidly changing society we now live in. If a manufacturer were to offer me a franchise would I take it? Under current polices never! I will live out my days doing what I enjoy, serving decent people in a way I wish to be treated. Old fashioned if you like but I am happy in the weeds. Well I think that is enough of my simple views, maybe I have it all wrong, I genuinely hope I have. Rob Ticehurst Newstreet Motorcycles Horsham Sussex
STAR LETTER WRITER
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CUFF A new light-hearted column providing dealers with a platform to pass on customer comments and their own views. MOTECH SCOOTERS
A NEW SCOOTER CUSTOMER AT MOTECH SCOOTERS IN NEWCASTLE ON TYNE said soon after lockdown in March: “Why don’t you lot [dealers] advertise and tell people how affordable these things are? I spend a fortune getting to work in the city and if I take the car, parking is a nightmare.”
GRAHAM CHARLTON MOTORCYCLES
A NO QUIBBLE BUYER OF A 2006 ZXR 600 FOR £2500 FROM GRAHAM CHARLTON MOTORCYCLES in Stockton said: “Is that all it is – two and a half grand? That’s cheaper than my mobile phone, and I’ll be lucky if that lasts more than a couple of years.”
01405 480000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.hendler.co.uk ST NEOTS MOTORCYCLES
ERIC SAWFORD AT ST NEOTS MOTORCYCLES HAS STRONG VIEWS ON THE use of electric powered scooters: “The confusion and danger caused by PLEV and EAPC vehicles in our town is an accident waiting to happen. They zoom in and out of cars and pedestrians and do more than 15mph round here! – we call them druggie delivery scoots and they will detract from our regular business. This subject attracted newspaper comment from local MP Mike Hill in Hartlepool during the government authorised trials: He said “Use of these type of scooters to get people off buses is farcical. They are as useful as a chocolate fireguard.”
JASON BRUNT AT STREETBIKE IN THE WEST MIDLANDS SAYS: “PERHAPS IT’S time for manufacturers to look at the whole structure of model launches rather than dated weeklong motorcycle shows that must cost a fortune.” He adds: “We did a taster open day recently, and one of our regular customers turned up early. Despite his misgivings and polite initial refusal, he did opt to throw a leg over a Zero electric motorcycle and join us on a ride out. He came back ‘blown away’ with the bike’s handling and performance. He reckons he now has a dilemma and a decision to make on buying which new bike.”
IN SITTINGBOURNE, COLWIN MOTORCYCLES SPECIALISES IN USED BIKES, and John Clarke says: “We saw early signs of demand prior to lockdown and bought as many as we could. One of my major future concerns would be losing that initial youth interest for two wheels that was natural years ago. In the early eighties, to turn up at sixth form or college on a Yamaha FSIE was serious street credibility and created volume sales and interest that transferred onwards. Now we have 16-year old’s suffering flawed licensing regulations that encourages them to wait for the four wheel option.”
ALF ENGLAND MOTORCYCLES
IN BEDWORTH, NUNEATON IS ALF ENGLAND MOTORCYCLES AND MARTIN Cole says: “Footfall has dropped but out of the current situation has come opportunity and like everyone else we are very busy online. As a major event in the UK, the bike show is finished as we know it, what better than a virtual motorcycle show! The expensive annual day out for the dwindling faithful at the NEC will be a memory for many of our customers and we need to think ahead. Manufacturers need to build demand and with no delays in the supply chain. It’s no secret that the Aerox and Neos scooters are finished, and like all Japanese manufacturers electric scooters are in the pipeline and will become mainstream. What better for our industry to target the stay at home millions in the UK, with regulated electric scooters that will be seen to be green and acceptable.”
BOB MINION MOTORCYCLES
MARK MINION AT BOB MINION MOTORCYCLES IN DERBY HAS A RELAXED AND realistic view on the future motorcycle market in the UK: “New registrations have been around the 100,000 mark for a few years now and I don’t see that is likely to change much. The major manufacturers need to attract customers with a supportive dealer network to maintain this. Of course, the 125cc commuter and leisure sales have revived, but as we move into winter will that enthusiasm remain on a freezing cold and wet commute?
MSG MOTORCYCLES BMG SCOOTERS
BMG SCOOTERS IN LONDON SOLD A SCOOTER TO A CUSTOMER WHO DID NOT want to use public transport – and his wife was with him in the shop. “She decided to join the party, took her CBT and bought a scooter for herself as well.”
KICKSTART MOTORCYCLES IN PORT TALBOT SAID: “WE HAVE 30 BIKES AND scooters arriving from Lexmoto and 28 are presold. Two customers had to cancel as they couldn’t wait any longer. The way it is going I can see Lexmoto knocking Honda off top spot.”
STUART PHETEAN OWNS ROCHDALE HONDA AND HE REFLECTS ON THE over-complicated legislation that many say is killing the 16-year old entry market. “The average age for a new customer for us is around 30 years. Sales are increasing for commuter models for trips of around 30 miles a day. I do some mountain bike riding and it’s interesting to listen to other riders’ views. Alternative electric power will help and lend itself to a potential younger scooter road user, but we will keep the established ICE sales for some time from what older riders are saying.”
AT MSG MOTORCYCLES IN FARNBOROUGH, MIKE GIBBINS IS A RELATIVE newcomer to retail motorcycling sales but has a wealth of high street sales experience: “Been busy like everyone else with good customer demand. We have doubled our sales with Lexmoto in the last twelve months. We must plan ahead and turn any doubts on Euro 5 stock availability into opportunity. I will have no problem at all in preregistering all my stock.”
JIM ALLAN MOTORCYCLES
AT JIM ALLAN MOTORCYCLES IN FALKIRK SCOTLAND, STEPHEN GALLAGHER IS finding a ready market for buggies, pit bikes, and quads from stay at home families. “When they have a mask on, is that a smile or a frown when you give the customer a price and … no handshake to seal the deal? Odd times.”
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Have you got an opinion or viewpoint that would be of interest to the motorcycle trade? BDN welcomes feedback and views on what makes the trade tick. Drop us a line on: email@example.com BDN, 10 Daddon Court, Clovelly Road Industrial Estate, Bideford, EX39 3FH HEAD OF CONTENT Andy Mayo: firstname.lastname@example.org tel 01237 422660; 07780 857693 FINANCIAL EDITOR Roger Willis: email@example.com PRODUCTS EDITOR / DESIGN MANAGER Colin Williams: firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGNER Maurice Knuckey: email@example.com WRITERS Roger Willis; Adam Bernstein, Dan Sagar, Brian Crichton; Suzanne Potts; Rick Kemp; John Featherstone; Frank Finch; Alan Dowds ACCOUNTS MANAGER Mark Mayo: firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING Alison Payne: tel 07595 219093 Paul Baggott: tel 07831 863837 email@example.com CIRCULATION firstname.lastname@example.org TAIWAN AGENCY Albert Yang, Pro Media Co: email@example.com tel +886 4 7264437 PUBLISHER Colin Mayo: firstname.lastname@example.org ADVANCE COPY DEADLINES • December Issue 9 November 2020 • January Issue 7 December 2020 • February Issue 13 January 2021
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Below: Mash X-Ride 650
As you will have read in October’s BDN, the Mash brand, left floundering after the demise of its UK distributor Three Cross Motorcycles, has been rescued by Motomondo UK, a newly-formed subsidiary of the Netherlands company Motomondo B.V.
MASH MEAN BUSINESS
otomondo UK should be well placed to handle Mash as it has been doing it for ten years in the Benelux countries and Germany, with Austria next on the list, and in those countries it has become something of a niche brand specialist (see separate panel). In fact, it would appear that Motomondo managing director Jan Ykema had little choice in the matter because the French manufacturer of Mash was fed up with the UK situation not working out and twisted his arm. Heading up Motomondo UK is Andrew Davidson, who points out that the driving force behind the Dutch parent company’s operation is aftersales service and this is already paying dividends across the dealer network. “We inherited 70-odd dealers, most of which were happy to keep going with
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Motomondo because of its reputation but there were a few for whom it was a case of twice bitten … I explained that I’ve got a multi-million-pound business behind me that’s been trading for 26 years but some remained unconvinced.” Long story short, Motomondo got a second bite of the cherry when those dealers were ordering parts and service items for their existing Mash customers. “Because we know our parts ordering system is fantastic, instead of just sending them the parts we gave them a dealer log in, which turned into a bit of a selling point because they came back to us saying, ‘bloody hell, that’s fantastic, perhaps we’ve been a bit hasty here’. “Dealers can get any information they need on a particular Mash model from the system, PDI kits, owners’ manuals, parts diagrams, wiring diagrams and it will also tell the dealer
MOTOMONDO B.V. WAS FORMED IN 1998 AS a subsidiary of Cagiva Motor by Jan Ykema, who was also a minority shareholder. In 2000 the company became Cagiva Benelux, also acting as a distributor for MV Agusta. The next big change came in 2007 when Ykema initiated a company buy-out, but there had to be a name change due to Cagiva corporate moves. So Motomondo came into being and, thanks to the Cagiva connection, Husqvarna was added to the brand portfolio. This didn’t last too long, however, as Husky later went to BMW and then KTM. In 2015 Motomondo was invited to represent the retro French brand Mash and it hasn’t looked back since. Growth has been impressive, with 900 units sold in 2018 rising to 2000 units in 2019 and up to September this year the figure was 2200. The target for 2021, including the UK market, is to sell 5000 units. Growth overall including all brands since 2017 has been nearly five-fold according to MD Ykema, who had this to say regarding the UK subsidiary. “The UK market is key for us and very suitable for our products. We have plans to quadruple registrations. We are in it for the long term and will be taking on other brands and products. Mash came to us regarding the UK market because they know we have the systems, the structure and the aftersales back-up to properly handle the brand.” Other brands handled by Motomondo B.V. are MV Agusta, Royal Enfield, Hyosung and Rieju – one of these could be coming here via Motomondo UK in the not-too-distant future.
Stock is held at a distribution facility near Coventry, which is obviously central for the UK. Davidson says that the company is working on reducing the time required for anything coming across the sea to 24 hours what the stocking levels are. If anything’s out of stock it will tell you if it’s available from the factory in France and if it is, normal delivery time is 48 hours. There’s a simple traffic-light indicator for the stock situation.” UK stock is held at a distribution facility near Coventry, which is obviously central for the UK. Davidson says that the company is working on reducing the time required for anything coming across the sea to 24 hours. The upshot is that most of the not-sure dealers have been converted and ten new dealers have been taken on since 1 September. However, it hasn’t all been plain sailing as, according to Davidson, trying to open a new business account with any of the major high-street banks was virtually impossible with all the Covid criminals trying to cash in on bounce-back loans. Then there was the stock situation. With all the UK bikes being in
the possession of the receiver or the forward finance company nothing was hassle-free. Fortunately for Motomondo, there are now more bikes in stock than were sold in 2019. As aftersales service is key to the Motomondo operation, the customer service enquiries and technical queries are linked through, via a UK number, to the experienced staff in the Netherlands who all speak fluent English. Davidson even claims one of the staff speaks Geordie! So there’s no need to waste time and money training people in the UK when a hugely knowledgeable resource already exists.
