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Old 02-10-2011, 09:49 AM   #361
powderhound
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Harley knows who their customers are, current and future. If they start building naked bikes, streetfighters, sportbikes, they are alienating their loyal customer base and thumbing their nose at their history, which they (Harley) are acutely aware of being the reason they are as successfull as they are. The formula works, why change it?
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:04 PM   #362
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LOOKS good

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Originally Posted by Meriden View Post
No joke, read the post. None of the Harley flatheads are safe in traffic with the possible exception of a well prepared K and the hand shift models are especially dangerous. The most powerful versions in street trim were a whopping 25 ponies and they weigh a long ton. The factory race Ks put out only 50 horsepower. You hear a lot of talk about heritage, but I would be surprised if most of today's Harley riders could name more than two of the models manufactured prior to the release of the EVO. (The pirates I know certainly couldn't.) BTW I was commenting on someone's mention that owning an old Harley might be cool.

This brings up a point. I've had the same Triumph in the stable since 1978, hence the handle. When Hinkley came out with the Modern Classic line I looked them over and decided that if I wanted an old bike I already had a one and if I wanted a modern bike, I could not be a slave to tradition. I have a friend with a modern classic, it's a nice bike and he can ride the heck out of it, but it's not for me. If I'm going to put up a lot of cash for a new bike, I want the latest in technology and design.
meridian,alot of HD owners buy HD because of how good they will look when they are sitting on the HD.i was in a dealership in 2001.only HD cruiser left was a WHITE police model.i listened into the buyer saying it was his first bike.he wanted HD and since he knew the salesman ya he'd take it.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:00 PM   #363
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This thread raises some interesting questions and has some misinformation.

If Harleys handle so poorly why have LEOs who ride them won more Top Gun riding competitions (against all brands) than any other motorcycle? Possibly if you had difficulty handling one it was your own lack of skill and experience, not the machine.

Buell's failure was HDs fault. The bikes did not belong in dealerships who didn't have people who understood them or knew how to sell them. The 1125 went right over the heads of Harley management. They didn't have a clue of the potential they had. Buell didn't sell under those conditions and whoever said Buell made money was wrong, they didn't. But...my 08 Ulysses is a GREAT bike.

Harley didn't sell Buell for a few reasons. They felt Buell was identified with the company, HD has several unique patents connected directly with Buell and selling Buell without the patents couldn't happen, Harley also wanted to keep their access to the Rotax motor, you can speculate on why. Harley and Eric Buell Racing have a friendly agreement to let him keep using his designs but if he decides to put out a production model that could change.

I'm not sure what source some of these sales figures are coming from but they seem to be from fantasy land. Harley's sales have definitely dropped but no more than any other comparable makes and models. Honda had to close the US plant and get a government bailout from Japan. Harley had grossly overproduced bikes. They are now eliminating models and cutting production to more real levels. Just like everything else you can only grow to a point then you saturate the market.

I think in the next few years you will see some interesting things happening at HD. The need for smaller lighter entry level bikes has become unavoidable. LIke lots of people have said, an 16 year old can't lay down 12K for their first bike and most don't want to start with a 800lb cruiser. They also have to have a small replacement training bike for the Buell Blast within three years. Could be the reason for wanting to keep the Rotax door open?

For every story about a Harley Rider, buying a bike for looks, or to get "chicks" (I apologize to the women), or be "cool", or "fit in," or any other story, there are just as many of the same stories associated with other brands. I always think it's too bad, after so many years of motorcyclists trying to get acceptance, to see motorcyclists themselves be so closed minded, insulting, and prejudiced against other motorcyclists. I wonder if you know how much more elitist it is to stereotype fellows riders so you can tag them elitist. When you want to know what gives riders a bad image check your mirrors, no I don't mean behind you.

BTW....I love my BMW GS too.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:40 PM   #364
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It's not the Harley most people hate; it's the Harley rider.

