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You guys think Harley Davidson will last?

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

  1. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    So many bitch about the Harleys not being fast. Yet the Royal Enfield and Ural motorcycles are popular 'round here. Truth is it's like discrimination. And not as in discriminating taste. Been said before don't like 'em don't buy one. However telling others what to do is kinda like church geeks telling you having sex is bad. Live your own life ride your own ride.

    And Harley will continue for quite some time unless the whole shebang falls apart.
    Eatmore Mudd and Traxx like this.
  2. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    I'm not bitching about their not-being-fast.

    I'm explaining why - IMHO, and that's an important qualifier - they won't survive. Because their appeal is tied to a past cultural phenomenon which is now all but forgotten.

    There's a difference between opinion about what will transpire, and advocacy.
  3. Lee R

    Lee R Man in a Box

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    When I see a HD i think lower maintenance, less plastic, not great in corners, relaxing. I don’t think easy rider, I’m too young to remember any of that era.

    Power is not something I even fuss about with a HD or other bikes, I’ve been downsizing my own because once your passed 100hp what’s the point, it’s basically unusable power and increased consumption of fuel and consumables plus increased price at that point. HD bikes are fast enough. Nobody buys them looking to race anything.

    Really the only thing that keeps me away from them (i did buy one 10 years ago) is the cruiser platform just isn’t great in corners or on rough roads. That’s really the only thing. Otherwise hydraulic valves and a belt drive is very appealing, more so than 150+ horsepower. If they made a “dirtstir” or carducci like sportster with 200+ range (no stupid peanut tank) I would have one in my garage.

    I think these threads exist because at some point somebody on a Honda or whatever got cold shouldered by a HD owner who only cares about HD. They created a very strong culture around the brand with extremely good marketing that is kinda tribal. Most HD owners just like bikes but some make it clear that other brands aren’t a motorcycle to them. So here we are with a thread that maybe is a little bit motivated by a some animosity toward the brand from previous encounters with that type of HD owner, as a kind of “see your doomed” giddiness that they’re wrong after all.
    Scoozi, severely and Traxx like this.
  4. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    The post was not directed at you. Just a general observation and opinion. Being made after your post is coincidence and nothing more.
  5. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    There's some truth to this, but I think you're adding it wrong. The "tribal" thing to me is irredeemably silly - the Orange Shield crowd points to an obviously-obsolete chassis design and packaging, and beats their chests. Why? There's no advantage in a peanut tank. Nothing to gain from open pipes but hearing loss. The riding position and suspension travel on cruisers, hurts the back - just isn't ergonomically as good as the upright position. That's why other makers that started out in Harley's day, have long-ago moved on.

    But the fan club is tribal, as you say. To someone taking objective measure, it looks...well, the kindest word is "silly." As silly as Grandpa holding on to his Model T. As silly as my mother's uncle with his 1960 Rambler...refusing to consider any other brand of car, even in 1980.

    Yes, Harley has done some innovation. Hydraulic tappets should be industry-standard now. Belt drive is the second-best choice, after a shaft. Those are pluses; and had H-D branched out into modern chasses, for people who ride to tour, not to show off and make noise...I'd be a lot less critical.

    "So don't buy one." Yes. But I see others reacting the same way, and I see the appeal of the other, on the wane.
    neanderthal likes this.
  6. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    Criticize HD for building bikes that are mechanically outdated, and lifestyle based.
    Criticize HD for coming out with the Street series, and soon to be in dealers Livewire.
    Ignore that HD is coming out with a new range of bikes based on new engines, and that the image they're presenting in the media is new, contemporary, and targeted to a younger demographic.

    The classic biased pundits damned if you do, damned if you don't.
    sixspeed and anotherguy like this.
  7. mr72

    mr72 Been here awhile

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    I criticized the marketing message they used in the past, and that it has boxed them in so their efforts now won't likely work. And I criticized their business decisions, but mostly it's not really something they could reasonably do differently. But I never criticized the motorcycles or their technology. I think the company is headed for much harder times or even failure but that's not a criticism, it's a likely outcome. Stop taking things so personally.
    CaseyJones and Richarde1605 like this.
  8. Traxx

    Traxx Long timer Supporter

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    Just wondering, when was the last time you were in a HD dealership?
    Over the last few times I visited in different dealerships. 4 in DFW and another in Houma La. The salespersons were a wide mix. 1 was a dirtbike guy, 1 was a gixxer squid, 1 was a old skool touring cat and the others just regular people. I did meet with one of the Harley faithful in FT Worth. Nothing was said about the Klim gear or the Triumph gear. There was no chest beating, and questions were answered were answered without evil intent.
    To me it seems like the attitude in the dealerships is changing. The marketing is changing as they are trying to reach the changing customer base.

