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Old 09-24-2013, 07:28 PM   #91
Kreskin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dranrab Luap View Post
Harley paint looks better than Victory and the cruise and radio controls look like they were designed into the machine rather than an afterthought. Other than that, I think the rest of the bike looks more "modern" than the Harley. I was at a bike night at a local restaurant a few weeks ago and I struck up a conversation with someone looking at my bike. He said man there isn't a straight line on the bike. All the lines flow together so nicely. Appearance is subjective though.

My bike is not twitchy at all. I even said on one forum post that I feel like the bike steers itself. It seems to intuitively know where I want it to go. It is lighter feeling than the classic to me, but not at all twitchy. Different people prefer a different feel in a bike though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by trc.rhubarb View Post
And the handling. While some might call the Victory more nimble, I find it twitchy and for a long ride, requires too much constant input to truly eat the miles.

Also take a look at the controls... looks like they raided the 80's parts bin at Honda; especially the cruise control
I won't argue that Harley has better paint and the control pods for the stereo and cruise look like an afterthought on the Victory. That being said I picked up my Cross Country tour for several thousand less than the comparable Ultra.

As far as some of the other comments, resale isn't as important to me as I ride mine to the point where the value takes a huge hit due to mileage anyway. The Vic 106 also has proven to be extremely reliable and after spending a ton of miles with two buddies one with an 07 Ultra with a 103 and another buddy with an 09 I still had concerns about the reliability for the mileage I put on.

Handling, the twitchy comment is an odd one, my bike is rock solid and I can run with no hands on the bars at 80 mph for as long as I care to without concern and the bike will out corner any of the Ultra's I've ridden with ease.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:15 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Sparrowhawk View Post
It will be interesting to watch as HD breaks away from the weird cult following it has created and grows into a more mature motorcycle company. I think the current management has what it takes but it will be a new world.

Not really sure I understand the point here, is there a more mature motorcycle company in existance?

By mature do you mean a company that has been around the block a few times? Don't think there are many that have over 110 years of continuous production.

Maybe mature refers to the riders/owners age? I think HD as a brand has the oldest average age of ownership.

Possibly you're referring to the "maturity" of the riders themselves? I'll agree some pirates can be pretty immature.

Or is it the product line that some feel to be limited? I can see this point but have to ask why should they diversify?

They currently sell, and in the past 2-3 decades sold, more street bikes over 600cc in the US than most other mfgs combined. Not many people in the US buy bikes less than 600 cc for street use and most that do either quite riding or trade/sell up for a bigger bike. There just isn't the demand for small dsiplacement bikes in the US outside of major metro areas and scooters are cutting into those sales.

There are enough Asian and European dirt bikes that go unsold and sit on dusty showroom floors every year such that thay are discounted with the introduction of each new model year. Harley dirt bikes would do the same.

DS/ADV bikes make up such a small percentage of the bikes sold in the US there would be no reason to spend the money on R&D to sell only 5k-10K DS/ADV bikes a year, and really would any of you buy one if they did?

Lastly, does mature refer to diversity beyond motorcycles? Is there another motorcycle company in the world that sells half as many bikes as HD that is strictly a motorcycle company? Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, BMW, KTM, Victory, Indian, are owned by large comglomerates that manufacture other non-bike related products. There are very few pure motorcycle companies in the world, so I guess one could argue HD should build autos, boat motors, musical instruments, jet-skis, ATVs, or heavy industrial equipment.

Quite possibly, the attraction of HD just might be that it is nothing more than a motorcycle company?


HDs sales are healthy and the percentage of those new to the brand has been increasing for the past few years, as have sales to both minorities and women.

Sales in oversears markets where HD has no prior history or cult following are aslo increasing.


If the company needs to mature, why? Seems being immature has worked out well for them for the last century. They will modernize and diversify at their own pace and I'll bet, barring a collapse of our economy, they will be around selling motorcyles in some form or fashion for many years to come.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:56 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
Or is it the product line that some feel to be limited? I can see this point but have to ask why should they diversify?

