The Safety of Your L-Category Vehicle is in Question

European Commission proposes long due Regulation on
type-approval of L-category vehicles

According to ACEM, main approach taken by the European Commission appears sound, but the specificity of the vehicles and appropriate lead-time have not always been properly considered – many crucial technical points remain open.

Brussels, 4.10.2010 – Today the European Commission adopted a long anticipated proposal on new type-approval of L-category vehicles. This proposal makes provisions on many different safety and environmental requirements for a wide range of vehicles such as two- or three-wheel powered cycles, mopeds, motorcycles with and without a side-car, tricycles, on-road quads and mini-cars. The Members of ACEM, the European Motorcycle Manufacturers Association, have been urging policy makers for a regulatory framework with a long-term vision ensuring employment and the competitiveness of the sector in Europe. 

Whilst broadly speaking the main approach of the European Commission appears sound, according to ACEM’s, in its complexity today’s proposal missed out on many important aspects which will need to be carefully considered by Council and European Parliament. These crucial technical points will also need to be addressed in the development of the four additional Regulations announced by the European Commission, which will contain test procedures, technical details and administrative provisions.
 
This regulation falls during a critical time for the motorcycle industry. The economic crisis triggered a drop in registrations of L-category vehicles. In 2010 the EU market has shrunk by one third compared to pre-crisis figures. The first semester of 2010 recorded a -30% compared to the same period of 2008, indicating that this sector is still far from recovery.

In this context, ACEM wishes to underline the utmost importance of the progressive introduction of environmental and safety measures allowing for sufficient lead-time, for new and existing types. This is particularly important given the price impact that the proposed legislative package will have, especially for small and medium displacement vehicles.  

The EC proposed provisions in regards to market surveillance are welcome to safeguard economic operators against unfair competition and, provided they are implemented effectively, will ensure re-establishing a level playing field and preventing non-compliant products from reaching the EU market, while restoring confidence in EU legislation.

The Motorcycle Industry in Europe is looking forward to working with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council on this proposal and will release more detailed comments in the coming days.

Stefan Pierer, ACEM President and CEO of Austrian manufacturer KTM Sport Motorcycles stated: “Since 2004 ACEM Members have been at the forefront of road safety, with voluntary commitments on Automatic Headlamp On and Advanced Braking Systems.  In regards to environmental measures, Industry proposals have been laid out already in 2008 presenting the EC with a feasible roadmap.  While the document reflects some of the industry proposals, the addition of some technically unrealistic requirements, which do not take into account current production and market realities, are of serious concern and require further detailed reflections, to ensure competitiveness and employment in the sector.”

Note to editors:
ACEM, the Motorcycle Industry in Europe, is the professional body representing the interests and combined skills of 12 powered two wheelers (PTWs) manufacturers producing a total of 26 motorcycle and moped brands, and 15 national associations out of 13 European countries, guaranteeing jobs to over 150.000 people. The aggregated turnover of the PTW sector (manufacturing, plus upstream and downstream activities) amounted to Euro 34 billion in 2006. Manufacturers alone account for Euro 7 billion. The members of ACEM are responsible for 90% of the production and up to 80% of the European powered two-wheeler (PTW) market.

Reference document:
European Commission, Enterprise and Industry, Legislative Proposal:
http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/automotive/documents/proposals/index_en.htm

More information, statistics and policy statements at: http://www.acem.eu/

Vespa USA Invites Scooter Enthusiasts to Amerivespa

Vespa USA Invites Scooter Enthusiasts to Amerivespa 

 

Celebrate your independence from traditional transportation costs and constraints at the nation’s largest scooter enthusiast gathering

 

 

 

NEW YORK, June 25, 2009 – Vespa USA invites enthusiasts everywhere to jump into the saddle of their favorite scooter and head to Los Gatos, CA from July 2 to 5 for Amerivespa 2009, an annual celebration of scooter culture and community, organized by the Vespa Club of America (VCOA).  This year’s edition is also co-hosted by the Vespa Club Los Gatos and the event is expected to draw hundreds of participants from every corner of the country.  True to the scooter community’s focus on camaraderie and inclusivity, everyone as well as all makes and models are welcome – regardless of whether you prefer your scooters vintage or modern, or are a new or seasoned rider.

“Vespa owners and fans value the spirit of freedom and adventure, and nowhere is that more evident than at this country’s biggest annual scooter get-together,” said Kevin Andrews, brand manager, Vespa USA.  “We’re looking forward to celebrating the Fourth of July weekend doing what we like best – making new friends with fellow scooterists and sharing new adventures.”

