Cannondale Shuts Down

30 replies to this topic
  • fastmonstr

Posted January 24, 2003 - 12:11 PM


"The company closed its Bedford and Bethel plants, in Pennsylvania, today, marking the end of production on motorcycles and quadcycles, as well as the bicycles that come out of those buildings. The ambitious Cannondale motorcycle project had been troubled from the start, though it appeared they were turning a corner recently, especially in the quadcycle market. However, several calls have come in from people close to the company saying that Cannondale did not make the payroll this week and had shut its doors."

  • gottaroost

Posted January 24, 2003 - 06:43 PM


Hey Matt, that is some timing and sorry to hear it for owners of Cdales. I was nearly one, if you recall the TON post around Xmas time that guy that wanted to unload a 2002 440 real fast and ended up accepting 3000 for it.

I went on finally to post to get it and it had just sold. Oh well now onto blue n white. You riding much?

  • Dwight_Rudder

Posted January 24, 2003 - 09:15 PM


Sad deal , but I feel they brought it on themselves. They tried to reinvent the motorcycle. I didn't like the noisey engine, the backwards design of the layout. I didn't like the aluminum frame, I don't think EFI is the way to go at this time on dirt bikes. AND they just downright looked weird.

  • fastmonstr

Posted January 25, 2003 - 04:45 AM


I think there was a market for them for sure. There are always people that want to be different. I have spent some time on a couple of Dales, and was impressed with the power. It's only a matter of time before the Big 4 will be making fuel injected off road bikes.

Just think of the possibilities the lies ahead in the future, no camshafts, just electro-hydraulic valve actuation. Variable valve timing has done wonders to the cars we drive everyday.

Instead of cutting wires, advancing cam timing, changing jets and exhaust, we could just plug in our pda and dial in the power curve for the conditions we are riding.ABS on dirt bike? You never know.

It's only a matter of time before the EPA starts sniffing the exhaust at the local MX track.

The bottom line is,that I hate to see a company as innovative as Cdale lose money and go out of business. If they would have stayed profitable, it would have been good for the entire industry.

  • fastmonstr

Posted January 25, 2003 - 04:47 AM


Yes I'm riding every week. The AMA Dist 20 HS Series starts next week.

Let go!!!

  • Dan_Lorenze

Posted January 25, 2003 - 05:13 AM


Sucks!!!! :D :) :D

  • adamwagar

Posted January 25, 2003 - 09:14 AM


Cannondale would have been further ahead to use an existing powerplant. Rotax would build a great motor to Cannondale specs. It would have cost way less money than C-Dale spent on R&D and manufacturing. With the money saved, they could have focused more attention on the chassis.

What if Cannondale and ATK merged??? I think the result would be, a first class American Made dirtbike.

  • Air450

Posted January 25, 2003 - 10:07 AM


The one they have is awesome :) They don't neeed to merge with anyone. They just need some backing for awhile until theres enough bikes out there.

  • adamwagar

Posted January 25, 2003 - 10:39 AM


Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda...

Shoulda outsourced the motor.
Coulda been producing more bikes, faster.
Woulda stayed in business?

I hope, for Cannondales sake, this is a temporary setback. I'd be first in line to buy one if it were a superior product. I own a Aerostitch riding suit because it is the finest, non-leather, riding suit available. It's also Made In The USA.


Posted January 25, 2003 - 01:51 PM


ATK does not even try to compete with the other manufacturers IMO. They make specialty bikes for a small group of loyal owners. I think they make a very good product with a lot of trick stuff on them. But, at 284lbs their bikes are heavy! Also, the Rotax engine although very reliable is dated air cooled technology.

It is probably true that C-dale bit off a little too much to soon. I hope they can figure out a way to recover. :)

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  • adamwagar

Posted January 25, 2003 - 04:23 PM


Is it Rotax or Aprilia that builds liquid cooled motors for the F650 BMW?

Polaris is a company that has the ability to design,develop,and market a product. They've made a pile of money over the years and could offer a company like Cannondale some stability. An extensive dealer network is icing on the cake.

  • gottaroost

Posted January 26, 2003 - 09:30 AM


Don't know if I am race material yet, Matt, but I will be happy to train with ya!! You have the advantage being street legal and all that. The world is your track, legal or not, just depends on how fast you go!!

Cannondale sounds like it was ahead of their time in some specialty areas like the Tucker automobiles of old, but hit a bump in the road of their own. Too bad, I really like seeing representation from as many competitors as possible--tends to keep everyone on their toes and forward-thinking.

  • jwriott

Posted January 27, 2003 - 06:34 AM


Polaris has made some of the same mistakes with the Victory and may have to stop producing that line. I don't think Cannondale wouldn't fair any better hooking up with them.

Cannondale should have looked at other start up motorcycle companies to see how many fail and how many succeed and learned from their mistakes. Exelsior-Hendersen, various Harley Clone manufacturers, etc. have all failed in recent years. Look at Bimota with the V-due. They were a profitable company until they developed their own engine and now their history as well.

I know we all complain about how expensive our bikes are but the bottom line is that we get a lot of technology for the money. The big companies can supply bikes at reasonable prices due to large volume. Cannondale bit off way too much and was trying to sell bikes in a very competetive market.

  • adamwagar

Posted January 27, 2003 - 06:49 AM


"Look at Bimota with the V-due. They were a profitable company until they developed their own engine and now their history as well."

Excellent point.


Posted January 27, 2003 - 07:15 AM


Say what you will....But Canondale Kicked A$$ in the 2002 GNCC Series. Continously finnishing first in several classes.

Hopefully Terry Mealer (National Super Senior A Class Champion) will be able to pick up a new sponsor for the 2003 series.

Bonzai :)


Posted January 27, 2003 - 07:55 AM


I just got off the phone with my rep, and C-dale main office , They are still shipping product and still in business acourding to them!! I have a C-dale and love the bike, It handles better then any bike I have ridden, and I've ridden almost all of them, I really hope they can keep this thing going!!! They will hopefully make the jap bikes look at the possability of building a bike that is inovative and set up with high end parts!!

  • jschner

Posted January 27, 2003 - 08:31 AM


Boy it sounds like some of you guys are having some serious issues with your new WR450s. My buddy just picked up his WR450F the other day but won't be able to ride it for a while as he is remodeling his business right now. Sweet looking bike! But with the early release of the YZ and at $7300 OTD, which is only $150 less than I paid for my E440, you would expect not to have to drill out your engine for your clutch, have it running extremely lean, breaking off parts in your engine, not get a joke of a skid plate, and it should have at least come with hand guards.

Sorry couldn't resist! :D
Still roosting when were down. :)

  • jwriott

Posted January 27, 2003 - 08:47 AM


First off, I really like Cannondale's bicycles. I've owned 2 of them and have nothing but high praise for their products.

However, I'd be willing to bet that any of the riders who were "Continuously finishing first in several classes" would have done so on other brands as well.

$21,412,000 loss on Motorsports in 2002. In otherwords, every motorcycle and ATV sold in 2002 was sold at a loss, according to Cannondale's annual report. To me, this isn't kicking a$$, it's losing your a$$.


Posted January 27, 2003 - 09:03 AM


Hey Vmax, just curios were you got the #'s from?

  • evl2evil

Posted January 27, 2003 - 09:09 AM


$7,300 otd? man that's a rip that's $1,100 above retail.My local dealer priced one at $5,900,that was their first offer i don't know how much more they would come down if any but they were selling the new yz's for$5,500 plus tax when they first came out.


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