Suzuki Puts The FUN in FUNky

Photos courtesy of Suzuki

New Models Aimed Squarely at the Entry-Level Market and Millennials

Suzuki celebrated 40 years of the Superbike at last month’s Vintage Motorcycle Days.
Suzuki celebrated 40 years of the Superbike at last month’s Vintage Motorcycle Days.

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]uzuki decided to crank up the heat for the summer months! In addition to rolling out several new motorcycles and ATVs in June and July, road-going favorites like the GSX-S750 and the redesigned SV650 made big splash, while word of return of the QuadSport Z50 youth-model ATV for 2017 proved good things come in small packages for those who wait. And while we are mixing metaphors and making malaprops, Suzuki also sought to put the FUN back in FUNky with their 2017 VanVan 200.

“These models expand the Suzuki powersports vehicle family and give Suzuki dealers access to key opportunity markets include entry-level and price-focused riders, plus millennial and experienced motorcyclists looking for new ideas,” says MC/ATV Division Manager Steve Bortolamedi. “The returning fleet of motorcycles and ATVs remains diverse, giving powersports enthusiasts a wide range of Suzuki vehicle options.”

At a time when the motorcycle market was seeing sales soften, Suzuki showed select bright spots through June, with standard motorcycles continuing their popularity. “The GSX-S1000 and GSX-S750 models are selling well,” adds Bortolamedi. “And with the all-new 2017 SV650 motorcycle now in dealerships, Suzuki sales in the standard segment showed a year-over-year increase of more than 30 percent for June, and remain up for the calendar year by the same amount.”

OEM_3Kerry Graeber, VP Sales & Marketing for Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. elaborates: “Expanding our product line with this diversity of motorcycles and ATVs will help broaden the reach of the Suzuki brand. We’re giving people, from powersports veterans to new riders, more diverse ways to enjoy our products, both on-road and off. Unique new motorcycles like the VanVan 200 create a buzz and will help Suzuki dealers attract different customers, while the updated SV650 and RMX450Z show Suzuki is listening to the demands of an evolving market and responding with the right products.”

Sales of Suzuki off-road motorcycles also remain strong, according to Graeber. Both the DR-Z70 and DR-Z125L were up for June compared to the same period last year, and they are up 39 percent for the year. MX bike sales slowed slightly in June, but are up more than 20 percent for the year compared to the same period last year… the return of the RMX450Z should keep dirt sales surging for Suzuki.

Overall retail sales for Suzuki were down slightly in June compared to the same period last year. While broader retail sales nationwide rose in June, year-over-year retail sales in the powersports market have declined for the month. The Motorcycle Industry Council’s just released Retail Sales Flash Report backs up Suzuki’s assessment, noting on-highway sales were down -4.1 percent in June and -3.8 percent YTD while off-highway bikes were up 12.5 percent in June and 7 percent YTD. Suzuki is hoping their eclectic street bike model mix and their strong off-road offerings like the RMX450 will keep the heat on going into this winter.

Suzuki Gets Small!

RV200 Blue

[dropcap]“L[/dropcap]et’s get small” was one of comedian Steve Martin’s  more popular sketches. With the diminutive VanVan 200, TU250X and GW250 incorporated into Suzuki’s 2017 model mix, Suzuki is hoping to have dealers laughing all the way to the bank with this trio of tiny street machines. Time to get wild and crazy… or at least another generation of riders in the saddle.

Lightweight and easy-access, the VanVan 200 is just the thing for getting around a college campus or negotiating the Urban Jungle. Powered by a fuel-injected 199cc four-stroke, it  is said to sip fuel like a hipster quaffs deconstructed coffee. Funky fat tires and a two-up seat add to the appeal.

If the VanVan is too funky or too small for your more conservative customers, consider the TU250X. By combining big-single styling with user-friendly features and a MSRP well under $4,500, the 2017 Suzuki TU250X is a modern-day classic that is fun to ride, says Suzuki. An old school 249cc air-cooled thumper combines classic styling with upgraded technology like fuel injection to keep everyone happy… well, almost everyone. Despite the EFI system, the TU250 is not available in California.

OEM_L7_RV200_Engine-1If riding a bike that your grandfather would have aspired to is not what that millennial coming into the store is looking for, the GW250 might be just the thing. The bodywork provides an aggressive naked statement that breaks away from the norm. A 248cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin is designed for torque rather than top end, while its chassis adapts to variety of riding styles. Best of all, the price is right, just north of $4,000.

Let’s get small! Availability of all three is expected in mid-August.

Suzuki is hoping to bring some smiles to a new generation of customers by getting small.

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