What is H-D to do?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by DGS49, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. DGS49
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    DGS49 Gold Member

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    Why America's Favorite Motorcycle Company Is In a Serious Slide

    As pointed out in the linked article, Harley Davidson, while it remains a large and profitable company, is in a death spiral. It's main customers are getting too old to buy its expensive new bikes (the most profitable models), and its relatively cheap smaller bikes do not compare favorably with what is available from other makes.

    As I look over their product offerings on the company Website, they look to me like variations on the same theme. There are no adventure bikes, no dirt bikes, no sport bikes. In fact, with the death of the V-Rod, they don't sell anything I would have any interest in owning. And I'm a Boomer.

    There used to be a lot of quality problems with H-D, but I believe that situation no longer prevails. Apparently, Gen-X and younger buyers (assuming there are enough of them to sustain the market), simply have no interest in investing large sums of money in a depreciating hulk whose main selling point is the noise it makes. They also seem to fight being part of a "herd mentality," and even if they do like the concept of a "cruiser" they are willing to look at Yamaha ("Star"), Kawasaki, Indian, and other cruisers, and not just H-D.

    If they were willing to spend a chunk of their development capital on a new style of bike (for them), what should they build? A sport-touring bike? An Adventure Bike? A Sport Bike? An electric bike?

    Parenthetically I will add that in my geographical area (Western Pennsylvania), Harley is still the King. The vast majority of bikes one sees out and about are Harley's, most bike shops are nearly-exclusive with Harley's, and most of the motorcycle community either owns or aspires to own a Harley.

    My current ride is a Kawasaki Vaquero, which I believe is equivalent to a Road Glide.

    upload_2018-4-12_9-25-37.jpeg
     
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  2. TNHarley
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    TNHarley Diamond Member

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    They ask too much. Too much on EVERYTHING. An oil change kit for my engine and primary, with filter, cost about 80 bucks. I bought LUCAS synthetic and a drag specialties filter for 50.
    People dont want to spend 30K on a new bike when they can get one with 30 more HP for 8K. Sure they dont look as good, dont sound as good, and they dont have the name but for 22K less? At what point does HD think that stuff dont matter anymore?
     
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  3. Cellblock2429
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    Cellblock2429 Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    /——-/ 5 years ago my friend’s 30 something son bought a new Harley. His dream fulfilled. He rode it home, parked it in his parents garage and never rode it again. He made the payments and owns it outright. It just sits there. It hasn’t been started or serviced since day one. No explanation from the kid. Go figure,
     
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  4. BULLDOG
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    BULLDOG Diamond Member

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    If Harley owners enjoy their bikes more than I enjoy my rice burner that cost thousands less, I don't know how they can stand it. I couldn't afford a $25,000 toy that spends all winter taking up space in the garage.
     
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  5. TNHarley
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    TNHarley Diamond Member

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    Abuse!
    #LockHimUp
     
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  6. Moonglow
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    Moonglow BANNED

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    After scraping up brains from fellow coworkers and relatives after motorcycle accidents I gave up riding thirty years ago, back when we made choppers in da garage...
     
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  7. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Award Winning USMB Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Not many young riders are interested in the Harley experience which is more like cruising in an easy chair

    Also, Indian is re-entering their market
     
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  8. Moonglow
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    Moonglow BANNED

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    I never wanted to shell out the kinda dough that Harley wants for it's product, I can barely stand the prices I have to pay for a tractor and implements...
     
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  9. TNHarley
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    TNHarley Diamond Member

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    People ask me what i will do if i have a bad crash. I say "the same thing i do when i have a car wreck. Fix it or get a new one and be back on the road"
     
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  10. aaronleland
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    aaronleland Gold Member

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    Good. Motorcycle riders are assholes. Did you know they make a relatively safe mode of transportation with four wheels? Jackasses.
     
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