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2024 adalah tahun yang penting bagi Piaggio kerana mereka meraikan ulang tahun ke-140 mereka. Piaggio bermula pada 1884 dan sejak itu telah memiliki jenama Vespa, antara lain. Jadi, Piaggio menyeru Vespa untuk mencipta Vespa 140th of Piaggio.

Untuk memperingati pencapaian penting itu, hanya 140 unit akan dibina, menjadikannya Vespa yang paling terhad keluarannya. Ia hanya boleh ditempah antara 18 hingga 21 April, bertepatan dengan Vespa World Days Rally 2024.

Vespa 140th of Piaggio diserikan dalam tema putih dan biru, sebagai penghormatan kepada warna korporat Piaggio. Beberapa komponen lain juga menggunakan warna ini seperti tempat duduk dan roda.

Seperti yang anda lihat, ia berasaskan model Vespa GTV, yang mempunyai 300 HPE silinder tunggal, 4-injap, penyejuk cecair, enjin suntikan bahan api. Ia menghasilkan 24 hp, menjadikannya enjin Vespa paling berkuasa.

Selain itu, ia mempunyai paparan digital, permulaan tanpa kunci, kawalan cengkaman, ABS dan sambungan melalui aplikasi Vespa MIA.

Setiap unit mempunyai plat perayaan bernombor pada perisai belakang, dengan logo 140 tahun yang dipertingkatkan.

Walau bagaimanapun, tiada harga pada basikal itu, tetapi anda boleh menyemaknya di laman web Vespa.

– Didi Group telah mengumumkan pembukaan rasmi MotoPlex Sungai Buloh, cawangan keempat yang menawarkan empat jenama premium di bawah Kumpulan Piaggio – Vespa, Aprilia dan Moto Guzzi yang terletak di Sungai Buloh, Selangor.

– Direka sebagai kedai konsep yang dinamik, MotoPlex Sungai Buloh menyediakan rangkaian produk yang komprehensif serta pusat perkhidmatan pelanggan, menjadikannya destinasi utama bagi peminat dan penggemar kenderaan roda dua.

– MotoPlex Sungai Buloh diuruskan oleh Welly Sungai Buloh Sdn Bhd, pengedar rasmi yang dilantik oleh Didi Group, pengedar rasmi Piaggio, Vespa, Aprilia dan Moto Guzzi di Malaysia.

– Dibina dengan estetika Itali, ruang total 3,400 kpsf dibahagikan kepada kawasan pameran, 2,200 kpsf, dan pusat servis 1,200 kpsf. Pusat servis dilengkapi dengan peralatan diagnostik bertaraf tinggi dan dikendalikan oleh technician motosikal yang terlatih dan komited untuk menawarkan perkhidmatan pelanggan yang unggul dengan akses kepada pelbagai alat ganti berkualiti tinggi.

– Bagi Didi Group, pelancaran MotoPlex Sungai Buloh menandakan satu peristiwa penting dan mercu tanda yang luar biasa, kerana ia menjadi MotoPlex keempat di Malaysia.

Vespa ni adalah ikon dari semua aspek. Bukan hanya dari segi reka bentuk, tapi juga sebab syarikat tu sendiri dah wujud sejak tahun 1946, dan motosikal Vespa pun tak banyak berubah dalam reka bentuk sejak tahun tu.

Nilai jenama Vespa pun dah naik juga dalam dua tahun je, naik sebanyak 19%!

Mengikut Interbrand, firma penilai jenama global, Vespa dah melepasi nilai 1 billion Euro, dan pada tahun 2022, Vespa jadi penyumbang utama kepada kewangan Piaggio Group dengan pertumbuhan hasil jualan naik sebanyak 30%.

Di bawah pimpinan Piaggio dalam beberapa dekad terakhir, Vespa dikelola dengan pendekatan yang bijak, dengan menyelitkan peningkatan teknikal di dalam motosikal dengan sentuhan reka bentuk yang klasik, baik untuk model GTS yang premium mahupun model yang lebih kecil, seperti Primavera. Akibatnya, Vespa tak hanya mengekalkan daya tarikan klasik dan nostalgic, tetapi juga memastikan kebolehgunaan, kebolehpercayaan, dan keselamatan.

