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Saw these on one of my news feeds that pop up on my phone. Interesting take. As I am a fairly new Harley guy for the last 12 years, I am interested in the opinions of some of the older "been around the block" Harley folks. I can see the kids point, but is it valid?? Topic presented,,,, now discuss....:coffee::cool:

 

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I think the MOCO is innovating. I could care less about the electric live wire but the new Adventure Sport has a great market potential. I'm a boomer ie old school Harley rider but i'm not the future of motorcycling and i think a business needs to look forward. I personally wouldn't own another bike but as we per say die off the MOCO needs to look at a market that isn't interested in the lead sleds of noisy bikes we love to ride. If i owned another bike it would be an Adventure bike that actually rides like a motorcycle should on or off road.
 

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I been with Harley since the early 1970's , there is no simple one size fits all answer that I know of .. Now the boy speaks of the tariffs in the Reagan years , but he forgot to tell you that Japan was dumping motorcycles into the US market , in other words , they were selling the bikes for less than the production cost .. Everybody says that we baby boomers have kept Harley alive .. I don't necessarily buy that line .. I have bought oh lemme count here real quick , maybe ten Harleys since 1971 .. Four were bought from a dealer and two of those were new ... Thats not contributing a whole lot to keeping Harley alive .. I am sure there are others who contributed to the dealers much more than I did ..
I think the simple fact is ( and I could be wrong ) , that fewer younger people ( read post baby boomers ) of any generation ride a motorcycle of any brand ..
When we were coming along , there was no spare money from parents ( most parents ) to buy kids a car or truck as a teenager , but they could spare the cost of a bike , and lots of those kids kept riding after getting out of the house ..

Harley has too many models , the boutique and over priced everything is in my opinion their worst enemy .. They are shooting themselves everywhere they turn ..

I dont have the answers , they have survived in the past and I think they will continue , when I am dead and gone , it will not matter to me what they are doing ..

JtB
 

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Governments and insurance companies don't help with motorcycle sales either. My province makes it very difficult for new riders to get their licence and then they charge a fortune for insurance. Some people would gladly keep a bike to ride just a few times a year, but when you have to pay $2000 for insurance then it doesn't make it worth it if you don't ride regularly.
 

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I definitely see the buying stock as a killer of the company, but that's basically how this country has survived since the 2006 debacle/ recession of '08, the whole Obama/ Biden, buy your way out of poverty. It's meant to boost up the bottom line of the economy and/ or a company, so it will look better, but with the recent turn of events, coronavirus, it is going to cause a lot of problems, just as the 2006 bailouts brought inflation. Harley Davidson cut production by 50%, laid off half of it's employees, just as every other big corporation had to do to survive. Does anyone remember what a 2X4 stud cost in 2006? It was .29 cents, that same stud is $2.29 today and the bailouts of 2006 were a third of the PPP and stimulus checks already given out to date, God forbid they print even more money. So, given history, the economy will not see the inflation caused by the recent bailouts for a little while longer, and if we get back to work, we'll have a little booster shot in the arm of the economy to get us by this next election, but what is coming due to these recent bailouts is going to be bad for everyone. I was amazed to see the same bike I bought in 2015 @ $26K is now $30K and knowing how inflation works in a bailout scenario(2006-2008 bailouts) I can see that same bike going up another $5K easily and unless I start charging more with my business, I probably wont be able to afford another Harley Road Glide for a long while, and by then, I'll need a trike!
 

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Easy to criticize. The company has always had it’s critics. The future isn’t written. I do have high hopes that the adventure bike will be for real and perform well. H-D just needs to cut the junk and truly be premium. You shouldn’t have to spend $2K to upgrade the suspension on a brand new $30K bike. That shit pisses millennials off. Quit wasting money on crummy parts designed to be headed for a landfill. You know how much of a buzz it’d create just by shipping bikes with truly great suspensions from the factory? When suddenly Ohlins and Legend upgrades are completely unnecessary? Build great-performing bikes that offer a lot of value even though they’re premium priced. Especially weird the suspension is the weak part of the touring line. Who’s in charge that thinks shipping their heaviest touring bikes with crap suspension is OK? Of course the kids will laugh at that BS and pass it by. If you buy a BMW or Ducati do you have to immediately replace the suspension? I think the problem is easy to fix. Just clear out the junk and actually be premium.
 

