Thursday, 31 January 2013

BMW sells Husqvarna motorcycles to Pierer Industrie AG (Austria)

The BMW Group is realigning its BMW Motorrad business. BMW says that in the context of changing motorcycle markets, demographic trends and increasing environmental demands, BMW Motorrad is "expanding its product offering to exploit future growth potential".

BMW says that the focus of the realignment will be on urban mobility and e-mobility. By restructuring the segment, the BMW Group wants to  concentrate on expanding the BMW Motorrad brand. Therefore the BMW Group has signed a purchase agreement for Pierer Industrie AG (Austria) (owned by KTM Promoter Stefan Pierer) to acquire Husqvarna Motorcycles. The acquisition will proceed subject to approval by anti-trust authorities. Both companies have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

Bike of the week - Honda CB125

The 1970s saw the inexorable rise of the Japanese motorcycle as it became ubiquitous on the streets of the UK.  Because they were simple fuss free, cheap to buy, fuel efficient and very reliable compared to larger UK bikes and US imports, Japanese motorcycles quickly moved in to take a great share of the UK motorcycle market.

One of those bikes which found instant favour with the UK motorcycling public was the Honda CB125 which came onto the scene in 1971.  Here is a bit about that well loved, stylish and efficient little workhorse.

Cooper And Centurion to build on strong 2012 motorcycle TT performance

Motorcycle road racer Dan Cooper, after successful 2011 and 2012 TT performances, is teaming up once more with Centurion Racing from Cornwall and Monster Energy, for the 2013 Isle of Man TT.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

French breathalyser test fines for motorcyclists postponed - again

Well the much vaunted French Breathalyser law which was due to be implemented at various ever-changing dates throughout last year and then in March this year has now, it would seem, been put on hold again.

In a nutshell the proposed law said that motorists - motorcyclists and car drivers - had to carry two unused breathalyser kits in their vehicle at all times ready to test themselves if they were stopped by police and would be fined if they were stopped and were not carrying breathalysers. If you haven't heard about this proposed law before and you want the full back story then you can look back to our earlier stories about it - the links are at the bottom of this page.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Suzuki motorcycles - Strijbos wins at Mantova Motocross

Strijbos in flight

It's a win, or three, for Rockstar Energy Suzuki MX1's Kevin Strijbos at the International Motocross of Mantova in Italy, the first of three pre-season races that the team will attend.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Roger Etcell joins Bonhams Motorcycle department team

Ex-head of Honda UK, Roger Etcell join Bonhams auctioneers motorcycle team as a consultant, specialising in Japanese and modern motorcycles.

Suzuki motorcycle racer Camier's wrist operation a success

FIXI Crescent Suzuki motorcycle team's Leon Camier has had minor surgery in Spain to successfully remove a screw from his wrist.

Camier broke his wrist during qualifying practice for the German World Superbike round at the Nurburgring in 2010. The Englishman had reconstructive surgery at the time to repair the injury to enable him to get back racing as soon as possible, but has been troubled with pain and discomfort when riding over the last six months.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

TT Legends & Grand Prix Racer, coming soon on ITV4

There are a couple of new televisual highlights coming up for motorcycle fans in February on ITV4!  One is a documentary series about motorcycle TT racing which does what it says on the tin - details the 'behind the scenes world' of the TT  - from the viewpoint of the Honda TT Legends Team.  TT Legends is an eight-part series which will debut on ITV4 at 8.30pm on Monday 4th February, 2013.

 The other treat is a one-off documentary called 'Grand Prix Racer' which was filmed during the 2012 Manx Grand Prix, and gives an in-depth insight into this famous and gruelling race.   Grand Prix Racer will air on Tuesday 5th February at 8pm so don't let the two-for-one pizza in the pub tempt you out on Monday or Tuesday in early February, sit back and enjoy the ride!

Proposed motorcycle ban on French mountain passes

There's a move afoot in France to ban access to some of the high mountain passes in the Vosgi to motorcyclists during weekends.  

Alain Perret, who is Prefect of the Lower-Rhine region in France, wants to bring this measure in on most of the Vosges mountain passes during weekends. These are the mountains which pass between Nancy and |Strasbourg and over into Germany and attract a lot of tourists to the region.  The only high passes which will be exempt from this proposed law are:  Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, Bonhomme and Bussang.

Wheels to Work Association motorcycle scheme launched

The newly formed Wheels to Work Association (W2WA) held its first annual conference at the National Liberal Club in Whitehall Place, London on Thursday January 17th

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Small motorcycle sales on the rise in 2012

Suzuki VanVan
The Motorcycle Industry Association have published figures this month (January 2013) which show that there was a further rise in new motorcycle registrations - particularly for small motorcycles and scooters in 2012. The main sellers, for the second year running, were 125cc motorcycles. The MCI attributes this to the fact that this is a great sized bike for commuting because it's economical, great in traffic, easy to park and is accessible to young riders as well.

Wet test for Suzuki Motorcycles in Spain...

Camier making waves!

