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Old 05-20-2010, 09:47 AM   #11
Kevin_Duke
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Originally Posted by Dr_Sprocket View Post
"Pay no attention to the link... uhh... behind the link! I am the great and powerful Duke!"
The link was actually to a Guzzi V7 eval, which is a much smaller bike.
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:53 AM   #12
alarue
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jaysord makes a good point about maintenance. If a 1969 CB750 Four didn't require valve adjustments, why does a 2010 NT700V?

That said, there are good everyday commuter motorcycles out there, but they aren't popular in the U.S. The VStrom 650 is a niche bike, but would be perfect for people in decent climates to ride nearly year round, especially with long commutes like mine (72 miles round-trip). The NT700 provides better weather protection at somewhat higher cost, but not unreasonable for the extra amenities, and the price is good relative to its competition (BMW F800ST, etc.) But you still have the maintenance issue.

One of the biggest problems is that even if I'm going to ride a motorcycle most of the time, I can't see myself giving up the car. We get 60+ inches of rain in an average year in Houston, and in August I really want that a/c. My car gets 35 mpg and requires little maintenance. That makes a motorcycle an "extra" -- even if I use it most days, I can't call it a necessity. How can marketing get around that?
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_Duke View Post
The link was actually to a Guzzi V7 eval, which is a much smaller bike.
I know, just messing. (Do you know what movie that line was derived from?)

BTW, how come your links don't show correctly? For being the Big Cheese, you'd think they'd get that fixed ASAP.
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Old 05-20-2010, 10:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dr_Sprocket View Post
I know, just messing. (Do you know what movie that line was derived from?)

BTW, how come your links don't show correctly? For being the Big Cheese, you'd think they'd get that fixed ASAP.
I'm trying...
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:02 PM   #15
jyasord
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Kevin,

I appreciate the recommendation, "Cheap w/ABS is an SV650", I've looked at it, and it may be my next bike after learning the true cost of riding a BMW. I'd always wanted a BMW and after kids i justified the cost for safety (ABS), but boy has it been expensive to maintain and even more expensive to repair!

I've also looked at "for $9K you can get a Shiver" and the Tiger. I'm just hoping they'll add more dirt capability as i like to head up into the mountains onto dirt roads)

I also agree with Timoni and Patrick-of-the hills. Motorcycling is so focused on three core groups Sportbikers, Dirt Bikers, and Cruisers that it's missing out on offering two wheels to anyone but the hard cores of each of those groups. The focus on Aging Boomers and the size of their wallets has peripheralized development of less expensive machinery. And us Adventure Bikers have to look longingly to Europe for their selection.....may Aprilia, Triumph, Honda, and Yamaha finally look enviously at BMW's GS sales and import a reliable more affordable alternative!!

ps- nice forum
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:10 PM   #16
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I just wanted to add that,

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Old 05-20-2010, 12:11 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jyasord View Post
Kevin,

I appreciate the recommendation, "Cheap w/ABS is an SV650", I've looked at it, and it may be my next bike after learning the true cost of riding a BMW. I'd always wanted a BMW and after kids i justified the cost for safety (ABS), but boy has it been expensive to maintain and even more expensive to repair!

I've also looked at "for $9K you can get a Shiver" and the Tiger. I'm just hoping they'll add more dirt capability as i like to head up into the mountains onto dirt roads)

I also agree with Timoni and Patrick-of-the hills. Motorcycling is so focused on three core groups Sportbikers, Dirt Bikers, and Cruisers that it's missing out on offering two wheels to anyone but the hard cores of each of those groups. The focus on Aging Boomers and the size of their wallets has peripheralized development of less expensive machinery. And us Adventure Bikers have to look longingly to Europe for their selection.....may Aprilia, Triumph, Honda, and Yamaha finally look enviously at BMW's GS sales and import a reliable more affordable alternative!!

ps- nice forum
Triumph has been importing one for years.
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:26 PM   #18
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Actually, Piaggio's message could be said to be remarkably consistent.

After all, the Vespa was introduced to a war-torn Italy to reliably let people get themselves around after the Allies bombed them half-way back to the Stone Ages.

Piaggio had a bomber aircraft factory prior. New thinking was demanded after the destruction.

Now today, as we pick ourselves up after being economically cut in two since the last few years, answers are being sought on what to do.

