Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, is mad about motorcycles. With 13.4 million registered motorcycles in the city and its environs, it is officially the highest motorcycle density per head of population in the world. So, it’s no surprise that the city has its fair share of motorcycle suppliers.
Marus Performance, based in the SanChong district of Taipei, was originally a typical motorcycle shop, repairing, maintaining and selling scooters.
“I’ve been interested in motorcycles since I was at high school and I have been making modifications to my own motorcycles for years,” explains the owner Maru Shen. “Of course, when you make a part for your own bike, you want it to be special – unlike all the mass produced parts available.”
A large part of his business soon became customers who wanted their custom-designed parts machining. At first, Shen outsourced these parts, but soon realised that they could probably be made in-house and a better job done.
So, he started approaching companies selling CNC machine tools including Haas.
Although the first thing that attracted Shen to the Haas Super Mini Mill was the price, he also makes clear how relatively easy it was to operate for someone who had no experience like himself.
“When I decided to buy a Haas machine, I found lots of links on the internet posted by other Haas users, showing operators how to use the machines,” explains Shen. “We watched those tutorials and discovered it wasn’t as hard as we thought.”
Since the installation of the company’s Haas Super Mini Mill, annual sales at Marus Performance have increased to an impressive 1.5 million New Taiwan Dollars (approximately £33,000).
At the beginning of 2014, the company also started exporting replacement parts, one of which is a fuel cap for an Italian motorcycle called an MV Agusta, which has just been introduced in Taiwan. The cap is made from high density 7075 aerospace grade aluminium.
“Because we use a highly reliable Haas machine tool and good quality CAM software, our price is very competitive. So far we’ve made 50 replacement filler caps for the MV Augusta. It takes about one hour and 15 minutes to make each one and requires some delicate cutting,” he explains.
Not far away from Marus Performnace is Artitek, another motorcycle supplier and user of Haas machines.
The two companies regularly collaborate with Marus Performance designing the custom motorcycle parts, prototypes and first-offs, then discussing with Artitek about how to go about producing the parts in higher volumes.
Together they analyse how to make the manufacturing process better and more efficient, and calculate how much they should charge customers for the finished components.
Artitek uses several Haas machines that include two VF-2SS Super-Speed vertical machining centres and a DT1 drill/tap centre.
The most recent introduction – in July 2013, is a larger, VF-3SS Super-Speed vertical machining centre. The company also has a Haas HRT210SP rotary table to serve as a fourth axis on one of the VF-2SS machines.
“The main reasons I chose Haas are first of all, they’re made in the USA, and secondly, the control is very easy to use,” says Chen. “I knew nothing about CNC machining when I bought my first Haas machine, but within 12 weeks I was fully proficient. I had lots of support from the Haas distributor, who was able to answer any questions and solve any problems we had.”
Chen and Shen both share a passion for motorcycles and often talk about how to improve the riding experience and producing parts customers will love.
“If those parts sell well here in Taiwan, I see no reason why they won’t do well overseas, too. The important thing is they are beautifully made and our CNC machines are reliable and cost-effective,” concludes Mr. Chen.
Taiwanese motorcycle companies getting the most from investing in new CNC technology