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Old 11-14-2012, 10:46 PM   #241
eakins
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Originally Posted by kraven View Post
I think that's a fair analysis.
I would say that Honda has made its name in the US on build quality. They only escaped the price barrier by creating a luxury brand for the auto division, despite having superior vehicles relative to domestics.

Maybe they need an Acura bike division?

Hyosung and some of the Chi-com brands just need time to do exactly what Honda did to get a big presence: focus on quality at a low price point. I think it's only a matter of time til we see a Korean or Chinese brand selling big here.
I would love to see honda do an acura-like line of bikes. They have the know how, technology and suspension parts to do it, but they are stuck with a price point. At a minimum they should offer some R versions of bikes that are built with better parts.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:31 PM   #242
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Just saw all the new Hondas. Only 2 of them interest me. The new Goldwing FB6 is to expensive, but I like it. It's about time the Goldwing became something besides a 2 wheeled car. Though I would have preferred they had brought the Valkyrie back. That CB1100 is indeed a beauty, it actually has chrome fenders and an air cooled engine. Hope it does not have ABS. That would be a deal breaker even if the price was right. Also hope it is not made in China. Unfortunately they did not announce the price. I figure it will either be way to high and made in Japan, or more reasonable, but made in China.

For reasons I can't get into here (but everybody knows about) I don't see anything coming out of China in the forseeable future. Taiwan makes good stuff, and South Korea has the potential to. But I don't see China as a 21st century Japan. It's a whole different situation.

I also think bikes are WAY to expensive now, we sure don't need a high dollar japanese motorcycle brand. I have no idea why people buy high dollar Japanese brands like Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura. Unlike high dollar European brands like Mercedes and BMW, Asian cars are not and never will be a status symbol. Just look at their resale value. Of course, since everybody is now building disposable cars, and the era of classics is over, resale value has dropped across the board.

And any car made today, even the high dollar exotics like Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Porsche are basically appliances. They are controlled by computers, and are designed to insulate the driver from the driving experience as much as possible. I have some left seat time in a 1971 Porsche 911, and I can tell you that was no appliance. It was about as primitive as a sports car could be. It was a "pure" car, it didn't have anything it didn't need. It was good and rough, and took a considerable degree of skill to drive right. Get sloppy with it and it would bite you hard. That possibility has been "engineered" out of todays cars, and they are trying to engineer it out of bikes too (ABS, traction control). For those who love computer controlled brakes so much, suppose you also had a computer controlling (and limiting) use of the throttle, and only letting the bike lean over so far? What would be left for the rider to do but sit there. Is that what you really want? Just how much are you willing to give up in the name of safety? Riding a motorcycle is NOT safe. It is NOT supposed to be. That is why it is NOT for everybody. Who let Ralph Nader into the motorcycle business?
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:33 PM   #243
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I really like the new CB500X, it is the kind of the bike that was missing from Honda, but the 500cc engine looks a bit too small for any adventure bike if you have a passenger. I have owned a CB500 and it was a pain with a passenger, also a CBF600 and it was much better, but not great. Transalp is no longer what it used to be (almost stylish bike good for nothing), Varadero is too large and heavy (1000cc version), so I will wait to see a CB500X in the showroom and do a test drive. Of course, if it will get to Europe.

The CBR500 is a bit ugly. Not really ugly, but for 2013 it does not look anywhere close to Fazer or R6. It was not the reason I recently changed my old CBF 600 Honda with a new Fazer (FZ6, not FZ8), but this also matters to some people.

CB500 F - I never liked bikes with no fairing except for driving inside the town. It is probably good for my female cousin, or maybe to commute to work, nothing more serious.

Very surprising to me the new look of Goldwing. My European mind is looking for a different style, this one looks like a cross-breed of a DN-01 with the old Goldwing.

Cannot comment for the others, not the type of bikes I ride.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:13 PM   #244
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I'm almost convinced we'll be adding a '13 250r to the stable for the wife. Reasonably priced canyon carver. Seems like a great bike all around for the money.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:52 PM   #245
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Originally Posted by dmac57 View Post
And you've ridden how many of the six?

Seriously. Show me the innovation in the Wing. The CB1100 is clever, but the engine appears to be essentially the same lump from the CB900/750 days. I can understand the reskin of the CBR600RR as that market has contracted dramaticallly. But compare these to the introduction of the Ducati Multistrada, Streetfighter or Hypermotard. To any of the recent KTMs. To the K16 or the new Wasserboxer.

