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/

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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.

Moto Guzzi Announces “Grand Tour of Italy in America” Winner

Moto Guzzi Announces “Grand Tour of Italy in America” Winner

From Tuscany (California) to Rimini (South Carolina) and 78 Italian-inspired
destinations in between, an Ohio motorcycle enthusiast lives la dolce vita
American-style

New York, NY – February 6, 2009 – John E. Frick, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based
business owner, passionate motorcycle enthusiast and long-distance endurance
rider, will be enjoying his next two-wheel adventure on a new Moto Guzzi
Norge 1200.  Moto Guzzi’s distinctive sport touring bike has been awarded to
Frick for winning the “Grand Tour of Italy in America,” a unique motorcycle
tour created by the American Motorcycling Association (AMA) as part of its
AMA Road Riding Cycle Trader Tours With KOA Along The Way program.  The “do
it yourself” tour was designed to appeal to riders who appreciate both the
thrill of the ride and the joy of discovering new destinations – in this
case all inspired by Italian locales and culture.

Participants were challenged to chart their own course from an official list
of destinations, ranging from towns like The Vatican, Louisiana, to venues
such as the Tuscany Motel in Wildwood, New Jersey.  Embodying the relaxed
pace and spirit of Italy, the tour stipulated no time or mileage limits,
allowing riders to travel at their own pace.  Riders documented each
official stop with a photo to provide proof of their visit. One point was
earned for each destination in a participant’s home state; two points were
awarded for stops visited in adjoining states, and three points for all
distant destinations. 

Competitors with 25 or more points earned a commemorative pin and were
entered into a special sweepstakes.  In addition to the Moto Guzzi Norge
1200 grand prize, sweepstakes winners received “motociclista style”
wearables from Moto Guzzi’s new line of retro-inspired sweaters, as well as
modern riding gear designed for the serious enthusiast.

All registrants received a complimentary Moto Guzzi towel, collectible pin,
and a coupon redeemable for a new Moto Guzzi hat. 

To claim his Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 grand prize, Frick visited more than
80 locations over the course of seven months. Stops included Argenta, Il;
Milan, TN; Rimni, S.C.; Rome, MS; Genoa, WI; Verona, ND; Tivoli, NY;
Sardinia, OH; Parma, MO, and, of course, Italy, TX.  Frick also visited
more than 25 Motor Guzzi dealerships, as well as Italian-themed locations
such as the Italian-American Banquet Hall in Livonia, MI, and an Italian
festival in Nutley, NJ.

“For me, every phase of the Grand Tour was fun, from planning and riding to
finding a unique or interesting object for the photo to document the visit,
even the record-keeping,” Frick said. “The learning element of the tour
was certainly a big part of the attraction. For example, I previously had no
idea that there is a city in Italy (population 32,000)  with the name of
Nola.  So I decided to visit Nola, Mississippi, which may have a population
of 10!”

With plenty of roads leading to Rome – or hundreds of other Italian-inspired
destinations – Frick’s adventures prove that the Italian spirit is thriving
on U.S. soil.  And, when enjoyed on a legendary Moto Guzzi motorcycle, it’s
double the dolce vita.

About Moto Guzzi and Piaggio Group
Founded in 1921, Moto Guzzi is one of Europe’s oldest continuous
manufacturers of motorcycles. This revered brand continues to produce
machines from its original location on the beautiful shores of Lake Como in
the village of Mandello del Lario, Italy. For information about Moto Guzzi,
visit http://www.motoguzzi-us.com.

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.

Customer Satisfaction with the Motorcycle Ownership Experience Reaches Record-High Levels

 

Customer Satisfaction with the Motorcycle Ownership Experience Reaches Record-High Levels

Despite Higher Owner-Reported Motorcycle Prices, Satisfaction with Perceived Value Increases in 2008

 

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 17 December 2008 – Overall satisfaction with the motorcycle ownership experience has increased for a sixth consecutive year to a record-high level, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Motorcycle Competitive Information StudySM released today.