Jan Ykema, Motomondo managing director
Davidson is overall sales manager for the UK and Ireland, and looks after the North of England, Scotland, Northern and Southern Ireland with the help of three reps, while Mike Fernandez, who many dealers will know, has been appointed to take care of Southern dealers – between them they’ve got more than 50 years in the motorcycle business. “When we took over,” explains Davidson, “we
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BRITISH DEALER NEWS
Key business information for the UK motorcycle and scooter industry • February 2020
STARS LIGHT UP GLITZY LAUNCH
Guests were blown away by a host of celebrities at the charity opening of a new Yamaha franchise p16 February 2020
WWW.LS2HELMETS.COM | 01670 856342
MONTHLY YEARLY NOVEMBER 2020 MAGAZINE
MASH THE RANGE Fifty
Moped, single cylinder four-stroke with electric and kick start Fifty £1899; Dirt Track £2149
We have also increased the margin on the 50cc and 125cc bikes by another 5% on an already attractive margin to help the dealer
Mash British Seven 125
offered dealers a better price than Three Cross had been doing. As we sell a a big volume of Mash bikes we have a good buying price and this has helped us keep retail prices the same, apart from both of the 650cc machines where we have reduced the SRP by £500 to make it even more competitive. We have also increased the margin on the 50cc and 125cc bikes by another 5% on an already attractive margin to help the dealer.” Another plus point for the Mash brand, says Davidson, is that, as Motomondo also distributes Royal Enfield on the Continent, RE dealers say that the smaller Mash models – 50, 125 and 250cc – can fill in at
125cc Single cylinder four-stroke with electric start, power 11.4hp Seventy £2299; Black Seven £2499 Cafe Racer £2599; Dirt Track £2699
400cc 397cc single cylinder four-stroke with electric and kick start, 27hp Five Hundred £3899; Scrambler £3999; Cafe Racer TT40N/S £4299 with ABS
250cc Single cylinder four-stroke, 5-speed, electric start and 20hp Two Fifty £3299; Black Seven £3299; Dirt Track £3299
650cc Single cylinder four-stroke, electric start, 32hp Dirt Track £4599; X-Ride £4999
Mash’s Netherlands warehouse
the lower end of the Enfield range as they have a similar retro appeal. Davidson is also enthusiastic about the recently-launched X-Ride 650, which is uber hip with its Desert-Sled appeal. There will be X-Ride versions of the 50 and 125. Looking forward, Mash will have liquidcooled Euro 5 models available for 2021. In terms of dealer support a lot is planned for next year. Point-of-sale material will be available for the first time. Mash will be attending the major regional motorcycle shows including Dublin, Scottish, Manchester, London and Motorcycle Live. Dealer demo days will be happening around the country and the Mash brand will be the subject of an extensive press and social media campaign. When taking on Mash, up-selling opportunities exist with accessories and branded clothing. In addition, Motomondo UK distributes the Von Dutch range of biker casual clothing and as of 1 November it took on the Xeramic Automotive range of additives and care products. DF Capital provides dealer funding over a 180-day period, terms apply, and there are regular dealer meetings with Motomondo and incentivised award schemes. This is all intended to drive sales of the Mash brand, which Motomondo UK is hopeful of taking through the roof. You never know, post Brexit Motomondo could be well placed to do just that. Motomondo UK tel 01429 650555 / 07494 694911 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Sales, Brexit and Euro 5 transition The Spring lockdown period couldn’t have come at a worse time for the PTW industry, coinciding as it did with the start of the traditional selling season. The MCIA reports
hen the MCIA published its Covidadjusted 2020 forecast in April, it predicted a full-year 18.2% down on 2019. At the time this was viewed as rather optimistic by some as, despite a positive start, the first quarter had ended down 12.2%, as Covid became a reality. However, post-lockdown, the virus turned into an unexpected ally for our industry, as people shied away from public transport and sought out an economical, efficient, isolated alternative to a car. Following market drops of 83.5% and 50.4% for April and May (which themselves show the resilience of our industry, given that the opportunity for business was severely restricted), the easing of lockdown in June saw a rise of 14.8% on the year before. Proving that the boom wasn’t just a result of pent-up Spring demand, the recovery continued into July (+41.9%), August (+31.2%) and September (+11.8%), while, at the time of writing, October is looking encouraging too. Although all sectors are moving in the right direction, the recovery is most dramatic in the sub-125cc commuter class, which has already moved ahead of 2019 registrations. This, together with reports from the training industry, suggest that new riders, our perennial Holy Grail, are appreciating the benefits of PTWs and getting on board. The downside of all of this activity are reports of shortages
of some models, but given how the year evolved, that’s not the worst problem we could be facing.
BREXIT UPDATE With the end of the Brexit transition period just a few weeks away, not everything is as clear as businesses would like as we embark on a new trading regime. Fortunately, the MCIA enjoys a good relationship with the government’s department of business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) and has facilitated a number of online meetings for members with their officials, where many questions about future trade were answered. With negotiations between the UK and EU continuing and the situation evolving, the MCIA is making sure that members are updated on matters relevant to our industry, as well as feeding back their concerns to Government.
MARK FOWLER No, not the one from EastEnders, but MCIA’s new head of technical and regulatory affairs. With previous experience in regulatory and technical roles in the automotive and aerospace industries, including
most recently with the VCA, Mark (below) is well placed to help members by answering their many questions about derogation, type approval changes, the new UKCA marking system and much more. Mark joined in April, by which time the MCIA team was working from home, so our members and many of the team still only know him as a face on a screen. Nevertheless, he is now very much part of the MCIA family!
EURO 4 END OF SERIES One of the topics occupying the MCIA and its members’ thoughts is the impending transition from Euro 4 to Euro 5 and the related end of series derogation allowance and process. Legislation is due to come into force that will require PTWs to meet the Euro 5 standard from midnight on 31 December 2020, after which the Whole Vehicle Type Approvals for Euro 4 PTWs will become invalid. Consequently, any Euro 4 PTWs which are not registered before 1 January 2021 will require an emissions derogation against Regulation (EU) No. 168/2013 motorcycle framework, under what is known as Article 44.
However, unlike the Euro 3 derogation regime of 2016, when Euro 3 motorcycles and scooters were derogated via a tick-box exercise which required little supporting evidence as to the vehicle status, derogation applications for Euro 4 are far more rigorous. This time around, claims for derogation must be supported by a detailed document known as Annexe ll. Failure to comply with the exact requirements will result in the derogation application being rejected, resulting in PTWs having to be either pre-registered, scrapped, or registered under an MSVA. Additionally, motorcycles will be derogated by Type (or by their Type Approval number) and not by brand, make, or other trade name. As the limit per Type over the course of the 24-month derogation period is a maximum of 100 vehicles, or 10% of the total registrations number for the previous two years, there could be complications in cases where a single Type is marketed by more than one importer. To help members negotiate the complexities of end of series developments the MCIA has issued regular updates, but if any member has specific questions, they should contact Mark Fowler at email@example.com.
MINISTERIAL MEETING As part of the government’s transport decarbonisation plan, the MCIA was happy to accept an invitation from Transport Minister, Rachel Maclean MP, to discuss our industry’s contribution. Consequently, a cross-section
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JOIN THE MCIA The MCIA exists to support and develop our industry. If you would like to know more about membership, contact:
e: email@example.com t: 024 7640 8000
AREA SALES MANAGER SOUTH EAST OF ENGLAND Motorcycle Parts, Accessories and Tyre Sales
functions, so during the Covid of vehicle manufacturer and crisis they were able to draw on importer members joined a the MCIA’s resources to guide video call with the Minister. them in areas such as furlough, Facilitated by MCIA CEO business opening criteria and Tony Campbell, who opened support eligibility. by presenting a summary of Members have also benefitted MCIA’s policy document, The from participation in group Route to Tomorrow’s Journeys, meetings that focus on their the meeting heard from a variety specific area of business, access of senior members from across to government departments the industry, on topics including and officials, barriers to about accessing PTWs, The MCIA isn’t advice future tariffs and especially for border controls as first-time riders, afraid to rock well as updated to support the boat when information for start-up about Euro 4 End electric PTW championing of Series and its manufacturers, PTWs implications. the specifics of In addition, the ePTW charging MCIA is the home of all UK and the role of electric and PTW registration data, which is traditional power units in the available to members. product mix. Today’s MCIA is respected The Minister, who was fully in official circles and involved engaged with the conversation in many initiatives that will and well-informed about the shape the future of transport PTW sector, was complimentary and our industry. The MCIA about industry’s perspective on policy document The Route to transport issues and committed Tomorrow’s Journeys has been to continue to work with MCIA well received and is informing and its members. thinking at a senior level. The IT’S YOUR INDUSTRY, IT’S YOUR MCIA MCIA isn’t afraid to rock the boat when championing PTWs either, The MCIA exists to represent as can be seen by its response to the interests of the Powered the omission of motorcycles and Two Wheeler and Powered scooters from the government’s Light Vehicle industry. Our promoted post-lockdown options membership includes companies to public transport. from every area of our world: MCIA membership represents global manufacturers, recent exceptionally good value for start-ups, accessory and money, especially in today’s component manufacturers and unprecedented times. Can any wholesalers, clothing companies, business in our industry really insurance and finance brands, afford not to be part of it? grass-roots clubs and many If you would like to know more others. about MCIA membership, please Many of our members do email firstname.lastname@example.org. not have in-house legal or HR
Bickers, a leading supplier of aftermarket motorcycle parts and accessories, is looking for the next member of its sales team… • Manage and develop sales across the South East of England • Develop new and existing sales opportunities • Increase sales of motorcycle parts, accessories and tyres
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NOVEMBER 2020 47
Business beat with Adam Bernstein : www.abfeatures.com Selling online brings the risk of added costs as savvy shoppers know their rights when it comes to returning goods for refund. Adam Bernstein outlines the best ways to minimise problems and keep consumers coming back for more
elling online can add much to a business – new customers, greater reach, and to an extent, ‘free’ advertising if social media is deployed properly. Consider Hafod Hardware; its 2019 Christmas video was shot for £100 and by mid-February 2020 had been seen more than 2.6 million times on YouTube. But online brings the risk of returns because of a statutory right granted to consumers to cancel an order within 14 days of receipt. At any one time a proportion of sales are at risk of being returned – there’s a loss on delivery charges which must be refunded, administration cost related to processing the returns, and of course, the question of what to do with returned items. However, rights granted under law also give consumers confidence in what they may be ordering.
WHY CONSUMERS RETURN GOODS There are a number of reasons why consumers return products. Some are legitimate, but others are close on illegal if not morally bankrupt. Take wardrobing’, where consumers order clothing to wear once, without removing tags, and then return the item for a refund after use. Electronics and tools see the same abuse. But other reasons include faulty products on arrival, incorrect sizing or fit, product expectations not met, the wrong item shipped, an appearance different from the advert, multiple sizes added to order to get one correct item, impulse purchases, and purchases made to achieve free shipping. It’s of note that according to Readycloud. com, an online shipping and marketing platform, 65% of returns occur because of a retailer’s actions – especially those related to consumer expectations and sizing. But these should be easy to fix with detailed and accurate descriptions of the product, design, sizing, colour, materials, specifications and so on. Quality imagery from different angles that allows consumers to determine what they’re considering combined with regular and reliable sizing should also help. Where appropriate, product videos may help consumers gain further insight. This approach works well with technical items including equipment and electronic devices.
