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· Loves All Motorcycles
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Honestly, even without the tariff and steel price problems HD will have a hard time. Simply not enough people are buying new motorcycles these days. HD maintains a 50% market share, but it's 50% of a shrinking market where everyone is scrambling to figure out how to get people to buy new bikes.
 

· On The Road Again!
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Harley is selling an image as much as a bike.
And it's an image that I don't care for, with beards, doo rags and leather jackets, and tatoos.
And the bikes they do sell are EXPENSIVE.
A kid walks into a Harley "boutique" and sees the THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLAR price tag on the bikes, and immediately gives up on the idea and goes back to twiddling his thumbs on his phone.

They, and other manufacturers, need to start promoting smaller, CHEAPER bikes.
They need to go back to the likes of Honda's famous promotion of the sixties, "You meet the nicest people on a Honda".
Just having the bikes isn't enough.
They have to SELL them to get younger people interested in the hobby.

In recent years, there have been a lot of new small bikes introduced, like
the Grom, the Cub, and a boatload of scooters. We read about them
here on the various bike forums. (preaching to the choir)
But do you see all the ads on TV promoting any of them to the
non riding general public??...The video commercials of average people
having fun on their scooter?
Nope!
And good luck finding a dealer who even has any of them in stock.
And a short while later you read that this company or that company has
pulled out of the American market.

Just my two cents.
 

· On The Road Again!
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I seem to remember seeing Caterham show bikes years ago. It took them a long time to get to the point of actually having a bike for sale.
So far, it's all been vaporware.
 

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I think Harley is trying hard to get away from the image they've been selling for so many years. The old school bikers from the '60s and '70s who are still buying motorcycles can afford Harleys, but they are getting older and buying fewer bikes. For some reason, they have had a hard time reaching younger riders and would-be riders.

HD gave my wife a free MSF rider course when I bought my big huge HD bagger. The class succeeded in turning her into an enthusiastic motorcyclist. She went out and bought a small, light BMW that looks cool and sleek.

Would a Harley be better for the street riding she likes to do? Maybe. But the style just doesn't grab her at all. We will see if the new Street Fighter gets her attention when it arrives for the 2020 model year. :)
 

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I think Harley is trying hard to get away from the image they've been selling for so many years. The old school bikers from the '60s and '70s who are still buying motorcycles can afford Harleys, but they are getting older and buying fewer bikes. For some reason, they have had a hard time reaching younger riders and would-be riders.

:)

I think they're not trying hard enough. For a few of years now I've been telling a riding buddy of mine (Harley rider) that Harley needs to forget about their old customer base which is slowly fading away, and start designing bikes that will appeal to the younger crowd and at an affordable price point. Indian started doing that a few years ago with the Scout, which they sold the hell out of. Now they're doing it even better with the 2019 Indian FTR 1200 starting at $12,900, $14,900 & $15,900. This is a naked bike that's fully loaded with a 4.5" touch screen, ABS, traction control, cruise control, electronically controlled suspension, and all at a price point that young people can afford. This thing looks more like a Ducati than an Indian, and you know who's buying the Ducati's, and you know who has been one of the strongest motorcycle manufacturers over the last 15 years, DUCATI. If Harley doesn't get off their butts and start addressing this issue like Indian has, they will be going away, plain and simple. Honestly, they deserve to fail because they should have recognized this years ago. History has proven that companies that don't make changes based on an ever changing marketplace, will die and go away.

Indian FTR1200


 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Nice looking bike for a Midget (No offence to Midget's) that wants to ride for short distances, with no luggage rack nor way to mount saddle bags. $15,000 is not affordable to LOTS of the younger crowd that are in their 30's, still live at home with their faces stuck in their electronic's, vicariously living life while working at BUGGER King:grin:

Indian Bikes are beautiful but have no heritage other than a NAME that has been passed around more than Madonna has.:wink2:

Being a new comer, there are still very few dealers around, unlike HD that is well established and everywhere.

Harley has great starter bikes in the 500-750cc range and the Sportster line with a buy back GUARANTEE for those that try the 883 or the 1200 and later decide they want a big twin model. Lots of their big twins can be bought for around that $15,000 price point and even the new 2019 Electra Glide standard is $18,999 and they are selling like a full stack of hotcakes at a Tractor show:grin: Very comfortable seat, cruise control, nice historic fairing, hard bags, the new Milwaukee 107 engine, 6 speeds and a 6 gallon gas tank and a 'Charisma' unavailable with any other brand. 1 year free HOG chapter membership---the largest owners group in the world:smile_big: A free LIFETIME powertrain warranty that kicks in after the initial warranty.:grin:

HD's been around since 1903. Indian has been around for what, 10 years or less (The name doesn't count):smile:

Harley will be around when you and I aren't:surprise: It is a Fraternity like my 'Sigma Chi,' from College and not just a bike but a Family:wink2:

I don't own a Harley now but I have had 3 in the past.

****** They are also super easy to work on which is a real plus to me as I do all of my own maintenance work.

Sam:nerd:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
They may again, REAL SOON:smile_big:

I still have 3 bikes in my Garage, made by one of the ex-evil axis countries: Japan:surprise: My other bikes have been from Germany and Italy, also ex-evil axis countries and 2 from Jolly ol' England:grin:

Sam:nerd:
 

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I think Harley really blew it with their new electric bike, the Livewire. Like it or not, I think the future of motorcycling is at least partially the electric bike genre, and Harley had the chance to offer this to a wide market through its name and extensive dealership network. But pricing it at $30,000 makes it a non-starter. A competitively priced electric bike with a decent range of about 100 miles would have killed the chances for Zero and other small companies entering this field. If Harley had priced the bike at about $12,000, even if that meant taking an initial loss, I think they would sell tons of them. And with volume, the production cost would drop so that eventually it would be profitable even at this price.
 

