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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been posting here and reading for many years - I had to renew my membership a while back and lost all of my previous post count. But I remember reading and seeing comments about TW's being in short supply for the entire time that I've been reading this forum.

The question is why? If there's always a shortage, that would mean that Yamaha could easily increase production without creating a surplus.

Why market something and then not make enough to meet demand? Does this keep the price higher or something?

I don't get it.

How many folks looking at a TW and like them end up going with another brand simply because the dealer doesn't have TW's in stock?

I'm currently looking and that's exactly what's going on - the dealer is out of stock on the TW's but has Honda CRF's in stock and is pushing that.

And while I'm at it, why not boost the power plant to 250 cc's and bump the tank up to around 3 gallons? Don't they listen to their customers? These have been long time issues as well....
 

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There is some evidence that things are changing in our favor and that the bike is in fact increasing in popularity, but from a buisiness point of view the fact is that the TW isn't yet in high demand at all relative to most bikes in this displacement class.

They come in pairs, two to a crate and dealers are hesitant to replenish annual stock on a slow moving model. When they run out, they gotta order TWO more, not just yours. They're far more likely to sell 4, 6, 8 or even 10 XT's or little Hondas than they are to sell 4 Tw's in a year, and they assess their risks and do their ordering accordingly.

The other option is for them to get yours by doing an inventory swap with another dealer who happens to have one in stock. Not a lot in it for the dealer on either end, but sometimes a win/win.

Historically, in vast areas of the market TW's have tended to languish in showrooms only to be blown out at a loss down the road. When folks begin to insist on getting what they wanted, then walk out if it is not offered rather than allowing themselves to be steered to that XT or 230 instead, real demand will be established and stocking levels will increase.
 

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That's a great question and Lizrdbrth gave most of the answer. I was the GM at a big shop selling Honda, Kawasaki and KTM. Mostly ATV sales but the ordering process is the same.
Based on the previous years sales plus projections for the new year and considering new models we had to make up a very large order at a particular time of the year to get what we needed for when the new model year came out. It was a bit of a crap shoot trying to get as close as possible so we did not end up with too many left overs we had to blow out at a loss. Keep in mind that dealers can take delivery of sometimes 200 units all at once and they start paying the floor plan on each and every unit when it arrives on their floor. If I ordered 6 Gold Wings and they sat around for too long it cost me big bucks. At the end of the model year if I still had 3 of those Gold Wings soon to be left overs it hurt pretty bad. On the flip side of this scenario, if you find a dealer who has a few left over TW's when the new model year comes out you can be assured he has not ordered as many for the new model year. He paid the floor plan for as long as they sat on his floor and likely will have to drop the price and take a steeper loss to blow them out.
Dealer swaps are what kept us going after our initial order from the company began to dwindle. If I had a run on Gold Wings and sold all the ones I had but needed more I had to pay the freight to go to another dealer and get one of his or hope the company had additional units warehoused close by that I could get delivered some time soon. We often traded various models between other dealers, I'll take 2 of your TWs for 2 of my XTs for instance. Some dealers would not trade any bikes for fear they could get caught short.
You also have to understand there is some regional issues to be considered. Some Yamaha dealers couldn't give TWs away depending upon their location while others can sell a bunch. Also don't overlook the power of the TV and Theater. If a show comes on showing Tom Cruise out in the desert having a blast with a bunch of guys running around on TWs that might be one of those OH $hit moments for a dealer when every one and his buddy wants what they were riding. It is a very tough business and there is a great deal more money to be made on accessories, extended maintenance plans and on service than on selling a unit.

GaryL
 

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An other consideration of selling TW's is the fact that few buyers of new TW's don't load up their arms with chrome and accessories after the purchase. We all know there is much more profit in those items, than a little simple plane jane TW motorcycle. Profit relates to saleable motorcycles, and accessories.
Mel
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would think that a shop would want to sell starter type bikes because they often lead to another bike - not to mention the noob needs gear - helmets, jackets, gloves, etc... racks and other stuff too... they are missing the point.
 

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I've never found the TW to be in short supply from a new dealer standpoint it's very common to see bikes 2 years old still on the dealer showroom floors. I don't think they are a big mover for new dealers but the used market is the best I've ever seen 35 years of wheeling and dealing used bikes
 

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I've never found the TW to be in short supply from a new dealer standpoint it's very common to see bikes 2 years old still on the dealer showroom floors. I don't think they are a big mover for new dealers but the used market is the best I've ever seen 35 years of wheeling and dealing used bikes
Any dealer still holding a few two year old but brand new TWs on his inventory is being foolish. He outright owns those units and refuses to cut and run! They can't pay the bills with bikes sitting in perpetual inventories.
I do agree the used market for nice TWs is quite vibrant but certainly not at almost new bike prices. Ask yourself, would you spend $3800 for a slightly used, no warranty 2013 when you could probably find a new 2014 with warranty for $500-600 more? I would view a dealer with a couple left over but new 2011 T dubs as a dealer not willing to deal!