Mr. Timoni says powered two wheelers need to be considered as vehicles to get people where they want to go, and pointed out the conditions and challenges we face.

Fact: there are vast numbers of people who pass on scooters, light motorcycles, etc., in favor of cars or mass transit.

The question is why? After all, you can buy a used or new bike that will get much better mpg than a car. Why do more Americans not want it?

I suggested to Timoni that MIC needs to do a proper study asking non-riders what their objections are -- if that does not cost too much -- to get the data.

Then they could more properly tailor ad campaigns, and provide the right incentives to attract non-riders to two-wheelers – be they more demo rides, or features and benefits aimed at appealing to new riders.

Short of that, I suggested non-riders do not want to risk their safety -- look, even in this forum, a gentleman demands ABS. Nothing wrong with that, but this is indicative of the expectations people have today.

Cars are loaded with safety features. And what we too often hear from the mainstream newspapers and TV media is horror stories about how dangerous bikes are, and how nuts and lawless their riders can be.

That is what I mean about a PR problem.

Further, cars keep you dry in the rain, protected from snow, they don't muss up your hair on your way to the office, and you don't have to wear special safety gear.

They are comfortable year round, and don't demand the discipline or skills or risk tolerance that a bike does.

Mr. Timoni agreed with me on these points, and jotted down the safety and weather issues as I said them - he dodged the mussed up hair objection however, because initially I'd said a woman would not tolerate that, and I guess he wanted to avoid what might be perceived as a sexist remark. I quickly corrected myself, however, and said perceived inconvenience in riding a bike to work applies equally to males as well.

Getting more people to embrace powered two wheelers is what is at issue.

I'm sure more people would if they were properly introduced to riding. That said, there are some people who should not ride – because all the gear in the world won't save you if you don't watch out, or can't handle your machine.

Others who can accept and manage the risk, ought to consider riding.

It could save them a lot of money, while introducing them to something very fun.

And even if someone objects because a bike needs more frequent tire changes, etc., bikes cost much less up front, and get better mpg.

Bike are cheap enough that they could be part time transport for the people in cold areas that won't ride during the winter.

And bikes could be designed to easily accommodate heated gear, grips and offer better weather protection too, if they wanted to do it on lower-price point models.

I do not pretend to have all the answers, but obviously something is making Americans pay much more money for less efficient vehicles, while disregarding powered two wheelers for their needs.

I think MIC and the AMA need to study it further, so we can aim at the problem like a sharpshooter, instead of taking a scatter-gun approach.
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyasord View Post
Kevin,

I appreciate the recommendation, "Cheap w/ABS is an SV650", I've looked at it, and it may be my next bike after learning the true cost of riding a BMW. I'd always wanted a BMW and after kids i justified the cost for safety (ABS), but boy has it been expensive to maintain and even more expensive to repair!

I've also looked at "for $9K you can get a Shiver" and the Tiger. I'm just hoping they'll add more dirt capability as i like to head up into the mountains onto dirt roads)

I also agree with Timoni and Patrick-of-the hills. Motorcycling is so focused on three core groups Sportbikers, Dirt Bikers, and Cruisers that it's missing out on offering two wheels to anyone but the hard cores of each of those groups. The focus on Aging Boomers and the size of their wallets has peripheralized development of less expensive machinery. And us Adventure Bikers have to look longingly to Europe for their selection.....may Aprilia, Triumph, Honda, and Yamaha finally look enviously at BMW's GS sales and import a reliable more affordable alternative!!

ps- nice forum
Lots of trailies potentially coming your way. I still expect to see a 675-powered Tiger within the next 9 months, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a trailie build around the Shiver/Dorso platform. And then there's Yamaha's new Tenere which will likely arrive in America next fall.

And don't forget about the Wee-Strom (w/ABS) and the F800GS Beemer.
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:46 PM   #20
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When I was a kid the general public disliked motorcycles because of the 1% Angels/Outlaw perception. That's changed. Now it's stuntaz wheelieing and doing 140mph on the Interstate. Anyhow that what non-riders say to me.

Motorcycling ain't ever going to be widely popular in the US. I'm not sure I want it to be. Most people could never manage the necessary skillz and should stay firmly implanted in their cages. If someone thinks it's too much bother to don a helmet, jacket and gloves then they have no business on a bike. Stay home and watch "Friends" or whatever activity the timid enjoy.
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