It wasn't long ago when the economy was booming, if you thought it was time for a new motorcycle, you rode over to the local multiline dealership and walked around the Yamahas, Suzukis and Kawasakis to see what they had, make your choice and ride home. Maybe you stopped by another shop that carried Ducati, Triumph and Moto Guzzi, but what if you were interested in something from the USA? Finding Japanese and European dealers was usually pretty easy, but multiline American dealers? Good luck.
Oddly enough, with the economy crawling along, you can almost imagine the remote possibility of something that never was. Suppose, just for a moment, you could walk into a dealership with a Motus sign out front and one from Erik Buell Racing, right along side. Then you see the Victory cruisers lined up with a few Indians, maybe US Highland, too, and all of a sudden you've got a whole new ball game. Harley could play, but I have a hunch they probably wouldn't. For that matter, I have no idea if any of these brands would want anything to do with one another, I've never asked Lee and Brian from Motus about it, or Erik either, but none of these marques can stand entirely on their own, but if there's a way to keep the doors open, they can be there for the smaller market each one serves.
A few days ago GE Capital announced it agreed to provide floorplan financing for Erik Buell Racing to help get the bikes onto showroom floors. That's a nice start. Lee Conn tells me things are moving along nicely at Motus and I see Indian just rolled out the 2013 Indian Chief Vintage Final Edition, stressing at the same time:
that this is only the end of a model, not a line. Many more Indians are coming, ... customers can expect to see the historic brand attached to new styles, aimed at new segments of the market, within the next few months.
Interesting, new Indian styles and new market segments, I wonder what's on the way. Toss in the brands we mentioned above to cover the high end sport and sport touring segment and you have the makings of an All American Dealer experience.
Yes, I know, chances are pretty low any of this will happen, but then a lot of observers were betting some of these companies wouldn't even be in business right now, so before you write off the possibility, maybe you should think about how cool it would be if it all came together. You never know.