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Old 02-05-2013, 07:31 PM   #1216
Guth
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Originally Posted by ZappBranigan View Post
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.
I'm not the buyer you're describing, but I have considered the Bonneville and the V7. If the current Bonnevilles looked as good as the W650s I might have actually bought one, but to me they just don't come close enough to the visual vibe of the original, which the W650 actually does in my mind. The Guzzi on the other hand is a rather attractive bike (my favorite is the V7 Special which debuts this year), but just doesn't quite do it for me. More recently I was considering "modern standards" Honda's 599 and 919 and Triumph's Street Triple. I just wasn't sure I could see myself really taking advantage of the Street Triple and what it is capable of. And I don't really care for underseat exhausts in general.

I considered these options when I had no hope that Honda would actually bring the CB1100 to the USA. The day that American Honda announced that they were going to be importing the CB1100, I called to place my deposit.

However, I did this in spite of the fact that it was an 1100. I'd actually prefer something more in the 650 - 800 cc range. But after reading Honda's rational for going with the 1140cc engine so that they could tune it to pass the rigorous environmental standards, yet still make enough power and torque to have some fun, I was willing take a chance on the bigger engine. I'm not really concerned about the horsepower it makes, but I am interested in the broad powerband with gobs of torque.

And for me, the Honda name actually does hold some cachet. I grew up in the 60's/70's. I learned to ride on a Z50, followed by an XR75. My dad owned a few different CB models. Every single one was bulletproof and very nicely built. I loved those bikes. I get the vanilla ice cream comment, Honda is huge and they're everywhere. But for me, Honda as a brand equates to some of the best memories of my life. I think that I'm just the kind of person Honda is hoping to tap into with this bike. There are a lot of other guys out there like me. Whether or not they'll be willing to pony up for this bike is anyone's guess, only time will tell. Sadly it is starting to sound like the initial number of CB1100s that are going to be released here is so small that we might not find out the answers to such questions until Honda decides to send more our way.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:58 PM   #1217
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Im not sure if its not the dealers that spell the doom for certain bikes and not the manufacturers. Before I bought my 03 Bonneville, I went looking for a W 650. I travel 1/2 the state of Ohio for work. I stopped at lots of Kawasaki dealers. None of them had a W 650 in stock, not one even had a brochure for the bike. All said if I put a deposit down they could order me one. I went to the Triumph dealer, he had Bonnevilles in stock, put me out for a test drive, and I was a buyer.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:21 PM   #1218
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Originally Posted by M3-SRT8 View Post
As far as Bonneville clones are concerned (and most other clones, for that matter), I think Harry S. Truman said it best:

"Given the choice between a Republican and a Republican, the public will pick a Republican every time."

In other words, they'll pick the origional, bona fide item, rather than a copy, unless it's a complete pile of cr*p.

I'm sure that's the primary reason the Kawasaki W650 isn't here in the States.
But there's the catch...the new Bonnevilles are no more related to the original Bonnevilles than the W650 is (was). People who think they're some kind of blood-descendant of the the older Bonnevilles don't really know the history of the old Triumph nor the new Triumph. The Hinckley Triumphs are bona fide in name only and don't share a single gene with the originals -- only and unless you count the name applied to the bike. I'm not trying to insult any Triumph owners out there, but if people start talking about heritage, I think it's only right that people acknowledge the lineage of the new Triumphs, which really originated from scratch, without any evolutionary development owed to the dead Triumph company. I mean, if they had called them BSAs, it really wouldn't have made any difference would it? They're more of a homage than anything else really, IMHO.

The CB1100, on the other hand, really can claim some direct, uninterrupted lineal descent (as far as continuous production of the inline-4 format anyways) from its forebears...
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:42 AM   #1219
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Originally Posted by Scoobynut View Post
But there's the catch...the new Bonnevilles are no more related to the original Bonnevilles than the W650 is (was). People who think they're some kind of blood-descendant of the the older Bonnevilles don't really know the history of the old Triumph nor the new Triumph. The Hinckley Triumphs are bona fide in name only and don't share a single gene with the originals -- only and unless you count the name applied to the bike. I'm not trying to insult any Triumph owners out there, but if people start talking about heritage, I think it's only right that people acknowledge the lineage of the new Triumphs, which really originated from scratch, without any evolutionary development owed to the dead Triumph company. I mean, if they had called them BSAs, it really wouldn't have made any difference would it? They're more of a homage than anything else really, IMHO.
What does that even mean, though? Seriously, what difference does it make? To the buyer, they look the same. They're still air-cooled parrallell twins. They still have the same outward look. They company is still based in England (although some of the bikes are assembled in Thailand.) Does it matter that the Hinckley Triumphs have metric bolts instead of Whitworth bolts? Does it matter that it has an DOHC motor instead of OHV? No. Does it matter that they have reliable electronics instead of Lucas? Of course not.

