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Original Article:
Polaris creates new on-road division

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article Polaris creates new on-road division 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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I'm guessing their next big on-road product will be a cruiser styled trike. Look at the unexpected success of the Can-Am Spyder.

I also see more than a few "training wheel" eqiupped Harleys around here.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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Trikes were huge in Daytona this year. I saw lots of em. With an aging buyer base, look for growth in this segment.

"In its first quarter 2009 financial report released April 16, Polaris reported $312 million in total sales, of which only $13.8 million (4.4%) came from Victory Motorcycles."

Looks like a good thing Polaris has deep pockets. It doesn't look like the Victory division is pulling its weight.
 

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The Toad
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Trikes were huge in Daytona this year. I saw lots of em. With an aging buyer base, look for growth in this segment.

"In its first quarter 2009 financial report released April 16, Polaris reported $312 million in total sales, of which only $13.8 million (4.4%) came from Victory Motorcycles."

Looks like a good thing Polaris has deep pockets. It doesn't look like the Victory division is pulling its weight.
Divide a base price of 15K into 13.8 million and you get less than 1000 bikes. That's half of what they were doing before the economic downturn. Good luck, Victory.
 

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Just noticed this morning that my local Yamaha / Kawi dealer is gone. They were there last week, gone this week. They had been around for a long time too. Bummer. I bought my KLR from them in 99...
 

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My local Kawi/Suzuki dealer's been out of business for about five years now. The building gets new occupants every once in a while, but the big lit-at-night signs that say 'Kawasaki' and 'Suzuki' on the front of it have never been removed. I keep wishing a new dealer would set up shop there, but that's probably not going to happen anytime soon.
 

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We had a major Polaris Dealer go under recently here in Tampa it consisted of three stores.
 

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Trikes were huge in Daytona this year. I saw lots of em. With an aging buyer base, look for growth in this segment.

"In its first quarter 2009 financial report released April 16, Polaris reported $312 million in total sales, of which only $13.8 million (4.4%) came from Victory Motorcycles."

Looks like a good thing Polaris has deep pockets. It doesn't look like the Victory division is pulling its weight.
Outside the cool factor I never could understand why anybody would spend 15K+ on a bike that doesn't stop, go or turn. That's a lot of dough in these $ strapped times. The new hammer is 18K+ whew! I could do a lot with that.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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"Outside the cool factor I never could understand why anybody would spend 15K+ on a bike that doesn't stop, go or turn."

Every cruiser I ever owned would go, stop and turn just fine. They don't do it at racetrack speeds, but after nearly losing my license by riding a Hayabusa the way it was meant to be ridden, I again figured out the lunacy of owning a race bike for riding on city streets.
 

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The Toad
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We had a major Polaris Dealer go under recently here in Tampa it consisted of three stores.
Sonehow it's not surprising that a company that sells mainly OHV products would have difficulty in Florida. Is there any place left to ride any more?
 

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"Is there any place left to ride any more?"

Won't be long, and you will be asking that about every state in the Union.
 

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Sonehow it's not surprising that a company that sells mainly OHV products would have difficulty in Florida. Is there any place left to ride any more?
Aw, man theirs plenty of places to ride here?
atvflorida.com
 

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"Outside the cool factor I never could understand why anybody would spend 15K+ on a bike that doesn't stop, go or turn."

Every cruiser I ever owned would go, stop and turn just fine. They don't do it at racetrack speeds, but after nearly losing my license by riding a Hayabusa the way it was meant to be ridden, I again figured out the lunacy of owning a race bike for riding on city streets.
Sorry longride maybe I was a little to literal. I've owned a cruiser and I probably won't own another it's just my preference. But why does a bike like an FZ1 cost half of what a star cost and it has twice the Tech. Take HD for example how can it be R&D when there selling the same bike in different packages. I just don't get it. Are they selling them by the pound? Polaris does the same thing.
This is not to cut on the manufacturers or the folks who buy them. I'm just saying that a company like Polaris selling bikes at those prices would have a hard time during this economic period. It's a lot of money for those bikes and I don't understand why.
 

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" But why does a bike like an FZ1 cost half of what a star cost and it has twice the Tech. "

Easy. I have said for years that the cruiser sales profits are used to fund the development of the sport bikes for all the Japanese companies. Look at it this way. How many successful start-up sportbike companies have we had in the last 20 years? None really. How many cruiser companies did we have in the same period? Maybe 20 or 30 or 40? Lots. That is because cruisers sell for what they should and sportbikes don't. You can't redesign a motorcycle and charge 100 bucks more than last year and make any money. You can't Guys like you should thank God for cruisers, or you would be paying 18 grand for that FZ1 if Yamaha actually wanted to make a living selling them. Look at what Ducati has to charge for their bikes, and they still have to get financial help every 4 or 5 years.
 

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The Toad
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" But why does a bike like an FZ1 cost half of what a star cost and it has twice the Tech. "

Easy. I have said for years that the cruiser sales profits are used to fund the development of the sport bikes for all the Japanese companies. Look at it this way. How many successful start-up sportbike companies have we had in the last 20 years? None really. How many cruiser companies did we have in the same period? Maybe 20 or 30 or 40? Lots. That is because cruisers sell for what they should and sportbikes don't. You can't redesign a motorcycle and charge 100 bucks more than last year and make any money. You can't Guys like you should thank God for cruisers, or you would be paying 18 grand for that FZ1 if Yamaha actually wanted to make a living selling them. Look at what Ducati has to charge for their bikes, and they still have to get financial help every 4 or 5 years.
How is Triumph able to keep their sport prices in line then? It's not like Triumph sells enough bikes to roll the cruiser money into sportbikes. The Daytona is about the same price as the supersports. I'm not arguing with the idea that the Japanese fund sportbike improvements with cruiser and dirtbike sales. I just don't see why Triumph doesn't charge more like Ducati does.

And if one thinks that cruisers are money makers just look at the profit margin on dirtbikes. The new 250 Yamaha DP costs more than an SV650! If you think there's money in cruisers that's nothing compared to the dirt segment. At least as far as profit per unit.
 

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I like that! That's a good take on it. I thought they were just raping us because they were more popular, kind of like SUVs, but I like your answer better. It makes for a kinder gentler moto manufacturer.
So when's Polaris coming out with that new sport bike?:D
 

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"How is Triumph able to keep their sport prices in line then? "

By not redesigning them every two years, and not competing head to head with the Japanese. Also, the best selling Triumphs are their cruisers, which they make more profit, and can afford to change the sportbike line now and then.

"I just don't see why Triumph doesn't charge more like Ducati does."

No street cred. Ducati buyers dig the brand name and love the Vaseline Tax! Ask Buz!
 

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The Toad
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"How is Triumph able to keep their sport prices in line then? "

By not redesigning them every two years, and not competing head to head with the Japanese. Also, the best selling Triumphs are their cruisers, which they make more profit, and can afford to change the sportbike line now and then.

"I just don't see why Triumph doesn't charge more like Ducati does."

No street cred. Ducati buyers dig the brand name and love the Vaseline Tax! Ask Buz!
Oh, so Ducati doesn't have to charge more after all, then. What happened to your contention that they had to?

Triumph does redesign bikes though., maybe not quite as often. I think there's more to it. I'll bet that Triumph has a relatively tiny payroll compared to the Big4. Honda is so huge that they've got hundreds and hundreds of people involved in things that Triumph only pays a few people to do. Honda and Yamaha probably have a chain of approval for changes that includes 100 middle managers, 300 assistants, 600 junior assistants and 1000 clerk/typists while Triumph has two guys doing the same thing.
 
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