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The Toad
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why no track?

Other countries no EPA, CARB, DOT, DOI, Sierra Club, Torts out of control, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Who in their right mind would try to build a track near a large population resource in the USA?
 

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Many of the European tracks are converted airfields and facilities from WWII, and America just doesn't have that. People move near established sporting facilites and then complain about the noise, the crowds, "it's not a nice place to raise a family", and lobby for change. Nevermind the fact that usuall the facility was there first; people tend to think they have "rights" and 9 times out of 10 it's a ***** and bull show.



The market for a sportbike is not there. It's just not. People have shown time and again that if it doesnt win the comparison, it won't sell. The constant updates, the nearly impossible competition, and low profit margins will simply put a stop to it. Not to mention the fact that cruisers are much better suited to American roads, more popular, and easier to make money on. Still, Victory has problems, and Polaris is a giant in the "powersports" world.



We don't need more high paying industrial jobs. We need people who don't think they're entitled to the world because they do something a robot can do, and have a realistic expectation of what they should be compensated with.



A premium to buy American? Send this message to GM, Ford, and Chrysler.



--The Fox
 

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Many of the European tracks are converted airfields and facilities from WWII, and America just doesn't have that. People move near established sporting facilites and then complain about the noise, the crowds, "it's not a nice place to raise a family", and lobby for change. Nevermind the fact that usuall the facility was there first; people tend to think they have "rights" and 9 times out of 10 it's a ***** and bull show.



The market for a sportbike is not there. It's just not. People have shown time and again that if it doesnt win the comparison, it won't sell. The constant updates, the nearly impossible competition, and low profit margins will simply put a stop to it. Not to mention the fact that cruisers are much better suited to American roads, more popular, and easier to make money on. Still, Victory has problems, and Polaris is a giant in the "powersports" world.



We don't need more high paying industrial jobs. We need people who don't think they're entitled to the world because they do something a robot can do, and have a realistic expectation of what they should be compensated with.



A premium to buy American? Send this message to GM, Ford, and Chrysler.



--The Fox
 

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Re: Why no track?

european emissions legislation is every bit as restrictive as the US, plenty of cars which pass the tests in america cant be sold over here because they dont conform to our regulations, both on noise and pollution regulations.

most track days now have noise regulations at road legal levels, same for some motocross tracks and definitely all enduro and off road racing.

i envy the states with the vast tracts of wilderness and area that we dont have over here, especially with the tree hugger and safety mentality that can put a stop to all fun.

i would love to see an american sportsbike plus some good offroad machinery. it was a pity cannondale went so far with their bikes rather than evolving a little at a time....

maybe the route to go is to buy the parts and assemble them into a american engineered frame and eventually evolve a complete bike once the expertise has been built up..like the lots of the smaller euro manufacturers did
 

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I would say market forces... Harley is building what people are buying. I don't have the exct numbers, but if I am correct, cruisers represent by far and away the greatest volume segment (here anyway).



1. the Japanese companies are Light Years ahead of everybody else, if not in their abilities then at least in efficency, therefore it is difficult to build a competitive product with respect to Price. And what's the point of doing something if it's not profitable?



2. Look how Buell gets dissed. Not much of an indicator that people are willing to break from the Japanese. You know larger companies HAVE to be looking at the situation, and the cost/benifit analysis must just not make sense.



~Rob
 

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The Toad
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I still believe that the Big4 lose money building sportbikes. Without the fat profits from the cruiser/dirt sales these 2 year redesign cycles would become 8 year pretty danged quick.
 

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The Toad
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ha! Triumph builds a superior 675 triple and the dweebs still clamor for R6s.
 

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"I'm certain buyers would even pay a premium price to "Buy American" for the US equivalent of the bikes we're buying from Japan, Europe, even Korea."



Sportbikes tend to be bought by younger people. They have very little in the way of a "Buy American" ethos. Check out their cars - the #1 choice of the young is the Honda Civic.



 

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The Toad
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Why no track?

So, they are building new tracks in Europe?

The States with vast wilderness areas have become plagued with tree huggers who have taken control of the Forest Service to a large degree. In fact the main requirement to work for the USFS is an LE degree not one on wlidlife, ecology, etc. So it won't be long before all that BLM land out west is closed up and regulated out of use as well. Just look at the stupid Shoshone preserve in SoCal for a glimpse of the future.
 

