Just got back from the Star Motorcycle Focus Group held here this morning in San Diego and thought I would share the experience with you.
There were 9 of us motorcycle buyers in this small conferenc room, 3 of us were Stryker owners, couple of V-Stars, and smaller bikes from the Star line. Each person had a mic in front of them as the session was being audio/video taped to be sent back to headquarters in Japan.
One of the first things we learned was that Star Motorcycles is a sepperate brand name and they tied the Yamaha name to it for product recognition. I didn’t know that. I asked if the Star bikes were built in the same factory as the Yammys and the answer was “yes.”
They asked us if anyone had heard the terms “Yamaha Pro Dealer” or “Star Specialist” and no one had. Came to find out that there are certain dealerships that are considdered “Yam Pro” dealers because they carry a certain amount of Yamaha bikes and/or parts in stock. A dealership near where I live called Motoworld is considdered a Yam Pro dealer and conincidentally is where I went to purchase my Star back rest because they had it in stock. The next step up from that is a “Star Specialist” and you have to meet a certain criteria to become that but the speaker did not elaborate what that would be.
No questions were asked about what could we do to improve your model bike. Instead the focus group seemed to be on what could Star do to make our purchasing experience better and the after-sales relationship with the customer. They seem to really focused on a new line of buying experience, ie: what if you could work with the manufacturer and custom build your own motorcycle, is that something you would be interested in? Everyone said yes. Ok how long would you be willing to wait for delivery? 2 months seemed to be the norm. They were looking for ideas on how to achieve this; ordering/buying online and pick it up at a warehouse vs. have delivered to your house. We all agreed this would only work if we already knew the bike we wanted otherwise we would want to walk into a dealership to “feel” it out. And they asked a lot of questions about what we liked and didn’t like fro our experiences with the dealerships.
I found out that their product line is pretty much set for the next 5yrs. I asked about the future of the Stryker and I wasn’t given any specifics but one of the guys told me that next month Yamaha will put up on their website the 2013 product line.
So far their has been 1 other Star Focus Group held in PA and the speaker told me that it was completely different from the SD session because in PA they only ride 3m out of the yr.
It was heald in the San Diego Sheraton, they gave us breakfast before hand, they gave us Star mugs and ski cap and they are mailing us Star shirts.