What is Harley doing?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by btcn, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

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    They dont make first bikes, commuter bikes, or general economy bikes. (a sportster is not a good first bike).

    or: the kind of bikes we actually need in America right now.

    there are cheaper bikes that fill that niche available that are shipped here in crates. why is that?
    #61
  2. tcourdin

    tcourdin Resident Spooner

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    :roflWhat kind of bikes do we need in America right now? Even if they did make an entry level 250cc it would be impossible for them to keep the price as low as the overseas stuff that is flooding the market.
    #62
  3. doxiedog

    doxiedog Been here awhile

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    I looked for a buell for 3 yrs.,at a HD.dealer.
    Was told if i paid for one,they would order it.

    I went to a HD dealer to look at 1 inch bars,
    for my 2011 bonneville.
    "WE don't make anything for a triumph!"
    Do bars know where they are?
    This is a large dealer,and it is a JOKE.
    #63
  4. sporthog93

    sporthog93 Sporthog93

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    Motorcycle Market Share

    Motorcycles <TABLE style="MARGIN: 5px 10px; ZOOM: 1; DISPLAY: inline; FLOAT: right" class=tr-caption-container cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=center><TBODY><TR><TD style="TEXT-ALIGN: center">[​IMG]</TD></TR><TR><TD style="TEXT-ALIGN: center" class=tr-caption>BMW R 26, 1959
    (Photo by Celesteh - CC-BY)

    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    Harley-Davidson 28%
    Honda 25%
    Yamaha 17%
    Suzuki 13%
    Kawasaki 11%
    KTM 2%
    BMW 1%
    Triumph 1%
    Ducati 1%


    ATVs
    Honda 30%
    Yamaha 20%
    Polaris 20%
    Suzuki 11%
    Kawasaki 9%
    Arctic Cat 7%
    BRP 3%(6)


    Demographics of a New Bike Rider

    Age Gender
    20 years and younger 1% Male 90%
    21-25 7% Female 10%
    26-30 9%
    31-40 22%
    41-50 30%
    51-60 23%
    61-70 7%
    71 and older 1%

    Marital Status
    Married 65%
    Single (never married) 17%
    Widowed 2%
    Divorced/separated 16%(7
    #64
  5. jacksgp

    jacksgp Been here awhile

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    How do you spell VICTORY
    #65
  6. tcourdin

    tcourdin Resident Spooner

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    LOL! Recently my wife decided she would like a small backrest for the passenger seat, Harley doesnt make one and aftermarket companies dont make a small one like I wanted. So I found a writeup a guy posted and he had mixed HD parts fit my model and made a backrest work. He even had pics and part numbers. It was like an act of God at my local HD store to get them to sell me the parts that werent correct for my bike, even though I knew they would fit.
    #66
  7. USMCG_Spyder

    USMCG_Spyder RPOC pilot

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    No, but I expected them to go a Hell of a lot faster in less time when I poured the beans to 'em.

    Re-read my post and you'll see I'm not talking about the bike itself, but rather the money folks put into them after the purchase, and let's not even get started on $ervice visits.

    This isn't about you specifically, but if you want to get specific I paid $12k for my Road Star 1700, jetted and piped and out the door. I bet it'd pull your Fat Bob off the line, too :evil

    You bought a bike on the low end of the scale, but the bigger bikes are a lot of $$$ for very little in return.
    #67
  8. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    The problem with their bikes for me is they seem to build everything for midgets.
    I have a 2009 1200 sportster, my 3rd Harley out of many bikes.
    The motor is fine, good torque, fuel injection, its been reliable, looks very good to me, that is why I bought it.
    I got it for less then the Moto Guzzi V7 classic is going to cost me, and thats only 750cc's.

    My bike came with stupid bad ground clearance issues, to fit the dwarf's I guess, nasty crappy shocks and forks, and a worthless seat.
    Its also about 75 pounds overweight.
    The nasty seat locks you into position, and the pegs are too far forward and high, stock the handlebars had me leaning backwards.
    The ride home from the dealers was funny, first I thought 'wow loads of low end power!'.
    After that it was crash, bang grind grind grind bang, BANG.
    The forks bang and crash if you hit a pebble in the road, the shocks the same, and going around a corner at car speeds will get sparks from the dragging hard parts and put you into a ditch, as you can only go as fast as a bus or overloaded big truck.
    This is the 'sportster'!

    Now I had an 883 sportster back in 1986, and it was nothing like this, it was similar to the 1979 Triumph Bonneville I traded in, it could lean and was not uncomfortable.
    It did vibrate, and only had 4 speeds, but it was fun.
    It felt light and nimble and cut through heavy traffic like a hot knife through butter.

    They do not make any bike like that anymore except maybe the xr.



    Its all about how the bike LOOKS, and how the little people who ride them look while riding.
    Its not about riding at all.
    Looks great, sounds great, runs great, its good for about 20 minutes then you want to get off, and it always feels odd.
    I suspect they do it this way to get people to upgrade to a huge boat of a bike that seats 4. And yes, you CAN get it with reverse.
    After all, it would not cost them anything to mount the pegs in the proper place...