Quote:
The CB1100, on the other hand, really can claim some direct, uninterrupted lineal descent (as far as continuous production of the inline-4 format anyways) from its forebears...
Which means absolutely zero to any buyer out there. Because it's still a Honda. For that matter, what parts does the DOHC CB1100 share with the original SOHC CB750? My guess would be none. Not that it would matter to anyone.

You guys are making a lot of logical, reasonable arguments but you're missing the point because motorcycles - especially "retro" style bikes - are not purchased for logical, rational reasons. They're purchased for emotional reasons. People are buying an image, an idea, a feeling, as much as they are buying a machine. HD gets this and that's why they sell more large motorcycles in the US than every other company put together.

WRT to the W650/800 and whether it's more or less "authentic" than a Hinckley Triumph, it makes me think of something I saw once. I was at a motorcycle charity ride a few years ago behind a guy on a big Harley. On the back of his vest was a patch that read: "I don't care what it looks like. I don't care what it sounds like. I don't care how much you paid for it. It still smells like rice."

Now obviously, that's the typical dumbass "harley or nothing" kind of attitude you often see in the motorcycle world (and FWIW it's not nearly as bad as it was when I started riding in 1982. You younger guys have no idea...) But it illustrates the fact that motorcycles in the US are "lifestyle appliances" that are designed to project an image as much as they are designed to move your butt down the road.

And in the world of image, "authenticity" is more valuable than any objective feature. That Kawasaki may be a carbon copy of a Meriden Triumph, but no matter how accurate it is, if it has a Kawasaki logo on the tank, it's still a copy. Not original. Not "authentic."
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:59 AM   #1220
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Originally Posted by The other Ferret View Post
Im not sure if its not the dealers that spell the doom for certain bikes and not the manufacturers. Before I bought my 03 Bonneville, I went looking for a W 650. I travel 1/2 the state of Ohio for work. I stopped at lots of Kawasaki dealers. None of them had a W 650 in stock, not one even had a brochure for the bike. All said if I put a deposit down they could order me one. I went to the Triumph dealer, he had Bonnevilles in stock, put me out for a test drive, and I was a buyer.
You know, that's an excellent point, too. I think one of the problem with 'big 4' dealers is that they are really more interested in maximizing their profits than they are in selling any one kind of bike. They don't particularly care whether they sell you a big cruiser, a sportbike, an ATV or a jet ski. They are just looking to make the biggest sale they can. From what I've seen, most sales staff at big-4 MC dealers don't know crap about motorcycles. OTOH, Dealers of "boutique bike" brands like Triumph, Ducati, Guzzi and the like are more likely to be "motorcycle guys" who know and love the brand, and have the ability to engage with buyers who also know and love the brand.

To a big volume dealer, a retro bike (especially one that is priced towards the low end of the new-bike spectrum) is just another bike he has to keep in stock and that won't make him much profit.

Speaking of which, the other reason dealers may not like retro bikes is that it reduces his ability to sell extra parts and accessories. People who buy sport bikes, big touring bikes, adventure bikes and cruisers often spend thousands of dollars farkling them up with performance parts (sportbikes), GPSs, luggage (adventure bikes and touring bikes), and chrome doodads (cruisers) that are just additional profit to the dealer.

With retro-bikes, OTOH, let's face it, most of us who like retro bikes are also tightfisted SOBs who don't like to spend a lot of extra money once we've bought a bike.

As I've said before, I like the CB but I'm ambivalent about its future. Retro bikes could be the "next big thing" as the cruiser trend fades. Or the CB could be a flash in the pan just like the Zephyr, the CB1000, the W650 and the naked Bandit and ZR7 were. Only time will tell.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:03 AM   #1221
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:16 AM   #1222
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Originally Posted by ZappBranigan View Post
What does that even mean, though? Seriously, what difference does it make? To the buyer, they look the same. They're still air-cooled parrallell twins. They still have the same outward look. They company is still based in England (although some of the bikes are assembled in Thailand.) Does it matter that the Hinckley Triumphs have metric bolts instead of Whitworth bolts? Does it matter that it has an DOHC motor instead of OHV? No. Does it matter that they have reliable electronics instead of Lucas? Of course not.



