The Motorcycle Industry Is Dying

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7/5/2017 8:30 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/5/2017 8:37 AM

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-05/can-millennials-save-the-motorcycle-industry

"In 2003, only about one-quarter of U.S. motorcycle riders were 50 or older. By 2014, it was close to half." There you have it: those of us fortunate enough to grow up with low-cost off road bikes and more areas to ride are dominating the industry today. And the exact opposite has taken affect since the mid-90's.

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"You can't resist the louder pull..."

7/5/2017 8:44 AM

Same song and dance

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7/5/2017 8:49 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/5/2017 8:55 AM

In the article it talks of manufactures scaling things down and producing more low cost entry-level street bikes. That's something that needs to happen for off road motorcycling too. Modern off road bikes have gotten way out of hand as far a technology and cost go.

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7/5/2017 8:57 AM

sixtwentyeight wrote:

In the article it talks of manufactures scaling things down and producing more low cost entry-level street bikes. That's something that needs to happen for off road motorcycling too. Modern off road bikes have gotten way out of hand as far a technology and cost go.

Yep.

Meanwhile in our sport...

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7/5/2017 9:07 AM

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Never try to argue with idiots; they will only bring you down to their level.....and being more experienced, they will beat you at their own game!

2020.5 KTM 450 SXF FE
2006 KX250

7/5/2017 9:12 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/5/2017 9:16 AM

sixtwentyeight wrote:

In the article it talks of manufactures scaling things down and producing more low cost entry-level street bikes. That's something that needs to happen for off road motorcycling too. Modern off road bikes have gotten way out of hand as far a technology and cost go.

Low cost entry-level street bikes serve an entirely different market and need than someone in the market for a "low cost entry-level dirt bike." For one thing, the market for low cost, entry-level street bikes is fairly substantial on a global scale. I doubt there is even much of a market for low cost dirt bikes. That doesn't line up with the reality of socio-economic factors and accessibility that make dirt bike riding a privilege pretty much anywhere in the world.

The market for dirt bikes is very small comparatively, which means manufacturers are going to be less inclined to invest in and develop new, innovative and, as you suggested, "low cost" dirt bikes. The world doesn't need low cost dirt bikes. The world needs high performance dirt bikes that don't cost a bunch of money to maintain. It's one thing to buy an expensive dirt bike. It's another thing to have to continue pouring money into it for simple things like oil and air filter changes, not to mention costly top-end work.

So, look to the future and consider the possibility that, while expensive, perhaps more people will be inclined to endeavor to ride a vehicle that doesn't cost as much to own and doesn't require nearly the amount of time necessary to maintain. Electric bikes are where you will see an up-tick in motorcycle ownership, especially among younger buyers and perhaps that will encourage the electric bike manufacturers to introduce newer, low-cost alternatives over time.

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7/5/2017 9:27 AM

I mean, what do you expect when there arent any real jobs anymore, everyone is just selling cheeseburgers back and forth to eachother

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7/5/2017 9:29 AM

There's a huge movement among hipsters, a very large percentage of them ride motorcycles. Problem is that all of them that do ride all buy old street bikes, and fix them up and ride them. So I suppose as they get older and if they continue to enjoy riding they may like riding newer motorcycles.

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7/5/2017 9:36 AM

sixtwentyeight wrote:

In the article it talks of manufactures scaling things down and producing more low cost entry-level street bikes. That's something that needs to happen for off road motorcycling too. Modern off road bikes have gotten way out of hand as far a technology and cost go.

Totally agree. More entry level off road bikes are needed. The casual riders who gets out a handful of times a year doesn't necessarily want to go spend big money on a new bike. I always use the Kawasaki KDX220 as an example (I know non moto but the idea is the same) That bike retailed for $4,499 USD in it's last year (2006?) What an absolute bargain for a casual rider or someone new to the sport of off-road riding.

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7/5/2017 9:48 AM

UpTiTe wrote:

There's a huge movement among hipsters, a very large percentage of them ride motorcycles. Problem is that all of them that do ride all buy old street bikes, and fix them up and ride them. So I suppose as they get older and if they continue to enjoy riding they may like riding newer motorcycles.

