The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Driving and riding in Hua Hin and Thailand, all topics on cars, pickups, bikes, boats, licenses, roads, and motoring in general.
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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by Nereus » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:19 pm

Is it the end of the motorcycle as we know it?

http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Trends/ ... m=referral

TOKYO -- Japanese motorcycle producers have a problem -- governments around the world are tightening emissions regulations.
Actually, that is only one of their problems, but the one that is forcing them to discard some old models and introduce new ones.

Yamaha Motor will cease domestic production of its flagship VMAX in August, while Honda Motor will launch an electric-powered motorbike in Japan as early as 2018.

Another problem is Japan's shrinking motorbike market.
The biggest question now facing motorcycle makers is how they should use their limited development funds to sow the seeds of future growth.

Yamaha had to use all of its technological capabilities in developing the large VMAX, which has a V4 engine. The bike has given freedom to riders at home and abroad since hitting roads in 1985. But it will come to a dead end in August.

Yamaha has also decided to discontinue other models, including the XJR1300 motorbike and the Majesty, a big scooter with an engine displacement of 250cc.

Said a representative of one motorcycle dealership in Tokyo: "They were popular models that reflected the times. The [curtain call] is regrettable as the bikes have many longtime fans."

In 2016, Kawasaki Heavy Industries decided to stop making one of its own big bikes, the popular W800.
Eventually, the W800 lost the emissions battle. Before last year, Kawasaki was able to bring the motorcycle, which sports an air-cooled engine, up to snuff every time emissions standards were tightened

Tomorrow's 'Easy Rider' will also need to be easy on the environment
TAKEMI NAKAGAWA, Nikkei staff writer

Japan last tightened its emissions rules in October. The new standards -- like halving the release of nitrogen oxide, or NOx -- were immediately applied to new models.

Come September, models in production since before the regulations were introduced will be subject to the tougher rules. This is prompting motorcycle makers to pull the plug on some of their older bikes.

Japan's regulations are expected to be further strengthened in 2020, to levels equivalent to Europe's Euro 5 emissions standards.

One way Japanese motorcycle makers have sought growth is by increasing their presence in Southeast Asia, India and other emerging markets. But soon these markets will also be more tightly regulated.

This is putting Japanese motorcycle makers under pressure to come up with new engines, exhaust systems and other prone-to-pollute parts, then launch new models in various countries. But heavy development costs will weigh on them.

Meanwhile, Japan's motorcycle market shows no sign of hitting bottom. According to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, or JAMA, domestic demand for motorcycles is projected to drop 1.6% in fiscal 2017, which starts on April 1, to 369,000 units.

To be sure, India and other emerging markets are expanding. But consumers in these parts of the world prefer low-priced bikes. Japanese makers will find it difficult to pass on increased development costs to buyers in these countries.
As a result, only the most promising models will get development money.

As for their domestic market, Japanese manufacturers are focusing on a segment where demand remains firm -- mid-size and large models with engine displacements of 125cc or more. New models will be delivered that meet the ever-stricter emissions rules.

This spring, Honda is releasing the CBR250RR, a 250cc mid-size sport bike. Honda's so-called "strategic vehicle" is a bid to catch up with rivals in the 250cc segment.

Suzuki Motor, meanwhile, is releasing the GSX250R, a 250cc sports bike. The company developed the model after improving the combustion efficiency of an engine used in previous models.

To deal with the even tougher standards that will be adopted in 2020, Honda in 2018 is to start selling an electric-powered motorcycle that will be able to go a long way on a single charge.

Honda will also aim to maintain its share of Japan's shrinking 50cc scooter market. In October 2016, it and Yamaha announced an agreement to consider forming an alliance that would develop and produce 50cc scooters for the domestic market.

By supplying products to Yamaha under an original equipment manufacturer agreement, Honda wants to lower its development burden.

Whether it is India or emerging markets in Africa and elsewhere, any country will eventually see its motorcycle market mature. So, what should Japanese motorcycle makers do to secure long-term demand?

Their mission is to win the hearts and minds of not only ordinary consumers in need of transportation but also of consumers who "enjoy riding motorcycles as a hobby," as one JAMA representative put it.

That road promises to be bumpy.
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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by buksida » Wed May 24, 2017 4:22 pm

Harley-Davidson is building plant in Thailand
Iconic motorcycle builder Harley-Davidson, praised by US President Donald Trump as a pillar of American manufacturing and keeping jobs at home, is building a new plant in Thailand.

Harley-Davidson serves as an example of the nuanced economic realities that are pushing US companies to lay off workers at home and set up new factories overseas. Unions representing its workers accuse the company of cutting US jobs to hire lower-paid foreign workers. Yet global trade barriers and proximity to a growing base of new customers also play roles, complexities inherent in Trump’s ambition to overhaul trade policy.

Motorcycles made in the new factory - plans for which had not been previously disclosed - will be sold in Asia, not the United States, which its domestic plants will continue to serve, Harley-Davidson said.