REDUCE YOUR RETURN RATE Allied to this is an option for consumers to review purchases with pointers for others on description accuracy. Another option is to allow in-store collection when possible. This cuts out the shipping cost and risk of products being damaged or going missing in transit. It also gives consumers the chance to examine an item before completing the purchase which should reduce the need to return items as alternatives may be found while in store. But retailers should also be checking if certain products are being returned in greater numbers than others; a rise could indicate a problem with a particular product or the way it’s been promoted that misleads.
CREATING A RETURNS POLICY A decent returns policy is a must and it should be written for use as a sales tool. Be upfront: A returns policy should make it easy for the consumer to understand their position. It should give consumers peace of mind. Remember – almost 80% of consumers check a returns policy before making a purchase. Cover shipping costs: Nothing in life is ever truly free, but nevertheless, we like to think that it is. Even so, a 2012 study from Washington and Lee University in the US found that free returns can have a major impact on future sales. The research from two surveys, over 49 months, demonstrated that when consumers received free shipping on returned items, their purchases over the next two years increased by between 58% and 357%. In contrast, when consumers had to pay for return shipping, their subsequent
purchases decreased by between 74% and 100%. Give options: Convenience is orientated around the consumer, not the retailer. This makes it really important to offer options when making returns. In store, Royal Mail, Collect+, MyHermes, DHL – offer the flexibility that consumers demand. For some instore is preferred as it’s easier to head to town than find tape to package items up; it’s instant, with no wait for a refund or worry about items lost in the post. It also allows the potential for a ‘replacement’ sale while reducing a retailer’s own returnsrelated costs. Others will still prefer to post the item back; a pre-printed returns label will be correctly addressed and legible. The refund: It stings to make a refund but there’s no point dallying. From the consumer’s perspective it’s an irritant that retailers seem quick to take payment, but slow to refund. Again, retailers that are slow may lose future custom. Remember Christmas: Black Friday and Christmas makes for perilous times in retail as consumers often buy gifts ahead of the holiday season. By definition, the legal right to return won’t apply and so retailers should extend the returns period if they want to win custom.
SUMMARY It’s a fact that consumers have rights which they are well aware of. This doesn’t make it easy for retailers, but risks can be managed. If the right policy is put in place, a returns policy can become a great asset.
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NOVEMBER 2020 49
Digitally Charged founder Chris Day
Reaching the unreachable When Digitally Charged entered on the agency scene two years ago it set itself a target to become the agency that’s different to the rest. Founder Chris Day explains why Digitally Charged is different and details the services it is now providing to dealers
e wanted to offer our customers data which was niche and specific to their particular industry rather than a high volume less focused approach. If the customer’s campaign and data warrants a high volume approach then we can facilitate that, but our vision was always to find the right audience at the right time, even if it was just a group of ten subjects. Working with some of the biggest names in the motorcycle industry, including names such as Ducati and Bridgestone, I feel we’ve done that. Working with multiple data partners, Digitally Charged has managed to achieve this using data which has been segmented with fine granularity using media platforms such as Bikesportnews.com and scooterlab.uk, but also from first party data through our clients’ own websites and our own programmatic system. The first step to working with a new client is installing a retargeting cookie on the site. We can then create specific audience buckets based on bike model, news story and pretty much anything we feel is relevant. The data collected using a customer’s cookie is used exclusively for our clients use. We don’t use customers data for any other purpose. Our latest offering which we are really excited about, and probably the largest in
terms of scale and reach, is eBay’s first party e-commerce data which allows us to utilise a virtually infinite number of ad impressions at various stages of the end user’s buying journey. This is not just specific for motorcycles but cycles, automotive and any industry which eBay has a product listing for.
This is how we like to work at Digitally Charged. It’s not about serving motorcycle ads to a motorcycle audience, it’s more intelligent than that Imagine being able to target people who are watching an item, bidding on a bike, searching for something specific or those who have recently bought something through eBay. Digitally Charged can focus specific advertisements to those people using eBay’s advance audience technology (eAAT).
We’ve been using eBay to build specific data sets over the last month to the point now where we can target every bike manufacturer. We also have tyre manufacturers, protective clothing retailers, helmet brands, suppliers of lubricants and cleaning products who are all pushing products through our system. To give an idea of just how targeted this data is, we are able, for example, to target people who have been searching for a helmet in the last three days and serve them an advert for anything which may complement that purchase. If they’ve bought a specific helmet then we can show them compatible visors and accessories. To go another step further, say if someone has bought an off-road helmet, we can show them a deal on a new motocross bike. If someone has bought some motocross pants then we can show them a back protector, a jersey, a motocross helmet a pair of goggles … the list is endless. This is how we like to work at Digitally Charged. It’s not about serving motorcycle ads to a motorcycle audience, it’s more intelligent than that. It’s about analysing the data available and making imaginative and wellinformed assumptions based on that data. It’s very uncommon that someone will purchase a pair of motocross pants and then
jump on a sports bike to do a track days or purchases a specialist £800 full face helmet to go and ride motocross. Imagine if someone buys a bulb for a specific model of bike or an air filter, grips, fairings, and so on. We can analyse this data and immediately recognise the make and model of the bike they own based on their buying habits and serve them an advertisement for a product we know they will have more than a spontaneous interest in. The data we have access to is colossal and allows us to build specific campaigns with inmarket customers at scale. Not only that, but we can retrospectively create audiences using up to two years of data if required. Perfect for companies who are entering the digital marketplace and don’t have pre-existing data of their own. Take insurance as an example, because we can serve ads to customers who have bought a used bike in the last day we can remind them of insurance products which may be of interest to them or even just remind them that they need to insure it. We can invite them to get a quote for the bike they’re watching or bidding on and serve an advert within two minutes of them carrying out this action. The system can capture the user at the peak of their engagement both on and off the
platform, around the internet across various genres of websites. It is that good. Around 90% of eBay visits do not result in a first-time purchase and are instead used for pre buy research. This gives us the perfect opportunity to influence the buying process.
The data we have access to is colossal and allows us to build specific campaigns with in-market customers at scale Speak to us now about the data we have available and our other offerings from programmatic, social retargeting, our involvement with Bikesportnews.com, Sky media, and much more. Since Covid we’ve seen a rise in online activity and we’re helping as many people as we can whether that’s advice, helping them with building their own data, managing their websites and so on, we want people to keep selling and keep the industry alive.
Traditional media and marketing methods have changed beyond recognition in the past few years and the way it is consumed. Internet use on phones and tablets has seen a huge increase whereas desktop internet use has seen a gradual decline. Printed media is another area of change. We’re not suggesting that we’re seeing the death of print but instead it is being increasingly complimented by digital as a more mixed media approach. Having spent twelve years as marketing director at MotoDirect looking after brands such as RST worldwide, AGV, Arai, Motul and many others, I know the frustrations people have when it comes to finding customers. Digitally Charged tel 01157 860 680 www.digitally-charged.com
FIND OUT MORE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DIGITALLY Charged, the services and what they have to offer contact them via email firstname.lastname@example.org or one of the sales team on: • Helen Chapman 07809 673733 • James Ellwood 07552 420807 • Main Office 01157 860 680
NOVEMBER 2020 51
Expert adv ice to improve how you promote and sell you r products or services
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. fab-biker.co.uk
SILENCE IS GOLDEN BUT VOLUME IS KEY
When you’ve got a great story to tell – maybe you won an award, developed an innovative product or are offering an unbeatable deal – you want as many people to know about it as quickly as possible. But how can you achieve this without spending a fortune
ortunately, there are several simple ways to spread the good news. These are often overlooked, probably because many people assume that marketing is a ‘dark art’ or ‘all smoke and mirrors’. Let’s start close to home.
found that the most recent story on the news page was posted several years ago. If it frustrates me, it’s likely to frustrate your customers too and you’re missing a valuable opportunity to get your news out there.
SHARE WITH STAFF Start off by sharing the news with your colleagues. Not only the customer-facing staff; everyone needs to know, including Angie in accounts and Pete in packing. Apart from the fact that it’s an important part of team building to make everybody feel included, you never know when your staff might have an opportunity to give the information to a potential customer. Not only during the working day, when they answer the phone, but also when they are socialising outside work.
ADVERTISE IN-HOUSE Whether your advert appears on a billboard, a television screen, a page in a magazine or on someone else’s website, you are basically renting space. Why not utilise all the space you own? For a bricks and mortar business, that includes shop windows, signage in the showroom, banners, balloons and even promotional clothing for your staff. For businesses with an online presence, take time to consider all the places on your website where customers might see your story, starting with the home page. Could you add some sliders, running across the top of the page, or maybe a pop-up window with a link to find out more? While you’re at it, check your news page is up to date. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve visited a website, trying to find details of a new product, and
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve visited a website, trying to find details of a new product, and found that the most recent story on the news page was posted several years ago COMMUNICATE WITH CUSTOMERS Your customers can also be your cheerleaders and email newsletters are a great way to get the message out. We all have our favourite pub/cafe/ restaurant, which we’re happy to recommend to friends, colleagues and visitors from out of town. Deep down, we want people to go there, have a great time and vindicate our choice.
My favourite local boozer, which doesn’t serve food as a rule, has started offering home-made sausage rolls. This is newsworthy (in my book) and you can be sure I’ll tell all my beery buddies (and readers) about it!
GET SOCIAL Social media is the perfect place to share stories but remember to keep it light and chatty in tone. Imagine you’re telling a friend, not writing straplines for adverts on billboards. Only a small percentage of your followers will see the post, so it will need repeating. To avoid it becoming repetitive, always use a different image and change the wording slightly, otherwise anyone visiting your page will find it very boring! Before you commit your hard-earned budget to big budget spend, take a breath and make sure that you’ve already told your staff and customers, promoted in-store and online, and refreshed your social media channels.
NEXT MONTH Making the most of sponsorship.
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INSOLVENCIES ON THE RISE
ACCORDING TO THE MIDLANDS branch of insolvency and restructuring trade body R3, the month-on-month rise in the number of corporate insolvencies in England and Wales indicates that businesses which were healthy and profitable pre-Covid are now starting to struggle. The government’s Insolvency Service figures show that the number of companies entering insolvency increased to 926 in September 2020, compared to August’s figure of 784. R3 Midlands chair Eddie Williams, a partner at accountancy firm Grant Thornton in the East Midlands, commented: “The latest statistics are something of a reversal of a downward trend in corporate insolvency numbers post-lockdown and have been driven by an increase in the number of Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidations and, to a lesser extent, Company Voluntary Arrangements. The figures are only now beginning to demonstrate the toll that Covid-19 is taking on once-healthy businesses, with many companies profitable at the beginning of the year starting to struggle for the first time due to the pandemic.”
