Direct To Consumer Brands

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6/18/2020 6:06 AM

I know this is a touchy subject, however, it is a necessary one.

When do you think we will start seeing direct to consumer options from the big brands? Id love to be able to build my bike online and get it shipped to the dealer for assembly.The mountain bike brands that are direct to consumer have skyrocketed.

Thoughts?

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6/18/2020 6:10 AM

I’m not big in the bicycle world but don’t bikes have multiple options? You can choose different cranks, pedals, seat size, etc? I don’t see the OEMs offering multiple options like that to make it worthwhile.

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6/18/2020 6:12 AM

Shaggin589 wrote:

I’m not big in the bicycle world but don’t bikes have multiple options? You can choose different cranks, pedals, seat size, etc? I don’t see the OEMs offering multiple options like that to make it worthwhile.

They could have multiple options... Breaks, Seats, grips, bars, tires, etc etc...

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6/18/2020 6:14 AM

Beta is experimenting with something similar to this. It's be sweet but not sure we'll ever see it happen

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6/18/2020 6:20 AM

soggy wrote:

Beta is experimenting with something similar to this. It's be sweet but not sure we'll ever see it happen

Yea i saw their BYOB program last year when i was buying my Husqvarna. Its legit. Id like to see KTM do something similar with the Gas Gas brand.

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6/18/2020 6:27 AM

The only way that works is if there's a storefront (like you mentioned). The biggest issue with DTC in mtb is warranty service, moreover, the time involved in sorting out claims. If you take a look at any big mtb forum (pinkbike, vitalmtb) you'll find threads where people are losing their minds because they can't get simple issues resolved.

Now, imagine a machine that is infinitely more complex than a bicycle, and dealing with the same issues. The only way I see DTC working in the motorcycle industry is if there are storefronts (dealers) to facilitate service and warranty claims. Let's say that Yamaha started offering DTC tomorrow. You go online, order your bike, and have the option of having it delivered directly to your home, or the closest dealer in your area. You could set it up yourself, or pay a fee and have the dealer set it up for you. Now considering dirt bikes basically carry no warranty, this may not be as much of a pickle as it is in the cycling industry where manufactures will offer a prorated warranty on most bikes.

One correction on a comment above: There is not a huge amount of customization (to my knowledge) in DTC bikes. I don't think YT or Canyon offer a very much in the way of customization. It's more about bang for your buck....if you decide that you want to take your chance with a product support situation that is less than stellar based on what I've seen.

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6/18/2020 6:29 AM

Id rather build my bike online and assemble it myself after it was delivered to my front door.

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6/18/2020 6:31 AM

kb228 wrote:

Id rather build my bike online and assemble it myself after it was delivered to my front door.

me too! it would be legit.

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6/18/2020 6:42 AM

Shaggin589 wrote:

I’m not big in the bicycle world but don’t bikes have multiple options? You can choose different cranks, pedals, seat size, etc? I don’t see the OEMs offering multiple options like that to make it worthwhile.

If you could simply buy it in a crate, that would be a step forward.

If I could create a dirtbike company, I would sell "kit" bikes: frame, engine, electronics, subframe, swingarm. You could buy just the kit, or spec the complete bike to your liking. I would partner with an aftermarket suspension company to sell the suspension for it, but give my customers the option of the standard fork/shock, custom tuned strings/valves in the standard fork/shock, or A-Kit. Everything else - plastics, wheels, clamps, exhaust, tires, bars, pegs, graphics - would be options from partner aftermarket companies. Beyond just developing the engine/frame, I would team up with a testing guy like Keeferinc or ML512 for things like clamps, bars, exhaust, etc to determine recommended packages based on your riding preferences and body types.

It probably wouldn't make any money but it sure would be fun.

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6/18/2020 6:55 AM

Shaggin589 wrote:

I’m not big in the bicycle world but don’t bikes have multiple options? You can choose different cranks, pedals, seat size, etc? I don’t see the OEMs offering multiple options like that to make it worthwhile.

TriRacer27 wrote:

If you could simply buy it in a crate, that would be a step forward.

If I could create a dirtbike company, I would sell "kit" bikes: frame, engine, electronics, subframe, swingarm. You could buy just the kit, or spec the complete bike to your liking. I would partner with an aftermarket suspension company to sell the suspension for it, but give my customers the option of the standard fork/shock, custom tuned strings/valves in the standard fork/shock, or A-Kit. Everything else - plastics, wheels, clamps, exhaust, tires, bars, pegs, graphics - would be options from partner aftermarket companies. Beyond just developing the engine/frame, I would team up with a testing guy like Keeferinc or ML512 for things like clamps, bars, exhaust, etc to determine recommended packages based on your riding preferences and body types.

It probably wouldn't make any money but it sure would be fun.

that would be legit. Also, brands could offer cheaper components for people just trying to get into the sport. not every dude needs a 9-10k bike. if you could make a 450 for $5500 with generic breaks and etc i could see more people pulling the trigger.. idk though

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6/18/2020 7:00 AM

I love the DTC movement, but I think it will be far more difficult to execute in the motorcyle industry.

I just rode my buddies YT Capra (DTC MTB brand) and it's an amazing bike for the money spent. Trek has tried a hybrid "customize your bike" but still works with the dealer channel.

The big established MTB brands like Specialized and Trek can't piss off the dealer network, meanwhile, small brands are taking market share. Santa Cruz and other brands still have strong sales through the dealer channel. I think you will see more of them go consumer direct in the next 5 years.

The service aspect of the motorcycle will be complex, the dealers will not stand for it if they get cut out, so the brands would have to establish their own service centers which would be too costly.

I think brands might offer some level of customization for some marketing buzz, but the long time established dealer network will be hard to break. A bicycle is really easy to work on for the average consumer, comparatively, IMO.

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6/18/2020 9:07 AM

I'm old school and I remember what a thrill it was to get "sponsored" by my local shop back in the day. I like the motorcycle dealership experience, knowing the owner, the parts guys, etc. So on some level, I see DTC as a threat to the old ways.

On the other hand, considering the price of new bikes these days, any cost saving alternative would be welcome.

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6/18/2020 10:55 AM

I love racing and love those that support racing, as such I do by from my local dealer when I can to a point. Meaning I am willing to spend $200 more on a bike there because they sponsor a ton of local tracks, trails and races. Sure I might have overpaid a touch for what I could have gotten the same bike elsewhere, but its also in a way a donation to all those they help out around me.

The above example only works with a good dealer who supports his local area obviously, but you will lose this entirely with a DTC model.

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6/18/2020 11:23 AM

The DTC model was born for the desire to cut out the middle man (retailer) in order to save the consumer money.

This will never happen in powersports as regulations do not allow it. Motorized vehicles (whether on or off road) in many states have to be registered and therefore can only be sold through businesses with specific licenses.

I'm a big fan of DTC and in my professional life my marketing agency works almost exclusively with DTC brands. It works great with regular consumer product goods, but for cars, motorcycles etc. I don't see it happening anytime soon.

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6/18/2020 2:29 PM

Alta was considering this towards the end.

I know the other OE's have looked at this model too.

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6/18/2020 3:37 PM

The first to do it will win in sales.

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6/18/2020 3:39 PM

I got a DTC bike (YT) and bang for the buck, it can't be beat. I saved close to $2k compared to an equivalent Specialized or Santa Cruz.

That being said, I did have a warranty issue with my seat and the solution was to ship them back my dropper post for service/replacement, which would have taken up to four weeks. I didn't want to wait that long and just shelled out $75 to have a local bike shop fix it.

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