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Which came first? The lack of interest in American products, or the lack of interesting products from America? Ok, set aside the "premium price" point for a moment, I'm not saying that the HD business model can, or should be duplicated by a US sportbike builder.



The point I'm making is: why don't we even try? If the UK, with all their social programs, European regulations, etc. can succeed like Triumph can, why can't we? We cannot build a future for our kids with everybody serving each other hamburgers and buying Chinese-made goods. Our auto industry, while troubled, is at least still competing.
 

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Yes it's unfortunate for us that the U.S. doesn't have a world class proper MotoGP track... I like Laguna but it isn't world class. Mladin says Barber isn't world class. That leaves Miller Sports Park in Utah but to get a decent crowd to Salt Lake would be a challenge.



As far as U.S. manufacturing jobs we are all to blame. Unions demand high wages, health care, and huge pensions. U.S. management gets salaries many times their Japanese counterparts. We could get more competitive by having the government take over the health insurance but we are unwilling to create a French style system (even though it is considered to be the best in the world). Thus our large corporations remain at a competitive disadvantage. Our tax system is too complicated and inefficient.. When the Republicans took control of the White house and Congress I was hopeful that the tax system could be changed...Since that party, Republican, always runs on the platform of tax simplification and reduction. I was disappointed when that didn't happen. In addition, when they (W and the Republicans) started spending far more than we pay in taxes, I became disillusioned with them. By creating large deficits W has created a huge hole for us and the next generation.. It robs the private sector of the needed investment in new plants and equipment. The government debt is risk free and they set the interest rate which means corporate bonds have a trouble competing with it. And then there is the Iraq war which will have the same detrimental effects as the Vietnam war...
 

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2 cents (worth??)

Maintenance costs. The motorcycle manufacturers build bikes that need too much maintenance. Harley has helped by going with belt drive and hydraulic valves (thank you). The dealers love to make money on maintenance but at $70/hr very few can afford it especially with gas prices where they are. There is no reason (my opinion) that the manufacturers can't make bikes that are near maintenance free. I own a couple of Harleys and a Buell Ulysses. Why should I have to take my ULY in for "throttle position resets" or to have the timing verified?? The bike should be able to check these parameters on the fly and keep themselves at optimal values. Cars can go 100,000 miles without a tuneup but motorcycle owner's manuals suggest you take to the dealer at 5000 miles so that the certified mechanic can verify everything is ok on a 100 pt checklist. Nevermind that he/she only "looks and checks off" to 90% of the check list items. Then you hand over 300 bucks for what really amounted to just an oil change. If I want to do the TPS reset myself then it costs me $200 for the software that should have been a built-in item on the bike i the first place. I'm all for keeping dealers in business but not by letting a mechanic stick it to me with 5 second checklist bs.
 

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Re: 2 cents (worth??)

Excellent Post..Well said
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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Re: A premium to buy American?

But you were talking about people paying a premium for buying a sportbike. History has shown that they won't do that. So if Harley makes a literbike that is down 25 horsepower, 40 pounds heavier and is 4 grand more,(which is pretty much what they would turn out) then people would buy it cause it's 'American'? I think not. For the bikes Harley sells currently, they have no foreign competition. They only have imitators. The Japanese can't produce heritage and history. They don't have it, and they never will. Harley has a lineage dating back to the early 1900's. The 'classics' that come out of Japan are imitations of the real thing. Harley's also return a premium to their customers when they sell, which is why people are willing to pay the premium going in. What is a 3-year-old sportbike worth these days? Not much. Sportbikes are like computers. The day they aren't the fastest and the lightest, they are unwanted. I don't believe that Harley will ever go down the sportbike path. There is no money in it.
 

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Excellent Post.. Well said...The whole entitlement thing is an issue I deal with on a daily basis. Great Point that gets overlooked a lot.
 

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"If the UK, with all their social programs, European regulations, etc. can succeed like Triumph can, why can't we?"



Triumph sold abotu 50,000 bikes last year. I think Harley will sell 350,000 bikes. What is your measure of success?
 

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So

You're a shareholder in H-D. Willie G announces that the MoCo is going to invest heavy $$$ in R&D to develop a cutting edge sportbike to compete with the Japanese.

Do you remain a shareholder or sell your stock?
 
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