From what I read about all this criticism of Harley and their prices and poor US citizens getting ripped off, are your gun laws so lax that someone holds a gun to a poor suckers head and makes him buy a Harley? If not then it sounds like who can complain if you are told the price and you opt to buy the product. It was your choice.
Me, I wouldn't buy a Harley but I wouldn't complain on behalf of those that have - that is their business.
In little old New Zealand we seem to suffer exchange rate changes to our detriment at times and benefit at others - its all about timing and I guess stock prices are the same. I bought my VFR in 1994 (such a good bike I still have it) and paid about $18,500 NZ for it. If I had waited two years or so I could have bought the same model for $15,950 because our buck was stronger. Then our buck crashed a bit and prices have gone to more like $23,000. The buck has strengthened again so I expect prices to fall again.
What am I rambling about? Does all this mean I should have waited forever just so I could be sure I bought a bike at the right price? Nah, I bought it to ride and that may be a different reason to why all Harley guys buy theirs. So they have their reason and that is right for them and does anyone else have the right to tell them they were wrong?
The Motor Company's job in marketing is to keep predicting their market and understanding why dudes will keep buying the product. So far it looks like the company has done a pretty good job, even if a whole lot of you don't like the product. However, they can't rest on their laurels because tastes do change.
As long as you are on two wheels you are having fun - right?
I wave at Harley guys and they don't wave back - but I'm going to keep on waving because that is what I do. Freedom of choice huh!
Ride on Highwayman, Way High Man and Burns.
Merv - Way Low Man - as I am a short ass but my VFR fits nicely.
i think the point is that in that same period, the age of teh average harley buyer is also increasing,m its gone from something like 36-45 or something like that.
The problem is that what happens when the aver age age approaches 55 and a number of riders decide to stop riding? if the age doesnt drop who are the up and comers to replace the buyers? If harley doesnt start to attract the yournger buyers, they will run into problems. And yes i realize they try to through buell and the Vrod, but they STILL aint gettin any younger.
So i would say there is definitely an age dilemna, but it is on the horizon yet. I think an article placed it at about 2018 or so, this problem would realize itself by then. In the mean time, there is alot harley could do to lower that.
OH, and the thing that REALLY steams me about harleys is how much they go on about tradition, when they SHUN their tradition. Through the 1950's, HALF of the companies existance, they were in competition for some of the premier racing in the world. They were the sportbikes of the day. ANd now? They say cruisers are there tradition. what a crock.
Harley was cutting edge from the 1900's to the 1950's. Reading a book about the history of harley, in 1954 i think they had the kmodel, there was a racing version sold that was rated at 100hp and 390 lbs. Why cant they do now what they did in 1954??? How is that not heritage???
Oh, and oddly enough, in the late 60's/early 70's they made a bike, just a prototype, of an inline 4. They decided to scrap it, but a year later Honda made a bike strikingly similar, which ended up being the CB750
Interestingly, my dad got a dyna in 98, he was 47 or so. Then he added a roadking in 2000, at 49. in 2002 he traded the dyna for a honda cbr1100XX, and recently traded the road king for a new goldwing.
Goes to show to goes both ways. He likes to ride 30,000 miles a year or so. He bought the blackbird because it was way mroe exciting then either, and the goldwing for its comfort.
Ahh my friend Beta. This is where you lose me. You start talking about "injustice." No one was forced into a dealership at gunpoint and forced to pay an inflated price for a Harley. With so many "superior" examples readily available elsewhere you would think the consumer would figure that out.
The beauty of our free-market capitalist society is that we have so many choices that others don't have. In the old Soviet Union people had to take their windshield wipers off of their cars when they parked because people would steal them. Can you imagine? I can walk into an auto parts store and have a choice of ten different brands of wipers that cost less than $5.
Perhaps you should respect the fact that those of us who enjoy H-D products aren't swayed by marketing but recognize that "the Motor Companies" bikes are excellent motorcycles to ride. Have you ridden one?
For the record I currently ride a Ducati and longride has a Ninja so it's not like we are unfamiliar with other styles of motorcycles.
The mind is like a parachute my friend, it only works when it's open.
"Injustice" may be too strong a term, but I was trying to explain to the other poster that criticism is not necessarily predicated on "spite", as he seems to believe.
I've ridden two Harleys, and they were fine for riding low and slow, but I honestly felt they were really overpriced for what they offered.
I'm not suggesting a return to Communism, but even our free-market capitalist society has consumer protection laws to prevent people from being ripped off. And those laws are in place because all too often, the consumer does not 'figure it out' for themselves.
Perhaps it could be argued that Harley buyers are not buying a bike, they're buying a lifestyle, and they consider the lifestyle to be worth the money spent. Seems kind of ludicrous, but the prices certainly don't make sense in terms of the physical product received.
I try to keep an open mind, but whenever I tell others to look at the man behind the curtain, they tell me shut up and bow down before The Great and Mighty Oz. Such is life.
DOS was OK. and you got a marvellous thing called color - not many colors, maybe, but better than the monochrome Mac..
I rode the seventies bikes, and I would rather ride the wife's XL1200S than any of the old things - at least it handles and (sort of) stops.
She likes it coz it is the only sporty bike that isn't too tall for her (5ft2) that is not a 250. After 25 years riding, she wants grunt, not wailing revs with some power.
The main Harley market is mainly people that admired bikes, rather than rode them along time ago, so it will probably continue for some time. Especially when the BikerBoyz clones write themselves off by riding bikes MUCH faster than they are.
It is much less threatening to buy a cruiser than a full on sports bike, and people don't expect speed and wild antics on one. Though the dress of some of these "dudes" (on both cruiser and sport) does inspire some humor!! As for the guys that crunch themselves on to a sport bike to commute to work and then never take the thing past 15 deg. lean, they are the real masochists.
I believe consumer protection laws are designed to protect people from false advertising and such.
People who purchase Harleys know exactly what they're getting and what they're getting into. Considering the higher entry price of most H-Ds you'd have to agree if those buyers are smart enough to earn that kind of money they have every right to blow it as they see fit.
I'm not into SUVs, designer water, or fancy jewelry but if someone else wants to blow their hard-earned dough on that stuff it's ok with me.