Harley Davidson will offer cheaper, lighter, and smaller motorcycles - Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Harley Davidson will offer cheaper, lighter, and smaller motorcycles

Matt Levatich, Harley Davidson's chief operating officer, said the company will offer bikes that are more physically and financially accessible at the Reuters Global Manufacturing and Transportation Summit this week. Increasing market share in emerging markets seems to be the goal.

"In the past, our market was predominantly core customers in the United States," Levatich said. "We see an opportunity, not to make (scooter-sized) bikes by any stretch, but to make Harley-Davidsons that are physically and financially accessible for emerging markets, for international markets, for the United States for that matter."

No plans are being made for manufacture outside of the US, although "complete-knock-down" assembly plants are being used in India and Brazil to get around tariff regulations in those countries. Harley Davidson has had issues with international partnerships in the past, specifically an Italian distributor who didn't promote the larger bikes as the company wished. Harley Davidson has so far resisted partnering with Chinese companies for the manufacture of motorcycles for sale in Asia.

"We feel we were aided in waiting a little bit and not getting in early with a JV partner that had a different idea of what the Harley brand could be or should be," Levatich said. "Part of the decision to go in on our own was because of the cleanup work we've had to do, a lot of the cleanup work was where we were buying out distributors and resetting the market."

The less expensive motorcycles are planned to be marketed in the US as well as emerging markets worldwide. Currently, Harley Davidson's exports amount to about 35% of it's sales, up from 25% just a few years ago. The motor company plans to have 40% of it's sales as exports by 2014.


[The Kneeslider | Reuters]

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 09:32 AM
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Can't wait to see what they have to offer in these new bikes.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 10:15 AM
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hmm.... This could be a good idea, especially if they made the branding slightly different to keep the imagined prestige of owning a "real" HD.

Like call the smaller group of bikes something like Harley Davidson Performance Series or something like that.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 10:54 AM
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Even the 883 is considered a big bike in many parts of the world. This put HD bikes out of ereach for a huge part of the international market. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 11:02 AM
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If they can make a 400 lb, 180 hp bike with a 100 cu. in., 45 degree pushrod V-twin with all-American parts and sell it for under $3000, they'll have a big hit on their hands.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 07:41 PM
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only took em what...20 years ? =P

This could mean big things for the 1200 Sportsters and the V-Rod
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 11:14 PM
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They also realize that their customer base is rapidly aging. Smaller, lighter, and cheaper bikes not only gets them into emerging markets, but may get them a younger buyer in the U.S.A.

They will definitely have to be called something different, or they will dilute the brand name.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 08:47 AM
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If they can make a 400 lb, 180 hp bike with a 100 cu. in., 45 degree pushrod V-twin with all-American parts and sell it for under $3000, they'll have a big hit on their hands.
Thats a joke right? The criteria are ALMOST possible, except for that one little problem with the price...Even the Japanese aren't pricing their bikes that low...

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 10:15 AM
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If they can make a 400 lb, 180 hp bike with a 100 cu. in., 45 degree pushrod V-twin with all-American parts and sell it for under $3000, they'll have a big hit on their hands.
Any manufacturer that hit those specs with a bike could sell them as fast as they could produce them. Harley needs to come up with a replacement for the Buell Blast, except that this one needs to be made overseas for the overseas markets. Many places overseas, motorcycles are primary transportation but American made bikes are crazy expensive because of tarifs and import taxes. The bike has to be made overseas to avoid the extra costs and be price competitive.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 10:30 AM
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I forgot, it has to be air-cooled.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodsfall View Post
Matt Levatich, Harley Davidson's chief operating officer, said the company will offer bikes that are more physically and financially accessible at the Reuters Global Manufacturing and Transportation Summit this week. Increasing market share in emerging markets seems to be the goal.

"In the past, our market was predominantly core customers in the United States," Levatich said. "We see an opportunity, not to make (scooter-sized) bikes by any stretch, but to make Harley-Davidsons that are physically and financially accessible for emerging markets, for international markets, for the United States for that matter."