PAY IN 3
PAYPAL HAS LAUNCHED PAYPAL PAY IN 3, ALLOWING UK BUSINESSES of all sizes to offer buy now, pay later payments. Businesses can offer customers the option of three interest free payments on purchases between £45 and £2000. PayPal claim Pay in 3 will help businesses drive checkout conversion, revenue and customer loyalty, within the existing PayPal pricing. PayPal will pay the business or retailer upfront for the full cost of the purchase. Rob Harper, UK director of enterprise accounts at PayPal, said: “During the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen the number of people in the UK shopping online increase dramatically. At the same time, many more consumers are looking to spread the cost of those purchases. We have developed PayPal Pay in 3 to meet that need, building on our heritage as a responsible lender through PayPal Credit, which we launched in the UK in 2014 and which has served more than two million customers to date. www.paypal.com/uk/business/pay-in-3/pre-register
THE UK UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HAS surged to its highest level in over three years as the pandemic continues to hit jobs. The unemployment rate grew to 4.5% in the three months to August, compared with 4.1% in the previous quarter. Office for National Statistics data shows redundancies have risen to their highest level since 2009. It comes as the government imposes tough local tiered lockdown rules that will force some businesses to close, potentially leading to more job losses.
The Business The latest news and views in the world of business
Job Support Scheme – how will it work? N
was, but instead, will support ‘viable’ jobs early eight months after in those businesses that are facing lower Coronavirus brought the country than usual demand over winter due to – and the world – to a virtual Coronavirus. standstill, the economic damage is still For staff to be covered by the JSS, they being done. Just as the state has a duty will need – for the first three months at to care for its citizenry so it has a moral least – to be working for at least 20% of duty to help those that are affected by their normal hours the economic fallout, and be paid by their especially where the Just as the state employer for that time. government mandates a has a duty to care The government has, forced shutdown. however, reserved the The Coronavirus for its citizenry right to increase the Job Retention minimum working Scheme (CJRS) was so it has a moral hours requirement implemented in double duty to help those after the first three time last March, and to months. Unlike the good effect. It wasn’t that are affected CJRS, firms will be perfect but it did, to an extent, do what it by the economic unable to keep staff at home full-time and claimed it would. Some fallout on furlough to claim fell through the gap, financial support but it was better than towards their wages – staff need to be nothing. But with an eye to the cost to the employed and working. public purse, the chancellor wound the As for the time an employee is not scheme up at the end of October. However, working (for no more than 80% of their the pandemic has necessitated further normal hours), the government will state intervention and the response is the cover around 62% and the employer just Job Support Scheme (JSS) which started 5% of the employee’s hourly wage. The on 1 November. government’s contribution will be capped at £1541.75 per month and will be paid SIX MONTHS SUPPORT in arrears as a reimbursement to the In essence, the new scheme will run from employer. The employer’s contribution will 1 November 2020 for six months to the be capped at £125.00 per month. Further, end of April 2021 unless extended. It’s the amount paid by the government does not meant to be as extensive as the CJRS
not cover Class 1 employer national insurance contributions or any pension contributions – these remain payable by the employer. Unless the employer is generous, employees will get nothing for the unworked time that the government and employer don’t pay under the JSS rules; they will effectively end up with around 73% of their normal wages. But for employers where the business is obliged to close, they will receive two thirds of their normal pay from the government, to a maximum of £2083.33 per month. It’s also notable that those who are on zero-hours contracts and irregular hours will be eligible for the JSS. The government says there will be “calculations for those with variable working patterns”, but the details aren’t yet available and will follow in time.
MAKING A CLAIM To claim for an employee, they must have been on an employer’s PAYE payroll between 6 April 2019 and 23 September 2020. In reality, this means a Real Time Information submission notifying
payment to that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 23 September 2020. And as for employees who have previously been furloughed, they will have their underlying usual pay and/or hours used to calculate usual wages, not the amount they were paid whilst on furlough. Allied to this, it’s significant that non-participation in the CJRS is not a bar to using the JSS. Unlike the CJRS, employers will have the flexibility to cycle employees on and off the JSS; they will not need to be working the same hours each month subject to each short time working arrangement covering a minimum seven-day period. To take advantage of the JSS, larger businesses will need to pass a financial assessment test first where they’ll have to demonstrate that their turnover is now lower than before coronavirus struck. A larger business is defined by the Treasury as one with 250 or more employees. Beyond passing this assessment, there is a need for
THE JSS IN PRACTICE ANDREW NORMALLY WORKS FIVE DAYS A WEEK AND EARNS £1400.00 A MONTH. HIS company is suffering reduced sales due to coronavirus. Rather than making Andrew redundant, the company puts Andrew on the Job Support Scheme working 20% of his usual hours. His employer pays Andrew £280.00 a month for these hours. When he is not working (80%) he will get 66.67% of his pay for that time. This is made up of a government grant worth £691.00 (61.67% of hours not worked) to Andrew’s employer to support them in keeping Andrew’s job, and his employer will pay a further £56.00 for hours not worked (5% of wages). In addition, the employer will cover the Employer NICs and auto enrolment pension contribution on the payment (£56.00). His total wage package under the JSS is 73% which is equal to £1027.00. Further, the employer may also be eligible for the Job Retention Bonus worth £1000.00, this would cover 94.6% of the employer’s total costs for retaining Andrew on the JSS between November and January. Correct as of 22/10/2020
an employer to operate a UK PAYE scheme and have a UK bank account. Claims will need to be made on a monthly basis via the GOV. UK website from 8 December; payments will be a month in arrears after the employer has reported a payment under HMRC’s RTI system.
NO REDUNDANCIES The whole point of the JSS is to keep employees on the payroll. This means that in contrast to the CJRS, employees on the JSS cannot be made redundant or given notice of redundancy whilst their employer is using the scheme. To an extent, this was also the case under the CJRS, but the JSS has made this patently clear. And those employers that keep staff on the books until 31 January 2021 will be able to claim £1000 per head under the Job Retention Bonus that will be paid in February 2021. It’s quite clear that the CJRS has been misused and attacked by the criminally minded. As a result, HMRC will be checking all claims and payments may be withheld or demanded back if incorrect or fraudulent information was used. HMRC will be informing employees directly of any claims made on their behalf and one of the requirements for claiming under the JSS is the need for employers to agree new shorttime working arrangements with their staff – in writing – which HMRC may ask to have sight of. Further, names of businesses using the scheme will be published. Employees will be able to check if their employer has made a claim relating to them via their Personal Tax Account; to do this they’ll have to sign up on GOV.UK.
IN SUMMARY The JSS is clearly evolving and may well change again in the future. Either way, the government does appear to be listening, even if some suggest that it’s been slow to respond. As to whether the JSS will keep employees on the payroll, only time will tell.
In tune with the industry, leading through innovation and expertise
NOVEMBER 2020 55
with Adam Bernstein www.abfeatures.com
What a difference a year makes… MotoDirect went virtual for its 2021 product preview. Sue Potts dialled in to get the lowdown
he saying ‘what a difference a year makes’ has never in recent times been so applicable to literally everything! Every UK business, and those in the motorcycle industry are certainly no exception, is having to constantly adapt and reconsider all aspects of it’s functionality in order to not only survive and continue trading but also to thrive, prosper and move forward. When the invitation came through for the MotoDirect 2021 press previews for the RST, Arai and AGV collections it detailed that the event would take place ‘virtually’ and so it did, by this year’s new communication phenomenon: the Zoom meeting. Covid restrictions have inspired MotoDirect to be more innovative resulting in a multi-faceted approach to support the dealer as well as press engagement.
Navigating through the restrictions, they say, has been challenging but they have been determined to support their dealers however they can. Terry Birtles, managing director, said: “We know there are dealers who can take time out of the business to come up to see us. Equally, we know there are some dealers who are learning to deal with the new normal, who
may not be at full capacity resource-wise. As such, we have adapted our previews to suit our dealer’s circumstances.” Physical previews have been rolled out since early October with the NI and ROI previews at the end of the month. Attendance was limited to 10 dealers per session and upon entering the offices Covid secure measures were put in place, with temperatures of all colleagues and visitors checked upon arrival, showrooms thoroughly cleaned after each session and seating arranged to ensure social distancing. Additionally, for those dealers who were not able to visit MotoDirect HQ this year, a week of virtual previews took place with product specialists going through the new ranges. And finally, they had boots on the ground! The sales team have product samples of the new ranges to visit the dealers.
NOVEMBER 2020 57
MotoDirect has completely reworked its approach as and can still definitely be a result of the COVID-19 described as a race suit. crisis so it can respond An upgrade to the popular RST Paragon 6 SRP is £749. to dealers’ needs long jacket and the promise of the first-ever The second newlymore than ever. By fitted women’s airbag jacket in the same launched suit is the RST using a three-pronged Paragon styling due in the Spring give dealers Podium which satisfies approach, engagement and punters even more to look forward to RST’s aim to produce with the press and from RST in 2021. an airbag suit for under dealers has been on £500. Sneaking in at £499 a par with previous years, HEADGEAR Arai’s upco it too is CE triple-A rated which is commendable in the With the pandemic impacting both Arai ming mod but it is aimed at the club circumstances. and AGV, the head protection duo came to el racer or track day enthusiast. The adaptations haven’t begun with the the launch with a trimmed down offering The suit has straight cut arms and legs for previews. At the start of the pandemic, when compared to previous years. Arai, well more comfortable walking between riding production facilities were adapted to provide known for it’s smoother, rounder, safety a safer environment for colleagues to work in, sessions and could be described as a tonedwithout compromise ethos will surprise a down race suit with a toned down price to which initially impacted productivity and in few, however, with its new helmet model. match. turn, stock levels. Additionally, extra safety Embargoed until the end of the year, we got a Two new leather jackets, Sabre and and social distancing measures were adopted sneak peek at Arai’s next Fusion, are also part of the new 2021 in the offices and warehouse to ensure staff generation premium range. The Sabre is a ‘with or could carry out their work safely and feel sports touring helmet without’ airbag garment and protected at work; face masks when moving – one of the quietest, is suited to a wide range of around the office, hand sanitiser stations most comfortable and riders, riding a broad cross throughout the business, daily temperature safest helmets Arai section of machinery. It can be checks upon arrival, desk shields and so on. has ever made. matched with any RST leather For added safety, MotoDirect has invested This helmet is jean and is also long enough to in a Disinfection Tunnel facility. This means the first Arai to be be worn with jeans. The Fusion every parcel or pallet will be sanitised prior manufactured to the to entering or leaving MotoDirect’s premises. new ECE2206 safety This has also supported the drop shipping regulations – tested Covid restrictions service, which has proved extremely popular across 12 impact AG VV over the lockdown period. This service is still zones and at a higher have inspired R46 Sky available, helping dealers to save on time and test speed of 29.5km/h. R aci MotoDirect to be more ng reshipping costs, and includes a contact free With all the traditional Tea m delivery option as standard. hallmarks you would innovative resulting expect from an Arai – in a multi-faceted superior comfort, superior safety – this new RST TO ‘DEMOCRATISE’ AIRBAG TECHNOLOGY helmet model will be an attractive offering for So, with all this in place MotoDirect is surely approach to support Arai fans. BDN will keep dealers updated on well positioned for the year ahead, but what this as soon as more information is available. of the new products? the dealer From AGV, a new MX lid – the X101 in five RST comes to the table with a greatly has retro styling and is an authentic leather colourways – will be right up the dirt track extended range of integrated airbag products. jacket, bearing no outside logos – retro on of those yearning for the glory days of off 2020 saw the launch of the RST/In&motion road, with it’s 70s- and 80s-based styling. A airbag technology partnership and RST stated the outside but carrying the ultra-modern limited-edition colourway, the Dakar 87, lists at that point it anticipated that all its clothing In&motion airbag technology on the inside. New textile jackets were included in the in small text all the Dakar sections in a line would incorporate airbag technology within launch and one sure to catch the eye of the running around the helmet and is sure to be three years. The 2021 product launch sees a hit. another significant step in that direction. RST summer rider is the F-Lite airbag jacket. Manufactured using super light mesh fabric Additional funky designs for a number of brand manager Stuart Millington explains: and CE rated A, RST believe this to be AGV lids will generate interest and, in turn, “RST had a strong focus on extending the the first mesh jacket to be produced with sales. The VR46 Sky Racing Team design on airbag product range this year, the aim being integrated airbag technology. The jacket has the existing K1 helmet, for example, will be of to ‘democratise’ airbag technology making it a removable windproof lining and is priced at huge interest to Vale fans in spite of his bad no longer accessible only to those with the £329 including airbag (£129 without airbag). luck this season. deepest pockets.” RST launched two new additional leather suits based on its first integrated airbag READY FOR 2021 suit, the V4.1 as worn by Alex Lowes in All in all there are some really good products WSBK. The less aggressively fitted, coming down the line from the MotoDirect Pro Series Airbag, CE triple-A stable of thoroughbreds, promising dealers rated men’s leather suit some real head turners for 2021 which comes in a striking range will help to capture those new to of colourways and although motorcycling as well as satisfy the the styling allows for a greater range of stalwarts who already know what they want. movement and comfort, it also comes Roll on 2021! with an abundance of Dupont™ MotoDirect Kevlar® stretch material, a full 01773 864420 size aerodynamic racing hump firstname.lastname@example.org and quick release knee sliders www.moto-direct.com. AGV X101 Dakar 87
Putting the ‘smart’ in smartphone mounting systems.
