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Old 01-29-2011, 04:30 AM   #121
Tuna Helper
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Originally Posted by switchback View Post

My real problem is for the past 20 years EVERY Japanese manufacturer has tried to build a Harley. Furthermore they spent the last 20 years telling us in the USA that we are only interested in cruisers or sportbikes and would not import anything else. That is the reason I am a Cruiser hater.
Yep, even the 250 Rebel is a mini-me cruiser, but Honda seems to have had a change in thought with the CB1100.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:41 AM   #122
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Part 2 of the HD marketing equation is why spin-offs don't work. It was in the mid 70s that Honda came out with a small displacement model that was styled like a HD. I remember a bunch of us laughing about it and the salesman saying it was very popular with the 'low SES' crowd. Likewise, an old buddy who owned a Honda cruiser said he sold it because he just didn't feel right pulling up to a stoplight with a group of Harleys.

For good or bad, HDs reputation rests on them being Harleys and a breed apart. Riding a 250cc Chinese V-Twin is like a kid with cap pistols and a red cowboy hat acting tough in a Marine barracks. Even the guys who don't like HD will have to wrestle with taking them seriously. I suspect that the biggest threat to the HD brand is how some HD based clubs are marketing themselves as "family oriented". The day people believe that "you meet the nicest people on a Harley" is the day they will have lost their mojo and their market.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:43 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by Tripped1 View Post
^^

Good advise there.


The fuel range with a peanut tank SUCKS, you are around 90 miles total at full tilt, which can be an issue when you are way out west and the fuel spaced 60mile apart.....

Never saw a sportster get that 48MPG they advertise either.....38...maybe....
I have a '98 R/K with an S&S carb and standard exhaust (read ,quite)
and I get a steady 38-40mpg. The bike came with 29k on it and loud pipes (30-32mpg). As I tour in-town and out of town, it's still one of my favorite bikes. I now have over 50k on it and it 's never let me down. Heck, I've never adjusted the belt or the primary chain! Understand I still have 5 riceburners in the stable (not that there's anything wrong with that) and I enjoy them all . One more thing, my friend has a '09 Ultra and gets 50+ mpg, I've seen it !!!! Best thing in a free country, we can ride and own whatever we want, God Bless America !!
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:05 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by Tuna Helper View Post
Yes, true. Thats at THAT RPM. BUT you have to take into account the EXACT RPM where the engine has it's peak HP. A Harley engine tends to make power over a wide RPM range, which allows an overdrive or 1:1 Ratio for nice highway cruising, but it does tend to have max HP at a pretty low RPM. THIS is why they don't have a lot of power.

But there is a good reason for this. Having a nice low RPM allows good fuel economy and eliminates that annoying buzz so cruising is more enjoyable.
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:27 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Meriden View Post
The day people believe that "you meet the nicest people on a Harley" is the day they will have lost their mojo and their market.
Especially since that was stolen from a Honda ad campaign in the '60s, promoting the best selling bike in the world- the Honda Super Cub.
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:31 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
I get that if dad had a porsche, 40 years later the kids buy a porsche... but not the exact same Porsche (for 200% the cost)
Or he does buy the exact same Porsche... one built 40 years ago.
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:52 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by dwoodward View Post
Especially since that was stolen from a Honda ad campaign in the '60s, promoting the best selling bike in the world- the Honda Super Cub.
Best selling vehicle, from what I've read. Over 60,000,000 units since 1958 I think.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:09 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by Kamloopsrider View Post
I think the point is that Harley will never compete with Honda and others in Asia and they would be foolish to try. Their business model is to be the biggest in North America.
The steps they took to preserve the brand was to kick the shit out of the unions and hold the cities they operate in hostage. Tax breaks and lower wages, lowering the cost of production. A time honoured tactic of the corporate culture. Fewer units sold but higher margins per unit.
As for the boomers dying out, you are right, but we had kids and those kids saw the old man and his buddies riding Harleys. So when they get old they will probably ride Harleys too.
We aren't running out of old people we're keeping them around longer.
So stay off my damn lawn.
I don't know the history behind this commercial but their target group is obvious. I never saw it advertised here in the USA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmUyEf-UBWc


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Old 01-29-2011, 10:13 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by assquatch20 View Post
Best selling vehicle, from what I've read. Over 60,000,000 units since 1958 I think.

Yep, 60 million! The Super cub sold so damn well back then, what an awesome little bike!

