Post by smokinguitarplayer on Apr 28, 2016 14:54:40 GMT
I thought I'd start a new thread where we can list all the EcoExo kits we can recall / find / verify etc. and their "state" . It would be nice to have the info all at one place ..yes?
So I'll start with the easy ones.
Ed - Wisconsin - Purchased Feb 2013 - On road : xx/xx/xx - Roger - Mass - Purchased March 2013 - On Road : Fred - Shillington, Pa. - Purchased March 2014 - On road 3-2016 Erik - Netherlands - Purchased 7-2013 - Completed : (on road?)
We can cut and paste the list to each entry to the thread, and build the list ...
Fred. I believe only 12 were ever built. The U.S. has 6, you, me, Ed, Jimmy Cox in Texas and 2 guys in Colorado. England has Scotts Prototype(s) of which there are two. Scotts brother built one and there was one other handlebar type Eco-Exo. Two were sold in the Netherlands one to Erik and one to Anne.
Ed - Wisconsin - Purchased Feb 2013 - On road : xx/xx/xx - Roger - Mass - Purchased March 2013 - On Road : Fred - Shillington, Pa. - Purchased March 2014 - On road 3-2016 Erik - Netherlands - Purchased 7-2013 - Completed : (on road?) Babr - Ashtead, Surrey UK- Purchased March 2016 - On road with lots of Mods (seats, brakes, Dyno, Quick release steering) To do - engine and suspension
One could think of many reasons not to buy one. Many ask as 1st question: are you going to use it as a daily commuter? Guess this is the achilles hiel of many kitcars and exoskelletons are harder to justify.tRikes have never been very popular. One reason is you will not find a warm home in car clubs and motorcycle clubs. But if you have one, you wouldn't want to build a 4wheeled so much fun on 3 wheels!
There is a FUN factor to be considered in owning and driving a vehicle you built personally. It falls mostly into a hobby or recreation category. The Eco-Exo, as luck would have it, is a limited production vehicle. It is something affordable, and you don't see everyday. It is unique and when seen, prompts a thumbs up response from the most unlikely onlookers. I have had much younger women corner me in shopping outlet parking lots for a photo opportunity, as well as 20 something "young ladies" in skirts wanting to sit at the controls...(which I oblige) ?
So to answer your question, WHY SO FEW..the answer is simple, CAUSE THATS ALL THERE ARE!?
It all comes down to Market area and marketing in that area. I have not seen 1 flyer or advert in a magazine for a Eco-Exo. So if you just stumble on to a web page where someone has posted a "Gosh, look at that" picture, I'd say 99% of the USA public know NOTHING about these.
If I had about $25,000 in startup money, I'd buy the kit business from Kelvin, get a USA license from Stuart and start making them for the whole world. But about $5,000 to $8,000 of that start up would be adverts and trips to local car shows and paying people like Roger and Edward to show their kits at their local car shows.
I could get away with building the first 3 or 4 here in my 3 car garage but I would need to get a Business license, get a DOT manufacturer certificate or VIN for the frames, rent a small shop/showroom, buy enough steel tubing, buy a bender, upgrade my welder, buy a company only computer/server, and so on.
On two wheels now, one is a car tire. Looking for a 2F1R trike.
I am poor, please do not ask me for money or tools. I will ride 100 miles to help for a beer and sandwich.
As durable and sturdy as the Eco-Exo kit is, it is not as stylish as the other MEV kits in the line-up. What it lacks in a sporty look is up to the buyer to provide. I modified and repainted my GRP panels but kept the basic design about the same. Edward on the other hand went to great lengths to totally change the look of his Eco-Exo. He discarded the entire bonnet and made his own, just as Jim Cox did.
The trike is an MEV creation but the design work is not present to put it in the same basket with the TR1ke, the MEVabusa, the Exocet and Rocket (and others). The idea, I suppose was to make it as an easy to build inexpensive project that could be the platform for a novice builder like most of us that purchased the kit.
I am not complaining about anything. I am happy with my trike, but given its potential for a sporty look, using Edwards Eco-Exo build as an example, there is plenty of room for refinement of style. Of all the economy based commercially built reverse trikes, the Eco-Exo is probably the best built, it is durable, and can zip down the road quite safely at freeway speeds. The Chinese built models with very poor mechanicals, subpar performance, and cheaply made chassis still outclass the Eco-Exo in the design catagory. The designers of these machines know that "sex sells" and that is probably why they continue to sell. The basic look of the Eco-Exo is most likely why there are so few, of them around. Everyone knows "Factory Five", they build flawless, well built, extremely well designed kits. They get a premium price for them, but then again look at what you have when it is finished.
Stuart Mills can (and has) produced some of the cleanist, sportyist looking, track and road cars on the international market. All of them including the Eco-Exo have proven themselves over and over again. It would have been nice to see a sporty cowl on the front of it to associate it with its cousins, the Tr1ke, or MEVabusa. It still could be done by Kelvin if he chooses to produce the Eco-Exo-R as a redesigned model.
