It’s better than you think
I AM SURPRISED you published John Wheatcroft’s, shall we say, ill-informed letter without comment (PB, August 2018). Evidently he is unaware of the concept of inflation and how vastly better performance/ safety-for-money is in the electronics age. To whit: if the 2004 R1 cost exactly the same as it was in 2004 at a price of £8899, with average inflation (per the Bank Of England calculator: 3%) it would be £12,989.
But, a few points here: I suspect that the actual new motorcycle price inflation rate, given the vagaries of the financial collapse 2008-10 and its impact on Japanese manufacturers, is likely higher.
The relative performance of the R1 is worlds apart from the 2004 model – way more power, torque and weight saving. But what really sets them apart is the 14 years of suspension, tyre, and especially electronics technology. The modern R1 has a superb suite of electronics that make the bike quicker, faster, and safer-ish. Not to mention the huge leap forward in quality and construction. I would imagine any PB reader, if they could afford it (PCP or otherwise), would want and appreciate t the immeasurably better 2018 bike for an extra £3500.
According to John he paid £8399, or £12,259 in today’s money: £3359 for a far superior machine. Today’s bikes are so much better value. John Fishman CN: All true: but, you’re being unfair to John. Here’s an ordinary rider with an active interest in new sportsbikes and a history of new purchases, who feels they’re out of his reach. PCP isn’t for everyone, and the facts on paper don’t tell the whole story. There’s no easy answer: manufacturers aren’t going to make a loss on new bikes, and you won’t convince riders like John to spend beyond their means.
John reckons the new R1 is definitely worth the £3359 more than a 2004 model cost new at the time