With the big Four – Zero fast approaching, I have a tendency to look back on my life and ponder how certain aspects of my childhood shaped my habits as an adult. For example, growing up both my Grandfather and Father had a fondness for Ford Vehicles. It’s what they knew and loved, so back as far as I can remember, Ford has been a seemingly safe and reliable choice.
This sort of brand loyalty introduced to me as a child seems to have stuck with me for most of my adult life. I tend to find something I like, be it a brand or a business, and stick with them until they do something to lose my business. There are some pros and cons to this sort of blind brand loyalty but it served me well for a long time.
As I get older though, I find myself taking a very different approach to things. Instead of shopping based on Brand Loyalty (from either my own experience or the positive experiences of friends and family) I spend much more time looking at things from the side of perceived value.
From the perspective of Motorcycles, my father has owned four Hondas (350, 750, and two CBX) and my brother has owned two Yamahas (R6 and a V Star). From a Brand Loyalty perspective, both of these brands stood out as viable options for my first motorcycle in a decade (my first was a Suzuki GS450). Despite the comfort associated with these brands, I allowed myself to be open to a variety of options when I began narrowing down my selection.
I thought this was an interesting discussion topic to present to my WaltInPA YouTube Subscribers to get their opinions on the matter. When it came to Motorcycles, were they Brand Loyal or did they take a different approach? As always, the comments were fascinating.
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With motorcycles, the usual cyclical platform revisions make it common for one brand to have the jump over another. For example, in the middleweight naked category right now the dynamic Yamaha MT-07 is king because the Suzuki SV650 is as old as Moses, the Kawasaki Z650 is bland, and the Honda CB650R is super expensive. But Triumph is about to bring out the Trident 660 that may knock the MT-07 off its perch, and a new SV650 is expected soon as well.
I can imagine myself owning ANY of these bikes depending on which suits me at the time of purchase, so brand loyalty probably doesn’t mean much to me in the bike space; however, if I had spent a couple of years riding and enjoying an MT-07 and felt the need for an increase in power, it is not unreasonable to expect me to look at an MT-09 or an MT-10 before any of the alternatives.
Yes, I am brand loyal, I have owned many brands over my lifetime, and never really been loyal to a brand. Currently I am a Harley guy, they have a distinct sound, they have a Rich history since 1903, they are an American Brand, and I dig the culture built around the brand. I love that I can buy a new one, or one that is 20 years old and still get parts. Not saying that there is anything wrong with any other brand it is just my preference.
For 25 years I was Harley only with regards to bikes. I didn’t look at other brands, I didn’t go to non HD dealers, I was HD through and through. Now I admire all motorcycles and love test riding a variety of them just for fun. As I get older I get less brand loyal and more value oriented I suppose.
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2 thoughts on “Weekly Motorcycle Discussion: Are You Brand Loyal?”
I am not so much brand loyal, as to model loyal, meaning Goldwing. Specifically the GL1800 class. That said, I wouldn’t mind also having a smaller displacement Japanese in-line four to zoom around locally on.
My Father In-Law has owned 3 or 4 Goldwings since I’ve known him (plus he’s had a few since before then). They are nice bikes and everyone that I’ve talked to says they are really happy with theirs.
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