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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't been on this forum for quite some time so let me come back with something that will get some riled up. Harley has announced that they will be introducing several smaller displacement models over the next several years. These new models will include adventure and streetfighter models, are they kidding? If you go back and look at posts I put out over the past years I advocated Harley do just that. Now I question the strategy as too little too late. When they did sell smaller displacement bikes back in the sixties through the eighties they simply bought Aermacchi ( an Italian company already producing small bikes) and didn't treat them as anything more than an afterthought with almost no continued development. Who really thinks Harley has the ability to design and build credible adventure or sport type bikes? My opinion is that Harley is declining in sales because their base consumers are aging out of the riding community and they are desperate to maintain sales supremacy. Indian is growing and younger beginners are going European or Japanese because they have smaller, cheaper models. Harleys are generally heavy and expensive and I for one don't believe the company has the expertise to pull it off.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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I guess they must have heard you, but only time will tell.
 

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Honestly I feel it's a little bit "damned if you do, damned if you don't". Their new bikes look fun as heck. Shoot, it looks like they're reviving Buell (at least in spirit). If I had the cash, I'd totally take that adventure bike or that street fighter.

However, they earned a negative reputation with the younger generations (like mine) that'll be very hard for them to shake. Aside from that, they'll also be competing with established players in the markets they're entering. I think they can succeed and it'll be interesting to watch it unfold.
 

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Just rode to the big city last weekend. More Harleys on the road than anything else. One even managed 145 kph. About 90. Met 3 guys from OZZ. 2 of them ride Harleys.
Might go to the road races this coming weekend. Harleys will be outnumbered about 100 to 1. Whether it works for them to make smaller bikes, who knows. Tough market to enter.

UK
 

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This could be interesting, Will the Street 500 make it? If H-D can accurately figure the demographics of the younger rider
and what kind of $$ they have to enter the great and exciting world of motorcycling and be able to build and sell a bike the
younger generation can get into really liking and being able to to afford, insurance included.

I think it is a pretty good idea, if you talk about the kind of power that is good for someone just getting into biking, not that
a novice can mount the street 500 and be totally safe, that depends on the person behind the bars but lets face it, bikes are
a lot more powerful than they were back in the 70's.

Something tells me though, that the Street 750 will be a better deal IMO, that if a would be rider can cough up enough for the
Street500, if it is possible to to swing the 750, he/she would rather do that, many younger riders I doubt can swing two bikes
and figuring they will lose something when they sell the 500 to get the 750, they'd be better off waiting a bit longer to get the
street 750 and they will probably keep the 750 somewhat longer before they opt for a larger more powerful bike.
 

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All I can say is, I hope they have some folks who know the street and adventure genres inside and out, and will listen to them. Otherwise, they're in for a drubbin'. If the product's not just right -- well, there are plenty of makers out there who've already refined those lines in to technological art forms that will be darned hard to beat.
 

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I think The Motor Company can do it. Their demise has been forecast many times. What HD can do better than anyone else is sell authenticity. They are not just a motorcycle but a lifestyle. And this comes from a Rice buyer, over and over.

Like the computers used to have clock speed, remember when we bought baed on clock speed? Well, the Japanese and the Euro folks can build ever faster machines but none of them ooze authenticity from their pours (well, maybe Ducati does).

If (when) I get a HD I want a 2005ish Sportster Roadster with the 1200cc engine. And I will not freaking care that a Yamaha MT-07 (my new machine) can run circles around it whilst on one wheel. A HD is not about handling or acceleration (oh, maybe a little) or having a new high tech rev it up to 140000 RPM engine, it is about tradition, being out there, being real, being authentic. Why not, if they can cross breed a little of than DNA into some urban street bikes or an adventure bike, why not? But they need to carve their own canyon, not copy a Honda or a Yamaha.

And Honda, you too are authentic, if you could just remember that you are the motorcycle the Boomers loved before you lost your way building four cylinder crotch rockets and pretend Harleys. Well, not entirely, there is the Gold Wing, that is pretty darn authentic just like a new Black Bomber would be in a 650 (instead of a 450). Nobody builds a better UJM than Honda, if they just would put that old time build quality in like they used to.
 

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If Harley had a smaller commuter bike when I was looking for mine, I would have considered it. And I may consider one in the future. It better not be made in a 3rd world country though. I'd rather have a 30 year old junker from Japan than a brand new bike from China.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Does Harley have experience in building smaller displacement bikes or forty years perfecting adventure bikes? That is my point. The last time Harley actually built their own small bikes was over fifty maybe sixty years ago. New engines, new frames, decent suspension and brakes, kind of a steep learning curve to get over in only a few years, especially going into markets other companies have dominated for many years. On top of that Harley is not exactly known for taking too many risks.
 

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If Harley had a smaller commuter bike when I was looking for mine, I would have considered it. And I may consider one in the future. It better not be made in a 3rd world country though. I'd rather have a 30 year old junker from Japan than a brand new bike from China.
I am with you on that Fiskens, I can't say when or where but some bike magazine, and online too. They make the bike look
so good you can't get it out of your mind till it is sitting in your driveway, get in a few good trips and then, and THEN TROUBLE!
all of a freaking sudden, it is virtually impossible to get the part you need to get your knees back in the breeze, Heck I'd even go
back to riding my old 71Honda SL-125 before I bought a Chinese bike, we or I remember what they did with dog food, tooth paste
and wall board.
 

