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sarnali 12-28-2003 05:58 AM

Re: So how does the Belchfire 1000R compare to....
Slower, than an SV650, heavier than a Concours and crummier charging system than a (used) VFR.

Might as well buy a Ducati or Harley

Haird 12-28-2003 06:10 AM

Re: Astrophysical factoid:
Hard to say to what degree, if any, global warming is caused by pollution. Easy to say that pollution controls have made the air in our cities much cleaner. I don't have to consult a history book for that. I can remember what it was like in the 60s. You'd choke on the fumes in a traffic jam. Eastern Europe suffered from this problem severely much more recently, and exhaust pollution is noticably worse today even in places like Dublin than it is in most American cities.

Personally, I think that even if the improved quality of life due to cleaner air is the only benefit of emission controls, it is well worth the cost, which is really not that significant. Motorcycles today exceed their predecessors by vast margins in every area of performance, even with emission controls, and are still very reasonably priced. I don't see any reason why motor vehicles of any kind should be allowed to make life unpleasant for everyone when we can easily afford the technology to prevent it. Of course keeping the air smelling good isn't the only reason to favor emission controls. The adverse health effects of air pollution are well documented, and as a resut I think we are absolutely obliged to keep pollution under control.

MrBear44 12-28-2003 06:36 AM

Re: So how does the Belchfire 1000R compare to....
IÂ’m afraid I jumped the gun on this one. The 1000R, from the Belchfire Motor Company, LTD, is under development, with delivery anticipated in 2006. The target specifications are:

Hypersport/Touring motorcycle

1000CC 7-cylinder engine

185hp at the rear wheel

54" wheelbase

365 pounds wet (fully fueled, with the optional hard bags, heated grips and seat)

Superbike race kit available (it is recommended that the luggage be removed for AMA/MotoGP competition use)

$10,995 MSRP (but $7,995 at the the MegaSuperDiscountStore).


MrBear44 12-28-2003 06:45 AM

Re: Motorcycle Pollution Standards Changed
I think weÂ’re actually in agreement here. I spent the time to write this because this is an issue that IÂ’ve pondered for some time due to my personal experiences. I have friends in the business who are struggling with this issue. I hate the big "car dealer like" motorcycle stores. The buying experience is horrible, and you canÂ’t take your bike back to them because they will probably do more harm than good. I will be a very happy camper if more intimate, competent, shops find a way to be successful, and to compete with the large dealers. But it takes commitment to the quality and consistency of the experience provided to the customer to do that.

I once bought a few motorcycles from a local dealer (name, brand, and location to remain undisclosed for obvious reasons) over a period of years. I paid more than the super discount places. I bought into the ownerÂ’s story that the benefit I would get was better customer care and a better ownership experience. I had also befriended the owner, and wanted him to be successful (and I still do). However, that good ownership experience never materialized, despite the fact that I hung in there for years. He had a series of mechanics, with only one truly being competent. My bikes would come back with bodywork fasteners missing, and things improperly installed. My rims were nicked when I bought tires. I had assumed that being a repeat customer would lend more urgency to my needs, but the reality was that my needs were subordinated to those of first time customers he was trying to woo. My experience was not unique. Several of my friends had similar experiences. His vision for the customer experience he wanted to create was great, but he just didnÂ’t get there.

All of this means that while I am still warm to this concept, and would pay for the benefits it entails, it takes more to convince me that the follow-through will really be there. Instead of rock bottom price, a dealer with a reputation for service excellence could entice me with a higher price that included free scheduled maintenance for a period of time. This is a case of "meeting in the middle". The value to me as a buyer would be identical to the deal I would get at a the super discount store (I buy a $9000 motorcycle, and then pay $1000 for services over the next couple of years, or I buy a $10,000 motorcycle and donÂ’t pay for service), but you are only conceding your costs of the service instead of the full amount, and are ensuring yourself the opportunity to demonstrate the excellence of your service department. What if people who bought a bike from you got a membership card that entitled them to accessories discounts and priority scheduling in your service department? Again, tangible and understandable benefits to the customer. Deliver on the promise of excellent customer care, and there will be a lot less ****ering when the customer trades up. I watched a Harley dealer back in the Midwest do just some of these things, and they generated incredible dealer loyalty and goodwill (and there was competition there). They created a sense of joining a local family (or club) when you bought from them.

