Originally Posted by Czechie
To me there are a few things which I don't understand:
- why Yamaha is not able to put together a team like KTM? Does it mean that Dakar is rather a low priority to them compared to Moto GP?
I think that is exactly it... While the Dakar is huge to us, and in 'off road' circles, Yamaha sell tens of thousands of street/sports bikes the world over - it's a far larger market, and Moto GP is a whole season, with massive TV and media coverage in every corner of the world, not just one race?
Of course the budget for Dakar would be tiny compared to fielding a factory and satellite Moto GP team/s, but it is the concentration of engineers and resources, and not least the target of advertising and marketing that is going to dictate their current policy...
Off road bikes are not a huge priority for any of the Japanese brands (compared to street orientated machines)... and even with the huge growth in the 'Adventure' market in recent years, I think this Dakar more than any other has shown that the current generation of Dakar/rally bike is a lightweight precision racing
machine, not ideally suited to a everyday 'Adventure' role?
- why BMW group puts a shine on their rather second tier brands, meaning Mini and Husqvarna. If this was the normal course of business, Husaberg would be celebrating 12 consecutive victory.
I think similarly to the above, BMW know their machines (both cars and bikes) are not 'competitive' in the same way - they are focused luxury brands, and in the case of the motorcycles, querky designs - and are sold to general mass market customers, not specialist niches?
BMW is a multi billion dollar company, and by extending their racing arm to associated brands, it minimises and disassociates any 'bad press' should those teams not do particularly well, in what is a very competitive but still niche field... noone in Munich wants to see a headline "BMW fail in.... [whatever]" in the press?
The flip side of this of course is also a return on their [acquisition] investments - should those sub-brands do well in their respective fields, then it elevates them in the eyes of the public (through subsequent marketing), and increases their appeal in what is a small and fiercely contested niche market in comparison... win win!