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Motorcycles - Page 248

post #3706 of 4800
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool The Kid View Post

They need to redo the bikes. Branch off a new modern line that isn't weird like Buell. I like the look of the Sportster but I can't reconcile its stupid low tech and stone age NVH. Big part of why Harleys caught on 50 years ago is because they were cutting edge. They need to step into the 21st century if they want to stay in business.

Agreed.
post #3707 of 4800

This is for sale should anyone be interested. The details:
Godet Egli Vincent
1330ccs
Surtees 5 speed
Grosset Electric Start
38mm Mikuni VMs
Ceriani GP front end
Fontana 4LS drum
Nickel plated frame and chain guard
Polished engine case
100bhp and 80lb/ft torque
360 pounds wet
post #3708 of 4800
BikeEXIF did a post on my favorite BMW cafe conversion today:

post #3709 of 4800
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool The Kid View Post

[quote name="brokencycle" url="/t/12445/motorcycles/3705#post_6646469"]Yes and no. Harley is actually trying to redo its branding and get away from the middle-aged dentists. We'll see. I'm partial because my step-dad always had Harleys when I was growing up. They don't appeal to me, but there are way too many who paint the riders with broad strokes and give the Ducati and Hayabusa guys a pass.[/quote]They need to redo the bikes. Branch off a new modern line that isn't weird like Buell. I like the look of the Sportster but I can't reconcile its stupid low tech and stone age NVH. Big part of why Harleys caught on 50 years ago is because they were cutting edge. They need to step into the 21st century if they want to stay in business.

While it's true that Harley's demographic is rapidly aging, the other makers arguably face an even greater challenge-- finding a sales demographic period. Remember Harley sells more bikes than all other makers combined in the US.

These arent promising times for motorcycling in the US. Where is the new ridership going to come from?

Forget about Millenials, they arent even getting their drivers licenses.

Gen Y seems to be stratified into one group that doesnt have the disposable income and another more educated group that were raised to be completely risk-averse.

The Adv trend seems to be the relative bright spot in new bike sales, but that demo are about as aged as Harley riders.

The value proposition for commuting on a bike is much oversold. Scooters and bicycles make more practical sense in most cases.

If I were somehow forced to enter the motorcycle biz in 2013, I suppose I would try to target hipsters/beatniks/bohemiens/sophisticates. Market bikes as some kind of stylish lifestyle prop.
post #3710 of 4800
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool The Kid View Post

They need to redo the bikes. Branch off a new modern line that isn't weird like Buell. I like the look of the Sportster but I can't reconcile its stupid low tech and stone age NVH. Big part of why Harleys caught on 50 years ago is because they were cutting edge. They need to step into the 21st century if they want to stay in business.

Wasn't that the whole idea behind the v-rod?
post #3711 of 4800
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennglock View Post

While it's true that Harley's demographic is rapidly aging, the other makers arguably face an even greater challenge-- finding a sales demographic period. Remember Harley sells more bikes than all other makers combined in the US.

These arent promising times for motorcycling in the US. Where is the new ridership going to come from?

Forget about Millenials, they arent even getting their drivers licenses.

Gen Y seems to be stratified into one group that doesnt have the disposable income and another more educated group that were raised to be completely risk-averse.

The Adv trend seems to be the relative bright spot in new bike sales, but that demo are about as aged as Harley riders.

The value proposition for commuting on a bike is much oversold. Scooters and bicycles make more practical sense in most cases.

If I were somehow forced to enter the motorcycle biz in 2013, I suppose I would try to target hipsters/beatniks/bohemiens/sophisticates. Market bikes as some kind of stylish lifestyle prop.

I think you're spot-on. It easy to target the biggest player in the industry - a lot of leaders in all kinds of industries get attacked for doing everything wrong.

I might target hipsters/whatever, but I think I would go the super high-end and create artificial scarcity - something like a Bugatti of motorcycles.
post #3712 of 4800
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennglock View Post

If I were somehow forced to enter the motorcycle biz in 2013, I suppose I would try to target hipsters/beatniks/bohemiens/sophisticates. Market bikes as some kind of stylish lifestyle prop.

