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Electric motorcycles made and designed in Singapore set to rev up Southeast Asia

By General Posts

by Zhaki Abdullah from https://www.channelnewsasia.com

SINGAPORE: Although the COVID-19 pandemic had affected their initial plans, two Singapore-based start-ups are still set on revving up efforts to produce their own electric motorbikes.

This comes as Singapore relaxed its rules on electric motorcycles in April, allowing high-powered motorbikes with power ratings of more than 10kW to be on the roads as part of efforts to encourage the adoption of cleaner vehicles.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused “little hiccups” in its supply chain, said Scorpio Electric’s acting head of operations Muhammad Taureza.

But the brand remains on track to roll out its zero-emission, fully electric smart motorcycles, with no “appreciable delay”, he said, adding that it aims to do so by the middle of this year, or as soon as the COVID-19 situation stabilises.

Scorpio Electric is a brand under Singapore-based EuroSports Technologies, which is backed by SGX-listed EuroSports Global.

Since March, Scorpio Electric has expanded its premises at Teban Gardens to 7,000 sq m. The space includes offices and showrooms, as well as 4,000 sq m dedicated to a factory and warehouse.

This facility is expected to produce about 8,000 electric motorcycles a year, said Dr Taureza.

Although the components will be manufactured elsewhere, Scorpio Electric’s bikes will be assembled at its Singapore location, he added.

Scorpio Electric chief technology officer Tham Kwang Sheun noted that making its motorcycles “smart”, with the use of artificial intelligence and data analytics, will allow them to be even more energy efficient.

“That means that when you get on, the bike will actually have the intelligence to tell you how can you better plan your trips, and how much fuel consumption you’re going to use, accounting for operating conditions,” he explained.

The aim is also for Scorpio Electric to extend this environmental sustainability to its production line, said Mr Tham, noting some of the materials used in the making of motorcycles can be substituted by “bio-derived” materials with “some recyclability”.

The switch to electric motorcycles is “very promising” in terms of reducing carbon emissions in the region, said Mr Tham, who was previously with the Land Transport Authority as the head of its autonomous vehicle programme office.

Motorcycles in Southeast Asia are “typically lagging behind the curve in emissions standards”, said James Chan, co-founder and chief executive of Ion Mobility, which is headquartered in Singapore.

The firm’s other co-founder, Joel Chang, was previously with Scorpio Electric as its chief operating officer before he formed Ion Mobility last year.

“In Singapore, ICE (internal combustion engine) motorcycles are on Euro 4 standards, while Indonesia is still on Euro 3,” noted Mr Chan, referring to the emissions standard introduced by the European Union. The latest standard for motorcycles in Europe is Euro 5, which came into effect this year.

Motorcycles may seem to have better fuel efficiency, but on average, they produce twice as much carbon dioxide per passenger-kilometre over their life cycles when compared to cars, said Mr Chan.

In addition, particulate matter (PM2.5) from motorcycle emissions is taken into consideration due to the sheer number of motorcycles on the roads in the region, he explained, noting that PM2.5 is one of the largest “air pollution culprits” to health costs and premature deaths in Southeast Asia.

Ion Mobility’s electric motorcycles would produce zero tailpipe emissions and play “a big part” in reducing PM2.5 and greenhouse gas emissions produced, added Mr Chan.

Southeast Asia is the world’s third largest market for motorcycles after India and China, he noted, adding that there are currently more than 200 million ICE motorcycles across Southeast Asia.

The company had originally aimed to offer test rides and launch pre-orders for its Model 1 electric motorcycles in Jakarta by the third quarter of 2020, although it had to go back to the drawing board because of COVID-19.

“We aim to launch our Model 1 in Indonesia by early 2021 or sooner, COVID-19 permitting,” said Mr Chan.

Apart from its headquarters here – which will serve as a regional centre for design as well as research and development – Ion Mobility also has offices in Jakarta and Guangzhou. Mr Chan said the company is focused on becoming the top electric motorcycle company in Southeast Asia.

It aims to begin with Indonesia, where 6.5 million new ICE motorcycles were sold in 2019, aiming to claim 1 per cent of the Indonesian market within its first two years of sales.

