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Laura Kennerley  says:

Lame entry level bikes stifling sales to trendy 20-somethings

Trendy 20-somethings are turning their backs on biking because manufacturers are not making machines that appeal to them, Britain’s only bike design house has claimed. Motorcycles for sale Mark Wells and Ian Wride founders of Xenophya Motorcycle Design believe manufacturers should re-introduce stylish 400 and 500cc capacity bikes aimed at fashion-following 20-somethings who are new to biking. To prove their point, they...

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  • Posted 5 years ago (08 October 2009 08:55)

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Oct 08

Posts: 1

ryancusick7 says:


not appealing at all.

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Feb 05

Posts: 28

rjdjones says:


It looks like a kid's drawing of a bike.  If they really want to make a bike that appeals to more people then they should start thinking about what could really encourage people to get into biking:

1. Cheap - to buy, to run, and high mpg or electric, low tax, 0% offers

2. Easy to ride - good, adjustable riding position, easy on the wrists and back, great handling

3. Comfortable - heated grips, good seat as standard - no need to buy an airhawk

4. Easy to maintain - an improved belt drive, accessible engine - easy to remove fairing, cheap to service and repair

5. Doesn't look like the Honda C90 :)

Fashion designs are a gimmick and will only appeal to a few.  We really need something that's an effective alternative to public transport, and much more support from the government to achieve this - there's a ride to work scheme for bicycles - why not one for motorbikes?

I want a sportsbike, but I know it'll just be an expensive hobby, but I also want a cheap commuter that's cheap and easy to maintain - can't believe how much time I'm wasting in traffic these days.

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Apr 09

Posts: 46

deaks25 says:

Right Idea But...

I do think there is too much of a gap. After 125cc's you go straight up to either 500cc commuter rubbish or spend a silly amount of money on something nice. And considering how much has gone into nice 125's in the last few years like the Honda Varadero 125, Yamaha YZF-R125, Cagiva Mito and the Derbi GPR125, having your introduction into proper bikes on some crappy chinese thing that starts rusting as it leaves the showroom or something dire like an old ER-5 that handles like a pudding, could end it for people. The only problem is British bikers want 600cc and upwards. The 400cc sports is still going strong in Japan, but we gave it up so long ago it'll just never happen again.

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Jan 09

Posts: 76

Nephilius says:


Really? Well I say fuck 'em. They'll behave like dicks on the road and get us all tarred with the same brush. And I don't, for what it's worth, think it has anything to do with design. I think that twentysomethings are part of the digital generation, and the problem is more to do with them not wanting to switch off their PS2s and XBoxes and leave their sofas: why get a bike when you can ride round whilst playing SBK09? That, and the fact that they can't afford anything better than some scruffy old shitter that's been couriered to death to ride about on

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Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:


This is the ugliest bike I have seen for some time...

Seriously what do you mean by using the word emasculating? There are some but not enough women who ride bikes and we don't want to put those off! In fact this is probably the largest most untapped market segment. If you mean that the bikes don't look good or go well I disagree -  there are a whole range of wonderful 600s/650s that are really good for learners who are really interested in bikes. Many of them are relatively small and light and easy to handle but look good too. Look at the Ducati Monster, the ER6/ ER6F, the SV the Fazer and XJ6 or the XZ660... However I'm in agreement with ridjones who says that their aren't many bikes specially for the people who are commuting and don't want a scooter. This would be a new market segment that has been left alone for far too long and I think to produce a bike for this segment that a capacity in the range you mention (400/500cc maybe diesel with CVT) would be sensible...

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Feb 09

Posts: 4678

philehidiot says:


Thanks for that. I'm 24 and recently had an advanced lesson where I was told I was a very good, smooth rider - "quick but the safe quick". I take a lot of pride in my riding and given your ignorant attitude to other people I'm probably far more courteous to other people on the road than you are.

I have more problems on the roads with cocks on 1000cc supersports than I do with those on lower powered "scruffy old shitter" bikes.

The argument for bringing in a range of lower powered bikes is absolutely sound, not only for the obviously automatically reckless twenty-somethings. Doesn't it make more sense for anyone taking up riding to go up the capacity scale rather than passing their test and finding all they can really have is a 600cc? 30 years ago a 600cc would give 30ish bhp. Now it's more 70-100bhp. You think that's a sensible leap from a max of 15bhp as a learner?

Kawasaki have hit the market bang on with their Ninja 250R - shame about the insurance costs. Hopefully other manufacturers will follow with appealing lower capacity bikes allowing riders of all ages to get something decent without having to leap on something that'll keep pace with a rocket.

