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Anonymous

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Guy Procter  says:

10 things bike firms could learn from their own ads

Look at bike ads from decades past and you come away thinking some manufacturers today aren’t fighting hard enough for the customers they could have. What happened to having the balls to compare yourselves to your competitors? When did pointing out there are compelling reasons to ride other than fulfilling a trackday fantasy become a dumb idea? Why did you...

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  • Posted 3 years ago (07 November 2011 14:36)

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MGV7

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Nov 11

Posts: 1

MGV7 says:

" I'd really love to see Duc make a sub 1000cc faired, low end grunt (for real riding), comfortable, 55mpg+ machine (oh! and much less than 15 grand as well please!) that we could use to commute and would still be good for a weekend ride out."jacksonc001 They did: Multistrada 650; I had one but didn't rate it much; poor finish and a pain to ride in town (sharp clutch, tall gearing, peaky power delivery). Great article; I'm old enough for those ads to make me feel nostalgic for '70s. I used to commute to college by bike (CB175) year round out of necessity but really can't recommend it for half the year in the UK: those days when you have to scrape the frost off the saddle, feel the rain trickling down the back of your neck and suffer the agonies of frozen hands thawing - no thanks. Bikes are a great recreation but unfortunately our climate will always discourage daily use while alternatives exist.

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Dullthud

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Jun 07

Posts: 12

Dullthud says:

And for starters

Why doesn't the MCIA run a non brand specific ad of a blurred scooter going past a bus queue with text pointing out that a scooter can be bought, insured and fuelled for less than a London Transport monthly travel card?

The asterisk bit would need to point out it's model and zone dependent, but it is possible.

Great article.

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CBRJGWRR

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Aug 11

Posts: 508

CBRJGWRR says:

A london transport monthly card costs 1200 quid?

That is a lot of money.

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Piglet2010

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Oct 11

Posts: 2379

Piglet2010 says:

Think its bad in the UK?

The UK is practical motorcycle heaven compared to the US - just look at all the models sold by the "Japanese 4" you have that are *not* sold in the US.  And I don't blame them either, e.g. Honda tried importing the Deauville, and I think they sold a total of one (now in my garage) in the state of 3 million people where I live, so it is gone from the line-up in 2012.  People look at my NT700V with wonder - "a motorcycle with built in storage?"

Here motorcycles are mostly weekend toys for pretend outlaws that ride slow, heavy and uncomfortable cruisers with relatively poor handling and brakes, or squids stunting (and killing themselves) on sportbikes.  And both are usually (and illegally) modified to produce as much noise as possible with the intent of annoying people.  Or motorcycles are for early retirees that ride around on Goldwings and other full-dress tourers.

My co-workers think I am crazy for owning rain-gear and riding to work when it is wet, and also for riding a NHX110 (aka Lead 110) scooter around.  And the "real bikers" often shout insults and/or "flip the bird" at me just for riding a scooter.  And we have a much larger percentage of selfish cagers in huge light trucks that rely on passive safety and don't give a damn about endangering other road users.

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Chancho196

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Nov 11

Posts: 1

Chancho196 says:

Brilliant Article.

As a copywriter, I love reading old ads and these are great! But, of course, times change and maybe the slightly more liberal, or PC, adverts work better within this modern demographic. I'm not saying that's right, but when I pose a "new" way of advertising to my clients (instead of the spiel everyone expects), some will decline because they don't want to rock the boat. We live in very different times but, don't worry, like fashion it'll all go full circle. Hmm... "You'll live more in five minutes on a GSXR, than a lifetime in a car. Life's too short to drive a Prius."

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Fly by night

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Sep 07

Posts: 225

Fly by night says:

Fab Adds

The problem is bikes have been demonised, the mcia don't give a fig for the products they are supposed to represent, the companies that make these bikes have lost their way by producing ever faster and ever more plastic and ever bigger bikes forgeting that most people want a commuter and may then decide to go bigger later on.

