International Dealer News IDN 147 February/March 2019 - Page 12

news ROOM Newfren - one of Europe’s BRIEFS clutch aftermarket leaders NEWS ODI Grips (Riverside, California) has signed a product distribution agreement with Technical Touch BvbA of Belgium to serve as the exclusive ODI Powersports Distribution warehouse and fulfilment centre for Europe. “Our goal for ODI is to infiltrate the European market through digital channels, while maintaining the personal, high quality after sales service that our customers are used to,” said Diego Claessens of TT. Completely new B2B and B2C E- Commerce platforms are to be established to support sales to premium dealers throughout the EU. Majority Peugeot Scooter stakeholder Mahindra (the Indian conglomerate bought a 51% stake in 2014) looks set to take the French brand back into the motorcycle market, and not via its upcoming BSA and Jawa plans. Instead the company showed a pair of USD fork concepts - a Cafe Racer and a Roadster - at EICMA that will be powered by the 300 cc liquid-cooled single it uses in its Mahindra Mojo in India or a new jointly Peugeot and Mahindra developed 125. BMW may have turned its back on the concept of the helmet- free enclosed two-wheel scooter when it cancelled it C1 programme, but German manufacturer Govecs says it wants to revive the idea as an e- scooter, with belt, roof and roll cage, meaning it falls outside of the requirements for the driver to wear a motorcycle helmet, with launch scheduled for 2021. Italian brakes and clutch specialist Newfren says that “no other aftermarket spare parts company can boast such a large catalogue of applications and such long experience in the production and sale of clutch sets for motorcycles and mopeds”. IDN was speaking with company CEO Valter Barbero on the company’s booth at EICMA in November and he told us that “the range of Newfren clutches has grown both technically and in terms of the spread of applications we offer - we have grown in parallel with the development of the OEM model ranges and are always one of the first to have updated applications available for the new models of motorcycles and scooters each year.” Barbero explained that participating with leading race teams at the highest levels of moto sport has been the driver for Newfren’s ability to constantly be developing ever more reliable, durable and better performing clutch plates. “Teams such as Ducati have entrusted the development of their clutch plates to Newfren, so having the fate of the SBK World Championship dependent on your R&D and being able to help Carlos Checa take the top of the podium is a fantastic spur to excellence.” Newfren has been the clutch plate technical partner for Moto3 ever since The motorcycle industry trade association in Austria (Arge 2Rad) says that one in every nine Austrians aged 15 or older has a motorcycle, and that the motorcycle industry there is worth 2.9 billion euro in total added value to the Austrian economy. FK Motors Europe is a newly established Germany based import subsidiary for Chinese ‘Major’ Fekon. Initial offers will include three new 125 cc units developed specifically for the western market, including the FK 12 SF Street Fighter – all, initially, being sold in the German market. Fekon has four factories in China with a production capacity of up to 500,000 machines a year. 12 INTERNATIONAL DEALER NEWS - FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019 the series made its debut, and Barbero said that “the technical challenges in a new series are intense, but we here at Newfren were able to ensure drivetrain reliability thanks to our deep understanding of friction materials and the dynamics of power transfer - understanding that is based on decades of experience”. The company was founded in the 1950s by Alessandro Barbero, and in recent years Valter has invested heavily in new manufacturing technology at the 65,000 sq ft facilty/100,000 sq ft site near Turin. Ahead of industry requirements where environmental manufacturing and compound formula requirements are concerned, Newfren has been granted UNI EN ISO 9001-2000 certification for its quality control systems and ABE certification from the German KBA for many of its products. As part of a continuing process, they are on the way to obtaining environmental certification ISO 14000. The company made its start in the brake shoe market and Valter says it still offers “the most complete catalogue of motorcycle and scooter brake shoes in Europe.” Specialists in the world of clutch systems, such as STM, have found Newfren to be a unique partner in Europe, allowing them to create cutting edge, high-tech complete clutch systems for the most demanding high-performance applications. “But we are also a partner for the passionate street and off-road biker who wants a great product at the right price,” says Valter. The current range includes three product lines - standard OE replacement, performance upgrades and the top-of-the-line ProRace high performance programme - meaning they have all three of the primary sectors of clutch plate demand researched, designed and in production. “For passionate BMW owners, for example, we offer a high-quality dry single-disc clutch that is already a top- seller - very popular with BMW owners, dealers and independent specialists. “For the specialised needs of Vespa enthusiasts, we have been producing and distributing model- specific clutch designs since the '60s - from standard replacements up to performance upgrades for the high demands of urban riding and special designs and formulations for racing.”