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minimac
minimac SuperDork
10/7/17 7:37 a.m.

I read this and found it somewhat interesting. I think the author hit the nail on the head.

http://wildrideradio.com/millennials-and-motorcycles-motorcycles-may-be-dying-out-but-whos-to-blame/

 

physician
physician Reader
10/8/17 9:59 a.m.

I totally agree. I'll just say that triumph is doing better than ever by providing bikes with the vintage sport vibe (did not want to say caferacer vibe) that some people want. They listen to market accessible to them and offer good products. 

They also builds more modern bikes and sport tourer that please many kind of riders.

They did not do what HD did. A single style of bike and rider in defferent sizes... they choose to be the #1 suppier for that market and not offer anything else and now that market is shrinking... poor business decision choice to me..

Long live bikes! 

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
10/8/17 11:40 a.m.

Actually, HD had several different sizes and styles, not just different styles of "cruizer."  The Buell line had a cross country BMW sport touring thingie type bike, crotch rockets, and a small single lunger around town bike.  Nobody cared and they D/C'ed the line.  They are also coming out with a new smaller bike.  I forget the designation, but it's smaller and water cooled, I think. 

BoostedBrandon
BoostedBrandon Dork
10/8/17 1:06 p.m.

Oh man did I want a Buell when I was younger.

Off to Craigslist..

physician
physician Reader
10/8/17 3:57 p.m.

Yeah the buell case...

I though it was a real good move for them, a diversification of product.. and.. they kill it... sure they can always resurrect it... would solve a lot of problem.. ans may lead me to a HD dealer... but.. they wont.. it seems like they made a mistake..

Nick (Bo) Comstock
Nick (Bo) Comstock MegaDork
10/8/17 4:40 p.m.

In reply to Dr. Hess :

It's the street model line. Has a 500cc and I think a 750cc version.

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
10/8/17 4:59 p.m.

In reply to Nick (Bo) Comstock :

The 750 street rod. It looks good, has real brakes and is really a decent bike.  But it's priced at 9k and makes about half the power and 2/3rds the torque of your Yamaha triple. No ABS, no frill, just basics. So, over priced by 2k IMO if the goal was to win younger wallets.  I'll be interested to see if they can sell them on brand name. 

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
10/8/17 5:11 p.m.
Dr. Hess said:

Actually, HD had several different sizes and styles, not just different styles of "cruizer."  The Buell line had a cross country BMW sport touring thingie type bike, crotch rockets, and a small single lunger around town bike.  Nobody cared and they D/C'ed the line.

The Ulysses was a great bike. We cared. The dealers didn't though, at all. Didn't want to sell it, didn't want to service it but had to buy a bunch of bikes their regular customers never would. Harley should have spun it off like BMW did with mini and sold them alongside Yamaha and Honda.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
10/8/17 6:44 p.m.

Yeah, Ulysses.  That was it.  I saw one at the dealer.  I don't think the markup was there for the Buell line.  People just didn't buy them.  They mark the crap out of the big twins.  Sportsters somewhat.  There is a dealer in Rogers, AR that I refused to go into for several years after they opened.  They would take a new bike, take all the parts off of it, put aftermarket stuff on with a theme like chevrons, slants to the left, slants to the right, whatever, mark up all the extra crap new parts plus labor to put them on, and then offer to sell the customer his original parts that came on the bike at "only" half full list price.  Total markup on a bike was at least 50% over already generous full retail.  That was back about '07 or so, towards the end of the boom.  These days, they aren't as bad.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy MegaDork
10/8/17 6:48 p.m.

I would love a Ulysses and I'm not a V-twin guy.   The support aspect scares me now.

pushrod36
pushrod36 Reader
10/8/17 7:13 p.m.

When I bought my first bike in 2004 sport bikes were all the rage and it was hard to find a decent used example for under $3500. Today the vintage look is in and $3500 will buy me a fine example of almost any segment...often with fuel injection. A new motorcycle (for the street) seems like a tough sell.  Maybe if they had warranties like cars (5+ years and scheduled maintenance) I could see more value. 

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
10/10/17 5:32 a.m.