Sales in oversears markets where HD has no prior history or cult following are aslo increasing.
HD's growth in overseas markets will be severely limited if all they have to offer is expensive, large displacement motorcycles. The number of riders with that kind of disposable income in developing countries is relatively small and licensing restrictions will eliminate younger riders. HD understands that and has responded with the 500. That's encouraging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
Maybe mature refers to the riders/owners age? I think HD as a brand has the oldest average age of ownership.

Possibly you're referring to the "maturity" of the riders themselves? I'll agree some pirates can be pretty immature.
This is part of their problem. Discounting their recent expansion into developing overseas markets, the current success was created by riding the wave of aging baby boomers with disposable income. Within the next 5-10 years that demographic will no longer be buying many motorcycles. The next generation doesn't care what Elvis rode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
If the company needs to mature, why? Seems being immature has worked out well for them for the last century.
HD is a one trick pony and is vulnerable to changing tastes. So is Victory and Indian. Sport bikes used to be all the rage and now they are not. Cruisers are the current rage. Some day they may not. Honda, BMW, Triumph, etc. can easily shift production to respond to market changes. HD has no flexibility at present.


Quote:
Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
They will modernize and diversify at their own pace and I'll bet, barring a collapse of our economy, they will be around selling motorcyles in some form or fashion for many years to come.
Probably true but the company has yet to find success in breaking out of the box they find themselves in. They mismanaged the opportunity Buell presented to attract a broader clientele and the V-Rod has never really caught on. So far, they have only been able to succeed in selling bikes not that much different than they made in the 50s. There are signs that is about to change.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:56 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Wdwrkr View Post

I think the bigger question here is how many HD riders would still prefer their bike if they test road some of the euro, and japanese sport tourers... Really (for conversation sake) what if one were disguise a RT, FJR, or MS and put an HD name plate on it.... After a test ride would they be impressed, or disgusted with the technology. Obviously the appearance would need to modified for the test to have any chance. My guess is they would be astonished at what a motorcycle could do... Maybe I'm being short sighted, but in full discloser i owned 7 HDs, and never wanted any other brand bike, then I road my brother in laws GS, and was completely blow away by the exceleration, breaking and
Handling.. I kept my road king for another year, but never really road it again once I had the GSA.... Probably just me

Quote:
Originally Posted by waveydavey View Post
Maybe. I went the other way, sport bikes, sport tourers then a couple of GS BMWs. I bought my softail because I wanted to have another bike for 'casual' riding. Six months after I had started riding the Harley, I had no interest in my GS1200 anymore. I sold it and even though I have spent some time recently on more modern and refined bikes (Suzuki 1250 AF and a BMW K1300GT) I have no desire to get another one. Although the 2014 touring bikes are real nice. Maybe I need 3 bikes again. Everyone is different.
I went full circle with a tangent,
I started on, and was loyal to Harley.......until I rode a UJM. Then dabbled in euro and sport bikes which only convinced me to go back to a cruiser...........but I went with a metric because I wanted something smaller and more functionally refined.
My desire for something basic and elemental was filled by the Russians.

I have nothing against Harley other than my wants and needs fall into that huge hole in their lineup between the Sportster and the big twins.
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:15 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Sparrowhawk View Post
HD's growth in overseas markets will be severely limited if all they have to offer is expensive, large displacement motorcycles. The number of riders with that kind of disposable income in developing countries is relatively small and licensing restrictions will eliminate younger riders. HD understands that and has responded with the 500. That's encouraging.
The numbers prove your statement wrong.

Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Retail Sales
Worldwide independent dealer retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles increased 6.2% during 2012 compared to 2011. Retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles increased 6.6% in the United States and 5.6% internationally in 2012. International retail sales as a percent of total retail sales were down slightly compared to 2011 reflecting the tough market conditions in Europe. International retail sales represented 35.3% and 35.5% of total retail sales in 2012 and 2011, respectively. Given the fact that the Company's European business was down in 2012 and the economic concerns that remain in Europe for the near term, the Company no longer believes it will meet its goal of international retail sales exceeding 40% of total retail sales by 2014. However, the Company continues to believe international retail sales will grow at a faster rate than domestic sales through 2014(1).

