Why are Bikes more expensive than Motorcycles?

PB Forum :: All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country
Why are Bikes more expensive than Motorcycles?
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Posted: Jan 6, 2017 at 6:18 Quote
I guess because we are paying for it...

Posted: Jan 6, 2017 at 12:52 Quote
bosnianrider wrote:
I guess because we are paying for it...
Not that nearly anyone's getting rich in the industry.

Economies of scale in cycling are pretty small, tolerances are extremely tight, and there's a ton of competitors in the space, especially in the space PB likes. Not to mention, a 7-8k bike is really at the very cutting edge of carbon and suspension design, and the very unique design elements of mountain bikes.

Posted: Jan 6, 2017 at 13:14 Quote
Its because mountain biking is such a new sport. technology is still progressing at a fast rate, theres a new product every day it seems. keeps the costs high. Motorcycles have been around forever pretty much. Theres not a whole lot of new tech that comes out nowadays.

Posted: Jan 6, 2017 at 15:11 Quote
Motorcycles also tend to have a long life. I have a KLX250S thats a 2011 model but has been sold since 2009 virtually unchanged. Its also a bike that is sold throughout the world so there are certainly a lot of them out there. R&D has long since been paid for on that bike so its fairly inexpensive. MTB's on the otherhad seem to change every year so R&D has to be recouped very quickly to make it profitable

Posted: Jan 6, 2017 at 17:20 Quote
What costs more, making a small thing bigger, or a big thing smaller? You may think that it costs more to make something bigger, but that is not the case in a lot of instances. Think about tolerances getting tighter, and materials have to get stronger, because there is less of it that stands up to the same, or more abuse!

Posted: Jan 28, 2020 at 14:49 Quote
flag-ty wrote:
Also think about how light a bicycle is vs a motorcycle. Yes a motorcycle has a motor, but take the motor out and the bicycle still is way lighter. I think bicycles are expensive because of the material they are made out of. The material has to be light and be able to hold up to the abuse of riding it. When you want something that is both light and strong it's going to cost money.

Dumbest argument ever. How about I sell you a skateboard for $10k? It's lighter than any bike!!! A motorcycle is thousands of time more complicated, engineered, and has way more material, the same or better than any bike.

The only reason bikes are that much more expensive is because we're dumb enough to pay that kind of money for them.

That's economics 101.

Posted: Jan 28, 2020 at 14:57 Quote
bikeinbih wrote:
I guess because we are paying for it...

BINGO!!!

Posted: Jan 28, 2020 at 15:00 Quote
Lusitron wrote:
flag-ty wrote:
Also think about how light a bicycle is vs a motorcycle. Yes a motorcycle has a motor, but take the motor out and the bicycle still is way lighter. I think bicycles are expensive because of the material they are made out of. The material has to be light and be able to hold up to the abuse of riding it. When you want something that is both light and strong it's going to cost money.

Dumbest argument ever. How about I sell you a skateboard for $10k? It's lighter than any bike!!! A motorcycle is thousands of time more complicated, engineered, and has way more material, the same or better than any bike.

The only reason bikes are that much more expensive is because we're dumb enough to pay that kind of money for them.

That's economics 101.
That argument would infer that everyone in the bike biz is making bank, which if you've met anyone in it, is definitely not the case (Mike Sinyard aside)

Posted: Jan 28, 2020 at 17:13 Quote
You guys woke up an old thread. KTM makes bicycles and motorcycles (electric and gas). Their bicycles are stupid expensive to me, and I wouldn’t consider paying $9k for any bicycle. I did recently dump $14k on a 790R, and to me it was a bargain. Nobody else makes anything close. Motor is 799cc from their Duke, suspension is fully adjustable WP from their 450 Rally bikes, and electronics are the best there is: Bluetooth with caller ID on TFT display, cruise control, Quickshifter (up and down shifts with no clutch at any throttle setting), 9 levels of traction control, and gets 50+ mpg. And the enjoyment I get riding that beast was well worth the price.

My 2005 DRZ 400 didn’t cost much more than my 2014 RM Altitude, but the motorcycle is definitely a much better value. In fact, a new DRZ is about $7k, the same as a new C70 Altitude.

So, I think new bicycles are priced too high, but if you want carbon, XTR brakes and drivetrain with Fox factory suspension it will cost you.

Posted: Jan 28, 2020 at 18:09 Quote
One thing is that the bike, almost all of the components are designed with a tight weight goal and weight limit.

Many motor cycle parts are super cheaply made and designed, the harley in my garage has a few sharp edges that will slice your hand open. The suspension is seemingly cheap compared to the performance of a fox 40.

