I agree with you. Don't make the mistake a large Chicago based (used to be in Seattle) aerospace company made a few years ago. The lesson learned from that deal was wait till they go under then buy the parts at garage sale prices and trash the poor management who ran them into the ground. In this case I wish Harley could buy the rights to Aprilia's V-Twin and stick in the Firebolt. You have convinced me that companies like Ducati, Aprilia, Triumph, and Buell can't compete head to head with 4 Japanese powerhouses. These guys need to stick to market niches.
Re: again the HD faithfull refuse to admit that change is possible
Yep you're right. I'll still love the Daytona lines though. Not sure I am ready for a naked bike yet A friend who has been riding for several years says the progression you go from sport bikes then to nakeds or sport tourers, then to cruisers. He just bought a Yamaha Road Star. Beautiful bike. The women at the office sure like it.
Realitiy check for Aprilia. Could Triumph be next??
Buz and you are right about Aprilia. Like you said the lesson is you don't go head to head with the Japanese and Ducati already has the Italian Sportbike niche. I hope Triumph can stay in the game but I am starting to accept what you told me a long time ago that they are probably doomed if they go head to head with Japan Inc. At a dealer that sells all the Japanese makes, I sat on the new CBR, R1. GSXR and ZX10 talk about bad ergos. I had to go back out in the parking lot and sit on my Ninja to make sure I wasn't missing something. I don't think the world needs any more race replicas regardless where they are made.
[*]Japan continues quality management which is why in the long run they win.
[*]Americans got the quality religon then quit, because it s tough and requires too many changes in management mindset[*] Now the fad is for US companies is to be integrators not a manufacturers. i.e. outsource (offshore) the design, parts and then assembly it in the U.S. This why we are losing manufacturing jobs at a record rate.