Baru-baru ini, status ikonik Vespa mendapat pengiktirafan rasmi daripada Mahkamah Keadilan Kesatuan Eropah (CJEU), dengan mengesahkan bahawa reka bentuk Vespa adalah unik dan tak boleh ditiru, menjadikannya mudah dikenali di seluruh Eropah.

Keputusan mahkamah ini mengakhiri pertikaian undang-undang selama 10 tahun antara Piaggio Group dan Zhejiang Zhongneng Industry Group dari China yang mengeluarkan skuter ZNEN, tiruan terang Vespa.

Pada tahun 2014, Pejabat Harta Intelek Kesatuan Eropah (EUIPO) mengiktiraf keunikan reka bentuk Vespa dan memberikan status cap dagang kepadanya. Namun, pada tahun 2018, Zhejiang Zhongneng Industry Group berjaya membatalkan cap dagang Vespa itu di mahkamah selepas memperkuatkan kedudukan mereka di Eropah dengan pembelian jenama Moto Morini.

Sebagai hasilnya, EUIPO membatalkan keputusan awalnya dan memberikan kebebasan kepada syarikat China ini untuk menghasilkan dan menjual skuter ZNEN mereka (dilihat di bawah).

Sebagai tindak balas, Piaggio Vespa melancarkan pertahanan yang gigih dan mengemukakan rayuan ke CJEU untuk mendaftarkan semula reka bentuk Vespa sebagai cap dagang. Mahkamah Kesatuan Eropah kini memihak kepada Piaggio Vespa, menjadikan ZNEN scooter tidak layak untuk diimport dan dijual di mana-mana di Eropah.

Kemenangan undang-undang menyamai kemenangan yang serupa untuk Vespa pada tahun 2020 dimana ia menentang imitator China lain, Chen Huang, yang juga menghasilkan salinan Vespa (diatas).

Kejayaan-kejayaan ini menunjukkan komitmen Vespa dalam melindungi identiti uniknya, sikap yang mungkin akan diteruskan untuk mempertahankan keunikan ikoniknya di pasaran global yang lain.

Vespa stands as an unequivocal icon in every conceivable aspect. Its significance is not only rooted in its timeless design but also in the enduring legacy of the company, which has been in existence since 1946. Remarkably, the design of Vespa scooters has remained largely unchanged since that pivotal year.

The brand’s value has experienced a remarkable surge, witnessing a staggering 19% growth in just the past two years.

According to Interbrand, a global brand consulting organisation, Vespa has surpassed the 1 billion Euro mark, asserting its dominance as the primary contributor to the Piaggio Group’s financial success, boasting a substantial 30% increase in turnover as of 2022.

Under the adept stewardship of Piaggio over the last few decades, Vespa has adhered to a strategic approach, blending significant under-the-surface technical enhancements with well-considered stylistic refinements.

This approach has been applied judiciously to both the high-end GTS and the more compact Primavera models.

Consequently, Vespa has not only retained its classic, nostalgic allure but has also fortified its reputation for functionality, reliability, and safety.

Recently, Vespa’s iconic status received formal recognition from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), affirming that the design of Vespa is unmistakable and cannot be replicated, making it instantly recognizable across Europe.

This judicial pronouncement concluded a decade-long legal dispute between the Piaggio Group and the Chinese Zhejiang Zhongneng Industry Group. The latter had introduced the ZNEN scooter, an unabashed copy of the Vespa, leading to a protracted legal battle.

In 2014, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) acknowledged the unique design of Vespa and granted it trademark status. However, in 2018, Zhejiang Zhongneng Industry Group managed to overturn the Vespa trademark in court, leveraging their strengthened position in Europe after acquiring the Moto Morini brand.

Subsequently, the EUIPO reversed its earlier decision, allowing the Chinese company to freely manufacture and sell its ZNEN scooter (seen below).

In response, Piaggio Vespa mounted a vigorous defense, seeking recourse from the CJEU to reinstate Vespa’s design as a trademark. The EU court sided with Piaggio Vespa, rendering the ZNEN scooter ineligible for import and sale anywhere in Europe.

This legal victory echoed a similar triumph for Vespa against another Chinese imitator in 2020, Chen Huang (below), who had also produced replicas of the iconic Vespa.

These successes underscore Vespa’s commitment to safeguarding its distinctive identity, a stance that may extend to safeguarding its iconic uniqueness in other global markets.

In an era marked by the anticipation of the internal combustion engine’s demise, Italian manufacturer Piaggio is breaking new ground in engine development.

