ISO is simply a standards approval organization. In a nutshell, it just proves that they are doing what they say they are doing from an engineering, documentation and manufacturing standpoint. There are many different levels of ISO certification, depending on what business or part of your business is being inspected. ISO 9000, 9001 and 9002 are common for mechanical engineering and manufacturing operations.
Essentially, the certification ensures that the company is fully documenting their engineering, change management and manufacturing processes to a particular standard. This is important and a requirement in some cases to be able to sell your product abroad. It is also not a trivial process and when Speedbrain says they have spent the last year working on this certification they are certainly not joking. Most bigger companies will have at least one maybe more in house ISO reps/engineers specifically tasked with ensuring all relevant parts of the company are in compliance to make the annual inspection go a bit smoother. Big ups to Speedbrain for attaining the certification, it is no trivial matter.
Of course, selling your product as a "road legal" race motorbike will also be subject to local government transportation agency approval. That is, if they want to sell a Speedbrain Rally 450RR in Canada, where I live, they will need to provide examples for Transport Canada to inspect and destroy to allow for certification. (Fat chance I'll ever see one here since this is usually cost prohibitive for all but the big manufacturers and even they don't bother. I'm looking at you Yamaha and your stubborn refusal to bring your already street legal Euro WR450F here for certification...)
Canada is even worse when you get down to individual provinces, because here in British Columbia where I am, our provincial government run mandatory insurance agency has now made it virtually impossible to plate any bike that is marked as off road use only. So only a few mostly small displacement enduro bikes are available for legal on road riding. (KTM, Husaberg, but good luck finding a new 450cc bike to meet Dakar regulations... sigh)
Hope that helps!
Brimstone screwed with this post 03-12-2013 at 02:13 PM