Why are there so few... I believe was the main question. The honest answer Dave touched on. No one knows it is alive. It is not an advertised kit anywhere. It hasn't been shown around, but rather placed beneath a blanket and only taken out by those of us lucky enough to have bought one when Scott Turner was making them. Sport styling would help along with a name change to associate it with the little Rocket it is. (but this is only my opinion)
Post by smokinguitarplayer on May 24, 2016 23:26:48 GMT
I guess I differ. My opinion, someone with some sales savvy could easily sell them ...but really , nobody tried. Frankly, it was difficult to buy the thing ... nobody returns emails, You have no idea who you are really dealing with . The USA distributor .... well who is it? Who WAS it? Who is Kevin, Kelvin ?? Does anybody really know? And when we did know it was very hard to communicate. Frankly, if I had the ambition, I think I could sell a couple hundred of them in the US. Also,near me there are race car fabricators (dirt trackers) that could , with a cad drawing, knock the chassis out like nothing. But is there a CAD drawing? .... really ...this thing was sold on a very flimsy platform if you will ... I'm surprised they made it to us ... ...for instance, shouldn't we be able to find out who the 2 that went into Colorado went to? just so we could contact them and maybe help them? How many emails / phone calls would it take to even get a "no" from the distributor about that info? Just much too hard to buy in my opinion and I believe It can be proven that I know how to sell stuff. OK .. sorry for the rant ... gotta go back and work on my scoop , that , oh by the way , I was promised delivery on a scoop about 6 times by that last dude in the UK ... whoever he was .. ..along with some other parts that I needed. ..
Thank God for Roger, Erik. Ed and the others who posted on this forum or mine would not be on the road.
Fred, I know for a fact I could sell 2 right now. I also know that I would need to advertise to sell more. Qdos (Kelvin) will sell the whole setup for about $12K and then add shipping from England to the Seattle area. But I said it would take a startup of $25K but I refigured the numbers and I would need about $30K just to get going. My version would use the 2007 and up Burgman 400 and maybe a Honda 600 Silverwing upgraded Eco-Exo GT600.
There is an order in the works from Exomotive to Kelvin. Kelvin said he would build the kit and get it shipped. There is an extra lead time on this kit in order for him to get tooled up to build. That is all I know. The person that placed the order lives in Florida and his donor is a 2006 Burgman AN400.
Lets bear in mind the Tr1ke kit sells for a little over $12,000.00, nicely equipped, tax paid and delivered. This is $5000.00 more than its advertised price from Dove Racing. The donor should be between $2,500.00 and $5,000.00. After that there are expenses such as wheels, tires, electrics, tooling, steering wheel and so on. In the end you are looking at spending more than twice the kit entry price to have a finished product, but oh what a screamer it is.
A delivered Eco-Exo-R kit should sell for around $5,500.00. A donor will cost between $1,000.00 and $2,500.00. The extras are powder coating, seat, electrics, wheel and tire, brakes and steering wheel to name a few. In short, you will have spent nearly twice the cost of the kit, which is about $10,000.00 finished. The figure is a generous one, it may cost less but figure on the higher amount.
The real cost in a frame and GRP pieces is labor, then materials. Often a person can make three or four at one time for a lot less per unit than by making them one at a time. It depends on how ambitious and thrifty a person is. While the manufacturing takes time, the real problem is selling. Knowing who your target customers are is essential. So do you take the very thin profit margin and spend it (or a large part of it) on advertisement, or do you make more kits and hope the orders come in by word of mouth. Bear in mind a Tr1ke kit is the next step up the ladder. Given the difference in finished price, I'd opt for the Tr1ke if the price gap got to close.
This brings me back to my original post. The MEV lineup incorperates some really well designed machines, sporty style, high performance rockets on tires. The Eco-Exo simply needs a facelift to make it look as fast as it really is. To get set up in manufacturing to sell, you first must manufacture something that CAN sell. There is no sense in advertising something that isnt built yet.
The truth of the matter is, Kelvin has control of the Eco-Exo and has taken a least one order. Lets not speculate to much out of the box. Kelvin might just be the savior of this dandy fun machine.
Fred. I spoke to an Exomotive representative last month. Due to privacy laws, if a person requests to remain anoynomous, the seller must oblige that request. Your order was probably from Scott Turner. If you send him an email he may be able to tell you if there any scoops available and where they are.
As far as the "flimsy platform" goes are you talking about the shipping pallet? I have no complaints about how mine arrived. It was very well packed.
I also know the Exomotive folks spend a lot of time addressing the business demands. Kevin Patrick is spread quite thin but he will get back to you. He does what it takes to sell his product and that isn't necessarily sitting by the phone waiting for orders to come in.
But the other problem is getting information on the kit.
I went to the eco-exo.com website but it has not been updated since 2014. I heard nothing from the Stoneleigh show and not having Kelvin here to report about the status even if it is brief would raise concerns on getting a kit. Stuart is only a poster on this forum now so I cannot see a reason for Kelvin not posting in this forum on the trikes he has the license to produce.
That just does not make sense when no information is posted between the two sites. It only seems to come to one conclusion and I hope I am wrong!
Unless someone here in the states takes it over and develops it to an easy to build kit with all the tabs welded on and a sleeker body design I do not see too many more or any in the future.
I am pretty sure the people with the capability have looked at the numbers and decided to pass on producing these in the states.
But for the few that own these know how lucky we are to be able to have one to drive around
That is about all I wanted to say about the subject as it has been rehashed numerous times before.
Post by smokinguitarplayer on Jun 3, 2016 14:43:57 GMT
Roger ... by "platform" I did not mean the shipping pallet. Mine was packed EXCELLENTLY ... no complaints there for sure . Except the missing floor but how important is a floor anyway :-\ The guy in Atlanta did send me a sheet of metal for the floor so all was well. By ";platform" I meant the "selling system" ... getting info, ordering, getting status, ordering parts / whatever. Seriously ..without this forum mine would still be in pieces.
Bottom line. I think we have a very scarce commodity. Maybe they'll get valuable ? ... well one can hope.
And Roger, I think your "costing" math is probably correct ...8 to 10 grand finished. I have a folder here that I just stuffed all the receipts in as I bought stuff ... and it is STUFFED . I'm almost afraid to go through and add it all up but one day I will.
Speaking of stuffed folders, I also have hundreds of pictures in files on the computer to organize. One day I will dothat and post a link to the album.