Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Another Moto vs Bicycle cost camparison

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Another Moto vs Bicycle cost camparison

Old 12-01-23, 12:34 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
DMC707's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Posts: 5,387

Bikes: Too many to list

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1764 Post(s)
Liked 1,111 Times in 739 Posts
Another Moto vs Bicycle cost camparison

Was having a debate with a friend via text when he was comparing a $9000 new 250 class motocross bike to a $9000 mountain bike and asking - "what gives"

I tried explaining that the 9k mtb is a machine worthy of pinning a number on at the World cup level with very minimal mods to personalize it to the rider while the 9k motocrosser , while capable of lining up at any local race around the country, is still a far cry from the machines that the top pros are using , which are probably 50k+ machines easily and that a 9k mx bike would likely compare favorably to a nice, competent alloy or basic carbon entry level MTB in the 3k range. A bike that is not up to a pro's standards, but wouldnt really hold anybody back at the Cat 2 level or below

The argument turned to the theory that high end MTB's have ridiculous profit margins knowing that bike snobs will figure out a way to pony up the dough , while the Motocross manufacturers target a more "proletariat" demographic

I pointed out that these arguments and comparisons have been going on for 35 years, when a Mantis Flying V or Fat Chance Yo Eddy likely cost around $3500 which was the going rate for a new motorcycle then as well, --- and that the cost from Shimano, SRAM, fox and rock Shox was a fixed cost for similar tiers of bikes and the manufacturers dont have as much control over those prices as they do the framesets that they make in house or contract out.

And again the counterpoint -- the Fat Chance from 3 decades ago was hand built by an american builder in a shop that probably had a pony keg of craft beer on tap in the back somewhere while the new school stuff is predominately laid up in a Chinese facility for $200 -- then a bike manufacturer assigns an arbitrary value to it



$9000 Mountain bike




$9000 Motocross bike


Last edited by DMC707; 12-01-23 at 12:39 PM.
DMC707 is offline  
Old 12-01-23, 12:58 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,605
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 434 Post(s)
Liked 494 Times in 291 Posts
Lol.
wheelreason is offline  
Old 12-01-23, 01:30 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 7,746
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4031 Post(s)
Liked 4,413 Times in 2,742 Posts
Did you explain that much of the high-end mtb cost is in engineering it to be as light and efficient as possible using some fairly exotic materials?

Most of the moto cost is in the engine. The rest is pretty agricultural compared to the Yeti.

There may be economies of scale in favour of the moto too, but I have no idea how many of these they produce compared to ultra high-end MTBs.

Ultimately, there are enough competing manufacturers to ensure that pricing is reasonably competitive. There is no monopoly going on with MTBs. But the diminishing returns on top tier builds like this Yeti are very high.
PeteHski is offline  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 12-01-23, 01:42 PM
  #4  
Not in charge of anything
 
roadcrankr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Glendora, CA
Posts: 541

Bikes: Merlin Extralight '94 & Cannondale Supersix '15

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 307 Post(s)
Liked 361 Times in 219 Posts
Great points. Then when one considers operating costs, the MTB blows away the Moto.
Rebuilding the Moto's top-end and bottom-end every couple hundred hours can drain a pocketbook.
You can start adding in other assorted repairs, maintenance, registration, etc. to further illustrate costs.
Although tires may cost the same. ha ha
roadcrankr is offline  
Old 12-01-23, 01:53 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
phughes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,011
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1005 Post(s)
Liked 1,217 Times in 703 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski
Did you explain that much of the high-end mtb cost is in engineering it to be as light and efficient as possible using some fairly exotic materials?

Most of the moto cost is in the engine. The rest is pretty agricultural compared to the Yeti.

There may be economies of scale in favour of the moto too, but I have no idea how many of these they produce compared to ultra high-end MTBs.

