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China and the Catalan cluster of moto manufacturers

Posted by Shem on September 5, 2016 at 4:50 AM


For the Chinese motorcycle industry by far the most important and cooperative hub for the in Spain is the ‘Catalan Cluster’ in Catalonia. Manufacturing in this cluster represents nearly every aspect of motorcycle technology and accessories and is known for the high quality of its products.

The permanent exhibition at the Barcelona Motorcycle Museum is dedicated to the history of the motorbike in Catalonia, to Catalan bikes, and specially, to all those pioneers which set up the foundation of one of the most brilliant industries in this country and who also managed to plant the seed to create the love for the world of motorcycling which still goes on nowadays.

Because, apart from the most famous names which were internationally recognized such as Montesa, Bultaco, OSSA or Derbi, not everyone is aware that some hundred and fifty different motorcycle manufacturers have operated in Catalonia. Big and small factories, most of them launched by courageous entrepreneurs who, in very difficult times and with reduced tools and possibilities, managed to convert their dreams into real motorbikes.

Find out the history of the Catalan motorbike from 1905 until 2010 through a selection of 40 models which best represent the main brands by clicking on the Catalonia Cluster museum link


Motorcycle parts and accessories manufacturers from the Catalan cluster have been enhancing Chinese motorcycles since the beginnings of the Chinese motorcycle industry including maintaining a presence at CIMAmotor expo. Here are a few of them



JJuan Brake Systems is always positive about China and CIMAmotor “we exhibit every year at CIMAmotor, we were the first foreign motorcycle technology company to do so and it’s given us a huge advantage in the market. 5 years ago Chinese companies just looked at us like we were a producer of ‘luxury’ products but now it’s different, we have become an essential part of the Chinese motorcycle manufacturing industry’s infrastructure. We collaborate with all the top companies and are now looking to expand our influence to the many middle-sized motorcycle manufacturers that now need to upgrade their brake systems in line with international expectations. It is in large part due to our persistent marketing campaigns like this one that we have established ourselves as the number one international brake system company in China.”



Ixil silencers have something in common with JJuan and Shad in that they all belong to the huge motorcycle industry cluster in Barcelona, Catalonia. General Manager Enric Llevadot Porta commented “although upgrades in exhausts are not yet a factor in the same way as they are for brakes and EFI (with regard to the changing world laws and the export manufacturers need to meet those laws) we are finding that there is a fast growing interest in our products from the bigger Chinese motorcycle manufacturers who have the ambition to compete on motorcycle markets that demand more quality. We are looking to become the top international brand in China and everything is going very much to plan.”



Pau Xicola Serrano General Manager of motorcycle storage box manufacturer Shad commented “the Chinese are now getting in to motorcycle touring in a big way, also their commuter bikes are of a higher quality than in the past so they are requiring boxes of the best quality. Of course there are many motorcycle storage box producers in China but Shad has become a market leader as Chinese riders are changing their view on consumption and are now choosing to buy goods of a greater quality rather than the cheap but practical stuff of the past, in many cases Chinese consumers are now asking for Shad by name and we have been getting many inquiries from motorcycle accessory distributors throughout China.”


Yasuni Exhausts was founded with the aim of offering products designed to improve the performance of both urban and racing motorcycles. The technological development has allowed them to achieve better times, offering pioneering solutions. The specific actions led by their R+D+I Department have enabled them to win many championships at a worldwide level such as: 2011 Alex Rins, Spanish Champion 125cc GP Jérez Circuit, 2009 Julián Simón, World Champion 125cc GP Australia, 2006 Alvaro Bautista, World Champion 125cc GP Australia. Yasuni strategic vision is to guarantee Chinese motorcycle and scooter users integrated solutions with mobile devices, to enhance the driving and riding experience, embedding industrial technology along with electronic and software development.


Galfer is a leading manufacturer of friction materials and components for braking systems for the automobile, motorcycling, and bicycle sectors. Since our company was founded in 1952, we have been known for being at the forefront of innovation, quality and organization. Today we link our experience and tradition to new technologies, cutting-edge materials and the most advanced management systems. To stay at the forefront of the market and to get to know in depth the needs for the industry, the R&D department at GALFER works closely with top-level competition teams. All our products are strictly tested for quality to guarantee its safety. We are so committed with quality regulations that our quality controls exceed the ECE R-90 standards necessary for new Chinese motorcycles.




It is worth mentioning (maybe essential to mention in the context of this article) that many of the Catalonian international companies represented at CIMAmotor have production plants established in China. Despite having a manufacturing presence in China for many years it is only relatively recently that most of these European manufacturers have actually marketed these Chinese made products to the Chinese industry itself. Inaki Leopold commented “it is a bit ironic I suppose, but for many years the Chinese workers were making these products, in China, for European companies without the Chinese industry needing to purchase the parts themselves. It’s all changed now of course, but although we manufacture in China we still maintain the levels of quality that the world has become used to from a European manufacturer. “






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