|By Jr60 on Thursday, November 14, 2002 - 04:13 am:|
As you may have read, had my falco stolen about two weeks ago. Am now considering a new bike (after a time of mourning!) and have decided on a tuono. I do not want to pay the offical importers price, have been quoted £7600 by some dealers (£300 more than list). Saved over 2 grand when bought falco as import so reluctant to pay full whack on tuono, although because new bike realise saving will not be as good.
Anyway has anybody heard of any importers that have got tuono's or dates and prices, or anyone of our euro buddies know of prices that I can base whether its worth while waiting for them to become available as imports?
|By Befbever on Thursday, November 14, 2002 - 04:57 am:|
In Belgium, the Tuono's quoted at 12.100 Euro. Discount would be 5% max.
A new Mille '02 is now 11k Euro.
A new Mille R '02 for 13k Euro.
|By Crmc33 on Thursday, November 14, 2002 - 05:16 am:|
S'funny that Bef should have the prices to hand!
|By Befbever on Thursday, November 14, 2002 - 05:32 am:|
Oi! That's just because I was asked about the Mille prices a few weeks ago.
Btw, the Falco's still in the catalogue. Apparently it's a sports-tourer.
|By Jr60 on Thursday, November 14, 2002 - 07:07 am:|
Thanks for the replies, had seen that the cost of the tuono in Italy and Germany was around 12000 euro which does not make it any cheaper than in the UK. Perhaps aprilia have figured that because the type of bike the tuono is does not sell well in the UK that they have reduced the price compared to the euro market?
|By Geo on Thursday, November 14, 2002 - 07:11 am:|
...And other reason that Aprilia USA shot itself in the foot:
the "manufacterer suggested retail price", $13,750 for the RSV, $17,800 for the R -that's 70% higher than an SP-2!!!
It obviously has an insanely high dealer profit built into it since isolated dealers are happy to sell them a several thou off.
Because the US is so large, there are dealers that have no competition nearer than hundreds or even thousands of miles away and they often ask and get full price(or very close to it).
The result has been that many people decided against an Aprilia all together because of the high asking prices.
I have no doubts that if they were marketed here at the same price as in Europe *and* with a decent warranty, Aprilia sales would have been tripled of what they've been.
Many if not most of the buyers have paid 20 to 40% over the lowest dealer's price, directly due to that they've found the resale value of their prised possesion to be...dismal -which in turn reinforced the general perception that Aprilia has been a marketing flop here.
The Falco was better priced, only some 20% more than the Fartstormer or the TLS. What hurt their sales was the "unknown" reliability -more of an issue in middle of the road bikes than in hypersports like the RSV- the poor warranty didn't dispel those worries either.
The final kiss of death was telling the public that the motor was "detuned", making everyone believe that it would be crap compared to the RSV.
Another example of how moronic management can nearly sink an excellent product!
BTW the stink that was raised in the UK about not getting dealer or factory support had been heard around the mcy world, and I hear concerns about it from prospective buyers here. I had no problems getting any of the very few parts that I've needed here.
It's taken Ducati 25 years and countless WSBK wins to reach it's fame and place on the market, Aprilia made the mistake of arrogantly trying to copy Ducati pricing without first earning the recognition they needed.
IMO it's not too late, if Aprilia USA adjusts the '04 suggested retail prices (a lot) lower and offers a two yr full waranty with an optional extended it will succeed.
The advertising budget should go into racing in AMA SBK, that's where the American buyers go to cheer for their bike (no one pays any attention to the RS250 here).
I wish that Aprilia would hire me for running things here!!
|By Prilliant on Thursday, November 14, 2002 - 01:08 pm:|
They could do a lot worse if you ask me.
|By Geo on Thursday, November 14, 2002 - 02:08 pm:|
No, Nnt around here they can't....
The only dealer in Miami Dade county has sold some 20 units all together, he still has a 00 "R" and a 99 SP for sale, a blue RSV 01 and all the 02s you'd want.
