Can Suzuki now win race for road bike sales?
The future looks bleak.
Suzuki are doing some brilliant stuff on the race track but now they need that success to transcend to its road bikes.
Running a two-rider, factory Motogp team does not come cheap and if UK sales are anything to go by, the car side of the firm must be footing a large portion of the once-great bike builder’s racing costs.
While new bike sales in the UK continue to rise in 2016 with nearly six per cent more bikes sold so far this year compared to last, you’d think all manufacturers would be reaping the rewards, but Suzuki aren’t. Monthly sales are in the low hundreds, while Yamaha and Honda consistently shift nearly 2000 bikes.
Suzuki usually languish just inside the top 10, with Lexmoto, Piaggio, KTM, and Harley regularly above them. It’s hard to know what Suzuki is now famous for. Honda are known for building solid, reliable bikes, Yamaha for giving cheap thrills. But Suzuki? The brand once stood for cuttingedge sports bikes... like the RGV250, the GSX-R750 and the rabid TL1000S. But in recent times, that edge has softened. They still build some pretty decent bikes, but what is Suzuki’s essence? The thing they’re famous for? For Suzuki to bounce back and become the big-hitting company they once were, they need to take the brand awareness gained from the outstanding performance in Motogp and build some brilliant bikes that make people sit up and take notice. There have been a handful of new bikes in the last couple of years, but they’ve not led the way. The GSX-S1000 was okay but it’s ten grand and not as good as its rivals. The SV650 was brought back, but again it’s following the ER6 and the MT-07 and does few things as well. Let’s hope things turn around in 2017. We’re still waiting for the new GSX-R1000 that was unveiled this time last year to appear in dealers and let’s hope the firm that have brought us such brilliant bikes in the past has got some pleasant surprises up their sleeve. Otherwise,