The latest products for your showroom Alpinestars El Solitario
ITALIAN CLOTHING GIANT ALPINESTARS HAS TEAMED UP WITH GALACIAN CUSTOM motorcycle/casual clothing brand El Solitario in a bid to improve its cutting-edge counterculture design kudos. The team’s first output is the Hold Fast line of clothing – apparently designed to “kick back against government surveillance, inequality and injustice”, according to an exceptionally enigmatic press release. Easier to decipher is the product of this union – a two-piece textile riding suit called the Mowat. It’s an adventurestyle suit made from rip-stop polyester with leather patches on the chest, shoulders and elbows. Protection from impacts comes from CE-level 1 armour fitted at the shoulders and elbows plus optional chest and back protectors, and protection from the weather comes from a fixed Drystar waterproof membrane and a removable thermal liner. Other standard adventure-suit fare includes – cargo hand pockets, rear utility pocket, waterproof document pocket, adjustable front vents and zippered rear vents. It comes in sand or El Solitarioapproved camo colourways, in sizes S-4XL. The matching pants come with the same spec as the jacket, even down to the removable thermal liner, in sizes S-4XL. Alpinestars; 0039 0423 5286; email@example.com
Fastline sanitation 6 WITH NEW COVID RULES SEEMINGLY BEING FIRED AT RETAIL outlets on a weekly basis, dealers are having to come to terms with the regulations designed to minimise cross-contamination of clothing and helmets. The rules currently state that garments have to be left untouched for 72 hours if they have been tried on or used, resulting in huge issues with stock being “off the shelf” for extended periods. To reduce the turnover time, Fastline has launched a pair of sanitation units which claim to reduce the sanitisation time to as little as 20 minutes. They use a combination of UV germicidal irradiation and photocatalytic oxidation which work to eliminate micro-organisms. In addition, plasma quatro superoxide ions, Triatomic Oxide, and an externally emitted Ozone plasma eliminate 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, mould, fungi and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air and on surfaces. The technology allows purifying plasma to penetrate deep into fabrics and all the nooks and crannies on a helmet. The Big Burtha unit is designed to operate in a small unoccupied room, and runs a cycle of from 20 minutes up to overnight depending on the size of the room and the amount of contamination on the garments. It uses just 38w of power, and maintenance extends to replacing a bulb once a year. Trade price is £820 plus VAT. If a small room is too much space to sacrifice, the smaller Mini Me unit can be fitted inside a cabinet, wardrobe or similar-sized container and, crucially, can be operated in an occupied room. It uses the same tech as its bigger brethren but runs a less intense cleansing cycle. Trade price is £652.50 plus VAT. Fastline; 01276 29738; firstname.lastname@example.org
K-Tech for Ténéré 5 ENHANCE THE YAMAHA XTZ700 TÉNÉRÉ’S RIDE AND handling with the new range of suspension upgrades from K-Tech. The SSK piston kit for the forks claims to give enhanced damping control, resulting in more riding comfort. It is £282 SRP. New chrome silicon fork springs are cold-coiled, pre-set and ground to length and come in various spring rates to suit rider weight. They are £42.50 SRP. At the rear, shock absorber piston upgrades come complete with bush, rod lock and shims for £59.94, or an upgraded spring is £85 SRP. K-Tech Suspension; 01283 559037; email@example.com
Kappa KV39 KAPPA HAS NAMED ITS CAMOUFLAGE version of the KV39 the Army, though any soldiers wearing these brightly-coloured lids should be easily spotted in the undergrowth. The KV39 has an extra-wide frontal opening for improved peripheral vision and extra space for goggles, the lining is hypoallergenic as well as being removable and washable and there are three frontal vents and an exhaust vent at the rear to ensure adequate ventilation while on manoeuvres. The camo pattern Army comes in sizes XS to XXL and in three colour options – matt black/yellow, gloss red/white or glossy blue/yellow. Neo Distribution; 01778 349333; firstname.lastname@example.org
Mitas Terra Force 3 THE TERRA FORCE MX MOTOCROSS competition tyre is now available in sizes to suit 50-85cc Junior machinery. It comes in three different versions – the MH is for mediumto-hard terrain with the tread designed for maximum traction and control; the SM is for soft to medium terrain and has tapered knobs to bite into softer ground and self-cleaning ability; the Sand is, as you may have guessed, for sandy conditions and has a semi-paddle shaped tread and aggressive side knobs for traction when cornering. They come in front sizes ranging from 60/100-12 up to 70/100-19 and rear sizes from 70/100-10 to 90/100-16. Mitas Tyres; 0038 642 066142; email@example.com
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Evotech bits for the Hypermotard 64 A NEW RANGE OF SHINY PARAPHERNALIA COVERING THE 950, SP and recently-launched RVE variants of Ducati’s street hooligan machine has been launched by Lincolnshire-based Evotech Performance. A lightweight aluminium EP Tail Tidy is designed to give a shorter stance and allows the use of the OE lights and indicators. It incorporates a pair of stainless steel shields that deflect exhaust heat away from the lights and has an SRP of £175. A radiator guard has a hexagonal hole pattern said to deliver maximum airflow and protection from road debris. It comes black powered coated for an SRP of £79. A matching oil cooler guard is £52.50, and an engine guard is £79. All three are available as a set for £178.50 SRP. For crash protection Evotech has got aluminium-cored nylon frame protection bobbins for an SRP of £255, and bar guards to protect the controls and OE handguards/ indicator units for £130 SRP. To protect the wheels, forks and swingarm there are front (£35.99) and rear (£46) spindle bobbins. Last but not least, front caliper guards do what they say on the tin and are £25 per pair. A folding brake and clutch lever set pivots out of harm’s way in the event of a fall. Alternatively, a short brake and clutch lever set is just less likely to hit the floor and break. Levers are machined from billet alloy, anodised and feature a six-way span adjustment system. SRP for either set is £115. Evotech Performance; 01507 466 729; firstname.lastname@example.org
Puig screen IMPROVE THE AERODYNAMICS OF DUCATI’S BARN-DOOR DIAVEL 1260 WITH THE NEW PUIG ADJUSTABLE screen. There are two versions of the screen: the Sport is 235 x 290mm while the Touring is 350 x 445mm and has a rounded top edge. The manually-operated angle adjustment can be done on the move to adapt to different riding environments. They come in smoked, clear or black. Puig; 0034 938 49 06 33; email@example.com
Furygan K-Ghost 3 PRODUCED AS PART OF A partnership between French firm Furygan, Kevlar and D3O, the new K11 X men’s and Kate X women’s jeans are made from a single layer protective denim made from a mix of materials including Kevlar fibres. This results in the abrasion resistance and protection performance being equally spread across the entire garment. D3O’s new CE-level 1 Ghost armour – said to be the thinnest and most flexible available from the brand – is fitted at both knees and hips. The jeans come in blue, in sizes 36-50 for the gents or 36-44 for the ladies, for an SRP of £169.99. Nevis Marketing 01425 478 936 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cosa 2 seat MADE IN ITALY TO THE SAME specifications as the original seat, this Cosa 2 seat is suitable for 125 and 200cc models, and also fits Cosa 1 models fitted with the high-level tail lamp. The seat opens with a lock at the rear, and there are two hand grips allowing a pillion to ride along. Thick cushioning provides comfort and the weatherproof synthetic cover shrugs off the weather. Available in grey, the seat has an SRP of £139.20. VE (UK); 0115 946 2991; email@example.com
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Supplying the biggest brands in motorcycle clothing for over 60 years...
