Actually, I think it would make for a pretty funny feature to get one Harley from each of the 5 "families" (Dyna, Sportster, etc) and take them to a track to grind the floorboards to dust. Maybe add in a cruiser from each of the big 4, and a Victory and see who can get the best lap times.
I agree that Harley tests can't hurt. I would definitely prefer a Harley if I were to jet off with my wife on a month-long western tour of the USA versus using my 599cc Triumph, even if I feel quite the opposite about general use: a smaller, more nimble bike is superior to a Harley for commuting, weekend rides, and track days.
I think XR750 inspired Sportsters could compare well with Monsters and other nekkid bikes for general use. I got absolutely smoked by one back in '99 up on Skyline. The guy was hauling.
Also, Buell tests could be used as platforms from which to broadcast our appeals to HD for a new Buell engine made specifically to match the engineering excellence of their chassis. If HD took the risk to create the V-rod engine, why not create a new engine purpose built for Buells?
In September, Sportbiketacktime.com is hosting a cruiser only day at Mid Ohio. Go figure. Even the instuctors aren't sure how this is going to play out. A series of parade laps around the track? Long slices into the asphalt with spetacular dispays of sparks as floor boards grind away in the Keyhole? Might be fun to go and watch. Does Sharkskins make body work for a Softail?
Harley doesn't get the key to future success is one word.
That one word is Buell.. I read an article in Bike magazine (UK) that said if I a youg rider has a great experience with their first bike they become loyal buyers of that brand more times than not. In order to get the next generation to buy V-Rods you better get them on Buells first.....That means spending more money on Buell...