This year’s Amerivespa attendees will enjoy a wide range of events, activities and entertainment, including the chance to win an all-new Vespa GTS 300 Super, Vespa’s highest-performance scooter to-date.  Throughout the long holiday weekend, attendees can be busy participants or just enjoy bystander status.  You’ll see some of the most colorful customs as well as rare restorations at the non-traditional Concours d’Elegance, which celebrates the scooter in all its fun forms instead of focusing on matching part numbers and standards of correctness.  Competition-minded riders might want to enter the scooter drag race – where your ability to cross the finish line last will get you on the podium.  Whether you’re a serious scooterist with an interest in factory technician tips or a casual rider who would prefer a guided shopping ride, there’s an opportunity to twist-and-go in many different directions.

For more information, please visit http://www.amerivespa.org or visit the AmeriVespa Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amerivespa-2009/62309843061.  For the latest news about Vespa scooters, please ride on over to www.vespaUSA.com 

 

About The Piaggio Group:

Established in 1884 by Rinaldo Piaggio and based in Pontedera (Pisa, Italy), the Piaggio Group is one of the world’s top manufacturers of two-wheel motor vehicles.  With over 7,000 employees, an annual production of more than 708,000 vehicles in 2007, 5 R&D centers, 7 production facilities in Europe and Asia, and operations in over 50 countries, the Piaggio Group has a consolidated leadership in the European two-wheeler market. 

 

The company produces scooters, motorcycles and mopeds in the 50cc to 1,200 cc displacement range, marketed under the Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Derbi, Aprilia, Scarabeo and Moto Guzzi brands.  The Group also manufactures three- and four-wheel light transportation vehicles for the Ape, Porter and Quargo ranges.

 

About Vespa Club of America:

The Vespa Club of America is dedicated to promoting scootering and the appreciation of the fine Vespa Motor scooter. Filled with ranks of vintage and modern enthusiasts, the VCOA puts out a quarterly magazine, and promotes the Amerivespa national scooter rally every year. More information can be found at www.VespaClubUSA.org

Aprilia to Unveil RSV 4 Factory on May 30 at FIM Superbike World Championship Race

Aprilia to Unveil RSV 4 Factory on May 30 at FIM Superbike World Championship Race

 

Eagerly awaited U.S. debut to be held at Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park

 

NEW YORK, NY – May 27, 2009 – Aprilia USA, the North American importer and distributor of Aprilia motorcycles and scooters ,  announced plans for the official U.S. unveiling of its eagerly awaited RSV 4 Factory superbike at the  upcoming FIM World Superbike Championship USA round at Miller Motorsports Park in Toole, Utah.

 

Scheduled for Saturday, May 30, at noon at the Aprilia display truck, the U.S. premiere will also be highlighted by the appearance of Aprilia Racing’s World Superbike team of Max Biaggi and Shinya Nakano. The racers will be stateside to compete in the HANNspree FIM Superbike Championship, the seventh and only U.S. stop in the 14 race series.

 

Biaggi and Nakano will look to add to Aprilia’s extensive history of on-track accomplishments.  To date, the brand has earned 40 world championships, 254 MotoGP wins and eight Superbike victories.   Aboard a racing version of the RSV 4, the newly formed team takes to tracks around the world on a superbike that has generated acclaim throughout the international motorcycle community.

 

Designed and built with the same philosophy adopted by Aprilia’s racing division, the RSV 4 Factory follows a completely innovative approach in its design and construction.  Its narrow 999 cc V-four cylinder engine, the use of state-of-the-art electronics, lightweight frame and extreme compactness are only a few of the features that will make this newest Aprilia truly unique to customers in the U.S. and throughout the world.

 

“The level of excitement and anticipation for the RSV 4 Factory has been unprecedented,” said Aprilia USA Brand Manager Rick Panettieri.  “This is a truly amazing bike with awesome performance and we felt it would be ideal to unveil it here to Superbike race fans and passionate Aprilia enthusiasts.”   Race fans who visit the Aprilia display this weekend can have their photo taken with the RSV 4 and receive complimentary Aprilia racing gifts and memorabilia.

 

About Aprilia and Piaggio Group Americas

Aprilia world headquarters are in Noale (Venice, Italy).  Founded in 1962, the company designs and manufactures motorcycles in Noale, with production facilities in Scorzè.  With 38 motorcycling world championship titles (32 road and 6 off-road) under its belt, Aprilia is the only European manufacturer to have a complete on- and off-road model portfolio, ranging from sporty scooters, innovative off-road bikes and tough adventure tourers to award-winning super sport bikes.  For information on Aprilia’s complete U.S. model line, visit the company’s website at http://www.apriliausa.com.

 

In December 2004 Aprilia became part of the Piaggio Group, Europe’s leading manufacturer of two wheelers and one of the world’s most recognized and respected names in motorcycle and scooter production.

