“We feel that the entire line is competitive. The RM-Zs are still winning shootouts, and the Hayabusa is still the No. 1 seller in its class,” Bortolamedi said. “We feel that the new V-Strom will only add to the brand, and the new Burgman 200 will continue to expand the brand.”
Of course, the DL1000 will be the star for 2014. In addition to more conventional marketing efforts, Suzuki will be sending new V-Stroms on the road to reach untouched segments of the market, with dealer tours of five bikes each for the three sales districts across the United States. The goal is to get the V-Stroms in front of customers that might otherwise miss the large national-level motorcycle shows.
“The V-Strom has been getting good attention at the [Progressive International Motorcycle Shows] in each of the major markets,” Bortolamedi noted. “But we want to get the bike to smaller markets and put them in dealers that haven’t seen the bike yet, along with smaller, Tier B regional motorcycle shows.
“We already have some 40 dealers signed up. And, of course, we’ll be hosting press rides and the V-Strom will be our featured model for Suzuki’s re-entry back into print advertising,” he continued.
“We’ll also have strong POP in dealerships. We’re building a ‘V-Strom wall’ that will be hitting in April. It’s a four-foot by six-foot wall that shows off all of the advanced technology in this bike, to educate both dealership sales staff and consumers alike,” he added.
Finally, a key part of Suzuki’s strategy in recent months has been aggressive financing options. At press time, Suzuki was unable to confirm if zero percent financing will be available on new DL1000 units, as the current promotion runs through March and new financing programs will not be announced until the end of the month.
But consumers can still plan on buying the heavily accessorized DL1000 Adventure model which, as with the DL650 Adventure, will include a range of dealer-installed options as a package for a significant savings compared to buying each accessory a la carte. And Bortolamedi asserted that while exact inventory and allocation amounts have not been finalized, dealers can expect a healthy supply of V-Stroms to meet consumer demand.