· Loves All Motorcycles
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I think Harley really blew it with their new electric bike, the Livewire. Like it or not, I think the future of motorcycling is at least partially the electric bike genre, and Harley had the chance to offer this to a wide market through its name and extensive dealership network. But pricing it at $30,000 makes it a non-starter. A competitively priced electric bike with a decent range of about 100 miles would have killed the chances for Zero and other small companies entering this field. If Harley had priced the bike at about $12,000, even if that meant taking an initial loss, I think they would sell tons of them. And with volume, the production cost would drop so that eventually it would be profitable even at this price.
Ooooh, in the aviation industry that would be called dumping (something Boeing tried to nab Bombardier for and ended up giving Airbus a massive win). When done right, it's a brilliant way to penetrate a market. Eat some cash at first, but start raking in the money after you have the market cornered.

I hope the Pan America is competitively priced and performs well. That's definitely a contender for the first brand new bike I buy. I just absolutely love the styling that looks like it's straight out of a Halo videogame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If I remember correctly, all of the Japanese motorcycle mfg's were found guilty of dumping to saturate the American market and the Japanese Govt, subsidized their loss so as not to affect the companies profit margins.

Sam :nerd:
 

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They've made some $2.5 billion the last 4 years...l think they'll be fine.

https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/HOG/financials?p=HOG
That's sounds impressive but the gross revenue numbers doesn't determine the success of a company, the bottom line (earnings) does. If you look at Harleys earnings based on those revenue numbers, they're pathetic and that's the problem. Without a decent operating profit you have no growth, no R&D to develop new product, and no funds for Harley to hire a good young gun engineer/designer to help develop product that might appeal to the younger market. That alone would cost them at least a quarter of their annual profits.


 

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Honestly, even without the tariff and steel price problems HD will have a hard time. Simply not enough people are buying new motorcycles these days. HD maintains a 50% market share, but it's 50% of a shrinking market where everyone is scrambling to figure out how to get people to buy new bikes.
Very true and younger people are not interested in Harleys they want sport tour bikes like the new Honda Goldwing and the sporty new trikes on the market Like CanAm and Endeavor.
It's a common issue with any company that the market changes and they adapt too late. Many 100 year old companies went extinct for this reason. Also the steel tariffs are killing manufactures and if continued will force industries to move to Mexico and other countries where the government is more friendly towards industry.
While many are against change electrics will be the future of all vehicles and that is also a change to deal with.
 

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Nice looking bike for a Midget (No offence to Midget's) that wants to ride for short distances, with no luggage rack nor way to mount saddle bags. $15,000 is not affordable to LOTS of the younger crowd that are in their 30's, still live at home with their faces stuck in their electronic's, vicariously living life while working at BUGGER King:grin:

Sam:nerd:
Yes, that bike might not appeal to guys or gals from our age group or generation (actually it does to me, but I also like fun sporty looking bikes), but it does appeal to the younger crowd. The younger crowd is not looking for saddlebags and luggage racks, they don't tour like we do. In general they're looking for a good looking, sporty, fun, affordable daily commuter. They dont need or use saddlebags and luggage racks, they strap bigger items to their seats and carry their electronics in their backpacks or tank bags. When I was young I never wanted saddlebags or luggage on any of my bikes. Way back then I rode around on a Kawasaki KZ900, A Yamaha RD 400 and a Suzuki GT750, I would have never even considered ruining the looks of those bikes with luggage. Now I'm much older and I appreciate the conveniences of having luggage, we all change with time.

My whole point that I was trying to make was that I think Harley needs to do more to appeal to the younger generations as their 65 and older customer base is slowly dying away, or they're going to smaller lighter bikes that they can still manage. Those smaller lighter bikes are not Harleys as their sales trend shows. I myself have never been a Harley fan. I've considered them once or twice, but never pulled the trigger because their just not my style. But I don't want to see the iconic American bike manufacturer go away either.
 

· Administrator - American Legion Rider - KA5LRS
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As an older dude, I'd love to see Harley come out with a downsized dresser. Half the horsepower, half the physical size and of course half the price of those big expensive things. That would still put them in the $20,000 area which would still be twice as much as the young guns want to spend. But a stripped down version of that downsized dresser would be very close to what they want. But isn't that a 500 or 750 Street? Maybe they are selling well where they are being produced but here I don't think they are getting a chance. I also feel the trend will be electric. Especially if you live in California which has a mandate to that end. Harley might be top heavy in management and if so they are likely never going to wake up soon enough to catch these next trends. Just my thoughts.
 

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I would love to see a new Harley Sportster styled like the original 1957. Very classy looking bike. Reminds me of the Royal Enfield 500 but with a v-twin. Standard/non-cruiser ergonomics. Harley would sell thousands. I've never ridden a Harley or been a fan but I'd buy this bike today. I doubt this idea will ever appear on Harley's radar. But look how many 23 hp bikes Royal Enfield sells on looks alone.
 
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