In year's past he used to line up the whole Prilia line front, this year they've discarded them out to the back on the side, that doesn't show much hope on their part.
The one dealer in Ft Lauderdale (Broward) did worse and lost the franchise...gone.
The one in Palm Beach has sells also Ducs and MV Augustas, I was there and he wasn't particularly interested in pushing the prilia's.
At the Broward park where the bikers from the 3 counties meet on Sunday mornings, I've seen a grand total of 4 RSVs (including mine!) and no other prilias.
Compare that to 3 bimotas, 4 MVs, over 30 assorted Ducatis!! Never mind the hundreds of Japanese bikes. I don't call that much of a success.
I think that 01 was the banner year here and that in 02 sales went back down, but I'm guessing to this.
Sorry I don't like it one bit either, but I call them as I see them.
It wouldn't be the first time that a euro mfg (car or bike) failed in the US market due to poor marketing.
Remember Alfa, Fiat, Renault, Peugeot?
Other than BMW, Ducati and Triumph no other Euro bike maker was ever been on real solid ground in the US market.
It's not enough to make a great product, when you're the new name in town you have to work twice as hard at marketing, pricing, and customer service. Aprilia should have learned that from the Japanese.
|By Jr60 on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 03:07 am:|
Anyway getting back to the orginal topic, reluctant to pay full whack for tuono for what is basically a stripped down mille (which can get for £6200). Thinking of perhaps getting a second hand mille-r and doing a bit of a tuono conversion. All I can see that is different is the front fairing (looks like standard mille bracket), bars (mille top yoke with clamps, longer cables, etc) and the various plastic bits around the engine. Aprilia are apparently selling these bits in c/fibre (ala tuono-r) as upgrades for standard tuono. Any thoughts?
|By Richandall on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 07:24 am:|
I've been thinking along the lines of trading up/down (who knows?) to a Tuono. Can't be long before UK franchise prices drop to street level, say around £6,000? - only the 'must haves' pay list. Aprilia's already creamed the market with the Tuono 'R' at £11,000. What are they going for now, I wonder? Then they announce a standard model, by all accounts a better balanced package for road use, but it's available only to the journos. I can't get a test ride from Chris Clarke until after the NEC show - like December/ January in the real world and guess why...no bike!
Next year a rush of Tuonos will arrive UK-side. By late summer maybe sooner, prices will drop. That's the time to buy IMO.
If I can wait!
I lurve my Falco
|By Geo on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 08:20 am:|
Deciding between a new or used is another thing altogether.
Since I already have a low mile Mille there's no way that I'd trade it in for the Tuono...but I'd like a stab at a standard riding position, haven't had one of those in many years.
If finances improve I'd like to get part of the Tuono kit and install it on my bike.
I think that I'd stay with clipons for the look and feel instead of the regular bars, and get some adjustable ones with a lot of rise to it-
Like the Gilles or Cyclecats with 3" risers.
I could also just get the higher bars and cut into the head fairing to make room for them but that could look funny......hmm
|By Geo on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 08:28 am:|
Hey Bef do those Belgian prices include the VAT or road taxes?
The USA prices that I quoted ($4,000 higher for the R) do not include ANY taxes.
|By Befbever on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 08:37 am:|
They include VAT but not road taxes.
Rich, it's trading down. Haven't you noticed it's a stripped Mille?
|By Richandall on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 08:39 am:|
Is the Street Fighter the same as or similar to the Tuono? 'Cos the parts are priced & on offer at RSVR.net - Street Fighter
And they also are selling off Falco spares at reduced price. The unreduced prices are pretty scary too!
|By Befbever on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 08:47 am:|
The Streetfighter is a Falco with plastic bits. I've seen some of the stuff in real life and IMHO they're butt-ugly. But no offense anyone, I'm a sensitive boy.
