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Bummer Bummer my dealer Thousand Oaks Ducati is closing. Went in today and they are out of business not accepting any service and expect to be closed by end of month. Probably would not have bought my 1260 S few months ago I f I knew this was going to happen. I know there is Pro Italia in Glendale which seems like a very good shop but a pain to get t in traffic (and there is always traffic here). Bike coming up shorty for service so will find out how good they are.
 

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Bummer Bummer my dealer Thousand Oaks Ducati is closing. Went in today and they are out of business not accepting any service and expect to be closed by end of month.
Is that different than Ducati Westlake Village?
 

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Pro Italia is a well-known shop with great expertise, and a long history.
I have had good experiences with them.

PhilB
 

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Sorry to hear they're closing! I'm down in that area once a year or so and have stopped in there before. That's too bad.

There's also Ducati of Santa Barbara a bit further north as another option.
 

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The overall motorcycle market is in the crapper, so this is not surprising especially with a low volume bike like Ducati for which is needed a ton of special tech training and tools for each line that comes out. The volume just isn't there to make any money from it. Two local Ducati dealers also stopped selling them - one just quit to focus on its other makes and the other is going out altogether. The market is about 1/2 in volume of what it was in 2008 and, as an indicator, Harley has been off about 5% per year for the last 5 and it's latest quarter was down 13%.
 

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like Ducati for which is needed a ton of special tech training and tools for each line that comes out
Outside of electronics (software) there is not as much spent of special tool as you would think, most models re-use the same tools so there is no need to re-tool for most models of the same brand/type. As to training I would put money on the fact 90% of owners have no idea how little training is given at the dealer level . New year updates are probably a powerpoint for an hour and that's it unless you are a new mechanic heading off for a 1-2 week school to become certified.

The service department makes money (or should) to carry the water for the rest of the shop, the sales floor makes the extra money but often can be what sinks a dealership if you have a bad sales year. I talk to dealer owners who have gone from boon to bust in a short period due to sales of new units falling flat you a spell, Ducati forces/coerces dealers to take on more bikes all the time and if a bike does not sell after any free flooring ends the dealer can easily lose money on the unit. Once they start paying interest on multiple bikes on the showroom floor any profit margin disappears and we all know soon the bike will be discounted to stop the losses ( this is what consumers call a "DEAL").

This is nothing new and not just the powersports industry deals with this, but it is also why you will see dealerships close doors as it is NOT a high margin industry Enjoy and support the good ones because they all have a shelf life. I will be surprised if a few more are not gone by spring given the conversations I have been having with principals. The V4 is the bike that will keep them going as it has great consumer interest, but Ducati uses that to leverage dealers to take more models no one wants. Want more than one V4 to sell? Then take three Diavel's to get another.

If a shop has good service then it can weather the sales spikes better as service is steady, not a ton of profit but not many losses either. Parts are matched by both sales and service. Hard parts go with service but accessories like exhausts are more tied to sales, then apparel is 100% the same as bike sales in that some things sell well and others you might as well donate to goodwill.

A trade mag I just read showed some bad numbers in that of street units in November dealers were still almost 60% 2018 models and another 25% were older than 2018. Given not all 2019 models are out yet and delivered but the old model percentage is troubling especially if those dealers are bleeding money on each one they have. Ducati and Harley have been cashing in on big buck bikes bought by older riders who have the extra cash but as baby boomers get out of the sport (and I see it happening on a regular basis) the sales of big bikes will suffer unless the younger generation picks up the sport and sadly that is NOT happening right now in the US. Maybe the electric bikes will gain new riders to the sport, as long as they drive by video game controller >:)
 

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Electric motorcycles: The answer to the question that nobody asked. The cost per mile all up of an electric car is over $.75 per mile or about $.20 more than the IRS mileage rate which is close to what a gas car costs. Plus, they both sound like shit.
 

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Maybe it’s not all because of poor sales. A very popular Ducati dealer in Central Florida recently quit selling Ducati not because they weren’t selling but rather Ducati pulled a Harley Davidson deal on them. Ducati came in and demanded they keep a required inventory, allocated floor space and designed/decorated the showroom to meet Ducati requirements. Small shops can’t survive that crap.


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Maybe the electric bikes will gain new riders to the sport, as long as they drive by video game controller >:)
Ducvet - A well written and informative post. Good stuff. On your last point quoted above ... I think manufacturers who are looking into electric motorcycles to attract riders from the younger, "I'm green too!" generations are making a huge mistake. A complete waste of time and capital.

The younger generations are so self absorbed with selfies, texting, social media, video games, virtual reality etc, that they couldn't give a damn if manufacturers came out with motorcycles that ran on air!

