Japen scooter becoming like bristish motorcycle before they went down for the count.

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by fullmetalscooter, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    It's almost Japen scooter becoming like bristish motorcycle before they went down for the count. By this I mean Bristain once made great scooters and bike till japan come along started producing small cheap bike that worked. Flooding the market chipping away at the bristish motorcycle industry. At the time bristish motoryclce / scooter makers wore doing what is happing now. Producing fast bike etc but limbeted production and imports to usa /canada. Japan now doing the the same and china is doing what japan did producing cheap bikes, clone scooters etc. China is not all that good but It makes your wonder if japan Scooters and bike might just end up like the famous british makers of bikes did. Out of business just because someone under priced them for 15 years or so. Not saying its gong to happen but you wonder what the future holds when you look at the past kind of repeating it's self with Japen. That's my deep thought or bullshit thought of the day.
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  2. Tosh Togo

    Tosh Togo Long timer

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    Japen?....

    [​IMG]

    Or is this just another case of boo many teers?. :1drink
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  3. malibug

    malibug Adventurer

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    british scooters are no match to japan scoots....:rofl:freaky
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  4. vortexau

    vortexau Outside the Pod-bay

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    Motorcycles and scooters from Japan were quite oil-tight and lack any participation from Lucas: Prince of Darkness! That's mainly where the products from Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Bridgestone, Lilac, & Kawasaki leapfrogged British-built motorcycles.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Japan also pioneered electric-starting, separate oil for Two-Strokes, and near-universal fitting of Flashing Turn Indicators, on motorcycles, stepthroughs, & motorscooters.


    [​IMG]
    Kawasaki H2 Mach IV
    [​IMG]
    Honda's C72 Dream - Electric Starting, Flashing Turn Indicators, and no oil leaks from the crankcase.
    Leaving aside lower unit pricing; what has China innovated (apart from poorly-performing integrated mp3 ports)?
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  5. Bar None

    Bar None Long timer

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    I have to agree with Vortexau.
    I bought my first Japanese motorcycle (Suzuki X6 Hustler) in 1968 to replace my 650 BSA and could not believe the improvements in reliability. That's what sold me on Japanese bikes and not the price.
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  6. Starbuck21

    Starbuck21 Manly scooterist!

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    I don't see China replacing Japanese scooters/motorcycles any time soon. As has been mentioned, there is NO innovation only imitation. And poorly done cloning at that.

    Japan fixed electrical gremlins, oil leaks and general reliability at a reasonable price. And as to innovation, can anyone remember the 1969 CB750? Honda Cub models, Kawasaki H series followed by the incredible Z series, Suzuki even pioneered a decent rotary engine motorcycle, unfortunately the timing was off and it was not a success. How about Yamaha DT250?

    At this point China can claim nothing like the above; but given time who knows?
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  7. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I don't think there is any chance of Mainland Chinese made scooters ever replacing Japanese or any other brand scooters. As was said, all the Chinese do is build cheap copies that fall apart. Their quality will not likely improve mostly due to political reasons. The Chinese have no motivation to build anything better. I do not see Mainland China as a force to be reckoned with in the scooter or motorcycle market in the forseeable future. They do sell a lot of junk, because it is cheap, and because it falls apart right away.

    However, Taiwan made scooters are a whole nother story. They build quality scooters, and for a lot less than the Japanese. Also, most of their dealers do not play games and try to rip off customers with all sorts of bogus fees like the Japanese dealers do. I can buy a new Kymco for MSRP plus sales tax, title, and registration. No bogus freight, setup, and doc fees, which add several hundred to the price. And the MSRP is a lot lower to begin with. The only issue is resale value is a bit lower, but I but a bike to ride, not to sell.

    And another thing, Japanese scooters are actually disappearing already. Both my Zuma 125 and Vino 125 are Taiwanese scooters. They may have a Japanese name on them, but that's all. They say :made in Taiwan on them, and have a Taiwan VIN. The era of scooters actually made in Japan appears to be about over.

