Just how wrong did yamaha get the launch of the S10?

Bmwdumptruck

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I could be reading you wrong, but that chart shows Yamaha as the most reliable. Making it the value in my book.
To some degree I’d agree with you, but explain how thousands keep buying the least reliable and usually most expensive option? I’ve found on many occasions they all believe them to be totally reliable. It’s only when you ask direct questions they start admitting they’ve had the problems. But as most things are fixed under warranty it’s all ok……
 

Jlq1969

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To some degree I’d agree with you, but explain how thousands keep buying the least reliable and usually most expensive option? I’ve found on many occasions they all believe them to be totally reliable. It’s only when you ask direct questions they start admitting they’ve had the problems. But as most things are fixed under warranty it’s all ok……
There are simply people who buy: 1) what others buy 2) the most expensive 3) the largest 4) what makes them seem like they belong to another social stratum 5) the fastest 6) the one with the most hp 7) they want be the first on the street with the recent model 8) etc, etc, etc ...
conclusion: they need society to recognize them as, wealthy, capable, intelligent, superior to the rest ...... and then there are those who buy "the same motorcycle", because they like it, and because using their knowledge and experience, they can evaluate through comparisons with other motorcycles, that the same motorcycle is the one indicated for them
I think the first, are the majority in the world of maxitrail
 

lund

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There are simply people who buy: 1) what others buy 2) the most expensive 3) the largest 4) what makes them seem like they belong to another social stratum 5) the fastest 6) the one with the most hp 7) they want be the first on the street with the recent model 8) etc, etc, etc ...
conclusion: they need society to recognize them as, wealthy, capable, intelligent, superior to the rest ...... and then there are those who buy "the same motorcycle", because they like it, and because using their knowledge and experience, they can evaluate through comparisons with other motorcycles, that the same motorcycle is the one indicated for them
I think the first, are the majority in the world of maxitrail
Agree 100%, its a badge a symbol even if its actually a POS. That goes with anything. A sense of belonging to something bigger is a human trait that can be expressed in many ways.
 

RCinNC

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I don't think Yamaha screwed up with their introduction to the big ADV market. I just think they were aiming for a pretty niche market in the first place.

They wanted to build a bike that was going to be a GS killer. They spent a lot of R&D money to design a purpose specific engine and bike that, if judged by quality and reliability alone, could stand toe to toe with its Bavarian brethren. At the same time, they had to hit a price point that would make the bike appear to be a bargain to someone who was already predisposed to buy a BMW. And there is where I believe the trouble started.

People who are looking at BMWs obviously already have a fair amount of disposable income at their fingertips. They're mentally adjusted to the idea of their dream bike costing $20,000 and up. Those same potential BMW buyers are certainly aware of the status of owning a BMW; if you already have the disposable income for a really expensive bike, then the perceived status of the bike you're buying becomes just as important of a selling factor as the quality of the bike (actually, it might be more important, at least for some). Why pay a wheelbarrow full of cash for a bike unless your bike is going to project the image that you crave?

And along comes the Super Tenere. At face value, it seems like it should be a winner. Japanese reliability at a lower price than the market leader. But who exactly are they trying to appeal to? That very narrow range of buyer who has the money for a BMW, but is willing to spend 5 grand less to get a brand new bike with no status, no cachet, and certainly no bragging rights of ownership. If you're looking at a BMW, then it's a safe bet that all those perceived qualities of the BMW (including status) are important to you, and you're willing to pay for them. If you're that BMW guy, why would you pay less? And if stone axe reliability without frills was what you were seeking, you probably wouldn't be looking at BMWs in the first place, even if you had the disposable income. I'm that guy, as I imagine a lot of guys on this forum are, but being on this forum just reinforces our confirmation bias. We have to acknowledge that sales of the GS trounce sales of the S10, and that's not because Yamaha screwed up their marketing. Yes, they could have built a cheaper bike, and positioned it to compete with something like the DL1000, but how would a bargain basement ADV bike draw away potential BMW buyers who were already willing to spend twice as much on a bike? You may think that the S10 was overpriced upon introduction, but to make that claim, you'd have to have the inside track on what the development costs were on a totally new bike with an engine that wasn't going to be shared across other platforms.