Hell, they will turn anything into a bobber.
Saw one the other day made from a dang xr 600.
What the hell?

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7/5/2017 9:59 AM

Time for KTM to pay up for my design skills. PDS non linkage chassis with current plastics, and a "modular" air cooled 2 stroke engine with displacements that can range from 125, 175 and 200 cc with a simple top end swap. Doesn't need the latest forks, brakes or hydraulic clutch either. $3999.00. They would fly off the shelves.

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7/5/2017 10:02 AM

UpTiTe wrote:

There's a huge movement among hipsters, a very large percentage of them ride motorcycles. Problem is that all of them that do ride all buy old street bikes, and fix them up and ride them. So I suppose as they get older and if they continue to enjoy riding they may like riding newer motorcycles.

JustMX wrote:

Hell, they will turn anything into a bobber.
Saw one the other day made from a dang xr 600.
What the hell?

XR?

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7/5/2017 10:05 AM

Entry Level?

KLX140G $3700

Pitster Pro LXR 250F $3600

AJP PR3 240 Enduro $4800

Honda CRF150 $3800

Honda CRF125 $3400

Yamaha TTR 230 $4200

Yamaha TTR 125 $3300

Not a 2stroke in the bunch

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7/5/2017 10:31 AM

newmann wrote:

Time for KTM to pay up for my design skills. PDS non linkage chassis with current plastics, and a "modular" air cooled 2 stroke engine with displacements that can range from 125, 175 and 200 cc with a simple top end swap. Doesn't need the latest forks, brakes or hydraulic clutch either. $3999.00. They would fly off the shelves.

Kawasaki could do that sooooo easily.

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

7/5/2017 10:40 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/5/2017 10:44 AM

newmann wrote:

Time for KTM to pay up for my design skills. PDS non linkage chassis with current plastics, and a "modular" air cooled 2 stroke engine with displacements that can range from 125, 175 and 200 cc with a simple top end swap. Doesn't need the latest forks, brakes or hydraulic clutch either. $3999.00. They would fly off the shelves.

KTM already makes a 2-stroke, non-linkage (non pds, too), non fancy-fork bike, without latest brakes and hydraulic clutch, a powervalve, or hell, even a shiftable transmission for $3995.

And it's one of their top selling models: The SX50. That's what that price buys you.

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7/5/2017 11:04 AM

sixtwentyeight wrote:

In the article it talks of manufactures scaling things down and producing more low cost entry-level street bikes. That's something that needs to happen for off road motorcycling too. Modern off road bikes have gotten way out of hand as far a technology and cost go.

Steadman wrote:

Totally agree. More entry level off road bikes are needed. The casual riders who gets out a handful of times a year doesn't necessarily want to go spend big money on a new bike. I always use the Kawasaki KDX220 as an example (I know non moto but the idea is the same) That bike retailed for $4,499 USD in it's last year (2006?) What an absolute bargain for a casual rider or someone new to the sport of off-road riding.

My very first bike was an 87 kdx 200. I bought it in 97 when I was in 10th grade. I paid $700 for it and it was beat to hell and back. I put a little money into it and rode it in the woods for two years. Some of the best memories and most fun I've had riding were on that bike.

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7/5/2017 11:25 AM

sixtwentyeight wrote:

In the article it talks of manufactures scaling things down and producing more low cost entry-level street bikes. That's something that needs to happen for off road motorcycling too. Modern off road bikes have gotten way out of hand as far a technology and cost go.

Steadman wrote:

Totally agree. More entry level off road bikes are needed. The casual riders who gets out a handful of times a year doesn't necessarily want to go spend big money on a new bike. I always use the Kawasaki KDX220 as an example (I know non moto but the idea is the same) That bike retailed for $4,499 USD in it's last year (2006?) What an absolute bargain for a casual rider or someone new to the sport of off-road riding.

sixtwentyeight wrote:

My very first bike was an 87 kdx 200. I bought it in 97 when I was in 10th grade. I paid $700 for it and it was beat to hell and back. I put a little money into it and rode it in the woods for two years. Some of the best memories and most fun I've had riding were on that bike.

