Why No Japanese “Factory Edition” Bikes?

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10/18/2017 9:05 AM

It seams pretty obvious that KTM has been able to stay ahead from an equipment standpoint by coming out with thier Factory Edition Bikes each year. This insures thier riders are on the latest technology and keeps them at least a half year ahead of everyone else. Why haven’t Japanese brands done the same??

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10/18/2017 9:10 AM

Some take years to iterate: BNG as an FE addition wouldn't help. They just aren't spending the money to develop that quickly.

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10/18/2017 9:10 AM

Because the Japanese are much, much more concerned with selling bikes than winning races. They gave up on the "win on Saturday, sell on Monday" theory decades ago. KTM apparently has not.

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10/18/2017 9:13 AM

Because they have done the math, and it doesn't pencil for them. It is that simple

KTM is a significantly smaller, more motorcycle-racing focused, and more nimble company than any of the Japanese manufacturers.

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10/18/2017 9:13 AM

280driver wrote:

It seams pretty obvious that KTM has been able to stay ahead from an equipment standpoint by coming out with thier Factory Edition Bikes each year. This insures thier riders are on the latest technology and keeps them at least a half year ahead of everyone else. Why haven’t Japanese brands done the same??

One simple way to look at it is I don't think Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, or Honda could do "FEs" and make them successful. They don't have the typical KTM buyer who's willing to pay a premium for a machine and to reach the number required to race the bike in sales would be a bit difficult. Lastly, it's such a niche product and as we've seen, the Japanese brands aren't too into that. It would be 400 units that are US only...they just aren't as stream-lined as KTM to pull off a quick run of machines on their development timelines. Look how long it took Suzuki to develop and release their newest 450 or how late the CRF250R is coming out this year.

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10/18/2017 9:14 AM

Photo

Quality over quantity
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2009 Kawasaki KX450F
2009 Kawasaki KX250F
2002 Suzuki GSXR 600

10/18/2017 9:14 AM

Wandell wrote:

Because the Japanese are much, much more concerned with selling bikes than winning races. They gave up on the "win on Saturday, sell on Monday" theory decades ago. KTM apparently has not.

If you look at any Southern California track, you will see way more KTM's at the track now.

KTM makes short runs on bike's. This allows them to make changes if a product is not working and allows for FE. The Japanese manufactures will produce all the 450's for example at one time then on to the next bike and will not produce another 450 that year.

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10/18/2017 9:15 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/18/2017 9:27 AM

The Factory Edition is basically the next years production bike. So in this case the upcoming FE will be the 2019 production bike. The 2019 bikes will show up mid summer like always.

I actually don't think the FE system that KTM has is that big of a deal/advantage.

And the FE bikes sell out every year. I don't know if they make money off the first FE bikes of that gen(2012, 2015 and now 2018) but they all sell out.

The FE allows KTM(and now Husqvarna) to be 1 race season earlier with the next gen platform every 3 years. So this "advantage" only happens every 3 years.

The Japanese brands could tighten their R&D cycle and be in a similar situation. But they are often on a 4 year cycle(except Suzuki).

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10/18/2017 9:17 AM

Crisp BRAAAP! wrote:

Some take years to iterate: BNG as an FE addition wouldn't help. They just aren't spending the money to develop that quickly.

I agree but KTM must be taking market share with thier track success. You’d think for as much as the top riders get paid these days, the manufactures would want to match KTMs push to give thier riders the newest equipment.

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10/18/2017 9:18 AM

Acidreamer wrote: Photo

Quality over quantity

Go change your piston bro

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10/18/2017 9:21 AM

Acidreamer wrote: Photo

Quality over quantity

Head on collision with a rzr jackass

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10/18/2017 9:22 AM

Back in the works bike days, the factory guys where often on bikes that ended up on the show room floor the following model year. The FE model looks to give KTM a works bike-like way to equip the race teams.

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10/18/2017 9:56 AM

I know KTM do bring out a completely new bike every couple of years, but for what they did last year these replicas are pretty close:

Roczen Replica

HRC Replica

Dave Thorpe

Buildbase

Believe that they're done by Honda UK as every dealer has them for sale and has done for a few years.

They've done Geico ones in the past too.

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10/18/2017 10:00 AM

If a company doesn't have a Factory Edition and a standard edition, doesn't that mean that their 450 IS the factory edition?

