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Old 12-14-2001, 06:15 AM   #61
spindizzy
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Default Re: Update on Kawasaki/Suzuki merger

It would probably help if you looked at other markets than exclusively American - Kawasaki supersports bikes often outsell the other brands in different markets. Both the 6R and the 9R are strong sellers in many markets especially Europe and Australia. The US is not a huge motorcycle market place and is the only one where cruisers dominate the market - that's also the reason why you have such limited product lines.
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Old 12-14-2001, 06:24 AM   #62
jamesohoh7
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Default Re: loyalty

Yeah, that was my understanding as well.. the new venture would be a spin off. Hmmm.. time will tell I suppose. I still believe that there exists more brand loyalty than some would suspect. A rebadged gixxer as a ZX won't sell... the bikes will need to be as new and different as they can be.



Polaris's issues w/selling its bikes are a good example too... forgot about them (apparently so have the buying public!)



-James
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Old 12-14-2001, 06:30 AM   #63
Stivans
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Default Re: New brand needs new name...let the contest begin

How about "HONDA", sounds good to me !

rides even better
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Old 12-14-2001, 06:30 AM   #64
Philbiker
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Default Going back further, think Auto Union

Audi satarted ad Auto Union, which was a merger of four car companies that were all struggling in the marketplace. Instead of four companies with limited resources, they because Auto Union, which was in turn bought by VW and renamed Audi.



This can be good for both Kawasaki and Suzuki, as well as for the customers. Going from four to three major Japanese manufacturers will not make a big difference in competition I don't think.
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Old 12-14-2001, 06:35 AM   #65
Philbiker
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Default Re: You forgot something:

"I think it would be interesting to see what happens to this category in a merger, as the two companies have drastically different characteristics to their standard-type motorcycles." And also, despite the very different philsophies in these areas, both companies make outstanding vehicles in this catagory. The SV650 and ZR7S are in the same category but very different bikes. As are the Bandit and ZRX12.



But I'll tell you, a half faired ZR7 style bike with Givi luggage and an SV650 engine sure would be a great bike!



As would be a Bandit with the ZXR12 engine.



The possibilities are cool!!!!
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Old 12-14-2001, 06:49 AM   #66
Philbiker
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Default Re: Update on Kawasaki/Suzuki merger

Interesting post, but remember some things:



* Kawasaki, not Honda, has by far the biggest pockets of any motorcycle company. Their "Heavy Industries" are gigantic.



Bikes like the Shadows, V-Stars, Vulcans, and Intruders/other Suzy cruisers, sell in large volumes, and don't require much of the expensive engineering you're referring to. Kawasaki's been manking the same 1500 V-twin for about 15 years. The Yamaha V-Star 1100 engine dates back to 1979. The Honda and Suzuki engines are 10-15 years old also.



Sure, there are some new engines out there, like the new Honda and Yamaha big V-twins, but these are very profitable machines and these engines should be in production for decades.



This is how the sportbikes are financed in the modern motorcycle world.
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Old 12-14-2001, 06:50 AM   #67
das
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Default Re: Update on Kawasaki/Suzuki merger

1) Personally, I chose my bike based on several criteria, including ergonomics, overall quality, handling, power, image/style, reliability, price... in approximately that order.



2) There are plenty of examples of bikes that have won championships, but not sold all that well... including the RC-45 and ZX-7RR. On the other hand, the RC-51 was sold out before it ran it's first race, so it didn't matter that it won the WSBK championship. The "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" addage is simply no longer true in large numbers. And it certainly doesn't explain the huge expenditures that they put into GP racing.



3) It may be poetic justice that they're making them now, but that doesn't mean that those bikes aren't profitable for the Japanese manufs., too.



4) The ZRX 1200 engine debuted just a couple years ago. Yes, it's modification of the ZX-11 engine, which was 90's tech, which was a modification of the ZX-10 engine, which was 80's tech. But the tires on the GSX-R1000 are merely incremental advances from the tires 1920s, and front forks were invented when, and disc brakes were first introduced in what, the 50s or so? The point here is that 99% of the tech is merely incremental advances over the previous years, so you cannot discount incremental advances. And the engine is not the only component that matters. The rear suspension on the ZRX is widely regarded as a major technical achievement... no other dual-shock bike has ever been as good (or so they say... I've not ridden one myself).



5) Have you every been to a supercross event? HUGE crowds.



6) Ah, yes... that's what I thought.