That's the engine that I'd start with.

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

7/5/2017 11:36 AM

Reason i quit riding was after witnessing a number of car on bike accidents. The people driving the cars distracted on the phone

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7/5/2017 11:46 AM

Newmann's modular idea will gain traction in the motorcycle world. In some form, it is already happening.

I see a future where motorcycle companies will build a "one-size" rolling chassis and then bolt different-sized engines or other features onto it. Auto manufactures already use this "platform" idea to sell one car design several times over as different products across different brands. R&D costs are minimized in this manner and profitability rises along with flexibility.

Imagine one aluminum frame which houses a 450F, 350F, 250F, 250 or 125 engine, mated to different suspension components. The 4-strokes could be top-of-the-line components, and the 2-strokes could be 2010 specs.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

7/5/2017 11:54 AM

coastlinecascot wrote:

Reason i quit riding was after witnessing a number of car on bike accidents. The people driving the cars distracted on the phone

I don't bicycle on public roads much, either.

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

7/5/2017 12:02 PM

coastlinecascot wrote:

Reason i quit riding was after witnessing a number of car on bike accidents. The people driving the cars distracted on the phone

TeamGreen wrote:

I don't bicycle on public roads much, either.

That's why I put pipes on my Z1000. If they don't see me and start moving over, I give them the old panic rev. Made some idiot drop his coffee last week

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Washed up Canadian ex-pro couch racer. Selling bikes for a living

2008 KTM 525XC
2009 KTM 450SX
2016 YFZ450R


7/5/2017 12:03 PM

Falcon wrote:

Newmann's modular idea will gain traction in the motorcycle world. In some form, it is already happening.

I see a future where motorcycle companies will build a "one-size" rolling chassis and then bolt different-sized engines or other features onto it. Auto manufactures already use this "platform" idea to sell one car design several times over as different products across different brands. R&D costs are minimized in this manner and profitability rises along with flexibility.

Imagine one aluminum frame which houses a 450F, 350F, 250F, 250 or 125 engine, mated to different suspension components. The 4-strokes could be top-of-the-line components, and the 2-strokes could be 2010 specs.

Back to the Future....

The European manufacturers did that in the 60's and 70's ( and probably earlier and later) with their dirt bikes. The Huskys, Maicos, CZs and I feel certain several others, had the same frames with different size engines in them. Different sprockets on the rear wheel between each model, but the 125, 250 and 400 engines would swap out between frames.

Ossa did it between 125s and 250s. Husky only changed front forks on the earlier 125s (72, 73, 74) but not the later ones. Maicos would swap out, so would CZs.



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7/5/2017 12:04 PM

newmann wrote:

Time for KTM to pay up for my design skills. PDS non linkage chassis with current plastics, and a "modular" air cooled 2 stroke engine with displacements that can range from 125, 175 and 200 cc with a simple top end swap. Doesn't need the latest forks, brakes or hydraulic clutch either. $3999.00. They would fly off the shelves.

TeamGreen wrote:

Kawasaki could do that sooooo easily.

They have existing tooling in good enough shape to make this happen ?

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7/5/2017 12:10 PM

newmann wrote:

Time for KTM to pay up for my design skills. PDS non linkage chassis with current plastics, and a "modular" air cooled 2 stroke engine with displacements that can range from 125, 175 and 200 cc with a simple top end swap. Doesn't need the latest forks, brakes or hydraulic clutch either. $3999.00. They would fly off the shelves.

Dirty Points wrote:

KTM already makes a 2-stroke, non-linkage (non pds, too), non fancy-fork bike, without latest brakes and hydraulic clutch, a powervalve, or hell, even a shiftable transmission for $3995.

And it's one of their top selling models: The SX50. That's what that price buys you.

Actually when you jump over to the Honda website and look at the 2016 CB300F, prices start at exactly...you guessed it, $3999.00. 2017 starts at $4149.00. Lights, custom clear coat paint, lots of wiring, battery, electric starter, mag wheels, mirrors AND a set of buddy pegs.....348 pounds of raw materials invested there. You telling me that a simplified 2 stroke dirt bike with no lights, near zero wiring, no battery, no e-start, near zero paint and 125 pounds less raw materials/parts can't be sold for the same money?