Scorpio Electric, meanwhile, aims to be a “global brand”, said Dr Taureza.

“We want to be in the same ranks as Apple and Tesla,” he said, although he noted that this needs to be done one step at a time.

As a “homegrown Singapore brand”, Scorpio Electric’s first priority is the Southeast Asian market, primarily Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore, he said.

Although sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have been increasing in recent years, they are still in the minority, making up just 2 per cent of the total vehicle population worldwide.

“The reason why the uptake of EVs generally, whether cars or motorcycles, is low is because the price is expensive, let’s not beat around the bush,” said Dr Taureza, noting that the main reason for this has been battery prices.

However, with battery prices declining in recent years, it is only a matter of time before price parity is reached, he added.

To attract consumers, Mr Chan said the onus is on companies like Ion Mobility to “up our game and offer a compelling product that provides price- and performance-superiority over ICE equivalents without relying on subsidies”.

While both firms welcomed Singapore’s recent measures to accept electric motorcycles here, Mr Chan believes more can be done.

“Certain categories of electric motorcycles should be permitted to charge from normal wall sockets provided they are UL2272-certified,” he said, referring to the fire-safety standard used in Singapore for personal mobility devices such as e-scooters.

“Singapore’s touted network of EV charging stations are also all zoned for EV cars, not EV motorcycles. There is a need to consider the zoning and charging sockets for EV motorcycles too,” he added.

More refinement is also needed in the categorising of electric motorcycles, which do not neatly fit in with existing categories of conventional motorbikes, he said.

“Horsepower and kilowatt power output is not a one-is-to-one relationship,” he explained, adding a more “engineer-centric approach” is needed.

In 2018, Scorpio Electric secured S$2 million from its parent firm EuroSports Global, which promised another S$3 million if certain milestones were met.

Mr Tham said the firm aims to close another round of funding in the coming months, although he declined to provide figures.

“We started our fund-raise in January this year, and in spite of COVID-19, have been able to secure healthy investor demand amidst these tumultuous times,” said Ion Mobility’s Mr Chan.

He declined to provide figures at this time, but Mr Chan noted that it would be able to launch its motorcycle without raising more funds.

When asked how Ion Mobility would fare against other players in the electric motorcycle market, he said such discussions were “premature”.

“There is plenty of room for all of us to coexist, with each player going after different market segments,” he said.

“The real competition, the elephant in the room if you must, is consumer preferences, which have been honed by what Japanese incumbents have offered to them in terms of design, price and performance over the years,” he added.

Scorpio Electric welcomed competition, said Dr Taureza, adding that competition helps the company to “grow and continue to improve”.

He noted that apart from the two new players, established traditional motorcycle manufacturers have also entered the market.

“I think there will be tremendous growth in the EV motorcycle segment next year,” he said.

Reduce duty on Harley Davidson to nil: Report

By General Posts

The report by the US India Business Council (USIBC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said the 0% rate could apply to all motorcycle imports being sold in India over Rs 5 lakh.

NEW DELHI: India should consider bringing down the import duty on high-end motorcycles (that include Harley Davidson motorcycles) to 0% for both complete built up (CBU) units and for completely knocked down (CKD) units, a joint report by two industry lobby groups suggested on Tuesday as part of an overall strategy to boost India-US trade to $500 billion.

The report by the US India Business Council (USIBC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said the 0% rate could apply to all motorcycle imports being sold in India over Rs 5 lakh.

The report has listed out interventions in 13 specific areas, which if resolved, will provide a thrust to trade between the two countries. Interventions range from reinstating Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) benefits by US for India, arriving at a consensus on a pricing mechanism for medical devices, modifications in India’s e-commerce policy, removing high tariffs on steel and aluminium imports by US, fostering greater cooperation in strengthening partnership in defence and aerospace.

“In 2017-18, Harley Davidson sold 3,413 units in India – a decline of 7% from the previous year. For CBU units, India had already slashed duties from 75% to 50% in 2018, but given that the duties apply to a minuscule percentage of the overall trade and for a very niche product, eliminating it altogether would provide a symbolic win for the US,” the report said.