I'm certainly no millenial but I will agree somewhat with the article. I have no interest in Harleys or the big Indians. I like medium sized, naked and practical bikes. I don't want to remove fourteen pieces of plastic to service it nor desire a six color paint job and 500 lbs of chrome. I like the Indian Scout and always liked Sportsters but the former is still a lot of bike and the latter isn't exactly known for a comfortable ride. In addition, the whole Harley 'lifestyle' is a huge turnoff. That alone wouldn't keep me from buying one but it does make me resistant to walking in the showroom.

After a few Asian bikes I am now on Triumphs. I have a Bonneville and a Tiger. Both bikes are pretty free of fairings, don't look like angry wasps when viewed from the front, don't come with the stigma of a 'lifestyle', are reliable and affordable. Triumph is an interesting study of a company that has managed to offer a little bit of everything and most every bike they build is a really good machine. I've never been a brand loyalist but I've been so happy with the two I own that they will be the first stop should I ever want to replace the ones I have.

That said, there is cause for concern. Triumph corporate is going down the BMW Motorrad path and I think it is a colossal mistake. They are forcing the dealers to make showrooms into BMW-like 'boutiques' at great cost and many of them are saying 'no thanks' and dropping the brand. I'm not paying $40 for a T-shirt. I don't want to sit and drink coffee in a museum atmosphere. That is not what Triumphs are about. Yet the mothership seems to believe that is what it will take to make money, because its what BMW and H-D do.

Yes, it is nice to have a well lit, clean showroom vs what used to pass for a Triumph dealer in the corner of some old garage but come on...the product sells itself. Pursuing the well-heeled high end buyer will alienate the more numerous middle class riders and push us to the predictable and often dull Japanese brands (who still mostly refuse test rides). It is a time of transition and I'm concerned about how it will play out.

pres589
pres589 PowerDork
10/10/17 5:55 a.m.

Buell's seemed like a low quality way to show how unimpressive HD engines are.  "Imagine we made it look like a speedboat from Mars... and used a tugboat engine".

The kids don't have the money to sink into a $10k vehicle that will almost always never see a drop of rain.  And I know I wouldn't want to deal with motorcycle ownership if I didn't have a garage to keep it in so there's that cost.  

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
10/10/17 6:08 a.m.

I'm a millenial, and I rode a Buell to work this morning.  It doesn't have a Harley engine though cheeky

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
10/10/17 6:20 a.m.

Manufacturers- want to sell me a new bike?  Offer something I want and can't find used!  For most bikes, I can find a used example with barely any miles for half of the new price; they're so easy to work on that a warranty means almost nothing to me, and the new stuff doesn't have a real jump in performance over what was built 5-10 years ago in many cases.

The only brand new bikes that I routinely think about are electrics- they're advancing rapidly enough that a brand new model might be worth the premium over an older one with less range and less power.  But, they're WAY too expensive, and that rapid advancement is also a reason not to buy- I don't want to spend $xx,000 on an Alta or a Zero when in two years new ones will cost the same and have double the range.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
10/10/17 6:27 a.m.
pres589 said:

Buell's seemed like a low quality way to show how unimpressive HD engines are.  "Imagine we made it look like a speedboat from Mars... and used a tugboat engine".

Buell developed a fantastic chassis to make up for the tractor engines they had to use (although the engine suits the Ulysses and the CityX), then finally put an exciting engine in that chassis (1125 Helicon), but overpriced the bikes and goobered up the charging system and low rpm fueling, and Harley subsequently E36 M3canned them.  Then, they returned as EBR with mostly the same thing (1190), but overpriced the berkeley out of it and didn't offer any sort of adventure model to the old guys with $$$ who would have bought a Ulysses replacement- those old guys all bought BMWs, KTMs, and Ducatis instead, and EBR folded like five berkeleying times before finally giving up.

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
10/10/17 9:15 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

The only brand new bikes that I routinely think about are electrics- they're advancing rapidly enough that a brand new model might be worth the premium over an older one with less range and less power.  But, they're WAY too expensive, and that rapid advancement is also a reason not to buy- I don't want to spend $xx,000 on an Alta or a Zero when in two years new ones will cost the same and have double the range.

This is where I am at too. If I can get a E bike I can commute on for under $10k (talking 200 miles range) then I might think on that but not before. 

