You guys think Harley Davidson will last?

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

  1. Bar None

    Bar None OLD DUDE Supporter

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    Wow! Those actions by the new CEO makes sense.
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  2. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen Supporter

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    At least the shareholder think so. Let's see what the market thinks about it. Though, reducing dealer inventory is a typical way to improve sales as the buying market rebounds. The company I work for saw this when the AG markets tanked in 2008. All the manufacturers severely reduced production and made their dealers move their current inventory. By 2012 the opposite applied, the dealers couldn't order enough product for demand and sales went real strong for three years.
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  3. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    Yep, covered in threads 4939-4947. As I said there, the husband of a co-worker was head of design and engineering on this. They had them to ride all last summer and loved them. Pricy, but they were nice. HD spun them off, but kept a small interest to keep branding. He left and went to the e-bike division of another well- know WI bicycle company, located about halfway between Madison and Milwuakee. You can guess which one.
    She did say that if they got to keep their test bikes (which they didn't) they would have painted over the HD symbol.
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  4. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    Yes, I have a BH Diamond Atom in this price range, with identical battery and motor specs (Brose motor). I paid the price I did (less than list, though, since we bought 2) because we felt there really was a difference between it and the Yamaha that cost $1000 less. 2 years later, no regrets.
    And the people I know that rode the HD bikes all last summer thought they were at least as good as mine. But then, the husband designed the HD e-bikes before the spinoff.
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  5. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    If 'they' means they had a dedicated real engineer inhouse, experienced in all things bicycle, leading the design team, yes they did. He and his wife are serious bicyclists and competitors. I've ridden with her (co-worker). He also had over 10 years experience prior to this in the bicycle engineering area. They let him go when they they spun off. As I said elsewhere in this thread, another well know WI bicycle company snapped him up quickly.
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  6. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Nice, until you're not.

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    What always seems absent from EV discussions is the fact that by its nature, electric power makes it very hard to differentiate your product. And the simpler the vehicle, the truer this is. Power and range are determined by what off-the-rack components you chose to buy, and in the case of bicycles, they're so simple to make that anyone on this board could manage it. For a company to actually make a go of it, they have to layer on something proprietary and interesting, and often that means non-functional things like design. This is what I think this Harley spinoff has tried to do, here. The absolute king of this is Super 73. But for most brands in this space, I think the future looks like the cannabis business in Canada... a brief, giddy bubble, followed by round after round of bankruptcies. Without differentiation, a product category quickly becomes a race to the bottom. If you want to predict who will prevail, ignore specs and look for the companies that are doing it in an interesting, provocative way.
  7. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    There is certainly a truth to what you say. But I will also add that we had the opportunity to ride a lot of e-bikes before purchase. All were 250W, with comparable batteries, and ranged in list price from just under $1000 to about $5000. There was a real and tangible difference between these offerings. We opted for ones with about a list of $3300, because we could tell that these were bikes that would beg to be ridden, because they really were fun to ride, in a subjective but real way. This has proved to be true over time.
    From what I have heard from the couple that had them all summer, the HD bikes were the same. They are familiar with my e-bike as well as many others, and said the HD e-bikes were a LOT of fun.
    There are many trade-in e-bikes at the dealer where we bought ours. Usually customers are trading up in price, but with the same specs. So yes, they are simple to make. But no, they are apparently not simple to make really well.
    Like motorcycles.
  8. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Nice, until you're not.

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    I'll defer to your hands-on experience, obviously. But I'd say a couple of things... one, that a market defined only by price and quality rising in lockstep still isn't sufficiently differentiated. Commodities work like that, too. And two, that there probably seemed to be more diversity at the start when the technology was being worked out than will be the case as it matures. Loved your observation that "they are apparently not simple to make well." Here's to that.
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  9. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    When power is a commodity, you differentiate on handling, not power. Anyone can grow pot in their basement, not everyone can design something as simple as a bicycle that is pleasure to ride.
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  10. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

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    One thing Harley is known for is how nice they are to ride. Not powerful, but just enjoyable

    So if power is standardised, even commoditised that gives Harley an edge
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  11. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    "Known" to whom? To you, maybe. To me, they don't handle well and are uncomfortable.
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  12. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Long timer

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    too be fair, and we have discussed this before, you have little experience riding them, so you are probably not the best to asses their handling.
    It is not the riding position you prefer, but by many metrics they have made new bike that handle very well. they have also made some in the past that have not.