I think that Yamaha faced the same hurdle at making a competitor for the GS as Japanese bike makers in general faced when they spent decades trying to dethrone Harley in the cruiser market. They made a far superior product to the Harley in areas that you'd think would be important, yet in the mid 2000's HD was selling a quarter of a million bikes a year. It didn't matter how much of a bargain a Japanese cruiser was, or how much better it was, or how much they advertised them, because HD had long ago mastered Lizard Brain Marketing 101, and the Japanese couldn't compete with that. BMW holds much that same position in the ADV market.

I don't think Yamaha screwed up the marketing for the Super Ten. I don't think anything they tried marketing-wise would have succeeded in doing what they wanted to do, which was to substantially make inroads into the GS buying market. They could have tried to make a cheaper ADV bike to try and compete with Suzuki, but in 2010, how big was the "adventure bike" market anyway? Why spend the money to develop a bike to compete in a low cost, low interest segment of the market (at the time)? How many DL650s and DL1000s were being sold in 2010 that would have made Yamaha say "aha, now that's the market we need to get into"? I think that proposing that S10's would have flown off the shelves if they had only priced them cheaper ignores some of the market forces at play, both back when the S10 was introduced and now. Yamaha specifically wanted a piece of the GS market, and they weren't going to get that by making a bike that buyers would perceive as "cheap' or "bargain level", even if it was an excellent bike. A DL650 is an excellent ADV bike, but no one is going to make a claim that it's a serious competitor in the demographic that buys BMW.
 

WJBertrand

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BMW is similar to Harley in that both brands sell you a certain degree of imagined prestige. This is very powerful to those personalities that care what others think. I never buy anything for myself with any thought of impressing others,and couldn’t give two flips what anyone else thinks.

Because most Japanese brands (bikes and cars) have a history of mass producing affordable products, it’s very difficult for them to establish the same level of prestige, albeit snobbery. Only Lexus seems to have been partially successful at this, and they had to drop the Toyota name to do it.


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Jlq1969

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I had already commented on it in another post, but I bring that comment again for those who perhaps do not know, or for those who, as it usually happens to me, we simply forget…. ”the origin”… ..if we go back to the origins of BMW, it was normal, like any good industry. the first war raged on her. the second war also wreaked havoc on the brand. The exit from the second war was not easy, as with any factory that wanted to rise from the ashes, until it fell into bankruptcy. but… .from there, there is a new wonderful resurgence, to this day, that new BMW (post WWII) is not the same as the first birth. That resurgence was thanks to the immense contribution of capital, capital that was morally and ethically “stained”…. Yes, it is true today Is so big that the stain is no longer visible and those who consume the brand, only enjoy the present… .the rest It's a thing of the past… .I always forget, but when I remember it, I just “imagine” how it was (I hadn't been born yet) …… ..and I feel a sense of rejection… .it's strange….
 

Boris

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In about 2012 I was returning from a bike trip on my Caponord, boarding a ferry in Calais, heading to Dover. Next to me was a fully adventure kitted Super Tenere, which was being tied down by the owner. We had a bit of a chat and in my head I said to myself, I have to get one of those. At that time I wasn’t in a financial position to get one, but over the next few years, every now and again I would do some research and still wanted one. Eventually I got one and haven’t been disappointed. It’s served me well, I’m enjoying ownership and it’s done everything I’ve asked and expected from it.

Prior to buying it, I never sought anyones approval, nor did I after purchase and still don’t today. Some people like it, some don’t. Either way I’m not bother by it, my bike is no better or worse due to their thoughts.

Also, I have no interest in dragging other brands in the gutter, nor picking at others reasons for purchasing a particular brand. I think it’s insulting to think other bikers, many long term bikers, are looking for the badge, easily influenced or just following trends. Yeah, some probably do, but a lot don’t.

Live and let live, be happy for others, celebrate others choices. Pulling down others could just be covering for a feeling of self inadequacy.
 