 

That's exactly what Ducati did.

post #3713 of 4800
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennglock View Post


While it's true that Harley's demographic is rapidly aging, the other makers arguably face an even greater challenge-- finding a sales demographic period. Remember Harley sells more bikes than all other makers combined in the US.

These arent promising times for motorcycling in the US. Where is the new ridership going to come from?

Forget about Millenials, they arent even getting their drivers licenses.

Gen Y seems to be stratified into one group that doesnt have the disposable income and another more educated group that were raised to be completely risk-averse.

The Adv trend seems to be the relative bright spot in new bike sales, but that demo are about as aged as Harley riders.

The value proposition for commuting on a bike is much oversold. Scooters and bicycles make more practical sense in most cases.

If I were somehow forced to enter the motorcycle biz in 2013, I suppose I would try to target hipsters/beatniks/bohemiens/sophisticates. Market bikes as some kind of stylish lifestyle prop.

 

Here we go dumping on Gen Y and Millennial again. Unfortunately I more or less have to agree in this case. I guess I'm a Gen Y-er and I can't get any of my friends to start riding. They'll mostly say, "It seems fun but it's just too dangerous." This, of course, does not apply to my buddy with the '13 Daytona who's on his third set of tires from running from cops in breakdown lanes. >sigh< Jeff is a finance guy, but once the helmet goes on...

 

Hmm there's always young white trash, to whom you can always sell an overpowered motorcycle. Maybe manufacturers can advertise during Jersey Shore showing guys in gold chains and wife beaters doing burnouts with onlooking girls looking impressed. ha.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool The Kid View Post


Does not compute

Dont get me wrong, MV Agusta makes great, gorgeous bikes, but I would hardly call them the pinnacle of motorcycle mechanical design. They are the Lamborghini of sportbikes, with every kind of cliche that comes with that.

 

 

More like the Ferrari of motorcycles. Who said anything about pinnacle? I think that goes to Triumph. =)

post #3714 of 4800
Yea from a practical POV, IMO, motorcycles suck. My 650 was my only ride for about a year and in that time I got used to it. But now that I have a car, the whole ritual of suiting up to do anything but long rides seems silly and pointless. I want a race suit, not just for track days, but honestly just for something quick to hop into when I want to ride. I will commute in my race suit (when I get a non-work from home job). The biggie is the gas mileage... my bike does about 2-3x better than my car around town which is pretty huge.

Motorcycling is a tough sell and definitely needs a huge rethink. We live in very risk averse times, and not to dump on this generation, but they are very conformist which runs counter to jumping on a motorcycle everyone screams you're gonna die on. Like I said the practicality aspect is kind of bogus, at least out in the open country... for folks in cities, motorcycles are a legitimate option, especially where parking is scarce. That requires buy in from the municipalities too though, which is tough... Bloomberg for example was very anti-motorcycle, towing motherfuckers and forbidding them to park anywhere in the city's interior with aplomb. But you go to Europe, cities like Paris are overrun with bikes and scooters.

I think there are a few markets to tap:

- Cheap asses... riding can be super cheap if you are OK with the risk and the slight goofiness of riding around in the right gear
- Auto enthusiasts... a lowly SV650 has straight line performance and engagement you would have to pay 6 figures for on four wheels (at least outside of shit like the FF 818, Ariel Atom etc)
- Hipsters- nuff said
- City folks- like I said my bike was my only ride for a while, because my wife and I needed a way to get around and more importantly out of NYC

I'm sure there's others I'm overlooking but I think there is definitely room to grow. Bike makers just have to spend the money to advertise and spread bike awareness.
post #3715 of 4800
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tck13 View Post

Wasn't that the whole idea behind the v-rod?
As we see it didn't really pan out. It still pretty much looks like a new Harley. I'd rather an old Sportster.

