Archive for the ‘eicma’ Category

EICMA Draws Record Consumer Audience

November 9, 2010

Visitors jam the Harley-Davidson exhibit during EICMA 2010 in Milan.

MILAN—Here’s a positive sign that interest among motorcyclists, at least in Europe, is alive and well. Crowds jammed the six-day EICMA show here last week, according to sales figures released by the show management. The numbers are very good, even though retail sales of bikes in Italy are down this year.

According numbers provided by show management, consumer traffic on Thursday was up 5% over the same day last year, 18% on Friday, 24% on Saturday, and 13% on a cold and rainy Sunday. That means attendance topped 500,000 visitors compared to about 450,000 at last year’s show.

Part of the reason for the gains, said EICMA Director Constantino Ruggiero, was the return of exhibitors Honda and Yamaha. Honda played a leading role, holding a huge press conference in the number one spot on the schedule Tuesday to kick off the show.

The show also drew 45,708 trade visitors,  including 12,853 foreigners, and  2,104 accredited journalists. Meanwhile, EICMA’s website also recorded strong gains, climbing from  271,438 visitors  to 340,664 visitors. JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas at
joe@powersportsupdate.com or 612/845-8091

An Interview with Constantino Ruggiero

November 4, 2010

Long-Time Italian Motorcycle Leader Retires

MILAN (Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010)— Constantino Ruggiero, 72, arguably is one of the most influential leaders in the Italian motorcycle industry. He is considered by many to be the grand old man of Italy’s two-wheel industry, everything from bicycles to mopeds and motorcycles. He’s headed the national association of bicycle and motorcycle manufacturers (ANCMA) for 25 years and built its annual equipment show, EICMA, to be the largest of its kind on earth.

Constantino Ruggiero

But now, Ruggiero is moving on; he retires on Jan. 1, 2011. I caught up with this soft-spoken Italian gentleman during one of his hectic days here at EICMA.  Here’s a summary of our conversation, edited for brevity and clarity.

Joe Delmont: Your retirement was a surprise to many. When is your last day in office?
Constantino Ruggiero: My retirement is effective Jan. 1, 2011.

JD: What will you do after you leave office?
CR: Anything I can find. I have to earn money in some way and not get bored. Now we are working in order to live to 120 years of age, so 72 is a very young guy.

JD: How long have you been in the industry?
CR: 25 years at ANCMA and 23 years before that at Pirelli.

(more…)

Opening Day at EICMA’s Motorcycle Show

November 3, 2010

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with the director of EICMA Costantino Ruggiero during opening day ceremonies. It's a memorable show for Ruggiero, who is retiring this year after 25 years as executive director of ANCMA, the Italian motorcycle and bicycle trade association, and head of the group's EICMA show.

Huge show venue covers area of nearly 47 football fields

MILAN — It’s been seven years since I walked this world’s largest motorcycle show,but it seems as though I was never gone.

While much has changed at EICMA, much is the same— the almost overwhelming size, the jammed press conference schedule on the first two days (Tuesday and Wednesday have 21 press conferences) devoted to trade and press representatives. The doors open to the general public on Thursday. By the time this 68th edition of EICMA wraps up on Sunday, Nov. 7, close to 500,000 people will have walked these aisles.

The highlight of the first day, for Italians certainly if not for foreign visitors, was the opening ceremony featuring Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Security seemed especially tight for Berlusconi’s visit this year and made it almost impossible to move through the presentation area in the main administration building that houses EICMA offices and the media room where we do a lot of our work. The media center is set up with computer facilities, and it hosts the drop off area where exhibitors distribute information to the media.

Unlike in past sessions when Italy’s top politicians opened the show with comments related to motorcycles, often discussing transportation issues and plans for boosting Italy’s important motorcycle and bicycle industries, Berlusconi used Tuesday’s event as an opportunity to poke barbs at his political opponents and to talk about general political issues. Recycling,  garbage issues in Naples and proposed wire tap legislation didn’t hold much interest for international guests looking for news about motorcycles.