 

With approximately 7,000 employees, approximately 708,500 vehicles sold in 2007, 5 R&D centers, 7 production facilities in Europe and Asia, and operations in over 50 countries, the Piaggio Group has a consolidated leadership in the European 2 wheeler market.  Its production includes scooters, motorcycles and mopeds in the 50cc to 1,200 cc displacement range, marketed under the Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Derbi, Aprilia, Scarabeo and Moto Guzzi brands.

Arai Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Motorcycle Helmets for an 11th Consecutive Year

J.D. Power and Associates Reports:

Arai Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Motorcycle Helmets for an 11th Consecutive Year

 

Helmet Owners Increasingly Likely to Purchase Online

 

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 26 May 2009 — Arai ranks highest in satisfying motorcycle helmet owners for an 11th consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction StudySM released today.

 

The study measures the overall satisfaction of motorcyclists with their new helmet in three key factors: ventilation, face shield, and design and styling; which consist of 11 attributes: quietness; ventilation/air flow; de-fogging; face shield ability to keep wind out; face shield ability to resist scratching; ease of replacing face shield; scratch resistance of shell; color/graphic design; weight; ease of fastening the strap; and fit and comfort.

 

With a score of 830 on a 1,000-point scale, Arai ranks highest and performs particularly well in the ventilation and design and styling factors. Shoei follows with a score of 815 and performs well in face shield. Icon ranks third overall with a score of 806.

 

“Arai continues to improve in the areas critical to customer satisfaction, which has further differentiated it from other manufacturers,” said Tim Fox, research manager of the powersports practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Arai’s focus on fit and comfort—the most important consideration when purchasing a motorcycle helmet—and its ability to cater to different types of riders have given the manufacturer a consistent edge in satisfying customers.”

 

Overall satisfaction with motorcycle helmets has increased to an average of 766 in 2009—up 5 points from 2008—the highest level since the study’s inception in 1999.

 

The study finds that while the percentage of helmet owners who conducted research online before buying has remained relatively steady from 2008 at 36 percent, the proportion of helmet owners who purchased their helmet online has increased—up to 17 percent in 2009 from 14 percent in 2008. Additionally, those who purchased more expensive helmets ($200 or more) are more likely to both research and purchase their helmet online. More than one-half of these helmet owners researched online prior to their purchase, and 22 percent of them made their purchase online.

 

The 2009 Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 4,600 purchasers of new 2008 model-year motorcycles who provided information about their most recent helmet purchase experience and helmet use. The study was fielded in September and October 2008.

 

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village , Calif. , J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction.  The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually.  For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

 

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:  MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2008 were $6.4 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

The Aprilia Adventure Heads Cross-Country

The Aprilia Adventure Heads Cross-Country 

Aprilia USA adds five additional dates to its popular new consumer ride experience

 NEW YORK, NY – April 3, 2009 – Following the successful launch and fast sell-out of the Aprilia Adventure ride experience during this year’s Daytona Bike Week, Aprilia USA has added five additional dates to the program.  Enthusiasts will now be able to reserve a full hour of seat time to evaluate and enjoy the latest Aprilia motorcycles on the best regional roads.  Participants even take home some special mementos of the experience.  The Aprilia Adventure is available at:

  • AMA Superbike Weekend at Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA, April 3-5
  • AMA Superbike Weekend at Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI, June 5-7
  • AMA Daytona SportBike Weekend at Laguna Seca Speedway, Monterey, CA, July 3-5
  • AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days at Mid Ohio Sportscar Course, Lexington, OH, July 24-26
  • AMA Superbike Weekend at Virginia International Raceway, Alton, VA, August 14-16.

For riders who want to experience the adrenaline rush of Aprilia motorcycles, the Aprilia Adventure is the antidote to the traditional short demo ride.  Instead of a few minutes riding through traffic, enthusiasts have plenty of time to fully appreciate the real capabilities of the bikes.  Along the way, participants also enjoy hospitality, refreshments and an Aprilia gift bag.  The Aprilia Adventure is open to licensed riders with proper riding gear for $20.00 per person. 

“The Aprilia Adventure Daytona ride sold out by 9:30 a.m. each day – in fact, we had riders lined up with their lawn chairs as early as 7 a.m. just to get a jump on the line,” said Rick Panettieri, brand manager, Aprilia USA.  “We think there’s strong demand from serious motorcyclists to do more than just kick the tires or take a few turns – and we’re looking forward to offering that opportunity at more events this year.”

Each hour-long Aprilia Adventure ride is customized to take advantage of the best local and regional riding routes.  Along the way, riders sample and swap new 2009 models such as the all-new Aprilia Dorsoduro 750 as well as long-time favorites, such as the award-winning Tuono and RSV 1000 R.  Registration for the ride is exclusively on-site at each event.  For the latest information on Aprilia products and events, visit www.apriliausa.com.