What Harley needs is a modern 90 degree V twin in a standard (i.e. less than 27-30 degree rake and more than a 30 inch seat height) chassis. Not to replace the Ultra Glides but just to supplant them. I think if they just came out with some basic motorcycles they could get some new riders.
post #3716 of 4800
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennglock View Post

While it's true that Harley's demographic is rapidly aging, the other makers arguably face an even greater challenge-- finding a sales demographic period. Remember Harley sells more bikes than all other makers combined in the US.

WTF? Is this true? And WTF?
post #3717 of 4800
Don't forget that Harley for a long time was really the only American made motorcycle. I know there is Victory now, but that just started up in 1998. A lot of people who ride Harleys are middle-class, blue-collar kind of people -- who buy American as much as they can. So without any competition from another American manufacturer Harley didn't need to innovate or do much.

Now they have competition from Victory, and I think it has been good for them.
post #3718 of 4800
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool The Kid View Post
- Cheap asses... riding can be super cheap if you are OK with the risk and the slight goofiness of riding around in the right gear

 

It can be cheap with a few caveats:

1. It is your only means of transportation

2. You live somewhere you can ride year round

 

There is no way I could get away with only a motorcycle for transportation, as much as I'd love to. Otherwise, the cost of gas difference is not even close to being made up by the insurance and purchase/ownership cost of motorcycle.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cool The Kid View Post
- City folks- like I said my bike was my only ride for a while, because my wife and I needed a way to get around and more importantly out of NYC

 

This seems like a good call to me. As mentioned, motorcycles, motored-bicycles, scooters, et al. are dominant in cities in countries outside the U.S.

 

A city seems more conducive to getting away with only a motorcycle for transportation, too.

 

If U.S. legislation permitted lane-splitting country-wide it would probably be great incentive to go 2-wheels in cities.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cool The Kid View Post
- Auto enthusiasts... a lowly SV650 has straight line performance and engagement you would have to pay 6 figures for on four wheels (at least outside of shit like the FF 818, Ariel Atom etc)

 

This is where my friends and I, that are Gen-Yers (born '84 here), fit in. I don't have many friends who are auto enthusiasts, and less that actually wrench. The ones who do wrench, myself included, own or want to own a motorcycle, simply because it seems fun, fast, something to work on...

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cool The Kid View Post
- Hipsters- nuff said
 
Hipsters overlap with cheap-asses, but they go for scooters/mopeds like they do fixie bikes over a more practical geared-bicycle. Moped army, dude! They have no interest in anything that costs any sort of money and is shiney and new.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool The Kid View Post


As we see it didn't really pan out. It still pretty much looks like a new Harley. I'd rather an old Sportster.

What Harley needs is a modern 90 degree V twin in a standard (i.e. less than 27-30 degree rake and more than a 30 inch seat height) chassis. Not to replace the Ultra Glides but just to supplant them. I think if they just came out with some basic motorcycles they could get some new riders.

 

What you described is the Monster; seems like it'd be an uphill battle to compete here.

 

Though, I agree, for me, Sportster is the only Harley I'd own.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokencycle View Post

Don't forget that Harley for a long time was really the only American made motorcycle. I know there is Victory now, but that just started up in 1998. A lot of people who ride Harleys are middle-class, blue-collar kind of people -- who buy American as much as they can. So without any competition from another American manufacturer Harley didn't need to innovate or do much.

Now they have competition from Victory, and I think it has been good for them.

 

This is so true.

 

I'm a big proponent of American/Union made products, from clothes to cars.

 

The U.S. motorcycle offerings are abysmal. Buell is (was) the only real option.

 

The only really intriguing offering of late was the XR1200, which is inferior to any Buell.

 

But, I feel like most Millennials couldn't care less about country-of-origin.

 

I like what Polaris is doing with Indian; a big, Harley-like, US-made cruiser for the 21st century.

post #3719 of 4800

post #3720 of 4800
I'll say this about Harleys...if you're going to go down the route of owning that style of bike, I feel like all of the other brands like Victory, Yamaha, etc all feel like pale facsimiles of Harleys - even if they're technically better.
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