Many riders have heard the Harley faithful drone on about how their bikes are REAL bikes, and the BEST bikes, and AMERICAN bikes, and act superior to others. The arrogance is overwhelming. Many Harley owners call themselves the HERD for christ's sake! So of course, other people try to REFUTE the ignorant claims of the herd by attacking the bike itself when what they really hate is the rider running his mouth about the bike.

The Harley South Park episode didn't exactly help our image, either
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:19 PM   #365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFP52IA View Post
This thread raises some interesting questions and has some misinformation.

If Harleys handle so poorly why have LEOs who ride them won more Top Gun riding competitions (against all brands) than any other motorcycle? .
Because they have a very large installed user base? If they are so good, why do they consistently lose objective performance tests? If a 'pursuit' is 0-20 the road king wins every time They also have excellent resale value. But in performance they are not even in the same league.


http://www.policemag.com/resources/D...TestReport.pdf


http://www.michigan.gov/documents/ms...s_304551_7.pdf
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:48 PM   #366
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I have no problem with the bikes, and I give every person a chance to prove they're an asshat before I make that assumption, regardless of what they ride.

However, I do have a problem with the company. A large part of the reason that Buell "never made any money" is because of the way HD worked the books. Remember that VRod engine that was mentioned? The one that was tweaked so much by HD that Buell couldn't use it? Yeah, well, Buell still took the hit for most of the development costs. It doesn't take much of this kind of accounting to make such a small division "unprofitable". I am fully aware that big business does stuff like that quite often, but most companies do not use the "unprofitable" excuse to shut down a growing division.

The way I see it, Harley is being terribly mismanaged...again. They are betting everything on their "core" image, and the Harley lifestyle. Problem is that the cruiser market is rapidly becoming saturated, both by Harley and all the other manufactures out there. Instead of sitting on their tradition, Harley needs to grow a pair, piss off their loyal customers and find new customers that actually look forward to a new bike, not another new model. Just as in nature, any thing that cannot adapt to a changing world will cease to be part of that world.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:53 PM   #367
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The Harley South Park episode didn't exactly help our image, either

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Old 02-10-2011, 08:00 PM   #368
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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
Because they have a very large installed user base? If they are so good, why do they consistently lose objective performance tests? If a 'pursuit' is 0-20 the road king wins every time They also have excellent resale value. But in performance they are not even in the same league.


http://www.policemag.com/resources/D...TestReport.pdf


http://www.michigan.gov/documents/ms...s_304551_7.pdf
That simply doesn't make sense. If Harley is so profoundly inferior to other similar machines then in head to head competition in which all brands compete they should loose. They don't, they consistently win both solo and doubles competition. It shouldn't matter what the ratio of entry is, a clearly superior bike with a skilled rider should easily win. Comparing bikes by measurements is one factor but the proof is in the doing. There are plenty of spec sheets out there that at face value should be great machines but they don't seem to be able to put it all together. You can site performance charts, dyno sheets, measure with a laser, and punch keys on a calculator all day long, that doesn't make bikes good or bad just different. My Harley and Buell are different, My Harley and BMW are different, my BMW and Buell are different but I appreciate the differences and enjoy them all. But then I just own bikes to ride them not to inflate my ego and act superior.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:58 PM   #369
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyclad View Post
I have no problem with the bikes, and I give every person a chance to prove they're an asshat before I make that assumption, regardless of what they ride.

However, I do have a problem with the company. A large part of the reason that Buell "never made any money" is because of the way HD worked the books. Remember that VRod engine that was mentioned? The one that was tweaked so much by HD that Buell couldn't use it? Yeah, well, Buell still took the hit for most of the development costs. It doesn't take much of this kind of accounting to make such a small division "unprofitable". I am fully aware that big business does stuff like that quite often, but most companies do not use the "unprofitable" excuse to shut down a growing division.