Now in its 11th year, the study measures owner satisfaction with new motorcycles by examining five major components of the overall ownership experience: product; quality; cost of ownership; sales; and service.

Overall motorcycle ownership satisfaction averages 814 (based on a 1,000-point scale) in 2008, up 5 points from 2007. While all five components driving satisfaction improve in 2008, the most notable increases occur in the areas of cost of ownership and product quality.

Overall, satisfaction with cost of ownership has increased steadily over time. In 2008, satisfaction with cost of ownership improves by 11 points from 2007 to an average of 707. In addition, 18 percent of owners in 2008 report that the cost of owning their motorcycles is “outstanding” (a rating of 10 on a 10-point scale), compared with only 10 percent of customers in 2005 who indicated the same. Furthermore, 30 percent of motorcycle owners in 2008 indicate that the value they received for the price paid is “outstanding,” compared with 21 percent in 2005.

The study finds that product quality has improved in 2008, compared with 2007, primarily due to a decrease in owner-reported problems. The overall number of problems reported averages 152 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100)-down 8 PP100 from 2007. In addition, the number of owners who report having a problem-free experience with their motorcycle averages 42 percent in 2008, an improvement of 3 percentage points, compared with 2007.

“Despite the fact that owners report paying 14 percent more for their motorcycles this year, they are also more satisfied with the value received for the money spent,” said Tim Fox, research manager of the powersports practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “There are several motorcycle models with a higher price point that owners have indicated are a particularly good value for the money. This demonstrates that if you make a superior product, consumers are willing to pay a higher price for it because they believe it to be an excellent value.”

The study also finds that the industry continues to struggle with attracting younger, first-time motorcycle buyers.

“Since 2001, the average age of motorcycle owners has increased from 40 to 47 years,” said Fox. “This indicates that the current population of motorcycle buyers is aging, and a large proportion of these owners are likely to soon exit the market. Because first-time motorcycle buyers comprise 22 percent of all new motorcycle purchases-a figure has remained relatively flat since 2001-it is critical for manufacturers to focus on attracting first-time and younger buyers-primarily those in the Gen X and Y demographics-in order to ensure continued growth in this market.”

The study also includes the following findings:

  • Among motorcycle owners who visit a dealer for repair work, 79 percent report that the repair was performed correctly the first time-an increase of four percentage points from 2007.

 

  • The two problems that have the greatest negative impact on overall product satisfaction are rough paint and engines that overheat. Other problems that have a particularly strong impact on satisfaction include gearshift issues, lacking power, and the ride being too stiff or too soft.

 

  • During the past seven years, satisfaction with the engine and transmission has shown the greatest improvement among product-related aspects.

 

The 2008 Motorcycle Competitive Information Study includes responses from 7,334 owners who purchased new on-road or dual-sport motorcycles between September 2007 and May 2008. Owners were surveyed 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, training 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 2007 were $6.8 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com

J.D. Power and Associates Media Relations Contacts:

Jeff Perlman; Brandware Public Relations; Agoura Hills, Calif.; (818) 706-1915; jperlman@brandwaregroup.com

John Tews; Troy , Mich. ; (248) 312-4119; john.tews@jdpa.com   

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

Piaggio Takes Students to School

Piaggio Invites College-Bound Students to Skimp on Gas, Not Books

Cruise the campus on fuel-efficient Piaggio Fly 50 or 150, get free gas and
gear carrier

NEW YORK, August 5, 2008 – College students who purchase a new Piaggio Fly
50 or 150 scooter get one of the most fun, fuel-efficient and low-emission
rides around.  And, through October 15, 2008, they’ll also enjoy several
free trips to the gas pump and plenty of storage to haul a laptop and book
bag, courtesy of a free $50 gas card and top case offer from Italian scooter
manufacturer Piaggio.

