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Holy cats! Superbikes being made in my backyard! Dear God, please let them succeed both on the track and off...and be in my price range when it's time to buy.



Make America proud!!



--The Fox
 

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Press Release: Bob to Build Him a Motorsickle

Bob, some guy who lives down yonder, is planning to build him a motorsickle sometime soon.

The motorsickle is described by sources near Bob as having wheels, a frame, and some kind of motor.

Bob has been heavily involved in motorsickles for years, having first ridden one at the age of twelve. He went on to purchase one at the age of 37, and now has put over 1200 miles on it in 16 years of ownership.

Bob's technical credits include 32 years of experience servicing soda vending machines and 3 semesters of metal shop at the Akron community college. He is regarded as the finest fly-fisher in 4 counties.

Although suppliers have not yet been chosen to provide electrical, suspension, wheels, powerplant or chassis components, Bob knows he wants the bike to have tangerine-flake paint like he saw in a copy of "Biker Parties" he saw at a local liquor store.

Bob has so far raised over 1.1 hundred dollars of investment capital. Production is scheduled to begin next Tuesday, if Bob's cousin Norville picks up his El Camino that's been in Bob's garage since last summer.
 

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Well, I'm tired of waiting for Buell to build the first "real" American Sportbike so maybe Fischer is on to something here. Time will tell though.

Wouldn't be the first time we've been hyped about a new American motorcycle only to be let down later. And isn't it a little odd that you have to email picture requests? Why not just post them to get some press coverage?
 

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Hope they do better with the bike than the P.R.

Emailing for photos? Hook us up!

Why the heck can't the damn engine be made here? We put a GD man on the moon etc etc and all we can come up with is a damn harley engine, or skimobile companies that make fake harley engines.

Unless we make the whole thing, it's a farce. Austrialians make bikes with other peoples engines as well. I'm sure little central american countries can too.

Build the whole damn bike. And post pictures.
 

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Harley is the smartest company in the world, with the dumbest customers.

Amen to that, my brotha'. But watch out, I'll bet some really cool H-D guy will make you feel really stupid for saying that, like the HIGHWAYTARD.
 

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There is a God.

Wow what a week, I get to see Burns on TV last night. Hey if you are going to have 10 seconds of fame, it is good that its on a really good program. Beautiful bike, too bad it uses a V-Twin. Just kidding. Too bad Ducati didn't commision Kerr to do the 999

USA

USA

USA

(chant continues and fades)
 

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easier said than done

Think about the entire process. First someone has to have the desire to do so. Then he has to come up with the investment capital to manufacture the things. This requires convincing investors, or in the case of an established company the management, that there is profit to be made in such an endeavor.

Now you have to design and build the thing, set up a way to sell it and promote your new product. It's gonna take someone with a lot of tenacity to pull this one off. Even if you do made a world beater and keep the price competitive you still have to deal with the large portion of sportbike riders who wouldn't buy American if their lives depended on it.

Also consider how difficult it would be for a startup company. When you look how much bang you get for the buck from the current crop of bikes from Japan you can see the barriers to overcome. It's hard to see how the Japanese make much on their sportbikes as it is. I'd bet they barely break even with the effort financed by the cruiser and dirtbike sales.

Harley has decided not to go this route. I wish they'd have the guts to try, but listening to so much of the irrational vitriol that always attaches to Harleys, who can blame them? They'd only have to monitor MO to discourage them from trying since hardly any of the Japanese sportbike riders would buy one. Heck, they have little good to say about the Triumphs.

It takes years to make a profit. And even if some new company could build competitve sportbikes at a reasonable price most riders are gonna be distrustful of the reliability new machines and say, "I'll wait a few years to buy one."

The new Indians started out by using HD engines and now they are building their own. Maybe these guys could eventually do the same. I think these guys are showing tremendous courage to even try.

Is there a single company in the world that started out by building only sportbikes and survived? Except Buell? This is a really tough row to hoe. I hope they pull it off.
 

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Re: easier said than done

>>Is there a single company in the world that started out by building only sportbikes and survived? Except Buell? <<

Hell, even Buell couldn't survive without being bailed out by Harley, and continues to survive solely because of what must be substantial ongoing subsidies from H-D.

I doubt that Aprilia got reamed in the Italian press for not building their own engines -- or for going "foreign" for their Rotax motors, or BMW, which, in spite of their capital and engine building expertise, who also sourced the motors for their 650 single from Rotax.
 

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Yeah, I guess I would wanna see some sort of business plan, and maybe some indication of where investment capital will come from before getting too excited.



As much as the gearhead part of me would like this to succeed, I question the economic viability of the concept. What is the under-served market segment this is targeted to? Why would someone buy this bike instead of an Aprilia (with the same motor), Ducati, MZ, KTM, MV Agusta, Benelli etc etc? We won't even talk about the rumored road-going versions of the RCV and M1 that may be on the market soon or the fact that one of the Ducati family members has just acquired the remains of Bimota and reportedly plans the resurrection of that marque.



I hope I am wrong, but this has the feel of either 1) a pipedream or 2) a financial scam.
 

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Timing of on-line vs print reporting

Just curious.....

This story was reported in the current issue of Cycle World which I received last week. It popped up here, and at least one other site yesterday.

How does a print mag, with it's long lead times, scoop the internet sites? Several possible explanations come to mind:

1) Burns sat on it so as not to screw up his relationship with CW. I doubt this, as the other site(s) which ran the story did so about the same time -- they don't have any ties to CW.

2) The press release was embargoed, so that it could not be released until the specified time. This may be true with some stories (ie new bike releases) but doesn't seem likely in this case.

3) Everybody else just missed it, until seeing it in CW.

4) They saw it but didn't think it credible or newsworthy, until seeing it in CW.

My guess is 3 or 4. Anybody else have any thoughts?
 

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Re: Hope they do better with the bike than the P.R.

I think we saw what happened when a start up company tried to build a complete motorcycle. Excelsior-Henderson bit the dust. Developing a chassis is hugely expensive and I would imagine an engine is hugely expensive to develop from scratch considering EPA regs etc. All the current sportbike manufacturers have a huge headstart and R&D costs would be quite a bit lower.

I think Polaris is the only company in recent memory to build a total motorcycle (engine and chassis) from scratch and they had the advantage of experience in the off-road side of the business.

Indian started by using S&S motors and even now, depite claims of "building their own motor," it's still based in H-D architecture. It's not a clean-sheet design.

The guy who wants to build Vincents will be using an RC51 motor.

Arguably the Buell would be much better with a more modern motor perhaps similar to Ducati's new DS1000 but they didn't want to tackle that.

I'm no manufacturing expert but my guess is that the costs associated with developing a motor are enormous compared to a chassis and running gear.
 
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