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with a purhaps minor difference - Hardley makes crap. Thay have for 50 years. There is nothing substantive 'new' or 'improved' in any of HD's product line. And no I don't swoon when beer town manages to grasp the concept that counterbalancers were invented eons ago and for a reason. Not until they go bust again and even then they probably won't improve anything. Just wait out the storm till "nostalgia for crap" comes back into fashion. Then ride the boom cycle once more. I just love hearing the "best harley ever" line. That's like saying I got better smelling bodily waste because I ate carrots with my steak and potatoes instead of slapping down a beer.



But the obligatory bashing aside, at least you get an honestly good bike for your 12 Large from Yamaha. Now if they sold them for over sticker like certain HD dealerships routinely do or did for many years, THEN we'd have a real reason to get jumping ugly. I don't agree with Yamaha's tactics of artificially constraining supply or if you're of the mind to give them the benefit of the dout, the timidity with which they are coming to the US market. It's not like they're jacking the price up to cash in on the demand curve so why play the game? How many sales are going to other bikes say the Kawi or Honda because of the supply choke? Where's the inflection point of "exclusivity" vs pain in the arse factor?



What I wouldn't mind in addition to mandatory and recurring training and a graduated license scheme in the USA is a voucher system for sportbike riders who take an approved riding school. 2 sessions worth. And whitebox race bikes for those who only want a track bike, anyway. I'm not sure how to deal with the cruiser riders. Maybe a factory contribution to the "Brotherhood of idiots who can't ride and think buying the same chrome doodad that 10 thousand other people are going to buy makes my bike a custom" fund to pay for more rider training facilities.



But that's all too complicated. Graduated licensing should weed out the posers for the most part and recurrent training requirements will probably get rid of the rest of the pretend riders.



Now where did I put my Nomex suit? Does a water hose put out a gasoline fire?
 

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it's a basic economic principle - capturing the consumer margin. For any given product there are people who will pay say $12000 for an FJR, more people who will pay $10G for an FJR, and even more people who will pay $9G for an FJR. Yamaha-USA is sufficiently timid and unsure of itself and the demand curve they are dealing with (which has bit the J4 repeatedly in the past) IMO that instead of looking to maximize profits by bracket selling, they're going to take the easy route and sell to only and all of the persons who will gladly pay $12G AND deal with the hassle to boot. It's "risk-averse" selling to put it mildly.



Without doing a proper, controlled survey I can't pinpoint how much real anger is being directed at the brand over this and how many FJR sales they are missing or frankly how many Yam sales are losing to Hon/Suz/Kaw. I would guess the portion of motorcycle buyers *****ing about this is a VERY small and probably on-line minority. Joe schmoe just thinks it's the cost of doing business with Yam and so the annoyance isn't very big at all.



Yam-USA sales can happily get their award for selling every or nearly every FJR for max unit profit. The company may, may I say, have reasons to desperately NOT have unsold models on it's hands. Why I don't know. Seems to me any US models could trivially be gotten rid of in the EU where real motorcyclists abound. Instead of getting an award, if I were Yam-JP I'd actually fine Yam-USA for failing to maximize the factory's profits. Thought you were getting a big bonus? Sorry, we'll give you just 1/4 of your bonus.



One obviously can't keep everybody happy all the time but with this being Yam's 50th anniversary and all, why engage in a sales policy that IS generating a backlash at all?
 
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