Saturday, December 19, 2009
If BMW goes racing in the US it would be a decision at the national level and run out of BMW NA. I have been trying to imagine what I would say to Pieter de Waal the head of Motorrad USA regarding this. Frankly in every conversation I imagine I end up telling him racing in the US right now is a no win (even if you win the DMG/AMA Pro Racing Championship) proposition for BMW and a dumb waste of time and money for the company. I am incredibly disappointed to come to this conclusion for all sorts of reasons but today that is what I think.
As always what I think and a buck will get you a small cup of coffee and change at the official F-O-L gas station. But if Mr. de Waal, who I really like, wants to have a cup of coffee and talk about it I would see he gets a new styrofoam cup. Heck I would even spring for crullers!
[B]Saturday, December 19, 2009[/B]
[b]WSBK et al. [/b]
[url= http://www.roadracingworld.com/news/article/?lnk=rss&article=38991]www.roadracingworld.com[/url]: Reader reaction to various DMG/AMA Pro Racing Issues, including the poll on rolling restarts
[url= http://www.worldsbk.com/en/news/latest-news/1331-guintoli-gearing-up-for-first-full-world-superbike-season.html]worldsbk.com[/url]: Guintoli gearing up for first full World Superbike season
[url= http://thekneeslider.com/archives/2009/12/18/moto-guzzi-500cc-v8-racer-otto-cilindri/]thekneeslider.com[/url]: Moto Guzzi 500cc V8 Racer ÔÇô Otto Cilindri
[b]Formula 1 and ÔÇª[/b]
[url= http://www.f1network.net/main/s491/st152545.htm]f1netowrk[/url]: Petronas and Sauber [No sponsorship deal]
I read this short piece and had a Whiskey Tango Fox trot moment.
[url= http://www.f1sa.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19399&Itemid=219]f1sa.com[/url]: USF1 signs agreement with supplier of advance composites
The big news for USF1 is they signed a supplier agreement? Time passing quickly and they are the [url= http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&ie=utf-8&langpair=auto%7Cen&u=http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/formel-1/f1-fahrerkarussell-nur-noch-usf1-ohne-fahrer-1566219.html&tbb=1&rurl=translate.google.com&usg=ALkJrhj8H1fQb7uf-4v13yPe3c7i4DSZqQ]only team not to have signed[/url] a single driver. Yet they were the first of the new teams for 2010. Meanwhile SpeedTV continues to cover everything but what is going on at USF1. .
[b]On the Street[/b]
[url= http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/honda/2010-honda-nt700v-review-89047.html]motorcycle.ocm[/url]: Honda NT 700V reveiw
[url= http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pdf/2009252-mcis.pdf]J.D. Power and Associates[/url] issued a press release about their 2009 Motorcycle Owner Customer Satisfaction Study. The results show a significant increase over last yearÔÇÖs numbers. The study measures five factors - product; quality; cost of ownership; sales; and service.
Sales and service areas showed the biggest improvement. The reasons pointed to for this may seem obvious to us.
[i] The study also finds that dealers may positively impact satisfaction with the sales aspect of the ownership experience by following up with their customers after the sale. On average, the sales satisfaction score among customers who received a follow-up phone call is 170 points higher than among those who did not get a follow-up call.
ÔÇ£The follow-up phone call is a simple concept that may have a significant impact on customersÔÇÖ sales or service experiences,ÔÇØ said Markusic. ÔÇ£While it might seem that calling customers after a visit would be standard practice for dealers, 20 percent of customers donÔÇÖt receive a call after a new bike purchase and 56 percent donÔÇÖt receive a call after having their bike serviced.ÔÇØ
Motorcycle owners who take their bike to a dealer for maintenance or repair-related service work present dealers with an opportunity to make a lasting impression, as the length of time a motorcycle is in for service greatly impacts overall service satisfaction.[/i]
I wonder what the results would show if a BMW dealer satisfaction with customer survey would show? What could we learn from that about how they measure us and what would could customers do to improve the gap between us from the dealer perspective?
[url= http://www.bikeexif.com/bmw-r12?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Bikeexif+%28Bike+EXIF%29]bikeexif.com[/url]: Louis Lepoix BMW R12
I know this bike showed up in another [url= http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=41755]thread[/url] (:thumb) but I found it early yesterday after I posted and still want to post it in here.
[url= http://imperialcycles.blogspot.com/2009/12/first-4-stroke-build.html]Imperial Cycles[/url] completes their first four stroke build.
[url= http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A//www2.solomoto30.com/noticia.asp%3Fref%3D23730&hl=en&langpair=auto|en&tbb=1&ie=iso-8859-1]solomot30.com[/url]: MV Agusta triple tested in Spain
[url= http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/motors/2778173/Motor-vehicle-company-Saab-to-shut-down.html?OTC-RSS&ATTR=Motors]thesun.co.uk[/url]: Motor vehicle company Saab to shut down.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
It is never too early to start negotiating especially with a rider like Rossi. [url=http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/sport/sportresults/MotoGP/2009/December/dec1809-yamaha-confirm-2011-valentino-talks/?&R=EPI-120921]MotorCycle News[/url] says Yamaha has started to negotiate with Rossi to keep him on beyond the 2011 season and away from Ducati. Can they keep him away from four wheels?
[b]Formula 1 and ÔÇª[/b]
[url= http://www.crash.net/f1/news/155471/1/wurz_admits_he_could_yet_be_persuaded_by_usf1.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss]crash.net[/url]: Wurz admits he could yet be persuaded by USF1 to return to the cockpit.
My question remains; what would he be driving?
