Originally Posted by The other Ferret
Like I said before I had a 2003 Bonneville, T 100 but I had to put Triumph TOR pipes on it just to hear it for $450, a grab rail $250, and a centerstand $ 250. The basic bike was $8000 but I had to put an additional thou in it and it was still a 790 cc twin cylinder with 58 HP and a single disc front brake. For $10 k on the Honda you get a 4 cylinder liter bike with a centerstand, and 87 HP and double disc front brakes.
With regards to the Moto Guzzi my issues are no dealer network, again a single disc front and no centerstand. Rider recently tested a 2013 Stone and it only dyno'd 43 HP. They also said it had a lousy transmission with many missed shifts. Retail $8390.
Although not a retro, the BMW F 700GS Enduro is a 798 cc twin with a dual front disc, the centerstand is optional and its base price is the same as the CB 1100s at $ 9990.
All true but also irrelevant.
I'd rather have the CB 1100!
So you would. But you have already decided that you prefer the CB.
But the hypothetical customer that Honda is trying to woo is someone who is not
already sold on a CB. And that's
the rub. Because that customer is looking at the T100, the V7, and possibly some other similar type of standard bike from the likes of Ducati or BMW, and that
customer is the one who is wondering whether it makes sense to shell out an extra $1500.
The HP difference is only relevent if the buyer is one who values HP. How many people who buy retro bikes put a premium on HP? Ditto for the brakes - how many people who would buy this bike would know or care about the difference between a single disc up front and a double disc?
I completely agree that the Honda gives you "more." But a buyer will only buy it over a competing brand if the "more" that Honda gives is something that the customer wants. If it's not something that the customer wants and is willing the pay extra money for, then the only
difference between the CB and its competitor is the price, and in that comparison, the more expensive bike loses.
The euro bikes also have a name cachet that Honda lacks. For the likes of Triumph, Ducati, Guzzi or BMW name is an asset. The European marques have "snob appeal" (whether it's deserved or not.) OTOH, "Honda" means "reliable but not particularly exciting" and in the motorcycle world, Honda is the vanilla ice cream brand. Not bad, but nothing you'd cross the street for.
That's the uphill battle I see the CB1100 facing. I don't think it's insurmountable, I just wonder whether American Honda has the intestinal fortitude to stick it out. Maybe yes, maybe no. But having a higher MSRP than the competition puts the Honda at a disadvantage right out of the gate, and that worries me for the future of the CB in the US market.