    Its working very well for them, as their dealerships are huge wonderful places, new, loaded with everything and customers.
    The other brand dealers that are still in business look like they might not be much longer, and 3 have closed down in the last year.
    #68
  9. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

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    I am to lazy to go look, but are you sure its not a third? Though they are financing motorcycle sales, which allows them to sell more bikes.

    I thought credit portion, was treated as a seperate company. Didn't Warren Buffet buy up alot of that debt, but he doesn't own Harley.
    #69
  10. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

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    I had a similar event. wanted highway pegs for 1 1/4 bar. Instead of showing me what they could sell me, they asked what bike it was for, and said they couldn't help me.

    Alot dealer need to reap what they have sown.
    #70
  11. easyrider88

    easyrider88 POsIng PrO

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    i agree.most riders take a 5 mile putt-putt to the lacal tavern and back.and park their 20K iron at the door.its status.
    #71
  12. Tuna Helper

    Tuna Helper Rawrr!

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    The 1125 Buell is a "souped up v-rod motor". The v-rod has 120 hp, the 1125 has 150.
    #72
  13. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    The big ones are not bad bikes for long rides.
    A guy I worked with rode from NJ to the west coast, picked up his wife who flew out and did a tour of the western stuff, then rode home (solo).
    He started out with 100,000 miles on his bike and had no issues other then a cracked aftermarket exhaust mount.
    No motor work was ever done to the bike, but he did put in a 6 speed trans.

    Still, I would rather do it on a more sporty bike....I think.
    I did the same thing on an old Triumph (1979), but I was a lot younger.
    #73
  14. Ceemack

    Ceemack Adventurer

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    The 1125 Buell was a "souped up v-rod motor". The v-rod has 120 hp, the 1125 had 150.

    FIFY.

    Being critical of Harley doesn't mean someone "hates" Harley. Personally, I'd kind of like to be able to buy one myself. But I don't want a heavy tourer and I don't want a cruiser. Even if I could put up with the faults of a Sportster, it's dimensions are so puny I'd have to wear a fez when I rode it.

    They'd make a useful B-school case--a dying (literally) demographic means that the product line has to fundamentally change so that new classes of customers can be attracted, but the corporate culture is deeply entwined with the current product line and highly resistant to change. They make a good contrast with Cadillac, which stagnated for a while but now seems to be making progress in putting out products that buyers under 65 might enjoy.

    Oddly, those products tend to be smaller, lighter, faster and better-handling than Cadillac's more traditional products. Sound familiar?

    The bike I'd like to see Harley bring out would be a lightweight standard bike with a fairly conventional, still-looks-like-a-Harley appearance--more up-to-date than a Sportster, but not as radical as a Buell. Think Honda Nighthawk. Give it an 800 or 1000 cc motor with 100 hp per liter (not that hard to do), but keep the weight down. Tune it more for low-end torque but don't rob the top end too deeply.

    And make it big enough that somebody taller than my baby sister could ride it and not look like a Shriner in a parade.
    #74
  15. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Exactly!


    #75
  16. USMCG_Spyder

    USMCG_Spyder RPOC pilot

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    I did my MSC at a Harley dealership via "Rider's Edge" - it was an excellent course with lots of range time. The only hassle was having to tolerate the sales pitch, tour of the dealership, etc.

    We rode Buell Blasts on the range. I was a bit too tall for it but it was a fun little bike and very easy to flick around.
    #76
  17. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    A 750 that has 3 less horsepower than the 1200 and it weighs 125lbs. less. :rofl
    #77
  18. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    Same HD dealer, 2 different visits a week apart.

    1st visit,
    Me: I'm interested in the bar mount analog clock in the display case.
    Parts Guy: whats it for?
    Me: A Ural.
    Parts Guy: Can't help You.

    2nd visit, different parts guy.
    Me: I need a tube.
    Parts Guy" Whats it for?
    Me: A Ural.
    Parts Guy: What size You need?
    Me: 400X19
    Parts Guy: We don't carry that size, but can get it for You tomorrow.
    Me: I'm leaving for Oregon tomorrow, want it for a spare.
    Parts Guy: We have 3.50X19 in stock, It would be fine for a spare, take the 3.50X19 and if You don't use it I will exchange it for a 4.00X19 when You get back.

    The only problem is some of the employees cant seperate lifestyle fantasy from business reality. Got My first 2 bikes from this dealer, now? I'm not willing to play customer service roulette.
    #78
  19. danger_dave

    danger_dave Home again

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    I have a 2011 Street Glide test bike at the moment. The ABS brakes are as good as most in the class and the vehicle's handling - unencumbered by a silly rear tyre profile, for a large cruiser/tourer, is also very good.

    It doesn't produce as much horsepower as a metric cruiser, but the engine has a character and feel that is very pleasurable to ride nonetheless and it looks great.

    I personally don't think there is too much wrong with what they are making, I'd buy the test bike, I really enjoy it, but they do need products that suit a broader range of applications and buyers.
    #79
  20. luxlogs

    luxlogs Been here awhile

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    HD engineering will do just fine in their "New Market".


    China, get used to it.
    #80