“This is absolutely not about taking jobs out of the United States,” said Marc D McAllister, a managing director of international sales at Harley-Davidson based in Singapore. “This is about growing our business in Asia.”

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/1 ... n-thailand
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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by huahin4ever » Wed May 24, 2017 6:38 pm

I really hope this will make the HD bikes cheaper in Thailand. I have wanted one a long time already, but have felt that the prices doesn't justify me purchasing one. I really envy those from the States with the prices they have on cars and bikes over there.
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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by Name Taken » Thu May 25, 2017 8:23 am

I have seen that there is a new Harley-Davidson dealership on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road across from North Park in Bangkok. (near Don Mueang Airport)

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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by Name Taken » Thu May 25, 2017 8:26 am

huahin4ever wrote:
Wed May 24, 2017 6:38 pm
I really hope this will make the HD bikes cheaper in Thailand. I have wanted one a long time already, but have felt that the prices doesn't justify me purchasing one. I really envy those from the States with the prices they have on cars and bikes over there.
:agree:

I would buy a HD to if the price were low enough.

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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by buksida » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:14 pm

Gearing up for the big-bike challenge

Harley-Davidson has decided to set up its regional manufacturing base in Thailand and the news has left Col Polsak Sripen, and many other local fans of the iconic US motorcycle brand, ecstatic.

The director of the Harley Owners Group Thailand Chapter, representing the most passionate local Harley riders, hopes that the production facility will make Harley-Davidson stronger and more competitive in the Thai market, where many global motorbike makers have established plants.

"In terms of prices, Harley-Davidson is hard-pressed to compete with [other] imported motorcycles now," Col Polsak said. "Having the production facility here will help build up Harley-Davidson's sales not only in Thailand, but also in the region."

The big-bike market in Thailand has grown significantly over the past five years. In 2012, the big-bike market -- 400cc and above -- rose sharply by 130% to 6,278 units and climbed by 114% to 13,430 motorcycles in 2013.

The market grew at a slower pace of 24.4% to 16,712 units in 2014 and 21.7% to 20,336 units in 2015. Last year, the 24,880 units of big bikes were sold in Thailand, up 22.3% from a year before.

More: http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/new ... -challenge
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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by PeteC » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:20 pm

^ There's a recent article somewhere that the big bike manufacturers are having a hard time in the west as their traditional buyers are all getting older and hanging things up. Apparently the younger market behind the old guys isn't nearly as interested. This could be part of the reason Harley-Davidson is branching out into new geographic areas. Pete
Last edited by PeteC on Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by RCer » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:47 pm

Maybe they'll finally open up the bridges and parkways around BKK to big bikes.

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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by Nereus » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:08 pm

Honda bets on new sport bike to retain Thai market share

http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/new ... recent_box

Japan's Honda Motor Co has launched a locally made sport motorcycle in Thailand to cash in on growing demand and retain its position as market leader in the Southeast Asian country.

A.P. Honda Co, a local sales arm of the world's largest motorcycle maker, unveiled the 150 cc Honda CB150R at a ceremony in Bangkok on Monday, setting a monthly sales target of 3,000 units. The new sport bike carries a price tag starting at 99,800 baht.

Honda has seen increasing demand for sport motorcycles and larger and more powerful models in Thailand where it has maintained its dominant market position for 29 straight years, and 18 consecutive years in the sport bike segment.

"Automatic motorbikes, accounting for 35% of the whole market, are being replaced by sport bikes and more powerful bikes," A.P. Honda Vice President Suchart Arunsaengroj said.

He said sport motorcycles currently account for 17% of the overall motorcycle market and 150cc bikes are rapidly overhauling the currently dominant 125 cc bikes in popularity.

Honda expects its motorcycle sales this year to grow 7% from a year earlier to reach 1.46 million units, up from a previous projection of 1.41 million.

Honda says its motorcycle sales in the first seven months of this year totalled 850,955 units in the Thai market, capturing a market share of 78%.
.....................................................................................................
Hmm, too old now for me to be concerned, but when did a 150 cc bike become a "sports" bike"?
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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by HHTel » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:05 pm

Hmm, too old now for me to be concerned, but when did a 150 cc bike become a "sports" bike"?
Not sure how a 'sports' bike is defined. I suppose a track bike is classified as a sports bike. I think it's style rather than the size of the engine.

My scooter is 300cc but still a scooter and Honda have the X-ADV which is 750cc and that is a scooter!

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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by RCer » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:09 pm

Nereus wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:08 pm

Hmm, too old now for me to be concerned, but when did a 150 cc bike become a "sports" bike"?
Have you watched MotoGP? They are getting a ton of power out of small bikes these days.

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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by StevePIraq » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:50 pm

Barry Sheene, Valentino Rossi and countless others have cut their teeth on 125cc bikes
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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by STEVE G » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:24 pm

RCer wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:09 pm
Nereus wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:08 pm

Hmm, too old now for me to be concerned, but when did a 150 cc bike become a "sports" bike"?
Have you watched MotoGP? They are getting a ton of power out of small bikes these days.
And a long time ago, 109mph out of a 50 in 1967!:


http://www.bikeexif.com/suzuki-rk67

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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by Nereus » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:08 pm

BMW touts mid-sized motorcycles

https://www.bangkokpost.com/auto/news/1 ... otorcycles

BMW Motorrad Thailand has entered the mid-sized motorcycle market to expand its local reach.