I guess you could call the Streetfighter a Tuono-wannabe. But then again, you could say that the Falco is a Mille-wannabe. And that's just not right, 'coz mine don't wannabe a Mille, that's for sure!
|By Richandall on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 08:49 am:|
Bef, it's trading down if less is less. But what if less is more like le Corbu said, except he said it more concretely
And it has more midrange than the Falco or Mille, they say. And wider, higher bars for a quicker turn-in and less wrist pressure, which is good. But a smaller screen, which is bad. And pointier front, loike the Dazer (Hi!).
So maybe a touring version of the Tuono.................tha'd be a Falco then.
|By Befbever on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 08:57 am:|
Are we going to believe journo's now?
Rich, my Falco has more midrange than a Mille. Have you seen the airducts on that Tuono?
I seriously doubt if you're going to get the same performance out of the Tuono as you can get out of a Mille.
Yeah, wider bars for quicker turn-in. Funny, that's what the Mostro-rider I encountered today had. Didn't help him turn in any quicker than me tho.
I finally put him out of his misery by twisting the throttle. I think his bike's for sale now.
|By Geo on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 10:17 am:|
It includes the VAT???!!
After you substract all the taxes, that means Aprilia raised the retail price on the "R" for the US market by more than $7,000- ......
********** SEVEN THOUSAND U.S. DOLLARS !!! **********
...... over its own retail prices in Europe.
A 70% price increase, for the CEO personal kitty no doubt. Smart way to break into a new market, ain't it? Hey, if they wanna shoot themselves in the foot here, let me help them !!!
|By Befbever on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 11:54 am:|
Yes, it does include VAT. But I think the '03 R will be more in the neighbourhood of 16 or 17k Euro if that helps.
Which is fine.
Cos I don't want one!
|By Geo on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 12:26 pm:|
Whats the VAT, 19%?
If in Belgium you had to pay US dealer prices, after the VAT you would be looking at...
a Falco for $12,500,
the RSV $16,600
and the R $21,400...
I can't seem to let go of this can I?
|By Befbever on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 01:00 pm:|
Here's the site, but most prices haven't been updated, ie there are no prices for the '03 models and the promotions aren't mentioned. I called my dealer to ask about those.
Hope this keeps you awake!
P.S.: Cheaper than in the US? Well, we pay a buck per liter unleaded and every time Bush opens his mouth about Irak fuel prices go up.
|By Geo on Friday, November 15, 2002 - 03:54 pm:|
What I'm obsessing about in this case is only Aprilia and their marketing decisions in particular.
I wasn't using dealer discounts or incentives either, comparing "apples to apples" Aprilia raised the list prices by 40% for the US market.
I think that was a very stupid decision under the circumstances.
The reason that they sold as many bikes as they did is because they're fantastic bikes and got rave reviews, but Aprilias are still viewed as an "exotic" choice (expensive, rare and quirky).
No exotic has ever succeeded in this country, it's just too vast an area to support a dealer network. Your local store won't put up with selling just a few units every year, nor will the buyers ride 500 miles for service.
For the average American to even consider Aprilia as a logical alternative to the Japanese, it must lower the list prices by at least 20% and also back the product up by a better, longer warranty.
Only then will this brand be able to gain a solid foothold here -instead of the precarious one it now has.
Vote for Geo for president!! (of prilia USA)
|By Befbever on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 02:44 am:|
What's strange about those US prices is that there have been a lot of discussions (at least in this country) about the parts and new bikes situations eversince Aprilia threw itself on the US market.
As I understand it, quite a few sales have been missed because Aprilia couldn't deliver. Alledgedly because the US comes first.
Now them being Italian who knows how their mind works. In Europe, we know the Japanese bikes and because of the yen being very high in the last years, Aprilia's prices were interesting. The first Mille's got great reviews and I decided on the Falco because it was the first bike I fell in love with (they seem to have made it just for me!) AND the price was right.