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Easy to criticize. The company has always had it’s critics. The future isn’t written. I do have high hopes that the adventure bike will be for real and perform well. H-D just needs to cut the junk and truly be premium. You shouldn’t have to spend $2K to upgrade the suspension on a brand new $30K bike. That shit pisses millennials off. Quit wasting money on crummy parts designed to be headed for a landfill. You know how much of a buzz it’d create just by shipping bikes with truly great suspensions from the factory? When suddenly Ohlins and Legend upgrades are completely unnecessary? Build great-performing bikes that offer a lot of value even though they’re premium priced. Especially weird the suspension is the weak part of the touring line. Who’s in charge that thinks shipping their heaviest touring bikes with crap suspension is OK? Of course the kids will laugh at that BS and pass it by. If you buy a BMW or Ducati do you have to immediately replace the suspension? I think the problem is easy to fix. Just clear out the junk and actually be premium.
I definitely agree, I have been saying this for years, and I came from a 1986 Honda Magna and bought a Spotster, Iron 883 in 2009 and hadn't rode in about 15 years prior to that, I just remember, I bought the Sporty with no test drive, they shipped it in from another dealer, I picked it up the next Tuesday and rode off, It was a pig and had no suspension, as compared to what I remembered about the Magna, and when I ask about it at the dealer, it was, oh here, let me take you over to parts, they can get you fixed right up, 1200 kit, stage 1 and new suspension should do it, then around half the cost of the bike later, I looked at the parts guy and ask, "Are you crazy? I aint spending that on a Sportster!" then I thought, I could have got a hell of a Honda for $13K, but of course, all of my friends threatened to beat me up if I rode up on anything but a Harley, and since then, I have bought my second Harley, a RGS and I think the rear suspension on that bike, with the multi-turn pre-load adjuster is a decent quality ride as compared to their other systems, though the front end is still lacking and I have since upgraded to a Progressive system, which is a lot more like the ride of the Magna and somewhat smoother over railroad tracks, I found myself asking on several occasions, Why didn't this premium priced bike come with this already or something similar? Time will tell where Harley Davidson ends up, I am almost sure, they got into trouble in the past and the MOCO was sold to keep the brand alive, then Willy G bought it back at some point, I've also heard, history repeats itself, time will tell.
 

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Some great thoughts about. I feel the HD needs to thin out the number of bikes they offer and switch to options based. Too much wasted money trying to make one size fits all bike.

Tall guys need seats lower and further back. Taller bars. Motors, wheels, paint etc...
 

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You have to look at the bias of the author with stories like this. He does not like most bikes that aren’t sport, adventure, or off-road, so he is approaching the subject from a bias and a hope for their demise. That makes him present the storyline based on that hope.
when people speak of other manufacturers sales being up, they speak of manufacturers with low volume who get a spike because of a new model, like Ducati and their entry into the scrambler and adventure market, Moto Guzzi making their new adventure bike, Indian going from nothing 6 years ago, Honda making 125cc bikes, while Harley drops from over 50 percent of the entire motorcycles sold to 48 percent. Since they say the decrease is more than 3 or 4 percent means the rest of the market is down as well.
 

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Saw these on one of my news feeds that pop up on my phone. Interesting take. As I am a fairly new Harley guy for the last 12 years, I am interested in the opinions of some of the older "been around the block" Harley folks. I can see the kids point, but is it valid?? Topic presented,,,, now discuss....:coffee::cool:

Harley kills itself. Premium prices for a non premium product you have to spend thousands on to make it work right. There are exceptions, but with overall dealer mediocrity and astronomical service costs, they can’t get out of their own way. Had good luck with my bike, have enjoyed it, but probably my first and last. Just really too much money for too little value.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I agree with a lot with others about the sad reality of having to change quite a bit of the suspension and other areas to make it "ride-able" is crazy for the premium price. Customizing for taste and customizing to re-do what should have been done in the first place are two different things. I can't wait to see the " You meet the nicest people on a Harley" campaign though....:cool::cool:
 

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I am going to touch on a few things mentioned in this post.

1. you mean the Bush economy in 2008 correct? Obama/Biden took office in January of 2009 and the economy was already in the tank. But I digress from the politics here.

2. the younger generation just isnt into the outdoors like the baby boomers or generation X were. It was an absolute punishment to be stuck inside even in bad weather. This current generation would just sit inside and play on thier video games/phones or whatever boring crap they can get into while being inside. With that said, motorcycle sales across the whole spectrum (not just harley are down).

Now on to my points.