    And it is not just scooters. I have owned a Kawasaki KLR650 and an Eliminator 125, both made in Thailand. The new BMW scooters are mostly Taiwanese. Even new Triumphs, definitely British bikes, at least namewise, are also being built in Taiwan. So are Piaggio scooters and parts.

    I would have to say that Taiwan is the biggest manufacturer of scooters in the world. Not only their own quality brands, but they are building almost everybody else's scooters as well, and several motorcycles.
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  8. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    In every thread I've read about mainland Chinese scooters, they've been a disaster. It's one thing to buy a cheap, poor quality tool, it hopefully won't hurt or kill like a bad 2 wheeled vehicle can.

    At this point, price has not trumped reliability, so they've got a long way to go. As mentioned above, they have also not been very innovative, so I don't think the Japanese motorcycle/scooter industry is in any danger.

    The poor reputation of Chinese scooters overall is probably hurting Taiwanese Chinese scooter sales, even though their quality is similar to Japanese.

    There is also no viable dealer/parts network, another thing required for long term marketing in this country. Aside from mediocre quality, I think that's what also hurt French and Italian car sales, and why you no longer see them here. These reputations last a long time, as seen in the poor sales of the new Fiat 500.
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  9. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I actually looked at a new Fiat 500 a couple of years ago, and considered buying one. They were selling fairly well back then, and I saw several on the road. But Fiat pulled a scam. The new ones now are almost $3000 more than the base models were a couple of years ago. I scratched it off my list. The Hyundai Accent has it beat big time. More car for less money, and a way better warranty. And the Hyundai has proven to be reliable over the past 2 decades. But while Hyundai has done well, Kia and the former Daewoo Motors have not. Neither has Hyosung.

    There did used to be a time when "made in Taiwan" meant junk, but just like "made in Japan" that has changed, at least for people who know something about what they are buying. But Taiwan has a whole different type of government, allowing free enterprise to flourish, unlike Mainland China.
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  10. RFVC600R

    RFVC600R SAND EATER!

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    I had a couple chinese bikes. Biggest piece of shits I've ever had. And one was new and other had 15 hours on it.

    Red chinese bike I forget the company.
    The rear brake fell off and was hanging by the hydraulic line , the sprockets would wear out surprisingly quick, it was LOUD, and we could never jet the fucker correctly. the rim spokes would come loose even though you just tightened them. rear shock blew, front shocks leaked. ect ect ect. The engine were excellent for the time we had it. All in ownership of 3 months of weekend rides.

    Lifan pit bike
    Just maintain liked any other bike. engine malfunction, sold it before I even gave a shit to open it up. went "clunk" and the wheel locked up. and I was just cruising.

    Spend $1500 on a used bike from the 80's instead of a new Chinese bike, you'll be happier.
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  11. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma

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    Absolutely. God bless freedom. Taiwan is such a wonderful country--as Westernized as Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea.

    Yeah, the Chinese will catch up one day. I do think it's inevitable, but right now I'm just not certain exactly how--state capitalism is still communism, just with way more money.
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  12. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    China sells far more scooters and motorcycles at home and abroad than all other countries combined, we just don't see that many here in the US YET. A large percentage of Chinese bikes sold here are made to order to be the lowest possible price, forget quality, they just need to look nice. Not all Chinese bikes are the same, they can and do make good quality bikes. Most people would be surprised to learn that many Japanese and European name bikes are actually made in China.
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  13. gatling

    gatling Long timer

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    I've been in the Zongshen factory in Chongqing. I'd put their quality equal to or above anything else being produced anywhere in the world. Zongshen makes Piaggio and Genuine scooters for those companies. They make parts for a rather well-known American manufacturer based in Milwaukee.

    I think the comments above are spot on. I think the Chinese are going to eclipse all of the other scooter manufacturers.