Since then, things changed a lot. Apart from the Falco, there isn't any bike I'd want. Aprilia hasn't changed the Mille engine much and fewer and fewer people are racing it now. My dealer began racing his in '99 in the World Endurance Championship with great results at the time but he has stopped now because of the poor performance compared to the Gixxer 1000's. And he has now become a Suzuki dealer as well. Because of the cruisers they have. Brings in more
He's also raced the prototype MV 1000 for the factory this year but there's still a lot wrong with that bike. It's vastly overweight for one thing.
Aprilia does create enthousiasts, people who love the bike/company/riders. Like Jorge for instance.
I must admit I'm one too, although my wallet will prevent me from doing rash things like buying an RSV-R, which in all honesty, I don't really want anyway. Great bike and all that, but I'd sooner buy something faster if I had the doe.
What Aprilia has to realise is that the Japanese don't sit still. H*nda has set a new landmark with their CBR600, Suzuki still has the most beautiful dyno graphs with their TL engine and the new SV is very reasonably priced. Plenty of dosh left for some UPSD forks, airkit, exhausts, etc.
I'm still hoping Bologna in early December has something new to offer from the Italian front but to be honest I'm not holding my breath.
As a final tip, I rode the Renegade SV650 briefly and it's a stonking bike. 81 hp crank would you believe! A worthy replacement for your Mille? For the time-being anyway?
Rant over. For now.
|By Geo on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 07:48 am:|
To answer your question I just looked on Prilia's site and presently they have 96 mcy dealers and 14 scooter dealers. My guess is that Aprilia had to deliver a few thousand bikes at once (and strained supplies temporarily) just to have displays all over the country?
Other than price and resale Aprilia still has a very good name here and if they smarten up they could do well.
But if they don't change their marketing scheme then it will shrink to the point that they'll be gone from the US all together.
Here is why this Aprilia rider and fan came to this unhappy conclusion:
Gotta keep in mind the demographics in the USA:
like the population of "Germany + France + Italy + Spain" with the bonus of a deserted Siberia and Outer Mongolia thrown in the middle for "breathing room".
Forget California, it has its own market with 30 million plus people. Exotics can do well there, but that State is the exemption to the rule.
SE Fla (Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Palm beach) has some 3 1/2 million people and a relatively high % of riders. We're talking primo demographics for bike dealers. Imports (especially luxury cars) have incredible succesful market penetration here. Every Japanese mcy brand has over a dozen showrooms, they've all been in business for years and do well.
If Aprilia has lost one dealer, is now down to only one showroom that's de-emphasizing the brand (they also sell Honda and Kawi) that means Prilia's presence here is already "in retreat", which are terrible news for any new brand that's not established yet!
What people say (and have told me) is "nice bike, but no one cares."
At first everyone was all excited about this new high performance twin, but with the inflated prices and later crap resale, the local riding "community" is warning each other to stay away from prilias....unless they find a clean used one VERY cheap.
And that fiasco is only due to the inflated list prices, all of it.
I don't think that Gixxer/R1/954 better dyno mattered, the competition is not there but with the other twins.
The TLS/TLR had good engines but their chassis got poor reviews and they were a flop here.
The Ducs are, well Ducs which means an overnight sensation after struggling for 30 odd years.
My own riding friends that had ridden and liked my bike a LOT (and still do) couldn't see buying a Falco for the price of a new SP2 nor paying 40% more for a base RSV so they ended up buying a SP2 and two R1s instead. At this year's Daytona races the RC51s alone outnumbered all of the Aprilias together by some 20 to one.
That was the market they missed on.
|By Cplus on Saturday, November 16, 2002 - 07:25 pm:|
Geo, I know what you mean about Aprilia missing the mark with the US market, but I don't think price is the paramount issue. I know that many Falco riders in the US paid much less than the asking price for their bikes. Personally, I paid only about $10k mine. This was the same year that R1 were routinely selling at full list, or even above, and the same year that RC51s were going for $14.5k. No, I think Aprilia's problems in the US are more multifaceted, and more difficult to resolve.