The younger generations lack motor skills in all senses of that term. They have no interest in gas, electric or air powered motorcycles unless they are self driving and completely brainless. What's the point of riding a motorcycle if you can't take as selfie on it every 3 minutes???!!!

IMHO, the smart - and sad - move for manufacturers is to simply downsize and forget the electric motorcycle pipe dream. Or start building virtual motorcycles for the virtual riders from the younger generations. :)

"Everybody's talking and no one says a word. Strange days indeed. Most peculiar, Mama." - Nobody Told Me by John Lennon
 

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I think what is going to happen is that you will see a lot fewer dealers and more centralized motorcycle "superstores" in the major population areas. Motorcycles are a volume business due to the overhead involved. The sales trend over the last 10 years is the real telling story - 880k units in 2008 and then between 400-500k in every year since then.

And I agree with Damascus, it's truly a sad story that nobody these days wants, or seems to want, the "real world" experience of riding in the elements, putting themselves at a somewhat measured risk or getting their hands dirty fixing a carburetor. The electronic world in this respect is, to me, a hollow experience and for which you are not really better off for the doing afterward. Maybe I'm too old school in many respects, but I do embrace the technology insofar as when it helps me solve a real world problem to assist with my "real world" experience. Like googling DelOrto parts or what this "thingy" does. But for me at least, technology is not a replacement for these real world things or experiences, it's simply a tool to me, an assistant. It's like looking at a photo of somebody riding the Alps, versus actually doing it.
 

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I am not giving up on the new generation just yet. I had a apprentice a few years ago that was a mid 20's guy, he had an appreciation for things mechanical. His friends of similar age were the same, their problem was simply financial. Most still lived at home or at least supported by parents paying rent, there was more interest in how things looked than ran and they often bought "cheap" bikes that were in a poor state.

I am not sure what will push that generation into taking up the sport, I know the manufacturers are trying their best. Movie placement is aimed at the younger generation, video games too. Technology to make riding easier is at the forefront with the need for a clutch all but gone. if you look at the technology Yamaha,BMW and others are building to basically make self driving bikes it is not a stretch to guess that manufacturers are trying to make motorcycles for the masses not the die hard's. Sales will win production almost every time. Electrics are being pushed hard because now you will have a vehicle with no shifting and complete computer control, easier to make fool proof.

There is hope however as you also see many younger kids burning out on technology and re-discovering the benefits of earning skills, A GAINED sense of accomplishment that comes from overcoming a new skill in the physical world.
 

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My great grandson is six. I take him down to the workshop with me and show him how various tools work. I bought him a tool box and give him a new tool from time to time. However, he shows no interest in real motorcycles. The shop is full of them and he pays no attention at all. He loves to play racing games on his IPad, but doesn’t seem to equate that to actually riding anything in real life. Hopefully that changes as he gets older. Maybe when he’s old enough to actually take for a ride, because he does like to ride in my Corvette. They just live in a different world.
 

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I think what is going to happen is that you will see a lot fewer dealers and more centralized motorcycle "superstores" in the major population areas.
Truly. I can see it now. There will be one Ducati dealership for the US, one Honda dealership for the US, one Harley dealership for the US, etc ... all housed in one Motorcycle Mega Mall located about two miles northwest of Lebanon, Kansas - the geographic center of the US. Super. :(
 

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I will go one more.

Direct sales AKA: Tesla model
Pick the dealer you want to pick up your bike from and they will ship it there, dealers will need nothing more than a demo unit. No more bikes setting on dealers floor and yes less chance of discounts, dealers will get a cut based on number of units that go through their hands.

Some smaller brands like Mv will favor this as they have no dealer network now so it will simplify things. The only downside I see is the manufacturers will find it harder to hide a sales slump as there will be no dealers buying their own inventory to get them off flooring.

duc96cr
Don't worry about the grandson just yet, I have a 11 and 14 year old. The 14 year old prefers the xbox but when I throw something motorized at him he jumps on them happily. This year I bought a used 4-wheeler and let the kids destroy my lawn, something to get them motivated and lawns grow back. The 11 year old (daughter) is all over that thing and loves to practice on obstacles, I am sure she will be riding later on. I need to coerce the 14 year old more but see it as a worthwhile investment in our sports future. Try getting the 6 year old on even one of those battery powered things, the riding sucks them in faster than any cool toys we own.
 

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And I agree with Damascus, it's truly a sad story that nobody these days wants, or seems to want, the "real world" experience of riding in the elements, putting themselves at a somewhat measured risk or getting their hands dirty fixing a carburetor.
I am still amazed that they have no interest in getting their driver's license. Most of what I hear from parents these days are that they have to basically force them to go get a driver's license a couple of years after they turn sixteen. Instead of working on carburetors and small engines.....they are building computer systems and apps....or at least that is what my nephew and his friends do.

