Industry & Legislative Motorcycle News from USA and the world Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) News provides updates on motorcycle industry, market, legislation, rights of bikers, motorcyclists in USA, and motorcycle news from around the world.
The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is a nationwide motorcyclists rights organization serving over 2,000 NCOM Member Groups throughout the United States, with all services fully-funded through Aid to Injured Motorcyclist (AIM) Attorneys available in each state who donate a portion of their legal fees from motorcycle accidents back into the NCOM Network of Biker Services (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).
MILAN (Reuters) – Italian scooter maker Piaggio said on Monday it had set up a consortium with Honda Motor Co., KTM AG and Yamaha Motor Co. to encourage the use of swappable batteries for electric motorcycles and light electric vehicles.
The Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC) aims to broaden the use of light electric vehicles, such as scooters, mopeds and motorcycles, and support a more sustainable management of their batteries, a joint statement said.
It will focus on issues such as battery life, recharging times, infrastructure and costs and will work on defining international standard technical specifications for swappable batteries.
The companies in the consortium said they welcomed others joining them to extend standards to as many companies as possible.
“Urban mobility is going through a delicate transition moment towards electrification. Thanks to this consortium, motorbikes will keep their key role,” Piaggio Chief of Strategy and Product Michele Colaninno said.
Honda’s Motorcycle Operations Chief Officer Yoshishige Nomura said the consortium’s objectives aimed to make electric motorbikes more convenient for clients, as their “use on large scale can substantially contribute to the creation of a more sustainable society”.
Piaggio Group owns iconic two-wheeler brands such as Vespa, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, among others.
Piaggio’s robotics subsidiary in Boston announced the first-of-a-kind sensor in the industry, including 4D imaging radar technology. The new sensor is supposed to increase safety in motorcycle and scooter riding.
Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF) is based in Boston and is owned by the Italian motor vehicle manufacturer. It is a robotics company that develops smart mobility solutions and has a few popular machines on the market, such as the “gita” hands-free following robot that can carry 40 lb of gear for up to four hours on a single charge.
With the help of PFF and Vayyar Imaging, a 4D imaging radar company, a new sensor technology has been developed and it will have several applications. The new hardware-software modules will be used in both consumer and business robots, as well as in motorcycles and scooters.
Piaggio claims its sensor technology is the industry’s first-ever 4D imaging radar-based motorcycle safety platform. It plans to use it for its motorcycles’ Advanced Rider Assistance Systems (ARAS), enabling a bunch of safety functions such as blind-spot detection, forward collision warning, or lane change assist, thus protecting riders.
According to the Italian manufacturer, the sensor incorporates complex, single-chip 4D imaging radar technology, comes with ultra-wide-field-of-view, and supports a range of more than 328 ft (100 meters). It provides mapping and object detection and control, regardless of the lighting or weather conditions.
PFF designed the sensor specifically for motorcycles and robotics, addressing their specific challenges. It is capable of tracking multiple targets and makes sure there are no dead zones that can lead to collisions of any kind.
Piaggio specifies that the new technology will be implemented in PFF’s robots starting at the end of this year. As far as using the module for its own motorcycles, the company says it will happen a bit later, in 2022.
Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF), the Boston-based robotics company controlled by Piaggio Group (PIA.MI) and a leader in smart following technology, has developed new sensor technology for implementation not only in consumer and business robots but also in scooters and motorcycles.
Founded in 2015 by the Piaggio Group, PFF has previously focused on advancing innovation in smart following technology and smart behavior implementation in robots and machines, but in a strategic decision last year, began developing a custom radar sensor module for use first in Piaggio Group motorcycles and scooters with the intention to provide the technology to other companies in the future.
PFF’s hardware-software modules offer uncompromising safety by providing robust monitoring in all environmental and lighting conditions. PFF awarded a supply contract for the modules’ Radar-on-Chip to Vayyar Imaging, marking the deployment of the industry’s first ever 4D imaging radar-based motorcycle safety platform. The complete sensor package is developed, built and supplied by PFF for mass production in Piaggio Group motorcycles’ Advanced Rider Assistance Systems (ARAS).
ARAS applications are on the front line of the battle to prevent collisions and protect motorcycle riders. ARAS technology meets the rigorous technological requirements of traditional driver assist functions, addressing additional motorcycle-specific challenges such as size constraints and seamless vehicle maneuverability at high-tilt angles.
