Motorcycle Forums banner

ABC News reports on motorcycles

15486 Views 81 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  KPaulCook
Great photo caption

I like the caption under the photo of the Goldwing riders: The average new Harley-Davidson motorcycle buyer is 45 years old and earns nearly $80,000.
21 - 40 of 82 Posts
Three HD comments:

1) How long will HD be able to promote the rebel image when you see so many HDs on the road? How can you be a rebel when you're just like all your neighbors?

2) That being said, I think HD has some appeal to younger customers. I'm 27, and I know many people my age who have bought HDs (VRods, Dueces, old lowriders). The V-Rod is a step in the right direction. How about the Rod's engine in the new XJ9R? I'd be interested if it was under $11k. Okay, never mind.

3) Try to follow me here: HD tries to cultivate an image about returning to your roots, ride what your grandpa rode, etc, even though very few of the current riders have any connection to HD. That's why so many of thier bikes use styling (and to some degree, technology) from the 1950's. Now many boomers are riding, and many of them have young kids. These kids will grow up as HD fans, cause it's what Dad had. Combine this with the fact that they'll probably still be able to buy a bike that looks like the bike they grew up riding on the back of, and I think that might help HD's future sales.

An interesting point in the article mentioned the growth of dual sports. A recent Cycle World shootout had the V-Strom tied with the VFR for best streetbike. With the popularity of SUVs in this country, it has definetly been shown that people want vehicles that can go off-road, even if they never even drive on gravel. Could this segment really explode? I have seen a lot of bumblebeemers lately...


See less See more
Re: Oh, I don't know...

My two cents about 'hair bands'

Some '80s "hair band" guitarists:

Eddie Van Halen

Steve Vai

Phil Collen

George Lynch

Paul Gilbert

Richie Sambora

Zakk Wylde

Vivian Campbell


Chris deGarmo

Positively every guitarist listed is an excellent musician.
See less See more
Ok Face it good people, Harleys pick up chicks.

Its the prefect midlife crisis tool. Your wife , if your still married, is spending all her time spending your hard earned bucks at the mall.

If your not still married, you probably still support her in some form. Or you at least want to drive by your old house, she and her boyfriend live in, on your harley with a 28 yearold blonde on the back. So you head down to the HD dealer and a used Fatboy for only 285 bucks a month is calling your name.

Thats alot cheaper than the Corvette you were looking at. Bingo instant born again rider.
Re: market share numbers

as repoted to motorcycle consumer news, market share is as follows

honda 28.8%

harley 23.3%

yamaha 19.4%

suzuki 12.0%

kawasaki 9.8%

bmw 1.6%

ktm 1.6%

buell .9%

triumph .8%

ducati .7%

indian .5%

polaris/victory .3%

aprilia .3%

mz .02%

there are also listings for total units sold but I don't have time to type that much. look in mcn july 2002 page 7 if you can find a copy.
See less See more
Re: Oh, I don't know...

Your right, Fizz. The 80s produced some positively great musicians. I especially like Eddie and Richie from your list.

My two cents still say that, thanks to MTV, the 80s also produced a lot of bands that looked better than they sounded.

And if video appearance can surpass musicianship for a lot of people, maybe "mystique" can surpass technology for those same people. That was my point, really.

If I'm wrong about MTV, then maybe Harley will be out of business in 20 years. KPaul, sell your stock before then :)
Perhaps some truth to that

I just had a Harley Electra Glide as a loaner while my Triumph was in for service. I only had it a couple of days, but now that I have actually ridden a Harley I have a slightly different perspective than I did before.

1. Even with stock pipes it is loud. It may not be as loud as it would be with straight pipes, but it is still a whole lot louder than any other bike I have ridden.

2. It gets a whole lot of attention, mostly favorable, from people who don't ride. That includes attention from women who have shown no interest in my sportbike. If you want to pick up chicks, the Harley seems to be the tool of choice.

3. It is the first vehicle of any kind that I didn't feel the urge to test for top speed. I suppose you could do that, but that is missing the point. It was fun just to putt along on the Harley. There is joy in that, too.

4. It is low tech, but you don't notice that as much as its mass. You feel the mass rotating beneath you, and it feels like a locomotive- immensely strong if not particularly agile or quick.

5. It is very comfortable. Even more forward footpegs would be hard on the back, but the Harley was a whole lot more comfortable than a BMW R1100RT that I put some miles on. Vibration was there but was not really the problem that I expected.

So, those of us who ride sportbikes should ride one of these things before judging them. If I were going to ride across the country many times, I would seriously consider one of those monsters. If my main reason for riding was to get attention, I would want one even more. As it is, I commute on my TT600 and go on longer rides of 400 to 600 miles in a given day, and the sportbike is great for that kind of thing.

One last thing, I am a 42 year old bald guy, so I can't really grow a grey pony tail, and I am still married to my first and, I hope, only wife, so I don't really need to pick up chicks right now.
See less See more
Ride to Work

It is great to see the mainstream media reporting Ride to Work Day, even if it is not much more than a passing reference.

I ride year round, and it always amazes me when the bikes come out in the sun. I am probably one bike out of 1000 or more bigger vehicles in January, but the ratio gets much better in July.

The more we ride, the more visible we will be and the more mainstream acceptance we will get.
Re: Perhaps some truth to that

Wait a minute...