 

Scooter are fine but those little wheels trouble me.

 

In the old days there were a huge range of small bikes suited for all types of riders, from the sporty types to the laid back types, where have all the twin cylinder 200cc bikes gone, the little cm200 or the 185 cd or the 175 cd ultra reliable not perticularly quick but got you where you were going and reasonably priced.

It would be good to see bikes being advertised on the tv again, and see bikes being showed in a positive light instead of the stupid gang hells angels type crap they like to show.

 

What are the MCIA actually doing head up posteria it would seem.

 

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Fly by night

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Sep 07

Posts: 225

Fly by night says:

Just an add on

One of the things that could make bikes pleasing is if biker didn't have to wear helmets all the time, for sure on open roads going at speed it is best to have a helmet on but ploding around town at cycle speeds there is no need for helmets in fact a study has shown by wearing a helmet at cycling speeds you are more likely to injure yourself because of the helmet.

 

Consider this, a cyclist can ride his bike at around 30 mph on the flat but has no need of wearing a helmet a motorcyclist has to be law wear a helmet even to ride at 1 mph, and according to a cycling study helmets cause serious harm to the wearer at low speeds.

 

So perhaps around town if motorcyclists didn't have to wear helmets they would be considered more in fitting with everyone else.

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CBRJGWRR

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Aug 11

Posts: 508

CBRJGWRR says:

Brilliant

"You'll live more in five minutes on a GSXR, than a lifetime in a car. Life's too short to drive a Prius."

!!! Brilliant !!!

 

Suzuki are you listening?

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Rogerborg

Joined:

Sep 09

Posts: 864

Rogerborg says:

Brilliant article, bang on

Some great comments too.

Being a relatively recent convert to biking, I'm distressed at the decline in the past few years.  Sales down 25% since 2008, dealers and training schools closing all over the place (lose too many and they won't come back in that area), number of new licensees halved after the 2 part test came in, and the pending 3rd Driving License Directive and FUN IST VERBOTEN regulations look set to inflict yet another huge boot to the lug nuts.

I can't remember the last time I saw an advert for a motorcycle or biking anywhere other than in motorcyling media, selling altar candles to the choir.  Bike ads are essentially all the same: lean the bike over, knee out, and rotate the picture so it's essentially horizontal. Slap "YamaHonZuki XRZ900ZZRXR - Liberate the freedom" or equivalent other wankspeak on it, add the mandatory "0% finance available (conditions apply)", print it, and go to the wine bar.

And that might actually be the best adverts that they can do.  I like the idea of advertising bikes as being cheap transport, but they're not.  Above the 125 budget commuter sector, 2011 bikes are almost all expensive, heavy, over powered, over complicated, with erratic build quality, surprisingly high running costs and practically stone age economy and emissions.  Look, just for example, at the Audi A1 1.6 tdi.  104 bhp, 120 mph, 76 mpg combined, 99 carbons (so VED and congestion charge exempt) while carrying 4 in heated, air conditioned comfort.  And that's not even the most efficient supermini out there, not by a long shot.

To get anywhere near that while avoiding the 125 mirthmobiles, you'd looking at spanking about £5,500 on something like a G650GS (good luck finding a dealer who'll give you the time of day if you have the cheek to ask about a 250).  Then it snows and you're crowding into the rush hour sardine train, wishing you'd bought the car.

So, OK, we're back to emotive adverts.  I love the "Life's too short" idea, but it does rather play into the ZOMFG U GUNNA DIE!!!!!!11!!! lobby.  Horse riding is 20 times more dangerous per hour (so probably 200 times per mile), but nobody has it in for horsists, so you won't hear about that.

Sod it, I don't know what we can do, but it looks like the MCIA and manufacturers don't either, and instead are happy to just shift increasingly expensive litre+ bikes to codgers.  Focussing on people cashing in their pensions may not the be best long term strategy, mind.

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