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What are motorcycle manufacturers doing to help us?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Jaqhama, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. I only just found Netrider, so forgive me if I am asking a question that others have already voiced...
    When it comes to bike related issues such as lane filtering, front number plates etc etc...what is the postion of the bike manufacturers we buy our bikes from?
    Harley, Honda, Yamaha, Ducati, BMW etc.
    Are they doing battle on our behalf? Do they support us if they feel we are in the right? Do they have a team of industry collective experts available to provide real insight into the benefits and realities of motorcycling in Australia? Are they in touch with departments such as the NTC?
    If yes they do, that's great.
    If not...why not?
    I'm really interested to hear everyone's thoughts on this.

  2. The manufacturers are in other countries...

    In Australia we have "resellers" who sell motorcycles on behalf of the companies on Japan/Italy/Germany etc....

    The biggest of which is probably Peter Stevens in Victoria.... and would you trust peter stevens to organise something usefull?
  3. They would be represented by the VACC.
  4. Only in Victoria.
  5. New Honda GoldWings come with Airbags... Does that help?
  6. Only some have distributors - the major manufacturers do have a presence here (BMW, Honda MPE etc).

    The answer though is nothing. This has been a pet peeve of mine for a while (see the latest Australian Road Rider page 100 :) The industry generally hasn't tried to promote motorcycling as such - no efforts to grow the market, just to steal market share... :evil:

    This may be about to change however. The VACC has put in an excellent submission on the lane filtering stuff and there are things happening on other fronts. Generally they've had a cosy relationship with the government - I was told by a senior industry representative that they had an informal agreement - if they don't promote motorcycling to those who haven't already shown an interest then the government won't get too nasty with legislation.

    This may well be about to change from stuff I've been hearing lately. I think that at least a couple of the big names have been unhappy about this and may decide to do something - they've finally realised thatthis is their livelihood that's under threat...

  7. The resellers/Manufactureres have been non too supportive of the front number plates,
    probably because australia is such a small market, they dn't want to do anything special for it
  8. What a crock of shit you are speeking Tony E. As someone who works for a distributor we do lots of things to promote motorcycling the reason being that all our jobs depend on it. Just because we dont put our names to everything we do doesnt mean where not doing anything about issues. There is people who will read this who are supported and backed by lots of the big hitters of the industry. One of these people had a fare bit to do with a high profile protest ride that happened very recently.

    How can you say we do nothing to grow the market. Year on year over the past 10 years motorcycle sales have increased across the board. Every year we bring more model to the range and one of the latest tagets in the sights of the motorcycle manufactures is car drivers. Yes we are trying to entice car drivers to the advantages of ditching the car and getting them self a scooter which eventualy leads to the car drive obtain a bike licence which in turn brings someone who isnt a bike rider to bikes. At present there is a high profile campaign running on Nova FM and Honda scooters which is targeting people sitting in there cars listening to the radio on the way to work to high light that they could be riding a scooter instead of sitting in traffic in the cage.

    What about the oz superbikes/wsk next month/ motogp in september. These events have hundreds of thousounds of dollars poured in to them by pretty much all the distributors in the county. Do you think these events just appear out of fresh air? No. People put a hell of a lot of hard work in to them and to promote them.

    What about HART? There are guys there that work all the bloody hours that god sends to get people through their test to get them on two wheels and is usually booked out nearly two months in advance. Do you think HART just appeared out of thin air. No. Honda puts a massive amount of money in to HART to enable people to become motorcyclist.

    I could go on and make this one of the longest posts ever put up on netrider with the issues tackled and the promotion of motorcycling that the distributors do.

    Pointing the finger at the distributors is not the way to go. For god sake were in the business of selling bikes. Do you really think we sit on our hands and do nothing?

    Do some reaseach Tony before making silly claims like this !!!!!!
  9. It would be nice though on some of these issues those big names did come forward, WRB , is one issue , I'd love to Honda ,BMW etc say they where dangerous, rather than some back room boy, not that I don't appreciate the help, but it would hold more sway with people if the big guys did come out,. The reps from the Motorcycle industry on the VMAC did all vote against extending the $50 levy. But on a whole , the motorcycle industry , doesn't seem to lobby as much as the Car Industry side of the automotive industry.
  10. Again it comes down to volume. Theres around 2% of motorists in country that rides bikes as apose to the 99% who drive cars. The motorcycle industry is a small voice compared to the car industry and trying to lobby against change regarding bikes is hard. This is what we are seeing at the moment with the "Lane splitting" issue.