Ultimately, there are enough competing manufacturers to ensure that pricing is reasonably competitive. There is no monopoly going on with MTBs. But the diminishing returns on top tier builds like this Yeti are very high.
Agricultural? lol Not even close. I guess you really aren't very well acquainted with modern motocross bikes. Hilarious. It comes down more to supply and demand, and frame materials, as well as mass production techniques available to large companies like Honda, compared to less automated processes utilized by smaller bicycle companies like the one that made the bike posted.
phughes is offline  
Likes For phughes:
Old 12-01-23, 02:09 PM
  #6  
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3,405

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1575 Post(s)
Liked 1,565 Times in 972 Posts
I have some polarizing opinion on it in that I see no issue with folks shelling out for the uber expensive bicycles. Reason being, I see plenty of very expensive cars around town and at work all the time. Folks in the cheaper hobbies like running (foot races) still might drive a $40k, $50k, $60k car. Same for folks with cheap bicycles. I'm sure there's plenty that own really expensive cars or houses. I realize also there's some that might be down on their luck and just scrapping by. But for the folks that do have expensive other things, priorities. I won't judge a person who prioritizes an expensive bicycle versus an expensive automobile.
burnthesheep is offline  
Old 12-01-23, 02:23 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 7,746
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4031 Post(s)
Liked 4,413 Times in 2,742 Posts
Originally Posted by phughes
Agricultural? lol Not even close. I guess you really aren't very well acquainted with modern motocross bikes. Hilarious. It comes down more to supply and demand, and frame materials, as well as mass production techniques available to large companies like Honda, compared to less automated processes utilized by smaller bicycle companies like the one that made the bike posted.
Welded box section and a single pivot swing arm is pretty agricultural relative to the Yeti CF frame. If you made this motocross bike with a CF frame, how much would it cost then?
PeteHski is offline  
Old 12-01-23, 02:42 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
phughes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,011
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1005 Post(s)
Liked 1,217 Times in 703 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski
Welded box section and a single pivot swing arm is pretty agricultural relative to the Yeti CF frame. If you made this motocross bike with a CF frame, how much would it cost then?
Uhmmm... did you not read the part when I mentioned frame materials? Nope, you did not. Calling it agricultural simply because of the frame, is ridiculous. There is much more to it than the frame, a frame that works for the intended use. The frame also had to go through a rigorous design process, in order to withstand the pounding that comes from its intended use, as well as tweaks for handling. It isn't simply something someone welded together in their garage. There is also much more to the bike than the frame.

If you want an example of agricultural, here is one of my bikes, which is definitely agricultural. The Honda 250R is not. Interestingly, the cost of my agricultural motorcycle is quite high, but mainly for the same reason the bike cost is high, numbers manufactured. It is a low volume manufacturer. It is distinctly agricultural though, in ride and design.


phughes is offline  
Likes For phughes:
Old 12-01-23, 02:54 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 1,060
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 401 Post(s)
Liked 456 Times in 273 Posts
Never built either a bicycle or a motorcycle, but I suspect another difference between the two in the OP is the skill level, in their respective specialties of the people who build them. My bike was hand built by a now defunct shop, and the welds on the frame are invisible, it looks like it grew that way. Bikes from larger volume manufacturers have, in general, less aesthetic welds.
Pratt is offline  
Old 12-01-23, 03:09 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 7,746
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4031 Post(s)
Liked 4,413 Times in 2,742 Posts
Originally Posted by phughes
Uhmmm... did you not read the part when I mentioned frame materials? Nope, you did not. Calling it agricultural simply because of the frame, is ridiculous. There is much more to it than the frame, a frame that works for the intended use. The frame also had to go through a rigorous design process, in order to withstand the pounding that comes from its intended use, as well as tweaks for handling. It isn't simply something someone welded together in their garage. There is also much more to the bike than the frame.

If you want an example of agricultural, here is one of my bikes, which is definitely agricultural. The Honda 250R is not. Interestingly, the cost of my agricultural motorcycle is quite high, but mainly for the same reason the bike cost is high, numbers manufactured. It is a low volume manufacturer. It is distinctly agricultural though, in ride and design.


