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ABC News reports on motorcycles

15547 Views 81 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  KPaulCook
Great photo caption

I like the caption under the photo of the Goldwing riders: The average new Harley-Davidson motorcycle buyer is 45 years old and earns nearly $80,000.
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Music to my ears Sparky

You da man.!!! Go Sparky Go.
Here on the west coast the reason for owning SUVs is more comical. It snows once every 2 years in Seattle. There is little off road access anymore (lots of tree huggers here). Most serious boaters use a marina. Having grown up in Colorado when I hear someone here in Seattle say they need it to get to the slopes or the snow I laugh In my opinion most SUVs in Seattle are bought by women drivers who want to sit up high and intimidate other drivers i.e. a passive agressive thing Most rununs I have when I am on my bike are with women in SUVs. Market stats in Seattle back up my claim that women are the big buyers of SUVs here. I really wish there was a big tax on these things so we would use less foreign oil and young boys wouldn't have to go die for it 4000 miles from home. OOps i am sounding like BLM
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4 letters say it all

ZX-9R Good for big guys, fast, comfrontable, good wind protection, cheap, reliable, My ZX-6R has the same traits but is physically smaller and I am 6 ft. 200 lbs. See latest Sport Rider issue or

Oh by the way we really appreciate your service to our great country.
Fair enough.I think Harley is already doing it....whether they are able to pull it offf is something else

.First,I think they need to establish a viable roadrace program to establish there sportbike bonafides.The VR1000 program failure was a big setback and I think they need to regroup.

Second,they GOTTA get a better(VROD type) engine in that Buell.The type of younger rider Buells are intended to attract arent going to be impressed by a hopped up antique motor.

Third.They need to expand the VROD line into other models(including the dressers).Given the engine layout this wont be an easy engineering task;however the romance of a 45 deg air cooled 2valve,single crank pin,engine is not that important to those under 40.

The hardest part will be to maintain enough of the "Harley image" to set them apart from every body else while they transition technology wise.its not always possible for engineers to pull off the marketeer/styling ideas.I dont know how they will do this.Luckily they are a LOT SMARTER than me........ I think they are set well for the next 5 years or so with the boomers,but after that it will get interesting.
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Great Point Sparky: Re: ABC News reports on motorcycles

I definitely would not buy a HD sportbike, unless by some strange cosmic twist of fate in the future they are able to produce a bike similar to the models produced today by the land of the red eye.

I would, however, buy a Cadillac CTS. I am 30, have always like Cadillacs, and if I had the $$$$, I would buy the CTS tomorrow. I've had my eye on it since the first concept car was unveiled years ago. I think Cadillac is appealing directly to younger buyers with this model. Have you noticed they use Led Zeppelin's "Rock & Roll" in basically every commercial? I've been listening to that tune since I was about Dad broke me in young via a venerable old 8-track! Then again, maybe he'd buy the CTS, too. I think it has a chance.
I like this comment:

"I would say more people in general tend to stay with motorcycles than boat buyers or whatever other things people might get into"

Ain't that the truth. Even when I was in Vietnam I manged to cadge rides on civilian's Honda 90s from time to time. Bikes are an addiction for which there is no cure... who'd want a cure anyhow?

Great Point Sparky: Re: ABC News reports on motorcycles

I commute 80 miles per day on I-15. I've kept a running log of all the motorcycles I've seen stranded on the side of the road since May 1st. Here's the list so far:

2 BMWs

3 Hondas

3 Yamahas

1 Kawasaki

1 Ducati

Harley's are common as fruit flies around here yet I've not seen one stranded yet. By the way my commuter ride is a 1991 Suzuki GSX-1100G, not a Harley.
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Re: 4 letters say it all

Hmm, wouldn't that be 3 letters, a number and a hyphen?


(aside to thefox - Can't go wrong with a VFR, it will do all you require, V-4 at least as good as a V-twin [better IMHO], gear driven cams [talk about low maintenance costs] fast, fun, comfortable, etc. etc. I'm 6'4", 265 and it fits me beautifully)
Great Point Sparky: Re: ABC News reports on motorcycles

Define "stranded"... did you actually stop to see if their bike is broken or did you just notice them stopped by the side of the road?

I bring it up because I try to stop whenever I see a bike on a roadside, but probably 90+% of the time, the bike is just fine; they're stopped for some other reason.