[b]On the Street[/b]
[url= http://thevintagent.blogspot.com/2009/12/louis-lucien-lepoix.html ]The Vintagent[/url] gives us a chance to learn more about the man who designed the interesting streamliner R12, Louis Lucien Lepoix
Don Williams at [url= http://www.ultimatemotorcycling.com/1973_BMW_R75_5_Motorcycle_Review]ultimatemotorcycling.com[/url] has a review of the 1973 BMW R75/5
MotorcycleUSA: 2010 Honda VFR1200F video review
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Relive International Female Rider Day
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I came home late Friday night and made a nice dinner. After dinner I kicked back with my second or maybe third beer and my computer. I brought the Forum up expecting to read the latest installment of [url=http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=40191]The big renovation: 1908 home[/url] when I noticed I had a PM in my in box. When I checked it I found a link to the Motley Fool and an article from there titled, [url=http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2009/12/18/is-harley-davidson-doomed.aspx ][i]Is Harley-Davidson Doomed?[/i][/url]
I had seen a related article earlier in the day on [url=http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/news/harleydavidson-downgraded-goldman-sachs/
]AsphaltandRubber.com[/url] announcing that Goldman and Sachs had downgraded the H-D stock. That article started me thinking about and trying to piece together all that I had read about H-D over that last months and the motorcycle industry in general. Scanning the article on fool.com I came to the conclusion that there are several stories that are being mingled together as we read about H-D and the motorcycle industry in general. In very broad terms these are
- Pure business stories of publicly held companies
- Motorcycle industry stories that talk of what is going on in an international industry
- Motorcyclist stories that talk about bikes and smell of gas grease and rubber.
H-D has been a frequent topic on the forum. Sometimes I am not certain which has the potential to turn vitriolic; a H-D thread or a helmet thread. I leave the latter alone but have often thought that as we talk about H-D in the former we are shadow boxing with questions we have about BMW. So lets do a little shadow boxing with H-D and the three general headings this morning.
[b]Pure Business Story[/b]
Is H-D doomed? Depends on your investing horizon but in broad terms my answer is no.
The recent recall of over 110,000 bikes will hit them financially just when they donÔÇÖt need it, but I agree with the FoolÔÇÖs reader who suggested that H-D could figure out ways to turn a profit selling Screaming Eagle upgrades. Getting people into dealer show rooms is always a good way to move product and that generates revenue if only to churn.
In a longer term H-D is destined for some major changes. Some are fore seen some may come as a surprise in the process. H-D recently [url=http://investor.harley-davidson.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=415756
]announced [/url] its 3rd quarter results, unveiled a new long term business strategy that calls for major consolidations. So change is on the horizon and is happening. The consolidation of the York plant and closing/consolidation of testing facilities are two examples of how this fore seen change is playing out.
The success and timing of these changes could have some unanticipated results. It is not inconceivable that in the process H-D could cease to be a publicly held company as we know it. All fun speculation, but back to the FoolÔÇÖs question the answer in this section H-D is not doomed.
[b]Motorcycle Industry Story[/b]
Here again I donÔÇÖt think H-D is doomed any more than any other of the major manufactures in the motorcycle industry. The issues to pay attention to when writers write about the motorcycle industry is do they understand the sales cycle and when do they see industry recovery and how do they describe it. Few do. They want to treat motorcycle industry like the auto industry. The two share many similarities but their business cycles are very different and thus have very different implications.
When will the market recover? The articles think that we are going to see recovery in the next year. The assumption may seem reasonable if you think the overall economy is beginning to recover, which I do, I just donÔÇÖt agree about the motorcycle recovery time line. The downward spiral in sales will continue for a while yet then level off into some chronic malaise for the next 24 months or a bit more.
H-D is a big enough and at same time a small enough player in the market to survive.
[b]A Motorcyclist Story[/b]
The motorcyclist part of the H-D business story is when we bring it down to the ride and the smell of gas grease and rubber. This is where I find myself seeing H-D as doomed. Not today or in the near term but there is a point in the market direction that H-D may not be able to handle.
At some point the motorcyclist and the industry will be riding and building bikes that are no longer dominantly powered by gasoline. I donÔÇÖt see a critical mass of H-D owners/buyers that are ready to make that change on an H-D. If that does not change the demise of H-D as a business in any form or as part of the industry will rest at the feet of its fans and previous buyers.
Keep in mind that my investment advice is to invest in another cup of coffee down at the F-O-L gas station. At least for a buck you get a clean cup with drinkable brown liquid and change. My cup ran empty a few lines ago and some would argue my intelligent thoughts ran out before I started typing.
Thank you to my fellow member and reader for the link to the Motley Fool article I had fund purposefully wondering about what I thought of it.
Do any of you have thoughts to share? :lurk
[url= http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/11/pl_screen?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Index+3+%28Top+Stories+2%29%29]wired.com[/url]: Screen ÔÇô [url= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUQbmFAE5WI]Robert Downey Jr.ÔÇÖs Sherlock[/url] ÔÇô Faithful or Flawed?
I am a Sherlock Holmes fan not a file. I canÔÇÖt quote you chapter and verse for example or make cleaver exact references to Sir Arthur Conan DoyleÔÇÖs work. I am just a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes stories, movies and updates. I am really looking forward to seeing this movie during my Christmas holiday break.
[url= http://www.yankodesign.com/2009/12/17/wind-powered-m6-speedster/]yankodesign.com[/url]: M6 wind powered car by Funfere Koroye
TodayÔÇÖs treat comes from motoblog.itÔÇÖs Picture of the Day. The translated description starts, "William Dunlop during a road race through the trees. Pure poetry. Landscapes and sensations that you dream of racing on the track ".