Markus Glaeser, head of BMW Motorrad Thailand, said mid-sized motorcycles (250-500cc) sell about 25,000 units a year, surpassing the 19,000 units typical of big-bike (above 500cc) sales.

This year, BMW Motorrad introduced two models: the G 310 R, priced at 199,000-204,000 baht, in July, and the G 310 GS, priced at 219,000-224,000 baht, in November.

"We categorise mid-sized motorcycles as a smart segment, and BMW believes we can gain more Thai customers with these accessible prices," Mr Glaeser said.

The two models are imported from a plant of BMW Group's partner in India, TVS Motor Co, and thus are not made at BMW's facility in Rayong. The G 310 R is developed by BMW in collaboration with TVS.

Mr Glaeser said the Munich-based parent firm considers the India plant more capable than other BMW plants in Europe and Asia of supplying mid-sized motorcycles to support the global market, due to price sensitivity in the mid-sized segment.

Moreover, the India plant has been standardised and employs engineers, skilled labourers and suppliers for BMW Motorrad's mid-sized models.

"The result of making mid-size motorcycles is to offer attractive pricing for customers, while big-bike manufacturing emphasises the high performance of motorbikes," Mr Glaeser said.

BMW's plant in Rayong is positioned for big-bike manufacturing.
In related news, BMW Motorrad reported that it sold 1,494 motorcycles from January to October, up 2.3% year-on-year.

Mr Glaeser said the situation at the Rayong plant has returned to normal after the group relocated its motorcycle assembly line during the first quarter in anticipation of massive future volume.

BMW Motorrad has an annual capacity of 10,000 units, making eight models: F 800 R, F 800 GS, F 700 GS, R 1200 GS, R 1200 GS Adventure, S 1000 R, S 1000 RR and S 1000 XR.

"I expect that this positive momentum of our sales volume will remain throughout the last quarter," Mr Glaeser said. "For motorcycle exports, BMW aims to equal last year's volume, mainly to China and some Asean countries."
BMW expects robust exports of motorcycles starting from 2018, he said.

In 2016, the Thai big-bike market grew by 7% to 18,500 motorcycles. BMW Motorrad also showed a 42.1% year-on-year rise to 1,819 deliveries in 2016.

BMW Motorrad shipped 2,215 motorcycles last year, up from 1,000 in 2015. Close to 1,400 motorcycles were exported to China in 2016.
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Re: The bikers thread; trips, news, chat, all things motorcycle

Post by Nereus » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:16 am

The following is a good report. I trust that it does not cross the T&C's.
.................................................................................................
Big bikes steer tourism off the beaten track

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/specia ... recent_box

Big bikes are booming in Thailand – and for the more adventurous, offering an exciting new way to discover its hidden charms.

   For the full text, see the Life section in Monday's Bangkok Post print edition or E-paper.
   Three-part video story: Part 1  Part 2   Part 3

There is a glorious paradox in motorcycling. On one hand it is deeply peaceful, almost meditative, all one’s attention on the present moment, a sensational smorgasbord, the wind on the skin, the multiple shades of green, the jolting vibration and the roar of the engine. On the other, it is carnal, thrilling and dangerous – a primeval lust to conquer and control, a high-stakes dance with death. Thailand has the second most dangerous roads in the world; according to the World Health Organisation, of the 24,000 estimated to die each year, 73% are on two wheels. 

And yet…this exposure to danger and the elements, the sensory appreciation of beauty, the feeling of discovery…it’s a true peak experience. And there are few more beautiful places to have this experience than Prachuap Khiri Khan. 

Our weekend jaunt starts at a bland motel south of Hua Hin with rain in the air; our first stop is Rajabhakti Park, of whose allegedly corruption-riddled construction much has been written in the pages of the Post. The seven statues of Thai kings, from Ram Khamhaeng to Chulalongkorn, are quite impressive; the gargantuan godfathers of Thai history, stern and resolute in their towering infamy.

After that, the fun begins, as the ten bikes head into the picture-postcard rolling hills and twisting rural roads. Big bikes are booming in Thailand. Sales of models bigger than 400cc shot up over 100% in both 2012 and 2013. The rate of growth has slowed since, but is still clocking over 25% per year. 25,000 new big bikes hit Thai roads in 2016, and Thailand has become a manufacturing hub for export, with 115,000 assembled last year.

After another 20km - and a herd of goats to circumnavigate - we reach Pranburi Dam. It was built in 1978 to protect the lowlands to the east from flooding, but the 35 square-kilometre lake - home to carp, catfish, snakehead fish and jungle perch - has become a tourist attraction. It is breathtakingly serene. 

...................................>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> too big to post here, plus many photos>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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