Stay Classy, Suzuki Owners Club of North America - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 24 Old 05-25-2010, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Stay Classy, Suzuki Owners Club of North America

I joined last year and my membership was expiring in June. I posted the following thread:

Quote:
Topic: Where is SONA headed?
Posted: 20/May/2010 at 8:27am
What is the future of this organization?

Joined last year and honestly don't see a lot of value or activity. Websites like SVriders.com or Stromtroopers.com (and others - I just use those two) have a great deal more technical content of interest, and even their own events. There's a big divide between cruiser riders - Metric or not - and the rest of us and the targeted websites and events seem to be much more popular.

Wouldn't Suzuki of North America be better served by supporting the enthusiast user forums instead? It's hard to see the value here but I'm open to suggestion - it's only $15.50. This website mostly seems an advertising forum for dealers.
Response? My login was cancelled. Guess that question has been answered!

2005 DL650 (sold) | 2009 DL650A (sold) | 2008 Tiger 1050 ABS | 2012 WR250R | 2008 CRF100F
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post #2 of 24 Old 05-25-2010, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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I emailed Stone Anthony, the club president, to ask him what was going on. He just gave me a call.

Asked him specifically if he removed the thread, and he said it was done by a moderator. He told me the thread was deleted as soon as it was posted. He indicated that since I'd joined one year, logged in 11 times, and was only posting for the first time apparently I was not involved enough to have an opinion. I did point out that my current bike is my third Suzuki of the five bikes I've owned.

I asked him if he could answer the question about what the value of the club was and he pointed to the regional rallies they have (seven listed on the website - fair commentary) and other group rides. He further stated that it was not the goal or intention of the club to be a technical resource like this site or SVrider, also fair commentary.

Had these benefits (and opinion of "where I was coming from") been posted in response to the thread I would have considered it a positive sign. I posted on a members-only area so it's not like broadcasting to the interweb.

If you look through that section, you'll see that there isn't a lot of participation: sometimes only one or two posts a day, with zero posts some days.

It appears that the response of deleting the thread was as much about the current leadership of the club being made uncomfortable about their apparent lack of progress in growing the club as it was about an apparent troll. Rather than responding to the thread (as he did in the phone call) or even pm'ing or emailing me to ask my intention they took the uniquely heavy-handed approach of deleting the thread and cancelling my account.

My post was a well-meaning effort to open some dialog about what they were doing and what they might do to attract more members and more interest. Customers don't go away mad: they just go away.

Specifically, my opinion is that the people currently directing the club are trying to make it a "Metric HOG" patterned after the Harley owner's group, right down to the veteran patches, vests, and rides. I am a veteran myself and don't begrudge any efforts to promote our interests, particularly to make sure the combat vets returning home are well taken care of.

I sure wish there was some way to get communication from Suzuki about the V-Strom. It certainly won't be from SONA, and since most dealers only stock a few of the bikes, they don't seem to be very interested either.

There is an outdoor power equipment forum called OPEonthenet. Ariens assigned an engineer to monitor the forum and it has resulted in immense goodwill and loyalty for the Ariens brand, and a lot of frank (and usually positive) product feedback. One would think that Suzuki, a company many times larger, could do something similar for this site and VSRI. Until then, I guess we remain the stepchildren of the Suzuki brand.

2005 DL650 (sold) | 2009 DL650A (sold) | 2008 Tiger 1050 ABS | 2012 WR250R | 2008 CRF100F
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post #3 of 24 Old 05-25-2010, 10:58 PM
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That's pretty cold of them, but not much worse than some forums I've seen.

I'm not sure what it is about manufacturers but most of them regardless of vehicle (cars, trucks, bikes, etc.) don't really seem to do much to inspire owner loyalty and I don't really understand why. Forums like this one and other bike-specific forums are perfect places for them to work with people who have a vested interest in their products. None of them seem to have any interest in taking advantage of that benefit though.

Honda Motorcycles does have the Honda Riders Club of America and they do sponsor the Honda Hoot every year but I think it's mostly Gold Wing oriented (I've honestly never been though). I was a member for a couple of years primarily for the roadside assistance which was a bit better than AMA's, but they dropped it as a membership perk so I dropped them.

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post #4 of 24 Old 05-25-2010, 11:39 PM
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The reality in the internet age is the manufacturers are not in control of or responsible for owner/enthusiast clubs any longer. There is far more interaction, organization, and participation in forums such as these than there will ever be in the sanctioned clubs.

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post #5 of 24 Old 05-25-2010, 11:53 PM
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I'd also find it hard to participate if they're mimicking the Harley club or being cruiser oriented. Can only imagine the outcome after hearing a Jap cruiser fellow ask me why I don't get a real bike

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post #6 of 24 Old 05-25-2010, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garandman View Post
Customers don't go away mad: they just go away.
+1000.

I have long believed that the customers that whine are not the ones a company should be concerned about. The ones that are worrisome are the ones from whom they never hear -- they just leave.

Whining is a signal to the producer that you intend to remain their customer. (Else why whine?) Ergo, why should they be concerned about pleasing whiners?

Those customers who realize they have options will simply vote with their feet and wallets.
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post #7 of 24 Old 05-26-2010, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garandman
Customers don't go away mad: they just go away.

Does that sound slightly Motley Crue-ish?


Never heard of the SOCNA til right now.....guess I'm not missing much.

As a Wee owner, I fail to see why this forum wouldn't be more than sufficient to address such specific Strom oriented queries. Between the VSRI, ADV, and Stromtroopers, they seem to have the whole thing pretty much covered - and then some!

"Side effects may include: Mild kidney explosions...Testicular cranberrying... And Rectal hallucinations."

Last edited by jokermtb; 05-26-2010 at 01:40 AM.
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post #8 of 24 Old 05-26-2010, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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I just noticed that Stone has on his profile that he is both President and Founder.

In other words, he didn't get hired and can't get fired. So don't expect any change in direction, energy or initiative. Swing and miss.

2005 DL650 (sold) | 2009 DL650A (sold) | 2008 Tiger 1050 ABS | 2012 WR250R | 2008 CRF100F
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post #9 of 24 Old 05-26-2010, 10:19 AM
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Thumbs down I too WAS a member

Last year when I bought my wee I'd do alot of research on the web and found SOCNA and decided to become a member just cause I found the patch really cool and wanted one to cover up the company logo on my work jacket. After joining I never got correspondence from them, but since my membership has expired e-mail have been coming in to attract me to go back. When I joined there where no Quebec members, now I think there are 4. And as was mentioned before, mostly metric cruisers.

Thats all I have to say about that and I don't think we should lose any sleep over that club.

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post #10 of 24 Old 05-26-2010, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCraig View Post
That's pretty cold of them, but not much worse than some forums I've seen.

Honda Motorcycles does have the Honda Riders Club of America and they do sponsor the Honda Hoot every year but I think it's mostly Gold Wing oriented (I've honestly never been though). I was a member for a couple of years primarily for the roadside assistance which was a bit better than AMA's, but they dropped it as a membership perk so I dropped them.
I think they did away with the "Hoot" and the Homecomming at Marysville, it was mostly for "Wingers" anyway.Kawasaki had a simular club (ROK) but almost all the rides were out west . The Japanese could learn quite a few things about marketing from H-D but seem to fight the idea, heck they don't even make a good t-shirt, like they are afraid to advertise. Cheers--BB

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