Now stop being an ignorant prat.

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Jul 08

Posts: 70

Quariosv650 says:

no no no

i'm 23 so i am in my early 20s right? i think that bike is horrible. what we 20 somthings want are cool looking bike that go faitly quick on the road, not on a track, but can also be used to take out the girls, so a good pillion seat is needed. that bike above is not gonna pull anyone, let alone sales. and if we wanted rero looking bike you can pick them up fairly cheap and they dont cost too much to insure. if i can run a 750 ninja on my lowly income and self support i think a retro 500 would be quite cheap too.

i do agree tho, the market is missing those small capacity bikes that look awesome but are comfy and practical. things like the old vfr400, classic and quick. we need more bike like that. infact if a bike like that came back i would be tempted to store my ninja for while, wait for more money to really do it up and just ride the lil 400.

p.s. does anyone else see a lil bit of the old honda stepthru (cub50 i think) in that styling? or is it just me?

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Oct 08

Posts: 11

Johndercat says:


You my friend are clueless.

What kind of attitude is that? Seriously you must be extracting the Michael because someone that shortsighted shouldn't be in charge of their own bowels never mind a motorbike. The post you put across is neither relevant nor factual, how the video games market relates to this is beyond me, and at least if all of us are spending our precious time on our PS3's then we have a more interesting hobby than pretending to be Jeremy Clarkson on the MCN forums.

The perception is that biking in the UK is seen as an old man's game but in truth there are a lot of bloody good young riders out there (although there could do with being more), and I for one am keen to get home in one piece so i might actually live long enough to see my children grow up, so if it's all the same I'll keep riding in a reponsible manner (but if this inconveniences you in anyway, ie makes your attitude towards young people out to be incorrect, please be sure to let me know so I can start riding like a maniac). It's about time the manufacturers started realising that we don't all want to put our spiderman costumes on once a week and go swinging from corner to corner and while I wouldn't buy something that looks like the picture above I am certainly all for the concept. Let's have bikes for young people who want to commute instead of waiting til we hit 40 and buying a Harley (No offence Harley owners, but I ain't there yet!) or an R1 despite having not ridden in 20 years and spreading ourselves as far as possible down the A28 in a single crash.

Oh and just so you're aware, I got off my sofa and went to get a bike because I a) needed transport and always wanted a bike and b) have a real passion for biking, all year round, instead of using it as an excuse for a bacon roll outside Generic Yamaha Dealer on a Sunday morning.

As bikers we have enough issues out there day to day, the last thing we need is bikers harrassing other bikers because they're younger. That's a bit sad really.

Looking forward to seeing you spilling out of your leathers on the next series of grumpy old men.

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Oct 09

Posts: 1

bradlyblade says:


I agree with johndercat, im 24 and have two bikes- a blade and a vfr400 track bike. i'm also in the process of buying a "couriered to death scruffy old shitter" to turn into a cafe racer, or my interpretation anyhow. I enjoy riding in all manners, sometimes faster than most other road goers, but i always ride courteously and responsibly. This is true of all of my fellow 20 something biker friends- the most dangerous and thoughtless riders i know are over forty with a point to prove or years to claw back. When there's ice on the roads i turn to my xbox or ps3. Anyone that has a problem with that needs to have long hard look in a mirror and ask themselves what went wrong with there lives to make them so discriminative, bitter and lets face it, jealous. Regarding the article i feel this is true but not necessarily relating solely to twenty-somethings. Most people don't ride the correct bike for them or for the roads, give anyone an unlimited budget and ask them to create there perfect bike and you wouldn't come close to finding anything like it in the showrooms...

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Oct 08

Posts: 68

JS4119 says:

I'm a twenty something

So, my ER6f isn't desirable? I guess that means the ER6n isn't a great looking bike either? Or the Z750, the bandits, the GSF 650f, Gladius, the FZ6, the XJ6? Nobody could want any of them right? I think this is tosh. Manufacturers have spent a great deal of time and money making their 'entry level' bikes look good and ride well and I was faced with some really tough (but nice) choices when I bought my bike. Whilst in an ideal world I'd own a ZZR or the new VFR they'd be a bugger to insure and cost three times the price. As it is my bike is easily fast enough to put a smile on my face, didn't make me soil myself on the very cold, wet tarmac at five this morning and is an affordable (and stylish) first rung on the big bike ladder. The only reason I'd have to change it is because I wanted something bigger for my own enjoyment, not because the bike is in any way inadequate. Perhaps if the design people spoke to real twenty somethings and not just the uber hip London fasion squad then maybe they wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the great looking middleweight bikes out there.

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