    Eatmore Mudd likes this.
  9. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    This is not so true for the west coast (best coast.) you see a ton of BMWs of all sorts and Goldwings. Harleys are also numerous, but to say BMWs are a blip is completely wrong. On the left coast.
  10. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    I'm not personally invested in this, I haven't owned a Harley since the 80's, but they're the only local dealer left so I go there once in a while.
    I see a clean, neat, busy establishment with employees, and customers representing a wide range of ages, ethnicity and gender. When I see advertisements they are free of the outlaw lifestyle trappings. I see a company changing with the times, and they're starting to attract my attention.

    It's simply a matter of observation, and is seems to me that some aren't really looking at what they're doing.
  11. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Yes.
    Criticize that it's overpriced compared to competitors, and will have no appeal to the traditionalists. This IMHO is not the way they can change. As said above, they're too wedded to the image of the Orange Shield lifestyle.

    Still with the thirsty, large, obsolete engine design. If they'd come out with an in-line twin with an integral transmission - to save weight and space - I'd be impressed.

    They could even try the Africa Twin trick with a 90-degree-spaced crank. Or a 70-degree space. Balance shafts are 40-year-old technology now, and an in-line twin can be made to sound or feel like almost anything.

    Again...I'm not advocating. Or damning. H-D has done this, not me.

    I'll never be a customer...because it will take more time for them to re-make the product than I have left riding...but, had they planned properly, I might have invested in the stock.

    But I wouldn't, today.
  12. davidji

    davidji bike curious

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    At commute time, off season BMWs may dominate. Similar to how when touring there are times and places it seems like Harleys dominate.
    neanderthal likes this.
  13. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    I was an all year commuter in Los Angeles; from Northridge to Burbank. In winter it was mostly BMWs on the road, and me on my Africa Twin. Maybe 6 bikes (compared to about 30 in good weather months.) on the 405, 118 and I5.
  14. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    While details are still unavailable, its known the new modular engine will be a 60 degree, Water cooler, dual overhead cam, with integral 6 speed transmission.
    Dismissing it as "Still with the thirsty, large, obsolete engine design." seems to be both inaccurate, and premature. 2020 isn't that far off.

    From HD's web site. "wedded" to the same old lifestyle image?



    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  15. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Yup. Welded to the old image.

    Especially since the premium prices are going to get few early-adopter takers.

    Now...why a vee, if they're going with water cooling? The whole point of a vee was to have the cylinder jugs out in the cold airstream; and with the added advantage they could share a carb.

    Thanks to the emissions laws, air-cooling and carbs are gone. Why not a compact in-line? Better use of space, and probably lower weight.

    How are they going to get past their price disadvantage? In the past, it was the attraction of the "lifestyle." Now, that's not a draw. H-D should have learned from the slow sales of Japanese cruisers, that the attraction was not in a heavy, archaic engine design. And what they had, had a shelf life and now they don't have it.

    Again. Not advocacy; only observation. I don't see this helping.
    neanderthal likes this.
  16. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    Good for a Harley.

    For a Harley.
  17. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    What's the name of the dealership? What was it until very recently? :D
  18. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    If I've worked out anything in over 50 years of riding, its that whatever bike/subgroup I'm into at a certain point in time, I'll see lots more people doing the exact same thing. For example where I live, if I owned a HD and rode with the HD crowd I'm sure I would see lots more HD's e.g. stopping at the popular pubs on the outskirts of Sydney. If I owned an Adventure bike and was into it I'm going to start believing KTM's are a lot more popular than I currently do.

    What form I'm into will highly influence my perspective as to the popularity or otherwise of certain bikes. Come to think of it, that's no different to any activity I've ever been into.

    Changing tack, just for the fun of it I 'googled' up HD advertising material to see if any of their printed advertising was other than 'lifestyle'. Nope, couldn't find a single poster that wasn't, no matter how far back in history it came from. The only thing that seems to have changed is the 'type' of lifestyle e.g. clean cut take your lady for a picnic ride in the 1930's.
    zuma and Richarde1605 like this.
  19. PeterTrocewicz

    PeterTrocewicz Long timer

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    Actually, the whole point of a vee was that, with the technology of the early 1900s, it was the easiest way to add a cylinder to a motorcycle engine for more power, and to package that in the bicycle frames of the day. Rear cylinder cooling was always a problem for an air-cooled inline V-twin.
    It can still result in a narrower package. Some riders like that. They also like the look, sound, feel, and power characteristics. That is perfectly understandable.
  20. old scoot

    old scoot Been here awhile

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    Casey Jones ; I could explain why most of your comments about Harley are wrong but why bother, it wouldn't change your mind and I don't care what you think anyway. So I'll just make it short and sweet, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT !!!
    farmerstu likes this.