(more…)

Off To EICMA, World’s Largest Motorcycle Show

October 29, 2010

It’s Friday afternoon, and in a few hours I’ll be boarding Delta flight 258 in Minneapolis headed for Milan Italy and EICMA, the world’s largest motorcycle show.

The show opens Tuesday and runs through Sunday, Nov. 7. I’ll be on the floor most days preparing reports that you can read here.

If you’ve not had an opportunity to visit EICMA, here are some numbers to consider: EICMA, which is open to consumers from Thursday to Sunday, drew 450,000 visitors last year, compared to the Dealer Expo which draws less than 20,000 industry only attendees. This year at EICMA, there will be about 1,100 exhibitors from 35 countries set up in six show halls that cover 505,000 sq. ft.

It’s a busy schedule. Tuesday and Wednesday are so-called trade days. That’s when much of the work gets done because there are no consumers jamming the aisles and clogging the booths.

These are the days when companies announce their new products to the industry and the news media. At this moment, there are 23 press conferences scheduled during the two days, roughly one every 30 minutes from the 10 am opening Tuesday to closing at 4 pm Wednesday.

Interestingly, some of the more savvy and aggressive companies have leaked unofficial information on their products prior to the official introduction in order to maximize coverage in magazines and blogs.

I’ll be working the show with Dealernews Editor-in-Chief Dennis Johnson, who has posted his own summary of the show here so I won’t go into all of those items. But here are some of the items on my To Do list, in no particular order:

  • Participate in selected press conferences, including EICMA’s state of the industry session, and sessions by several of the major OEMs.
  • Check out the Chinese and Taiwanese pavilions. I want see what new companies and products might be coming to the U.S.
  • Visit the U.S. Pavilion to discuss exhibitor plans for selling into the European markets.
  • Identify EICMA’s plans for it’s second motorcycle show in China next year.
  • Talk with Italian motorcycle officials such as Constantino Ruggiero, director of EICMA, who is retiring this year. I want to get his view on the 2011 EICMA-China show and his views on the Italian motorcycle industry.
  • Walk the floor to look for new products and new companies and pick up as many news tidbits as I can.

Okay, I’ll be busy at the show, but I’m also planning to sample some of the great dining and shopping in this buzzing fashion center. After all, I do have to provide a bit of perspective for the Big Show, don’t I? JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas at
joe@powersportsupdate.com or 612/845-8091

Italian Motorcycle/ATV Show Opens in China

June 10, 2010

Friday is Kick-Off Day in Beijing, China, for an innovative new international motorcycle and ATV show and conference driven by—hold on here— the Italian motorcycle industry. “EICMA China—The Motorcycle Show,” runs Friday through Sunday, June 13,2010. It’s the first ever show for EICMA outside of Italy. EICMA is best known for putting on the the world’s largest motorcycle show every November in Milano, Italy, when several hundred thousand consumers and trade representatives walk the floors looking at the latest machines and accessories.

The trade fair and conference being held at the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre of Beijing is an alliance of EICMA and two major Chinese partners: the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Motorcycle (CCCM) and Genertec Advertising& Exhibition Co.Ltd. The goals of the event are to show foreign products to the Chinese market and to bring together representatives of several countries to discuss powersports issues relating to motorcycles and ATVs.

On the motorcycle side, the 6.5 hour China International Motorcycle Industry Summit will focus on emissions and on building the Chinese market for motorcycles. A motorcycle ban was instituted in Beijing in 1985 and expanded has been expanded to more than 170 cities in China. It’s estimated that the ban reduced sales by 4 million units annually.

(more…)

MIC Promotes Use of Off-Road Vehicles in China

March 2, 2010

Participates In Italian-Chinese Trade Show Talks

When representatives of the Italian motorcycle industry announced last November that they intended to launch a major motorcycle show in  China, this year, it caught the attention of Tim Buche, head of the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), the U.S. association of motorcycle, ATV and scooter manufacturers.

