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Discussion Starter #1
Cool little video. What does the AT mean to the future of the ADV segment...

 

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The answer to that question depends on how accurately Honda judged market demand and whether they depended heavily on forum input to guide product development. "Enthusiasm" on forums does not always equal "purchase" at the dealership. And forum members are not the same as "ordinary" motorcycle buyers (who are riding, not pontificating). In the mid-late 2000's, I watched Yamaha retool the VMax to match what forum participants said they wanted and saw it fall flat on the sales floor. And more recently, Yamaha got suckered into following forum enthusiasm for the kick start only SR500 and brought the JDM SR400 to the U.S. market, where it languishes today. I'm not very knowledgeable about BMW marketing or forums, but I'm pretty sure the dirt only HP2 model or dual sport version haven't been big sellers for that company.

My gut tells me that if 500 pound, multi-cylinder, dirt focused dual sport motorcycles were what the market truly wanted, VStrom, F800, and other road focused DS owners would have been Ohlins, Wilburs and other high tech suspension component builders best customers for the last 10 years. And I wouldn't expect niche tire builders like Heidenau and Mitas to be making the best dual sport tires (according to the most enthusiastic of the enthusiasts) while the big name tire manufacturers look on.

There is some demand for the AT and it should have good sales in the first months or year as the hard core off road and "gotta be first" guys snap them up. What happens next depends on how well CRF-AT meets needs and expectations of "ordinary" buyers. I hope it succeeds and Honda uses the AT platform to build other versions for other market segments.
 

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The answer to that question depends on how accurately Honda judged market demand and whether they depended heavily on forum input to guide product development. "Enthusiasm" on forums does not always equal "purchase" at the dealership. And forum members are not the same as "ordinary" motorcycle buyers (who are riding, not pontificating)...
I agree... IMO a company like Honda would likely see little value in forum enthusiasm, and certainly not in terms of product development. When a forum (like this one) has members who actually own and are riding the bike, then Honda will likely be reading posts in order to glean some valuable input from end users.
 

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WHAT THE AT COULD HAVE DONE FOR ADV

I seriouslly doubt if Honda cares what I think, but I want to believe they could sell more dual sport bikes (and ultimately make more money) if they had made a less technically complex, less expensive, 425-450 pound, 750-800cc bike with 21/18" tires, burning regular grade fuel available RTW.

By bumping up the weight, complexity and expense, Honda has reduced the total number of potential buyers globally.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here's a question. Does anyone think Honda may look at creating the Africa Twin family?

CRF700L anyone??
 

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I don't see why not. They've already invested so much into the CRF1000L, may as well use the basis of it for a few more touring models. Just don't know if it's a CRF700L but smaller capacity AT isn't off the table and we do see how successful Honda is with small cap bikes like the GROM.
 

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Looks like they'll attack the entry level next...
http://canadamotoguide.com/2015/11/09/honda-crf250-rally-appears-destined-for-production-soon/


Makes sense as I'm sure there are many new riders now looking for Adv machines instead of the usual mainstream sport/cruiser offerings.
All they need is a 500/650cc machine (Transalp II?) to fill out the stable. The popularity of the CB500x Rally Raid seems to indicate there is demand out there.
I'm not sure what their plan for the CRF250 Rally is... I could see (and hope) Honda builds a little hooligan bike like the KTM Duke...
 
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