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I am with you on that Fiskens, I can't say when or where but some bike magazine, and online too. They make the bike look
so good you can't get it out of your mind till it is sitting in your driveway, get in a few good trips and then, and THEN TROUBLE!
all of a freaking sudden, it is virtually impossible to get the part you need to get your knees back in the breeze, Heck I'd even go
back to riding my old 71Honda SL-125 before I bought a Chinese bike, we or I remember what they did with dog food, tooth paste
and wall board.
Yep. It may be unfair of me, as they are almost certainly getting better. But I will always remember the school teacher from Belize who came here asking which bike he should buy. He wanted a bike because the school was atop a mountain and he had to ride all the way up on a school bus everyday. With a bike he could zip up there and not spend two more hours a day with all the kids. There were three choices; two were Chinese and one was a Yamaha. He was leaning towards a Chinese bike because the Yamaha would soak up most of his extra cash, and besides, it was October and he only had to make it through June. I adamantly suggested he buy the Yamaha, and most everyone agreed with me. He bought the Chinese bike. For the rest of the year he was in the tech section asking all the guys how to get it running.


More than that, what bothers me is that the quality bike manufacturers will likely feel the need to cut corners and make inferior products to try to compete with the low prices these pieces of **** fetch. So 10 years from now we won't be able to buy a quality bike because the consumer sent the message to manufacturers that all they care about is price.
 

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Polaris got the message apparently. When I was looking I was down to two choices. Indian and Victory. I could have got the Victory for a lot less but it felt cheap. The engine was great and handling was better than most but every time I closed any of the luggage it felt cheap as could be. I don't think I was alone either. I hope they don't go back to cheap with Indian as the bean counters cut every penny they can off Indian. But if Yamaha had then what they have now I'm honestly not sure which one I would have gotten. Suspect still Indian but who knows. Fit/finish, handling, reliability and price. Pick your order. I will admit that Harley was on my list but reliability got it over price. I really like not having to fix or have something fixed every 4 or 5 thousand miles.
 

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Things that will never enter into my bike buying decisions include perceived authenticity, lifestyle, tradition and fake nationalism. Things I care about are performance, look, quality, initial cost and cost of ownership. Any company delivering the latter has my attention.
 

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I'm still a supporter of Chinese bikes. :p The quality is most certainly on the upswing and the far reaches of the Internet means many/most parts are only $20 and are a mail carrier away from your doorstep. Sure, they aren't as good as established players, but they aren't the near-wholly awful machines they used to be. The Chinese is copying from South Korea's automotive industry playbook of increasing quality while still undercutting the mainstream brands.

That said, I finally figured out what my dream bikes are...





*Fans self* is it hot in here or is it just me?
 

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On The Road Again!
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That said, I finally figured out what my dream bikes are...



*Fans self* is it hot in here or is it just me?
I saw a BEAUTIFUL one of those at Bike Night a couple of weeks ago.
I spotted it from a long distance off and made a beeline for it.
The owner was surprised that I knew what it was, since most
people walked right by it without a second glance.
 

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About the two bikes above.

A 650 Suzuki V twin will smoke the CBX Honda, cost a lot less, stop better, handle better, and be more fun to ride. But I do understand the appeal.

The 750 Water Buffalo used a lot of gas and was not very fast. The Suzuki would do the same to this bike.

I can lust over old iron, but when it comes time to check my wallet, I start to get practical.

Let me know when Harley makes a 500 that can outperform my 83 XS400 Yamaha. 360 pounds and 45 hp. No vibration.

UK
 

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I will never purchase a gun, knife or motorcycle from China. I do my best to not buy China Inc. whenever possible even if I pay significantly more for the item made in a democracy, even if not the USA.

How did a question about new Harley efforts to get into the Gen X/Y market morph into vintage motorcycles and China ****?
 

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I will never purchase a gun, knife or motorcycle from China. I do my best to not buy China Inc. whenever possible even if I pay significantly more for the item made in a democracy, even if not the USA.

How did a question about new Harley efforts to get into the Gen X/Y market morph into vintage motorcycles and China ****?
That's what happens in casual talking. It's neighborly and one of the things that makes this site neat. Pick a subject, any subject, and one comment leads to another and it just worms all over. Just like if you were talking to your neighbor over the fence or a cup of coffee. Controllers do have trouble with it though.:devil:
 

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About the two bikes above.

A 650 Suzuki V twin will smoke the CBX Honda, cost a lot less, stop better, handle better, and be more fun to ride. But I do understand the appeal.

The 750 Water Buffalo used a lot of gas and was not very fast. The Suzuki would do the same to this bike.

I can lust over old iron, but when it comes time to check my wallet, I start to get practical.

Let me know when Harley makes a 500 that can outperform my 83 XS400 Yamaha. 360 pounds and 45 hp. No vibration.

UK
Oh I know. I'm venturing down a dangerous path with my love for old iron and janky clones. I know the CBX and RE5 (rotary, baby!) are probably the worst choices for people wanting a reliable bike (and that probably explains why every example I see is barely broken in lol) but I'm not known for taking the most logical approach to any hobby. *hides computer collection*

The fourth space in my motorcycle collection is still open. At first I wanted a Grom clone...buuut we all know I'll instead probably get something old enough to be my dad. Maybe I'll scratch my two stroke itch. :)
 

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Just rode to the big city last weekend. More Harleys on the road than anything else. One even managed 145 kph. About 90.

UK
I'm not sure of the point your trying to make with the "one even managed 145 kph.." comment. If you are implying only one of the bikes was capable I must call B.S. I've got an old '99 Road Glide and cruise at 95 MPH regularly and for extended periods of time. It's not got the performance of my BMW but 90 is no problem. If your referring to only one of the riders making 145 kph, I might have to agree with you're accusation as a rule. I know no matter what I'm riding I seem to PASS more Harley riders than any other make.
 
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