It said issue of price controls for medical devices has invited vigorous discussions and was one of the original reasons why US Office of the Trade Representative (USTR) decided to review India’s eligibility for GSP programme

The report said India’s e-commerce policy, however, has engendered a whole host of issues that impact both domestic and foreign players, including definition of private versus community data, prohibition on cross-border data sharing, mandate to establish data centres holding sensitive data of Indians within the boundaries of India, informed consent, following due legal process in data sharing with Indian or foreign authorities, domestic versus Indian – product definitions; requirement for e-commerce app/websites to set up legal entities in India.

“India must also bear in mind that such a policy could prompt reciprocal action by US and other countries which may demand that the data for their citizens stay within the confines of their geographical boundaries. This could have an enormous deleterious impact on Indian IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies that have grown over the past several decades essentially by processing, analysing and storing sensitive health, financial, insurance etc. information for customers from other countries within India – the US is a major market for such firms and helps generate thousands of jobs in India.”

Harley has to pay huge duty in India, Trump revives import duty debate

“India is probably the highest tariff nation in the world. The United States has to be treated fairly and I think India understands it. We have a large deficit of $24 billion with India and that it is very high”. Trump Said

NEW DELHI: U.S President Donald Trump calls out India-US tariff a problem mentioning the American motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson has to pay high import tariff in India.

While addressing a media conference in Delhi, he said, “India is probably the highest tariff nation in the world. The United States has to be treated fairly and I think India understands it. We have a large deficit of $24 billion with India and that it is very high”.

However, he indicated that a trade deal with India could happen at the end of the year. “Working it out with India on tariffs,” President Trump said.

India reduced the customs duty on complete built-up units (CBUs) from 100 percent to 50 percent in 2019. Even then Trump criticized the import duty and called out “too high” and “not acceptable”.

On the other hand, India increased tariffs on completely knocked down (CKDs) units from 10 per cent to 15 percent. Harley Davidson’s majority of sales come from the CKDs which are assembled in India.

In FY2019, Harley Davidson sold 2676 motorcycles. It sells 17 Models in India which ranges from ₹5.33 lakh to ₹50.3 lakh.

Before Trump India Visit, India proposed a new tariff classification for motorcycles with a cylinder capacity exceeding 1,600 ccs, imports of which will be taxed in single digits.

Ford Mustang driven by Steve McQueen in ‘Bullitt’ sells for $3.4 million

By General Posts

This was the highest price a Ford Mustang ever fetched in any auction.

The 1968 Ford Mustang GT that Steve McQueen drove in the classic car chase from the movie “Bullitt, one of the most famed cars from American cinema, sold for $3.4 million (£2.60 million) at auction in Florida on Friday, Mecum Auctions said.

It was the highest price ever paid for a Ford Mustang at auction, according to David Morton, marketing manager for the auction house in Kissimmee, near Orlando. The buyer has not been publicly identified.

“The hammer dropped at $3.4 million, but with buyers’ fees, the total cost is $3.74 million,” he said, adding it shattered the auction house’s previous record set last year of $2.2 million.

The unrestored muscle car, its “highland green” paint looking rusty and black upholstery splitting apart, starred in a 10-minute sequence in the 1968 film, getting airborne a few times as it sped through the hilly streets of San Francisco.

The car was auctioned without a reserve, or minimum sale price, a risky decision that could have forced the owners to sell low.

McQueen filmed with the window down so viewers could see he was behind the wheel. Although credited as the driver, McQueen actually shared the wheel with Hollywood stunt driver Bud Ekins, according to the movie database IMDB.

Many movie buffs view the chase as ground-breaking for its duration and white-knuckle drama. The sequence forgoes a score in favour of roaring engines and screeching tires. McQueen, playing the no-nonsense police Lieutenant Frank Bullitt, was chasing bad guys who drove a black 1968 Dodge Charger.

After filming, the Mustang was sold to a Warner Brothers employee, and later to a New Jersey police detective. He in turn sold it for $6,000 in 1974 to Robert Kiernan of Madison, New Jersey, who held onto the car until he died in 2014.

Kiernan rejected multiple offers for the car, including one from McQueen himself, according to the New York Times. He left it to his son, Sean.

