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Old 08-07-2014, 09:05 AM   #1
HanShotFirst OP
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Japanese ought to be ashamed!!

They are just GIVING the large bore thumper dual sport category to KTM. All the large US dual sports are 20+ year old bikes; what's up with that?

Hell my 1994 (that's right, 20 years old) KLX-650 will absolutely PUNISH the KLR, DR, or XR; street or off road.

The KTM's are the first bikes that are actually better than the 20 year old KLX. So the question is, why?

Why do the Japanese seem to not care about this category of bike? Kawasaki I can pretty much understand, the KLX enjoys a good following and good sales. So if it's working and selling, why change? But I don't see very many NEW XR's or DR's on the street, so what's up with those?

I actually like the XR's engine; simple as can be. Put it in an aluminum frame, and a better suspension and it would be awesome.

Meanwhile the KTM is just OWNING it.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:16 AM   #2
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I hear the KLR 650 has new suspension this year...


...or at least new springs.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:17 AM   #3
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not just dirtbikes. the japanese makers are behind with road bikes too

its maybe the legacy of 20 odd years of stagnation. ie , the lost years
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:43 AM   #4
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Slow to adapt. We will see their response in a few years.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:48 AM   #5
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Slow to adapt. We will see their response in a few years.
Yamaha took forever to respond to the big ADV Bike market with the S10. Have Honda or Kawaski responded yet?
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pistole View Post
not just dirtbikes. the japanese makers are behind with road bikes too

its maybe the legacy of 20 odd years of stagnation. ie , the lost years
...or the result of a stagnating market...at least in the U.S. anyway. There are exceptions of course based on location, but nation wide motorcycle sales have been slow. ATV/UTV sales have exploded, so it's not just an economy issue. Still, there are a few bright spots in Japanese road bikes IMO...the FZ-07 and FZ-09 for example. Also many Japanese sport bikes are freakin' gonzo, so it's not like technological advancements are all idle. I think most of us on a forum like this are just bemoaning the fact that the Japanese have done little in the dual sport market lately. I still think it's driven by market demand. On this forum it sounds like millions are clamoring for better Japanese dual sports...they're not.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:07 AM   #7
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Eek

Quote:
Originally Posted by HanShotFirst View Post
...my 1994 (that's right, 20 years old) KLX-650 will absolutely PUNISH the KLR, DR, or XR; street or off road........
naw.

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Old 08-07-2014, 10:31 AM   #8
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i'd take a KLX over a DR anyday......
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:03 AM   #9
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Few things:
It's not their market as they sell 10x more other small bikes/scooters worldwide. People still buy what they produce anyway (so why change?). These models are just cash cows for the time being. The newer 250 dual-sports are world-wide sales models (in most of the world 250cc is the big bike) KTM occupies a niche market compared too them in the off-road market. The Japanese are not ashamed, just making corporate profits to attempt to get back to pre 2007 levels. DRs & KLRs sell, so why change, is their way of thinking. They can still offset carb emissions with other cleaner FI machines so why stop when they sell? It's just conservative Japanese thinking.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boon Booni View Post
Yamaha took forever to respond to the big ADV Bike market with the S10. Have Honda or Kawaski responded yet?
The Japanese focus is on big ADV bikes because they profit margins are better (than updating the big thumpers) plus the wealthy world is ga ga over big ADV bikes. That is why Suzuki has said the new 1000 Vstrom is their most important bike in their line up.