I do have to say that the "benefits" of an attractive, visible, well-lit facility, are just about nil to me as a consumer. I spend a little bit of time in the showroom, and then years riding my motorcycle. A less expensive, not as nice facility, staffed by people who create an inviting atmosphere and provide first class service will entice me over a pretty, but superficial, business every time. All things being equal, an attractive, visible, well-lit facility is better, but if the costs to the business negatively impact the quality of customer care, then screw it and get a warehouse, and concentrate on excellence in the areas that really affect the customerÂ’s experience.

I donÂ’t think the superstores can ever accomplish this, which is why IÂ’m convinced the smaller dealers can complete. The big stores have too many people and too much turnover. They cannot create the sense of ownership and community required to deliver an excellent experience. They will always have to compete on the basis of low price, because thatÂ’s all they can really do consistently (in theory this is not true, but I donÂ’t think IÂ’ve been proven wrong yet).

Granted, you will not win everybody with excellence and competence. There are some people who simply have a Walmart mentality, and there is no reaching them. I donÂ’t believe they actually understand the concept of quality (I find WalmartÂ’s to be repulsive, and refuse to set foot in one; if I get a thumbs down at the pearly gates, thatÂ’s where theyÂ’ll send me for my personal hell; eternity in a Walmart!). I am however, convinced that there are enough people who do discriminate, and are looking for someone to provide this kind of quality, to create a strong, loyal customer base for the business that delivers it.

Haird 12-28-2003 06:57 AM

Re: Fantasy for now
I doubt that hybrid technology will be a passing fad. The PT cruiser is a styling statement that depends on the taste of the time for its popularity. Hybrid technology represents a fundamental advance in automotive design. It is the greatest affordable improvement in internal combustion vehicle efficiency that has been seen in decades. It is a real improvement that can be applied to any type of vehicle (even a PT), and the more it is applied the cheaper it will get. If this technology is as relaible and affordable as it now appears, even non-tree-huggers will wnat it because it will lower the cost of running a car. Until some other technology appears that can match the performance and efficiency for the price, I would expect hybrid technology to gain market share, particularly if fuel prices begin to rise.

electraglider_1997 12-28-2003 10:37 AM

Hybrid Technology
Read both pages of indepth hybrid article. Explains everything about Prius and whats coming next year.

seruzawa 12-28-2003 12:07 PM

Re: Astrophysical factoid:
I remember having less than 1/2 mile visibility while driving down I-10 in L.A. back in the 70's. The air is much cleaner now and I agree with taking every reasonable effort to clean the air (and water) of toxins and other crap.

But I believe that the attempts by some people to engage in unscientific or even fraudulent doomcrying is counterproductive. When a person or group is exposed as liars then afterwards they are dismissed out of hand regardless of whether they are telling the truth or not. It is always best to stick with the facts. And if some person or group is going to give an opinion it should be labelled an opinion. Lies about Spotted Owls only living in old growth forests don't do the envronmental cause any good.

The models for CO2 warming are all in the junkpile now. So now these groups are beginning to blame soot for global warming. Back in the 70s soot was predicted to cause a new ice age by the exact same people who claim it will now cause warming. The end result of all this could be to turn people off to the entire subject, which would be a shame.

We have just seen how these people through distortions and outright lies have gotten a Federal activist judge to ban snowmobiling in Yellowstone Park. Lying is such a normal part of pro-environmental lobbying that one begins to wonder about the mental health of these people.

seruzawa 12-28-2003 12:11 PM

Re: Fantasy for now
Wahtever happens you will not save one penny on fuel in the long run. If cars suddenly become twice as efficient you can rest assured that oil production will be adjusted to double the price of gasoline.

Don't get me wrong. It still would be a good thing to cut our petrol consumption in half. Just the reduction in pollution is reason enough. Just don't expect to save any money.

arnoha 12-28-2003 12:57 PM

Re: Fantasy for now
I would have to disagree with that. Simple supply and demand. Demand goes down, prices go down. Perhaps in the past with OPEC controlling the vast majority of the market, rising prices may have been possible, but with the emergence of other, non-OPEC, resources like Russia, their ability to control prices in this way is limited.

Does this mean that I think that prices will go down? No. Demand is not likely to go down. Though engines are becoming more efficient, they are also becoming more prevalent around the world. That alone should drive demand up. In turn, this will drive up demand for more efficient vehicles.

I guarantee, however, that if you drive a 40MPG vehicle instead of a 20MPG vehicle, you will save money on fuel, no matter the cost!

Buzglyd 12-28-2003 02:04 PM

Re: Astrophysical factoid:
Well it would be mighty hard to run a socialist wealth-redistribution scam by telling the truth now wouldn't it?

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