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I have mixed feelings on it. It's hard to say they missed an opportunity when their goal of winning World Championships on it was realized very quickly not to mention Suzuka, Isle of Mann, Mational Championships etc...

What they achieved on the showroom floors was a failure. We never got the readily available, cheap race parts we were promised and the bike was easily eclipsed by even production 600's at the time. As much as I have seen the legendary Honda reliability to fall to nothing more than a mythical status in the last decade I do not think they could come back at this point and make any of their past Honda loyalists truly happy. I mean they have spent the last 10 years giving the consumers exactly what they don't want while their fit, finish and reliability has consistently suffered.

The RC51 was the last great production bike Honda produced with any reverence and when you look at it in terms of what you got for your money it was pretty paltry even for that time frame.

Even now all the other brands are moving forward in leaps and bounds for performance and technology and to a large degree aesthetics are coming around again too. The KTM's, APRILIA RSV4, Panigale's and especially the new ZX-10R look like stealth fighters with their sharp angles and then you see this from Honda


Really... This is the best the largest motorcycle manufacturer on the planet can do???
 

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I get mixed messages from Honda as well. The CBR's are pretty much just an also ran in virtually every test I read, and the "new" models are very bland in comparison to the competition with perhaps the exception of the CBR500s, and that mostly because there is nothing equal to compare them to. While I did appreciate the updates on last year's 600rr, and the 1000SP has some tasty bits on it, they're still no match for the Ninjas an Gixxers when push comes to shove. Never mind pitting the 1000SP against an S1000RR or a Panigale R.
Maybe I'm one of the fortunate few dealers that hasn't really experienced any customer dis-satisfaction or reliability issues, but I do see some degradation of build quality on some models.There are higher instances of recalls in the last several years though. Honda has been consistant in giving what's left of their customer base what Honda Corporate thinks they need and not what they truly want. The largest sector of the ATV market is big bore models and Mother refuses to play in that arena but is the first to howl to the dealers about losing market share. Powersports is a consumer driven business and Honda is NOT listening to the ridership at all in almost all cases.
 

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Really... This is the best the largest motorcycle manufacturer on the planet can do???
I actually think this body style is awesome, bull nose and all. I have been looking for one for awhile.

The stealth fighter look can be great, but I think sometimes I think they go overboard.
 

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Well you have obviously not been looking very hard they are every where... The bike basically remained unchanged for 4 years and they were selling 08's new for $6400 at one point...
Oh yeah, they are everywhere, I am looking for a cheaper one, lots of the ones I see are like $8000, and the dealerships want almost as much as they were new.


When were they selling 08s for $6400??!?!!?
 

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When were they selling 08s for $6400??!?!!?
In 2009, they had more leftover 08's then they knew what to do with. The economy downturn plus all the oil burning problems the CBR had and the general ugly facade of the bike all made for very poor sales numbers.

I tell ya what though the very fact they could & did sell them for $6400 proves that those $11,999 price tags are 100% mark-up because I guarantee Honda did not take a loss on them when they sold them that cheap!
 

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I tell ya what though the very fact they could & did sell them for $6400 proves that those $11,999 price tags are 100% mark-up because I guarantee Honda did not take a loss on them when they sold them that cheap!
Oh ok, I wasn't looking back then.

So true about the mark up, they rape you.


I know that most people don't like this model, but sometimes it pays to like something no one else does, haha. I would love to get one someday.
 

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KTM also missed the boat with the RC8, when it was first released to the public (pictures) there was nothing like it and I thought, dam I've got to get one of those, but it took so long to come into production, looks to much like a GSXR, IMO
 

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I have mixed feelings on it. It's hard to say they missed an opportunity when their goal of winning World Championships on it was realized very quickly not to mention Suzuka, Isle of Mann, Mational Championships etc...

What they achieved on the showroom floors was a failure. We never got the readily available, cheap race parts we were promised and the bike was easily eclipsed by even production 600's at the time. As much as I have seen the legendary Honda reliability to fall to nothing more than a mythical status in the last decade I do not think they could come back at this point and make any of their past Honda loyalists truly happy. I mean they have spent the last 10 years giving the consumers exactly what they don't want while their fit, finish and reliability has consistently suffered.

The RC51 was the last great production bike Honda produced with any reverence and when you look at it in terms of what you got for your money it was pretty paltry even for that time frame.

Even now all the other brands are moving forward in leaps and bounds for performance and technology and to a large degree aesthetics are coming around again too. The KTM's, APRILIA RSV4, Panigale's and especially the new ZX-10R look like stealth fighters with their sharp angles and then you see this from Honda


Really... This is the best the largest motorcycle manufacturer on the planet can do???
Could be worse. How about the VFR1200?
They aren't exactly leaping off the showrooms.
I think I've seen 3 in the last three years, and that's only 'cause a friend of mine owns one.

 

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Could be worse. How about the VFR1200?
They aren't exactly leaping off the showrooms.
I think I've seen 3 in the last three years, and that's only 'cause a friend of mine owns one.


I was afraid to call it out by name as I think you can only say it outloud like 3 times before it magically appears in the dark and kills you with a giant meat hook.
 

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In 2009, they had more leftover 08's then they knew what to do with. The economy downturn plus all the oil burning problems the CBR had and the general ugly facade of the bike all made for very poor sales numbers.

I tell ya what though the very fact they could & did sell them for $6400 proves that those $11,999 price tags are 100% mark-up because I guarantee Honda did not take a loss on them when they sold them that cheap!
Because the '08 is what started the ugliest generation of 1KRRs not to mention engine reliability dropped some too. Big Red shifted some major production of components of these bikes to Thailand...and the craftsmanship went to shit during start up.
 