Yamaha and Honda will respond very well again this fall.
Plus Honda also has the Crosstourer (just not in the US) & Kawi has a 1000 Versys (just not in the US). The US is NOT the focus anymore as a whole. We just see bikes as weekend play toys.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boon Booni View Post
Yamaha took forever to respond to the big ADV Bike market with the S10. Have Honda or Kawaski responded yet?
Once upon a time, Honda seemed to care about the American Dual Sport Market, paging Transalp to the white courtesy phone. They sell the Veradero over seas, 1000cc ADV bike, but not in the US. They dropped the XR line down to small bikes in the US, but badge them "CRF". The XR400 and XR250 are still available over seas as well! That move alone alienated a ton of riders, and honestly, I think Honda probably lost a good deal of business on that decision! Getting rid of 2 of the most reliable, cheap, entry level dirt bikes on the market was as stupid an idea as someone could come up with, IMO! To be honest, I have no idea why they are so far behind the curve! I'm not a Marketing Analyst, but it seems to me that the big ADV bike craze is taking off in a big way here in the US....so why don't they try to keep up? It's a damned good question!!
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:24 PM   #12
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People want cheap bikes... A top$ jap dualsport wouldnt sell. Dont think people will pay KTM bucks, for a unicorn wr450r. Just look at how much bashing is going around in the ccm450 thread, and the bike isnt even on the street yet.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
Few things:
It's not their market as they sell 10x more other small bikes/scooters worldwide. People still buy what they produce anyway (so why change?). These models are just cash cows for the time being. The newer 250 dual-sports are world-wide sales models (in most of the world 250cc is the big bike) KTM occupies a niche market compared too them in the off-road market. The Japanese are not ashamed, just making corporate profits to attempt to get back to pre 2007 levels. DRs & KLRs sell, so why change, is their way of thinking. They can still offset carb emissions with other cleaner FI machines so why stop when they sell? It's just conservative Japanese thinking.
That's how I see it...sucks, but it is what it is.

What I love about the Japanese bikes is the reliability; no one even comes close IMO.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:43 PM   #14
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Japan the whole nation has been in decline for last two decades. They used to dominate many industries. They're becoming like USA, producing less and less. There's not much competition in motorcycle. So they hang on. Any good competition (e.g. KTM) will easily kick their butt.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HanShotFirst View Post
They are just GIVING the large bore thumper dual sport category to KTM.
What's wrong with that? It appears to me that KTM is doing a fine job - they are giving the market a variety of choices in this category and are constantly updating their products.

I've seen this sentiment expressed multiple times over the past few years. I ask - why? The European manufacturers (KTM, Husky, Beta, Husaberg) have all produced modern dual sport bikes in various flavors over the past few years that have been superb, modern motorcycles. What are they missing that you feel that you need from the Japanese manufacturers?


Quote:
Why do the Japanese seem to not care about this category of bike?
I think the short answer is Money. The Japanese apparently don't think they will sell enough of them to make the profit they want to make.

My guess is that they have seen American dual sport riders claiming to want modern dual sport bikes while simultaneously avoiding in large numbers buying modern large bore thumpers from the European manufacturers and the Japanese have concluded that those same Americans won't buy modern large bore thumpers from the Japanese either. For example, Husky produced damn near the finest dual sport bike ever produced (the TE610 / 630) but it sold so poorly that they eventually had a fire sale to get rid of the last ones produced. The same goes for a couple of BMW dual sport models (the X Challenge and the 450). And so on. A modern Japanese dual sport thumper is going to cost about the same as one from KTM or Husqvarna and is going to perform about the same (performance, reliability, capability, etc). My guess is the Japanese have seen that most Americans won't spend that much money on a modern thumper - the KLR continues to outsell every modern dual sport thumper by a large margin - and have decided it's not worth the investment.

If every rider who claimed to want a modern dual sport thumper from the Japanese would buy one from the European manufacturers, in short order the Japanese would have modern dual sport thumpers available for sale.

In modern times large numbers of riders wanted adventure bikes. BMW was pretty much the only option for those riders, so despite a relatively high price that's what riders bought. Eventually BMW sold enough adventure bikes, proving that the market for relatively expensive adventure bikes was there, and it got the attention of the Japanese, who then began entering the adventure bike market.

Perhaps one day there will be enough riders wanting modern large bore thumpers that they are willing to pay the price and willing to buy one from those manufacturers making modern large bore thumpers, even if those manufacturers aren't Japanese. When that happens we will see the Japanese upgrade their products.
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Trail Boss screwed with this post 08-07-2014 at 01:38 PM
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