they manufacture motorcycles

Blog regular first_synn pointed me this discussion at xbhp (who are celebrating four years... congrats guys!). It is an interesting debate. The moot point is this. 'Are motorcycle manufacturers (in India) moving at an evolutionary or revolutionary pace?' Here's my two cents.

Let us first understand the manufacturer's perspective. First, they manufacture motorcycles to make a profit. Period. Please leave your romantic notions at the door. If it wasn't profitable, no one would bother. If I had just one sentence to set up the reality in which we are debating this, that would be it. At the end of the day, it is all about the profit. Market shares, inventories, dealer networks, service initiatives are all crucial so that the profit can be maximised. Second, as is usual in economics, you can make profit in two ways, one is to sell high volume products with low per unit margins (making money on the bulk of the sales) and the other is to sell high margin products with low volumes (making lots of money per unit sale). Since we live in a world where both work, you could also do both.

So, the question are they evolutionary or revolutionary? Depends on how you define it. In my book, a small change like adding a disc brake to a formerly drum braked bike (one of first_synns evolution examples) could be both. Is it a big enough change to represent a revolution? Of course it is. The amout of feel, reliability and sheer braking power it brings to a bike is a revolution! Take the same bike to a racetrack, lap as fast as you can with drum brakes and then take a few fast laps with a disc, you will find the difference is revolutionary. In the market, however, the addition of the disc could just be a marketing ploy, and hence evolutionary. So, the product evolved, but its braking performance underwent a revolution.

But that's a circular way to look at it, right?

Someone else (I'm sorry I can't remember you xbhp id, please leave a comment, and I will update this post) posted that evolution is a small step forward, while revolution is a big leap.

Fair enough. From that perspective, we've had no revolutionary products at all so far. I firmly believe that all technology is only as good as the benefit it provides. So, is fuel injection a revolution? Not really. Our carb-ed bikes were really very good already, so it is a new tech that replaces an old tech, but benefit wise, it is still an evolution. And I could (and I would) argue the same for all the little piddly bits (twin- vs monoshocks etc). Will a multi-cylinder motorcycle represent a revolution? Depends. Will you be happy with a 10 bhp 100cc twin? However, show me a 18 bhp 100cc bike, and I'll say, whoa, that's revolutionary.

I think what I'm trying to say, is that I don't care as much for the details as I do for the big picture. Revolution, to me, is a big shift in stance. Say from a economy-minded plodder to a super-sleek, hi-po machine. What technological aggregates when into it doesn't really matter. If Hero Honda were to launch a proper RC211V-style Unit Link Monoshock mounted on a CD100, would it be a revolutionary product?

First_synn also said something about the bean counter phenomenon, this I agree with. Not enough people in the motorcycle industry are in love with motorcycles in the first place. This does make it harder for people like us to get what we want. One of the first things Ishikawa, the Yamaha head, did when he joined was to ensure that all of Yamaha India rode a bike whenever possible. Also, when a large part of your business is low-margin-high-volume sales, then the bean counter has to be the biggest decision maker. That is just how it is.

Enough! evolutionary or revolutionary? So far, evolutionary. It had to be. You need critical mass for any big event, and the gather of that mass is always evolutionary. Revolution? It's just around the corner...

No comments:

Post a Comment


2012 2012 calendar 3 Tamil Movie 3D Wallpapers actress Afghanistan ajith baby Antara Mali Anushka Shetty apple iphone Asin australia cricket team Avast AVG 2012 Ayyappa baby Bangalore Best Photo best political tips Birth Day Greetings Body fitness exercises buildings buldings car CCL central park Chennai Rhino's Chennai Super kings Chris Gayle christian christmas Christmas Greetings Cobra Tower coffee kiss collage girls dance design Divya Padmini DNA Elephant Eye february greetings fire heart Fire Stills fish Flower Gifts Friendship Greetings funny still Ganesh GOA TOURISM God Bless GOKARNA TOURISM Golden Temple Good Afternoon Greetings Good evening Greetings Good monirng Greetings Good Night Greetings Graphics Images hair Happy new year greetings Hello Greetings hills Hindu Holly Day Greetings Human heart ice art Ice Rose Ileana D'Cruz best images for latest Ilieana lovely stills indian cricket team Indian Flag Indian girls Indian Tourism intex mobile IPL Season 5 Jallikattu jesus jewelry joke jyothikas daughter diya kajol agarwal Kangana Ranaut karbonn mobile Kareena Kapoor Karnataka Turisum KATRINA KAIF KERALA TRAVEL Kuwait Lord Buddha Lord Matha Lord Shiva love love story lovely steps Mahatma Gandhi Make Money moon Mother Teresa motorcycles Ms Pinaki Mitra (Kinnar) Mumbai Heroes Nanban Movie nature nature hd stills No Smoking Nokia Nokia 1006 NOKIA 5030 XpressRadio Nokia 5250 Nokia 808 PureView Nokia Asha 201 Nokia Asha 300 Nokia Asha 302 Nokia Asha 303 Nokia C1-00 Nokia C2-01 Nokia C3-01 Nokia C5-03 Nokia C6-01 Nokia C7 nokia coolest mobile Nokia E5 nokia e6 Nokia E7 Nokia E7-00 nokia lumina 610 nokia lumina 710-T Mobile nokia lumina 800 Nokia N8 nokia n810 Nokia N9 Nokia N900 Nokia N97 nokia ngage nokia ngage n81 nokia wp7 nokia x Nokia X2-01 Nokia X3-02 Nokia X5-01 Nokia X6 Nokia X7-00 Olimpics Olympics onida mobiles Paal Pongal Preity Zinta pulsar 200cc pulsar 220cc Republic Day Greetings Sachin Tendulkar samsung mobile sananda Sex change racket shruti hasan Shruti Hassan Wallpapers 2010 Shubha Phutela Sivan smartphone Smoking sony ericsson smartphone sony ericsson xperia Sony erisson Sony erisson mobiles Sony-Ericsson-W995 sony-ericsson-yendo Space collections storys Sunday Greetings sunset Suzuki GS150R sweet ice cream Tamilmovie Tamilnadu Tourism The Niagara Falls Park Thuppaki tiger Transgender Trisha Udita Goswami USA Valentines Day Greetings videos Vidya Balan vodafone mobile Wedding Greetings world beach library world cup wp7 ie9 mobile y this kolaveri di yesu youvaraj singh Zoe Saldana