“I suggested that there was good value in the MIC facilitating a dialogue on the evolving market for ATVs and similar products in China while I was at the EICMA show last November,” Buche told me last evening. Constantino Ruggiero, managing director of EICMA, agreed. And so the Americans began playing a significant role in putting together this year’s show in China.

EICMA is the huge annual motorcycle show held in Milano, Italy. EICMA is owned and operated by the Italian trade association of motorcycle and bicycle manufacturers and producers of aftermarket parts and accessories (ANCMA). It was founded in 1920 and has more than 170 members. For more information on ANCMA, click here.

(more…)

Dealernews Rides the Vectrix VX-1E & VX-2

January 24, 2009

Electric two-wheeler specialist Vectrix Corp. last week unveiled its VX-1E and entry-level VX-2 scooters, two units that join the flagship VX-1 in the company’s line-up. I rode the two new models this week during a visit to the company’s headquarters facility in Rhode Island.

Vectrix’s VX-1 was introduced in 2007. The 2009 VX-1 will have refreshing new graphics in four colors:

2009 VX-1

2009 VX-1

white/burgundy red, white/metallic silver, white/sapphire blue and white/acid green. The unit weighs in at 515 pounds, has a 60-inch wheelbase and 30-inch seat height, and is outfitted with premium parts like Pirelli tires, a Marzocchi fork, Sachs rear shock and Pro Grip grips.

The only highway-legal electric scooter, the bike has a top speed of 62 mph, acceleration from 0-50 mph in 6.8 seconds, and an average range of 30-55 miles on a single charge. The aluminum-frame unit also features regenerative braking, which uses the energy absorbed by braking to recharge the batteries.

The newly introduced VX-1E uses the same platform and drive train as the original VX-1, yet features a

2009 VX-1E

2009 VX-1E

lower price point and slightly less acceleration and top speed. The difference in price and output comes as a result of its lead-acid batteries versus the VX-1’s nickel metal hydride batteries. Both models plug into a standard 110V/220V outlet, but only the VX-1 also offers regenerative braking.

The VX-1 models are full-size scooters, and feature handling and ergonomics similar to many of the other maxi-scoots I’ve piloted. Since they’re electric, they’re not the fastest scoots, but power lost on the top end is made up in off-the-line acceleration.

I’m 5’10” with a 32-inch inseam and sitting on the stock seat had me balanced on the balls of my feet at a standstill. However, using the lower and narrower accessory seat allowed me to plant both feet firmly on the ground. As for storage space, there’s not much on either unit – due to the eight-foot electrical cord stowed under the seat – but there is room for one full-faced helmet and a top case is available as an accessory.

The VX-2 was designed to be the electric equivalent of a 50cc internal combustion engine bike. It has a

2009 VX-2

2009 VX-2

weight of 429 pounds, a wheelbase of 54.5 inches and seat height of 29.9 inches. It features a 40-50 mile range, 30 mph top speed, and a 48V/20A battery charger that plugs into a standard 110V/220V outlet.

Sourced from China, the VX-2 is similar to the E-Max electric scoot yet carries styling to make it an undeniable part of the Vectrix family. The ergonomics and output are similar to gas-powered four-stroke 50cc units – convenient for putt-putting along surface streets or first-time riders but lacking any real excitement for experienced operators. A “boost’ button that draws more power for increased output to aid hill-climbing ability is a welcome feature, although overuse of it will drain the unit’s battery in a jiffy.

Vectrix’s plans for 2009 also include a new line of accessories for its VX-1 and VX-1E, among them: the previously mentioned lower, narrower seat and top case, a sport windshield about 7 inches lower than standard for riders who like the feel of wind in their face, and a winter windshield nearly 9 inches wider than standard.

The VX-1E is expected to arrive at dealerships in April with an MSRP of $8,495. The VX-2 is to be shipped in June with an MSRP of $5,195.

