Tuesday, March 5, 2024
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Whoop boots


Acerbis believes the perfect boot for riding in motocross or enduro must be protective, lightweight and durable as well as offer freedom of movement and sensitivity. It also believes its new Whoop boots incorporate all these features, together with premium style and design.

The shin guards protect the front of the leg, while the heel area is protected by a moulded structure that absorbs shocks. The jointed cuff reduces lateral ankle flexing, ensuring mobility and sensitivity. The toe area design reduces the height between the sole and the shift lever. Fastening is managed by four aluminium levers with ample adjustment possibilities and a convenient unidirectional upper Velcro fastener, which allows perfect adherence of the gaiter to the leg simply by closing the upper lever.

The boot’s interior has a fabric 3D mesh padding, which promotes ventilation and air circulation. Inside is a rubber insert, resistant to high exhaust temperatures. The anatomical footbed is designed to reduce impacts during landings from jumps. The Acerbis anti-shock two-component sole is designed to withstand the wear and tear caused by the aggressive action of the bike’s foot pegs, offers protection from accidental impacts and is oil and petrol-resistant.

The Whoop boots are available in three colours: orange/black, black/white and grey/fluo yellow, in Euro sizes 39 to 47, for a SRP of £249.99.
Acerbis UK
01582 491076

Moped decline continues

2023 motorcycle registrations data from key European markets.

The market for larger-engined PTWs (defined as any machine over 50cc by ACEM) continues apace. The combined French, German, Spanish, Italian and UK markets (Europe’s five largest) are now a healthy 11.8% ahead of where they were in 2022, and show a 28.7% increase over the last five years – the sort of improvement UK dealers can only dream of. Electric machinery is having a tough time in the UK, and battery-powered bikes are also proving to be a trickier sale across the Channel than has been the case, resulting in a slight fall in overall market share to 3.2%, down from 4.2%.

The combined largest moped markets (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK) continue to decline, resulting in a fall of a quarter (25.0%) compared to last year. Germany and the Netherlands are mostly to blame for the decline, posting 40%-plus reductions year-on-year, but none of the top-six nations showed any positive figures. Registrations of electric-powered mopeds reduced proportionally, so the market share of battery bikes was largely unaffected.

Polaris expands in Scotland


Polaris Off-Road has added Forfar dealership Gammies Groundcare to its UK dealer network. Gammies provides its services across a 50-mile radius, including Angus, Fife, and Aberdeenshire areas.

Founded in 1968, Gammies Groundcare supplies a huge variety of equipment, including lawn, garden, agricultural, horticultural, and ground care equipment,and has now expanded the range to offer Polaris off-road vehicles.

It will offer the full Polaris line-up, including the Ranger, Sportsman and RZR brands and the youth line-up. In addition Gammies will provide servicing, repair and maintenance services both on site and in the workshop.

Putoline N-Tech

A new, allegedly greener, range of oils is being developed by Putoline. The first commercially available product to hit the market is N-Tech BBR+,  which combines the brand’s N-Tech additive technology with a more eco-friendly base oil made of 50% bio-based synthetic esters and 50% re-refined oil. This is said to reduce CO2 emissions during production significantly while maintaining the performance required by race teams – Ten Kate Racing helped with testing duties, as well as achieving the latest API SN and JASO MA2 specifications.

Hoco Parts UK;
01484 641073;
[email protected]


A snapshot of motorcycle and ATV industry share performance across key manufacturers and major global markets at the trading week closure on Friday 1 March 2024. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.


Bemused analysts don’t know whether to admire or fear the rampant distortion of New York markets by a handful of seven utterly minted NYSE-listed tech stocks leading the blue-chip S&P 500 even further up a garden path of false promise, or the tech-dominant NASDAQ Composite, which hit an all-time record high in the past week. Respectively, these two indices boasted weekly advances of 0.7% and 1.7%, adding to uninterrupted remorseless gains since last autumn.