Things are tough in Japan both post tsunami and post global economic meltdown, but as nice as these bikes may turn out to be, I don't see that any of them will be particularly memorable, and certainly in no way landmark machines.
Memorable, pfft.

Honda is in business to make money by selling in volume. Yes, the European brands have posted sales gains in the last several years but in terms of volume - they sell tens or hundreds of some of these bikes in the US, at most a few thousand in the case of the BMW line while Honda sells hundreds of thousands of units even after losing 40% of sales from pre-recession 2006. If BMW did not have the car side to subsidize the bikes the marque would have died several times in the last decades. They imported only 1000 K16s this year and take a look at the ones gathering dust in showrooms. It's big tech and not selling in big numbers. Imagine maintaining $$$ one of those in 10 years. Isn't Ducati for sale - again? Our Ducati dealer has 2008 Multistradas left on the floor next to 2010 Streetfighters. It's a joke except the dealer isn't laughing and neither are owners than wait months for parts. If not for Honda bikes selling on the other side of the building the bank would own all the memorable bikes.

The Goldwing may not excite you but long in the tooth as it is it alone sells more units today than all BMWs sold in the US plus Ducati and KTM added in. Honda decontents it at little cost and extends the fully amortized platform a few more years as a bagger. That is smart money.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:41 PM   #246
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Originally Posted by dduelin View Post
Yes, the European brands have posted sales gains in the last several years but in terms of volume - they sell tens or hundreds of some of these bikes in the US, at most a few thousand in the case of the BMW line while Honda sells hundreds of thousands of units even after losing 40% of sales from pre-recession 2006.
All Japanese manufacturers imported only 164k motorcycles into the US in 2011 according to this:

http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcyc...statistics.htm

And that includes everything from above 250cc to all the way down to 50cc and below.

Honda isn't even the biggest exporter of the Japanese manufacturers (Yamaha is), but let's say they have a share of 30% (generous) of the Japanese. That makes it 30% of 164k exported to the US, meaning roughly 49k motorcycles from Honda sold in 2011.

BMW sold 10k motorcycles in 2011 in the US. HD sold ~150k in 2011.

So, Honda might have sold 5x as many bikes as BMW, but I'll bet that they are making much more money per sale as Honda does. HD sold 3x more bikes than Honda, and again, I bet they make more per sale. I could dig deeper into earnings reports now, but I'm really not inclined to.

Overall - if you have nothing to contribute but numbers you pulled out of thin air, it's not really helping here.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:22 PM   #247
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Thanks cug, I couldn't have said it that well.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:05 PM   #248
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The 500s should be good 2nd bikes for new smaller riders after they're ready to move up from their Nighthawks or Rebel 250s. I know I'll be looking at those for my GF when she's ready for something a bit more substantial. It's a niche that has been weak in available choices here lately. I had a ball scooting around on CL450s, KZ440s, and the like. I've never felt a "need" for 100HP, even if my friends were tempting fate and taunting po-po on their sportbikes. The mid-size 400-800cc niche suits someone like me just fine, especially when I have a newer rider in the household to consider.

The 250s can use a bit more sometimes, or they need to be revved to get it, while most of the 650s we've been force-fed in the last decade or two are just too big, too heavy, too powerful, and too expensive for responsible newer riders that aren't 5'10"'/165lb or bigger and looking to drop almost $10K for a bike they're still likely to dump occasionally. What is a 5'8/200lb guy like me supposed to tour/commute on, then loan to the noob GF when she wants her own mile-eater to tag along on? A lay-on-the-tank, quasi-sportbike covered in plastic that gets 40MPG and has 16 valves to check/adjust and $150 tires that need replacing every 3K miles? A 550lb, top-heavy Wee? An even heavier cruiser or 800cc+ sport/touring bike? No thanks. Not for her, and not for just scooting around town.

A 350lb CL500 scrambler with ABS would be sweet.

Kommando screwed with this post 11-27-2012 at 06:21 PM
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:24 PM   #249
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Have you actually checked out the prices of used cars?
The better Japanese brands hold their value the best.
But you can get a used Jaguar dirt cheap, same as any used Euro brand, because they do not hold up, they have loads of problems and are expensive to fix.

