You guys think Harley Davidson will last?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by tessalino, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    Dealers are independent business, and they are going to do what makes them money.


    A dealer can go to an auction, buy some low miles used bikes. Then detail and minor recondition them, keeping the guys in the shop busy during the winter. Then when spring comes make profit on a sale, easy to be more profitable than new sales. Everyone has the same road glide in new condition, so the cost is known. On that used one, no one has that exact model and condition. Not to say that a dealer is out to fleece anyone, but what they have in it is not public knowledge. The used one probably came with exhausts, intake and some chrome bits the new one does not have. Dealer can tune for low $$ since they have all the stuff. Harleys in milder states of tune tend to last a long time nowadays, It is not a bad deal for anyone. The occasional lemon can be parted off and recover most or all the investment. Not really good for Harley Davidson company, but good for the dealer. The dealers need to stay in business.


    In the future, dealers will be need to be to be charging stations and rest areas selling drinks, food, stuff. Have the service folks look at the bikes coming in on the security camera for burned out lights, bald tires etc and then sell them.

    That will be a interesting time.

    Rod
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  2. HuntWhenever

    HuntWhenever Motorcicle Commuter

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    I just got another message from the dealer I bought my Sport Glide from...wanting to buy my bike back. I replied to his email letting him know I had over 28k miles on the bike. That should end that enquiry. :lol3
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  3. phughes

    phughes Long timer Supporter

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    Though I don't doubt over 1,000 have been sold, the recall number doesn't indicate sold bikes, just bikes manufactured that need recalled. They can still be sitting on the dealer's floor.
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  4. phughes

    phughes Long timer Supporter

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    Why? that isn't a lot of miles. They are looking for used bikes.
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  5. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Possibly but I believe they manufactured 3000. I have little doubt that at least 1000 have found homes.
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  6. HuntWhenever

    HuntWhenever Motorcicle Commuter

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    Its probably not the low-miles used bikes they are hoping to acquire and sell. 28k would be consider high mileage for a 2019 model year bike IMO.
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  7. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    Interesting that there is not a plot at all for BMW. Many, many years ago (like maybe before 2000) I saw a similar study, except it wasn't those remaining, but rather what was the lifetime of a brand bike (sort of the reciprocal of that chart, but with a different statistical analysis (survival chart, as in drug treatment of serious diseases)). I think it was from Europe, not the US. There wasn't a plot for BMW either. The '*' note said there were too many old BMWs still running to determine a statistical lifetime. That was when airheads were the predominant BMW. Given the number of airheads on the road now, and how few were made relative to the other brands, it may be true as well now that the statistics don't have a large enough sample size.
    That being said, BMW had to do some real soul searching several times in its motorcycling history as to how to change to survive. I think Harley has not done that. BMW's involved striking out in new directions without losing touch with its past. The /5 was a baby step, but still significant. The R90S and the R80G/S, and the oilhead R1100 series come to mind as bigger steps. And so do the K-75 and K100. These K-bikes did not keep the link with its past, though they did give breathing room and were financially successful. BMW were planning on dropping the airheads (remember the premature 1984 "Last Edition"?) but had to reverse course due to customer reaction. K bikes were modern designs that attracted new customers. Ditto for the F series. They all have a place, and the boxers are still a defining part of BMW.
    Therein may lie a lesson for HD.
  8. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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  9. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

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    Very smart comment and really - you have hit the nail on the head. This is the whole point. Harley has not done the soul searching. They have not found the new directions. And their link with the past is a ball and chain they drag with them everywhere.
  10. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever It turns out you can't delete your account...