    Go slap a $50 levy on the rego of a car and watch what would happen. People would be up in arms. Do the same to a bike who gives a rats arse. It only effects 2% of motorists.

    Its hard to change things when you are a small voice but the distridutors do try very very hard for the good of motorcycling.
  11. I am learning stuff here

    I appreciate everyone who has written here in answer to my orginal question.
    Pete; as someone who appears to work in the industry I will point out one flaw in your comments about dealers and manufacturers putting on GP's, bike shows and HART training etc.
    None of that is for free mate...any of those things you listed I and everyone else has to pay for. That's still organisations making a profit from riders. As an example; I went to the Sydney Bike show a few months ago...like everyone else I had to pay to get in. That irks me, after all I am the consumer, why should I have to pay you to see your new bikes that you want to sell to me?
    I think that it's time the bike companies came out into the spotlight and put their hands up to the Government on behalf of their customers where we can all see them doing something.
  12. Hmmmm How about Honda and the other distributers putting in submissions to the ATC on the proposals? How about individual dealers doing the same? And putting up posters in every store?

    And Honda reps (for example) writing to the newspapers, and television and radio stations.

    These are trivial costs. (An hour or so's work and a few dollars) Yet they might be disproportionally effective.

  13. Re: I am learning stuff here

    If paying irks you dont go to the shows. We have to pay the people who own the halls a vast amount of money as well to rent the space for the displays. We dont take any money away from trade shows. We get no share of the door fees. The only money we make is the sale of merchendice and that makes a loss due to the price of the floor space we have to hire to put the stand on.

    As the guys at Netrider can tell you the floor space is expensive. Ask netrider how much there small 3m x 3m booth cost to hire at last years Melbourne show. Its not cheap.

    Instead go to your local dealer and have a look around his showroom. You could stay there all day for free. Honda show rooms are some of the best looking and equiped showrooms in the counrty and very soon there will be a rider education program launched all for free.


    Attend a Honda riders club day. As long as your a member of the club you can go along to the ride days and ride pretty much any bike that Honda has on sale around a track for free.

    I cant think of too many hobbies or pastime activities in modern life that are free and the argument you have highlighted holds no merrit at all.

    At the end of the day we are a bussiness not St Vincents and we have to make money and a hell of a lot of the money we do make get pumped back in to the industry to make things better for the end consumer.
  14. I will concede that Harley-Davidson have put support into the Canberra Awareness ride. But I can't think of too many others who have been prepared to stand up and be counted with their political support. The occasional individual bike shop might help but not the industry as a whole.
    Because an individual shop puts their support behind something doesn't mean that the industry does.

    Where are the ads getting non-riders onto bikes? Where are the adverts suggesting that people should ride scooters? Where is the sort of advertorial and product placement that you should be using (and yes I did do an MBA :LOL: )

    Sales increased dramatically in the late 60's early 70's as well. The industry did little to try and sustain the growth and they all fell away again. A lot of the growth is baby boomers coming back to motorcycling. Has the number of new licences gone up at the same rate as bike sales - I seriously doubt it.

    Oh yes, one radio station for one brand, - where are the TV ads or the other radio ads. Where are the adverts in non-motorcycling papers or magazines? There's a little product placement by the scooter people in the fashion area. That stands out because there is so little overall. Why haven't the companies involved really got together to promote motorcycling as something desirable? All I can think of is one quiz show (Temptation)...

    Superbikes, WSK & moto gp are really preaching to the converted. How many really NEW riders do you get - only those who already have an interest in bikes.

    So why don't they and DECA (who have an involvement with Yamaha S.M.A.R.T. ) and all the others advertise in mainstream media how wondeful motorcycling is. Perhaps because they feel they don't need to at the moment if they are booked out 2 months in advance. That's pretty shortsighted marketing if that's the case.

    Yes I do as far as really new business goes. 99% of motorcycle advertising and promotion is to take business away from the competition. What percentage of the advertising and marketing budgets is spent on getting new customers as opposed to taking them away from someone else?

    Some of the small scooter shops do advertise (poorly) in local papers but that's about all.

    I can produce quite a few people who will agree with my "silly claims". It was discussed at an AMC meeting in Canberra which is where the comments about the industry/government co-operation were made (by an industry figure). Guy Stanford (NSW MCC) and several other people from various states were also party to that conversation.

