BRP Looking to Get Into the Motorcycle Business?

08/26/2016 @ 4:37 pm, by Jensen Beeler42 COMMENTS

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Interesting news from our friends to the North, as BRP is rumored to be looking at entering the motorcycle industry with a two-wheeler.

The news comes from the Montreal Gazette, which says that the Canadian company is evaluating a move into the motorcycle business, and is looking for “possibilities and trends” in the two-wheeled realm.

This business venture would seem to be outside of BRP’s Can-Am brand, which already offers a motorcycle, albeit one that has three wheels and more closely resembles an on-road snowmobile.

This is interesting, as BRP has long skirted outside the motorcycle industry with its powersport offerings. Rumors of BRP’s interest in Buell Motorcycles also abound, though little substance has been shown for that connection, outside of Buellisti conspiracy theories.

The prospect of another North American brand in the motorcycle industry is certainly interesting, though it remains a big question what kind of offering would make sense for BRP.

A cruiser-styled machine to capture the Harley-Davidson market would be tough, with Indian, Victory, and the metric cruiser already making a miserable hash of that effort. The sport bike market is fraught with danger, as Erik Buell Racing can attest to, as well.

Vintage-styled machines appear to be on their way out, as far as trends go, but there does remain an opportunity perhaps for quality-made budget-focused motorcycles for the Western market.

To its credit, and perhaps most important, BRP has a strong dealership network already at its disposal. The company also has access to financing, as do its dealers, and has other cash flows to ensure it can weather the storm on starting up a new business segment.

Out of all the choice available to the Canadian company, it will be most intriguing to see which BRP chooses.

Source: Montreal Gazette via Common Tread

  • Jonathan

    “on-road snowmobile” -> spot on

  • Ur Momma

    Some of us cut our teeth on Can-Am 2-strokes from the 70’s. The TnT 250 was a hella fun enduro bike!

  • Speedwayrn@yahoo.com

    Motus is available. I am sure they would welcome some more deep pockets.

  • Crash

    Interesting article. But I beg to differ on your characterization of Indian making a hash of it. Go ride a Scout and a Street 750 back to back, then decide.

  • Paul McM

    Jensen, tell us that this is not an early April Fool’s Day joke. A company pronounced “BRaP” is getting into the motorcycle business, specializing in, (cue podcast voice) braparific brapology. Hmmm. Kickstands up, Canadian style….

    In all seriousness I hope they don’t get involved with either Buell or Motus. Buell is cursed and Motus can never be mainstream… given its business model.

  • LeChatNoir d’Tobac

    Rode a street 750, horribly awkward, and a terrible cockpit/tank area it is like a flat table. The scout is an excellent offering, and one I’d like to have should I get a cruiser.

  • LeChatNoir d’Tobac

    Can-am can make a go of any old American name plate should they want to, or just can-am…there is Thor, Pope, excelsior-henderson should they want, Ace, the list goes on and on. I would think Motos would sell better with can-am purchasing power to lower the cost and I like the Can-am name better than Motus after seeing them on jay Leno’s garage, the Motus guys didn’t sell me on a company so much as a venture to be bought out, albeit with an outstanding bike.

  • The thing OEMs seem not to understand is that the cruiser market isn’t really about the bikes, as a product.

  • EBR is dying a death of irrelevancy right now. Motus is interesting, but right now it’s a product, not a company.

  • David Simpson

    Can Am Qualifier was a pretty awesome bike….back in the day

  • MrDefo

    Budget conscious would be a good avenue in my mind. If anything it’s the one path that’s not really crowded right now. The things holding me back from buying a Cleveland Cycleworks bike is the lack of dealer support and well, I’d like FI for my money these days. But for a ~$3000 bike I can put up with a lot of quirks, if anything just to make a fun platform for light customizing. It might just be the kick in the pants the industry needs to really make bikes mainstream.

  • I think they should take over the old Hodaka brand and re-introduce bikes with names like “Road Toad”, “Combat Wombat”, “Super Rat” and “Dirt Squirt”.

  • Phil Klostermen

    I’d like to see them Get Buell running again

  • Superlight

    The Can-Am Spyders are the “on-road snowmobiles”, OK. Those machines are for car people looking for some fresh air. Where is the 3-wheeler for those coming off a motorcycle; you know, something that leans into corners? Here is an opportunity that would fit right into BRP’s current product portfolio.

  • Keith

    Exactly!

  • Doctor Jelly

    The Scout has a $4000 higher price point. Really, the V-Rod is the closest competitor in HD’s lineup even though it’s not fair either as the V-Rod is $6000 more expensive and 15 years older in its design. Besides, picking the Scout out of Indian’s lineup to compete with Harley has missed the mark completely. Harley makes its money from their big touring bikes, so you really have to go apples to apples with Indian’s air cooled offerings.
    Getting on a tangent here, but if you like the Scout then you have to consider that Victory offers the better deal with the Octane. A slightly bigger displacement and somewhat cheaper version of the same bike. If you buy a Scout to look down your nose at HD, then you’re in the same boat as they are for buying into a brand…

    P.S. Polaris: I’m still disappointed that you caved so quickly to sharing bikes with between the brands after making a big stink about not doing it. Though from a business perspective, it was inevitable…

  • Superlight

    I’d agree, which could explain Ducati’s venture into Harley cruiser territory with the XDiavel. Ducati must think it’s about the bikes.