Which means absolutely zero to any buyer out there. Because it's still a Honda. For that matter, what parts does the DOHC CB1100 share with the original SOHC CB750? My guess would be none. Not that it would matter to anyone.

You guys are making a lot of logical, reasonable arguments but you're missing the point because motorcycles - especially "retro" style bikes - are not purchased for logical, rational reasons. They're purchased for emotional reasons. People are buying an image, an idea, a feeling, as much as they are buying a machine. HD gets this and that's why they sell more large motorcycles in the US than every other company put together.

WRT to the W650/800 and whether it's more or less "authentic" than a Hinckley Triumph, it makes me think of something I saw once. I was at a motorcycle charity ride a few years ago behind a guy on a big Harley. On the back of his vest was a patch that read: "I don't care what it looks like. I don't care what it sounds like. I don't care how much you paid for it. It still smells like rice."

Now obviously, that's the typical dumbass "harley or nothing" kind of attitude you often see in the motorcycle world (and FWIW it's not nearly as bad as it was when I started riding in 1982. You younger guys have no idea...) But it illustrates the fact that motorcycles in the US are "lifestyle appliances" that are designed to project an image as much as they are designed to move your butt down the road.

And in the world of image, "authenticity" is more valuable than any objective feature. That Kawasaki may be a carbon copy of a Meriden Triumph, but no matter how accurate it is, if it has a Kawasaki logo on the tank, it's still a copy. Not original. Not "authentic."
Zapp, I understand the points you're making, and I totally agree that one buys a retro bike for emotional reasons. And sure, you can make the argument that the CB1100 is not directly descended from any previous air-cooled Honda (which is a little bit different than what I was arguing). I noticed you put authenticity in quotation marks, which I can assume means you think the whole authenticity thing is a bit contrived. In the end it doesn't really matter so long as any particular bike floats your boat for your own personal reasons. I think the CB1100 is 'cool' and all that, but the main thing to me is that I think it will be just a pure motorcyling experience, like these things used to be, without any need to worry about how chromed-out badass I appear, or if I'm displaying the latest, greatest track tool -- sitting stuck in traffic like everyone else.

I had to giggle a little bit when you were talking about the "Harley or nothing" attitude. I was wondering if their improved attitude evolved at about the same pace as the improvements made to the bike itself, much of it attributable to sourcing reliable critical components from Japanese companies.

Anyways, it's all pretty esoteric, fun to talk about for sure, but in the end we should all just ride what we like and not give a damn about our reasons for doing so.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:27 AM   #1223
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Originally Posted by Scoobynut View Post
I had to giggle a little bit when you were talking about the "Harley or nothing" attitude. I was wondering if their improved attitude evolved at about the same pace as the improvements made to the bike itself, much of it attributable to sourcing reliable critical components from Japanese companies.
I think it's because they see a label marked "MADE IN CHINA" everytime they buy a new "Harley" T-shirt, pair of "Harley" Boots, "Harley" gloves or farkle from the H-D dealer.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:42 AM   #1224
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Originally Posted by ZappBranigan View Post
With retro-bikes, OTOH, let's face it, most of us who like retro bikes are also tightfisted SOBs who don't like to spend a lot of extra money once we've bought a bike.
Most old CB's are still plentiful,reliable & cheap.
(that's changing because of the Cafe' fad)

$10,000.00+ for a brand new one or ride an old one for under $3000.00 until there's a bunch of used/left over 2013 CB1100's up for sale at very discounted prices.... Sorry, I love the bike, but will have to wait.
That being said... If I could afford to buy a brand new one I would because I'm one of those who believe that if the CB1100 is a big seller more bikes like it will be made. So those of you with the ability.
Please, please buy them.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:49 AM   #1225
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Originally Posted by Scoobynut View Post
Anyways, it's all pretty esoteric, fun to talk about for sure, but in the end we should all just ride what we like and not give a damn about our reasons for doing so.
I agree, it's just that I've learned that when it comes to the big 4, my tastes tend to run in the opposite direction of what they want to sell (at least in the US.) I'd love an Suzuki GSX1400 or a Yamaha XJR1300:





To me those bikes are just pure sex. But we'll never get those bike here. The CB1100 is the closest we will get to anything like that.

