Is USA ready for adventure touring motorcycles - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Is USA ready for adventure touring motorcycles

Versys didn't make the article, but it should have....



http://www.motorcycledaily.com/2010/...venture-bikes/

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post #2 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 09:00 AM
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When I am parked at a restaurant or gas station with my V, and people ask me "What kind of bike is that?" I often tell them it's an adventure touring bike. And 9 out of 10 times they will respond by looking at me as if I had two heads, or they'll say something like "Well... that's a sharp/interesting looking... uh... scooter you have there." No comprension.
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post #3 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 09:00 AM
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Jake, you're trolling us, right?

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post #4 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 09:51 AM
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I truly hope a few manufacturers take a chance (like Kawi did with the Versys) & bring a few of these bikes here to the US. The key will be keeping the price in the affordable range, offering a full line of accessories out of the gate & advertising them properly. I really think the manufacturers are missing the boat with this category of bike. One of the problems is they have invested so much in cruiser's, they don't want to take away from any of that. If they would put the same effort into adventure bikes that they did into building their cruiser markets they would hit a home run. Just my opinion & 2 cents worth!

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post #5 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 10:04 AM
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I just got back from a road trip with the kids from Vancouver to Yellowstone. 95% of the bikes we saw, and there were lots, were Harley Davidson. It was really quite astonishing. All these folks dressed all bad ass, most without helmets, roaring around in packs of leather clad, overweight middle aged wanna be hooligans. It seems to be quite a trend. Until this trend passes, I doubt there will be much room in the US market for adventure touring bikes. Now, off to read the article!

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post #6 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 10:36 AM
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It really is astonishing when you consider the success that BMW has had with the GS, Triumph with the Tiger, Suzuki with the Stroms, etc., that Yamaha and Honda can't be bothered. Maybe their dealers are still traumatized by earlier experiences with the TDM and the TransAlp, respectively. I think dealers want to floor the stuff they know they can sell, and cruisers and sportbikes (and quads, and....) fill that bill. Anything that one has to explain becomes problematic.

I moderate on a large webforum that is sportbike oriented, and it seems that most new riders coming on the board start with the supposition that their first bike must be a sportbike, and the only relevant questions are brand (Dude, should I get an r6 or a gixxer?) and displacement (Won't I outgrow a 600?). We don't see much of the cruiser crowd on our forum, but for a lot of riders it seems cruisers "just look right". Starting from these baseline positions, it takes some experience and education for a rider to be able to look past the obvious to see the benefits of an adventure bike, and lots of dealers don't wish to wait for these customers to get educated when they can just sell them the sportbike or cruiser right now.

It seems like for whatever reason, Suzuki and Kawasaki dealers have been prepared to take a risk, and for that I am grateful.
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post #7 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 10:37 AM
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My wife and I noticed the opposite on our around the country trip in 2008. We saw more BMW touring riders than anything else in the western half of the U.S. The only place we noticed an over-abundance of "image is everything" cruiser types was around Sturgis. Even then there were quite a few BMW's in the Black Hills as well.
To answer the troll, the Versys is closer to sport-tour than adventure-tour and best considered a standard/UJM.

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post #8 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 11:26 AM
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Recent 2,700 mile trip Seattle to Yellowstone & back. Here's what I saw:
85% Harley Davidson
10% BMW (mostly GS)
5% Everything else
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post #9 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 11:32 AM
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I wonder if the $4-$5 per gallon gas skewed things in '08?

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post #10 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VerstehenZee View Post
Jake, you're trolling us, right?

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Originally Posted by potus2012 View Post
....To answer the troll, the Versys is closer to sport-tour than adventure-tour and best considered a standard/UJM.
??? Troll reference?? Went...whoosh...way over my head....

As to my mentioning that the Versys should have been mentioned: the Suz DL got mentioned and pictured because they had added high quality aluminum bags, as well as a center stand and other features (such as an engine guard). Add those to the Versys and you have a BETTER adventure tourer than the Suz.

EDIT: so yeah, I get why the V wasnt mentioned as an adventure bike in the article, but I guess I want people to realize that the V is as good or better than other 650s and even 800s as an adventure bike.

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post #11 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 03:04 PM
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To answer your original question, Jake: No, I don't think so.

For the majority of motorcycle riders in the US, the motorcycle is mostly a weekend toy or the required key to belong to a certain group. So they will buy based on deeply ingrained stereotypes and preconceptions and will remain mostly ignorant of any models that are not a cruiser or a sport bike.

Many motorcycle riders in Europe ride day-in, day-out, mostly regardless of weather. Also, they don't have chronic "Easy Rider"-itis and do have speed cameras everywhere. That makes that both big v-twin cruisers and sport bikes are not the default choice for motorcycle riders, therewith opening up the mind and the market for many different models.
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post #12 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 04:00 PM
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I think another key problem is places to ride...The US is a huge land mass but how much is open to off road riding. Talk to the ATV/ 4WD crowd and you will find not that much when you consider the available land. The east is far worst than the west but the fact remains more and more trail get closed all the time.
Folks that are into off-road riding will probably load up the trail bikes on a trailer and tow them to a trail head. No need to ride the bikes there, you can be dry and comfortable in you truck. I am sure Europeans could do the same but since owning a large vehicle is much more expensive than the US it makes more sense to ride the motorcycle on and off the trail.
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post #13 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 04:07 PM
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Great post!