But these days, people are in such a rush and all, few would buy them today. Do to increased traffic speed, and you all know why, we need bikes 600 cc+ to ride around here in America comfortably. Most of us could very well get buy with a 400, but we want that extra displacement, so that we can ride on the interstate at 80 MPH up a hill and into the wind with a passenger, which is where smaller bikes fall very short. Back when the limit was 55 MPH and everyone would drive 65-70 MPH, we could easily get away with a 250 cc motorcycle, and with cars going a little slower in town we could easily get by with a 100 or even a 50! But not anymore.

I even personally wouldn't ride anything around my town under 125 cc. Seriously, on the main road right outside of my neighborhood, average traffic speed is 50 MPH while the limit is 40 MPH. And its not uncommon to have commuters in a rush late for work hitting 60 MPH, so you can see why that wouldn't sell any longer, although in many other countries Honda seems to be having great success with a 125 cc Fuel Injected 4 speed version. But to tell you the truth, my old 86 Elite 150 does just fine around town, and is great even on a 55 MPH two lane highway. I wouldn't ride interstate much, but anywhere else it runs great.

Back to the point, yes you guys are right. I can see that Harley isn't going to have a problem. YES, maybe young guys around 20 won't typically be buying Harleys, BUT we will NEVER run out of old people, its not like when the baby boomers are gone were out of old people. So there will always be older people willing to tour on an Ultra Classic. And of corse some young who want to enjoy the feel and lifestyle of Harleys.

It isn't at all a problem, BUT I was just wandering who thought that Dark Custom bikes are gonna attract the young in the Harley line?
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:21 AM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamloopsrider View Post
I think the point is that Harley will never compete with Honda and others in Asia and they would be foolish to try. Their business model is to be the biggest in North America.
The steps they took to preserve the brand was to kick the shit out of the unions and hold the cities they operate in hostage. Tax breaks and lower wages, lowering the cost of production. A time honoured tactic of the corporate culture. Fewer units sold but higher margins per unit.
As for the boomers dying out, you are right, but we had kids and those kids saw the old man and his buddies riding Harleys. So when they get old they will probably ride Harleys too.
We aren't running out of old people we're keeping them around longer.
So stay off my damn lawn.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:23 AM   #131
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But HD is publicly traded. NO public company can handle shrinking sales/growth for long. They will be bought/liquidated if they cannot maintain growth. The might not 'run out' of old people, but growth and profits will be impossible selling to a drastically shrinking market.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:50 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
I get that if dad had a porsche, 40 years later the kids buy a porsche... but not the exact same Porsche (for 200% the cost)
Harleys have never been cheap. If you are comparing a Twin cam to a Shovelhead there is no comparison mechanically or in reliability. Harleys have kept the same appearance because thats what Harley buyers want. When they veer away from the traditional designs sales go in the toilet.
If I could find a 2011 Electraglide for 200% the cost of a 1971 I'd buy it.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:39 AM   #133
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But HD is publicly traded. NO public company can handle shrinking sales/growth for long. They will be bought/liquidated if they cannot maintain growth. The might not 'run out' of old people, but growth and profits will be impossible selling to a drastically shrinking market.
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Oh for ***k's sake Aaron. Please link us to my fascist, racist or homophobic posts.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:05 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by CopaMundial View Post
Why would they go to all that trouble when they're not even in the business of selling bikes?
Culture... they're selling the culture, or the lifestyle if you will.
The main reason their demographic is so narrow is exactly due to that narrow view of what riding a Harley 'is about'.
They don't want to roll the dice on the lifestyle branding by reaching for new riders because they're afraid it will alienate their core customers... who will then all go out and promptly buy Moto Guzzi's and little China bikes.
Well said. In an interview w/Erik Buell in one of the 2010 issues of Cycle World. Buell states that many if not all of his proposed bikes were nixed by Harley. He even tried to come out w/a 650 sized DS or dirt machine (can't remember one or both) and that was nixed. He saw a need of a more reliable/robust moto-x machine and designed one for that market. Shocker - Harley said no to that. Rumor is Buell will be teaming up w/Can Am.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:11 PM   #135
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Interesting thread.
I'll start by saying I've never ridden a HD. Been on a couple jap cruisers and decided I don't like the ergonomics of a cruiser.

Back to the OP's question, though...

Bring back the XLCR-yeah the old AMF cafe racer.
Put something like a 750 twin in it at a reasonable($8k-ish)price and there might be interest.
I'm not even sure what most entry level bikers are looking for. Obviously a lot of them go with the big bike thing.
Still, it's gonna be hard to compete with Honda et all, but at least a production cafe racer would be unique.
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