FWIW, stopping to smoke a cigarette or make/take a cell phone call seem to be common reasons in my experience, along with getting a drink of water or checking the directions/map.
maintenance free? ugghh

"I also think that more people (not just "baby boomers") are buying bikes because in general, motorcycles are more maintenance free than ever before"

let me tell you - i laugh at people who only know how to put gas in their bikes. no, i'm disgusted with those people. a real bike should have 3 things: a kick starter, a chain, and a rider who knows his bike inside out
Great Point Sparky: Re: ABC News reports on motorcycles

"Stranded" means the bike is on the side of the road without anyone at all in attendance on it. If I see someone with a bike who appears to be in trouble I always stop.
I don't want to turn this into a SUV argument, but I also live in Minnesota. The snow argument is for ignorant people who don't know how to drive. 95% of the state is flat as a pancake, and we have the best snow removal crews and equipment in the world. I have never been stuck (nor have I gone in the ditch, nor have I ever not driven anywhere I was planning on going because of the weather) driving my 2wd car or truck (rear wheel drive). Four wheel braking with ABS is what is important on bad roads, not four wheel drive, and all cars have four wheel braking, most have ABS.

How is it possible that thirty years ago almost nobody had four wheel drive, 95% of cars were rear wheel only, and people were more active in the outdoors (no internet, no cable TV, no video games) without SUVs?

And for your boating comment, I'd be willing to bet that less than 10% of SUV owners own a boat. Plus, ever seen a RAV4 towing a boat?

The space comment is also a joke. All but the largest SUVs have less useable cargo space than an average sedan.

I do agree on your comment that people don't drive SUV's to go off road, however. People buy SUVs because they are ignorant and easily swayed by one of the most effective marketing campaigns ever conceived (the rugged outdoorsy / adventuresome/ survivalist / you're a pansy if you drive a minivan crap).
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BLM stands for Bitter Little Man

alias Burns the Editor in Chief used to have a column in Motorcyclist called Bitter Little Man so I call him BLM for short.
SUVs per car ratio is at epidemic proportions in Seattle

Right on Grover. I grew up in mountains Colorado most of us survived OK with Rear Wheel drive cars and 2 WD pickups. When I moved back to Colorado after I living in Seattle for a time the SUV craze had taken off. Funny most of the time I would see at least one SUV in the ditch on I-70 west of Denver when heading up to Vail. In my opinion, AWD vans and Subarus are the best for hard packed conditions but most of the time the very capable Colorado Hiway department makes things passable for most cars.

Now I am back in Seattle where we have more SUVs per captia than anywhere. Trouble is it snows every 2 years. And the snow level in the mountians makes it so most mountian passes are dry or rain wet. Of course the Washington version of a pass and Colorado version are quite different. The Colorado pass is at least 5000 ft higher, longer, more curves and tons more snow. Also the Colorado Highway Department and State Patrol are real pros compared to the WA.
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Nothing like off-road tracking on a Goldwing?! heh!
I don't want to turn this into an SUV argument either, but I get so happy when I come accross someone who knows the truth about SUVs that I can't help saying: right on, Grover!

MO had a huge response to JB's thoughts on SUVs a while ago. Anyone interested in those posts should look here.
Re: Marketing motorcycles, sports cars & music...

I'd say Cadillac has an excellent chance if they can give you BMW 5-Series performance for $10-15k less, as Lincoln has apparently done with the LS series.

Also, I have a feeling that Harleys as we know them will still be around in 20 years, as will posers and bands that look as bad as they sound.

It seemed funny at the time (almost twenty years ago) when I co-wrote a college short story which described a late-1990's subculture of yuppies weekending at biker bars.

We even wrote that Metallica would be huge... :)
Re: On this note:

Look at a Kawasaki Concours at least once. They listed for $8499 last year. You can check reliability and perhaps parts availability with the owners' group, who have a website somewhere.
Big Bore Standards?

Fox -

I'm from Chicago too...maybe I'll see you at the Highland House before you leave. I'll have the red '99 SV 650 with the Ohlins shock, Targa windscreen and Chase Harper tankbag.

Have you considered any of the big bore standards presently offered by the big four? I'm thinking an FZ1 or the ZRX 1200 may be good choices. You get plenty of power and torque (the FZ1 is about 120 horsies, no?) and reasonable ergos for the long trips back home. They are cheaper than the ZX-9 or VFR and you won't need to fuss around with as many fairings for your solo maintenance duties. I think they are pretty close to the VFR (at least the new one) in weight, too. I believe the FZ1 offers a bigger windscreen, but obviously none of the bikes mentioned will offer you ideal protection in cold weather. Insurance may be cheaper too. If you want to go full-out utilitarian, check out the DL 1000 (otherwise know as the oddly named V-Strom). That's a stretch, I know, but that bike will satisfy many of the issues important to you and you'll get a twin like your Monster on a dose of steroids. Maybe they'll let you attach an M-16 or two to the handguards!

Hope to see you around and stay safe.

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