    My $0.02...
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  14. knucklehead90

    knucklehead90 Been here awhile

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    All the Chinese need to turn their poor quality around is a shitload of lawyers. Start class action suits (there are billions in that country!) against the scooter manufacturers for shoddy quality. Find a Chinese 'Nader'! Have someone write a book along the lines of 'Unsafe at any speed' concerning some of the worst offenders.

    The Chinese are quite capable of producing quality goods. I buy audio equipment from a company that makes everything they sell (currently anyway) in China. And it is great stuff. Check em out at Emotiva.com if you are looking for home audio stuff. I have no affiliation with them other than being a satisfied customer.
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  15. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    As I tried to say when it happen over the next 15 years Japen may be forced into the same place British bike makers were. Yes right now china is somewhat garbage but flash back to 1950 and made in Japen meant cheap etc. Like china is thought of today. Bristh bike makers tried and tried but didn't have the cash to complete with japan. If you don't have the cash to make new models in the long run you may go down. China out produces Japan . japan motorcycle makers sold at cost or a little below it in the USA / Canada to getting the market for there bikes started way back when. China companies are in an even better spot then Japan was due to the Goverment owning allot of companies. They can under cut and do the say thing. I m not saying that it's going to happen but with motorcycling here being more of a hobby then daily transport you never know. I really don't dought it but Japan motorcycle makers are kind of like Mircosoft . All it take is a 3 or 4 Apple like motorcycle companies in china deciding they want the market share. Producing motorcycle / scooters that are on par at under par pricing and the ship might hit a reef. You never know what going to Happen .
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  16. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    The Japanese, Honda especially, are pricing themselves out of the market, at least in the U.S. They started building stuff in Taiwan (CRF250L, PCX150, CBR250) and got the prices down some on those models. I don't think it will be long until all Hondas, and possibly all Japanese brand bikes are made in Taiwan or Thailand. They are making use of the cheap labor. But the Taiwanese brands are still undercutting them on price, especially when you consider the hundreds of bogus fees dealers charge. Japanese dealers need to cut out that practice. People are paying more attention to that sort of thing in todays economy. I got my new Zuma 125 with no freight and setup fees, and a $75 doc fee (it's usually $300) because I refused to pay it, And the dealer simply could not afford to turn down the sale. More people need to do that.

    I am a regular visitor to powersportsnetwork.com, to read the reviews. A few years ago there were LOTS of reviews. Now there are very few. I'm assuming there is also a corresponding reduction in sales. The Japanese manufacturers need to reinvent themselves, and get with the times. Get back to basics, and offer some reasonably priced models without all the gadgetry. That is where they started, and it worked. Worked fine for VW too, back in the day. Now they sell the same overpriced junk that everyone else does. Market an early '70s CB750 or VW bug and I'll buy them.
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  17. knucklehead90

    knucklehead90 Been here awhile

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    The late 60s was the turning point for all motorcycle makers. Harley felt the pinch from the British bikes - and the British felt the pinch from the Japanese bikes. When the Honda CB750 debuted we were all amazed at how fast quiet and smooth it was and how well it handled.

    At the time I remember a friend going through a lot of bikes trying to find the right one for him. He sold a perfectly good 67 Bonneville to buy the Triumph Trident three cylinder 750 (man what a piece of crap that was!) - Triumph's answer to the CB750 - according to Triumph. Nobody was buying that line - and nobody was buying the Trident either. I think it lasted 2 or 3 model years - as did the BSA triple of that era. They were junk - leaked oil worse than any 5 year old 650 Triumph twin - and wasn't even that fast. He sold it and bought an XLCH Sportster - that too leaked oil - and required constant tuneup to run right. He ended up selling it and bought a Honda CB750. Made him real happy! I had a Kawasaki 500 triple at the time - was very happy with the straight line performance but was used to better handling than it could deliver - even Japan was having problems 'getting it right'.

