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Buzglyd 12-26-2005 06:55 AM

Re: Proton in talks to sell stake in MV Agusta SpA
How far away from the oven can you go with the ankle bracelet on?

longride 12-26-2005 09:07 AM

Re: Whoa!, there, Tex.
Without competition, Harley would have had to upgrade, or be out of business. They were failing in the 60's because of outdated design and poor quality control, which is why they sold out to AMF to begin with. They were losing ground to the British, and their bikes weren't much better, if any better at all. Harley would also be doing exactly what they always did; cater to their customers, and not to the masses that will never buy their product. focus on your target audience is what it's all about for anyone. Harley makes a world class product with world-wide appeal. There is no denying that fact. The Japanese, on the other hand, don't even ride what they sell. Motorcycle riders in Japan are at an all-time low, so what type of 'corporate culture' do they have? At least Harleys are made BY riders, FOR riders. They aren't made in some corporate office by Japanese guys that have no interest in the sport other than technical specifications and winning races. You seem to confuse technology with worth, and nothing could be farther than the truth, at least for me. All those technological marvels all end up in the junkyard before their time is due, because it's machinery that has no soul and no purpose other than to go fast, and when it goes slower than the next model, it's worthless. We don't live on a racetrack, so the real world of stopsigns, traffic, and speed limits lets us know every day how impractical these bikes can become. I like fast bikes too. I have owned a CBX, ZX9, V-Max, TL1000S, just to name a few, and currently own a Hayabusa. I still own my 1976 Superglide, and will never sell it. It's a piece of junk to most, but that bike has more of what motorcycing is about than all the GSXR's in the world. Lots of people think bikes should be made for the real world and simple and satisfying. I guess that's as cohesive and logical an argument as I can give. Willie G. is out at every rally getting ideas and living with the people that buy the product. Where is the president of Honda these days? Eric Buell has BRAG rides that he goes on every year. Where is the Prez of Yamaha? That tells you everything you need to know about the 'corporate culture'. One makes bikes made for the people that buy them and the other makes bikes they hope you buy.

allbikesbiker 12-26-2005 09:46 AM

Re: Proton in talks to sell stake in MV Agusta SpA
I've owned three Harleys, and still have one.

I think H.D. doesn't need racing, and isn't going into racing because they don't have to!

two reasons:

1) they sell their bikes for a profit.

2) Motor Clothing! = 200% profit margins 300%? probably more.

The dealerships were required to be reconfigured to expand the 'accessories' section... or bye bye dealer.

so, why spend on R&D/Racing, when there are streams of people, who probably don't even own an H.D., and are buying up their wares.

Seems to me to be good, conservative business model.

acecycleins 12-26-2005 10:36 AM

Re: Proton in talks to sell stake in MV Agusta SpA
Regardless of the form of racing, one thing will always hold true: Technology from racing trickles down to every on and off road vehicle made. Harley has the money to race but does not need to race to sell bikes. This will only last so long. With EPA rules changing it will only be a matter of time before the push rod/ air cooled motor is gone. Harley must come up with a V-twin watercooled motor to survive. The V-rod motor (as cool as it is) is not the motor Harley will use for the furture. They need a new approach (which I am sure they are already working on) to insure success. Problem is that when they develop this motor the only real test bed is selling the product to the consumer. The TC88 motor had flaws the first go around. If HD had a race development team then the failures of parts could have been detected much sooner. HD, however, is not in the racing business and no matter how hard they work they will always be a step behind their competition. Anyway you cut it, racing helps the entire industry. The faster they develop and test parts the faster they get to the consumer. HD will always have a sales base but is it realistic to say 10 years from now that the sales will maintain 300k+ units a year. Highly unlikely since the market is flooded with used HD products as we speak.

ofreen 12-26-2005 02:00 PM

Re: Proton in talks to sell stake in MV Agusta SpA
Maybe the reason why MV isn't making a decent go of it is because of the price of their bikes. An F4 1000S has an MSRP of $21,495 according to their website. It's gorgeous, but the GSX-R1000 out performs it. I know I'm cheap, but I have a feeling a lot of others share my opinion about relative value. You price something over $20,000 and you've greatly limited the number of potential customers for something that most people see as a toy.

