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Just buy the KZ100. Great bike. Great history. Still goes like stink. Actually increasing instead of decreasing in value. Still has tons of parts available (and probably always will) Gets lots of comments etc... 2cents..
 

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I think the Japanese are probably searching for a model to catch on in Europe thus the increased variety of options. 80%->50% is a big drop. In the U.S. as you have said in they are good shape thus no desperate moves. If you research the number of new models vs. all motorcycles sold I would suspect you would find a very similar ratio as the auto industry. I don't think H-D tactics necessarily transfer to the Japanese makers as they produce more that just one (cruiser) type, ignoring Buell.



 

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I think one would need a comprehensive breakdown of all models sold in the USof A to arrive at any conclusions as to why the dearth of hot sport models here. My gut feeling is tha t crusiers outsell sport by a considerable margin and there just is not the market for them here. Watch AMA road racing and see the empty seats. Check out WBS and MotoGP in Europe and see 100,000 + crowds. Motorcycling here is a big V-Twin crusier from the fifties. Sad but true.

 

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I've talked to a few motorcycle dealer-type people lately. Their experiences seem to confirm what many of us here probably already suspect: In this country, they only sell cruisers and supersports in any real quantity. Yes, some other naked/sports have done fairly well (SV 650, ZRX 11-2000, etc.), but still, the majority of people come for the big-and-hunkies or the race-reps. Not much in between.



Cruisers are cheap to produce and highly profitable. Supersports are image-machines that show off engineering prowess. Both are very popular.



Some people have even theorized that naked/sports have actually been somewhat buried because they could canabalize each segment. And I can see how. You can't justify charging $13 K+ for a naked and, therefore, can't make an enormous cruiser-like mark up. And the huge R&D costs in supersports mandate you sell as many of those--and crusiers with big mark ups-- as possible.



Of course that doesn't explain why the Honda 919, for example, is a sales-dud, especially when the big H sent so many here to sit on showroom floors. So I don't know if there's a conscious conspiracy or just a lack of real motivation. We need more exciting product in the naked/sport segment. It's worked in Europe. But we just don't have the same access to Ducati or Aprilia or MV or (enter any European maker except Triumph here) that the Europeans do. We need someone to make exciting-but-affordable product here. And we need them to make those bikes seem cool again. Just by the reaction on this site, there is evidence to believe in a sizeable untapped market.



Which is why I think an American manufacturer can make the naked/super-standard/sport segment cool and appealing again if they just take the proper approach. Hell, Harley made cruisers popular at a time when they were viewed as nothing more than quaint, obsolete oddities. Any takers? Victory? Indian?



Build it--and market it properly--and I have a feeling that many will come. And a goodly few may just trade in their Vulcan 1600's and R6s.
 

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I think it's pretty simple really. Look at Triumph, they're a good example of how to market in the US. They came out with a pretty bland commuter and sport touring bikes that were unusual, because they were Triumphs. The big news came when they introduced the a cruiser, the Thunderbird. The magazines went nuts. And most Triumphs I saw on the road were those cruisers. Then they introduced sport bikes, Daytona, TT600, sport touring bikes, Sprint RS and ST. Sales picked up a bit especially of the Daytona, Sprint RS and Speed 3. But they still mostly sold the T-bird and it's variations. Then they introduce the Bonneville and the bike mags really went nuts, followed by a huge increase in sales of all forms of the Bonne, T100 and America. Half of all Triumphs sold are Bonnevilles. So what's next? A hot new sport bike, sport touring bike, naked bike? No! Another cruiser - the Rocket Three and the bike mags go nuts - Motorcyclist has even given it best power cruiser award, or something like that.



Get it. Cruisers out sell everything other category of bike here in the US. Your problem is you don't want a cruiser.
 

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It's the difference between luxury and necessity. Europeans pay more for fuel. A lot more. And parking is sparse and expensive. You don't see as many European model SUVs as you do American. Motorcycles in other parts of the world are predominantly used for practical transportation. But in the United States, most of us ride as a hobby. That's why we sell so many cruisers and super sports.
 

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KPaul says

Buz pulled the Political Trigger KPaul must react: No what we need is government that rewards hard work and playing by rules. Our economy in the last 4 years rewards short-term ripoff artists (if the shoe fits.) The race to bottom has now started. Just remember Buz there is always someone smarter and cheaper then you in a global economy without labor standards. Don't get to overextended with your toys cause 2005 is going to a rough year no matter who gets in.
 

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Economics for dummies Take 10

OK you Econ idiot.

Facts

[*] During the Clinton years more jobs were created then the Bush and Reagan years combined.

[*]These jobs were in a board number of industries.

[*] The Clinton years saw the dramatic effect of lower interest rates by the balancing of the federal budget causing the longest peactime expansion in U.S. History

more to come. I can see I have work to do with you peebad.
 

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Economics for dummies Take 10

OK you Econ idiot.

Facts

[*] During the Clinton years more jobs were created then the Bush and Reagan years combined.

[*]These jobs were in a board number of industries.

[*] The Clinton years saw the dramatic effect of lower interest rates by the balancing of the federal budget causing the longest peactime expansion in U.S. History

more to come. I can see I have work to do with you peebad.
 

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"Get it. Cruisers out sell everything other category of bike here in the US. Your problem is you don't want a cruiser."



It wasn't always that way. And, as all things change eventually, it proabably won't stay that way.



Cruisers sell so much here because they're fashion statements. Fashion can be changed if someone, or some company, wants to try hard enough. A revolution could be started with as little as one unique product. The iPod is a decent, if not perfectly analogous, example.



The best example is Harley Davidson itself. Twenty years ago, Harleys were considered old, slow, dated and obsolete by almost everyone. And yet they started the whole cruiser revolution by convincing people that they were the alternative for the independent soul. No, they didn't introduce a radically new product. But it was unique by the standards of the day. And they made it cool to own one, and therefore, own a particular lifestyle. They changed the fashion of the American motorcycle scene.



An another example from Europe: The Ducati Monster. Ducati was smart enough to pick up on a grassroots motorcycling fashion statement. Big seller.



We now are reaching saturation in the heavy cruiser segment. Indian and E-H failed not only because of mismanagement but also because they were selling into a market that is already well served. We've got all of the Japanese manufacturers, Victory, the "custom" makers all battling for the scraps of a market that H-D has won hands down. The future may not be in producing more heavy cruisers. Some company will probably take advantage of that someday.



More choices are better for all of us. Resigning ourselves to the "cruisers and supersports can only sell here" mentality is resigning the power of the consumer. There are more than a few people here who would love to have a broader range of bikes in the U.S. If enough of us are heard, we might see a change.



I always tell newer riders that there are other options besides cruisers and supersports that they should consider. Fact is, most of them don't really even know that other bikes exist. If we keep insisting that other bikes can't sell here, that will be true in this country.



Oh, I'd also like to to point out (as some have already done) that the Bonneville is NOT a cruiser. It's a retro standard. I could also argue that the R3, while still a heavy cruiser, is unique to that segment in many significant ways.











 
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