The irony of dirt vs street prices

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by MisterNo, May 3, 2020.

  1. MisterNo

    MisterNo Been here awhile

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    If you've ever shopped for bikes online you've noticed there is a huge disparity in the prices for off-road vs. street bike. You can get a huge bore loaded street bike for the same price as an older small bore minimal dirt bike. What is the justification for this? Do you feel inclined to pay a premium for a bike just because it is dirt oriented? Really what are we paying for? Certainly is not related to the cost to produce the product.
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  2. Husky360C

    Husky360C Been here awhile

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    Dirt bike vs street bike = apples & oranges. The two types of bikes do not compete with each other in the market. Therefore the prices of the two types of bikes are not related, any more than the price of ketchup influences the price of cabbage. What determines the price of a bike is whether people are willing to pay a certain price to own it. If people don't want to buy a certain bike the price will tend to drop. If a lot of people want to buy a certain bike and there is only one example ( a Brough Superior owned and ridden by T.E. Lawrence would be a good example ) then the price can end up being very high indeed.

    The notion of "justification" comes down to this : either you want a certain bike enough to pay a certain price, or you don't. That's the only justification there is.

    For most consumer products the cost of production has little to do with what it costs to buy a product. The price is set by what the market will bear, ( what buyers are willing to pay ).


    Below is some reading which will help you understand the basics of supply and demand, which in the case of motorcycles is typically the biggest influence on price :

    https://www.wikihow.com/Understand-Supply-and-Demand

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_and_demand
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  3. MisterNo

    MisterNo Been here awhile

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    Right so the price we pay is based on what we are willing to pay. Why are we doing this to ourselves? I don't feel good about paying $4000 for a little Tw 250 when I can get a similar year 1600 Vulcan with upgrades for the same price. It doesn't make sense.

    It is our own stupidity.
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  4. MisterNo

    MisterNo Been here awhile

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    PS, it isn't apples vs. oranges. Is it is burger catsup vs. hotdog catsup, or burger pickles vs. hotdog pickles. They are all bikes, just different purposes.
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  5. Ibraz

    Ibraz Been here awhile

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    Ever tried to go trail riding on a Vulcan 1600?
    Ever went on the interstate on a TW200?

    How many examples of each were produced? How many left in good riding condition? If you need a Small bike that will go everywhere with little maintenance there isn't a lot of choices...
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  6. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    I've been wondering that myself. After all they are both motorcycles with the same basic components. The dirt bike seems it would be cheaper to produce. And the way supply and demand works, if it was cheaper to produce and the demand was there, they'd produce more and the price would come down.
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  7. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    What you're paying for is less, mostly less weight.

    While light weight may be one factor in a street motorcycle design, it's a more important for an off-road motorcycle.

    Less weight does cost money.
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  8. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

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    One thing most of us find out eventually is that its good to have different types of motorcycles in our garage.

    By definition, you will pay more for some types, buying the cheapest per unit isn't the way it works.
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  9. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    They are all just transportation. So motorcycles, cars, jet skis, locomotives, and air liners. They are all just transportation, just different purposes.

    Strange how the prices differ.
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  10. MisterNo

    MisterNo Been here awhile

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    I don't think you would find many people would say a tw costs more than a big Vulcan or Honda or Yamaha if you compare them side by side. Yet that is how it is in the used bike market. It boggles the mind.
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  11. mmc45414

    mmc45414 Adventurer

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    I think more folks buy new street bikes, then do not ride them as much as they expected, then offer near new used bikes, so there are plenty of them out there.

    I think ATVs are worse than dirt bikes, because everyone wants one.
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  12. StolenFant

    StolenFant Life is good on this side of the grass Supporter

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    Sorry but, They are not "all just transportation". Except for commuters, we buy motorcycles for FUN! There are tens thousands of dirt bike riders who know, a little age has VERY LITTLE to do with the fun value of a dirt bike, or it's ability to keep up with your buddies. Most street bike riders NEED the "shiny" and "new" in large part because theirs is not a game involving use, theirs is a game of appearance.

    I'm not disparaging street bikers, just explaining "age" is a huge factor of value there.
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  13. jj_

    jj_ Adventurer

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    This is just my opinion/understanding.