Longdog Cymru

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To some degree I’d agree with you, but explain how thousands keep buying the least reliable and usually most expensive option? I’ve found on many occasions they all believe them to be totally reliable. It’s only when you ask direct questions they start admitting they’ve had the problems. But as most things are fixed under warranty it’s all ok……
Which explains a few things;

1. There is a good reason that people who buy that particular motorcycle tend to change them at around the point where the free warranty ends. If they want to extend the warranty, they have to pay.
2. The reason why pre-owned examples command such high prices, which is that pre-owned bikes are covered by another 2 year warranty, (and someone has to pay for that warranty,).
3. You hardly ever hear from the media about the faults and issues but if you bother to read the Forums, then there are plenty of issues recorded and the dealers attend to them pretty darn quickly to keep the customers satisfied.

So yes, owners of these machines enjoy very good dealer service, but the question is, why should they have to? Maybe this is why the dealerships sell just one brand exclusively so that their customers can’t compare notes with buyers of other motorcycle brands!
 

Dirt_Dad

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So many interesting observations here. As an original PDP owner who waited nearly a year for my gen 1 to arrive, I can say Yamaha marketing had absolutely noting to do with me leaving my beloved DL1000 behind and pulling the trigger. It was a bike that fit my demand for reliability, desire for a shaft drive, off pavement capability, long distance capability and a price point that made it truly a stand out obvious choice for me.

Over 9 years and 3 more Tenere purchases there could be no credit given to Yamaha marketing. Before each purchase I considered everything on the adventure market at that time. Capability, reliability, performance and price all were considered. Each time, the Tenere was the obvious choice. I had the luxury of being able to pass my current Tenere to my wife and get the newest greatest bike for me, but it was always another Tenere that made the cut. I guess I was that niche market.

When I was ready for a change in 2020, yamaha had nothing new to offer me. It's a shame. I've always been a Yamaha guy. Then again, I have nothing to complain about since leaving the Tenere.
 

Sierra1

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BMW is similar to Harley in that both brands sell you a certain degree of imagined prestige. . . . it’s very difficult for them to establish the same level of prestige, albeit snobbery. Only Lexus seems to have been partially successful at this, and they had to drop the Toyota name to do it.
Absofreakinlutely. Funny enough, they both are trying to present the opposite ends of prestige. BMW is portraying the sophistication of German engineering, and Harley is portraying the "bad assery" of their design. But you gotta pay to play. With the products from Japan, everybody can play, no exclusivity. There's plenty of "cool stuff" out there. . . . but, most times, the juice ain't worth the squeeze. I can't afford to buy something, and then spend money to keep it running.

Even Lexus, or Infinity, doesn't have the wow factor that other "inferior" brands have. We like what we like . . . . but then we have to decide if we can live with what we like.
 

Dirt_Dad

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… did you manage to solve the heat problem in time at the SAS?:):):):)
Cool Covers was the 85% solution. The other 15% came from keeping low side pant zipper closed on the right side. No longer a thought. Waiting in line at Devil's Tower this summer the temps were over 100 degrees F. Can't say the SAS was any warmer than the Tenere in those conditions. Take the Cool Cover off and you'll know it.
 

VRODE

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A big ADV bike was my target after years of sportier bikes. I tend to research a lot and my research revealed that as much as I likes the big GS, cost of ownership was going to be higher, even if I never had problems with the bike. The fact that there were definitely more warranty issues with them was a big factor. As near as I can tell, Yamaha marketing was minimal to non existent around here. I saw my first ST at the Montreal trade show. I thought they missed the mark because it was so big and heavy. But when I demo'd a Gen2 ES I was sold. It had everything I needed/wanted and nothing it didn't. A comparable GS was going to cost me at least 5k more. l admit, if my dealer sold KTM's I'd probably be riding orange, but I have no complaints.
 

Travex

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When transitioning from dirt/DS to 'adventure touring' I approached the decision on my next bike based on multi-use, comfort, range, reliability, power, ability, toughness, loading, and safety enhancements. Missing from the list were appearance, names and cost. The S10 won out on every consideration and has proven why since mile 1.
 
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