I have to think that a lot of riders grow into Adventure bikes rather than start out wanting one. It takes experience and desire to ride long distances on sometimes rough terrain. A relatively new motorcyclists might be intimidated by this, therefore they start out on cruisers.

Most of the ADV riders I have known or talked to, have some years in the saddle and seek out new rides and adventures like a missile hunting Osama Bin Laden. Weather is not a factor because they don't care about polishing chrome. The dirtier the better sometimes. I begin planning my next big trip during the trip I am on. The new leather crowd in general, is using the bike as a luxury toy. I get this, and don't have a problem with it. I like having something a little different than the masses.

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post #14 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 07:54 PM
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Adverture bikes would sell better here in the states if the actually went out on a marketing campaign. The motorcycle adds i do see are all plugging cruisers and not much else. You have to pick up a bike magazine to see anything these days that isn't a v-twin...as a V owner its depressing. Not that i want to see 10,000 V's on the road, but a few would be nice.

If honda would pull their heads out of their butts and bring the Trans Alp back to the states id buy not just one but 2!!!
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post #15 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 08:19 PM
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I love the Versys, please don't get me wrong. However, I would love to see some more affordable Adventure Touring bike make it to the USA. The Multistrada 1200, BMW GS and other bikes are the cat's meow, but $20,000?! You gotta be kiddin'! How about the Trans-Alp and Yammy TDM? The Yammay Super Tenere is a sweet bike, but it's gonna be buko bucks as well. Anyway, I looked at the article on MOTORCYCLE DAILY and there seem to be quite a few responses! Here's hopin' we see more bikes of this type in the USA.

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post #16 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
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To answer your original question, Jake: No, I don't think so.

For the majority of motorcycle riders in the US, the motorcycle is mostly a weekend toy or the required key to belong to a certain group. So they will buy based on deeply ingrained stereotypes and preconceptions and will remain mostly ignorant of any models that are not a cruiser or a sport bike.

Many motorcycle riders in Europe ride day-in, day-out, mostly regardless of weather. Also, they don't have chronic "Easy Rider"-itis and do have speed cameras everywhere. That makes that both big v-twin cruisers and sport bikes are not the default choice for motorcycle riders, therewith opening up the mind and the market for many different models.
Well said, couldn't agree more.
I really believe cruisers are the choice of the inexperienced. It's just an image to project. Some of them grow to love it and want to travel on them, but they get stuck into a certain look.

I liked the post on the Zook with aluminum paniers. I would have been willing to pay more for my bike if it was better setup for long distance riding like that. It's not too bad, but there are certainly some upgrades that could be done. Guess I'll have to do them myself.

I've been reading the GS forums and them guys seem to have a lot of quirks and problems with their bikes, but they like them. At least they're getting out and seeing the country.

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post #17 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 11:03 PM
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I perfer to think of bikes like the Versys, Triumph Tiger and MultiStrada as "cross over" bikes to borrow a term from the auto industry. These bikes are all much more on road capilble than say the VStrom, Valardo or other Adventure Tour bikes that are designed for a more dual purpose role.
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post #18 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 12:43 PM
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I perfer to think of bikes like the Versys, Triumph Tiger and MultiStrada as "cross over" bikes to borrow a term from the auto industry. These bikes are all much more on road capilble than say the VStrom, Valardo or other Adventure Tour bikes that are designed for a more dual purpose role.
The Versys is a 19" front wheel away of being just as capable as any "Adventure Tourer" labeled bike out there ... average price for low mileage used $4500 ... add $1000 for a new 19" conversion v strom front wheel with all necessary parts ... For $5500 you have a bike that will take you anywhere the $20,000.00 bikes will ... and maybe more ...

Below is my bike with a DL1000 v strom front wheel ...









Last edited by freewheeler; 08-27-2010 at 02:09 PM.
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post #19 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 01:28 PM
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I was watching a DL1000 wheel on ebay at $175 for 6 days, bid just over $200 in the last 20 seconds and it went to $350. Somebody with sniping software must have really wanted it.

New parts total about $800 plus machine work and a tire. And raise the fender.

Is it worth it?

I suppose if you went with a fender mounted to the bottom triple clamp you could just change wheels out, 17 with a road tire and the 19 with a knobby. Rear wheels are pretty easy to come by, I may just get a pair and go with the oversize front for when acatually going on offroad treks.

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post #20 of 110 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 02:06 PM
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[QUOTE=CJBROWN;105951]I was watching a DL1000 wheel on ebay at $175 for 6 days, bid just over $200 in the last 20 seconds and it went to $350. Somebody with sniping software must have really wanted it./QUOTE]

Yon can buy a new one from ron ayers for just under $400 the way the used one was listed on ebay ...!!!
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