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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Was surfing through the net this afternoon, since its snowing like crazy here. I found this article about H-D.

Very interesting.

Harley-Davidson Is a Victim of Its Own Success

Since this site worked for me, but not now, just copy and do a search with it. Sorry about that.
 

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I know a couple younger (Millenial) fellow riders who were pulled into the H-Ds as their first bike, some new, some secondhand. All sold within 1-2 years and moved on to something else. Not because of the H-D bad-boy image, but because the bikes rattle themselves apart. One guy finally gave up after his entire tail light assembly fell off mid-ride and ended up wrecked... Anyone should do a head-to-tail of their bike's nuts and bolts once in a while, but I never hear so many stories of bits dropping off mid-ride as I do with H-Ds. That signature rumble seems to come with a cost.
 

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Trapped by their own success pretty well sums it up.
Their sales force and customer base don't exactly welcome too much innovation and the buying demographic has changed.
They knew it when they had Buell, they knew it when they had the V-Rod and they know it know.
 

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I have owned a few (3) Harley Sportsters, not a big one, never desired a 800lb. motorcycle. Hoping they survive, with new products and new buyers, there are a lot of JOBS here and in other countries to be lost if not. Also since we can't bad mouth our backward thinking politicians on this forum we can complain about our backward thinking Motor Co. We need them.
 

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Well if THE MOTOR COMPANY (you need to say that three times as a echo) goes under where will Triumph USA get their new Executives?


K
Been there, done that, got burned. Hinckley ain't stupid. ;)
 

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Your level of ignorance and snobbery never ceases to amaze me........


Every time I think you have reached bottom and you find a way to dig a new deeper hole.....




K
Ignorance? Maybe, but only because my snobbery wont allow me to be enlightened...

I have no problem being insulted by you Dutz, I wouldn't want anyone to think you and I were pals.
 

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I visited the world's largest Harley dealer in Phoenix (according to them). It was pretty cool. I like some of the Harleys and I'd probably have one if I could afford a few different bikes. Never as my main, or only, bike though.

But my son and I were talking about it recently and we both agree...we'd both love a Harley, but neither one of us wants to be THAT guy. We don't want to be perceived by others as that "Harley guy" when we ride up to a place.

The image they cultivated is precisely what we don't want.
 

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Been watching as H-D circles the drain for some time now. Next they will be hitting up the government for a bailout like GM. We don't need companies like these. People are so afraid of the jobs lost. Poorly run companies are just a drag on the country's productivity. I say "Let them fail". It might teach a much needed lesson to management teams all over the world. I cannot believe the H-D fans that try to tell me, "You want one. You just can't afford it"...NO I don't want one. ...J.D.
 

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Have owned several Harley's since 2000, and have never had one single part vibrate loose !

Just traded one with 50,000 trouble free miles ...........
I have enjoyed my Harleys, however I wish I could say nothing has vibrated off. I lost a shift lever twice on my '05 Ultra. The shift linkage also came apart at a very unfortunate time.

That being said, they have just gotten too heavy for me. I'm getting older. I sold my 2016 Road King for a T120.
 

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I may of said this before, can't stand them and all stuff attached to them, but each to their own, but I do like the old 40's stuff I haven't read the article. Why don't HD make smaller of sportier machines, instead of just churning out the same old agricultural slightly chopped dross, IMAO. There must be a market in the USA!

Went to the MCN show in Docklands a few weeks ago, every stand had a lure of something that I wanted to sit on, even Suzuki, the only one I went straight past was the HD one!
Biggsy
 

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I think that may be the problem ... there doesn't seem to be much of a Harley market outside of the traditional "pirate" image. Look at the VRod ... arguably one of the better bikes they made. Liquid cooled, overhead cams, sophisticated EFI with ion sensing ignition, Brembo brakes (at least on the later ones ... I have a 2003 with the earlier brakes, which lack a bit), good power, 9500 RPM redline, comfortable, and handles surprisingly well. AND ... it's discontinued and despite a long run from 2002-2017 didn't really add much to Harley's bottom line/sales numbers. Too much "that ain't a real Harley" attitude.

I see it as the "next generation" Harley that was rejected ... some due to marketing, some due to the success of the "traditional" product line. The target market for a bike like the Vrod really didn't shop H-D because of the majority of the product being big heavy cruisers and bad-boy wanna be looking stuff. Hard to fault them for going where their customers are ... the new Milwaukee 8 motor is slight evolution with overhead cams and oil cooled heads and is being hailed as a miracle in engineering, at least to their main customer base. The V had all that and more at the turn of the century but nobody really cared in that customer base.

I've ridden a new Fat Bob with the bigger M8 ... NICE bike. Fit and finish were superb, torquey as hell and felt faster than it was. Brakes were retina detaching and the bike overall was well balanced, if a bit heavy at low speeds. I was really intrigued when i rode it at a Harley try out event at our local (HUGE) dealer. Then the other shoe dropped ... $21,000 ... twenty ... one ... THOUSAND dollars equipped like I wanted.

Base price with the bigger motor - $18699
Paint (any color than black) - $400
ABS - $795
Black SlipOns - $499.95
End Caps - $119.95
Total $20, 018.85 ... then add tax and dealer delivery charge to get dangerously close to $21K

Wow! ... and to add insult to injury they would lowball the heck out of my Vrod if I traded it.
 

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I'm not a HD fan by any means, but I wish them well. I think my son's assessment is right- thier customer base is dying off/no longer riding. Guys his age (26) don't want outdated, overpriced technology. Couple that with the typical (not all) obnoxious HD rider attitude (which turns lots of folks off) and it's not a recipe for continued success.

Perhaps they can get it together and survive.
 

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Funny all this talk about things vibrating off HD bikes. I remember friends who rode Triumphs back in the day and after each ride the bike became lighter for some reason. Read reviews of Aprilia where parts had come loose and jettisoned themselves during a demo ride. Like any big behemoth living on its past glory and product, if new products aren't developed to deal with a changing market sooner than later, the writing on the wall can blind side. HD became a banana republic catering to a singular crowd. They started to campaign to reach out to women and maybe an electric bike will mean something, but I think like a huge cargo ship, they are too big to turn quickly. I guess they are counting on the offspring of baby boomers to carry them into the future. Not. Perhaps they will morph into a clothing only company. T shirts, hats and do rags.
 
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