About Aprilia and Piaggio Group Americas

Aprilia world headquarters are in Noale (Venice, Italy).  Founded in 1962, the company designs and manufactures motorcycles in Noale, with production facilities in Scorzè.  With 38 motorcycling world championship titles (32 road and 6 off-road) under its belt, Aprilia is the only European manufacturer to have a complete on- and off-road model portfolio, ranging from sporty scooters, innovative off-road bikes and tough adventure tourers to award-winning super sport bikes.  For information on Aprilia’s complete U.S. model line, visit the company’s website at www.apriliausa.com.

 In December 2004 Aprilia became part of the Piaggio Group, Europe’s leading manufacturer of two wheelers and one of the world’s most recognized and respected names in motorcycle and scooter production.

Europe’s Two-Wheelers Want to be Treated the same as Cars

 

Bologna (Italy), 26.3.2009 – The European Powered Two-wheeler industry will ask the European Commission and EU member states for same treatment as car industry.

Gathering for their annual General Assembly hosted by Ducati in Bologna, Italy, ACEM, the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers, urged for similar measures to those devised for the car sector to be applied to the powered two-wheeler industry in order to defy the economic crisis.

The General Assembly also unanimously confirmed Mr Pierer as President of ACEM for another two-year term and welcomed two new Members: BRP, manufacturer of a new concept of road tricycle, with an engine factory located in Austria, and ARGE2RAD, the Austrian Association of PTW manufacturers and distributors.

Recently, the European Commission announced initiatives and instruments to fight the downturn in the automotive sector. Due to its similarities to the car sector, the PTW industry should be  entitled to the same benefits. The PTW sector needs the same urgent and drastic measures aimed at preventing a prolonged period of recession, supporting manufacturing and continuing to drive forward the environmental goals that are shared by policy makers and manufacturers.

The Communication on the European automotive industry, presented on February 25th by the European Commission, clearly shows the need for urgent action and lists various options and tools. Inclusion of powered two-wheelers in the scope of the European Commission’s measures to respond to the crisis in the automotive sector would secure the future of an otherwise healthy and innovating industry.

Stefan Pierer, ACEM President and CEO of Austrian manufacturer KTM Sport Motorcycles, stated: “By identifying a series of tools and measures to support the automotive sector, the EU has shown its ability to act in times of crisis. Not unlike the car sector, the motorcycle industry is experiencing the same kind of problems and, despite our lesser size, we need the same kind of tools if are to successfully overcome this downturn”.

European Member States must tackle the PTW industry’s problems with the same determination  applied  to the car sector. Viable businesses and jobs are at stake in the motorcycle industry as well, which is being hit by the current economic crisis with new registrations down by 8% in 2008 and poor forecasts for 2009. These figures partially hide the significant -34% contraction (-42% for mopeds and -28% for motorcycles) of the last quarter of 2008 over the same period of 2007. This dramatic drop has been confirmed by the January 2009 registrations showing a further negative signal in major PTW markets in the range of -40%. In this context scrapping schemes aimed at supporting the demand for new vehicles and benefiting cleaner and safer mobility should be introduced.

“Another pressing issue to resolve – concluded Mr Pierer – remains the limited access to credit due to the non-functioning of the financial market. Action must be now taken without further delay to lift bureaucratic barriers and speed up implementation at national level. A coordinated European policy would not only ensure more fairness and respect for EU competition rules but – more importantly – greater efficiency in a single, European market”.

Mr Gabriele Del Torchio, Ducati President and CEO, said: “As one of ACEM’s founding members Ducati is honoured to have hosted the General Assembly on the occasion of ACEM’s 15th Anniversary. Ducati has believed from the beginning in the necessity of uniting forces to achieve common goals but at the same time putting forward a strong image of the motorcycle industry which stands for excitement, innovation and industrial excellence. In spite of the economic challenges ahead, we will continue with the same passion and commitment to work together within ACEM for the wellbeing of the motorcycle sector in Europe”.

Last December ACEM announced a set of initiatives based on innovation, safety and environmental performance ensuring that the motorcycles and scooters of tomorrow will respond the future social needs and sustainability requirements while continuing to represent an exciting and convenient mobility tool.

About ACEM
ACEM, the Motorcycle Industry in Europe, is the professional body representing the interests and combined skills of 12 powered two wheelers (PTWs) manufacturers producing a total of 25 motorcycle and moped brands, and 15 national associations out of 13 European countries, representing a turn-over of €10bn and guaranteeing jobs to over 200.000 people.