NOVEMBER 2020 59
Resurgence shirt 4
HJC RPHA 90s HJC HAS UPDATED AND reinvented the RPHA 90 flip front to create the new RPHA 90S, claimed to be the most compact modular helmet on the market. Homologated for road use in both open and closed positions, the RPHA 90S has a Premium Integrated Matrix shell which incorporates carbon and Aramid fibres for improved performance and reduced weight. The visor is fitted with pins for anti-fog inserts, and an insert comes in the box. The drop-down sunvisor has been enlarged to give better peripheral vision, and the vents at the chin and crown have also been maximised for improved airflow. The cheek pads are interchangeable to ensure the best fit possible and to bring it bang up to date with the latest tech, it is wired and ready to take HJC’s SMART bluetooth comms system. It comes in solid black, white, matt black, semi-flat titanium or fluo yellow for £399 SRP; Bekavo graphic in white/red, yellow/black or black/orange for £449.99 SRP, or black carbon or Balian carbon for £499.99. Oxford Products; 01993 862 300; firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW TO THE 2020 RANGE FROM Resurgence Gear is a single layer riding shirt. A light weight, thin shirt, no lining is required as the Pekev Ultra fabric used to make the denim material is highly abrasion resistant – achieving a AAA rating in the EN17092 standard. D3O’s new ultra-thin IP Ghost CE level 1 protectors are fitted at the shoulders and elbows, along with a D3O Viper back protector, to provide impact protection. There are two chest pockets and two internal pockets. It comes in a choice of black or Military Green in sizes S-3XL for an SRP of £245. Dot4Distribution; 020 3514 2413; email@example.com
OxSocks AS THE RECENT COVID-INSPIRED converts to biking head into winter they are going to discover that they need a bit of protection from the elements if they are to arrive at the office dry and warm. Oxford Products has new waterproof socks to keep their feet in tip-top condition. Made with a a triplelayer construction, a waterproof membrane is sandwiched between an outer knitted layer and a seamless lining. Cushioned areas on the toe, sole and heel provide extra comfort and reduce blistering, and the compression fit helps to support the arch and the ankle. They come in three sizes covering shoe sizes 4 to 12, and in a choice of blue or black, for an SRP of £39.99 per pair. Oxford Products;01993 862300; firstname.lastname@example.org
Classic calendar 5 DECORATE YOUR WORKSHOP WITH SOME VINTAGE MACHINERY VIA the Andy Tiernan Classics calendar. The twelve-page A4 calendar again has paintings by artist Mike Harbar, with featured bikes including the BSA Rocket, Triumph Trident and Norton Rotary. Price, including UK postage, is £11 each and all proceeds from the sale of the calendars go to the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Last years edition raised over £2000 to help keep the doctors in the air. Andy Tiernan Classics; 01728 724321; email@example.com
Fireblade SP lube MOTUL HAS TEAMED UP WITH HONDA FOR its latest venture – an oil specifically made to suit the CBR1000RR-R fitted with the HRC racing kit. The snappily-titled Motul 300V Factory Line Racing Kit Oil 2376H 0W-30 Ester Core is a fully synthetic blend said to reduce frictional losses, improve clutch engagement and reduce wear thanks to its cocktail of additives. These come together to provide a measurable improvement in power, according to the Le Mans 24 Heures Motowinning F.C.C. TSR Honda France team. MotoDirect; 01773 864420; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sidi Motolux 5 THE CE-APPROVED SIDI MOTOLUX BOOT HAS A SUBTLE AND understated design aimed at the commuter or casual rider. The uppers are made of full grain, breathable, waterproof Microfibre combined with a technical fabric. Microfibre is lighter and has a higher resistance to tearing and cracking than real leather, and stays soft feeling whatever the temperature. The interior is lined with a Teflon-treated Cambrelle jersey to ensure maximum ventilation and reduce humidity. The Tecno-4 fastening system allows for adjustment on the fly and a velcro strap adjusts the thermoformed ankle collar made from technical fabric. Available in euro sizes 36-48, the Motolux retail at £229.99 SRP. Feridax; 01384 413 841; email@example.com
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WATSONIAN HAS LAUNCHED A NEW FITTING TO PAIR ITS PRODUCTS WITH THE Triumph Street Twin retro naked. The kit allows a sidecar to be fitted in the optimum position for handling and structural integrity, and in the picture it is paired with a colour-matched GP700 sidecar with low-profile screen, polished alloy wheel and bespoke sport mudguard with alloy bullet indicator/light cluster.
Watsonian-Squire; 01386 700907; firstname.lastname@example.org
Alpinestars Burstun 3 ALPINESTARS DESCRIBES THE BURSTUN AS AN “URBAN sport riding jacket”, which is a niche within a niche. Made with waxed fabric outer shell with a Drystar waterproof breathable membrane, a removable thermal vest liner is included for chillier days in the city. Nucleon Flex Plus armour is fitted at the shoulders and elbows, with matching back and chest protectors available as an upgrade. Other features include waterproof YKK zipper, three external and three internal pockets, and zippered ventilation inlets on the chest. The Burstun comes in sizes S-4XL in a choice of grey or beige. Alpinestars; 0039 0423 5286; email@example.com
PURE MOTO HAS INTRODUCED a new POS system for the Shad range of tank bags. A full display carries four of each size of tank bags, 10 assorted fitting kits and displays the three size options available alongside product information brochures. The semi-rigid tank bag range has capacities ranging from 11 litres up to 15 litres and all are expandable to four different positions, lockable, glove friendly and a rain cover is included. The integrated mobile phone holders have touch compatible screens and charger outlets. Every model uses the Shad PIN System for easy fitting. Shad are offering the new display unit at £750 to BDN readers. Interested dealers should contact Gavin McCaffery. Pure Moto; 07703 180456; firstname.lastname@example.org
Duchinni D1300 6
DNA filters A BRACE OF NEW FILTER FITMENTS FROM DNA. First up is Triumph’s latest mid-range adventurer – the Tiger 900 and its GT, GT Pro, Rally and Rally Pro siblings. Featuring a full-contour design, DNA claims its filter is highly efficient due to its four layer cotton construction, allowing it to flow 21.58% more than the stock fitment. It’s not all big bikes though, as Honda’s CB nakeds in 125, 250 and 300cc guises are also now catered for. This one is apparently an even bigger upgrade over the stock item, as it flows 22.96% better. Konstantinoupoleos & Theotokopoulou; email@example.com
A NEW RANGE-TOPPING LID from Duchinni, the D1300 has a fibreglass shell shaped to reduce noise and buffeting helping to make it comfortable for long-distance trips. The textile lining is removable and washable, and the doublecurvature visor is anti-scratch coated and is backed up by a drop-down internal sun visor. Available in black only, the D1300 weighs in at 1480g and comes in sizes XS-XL for an SRP of £159.99. The Key Collection; 0117 971 9200; firstname.lastname@example.org
Shark Evojet ALMOST A YEAR ON FROM WHEN BDN COVERED its launch at last year’s Motorcycle Live, the Shark Evojet is now available across the UK. Said to combine the advantages of full-face, modular and jet helmet styles, the Evojet is aimed at urban and commuter riders, and is homologated in both the open and closed positions. The design combines the chin bar and the visor into one large flip-up unit, with the anti-scratch and anti-fog treated visor made from variable-thickness material with “Class 1” optics to avoid distortion. There’s also an integrated drop-down sun visor. Inside, the lining is made from Shark’s Microtech fabric, which is made from recycled fibres with anti-bacterial and anti-odour properties. Prices start from £239 SRP. Nevis Marketing; 01425 478936; email@example.com
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NOVEMBER 2020 61
Shad display 4
Street Twin sidecar kit
Tucano rain gear
Big bore Pinasco 5
TUCANO URBANO HAS SOME kit to help commuters get through the winter months. The Diluvio Pro waterproof gear isn’t new, we tested it in our December 2019 edition, but previously it was only sold as a trouser and jacket set. Now consumers can purchase the CE-rated garments individually. The Jacket comes in sizes XS-4XL for £89.99 SRP and the trousers are £54.99. The Footerine is a new silicone shoe cover designed to protect riders’ feet and shoes from the elements. Ideal for scooter riders, they come with a compact pouch for storage and have a non-slip texture. Available in two sizes – EU36-41 or EU41-46 – and in three colours – orange, yellow or black they have an SRP of £12.99. Tucano Urbano 07799 626 635 firstname.lastname@example.org
GIVE A VESPA 90/100/PRIMAVERA/PK100-125 A performance boost with these new Pinasco cylinder kits. The 144cc Pinasco Zuera kit is available in two versions, the RR version for rotary valve induction fed through the crankcase and the VTR version with a large reed valve inlet on the cylinder. Both variants of the cylinder feature a spigot-less design in order to allow the kit to fit small frame engine casings without the need to bore out the casing mouth, and a head with eight bolt fitting with a central spark plug for increased performance. To get the most out of the kits they need to be used with a suitable carb (25mm minimum, but 28/30mm is recommended) plus a suitable expansion chamber exhaust, such as the Pinasco big bore expansion system. VE (UK); 0115 946 2991; email@example.com
THE MX-STYLED WRAAP features a lightweight thermoplastic shell which comes in three sizes to improve fit and minimise weight. The hypoallergenic lining is removable and washable and the twin-density EPS liner is fitted with the ASN (Airoh Sliding Net) system – a twin-layer 3D woven fabric said to reduce transferred forces in an impact as well as improve ventilation from the top, side and rear vents. The Wraap comes in sizes from XS-XXL in a range of colours and graphics for an SRP of £134.99. Feridax; 01384 413841; firstname.lastname@example.org
LS2 Fast Evo LS2 HAS UPDATED ITS MX437 FAST EVO motocross helmet for the 2020/21 season. The outer shell comes in three sizes and is made from lightweight Kinetic Polymer Alloy (KPA), helping the Fast Evo weigh just 1150g. There’s a metal plate to provide extra strength to the chin strap as well as an Emergency Release System for the cheek pads. Multiple vents allow plenty of airflow, which exits through rear exhaust ports, plus the lining is breathable, hypoallergenic and moisture-wicking, as well as being removable and washable. It comes in sizes 2XS-3XL, in one solid colour for £79.99 SRP and seven graphic options from £89.99 SRP. It is also available in kid’s sizes in two graphic options for £59.99 SRP covering sizes from 47cm to 52cm. LS2 Helmets UK; 01670 856342; email@example.com
VE get Actif 6
Cardo Refreshment Kit BEST KNOWN FOR ITS RIDER-TO-RIDER comunications systems, Cardo Systems has produced a kit to keep its units fresh and slightly less unsavoury. The £19.99 kit includes new Velcro panels, a sponge and sticker for the microphone, replacement speaker sponges and a new glue pad for the Freecom unit. Pama & Co; 0161 494 4200; firstname.lastname@example.org
THE BRITISH MADE VE ACTIF screens with retro flared base are available in a choice of colours and with round or square blade options to choose from. New fitment additions include Vespa GS160, VBA, VBB, and Sportique models, with more Lambretta and Vespa models available soon. SRP is £66. VE (UK); 01159 462991; email@example.com
Alpinestars Primer 5 A NEW CE-CERTIFIED RIDING BOOT FROM THE ITALIAN clothing giant, the Primer is built around a comfortable “casual last” which is said to provide a spongey feel underfoot. Made from a mix of open cell polyurethene and Nubuck leather, the uppers are breathable and abrasion resistant, while the sole is dual-rubber compound for grip. A full-length TPU plate provides protection, plus there are foam ankle protectors and front and rear bumpers. An asymmetric rubber layer protects the gearchange area, and the tongue has been designed to stay in place while riding to ensure a secure fit. The Primer comes in black or grey in EU sizes 38-48. Alpinestars; 0039 0423 5286; firstname.lastname@example.org
Hevik Nautilus A NEW BACKPACK HAS been added to the Hevik range, the brand’s first foray into personal luggage solutions. The 15-litre capacity polyester Nautilus has an internal compartment for a tablet or notebook, as well as a large front pocket for quick access and two side bottle holders. There are adjustable waist and chest straps to tailor the fit to help stability when the going gets more dynamic. It comes in three colours – black and grey, black and yellow or black and pink. Neo Distribution; 01778 349333; email@example.com
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NOVEMBER 2020 65
Used bike data
Used bike data
What’s hot and what’s not in the used-motorcycle world Top thirty fastest selling bikes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Average days advertised before sale
Triumph Speedmaster ________ 6.5 Honda CRF250L _____________ 7 Yamaha WR125 _____________ 8.5 Yamaha YBR125 ______________10 Honda PCX125 _______________10 Yamaha MT-125 ______________10 Honda CB125R_____________ 10.5 Kawasaki VN900 _____________ 11 Royal Enfield Himalayan _______ 11 BMW R1250GS ______________ 11
11. Kawasaki Vulcan ____________ 11.5 12. Honda CBF125 ______________ 11.5 13. Yamaha YS125 ______________ 11.5 14. Honda CB650R _____________ 11.5 15. KTM EXC __________________ 12 16. Honda CBR125_______________ 12 17. BMW G310R ________________ 13 18. Yamaha NMAX ______________ 13 19. Triumph America_____________ 13 20. Triumph Scrambler 1200 _______ 14
Auto Trader’s Top espite us being firmly into Autumn 30 fastest selling bikes and the rain falling, demand for used as determined by the bikes is still very high, with median number of days the top 16 models in the list selling each were advertised in 12 days or fewer. September saw for (minimum ten sales a total of 26 million during the period to minutes spent qualify). searching for The list is headed bikes on Auto up for the first Trader during time by Triumph’s three million Speedmaster, visits, a but it’s no growth of 39% on real surprise September 2019. that scooters and This month we’re commuter 125s do well, with looking at the figures for the twelve-week Currently flying out of showrooms, the positions three to seven all being occupied by learnerperiod up to 11th October. Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster
21. Honda NSS125A Forza _________ 14 22. Honda CB125 ________________ 14 23. Ducati 1199 Panigale __________ 14 24. Yamaha Tracer 900 ___________ 14 25. KTM 790 Adventure ________ 14.5 26. Yamaha MT-09 SP ____________ 15 27. Triumph Street Twin __________ 15 28. Honda Vision _______________ 15 29. Honda CB600F Hornet _______15.5 30. Ducati Hypermotard __________ 16 friendly bikes in a variety of styles from off-road to scooters. Yamaha’s YBR125 was a popular choice for those who prefer a retro look for their first bike. The Royal Enfield Himalayan is proving a huge hit within the Adventure bike category, and with 2019 low mileage models available for less than £4000, it’s no surprise they are selling quickly. But sports bikes seem to have dropped in popularity compared to other styles based on speed of sale – the Ducati 1199 Panigale topping the list of potential track weapons, taking a still-respectable 14 days to sell. PAUL EDMONDSON Product lead Auto Trader Bikes
DEMAND CONTINUES BUT CAUTION ADVISED AUTUMN IS NOW FULLY WITH US AND although several dealers have experienced a slow-down in recent weeks, typical for the time of year, the market remains remarkably resilient. However, COVID-19 continues to be a major issue with further restrictions implemented across parts of the country. Given this, the outlook for the final quarter of 2020 remains uncertain, with the full impact of furlough schemes ending and redundancies yet to be felt. So, whilst recent feedback has been largely positive with the market exceeding expectations for many, caution is still advised.