    This. Plus you’re paying for top quality components on a WR/YZ/CRF/KX/..ect.

    Similar to the mountain bike market, the consumer in these markets is actually able to buy a bike with top level suspension, brakes, drivetrain. Because we all want what the pros are riding and wining on. Granted we can’t buy the engine that a top 10 super cross rider has, nor the cardiovascular system of a winning enduro/tour de France rider has, but by god they manufacture will sell us the bike and the dream.

    That’s not really true though, we can’t go buy a locomotive or a air liner, and a PWC/motorcycle is considered a luxury item and/or a toy by financial institutions. (Yes, some people pay cash and have bargaining power.)

    yes you can buy an aircraft, but that brings me to my next point.


    You want the exact bike bike that won Red Bull hard enduro? Cool, go buy a husky/Ktm, go a little suspension work, a little engine work, and boom! You got it. For about 10k if you’re able to do some work yourself.


    You want the exact bike that won motoGP? Well that price just went wayyyy up. The RC213V-S starts at 184k and I’m pretty sure takes a back room handy to even get on the list to buy.


    The used market is it’s own beast though. You could buy an older yz450 for 2k and put a big wheel kit in it for 3k and then you’re still in the TW price range with top of the line, for the era, suspension and engine components.
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  14. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Answered in the first response by @Husky360C

    Supply and demand. It really is that simple. The buying market sets the value based upon both the availability of a product and its desirability within its respective market.

    Locally , there are a ton of Honda Shadows and you can get a clean low mileage example for under $2,000 any day of the week. Unless it is extremely worn out or old, you can't touch a 250cc class dualsport for under $2,000. Why? Because there are very few available and those that are available are in demand.

    Essentially, your choice is to either participate in the current market or don't. The bikes will continue to sell at these prices irrespective of your participation.
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  15. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    Supply and demand are certainly components of free markets, but production costs are as well. For example, if it cost the same to make a Honda Shadow and a 250cc dirt bike, but the dirt bike sells for more. The manufacturers will quickly increase their output of the dirt bikes to take advantage of the increased demand.

    So the difference must be in the production cost. At least this applies for new bikes.

    Now, a used bike might be selling under completely different supply and demand conditions than when it was made. If they only made 1000 units of a particular dirt bike in 1995 because demand was not high at that time, but then the bike turned out to be something everyone wants in 2015, it's going to sell at a premium.
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  16. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    I thought we were talking about the used market specifically?
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  17. Ray916MN

    Ray916MN Dim Mak

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    It is an interesting phenomenon to me. What I find particularly ironic is the notion of paying a premium price for dirtbike in perfect cosmetic condition. Part of the allure of dirt riding over road riding for me is the low penalty for crashing which encourages taking on challenges and adventures. What's the point of paying a premium for something in perfect cosmetic condition, when crashing is a somewhat of a given?
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  18. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    The OP doesn't specify new vs. used.

    2020 Yamaha YZ250F for $8,199 - https://www.yamahamotorsports.com/motocross/models/yz250f

    2020 Honda Shadow for $7,699 - https://powersports.honda.com/street/cruiser/shadow-aero

    Can the difference be all component costs? Better suspension, lighter frame, etc. And by 'difference' I mean one would expect a stripped down 250 cc bike to cost much less than a 750 cruiser.
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  19. Husky360C

    Husky360C Been here awhile

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    The idea that they are "all bikes" misses the point.

    A large street bike is not a substitute for a light weight dirt bike, at least not for the designed use of the dirt bike.

    And BECAUSE it is not a substitute, the supply of large street bikes has very little influence on the price of dirt bikes.
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  20. Husky360C

    Husky360C Been here awhile

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    Nice job on your reply, and not because you agreed with me, but because what you wrote is correct and to the point.

    As annoying as it may be to some folks, I actually DO have a degree in economics, and though I now view it as four wasted years, the knowledge is stuck in my brain like a silly song you really wish you'd never heard.

    This is VERY basic ( Econ 101 ) stuff. Discussions of economics can get a lot more complicated, but for the purposes of this discussion that is unnecessary.
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