    All except Honda and their CB750. But that didn't last - the other Japanese bike makers caught on - Harley ignored it all - and the British brought out warmed over bikes like the Norton Commando (which I really liked) and the Triumph and BSA triples.

    It was sad to see the British bikes fading into the background - except for the Lucas electrics which I had (and still have) a passionate distaste for. I had a 62 Triumph 650 that ran great all the time - and only because it had a magneto ignition - the damned generator never could get with the program - kept burning out regulators - or the regulator would burn out the generator - just depended on whether it was an odd or even day I suppose. I could at least ride it during the day - I just used hand signals for stopping and turning. Cops didn't seem to care - never got a ticket when the brake lights didn't work. And there was no headlight law back then. If I wanted to ride at night I made sure the battery was charged up and I could go about an hour before the headlight dimmed too much to be seen. I put a low wattage bulb in it which helped.

    I don't think China (or Taiwan for that matter) is going to take over the scooter market in the USA. Seems the market is flooded already as evidenced by the plethora of used low mileage scooters available. I bought my Burgman in March for $5000 out the door - a 2008 exec model with almost 4k on the clock. Big small or inbetween scooters - there seems to be many used ones available in my area. Unless gas prices climb astronomically I think thats the way it'll stay. Americans like cars - there are just some abnormals among us that like 2 wheel travel. It stays at a given percentage and rarely fluctuates I'm guessing. And lets face it - we all know someone (2 or 10) that should stick with 4 wheelers - and we try to limit them in that area as much as we can too.
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  18. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    I don't think it was so much a cash problem for the Brits as much as a complacency attitude. "We always made them like that, so it's fine". Faulty electrics, poor machining (oil leaks), generally poor workmanship via constant labor problems. Customers will only put up with that crap when there's no alternative. Once Japan arrived with a quality product with none of the above problems, all bets were off.

    Even faced with the Japanese competition, the Brits continued to produce the same crap, never saw the writing on the wall. US car makers did after VW, and especially, again, the Japanese arrived. If it wasn't for them, we'd still be driving the crap US cars were in the 60's and 70's. I'm sure Jerry H. will chime in here about how wonderful his Pinto was (is? :D), but I think everyone else will agree there were dramatic improvements to the US auto industry when faced with Japanese competition.

    Why the Brits never ditched Lucas is anyone's guess. I guess maybe they were so tied to them, and there was no other Brit supplier? Needless to say, the same fate awaited the Brit auto industry. Many classic marques gone, and the remaining ones generally foreign owned.

    I don't see the Chinese eclipsing the Japanese for quite some time. Japanese motorcycle/scooter products are the best in the industry, people will still pay a little more for quality, reliability, and a nationwide parts/dealer network.
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  19. PhilB

    PhilB Long timer

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    Bosch was the first company to come up with a really decent electrical system for vehicles, and they held all the patents. So basically everyone had two choices -- pay royalties to Bosch to use their system, or use a lesser system. Lucas tried to split the difference; they took the Bosch design and changed it just enough to avoid the Bosch patents. Unfortunately, the patents really were on the important stuff, so the changes to avoid them made the system work worse. The British manufacturers could save quite a bit of money going with Lucas, so that's what they did.

    That's the key. You need more than a cheaper product to make it big; you need a better product. The Chinese haven't got that, and there is little sign that it is coming soon.

    PhilB
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  20. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

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    I think at some point in time, mainland China will get the quality of the products they produce up, but it will not likely ever be as good as Japan's quality - but then, who is?

    It's a global economy. I have a Korean car that I have had for a long time, and it has proven to be very reliable. I have a Japanese motorcycle, and an American truck. All of them are very good.

    I would not hesitate to buy a motorcycle or scooter made in Taiwan or Thailand, or Italy... but as of today I will not buy it if it was made in mainland China, I don't care who's name is on the tank.
    #20