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Buzglyd 08-11-2005 07:13 AM

Re: How do we get'm to build what we want?
Just see if you can convince someone to lose millions and then you'll see a competitive American sportbike.

bod 08-11-2005 07:13 AM

Re: How do we get'm to build what we want?
Oh this is great open a can of worms mid week like we don't have enough to do. But i think the key is sales if we (motorcyclist) would quit buying the junk that our american owned ( alot of bikes are made in america just without alot of american parts) motorcycle companies turn out year after year they would either A. Go the way of the doodo bird (indian norton) or B. build something we like (honda yamaha) and make great profits. It is really up to us as cosumers to make this decision for them. Alas just like with the government we take what they give us without question and like it.

Tigercub 08-11-2005 07:18 AM

Re: How do we get'm to build what we want?
I think it takes either a black hole's worth of money or lots of experience. I think anyone can build a bike with a good motor, or excellent handling, brakes, etc. or find a top rider among the half dozen available world-wide, or assemble the right team, but you have to have all of those put together to be a consistent winner.

Oh, and you want to sell street bikes based on the racing machine as well? I didn't read the second part of the question.

You know, the easier way to do this is to buy Honda.

longride 08-11-2005 07:46 AM

Re: How do we get'm to build what we want?
Where have you been hiding? If you don't start showing up around here, I'm coming out there to find you.

schizuki 08-11-2005 07:52 AM

Re: How do we get'm to build what we want?
That's a tall order. An American company would have to be satisfied to sell a niche bike, and do it at fairly competitive prices (a la Ducati) without the resources of the Japanese companies (or even Ducati). Triumph tried direct competition (TT600) and failed (now let's see how the new 600 triple does - I predict relative success, but nothing huge.)

Sportbikes are most popular with younger folks, and they tend not to let "made in America" influence their decisions. So a "patriot premium" in price would not fly, nor would the bike be cut any performance slack for being American.

A four-cylinder sportbike would fail. A V-twin might sell in small numbers, at higher prices than the Japanese competition. It's up to either Harley or Polaris to do it, and I don't see the incentive for them to do essentially from-scratch R&D.

All the more reason to be thankful for the Buell XB9R/XB12R. I think that's as good as it's gonna get. Heck, I'll take one.

johnnyb 08-11-2005 07:53 AM

Re: How do we get'm to build what we want?
we want hogs man. that's why they built so many of them. when We want sportbikes maybe then HD/buell will start making them. Anyway, you saw Polaris/KTM deal didn't you? HellooOOOOO, u don't think there's potential there?

besides y does it have to b american? i bet u r sitting in your lexus right now...

bmwdude 08-11-2005 07:54 AM

Re: How do we get'm to build what we want?
I'm not sure I follow? Bike makers around the world build and sell sportbikes and make money. Why would an American company need to loose money to do so?

I'm not asking Harley or Polaris to stop production of their other products and focus only on sportbikes. The Big 4 have a huge model line up and are doing great.

VR1000racer 08-11-2005 07:56 AM

Re: How do we get'm to build what we want?
First, bring a LOT of money to the table. Say $ 5 million for starters. A new engine is $ 3 mil. and on the cheap, $ 2 mil. for rolling development. That is just to get it DESIGNED.

That does not cover the cost of tooling, factory lines, etc.

Then consider this. Are we going to compete in a structured racing class? Yes? Plan on a major update every year, and redesign every 2-3 years. And not just the bold new graphics stuff. I'm talking leading edge material pushing stuff.

How many units will we sell in the 2 year life cycle of the product? Figure a safe number of 10,000 units. (based on Triumph & Buell sales #'s)

That will make it an expensive unit. Limited production, so parts, both OEM and aftermarket will be scarce and expensive. Which has the effect of limiting the interest in racing it, because of, get this, limited availability of race parts... bottom line, profit margin goes in the dump, parts support is a nightmare, etc.

Now, if we go the other way, and just go for a high performance bike, say a 1200, that will have a longer product life, as it is not designed to specifically compete in a class, we can plan on building say, 50,000 of them, with major changes every 5 years instead of every 2 years, suddenly, things get a lot more interesting.

Now, pipes, pistons, heads, etc. become a lot more affordable, because we (aftermarket pipe co) know that if we spend 8 months developing an exhaust and tooling it up, we will have 4+ more years of sales, with a unit base of 50,000 bikes, instead of 12-14 months with a unit base of 10,000 bikes.

Buell, Harley, and Victory get a lot of grief over the way that they do new models, but when you look at the reality of it, for what they are, they are very successful.

Harley will sell more Vrods over it's life cycle than Honda will of ANY of it's models over it's life cycle. Harley sold its 50,000 th Vrod with nothing but paint changes last year, and it was the slowest seller they have.

Buell will sell as many Firebolts over it's life cycle as Honda will of CBR600F5's over its life cycle.


I think because Harley & Buell builds a bike and let the customer figure out what to do with it, rather than building to a set of rules and trying to beat the other buy by 2 HP or a tenth in the quarter.

There are no rules on the street, and if you need to go faster, get out your credit cards.

I ride with the local sportbike crowd on sunday morning on my 99 Thunderbolt with a Penske shock, gold valved forks, a Buell race kit exhaust & ignition module, and EBC brakes.

My Buell is not the fastest bike out there, as I doubt it would top 140, but I have never been over a 100 on the rides we go on. I don't get left by Hayabusas or GSXR1000's, nor does any one bike have a real edge in the backroads.

Why? It's not a race. Yes, an equal rider on a GSXR1000 would smoke me if they tried, but that would be in the seriously dangerous realm that no one wants to ride in.

I think that is where the real success on these bikes lie. After all, they still sell V-Max's.

I am rambling, but I hope you get the picture as to how/why some of the decisions are made when it comes to new bikes from the American companies.

By the way, I would love a water cooled 390 lb. 1200 cc Buell as much as the next guy.

bmwdude 08-11-2005 08:02 AM

Re: How do we get'm to build what we want?
You bet I've been following the whole KTM/Polaris deal! Perhaps that is our only hope?

Lexus?? Sounds like some sort of cleaning product? No I drive a big'ol gas drinking pick up. (Gotta have something to haul bikes to have'm serviced)

sportbikebandit 08-11-2005 08:03 AM

Re: How do we get'm to build what we want?
Have to agree with you on this one

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