My two biggest fears are (1) Buyers will ignore the bike in favor of something with more "bling" (whether it's a cruiser, a sportbike or an adventure bike) and (2) That Honda's committment to it is lukewarm, so if it's not a sales success right away, they'll pull the plug.

I think Honda could help create (or expand) the retro-bike market niche, if they wanted to. But that's a big "if" (and I just thought of Jayne Cobb from "Firefly" saying "I smell a lot of 'if' coming off this plan!" )
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:07 AM   #1226
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Originally Posted by Scoobynut View Post
BTW, I was trolling a (Hinckley) Triumph website yesterday and they had a thread on the CB1100. Some of the posters were concerned that the majority of Triumph riders on the forum were going to ditch their Bonnies for the CB1100 when it arrived. A common comment from a lot of the posters was that this was the Honda they'd been waiting for before they bought their Triumph. Anecdotal evidence only, for sure, but I found it very interesting.
Well, I can't speak for anyone else but I'll put it this way: I've been on the Triumphrat.net forums since 2002 and my user name on that forum is "UJMRider." So that should tell you something ;)

And I got my first Triumph (2001 Thunderbird) at least partially because the look and feel was the closest to that of a genuine UJM "standard" that I could find.

I do like the Triumph brand, and their motorcycles are very well made and reliable (18,000 miles and counting on my Scrambler without so much as a hiccup) and they have a "cool factor" that is hard to beat. But one of the best things about the Triumph twins is that for a while they were about the only "standard" bikes out there. Everything else was either a sportbike, a cruiser, a sport/tourer, an adventure bike, etc. The "classic" look with the big rounded tank, the slightly angled handlebars, the flat seat, and of course the big round headlight, was hard to find in any other bike.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:12 AM   #1227
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Originally Posted by ZappBranigan View Post
I agree, it's just that I've learned that when it comes to the big 4, my tastes tend to run in the opposite direction of what they want to sell (at least in the US.) I'd love an Suzuki GSX1400 or a Yamaha XJR1300:





To me those bikes are just pure sex. But we'll never get those bike here. The CB1100 is the closest we will get to anything like that.

My two biggest fears are (1) Buyers will ignore the bike in favor of something with more "bling" (whether it's a cruiser, a sportbike or an adventure bike) and (2) That Honda's committment to it is lukewarm, so if it's not a sales success right away, they'll pull the plug.

I think Honda could help create (or expand) the retro-bike market niche, if they wanted to. But that's a big "if" (and I just thought of Jayne Cobb from "Firefly" saying "I smell a lot of 'if' coming off this plan!" )

I couldn't agree more about the XJR1300 and GSX1400 - pure sex. And I would add the Honda CB1300 to that list.

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Old 02-06-2013, 09:14 AM   #1228
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Just got the bad news from the Manitoba dealer. Only getting ONE in Manitoba. They want $14600 for it. For 1400 more I can get into an R1200R. Typical brain dead Honda Canada. Off the wish list.
Lyle
Canadian MSRP for CB1100 ABS is $13,200 Is the difference freight and PDI? Tax?

R1200R MSRP is $15,900, without ABS
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:19 AM   #1229
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Originally Posted by The other Ferret View Post
Im not sure if its not the dealers that spell the doom for certain bikes and not the manufacturers. Before I bought my 03 Bonneville, I went looking for a W 650. I travel 1/2 the state of Ohio for work. I stopped at lots of Kawasaki dealers. None of them had a W 650 in stock, not one even had a brochure for the bike. All said if I put a deposit down they could order me one. I went to the Triumph dealer, he had Bonnevilles in stock, put me out for a test drive, and I was a buyer.
What came first, the chicken or the egg? If enough potential customers asked dealers for W650s, dealers might stock them, and people might buy them.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:36 AM   #1230
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Originally Posted by ZappBranigan View Post
You know, that's an excellent point, too. I think one of the problem with 'big 4' dealers is that they are really more interested in maximizing their profits than they are in selling any one kind of bike. They don't particularly care whether they sell you a big cruiser, a sportbike, an ATV or a jet ski. They are just looking to make the biggest sale they can.
I get your points, but why shouldn't maximizing profits be their priority? Isn't the point of being a dealer?

Sure, as long as they are making good profits, a dealer may be happier selling whatever slice of the market most interests them, but in the end, keeping people employed and making a profit is the point. If that means they focus on cruisers and ATVs, the problem is the buyers not the sellers.
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