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I've got to agree with Buz and KP. Jeez, how many times can you say that?



First of all, the TT is just butt ugly. Second, it fills no real need in the market. It's not really a supermoto, isn't significantly different than the current products and the other Lightning variants look much better. I think the Uly is closer to a supermoto than the TT.



It's pretty obvious Buell is following the H-D new product development philosophy, which works well for the cruisers but is less than exciting in the sportbike world.



How about H-D giving EB a little more capital to work with? They can afford it and it might just pay off.
 

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Re: kpaul suggestions for Buell i.e to sell 200,000 bikes

Holy crap. I'm going to agree with KP again. H-D can certainly afford to develop a new engine. Plus they've already got the data from the Revolution project. Now, whether they think it's a good investment is another issue.

H-D makes plenty of money selling their stuff. Maybe it's not the initial investment in the new motor but the ongoing costs associated with entering the traditional sportbike market that makes them hesitant. Once they throw in the towel and build a new engine, they're sort of compelled to keep up with the competition. Then again, it is H-D. The theoretical new engine could be in production with few real changes for 40 years or more.
 

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Well, I think the automobile market is a bit different than the motorcycle market. I actually think there would be fair amount of people who would buy a competitive American sportbike (if priced somewhat competitively), simply because there hasn't really been one. Now, given the apparent bias towards H-D in the sportbike world, I'm not sure if they'd buy a Buell.



But, in general, I agree with you. I don't see the problem as sales so much but the cost of ongoing development. And it doesn't fit H-D's long held strategy. If Buell/H-D was to enter the sportbike wars in earnest, could they sell enough bikes and make enough profit to make the whole thing worthwhile by their standards? Would it be worth if from an image standpoint?



Buell is better off staying in their "alternative sportbike" niche. That doesn't exclude development of a new engine, but they should stay away from direct competition with the race rep crowd. I've no doubt that the initial development money for a new motor is chump change to them, but they are in a very successful business, so the question is cost/benefit (and I'm sure they would want any development to benefit H-D branded bikes in some way, which isn't too likely.) Only the product planners at H-D have a clue as to whether it's worth it. My guess is also that they think the answer is no, at least for now.



But it is clear that the XB line is being stretched a bit thin. Changing handlebars and seats, adding hand guards and calling it a new model isn't really going to cut it. From what I understand, Buell isn't exactly raking in profits.
 

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That would probably be a cool bike. It all comes down to whether there are enough customers for it, which is information that we don't really have, unfortunately.



If it doesn't sell in significantly bigger numbers than the current XBs, it'll be deemed a failure from a business standpoint. Is it enough to grab a lot more customers? I can't say with any certainty but my guess would be probably not.



My assumption is that a good part of the Monster's appeal is derived from the Ducati logo on the tank--the halo effect from the vaunted Ducati superbikes and the feeling of Italian exotica. Buell doesn't have that kind of cache.



Buell's position is a bit tricky. They're not likely to grab too many of the squids, but it's getting to be time for a change. Right or wrong, from a perception standpoint, the motor is a big liability. And perception is...well, you know. So what do they do?



A new motor doesn't have to put them in direct competition with the supersports, especially assuming it's a twin, but you know the temptation will be there to compare them.



Like I said, tricky.



 

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Re: kpaul suggestions for Buell i.e to sell 200,000 bikes

I agree that they probably won't. If they wanted to, the could, but I doubt they see much advantage in doing so right now.
 
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