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    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it's not an irrelevant detail that Harley's business is being guided by a hedge fund. Generally speaking, hedge funds are more interested in margins than in growth. Growth costs money, has risk, and defers payback, not things a hedge fund likes. So consider a couple of things, here. Harley announced its intentions to 'focus on the core business' last winter, generally understood to mean fewer new products and a focus on cruisers. When they made their disclosures earlier this week, they were crowing about selling bikes at full MSRP, and pointed out the strong resale values of used units. Interesting things to be talking about during a recession, right? Meanwhile, Harley dealers are folding right left and center, at least some of them due to running out of inventory, yet, Harley put off releasing its new models, and doesn't seem to have offered any help to the failing shops. How do you square all this? And for bonus points, why would they hire a new CFO from the packaged goods world, a world of mature product categories where growth is rare and money is made by bullying distribution and optimizing the cost of goods? I think the answer is that they don't think there's any real ROI for growth in the near term, so what they're going to do is engineer scarcity. Reduce the number of dealers so they can control pricing. Focus on the ones that are also writing lots of financing business. Optimize the hell out of the supply chain. Instead of trying to sell more bikes, they're going to try to sell whatever the market will take, for more money.

    And under the heading of "sinister", I think they've caught two incredibly lucky tailwinds here: One is a pandemic to provide cover for rationalizing the dealer network and delaying product shipments. And the other is interest rates so low that they'll be able to make a killing selling bikes at full price to people who can't really afford them.

    This isn't about motorcycles anymore. It's bareknuckle business, the kind that tech folks - who live in a world obsessed with growth at any cost - simply can't understand. And I'd place this bet: when this all starts to gel, the people who hate Harley now are going to hate them even more.
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  11. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    https://www.revzilla.com/common-tre...AenZDX_WUuc0jAMg0LTKJ6kCCxH8bf8BMkSiu89r7tJxs

    "Total revenue was $1.17 billion for the quarter, a drop of 8.4 percent from the third quarter of last year, but net income was $120 million, a 38.9 percent increase. Lower revenues were driven by unit sales that were down 8.1 percent worldwide and 10.3 percent in the United States, plus the fact that fewer expensive touring bikes were sold and more Sportster and Street models went out the door."
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  12. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever It turns out you can't delete your account...

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    Boom.
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  13. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    Breeder reactors can use uranium cycle waste as fuel. The main problem with uranium is weapons proliferation.
  14. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    Funny enough, I totally agree. I also think that that strategy is likely to fail because expensive motorcycles are not the same business model as canned peas.
  15. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen Supporter

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    True. But BMW never really had to get past the "it doesn't look or sound like a Harley" that Harley has struggled to deal with whenever trying to sell something that doesn't exactly fit the Harley mold. BMW was able to develop and sell new/different products while maintaining the traditional products. BMW riders were initially focused on "it's not an Airhead!" relative to the alternate products, but those products eventually proved themselves as BMWs, unique in their own way.
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  16. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    Errr... How 'BMW riders were initially focused on "it's not an Airhead!"' is different from '"it doesn't look or sound like a Harley" that Harley has struggled to deal with'?
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  17. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen Supporter

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    Right. Initially BMW riders were all up in arms about a traditional BMW only being an Airhead. At many BMW rallies there were groups of "us" and "them", of Airhead riders and Brick riders. But over time that mellowed out as the K-bikes and other BMWs were accepted into the fold. But for decades that has not happened in the Harley world. For HD, its still "not a real Harley" for any non-traditional Harley products. Too bad really, because it has restrained Harley from expanding its product offerings. Closest was the V-Rod; around for many years, but never developed beyond an inner city cruiser (at least that was how it was perceived in the market).
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  18. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    To add- it's Uranium->Plutonium breeder wave reactor:
    https://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/TerraPower,-GEH-introduce-Natrium

    The core design of the original TWR concept envisages a moving region, or 'wave', in which the uranium is bred progressively into plutonium, which is the actual fuel that undergoes fission. However, in mid-2011 TerraPower announced a change of design to a standing wave reactor in order to address the problem of cooling a moving region. The current design would start the fission reaction at the centre of the reactor core, where the breeding stays, while fresh fuel from the outer edge of the core is progressively moved to the central region, as used fuel is moved out of the centre to the periphery.​

    Sorry for straying that far from Harley's failing business model.
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  19. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    Is it due to some mystical Harley mystique, or was it because the new BMWs were objectively good designs, and new Harleys were as gawdawful as the Street 750 I tried to like?
  20. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

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    Also a really good post. I think you nailed it.
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