Slipping dollar hurts Canadian bike buyers

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If you’re like every other Canadian who shops in the US from time to time, you’ve probably noticed the Canadian dollar has been weak this year, when compared to the USD. And for some motorcycle manufacturers, that means they have to raise their prices in our market.

The US manufacturers seem to be influenced by the changing dollar the most. Harley-Davidson tells us they will be raising their prices across their lineups for 2014; it will vary from bike to bike, but their lineup is going up about 3.5 per cent in price overall. Victory is raising prices as well; most of their bikes cost around $200 more than last year, but the High Ball moved quite a bit more. It was originally supposed to sell for $13,499 after seeing a huge price drop last year (down $2,300). Now it’s priced at $14,999 or $15,999, depending which paint option you get.

Indian isn’t following suit – they’ve got no price hike planned, but said market forces may require a price adjustment down the road.

For the most part, things are fairly steady around the rest of the industry. Pricing for the European brands will remain the same, for now; the Piaggio Group held off on their 2014 pricing until they had a better idea of what the dollar would do, and BMW Motorrad’s prices are locked in for the year as well. MV Agusta was unsure what their response would be, but they seem to be set now. Triumph is also holding the line, as is Ducati.

The Japanese manufacturers seem to be holding the line on price; Yamaha Canada has close ties to the US distributor, but they inform us their prices should be stable for now. Suzuki isn’t planning to hike prices now, and it’s our understanding that Kawasaki and Honda are holding steady.

Chinese motorcycle distributor Visionary Motorsports says they’ll be adjusting prices. We didn’t get a specific figure, but a company official said they’d have to hike MSRPs a bit, to account for the slide of the loonie. So, Chinese bikes they import (Pitster Pro and Cleveland Cyclewerks) will be a bit more expensive.

So, while the overall picture isn’t bad and the dollar’s been climbing a bit lately, some companies may want to insure against a similar slide again in 2015. Don’t be shocked if prices rise for next season, even if it’s only a bit.

1 COMMENT

  1. The Suzuki 1000 v-strom is actually cheaper in Canada than the USA at $11999 vs. $12699 [even better for the adventure version at $12999 vs. $13999]. Suzuki Canada really needs to be given credit for their pricing in Canada.

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