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Woohoo! First Post!



I think this will be an interesting proposition, since Suzuki and Kawasaki are already major players. I think some sort of a merger or other agreement could mean trouble for the other players.
 

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Success in what? They're just trying to consolidate purchasing to save money. No way they'll share proprietary technology.



I wish them luck in China and India, but both of them are hugely nationalistic and defensive. It takes a 2-ton gorilla to make a dent in their markets.
 

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If you read the article, it appears as if the joint development will be focused on the cheap bikes sold in China and India. I don't think there'll be a GSXR/ZX sportbike, or an Intruder Mean Streak for sale.
 

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From the article:

Under the agreement, Suzuki and Kawasaki will initially work in development and production for products such as off-road motorcycles and large-powered scooters that need various models but sell relatively small number of units.

Suzuki and Kawasaki are absolutely going to be building each other's products. The "China and India" statements by others are incorrect. The article merely states that the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers are all focusing on these emerging markets to help boost their slumping sales.

The thrust of this article is that Suzuki and Kawasaki dirtbikes will roll off the same assembly lines, built with the same designs and the same parts, but marketed through the existing dealer networks. Sort of like GM making one basic car but badging it as either a Pontiac Sunbird or a Chevrolet Cavalier and then selling them through different channels.

The big question in my mind is what to call them: Kawazukis? Suzasakis?
 

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Can anyone say AJS/Matchless? Oh, I know, it's not exactly the same. But it does make one worry. I hope Japan gets out of this 10 year economic downturn soon. I'd hate to lose more manufacturers.



And my buddy, who loves Kawasakis and hates Suzukis is going to choke when he reads this.
 

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Um...do you have any specifics?



As it is, with phrases like "Western rivals" (don't the Japanese compete with each other too?) and "have had some success, but apparently it's just not enough for them," this post sounds like you're trying to make the Japanese sound like an Evil Empire. World War II is over.



When Aprilia bought Moto Guzzi, nobody tried to make it sound this sinister. Let's have some fairness, okay?
 

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WHAT?? Do you even know anything about the Indian two wheeler market, man? All of the 4 japanese brands penetrated the Indian market in the mid 80s. The biggest two wheeler player there is Bajaj. All of the motorcycles made by Bajaj are Kawasakis and are sold under the Kawasaki-Bajaj brand name. The biggest motorcycle brand names in India are Honda and Yamaha. Suzuki is also there as TVS-Suzuki.



sure, they make cheap little bikes since that is all we can afford back home (here I ride a ZX-12R), but they're all there. Make a dent? they own the motorcycle market. They destroyed the brands that were common before, i.e. enfield, Jawa, Rajdoot.

 

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O.K, I guess they're purpose made for the Indian market, then. All the bikes I saw there looked uniquely Indian to me. I was told they were built (at least assembled) in India, for India under Indian regulations. Wrong?



The Japanese changed everything quick, didn't they?
 

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Is it just me, or does Kawasaki seem to be a bit stale in the new bike department. This may be somewhat unrelated to the topic at hand, or maybe not. If you look at Kawasaki's 2001 lineup, you'll notice that bikes like the KLR, Concours, Voyager, 250 Ninja, EX500, ZX-7, ZX-11, and Vulcan 750, are for the most part, unchanged since the 80's and 90's, save for some minor details and cosmetics. All these are great bikes, but not exactly modern marvels.

Could this be the reason for the company's slumping sales? I don't know, but Kawasaki has'nt exactly been flooding the market with new models.
 

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There are no regulations. THe bikes are made in India, yes, but they are the same models designed and manufactured in Japan for the japanese and east asian markets like Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philipines etc.



since the mid 80s, the designs have been superficially altered to the market, but fundamentally, they are Japanese bikes. Scooters are different prospect. Those are mostly completely Indian is design and engineering, with the exception of a couple of Honda models, and a Vespa.
 

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IN THE SPORT BIKE MARKET, I FEEL THAT BOTH CAN HOLD THIER OWN, AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO AS LONG AS THEY KEEP GOING FASTER ...

BUT IN THE CRUSER AND TOURING MARKET, THE END IS IN SIGHT FOR BOTH BIKES. I RIDE A KAWASAKI NOMAD FI -- IT IS A VERY GOOD BIKE -- BUT WHEN HARLEY FINALLY DOES AWAY WITH ITS PUSH ROD MOTOR AND PUTS THE OVER HEAD CAM - WATER COLLED MOTOR , THEY WILL DOMINATE THE MARKET COMPLETELY...
 

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I'm choking on corporate doublespeak and obfuscation here. Are Suzuki and Kawasaki merging? Is Suzuki buying Kawasaki outright? Is this a Toyota Corolla/Geo Prizm kind of shell game? (How on Earth are they ever going to come up with a combined white/blue/green/purple paint scheme that doesn't clash like crazy?)



Kawasaki's been in noticeably deep trouble on the product front lately, but I'm not sure how a tie-up with Suzuki is going to solve those problems. Hopefully it won't mess up the racing programs in the process.
 

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Ironically, Harley-Davidson isn't what's hurting the Vulcan and Intruder lines. Even with the V-Rod, you'll see plenty of Japanese cruisers on the road.



The problem is, all of them are Honda or Yamaha. Kawasaki and Suzuki cruisers are very rare in my not-so-scientific research.
 

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They could be very disgruntled by the "failures" of the ZX-6R, 9R, and 12R (all very good bikes but treated harshly by the mags), the crippling of W650 sales by the Bonneville 800 (the W had a waiting list in my town in its first year; now they are wasting on the showroom floors), the SV squashing ZR sales, and now the Mean Streak looking like it won't sell. Actually, the only new model that _has_ done really well in recent years is the ZRX.



I'd be pretty discouraged if I was in Kawasaki's shoes, too.
 
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