First off, I doubt Aprilia was ever really trying to compete directly against the Japanese. I think they were trying to take a chunk out of the more upscale European market, specifically Ducati. For instance, the cost of an RSV undercut the 996 by several thousand dollars. The RSV-R, too, was significantly less expensive than the 996S. The comparisons run right down the line -- the Futura, I think was a little less than the ST4 and the Falco was about the same as the 900SS, but obviously a better bike. (Side note: I don't know why anyone would buy any of the Terblanche designed Ducati. They are all 'kin UGLY. End of editorial.) They were also pitting themselves against Ducati by saying that parts were less expensive and more readily available, but more on that later.
I suspect they did their demographic homework correctly in trying to find the right audience to market to, and the price points to try to sell at. However, what they seem to have forgotten is that Ducati's fame was hard-won over the past four or five decades. Especially since the introduction of the 916 a decade ago, Ducati has been synonamous with high performance exotic Italian bikes. And the 916 line is drop-dead gorgeous to boot. So, Aprilia comes to the US market five years ago and thinks they're going to go toe-to-toe with Ducati. The problem, of course, is that people who buy Ducatis buy Ducatis. They are a very brand-loyal lot. So, while they're trying to compete against Ducati, they should really try to attract Japanese riders who want to step up to something a little different.
(As a side note, they face a considerable challenge going up against the Japanese. Not so much because of brand loyalty, but more because the Japanese products are much more of a known quantity. Everybody 'knows' that Hondas are soulless perfection, Kawi's have hell-for-strong motors but not much else, etc, etc, etc. It take a strong personality go against the known quantity and risk the unknown.)
To make matters worse, Aprilia just does't have the name recognition in the US. No bikes competing in AMA Supersport (obviously), AMA Superbike, FUSA. No bikes racing anywhere, no banners waving in the wind to draw in the faithful and attract new customers. Sure, they've given it a go in WSB, but there's not that much coverage of WSB in the US unless you have Speedvision (AKA The NASCAR "go fast, turn left" channel), and even then it's pretty slim. And, yes, they've won some titles in 125 and 250 GP, but gosh-darn-it, we're A-MER-E-KUNS and we don't give a toss about those buzzy little two strokes! So, Aprilia doesn't have the racing heritage to attract new customers in the US.
What's more, they have not yet developed the "lifestyle" market that Ducati and H-D so notably enjoy. Part of the reason that Ducati owners are so brand loyal is that Ducati rewards them with things like World Ducati Weekend, pick-up in Italy programs, rallys and very active club participation. All this stuff breeds customer loyalty, but Aprilia has none of it except for some demo rides. Yawn.
Okay, then, so what about the good people who want to plunk down their hard earned wedge on a 'Priller? First, they're confronted by the haunting issue of reliability. Japanese bikes will last tens of thousands of miles, but Aprilias are an uncertainty in many folks' minds. (I know, I know, they are reliable, but we're talking about pre-purchase apprehension now.)
If they do their research and get beyond that issue, they need to track down a dealer. If they're luckly, like I am, there's a dealer 'only' about 30 miles away. Compared to having a Honda dealer less than five miles away, and a Yamaha/Suzuki/Kawasaki dealer perhaps 10 miles away. So the next issue that pops up in the perspective buyer's mind is dealer support. After all, it's easier to work out problems with a dealer that's only 10 miles away rather than one that is 30 miles -- or, in most people's cases, much more -- away. What happens if you need parts or routine maintenance? How far are you willing to ride? Can you take a day out of your week to go and have the valves adjusted?
If our potential buyer is dedicated enough to overcome all this, they may well be met by a dealer who really could give a rat's ass about Aprilia. They can sell Triumphs or Hondas all day long -- why should they go to the trouble of making a sale on an Aprilia? I think there's been plenty of well documented apathy on the part of Aprilia dealers about this line. They don't sell themselves so they're too much work.