On another note.....my 2.5 year old loves motorcycles and wants to sit on them all of the time. I am constantly removing finger prints from all of my bikes. I can't wait until she is old enough to actually go for a ride.
 

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I am happy my 3.5 year old son is crazy for anything with a motor. He loves my car (blue bmw z4m coupe) and always wants me to take him to school. Loves motorcycles too. I bought a ducati 749 for a dedicated track bike and told my son it is his race bike. When he gets older he can ride it. He tells everyone about his "race motorcycle".
I also took him to the IMS show at Javits Center this year. He got on every street bike, dirt bike, atv in the joint. He was just talking and running back and forth in pure happiness. I feel very blessed he has the same passion that I do. I think its a little bit of nature and nurture. Spend time with your kids and get them involved. I let him help me wash the cars and do oil changes on my vehicles.
Millenials are changing the world (for the worse imho)
 

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I may be seeing similar in sailing. Public marinas to keep trailered and wet slip boats are closing around the bay due to costs & new housing encroachment. Sailors are getting older & the jump from dingy (jr sailors) to a larger 20 foot plus boat is high cost. Use to be that for the price of a second hand car, you could campaign a small sailing race boat, not so anymore. Then there is competition with indoor activities where it's easy, nice & warm, and no big clean up afterwards.

But, there is hope. A 22 year old woman around the block just got her license and marveled at the feel of shifting gears on manual bikes. News that young kids are fascinated by type writers and cassettes & record players.

I think bikers have some Luddite qualities in them. Too much tech devolves the sport/hobby. Pull this, press that, push here & all that feedback is what I love about riding & sailing, despite them being at opposite ends of the acceleration & speed spectrum. Hell, I get excited by a tenth of a knot extra speed increase.
 

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Unfortunate for the dealer and everyone that worked there.

I was in LA the week of Thanksgiving, and in my observation with the weather, ability to lane split combined with ridiculous traffic, and apparent disposable income I would think the area could support even more high-end motorcycle dealers.

Do not envy any of these dealers however. Most seem to just be scratching out a living. A surgeon I know sank basically his entire retirement savings into a Yamaha/KTM/Husky/Triumph/Beta dealership. We will see if it survives in this area.

During my week in SoCal I visited a couple of dealerships, Ducati Newport Beach and OC Motorsports (MV/Guzzi dealer). Ducati NB was of course immaculate and a marquee dealership for the brand. OC Motorsports was in half of a side street garage and you would drive right past if you didn't know it was there. Real dirt under the fingernails type place, but the folks were friendly and obviously enthusiastic. Had a nice chat with a couple of them. Besides service and sales, they also rented bikes, perhaps that was another creative income source. At least their overhead was low, in that place (they are moving now). I shudder to think even what the lot cost that Ducati Newport was built on.

There is no MV dealer near me, so wherever I buy it will be shipped. OC may just get the call...
 

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This mini play brought to you by Lime Scooters, soon to be bought by UBER or a Federation carmaker in their last gasp dying breath:

Meanwhile, back in the Federation:
Massive societal wealth vacuuming by the half of one percent multi-national uber-oligarchy has sent
the last Boomer-craftsmen, all blue-collar X- and Y-Generation, all unlucky to not be rich millenials and 100% of their following generations into increasing poverty over time. Most will live our their years cohabitating with their post-war boom parents, or under a bridge. hopeless and single as they eye our nice houses, family pictures and garage toys...
resentment, then anger come next. But that's another play.

They are increasingly urban urchins with increasingly ugly traffic scenarios for cage drivers and bikes alike.. this since lane splitting is illegal in 49 of the 50 'free' states of the republic.
They park their rides.
the logic being they might as well have a lazyboy cage with 'info'tainment distractions and bling galore just like in the commercials - all sex and success and empty roads BTW...
to help pass the actuality of their lives - poor, no non-virtual date, and endless time spent alone baking on their couch or lighting up while stuck in traffic.

MEANWHILE:
in the free to be lane-splittin poor-arse developing world, where birth rates are perky and factory jobs pop up with regularity,
[sensible] bike sales are increasing because it just makes sense amidst a density of traffic the likes of which the Federation has not seen so far. said sensible bikes carry families of four, have baskets up front,
and badd-ass lock-to-lock so they can actually get through the 24/7 gridlocked morass.

NEXT UP:
Federation bike sales dive into oblivion, proper bike smithing establishments fold into history. while the true spirit surges on - in rebellious kids who skim through traffic on battery powered rental skateboards and stand-on skooters with 4" diameter wheels and running boards ..chased unsuccessfully by the police.

FINALE:
the 200mph-plus, Dino Juice-burning bahn-stormers decompose in museums and
old farts' garages. That'd be us. Boy did we have fun. eh? er, speak into the pipe, kid! Kid! hey come back here, I'm talking to ya!
 
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