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I am always amazed how so many people get fooled by brand image and the associated marketing. Take off the identifying markings of HD, and Ducati, etc and the prices that demanded for those same bikes would fall significantly given a reasonable sized sales volume. People WANT to pay more to be associated with a PERCEIVED higher status. Why else for the obnoxious logos on everything we buy.



In addition, HD has finally stepped up to the plate and joined modern performance design/charecteristics. I also own a ZRX, but even with its very good dyno specs, its still essentially a 15 year old engine - but that's what helps make it RELIABLE. Perhaps, the new HD will also become reliable...I am still hoping that Buell will become a solid performer some day.



All in all, I don't believe in acting like dog, by sniffing at all the other dogs butts (bikes). The more bike manufacturers are competing, the better the bike and hopefully value, we consumers will receive. And maybe one day, us riders will grow up and quit caring about the image of the company's brand and only care if the bike we ride makes us happy.

 

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Re: Sleepless nights

Better is relative. It won't matter if they build a bike that can blow the doors off John Force, if it does not read Harley-Davidson across the gas tank they will still maintain their measily market share.
 

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Re: blah

H-D is not marketing this bike to people who ride SV 650s and long for WRXs. Ducati is the same way with their 996. They are going after customers who have deposits on new M3s or have an E420 sport in the garage and for whom the price of the bike is not their number 1 concern. Personally I've never met a motorcycle I didn't like, but I've seen a lot I wouldn't buy. I have a deposit on one at list but probobly won't get it unless it blows me away in person.
 

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Re: Amazing!? Why?

I'm not positive, but isn't that 600 lb figure dry? add in fuel, oil, and antifreeze, and you'll be on the far side of 650lbs, no? So in reality, I doubt there will be a huge difference in performance for any of the power cruisers (V-rod, VTX, Road Star Warrior, and possibly the 750 Magna and Valk). As a class, they'll smoke the regular V-twin crowd, but you're still only talking low 12 second quarter mile times...and that is in a straight line, nevermind around corners.

I think giving this style of bike more horsepower will probably result in more accidents initially untill their riders learn the importance of "corner entry speed" a heretofore unnecessary concept for most...
 

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Marketing Monsters

They owe that supply/demand superiority to a truly phenominal marketing program that coincided with the Reagan "Proud to Buy American" years. Lets face facts: People didn't buy HD 'cuz you got performance, or even a good deal; people bought HD because they felt like badasses, and in the days of power ties, junk bonds and disposable income a little individuality was a good thing.
 

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True,

This probably says a lot more about the American people than it does about the people behind Harley-Davidson. Hey, lots of people voted for Gore too. It is clear that there are a lot of idiots living in the United States. You have to look at Harley's current race effort if you want evidence of the magnitude of their ineptness.
 

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There's that same theme again, "bring the price down", I just don't think it will happen. The high price is some of what makes it (seem) exclusive. (Although I see many people riding Harleys that don't look like they otherwise have enough money for a cup of coffee.) If it cost less it wouldn't be nearly as exclusive, and people would stop buying them. Or everybody would buy them, either way it ruins the whole exclusivity thing.



I'm not saying I disagree, I just don't see the perceived value in style and name brand. I ride a CBR600F4, and many people think it has bland styling. I disagree, and I love the bike. I wouldn't pay another 25-50-100% just for a bike that has character, like a Ducati, wiht similar performance. Besides most of those bikes that have character, also require more maintenance, or more cost more when the maintenance is done. I have a bike to ride it, not to show my status in life. But that's some people's idea of motorcycling.
 

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Re: Oh, We

"Oh, We're an Expert in Moto-Economics, Are We?"

Please keep your smart ass comments to your self. Just like everybody else here, it is just my opinion.

Fast food??? I don't remember saying anything about eating fast food. By the way I don't, for health reasons mainly, but also for the points you made.

I understand your point with the $200 million dollar thing, but even $200 million dollars out of BMW pockets is not much. It's all relative. Besides you said it yourself, nobody knows how much it cost to engineer.

What makes a modern, liquid-cooled motorcycle so chaep to make? Depends. They got Porsche to do it for them. As I recall Porsche did something similiar recently. Went from air to liquid cooling. Harley would have definitely benefited from their research and experience. This would more than likely help reduce the cost of R&D.

As for the Hyundai, yes that is exactly what I am saying. The air bags (driver and passenger) alone are probably worth the front end of the V-Rod.

You said it yourself, all the extra steel, and lets not forget the cardboard ;)

As for the limited run; I doubt it. Maybe for the V-Rod, or maybe just for the silver V-Rod. A brand new engine for 11,00 units? I don't think so. The V-Rods future value will be in its historical significance to Harley.

This is the beginning of the end of the air cooled V-twin.
 

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Yeah, well, anyway.....

When I buy a cruiser, I want the biggest badass cruiser I can get. Therefore, I will buy the VTX. Honda has out-Harleyed Harley with that bike. This V-Rod thing might be a neat little effort for them, like when I par a hole at Valley View down in Belle Plain. Hey, cool. Phil Mickelson, however, is laying down birdie after birdie in major PGA tournaments. Didn't I also hear somewhere that torque was the most important thing on a cruiser? How much torque does the VTX make? Oh yeah, MUCH MORE.

As I have said before, Harley needs to offer obscene amounts of money to lure engineers away from Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki before I would consider buying one. Porche may make some neat cars, but it will take a hurculean effort to drag Harley-Davidson kicking and screaming in the 20th (let alone the 21st) century.
 

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Bargain Bikes

I agree. Obviously, MO has to do new bikes for 95% of their stuff, cause that's what manufacturers sell. But I think an article or two on good used machines (how to find 'em, what to look for, what to avoid) would be useful for those of us who are on a budget.

I love the budget bike shootouts and hope you do a 2001 version (although frankly, there wasn't a lot of movement in this sector over the past year).

Also, MO kind of ignores readers who've never ridden before. Is there even a link to MSF on the site? What is the best first bike? Maybe this needs its own discussion. I read all these stories about people buying a 600 supersport as a first bike because they are inexpensive and have a "small" engine. Some kind of guidance for the newbies would be nice.
 

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Re: Sleepless nights

Oh, you mean like the 1800 Goldwing coming out so soon after the 1200(forget the letters) BMW? Oh, but it seems the Goldwing has already had two recalls. My buddy's is pushing its third week in the shop. You mean THAT type of reaction?
 
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