    It's interesting that Pete Thoeming also backed my recent comments in ARR and other motorcycling writers I've spoken too generally agree as well...

  15. Come one Tony, the bike shops and manufacturers are there primarily to make money. Not to provide some kind of all wonderful community service.

    I think Pete put it well with his point about how small the bike riding community is when compared to the car market. Our voice really is only heard by other riders and not by the community at large.

    I think it would be bad business for a brand name (say Honda for example) to take sides on a something that is essentially a political argument like lane splitting. Them picking a side is not going to sell more bikes is it?
  16. and what are you doing to support the distributors Tony?

    In your profile you list an old BMW that around 20 years old and a Spada thats a grey import.

    When was the last time you walked in to a store and bought yourself a new bike?

    The last new bike you owned you won off the back of a tea bag box if memory serves me right.

    Your comments about all the distributors joining up to advertise would be like asking coke and pepsi to join forces to increase advetisments. Its also against the law due to compeittion laws set by the ACCC.

    Like I've said ealrier in this post if you think we sit on our hands you are very mistaken.

    If we were to buy advertising space in prime time slots on TV we would blow our advertising budget very quickly. If we only make x amout from the sale of new bikes how can we then spend xxxxxx amount on advertising in the mainstream media.

    We do our best Tony as employees and as motorcyclists to promote motorcycles and it makes me sad to think there is motorcyclist out there who are bashing the motorcycle industry.
  17. hey duffman (jono) i dont think anyone is arguing that the bike community isn't small and that dealers aren't businesses but just for a moment dont consider the manufacturers political issues etc and just think of yourself wouldnt it be better if even more awareness did occur ? off course it is better but i personally think the key is with the government but since this area is also geared as a business not much of anything will be done

    so if take up 2% of all motorists we just need to lobby 50 times more than everybody else and we will have whatever we want right....... please dont waste urtime flaming my opinion as it is mine and i would only encourage arguing if it would improve anything......

    anyways my two cents or should i say 5 cents :)
  18. The bike manufacturers job is to make well performing, safe bike at reasonable market prices to sell for a reasonable PROFIT. They are not there to fight our political battles.

    We will have to get off our own arses and get organised enough to do it ourselves. I tip my hat to John Karmouche for doing exactly this.

    I already think they go above and beyond the call of duty by promoting HART type organisations, Snowy Rides, WSB/MotoGP and subsidised track days. Sure they incorporate there marketing efforts into these events, but any half intelligent business owner would.

    What more does everyone want?

    I need my lawn mowed, so I had better complain to Honda that there mowers don't do it automatically.
  19. Well Pete,
    if I had the money I might just buy a new bike... :LOL:
    I don't like going into debt for it though. I have bought a few new bikes over the years - from Bultacos to Yamahas to BMWs.

    In fact the tea bag promotion was also the sort of thing which does help to promote motorcycling :LOL:

    Generic advertising to get people to ride bikes would not be against the law - for that sort of promotion to be illegal would mean that other generic industry ones (like the travel industry ones) would also be illegal. You would not be colluding on pricing or sales, just generally promoting a particular industry. I'll need to go back and check but I think there is specific references to that sort of thing by the ACCC (I could be wrong there - it's been a while since I studied that).

    The excellent VACC submission to the NTC is the only industry one. This is a direct threat to the scooter industry - why no submission from them?

    The only motorcycle submissions into the Victorian Competition and Efficency Congestion Inquiry were from the MRAA. I did a search through every submission and only found a couple of minor motorcycle references in any of the others. Surely someone in the industry could have responded there.

    Print advertising is not ferociously expensive - generic advertising on the benefits of small bikes/scooters would be an excellent thing - all that's needed is to push the idea that motorcycling is a good thing...

    My point is that a generic pro motorcycle campaign would only help the industry. I agree that no one manufacturer could be expected to bear the costs, but it would be easily affordable by the industry as a whole. If you couldn't get an additional 5 to 10% across the board sales increase I'd be surprised.

    At the moment all the overt political action is being undertaken by riders. Where is the distributor or manufacturer who has come out and offered to support any political action anywhere?

    The industry may have done things behind the scenes (to be honest I doubt it very much from what I've heard) but ultimately it's the public that you need to sell on the joys and benefits of riding motorcycle.

    Marketing to already committed riders only moves the money around a bit. Marketing to potential riders ultimately benefits everyone oth the industry and the riders.


  20. Hey advertise on Netrider, our rates are the best in the Country :LOL: :LOL: