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Re: Making motorcycles is not rocket science: maybe to Harley and US management it is

Did I miss the Japanese patenting of 4 cylinder motorcycle engines?

And didn't the Japanese copy many of the existing designs when they were begining to make motorcycles?

What, exactly, makes it copy, and any of the Japanese bikes NOT copies of each other?
 

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Re: Triumph Sounds Japan's Death Knell

1) People used that argument in the 1950's with Triumph, and look what Honda and the rest did to them. This argument will continue on into eternity and will also continue to be wrong.

2) So what? How will their products stack up?

3) Yes (for the most part), and no. Go talk to your average Goldwing, ST1100, Kawasaki Concours, SV650, or V-Max owner, then come back and tell me that Japanese customers have no brand loyalty.

Europe will never catch up in these other three areas because A)they don't have to to sell bikes and B) They don't and probably never will have the engineering staff to do it, or the production capabilities to make it cheap enough to produce on a large scale to make it affordable to the regular joe who buys those Japanese motorcycles.

4) Honda and others have already begun to outsource motorcycle production to other countries (including China), so the advantage of the Chinese is null and void. Also, if you look at Chinese brands, they spring up and go back out of business more rapidly than I change my underwear.
 

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Nice piece on the Daytona. We'll see how it stacks up against the Four. But I can't imagine the print media heaping any praise on a bike (well a 600 SS) not made in Japan. Too scary looking into the future. Thanks MO!
 

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Re: Triumph Sounds Japan's Death Knell

1) Assuming that this argument has been around since the '50s, that has no bearing on its correctness today. In the '50s, bike manufacturers competed to see who could build the fastest bike. Today, the self-imposed 186 MPH top speed bike makers have adopted for Europe has made that contest moot. So now the contest vis-a-vis engines involves building the best powerplant that goes up to--but no faster than--186 MPH. Assuming that the Japanese have already done this and that the Europeans will continue with some success to pursue this goal, however slowly, total equilibrium will eventually be reached. That's just logic. The same applies to other constituent technologies, where barriers are imposed by physics, rather than people.

2) Favorably, as the article to which these comments pertain suggests.

3) There are some examples of brand loyalty, and the Gold Wing is probably the best. But I think we can agree that such examples are dwarfed by European brand loyalty, which is in turn dwarfed by Harley-Davidson owner enthusiasm. As to your other points, I don't believe engineering staff size is much of a factor, and manufacturing will continue to improve along with automation in general.

4) This is tantamount to saying that because Honda has a plant in Marysville, OH, they don't compete with General Motors. You lost me on this one.
 
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