Are MX bikes too expensive?



42 replies to this topic
  • Ben_Dere_Didat

Posted August 05, 2002 - 07:49 AM

#1

A recent thread about dirt bike pricing, got me thinking; are MX bikes prices rising faster than the rate of inflation? As the son of an economics professor (who first got me into dirt biking) and a past MX'er about to return to the fold I decided to do a little research. The last MX bike I bought new was a 1977 RM 250. I paid $1,600 OTD, which was top dollar (I bought the first one the dealer received). $1,600 1977 dollars, according to the Treasury department's numbers, is worth $4,787.39 in 2001 dollars (2002 numbers have not yet been published). A new RM250 will most likely run you around $5800 OTD (assuming a similar near top dollar price), which, when compared to the deal on my 1977, is about 18% more than the rate of inflation.

So it would seem that the price of dirt bikes is climbing at a rate greater than the rate of inflation. We should consider, however, that the technology in today’s bikes is more sophisticated-- the bikes we can buy today are much closer to what the top pros are racing than those offered in 1977—so maybe a twenty percent increase is justified?

No conclusions here, just food for thought.

  • Hick

Posted August 05, 2002 - 07:57 AM

#2

I dunno. I always suspected that, if all the R&D money is allocated directly to the MX models, they actually lose money on those bikes.

Sure, an XR 400, for example, is much cheaper, but they haven't done any R&D on that model in years. The only cost is production, marketing etc. But the MX models receive updates nearly every model year.

I think they justify the expenditure by:
a) allocating some of this R&D money to the entire line since a lot of it trickles down there anyway.
:) counting some of the expenses as part of their marketing effort, since they figure if people see a YZ on race day they will run out and buy that TTR...


Of course, I could be completely wrong about all that...

  • Hick

Posted August 05, 2002 - 07:59 AM

#3

But in what other motor sport can you buy a near replica (for all intents and purposes, anyway) of what you see the pros riding on ESPN?

I mean, I'd love to race a trophy truck, but I don't have a half million dollars...

  • Yak

Posted August 05, 2002 - 07:59 AM

#4

Yep, each year they jack up the price a few hundred, its getting out of hand. When you think about it, Whether you are a millionaire or make minimum wage you still ride the same bike. Not a big purchase for some, for others it a biggie. Its simple, they will always charge what the market will allow. Im rather disgusted at what $6200 represents in the MX bike world. I remember when $3k would get you OTD. My first bike, a 1990 KTM 80 was $850 used, one year old.

  • beezer

Posted August 05, 2002 - 08:08 AM

#5

These bikes change every 2 to 3 years, all that technology cost money.

I bet the new YZ450 is going to cost Yamaha plenty.

We want the latest technology but don't want to pay for it.

I drag raced for a few years and had motors that cost 15 to 20 thousand and could be obsolete before the ink was dry on my check paying for them.

Bikes in the grand scheme of things are not to bad.

  • John_Lorenz

Posted August 05, 2002 - 08:09 AM

#6

I personally think and it’s my observation that people are Sheeple.

They will pay any price for whatever reason, without question without fuss, without giving it a second thought for what they want.

So on a physiological standpoint, it’s like the child that wants the lollipop, he / she will go to any extent to get what he / she desires.

Hell why do you think companies will spend millions on marketing research as opposed to R&D.

Consumer demand drives market price. Look at cars, say the Chevy Tahoe SUV, Do you think the price will drop becouse Chevy has made all the money back and initial investment on building and marketing the vehicle. On the contrary, they jack the price up to make more money to put into marketing schemes and gimmicks.

So the economic outcome of this is irrelevant, it’s the Sheeple effect :)

Plus I have to add, out side of some minor cosmetic design changes, a bore and stroke does not constitute R&D such as the case of the 450. Yes its improved, but it is improved only on the backs of you and I, I mean we made the changes we gripped to Yamaha, the have focus groups, they listen, they see what were changing to make the bike handle, feel and ride better. They have guys like Dubach that tell them what we want and desire. Technology has not changed that much at all in the engine department or suspension, only material, so the cost increase is to add carbon fiber, titanium and so on. Not what you would expect......