I really have zero interest in the live wire. I get the concept, I know its the future of all transportation, but I personally do not care for it. Who wants to ride a motorcycle that is sewing machine quiet. If I wanted that, I would probably have a goldwing (which I once did). riding a motorcycle is more than just riding it. Its the sound and the feel of riding. But with that also being said, I did see a video comparing the live wire to the zero bike and the reviewers said the live wire is a better bike. For what its worth however, reviewers opinions do not always align with my opinion. The thing that completely turns me off about any electric vehicle is the range. I think you have a little over 100 miles of range on the live wire. I easily do 100 miles on any given weekend. It would suck having to sit someplace for an hour or so to charge up the bike. Add to that there is not a solid infrastructure of charging stations built up yet.

The adventure bike and the sports bike... hmm mixed feelings on those. can they be competitive with the other models in that segment? Will shoppers looking for those types of bikes actually go to a harley dealership? I am sure the marketing folks at harley have thought about this, but can the dealers draw in the non harley folks and get them to buy a higher priced bike?

my 2 cents.
 

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As a millennial.... I hate calling myself that a lot of my generation isn't interested in things that involve the outdoors. I personally prefer to be outside with something with a motor somewhere out in nature. I bought my first Harley (2019 Road glide) a few weeks ago and honestly don't feel I overpaid for what it is, are things expensive yes. Anything in todays market is expensive. Will HD go under? I hope not but I fully understand the adventure style line, KTM makes a killing off of it. Everyone wants to complain that all these bikes come with "junk" parts but I've had (dirtbikes) KTM, Yamaha, Kawi and whether you pay $2500 for a used Kawi or $9000 for a KTM 300 their is always something out there to make it better to make the stock parts feel like "junk". Me and my wife have a Polaris RZR and anything Polaris branded or service by Polaris is just as ridiculously expensive, it's not just Harley it's any and every brand. The problem is a lot of my generation doesn't want to work on things themselves or pay to have it worked on, I think that's the biggest killer of the market. I'm somewhat of a gear head so I enjoy tinkering and messing with things.
 

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I am going to touch on a few things mentioned in this post.

1. you mean the Bush economy in 2008 correct? Obama/Biden took office in January of 2009 and the economy was already in the tank. But I digress from the politics here.
You mean the Clinton economy? The disaster that become Fannie and Freddie Mac and collapsed the artificially inflated housing market were born and sowed by President Clinton. They were warned, repeatedly, that giving mortgages to people without the credit and income was a very, very bad idea. There's plenty to criticize Bush 43 for but this isn't one of them.

Articles from both sides of the aisle:


 

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You mean the Clinton economy? The disaster that become Fannie and Freddie Mac and collapsed the artificially inflated housing market were born and sowed by President Clinton. They were warned, repeatedly, that giving mortgages to people without the credit and income was a very, very bad idea. There's plenty to criticize Bush 43 for but this isn't one of them.

Articles from both sides of the aisle:


And I completely disagree with that assesment on several accords specifically the lending practices continued under wubbya and if fact increased.... but I digress, I would rather talk about harleys in here than politics.
 

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Governments and insurance companies don't help with motorcycle sales either. My province makes it very difficult for new riders to get their licence and then they charge a fortune for insurance. Some people would gladly keep a bike to ride just a few times a year, but when you have to pay $2000 for insurance then it doesn't make it worth it if you don't ride regularly.
Which province?
 

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Which province?
Sask. They have a three step licence with a bunch of different regulations for each step, like no night riding, no riding with a passenger, no half helmets, and no bare arms. I think there are more but am not entirely sure on all the regulations. I moved from Alberta and was put in the middle licence for a year, my insurance also tripled in cost. I can opt to only insure my bike for the months that I ride, which I do, but If it got stolen during the winter I am probably screwed. I should probably check with my house insurance if I would be covered for that.
 

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When you put your price point for a toy at the prices a new daily driving car costs you have priced yourself out of the market. The younger generation can get the organ donor bikes brand new for the price of a 5-6 year old HD. Then you fall off the made in the USA by having a majority of your parts made in China. Then at the same time start chasing profit instead of quality and pride in workmanship. This is where you loose the non brand loyal people of the USA.
 

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I rode metric bikes from 18 to 33 years old, sold my last one in 1992 and swore I would never buy another bike until I could afford a Harley. It was 2003 before I got my first Harley which was an 04 Fat Boy, since then I purchased a Street Glide in 2006 and just bought a 19 RGS. I am a boomer as well and I agree I am not the future of Harley the 19 RGS will most likely be the last bike I buy. I want to see HD survive so I hope they continue to innovate and find a new market and a younger demographic, they have to or they won't survive.
 
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