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Thread: Whats the bike of choice here?

  1. #16
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    Excelsior-Henderson, is that one of those things from 24 hour fitness?

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  3. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by limitedbyfourkawiby2 View Post
    Excelsior-Henderson, is that one of those things from 24 hour fitness?
    Ahhh...no, a once proud Name in American motorcycling that failed during the great depression of the 1930's and was attempted to be resurrected some years back but failed again.



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  4. #18
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    Yup, that's the one. Great looking bike- it was love at first sight. Nice riding bike, handles good, rides smooth. 1500cc engine, fuel injection, belt drive. Company built a big new factory able to build 20,000 bikes a year, a fancy corporate headquarters complete with museum, and started selling t-shirts and other logo gear like hotcakes for five years before the first bike was ever built. Once production started there were serious quality control issues though, and a few design problems, as the company tried to go from zero to 4,000 bikes the first year, aiming for 10,000 bikes year two and 20,000 bikes by year four. Heck, Victory started with a modest 500 bikes, and they were all junk the first year, so you can just imagine how hard it was for E-X to try and build almost 10 times that many bikes at a new factory with an inexperienced workforce.

    Bad reputation for quality led to a drop in sales, and the workforce got laid off. The design and quality issues were solved, but by then it was too late, as they had to try and start over with yet another batch of inexperienced workers. The owner had spent too much on merchandising, and WAY to much on the corporate headquarters and a factory that was WAY too big, so the red ink was too much and the company ran out of money. He ran off with the antique bikes from the museum and any other company assets that would fit in a truck, and declared bankruptcy. It left such a mess that things were not settled and the factory not finally sold until almost 12 years later.

    Too bad- great bike once the issues were fixed. A new intake bracket, better wheel bearings, swapping the brass cooling jet in the tranny for a stainless steel one, and an oil cooler solve the design problems; re-torquing the steering head, not tightening the drive belt as much as specified, and recalibrating the ECU solved the quality issues.
    Excelsior-Henderson has become the textbook example of how NOT to start a motorcycle company: they tried to take on Harley from the get go, investing way too much money on huge production capacity and trying to crank out a new design with a new workforce at a mass-market pace. Total failure. Meanwhile, after 15 years Victory is still not even close to the 20,000 bikes a year E-X hoped for in 1/4 that time, and they spend ten times as much on advertising as E-X ever did, so that goes to show you just how hard it is to build sales of a new brand.
    You MUST obey the pug dog!


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  6. #19
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    I have a Kawasaki ZX-7r, but I must admit that I test rode a Suzuki gix 600 and it was crazy light and fast.

  7. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrBob View Post
    Meanwhile, after 15 years Victory is still not even close to the 20,000 bikes a year E-X hoped for in 1/4 that time, and they spend ten times as much on advertising as E-X ever did, so that goes to show you just how hard it is to build sales of a new brand.
    victory having only 2 dealerships in the bay area doesnt help ( up from 1 last year). i cant think of a single mfg that has less floor space in the area. and there are a ton of bikes around here.

  8. #21
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    I just picked up a 96 Triumph Adventurer classic triple.

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  9. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by slozomby View Post
    victory having only 2 dealerships in the bay area doesn't help ( up from 1 last year). i cant think of a single mfg that has less floor space in the area. and there are a ton of bikes around here.
    Victory started with I believe 200 dealerships, but a fair number of the independent Victory dealers bailed at the end of their initial 5 and 10 year agreements. The first generation V92c was a dud- the styling was blah, the performance unimpressive, the quality control poor, and the dealers received poor training and support. The follow on models, the sport and touring versions, were a bit better quality wise, and the new engine in 2002 helped the power output, but the styling was still unimpressive, and the dealerships soon developed a reputation for not being able to repair the bikes or even get parts for them in a reasonable amount of time. So some dealerships decided to drop out.
    The next generation of bikes showed a marked improvement in quality (though there were still complaints that the castings were too thin and the paint could have used another color coat), but the transmission were troublesome, and many complained that the fit and finish of a $14000 Vegas was no better than that found on a $7000 Japanese bike. The bikes started selling though, as the styling of the new models was attractive, and for the first time Victory broke the 5000 bike sales figure in 2003. They finally turned a profit in 2006. Things steadily improved from 2003 to 2010, and the dealership network has more than made up for the ones that bailed early. With the new engine, new models, and a focus on quality, Victory turned things around with the latest generation of bikes. Initial quality rates very high, fit & finish approach Harley/ BMW standards, the power and performance of the latest engine is top notch, the styling is unique. A 2010 and up Victory is a fine, fine bike. Huge money was put into marketing and advertising, and sales now approach 12000 bikes a year. This gives then about a 1.25-1.5% market share, good for 8th place in the US. Still a long, long way from the 250,000 bikes Harley sold last year, but I have no doubts that Victory will soon become the largest of the small brands in the US market, pushing past Triumph and BMW in the next 3-4 years.
    When you look at these sales figures for Victory and take into account the hundreds of millions of dollars the limitless deep pockets of Polaris has sunk into them over the last 15 years, it is easy to see how Excelsior-Henderson, working with limited borrowed money, was a seriously flawed business model if they thought they could get to 20,000 bikes a yeasr in only 4-5 years.
    Polaris is playing the long game with Victory, which is working well. Several other motorcycle manufacturers started out at about the same time as Victory, but none have had Victory's success. Excelsior-Henderson, CMC, Indian (Gilroy), and Big Dog have all failed, despite selling thousands of bikes in their first few years. Big Dog held on the longest, selling over 5,000 bikes a year at their peak and over 30,000 bikes total before they went bust in 2011.
    Last edited by DrBob; 05-27-2013 at 04:39 PM.
    You MUST obey the pug dog!