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I think we notice two problems with Honda. Soichiro's passing marked a change in attitude for the company. The passion & innovation seems to have disappeared compared to earlier decades, although in the last 6 years it must've been the hardest as the world's ability to buy expensive sports motorcycles declined whilst hand-in-hand Japan's Yen went from an exchange rate of 120 Yen down to as low as 78 Yen to the dollar. Now it' at around 102 Yen - but the spending ability of the general public is down compared to before.

The other problem I know is prevalent in Japan is the system of corporate hierachy:
Staff are automatically promoted to managerial positions when they get married for example, and engineers, designers, etc. put into positions of authority when in many cases they'd rather have stayed in the area their interests & tallents really are. The result often becomes too many managers who feel they must contribute for the sake of it and so the flavour can often be compromised.
The Japanese corporate system is one where innovative change is considered risky; they'd rather continue developing the same concept than make an altogether fresh one.

There is also not a lot of team work amongst designers, typically. Each works on his own project; whereas you see whole teams in Europe meeting to discuss a project and help it progress with Japanese designers there tends to be a strong level of individuality in their work.
Such methods are one of the contributors to the widespread decline in Japanese production, which is down 80% compared to some 30 years ago during the Japanese bubble years.

This isn't to say only Japan has suffered; many countries have including the US, by seeking cheaper production in Asia, etc. The UK also produces very little today compared to decades past. In response to the quest for ever lower production costs, Japan too has moved much production to Asia.
I believe we can new begin to see how globalisation can be so destructive of national economies.

Meanwhile, Italians, Germans, etc. see the holes & opportunities when looking at Japanese designs and are making fast progress especially with regard to performance, but are they really as well engineered as Japanese machines?

I hear of reliability problems with KTM's RC8's, BMW S100R's and Ducatis, often linked to electronics. I think the Japanese have the experience and attention to detail to make the best (& most reliable) electronic systems, but that's just me...
Personally I wouldn't be so readily swayed to buy a European bike based on slightly better performance or sexier looks alone. I still think the Japanese build quality & reliability is likely to be better, long term.
You only need to look at build quality of European cars is and how well their products last even today, compared to Japanese built cars. There's a significant difference. I'd have a new Lexus over a new BMW if I were forced to choose a car I'd be driving for 10 years. Motorcycle engineering is likely to display similar levels of long-term quality in the long term.

It would be great if Japanese manufacturers would put in more innovation & passion into their motorcycle designs and I'm sure they see their system as not being as efficient as it could be, but it's also very difficult to change a core corporate structure.

What's likely (As always) is that the Japanese will take the best of what Europe has to offer, study it and produce better improved developments in their own bikes in future. This is typically how the Japanese system of manufacturing works. Not so much about innovation; but about taking a proven formula, finding the flaws in it and improving further....

Once new products come out what's needed is a ready market for such products... which may be easier said than done given how the world's finances are being governed. Bear in mind that Japan's manufacturers have been losing vast sums due to the weak Yen for the last 7 years or so and therefore been limiting their losses. Market forces are also what can be the main driver for production. There are many other factors to consider, not just competition.
 

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I was afraid to call it out by name as I think you can only say it outloud like 3 times before it magically appears in the dark and kills you with a giant meat hook.
Count your lucky stars.
I was going to also include a photo of Honda's styling masterpiece, the DN01. :eek:
 

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Oh ok, I wasn't looking back then.

So true about the mark up, they rape you.


I know that most people don't like this model, but sometimes it pays to like something no one else does, haha. I would love to get one someday.
Here's some facts guys, albeit Canadian dollars:
2008 CBR1000RR8
Dealer net invoice (includes $215 freight charged by Honda Canada) $13,898
MSRP $15,549= markup 11.88%
Actual selling gross margin: $1651/10.6% (provided you were able to sell at full MSRP and didn't charge back the frieght and add PDI costs)
The rebate on them in carry-over years (2009 & 2010) was $3000, which came direct from Honda Canada. Not sure what the exact figures are in USD, but the margin would be comparable, but not a margin that would qualify as rape in my world. Wanna talk excessive markup on a non-perishable product? Try hardware and dry goods, anywhere from 50% markup (30% gross) to 150% (60% gross). No BS guys, I've been in all these gigs and those margins are real.
 

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Here's some facts guys, albeit Canadian dollars:
2008 CBR1000RR8
Dealer net invoice (includes $215 freight charged by Honda Canada) $13,898
MSRP $15,549= markup 11.88%
Actual selling gross margin: $1651/10.6% (provided you were able to sell at full MSRP and didn't charge back the frieght and add PDI costs)
The rebate on them in carry-over years (2009 & 2010) was $3000, which came direct from Honda Canada. Not sure what the exact figures are in USD, but the margin would be comparable, but not a margin that would qualify as rape in my world. Wanna talk excessive markup on a non-perishable product? Try hardware and dry goods, anywhere from 50% markup (30% gross) to 150% (60% gross). No BS guys, I've been in all these gigs and those margins are real.
You are completely missing the point between what it cost to produce it and what they charge the end user. Just because the factory rapes the dealer too doesn't justify your numbers.
 

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You are completely missing the point between what it cost to produce it and what they charge the end user. Just because the factory rapes the dealer too doesn't justify your numbers.
True enough, but then Honda Corporate keeps their figures private so we'll likely never know for sure what the bottom line is. I do know that the automobile side has floated the powersports division in Canada since 2006. The last two years have been better but not anywhere near what it once was.
 
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