The PFF modules use Vayyar’s mmWave 4D imaging Radar-on-Chip (RoC) sensor, enabling multiple ARAS functions such as Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Lane Change Assist (LCA) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW) with a single sensor supporting a range of over 100m, and an ultra-wide field-of-view. PFF robots incorporating the radar technology are expected to be released at the end of 2021, with Piaggio Group motorcycle models equipped with the PFF sensor module launching in 2022.
“PFF is creating advanced technology products for robots and motorcycles that detect and measure objects in our surroundings to provide the information we need for mapping, object detection, and control, regardless of lighting, weather and other environmental factors. We have chosen to develop our sensing applications with Vayyar’s 4D imaging radar technology. We are excited to work with such a professional, passionate team, to develop innovative new solutions that provide our customers with a better product experience.” Greg Lynn, CEO at Piaggio Fast Forward.
The Vayyar 4D imaging radar technology being used in both PFF robots and PFF sensing modules developed for the motorcycle industry supports a large Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) array that enables ultra-high resolution point cloud imaging for holistic monitoring of a robot’s and a vehicle’s surroundings. This high-performance sensor incorporates sophisticated single-chip 4D imaging radar technology, featuring an ultra-wide field of view (both in azimuth and elevation) with no dead zones, detecting and tracking multiple targets. Its small form-factor is engineered to address the unique challenges of motorcycle and robotics design.
“We’re very excited to partner with PFF, who are at the forefront of sensor technology, both in terms of harmonization with rider experience on two- and three-wheeled products, as well as application in their innovative robots. Motorcycle riders are among the most vulnerable road users, and this is a big step forward in reducing their risk of collision,” says Ilan Hayat, Director of Business Development at Vayyar Imaging. “Regardless of vehicle type, rider safety should not be compromised, and by partnering with PFF we are thrilled to deliver an automotive standard of safety to motorcycles”, added Hayat
With a dry weigh of 187 kg, the Aprilia Tuareg 660 is one of the lightest offerings in its class
The highly competitive middle-weight adventure tourer segment has received a new European entrant in the form of Aprilia Tuareg 660. The Piaggio-owned sportsbike marque has revived its old nameplate with a product which conforms to the original philosophy.
Aprilia Tuareg 660 – Overview
The styling, however, has nothing in common with any of Aprilia’s existing and previous models. The striking front fascia with compartmentalised headlamp cluster and tall windscreen is highly unconventional. With a tall stance, massive fuel tank, comfortable seats and an upward sweeping exhaust canister, the Aprilia Tuareg 660 is a typical adventure tourer which is not afraid to get its tyres dirty.
The Italian motorcycle is equipped with spoke wheels (21 inch front and 18 inch rear), dual-purpose tyres, long-travel (240 mm) upside down front telescopic forks and progressive linkage rear suspension system, twin front discs and a single rear disc. Everything is held together by a trellis frame. The Aprilia Tuareg 660’s hardcore appeal makes it a serious rival to the Yamaha Tenere 700 and BMW F 860 GS.
Engine and equipment
The 660 cc V-twin liquid-cooled engine has been borrowed from the RS660 and Tuono 660. This motor is essentially a twin-cylinder derivative of the iconic RSV4’s unit but on board the adventure tourer, it is tuned to suit the application. Power and torque outputs stand at 80 hp and 70 Nm of torque, and the gearbox is a 6-speed unit.
Aprilia will position its newest offering at the premium end of the segment, and will back it up with a comprehensive suite of APRC electronic gadgetry including traction control, cruise control, engine braking, fuel maps, and so on. The motorcycle will have four riding modes of which two are adjustable, switchable ABS, LED headlamp, and a colour TFT instrument cluster with possible Bluetooth connectivity. The Tuareg 660 weights 187 kg dry and carries an 18-liter fuel tank.
Launch and price
Aprilia has not announced the price of the Tuareg 660 yet but one can expect it to be more expensive than most of its rivals given that it is equipped up to its gills. The Italian brand is expected to launch the motorcycle in international markets towards the end of this year as a 2022 model.
The product will give Aprilia access to the highly lucrative global medium displacement adventure tourer market. The Tuareg has the potential to become the brand’s international best seller in a very short period of time. Could a bigger engined Tuareg be in the pipeline?