“I would like to appeal to you to get back my ’68 Mustang,” McQueen wrote to Kiernan in 1977, according to the Times. “I would like very much to keep it in the family, in its original condition as it was used in the film, rather than have it restored; which is simply personal with me.”

McQueen died in 1980 at age 50. Robert Kiernan never responded to McQueen’s letter, which Sean Kiernan still has, the Times said.

Sean Kiernan told Mecum in a promotional video that his mother drove the car until the clutch failed in 1980. It went nearly 40 years without being driven until recently, with 65,000 miles on the odometer, Kiernan said.

Screamin’ Eagle High-Flow Exhaust System and the Complete H-D Experience!

By General Posts

Installing a High Flow Exhaust System On A 2019 Street Glide

Back in September 2018 I had the Harley-Davidson Screamin Eagle Exhaust sitting in a box waiting to go on my new 2019 Street Glide. While out doing some break-in miles, I was struck by a driver illegally making a left-hand turn. While still in my recovery I decided to look for another bike for the exhaust. It’s usually the other way around but hey, what the heck.

I went into Space Coast Harley Davidson, the largest dealer in the world, and met Jon Estep the Sales Associate, a straight shooter and knows his bikes. He helped me browse around the 2019 and 2020 Street Glides, based on my preferences I went with a Vivid Black 2019 Street Glide Special with Tony Ane, the sales manager giving me a great deal without all the haggling.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE TECH ARTICLE IN THE CANTINA

World’s first tattooed motorcycle for sale

By General Posts

Hello,

This is Chris Bienkiewicz from Game Over Cycles (GOC) – a custom bike manufacturer from Poland.

I would like to kindly inform you that our company has put up for sale GOC’s most famous custom machine – The Recidivist, which world’s first tattooed motorcycle.

The price of the motorcycle is 1,000,000 USD. The sale offer can be found on ebay under the following link:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/401870076694

GSM: +48 882 061 648

e-mail: gocpress@gameovercycles.com

Stanisław Myszkowski Game Over Cycles

Ludwika Chmury 4

35-213 Rzeszów

NIP: 793-144-48-72

REGON: 180689157

website: www.gameovercycles.com

http://www.goc-harley-davidson.pl

fanpage: www.facebook.com/GameOverCycles

The latest video presenting bike’s history, concept and all features is available here:

 

Yamaha Expects India to Become its Largest Production Base in 5 yrs

By General Posts

Markets in Indonesia, Vietnam saturating; India priority No. 1, says top executive.

Japanese auto major Yamaha Motor Company (YMC) expects India to overtake Indonesia to emerge as its largest base in terms of production output in the next five years.

“India sells more than 20 million two-wheelers annually and the numbers are growing. Our company’s market share is in single digits. We want to improve this. There is a lot of opportunity,” says Yamaha India Chairman Shitara.

Two-wheeler sales in India increased 6.95% to 19,740,727 units till February this fiscal. In the same period, India Yamaha Motor’s sales remained largely flat at around 732,006 units. The company additionally exported 226,010 units.

Yamaha Motor India’s group chairman Motofumi Shitara was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of MT-15 priced at ₹1.36 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

“India is priority number one for us worldwide. We aim to have production volume of 2.5 million units in India in the next five years,” he said.

Going ahead, Shitara said the company would steer clear of the mass segment and focus on launching premium motorcycles in the domestic market. The company has also commenced a study on introducing electric two-wheelers in India.

Shitara is currently defining the mid-term roadmap for the company till 2025 to lay the foundation on how the brand Yamaha takes shape the country. Apart from growing volumes, Shitara said a focus area for him is to project a strong image for the Yamaha brand in the local market.

Yamaha MT-15 was launched on Friday – a 155cc bike with liquid-cooled four-stroke engine mated to a six-speed transmission. MT-15 is priced at Rs 1.36 lakh ex-showroom. It has ABS and fuel injected variable valve actuation (VBA).

On the idea of electric motorcycles, the Yamaha Chairman says – “Three points are important, one is performance. Second, is price control. And third, infrastructure for battery charging. These three issues we should answer (for electric vehicles to take off)”, Shitara said.