I think it could only bolster the market share for HD to a point of monopoly in a good way--much like Polaris or another giant General Motors. Harley is becoming the multi-conglom of the two wheeles indutry which would only improve the breed since HD has allways gone it's own way in terms of stylying,and now that they have found that quality is even more important than style buying out another american company and keeping jobs right here in the U.S. it would be a home run. Mix and match components between KTM & Cannon via Suzuki/kawasaki and you have an instant dominating force with many different faces!
I have not thought through how it might fit strategically into Harley Davidson, but my first reaction is, YEAH! Go for it!
The Cannondale is sorta like an off-road Buell -- creative, innovative ideas that needed better capital and manufacturing expertise. We have seen the continued improvement if Buells, without losing Eric's vision, and I bet Harley's influence could do the same for Cannondale.
With the move to more dirt-bike based short-track racers, this might fit into their competition plans too.
A street-going SuperMoto style version of the Cannondale could be a good stablemate to the recent streetfighter-styled Buells.
When a real American man wants to explore the off-road wonders of this great land, he wants to know that he can do it on a piece of real American iron, and not an atrociteur-cycle. He wants to fill his big hairy American chest with clean American air in the backwoods, where men are men and sheep are nervous.
That's when he throws his leather chap covered leg over a genuine Cannondale/Harley and kick starts his way into the American dream. All the while the Atrociteurs are quaking at the sound of his 125cc steed. Once again true men can ride the back trails with pride, and the atrociteurs run with their tails between their legs (not to mention the sheep).
Polaris would be a better fit since they are already offroad focused with their quads and snowmobiles. Also since snowcross riders ride motorcross this would be a good sponcership thang as they could keep their same riders in the summer and winter. Just how deep are their pockets...
Dang, where do I make my offer???? I'd do a better job managing them than you-know-who. There was a rumor out about 3 years ago that Cannondale was going to build a V-Twin streetbike. Watch out Buell Lightning, here comes the El_Flaco Furioso.
Um... There are already Black and Orange dirtbikes out there, they are called KTMs.
I really hope this is not the case. I would rather see HD buy KTM--then they wouldn't actually have to build Buell a decent engine, they could use the new V2 that KTM developed. How cool would that engine be in a Buell chassis? I'm guessing very...
Whereas on the otherhand, what do they get with Cannondale? Another company with unique, but underperforming hardware.
OTOH, if they do, it could mean HD money trickling into SuperMotard, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Hey man, do you have 3 hands? You said "...on the othehand....OTOH...." which either implies that you have 3 (or more) hands, or that you are now back to the first hand ;-)
Seriously, I believe that there was talk, awhile back, of KTM being acquired by Harley, but I don't know that they now are for sale. They are on a huge roll marketwise and Harley may have missed their window of opportunity.
I agree that I would love to see that V-Twin in a Buell. Guess I'll have to wait for the new V-Twin Duke sometime later this year (or so I hear).
Wait as second. I thought, after reading the previous comments on this site, that Harley does Cruisers only because it makes no financial sense to expand into areas that demand updates, progress and change (aka sportbikes) every two years. Also how does this tie into there "core competancey" (or what ever the latest catch phase in buisness is). Last time I checked the dirt bike world is just as cutthroat. If they buy cannondale then they are right in the midst of one of the most competative markets in motorcycledom.
Well, Harley used to make dirt bikes in another life, eons ago.
I personally think that the modern design and modern technology that Cannondale brings to the table would dovetail very nicely with the V-Rod, and would put Harley on the road to a very progressive future.
Lets face it, air cooled engines and push rods can only go so far, the way things are nowadays, it is only a matter of time before the EPA puts a lid on it. Style can only cover your behind for so long.
So I think Harley should go for it before somebody else grabs Cannondale.
You raise some good points. I was commentating from the prospective of a consumer/fan -- that is, what is the best chance for Cannondale to survive and continue producing bikes. Unlike KPaul, I am not a Harley Davidson shareholder, so am not so concerned with whether it makes sense to them.
The dirt bike market is certainly more competitive than Harley is used to, but I suspect that it is less "change for the sake of change" envoronment than is the Japanese sportbike market. The high-end 4stroke dirtbike market seem to be more stable -- don't see everyone deciding that they gotta get rid of the Husaburg cause some magazine tester just reported that the VOR was a couple of a tenths faster around the local track.
As an owner of 4 HD dirtbikes(Italian made),Im all for it.Actually,I think it would make sense only if they develope smaller entry level bikes.Harley desperately needs to get teenagers and early 20 folks into the fold.The Cannondale is a big bore hi priced bike suitable for experienced riders,who most likely will go for the faster competition. As much as I would like to see it,I think it would be a mistake;I dont think the Cannondale can be a major player in the highly competitive big bore market unless it is bought by a company that already makes smaller bikes.