Kaspersky has become a sponsor of Aprilia Racing – one of the most successful teams in motorcycle racing history, Partners with Piaggio Group
Kaspersky has become a sponsor of Aprilia Racing – one of the most successful teams in motorcycle racing history. The cybersecurity company’s logos will be placed on the team’s bikes for the entire 2021 season, starting with the first race in Qatar on March 28. The sponsorship comes as part of Kaspersky’s partnership with Aprilia’s parent company Piaggio Group – Europe’s largest scooter and motorcycle manufacturer.
This new sponsorship adds to the cybersecurity vendor’s contribution to motorsport. Kaspersky has been a long-time supporter of talented racers, who the company helps to reach their full potential. The global list of athletes, supported by Kaspersky, includes the first female Emirati racing driver Amna Al Qubaisi, as well as Formula One racer Antonio Giovinazzi.
“Kaspersky is committed to securing the technological progress of the mobility industry and to the development of motorsports. Despite working in different sectors to Piaggio Group and Aprilia, we share the same values of constant improvement, innovation and becoming the best at what we do. I’m sure our partnership will be beneficial for the whole mobility, automotive and motorbike community,” says Alexander Moiseev, CBO of Kaspersky.
Aprilia Racing is the most advanced technological expression of the Piaggio Group – it has won an astonishing 54 world titles, including 28 since the Noale-based manufacturer joined the Piaggio Group in 2005. From its inception, Aprilia Racing has been an extraordinary breeding ground for new talent.
“It is a great honor to have Kaspersky’s name on the Aprilia RS-GP livery this year. Our new partner is a successful name in motorsport and we are sure that MotoGP will represent a wonderful new challenge in this realm. Together, we will be able to enhance talents and honor the true spirit of racing, as both Kaspersky and Aprilia Racing have been able to demonstrate in the course of their history,” says Massimo Rivola, CEO of Aprilia Racing.
The sponsorship of Aprilia is part of Kaspersky’s new partnership with Piaggio Group, which gives one of the world leaders in motorcycle production access to the IT company’s time-proven expertise and the ability to securely use the best of what technology can offer. Kaspersky has long been a household name in automotive cybersecurity – for over a decade it has worked with renowned vehicle manufacturers, as well as developers of connected components.
The consortium will define the standardised technical specifications of the swappable battery system for vehicles belonging to the L-category, mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles.
Piaggio Group on Monday said it has signed a letter of intent with KTM AG, Honda Motor and Yamaha Motor to set up a Swappable Batteries Consortium for motorcycles and light electric vehicles.
The consortium will define the standardised technical specifications of the swappable battery system for vehicles belonging to the L-category: mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles.
The companies will be working closely with interested stakeholders and national, European and international standardisation bodies. The founding members of the consortium will be involved in the creation of international technical standards. The Consortium will start its activities in May 2021.
In the context of the Paris Climate Agreement and the transition to electromobility, the founding members of the consortium believe that the availability of a standardised swappable battery system would both promote the widespread use of light electric vehicles and contribute to a more sustainable life-cycle management of batteries used in the transport sector, the companies said in a joint statement.
Also, by extending the range, shortening the charging time and lowering vehicle and infrastructure costs, the manufacturers will try to answer customers’ main concerns regarding the future of electromobility.
Michele Colaninno, Piaggio Group chief of strategy and product, commented, “With the signing of this letter of intent, the signatories show their proactiveness vis-à-vis the major concerns of their customers and the political priorities as regards the electrification of vehicles.”
An international standard for the swappable batteries system will make this technology efficient and at the disposal of the consumers, added Michele Colaninno.
The EUIPO invalidity division annulled the registration since it was “incapable of eliciting a different general impression” with respect to the registered design of the Vespa Primavera, and pointed out that the registration was an unlawful attempt to reproduce the scooter’s aesthetic elements.
Italian two-wheeler and commercial vehicle manufacturer Piaggio Group, which has significant brand equity in India, has won a battle against the Chinese copy of its iconic scooter Vespa by getting the design of the ‘lookalike’ invalidated by the invalidity division of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The Group’s Baramati facility in Maharashtra produces 3- and 4-wheel cargo vehicles for the the Indian market and export, Vespa scooters for the local market, Aprilia scooters as well as diesel and turbocharged diesel engines for the Group’s commercial vehicles.Piaggio Group, in a statement, said that a design registered by a Chinese party, used to justify the production of scooters similar to the Vespa exhibited at the EICMA 2019 two-wheeler show in Milan, had been declared invalid by the invalidity division of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The alleged copycat has also been removed by the authorities of the Fiera exhibition centre, after a complaint was lodged by Piaggio.
