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I'd heard a while back that Honda leads the pack by a very long way in units sold. It's kind of nice because it allows them to innovate and risk failure where others flat refuse. Resurrect the classic CB platform? No problem! Strip down the Wing and sell it as a bagger? Check out the F6B! Make the Valkyrie ugly? Not a big deal for Honda!

I'm just being a wiseass, but really, it gives them a lot of leverage to try new things. Shame America doesn't care lol
 

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I'd love me to have a 2014 CB1100. Love the old school standard look!

And make it a CAFE style bike!

 

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Numbers don't lie. They don't always tell the whole truth though.

Honda is a heavy industry with a bunch of interconnected divisions. The Motley Fool did hit on a salient point. It relies on its auto division to pump in 78 cents out of every dollar they make. If I led a corporation that made three out of every four quarters from cars then I would be committed to 3/4's of my time and energy to cars, at least. Maybe more.

Honda hasn't fashioned an image as a cutting edge, risk taking motorcycle manufacturer. Really, in classic Japanese style they take innovations that exist and dial them into some pretty bulletproof products. I'm sure there's some tech that Honda brought to the game, but that I can't think of any off the top of my head is probably more important than whatever those improvements are.

The Fool makes the point that two percent of the market is American.
So, when you make 78 cents on cars and out of the remaining 22 cents you carve out your industrial, commercial and power generation pieces and then out of the remaining chunk you commit to your piece of 2 percent global sales, well I'm not all warm and fuzzy about you and me sharing the passion of the open road.

Kind of like Polaris, but at least Polaris has a focus on powersports, albeit shared with it's utility products. You got to give the kewpie doll to HD on this one. They are immersed in their motorcycles and they focus like a laser on their consumers.

The Fool doesn't understand the whole motorcycle thing either. Under the heading of enthusiast they lump all riders in. Jay Leno has little in common with a Filipino who scratches out maybe 2 grand a year and needs to move eggs from one place to the other.

Honda is a car manufacturer. 78% of their products are cars sporting 4 wheels and part of the remainder are cars with 2 wheels. Some sliver of their product portfolio is actual motorcycles. They used to make them in Ohio. They used to make Runes.
 

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Honda hasn't fashioned an image as a cutting edge, risk taking motorcycle manufacturer.
Ur uh what? Maybe not lately, but they've got created more choice than anyone. And if Harley is any indication of human psychology, we aren't ones who thrive on newness, thus I'd argue that Honda is by far one of the most risk taking.

Thumpers...check

Inline V-twins...check

Opposed V-twins...check

Parallel V-twins...check

Inline 4s...check

Inline V-4s...check

Opposed V-4s...check

Inline 6s...check

Opposed 6s...check

Beginner Bikes...check

Standards...check

Sportbikes...check

Cruisers...check

Dual Purpose...check

Tourers...check

And to stick with what motivates many of us, their Goldwing was like nothing else when introduced. Subsequently, all the other brands (save Harley) tried to make a competing model and all gave up as Hondas were better and sold more.

While Honda sat out several design cycles in the recent past, it does seem like they are back at it again with new bikes like the CTX line. If this ain't cutting edge, I don't know what is.

 

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What is an inline or opposed V-twin or V4? "Inline" means all the cylinders are in one line, and opposed means the cylinders are on opposite sides of the crankshaft?

Do you mean longitudinal vs. transverse?
 

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Hero makes millions of bikes per year. They are by far the largest producer in the world. No one else even comes close.
HERO "only" fabricates 6 million bikes a year, I thought Honda made 15 million bikes a year

http://www.fool.com/investing/genera...brands-do.aspx

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Honda's motorcycle division sold nearly 15.5 million motorcycles
UNQUOTE

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that puts the company at 16,250 motorcycles sold. Polaris
UNQUOTE

ride what you like and like what you ride
 

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What is an inline or opposed V-twin or V4? "Inline" means all the cylinders are in one line, and opposed means the cylinders are on opposite sides of the crankshaft?

