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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 8 Jul 2010
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Do you think there's a market for "Off the shelf" Overland prepared motorcycles

Would you buy an off the shelf overland bike ??? Not the big BMW's with a touratech book devoted to them. Smaller 125-800cc machines.

If you were starting out or just didnt have the time to do the work yourself..

Nearly new bikes with sensible modifications. Tank, bashplate, comfortable seat , luggage rack, 12v relay socket, larger stators, spare parts kit.. etc etc

I understand most of us enjoy and prefer to do our own mods, but the question is DO YOU THINK THERE IS A MARKET for it ?
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  #2  
Old 8 Jul 2010
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I think there is a decent market,


but,,,,,

one look at the Hard/soft, Big/Small, Travel equiped/travel light debates will quickly tell you that there is no such thing as a 'standard' overland bike.....

Even just looking at the basics, there is a plethora bikes to choose from let alone what one person considers basic, another thinks is excesive!

And then there are Motorcyclists, jeasus we can hardly agree on anything, let alone something standard!
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  #3  
Old 8 Jul 2010
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Good question, I would have to say that there is probably not a viable market for such a bike.

The market is small enough to start, and fractures quickly IMO: Someone wants a 250, someone an 800. Someone wants shaft, someone wants chain. Someone wants FI, someone wants carb. Someone wants japanese, someone wants german, someone wants a tall bike, someone wants a short bike. Sure, if the bike was absolutely perfect in every way people might overlook their various preferences and just buy whatever you pitched at them, but it doesn't seem very likely to me.
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Old 8 Jul 2010
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I wasn't thinking of a bespoke bike. Not tailer made to personal whims.

Imagine you wanted to do a trip and didn't have the time, resources, desire to pick a bike and prep it.

There are plenty of people who may do just one bike trip in their lives and don't want to get involved with all the mechanics, scouring the internet for spares and upgrades.

If someone had such a business, they could have a 250, 400 and a 650 etc !!

There are always traveller bikes for sale but usually high mileage, beat up things with questionable histories.

I'm not sure I would buy an Overlanded bike unless I had to or really knew the owner. Actually, this reminds me of another thread..

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...overland-42624
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  #5  
Old 8 Jul 2010
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Cheque book Adventuring?

I suspect the great majority of "big BMW's with a touratech book devoted to them" stuff is marketed and bought for appearance and image purposes and never actually sees overland mud and rock.

On that basis I am not sure there is an economically worthwhile market for the type Ted mentions. A smaller bike is not 'hardcore' enough for them!

People embarking on an 'Adventure journey' should prefer to understand their bike and would have done a fair amount of work themselves to familiarise themselves with it and practice key repair jobs while making mods for worthwhile motives rather than cosmetic ones.

Looking at some of the threads here I also suspect, for some, the planning and preparation is more important than the journey itself, which is then an anti-climax and disappointment.
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  #6  
Old 8 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post

People embarking on an 'Adventure journey' should prefer to understand their bike and would have done a fair amount of work themselves to familiarise themselves with it and practice key repair jobs while making mods for worthwhile motives rather than cosmetic ones.

Looking at some of the threads here I also suspect, for some, the planning and preparation is more important than the journey itself, which is then an anti-climax and disappointment.
I agree.... people SHOULD , but does everyone ?? I think probably not.

I don't think there is a market to those who buy the £15,000 large tourers, as you say.. Many just want the look... But, to someone doing their first trip, completely new to bikes and overlanding and just wants to get on with it... There could be !

I don't think anyone is going to make a fortune out of this.. Maybe someone with some cash to spend on a few bikes and some freetime to prep them and take a risk with the resale.

I might have a go myself in the near future...
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  #7  
Old 8 Jul 2010
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Sounds like you're pondering something that's exactly the opposite of Touratech's business model. They supply expensive aftermarket parts intended to improve a bikes ability to cope with the rigors of touring or overlanding but only a small percentage of them are actually used as intended. As such (I'd guess) most purchasers are happy with the way the bits perform as they never get tested to the limit.

You're proposing putting together bikes that actually will get to be pushed to their limits and you're going to have to source any add on bits as cheaply as possible to keep the prep costs within bounds. That way lies loads of complaints.

It's one thing if your diy rack / panniers snaps in the middle of Mongolia, taking the subframe with it, that's down to your faulty welding and maybe you should finish the evening classes next time, but if it came from TedCo Overlanding Prep Ltd you're going to have to make sure it's strong enough to cope with being winched out of a river in the Congo.
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  #8  
Old 8 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Maybe someone with some cash to spend on a few bikes and some freetime to prep them and take a risk with the resale.
I don't think I understood your original question...I thought you meant for a manufacturer. If you mean that you would buy existing bikes and make them "overland ready", I think there might be some market, but margins would probably be rather thin. That said, if you have machining skills and could make your own bash plates, pannier racks, etc., instead of buying them from third parties, maybe it could work...
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Old 8 Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
Sounds like you're pondering something that's exactly the opposite of Touratech's business model. They supply expensive aftermarket parts intended to improve a bikes ability to cope with the rigors of touring or overlanding but only a small percentage of them are actually used as intended. As such (I'd guess) most purchasers are happy with the way the bits perform as they never get tested to the limit.

