Did you ever notice……..
September 5, 2008 at 7:46 am #2041NoobacycleParticipant
Did you ever notice that whenever you visit a motorcycle dealership, the floor is flooded with massive cruisers and liter bikes? Its just kind of frustrating when you are shopping for a first bike that there isn’t a ninja 250 around to sit on, not even a 500r or 650r. The Suzuki SV650 is the smallest bike on the floor in the sport bike style.
Today I happened to see a rebel 250 at the shop. It was the only bike of its displacement just sitting there surrounded by cruisers 800cc and up.
Dealerships aren’t very helpful to a new motorcyclist. With the vast majority of the bikes in the showroom for experienced riders, this only helps in more beginners starting out with the wrong bike.
Anyone else feel the frustration?September 5, 2008 at 8:07 am #11685JohnGuest
I’ve noticed that as well. I’ve been visiting dealerships in the DC/MD/VA area, and it seems like all the shops have are enormous, high CC bikes. When I mention looking for a Ninja 250, they’ve typically just laughed and explain that they hardly get any in and only keep them in stock a day or two before they’re sold.
I know that there’s the option of going used, but it’d be nice to at least have some new beginner-friendly bikes to look at and consider.September 5, 2008 at 10:37 am #11688BankParticipant
What i hate is when you go in there as a beginner and they try to push a 600cc bike on you by giving you all this BS how its beginner friendlySeptember 5, 2008 at 12:36 pm #11691MattParticipant
Part of the reason for so few 250s on display is that, well, none of the dealers have any left.
This season small motorcycle sales (650 and below, not including supersport) has seen a massive jump in sales. But no one really expected it. Everyone knew gas prices were up a bit, so there ordered a few more 250s and usually a bunch more scooters. And the buying public just cleaned them all out.
Gas prices brought in a lot of customers who would otherwise not have had the push to get on a bike. The dealerships didn’t really catch on to this early enough I think. I think in too many cases people were tagged as “window shoppers / day dreamers” only to be serious shoppers who didn’t know how to start. I expect a lot of specialty shops that deal with customers who don’t consider themselves “bikers” (Around here, the Hyosung and Vespa dealer) did very well at picking up these disenfranchised shoppers.
But I think the new Ninja 250 should get a lot of the blame/praise as well. It showed people that a 250cc bike could be cool. In doing so, it raised the image of all 250s. People could look at the Ninja and go “Man, that’s a cool little bike. It gets great mileage and I won’t kill myself on it – too bad I’m really a cruiser guy/gal” which led them to look at bikes like the Rebel and V-Star 250 which they otherwise would have completely ignored for the bigger “day dream” bikes.
Expect to see a lot more 250s on the floor this fall as 2009 orders start arriving. But in particular keep an eye out at the dealer floors next spring. I bet you’ll see a lot more of the smaller bikes front and centre to attract the window shoppers, and the day-dreamer/enthusiast bikes will be slightly further back in the shop.
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”September 5, 2008 at 12:36 pm #11690Sangria7Participant
I noticed the same as well.
My friend and I were talking about the same issues that you’ve encountered. There is definitely a market out there for beginner motorcyclists. And if dealers are always out of stock of small displacement bikes, it would seem intuitive to try to corner that market.
One day some manufacturer will see the value of opening a “beginner dealer”. Just think of the profit of running a dealer that offers MSF courses, sell small displacement bikes, and offer a line of gear for starters. It is a market niche definitely untouched for the most part.
Not to sound like a nerd – but I did some marketing studies for Fortune 10 companies in my time, and just by looking at the surface..there is definitely some money left on the table by not exploring this venue.
Hmm…maybe I should look into investing or starting a “Beginner Shop”September 5, 2008 at 12:46 pm #11693Sangria7Participant
I hope you are right…cause the 6 dealers I talked to in Houston all said that the manufacturers tend to limit 250 bikes to 2-3 per store….And the 2009’s for the Rebels were all spoken for via deposits…September 5, 2008 at 1:06 pm #11694six-shooterParticipant
It’s simple supply and demand… the demand of the smaller displacement bikes was much greater than the supply. As mentioned before, based on past performance, no one expected the huge jump in sales of “beginner” bikes. It’s certainly not an issue of them not wanting to sell the smaller bikes… I had one salesman tell me that he could make a fortune if he could have a showroom of Ninja 250’s. (Also had another offer me cash on the spot for my Vulcan 500.) I’ve heard that the manufactures are producing more smaller bikes this year, so you should be able to find some around October. Also, you’ll probably see ALOT more smaller cc used bikes for sale in the next year as the people who bought them last year move up to bigger bikes.September 5, 2008 at 5:04 pm #11708zgotzillaParticipant
This is exactly case in northern Wisconsin. If you want a smaller cycle, you will have to wait. There are none on the floor because all arre sold. While finishing the purchase of my new Honda Rebel, a gentleman came in and tried to buy it from me after the dealer told him I had the last one until the next shipment. I have never seen so many cycles on the highway. Good for us. Stay safe, wear your gear.September 6, 2008 at 1:02 am #11729niadvanceParticipant
i was shopping down in dallas last friday and the salesman said that suzuki and honda both pulled out their 2009 street bikes debut from june this year and havent said when they will show what models are available next year. he said he had a feeling there might be a lot more smaller street bikes available in their 2009 line up.September 6, 2008 at 2:07 am #11736dcJohnParticipant
My MSF course starts October 15th (yay!). Is that usually around the time that new bikes start trickling into showrooms? I’m hoping to find a Ninja 250 or Vulcan 500, and they’re nowhere to be found at local dealers right now.September 6, 2008 at 2:13 am #11737megaspazParticipant
Around here, the SV650 (all lines) have been sold out. From what I’ve heard mostly bought by beginners, *probably due to the new ninja 250s being unavailable and oh so sexah… that and dealers probably wheeling and dealing to make room for the 2009s…
*Disclaimer: that is just my opinion.
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…September 6, 2008 at 8:34 pm #11769bioGuruParticipant
I am in the Houston area as well. I can’t find a single store with the 2008 250 Ninja. The only one that had one on the floor was spoken for by someone who put a deposit on it back in May.
Even the GS500s are 1 per store – the litre and up bikes are all over the place. I guess when you wreck those you have to buy a whole new one…September 6, 2008 at 8:51 pm #11770AndrewParticipant
Craigslist and http://www.cycletrader.com are the places I looked hard. I didn’t need to have a new bike though.September 8, 2008 at 2:11 am #11794MattParticipant
Honda unveils their line up October 7th this year…
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”
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