1. It's loud.

2. Gets attention.

3. It's slow.

4. It's low-tech and immense.

5. It's comfortable.

I guess there some days out of the year where I'd like to ride a Mardi Gras parade float. Chicks dig it.
See less See more
Re: Oh, I don't know...

Actually, the point could be made that '80's MTV produced a lot of bands that sounded better than they looked----as opposed to today, where that trend is reversed. Most "artists" (whatever happened to the term 'musicians'?) on MTV today don't play an instrument or write any songs. They have makeup applied and stand around humming a few bars for the camera. MTV should be renamed 'Model TeleVision' (of course, 'Lil 'Kim and Pink both look like 10 miles of bad road, so maybe not.)
My personal opinion is that people don't buy SUV's because they want a vehicle that goes off-road----they buy them because they want 4-wheel drive for snow (I live in Minnesota), decent power (for towing perhaps) and space. In days gone by, most cars could tow the family boat. Today, most cars are not recommended for towing a trailer with two snowmobiles. It's hard to find a car with this mix of features.
Market Share Vs. Profit

I looked at the figures posted below your comment by mattg and began to wonder about market share vs. profit. i.e. Ducati w/0.7% of the market, yet making record profits. It would be great to know if say BMW (1.6%) reported a profit of $10 million and Suzuki (12% or 7.5 times BMW) reported a profit of $20 million, then we get a really good picture of the profit per bike. I dunno, just curious. I really wonder which is the most profitable motorcycle company.
I think the reason is simple. Cost.

The average cost of a H-D is almost $16000, about double the avg. cost of the bikes from the Japanese Mfgrs. Most young bikers can't afford to ride a H-D.
SUM - Sports Utility Motorcycle

The safari bikes are definitely selling here is Swampeast Missouri. I just got the 600 mile service on my R1100SBX and there were a few of the R1150 G/S Adventure mega-dualsports heading out the door. One bike, I know for sure, was purchased because of the buyer's friend purchasing the other. These are big bikes w/ 30 liter fuel tanks, an optional granny gear for "crawling over rough ground" and huge aluminum luggage. Imagine tipping this top-heavy monster out in the boonies, in the mud! BMW will need to sell a optional winch kit that bolts on in lieu of the rear wheel so the granny gear can drag the bike out! I think BMW is trying to build the Hummer of motorcylces. People want what they want and there is no accounting for taste, so who knows what people will buy in the future. I do know that if I had the means to do so, I would do the Jay Leno thing - buy it and ride it. Why be limited?
Great Point Sparky: Re: ABC News reports on motorcycles

To resurect the old argument, if Harley built an airplane, would you fly in it?

I would have no problem flying in a Honda built aircraft :)
Re: Perhaps some truth to that

Being married with 2 kids, I could care less about picking up chicks. Doing so could be financially ruinous.

On the other hand, I do need 120 horsepower and 160 mph top end. That has it's costs as well, but speeding tickets are cheaper than child support and alimoney :)
The newset MCN has those statistics. BMW sold 12,484 bikes in the US last year, and Triumph sold 6,366 As a contrast, Honda sold 219,584, and Harley sold 177,681, with Yamaha in third with 147,991. Suzuki was next with 91,780. Followed by Kawasaki with 75,047After that they all drop off. MZ sold 102 bikes here last year, and Aprilia sold 1,949 what amazes me is KTM sold 12,350 !
It was a positive viewpoint, for a change. I wonder what percentage of riders are long-term i.e. > 10 years? All the guys I used to ride with a couple of years ago had been doing that for a long time. That would be an interesting stat. When all the "boomers" finally die off, where will the industry be? I'm a late boomer and so probably have another 20 years of riding ahead of me. What about the rest of you who read MO?
The truth about my Harley thing, my mom the biker chick

OK the truth is my mother was a biker chick back in the 70s and I was conceived on the back of a Sportster (not a 1200 but the lowly 883). While she was pregnant she abducted by Aliens in Yuma Arizona. Ever since then she and I have hated Harleys. I think E.T. is a Ducati/BMW/Kawasaki/Triumph lover ok and he zapped both of us with something.
On this note:

I am looking for a bike. I don't think my Ducati Monster is going to be practical anymore: I am joining the Marines.

However, I am unwilling to be without a bike. I am turning hardcore.

I'm 6'3", thin, with a long torso and shorter legs. 34' waist, 34 inseam, 42 long suit jacket, 16' neck.

I like to ride and ride quickly. I will be needing decent weather protection, and maintenace intervals and costs can't be too brutal because lets face it, the military doesn't get paid much. I'm not afraid to do a bit of work on the bike though: right side up forks would be nice.

I really love my twin, but I am willing to go with a four. I think the SV650 will be too small, as I will be riding home on leave to Chicago from probably a coast somewhere. Currently I have a monster 750 and I was dragging the kickstand yesterday.

So, reliable, cheap, responsive, good ebnough to tour on, and someone reasonable maintenance. I am looking CBR600 (ugh), ZX-6R, maybe a VFR 750 or 800. I would like to stay Italian (god, I even love Guzzis..I am depraved) but it's just not going to happen.

Is it possible to learn to do 2 valve air cooled maintenance on one's own? Because I so want a 900ss...even if my head says no.

What would you guys recommend?

--The Fox
See less See more
Re: On this note:

Duh, I forgot: not too heavy. They will ship my bike overseas, but there IS a weight limit. And this will be my olnly transportation, even in winter. I will probably be adding a 12v plug for heated gear, as well as wiring in some heated grips.

--The Fox
21 - 40 of 82 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.