Fifty dollars worth of free gas means hundreds of miles of carefree travel
on the gas pump-shy Piaggio Fly motorscooters, which can get more than 70
mpg.  That adds up to a whole semester’s worth of transportation before most
students will have to dip into their fuel budget.  Equally valuable is the
free color-matched, 8-gallon top box.  The cargo carrier allows easy and
secure storage of everyday campus and riding essentials.

The special offer is available at participating U.S. Piaggio and Vespa
dealers.  To take advantage of the savings, students must present their
valid 2008 college or university photo identification.  The purchase must be
completed by October 15, 2008. 

Piaggio Fly:  A Back to Campus Essential

A Piaggio Fly scooter isn’t just easy on strained student wallets, it is
exceptionally easy to ride and own, even for two-wheel novices.  Like all
Piaggio scooters, the Fly’s simple ‘twist and go’ automatic throttle ensures
that most anyone can learn how to ride with the flick of the wrist.  The
upright riding position and low seat height provide great stability and
nimble maneuverability.  In addition to its small carbon footprint, the
Fly’s compact physical size also makes it easy to park in even the tightest
spaces – for every large SUV parking space, seven scooters can find a
comfortable home.  Roomy under-seat storage is large enough to accommodate
essentials, such as a helmet. 

The Fly also scores an “A” for its modern Italian styling, quality
craftsmanship and advanced technology. Every Fly comes standard with a
reliable, low-emission four-stroke engine, a sturdy steel frame design and a
powerful braking system.  A wide range of safety and stability features,
such as large 12-inch heels, ensure that riders can enjoy their
fuel-efficient miles with complete confidence and control.

The Piaggio Fly 50 and Fly 150 are available at authorized U.S. Piaggio and
Vespa dealers for a low Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of
$1,899 and $2,899 respectively.   Available colors are Optic White, Midnight
Blue and Excalibur Gray.  For more information on the Fly as well as the
complete Piaggio line of scooters, visit http://www.piaggiousa.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.

Cafe Racer Magazine Hits the Streets

Café Racer Revs Up Motorcycle Media Category

New small-format, quarterly magazine showcases culture and lifestyle of
high-performance ‘naked’ bike enthusiasts

July 28, 2008 – Pittsburgh, PA – Cafe Racer, a new quarterly magazine that
focuses exclusively on the machines, history, culture and lifestyle of
high-performance European ‘naked’ motorcycles debuted at the July 25-27,2008
AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days at Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course in Lexington, Ohio.
The event, the world’s largest gathering of classic motorcycle enthusiasts,
honors the iconic British bike brand Triumph this year – an idea backdrop
for the launch of a magazine that celebrates café racers, the “stripped and
quick” street bikes that dominated the British motorcycle scene in the
1950s.

The hip-pocket size 6″ x 9″ format magazine is the first-ever publication
devoted the Vincents, Nortons, BSAs, Triumphs and other legendary
motorcycles that combined with the era’s British black leather, Brylcreem®
and rock-n-roll to create one of the most adrenaline-charged youth movements
ever.  Each issue of Café Racer will also explore the world of modern
performance naked bikes, from wild, custom-built streetfighters to the
latest factory nakeds and retro machines.  It’s that culture and lifestyle
that fuels a worldwide cult for the naked bike enthusiast, whether classic,
ultra-modern or somewhere in between.

Magazine founder and editor Mike Seate is an expert on the cult of the cafe
racer, also serving as host of the upcoming Chet Burks/Speed Channel
high-definition documentary, “Cafe Society,” to be broadcast in the fall of
2008.  Seate has authored over a dozen motorcycling books including “Two
Wheels on Two Reels” and “Choppers.” He is an award-winning columnist for
the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and a contributing editor for Motorcyclist
magazine. 