FIXI Crescent Suzuki are giving a positive twist to the first wet test day at the eni FIM Superbike World Championship Motorcycle test at Jerez in Spain.  They are seeing it as a chance to collect valuable information for wet weather conditions for the season ahead.

Cardenas to join Clarke at Yoshimura Suzuki

AMA SportBike Champion Martin Cardenas to join returning rider Chris Clark, in the Yoshimura Suzuki AMA Pro Superbike Motorcycle Championship this season.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Bike of the week - Yamaha TDM 850

The YAMAHA TDM 850 was born in 1991. Looking like a crazy and slightly angry insect with its pair of googly eyes and its rather cross down-turned eyebrows, it was destined to be a very underrated bike which never really got the acclaim which it deserved.


Monday, 21 January 2013

WMD gets certificate of Merit at Expo 2013

Yesterday, WMD, World's End Motorcycles Distribution, was awarded a certificate of Merit in the Wholesaler of the Year BDN (British Dealer News) Awards at the NEC.

The Awards were made at the Motorcycle Trade Expo 2013 which is on now, 20th-22nd January 2013, at the NEC in Birmingham.

We are so proud!

wmd - World's End motorcycles distribution


Wayne Rooney's diamond-encrusted motorcycle is up for sale

A motorcycle designed by Manchester United and England footballer Wayne Rooney is expected to fetch between £40,000 and £60,000 when it is sold by Bonhams in aid of charity in February 2013.
 The 2012 Lauge Jensen cruiser-style machine, designed by the world-famous striker and custom-made by the Danish motorcycle manufacturer will go under the hammer at the Bonhams auction of Sports Memorabilia in Chester, UK on Wednesday 20th February, with 100 per cent of the sale amount going to KidsAid, a Danish charitable foundation that helps young people affected by illness.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

BMW Activity Brochure - What's new for 2013?

Things are beginning to wake up in the world of motorcycling and manufacturers are getting ready to tempt motorcyclists with all that's new for 2013.  BMW is no exception with the publication of their 2013 World of BMW Activity Brochure. It is packed full of tours, off road riding experiences and on road training courses to look forward to and is available from dealerships or on line. Here's a little preview some of the information it contains.

BEN Motorcycle Rally dates announced for 2013

BEN is a UK charity which helps people who have worked or still work in the automotive industry.  The charity offers all sorts of support to these automotive workers or ex workers and their families and dependants, including: nursing support or residential care for older people and practical emotional or financial support to families.

BEN do various fundraising activities throughout the year and they have just announced one of the most exciting ones - the BEN Motorcycle Rally which is taking place in June this year.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Some race updates from Suzuki race teams in the US....

Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe

Max Anstie continued his 2013 World MX2 pre-season training programme by fighting back from eighteenth position in Saturday's second round of AMA/ FIM World Supercross series at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.

The nineteen year old Briton put in a promising practice and qualifying session, finishing sixth in his heat which placed him in the Main Event, held in front of a packed crowd of 50,109.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

First FIM Motocross GP in the Middle East

Youthstream’s President Mr Giuseppe Luongo has travelled to Qatar to meet  Mr Nasser Khalifa Al Attya, President of the QMMF, before the celebration of the first FIM Motocross Grand Prix in the Middle East. This event is taking place at Losail International Circuit on the 1st and 2nd of March 2013.

The road-legal, two stroke sports-motorcycle is back!

The rural Lancashire market-town of Longridge, at the foot of the scenic Ribble Valley is not the obvious place to foster the re-birth of the manic, frenzied and ever-so-slightly anti-social two-stroke sports bike, but that’s exactly what has happened.  Hugh and Debbie Davies, founders of the Peregrine Motorcycle Co. Ltd. have undertaken this project, and the fruit of their labour is already causing a stir amongst enthusiasts who mourn the passing of LC’s, TZ’s, RG’s, NSR’s and the like.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Suzuki Motorcycles strengthens 2013 IDM Superbike Team

Suzuki International Europe will enter this season's 2013 German IDM Superbike and Supersport Championships with a new and stronger team at the opening round at EuroSpeedway Lausitz in April.

Scott Squirrel rides again - en France!

The maiden voyage of the Scott Squirrel - look it's sunny over there!

For  those of you who have been following the story of Andy's globetrotting Scott Squirrel motorcycle and its rebuild in France, where it now lives, here's the latest episode.  After all his hard work (talk about job satisfaction though!) he set off for a ride and here's how it went...

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Honda launches new MSX125

Honda is launching a new MSX125 (Mini Street X-treme 125).  This is a new leisure motorcycle for the youth market, which will be on sale in the UK in the late Spring of 2013.

The MSX125 carries on the tradition of the original, small-wheeled leisure motorcycle, like Honda's 1963 Monkey, Dax and then Ape.

The MSX125 is small enough to be manageable but feels bigger courtesy of some standard sized motorcycle parts. It is part mini-bike, part motorcycle, with engaging performance matched to confident handling.

The MSX125 has  a 125cc fuel-injected 4 stroke engine and features a motorcycle-style four-speed gearbox and clutch.

