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Original Article:
2008 Bike Week Wrap-Up

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article 2008 Bike Week Wrap-Up 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.
 

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The Toad
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No way BMW is going to clean up market share. The bikes are simply way too expensive considering especially the fears about the economy. They will be lucky to remain solvent.

The one sector that will do well is the scooter market.The industry would be well served by promoting the economical and practical faces of motorcycling as well as the fun sport it is.
 

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Good article!

We were there. Never saw so many Harleys..........

Racing was good at the Speedway and the Municipal Stadium. Too bad more people couldn't set down their beer for a few hours. Course they've probably seen it all before. What a great country. So many things to see and do. Take yer choice.
 

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Terrific article, boldly put, and necessary. I look forward to what else you have to say over the next few weeks on this topic.

Not sure that adventure bikes are the coming thing, though - they may already have peaked and be on their way out. The good ol' standard could be the next thing - but this time probably as a balanced twin, with fuel injection obviously, and maybe CVT transmission. Four-cylinder sportbikes are dead, too, by the way. Japan has got itself to the edge of the cliff with that one, just as H-D have with cruisers; and both are about to take a tumble.

AS for the price of BMWs, as I have said so many times before on this forum, they're competitively priced in the rest of the world - cheap even - it's just that the US expects to buy for less.
 

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The Toad
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Terrific article, boldly put, and necessary. I look forward to what else you have to say over the next few weeks on this topic.

Not sure that adventure bikes are the coming thing, though - they may already have peaked and be on their way out. The good ol' standard could be the next thing - but this time probably as a balanced twin, with fuel injection obviously, and maybe CVT transmission. Four-cylinder sportbikes are dead, too, by the way. Japan has got itself to the edge of the cliff with that one, just as H-D have with cruisers; and both are about to take a tumble.

AS for the price of BMWs, as I have said so many times before on this forum, they're competitively priced in the rest of the world - cheap even - it's just that the US expects to buy for less.
So the $5K extra that BMW charges for a liter bike and the extra $2K they charge for a 650 is a figment of our imaginations?
 

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So the $5K extra that BMW charges for a liter bike and the extra $2K they charge for a 650 is a figment of our imaginations?
I think it has to do with what you get for that money. Honasakiha sells you a reliable, well built bike that will last forever. BMW sells you that, but with a cool roundel.

That's worth at least $2k, right?

Oh, and great article...
 

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Okay, one last time. BMW prices in the US are similar to their prices worldwide. Other manufacturers' prices in the US are lower than they are worldwide, making BMWs seem relatively expensive to the US buyer.
 

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An interesting point of view to be sure...I don't agree that the futures as bleak as this guy sees it. I don't think an East Coast rally is indicative of national trends. I do agree that these stupid ass chopper builder shows and the loud pipe beanie helmet crowd make us look like idiots, unfortunatly the loud pipe issue is going to resolve itself when The Heat starts enforcing existing noise ordinances and the good citizens lobby for more restrictive ones.

With record high gas prices there'll be a renewed interest in riding for transportation, nows the time for the industry to start making the same basic commuter type bikes available to the rest of the world available here, if the only thing a potential customer sees is SuperSports and 800lb cruiser's they're going to turn around and walk back out the door.

Realistically I think the market is going to shrink and dillitantes will move on the the Next Big Thing, all that will do is ensure a steady supply of low mile used bikes to choose from, once they realize they're not going to sell the bike for the same or more than they paid for it the prices will fall in line as well.
 

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Gas price may make people talk about buying bikes, but I doubt it will result in more sales. As the article states, bikes are thought of as diversions here, not practical tools - and that's not going to change anytime soon. There are too many compromises people have to make to use one as daily transportation, and society here is not big on compromise - hair gets messed up, no a/c or heater (unless you're on a 'wing, LT, etc...), rain protection, storage, passenger accommodations (especially kids), and of course, safety. As riders already, we don't mind any of these - or at least overlook them. Someone who isn't interested in anything except transportation likely won't.

Maybe, when wagons become more popular than SUV's, bikes will start to become more than a diversion to most people. I'm not holding my breath.
 

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The Toad
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Yes, however..

Okay, one last time. BMW prices in the US are similar to their prices worldwide. Other manufacturers' prices in the US are lower than they are worldwide, making BMWs seem relatively expensive to the US buyer.
BMW prices don't SEEM relatively more expensive in the US they ARE more expensive. The US buyers... especially the younger buyers that BMW is trying to court.... don't give a flying donut hole how much BMW charges for bikes in Finland. Trust me on this. They go into the showroom floor and see a heavier slower bike than a 'Busa that costs $3K more otd and costs a LOT more in dealer maintenance costs... then you see them a few days later on a 'Busa.
 

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"...back-to-back parked Honda Runes from east coast to shining sea 40 times."

That'd be a really good use for them!
 

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What a great article, Jeremiah. I talked to several of my friends who were working at Rossmeyer's Destination Daytona HD shop. They all confirmed what we already knew: sales sucked. One guy, Anthony, has taken off from his regular job to work HD sales during Bike Week for years. Usually he expects to make $10-15K for two weeks; this year he said he'd made just $2k by then end of the second week. Randy, the Sales Manager at Arlen Ness, was hoping it was just the weather...but I suspect it's not that simple.

I'm not sure I agree with your cultural comments on why motorcycling is dimming. Your points may have some vailidity, but I think it's just that a fad is coming to an end. We could have dug up a lot of reasons why Hula-Hoops fell out of favor, but really, it was just a matter of once they'd had a chance to try them, most people found out they weren't really that fun and interesting after all. On to yo-yos.

Couldn't agree more on the Adventure Touring thoughts. No matter where I was, the BMWs and other AT bikes came through in packs. Every one of them had thousand$ in farkels. I agree, it's clearly the "next big thing" within the motorcycle genre. And, like 99.9% of all the 4WD SUVs sold, they'll never leave the pavement. But, you're right, compared to choppers AT bikes are a great direction for the industry to go in.

See you at Biketoberfest?
 
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