2012 2011 Increase (Decrease) %Change

United States
161,678 151,683 9,995 6.6%

Canada
10,573 10,502 71 0.7

Europe, Middle East and Africa Region (EMEA)
37,027 39,334 (2,307) (5.9)

Asia Pacific Region
Japan
10,642 10,401 241 2.3
Other
13,839 11,015 2,824 25.6
Total Asia Pacific Region
24,481 21,416 3,065 14.3

Latin America Region
10,090 7,247 2,843 39.2

Total Worldwide Retail Sales
249,849 235,188 14,661 6.2%
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:05 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Wdwrkr View Post
The reality is most HD riders have never ridden anything but an HD. They buy out a sense of patriotism, and for the culture. Probably just me

I think you need to head on over to a Harley forum before trying to impose your sense of reality on this site...
There are plenty of threads about what you have mistakenly assumed.

The actual fact is many HD riders have been riding for years and started out on British bikes and Japanese bikes. You might even be impressed to find they don't knock the competitiion but look back fondly at the bikes they started out on. In fact many (including myself) still have more than one ride and the other is most often from a Japanese manufacturer.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:35 AM   #97
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My post was not intended as a "bash" or "judgement" upon HD riders. You are correct my use of the word "most" was irresponsible, like you I should have used the word "many". I was simply suggesting an experiment, however after further thought I believe to get accurate results that experiment would need to work both ways, and Jap and Euro bike riders would also need to ride the HD bikes under similar circumstances. It would be interesting to see the results, and percentages of who preferred what in a blind test.

I don't have any issue with HD bikes or their riders, most of my friends ride them, I've owned my fair share of them, and may again. life has different chapters,
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:41 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markk9 View Post
The numbers prove your statement wrong.

Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Retail Sales ...
Definately drifting off the demo day topic here but the numbers do tell the story.

It is never a good idea to look at a snapshot and think it predicts the future. Harley riders, check out your high school senior picture if you have one and then look in the mirror. A snapshot can give a picture of potential though.

HD is making a substantial effort to move into developing overseas markets. They are only getting started so today's numbers don't mean much yet. The fat lady (Fat Boy?) just got to the dressing room but all they have to offer are large displacement and expensive cruisers. If they are content with low sales volume and slow growth that's an OK strategy. HD will experience the kind of overseas growth they see now for a while. HD will never have an international presence with their current product line.

Using your numbers, HD sell 70% of their bikes to 5% of the world's population (North America). It is a saturated market with a changing demographic but they can squeeze a few new sales from women and minorities. The other 95% of the world represents their opportunity to grow. HD get to decide how they want to approach that opportunity.

Travelling around the States it looks like HD owns the market. Outside North America HD is small potatoes, potatoes, potatoes, potatoes. Their total worldwide retail sales put them at just three times that of Royal Enfield. Impressive? HD sells 250,000 motorcycles while Hero, Bajaj, TVS, etc. crank out over 9 million combined. That's not even counting the world's largest manufacturer, Honda, or BMW, Yamaha, Triumph, and all the rest. HD's numbers look good if you split out 600cc+ but is that what the rest of the world wants or can afford? Do they even want motorcycles or will they spend their resources buying a car from Bajaj, Suzuki, Honda, Audi, or BMW? We'll see. Predicting the future is difficult.


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Old 09-25-2013, 10:57 AM   #99
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IrishCatholic, glad to see you have an open mind. Some of the comments here surprise me. I thought we all had a love of two wheels? I don't have to be on the fastest most nimble machine made...do I? If that's the case we should all have 911's parked in the garage. What is really required of any bike is to get us into the wind where we can enjoy that sensation of flight, see, smell, feel.

Just like any other bike mfg, each Harley model handles different, ...is different. I'm sorry but for comfort a Ultra or RoadKing is hard to beat if you are 6'4" like me. I put 40K miles on my '98 Roadking and due to financial constraints I sold it and to this day I still miss that bike. One of my best trips ever was from S FL to Sturgis & back by myself on the RK.

I'm like a few others here, started out on japanese bikes back in the early 70's. Back then HD had a less then stellar rep with AMF so I never seriously considered one. I watched HD pull themselves out of the pig slop in the early 80's. After riding almost all their models I settled on the RK. Some day I will own another one because there are things I miss about it. A backrest and highway pegs make a long ride so much more enjoyable for me.