  10. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrBob View Post
    Polaris is playing the long game with Victory, which is working well. Several other motorcycle manufacturers started out at about the same time as Victory, but none have had Victory's success. Excelsior-Henderson, CMC, Indian (Gilroy), and Big Dog have all failed, despite selling thousands of bikes in their first few years. Big Dog held on the longest, selling over 5,000 bikes a year at their peak and over 30,000 bikes total before they went bust in 2011.
    Makes me have to wonder why they decided to take on the resurrection of Indian after so many failed attempts on the part of others.
    You'd think they'd just let Indian quietly die off and try to fill the void with another Victory model, perhaps something retro styled similar to an Indian.
    They could call it the Victory Native or something lol.

  11. #24
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    whats the bike of choice nonsense has to go, look at the road.

    I almost bought a shirt on ebay it says $10,000 and a hundred miles does not make you a biker. myself it is more like $1,000 and 10,000 miles makes me a biker although it has only been 2 years.

  12. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Y2K View Post
    Makes me have to wonder why they decided to take on the resurrection of Indian after so many failed attempts on the part of others.
    You'd think they'd just let Indian quietly die off and try to fill the void with another Victory model, perhaps something retro styled similar to an Indian.
    They could call it the Victory Native or something lol.
    Polaris wants the 'street cred' and history that come with the Indian name, along with the marketing power of the brand name. Despite their best efforts, Victory is not seen as a competitor to Harley, but rather as an upscale metric brand. Most people buy a Victory instead of a Honda or Yamaha, so Victory simply is not given the same respect, following, or brand loyalty as the Motor Company.
    By buying Indian, they can now adopt the brand history, gain the street cred of owning the oldest motorcycle brand name in the US instead of being ,the new brand', and instantly capitalise on the marketing power of a brand name everyone has heard of. Even the styling of Indian is instantly recognizable as an Indian, where as most non-riders and even some riders look at a Vision and say "what the hell is that!" Or "Victory- who makes that!"
    Seeing how they paid next to nothing for the bankrupt remains of the latest incarnation of Indian, they can probably get their money back on t-shirt sales alone. Grabbing the power of the Indian brand name would be gold for anymotorcycle company who wants to compete with HD, but to grab it for next to nothing was genious on the part of Polaris.
    You MUST obey the pug dog!


  13. #26
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    I agree, Victory says "Ride one, you'll own one". I rode the Judge and wasn't impressed enough. I did like the 6th gear and that was it.
    As long as it's not them that has to pay, no one really minds the debt.

  14. #27
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    I rode several Victorys (Victories?) during a demo day. I liked them for the most part. I just wish the Vegas had a front like the Hammer, or the Hammer had a rear tire sized like the Star Warrior (250 is just too big to me). If I buy another cruiser it will be a Victory.

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  15. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrBob View Post
    Polaris wants the 'street cred' and history that come with the Indian name, along with the marketing power of the brand name. Despite their best efforts, Victory is not seen as a competitor to Harley, but rather as an upscale metric brand. Most people buy a Victory instead of a Honda or Yamaha, so Victory simply is not given the same respect, following, or brand loyalty as the Motor Company.
    By buying Indian, they can now adopt the brand history, gain the street cred of owning the oldest motorcycle brand name in the US instead of being ,the new brand', and instantly capitalise on the marketing power of a brand name everyone has heard of. Even the styling of Indian is instantly recognizable as an Indian, where as most non-riders and even some riders look at a Vision and say "what the hell is that!" Or "Victory- who makes that!"
    Seeing how they paid next to nothing for the bankrupt remains of the latest incarnation of Indian, they can probably get their money back on t-shirt sales alone. Grabbing the power of the Indian brand name would be gold for anymotorcycle company who wants to compete with HD, but to grab it for next to nothing was genious on the part of Polaris.
    Well I guess we'll see if it works out for them, I don't see them managing to be a serious contender to compete with Harley on any kind of large scale for a long long time.
    I could be wrong though, there's a first time for everything.

  16. #29
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    To me, while things like initial quality are nice, the most telling thing about a motorcycle's quality is the percentage of people who buy a motorcycle, love it, and buy another one from the same brand.

    Harley and BMW lead the industry in this area, Harley consistantly showing that 75% of the bikes they sell are sold to people who have previously owned at least one other Harley, and BMW sometimes topping that. Honda does pretty well as a not too distant third (around 50% if I recall), then there is a huge drop off to the other Japanese brands in 4th-6th. Polaris decided a few years back that repeat buyers is not a figure they would be releasing anymore, so it sounds like their customer retention is nothing to brag about.
    You MUST obey the pug dog!


  17. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrBob View Post
    Polaris decided a few years back that repeat buyers is not a figure they would be releasing anymore, so it sounds like their customer retention is nothing to brag about.
    Maybe that will change some in a few years as the bikes they're building now are a damn site better than those aforementioned problematic V92's.
    Not to mention much better looking lol.


 
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