The EUIPO invalidity division annulled the registration since it was “incapable of eliciting a different general impression” with respect to the registered design of the Vespa Primavera, and pointed out that the registration was an unlawful attempt to reproduce the scooter’s aesthetic elements. The Vespa Primavera is protected by the design registered by the Piaggio Group in 2013, by the three-dimensional trademark of the Vespa scooter and by the copyright that safeguards the artistic value of the shape of the Vespa, a style icon since 1946.
The invalidity proceedings were part of the wider activities against counterfeiting undertaken by the Piaggio Group for years. This includes continuous monitoring of the databases of internationally registered designs and trademarks, which, as a result of the opposition proceedings initiated by Piaggio, has led to the cancellation of more than 50 trademarks registered by third parties in the last two years.Piaggio Group, on May 11, said that all its production facilities around the world have resumed operations after the shutdown due to the Covid-19 virus. Production also started up again this morning at the Indian factory in Baramati. In India, the lockdown among dealers ended last week, with the re-opening of around 190 commercial vehicle and two-wheeler dealers, and the subsequent resumption of commercial activities. Piaggio Group’s Italian factories went back to work on May 4, whereas the Vietnamese facility experienced slowdowns in operations due to suppliers but always continued production.
Releasing the first quarter results on May 8, Piaggio Group chair and CEO Roberto Colaninno, said: “Despite the dreadful emergency created by the world pandemic, the Piaggio Group has successfully passed the first-quarter test and is investing in the future in terms of sustainable, technologically advanced mobility for people as well as for goods transportation. 2020 is obviously a complicated year and it is difficult to have any certainties, but every decision is and will be considered very carefully to ensure we maintain adequate capital ratios. I am confident, it couldn’t be otherwise.” Piaggio Group reported a net profit for the first quarter of 2020 of €3.1 million against €7.8 million in the first quarter of 2019. In India in the first quarter of 2020 the Piaggio Group sold 37,400 commercial vehicles, with a reduction of 14.4% in net sales. Piaggio Vehicles Private (PVPL), the Indian subsidiary had an overall share of 24.3% of the domestic three-wheeler market and confirmed its leadership in the cargo segment with a share of 47.2%, up from 44.8% in the first quarter of 2019.
by Abhinand Venugopal from https://www.rushlane.com/
Seeing the success of Royal Enfield in the 250-350cc segment, many motorcycle brands are planning entry with new products.
Royal Enfield is arguably one of the most demanded names in the 350cc category in the Indian motorcycle market. For the same reason, many brands have come forward with their own range of compelling products to take on the Chennai-based motorcycle manufacturer. Now, the Italian automotive brand, Piaggio has revealed its plans to enter the same segment through its Aprilia sub-brand.
Diego Graffi, MD of Piaggio, shares that the company has a lot of interesting in the Indian motorcycle market and sees untapped potential in the 250-350cc market. With Aprilia — the winner of multiple racing championships in the world — under its belt, Piaggio is confident that it can make a strong presence in the market, especially against the likes of Royal Enfield products.
As per data, Indian two-wheeler sales have dropped by 15.74% to 1,28,64,936 units between April to November of the current fiscal year. In turn, Piaggio sales (predominantly, Aprilia and Vespa range of scooters) declined by 16.86% to 48,471 units.
Out of the 7,73,855 motorcycles sold in the 250-350cc segment in the country within the same period, Royal Enfield contributed to almost 99% of the sales, at 7,64,012 units. For the same reason, it makes sense for Piaggio to introduce something that would be much more desirable than the market leader. Mr Graffi commented that this would take time, but is definitely in the plans.
Royal Enfield products have a cult following in the country and some folks even see it as ‘the motorcycle’ over anything else on the market. The charm of a Royal Enfield is its classic styling that can simply overshadow its relatively poor output characteristics and chassis dynamics.
The new Jawa motorcycles and Benelli Imperiale 400 are the only other products that have made an impact on Royal Enfield’s market. Hence, Piaggio’s upcoming 250-350cc products should have an edge over these motorcycles as well — if it is a cruiser or classic.