GaryL
 

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Nice summary Gary. I am an Ass. GM at a multi line dealer and this sums it up nicely. We currently have way too much old inventory and we are working on blowing that out. So at times I will have to forgo getting much new even if that means a lost sale in order to get make sure the store as a whole is not too deep with flooring etc. Customers are pretty fickle to and right now for us it is more about what is new. That is what is garnering the most interest. The TW is unique and I have two 2014 coming!

That's a great question and Lizrdbrth gave most of the answer. I was the GM at a big shop selling Honda, Kawasaki and KTM. Mostly ATV sales but the ordering process is the same.
Based on the previous years sales plus projections for the new year and considering new models we had to make up a very large order at a particular time of the year to get what we needed for when the new model year came out. It was a bit of a crap shoot trying to get as close as possible so we did not end up with too many left overs we had to blow out at a loss. Keep in mind that dealers can take delivery of sometimes 200 units all at once and they start paying the floor plan on each and every unit when it arrives on their floor. If I ordered 6 Gold Wings and they sat around for too long it cost me big bucks. At the end of the model year if I still had 3 of those Gold Wings soon to be left overs it hurt pretty bad. On the flip side of this scenario, if you find a dealer who has a few left over TW's when the new model year comes out you can be assured he has not ordered as many for the new model year. He paid the floor plan for as long as they sat on his floor and likely will have to drop the price and take a steeper loss to blow them out.
Dealer swaps are what kept us going after our initial order from the company began to dwindle. If I had a run on Gold Wings and sold all the ones I had but needed more I had to pay the freight to go to another dealer and get one of his or hope the company had additional units warehoused close by that I could get delivered some time soon. We often traded various models between other dealers, I'll take 2 of your TWs for 2 of my XTs for instance. Some dealers would not trade any bikes for fear they could get caught short.
You also have to understand there is some regional issues to be considered. Some Yamaha dealers couldn't give TWs away depending upon their location while others can sell a bunch. Also don't overlook the power of the TV and Theater. If a show comes on showing Tom Cruise out in the desert having a blast with a bunch of guys running around on TWs that might be one of those OH $hit moments for a dealer when every one and his buddy wants what they were riding. It is a very tough business and there is a great deal more money to be made on accessories, extended maintenance plans and on service than on selling a unit.

GaryL
 

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Nice summary Gary. I am an Ass. GM at a multi line dealer and this sums it up nicely. We currently have way too much old inventory and we are working on blowing that out. So at times I will have to forgo getting much new even if that means a lost sale in order to get make sure the store as a whole is not too deep with flooring etc. Customers are pretty fickle to and right now for us it is more about what is new. That is what is garnering the most interest. The TW is unique and I have two 2014 coming!
I ran a shop for a "penny wise, pound foolish" owner. We did mostly ATVs but got stuck with quite a few units that just did not sell. He insisted on hanging on for top dollar while my job was to blow them off our inventory. Glad to be retired from the stress!

GaryL
 

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I ran a shop for a "penny wise, pound foolish" owner. We did mostly ATVs but got stuck with quite a few units that just did not sell. He insisted on hanging on for top dollar while my job was to blow them off our inventory. Glad to be retired from the stress!

GaryL

It certainly can be a lot of stress. I inherited a very bloated inventory but I am lucky that the owner and I see eye to eye on this. With old inventory you lose have already lost the money. You might as well not make it worse by holding on to it. I look at it as lost opportunity for a higher margin sale.
 

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It certainly can be a lot of stress. I inherited a very bloated inventory but I am lucky that the owner and I see eye to eye on this. With old inventory you lose have already lost the money. You might as well not make it worse by holding on to it. I look at it as lost opportunity for a higher margin sale.
My final activity before leaving the shop was a very highly advertised Yard Sale of brand new left over units. We planned it for a long weekend in March right around when income tax returns were coming. We sold 24 units, all left overs and took a loss on every one of them. The owner was not too thrilled but we dumped dead weight and made much needed room in the shop and service/storage area. I had already reduced our orders of the less desired units that did not sell in this region. You know how a lot of this works that the lay person doesn't. From the manufacturer we were required to carry the full line and lots of other accessories. There was a lot of behind the scene wheeling and dealing with stuff like generators that we could hardly give away. I still ride my Yamaha TW in a free to me Honda MC jacket!

GaryL
 

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Spokane, where I picked mine up in 03, never regretted it. Remember not being prepared as they gave me a jacket and I put on a garbage sack to keep the 28 degree wind off so I could drive it 8 mi back to my pickup to load. Loved it in Alaska, as that is why I bought it, and love it here in western wa where I can do the forest service roads I cannot take a quad on.
 
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