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Industry News

SHOCKING FOUR STROKE COSTS PART 2

GET OUT YOUR CHECK BOOK

By Matt Cuddy

Part II finds me sourcing prices on another brand of Japanese MX bike, the Suzuki RMX450. Surely they haven't drank the cool aid too?

I got on line and found a Suzuki dealer in Seattle, Washington. I didn’t have a voice-altering device, so I put a clothes pin on my nose. You can’t be too careful, especially when dealing with a subject that has millions of dollars on the line. Don’t want any ninja guys creeping around in the backyard.

And I’m sure the big Japanese factories aren’t too sad about it, since these new four strokes are in and out of the shop, or a private mechanic’s work bay, all the time. Just think, for the first time in years, dirt bikes that are in the shop, and using expensive new parts (if they aren’t thrown away, or broken up for salvage). What an idea! As opposed to a motocross/dirt bike with a two-stroke motor that never saw the inside of a shop again, after being purchased new …ah progress.

 So I dialed the area code 206 number and waited. Thought I dazzle them with my best stoned teenage kid, trying to make sense "impression."

 “Volcanic Ash Suzuki, may I help you?”

 Me: “Um, uh service please.”

 Receptionist lady: “One moment please.”

 “Service, Bob speaking.”

 “Uh yeah, I’ve got, um, you know, a’08 Suzuki RMZ450 and I wasted a, you know, a top end last ride.”

 Bob: “What do you mean by “wasted?” Bob immediately put me on the speakerphone.

 Me: “Um, you know, uh, it’s just wasted, making knocking noises, backfiring, popping, you know, out of the pipe. You know I bought this bike used, you know and, um, you know, I knew something like this would, you know, happen, because like you know, my older brother, you know, he hates these bikes, you know. So now he’ll probably, you know, kick my ass, or um, something.

 Bob: “SIGH” Ok, anywhere from 700 dollars to twenty five hundred, depending on the breaks. You know (coughing, laughter in the background)”.

 Me: “Dude! That’s like, you know, bogus, since I paid you know, three thousand bucks for it, nah uh uh, totally bogus.”

 Bob: “Well, bring it in and we’ll ahem you know, take a look at it, maybe something simple. Like it skipped time, uh, you know” (someone yawned in the background).

 Me: “Nah, I’m like flat broke you know, and I’m gonna take it back to the guy I bought it from and kick his ass. Thanks dude.” 

 Bob: “You know that’s OK.” (More laughter, back-slapping in the background).

So it’s about the same for Suzuki, twenty five big ones. This is outrageous. Talk about the Japanese factories shooting themselves in the foot, maybe they hired ex General Motors management types for the front office “Yes, and we’re designing a new MX bike and naming it the Edsel.”

 I could go on, but if you’ve read this far by now, you’ll know what I’m trying to get across. I think Yeats said it best:

Turning and roosting in the widening gyre
The rider cannot hear the camshaft chain;
Things fall apart; the crankshaft cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The oil-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of inexpensive repair is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst mechanics
are full of passionate intensity, and drunk.

Now it’s my compadres’ turn to get the prices on one more modern four stroke, before we take a look at how much the average Japanese 250cc two stroke costs to rebuild.

 We’re going to use a 1991 Honda CR250 and a YZ250 Yamaha as the test subjects on prices, because there are lots of these still around, and we all love two fifties, now don’t we.

Take it away Mr. Sieman!