  • Despite the ongoing shift towards electric power, Piaggio is focusing on enhancing the efficiency of small, low-cost engines for scooters.
  • The company’s latest innovation is a Variable Valve Timing (VVT) system designed specifically for these engines.

Piaggio’s VVT system, outlined in a detailed patent application, aims to optimise the intake timing on single-cylinder, single-overhead-camshaft engines used in scooters. Given the tight profit margins in this segment of the market, the design emphasises simplicity and reduced component count.

At first glance, Piaggio’s SOHC VVT system appears similar to Yamaha’s “VVA” (Variable Valve Actuation) design used in various motorcycles. However, a subtle yet crucial difference sets Piaggio’s system apart.

Both systems employ two profiles for the intake cam lobes, which act on a forked rocker arm to control two intake valves. Like Yamaha’s VVA, Piaggio’s system uses a pin to connect or disconnect the rocker arm, with an actuator to engage it and a spring to disengage it when not needed.

The key distinction lies in the number of elements in the rocker arm. Yamaha’s VVA system features two parts: one conventional rocker and one element for high-lift, long-duration cam lobes. In contrast, Piaggio’s design incorporates three elements in its rocker arm, allowing for more comprehensive control over valve timing, lift, and duration.

This innovation enables the Piaggio system to adjust not only valve lift but also timing, offering a distinct advantage over Yamaha’s system, which can only switch between low-lift, short-duration and high-lift, long-duration lobes. With Piaggio’s design, the high-rpm cam lobe can have different timing, enhancing engine performance at high revs.

The patent showcases this system on an engine that resembles the Vespa GTS 300, utilised in various Piaggio models, including the Piaggio MP3. Piaggio’s commitment to improving small-engine efficiency reflects its dedication to innovation in an ever-evolving industry.

In a somber announcement that reverberated through the automotive world, Piaggio Group confirmed the passing of its visionary Chairman and CEO, Roberto Colaninno, at the age of 80.

  • Colaninno’s departure marks the end of an era that saw the birth of some of the most iconic motorcycles of the modern age.
  • The news came just days after his 80th birthday and was communicated via a heartfelt press release on Saturday, 19 August.

Colaninno’s legacy within the motorcycling industry is both profound and enduring. Taking the reins of the Piaggio Group in 2003, he steered the conglomerate into uncharted territories, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. The Piaggio Group, with its array of marques including Piaggio, Ape, Scarabeo, Derbi, Gilera, Vespa, Moto Guzzi, and Aprilia, flourished under his astute leadership.

One of Colaninno’s most notable achievements was the launch of the groundbreaking three-wheeled MP3 scooter platform. This innovative creation offered a fresh perspective on urban commuting and gained popularity as a reliable all-weather companion for riders across the globe. Additionally, his instrumental role in the acquisitions of Moto Guzzi and Aprilia in December 2004 reshaped the motorcycling landscape in Europe, solidifying the Piaggio Group’s position as a prominent manufacturer of scooters and motorcycles.

As the industry mourns the loss of a trailblazer, the Piaggio Group’s recent achievements reflect Colaninno’s enduring impact. Celebrating the sale of 324,600 machines worldwide during the first half of 2023, the organization achieved a remarkable 1.2% growth compared to the previous year’s figures. These results underscore Colaninno’s vision and strategic prowess, which fueled the group’s steady ascent.

During one of his recent statements, Colaninno proudly highlighted the Piaggio Group’s achievements, saying, “The Piaggio Group has closed the seventh consecutive quarter to report growth, with its best results to date. At 30 June, net sales had risen by more than 11%, to over one billion euros.”

Notably, a significant portion of these sales, amounting to 267,400 units, comprised motorcycles and scooters.

Roberto Colaninno’s legacy will continue to resonate as an inspiration for generations of automotive enthusiasts, riders, and industry leaders. His visionary leadership, pioneering spirit, and unwavering dedication have left an indelible mark on the modern motorcycling landscape.

As the Piaggio Group continues its journey, it does so carrying forward the spirit of a visionary who transformed the way we ride.

Piaggio Group Americas has taken swift action by submitting a safety recall report to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on August 10, 2023 pertaining to a selected 2023 Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello motorcycles, spotlighting a potential rear shock absorber flaw that could have severe implications for riders.

  • the safety recall is due to a faulty rear shock absorbers. 
  • a total of 76 units sold to customers in the US are affected by the recall. 