You're proposing putting together bikes that actually will get to be pushed to their limits and you're going to have to source any add on bits as cheaply as possible to keep the prep costs within bounds. That way lies loads of complaints.

It's one thing if your diy rack / panniers snaps in the middle of Mongolia, taking the subframe with it, that's down to your faulty welding and maybe you should finish the evening classes next time, but if it came from TedCo Overlanding Prep Ltd you're going to have to make sure it's strong enough to cope with being winched out of a river in the Congo.
Agreed !! Although I think home welding is a lot stronger than some of the crap "overland" stuff you see hawked by some companies. Iv seen a lot of the TT stuff close up and used it. It's not always well made. My Metal mules cost more than my current bike and they bent like a cheap chinese deckchair.

Im just playing with the idea at the moment. Maybe the idea would be to actually source everything and put the whole thing together in a "Ready to go" package than actually weld and fettle every bike.

I dunno... I think I might buy a low mileage bike and just prep it as cheaply as possible and see if I at least break even with it on a sale.. If not, i'll just ride it myself
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  #10  
Old 8 Jul 2010
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Have you considered hiring them instead? My bike was bought from here as an ex-overlander, fully prepped and having been ridden to Cape town before I bought it - so there are some who will buy a bike ready to roll!

Perhaps there is a market in producing a bike you think will fit the bill and hiring it for a trip. I know some of the bigger guided firms provide bikes for hire, so I suspect there is a market for it. However, if you were to provide a ready prepped bike ready to roll in the States, or Argentina for example then perhaps you would have a real market. "Pitch up with your gear and ride" would appeal to those who can't be bothered with shipping etc.

Certainly works for places like NZ...
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  #11  
Old 8 Jul 2010
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TT, Tesch, more recently Metal Mule, they all start along the lines Ted is thinking about. Then, either they get the customer from **** who expects "waterproof" to mean "can be used as a flotation device in a force ten" or the accountants start suggesting rationalised production. It then suddenly occurs to the people running the company that they get a lot more business and a lot less hassle from play riders. The play riders only complaint is usually price and having to wait for the item to be made. Suddenly, top class welding gives way to laser etched logos .

I think the UK supports maybe half a dozen 4x4 safari preparation companys? I think the bike market is smaller still.

Personally, I'd be looking for a niche. GSerise Urals or Triumph Scramblers for the guys who don't want an R1200GS or a thirty year old R80. Re-work AT's or XT's to factory fresh condition. Design a way to fit a kick start to modern bikes or a bibbe mousse that works on the motorway. I think there are chances for the right people with the right skills, but not for guys who want their hobby to be their work and don't have anything else to offer.

Andy
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  #12  
Old 8 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Would you buy an off the shelf overland bike ??? Not the big BMW's with a touratech book devoted to them. Smaller 125-800cc machines.

If you were starting out or just didnt have the time to do the work yourself..

Nearly new bikes with sensible modifications. Tank, bashplate, comfortable seat , luggage rack, 12v relay socket, larger stators, spare parts kit.. etc etc

I understand most of us enjoy and prefer to do our own mods, but the question is DO YOU THINK THERE IS A MARKET for it ?

Yes! That's exactly what I did when I bought the KTM LC4 400 Mil.

Aaah... No! I fitted 20mm bar raisers...
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Old 8 Jul 2010
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Thumbs up

Considering how much interest the ex military KTMs get I would have to say that yes there would be a market,how big a market is questionable but a lot of people would like a ready to go overlander/offroader.
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  #14  
Old 8 Jul 2010
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I wouldn't sink too much money into this Ted.

Most serious over-landers prefer to do the work themselves and the amount of time a decent prep would take compared to what people will pay means you would end up paying your self about 30 pence per hour to do a decent job...

It only really amounts to bolting a few bits on and perhaps some simple wiring - whose gonna pay big bucks for that?
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  #15  
Old 8 Jul 2010
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I posted my idea on your other thread Ted. Good idea. Great minds think alike!

Check out my comments about this: (my agent will be contacting you for my 5% fee!) See post 21.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...4-2#post296272


I don't think pre made bikes would work. And would require a huge capital up front for you with no buy guarantee .... unless you got pre-orders.
But you could work with riders to help them find a suitable bike, then build to suit based on budget, requirements. You can make a bit on everything they order for the bike plus charge for custom work and set up. See my other post, details this. Good luck ... I think you are on the right track!
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