Just bore your 426 out to the 44its only 2 over stoke bore, so yamah refited its maching to compact the engine of the 450, they already had the tooling from the 250....
Thats my $4.26 worth

[ August 05, 2002: Message edited by: E.G.O.**** ]

  • moto2000

Posted August 05, 2002 - 08:14 AM

#7

Would you pay $4700 for a new 77 RM 250 or $5800 for a 02 RM 250? Hard to compare prices when its a totally different product.

  • Shawn_Mc

Posted August 05, 2002 - 08:21 AM

#8

Think about what your getting for 6300 bucks. If you wanna take into consideration that the bikes available from the factory now are BETTER than the works factory bikes of say the mid 90's, that cost anywhere from 20-40 THOUSAND DOLLARS, Id say bikes where getting cheaper, not more expensive. If you adjust your 77'RM250 price for a factory bike, say $25000 into todays dollars, then throw that bike up against a $6300 brand new RM, which bike do you think is a better bike? I can tell ya right now, the Works bike isnt as good as a is stocker now.

My 82 CR250 cost me 1851.39 out the door. And it was an EVIL, headshakin, vibratin, powerband like a firecraker monster. What it did well was wear you out. Ya know why it was only 1850 bucks, all of the above. And it wasnt unique, all of the bikes were just as bad. Bikes arent bad anymore. You can take the worst bike of a shoot out, drop it into a time machine for say 10 years, it would come out an ultra trick, smooth as silk, full skunk works factory unit.
Ya bikes cost more than they used to. But if you can ride it, you could quailify for a national on it, right off the show room floor. You couldnt do that 20 years ago.

  • yznvegas

Posted August 05, 2002 - 08:52 AM

#9

"My 82 CR250 cost me 1851.39 out the door. And it was an EVIL, headshakin, vibratin, powerband like a firecraker monster. What it did well was wear you out. Ya know why it was only 1850 bucks, all of the above. And it wasnt unique, all of the bikes were just as bad. Bikes arent bad anymore."


Yznvegas: Well, if you think back to 1982 when you bought that cr250 it was the hottest thing on the market and probably had all your friends good and jealous. My point is that in 20 years the bikes we are riding now will seem just as archaic and silly as that 82' cr you used to ride.

I think moto-x bikes are WAY overpriced and I think it has to do with the huge $$ some of the factory riders are making. Carmichael is awesome but do you think he is worth $2 million a year just to ride a Honda. That's not counting purses and endorsements.

I think a fair price for a 426 would be about $4,000.

  • John_Lorenz

Posted August 05, 2002 - 08:57 AM

#10

Vegas
Your in marketing Right ?

You said do you think RC is worth it. It dont matter what we think but the marekting and sales at Honda, they think so and so they pay the kid.

Is he worth it, Every freaking dime as far as I am concerned, if he can get the moola and perform the way they want WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN

Then more power too him

Again the Sheeple effect, he wins very snot nosed wannaB is there on Monday with his paper route moola to by a new cr

Shawn you nailed it right on the head.....

I would say further that that is about the only thing banned Works bikes did, pass it to the consumer....

[ August 05, 2002: Message edited by: E.G.O.**** ]

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  • Yak

Posted August 05, 2002 - 09:14 PM

#11

I love the Honda commercial they play during the races. the phrase "winners ride hondas". As if the bike RC is riding has anything in common with the bike you and I can buy. This is like saying "winners drive chevys" when regarding Jeff Gordon. That car has nothing to do with what is available to us.

FYI, I dont follow nascar, chevy was an example, Im not really sure who Gordon drives for.

  • yznvegas

Posted August 05, 2002 - 09:27 PM

#12

Ego wrote: You said do you think RC is worth it. It dont matter what we think but the marekting and sales at Honda, they think so and so they pay the kid.

Is he worth it, Every freaking dime as far as I am concerned, if he can get the moola and perform the way they want WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN"


I definatley think he is worth it from Honda's standpoint. Do I think it's worth it from all of our (poor schmucks) standpoint, NO WAY.

That $$ they pay the riders comes right out of our pocket and it is ultimately reflected on the final price of the bike.