If all goes well and the planets are aligned perfectly, and our buyer has overcome all these obstacles he has cash in hand to buy an Aprilia. Does he pay the asking price? Again, this depends on the dealer's committment to the brand, but it's possible to ride away from the dealer with an Aprilia for about what most people would pay for a Japanese bike. This is really where your argument doesn't hold up. You can buy a new Falco for about $10,000 and a Mille for probably $12.5k. In other words, not much more than you'd pay for a new FZ-1, R1 or [insert your favorite Japanese ride here]. Oh, yeah, when I went to look at a RC51 the asking price was $14.5k and the dealer wouldn't budge. Price, while a bit more than the Japanese, is not what's holding Aprilia back in the USA.
What is hurting them is lack of brand recognition -- and the bewildering absence of any attempt to create brand recognition through racing or other customer-centric programs, a lack of dealers willing to sell and wholeheartedly support the brand, a dubious warranty program (how many front rotors have warped and they're still not covered?), and absolutely horrendous parts availability. This last point, parts availability, may be the one that does them the most harm as word spreads that 'oh, it took six months for such and such a part to come in from Italy.'
To make things more complicated, Aprilia bought Moto Guzzi. Ultimately, this will help Aprilia diversify and grow. But in the short term, it means spending dollars to develop models to help the aging, and ailing, Guzzi line when it also needs to improve the Aprilia line. What to do? In the past, Aprilia relied on the vast reserves of motorscooter sales in Europe to fund racing and product development, including our beloved RSVs and SLs. But, wait, the European scooter market has collapsed in on itself black hole-like. What to do, where to get the much-needed cash to put into racing, R&D, product developmenet, marketing and customer relations?
You see, Aprilia is facing some significant problems. How they navigate through these problems over the next few years will, no doubt, have a significant impact on the company's long term health and viability in the United States.
That's all I've got to say. (And, damn, they should pay me by the word.)
|By Befbever on Sunday, November 17, 2002 - 12:51 am:|
I don't agree about the reliability, Cplus. It wasn't really a gamble as far as I was concerned. My dealer told me: "If you break it, you get a new one". I haven't broken it yet and I'm sure I won't. The Falco isn't more or less reliable than any Japanese commuter bike I've had. The dealer service I get is a lot better tho, one of the reasons I want to stick with 'em. But the dealer now sells Suzuki as well, so...
The Honda V-twins are of no interest to me. Doesn't ring my bell at all. I don't even know how much they are. Couldn't care less really.
Kawasaki don't have a reputation of strong engines in my book. I've seen plenty break before their time. No Kawa for me, never had one either.
I do think it was Aprilia's intention to steal customers from the Japanese as well as from Ducati. A look at the Falconeers' previous bikes will demonstrate that. Their problem is the warranty issue. Maybe they need some of that Japanese humility when it comes to the quality of some of the stuff. Like the side stand, the clutch slave cylinder, the disc rotors.
IMO, Ducati has done them a huge favour by building the 999. I've spoken to some Ducatisti and they think it's butt-ugly as well. These are potential customers for Mille R's. They have the cash and they're used to the Italian 'domani' attitude.
BUT! That's not what I'm looking for in a bike company. I liked the fact the engine's Austrian, electrics are Japanese, etc. And the whole set-up of the company seemed more European than Italian.
If the Italian attitude gets the upperhand, they're going to lose the people who have to rely on their bike. They've lost plenty of those already.
Just my 2 �cent
|By Bonerp on Sunday, November 17, 2002 - 02:24 am:|
Think a lot of Ducati 9*6/8 riders will buy the new one just because its a Duke!
Dunno why MCN gave it Bike of the Year Award. Reckon they must be brown nosing or summat!
|By Wlk303 on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 07:44 pm:|
All new Aprilias over 400 cc purchased after Jan. 1, 2002 are now factory warranteed for two years. That's a step in the right direction!
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