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7/5/2017 12:20 PM

I was in the market for a new bike last year, and was fortunate enough to have the option to buy a brand spankin' new bike if I wanted. Being a lifelong Honda fan I was salivating over the new 450. Instead of dropping 10k on one dirtbike, I was able to build three wildly different bikes exactly how I wanted and even had enough left over to go riding.

Of course I would still love to have a garage full of brand new bikes, but using a little elbow grease stretches the dollar considerably. Until I can get the same "value" (different for everyone, I know) out of a new bike, I'll keep busting my knuckles on these too-good-to-be-true craigslist heaps.

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"A motorcycle is a bicycle with a pandemonium attachment and is designed for the especial use of mechanical geniuses, daredevils, and lunatics"  George Fitch, 1916

7/5/2017 12:23 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/5/2017 12:30 PM

newmann wrote:

Actually when you jump over to the Honda website and look at the 2016 CB300F, prices start at exactly...you guessed it, $3999.00. 2017 starts at $4149.00. Lights, custom clear coat paint, lots of wiring, battery, electric starter, mag wheels, mirrors AND a set of buddy pegs.....348 pounds of raw materials invested there. You telling me that a simplified 2 stroke dirt bike with no lights, near zero wiring, no battery, no e-start, near zero paint and 125 pounds less raw materials/parts can't be sold for the same money?

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Small bore street bikes are cornerstoned by an ENORMOUS (as in an order of magnitude larger that global dirt bikes sales) Asian market.

So much so that if one were to build a budget-first dirtbike for the masses, the cheapest option would likely be something with an Asia-market streetbike engine. And that's exactly what Honda did with the CRF250L ($5149).

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7/5/2017 12:27 PM

I was looking into buying a sport bike a one point a few years back and one of them was a new ninja 650. The pricetag was less than a new 450 motocross bike. Excuse my ignorance but how us that possible?

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7/5/2017 12:29 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/5/2017 12:30 PM

newmann wrote:

Time for KTM to pay up for my design skills. PDS non linkage chassis with current plastics, and a "modular" air cooled 2 stroke engine with displacements that can range from 125, 175 and 200 cc with a simple top end swap. Doesn't need the latest forks, brakes or hydraulic clutch either. $3999.00. They would fly off the shelves.

TeamGreen wrote:

Kawasaki could do that sooooo easily.

ATKpilot99 wrote:

They have existing tooling in good enough shape to make this happen ?

Yup

They've got existing designs that could be combined with type of production considerations that Newmann is talking about.

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

7/5/2017 12:49 PM

Swann wrote:

Low cost entry-level street bikes serve an entirely different market and need than someone in the market for a "low cost entry-level dirt bike." For one thing, the market for low cost, entry-level street bikes is fairly substantial on a global scale. I doubt there is even much of a market for low cost dirt bikes. That doesn't line up with the reality of socio-economic factors and accessibility that make dirt bike riding a privilege pretty much anywhere in the world.

The market for dirt bikes is very small comparatively, which means manufacturers are going to be less inclined to invest in and develop new, innovative and, as you suggested, "low cost" dirt bikes. The world doesn't need low cost dirt bikes. The world needs high performance dirt bikes that don't cost a bunch of money to maintain. It's one thing to buy an expensive dirt bike. It's another thing to have to continue pouring money into it for simple things like oil and air filter changes, not to mention costly top-end work.

So, look to the future and consider the possibility that, while expensive, perhaps more people will be inclined to endeavor to ride a vehicle that doesn't cost as much to own and doesn't require nearly the amount of time necessary to maintain. Electric bikes are where you will see an up-tick in motorcycle ownership, especially among younger buyers and perhaps that will encourage the electric bike manufacturers to introduce newer, low-cost alternatives over time.

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I disagree completely unless the Alta can come down in price drastically. No new comers today are buying $9000 bikes, let alone one for what? $15,000? They look for the bikes in the $1500 to $3000 range.

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7/5/2017 12:55 PM

People wanted, new, improved bikes, technology. Comes at a cost.

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