    It is also a fact that many people that have ridden performance machines in the past that enjoy Harley’s because of their comfort and good capability under non-performance conditions.

    what they do well is build bikes that are good daily transportation.
    The Road King is probably my favorite bike for commuting. Just less hassle. Less maintainance, good for carrying my work stuff, comfortable in traffic, even the tires don’t seem to need to be topped off as often. It is probably the closest I have ever had to a “just hit the starter button and go daily” bike I have ever owned.
    Weirdly, both in good and bad, it is the closest motorcycle I have ever owned to being like a modern car. Just Gas tires and go.
    Since mine apparently had 1999 suspension on it (must have had a rough life as a police bike) and I have updated it with the cartridge suspension, not unlike the current Harley’s all come with, I can say, that with suspension, this bike handles extremely well. I liked riding it before, and it handled well enough as long as you kept it within its wheelhouse. It was still faster than most cars, but now, With the 1000 dollars of suspension on it, I was not able to push it beyond its limits at any speed I was comfortable playing at on the street.
  13. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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    Cue the HD - Ducati track reel.
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  14. Traxx

    Traxx Taxation is Theft Supporter

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    I think that has been in this thread a few times. Granted a single model of HD and a single model of Ducati 1 year the HD won another the Ducati. Neither of the bikes tested are what the respective brand is all about.
    When I think HD I think touring for days on end, when I think Ducati I think super bike railing at the track.
    Horses for courses and Ride your own Ride, let me Ride mine.
    One of the reasons that the King of the Baggers was so interesting to me. Bikes doing something so different from what is intended and I loved every minute of it. Hopefully it will be back next year.
    Anyway, I am still watching what the HD company is going to do. They will survive and will change just can’t wait to see what it does.
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  15. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Nice, until you're not.

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    Surely most of the people on this thread reject the absurd notion that there are single, objective scales for goodness in a motorcycle. That's the kind of thing little boys argue about during recess in primary school. Nothing really worthwhile in adult life works that way.
  16. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Long timer

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    I think it is fascinating that I am already seeing a trend this way from the sales and parts side at some dealerships. I was at the dealer in euless a week ago (found a guy to buy my old suspension; makes my new suspension even a better deal) and we met there since it was half way between us.

    while I was there one of the salesman was asking about my bike, and when he saw I cared about things like engine performance and suspension he wanted to show me his bike and one of the mechanics bikes. Both were the new softtail chassis set up with dirt bike bars and suspension. Had some engine mods. Then he showed me one of their bikes on display inside. Low rider S with the 131 kit I think.
    I find it fascinating that the dealers seem to be embracing the performance Harley market around here.
    Seems like a lot of the aftermarket I have been looking at also seems geared that way.
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  17. Traxx

    Traxx Taxation is Theft Supporter

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    Hopefully HD will take notice of that and offer bikes with a performance suspension stock.
    The lowrider S is nice but is lacking in the rear suspension. Smack a high performance max ride height shock/spring combo on it and see what happens.
    Look what the sport baggers are able to do now along with the King of the Baggers.
    Thing is at what point do you take the harshness of a sport ride vs the plush comforts of a touring ride.
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  18. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Long timer

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    I think it is about offering choice.
    at least the aftermarket is taking notice.
    [​IMG]
    https://blog.customdynamics.com/performance-bagger-parts/
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  19. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    The point is that the other poster's claim that "Harley is known for is how nice they are to ride" is subjective, and true only to a rapidly shrinking segment of the market. This segment may include you, of course. Nothing's wrong with it, just don't extrapolate.

    Also, it would absolutely suck as daily transportation in a city like Seattle. Not sure what kind of city calls for an 800 lbs motorcycle as daily transportation, but there must be some for sure...
  20. liberpolly

    liberpolly Lazy rider

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    You can have a plush yet sporty ride, just not on a Harley.