TOP SELLING MODELS Scooters and 125cc machines remain in strong demand, particularly for dealers in and around major cities where an uptick in sales has been partly a result of commuters choosing to ride to work as an alternative to public transport. If fact, demand continues to be largely buoyant across the board, with adventure and naked segments proving to be particularly strong. With the public having more time on their hands this year, and saving money by not taking holidays and being unable to participate
in certain hobbies, some dealers hold the view that increased numbers have taken up riding as an alternative, contributing towards sales growth in recent months.
The outlook for the final quarter of 2020 remains uncertain, with the full impact of furlough schemes ending and redundancies yet to be felt STOCK Feedback from dealers regarding stock availability was mixed and although there have been improvements, with an increase in offers from the public, some dealers continue to find locating quality used stock a challenge,
particularly 125cc machines. Compounding this issue, some riders are choosing to privately sell their old machines rather than part-exchange. However, despite these complications, many larger dealers are currently satisfied with their stock levels.
SALES ACTIVITY Sales of used machinery remained positive into October with no dealers reporting a significant decline. However, the weather during the first half of the month was rather wet and on the chilly side. Taking this into account with heightened economic uncertainty and after some careful consideration, many values have been eased back for the November guide, except where trade feedback and evidence from the marketplace has suggested further adjustment where necessary. Exceptions to this are mopeds, scooters and commuter machines where values have been held.
Paul McDonald Leisure vehicle editor
On the Money
Helping Motorcycle Dealers
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he Isle of Man is worldfamous as a paradise for sporting motorcyclists and tax dodgers. Its pedigree in both of these departments has figured large in my choice of residence there for the past 25 years. Less well-known is its status as an almost unique safe haven from the COVID-19 pandemic – which is why we won’t welcome a renewed influx of alien bikers any time soon. Despite widespread conjecture to the contrary, prospects for a TT revival in 2021 are slim. Covid infection first reached Manx shores on 19 March this year. The Isle of Man government dusted off pre-war emergency powers legislation and inflicted a rigorous stay-athome lockdown on 26 March. Pubs, restaurants and most shops shut. Only pharmacies and vital sources of booze, fags, food and bogrolls were allowed to remain open. Social distancing became obligatory, non-essential travel was banned and an all-Island 30mph speed limit imposed, consigning motorcycles to sheds. Failure to obey such edicts resulted in heavy fines or prison sentences. Throughout April and into May, an energetic and highly effective test, trace and isolate campaign rapidly brought Covid spread under control. 336 people caught it and 24 died. Some 20 deaths were attributable to a single care home for the elderly, swiftly dubbed “Ballasalla
extermination camp” by local comedians. The last Covid case was diagnosed on 20 May and then the Isle of Man declared itself virus-free on 3 June. Manx society had already begun to unlock during May. And by midJune all internal restrictions had been lifted and life was completely back to normal. Club-level motorcycle sport even resumed, with unlimited spectator access. I have omitted to mention two important dates. The grievous blow for me was early cancellation, on 16 March, of the TT races. The Southern 100 and Festival of Motorcycling (encapsulating Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix) subsequently followed into oblivion. My annual fixes of assiduous trade networking and troughing with old industry chums had fallen victim to the pandemic. However, the most crucial date was 22 March, when the Isle of Man had firmly sealed its sea and air borders to exclude potentially diseased foreign ingress. The only exceptions were unaccompanied freight and hospital transfers. Some Manxies who had been stranded overseas were let back in as well, to be controversially transported under armed police guard to incarceration in a temporary Stalag-type facility for 14-day quarantine periods. They weren’t there long enough to start digging an escape tunnel, though.
On the Money Market analysis with financial editor Roger Willis Cutting off an island so neatly – and easily – from repeated waves of infection proved to be a pivotal game-changer. Once our Covid slate was entirely wiped clean and there were no more active Manx cases, this happy state of affairs stood for three months. I can’t imagine why those buffoons running the UK didn’t think of something similar. Read my lips, Boris. Water goes all the way round the perimeter of your sceptred isle too.
A partial relaxation was introduced in late August, whereby Manx residents were allowed to leave for leisure or business purposes, applying for a right-to-return permit in advance, with a specified arrival date. And, upon that return, they had to obey a strict protocol, going straight from ferry terminal or airport to self-isolate at home for a fortnight. There have been a few breaches of the rules.
NOVEMBER 2020 67
On the Money
On the Money Some individuals who evaded immediate quarantine found themselves isolated for much longer stretches in solitaryconfinement cells at the Island’s notorious “Jurby Hilton”. Approximately the same restrictions applied to a small number of key workers from the UK, some of whom were also jailed for infractions, and aspirant in-comers who had already bought Manx houses before the pandemic. Despite the odd rule-breaker, this system has worked very well. A handful of new Covid cases have been detected during isolation by returnees. But these are resolved without risk of spreading to the wider community. So normality
continues. And as autumnal infection has worsened across the UK, it’s obvious that no further border changes are imminent.
recently expressed a couple of rather contradictory views. In the first of these, he intimated that full border reopening couldn’t be considered until
On a stand-alone basis, it injects around £25m into the overall Manx economy and a £4.5m-plus additional tax contribution directly into the coffers of the exchequer. Against this background, somewhat opaque discussion of the 2021 TT’s future came back onto the agenda. Manx treasury minister Alf Cannan
springtime at the earliest and probably well into the summer. He remarked later in October that a government decision on the TT will be revealed in “the
next couple of months” and the position “should be clear before Christmas”. Given his political role, Cannan knows better than anybody about the TT’s fiscal importance to the Isle of Man. On a stand-alone basis, it injects around £25m into the overall Manx economy and a £4.5m-plus additional tax contribution directly into the coffers of the exchequer. Taken together with government income from TV rights, sponsorship, VIP hospitality, etc, the TT shows a modest profit. Being deprived of this cashflow for a second year on the trot will be painful for all concerned. At the same time, Cannan must be aware that letting up to 45,000 race fans from all over
International Share Prices A snapshot of bike and ATV industry share performance across key manufacturers and major global markets at the trading week closure on Friday 23 October 2020.
USA – ELECTION BELL TOLLS Joe Biden may well have been leading in the polls but investors were reluctant to bet decisively on the US presidential election outcome. New York’s blue-chip S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average indices both blundered to negative weekly closures, respectively losing 0.5% and 0.9%. Only the S&P MidCap 400 showed a spark of life, climbing by 0.9%, pushed by some betterthan-expected quarterly results. Among powersports stocks, Polaris and Textron lost value for a second consecutive week, which may reflect analyst estimates of domestic ORV/ATV sales performance in Q3. Only Harley bucked that general trend, the imminent unveiling of its Q3 results and medium-term “hardwire” revival plans from CEO Jochen Zeitz was bound to have a impact on its share price. Eventual direction was initially spoofed by a 1.3% decline on Monday. But then steady, if tentative, optimism took over. Tuesday produced solid 2.7% recovery, followed by a slim 0.8% rise to just above the $29 mark on Wednesday. Then Thursday and Friday delivered further respective 1.1% and 1.9% gains, marginal cracking the $30 barrier for the first time since early March.
EUROPE – UPS AND DOWNS An economic divide is developing across Europe. While the COVID-19 pandemic’s second-wave surge is inflicting recessionary damage on service
industries, manufacturing has mounted a muscular rebound, according to latest PMI data. The winners and losers split is most noticeable in northern climes. German automotive giants, in particular, are prospering again. But many other sectors of Germany’s economy are in trouble. The same phenomenon is evident, to a lesser extent, in Italy and Spain. In Frankfurt, this divergence was expressed by a 2% overall retreat for the Xetra Dax stock index. But BMW, Volkswagen and Pierer all made advances. Biker contributions weren’t irrelevant, either. BMW’s Motorrad arm achieved massive 20.9% retail sales volume growth in Q3 and Pierer has sharply uprated prospects for its motorcycle portfolio in the second half of 2020. This mixed mood was less persuasive in Italy, where lockdowns are back on the agenda. Milan’s MIB index fell by a modest 0.5%, but Piaggio and Energica share prices both took a second consecutive weekly hammering.
JAPAN – STATE AID IN THE OFFING Conversely, on the other side of the developed globe, Japanese sentiment perked up. Shrugging off the previous week’s negativity, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index put on 0.5%. All four indigenous motorcycle manufacturers followed suit, flipping from losses to gains. Promised government intervention, to stave off the possibility of major Covid-induced corporate defaults, was a pertinent factor.
INDIA – COVID PREDICTIONS SOUR SENTIMENT Mumbai’s BSE Sensex 30 stock index bounced back from the previous week’s loss, rising by 1.8%, as a measure of festive spirit returned in the run-up to Diwali. But that didn’t do India’s bike industry much good when ratings agency ICRA predicted a 1618% contraction in domestic bike sales over the current fiscal year to March 2021, owing to the Covid pandemic. Market leader Hero had the biggest slice wiped off its share price, negativity increased for TVS and Royal Enfield flipped from positivity to a retreat. Bajaj avoided any reversal, though, by announcing that its current good fortune is being driven primarily by burgeoning export sales. Mahindra escaped punishment too, thanks to its diversified product range beyond bikes.
