Go Back   Motorcycle Forum > Motorcycle.Com General Discussion > Motorcycle General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-19-2010, 03:10 PM   #1
Administrator
Administrator

 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: On My Bike
Posts: 1
Default Piaggio's CEO Speaks Out on State of Motorcycling


Original Article:
Piaggio's CEO Speaks Out on State of Motorcycling

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article Piaggio's CEO Speaks Out on State of Motorcycling in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
Administrator is offline   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links Remove Advertisements
Motorcycle Forum
Advertisement
Old 05-19-2010, 08:15 PM   #2
jmdonald
Founding Member
 
jmdonald's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 1,291
Default The Right Things

Mr. Timoni is saying the right things from a World Class Manufacturers perspective. They are building a World Class offering and I wish them success.
__________________
Secede.
jmdonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2010, 08:51 PM   #3
Patrick-of-the-Hills
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 155
Default Mainstream acceptance

I could sit here all night and develop something close to a doctorate thesis on what could/should be done to develop the breadth of the motorcycle market in the United States, but at the core is a self-perpetuating feedback loop:

There are essentially three (but really two major) kinds of motorcycles for sale in the US: sportbikes, cruisers, and dirtbikes. These appeal to, and are fed by, very specific owner/purchaser demographics: speed freaks for the sportbikes (and to an extent dirtbikes) and wannabe bad boys for the cruisers. That's it. The manufacturers cater exclusively to these (overwhelmingly male) purchasers with constant model updates and accessories, the media reinforces the message, and people who would prefer to simply have an affordable, efficient, enjoyable means of transportation are left a little bit cold by all the plastic and chrome and bulk and full-attack riding positions.

Perfect example: my beloved girlfriend. I have hauled her to a number of shops around the greater New York City area, to the point where her inital dislike for bikes in general had changed to a pleasant curiosity. Unfortunately, she can't abide anything to big or heavy or aggressive or (big one here) wide in the tank. She looks shrunk by 20% sitting on something as elemental as a new Bonneville.

And that's with someone along the way to explain things a bit and show some enthusiasm. If the average person's opinion of a motorcyclist is formed solely by either a) the hooligan brigade blasting by at triple digits or b) the screw-you tough guys with open pipes, well, duh, they're not going to be motivated to inquire about it.

Much of the answer has to be in marketing, opening a new channel straight into normalcy - much like what Honda did fifty years ago. Make small, light, inexpensive, manageable, likable, all-around good machines. Advertise on TV and in . Dissolve some of the cultishness that makes this such an exclusive (in a bad sense) club.

Just a thought.
Patrick-of-the-Hills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2010, 10:04 PM   #4
jyasord
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2
Default moto difficulties

Motorcycling is too expensive. The initial prices of the bikes has hiked up with the boomers financial statements, and back down. I'm in my 30's & i'm not quite there. I need affordable, around $10 grand. Safe, with all the rain here in Seattle, ABS is a safety essential. Fun, it doesn't need 150 hp and please don't have it weigh 500+lbs. And make it easy/affordable to maintain.
I make 2-3 times as many visits to my local shop for repairs and maintenance on my bike as i do with my car, and it costs several times as much per mile. Any saving over a car in the initial price of the bike is easily eaten up by frequent tire changes, brakes, repairs and the eternal "6,000" mile tuneups- at $3-500 a pop. All far more frequent and expensive than a car where 30-100 thousand mile tuneups, and 40 thousand mile tires are the standard. (The economy and becoming a papa has made money tighter

For me the bike i'd love to see from Piagio, is one making the internet rumor circuit, the Tuareg, a GS like 750. Keep the price at $10 grand with ABS ( and heated handgrips option), make the maintenance intervals no less than 10 thousand miles, and focus on Quality and reliabilty. I want that much more than 2 more horsepower or a fancy headlight (though a headlight that actually works at night would be great). Give it a comfortable seat so i don't have to automatically chuck it and spend $4-500 for an aftermarket one (When i buy a car, i don't budget for seat replacement- so why do i need to do so on a bike?) And a 3yrs/36,000 mile warranty just like every car. Please make it run mile after mile so i can spend my rides going to the mountains instead of to my dealership.