Photo

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"A link is only as long as your longest strong chain"

10/18/2017 10:07 AM

The half year bike KTM does is nothing more than a limited production build. This gives KTM the opportunity to run next year's product down the current manufacturing process to help understand what changes are needed (tooling, labor, supply chain. etc) before the full on model year change. This ensures a quality product, safe processes for their labor, and ability to meet TAKT demand when the next model year is set to release. From a manufacturing standpoint, KTM makes drastic changes from year to year. It is really impressive how responsive their manufacturing processes are to the amount of change from model year to model year.

Getting new product in the hands of race teams is a benefit, but only a small driver as to why they would do it.

The Japanese companies do it too, they just don't sell the bikes so the public perceives them as not being as "intuitive" as KTM.

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10/18/2017 10:08 AM

I think the FE business model is just one of many "strategies" that can be employed to boost a company's market position.

For KTM, the FE is among other things, a sneaky way of releasing "next years' bike". But for a company like Suzuki, that is excruciatingly slow in development, a "special edition" model could be a way to distinguish itself from the other Japanese brands.

This is pure speculation from a keyboard jockey but how many factory billet Nissin Calipers get built for factory teams every year (Japanese Nationals, Australia, MXGP and US Nationals) and how much do they change from year to year? If you "economy of scale" that up an additional 500+ units, perhaps you can drop back across the feasibility threshold. Now do the same with a few other bits....maybe some JGR stuff, Yosh pipes, maybe a few anodized bling parts, and you have yourself a special edition bike with zero additional development costs. It can't be that difficult to slip something like that into the production run and crank out 400 special units, can it?

I could see 400 customers opt for a "factory" RMZ over a stock Yamaha or Kawi. But then again...what do I know?

I just feel like if you aren't competitive in the performance game, you need another angle to reach decent sales figures. I also think you can implement economies of scale to make the highly desirable uber-trick hardware more feasible in a production environment.

Maybe the Japanese have all their money tied up in top secret electric bike development. Boom!



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10/18/2017 10:11 AM

Acidreamer wrote: Photo

Quality over quantity

Looks like user error. haha.

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10/18/2017 10:12 AM

Stuntman949 wrote:

If a company doesn't have a Factory Edition and a standard edition, doesn't that mean that their 450 IS the factory edition?

Photo

They do come from a factory..

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2009 Kawasaki KX450F
2009 Kawasaki KX250F
2002 Suzuki GSXR 600

10/18/2017 10:19 AM

280driver wrote:

It seams pretty obvious that KTM has been able to stay ahead from an equipment standpoint by coming out with thier Factory Edition Bikes each year. This insures thier riders are on the latest technology and keeps them at least a half year ahead of everyone else. Why haven’t Japanese brands done the same??

ML512 wrote:

One simple way to look at it is I don't think Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, or Honda could do "FEs" and make them successful. They don't have the typical KTM buyer who's willing to pay a premium for a machine and to reach the number required to race the bike in sales would be a bit difficult. Lastly, it's such a niche product and as we've seen, the Japanese brands aren't too into that. It would be 400 units that are US only...they just aren't as stream-lined as KTM to pull off a quick run of machines on their development timelines. Look how long it took Suzuki to develop and release their newest 450 or how late the CRF250R is coming out this year.

You also have to take into account that in Europe and Japan, there is no production rule. Our market is one of the only big ones that limit the development in this way. There bunch of "Japanese FE" bikes racing all year long in other series with 2020 frames, engines, etc...

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10/18/2017 10:19 AM

PlainEnvelopes wrote:

If you look at any Southern California track, you will see way more KTM's at the track now.

KTM makes short runs on bike's. This allows them to make changes if a product is not working and allows for FE. The Japanese manufactures will produce all the 450's for example at one time then on to the next bike and will not produce another 450 that year.

Bingo. KTM is the new Honda.

Either KTM or Husky everywhere I look in the pits at any track here, both two stroke and four.

I've only seen one new Suzuki, and it was the MXA test bike.

...the tide has turned big time, at least where I live.

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10/18/2017 10:25 AM

Its 2017 and kawi still have a kickstarters and $5 chain and sprockets

good luck getting anything FE

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10/18/2017 10:26 AM

I've been riding KTM's since 1984, (yes I've tried other brands on occasion) glad to see their success. My name is on the 1st FE 450 that shows up at Power in Sublimity Or.w00t

You only live once (as we know it) so I always choose the A Ticket Ridegrin

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Germany 1975 250 CZ Centerport, laydown shocks, mikuni with reed valve, Marzocchi forks with me as the motopilot

10/18/2017 11:19 AM

Motofinne wrote:

The Factory Edition is basically the next years production bike. So in this case the upcoming FE will be the 2019 production bike. The 2019 bikes will show up mid summer like always.