CHINA – MOODY BLUES The Chinese should have been celebrating news that their nation’s economy had grown by 4.9% in Q3, defying the severe recession which has engulfed the rest of Asia. But, mysteriously, gloom pervaded markets instead. Shanghai’s benchmark SSE Composite index slumped by 1.7%. Once again, the BDN Ten index of China’s listed motorcycle producers was distorted. Its positive average of 1.1% included a pair of very big gains, for Benelli parent Qianjiang and Honda JV partner Guangzhou Auto.
Helping Motorcycle Dealers
Europe (euro) BMW Volkswagen Pierer Mobility Piaggio Group Energica Motor
30.07 91.97 35.19
+5.3% -4.2% -3.0%
+32.0% +1.2% -0.2%
63.73 146.80 51.50 2.30 1.45
+1.4% +0.5% +2.0% -3.4% -6.5%
+6.8% +0.7% +3.0% +2.2% -3.3%
Japan (yen) Honda Yamaha Suzuki Kawasaki
2580 1572 4632 1357
+1.9% +4.3% +0.4% +5.9%
+4.3% +1.5% +8.3% -5.8%
India (rupee) Hero MotoCorp Bajaj Auto TVS Motor Eicher Motors Mahindra
3111.05 3082.25 444.65 2181.90 625.15
-7.0% +1.2% -4.0% -3.9% +3.0%
+3.6% +4.2% -0.5% +3.0% +5.5%
26.15 7.89 3.40 5.88 5.01 4.03 7.01 11.98 152.50
+13.0% -4.9% -6.8% -2.3% -9.9% +2.3% +0.4% +18.3% -1.0%
+3.3% +0.1% -8.1% +3.0% -3.7% +5.5% +3.7% +24.7% +14.2%
China (yuan) Qianjiang Zongshen Sundiro CETC Energy Lifan Loncin Linhai Guangzhou Auto CFMoto China (HK dollar) Jianshe
USA (dollar) Harley-Davidson Polaris Industries Textron
accommodation and time commitments. The cost burden will be unbearable for many teams in this febrile climate and the TT would struggle for enough entries of quality to fill its grid. The event would also struggle to fill hedgerows around the Mountain Course with anything like the usual volume of spectators for broadly similar reasons. Penurious life on the dole, Covid-proofed or otherwise, doesn’t facilitate dream holiday excursions to a rock in the middle of the Irish Sea. The sums don’t add up. Unfortunately, I’m fairly sure we won’t see a wheel turned in anger down the Glencrutchery Road in 2021. Fingers crossed for 2022…
Britain, Europe and beyond loose on the Island in late May and early June 2021 without prior mass vaccination would be a non-starter. What are the chances of that? Covid vaccines are definitely coming and may be available before the yearend. But manufacturing and distributing adequate supplies, and then actually inoculating many millions of people, won’t happen overnight. It will be a long process. There are other factors too. The pandemic has wreaked global economic havoc. Like many business sectors, bike sport is on its uppers financially. Racing on the Isle of Man has always been an extremely expensive gig anyway, in terms of logistics,
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TRANSACT ENGAGE, CONVERT, TRANSACT
connected retailing ENGAGE, CONVERT and TRANSACT are the names of three new online solutions just launched by iVendi that together deliver something to motorcycle dealers that we call connected retailing. At its core, connected retailing is a simple but persuasive idea. We link dealer, lender and consumer at every stage of the buying process - research, decision and purchase – through online solutions that are equally eﬀective both online and in the showroom. These new products are the latest iteration of the mission adopted by iVendi when the company was founded in 2009 – to use our technology and knowhow to make it easier for dealers to sell vehicles and consumers to buy them. ENGAGE is designed to help consumers ﬁnd the right vehicle online. CONVERT then facilitates the process of transforming that initial consumer interest into a sale and TRANSACT manages the complexities of the sales process. Together, they deliver a motor retail and ﬁnance process that is seamless and eﬀective across
dealers, lenders and buyers, allowing complete communication and absolute ﬂexibility anywhere and at every stage of the buying journey. Most end-to-end motor retail solutions are quite rigid in approach and provide little of the ﬁnesse, and therefore the eﬀectiveness, of the new iVendi range. For consumers in the third decade of the 21st century, it provides what they now automatically expect - to be able to shop for what they want, how they want. And for motorcycle dealers and lenders, whether you specialise in new or used, ENGAGE, CONVERT and TRANSACT deliver an innovative and insightful approach to technology that is focussed on driving sales success. We believe that you will soon recognise the beneﬁts of the connected retail approach.
Russell White VP of Sales
iVendi Limited firstname.lastname@example.org
iVendi is the international market leader in connected motor retail technology, working with everyone from dealers and manufacturers to portals and ﬁnance providers.
To ﬁnd out more contact us on 0330 229 0028 or email email@example.com
NOVEMBER 2020 69
Registration data New motorcycle and scooter registrations for September 2020 2020 / 2019 Registrations by Style MOPEDS
Moped Others TOTAL MOPEDS
Year to Date Sep 2019
Sep 2020 3712
Highest Registering Model by Style
Sep 2020 Registrations
Lexmoto Echo Plus 50
Lexmoto Aspire 50
BMW R 1250 GS Adventure
Honda CMX500 Rebel
Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
BMW R 1250 RT
Honda CRF 250 LA
Unspecified TOTAL MOTORCYCLES TRICYCLES Scooter
Yamaha Tricity 300
Bajaj RE Compact 4S
TOTAL TRICYCLES TOTAL REGISTRATIONS
2020 / 2019 Registrations by Capacity ENGINE BAND
Year to Date
Highest Registering Model by Style
Sep 2020 Registrations
0 - 50cc
Lexmoto Echo Plus 50
51 - 125cc
126 - 650cc
Royal Enfield Interceptor INT 650
651 - 1000cc
Yamaha Tenere 700
BMW R 1250 GS Adventure
BRANDS CHART Top Ten Manufacturers
Monthly Registrations Rolling Year Comparison
1. Honda.........................................................2433 2. BMW .......................................................... 1627 3. Yamaha ....................................................... 1265 4. Lexmoto ...................................................... 1199 5. Triumph ....................................................... 997 6. Kawasaki .......................................................951 7. KTM ............................................................ 899 8. Suzuki .......................................................... 736 9. Piaggio ......................................................... 385 10. Harley-Davidson ............................................355
FADING REGISTRATIONS GROWTH WARNING SEPTEMBER’S PLATE-CHANGE DELIVERED A satisfactorily bumper volume as usual, to conclude the strangest summer sales season in living memory. But as useful as an overall 11.8% increase to 14,513 units might be to the trade in these stressful times, it also flagged up cautionary messages for the immediate future. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports. The 0-125cc market, which has boomed on its Covid-dodging budget commuter isolation advantage, continued to expand at pace, rising by 24.6% to 6107. But that growth rate had shrunk substantially from 41.8% in August. And September’s tally of 8406 machines in the 126cc-plus sector represented an advance of just 4.1%, against the 31.2% improvement recorded a month earlier. Recovery has slowed sharply. Within these numbers, motorcycles were 8.3% up to 10,622, scooters added 18.9% at 2762 and mopeds stacked on 32.4% to 1014. In the niches, electric bikes rose by 90.3% to 314 and trikes were 38.6% higher at 115. Among manufacturers, Honda inevitably held onto chart-topping status, although its registrations slid by 6.5%. This retreat came despite the CB125F taking both naked motorcycle and 51-125cc engine band plaudits. The PCX125 continued scooter domination too. Runner-up spot was snatched by BMW Motorrad, thanks to a 9.2% hike. No doubt the R1250GS Adventure claiming style category and over-1000cc accolades helped. Relegated to third, Yamaha lost 6.1%. The Ténéré 700’s 651-1000c leadership would have been some consolation. Only 66 bikes behind Yamaha, premier Chinese brand Lexmoto soared by 53.9% in
eptember has proven to be a great month for motorcycle dealers with an overall 11.8% rise in registrations, testament to the operational capabilities of the networks to cope with pent-up demand and respond to growing consumer interest”, said Patrick O’Connell, head of the NMDA. Overall sales rose to 14,513 units – 1535 more than September 2019 – partly due to pent-up demand created through the lockdown period. However, the yearon-year defcit has reduced to only 8.3%, showing a strong marketplace. The NMDA’s COVID-19 Safe to Ride campaign has continued to support consumer demand as more people take to two wheels to avoid public transport. A huge increase in the 0-50cc sector, coupled with an increase in the 51-125cc bracket, potentially indicates new riders or commuters. Although small numbers, electric
fourth place. Lexmoto’s rip-snorting LXR125SY remained the perennial steed of choice for supersport enthusiasts, just as its Echo Plus 50 owns the moped podium. Completing the top five, Triumph managed only a 3.7% increase. Reliable informants point to an unfortunate paucity of desirable adventure bike stock coinciding with the newplate month.
Informants point to an unfortunate paucity of desirable adventure bike stock coinciding with the new-plate month
of popular 125cc motorcycle inventory. Piaggio made another guest appearance in ninth – without performance comparison availability because the brand was invisible during September last year. Last and most definitely least came HarleyDavidson, suffering the ignominy of a 27.7% plunge while its UK dealer roadshow promotion of the LiveWire electric Hog was in full swing. Clearly a success. Or not. Royal Enfield deserves an honourable mention, having fallen off the Top Ten chart’s bottom rung for a third month on the trot. The vanishing act of out-of-production 500cc Bullet models may be a factor. Nevertheless, its Interceptor 650 twin still took the 126-650cc engine band prize for a fifth consecutive month and actually increased September registrations by 17.5%.
Kawasaki was best of the rest, adding 7% in sixth, with its trusty Ninja 1000SX maintaining residence at the front of sport/ tour products. KTM, Austrian king of “name your own price” marketing, stacked on 40.7% to grasp seventh on the greasy pole. Suzuki figured in eight place and posted a 3.4% increase, even though word on the street is that it has completely run out
powered bikes showed a 90.3% increase in registrations as more options from a number of manufacturers made their way into showrooms. Growth of more than 50% in the over-35kW bracket could indicate that a proportion of current riders are confident enough to move away from traditionally-powered bikes. O’Connell continued, “The market continues to benefit from commuters switching to bikes as an alternative to public transport, as well as those avoiding travel abroad and looking at ways to spend on leisure and ‘touring staycations’ within the UK”. Q4 will be an interesting time for dealers due to the lack of supply for some new models and the run-out of Euro 4 machinery by 2021. With some manufacturers not even having Euro 5 models in production yet, the NMDA continues to monitor and offer support to its members.” NATIONAL MOTORCYCLE DEALERS ASSOCIATION
The Interceptor is far and away Royal Enfield’s best-selling model
ALTERNATIVE-POWERED PTWS MOPEDS Moped Scooters Moped Others TOTAL MOPEDS
MOTORCYCLES Adventure Sport
TOTAL MOTORCYCLES TRICYCLES
NOVEMBER 2020 71
Registration statistics supplied by the MCIA; tel 02476 408000; www.mcia.co.uk
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