You are getting too emotional about it. Obviously it is fit for purpose. The Yeti and Honda are chalk and cheese in terms of both their design and manufacture. The only things in common are 2 wheels and the retail price.
PeteHski is offline  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 12-01-23, 03:16 PM
  #11  
Rider. Wanderer. Creator.
 
john m flores's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 689

Bikes: Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, Cinelli Hobootleg, Zizzo Liberte

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 342 Post(s)
Liked 677 Times in 321 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski
Welded box section and a single pivot swing arm is pretty agricultural relative to the Yeti CF frame. If you made this motocross bike with a CF frame, how much would it cost then?
Ducati tried designing a MotoGP bike with a carbon-fiber frame several years ago. They failed miserably because riders piloting 250hp motorcycles at the limit of adhesion need fine-tuned feedback about what the contact patches are doing and the carbon fiber frames could not provide that. So they switched to "agricultural" twin-spar aluminum frames and started winning championships with it. Modern twin spar frames are finely tuned to flex because when a motorcycle is leaned over as far as they are it's the flexing of the frame not the suspension that absorbing bumps and communicating to the rider.

And motocross bike typically employ rising rate linkage suspensions.

You're seriously underestimating the technology behind modern competition motorcycles. If anything, it's bicycle that are finally catching with technologies that motorcycles have been refining for decades - disk brakes, sophisticated, variable-rate suspensions, electronic shifting, etc..
john m flores is offline  
Old 12-01-23, 03:44 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 7,746
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4031 Post(s)
Liked 4,413 Times in 2,742 Posts
Originally Posted by john m flores
Ducati tried designing a MotoGP bike with a carbon-fiber frame several years ago. They failed miserably because riders piloting 250hp motorcycles at the limit of adhesion need fine-tuned feedback about what the contact patches are doing and the carbon fiber frames could not provide that. So they switched to "agricultural" twin-spar aluminum frames and started winning championships with it. Modern twin spar frames are finely tuned to flex because when a motorcycle is leaned over as far as they are it's the flexing of the frame not the suspension that absorbing bumps and communicating to the rider.

And motocross bike typically employ rising rate linkage suspensions.

You're seriously underestimating the technology behind modern competition motorcycles. If anything, it's bicycle that are finally catching with technologies that motorcycles have been refining for decades - disk brakes, sophisticated, variable-rate suspensions, electronic shifting, etc..
I do actually appreciate all this, but my point here is simply that carbon frames are inherently much more expensive than fabricated alloy frames. Letís say the Moto guys figured out how to make an effective carbon frame. Then the bikes would suddenly become a lot more expensive. The fact that an alloy frame is their optimum solution keeps the cost down - especially at the consumer level.
PeteHski is offline  
Old 12-01-23, 03:51 PM
  #13  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 8,721

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4227 Post(s)
Liked 2,482 Times in 1,284 Posts
Originally Posted by DMC707







$9000 Mountain bike




$9000 Motocross bike

$ 9000 for a motorcycle is totally worth it....$ 9000 for a bicycle isn't worth it, in fact spending that much on a bicycle is laughable and ludicrous. That bicycle probably took about $ 4000 to actually manufacture. There is nothing special about that particular suspension design or geometry and it's not even e-assisted. You're just paying extra for the brand name and the image that it projects.
wolfchild is offline  
Old 12-01-23, 03:57 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 7,746
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4031 Post(s)
Liked 4,413 Times in 2,742 Posts
Another toilet thread.
PeteHski is offline  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 12-01-23, 04:14 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
DMC707's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Posts: 5,387

Bikes: Too many to list

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1764 Post(s)
Liked 1,111 Times in 739 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski
I do actually appreciate all this, but my point here is simply that carbon frames are inherently much more expensive than fabricated alloy frames. .