I actually don't think the FE system that KTM has is that big of a deal/advantage.

And the FE bikes sell out every year. I don't know if they make money off the first FE bikes of that gen(2012, 2015 and now 2018) but they all sell out.

The FE allows KTM(and now Husqvarna) to be 1 race season earlier with the next gen platform every 3 years. So this "advantage" only happens every 3 years.

The Japanese brands could tighten their R&D cycle and be in a similar situation. But they are often on a 4 year cycle(except Suzuki).

I agree. I think the only time its an advantage are years like 15.5 when it was a full refresh.

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Race Bike: 2018 KTM 350SXF

Other Bikes: 1985 CR80R, 1990 CR250R, 1998 PW80, Specialized Fuse Comp 29.

Sold: 2016 YZ250F, 2012 CRF250R

10/18/2017 11:29 AM

ALL Kawasaki’s are already Factory Editions!

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10/18/2017 11:38 AM

last I checked only one manufacturer made "factory edition" bikes, and why do you need one anyway?

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10/18/2017 11:41 AM

Wandell wrote:

Because the Japanese are much, much more concerned with selling bikes than winning races. They gave up on the "win on Saturday, sell on Monday" theory decades ago. KTM apparently has not.

PlainEnvelopes wrote:

If you look at any Southern California track, you will see way more KTM's at the track now.

KTM makes short runs on bike's. This allows them to make changes if a product is not working and allows for FE. The Japanese manufactures will produce all the 450's for example at one time then on to the next bike and will not produce another 450 that year.

Brent wrote:

Bingo. KTM is the new Honda.

Either KTM or Husky everywhere I look in the pits at any track here, both two stroke and four.

I've only seen one new Suzuki, and it was the MXA test bike.

...the tide has turned big time, at least where I live.

I think its equally split between ktm and honda at socal tracks. Last week at milestone. The whole fence line on the main was honda. Easy 15 bikes..

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10/18/2017 11:43 AM

Actually Suzuki made and RC Edition RM250 2 stroke, and a 450 ..
Not sure how successful sales were, but they were cosmetic upgrades for the most part.

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Current rides-
1988 RM250
2019 KX450

10/18/2017 12:07 PM

KTM is only hurting the industry with overpriced FE and regular models. The other manufacturers are being forced to add things like electric start and oversize rotors (KX450F rumored to have hydraulic clutch in '19 also) that aren't a necessity to keep up. The Japanese have always been reserved and build the bikes to a lower price point so more people are able to purchase them and get involved in the sport.

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10/18/2017 12:20 PM

280driver wrote:

It seams pretty obvious that KTM has been able to stay ahead from an equipment standpoint by coming out with thier Factory Edition Bikes each year. This insures thier riders are on the latest technology and keeps them at least a half year ahead of everyone else. Why haven’t Japanese brands done the same??

ML512 wrote:

One simple way to look at it is I don't think Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, or Honda could do "FEs" and make them successful. They don't have the typical KTM buyer who's willing to pay a premium for a machine and to reach the number required to race the bike in sales would be a bit difficult. Lastly, it's such a niche product and as we've seen, the Japanese brands aren't too into that. It would be 400 units that are US only...they just aren't as stream-lined as KTM to pull off a quick run of machines on their development timelines. Look how long it took Suzuki to develop and release their newest 450 or how late the CRF250R is coming out this year.

Also all the Japanese manufacturers make a LOT more bikes than KTM, they simply do not have a production line availability to do one off runs, especially for bikes that do not make a massive profit for them. And certainly is not worth the extra millions building additional plants to do it.

KTM race teams do get a slight advantage in getting next years race bike earlier perhaps, plus the consumer who can afford one of course.

There are rumors that 2018 is the last year for FE's, we shall see, I highly doubt KTM will drop them, as it is a money maker for them.

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Current rides: 2020 CRF450RWE and 2019 TC300
Occasional ride for VMX: 1985 CR500RF
Adventure/Road bike: CRF1000L

10/18/2017 12:21 PM

Squirrelings wrote:

KTM is only hurting the industry with overpriced FE and regular models. The other manufacturers are being forced to add things like electric start and oversize rotors (KX450F rumored to have hydraulic clutch in '19 also) that aren't a necessity to keep up. The Japanese have always been reserved and build the bikes to a lower price point so more people are able to purchase them and get involved in the sport.

Or they could just design brakes that work well.

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