The way I see it, Harley is being terribly mismanaged...again. They are betting everything on their "core" image, and the Harley lifestyle. Problem is that the cruiser market is rapidly becoming saturated, both by Harley and all the other manufactures out there. Instead of sitting on their tradition, Harley needs to grow a pair, piss off their loyal customers and find new customers that actually look forward to a new bike, not another new model. Just as in nature, any thing that cannot adapt to a changing world will cease to be part of that world.
I tend to agree with a lot of that. The new management is just getting started and has had to plug a lot of holes in the dike. Management is still being shuffled and restructured. Once the dust settles they have to start looking at the future. Willie G. may be an icon but an icon of the 70s. Painting a bike flat black and putting a goofy skull on it isn't the future. Black was cool in 2001 not 2011. Look at the Rocker, three years after the whole "chopper" fad is over Harley comes out with one to the collective "Yawn" of buyers. Willie G. needs to retire in Florida where he can decorate his trailer with all the skulls he wants. Harley needs new bikes and new directions.

I have had three Buells and always thought how they were handled was a HUGE mistake. Several years ago dealers who didn't want them were forced to sell Buells. Dusty Buells stuffed in the corner is not a formula for success. They never tried to develop a solid dealer system of qualified knowledgeable dealers and let them market to a sport bike culture. But, by 2010 it was too late to change. The investment to restructure and rehabilitate the name was just not possible and the Harley management just didn't understand the culture enough to do it anyway.

I can tell you that the new management doesn't see the "core" as the future. They are eliminating models and sticking with some popular models that the "core" buys but they are making room for some changes.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:11 PM   #370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFP52IA View Post
That simply doesn't make sense. If Harley is so profoundly inferior to other similar machines then in head to head competition in which all brands compete they should loose. They don't, they consistently win both solo and doubles competition. It shouldn't matter what the ratio of entry is, a clearly superior bike with a skilled rider should easily win. Comparing bikes by measurements is one factor but the proof is in the doing. There are plenty of spec sheets out there that at face value should be great machines but they don't seem to be able to put it all together. You can site performance charts, dyno sheets, measure with a laser, and punch keys on a calculator all day long, that doesn't make bikes good or bad just different. My Harley and Buell are different, My Harley and BMW are different, my BMW and Buell are different but I appreciate the differences and enjoy them all. But then I just own bikes to ride them not to inflate my ego and act superior.
if 1000 entrants are on brand Y and 10 are on Brand X. On a course designed to accommodate the entrants, most of whom are riding a certain type of bike... How can you make the leap that a lack of an award equals any sort of data? The best rider should win every time. If the best rider(s) is on HD how does that have ANYTHING to do with any other bike's capability?

OTOH, if you look at actual testing, by actual police agencies, you get some actual 'facts':



Look, I don't intend to be a hater, I like HD but saying they are equal or better than their contemporaries is just plain wrong... They are roughly equal in performance to a thumper with HALF their displacement. Bikes that do NOT elicit comments like these:

"The motorcycles steering was a little heavy. The bike has good low end and accelerates quickly out of corners. The bike scrapes the boards and frame early. It is difficult to push the bike without dragging. Suspension is firm and uses travel quickly. No brake fade was experienced. No issues with ABS.
The bikes steering is very precise. Bike quickly ran out of lean angle and the suspension bottomed out several times. The frame drug in tight turns and the rear wheel kicked out one time. Low and mid range acceleration was very good."

HD sells A LOT of police bikes for the same reason they sell to the public, tradition and resistance to change. They are slowly but surely losing that market as well
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:13 PM   #371
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Black was cool in 2001 not 2011..

Black is, was and always will be cool.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:16 PM   #372
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Black is, was and always will be cool.
Dark Black is the new black
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Originally Posted by Just_Sean
Oh for ***k's sake Aaron. Please link us to my fascist, racist or homophobic posts.
"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either."
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:17 PM   #373
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:00 PM   #374
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do you travel very much.... or?
Actually, I'm typing this in a hotel room in the Middle East. Why do you ask?
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:19 AM   #375
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It's a forum about caliche, not cones. Time to park the I-Glide and the Bar-Glide, the pavement ends here.
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