Posted: Jan 28, 2020 at 20:42 Quote
Mine and my kid's bikes are worth more than both my vehicles. My bikes aren't that pricey either. I chalk it up to having my priorities in line - the car and the truck are also my favorite color: paid off.

Posted: Jan 31, 2020 at 20:58 Quote
Some bikes are as expensive as some motorcycles, but most bikes are a fraction of the cost of most motorcycles.

Go to your local riding spot, sure some guys are showing up on bikes that cost $10k, but for everyone on a $10k bike, 10 people are on $2500 bikes (new). Now go out to your local MX track or dirt biking area, everyone that shows up there is on a bike that cost $10k brand new.

Some quick Googling sheds some interesting numbers: in 2017 KTM sold a record 238,334 motorcycles, and made something like 1.533 billion euro, so an average of 6,400 euro per unit. (2013 numbers) Trek did around $900 million in revenue, and advertised selling about 1.5 million bikes, so an average of $600 per unit. Last time I checked, 6400 euro's is a lot more than $600. Which goes to show that bicycle companies are selling a metric shit ton more low end cheap bikes than they are high end bikes, and means they need to be selling a lot of bikes for less than $600 to offset the more expensive ones: for a $600 average, they need to sell 44 bikes at $500 to offset 1 $5000 bike.

KTM has something like 15-20 different dirt bikes, and range from $8-$14k, and most use the same frame, a lot of the same electronics, plastics, etc. And another big thing to observe: motorcycles come in 1 size! Every YZ250 that rolls off the line has exactly the same frame. Trek on the other hand has an order of magnitude more (almost not hyperbole): just the "mountain bike" portion of the website lists 153 different frame designs and build kit options; and that 153 is closer to 600 combinations as we as mountain bikers insist on being different sizes and having bikes that we think "fit". Then consider the 111 road options, 32 commuter options, kids bikes, etc.

Next, margin: For those that seem to be unaware of how retail commerce works: margin is the difference in price between what you sell something for compared to what you bought it for. Margin is you make money and pay for other things, like staff, and rent, and electricity, and inventory. There are a lot of cost associated with running a business that do not simply go away if you have slow sales. If you sell a lot of units you can afford to have lower margins. Bike shops are not high volume dealers, so it make sense they need to carry higher margins. And as much as it might crush some dreams, people go into business to make money, "for the love of it" is a fringe benefit, but satisfaction doesn't pay your mortgage.

Closely chasing margin is competition: people like to beak off " more competition will bring prices down", while that is true to a point, continually introducing more competitions into a limited market is a recipie for companies going belly up. There are simply not that many people buying high end bikes to allow sufficient volume to bring costs down. These start up companies have big R&D costs they need to pay for, which is worsened by the frame sizing previously mentioned, and because they don't have the volume, they won't get the same cost breaks on components as will the big guys.

Bottom line: bike companies don't make enough high end expensive bikes to get costs down because (on a relative scale) no one is buying high end bikes!

Posted: Feb 1, 2020 at 6:34 Quote
canadianoreos wrote:
cuz mountain bikes* are the best thing that ever happened to this world. Take any problem, then insert a mountain bike* into said problem, see, problem solved. Does that apply to motorcycles? no:P.



*may be substituted for bacon*
Brilliant!!

Posted: Feb 1, 2020 at 8:49 Quote
adrennan wrote:
One thing I think people forget when this conversation comes up is that the "F1" class of mountain bikes (the fully deced out carbon everything, eagle drivetrain, nicest suspension you can buy) is like 10k brand new. The "F1" class of dirtbikes (if you need top of the line suspension and engine) will run over 50k if you were to buy it. A low end dirtbike still costs what? like 2 grand brand new? the equivalent mountain bike (entry level) is like 500.

You also have to look at production and volume of sales. How many reputable dirt bike brands are there? 10? Each can have a decent market share. There are at least 100 mountain bike companies (making frames and completes) each one gets a much smaller market share, so all the overhead gets paid for out of a smaller volume of sales.

Also I think generally tolerances might be notably tighter on mountain bike frames and components to save weight and such which can drastically increase price.

This. Looking at a top end model like an sworks from specialized, or project one from trek, or unno or something like that and then comparing that to a Honda CB or similar is not the apt comparison. You should be comparing those to a Ducati or aprilia used for racing moto gp. Those super high end bikes are designed for racing at the highest levels so pricing should be compared to top end motorcycles if you want to compare the..

Posted: Feb 1, 2020 at 21:59 Quote
Short answer- because we are getting screwed. There is no way bikes or parts should have these ridiculous costs. But we keep buying, so the prices keep climbing.


 
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