Where did the enthusiasm go?

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wheelbender6
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Where did the enthusiasm go?

Post by wheelbender6 »

I have my opinion but I was curious about others. The G400C was the hottest topic on this forum for a year or so. It took too long to get the G400C to the show room, but otherwise, the bike seems to meet expectations:
-it looks like a classic Triumph for half the price.
-Not a lot of horsepower, but it has as much as the briskly selling RE Himalayan.
-Magazine reviews have been good. No big flaws. Decent fit and finish.
-Most baffling, is the fact that small displacement motorcycles are far outselling our beloved scooters these days.
-This apathy is not just limited to this forum. The G400C buzz has pancaked on the motorcycle forum that I haunt, while the RE Himalayan is still wildly popular.
I would be interested to learn if there have been inventory issues or other conditions that I have missed.
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Post by babblefish »

I don't know about others but I can tell you why I'm not interested in the G400. I'll give you a hint, RE has the Himalayan, Ducati has several versions of their scrambler, Triumph has a couple of great looking scramblers, BMW offers a scrambler and several different adventure bikes, Shineray (the OEM for the G400) builds several scrambler versions for several resellers, the Japanese big four all offer some kind of adventure or scrambler type bike.

Take a guess at what kind of bike is popular nowadays. Personally I'm thinking about a Himalayan or a used Triumph scrambler. However, there are strong rumors coming out of India that RE will be releasing a scrambler version of their new 650. Possibly as early as next year. I've seen some renderings and they look fantastic.
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wheelbender6
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Post by wheelbender6 »

Do you think the the lack of a scrambler/adventure model is the main problem? Do Americans have the dual sport bug again, as we did in the 1970s?
-That explains why the Himalayan is selling far better. The BMW G310GS is outselling the G310R street bike.
The CSC dual sport and ADV bikes from China are selling well, but they discontinued their sport bike after a year of production..
It just doesn't explain the strong sales of the Japanese 500cc-and-under bikes.
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Post by babblefish »

Why are smaller bikes so popular? Easy, they attract new and/or younger riders. When I first started riding motorcycles back in the early 70's, there were plenty of smaller, unintimidating bikes available from both European and Japanese manufacturers. I'm not a tall person but even when I was in my late teens I was able to ride a Honda or Kawasaki 750cc bike (not a chopper) because their seat height was low enough for my relatively short legs. I remember riding a friends brand new 1972(?) Kawasaki Mach III when I was the tender age of 19 and my feet barely touched the ground, but I wasn't on my tippy toes. I recently had a chance to ride a fully restored one and I was able to have both my feet flat on the ground.
Until very recently, most of the new bikes these days where built for people 5'11" or taller. If you look at current sports, adventure, and dual purpose bikes you'll see that they all have their back ends kicked way up compared to bikes from the 60's, 70's, and 80's. Even the small displacement dual purpose bikes are so tall that you need a step ladder just to get on the damn thing. And then you can only put one foot on the ground or tip toe it around. Not exactly confidence inspiring for a new rider. I'm 5'7" and I can't even ride a 450 dual purpose bike from any of the Japanese companies because I don't feel comfortable being on my tippy toes every time I have to stop. Manufacturers don't seem to know that most people who buy a dual purpose or adventure bike will never go off-road so they don't need 10"+ of suspension travel.
Then there's cost. Many new bikes cost as much as a good used car or even some of the smaller new cars and about as much to insure. I remember the first new sport bike that I bought, a 1983 Suzuki GS750. It cost me US$3350 out the door. I was working in a department store back then but even with that measly salary I could afford to buy a new bike and insure it.
So for me, I'm happy to see all of these new, smaller, and more affordable bikes come on the market. Interestingly, most are coming out of China, regardless of the brand name slapped on the side of the bike. I don't personally have a problem with that.
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Post by dasscooter »

In person the fit and finish is cheap - the gauges look like they came from a Chinese 4 wheeler.

For the money there's other and better bikes out there, especially in the used market. It's a total buyer's market.
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Post by wheelbender6 »

dasscooter wrote:In person the fit and finish is cheap - the gauges look like they came from a Chinese 4 wheeler.

For the money there's other and better bikes out there, especially in the used market. It's a total buyer's market.
I can see how cheap looking components would turn off even a loyal Genuine fan.
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Post by babblefish »

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w800 scrambler.jpg
w800 scrambler.jpg (32.19 KiB) Viewed 209 times
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Post by wheelbender6 »

If Kawasaki keeps making bikes like that, I'll may never be able to retire.
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Post by dasscooter »

