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I think one of the main issues here is how long they extended the warranty for the bad cam. The article doesn't say. Also, how many bikes were affected?



Harley seems to have admitted a design flaw. Sounds to me like there should be a recall. If I owned a Twin Cam and that cam went bad after the warranty extension expired, they’d have one hell of a fight getting 495 bones out of me. I can be mean when it comes to robbery. And even meaner if I’m stuck on the side of the road with a broken cam and nothing to do but ponder why I’m being inconvenienced and how much time I’m wasting.



I just need to say this: While I appreciate all motorcycles, and admire Harley Davidson for their great business and branding success, the Harley Cult’s loyalty seems to be taken advantage of here. I understand the lure of HD lifestyle brand and the appeal of exclusivity as well as anyone (yes, I am in Advertising), but this smells of a particular kind of arrogance. The same kind that of arrogance that got them beaten up by the British manufacturers, and later, the Japanese. Let them eat cake?



This is why I too ride a Kawasaki.



Then again, I don’t have all the info here. So if anyone else does, please enlighten me.

 

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Oh, I do have to add this: The lawsuit was a bit silly. Harley could just claim that as far as they knew, they had a great design until a flaw was discovered. You won't win a suit over commercial ad copy unless there is a gross inaccuracy in the content. Remember "Let the buyer beware."



The real problem is how The Motor Company is handling the problem with their product.
 

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Re: Back Off Non-Harley People, the real problem was...

So who's fault is that? It may not have been a design flaw, but it's still Harley's product, regardless of who the OEM parts supplier was. Do you think it's fair to potentially ask a customer to pay for a poor choice of bearing supplier?

Did they replace all of the cam sets with the bad bearings?

And the reason why Harley re-sale values are so high is that there are a certain group of people who are willing to pay blood for a motorcycle that, by most objective measures, is mediocre at best (excepting the V-Rod). They've bought a brand image and a membership in a particular club. Nothing wrong with that if that's what you want. In fact, I admire the marketing sense that Harley has employed. But I RIDE a motorcycle that I enjoy because of it's performance on the road, not because of it's performance in the blue book. If anyone gets a similar satisfaction from simply being seen on a Harley, God bless 'em. That's their choice.

But let's see what happens to those resale values as Harley keeps ramping up production. Hope they've got another V-Rod up their sleeves.
 

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The court made the right decision. Does anyone really think that Harley would place an ad that they knew was patently wrong? And that seems to be the issue here. The plaintiff is claiming that HD knew they had a design problem when they ran the ad. I have no idea how anyone could prove that. Contrary to popular belief, a smart advertiser will not place a "great" ad for a defective product. That's suicide. This is the main reason why companies who invest heavily in their brands through advertising and marketing (becoming "brand names") are actually insuring the public that they get high quality products. It comes down to accountabilty. A company with a brand that they've invested a lot of money in is not going to jeopardize that investment (and the brand) by intentionally producing crapola. Do they occasionally make mistakes? Is there a problem every now and then? Of course. But for the most part, you're going to get a good product because their brand name holds the company accountable for the products they produce.



What I object to is the idea that the customers have to wait until the thing breaks to get it fixed. And if the part is out of warranty, they have to pay! That IS poor brand management and a sign that HD is showing some troubling arrogance.



I'd really like to know how many bikes were affected. But if Harley has issued a warranty extension and a fix kit, it says that their is a potential problem (even with the pressure from the legal suit.) So to say that the bearing/cam failure could never happen is wrong.
 

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Nope, I don't. And if I did, I wouldn't defend Kawasaki either. My bike has had a couple of recalls that were attended to. No problem.



But I do have a brother and a freind who own Harleys. And while they've been happy overall with the quaility of the bikes, they're not entirely happy with the dealer service or the price gouging. They understand they paid a premium for the "Harley experience," but they feel that they are sometimes taken for granted.



Don't get me wrong, I want to see Harley prosper even though I will probably never buy one of their bikes (Thought about adding a XB12 to my garage, but I just couldn't justify the price). But because they are "The Motor Company" does not make them immune to critical review. Customer loyalty is great. Blind faith is dangerous. I think it's important to motorcycling in general to have a healthy HD. They have to nip problems like this in the bud to avoid the old stigmas from returning.
 

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Yeah, I know... I was out riding on Sunday and at least 75% of the bikes were HD (That will change as the as the Spring wears on, but there's a ton of 'em out there).



Okay, how about: what the Harley Cult THINKS is exclusivity. (Watch for those astronomical resale values to come down a bit.)



It's still hard for me to believe that someone would pay seven grand for a used 883 Sportster. Unreal.
 

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Re: Back Off Non-Harley People, the real problem was...

The difference here is that HD has admitted that there is a potential problem with the bearings/cams and issued a fix. To me, that says there is a significant number of problems or they expect problems to occur.

Now, they may never have another problem, and this thing will go away. But if they continue to have a significant number, they've made a mistake by not recalling. Time will tell.

BTW: GM, not known for having the highest quality standards either. I'd ream them good for that salt excuse.
 

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Notice I said "smart" advertiser. And American car makers in the 70's and 80's were certainly not acting smart. In fact, they did enormous damage to their brands that has taken decades, a lot of money, and a lot of work to begin to fix. And it almost killed them. They were arrogant at first–just did not take the Japanese competition seriously until it was too late and they were way behind.



You must admit that American cars are far better from a quality and performance standpoint, relative to import brands, than they were 30 years ago…or even ten years ago. In fact, we’d probably think they were even greater if we didn’t have Honda, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes and the other usual suspects to compare them with (but then again, we’d probably all still be driving K-cars). You can thank the Japanese and other quality imports (and the American manufacturers who decided to get their heads out of their asses) for that. American cars, by and large, are actually very good today, and getting better all the time. That is a direct result of learning from your competition and your mistakes.



Just like Harley had to get smarter to survive.



And if there’s one thing Harley is not, it’s a dumb marketer.



If you still think American cars are "bad," you’re still tainted by the stench of the old Big Three. Detroit still has work to do, but they’ve come a long way.



Nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising.

 

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Good point. I saw an ad for the L.L. Bean Edition of some Subaru. I'm thinking to myself, "someone is actually going to buy this friggin' thing."



Sort of like the 100th Anniversary Harleys. You might have to keep them another 100 years for them to be worth anything.
 
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