Jump to content

Underwhelmed


outpost22

Recommended Posts

Had a presentation at our Rotary Club today from a company who is marketing electric motorcycles. For essentially $11,000.00+ you can have a bike that does 50 mph and has a 45 mile range. According to the company, they are marketing this product like it is an electronic purchase for the end user. The bike will be sold thru a Big Box store, not a motorcycle/automotive/bike dealer.

 

The "underwhelmed" part for me is if this bike has a defective wheel bearing, stuck brake caliper, etc. who at the "box store" will "fix" this issue? I can't imagine a box store (Best Buy in this case) maintaining a mechanic in their warehouse at each store?

The other issue that greatly concerned me is that this companies survey shows that their potential market is comprised of 53% of people who have never ridden a motorcycle. The company rep intends to have the retailer ask customers to come back a week after they buy their "bikes" and ride around the parking lot to give them experience.

 

So, I did not want to embarrass or challenge this fellow in front of the club so I intend to write a letter instead with certain points to cover, especially about making new riders aware of the MSF training courses, etc. when making a purchase like this. I would also like this groups thoughts on other constructive ideas we can share with this company and its marketers. I think they are one of several pioneers in a field that may offer great future benefits to all of us.

Link to comment
Calvin  (no socks)

It will take forever to get to Torrey with that 45 mile range... 2500 miles / 45 mile = 55 days going/55 days coming back.... :eek:...

 

I'll just turbo charge a Segway and do it in 3 days...

Link to comment

That was pretty classy of you to bite your tongue. Although I think the letter will be useless unless you offer a better alternative solutions or good financial reasons why the idea will fail. I see liability by the retailer as a major problem. TV's & appliances don't often cause fatalities. Now they would be sellign a product that presents a high risk to the user. No waiver will eliminate their risk exposure.

 

I still have difficulty with these economics. For $5000 you can buy a 250 dual sport that will do 80mph and have a range of up to 125 miles on 1.8 gallons of fuel. It could also ride on forest trails and motorcross tracks. You can replenish the range in 5 minutes at any gas station.

 

For the same performance as this electric motorcycle, you could also buy a 125cc scooter that gets 80mpg and has about a 120 miles range as well.

 

So instead of displacement, are DMV going to need to reclassify mtoorcycle permits and requirements by top speed capability? Right now, under 125 I believe does not require a permit.

Link to comment
snip.....

I still have difficulty with these economics. For $5000 you can buy a 250 dual sport that will do 80mph and have a range of up to 125 miles on 1.8 gallons of fuel. It could also ride on forest trails and motorcross tracks. You can replenish the range in 5 minutes at any gas station.

 

For the same performance as this electric motorcycle, you could also buy a 125cc scooter that gets 80mpg and has about a 120 miles range as well.

 

So instead of displacement, are DMV going to need to reclassify mtoorcycle permits and requirements by top speed capability? Right now, under 125 I believe does not require a permit.

 

To your point, I don't understand why motorcycle manufacturers weren't promoting the heck out of their small bikes. With the price of energy the economics were very strong for the buyer. Now with the overall economic downturn, it's a tough sell unless people can use it to replace their 2nd car or some other hook. Once things settle, it may be worth diverting at least some of their cruiser advertising dollars on these small bikes. I wonder if they're planning to do that? It should bring in some new people that may "upgrade" a few years down the road.

 

Then again, it may turn some of us old timers around. We may find that this bigger, faster, fatter road we've been going down for many years isn't the only answer.

Link to comment
skinny_tom (aka boney)

I still have difficulty with these economics. For $5000 you can buy a 250 dual sport that will do 80mph and have a range of up to 125 miles on 1.8 gallons of fuel. It could also ride on forest trails and motorcross tracks. You can replenish the range in 5 minutes at any gas station.

 

Here in Kalifornistan, economics have little to do with the purchase of an electric vehicle, or a hybrid for that matter. There is a large niche market for "save the world" products into which this electric motorcycle will fall. The Toyota Prius, with a very slight operating cost advantage once you account for it's increased price was selling for OVER MSRP for a long time, virtually eliminating the advantage of it economy. Biodiesel (B100, not the diluted stuff people pass off as "biodiesel") regularly sells for 25-75 cents per gallon more than the going price of dinosaur diesel, yet there is no shortage of buyers.

 

Aside from the obvious issues stated by OP regarding the distribution network and maintinence, I wonder whether the performance of this electric bike will be enough to bring interest. The one thing that every successful "alternative" vehicle concept has brought is performance that is comperable to the gasoline (or diesel) version.

Link to comment
I still have difficulty with these economics. For $5000 you can buy a 250 dual sport that will do 80mph and have a range of up to 125 miles on 1.8 gallons of fuel. It could also ride on forest trails and motorcross tracks. You can replenish the range in 5 minutes at any gas station.

 

Here in Kalifornistan, economics have little to do with the purchase of an electric vehicle, or a hybrid for that matter. There is a large niche market for "save the world" products into which this electric motorcycle will fall. The Toyota Prius, with a very slight operating cost advantage once you account for it's increased price was selling for OVER MSRP for a long time, virtually eliminating the advantage of it economy. Biodiesel (B100, not the diluted stuff people pass off as "biodiesel") regularly sells for 25-75 cents per gallon more than the going price of dinosaur diesel, yet there is no shortage of buyers.

 

Aside from the obvious issues stated by OP regarding the distribution network and maintinence, I wonder whether the performance of this electric bike will be enough to bring interest. The one thing that every successful "alternative" vehicle concept has brought is performance that is comperable to the gasoline (or diesel) version.

 

Boney, you are right. From the presentation it seems that they are targeting technogeeks with this product. The "logic" of the purchase falls short of the purchasers agenda, which is "hey look at me I'm saving the planet". Maybe it should be more like "Hey look at me crash my brains out cuz I don't know anything about motorcycles."

Now if this bike cost around 2K, it may raise some eyebrows. The Multi-MILLIONS that this cost to develop is astounding. The company is trying to grab some of the "bailout" money as some is supposedly earmarked for alternative energy vehicles.

The guy did say that the front brake "comes off of one of the smaller BMW's (like my F650). No wonder this bike costs so much to produce :/

Link to comment
It will take forever to get to Torrey with that 45 mile range... 2500 miles / 45 mile = 55 days going/55 days coming back.... :eek:...

 

I'll just turbo charge a Segway and do it in 3 days...

 

That is if you can find an electrical outlet every 45 miles across the deserts. You will have to pull a unigo (Add $5,000) with a generator to recharge the electric bike (Add another $1,500) and this will require carrying fuel for the generator or just buy a motorcycle.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...