I bought a 2004 Triumph Tiger that was near mint for $3000 a couple years ago. There is no bike that I can get close to this short of the $10k FJ09. That means I can spend many thousands having someone work on it and still be good. The only really nice features that some might miss are ABS and small things like a gear indicator. It makes 105 hp and something like 73 ft lbs. Performance is on par with anything new. 

pres589
pres589 PowerDork
10/10/17 9:56 a.m.

FJ-09 seems pretty perfect save for maybe overly dorky styling and a cable operated clutch that seems to wear very fast on some bikes (and I'd then probably look at some suspension work later on).  There are some 2015's brand new on Cycle Trader for about $7k as of last week.  Would still consider a Tiger as well, they seem like good bikes.

Nick (Bo) Comstock
Nick (Bo) Comstock MegaDork
10/10/17 11:05 a.m.

In reply to pres589 :

At 7K you'd be getting a hell of a bike. Mine was a left over 15' that I bought last year and it knocks every single criteria I had for a bike out of the park. Very, very good bikes. 

NEALSMO
NEALSMO UberDork
10/10/17 12:04 p.m.

Put me in the camp of not a millennial and never had interest in an HD.  Besides not being the style of bike I prefer, I definitely don't like the lifestyle.  Pretty sure I'm not even allowed to ride a hog with a High-vis jacket and a full face helmet anyway.

I also prefer a smaller, more nimble bike.  Not really interested in a liter+ bike.  The technology has given us the power and torque of a liter bike in a package half it's size.  Although rolling on the throttle of an 1100 Aprilla or a 1400 Kawasaki is berkeleying thrilling, I prefer a more moderate power delivery.

I rode my brother's FJ last year and was totally impressed, in fact my dad just bought one because he was impressed to.  Unfortunately they are still out of my price range since it's my 5th vehicle.  Been shopping Vstroms for the last month or two.  I  like the utility of them and the comfortable upright riding position.  Again, prefer the 650 over the 1000 due to being lighter and more nimble.  BMW, Triumph, and Ducati Monster are on my small lottery win purchase list.

spandak
spandak New Reader
10/10/17 11:57 p.m.

Millennial here. Just started riding and so far I absolutely love it. several of my peers have recently started riding as well. Our generation has adopted the sport too but in a different way. Used bikes are more affordable and crazy deals are out there. My used FZ6 that was low sided still runs like a champ and it was cheapppp. Why would I spend $10k on a newer bike that's a little shinier? Maybe in a few years when I have saved a down payment for a house and have a little more skill in the saddle. 

Oh and while I have nothing against Harley's the stereotypical Harley culture makes me cringe and I stay as far away from them as possible. The new softail fat bob isn't bad but I would rather get something similar from another brand and avoid being associated with that culture. The silly vests and their tough attitude and the loudest berkelying pipes I've ever heard. No thank you. 

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
10/11/17 6:47 a.m.

I'm with you on the used bikes. Never bought a new one.

I got this 2012 Tiger 800 fully farkled for under $6000 two years ago.

Owner bought a new Africa Twin and got an insulting offer from the dealer so sold it privately. Second ADV bike I've bought that came fully kitted with luggage and I paid less than most pre-owned ones without. Fantastic bike and way more engaging to ride than my 650 V-Strom it replaced.

My '08 Bonnie, $5300 from a dealer three years ago:

I have two bikes for the cost of one brand new one. Bonnie came with better mufflers and desmogged. I've since changed a few things and added a tach because its fun to work on. There are amazing choices to be had out there in this price range...or even less.

Rusnak_322
Rusnak_322 Dork
10/19/17 8:50 a.m.

The Harley Sportster Roadster and the 49 are both cool looking bikes I could see myself owning, but at $11,600?? I can buy a used sporty for $2,500 and make it 90% of the factory bikes for another $2k.

 

 

pres589
pres589 PowerDork
10/19/17 9:10 a.m.

Isn't H-D doing more work offshore these days?  And they're crying that the kids in the USA aren't spending money on their products?  This whole thing seems really oddly disconnected from a reality that many are living in these days.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s New Reader
10/21/17 3:04 p.m.

I mean it's just weight, weight, weight all the time with those things. The bikes weigh a lot. The riders weigh a lot. The engine weighs a lot. The bikes have Fat this, Fat that. Hog. Everything's round. I don't want to feel like I'm pigging out and Fat all the time. It's like that episode of the Simpsons where that machine keep shoving donuts in Homer's mouth.

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