Now its different if you are talking about 20+ year old cars.

And for what I see, there are plenty of people with loads of cash to spend on bikes, the big Harley's are not cheap, and they are all over the place, with plenty of expensive upgrades.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH;20047691

I also think bikes are [B
WAY[/B] to expensive now, we sure don't need a high dollar japanese motorcycle brand. I have no idea why people buy high dollar Japanese brands like Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura. Unlike high dollar European brands like Mercedes and BMW, Asian cars are not and never will be a status symbol. Just look at their resale value. Of course, since everybody is now building disposable cars, and the era of classics is over, resale value has dropped across the board.

And any car made today, even the high dollar exotics like Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Porsche are basically appliances. They are controlled by computers, and are designed to insulate the driver from the driving experience as much as possible. I have some left seat time in a 1971 Porsche 911, and I can tell you that was no appliance. It was about as primitive as a sports car could be. It was a "pure" car, it didn't have anything it didn't need. It was good and rough, and took a considerable degree of skill to drive right. Get sloppy with it and it would bite you hard. That possibility has been "engineered" out of todays cars, and they are trying to engineer it out of bikes too (ABS, traction control). For those who love computer controlled brakes so much, suppose you also had a computer controlling (and limiting) use of the throttle, and only letting the bike lean over so far? What would be left for the rider to do but sit there. Is that what you really want? Just how much are you willing to give up in the name of safety? Riding a motorcycle is NOT safe. It is NOT supposed to be. That is why it is NOT for everybody. Who let Ralph Nader into the motorcycle business?
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:07 AM   #250
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
I have no idea why people buy high dollar Japanese brands like Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura. Unlike high dollar European brands like Mercedes and BMW, Asian cars are not and never will be a status symbol. Just look at their resale value.
Riiiiiiiiight! Lexus is not a status symbol? Child, please! Go into the nicer sections of the bigger metropolitan areas, visit the nice neighborhoods, and see what's in the driveway. Trust me, you will see a LOT of Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti along with the Benzes and BMW's. And these are the people who are concerned with "keeping up with the Jonses". I know because I work with them, often in their homes. People buy these cars because they are fantastic quality and are dead reliable. They also hold their resale value well, especially Lexus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
I have some left seat time in a 1971 Porsche 911, and I can tell you that was no appliance. It was about as primitive as a sports car could be. It was a "pure" car, it didn't have anything it didn't need.
It also had horrible balance, and truly primitive (your word) handling traits. Porsche hadn't figured out controllable oversteer at that point in their existance, at least not in that platform. The early 911's were notorious for going from neutral to snap oversteer, with next to nothing in between. Up to about eight-tenths, it was a fun sports car. Past that, it was, well, primitive.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #251
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Honda bites.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:30 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
I have no idea why people buy high dollar Japanese brands like Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura. Unlike high dollar European brands like Mercedes and BMW, Asian cars are not and never will be a status symbol. Just look at their resale value. Of course, since everybody is now building disposable cars, and the era of classics is over, resale value has dropped across the board.
LOL. My nice car is an 08 Acura TL. My beater car is a BMW. The owner of my company drives an Infiniti. Time's are a changin'...
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:36 PM   #253
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LOL. My nice car is an 08 Acura TL. My beater car is a BMW. The owner of my company drives an Infiniti. Time's are a changin'...
Maybe. But unless the nicer Japanese car manufacturers develop a more elegant taste for their interior design, I'll stay with European brands. I looked at the latest Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus models last year and have to say: They just have no taste ...
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:04 PM   #254
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Honda bites.
Honda bleeds...

It's helping me drag my knees....
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:35 PM   #255
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I have no idea why people buy high dollar Japanese brands like Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura.
Because they're nice cars. When we bought my wife's Infiniti G35XS a few years ago we also looked at the comparable BMW, Audi, & Lexus models. They were all nice, but the Lexus dealer was an a-hole, and the BMW was about 5 years behind the curve on the electronics front (which my wife likes). It was a toss-up between the Infiniti and the Audi...and the Infiniti was more reliable according to the reviews. It also had a more user-friendly interior.

60K miles later, it's still an awesome car that is more comfortable and better handling than most other cars out there. It has also been absolutely trouble-free. We also couldn't give two shits about what our neighbors think.
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