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mc sales down

The fact that street bike sales are down is no suprise. My business is off at least 10%, maybe as much as 15%, from last year. I have a theory, however, that should make since but who knows. I figure bike sales were off this year because most models for 07 were carry-overs. There wasn't enough excitement to drive the market this year. Now, 08 is upon us and the 1098, Gsxr100r, and the Conni14 are all in showrooms. There are major changes from many manufacturers and several "new" motorcycles that will be released between now and spring. So, 08 should be better than expected and growth will resume at a normal of 8%-10% rate annually. But it's just a theory.
 

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At least dual sport sales are up. Motorcycle consumers coming to their senses? Don't really want to see any segment shrink, but have always been surprised these bikes aren't more popular for daily riders.
 

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You are correct but...

The fact that street bike sales are down is no suprise. My business is off at least 10%, maybe as much as 15%, from last year. I have a theory, however, that should make since but who knows. I figure bike sales were off this year because most models for 07 were carry-overs. There wasn't enough excitement to drive the market this year. Now, 08 is upon us and the 1098, Gsxr100r, and the Conni14 are all in showrooms. There are major changes from many manufacturers and several "new" motorcycles that will be released between now and spring. So, 08 should be better than expected and growth will resume at a normal of 8%-10% rate annually. But it's just a theory.
That's an interesting theory. It makes sense down at the market/microeconomic level... However, from the larger perspective of the economy in general and at the risk of having this post removed, my theory is a little different i.e. with the housing slump folks are getting nervous about the U.S. economy and rightfully so. Since motorcycles are purchased with disposable income folks are holding on to that income.. The fundamentals are bad for the economy. I can send you a private message with all of the things wrong from a macroeconomic level. I think you probably have the reasons nailed from the market/microeconomic level. I highly respect your experience and knowledge as someone who is in the business. Also your past posts have been quick intelligent and educational to me.
 

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I understand your point but my reasoning comes from my past. Before I opened my Agency I was in retail sales in the late 90's. From '98-'01 we were in an economic recession that was pretty bad. Intrest rates weren't nearly as low as now and the housing boom had not yet started. In the motorcycle industry, however, motorcycle sales were increasing annually and the American Custom phase had just begun. $25k-$45k custom bikes were flying out the door. Every manufacturer was reporting record sales figures and the growth had just started. Now, a decade later, the shift was inevitable. Is the economy directly related to the soft mc market today? I think to a degree it is, but fact is recreation is always a motivation for Americans. We like toys. We will do without in other aspects of our lives as long as we can have our toys. The late 90's are proof of that. Now that the custom market is sliding and cruiser sales for the Asian manufacturers are off the sale of other products can't make up the difference. Even though sales, as a whole, are down I believe it's a temporary shift as the world waits for new products that capture our attention.
 

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I, for one, would not necessarily be disappointed by a slowing down of the motorcycle sales market. On the one hand, the more bikes sold, the better. Economics of scale could potentially drive prices down (1098 anyone?) and a larger market could mean more selection and more aftermarket.

On the other hand, most of the new bikes I see on the road these days are supersports and heavy cruisers being ridden by weekend warriors at best. These people aren't "bikers" - the bike for them is a statement of fashion, a fad likely to be grown out of. Everything must be covered in chrome or plastic. These bikes aren't necessarily the best for someone who rides every day, but since that's where the market is right now, that's where the factories are focusing their development efforts - at least for the USA. I feel ABS should be an option at minimum on most bikes, but it doesn't sell here because no one wants to pay for it when they never plan on riding on anything other than clear blue days. Even on bikes that have it in Europe, it is often not brought here as an option. Further, many of these same weekend warriors may have a singular bad experience, swear off riding, and then forevermore badmouth bikes and the people who ride them. I'd prefer they never rode to begin with and just have bought a fancy watch or shoes instead.

If companies had to focus on people who actually ride their bikes, keep them for longer than the 2 years it takes to be superseded by the next greatest bike, we might get a different (better?) selection. Of course, I don't make a living selling bikes... :)
 

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The Toad
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Dual Sports...

At least dual sport sales are up. Motorcycle consumers coming to their senses? Don't really want to see any segment shrink, but have always been surprised these bikes aren't more popular for daily riders.
..have been selling like mad in Utah for years. One local salesman was complaining that he couldn't get the motorcycles from Suzuki that people want. Especially the DP200, believe it or not. He says that he only gets a handful each year and they are usually gone in 24 hours.
 

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I, for one, would not necessarily be disappointed by a slowing down of the motorcycle sales market. On the one hand, the more bikes sold, the better. Economics of scale could potentially drive prices down (1098 anyone?) and a larger market could mean more selection and more aftermarket.

On the other hand, most of the new bikes I see on the road these days are supersports and heavy cruisers being ridden by weekend warriors at best. These people aren't "bikers" - the bike for them is a statement of fashion, a fad likely to be grown out of. Everything must be covered in chrome or plastic. These bikes aren't necessarily the best for someone who rides every day, but since that's where the market is right now, that's where the factories are focusing their development efforts - at least for the USA. I feel ABS should be an option at minimum on most bikes, but it doesn't sell here because no one wants to pay for it when they never plan on riding on anything other than clear blue days. Even on bikes that have it in Europe, it is often not brought here as an option. Further, many of these same weekend warriors may have a singular bad experience, swear off riding, and then forevermore badmouth bikes and the people who ride them. I'd prefer they never rode to begin with and just have bought a fancy watch or shoes instead.