A pair of notable NASDAQ ePTW stocks were among the beneficiaries — Energica parent Ideanomics and Chinese delivery scooter upstart Niu Technologies. But elsewhere, ordinary US manufacturing mortals were mixed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average actually fell by 0.1%. And although S&P’s MidCap 400 collectively blossomed by a muscular 1.8%, its biker stocks weren’t consistently attractive. Harley-Davidson shares declined for a second week on the trot, as did those of its electric motorcycle spin-off LiveWire.

Currency: dollarPriceWeekMonth
Polaris Industries93.46+1%+3.3%


Niu Technologies1.81+5.8%+7.1%



Latest eurozone consumer price inflation data from France, Spain and Germany offered few surprises, with figures falling steadily. However, services price inflation remained stubbornly strong. European market analysts increasingly opined that trader concerns would shift towards economic growth rather than inflation, with much more focus on credit delinquencies, jobs data and manufacturing productivity.

Key market indices reflected such optimism. Germany’s Dax Xetra in Frankfurt rose by 1.8% to touch a record high and the Borsa Italiana FTSE MIB in Milan added 0.7%. From a motorcycling perspective, razor-sharp BDN commentators still impatiently await annual results statements from German beancounters at BMW Motorrad and Volkswagen subsidiary Ducati, and the chaps who measure Piaggio spaghetti at Pontedera.

Currency: euroPriceWeekMonth
Pierer Mobility47.80N/A-2.4%
Piaggio Group3.14-1.3%+1.6%



The upwards surge of Tokyo and Osaka’s Nikkei 225 index continued unabated, a 2.1% weekly rise taking it even closer to an almost unimaginable 40,000 points. However, motorcycle-related listings were mostly off the boil. Instead, investor enthusiasm concentrated on semiconductor and robotics stocks. That might go some way to explaining why Kawasaki Heavy Industries bucked the biker trend — given its parallel presence in those fields of electronic endeavour.

Currency: yenPriceWeekMonth



Mumbai’s S&P BSE Sensex 30 and NSE Nifty 50 market indices managed only respective 0.3% and 0.6% gains, as a wave of political unrest threatened to destabilise prime minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist party. Thousands of irate tractor-mounted farmers, who believe they have been short-changed on promised government subsidies, headed for Indian capital Delhi in a vast convoy.

Surprisingly, given an approaching General Election, Modi didn’t try to appease them. Instead, he unleashed the riot police and their protest temporarily ended in tears — or rather tear gas — about 100 miles outside of Delhi. They haven’t gone home, though, and reinforcements are expected to resume battle shortly.

Currency: rupeePriceWeekMonth
Hero MotoCorp4507.10-0.3%-4.5%
Bajaj Auto8040.05-4.7%+3.9%
TVS Motor2242.60+6%+9.6%
Eicher Motors3843.55-2.1%+0.5%



Consistent weakness in China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index grew worse in February, racking up pressure on President Xi Jinping to take far stronger action to boost growth. This key PMI has been in contraction territory for five consecutive months — and every month since March 2023 except last September.

However, stimulus intervention, much of it through covert State-funded stock acquisitions, have already buoyed equities to some extent after markets sank to multi-year lows in the past month. But the effect on indices is now fading. This week, Shanghai’s SSE Composite gained just 0.7% and the blue-chip CSI 300 put on only 1.4% — versus respective advances of 4.8% and 3.7% in the previous week — suggesting the stock-purchase programme has run out of steam.

Most listed Chinese motorcycle manufacturers have exploited this recovery phase, to greater or lesser extents. But a lot more export finance hand-outs will be required to get China’s economy back on its feet.

Currency: yuanPriceWeekMonth
CETC (Jialing)12.73+5.7%+27.4%
Guangzhou Auto8.88+2%+9.4%
Xinri E-Vehicle10.12+4.1%+11.9%




DfT gives £70m boost to UK fast EV charging network


The UK government has announced an extra £70m to build more electric vehicle fast charging points across the country. The money is part of a pilot scheme announced by transport secretary Mark Harper, which will focus on getting more chargers onto motorway service stations in particular. The project is also launching a consultation on where the chargers are most needed.