I'd like to see the proof of that when you have them mass produced in the far east for pennies . Even Colnago has outsourced carbon to the Wild Wild East. Not sure if companies like Yeti do or not, but i just picked that photo arbotrarilly as an example of an expensive bicycle and couldve plugged in anything from Santa Cruz or the S Works lineup etc etc in its place
DMC707 is offline  
Old 12-01-23, 06:24 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 7,746
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4031 Post(s)
Liked 4,413 Times in 2,742 Posts
Originally Posted by DMC707
I'd like to see the proof of that when you have them mass produced in the far east for pennies . Even Colnago has outsourced carbon to the Wild Wild East. Not sure if companies like Yeti do or not, but i just picked that photo arbotrarilly as an example of an expensive bicycle and couldve plugged in anything from Santa Cruz or the S Works lineup etc etc in its place
So you think it costs pennies to design, develop and produce an S-Works frame? Bikes in that price range are not mass produced either.

It gets a lot cheaper with generic open mould frames with little or no control over the layup design or QC. But those are not what you find in legit $9k bikes.

If those motos you are comparing with go carbon, they would suddenly cost a whole lot more than $9k. The cost of designing, developing and producing carbon moto frames is probably not commercially viable, which is also the case with mainstream car production. BMW used a lot of composites in their i3 to compensate for battery weight, but I would imagine the development cost was horrific, justified mostly as a disruptive pilot study.
PeteHski is offline  
Old 12-01-23, 08:27 PM
  #17  
Rider. Wanderer. Creator.
 
john m flores's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 689

Bikes: Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, Cinelli Hobootleg, Zizzo Liberte

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 342 Post(s)
Liked 677 Times in 321 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski
So you think it costs pennies to design, develop and produce an S-Works frame? Bikes in that price range are not mass produced either.

It gets a lot cheaper with generic open mould frames with little or no control over the layup design or QC. But those are not what you find in legit $9k bikes.

If those motos you are comparing with go carbon, they would suddenly cost a whole lot more than $9k. The cost of designing, developing and producing carbon moto frames is probably not commercially viable, which is also the case with mainstream car production. BMW used a lot of composites in their i3 to compensate for battery weight, but I would imagine the development cost was horrific, justified mostly as a disruptive pilot study.
I recently attended the global launch of the BMW R 1300 GS. The design process took 6 years. Just 4 part numbers carry over from the previous model. The aluminium gas tank and metal frame are ultralight and have contours and indents all along their surface to fit over and around the motor, airbox, and all of the other components they are adjacent to while providing the strength necessary to withstand the forces of a 145hp motorcycle.

When the BMW engineers talked about the designing the components, they talked in increments of 1mm.

I recall Yamaha engineers talking about how raising the rear swingarm pivot of the R1 4mm was a big improvement. Think about the analysis and testing to settle upon 4mm instead of 3mm or 5mm.

You are fixating on frame material and conveniently forgetting that motorcycles have motors consisting of hundreds of parts, many of which need to be constructed with tolerances measured with a micrometer.

A full suspension mountain bike is, by comparison, much, much simpler. Even a $9,000 one.

john m flores is offline  
Likes For john m flores:
Old 12-01-23, 08:36 PM
  #18  
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 13,054

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), R+M Supercharger2 Rohloff, Habanero Ti 26

Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4165 Post(s)
Liked 3,730 Times in 2,486 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild
$ 9000 for a motorcycle is totally worth it....$ 9000 for a bicycle isn't worth it, in fact spending that much on a bicycle is laughable and ludicrous. That bicycle probably took about $ 4000 to actually manufacture. There is nothing special about that particular suspension design or geometry and it's not even e-assisted. You're just paying extra for the brand name and the image that it projects.
It is also OK to just say "hey I don't know much about bikes, my knowledge is elsewhere".

