Honda to cut motorcycle prices by 10 years

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Thumbnail image for 2000 Honda Dominator.jpgBaby boomers seems to be in short supply in Japan too. Worried about
declining interest in motorcycles among young Japanese, Honda Japan aims to
cut domestic motorcycle prices to year 2000 levels in a bid to attract new customers.
According to Honda, prices will drop by 10 to 30 percent. >
The price cut will be implemented gradually as models are upgraded or new models rolled out and will be achieved by moving production to low cost Asian countries and by using cheaper parts. Cynics may interpret this as Honda trying to say in a clever way they’ll be making lower quality, cheaper bikes, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Honda holds a 48 percent market share in Japan, but that’s a market that declined by 27 percent in 2009 alone, and crumbled from 3.29 million motorcycle sales in 1982 to 380,000 last year. It’s not clear what effect, if any, this will have on American motorcycle prices but its an important first step in acknowledging that lower costs and simpler products are the key to expanding the two-wheeled market. That’s the reverse of recent Honda policy, which has seen prices skyrocket as models moved into specific niches at the expense of general utility.
 
via Daily Yomiuri

  • emperor

    Nice! now hopefully they’ll follow Kawasaki and start bringing out some smaller displacement bikes as a missing between smaller and big bikes, with proper styling

  • Angelo

    Now if they could just re-issue my very first ’85 XR 350… at an ’85 price. Orange Lust.

  • Quentin Wilson

    Right on Mr. emporer. I started riding on a ~88 Honda NX 125(the little sister of the above NX650 Dominator), put 8,000 miles on it, then had a ~88 Honda VTR 250 Interceptor for ~25,000 miles, an amazing first sportbike for a 17-year-old. I then put ~50,000 miles on a CBR 600F2 in my late teens early twenties. I used to be all about Honda. I don’t really identify with the brand any more. I loved that era of Honda streetbikes, with the RC30, NT650 Hawk, CB-1(!), the best 600′s, the first real lightweight superbike in the 900RR. Heck even the Pacific Coast in all of it’s tupperware glory was a fantastic bike. Alright, that is a stretch but they are good if uninspiring. So regardless of what they are making to cater to the current crop of baby boomers and children of baby boomers (me), they need to start offering some more gateway bikes so that all of these poor people don’t have to ride Kawasaki 250s and the like to get their feet wet and teeth cut. Even though I have transferred my enthusiasm to Ducati, I still own a RS125, and a Christini-Honda CRF250X. I think this is a good move, as long as they don’t dumb down the bikes too much. The levers/controls/cockpits of some of the late eighties bikes still eclipses most of the cheap crap being produced today by the other Japanese manufacturers. QW

  • Peter

    Pretty awesome, as long as quality doesn’t decline and ruin Honda’s reputation.

    If this works, Yamaha and Kawasaki will have to follow suit to stay competitive.

  • Johndo

    Cheaper parts on a motorcycle for me doesnt sound like the greatest of ideas. On a car, if something breaks down you rarely get in trouble. On a motorcycle, the smallest part failure could possibly kill you.

  • @TOV_Gerald

    It needn’t necessarily mean lower quality parts, it could just mean using the less expensive material and older tech. Perfect example is the Ninja 250. It’s cheap, but that’s because it’s carbeurated and doesn’t use the bleeding edge stuff that its big brothers have.

    I think a major thing Honda or anyone else will need to do in order to get new riders (and experienced riders) onto the cheaper bikes is pay particular attention to style. If an entry level bike looks like a dorky refugee from the 80′s it’s going to rot in the showroom.

  • http://www.flickr.com/blueyes tony starr

    are all honda motorcycles currently made in japan? it’ll be interesting to know where some motorcycles are made. for instance, i’ve heard some triumph’s being assembled now in thailand? at the end of the day, as long as each factory has a certain level of quality control, it shouldn’t change the overall quality of the bike. for me quality in any product is something that lasts longer than just the warranty period.

  • Woody

    I was under the impression that a lot of Honda’s motorcycles were already made in China, hence why companies like Lifan and Hi-Bird apparently make “honda engine clones”.

    • Ken

      When Honda closed their Gold Wing motorcycle facility in Ohio last summer, that was the end of any bikes being produced in US.

  • @TOV_Gerald

    It depends on the model. Honda builds bikes in the US, Japan, Brazil, Italy, Turkey, China, India and I believe some other places in SE Asia like Thailand and Vietnam.

