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I was poking around on DealerNews.com and happened upon some interesting highlights from Yamaha Dealers regarding Q1 of 2014. Check them out:

  • The FZ09 and the Bolt have sent some people in the showrooms. About time.
  • The new FZ09 and the Bolt are getting attention. We need new Star cruisers to help regain strength in the market.
  • It was great getting the [2014 Bolt and FZ09] in dealers early, but supply was limited. By the time supply caught up, the demand had died down.
  • Overall, the Yamaha lineup has a great reputation, and the new Yamaha models are doing okay. We do need a freshening on a few of their halo models, like the R6 and R1.
  • Yamaha has some great models, but they are overpriced compared to the competition, and programs are horrible.
  • Too many noncurrents. Lack of new, affordable, exciting product.
  • Big bore bikes are not selling!

What do you guys think about all that?
 

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Typical. They were afraid of a good thing and under produced the FZ-09 for the product launch. Once upon a time, the Japanese drove the market, now they slowly react to what some other manufacturer strikes gold with. KTM is an example of a company that has carved out it's own niche, taking chances on models that no one dare produce. Honda is totally lost, and their bargain offerings are terrible. Suzuki is in short supply of capitol, and Kawasaki is slowly climbing out of their slump. I have to hand it to Ducati, KTM, and Triumph for figuring out that old guys like me that grew up in the motorcycle boom of the seventies, and owned some serious hallmark bikes, need something with the rush of a superbike, but the comfort of a standard.
 

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Doug nailed it.

I'm disappointed with Yamaha's supply issues. I waited five months for my bike after paying the deposit.

I'm also surprised that demand reportedly dropped so soon. People's excitement for the new wears off so fast. I guess that explains why Pizza Hut announces a new type of pizza every week. But their pizza sucks, so I don't care.

Build a motorcycle people are excited to own. And they will come.

Yamaha built a great bike. And I still see a lot of interest in the FZ-09. I just think that, even with the rock-bottom price, they are competing against declining wages. Now if you're selling to the top 1%, that's a different story. Their net worth has increased over the last four years. But I'm not sure what they buy.
 

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When you introduce a model and don't make it available until late Sept. or early October, you have successfully eliminated a lot of potential buyers because of the end of the riding season being so near. Lot's and lots of folks buy motorcycles with a loan and they simply aren't going to take out a loan in October and have the bike basically sit until springtime without being able to ride......yet making that bike payment every month and carrying insurance on it. I'm thinking that should be a very big......DUH to Yamaha! Hell, I bought mine cash and it made me mad having the bike basically sit all winter with insurance and not many miles on it.
 

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I'm not sure what they meant by programs either.

So that was for the first quarter, ending March 31? Just from the feel of new people on the forum it seems like 09 sales are picking up again with the good weather. The 09s already on the road and their owners should help sell more of them too.
 

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Programs usually mean financing programs. Yamaha's financing programs generally suck.


I've heard that this will be the year that the R6 and R1 become radically different. We will see what that means.


Also, the SR400 is way overpriced. I'd actually like to have one for around town and such, but not for that amount of cheese.
 

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Whatever.

I'll tell you what the GM of the shop I got my 09 from told me about two weeks ago. They have/run four Yamaha dealerships around the Dallas/FtW area. He said "they have received 22 FZ-09's since they started rolling in between their stores and not one has sat on the showroom floor more than 24 hours".

Sounds like sells are doing pretty damn good (at least in my neck of the woods), even with the poor timing of release.
 

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I like what Doug said as well. Yamaha has been playing things safe for a while. I think with the FZ-09, they were worried after the less than stellar reception of the FZ8 that it would be a repeat. They have had the same design on the FZ1 since 2006. Yamaha doesn't seem to want to put out something radical. I agree about the financing programs, they just kept doing the same deals for a while, and never changing it up. If they want things to move, put some factory rebates out or something to make the old models move, and refresh them with something improved, or totally different.
 

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It should be said that there are thousands of decisions that go into designing and manufacturing a motorcycle and therefore so many ways to screw things up.

Recently an Italian maker, for example, built a great bike except that your feet don't fit on the pegs because your heels strike the non-removable passenger peg mounts! Such a small thing can be a huge deal breaker.

I think about the difficulty of successfully designing a new motorcycle every time I ride the bike and what a fantastic job the people at Yamaha did with the FZ-09.
 

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I'm disappointed with Yamaha's supply issues. I waited five months for my bike after paying the deposit.
I was really lucky with my bike / dealer.

Originally, I saw the FZ09 in Graphite just before Thanksgiving 2013. The salesman let me know he'd keep me in mind when a red one showed up. My stipulation was I needed to demo it before buying it.

Come January 2014, a crate shows up at their building and a quick phone call brings me to the dealership. There's my new Rapid Red all put together and ready to ride. I threw a leg over the next morning and took a brief but informative 20 minute demo. Had lunch, came back to sign the paperwork.

Some call me crazy for buying a bike in January but I thought it looked pretty damned awesome in my parking lot at work with snow fluttering down around it.

 

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My connection in Sublimity. Oregon had the foresight to make possibly the largest initial order in the country.

They still have all colors. but not coming off msrp.

No garbage fees. though.
 

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When you introduce a model and don't make it available until late Sept. or early October, you have successfully eliminated a lot of potential buyers because of the end of the riding season being so near. Lot's and lots of folks buy motorcycles with a loan and they simply aren't going to take out a loan in October and have the bike basically sit until springtime without being able to ride......yet making that bike payment every month and carrying insurance on it. I'm thinking that should be a very big......DUH to Yamaha! Hell, I bought mine cash and it made me mad having the bike basically sit all winter with insurance and not many miles on it.
Spot on Vern. It would be like Polaris Industries releasing the new snowmobile models in May or June. They have the good sense to release the new snowmobiles in October. Why can't the motorcycle industry figure this out?
 

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I invested in yamaha stock early this year after getting my fz and they've been doing pretty well on that front I'll tell you. Unfortunately on the other end of things I have money in Kawasaki which has been tanking as of late.
 

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The place that I got my bike from can't keep the FZ-09 in stock. They got four in last week and they are all gone, sold the last one yesterday. I am starting to see other FZ-09's on the road. Bummed me out cause I like being Unique.
 

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I was really lucky with my bike / dealer.
That was good timing.

I had a deposit down in July 2013. And it took my dealer 'till November to get the first bike.

People on the west coast saw the bikes way ahead of us and were buying bikes off showroom floors in September.
 

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At least we could buy a 14' model before the year was 1/3 up. Three years ago, I wanted a play bike to go with a GL1800 and KLR650. Honda introduced it's CBR250R and I sent in my deposit and waited until the end of April 2011 when Honda finally decided to start shipping them. While I was waiting, they'd originally said it'd be May before they could get one.
I ended up trading it in later on a FZ8 that despite reception was a LOT of fun until the FZ-09 came out. LOL
 

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A lot of these companies are losing out to Harley and BMW imo. And spec for spec, reliability and price it's a bit mind boggling. Where I live you typically see road touring Harleys or idiots on 600rrs and not a whole lot of variation beyond that. I think the sport bike category is incredibly niche and changes geographically which makes it hard for these companies to make and distribute a one stop solution.

Most cruisers look similar, if you're buying one, power and suspension is likely lower on your list. In the sport bike these 2 are huge factors and highly variable.

I'm sure these companies make decent coin in the US market but I think they'd rather focus on optimizing Europe. More sales opportunities and easier supply chain management and lower cost of distribution.

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