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Tuesday 23 July 2019

News Briefs

Indian conglomerate Mahindra's first new model in their Classic Legends Pvt Ltd BSA relaunch for the Indian market (initially?) is being branded as a BSA Gold Star. It will feature an engine made in Austria by BRP owned Rotax - an updated version of the 652 cc single as supplied to Aprilia for the 650 Pegaso and BMW F650 Funduro. This follows Mahindra's relaunch of the once massively popular in India Jawa brand in 2018.


Bonnier Corp. has announced that after more than 100 years it has managed to drive its already reduced to six editions a year Motorcyclist Magazine out of print and into entirely online future. Hey ho!

Eicher Motors Ltd (EML) of India, owner of Royal Enfield and a former Polaris JV partner (the Multix personal utility vehicle, 2015 - 2018), has announced Vinod K. Dasari as the CEO of RE with a seat on the EML board. Dasari takes over from Siddhartha Lal, who was named CEO of Royal Enfield in 2001. Lal will continue as Managing Director of Eicher Motors Ltd. At Royal Enfield, Siddhartha, who has masterminded their entry into the 650 twins market in Europe and USA, will continue to support Vinod and the team on RE product and brand related areas. Dasari has served time at Ashok Leyland, Cummins India, Timken and General Electric. Dasari holds a Master's degree in Engineering Management from McCormick, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the University of Louisville; he has also served as the President of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

The latest ACEM statistics put total Q1 2019 motorcycle registrations for the (currently!) 28 EU member states at 244,991 units, which is +19.2% over Q1 2018. Italy was the largest market at 54,826 units (+18.7%), followed by Germany (44,450, +23.3%), France (43,942, +20.0%), Spain (37,255, +20.5%) and the UK (25,913, +10.3%).


Lane Splitter H-D in San Jose, California, has been sold by Jeffrey Soffer to become the 6th Harley store owned by Rich Gargano and Cliff Chester; it will be rebranded as San Jose H-D. Soffer also owns Stinger H-D in Medina, Ohio, and Alligator Alley H-D in Sunrise, Florida. Soffer is best known as a major league real estate developer in Miami. Gargano and Chester own multiple Harley dealerships, secondary retail locations and alternative retail outlets in California. The deal was masterminded by George Chaconas' Performance Brokerage Services. Chester also owns Gold Rush H-D, Elko, NV., Oil City H-D, Casper, WY. and Snake H-D in Twin Falls, Idaho.


Ducati won first place in the 'Concept Bikes: New Design and Prototypes by Manufacturers and Independents' category at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Italy in May. They did so with the original and still much admired Hypermotard 950 Concept designed by Ducati's own Central Styling unit. This follows the Red Dot Award recently won by the Diavel 1260. First staged on the shores of Lake Como in 1929, the event is organized by BMW Group jointly with the Villa d'Este hotel.

New motorcycle registrations in Germany for the YTD May were +8.551% at 63,719 units - the best first four months seen there since before 2009. The top selling model there YTD remains the BMW R 1250 GS (6,229 units), way ahead of the Yamaha MT-07 in second place (1,815 units). With now having seven models among the top 30 best sellers, it is no surprise that BMW has stretched its home market dominance still further, having sold 16,280 units in total YTD for a commanding 18.55 percent market share (up by +19.46 percent compared to the first two months of 2018

Record-breaking racer Zef Eisenberg survived a 195 mph scare to establish a new record for the Flying Mile at Pendine Sands in South Wales. Riding a specially made 400 bhp supercharged Suzuki Hayabusa that was built and prepared by Eisenberg’s MADMAX Racing Team, he set a two-way average of 182.40 mph on Saturday 6 April. The Flying Mile record was set by Sir Malcolm Campbell in 1927 at 174 mph in the famous Blue Bird car. Eisenberg raised that to 182.49 mph in a two-way average Flying Mile measurement that could have been higher if the engine had not blown up at a GPS recorded speed of 195 mph-plus.

BMW Motorrad increased deliveries of its motorcycles and maxi-scooters by 7.7% to 38,606 units (2018: 35,858 units) in the United States, setting a new Q1 record for the eighth year in succession. Revenues grew by +11.8% to € 586 million (2018: € 524 million). EBIT also improved significantly, rising to € 89 million for the three-month period under report (2018: € 77 million; +15.6%). The first-quarter EBIT margin came in at 15.2% (2018: 14.7%).

KTM increased its European market share to 12.3% in Q1 2019 with a registration increase of +22%, seeing growth in major markets such as Germany (+29%), France (+34%) and Spain (+20%). They were also up +30% in India. Contrary to initial estimates, the retail motorcycle market in Europe grew by around +20% in the first quarter.

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, B&B, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MNW