On another side, the aftermarket needs an REI or LL Bean. A place where i can buy from and if i'm not satisfied i can return it. If the windscreen doesn't provide wind protection, if the jacket leaks- all this expensive gear i buy can't be returned after use. This isn't shaping the industry to provide high quality gear that performs well, too much just looks good....

Lastly, Test Rides! $10 grand is a lot to spend on the unriden! Instead bikes are bought on spec sheets, on styling, on image, on journalistic hype- but only BMW lets me buy on how it rides, how it feels, is it fun? zippy? boring? (sadly, i've found BMW to be expensive and unreliable).
So Piagio, bring me a Gs Alternative, use the Falling Euro to Price it well. Give me ABS, so that when a car cuts me off in the rain i can grab the brakes for all they're worth. And make it run mile after mile- so i can enjoy it not be frustrated by it
Thanks
jyasord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2010, 12:10 AM   #5
Kevin_Duke
Motorcycle.com Staff

 
Kevin_Duke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,087
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jyasord View Post
Motorcycling is too expensive. The initial prices of the bikes has hiked up with the boomers financial statements, and back down. I'm in my 30's & i'm not quite there. I need affordable, around $10 grand. Safe, with all the rain here in Seattle, ABS is a safety essential. Fun, it doesn't need 150 hp and please don't have it weigh 500+lbs. And make it easy/affordable to maintain.
I make 2-3 times as many visits to my local shop for repairs and maintenance on my bike as i do with my car, and it costs several times as much per mile. Any saving over a car in the initial price of the bike is easily eaten up by frequent tire changes, brakes, repairs and the eternal "6,000" mile tuneups- at $3-500 a pop. All far more frequent and expensive than a car where 30-100 thousand mile tuneups, and 40 thousand mile tires are the standard. (The economy and becoming a papa has made money tighter

For me the bike i'd love to see from Piagio, is one making the internet rumor circuit, the Tuareg, a GS like 750. Keep the price at $10 grand with ABS ( and heated handgrips option), make the maintenance intervals no less than 10 thousand miles, and focus on Quality and reliabilty. I want that much more than 2 more horsepower or a fancy headlight (though a headlight that actually works at night would be great). Give it a comfortable seat so i don't have to automatically chuck it and spend $4-500 for an aftermarket one (When i buy a car, i don't budget for seat replacement- so why do i need to do so on a bike?) And a 3yrs/36,000 mile warranty just like every car. Please make it run mile after mile so i can spend my rides going to the mountains instead of to my dealership.

Lastly, Test Rides! $10 grand is a lot to spend on the unriden! Instead bikes are bought on spec sheets, on styling, on image, on journalistic hype- but only BMW lets me buy on how it rides, how it feels, is it fun? zippy? boring? (sadly, i've found BMW to be expensive and unreliable).
So Piagio, bring me a Gs Alternative, use the Falling Euro to Price it well. Give me ABS, so that when a car cuts me off in the rain i can grab the brakes for all they're worth. And make it run mile after mile- so i can enjoy it not be frustrated by it
Thanks
Cheap w/ABS is an SV650.

For $9K you can get a Shiver. Add $1K to $2K for ABS and mini fairing for the Shiver GT when it becomes available here: American Ride documentary needs footage

A Triumph Tiger also mostly fits the bill: British SBK Champ Steve Hislop Dies
Kevin_Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2010, 12:21 AM   #6
Kevin_Duke
Motorcycle.com Staff

 
Kevin_Duke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,087
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick-of-the-Hills View Post
I could sit here all night and develop something close to a doctorate thesis on what could/should be done to develop the breadth of the motorcycle market in the United States, but at the core is a self-perpetuating feedback loop:

There are essentially three (but really two major) kinds of motorcycles for sale in the US: sportbikes, cruisers, and dirtbikes. These appeal to, and are fed by, very specific owner/purchaser demographics: speed freaks for the sportbikes (and to an extent dirtbikes) and wannabe bad boys for the cruisers. That's it. The manufacturers cater exclusively to these (overwhelmingly male) purchasers with constant model updates and accessories, the media reinforces the message, and people who would prefer to simply have an affordable, efficient, enjoyable means of transportation are left a little bit cold by all the plastic and chrome and bulk and full-attack riding positions.

Perfect example: my beloved girlfriend. I have hauled her to a number of shops around the greater New York City area, to the point where her inital dislike for bikes in general had changed to a pleasant curiosity. Unfortunately, she can't abide anything to big or heavy or aggressive or (big one here) wide in the tank. She looks shrunk by 20% sitting on something as elemental as a new Bonneville.