  • MikeD

    They have a SHIP LOAD of marvelous engine’s (specially triples and twins) that could motivate any machine they can design.

  • Barry Rothwell Taylor

    Just a question from Europe ¿ why this obsession for huge capacity , very heavy engines in bikes not apt for corners and curves in a world where there are speed limits almost everywhere ? The only places left seem to be some German Autobahns . I saw one of the Triumph triples , the 2,3 lt triple and it was ridiculously big for town roads , as was the V-Rod an Italian had ridden here from Italy with his girlfriend – and we all live in towns or cities these days .
    So ¿ what’s that all about ?
    ps don’t get the ” crotch rocket ” crowd that try to kill themselves every Sunday either .
    It’s like buying a Ferrari if you live in Madrid ( CR7 just bought a Veyron for example but he does visit Portugal a lot )

  • UnsteadyVelocity

    There are actually a few three wheelers that lean like a motorcycle: the Piaggio MP3 is sold also in the American market, and it is actually very fun to ride. Yamaha also has one sold on the European market, as does a French company whose name escapes me.

  • UnsteadyVelocity

    Truer words were never spoken.

  • Superlight

    The Piaggio is the only leaning trike I’m aware of and it is too much “scooter” and not enough “motorcycle” IMO. Both Yamaha and Honda have shown concept leaning trikes, but they aren’t in production to my knowledge.

  • Paul McM

    I can’t speak for 2.3 liter bikes, but I personally find 1000cc and up much more pleasant to drive on USA country roads and freeways. Displacement = more torque for passing and lower RPM for much reduced vibration. I do have an 800cc Honda VFR. Superb build quality, and ample power, but the HP really only arrives at 8500 rpm and up. My ancient ST1100 will pass cars more easily at 4000 RPM with almost no vibration. Bigger, torquey bikes are definitely better if you’re riding with a passener in my opinion.

  • UnsteadyVelocity

    Have you ridden one?

  • Scott Colosimo has been working on getting EFI into his lineup for several yrs now. I’d be fine with his carbed bikes anyway — much easier to tinker on, and with that sort of bike, you need to do some tinkering, likely.

  • paulus

    Yamaha Tricity is a leaning maxi-scooter. Currently in global ranges

  • paulus

    BRP products are motorsports/recreational products focused… not necessarily transportation. Would it not be a better fit for them to be developing off-road or dual sport offerings, rather than competing with the lifestyle cruiser brands? There has not been a North American off-road brand since the demise of ATK and/or Cannondale… just a thought

  • Superlight

    No, I have not. My brother, who has MS, is looking for a leaning trike (he has a Can-Am Spyder now).

  • MrDefo

    There is a certain connection that I personally made with my carbureted bikes, if anything coming from having to really listen to the engine to decide when to back off the choke, keep the engine running. I do love carbs for that, and there is a place for that type of bike. I’m just saying as a market, the “cheap bike for everybody” needs to be EFI, if anyhting for consistency sake.

  • Paul M. Fenn

    I’d love to see BRP shake up the hardcore dualsport with a bad-to-the-bone electric bike. Jam with the likes of Tesla, if you must, to sort the battery and unleash the ultimate two-day-per-charge street-legal dirt machine for people who want to ride far, hard and breakdown-worry-free, and still be able to hear the birdies tweet while doing so.

  • Singletrack

    That’s the multi-million $ question. Bombardier made awesome off-road bikes with the original CAN-AM brand. Ski-Doo and Sea-Doo play in markets with more sales volume than bikes. BRP has done surprisingly well with the Spyder; better than I ever expected. What is the next two wheeled niche that will have long term sales prospects, for the whole family? What will Mom approve of? I think quiet dirt bikes have to be in the future. Hybrids? All electric?

  • Bob Koning

    Why not M V Agusta ?

  • paulus

    check out the search/threads…. MV comes with it’s a very special problems in place ;-)

  • Bob Koning

    MV is a ‘Exclusive’ motorcycle company with a great range and the chance to expand . They have a cashflow problem at the moment as they expanded quickly . AMG have to be bought out and Castiglioni must be bought out . Then effective management implaced and the whole brand (t shirts , coffee cups , personalized condoms , whatever the public will buy ) expanded . just needs money and at the moment BRP has that .

  • UnsteadyVelocity

    He should try it. It is surprisingly fun, and handles a world apart from the Can Am(which is also fun, but in a very non-leaning, non-motorcycle way).

  • Superlight

    He wants a motorcycle, not a scooter. Before the Can-am he had a Ducati 1000 SS.

  • UnsteadyVelocity

    I am sorry mate, but if he bought a Can Am he is definitely ok with NOT having a motorcycle…that thing is everything BUT a motorcycle. and the Piaggio MP3 would still provide stability for his condition, and handle like a motorcycle. But I am not trying to sell…

  • Superlight

    Two years ago the Can-Am was the only 3-wheel game in town, which is why he bought one. He doesn’t like it, which is why he’s hoping for a leaning 3-wheeler from Yamaha or Honda.

  • Superlight

    He hopes so and is anticipating a product reveal this Fall.

  • UnsteadyVelocity

    Yamaha already has a leaning three wheeler on the market in Europe. If my understanding is correct, there have been legal issues with Piaggio for copyright infringements. But I haven’t followed that story in a while.

  • Kevin Hartin

    Bring back the ROTAX brand and put it on a bike not just engines…