If it is any other type of motorcycle, the competition will be even tougher due to the presence of main players such as KTM, Yamaha, Bajaj, TVS and even the upcoming Husqvarna.
Aprilia currently sells only the SR and Storm range of 125-150cc scooters in the country. About two years back, the company thrilled motorcycle enthusiasts across the country with the showcase of the Aprilia RS 150 and Tuono 150 motorcycles at Auto Expo 2018. Many awaited for its launch for quite a long time, but only to be disappointed in the end. We hope this won’t be the case with the newly-proposed Aprilia motorcycles.
The Piaggio Group has presented a number of exceptional new motorcycles and scooters from its exclusive brands. The highly anticipated new Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Vespa and Piaggio models were unveiled in preparation for next year.
It’s a new era for Aprilia. Created around a totally new technical base, defined by the 660 parallel twin, comes a new generation of lightweight, high-performance bikes that are sophisticated in design. A return to the mid-sized engine, supported by the electronics and technology of the Aprilia Racing department, to rediscover the pleasure and joy of everyday riding.
The first born in this brand-new generation is RS 660 – premium technical content and advanced but unvarnished performance to rediscover the pleasure of dynamic riding on the road. A sportbike to suit all motorcyclists and that requires no particular experience level or ability. The innovative concept behind the RS 660 project can be summed up by its excellent weight/power ratio that makes for enjoyable riding, whether relaxed or more sports-orientated: 169 kg plus 100hp is the perfect formula for enjoyment on the road.
The Tuono 660 Concept best expresses the new concept of sports versatility introduced by Aprilia with the new family of motorcycles designed around the new 660 cc twin-cylinder that, with the Tuono 660 Concept, is able to deliver 95hp. Thanks to highly sophisticated semi-active suspension, the fastest, most powerful and lightweight RSV4 becomes even more efficient on track and enjoyable on the road. The control unit that governs the Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 suspension has access to all the bike’s electronic systems, meaning it is able to recognise all riding phases and therefore adapt calibration of the fork, shock absorber and steering damper hydraulics thanks to the development of an algorithm, the fruit of collaboration between Öhlins and Aprilia.
Tuono V4 1100 Factory is the most exclusive version in the Tuono range, dedicated to an extremely demanding public and equipped with components that largely derive from the Aprilia RSV4 superbike. The front mudguard, engine cover and side panels of the Factory are now in carbon fibre, a prestigious material that, as well as being lightweight and resistant, is able to boost the level of construction quality, now at a peak. The Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory offers, as standard, the most advanced and efficient electronic suspension system currently available.
Following the critical and public acclaim achieved by the V85 TT, Moto Guzzi presents the Travel version, ready to take to the road with its complete dedicated range of equipment. Featuring, as standard, a higher Touring windshield, a pair of very spacious panniers, a set of heated hand grips, a pair of additional LED lights, and the Moto Guzzi MIA multimedia platform that allows a smartphone to be connected to the vehicle, extending the instrument cluster functions. The Sabbia Namib colour is exclusively dedicated to V85 TT Travel. Making its debut is Moto Guzzi V7 III Stone S, a sportier and more sophisticated interpretation of the Mandello best-seller.
There are also various new models from Piaggio. Piaggio Medley combines the agility of an urban vehicle with the dynamic performance of a high wheel model and the comfort and loading capacity of a big GT scooter. The new design puts the emphasis on sportiness, with a totally redesigned front end, at the centre of which the new vertical element stands out, characterised by a 3D honeycomb grille. Making its debut on the Piaggio Medley is the latest evolution in the family of Piaggio i-get engines, with 125 and 150 cc engine capacity: both are liquid-cooled, with four-valve distribution and electronic injection, and deliver 11 and 12.1kW respectively.
Piaggio Beverly, a leader in the high wheel scooter segment, presents its new 2020 range, available with 300 and 350 cc engines. The latter is the innovative engine with record performance introduced for the first time in 2011 with the top-of-range SportTouring version and now extended to the entire Beverly family, composed of Beverly, Beverly S and the brand-new Beverly Tourer.
Vespa Primavera Sean Wotherspoon is a special edition that expresses all the creative energy linking Vespa and Sean Wotherspoon, one of the most creative and influential designers on the American landscape. Sean takes the steel body of Vespa Primavera and creates a new style dedicated to young urban tribes, but one that can also appeal to a wider audience.