Re: Triumph Sounds Japan's Death Knell
1) Assuming that this argument has been around since the '50s, that has no bearing on its correctness today. In the '50s, bike manufacturers competed to see who could build the fastest bike. Today, the self-imposed 186 MPH top speed bike makers have adopted for Europe has made that contest moot. So now the contest vis-a-vis engines involves building the best powerplant that goes up to--but no faster than--186 MPH. Assuming that the Japanese have already done this and that the Europeans will continue with some success to pursue this goal, however slowly, total equilibrium will eventually be reached. That's just logic. The same applies to other constituent technologies, where barriers are imposed by physics, rather than people.
2) Favorably, as the article to which these comments pertain suggests.
3) There are some examples of brand loyalty, and the Gold Wing is probably the best. But I think we can agree that such examples are dwarfed by European brand loyalty, which is in turn dwarfed by Harley-Davidson owner enthusiasm. As to your other points, I don't believe engineering staff size is much of a factor, and manufacturing will continue to improve along with automation in general.
4) This is tantamount to saying that because Honda has a plant in Marysville, OH, they don't compete with General Motors. You lost me on this one.