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Tony,



You're rightt there is a mystique to the H-D brand, solidified by the biker gangs in the 60s and 70s, as well as by famous movies like "Easy Rider" (I don't think "Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man" helped out too much).



H-D has become an American Icon, just like baseball (arguably which is played better in Latin American countries, although the players do come to the US to play for the $$$), Jazz music, and Sousa Marches.



H-D will never lose that emotional appeal, but times will change. Can you image people from 1910 being told that Sears would drop its catalog service? Or that Woolworth's (another former American icon) would close its doors? When H-D produces enough bikes to meet demand, the prices will drop to competitive levels (which is why the USA placed higher tariffs on imported Japanse bikes for H-D in the first place), and everyone will be happy.



The market will never fall out, it will just change, and Harley knows that--just look at all the accessory parts and clothing they offer (all which seems to be of top quality).
 

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Polaris Sportbikes...

Give Polaris some time. They are doing okay at the moment (their stock is actually better than H-D's at the moment). They've added one bike a year to their motorcycle line. Currently there is a cruiser, a deluxe cruiser (comes accessoried for cruising), and a sportscruiser. The rumor mill has suggested that 3 things are going down with the Victory line.

First, they are feverishly working to create an actual touring bike, knowing that many current owners of Victory Motorcycles want this.

Second, they may discontinue the SportCruiser after this year, but we're not sure. Sales were not fantastic in its first year, but this year may pick up. Easy Rider just named the SC the "SportCruiser of the Year"

Third, rumors abound that Victory will produce a sportbike as well as a smaller entry-level cruiser. They are committed to the motorcycle market, and have goals to produce 20,000 motorcycles a year. Currently they manufacture about 4000 a year. H-D will make 26,000 Fat Boys alone in 2001, so you can see that Polaris offers no threat whatsoever. But what Polaris can do is to simply change things quicker than the large manufacturers. Since Polaris is committed to competitive snowmobiling, expect a sportbike eventually...it's in the blood of the company.
 

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Re: Motorcycles are fun for everyone! Even HD

You might not see them long, but you can usually get a heck of a deal on a bike that somebody just doesn't want anymore. I say, "GO MIDLIFE CRISIS!!!"
 
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