If companies had to focus on people who actually ride their bikes, keep them for longer than the 2 years it takes to be superseded by the next greatest bike, we might get a different (better?) selection. Of course, I don't make a living selling bikes... :)
You took the words right out of my mouth, well said and well written. Can't they all go buy boats or golf carts or something?
 

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When the general economy is tanking and people don't have as much disposable income due to bad mortgages, pricier gas and thus pricier everything, I'm not surprised powersport (i.e., recreational vehicles) sales are down. MO riders might not think motos are mere rec vehicles, since we're *****s for the 2-wheel fun, but for many they're just playthings to buy when times are flush.
 

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When the general economy is tanking and people don't have as much disposable income due to bad mortgages, pricier gas and thus pricier everything, I'm not surprised powersport (i.e., recreational vehicles) sales are down. MO riders might not think motos are mere rec vehicles, since we're *****s for the 2-wheel fun, but for many they're just playthings to buy when times are flush.
The rest of the United States thinks we're all nuts - "buyin' an' ridin' that toy all-about when the economy is in the shape its in - at least you could have bought AMERICAN!!"

Hell, if it wasn't for motos, I couldn't afford to work at the job I have right now - 12mpg pickup and $3 gas would have broken me long-ago with a 70-mile round trip. I'm the sole-provider, and don't even make as much as The Wife and I did 10-years ago combined.
 

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The Toad
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Oh Lord...

The rest of the United States thinks we're all nuts - "buyin' an' ridin' that toy all-about when the economy is in the shape its in - at least you could have bought AMERICAN!!"

Hell, if it wasn't for motos, I couldn't afford to work at the job I have right now - 12mpg pickup and $3 gas would have broken me long-ago with a 70-mile round trip. I'm the sole-provider, and don't even make as much as The Wife and I did 10-years ago combined.
.. I doubt that you guys have ever seen a bad economy if you think today's is bad. Maybe you listen to too much propaganda from those who profit from the fear-mongering.

It's funny how the economy hasn't change much since 1985 but it's reported as good or bad depending on which party is in office.

I usually figure out the economy by looking at the world around me, not by listening to the merchants of fear on the TV.
 

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What's biting people on the ass now is all those 2.5 and 3.5% ARM's from a couple of years ago. If you didn't have the sense to lock in when the rates started going up you're stuck with an 8 or 9% mortgage now. Sad but you have to pay attention, they didn't do those low rates because they wanted to and now their payback is from everyone who was snoozing.
 

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.. I doubt that you guys have ever seen a bad economy if you think today's is bad. Maybe you listen to too much propaganda from those who profit from the fear-mongering.

It's funny how the economy hasn't change much since 1985 but it's reported as good or bad depending on which party is in office.

I usually figure out the economy by looking at the world around me, not by listening to the merchants of fear on the TV.
It was tongue-in-cheek. The economy isn't bad. Just like when I was with Wal-Mart: if your Department didn't have a double-digit INCREASE over last year, you were in deep shyte with your District Manager if he was a "Numbers Guy" (mine was).

"What's this? You're up only 9.6%! What's the problem here? No, I don't care that sales are up, returns are down, or that backstock or merchandise "outs" are down"
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
A different opinion.

No doubt that the economy "looks" good.. But I contend among others that we are on borrowed time (and money).. Just how are we going to pay the debt off for the war? The fundamentals are bad.. Heck even Warren Buffet has said so. So has Alan Greenspan.. Too much debt, oil prices will never go down now that China and India are thirsty for it. Motorcycles are disposable income purchases in this country. The problem is that disposable income is about to take a hit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
What's biting people on the ass now is all those 2.5 and 3.5% ARM's from a couple of years ago. If you didn't have the sense to lock in when the rates started going up you're stuck with an 8 or 9% mortgage now. Sad but you have to pay attention, they didn't do those low rates because they wanted to and now their payback is from everyone who was snoozing.
Yep that is what I am saying payback time is coming. Of course it will really start after W leaves office cause he just said he won't raise taxes.. but he keeps spending.. Bill Mahr has a pretty good comedy routine about this whole thing which can make even the dry economics of fiscal and monetary policy funny. i.e The democrats may be tax and spend but the republicans are borrow and spend..
 

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Yep that is what I am saying payback time is coming. Of course it will really start after W leaves office cause he just said he won't raise taxes.. but he keeps spending.. Bill Mahr has a pretty good comedy routine about this whole thing which can make even the dry economics of fiscal and monetary policy funny. i.e The democrats may be tax and spend but the republicans are borrow and spend..
A left wing comedian is an excellent source of economic analysis. You consult with Bozo the Clown for stock tips?
 

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A left wing comedian is an excellent source of economic analysis. You consult with Bozo the Clown for stock tips?
Buy stock in facepaint, rubber nose, and giant shoe manufacturers.............
 

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A left wing comedian is an excellent source of economic analysis. You consult with Bozo the Clown for stock tips?
He gets his insightful political analysis by carefully listening to Janeane Garofolo, another well-read political/sociological genius.
 

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It's funny how the economy hasn't change much since 1985 but it's reported as good or bad depending on which party is in office.
Perhaps you're not worse off, but ALL my friends and family -- young and old, rural and urban -- are worse off that 10 years ago. No job security whatsoever, loss of jobs (myself included) to downsizing, outsourcing and general corporate greed without concern for the future of American jobs/economy. I'm not listening to fear-mongering, I'm living it man. Kudos to you for still living the good life and found the right industry to work in, but for some it's NOT the same as a decade ago, with family having to move share homes (like turn of the century) to save our homes and get back to living basic.
 
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