babblefish wrote:Why are smaller bikes so popular? Easy, they attract new and/or younger riders. When I first started riding motorcycles back in the early 70's, there were plenty of smaller, unintimidating bikes available from both European and Japanese manufacturers. I'm not a tall person but even when I was in my late teens I was able to ride a Honda or Kawasaki 750cc bike (not a chopper) because their seat height was low enough for my relatively short legs. I remember riding a friends brand new 1972(?) Kawasaki Mach III when I was the tender age of 19 and my feet barely touched the ground, but I wasn't on my tippy toes. I recently had a chance to ride a fully restored one and I was able to have both my feet flat on the ground.
Until very recently, most of the new bikes these days where built for people 5'11" or taller. If you look at current sports, adventure, and dual purpose bikes you'll see that they all have their back ends kicked way up compared to bikes from the 60's, 70's, and 80's. Even the small displacement dual purpose bikes are so tall that you need a step ladder just to get on the damn thing. And then you can only put one foot on the ground or tip toe it around. Not exactly confidence inspiring for a new rider. I'm 5'7" and I can't even ride a 450 dual purpose bike from any of the Japanese companies because I don't feel comfortable being on my tippy toes every time I have to stop. Manufacturers don't seem to know that most people who buy a dual purpose or adventure bike will never go off-road so they don't need 10"+ of suspension travel.
Then there's cost. Many new bikes cost as much as a good used car or even some of the smaller new cars and about as much to insure. I remember the first new sport bike that I bought, a 1983 Suzuki GS750. It cost me US$3350 out the door. I was working in a department store back then but even with that measly salary I could afford to buy a new bike and insure it.
So for me, I'm happy to see all of these new, smaller, and more affordable bikes come on the market. Interestingly, most are coming out of China, regardless of the brand name slapped on the side of the bike. I don't personally have a problem with that.
Adjusted to inflation that would be $8600 in today's money so it's right on par. Wages haven't kept up though
Last edited by dasscooter on Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where did the enthusiasm go?

Post by jrsjr »

wheelbender6 wrote:I have my opinion but I was curious about others. The G400C was the hottest topic on this forum for a year or so. It took too long to get the G400C to the show room, but otherwise, the bike seems to meet expectations:
-it looks like a classic Triumph for half the price.
-Not a lot of horsepower, but it has as much as the briskly selling RE Himalayan.
-Magazine reviews have been good. No big flaws. Decent fit and finish.
-Most baffling, is the fact that small displacement motorcycles are far outselling our beloved scooters these days.
-This apathy is not just limited to this forum. The G400C buzz has pancaked on the motorcycle forum that I haunt, while the RE Himalayan is still wildly popular.
I would be interested to learn if there have been inventory issues or other conditions that I have missed.
I have my theories, too. I think it's a perfect storm of many factors, but the most pressing is that the young riders Genuine hoped to attract are so crushed by college debt that they can't afford anything, no matter what the price. The RE Himalaya is the counter-argument which I think is caused by Factor X - that established motorcyclists are buying it as a cheap way to get into an ADV bike. It's a complicated situation. If I'm right, Genuine need to get an ADV version of the G400C into dealers ASAP. It's already got EPA and CARB certification. Why not?
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Post by GregsBuddy »

I looked at one yesterday at a dealer in Tucson.
The clutch pull is heavy. The rear brake is a drum. The fit & finish is just okay. The materials are just okay.
I'm overlooking this bike because there are used bikes in the price range with low mileage that are way better.
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Post by wheelbender6 »

Base price for the CSC RX4 is around 500 bucks more than the G400C. The water cooled 450cc is considerably peppy, offering smooth cruising at 80 mph.
_The drawback is that you may be waiting months for delivery.
https://www.cscmotorcycles.com/default. ... wInventory
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Post by wheelbender6 »

I regularly visit a Chinese motorcycle forum. The busiest threads are about the cheap dual sport 250s, like the Hawk, Bashan Storm, etc. These guys spend 1500 bucks or so on these little street legal bikes and then many spend another 500 bucks on accsssories and speed mods. They have a carb, rather than EFI, so it is relatively easy to re-tune after engine mods.
-It gave me an idea. Since still nobody makes a tuner ECU for the G400C, why not just remove it and add an appropriately sized carb. You would need to make an adapter for the carb, but that can be done with a thick slice of aluminum stock and a dremel tool.
-I have pondered adapting an EFI system from a similar bike to the G400C to attain more tunability, but, like most scooter owners, I am more comfortable messing with a carb.
-By the way, those Chinese 250s usually have a 229cc push rod engine, and make about 17 HP, so the potential to add more power and rpm is vary limited. Only a few China 250s like the Zongshen/CSC 250s have a 4 valve head.
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Post by jrsjr »

I'm still hopeful that Genuine will bring in the ADV version of this bike and surf the ADV bike wave.
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Post by wheelbender6 »

Mash beat them to it, (ADV)and this one is a 650cc
http://www.mash-motors.fr/en/motos-650- ... -650-.html
Image
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dealer availability

Post by boyjeenyus »

I'd really like to check out and/or consider buying a G400C, but there are no dealers who have one within a 4 or 5 hour drive of me. As a long-time lover of 70's Honda twins, this looks right up my alley. These bikes should be super popular in cities where hipsters are spending 2K+ on 70's CB350s. I just think that this bike hasn't reached critical mass in terms of sales to be on most people's radar. I'd guess that if most bigger motorcycle shops had one of these on the floor, they'd likely have no trouble selling them. I'm down in Columbus, GA and there isn't even a dealer that has one in Atlanta or anywhere in Tennessee.

I've been going back and forth between dreaming about a G400 or a RE Himalayan, but realistically the G400C much better for my needs--I don't ride off road very often. BUT I've been able to sit on a RE in a shop, and never been able to see a G400 in person.
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Post by wheelbender6 »

While a Harley softail is not relevant to this discussion, the 4 accessory packages listed at the bottom of the article are. By offering accessory packages oriented towards daily commuting, touring, engine performance and others, you are essentially offering five models instead of one.
https://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer ... ndard.html
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Post by babblefish »

wheelbender6 wrote:Mash beat them to it, (ADV)and this one is a 650cc
http://www.mash-motors.fr/en/motos-650- ... -650-.html
Image
I'd have one of those. Too bad there are no dealers in the US for them.
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