New Viper Motorcycles:150 MPH

The new Viper-brand motorcycles that will start rolling out to dealers later this month are going to be very fast. The company is reasoning that in the crowded custom cruiser market people want more power.  Four years after its discreet launch in 2002, Viper’s production lines started up at the Big Lake plant in Minnesota. The models launched are equipped with in-house produced 152 cubic inches billet engines giving the bikes top speeds of 150 miles per hour. Last year, to prove their performance, the company lined up a three-quarter mile time trial against an F-16 fighter jet at an Air Force base in New Mexico. The F-16 covered the distance in 19.55 seconds, the Viper in 19.75 seconds, reaching 158 MPH. The first 3 produced models are called the “Diablo”, “Diamondback” and “Mamba ”.  I know that there will be a lot of skepticism in the V-Twin industry. So many "Harley Clones" companies have already failed. But Viper states that a total of 200 bikes have already been pre-ordered and that they need to sell only 110 more in 2007 to break even. The target seems to be older baby boomers who kind of got tired of their Harley-Davidsons.  Price range: $30/35,000. More info at Viper Motorcycles.   

7 Responses to “New Viper Motorcycles:150 MPH”

  1. 1 mike beland Jan 18th, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    if they are selling the motors they will have me as a customer…more facts cyril please. dyno sheets bore and strokes. 152 inches is a lot but if done well there is no replacement for displacement!!! sign me up most of my bikes use 121 to 145 inch motors 152 would suit my customers just fine. go fast and look good!

  2. 2 Cyril Huze Jan 18th, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    I am following the story…

  3. 3 John2fast Jan 18th, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    I love this blog. Cyril you bring to us very intersting news and captivating stories. You’re the best.

  4. 4 Pat O'Brien Jan 21st, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    I am not sure Viper is going to make it. Their analysis about a need for 150 MPH bikes is not going to work. If you want this kind of performance, you buy a sport bike.

  5. 5 Pop Jan 21st, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    I have followed the Viper story for more than a year. Are they a credible niche player? Sure. A lot of the bike is proprietary and using a proprietary drive puts them in a fairly unique category.

    Not my style but I wish them luck. Boutique manufacturers, like microbrewers, can survive if they understand the market, the limits of the market and how to extract profit from an expensive to manufacture product.

    I don’t agree that the guy that wants to spend 15k on a Busa is the same guy that will pay two or three times that for an American Vtwin. If that was the case, there wouldn’t be a market for Ford GT’s or Vettes when Nissan offers equivalent pump for a fraction of the price of a GT. There’s certainly a lot more 15k riders out there than 40k riders, but there are enough 40k riders to support not only Viper at a 300 unit run but a variety of niche manufacturers.

    Where the wheels fall off is when these micromarket manufacturers opt to take market share from the established brands. They have to price down their units to compete and that requires outsourced components and that in turn means that quality suffers and the thing turns into a dog chasing its own tail. Viper can thrive. It’s just the old story of not biting off more than you can chew. That error in judgement is an easy trap to fall into.

    I have a fairly comprehensive education in this issue. I ride Indians.

  6. 6 sandie Jan 22nd, 2007 at 2:51 am

    Cyri, what happened to the day people just liked classic looking bikes?? I do not even care for the Harley Davidson V-Rods. Bikes are starting to look so much like something George Jetson would ride in the future. I guess I’d rather cruise on a bike. Where does one ride a bike that the speed limit is 150 miles per hour????? I agree with POP not my style.

  7. 7 Jeff Clark Jan 22nd, 2007 at 11:27 am

    I like the viper concept. If the facts alredy stated are true. Viper can achieve a reasonable market share and make their profits. I have seen the Viper product and it is quality. I feel the interest in this type of bike similar to the muscle cars. A classic look and plenty of power when you want it. Good luck to Viper and thanks for giving bikers a quality option.

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Cyril Huze