And that's with someone along the way to explain things a bit and show some enthusiasm. If the average person's opinion of a motorcyclist is formed solely by either a) the hooligan brigade blasting by at triple digits or b) the screw-you tough guys with open pipes, well, duh, they're not going to be motivated to inquire about it.

Much of the answer has to be in marketing, opening a new channel straight into normalcy - much like what Honda did fifty years ago. Make small, light, inexpensive, manageable, likable, all-around good machines. Advertise on TV and in . Dissolve some of the cultishness that makes this such an exclusive (in a bad sense) club.

Just a thought.
You have many opinions in common with Timoni. It will be interesting to see how the MIC and AMA respond to this industry challenge, as they will need to take the lead on this issue.

As for a bike for your girlfriend, Timoni would point her to several Piaggio or Vespa scooters, or perhaps this: Triumph 2.3 Cruiser
Kevin_Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2010, 03:56 AM   #7
Dr_Sprocket
Founding Member
 
Dr_Sprocket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delmarva Peninsula
Posts: 2,331
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_Duke View Post
As for a bike for your girlfriend, Timoni would point her to several Piaggio or Vespa scooters, or perhaps this: Triumph 2.3 Cruiser
"Pay no attention to the link... uhh... behind the link! I am the great and powerful Duke!"
__________________
"Aid to the helpless indigent is civilized. Aid to the irresponsible is socially corrosive." ----- Schizuki (c. 2011)
Dr_Sprocket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2010, 05:43 AM   #8
seruzawa
The Toad

 
seruzawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: 8501 ft.
Posts: 17,461
Default

He's the first industry guy I've seen admit that the boomer phenomena doesn't just drive the cruiser market but drives the entire US market. Unless the USA m/c market starts to take some action now it is facing a collapse even bigger than the current one when the boomers get too old to ride and die off.

Sportbikes are in as much jeopardy as cruisers. Even though boomers don't buy as many sportbikes where do you think the $ for the constant development comes from? It comes from people paying $7000 for Honda Shadow 750s, etc.

Dirt bike sales have already plummeted partially because the boomers have aged out of dirt riding. Matt has the numbers but dirt bike sales are maybe 25% of what they used to be in the areas where there is still lots of open land. Instead the numbers of those stinking 4-wheelers have skyrocketed.
__________________
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."
seruzawa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2010, 05:52 AM   #9
seruzawa
The Toad

 
seruzawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: 8501 ft.
Posts: 17,461
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jyasord View Post
Motorcycling is too expensive. The initial prices of the bikes has hiked up with the boomers financial statements, and back down. I'm in my 30's & i'm not quite there.
There are good bikes below $10K that can be used for any kind of riding. Bikes like the SV650 or the Versys, etc. If more people buy them then the companies will build more. They don't sell for the same reason Americans apparently must buy a .44mag when they only need a .38special. This is true in the auto market as well. Four cylinder import 4x4 trucks have all but disappeared because the buyers always opt for the V-6s. Thus you have light trucks barely getting 20 mpg.

But you have a good point. It used to be that only HDs and BMWs and a couple for exotics were high range cost. Now Just about every big bike is 12-14K or more. You even see Honda charging more for their throwaways than equivalent BMWs.
__________________
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."

Last edited by seruzawa : 05-20-2010 at 09:01 AM.
seruzawa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2010, 08:09 AM   #10
jmdonald
Founding Member
 
jmdonald's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 1,291
Default Good Points

All good points brought to light. I believe the dynamics involved are less visible as opposed to more complex regarding the overall market. The responses from the participants all have merit and they themselves are World Class. You don't get this kind of expression from other forums around town. The inherent danger, costs, identity creation, comfort, psychology are just some contributing factors behind the decision to ride and what to buy. Genuine study of the psychology behind this market to better serve the customer has merit. If it is used to trick the customer at best is just plain insulting. A reason to ride along with the right product offering would be fundamental to serving any moto-customers needs. Unfortunately not everyone is immune to the false moto-identities being marketed. If they are going to market an identity let it be a real, lasting one. Honda did that once.When you buy a false identity sooner or later it dies. Great input MOFO’s.
__________________
Secede.
jmdonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off