Posts Tagged ‘International Motorcycle Show’

Victory’s Super-Secret Concept Bike is …

January 14, 2009

Admittedly, I’m a huge fan of Victory Motorcycles. Not only do I dig the motorcycles the company builds, I like that it is one of the more forward-thinking OEMs out there. For goodness sake, the Victory crew came up with the Vision.

Now the born-from-snowmobiles company is ready to spring something new upon the waiting public Friday Jan. 16, at the New York City stop of the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show. At 2:30 p.m. New York time (that’s 11:30 p.m. for you left coasters) Victory will unveil the CORE concept motorcycle. At this point, the only picture I’ve been able to find for this appears here so I thought I’d post it here:

core-crop-2

It looks like the Victory Design Team is channeling H.R. Giger.

The following is from the IMS site and is almost certainly channeled directly from a Victory press release:

Created by the Victory Motorcycles design staff, CORE is a reduction of the motorcycle to its most pure form using some of the latest production technology. Join the staff of Victory Motorcycles in the Victory display as they host the first public reveal and discuss the CORE concept motorcycle.

Hit us back up on Friday Jan. 16 at 11: 30 a.m. WEST COAST time (because we prefer thinking in our own time zone) to see pics of the CORE — as long as Pandya receives the bribe I sent him in exchange for the TOP SECRET pics.

(disclaimer for the literal: OK, it was an embargo agreement, not a bribe.)

One Man’s Take on the Motorcycle Industry

January 5, 2009

Not mine, but that of Bruce McLaughlan, a motorcycle blogger (read him here) for The Detroit News. In his latest posting, McLaughlan riffs on the result of the most recent J.D. Power and Associates Motorcycle Competitive Information Study — yes, we love studies with unwieldy, ponderous titles — and the Novi, Mich. stop of the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show tour. To see the result of the J.D. Power study go here.

KYMCO unveils the Quannon at the Long Beach IMS stop.

KYMCO unveils the Quannon at the Long Beach IMS stop.

McLaughlan, a marketing executive/club racer, digs into one of the study’s main results and that is being able to test ride a bike is a big HUGE factor in buyer satisfaction. He points to the crowds at the Novi IMS show, noting how most everybody spends the better part of their time test-sitting on bikes. And in his words:

Potential buyers can spend a few hours trying the “fit” of bikes representing all of the major brands, and perhaps even ask questions of knowledgeable factory reps.

This saves a lot of running around, and sadly, it represents a more personalized level of attention than you’ll get in the typical multi-brand dealership. That’s pretty pathetic.

I happen to agree with McLaughlan’s take. I’ve never been able to understand why more dealerships don’t offer test rides. I mean, if there’s anything where a perfect fit is essential it’s with a motorcycle. I understand the worries about liability, etc., but I’ve talked to enough dealers who do offer test rides (usually with the help of their OEMs) and say they are critical to selling units.

I’m not a dealer, nor do I own my own business, so I can’t say I’m second-guessing anybody, but I’d think that having a tool like test rides in your sales arsenal would be a no-brainer. Even working with the local Eagle Rider franchise to help customers size up their potential rides seems like a smart idea. I’m lucky enough that I get to ride a lot of new bikes and for some of them I’m thankful they’re only on loan to me and not sitting in my garage on a payment plan (though I’d really like an MP3 500 or a Star/Yamaha Raider for a l-0-n-g term test. You hear that Brandware and Yamaha?). But if I were in the market again for a new bike, I’d certainly gravitate toward dealerships and brands that offer test rides as an option. Given the current state of the economy (mine and the country’s) I’ll have to stick to the press loaners.

As sales get tougher will dealers and OEMs take note, not just of my ramblings, but of McLaughlan’s take and the J.D. Power results?

More on RSD and AOI

December 11, 2008

Not to belabor the subject, but there were a few cool bits I forgot to mention in my original post here about the Roland Sands/Toyota Trucks/Upper Playground collaboration, Architects of Inspiration.

aoi-header

Sure I talked about the RSD-influenced works of art by Sam Flores and Mr. Cartoon, but I didn’t mention The NOTHING machine by artist Rodney Aguiar. I love creative, Rube Goldberg sh*t like this. Take a close look. It’s a motor-drive collection of gears, sprockets, chains and crankshaft that repeatedly types out the word “nothing” on a mutilated electric typer. I want to make something like that brushes my teeth for me.

photo from RSD blog

photo from RSD blog

There was also the collaborative piece between RSD and Smokin’ Seagulls in which they transformed three dirt bikes into some kickass cafe racers. I’ve got an old YZ250 that I’ve wanted to do this to for a long while.

Seeking a bit more information about the project so I tossed a couple of questions at Sands who came back at me with the following:

How were the artists selected?

I worked with Matt Riveli at Upper playground to select artists that matched what we wanted to accomplish. We really wanted to create an environment. I was already fans of guys like Sam Flores and N8 VanDyke so those guys were some of my top picks and they jumped on board to do it so it was great. The Smoking Seagulls guys were friends and we were amped to work together on the café racer piece. Bell helmets brought Jona on board and he was a huge talent. I brought my friend and a great talent Karl Drehsen from Long Beach and Tom Clark is a pinstripping genius I work with all the time. A classic master.

Who came up with the concept?

It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I’ve always enjoyed painting and creating and this was the next obvious step. Take all the things I love to do and put them together. If there was a guy doing a back flip over the whole thing we might of combined it all … next time.

Check out the RSD blog for more on AOI (and other stuff RSD is up to).