    All of the supersport models are made in Japan. But a lot of the entry-level or market specific models are made in other countries. So there are some South America models that are made only in Brazil, and the Hornet and CB1000R are made in Italy. Scooters and small displacement stuff for emerging markets are made in or near those countries. No point in paying the shipping and importation costs for sub $3000 bikes.

    • Chris Y.

      Is that you JMU_R1?

      Anyways, Honda already produces some bikes in Thailand. For example, the CBR125R that’s imported to Canada is from Thailand, and is currently the most inexpensive motorcycle you can buy (cheaper than most scooters it seems). This probably just means that Honda is going to accelerate plans to move more production out there. It won’t necessarily mean that Honda will use lesser parts, no, but it does mean cheaper and simpler bikes (V-twins and single cylinders vs. I4s, less fairings, simplified parts, etc).

      • @TOV_Gerald

        @Chris Y. Yep, that’s me

        Didn’t know the CBR125 was made in Thailand. I hope Honda sees how well received that bike was and make some more cheap entry-level bikes. Hopefully soem stuff between 250cc and 600cc.

  • Core

    So Honda Japan is the Headquarters right? So they can tell Honda America what to do right?

    If that’s the case, great deal. Maybe we will see prices go down.

    Although truthfully, they don’t have any bikes I am interested in… in the states. So it’s a moot point anyways.

  • Les

    Or they could try something radical, like making an interesting bike again.

    For the record my 04 599 hornet was made in italy. When you lift the seat you see some parts stamped ducati, like the heat sink.. no kidding.

    • Chris Y.

      I’m curious as to what constitutes an interesting bike in your book (really, I’m just wondering)

      • Les

        they have great v-4 tech, yet they dont sell it. Just the same carbon copy i4 sport bikes.

        For me personally, an interesting bike would be a 800cc v-4 standard/naked. could have ‘bargin’ suspenders, like the hornet. Up right seating..

        Think triumph street triple, but a small v-4.

        What is NOT interesting is the Fury and the totally trashed VFR1200.

  • Bryan_ZA

    I can’t imagine we’ll see anything at much of a discount at all, they’re bolstering dwindling Japanese interest, why would the drop prices elsewhere in the world when we’re happily paying?

    It’s scary when you look at the different prices people are paying around the world for the same bikes, we’re paying way to much out here in South Africa, but they keep pumping it outta us, Recomended Retail Pricing on a 2010 CBR 600RR out here is US$14538.43 or so at todays direct exchange rate, which if the titbits I pick up in forums and on here are correct, is probably more (significantly) than what you guys are paying.

    There financial teams are working to make as much money off each bike as individual countries’ markets will pay for them?

    • Peter

      MSRP in the US is around $11,100 or so. Maybe the price difference has to do with varying amounts of import tax or something?

  • Les

    To add to my comment above.. i’ve owned nothing but hondas all my life. mini-trail, xr75, st90 (look that one up!), xl 125, st650 hawk gt, 599 hornet.. and now it’s time to consider a new bike and honda is finally losing my interest and triumph my get my money. It’s not a matter of a hundred dollars here or there, it’s a lack of passion.

  • Dustin

    I have a 04 599 also and love it. There isn’t much out from honda right now that interests me. They need to make a 400-750 naked again, I will buy it in a heartbeat. Just import the current euro hornet over here

    • http://www.flickr.com/blueyes tony starr

      honda does have the naked CB400. but it isn’t available in the US.

  • Bob

    Honda has models that sell well in Europe that should have been sold in the US years ago: the Transalp and the CBF1000. Instead we get more silly cruisers and lame crap like the NT700V, which Honda claims is a Sports Tourer – yeah right, 700 cc’s of dull and boring. Not much Sport in that turkey.
    Whoever is doing product planning for Honda US should retire. Frankly, that is also true of the guy in Japan, too.

  • http://coffeedrinker101.blogspot.com/2010/07/test-of-coffee-drinker-blog.html SPGreenwich

    I’m excited to be finally posting online after all these years. There really is no mystery about it, is there? I just dropped by your blog and had to write. I’m a recent college grad, journalism major if you must know, and I absolutely love photography. I’ve got my site up but it’s nothing to boast about yet. None of my stuff’s been posted. Soon as I figure out how to do that, I’ll spend the afternoon posting my best pictures. anyway just thought I’d drop a line. I hope to return with more substantial stuff, stuff you can actually use. SPG

  • http://www.metroscooter.com Seth

    Better prices, smaller bikes (like the awesome NX 125/250/650 bikes like pictured!), I want to meet the nicest people on a Honda!