Do you mean longitudinal vs. transverse?
Yes that is what I meant, but the terms weren't popping into my head.
 

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HERO "only" fabricates 6 million bikes a year, I thought Honda made 15 million bikes a year

http://www.fool.com/investing/genera...brands-do.aspx

QUOTE
Honda's motorcycle division sold nearly 15.5 million motorcycles
UNQUOTE

QUOTE
that puts the company at 16,250 motorcycles sold. Polaris
UNQUOTE
The link didn't work. I find it very difficult to believe any company sold 15.5 million bikes but for the sake of argument; that would make HD, Indian, and Victory sales look like a drop out of the Great Lakes. Actually; Hero's sales does that too.

Edit: I found the source Pop used and it looks like it's true. This really blows me away.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/08/09/youd-probably-never-guess-that-this-is-the-worlds.aspx?source=isesitlnk0000001&mrr=1.00
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The link didn't work. I find it very difficult to believe any company sold 15.5 million bikes but for the sake of argument; that would make HD, Indian, and Victory sales look like a drop out of the Great Lakes. Actually; Hero's sales does that too.

Edit: I found the source Pop used and it looks like it's true. This really blows me away.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/08/09/youd-probably-never-guess-that-this-is-the-worlds.aspx?source=isesitlnk0000001&mrr=1.00
I find it pretty easy to believe, considering the motorcycle culture (primary transportation) in high-density places like India, Philippines, cities in China and South America is so much different than the motorcycle culture here in the USA (hobby).
 

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15 Million new Honda's a year looks about right to me, living / working in Asia for 20 years now.

Every day i see a family of 4 or 7 persons on a 125 cc motorcycle, it is the only transport they have. Then not even to mention in the "jungle" it would be impossible for any car or bus to reach there, but the little 125 cc bikes, no matter what brand have no problems transporting the whole family, babies / grandmothers from 1 to another village..

Did some serious off-roading here, and these bikes are the main transport even in the forests.
 

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Ur uh what? Maybe not lately, but they've got created more choice than anyone. And if Harley is any indication of human psychology, we aren't ones who thrive on newness, thus I'd argue that Honda is by far one of the most risk taking.

Thumpers...check


Inline V-twins...check

Opposed V-twins...check

Parallel V-twins...check

Inline 4s...check

Inline V-4s...check

Opposed V-4s...check

Inline 6s...check

Opposed 6s...check

Beginner Bikes...check

Standards...check

Sportbikes...check

Cruisers...check

Dual Purpose...check

Tourers...check

And to stick with what motivates many of us, their Goldwing was like nothing else when introduced. Subsequently, all the other brands (save Harley) tried to make a competing model and all gave up as Hondas were better and sold more.

While Honda sat out several design cycles in the recent past, it does seem like they are back at it again with new bikes like the CTX line. If this ain't cutting edge, I don't know what is.

If you have mortgaged the farm to sell a single product that has at best a niche marketability, Pop would consider you a risktaker. If you are a massive manufacturing powerhouse with global reach that churns out mindnumbing versions of a product that is not even your marquee line of goods, risktaker? Ehh not so much.

I think otherwise that we agree despite the disagreement. Which of the above list of yours did Honda invent?

Which did they improve?

I think the considered response is that Honda invented none of the above. Honda improved all of the above.

That you can and do throw all you can muster at the wall and see what sticks is one way to market manufactured goods. There are other methods and reasons for bringing goods to market. The all things to all people business plan. Meh, has plusses and minuses. Among other methods is a recognized affinity for the product, a method not a hallmark of Honda or alas, Polaris.

In the same spirit of argumentative agreement, I don't believe Harley knows how to build a better product than Honda or for that matter, Victory. I believe Harley knows very much better than Honda how to sell motorcycles to the 2 per cent share that they cater to.
 
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