As soon as I heard a Rune was going to go for $25,000, I knew it would be a failure. And that was before I knew how ridiculous it looked.

hubbwood 12-26-2005 03:33 PM

Re: Whoa!, there, Tex.
"They aren't made in some corporate office by Japanese guys that have no interest in the sport other than technical specifications and winning races." Now thereÂ’s a sweeping generalization.

As a passionate motorcyclist, who also happens to be a proud Japanese-American, I’m compelled to illuminate the miss-informed. The Japanese (as well as the Italians, Germans, Brits, and Aussies) are just as passionate about their craft as the good folks in Milwaukee – who do indeed make fine bikes. Tadao Baba, David Robb, Fabio Taglioni, Arlen Ness, and yes Willie G. are all passionate about motorcycles. Is each and every employee of the Big Four passionate about motorcycles? Probably not. But I’ll wager the same can be said about The Motor Company.

Please do me and the other forum readers a favor. I respectfully request that you think twice before you write potentially offensive generalizations about a culture or people of which you clearly know little (if anything) about. As motorcyclists, we are unfairly stereotyped every day. LetÂ’s not be guilty of the same ignorance on this forum.

ncelik 12-27-2005 01:30 AM

Re: Proton in talks to sell stake in MV Agusta SpA
[b]UPDATE: Malaysia's Proton Sells Augusta Stake For EUR1[b]

KUALA LUMPUR (Dow Jones)--Proton Holdings Bhd. said Tuesday an Italian financial holding company has bought its entire stake in motorcycle maker MV Augusta SPA for a nominal EUR1.

The move will allow Malaysia's loss-making state-owned automaker to reduce its liabilities and refocus on its core activity of making cars after a yearlong investment in the Italian specialty motorcycle maker.

Proton sold its 57.8% stake in Augusta to Gevi SPA, which will assume Augusta's EUR106.9-million debt and EUR32.5-million working capital requirements, the Malaysian company said in a statement.

The sale was "consistent with Proton's direction of divesting non-core assets," the automaker said.

Proton rescued Augusta in 2004 by injecting EUR70 million into the maker of Cagiva, Agusta and Husqvarna brands of high-end motorcycles - a move that surprised many analysts.

The divestment will allow Proton to focus on making cars and returning to profit after losing MYR154.3 million ($40.8 million), partially because of MYR90 million in provisions for Augusta, in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

"This is a good move as it allows Proton to clean up its books," said an analyst at a Kuala Lumpur-based European bank who declined to be named.

Proton said the sale "is not expected to have any effect on earnings," echoing Chairman Azlan Hashim's remarks in November that no further provisions are likely.

Ahead of the market opening Tuesday, Proton suspended trade in its shares, which last traded at MYR6.15 and have sunk nearly 32% this year.

longride 12-27-2005 03:40 AM

Re: Whoa!, there, Tex.
I'll say what I please and when I please. If you are offended that is your problem. I said Willie G rides every day and is accessable at every major rally in America. So is Eric Buell. That is a FACT. I said the Japanese corporate types don't mingle with the masses. That is a FACT. Show me ONE Japanese exec that does ride and show up at rallies and actually walks among those that ride, and I'll take back what I said. Give me any link, article, or anything you can find. Since you supposedly know so much, that should be easy. Until then, don't call me ignorant, you jerkoff. Prove me wrong or shut up.

teknoman 12-27-2005 12:03 PM

Re: Proton in talks to sell stake in MV Agusta SpA
Ouch!!!!! my head hurts!

racerjak 12-28-2005 03:21 AM

Re: Proton in talks to sell stake in MV Agusta SpA
That`s the beauty of the MV`s, every little punk kid isn`t riding around on one!!!! Let`s not even compare a Suzuki to an MV, that`s like a Mustang GT to a Farrari, not even in the same league!!!!!!!

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