The 3-wheeled prototype uses an "H" shaped front suspension initially designed by the former Italjet.

The 3-wheeled prototype uses an "H" shaped front suspension initially designed by the former Italjet.

The Superbike prototype was unveiled in 2006 at the EICMA show in Milan.

The Superbike prototype was unveiled in 2006 at the EICMA show in Milan.

Visit Vectrix USA for more information.

Piaggio Debuts 2009 Vespa GTS 300 Super

January 16, 2009

Unveiled for the world at the EICMA show in Milan last November, the
Vespa GTS 300 Super made its North American debut today at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in New York.

The 2009 Vespa GTS 300 Super (MSRP $6,199) is the latest evolution of the company’s best-selling mid-size scooter, the GTS 250.  It’s also the fastest Vespa in the company’s U.S. product portfolio.

Learn more about the scoot here.
vespagts300super

What will Piaggio’s €150 Million Loan Cover?

December 28, 2008

Piaggio & C. S.p.A. recently obtained a €150 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to be earmarked for upcoming R&D activities. But which brand will be on the receiving end of this funding, Piaggio, Vespa, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Gilera or Derbi?

The Piaggio Group’s six brands revealed nearly a dozen concept bikes at the EICMA show in November.

The Derbi DH 2.0 is one of many recent Piaggio Group prototypes.

The Derbi DH 2.0 is one of many recent Piaggio Group prototypes.

Could the loan amount be going toward the realization of some of those models? Could it be that the funding is to be earmarked for Aprilia’s forthcoming World Superbike race effort? Is it possible Piaggio finally plans to expand its Gilera and Derbi offerings?

What about Moto Guzzi? In November, Piaggio’s Moto Guzzi subsidiary merged into the parent company in a move Piaggio leadership said will help leverage industrial, commercial and financial synergies by “rationalizing” the two companies’ technical, industrial, design and style operations.

Guzzi's operation may be a target for investment

Moto Guzzi's operation may be a target for investment.

Erected in 1921, Moto Guzzi’s production facility in Mandello del Lario, Italy, is aging and situated on a limited parcel of land between a cliff side and Lago di Lecco – the eastern arm of Lake Como. A Dealernews visit in 2007 revealed only half of the facility in use, with the remainder in a darkened state of decay.

So, maybe, the Piaggio/MotoGuzzi merger, plus the recent R&D-related loan, signals a pending revitalization of the Guzzi production process.

What are your thoughts?

The Kymco Like — “Classic is one scooter …”

November 26, 2008

OK, Kymco’s already got scooters with names like the People and the Xciting so I guess the Like isn’t that far out there. In fact, it’s the kind of name that definitely sticks with you. What’s the Like look like? It’s profile is even more memorable. This is a pretty sleek looking scooter.

Future retro? Sleek? Whadda ya think?

I don’t have much info on the new 125cc scoot unveiled at the EICMA show in Milan, but what I can gather from the Italian blog Motoblog it’s a 4-stroke machine that cruises around on 12 in. wheels. It also appears that a 2-stroke 50cc version is somewhere around the corner. Can anybody translate some Italian for me because here’s how the translation tool in Sherlock reads the info:

Kymco Like 125/50 is new scooter a style retrò, cured from designer
the Italian Zaniboni Maximum; classic is one scooter, but with one
modern and personal, dry and compact line, ricercatissima in finishes
and the details evoked to you.

Like is born from one deepened study of the history of the scooter of
years fifty and sixty; the new Kymco is a comfortable vehicle and
adapted to every requirement: the wheels from 12 inches render it
perfect for the city traffic, but also ideal for gite outside the door
in the weekend.

Like is introduced in the versions 125cc and 50cc, both movements from
powerful single cylinder 4 times 2 valves, with cooling to air; in
future, version 50cc with motor to 2 times will be also available one.
The refraining system is to double disc (monodisc for the 50cc) and
the equipments are to the top of the category, with complete
instrumentation, beacons you halogenated and wide space portacasco.