2024 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition


Make no mistake, this is the real deal – a works ride. It’s a highly evolved and modified spec of the production model KTM 450 SX-F, orientated even more towards pure performance, with upgrades tried, tested and selected through use in competition. The SX-F Factory Edition can be easily identified thanks to the orange powder-coated frame, a feature typically reserved for the ‘works’ machinery.

So, what does the new 450 SX-F have to offer? First of all, the Connectivity Unit Offroad (CUO) is an important new addition. This two-part system is mounted between the fork legs – protected by the new shape of the number board – with a GPS component fixed onto the redesigned front mudguard. It enables a wealth of easily adjustable options for engine performance and suspension settings via the KTM Connect App and opens up numerous new customisation options and the ability to personalise preferences without needing external specialised help. But that’s not all, an official affiliation with timing app provider LitPro will assist riders in examining their lines, speed, gearing, and a lot of other information to make their lap times hit the mark.

The new chassis has been a key focus during development. It features varied frame wall thickness and cutaway sections to enhance flexibility and reduce weight, and repositions rotating mass toward the centre of gravity, improving traction out of corners and giving enhanced anti-squat behaviour. Handling adjustments include new CNC-milled, orange anodised, rubber-damped triple clamps made from high-grade aluminium, WP suspension, an Akrapovič slip-on exhaust and a Brembo braking system. Plus, it comes with all the bolt-on goodies that most owners would consider fitting included in the SRP of £11,449.

SIP Vespa instruments

You can now bring a little high tech to Vespa T5/TX models without ruining the retro looks, with SIP’s new instrument clusters. Designed to replicate the aesthetics of the original instrumentation, the new display has analogue speed, rev and fuel gauges, along with two digital displays that can show numerous useful readings, from exhaust gas temperature to average speed, voltage to gear position. Warning lights include high and low beam lighting, indicators and low fuel warning. The backlight illumination is adjustable for brightness through five levels, and an internal memory means that all settings and odometer readings are maintained when the scooter isn’t in use. SRP is £230.60.

SIP Scootershop;
+49 (0) 8191-96999-69;
[email protected]

Next gen Can-Am ATVs at LAMMA


Can-Am elected to release its new utility models at the LAMMA show at the NEC in January. This comprised the Can-Am Outlander 500 (HD5) and Can-Am Outlander 700 (HD7) models, which spearheaded a selection of ATVs and SSVs from the 2024 Can-Am utility line-up. These new models have been designed and developed from the ground up by BRP’s engineers to provide an improved rider experience thanks to increased performance, comfort, storage and versatility, so they can handle the demands of utility users with ease.

The new Outlander Base Pro HD5 T is a work-ready vehicle that provides the user with consistent performance with the help of class-leading power from the all-new Rotax engine, ground clearance, suspension travel, towing and rack capacity. The Outlander Pro XU HD7 ABS puts out 50hp and 41ft-lb of torque, so climbing, towing and carrying are now more accessible and more efficient.

To complement the ATVs on display was Can-Am’s SSV line-up, which includes the Can-Am Traxter HD7 and Traxter 6×6 DPS HD10. The Can-Am Traxter HD7 provides users with consistent performance for longer, thanks to its 40-litre fuel tank. The Traxter 6×6 DPS HD10 is a workhorse SSV that handles everything from hauling machinery to transporting workers and equipment to job sites while providing owners with the comfort, power and performance that is expected from a Traxter.

Rachael Turner, BRP commercial manager in the UK and Ireland, said, “The LAMMA show is one that our team circles in the calendar because it brings together a wide-ranging audience under one roof, from students studying at college to smallholders to large landowners. We are excited for the UK show debut of our new ATVs, the Can-Am Outlander 500 and Can-Am Outlander 700. These two models are the latest evolution of the Outlander line-up and have been designed from the ground up with the user in mind.”



The clock is definitely ticking. A purely petrolhead swansong has begun. But currently, thunderous motorcycling internal combustion lives on. Courtesy of rights owner Dorna, the 2024 season’s Moto 3, Moto 2 and MotoGP championships are set to be exclusively powered by fuel featuring a significant filthy fossil hydrocarbons reduction…

Read the On the Money column here