The concern centers around a potential breakage in the rear shock absorbers, capable of causing a loss of control for the rider and elevating the risk of a hazardous crash. This predicament, however, is confined solely to certain units within the V100 Mandello lineup, featuring Kayaba suspension components. It’s noteworthy that the V100 Mandello S, boasting Öhlins suspension components, remains unaffected by this recall.

According to Piaggio Group Americas, an estimated 260 motorcycles in the United States could potentially fall under the recall, constituting a mere one percent of the affected population. Among these, 76 units have already been sold to customers, while 184 are currently in dealer inventories across the nation.

The root cause of this issue can be attributed to non-conforming rear shock absorbers furnished with either one or both bushings missing. Consequently, these flawed components could turn at an irregular angle in their mounting points, ultimately becoming rigid and prone to breakage at the lower shock mount, as specified in the recall report filed by Piaggio.

Reports suggest that Piaggio has been alerted to two instances of this malfunction manifesting in the real world, both emerging in the Italian market. These incidents, reported on July 7 and July 27, 2023, prompted the manufacturer to promptly initiate an update campaign plan on August 4, 2023.

That said, Piaggio has decided to address this concern through a comprehensive safety recall of the affected vehicles. Owners falling within the impacted VIN range will receive instructions to take their motorcycles to authorized Moto Guzzi dealerships. Here, qualified mechanics will conduct thorough inspections of the rear shock absorbers. If any shock absorber is identified to be missing one or both bushings, it will be replaced with a duly outfitted unit, all at no cost to the affected owners.

Autoliv, a leading automotive safety company, has unveiled its revolutionary motorcycle airbag system, bringing hope for increased rider safety on the roads.

  • Autoliv set to introduce on-bike airbags soon. 
  • the system works similarly to those used in modern cars. 

In an exclusive interview with CycleWorld, Atsushi Ishii, Autoliv’s head of technology for mobile safety solutions, shed light on the cutting-edge project and the company’s vision for this life-saving technology.

The system’s components closely resemble those used in modern cars, comprising a crash sensor, detection Electronic Control Unit (ECU), harness, and airbag module. However, adapting these elements to motorcycles presented a unique challenge. Unlike cars with a crash deformation cell to absorb impact, motorcycles lack this feature, demanding exceptionally rapid triggering algorithms for the airbag.

Mounted below the handlebars, the motorcycle airbag utilizes an electrically-triggered chemical reaction to inflate swiftly, resembling the mechanisms found in car airbags. Currently, the focus of Autoliv’s airbag deployment is on scenarios where a car pulls out in front of a motorcycle, a common accident type with significant potential for safety improvements.

Addressing concerns about the limited use-case scenarios, Ishii emphasized that starting with the most common crash cases, even if they only account for 10% of all incidents, is crucial for saving lives.

He compared the evolution of car airbags, which initially were only on the steering wheel but now extend to various areas, providing comprehensive protection. Similarly, Autoliv envisions its motorcycle airbag technology to expand to other accident types like side impacts, lowsides, highsides, and more, eventually encompassing a broad range of crash scenarios.

During a showcase at EICMA, a motorcycle manufacturer questioned the pursuit of this technology, citing its limited applicability. Ishii’s response underscored the significance of saving lives, stating that while it may not cover all accidents, for those riders involved in head-on collisions, the airbag system could be the difference between life and death.

Autoliv’s commitment to rider safety is evident as they embark on this pioneering journey. By starting with scenarios offering the most immediate safety gains and gradually expanding to other crash types, the company aims to enhance motorcycle safety significantly.

Aprilia is set to join the likes of Ducati, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki by introducing its own variable valve timing (VVT) system as confirmed by latest patent application submitted by parent company, Piaggio Group. 

The patent – based on the Aprilia RSV4 – showcased a non-electronic VVT system that works similar to Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 whereby the system depends on centrifugal force to move the ball bearings located on the drivel wheel of the intake camshaft. 

However, while the GSX-R1000 VVT works on 12 ball bearings, the upcoming RSV4 will used only three. 

Despite that, we expect the system to worked well similar to any VVT technology available on modern two-wheels.

That said, Aprilia is working on a mechanical-based VVT as compared to electronics, currently adopted by Ducati, Kawasaki and Yamaha. 

However, the new system could also be applied to other Piaggio-owned brand, including Moto Guzzi. 

