Motorcycle Forum

Motorcycle Forum (
-   Help! (
-   -   Questions about bike sales, dealerships and demand (

theDuke2001 06-25-2001 03:16 PM

Re: Questions about bike sales, dealerships and demand
My own $0.02: my nearest Honda dealer still has brand a brand spankin' new 1999 VTR 1000 Superhawk sitting in his showroom with a big sticker showing it for more than $2,000 off "list."

This was one of the hottest sportbikes around just a few years ago and it's still a great bike. From what I've seen, unless one wants the latest and greatest superbike that all the mags are raving about, supply isn't much of an issue. Harley-Davidson Softails are another matter.

guru_lou 06-25-2001 04:35 PM

Re: Questions about bike sales, dealerships and demand
Funny that you bring up the SuperHawk. it's probably one of the most underrated bikes on the market. It probably would have done better in sales if the magazines hadn't panned it when they took it to the track to test out its limits. It was always meant to be a street bike, but all of the magazines use "track conditions" to test motorcycles. In the case of the SuperHawk, they found that the suspension was too soft for track conditions...well, duh! The press loves a Ducati, but try to ride one for more than a couple of hours. The end result is that Honda will discontinue the SuperHawk within the next couple of years (notice how it hasn't been improved upon since its introduction?). Ducati, on the other hand, will continue to show sales growth on its "ancient" design as long as it continues to win racews.

Shaft 06-25-2001 04:57 PM

Re: Questions about bike sales, dealerships and demand
I sold bikes at a local dealership for a while recently. I heard the "behind the scenes" stuff here and there but you're not going to get "real dealer and industry insider feedback" as you call it. Your question is sort of... abstract. The people who can afford it are doing it. The people who are scared to ride aren't. Affordable sportbike insurance seems to be getting harder to get. We turned back a LOT of people who couldn't get insured. Also, the lending companies don't consider bikes a necessity, like cars. They look at them as a "luxury" item so you need better credit to get approved, whereas just about anyone with a pulse can get a car loan.

The economy is uncertain so maybe some bikes that usually can't stay on the floor are sitting around. The local shop I worked at has 2000 ZX-12's for $8,999!!!!!!! (of course Kawasaki is hurting BAD right now). The bike shops are a little desperate so it's a good time to buy if you have the dough.

We were behind an average of just over 70 bikes a month from the previous year. It's an uncertain economic environment... it'll return... no big deal.

girardmi 06-25-2001 04:57 PM

Re: Questions about bike sales, dealerships and demand
I think the big problem is image. The first time I even mentioned that I wanted to get a motorcycle to my parents, family, and friends... they immediately started a rough draft for my obituary. The public is scared of motorcycles, not to mention that roughly 70% of the population lacks the skill to drive a car more of less throw a leg over a bike. If they gave motorcycle CVT's or automatics like ATV's and snowmobiles, you'd see more of the average joe on one. Maybe someone can design a huge SUV bike. That can manage to get 8mpg and weight 2500 pounds. I see it now, a bike with a 6000cc V-12.

motorpsyche 06-25-2001 05:03 PM

This is a "What is the meaning of life?" question.
Motorcycling is a very complex proposition here in the U.S. Where wide open spaces (outside of metro areas of course) combined with cheap gas (relative to the rest of the industrialized world) make motorcycling more of a hobby than a means of justifiable transportation for the majority of Americans. And let us not forget that giant vehicles, a la the Ford Excursion, and old people that are able to obtain a renewed driver's license when they can't even react to their own bowel signals fast enough or see and hear a train 50 feet from them are thrown into the transportation blender here in the U.S. That fact alone makes motorcycle riding a bit more adventurous than many would dare to try. Motorcycling for me means freedom, excitement, and frugality all rolled into one. Where else for about one-fourth to one-half the price of the average new car (assuming you buy new bikes and cars) can you have a vehicle that gives you superior acceleration, handling, gas mileage, and makes you feel like a million bucks when you ride it? I can't speak for all the other motoryclists in the U.S. but I truly feel it doesn't matter what you ride or how much you spent on the bike (the motorcycle is the fastest, most affordable form of transportation you can buy) but what's important is that you just ride. It's like the old "being alive" analogy; it's better than the alternative.

Roadman 06-25-2001 06:20 PM

The new Harley Davidson 1100 water cooled is a HUGE mistake
It is a great motor in a sport frame with a TT seat.

It is the dumbest thing you ever saw. It looks like a honda in a Buell frame. It is fast and comfortable but will never sell. HUGE mistake.

NickdaBrick 06-25-2001 06:38 PM

Words from an Industry Insider
Your questions were directed to long time Hodaka distributor and industry insider, Pat McGroin. Here's what he had to say:

"Why don't more Americans ride bikes? A couple of reasons, really. First, you got your Squid Factor. Squids read all the magazines and get this idea in their heads that if they aren't riding the latest and greatest, the girls won't like them. Only they can't afford the insurance on the latest and greatest. You know how much insurance costs on a new Gixxer 1000? But you show 'em a bike they can handle, and they turn up their noses and start shopping the classifieds. Then of course a lot of them end up crashing or scaring themselves, so there's not a lot of repeat customers.

Another reason is what I call the Lard Factor. See, a disproportionate number of Americans who have steady paychecks are fat guys with big bellies, like me. Guys like that just can't ride a lot of the bikes on the market. Plus, a lot of them have wives, and there's no way the wife is going to let a guy blow eight grand on something he can only ride by himself. Anything under 750 cc's is pretty much out of the question. But you look at the bikes fat guys can take their wives for a ride on -- Gold Wings and Harleys -- and those things are just flying off the showroom floors.

Now if the factories would just start making more bikes comfortable for fat guys and start including insurance in the purchase price of the bikes to give people a better idea of what it's gonna cost them, and if the magazines would stop telling people their bike is a dog because a pro racer went one tenth faster on another bike, I think sales would pick up quite a bit."

McGroin also mentioned tentative plans for a Hodaka comeback. "The guys at the factory are looking at a 900 cc sport bike with a big, comfy seat the size of Rhode Island. Too bad it looks like crap."

NickdaBrick 06-25-2001 06:56 PM

Re: The new Harley Davidson 1100 water cooled is a HUGE mist
You mean a guy might actually be able to buy one at list price?

fastmcmike 06-25-2001 07:29 PM

Re: Questions about bike sales, dealerships and demand
i've sold motorcycles for 19 years and my spin is the same as it always been.if it was not for wives,mothers and girlfriends.i'd be a rich man.this weekend i had a gentalman set to buy,his wife drove him to the shop and started crying .you aren't going to do this to me and the kids are you.i thought you knew i didn't want to lose you.done deal,he hung his head and said no dear if it means that much to you i'll still drive the suv to work.thats it in a nut shell.

Roadman 06-25-2001 08:00 PM

Re: The new Harley Davidson 1100 water cooled is a HUGE mist
They will discount them . UGLY + STUPID

they should have put the motor in a dresser where no one could see the frame and motor.

A TT seat? why choose a seat like that?

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:40 PM.