  • John_Lorenz

Posted August 05, 2002 - 09:35 PM

#13

Posted Image

  • yznvegas

Posted August 05, 2002 - 09:38 PM

#14

So, I take it we are in agreement.

Your term Sheeple means that when people see someone else doing something they will tend to do the same things. Like buy dirtbikes that they see there favorite rider riding.

  • John_Lorenz

Posted August 05, 2002 - 09:42 PM

#15

Sheep are a funny animal, they have a tendancy to follow the leader even over a cliff, if the leader goes in that direction.

Sheeple are infact as you see, ones that follow the leader no matter what questioning nothing observing even less

Yes Vegas We are in agreement a first for human kind :D

Vegas Your pretty sharp for a guy thats in marketing :) What exactly you Market

[ August 05, 2002: Message edited by: E.G.O.**** ]

  • CJ_Baran

Posted August 05, 2002 - 10:13 AM

#16

It is all perspective...

My road bike(bicycle...have to specify since this is a motorcycle forum) would have cost me close to $5K if I did not have sponsorship discounts. And that is just a bicycle with only 20lbs of stuff.

My bike helmet costs $160 retail, bike shoes $300. I spent $400 this year on my team uniform. Shorts, jerseys and vest. $50-$100 dollars for a new tire. My racing wheels were $1,300 retail.

When I bought my 426 and all new gear I felt like I was getting a great deal...Boots for $300 versus a little pair of shoes for $300 or an actual helmet with substance to it versus the 3oz piece of painted styro foam. Pants for $120 versus a little pair of shorts with a pad in them for the same amount.

Look at skiing...$52 a day for a day ticket. It is about $8 to $10 bucks to ride an MX track.

Yes, motorcycle are expensive...yes they could be cheaper...is Yamaha ripping us off...not more than car mfgs, boat mfgs, ski mfgs, shoe mfgs, clothing mfgs or any company that needs to stay profitable...and Yes they are worth every penny for the amount of fun you have. :)

BAAAAAHHHHH!

  • beachthumper

Posted August 05, 2002 - 10:29 AM

#17

It's simple. Supply and demand. You wont see three new yz450f's on any dealer's showroom floor. If you want one you'll have to wait in line. If your lucky you'll get one.

Great pricing strategy by Yamaha.

However, keep in mind this helps prop up your resale value. Your true cost of ownership is the difference between what you paid gettin in less what you sell it for on the way out.

  • Shawn_Mc

Posted August 05, 2002 - 12:44 PM

#18

Personally your getting more bike for 6300 now than you did in the mid to late 80's for 1850. Plain and simple. And the amount more is staggering.

The idea that a fair price for a YZ426 at $4000 made me laugh. Ya that is a fair price. And you could get one, but it would have a 35mm fork with 8 inches of travel, be two valve, steel fenders and come from the repulic of China.

If you think your getting jacked @ $6300, your lookin the gift horse in the mouth. Anybody remember what it was like trying to get the 97' 400? Can you say 7700 bucks? Some over paid hack up the street from me bought one. Moron. He still has it. Its worth what 3100 now? Paying full retail on a brand new bike is (not a new model, a new bike IE 450F verses 426) par for the course.
YZnvegas, I think your over looking the R&D thats involved. I bet Yamaha will produce this bike for the full year before the re-tooling is paid off.
The dealer cost on the 426 was 4800. The fact that the retail price on the 450 didnt go to 6750 or more surprized me. The reason Husaberg isnt a household name isnt because the bike is bad, its because its too expensive.

Bottom line, they dont make'm for us, they make'm for profit.

  • yznvegas

Posted August 05, 2002 - 12:52 PM

#19

" Look at skiing...$52 a day for a day ticket. It is about $8 to $10 bucks to ride an MX track."


A pair of Skis don't cost $6000.

  • Guest_blatham489_*

Posted August 05, 2002 - 01:47 PM

#20

Don't know if this makes the case better or worse, but did the economic acorn consider the effect that currency translation had on his wishful analysis,? :)

If the dollar is currently weaker now than it was then vs the yen, that easily make up the difference. You may even find that bikes are CHEAPER now than then (at least in Japan!)

Slice it how ever you want, it's still supply and demand (as has been said repeatedly)
:D





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