Aprilia is already working towards a new future after unveiling its first electric project, called Electrica. 

  • Aprilia revealed the company’s first electric motorcycle at EICMA.
  • The Electrica is pioneered by the Piaggio Group, experienced in electric power. 

While it took a while for Aprilia to materialise its first electric motorcycle, the Italian firm already has the upper hand in the game.

This is because Aprilia’s parent company, the Piaggio Group, began working with electric power almost 50 years ago and produced the world’s first hybrid scooter, the MP3 Hybrid, back in 2009. 

“The Electrica project uses all the know-how made available from the Piaggio Group, which has been working on electric propulsion since 1975, having introduced a long line of vehicles [over the years] such as the MP3 Hybrid, the first hybrid scooter in the world,” said Aprilia in a statement.

Aprilia also has a clear objective for the Electric project, an electric motorcycle for the younger riders of the future. 

That said, Electric will not only be a personal transport to get around while adhering to the global zero emission initiative but also fun to pilot. 

“The Electrica project is a new concept – a lightweight, zero emissions bike with a fun and satisfying ride to provide maximum freedom and riding pleasure even for use in the cities of the future.

Therefore, the fun and freedom of riding will not be lacking, and they will always be the cardinal principle at the base of all vehicles built by Aprilia,” added Aprilia. 

Although the Electrica offers something that we have never seen before out of the Noale factory, some aspect is associated with Aprilia, mainly the front bodywork around the triple clamp that is reminiscent of the Tuono and the RSV4-inspired tail. 

Nevertheless, the Electrica is noticeably smaller to allow better accessibility. According to Aprilia, the Electrica will promote an easier transition from scooters to full-size motorcycles. 

Meanwhile, other notable features of the Electric include an electronic riding assist and a digital LCD display.

The Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC) has expanded from its first four founding members to 21 in just a year after its establishment in September 2021.

  • SBMC welcomes 17 new members to support the initiative.
  • Kymco and Kawasaki among listed as new members of the SBMC. 

 The consortium was originally founded by Yamaha, KTM, Honda and Piaggio which is equivalent to Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Captain America founding the Avengers. 

While it took many years for the Avengers to expand, SBMC only took a year to add 17 other members.

 “The underlying aim of the Consortium is to find solutions to the concerns customers may have regarding the future of electromobility, such as the range, the charging time and infrastructure, and costs,” said SBMC. 

According to the official statement, those members include motorcycle manufacturers, tech companies, and others that work in similar fields.

The list of SBC members includes:

  • AVL
  • Ciklo
  • Fivebikes
  • Foresee Power
  • Hioki
  • Honda
  • Hyba
  • Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association
  • Kawasaki
  • KTM
  • Kymco
  • Niu
  • Piaggio
  • Polaris
  • Roki
  • Samsung SDI
  • Sinbon
  • Sumitomo
  • Suzuki
  • Swobbee
  • Vitesco
  • VeNetWork
  • Yamaha

As reported previously, SBMC aims to standardise battery specifications while also improving the charging infrastructure.

Italian motorcycle manufacturer Piaggio is currently developing a new suspension system for its scooter range inspired by an 18th-century inventor, James Watt.

  • Piaggio to revived the linkage system introduced by James Watt in 18th century.
  • Watt’s linkage system to be applied on Piaggio’s two-wheel and three-wheel scooter. 

James Watt was a renowned Scottish physicist in the 18th century and was the first person to coin the term “horsepower”.

More than 250 years ago, Watt was also responsible for the Watt’s linkage, a mechanical linkage type in which the linkage’s central moving point is constrained to travel on a nearly straight line.

The Watt’s linkage was described in James Watt’s patent specification of 1784 for the Watt steam engine.

As it turns out, Piaggio is reviving the two-century-old technology for modern time according to a newly filed patent according to Motorrad.

Based on the report, Piaggio wants to use Watt’s linkage to suspend the motorcycle compared to a traditional telescopic fork. 

The new system will allow a less sideways movement of the axle hence allowing the rider more precise control of the motorcycle.

Looking at the drawings, you can see that the suspension component is located on each side of the wheels rather than closer to the handlebar like a conventional telescopic fork. 

However, there are no words when Piaggio plans to introduce the new system. Nevertheless, it is an exciting development to see 250 years old technology coming back for modern times. 

(source: Motorrad)

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