Harley continues to do well because the economic troubles in the US are fairly recent (a couple years of mere slowdown). The Japanese economy has been in deeper trouble and for much longer. If the US economy continues to suffer, Harley will cease to post record profits. And as the baby boomers get too old for bikes altogether, Harley will cease to post record profits, regardless of the economy, or Harley's R&D expenditures, or racing programs, or redesign frequency, or anything else that Harley might do. That level of money just won't be there.



I'm not a financial analyst with detailed info about the inner workings of the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers (and obviously you aren't either), so it's meaningless to speculate about how much the losses or profits may be, especially on a segment by segment scale.



I'm not a big fan of the Japanese culture and it's implications to the US in terms of free trade, either.



The 'other' factors are things we've been discussing throughout... general economic situation, Japanese domestic market situation, the losses that Kawasaki is suffering from their other divisions (aircraft, construction equip, etc.), etc. etc, etc.



Harley does have race teams. Ever heard of dirt track? I know the roadracing program with the VR 1000 is dead now, but that went on for quite a while.



If the Japanese manufacturers aren't capable of making a profit from their motorcycle divisions as they are today (and I've not actually seen evidence of that yet), and they had to tomorrow... then they would probably do what any company in that situation would do... make changes to try to make it work.



Just because they behaved one way when flush with cash doesn't mean that they cannot function in a cash-tight environment. And suddenly being in a cash-tight environment doesn't mean that they were wrong for using their cash on things like R&D, racing, and frequent redesigns when they had it.



I, for one, am very happy that the Japanese manufacturers have advanced motorcycle technology (and especially sportbike tech) as much as they have. If they all went out of business tomorrow, I'd live, and continue to buy and ride motorcycles (the Aprilia RSV Mille tops my list). But I hope that they don't. I hope that they continue to thrive, and continue to make a wide variety of motorcycles, and continue to advance motorcycle technology (in all areas), and continue to support racing, and contribute to the MSF, and all the other things that they've been doing that have improved the industry.



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Old 12-14-2001, 06:58 AM   #68
Philbiker
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Default Re: Update on Kawasaki/Suzuki merger

"Name me ONE techonological advance Harley has brought to motorcycling in its entire history as a company. "



They led in:



* OHV technology

* Adding the second cylinder to make the V-Twin. They did not invent it, but they definitely helped popularize it.

* Suspension technology



Sure most of this happened in the first 30 years of motorcycling, but they did it! Like BMW was important in making shaft drive popular and MotoGuzzi pioneered linked brakes.
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Old 12-14-2001, 07:37 AM   #69
luvmyvfr
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Default You guys are so lame

Dumb comments, all around. Jeez. Wasn't one of you whining about how we couldn't talk about Honda on Honda's merits alone? Whining about bringing Harley into a Honda article/thread? Now you're doing the same thing on a Suzuki/Kawasaki thread. Let it go. I know you didn't necessarily start it today, or any other day, but let it slide. Act your age, since you're both "elderly" (you know what I mean longride ).



Maybe you got hurt feelings for all the Harley bashing and name calling, but if you're so SECURE in your ride (Rod), then you don't need to build yourself up by tearing down another, right? That never works, and you see how stupid it makes some of these other guys look. You are both smarter than that.



Anyone can say what they want about my ride, but nothing will change the fact that it's Japanese, I love it, it's fun, I ride it every single day and have for 2+ years now, it's super reliable, never has had to go to the shop, probably won't for a long, long time, and allows me to be part of a brotherhood of motorcyclists who can bash and trash all day on the web, but who I still wouldn't mind going out and riding with. I'd defend it fiercely, if necessary, but not to a moron, nad I wouldn't need to say, "My toy is better than your toy".



Try posting something like this in the future:



"I ride a Harley (or want to or whatever) and I think it's a darn fine motorcycle. It does everything I want it to, and does so comfortably, and with the style and image that I enjoy and appreciate. The Company is doing well, and I believe will continue to do so, because they make the best and most authentic motorcycle in their particular genre."



That kind of comment won't get replies like:



"Or... Hardley worth its weight in manure"



Take it easy.



luvmyvfr
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Old 12-14-2001, 08:55 AM   #70
starvingstudent
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Default Re: You forgot something:

"But I'll tell you, a half faired ZR7 style bike with Givi luggage and an SV650 engine sure would be a great bike!"



It's called the Honda Deauville (Hawk GT engine), and it's only available in Europe. I think it would be neat, though. You don't need 1800cc's to cross state lines.
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