Complementing the power train is a compact chassis with a sturdy steel frame, inverted front forks, monoshock rear suspension, hydraulic disc brakes (front and rear) and lightweight 12-inch wheels with wide, low profile tyres.

Information : Honda Press Office


BMW Motorcycles - great sales for 2012

BMW have recorded great sales figures for 2012 With a total of 106,358 motorcycles sold - up from 104,286 for the year before.

BMW Motorrad sold more motorcycles in 2012 than ever before in its nearly 90-year history, a pretty impressive fact in what has been a difficult year for many manufacturers economically.

In December, 6,069 Motorcycles were sold worldwide, which reflects an increase of 43.4% over the same month in 2011 (4,232).

Husqvarna alone sold 10,751 motorcycles in 2012 that's 15.8% up on the previous year's figure of 9,286.

Nice to hear about a motorcycle success story, it seems that motorcycles are holding their own in difficult times, perhaps due to their fuel economy, their ability to beat the traffic on overcrowded roads and ease of parking once they get to their destination.

Figures and information from BMW press office


Motorcycle Sidecars - Three Wheels Good!




They’re as rare as the proverbial rocking horse excrement these days; an eccentric hangover from the days when they were a common sight, and served as daily and family transport for men in long coats.

But in an engineering workshop down Aylesbury way, there lives a man whose waking hours and thought processes revolve around the production of modern, innovative, and beautifully crafted ‘chairs’ for those who need or enjoy riding with a ‘third wheel’.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Anstie in action on a Suzuki motorcycle at Anaheim 2013

Anstie in action

Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe's new MX2 team rider Max Anstie raced his RM-Z250 to ninth position in the 250cc motorcycle Main Event at the opening round of the AMA/ FIM World Supercross series at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California at the weekend.

AJP - New motorcycles for 2013

Picture the scene, the sun is shining (hard to imagine that at the moment I know but it will happen!) and thoughts are turning to the Spring and the off road fun to be had riding those ruts and trails when the rain, snow and ice has finally stopped. Or if you are already a truly hard core off roader you will have been riding off road all winter and probably went to the Boxing day Wild and Woolly Scramble and the Mablethorpe Beach Race at least this Autumn and Winter.  Or you may not have ridden off road before but fancy getting out in the fresh air and giving it a go for 2013. If any of these applies to you and you are interested in treating yourself to a new off road motorcycle for 2013 then here are a few from AJP that might interest you as you head for the hills once more - and some on road motorcycles for urban use as well...

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Dakar Rally - Stage Three, Pisco - Nazca 247 Kilometres

Stage Three of the Dakar Rally took place yesterday from Pisco in Peru to Nazca - a distance of 247 kilometres and reputed to be the hardest stage of the Dakar rally.  Not surprisingly several of the racers experienced difficulties during this stage.

Monday, 7 January 2013

The Dakar Rally is GO! Motorcycles spring into action in Pisco

The Dakar Rally 2013 sprang into action in Peru this weekend with a flying start for the Dakar riders in stages one and two as they negotiated boiling temperatures, slippery dunes, dust and getting lost in Peru.

Suzuki - mixed fortunes at Monster Energy Supercross CA

Suzuki's James Stewart enjoying himself

Angel Stadium in Anaheim in California was full to capacity as the crowds eagerly awaited the opening round of the 2013 Monster Energy Supercross Series season on Saturday.

Suzuki unveiled its new Dodge/ Sycuan Casino/ RCH Racing/ Bel-Ray/ Suzuki Racing Team at the event, but had a mixed bag of results in Saturday's round.


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Lieber to race in the Le Touquet Beach Race

Rockstar Energy Suzuki's new MX2 signing Julien Lieber will race in the 2013 Le Touquet Beach Race in France on February 3rd.

Lieber will trade his RM-Z250 for a modified factory RM-Z450 for the gruelling three-hour L'Enduropale; an event won by Rockstar Energy Suzuki's Steve Ramon in 2011 and a second by the team's Tanel Leok in the snow-hit 2012 event.

Suzuki MX teams train in Portugal

Rockstar Energy Suzuki MX1 and MX2 Europe team riders haven't been sitting in eating pies this winter, but have been on an intensive training course in Portugal to get them fighting fit for the race season.

The first outing on the calendar is rapidly approaching - it's the Starcross of Mantova International in Italy on January 27th.

The Wild and Woolly Scramble - Boxing Day 2012


On Boxing day morning bright and early, the 87th Wild and Woolly Charity Scramble, organised by the Northampton Motor Cyclists Club was about to begin!

With blue sky, sunshine, and  a temperature hovering around five or six degrees; enthusiasts had come to witness one of the oldest and most outrageous motorcycle races devised by two wheel and an engine afficionados.

They came in their hundreds across the fields, through glutinous mud churned ankle deep by farm and other vehicles; and were as enthusiastic as a Glastonbury audience slogging determinedly towards the main stage.

Most had come prepared, clad in motorcycle boots or wellies, but a worrying number were trying to keep their footing in trainers that would need to be hosed or destroyed after the event.