I have been on a DRZ400 for a couple of years and am having a blast. I try not to judge anyone who is out riding based on the machine they have chosen. Yes, sometimes that is hard once they open their mouth or use an entire parking lot to turn around while duck walking on Fred Flintstone feet.....but there can be humor without malice.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:13 PM   #100
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I getcha'....

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Originally Posted by 1911fan View Post
Yeah. Ride organizer needs to be reminded of this.

Otherwise, sounds interesting, getting to ride a few different bikes. Former coworker has a VRod and loves it, pushes it hard and is NOT one of the left lane slowpokes. But he doesn't like traditional Harleys.
Mrs1911fan and I have been discussing getting a large road bike for extended tours; HDs are high on the list. They've been building baggers for a looong time and many riders agree their stuff works. I'm more of a BMW or Concours kinda guy, but we'll see what pops up when we are ready to buy.

1911fan
I did a similar thing as the original poster in trying a Moto Guzzi Norge last weekend... and now I am certain I will be buying that or a Breva next year. Deep down inside I believe true motorcycles have one or two cylinders and are supposed to vibrate a bit, within reason of course. I'll probably have to sell the Sprint RS to get one but I won't miss it too often.... the places I really use the added mid-to-top ooomph it offers are few and far between. And then there is that seating position thing, which at 48 I am starting to consider more because I have some back issues. So the Tiger 1050 is still in the hunt as well..... but I love Big Twins!
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:37 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Sparrowhawk View Post
Predicting the future is difficult.

Apparently so as many have been predicting the demise of HD for the last 30+ years, yet they continue to eck out a few bike sales every year.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:49 PM   #102
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They are hoping for big things in India.

From The Indian Express
makers and bike manufacturers may be worried about falling sales, but the iconic Harley Davidson remains unperturbed and will add two more dealers this year, company's MD Anoop Prakash said today.
"At Harley Davidson India, we are enthusiastic about this market. We are a lifestyle brand. Last thing you do is to cut down on your passion and Harley is all about passion. We have seen a steady growth here," Prakash told reporters here at the India Retail Forum.

So it is true.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:10 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
Apparently so as many have been predicting the demise of HD for the last 30+ years, yet they continue to eck out a few bike sales every year.
It's only a matter of time...





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Old 09-30-2013, 05:39 AM   #104
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Using your numbers, HD sell 70% of their bikes to 5% of the world's population (North America). It is a saturated market with a changing demographic but they can squeeze a few new sales from women and minorities. The other 95% of the world represents their opportunity to grow. HD get to decide how they want to approach that opportunity.

Travelling around the States it looks like HD owns the market. Outside North America HD is small potatoes, potatoes, potatoes, potatoes. Their total worldwide retail sales put them at just three times that of Royal Enfield. Impressive? HD sells 250,000 motorcycles while Hero, Bajaj, TVS, etc. crank out over 9 million combined. That's not even counting the world's largest manufacturer, Honda, or BMW, Yamaha, Triumph, and all the rest. HD's numbers look good if you split out 600cc+ but is that what the rest of the world wants or can afford? Do they even want motorcycles or will they spend their resources buying a car from Bajaj, Suzuki, Honda, Audi, or BMW? We'll see. Predicting the future is difficult.
I think that is an important point: HD is not a major player in most of the world. You won't sell bikes by waving an American flag there either. So they have it a bit tougher. Add to it the relative lack of long, straight roads and you have a stronger tendency to non-cruiser bikes than in the US.

There is a lot they can do wrong, but I guess there is a good basis to increase sales world-wide. It's just that competition is much tougher for all the reasons already stated in the thread.

I still would like to try out one. For the price I would probably buy something more high-tech though (I already have a rattlestick that I love to ride - from a company that only builds motorbikes as well), but who knows.
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:10 PM   #105
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Someone mentioned it earlier, "the right tool for the right job".

I'm probably the farthest thing to represent the pirate crowd imaginable but I was recently told to ride an '09 or newer Ultra Classic to fill a void in my current line up and let the bike speak for itself. I did 7 hours of plush, 2-up, music filled, highway, backroads, and gravel road this past Saturday and could have easily done another 7 after a quick pee and a sandwich.

Hate it or not, this bike just simply works for its intended purpose.
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