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I'm not sure how this ended up in my Inbox but if true, this is kind of concerning! I would like your thoughts or if you have first-hand knowledge of this I would like to hear more.

https://www.asphaltandrubber.com/news/yamaha-500cc-sales-catastrophe/

Ken :surprise:
A big part of that has got to be that the MT07/09s and Tracers etc have been sooooo popular over the last few years’, that they couldn’t possibly keep it up? Surely everyone who wants one now has got one.....?!
Ben
 

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It's a sign of the changing moto market. Yamaha is still the 3rd largest motorcycle manufacturer and I don't see them going out of business before Harley Davidson. This is a transitional time for every manufacturer while they try to figure out how to evolve in a transportation environment that's quickly filling up with all-electric vehicles and "smart" cars decked out fender-to-fender with sensors, cameras, hotspots, gps, and all that other garbage. I won't be surprised in 5-10 years when self-balancing bikes that have rear view cameras & Google Maps built into a touch screen on the dash are the norm.
 

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My Yamaha dealer friend has said to something along the lines of,
"America's weird. If you want a good motorcycle, pick one that isn't selling well."
He has a point, I guess.

Here are a few bikes that achieved near cult status & popularity after they stopped selling here:
Honda's Hawk 647GT, XL600V, GB500 & PC800.
Yamaha XT600 & GTS1000
Suzuki's 1st Generation SV650 (The ones with the rounded tube frames)

Yamaha was still #1 in fewest repairs per 10,000 units, last I saw.
 

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The First Gen SV650 isn't anything to crow about.
The TL1000R OTOH was amazing. Similar to SV1000 but … well … not neutered.
 

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The First Gen SV650 isn't anything to crow about.
The TL1000R OTOH was amazing. Similar to SV1000 but … well … not neutered.
I wonder where the roughly 12h.p. difference between the TL1000(1999-2003) & the SV1000(2003-2007) came from? That's not a lot and makes one wonder "Why?" The two bikes were only sold at the same time 1 year, 2003. So, there wasn't a real inter-model sales competition.

While on a V-Strom forum, I was aquainted with a retired engineer that put a TL engine in his DL1000. It had been treated to intake/fueling and exhaust upgrades, too.
Stock, a V-Strom was governed to 130mph with fuel & ignition cuts in 5th and 6th gear amounting to nearly 30h.p. trimmed off. The TL swap fixed that and then some. John said he saw well past 150mph by GPS and was still climbing when it scared his nearly 70 year old hot rod self just a bit. =)

Why am I so fond of the 1st gen SV650? They just looked nicer than the angular ones that followed. They were light, compact, easily modded machines. The 1000s had more muscle, sure. They also carried almost 100 more pounds.
My 13 year old neighbor Hope and I did a pipe and jet kit on my 1st SV in a little over an hour. Throw in suspension upgrades + better brake lines & pads and it was nice little back road scratcher for under $6k. {I got a "leftover" 2001 in late that year for $5,000USD out the door.} A friend bought the one beside it on the showroom floor a week later and had me set his up nearly identical to mine. I bought it from him in 2007 and finished the details. Here's #2.
 

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I owned a first gen SV at one time as well. The plethora of welds made it look great sure.
The 2nd gen was an improvement but it also was cheaper to make.
The thing is that both 650's were very popular in sales, but the TL-S and then the R were failures due to a lawsuit in England I believe where they blamed the tank slapper on the rotary shock etc etc thereby killing the TL's.
However the TL/R was at that time going to fight and beat the unstoppable 996/998 Ducatis. The days before the RC51 - it was the RC51 of Suzuki.
TL-R heads on a SV1000 would deliver much of its lost power. Injectors, maps and a few other nicnac's complete the rest.
The TL motors weren't just larger SV motors. They were built a lot better. For example, SV650 was a simple cam chain drive, the TL had a 2 stage, a chain to the cyl wall, then a gear drive to the cams. Makes it 100 times easier to take it off to do a valve adjustment.
The TL-R IMHO represents what the SV1000 should have been, and I like the perimeter frame a bit more than a vacuum formed trellis, which I like more than a welded trellis. I must admit though, you polish a welded trellis frame and it shoots to the top of the list, eye candy X 1000.
 
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