No plans are being made for manufacture outside of the US, although "complete-knock-down" assembly plants are being used in India and Brazil to get around tariff regulations in those countries. Harley Davidson has had issues with international partnerships in the past, specifically an Italian distributor who didn't promote the larger bikes as the company wished. Harley Davidson has so far resisted partnering with Chinese companies for the manufacture of motorcycles for sale in Asia.

"We feel we were aided in waiting a little bit and not getting in early with a JV partner that had a different idea of what the Harley brand could be or should be," Levatich said. "Part of the decision to go in on our own was because of the cleanup work we've had to do, a lot of the cleanup work was where we were buying out distributors and resetting the market."

The less expensive motorcycles are planned to be marketed in the US as well as emerging markets worldwide. Currently, Harley Davidson's exports amount to about 35% of it's sales, up from 25% just a few years ago. The motor company plans to have 40% of it's sales as exports by 2014.


[The Kneeslider | Reuters]
I thought they tried this once before. [Buell]

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 02:42 PM
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They did. They had a good start with it (Buell Blast) and then they screwed it up....
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 03:20 PM
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I thought they tried this once before. [Buell]

Go back 60 years.





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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 01:27 PM
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Found this picture of a proposed 750 bike I found on Motorcyclist magazines site. Could be interesting.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 01:32 PM
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^ I would buy that in a heartbeat for under $7k
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 05:06 PM
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Found this picture of a proposed 750 bike I found on Motorcyclist magazines site. Could be interesting.
If they're gonna do this^^^^, seems to me like they should've just kept Buell...

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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 08:29 PM
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If they're gonna do this^^^^, seems to me like they should've just kept Buell...
Not that I disagree, but this bike will be made overseas for the foreign market. It may never actually make it here. Buell being American made would face the same tarifs and fees as the other Harley products in the foreign markets.
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 09:52 PM
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Not that I disagree, but this bike will be made overseas for the foreign market. It may never actually make it here. Buell being American made would face the same tarifs and fees as the other Harley products in the foreign markets.
I forgot that detail....

I think the bike pictured would sell very well (if it were priced and performed competitively) in the US. I really like the way that bike looks.

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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 10:05 PM
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I like the look too. I too would be concerned about brand preservation.

John Deere freely admits, that the (homeowner) version that big box stores sells, has tarnished their brand name. That's a ton of extra marketing dollar, that could have been saved with a little forethought.

I hope they do it right.

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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 11:57 AM
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I've worked for both Home Depot and Lowes. John Deere and all the other manufacturers know full well the risks and benefits beforehand and still rush full speed into the big box stores. It's a well known fact that the manufacturers cut corners and produce a cheaper product in order to meet the price point that these stores dictate to them beforehand. Shed no tears for John Deere or anyone else, I've seen the profit numbers they realized from those big box stores. They'd do it again in a heartbeat.
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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 12:00 PM
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I like the look too. I too would be concerned about brand preservation.

John Deere freely admits, that the (homeowner) version that big box stores sells, has tarnished their brand name. That's a ton of extra marketing dollar, that could have been saved with a little forethought.

I hope they do it right.
Brand preservation was what they quoted when the closed Buell. I never did understand that since they were different brands. I do agree with you on this one though. Who knows though, if they only sell them overseas, it may be that starter/intro bike that they need to get people interested in the brand.
I was in Turkey this year and was wearing a Harley hat. I got into a nice conversation with a shop owner about bikes. Over there it seems like EVERYBODY has, or has had, a bike. He wanted to know how big the engine was on my bike. I told him it was 1600 cc's and he did not believe me. He said that they do not make bikes with motors that big. Luckily I had a picture of my bike on my phone. He said that a 500 cc bike there is a big bike.
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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 08:55 AM
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Heh, I showed that concept bike pic to my wife and she said it was "cute" and recommended we get her one. LOL. Kinda looks like a reworked XR1200 with a smaller motor IMO, but I like the looks of it.

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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 01:17 PM
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So not to dilute the HD brand, what should the company call the bike company 'Davies'?

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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 01:23 PM
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something like "HD Performance" and make them look like Nortons.
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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 09:21 PM
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Light and powerful? Sounds good to me I can't wait to see what HD comes out with. The Triumph Street Triple R is 9k and arguably one of the best naked bikes out there. If HD can do something similar to that they'd have a huge hit on their hands, and I'd most likely buy one

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