Two-wheel vehicles came into their own in a year when travelling on public transport was often discouraged and delivery services boomed. As the Motorcycle Industry Association recently reported, unit sales of scooters shot up 10.6 per cent in 2020 and overall sales of two-wheel vehicles declined just 2.6 per cent year-on-year despite two lockdowns. Demand for aftermarket parts was also healthy within the sector, reflecting both a preference for affordable personal transport as well as the popularity of socially-distanced pastimes such as bike restoration projects. But there’s been a fly in the ointment.
Vietnamese officials have interpreted the US Department of Commerce (DOC) anti-dumping investigation preliminary conclusions as “very positive” for Vietnam-produced car tyres. There was even hope that cooperative Vietnam-based tyre manufacturers Local newspapers read this mean Vietnamese tyre factories had been “cleared” by the investigation.
Developed and tested in the USA, the new KM1 radial marks Kenda’s entry into the highly competitive sport touring market. Cambrian Tyres is distributing the range in the UK and describes the KM1 as a tyre that offers riders great all-weather performance at a fantastic price.
Kenda has strengthened its global team with two new appointments, bringing exceptional sales support to Europe and adding extensive engineering know-how to the Kenda European Technical Centre (KETC). Michael Eckert joins as senior sales manager, Engin Ünal as senior engineer, effective 1 August.
Kenda Rubber Industrial has been producing bicycle and motorcycle tyres at its Indonesia plant since 2015. According to local media reports, the Taiwanese manufacturer now wants to move production capacity from China to Indonesia.
Kenda has signed up Jeff Ward as its latest brand ambassador. The British-American multi-time AMA Motocross, Supercross, Supermoto champion, 7-time international MX des Nations champion, X Games gold medallist and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee joins Motocross Hall of Famer and X Games Gold Medallist Doug Henry in this role.
The technical team that STARCO operates in Europe is joining together with parent company Kenda’s technical team. The aim of integrating the two teams is to leverage synergies within the firms’ global technical structure as well as drive further technological improvements. According to STARCO, it also represents a significant step in both companies’ growth plans for Europe.
As part of its commitment to being a ‘one-stop shop’ for motorcycle and scooter tyre retailers in the UK, Cambrian Tyres partners with all major brands in the two-wheel marketplace and supplies customers from its warehouse stock of more than 100,000 tyres. The wholesaler is also sole UK distributor of the Bridgestone motocross and Continental two-wheel ranges (see separate articles) as well as for the Anlas brand and, from the second half of 2019, Kenda. This last name is back in the local two-wheel market after a decade’s absence, and demand has started off on the right foot.
Following the successful introduction of the Kenda motorcycle range to its portfolio of exclusive brands late last year, Cambrian Tyres has released the first dedicated Kenda catalogue for the UK two-wheel market.
Kenda Rubber Industrial has expanded its research and development centre in Germany, reinforcing its development team in Winsen (Luhe). Italian Antonio Gallo has joined Kenda Europe Technical Center (KETC) as a tyre tester to put the Taiwanese manufacturer’s high-performance tyres through their paces.
US-based two-wheel race team FactoryONE Sherco has chosen to partner with Kenda Powersports in a multi-year agreement that starts in the 2020 season. Under this agreement, Kenda becomes the official tyre company for the FactoryONE Sherco team and will provide team riders with tyres to compete in AMA Endurocross, Hard Enduro, GNCC, NEPG and more.
For many, the annual Weston Beach Race is the ultimate test of man and machine. More than 900 riders battle it out on the sands of the Victorian seaside resort, with the goal of claiming one of the most coveted prizes in motocross after a gruelling three-hour race.
Already a major success in the United States with several factory level partnerships, Kenda Tyres is the latest tyre brand to enter the UK market. It’s wasted no time in partnering with some promising British talent – the P.F.K. Ling group, who, with 12 riders in its stable for 2019, operates one of the largest motocross and enduro teams in East Anglia.