Café Racer’s debut issue features a Vincent Specials Round-Up, including
test-rides of Hailwood Motorcycle Restoration’s Egli-Vincent and Norvin; A
Rocker’s Tale: road histories from veterans who lived and rode in the ton-up
era;  Rocker Films Review; Spotted Bikes from around the world; Cafe Racers:
a regular feature about people who make motorcycling worthwhile; a column on
the history of transport cafes by Ace Café London’s Linda Wilsmore and
useful tech information, two-wheeled travel features, black leather news and
more.

In addition to the magazine, http://www.caferacermag.com is a one-stop destination
for the latest news about fast, naked motorcycles, both classic and modern.
Following the introduction at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, Cafe Racer
magazine will host additional launches at the Rockerbox festival at
Milwaukee’s Fuel Cafe on August, 9 and at London’s Ace Cafe, during the
annual Ace Cafe Reunion, on September 13.  For complete subscriber and
advertising information, visit the web site right now.

Nationwide Insurance and the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum celebrate Women’s Motorcycle Month

Nationwide Insurance and the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum celebrate Women’s Motorcycle Month

 

Columbus, Ohio – July is Women’s Motorcycle Month, and Nationwide Insurance has teamed with the AMA’s Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum to salute female riders and support all women who enjoy the open road on two wheels.

 

“There are more than 4.3 million women motorcyclists on the road today, and more are joining our ranks every day,” said Beth Hazen, a motorcyclist and Nationwide Insurance agent. “Women’s Motorcycle Month celebrates the pioneers who broke down gender and racial barriers in the early days of motorcycling, and we hope their stories inspire even more women to consider getting out on bikes or scooters this summer.”

 

According to the Motorcycle Industry Council’s most recent research, the number of women motorcycle riders increased 34 percent between 1998 and 2003.  Today, major manufacturers report annual increases in sales to women and actively court female riders.  The Motorcycle Safety Foundation says women make up nearly 30% of students in its learn-to-ride Basic RiderCoursesSM across the United States.

 

Many remarkable women have blazed a path on two wheels. Here, Nationwide salutes four who have been named to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

 

  • Adeline and Augusta Van Buren: In 1916, Adeline and Augusta rode to coast to coast on Indian motorcycles – the first women to make the transcontinental journey solo on two motorcycles. The sisters rode to convince the military that women were capable of serving as dispatch riders. Although they were unsuccessful in that mission, they were able shatter many of the early twentieth century’s stereotypes about women.

 

  • Bessie Stringfield: In the 1930s and 1940s, Bessie – a female, African-American motorcyclist – broke down barriers by completing eight solo cross-country tours and serving as a U.S. Army motorcycle dispatch rider. During these tours, she rode fearlessly through the deep South when racial prejudice was a tangible threat. Bessie rode her first motorcycle, an Indian, at the age of 16 and went on to own 27 Harley-Davidsons.

 

  • Dot Robinson: In the mid-twentieth century, Dot paved the way for women motorcyclists. In 1939, she and fellow motorcyclist, Linda Dugeau, began Motor Maids of America. Today, Motor Maids is thriving and is the oldest motorcycling organization for women in North America. Dot also opened doors for women in motorcycle competition. An enduro racer, in 1940, Dot became the first woman to win in AMA national competition.

 

“These women are inspiring to all riders,” said Mark Mederski, executive director of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. “And, the Hall of Fame encourages motorcyclists to nominate more remarkable women for inclusion.”

 

Women who have been considering two wheels and are inspired by Women’s Motorcycle Month have many resources available to help them learn to ride. Nationwide’s Hazen offers three tips for getting started.

 

 

  • Find a local dealership where you feel welcome and learn about different motorcycles before purchasing. Sit in the saddle and check out the practical aspects, such as making sure both of your feet can easily rest on the ground and determining if handgrips, controls, and mirrors are easy to reach and operate.

 

  • Join a women’s motorcycle club in your area. Not only do these clubs allow women to enjoy the community of riding, many also focus on charity work.