Your posts sometimes feel like that "bike friend" people have that has one bike and only rides that bike and may not maintain it and certainly barely knows much more than the specific bike they are riding but that person wants to value that opinion which means nothing in most contexts beyond the one bike they ride.
veganbikes is offline  
Likes For veganbikes:
Old 12-01-23, 08:45 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
phughes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,011
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1005 Post(s)
Liked 1,217 Times in 703 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski
You are getting too emotional about it. Obviously it is fit for purpose. The Yeti and Honda are chalk and cheese in terms of both their design and manufacture. The only things in common are 2 wheels and the retail price.
Not even close to emotional about this. Just that coming from someone who helped run a Honda Kawasaki Seadoo dealership for three years, your calling the Honda industrial is ridiculous. You simply didn't read what I said about materials, which is in line with your thinking. Calling the Honda agricultural because it is welded is like calling a Colnago agricultural because it uses a welded frame. I simply called out a poor description, that's all.
phughes is offline  
Likes For phughes:
Old 12-01-23, 08:52 PM
  #20  
Expired Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 11,423
Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3626 Post(s)
Liked 5,286 Times in 2,685 Posts
Compare to any name brand ebike. Hard to justify the ebike other than from an environmental perspective.

shelbyfv is offline  
Likes For shelbyfv:
Old 12-01-23, 09:13 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 1,920
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2596 Post(s)
Liked 456 Times in 331 Posts
I think your friend has a point. High end mountain bikes are absurdly expensive. Itís kind of ridiculous.
LarrySellerz is online now  
Likes For LarrySellerz:
Old 12-01-23, 09:16 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Fargo ND
Posts: 857

Bikes: Time Scylon, Lynskey R350, Ritchey Breakaway, Ritchey Double Switchback, Lynskey Ridgeline, ICAN Fatbike

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 445 Post(s)
Liked 506 Times in 279 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski
Welded box section and a single pivot swing arm is pretty agricultural relative to the Yeti CF frame. If you made this motocross bike with a CF frame, how much would it cost then?
I have spent the last dozen or so years designing control and sensing systems for agriculture, and both the Honda and the Yetti look so primitive it is amazing. I don't see any sensors on either the Moto or the MTB to sense the contour of the ground ahead and keep the saddle level.
DangerousDanR is offline  
Likes For DangerousDanR:
Old 12-01-23, 09:17 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 1,920
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2596 Post(s)
Liked 456 Times in 331 Posts
Originally Posted by john m flores

When the BMW engineers talked about the designing the components, they talked in increments of 1mm

To add context to others, this isnít in the realm of strict hard to hit tolerances
LarrySellerz is online now  
Likes For LarrySellerz:
Old 12-01-23, 09:38 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 24,891
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8065 Post(s)
Liked 8,637 Times in 4,302 Posts
Yeti makes frames with different levels of carbon fiber. Their most expensive composition is called "Turq" which can be had for $4300 frame only. Complete XC bikes like the one in the OP can be purchased for less than $4800 with the lower grade carbon.
Yeti spent years developing the "switch infinity" rear suspension which is highly regarded and well reviewed. It uses a "virtual pivot" type of geometry.

Bicycle makers have to purchase everything except the frame itself, generally. Still, nine grand is a lot to spend but if you have the money and want it, why not?
I disagree about whether spending that much is necessary to win any race. The law of diminishing returns is strong here.

I also disagree about that Honda not being race worthy for high level racing. I've had MX bikes and was a fan of the races since the early 70s and always liked to see the privateers do well. Way back the top stars had their bikes hand made by teams on engineers for astronomical costs. At some point the rules said they had to use production based machines. I don't know how close they adhere to that, though.
big john is offline  
Likes For big john:
Old 12-01-23, 09:43 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 24,891
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8065 Post(s)
Liked 8,637 Times in 4,302 Posts
Originally Posted by LarrySellerz
I think your friend has a point. High end mountain bikes are absurdly expensive. Itís kind of ridiculous.
High end road bikes are worse. It becomes a bling factor, nttawwt. I have no objection to anyone spending whatever they want on bikes, cars, jewelry, whatever.

I worked with a guy some years ago who insisted there was no way a Tour de France bike could cost more than $300.
big john is offline  
Likes For big john:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.