You have all missed the MOST important group of A-holes on bikes: The Ones That Don't Agree With Me And Don't Ride What I Think Is Cool (or Best). Those damn guys are FA**OTS, J**KOF*S, COMMIE, PINKO, DISLOYAL, UNAMERICAN, LAZY, LEFTWING, WELFARE GRABBING, RACIST, RIGHTWING, CONSERVATIVE, LIBERAL, BASTARDS!!!!!!! RIGHT? RIGHT? RIGHT? RIGHT? If you don't agree.......................(Did I miss anyone?)
For some inane reason American's (I being one raised and born) seem to opine to the fallacy of yesteryear and the all-but-tired "retro" rubbish. This is as inane as Harley having to going to Porsche to design the V-Rod, when we have more than enough brainpower and American resources to have surpassed what Porsche produced and then H-D slaps a label on saying it and All-American. Again, further rubbish. Why is the greatest country on earth so "retro"active when by all accords we should be proactive for once. I was speaking a Harley-Davidson employee at the CycleWorld show (he was very courteous and professional) and he asked me why I was no longer interested in H-D? My response, "I've seen the same bike lineup, with the exception of the V-Rod, for over ten years now massaged into in form or another...its tired and sagging."
Come on America wake-up and get with it! I'll accord H-D the credit it deserves when it earns it. If all you H-D fanatics still stand by your H-D, then I suggest you all go back to your "Happy Days" and dream of what was and never will be again. Wake-up for Pete's sake it's the 21st century!
So as a high school teacher, you'd agree that the typical teenaged student ISN'T a victim of marketing?
I'm sure there are the exceptions, but so far I've only met under 35's riding HDs purely for the "I wanna be a bad a$$" motif. My neighbor is one, and after riding his girlfriend's sport bike, he feels a little ripped off.
Your RIGHT Sean, according to the Edmunds.com web site the 350Z performance version is in fact 3 lbs heavier than the Corvette, Even more surprising given the larger engine and overall dimensions of the Corvette, Sadly, when you're as Idiotic as I am, you're focus has always been motorcycles
Exactly as I thought although one would expect the dealers to be up on this and have the alignment perfect during setup of the bike.
That's why I take mine to an independent mechanic who also happens to be my neighbor. Plus while my bike is down I can talk him into letting me borrow one of the rigid, stretch choppers that he builds.
My only point was there are plenty of people under 35 that want harleys. I have a 24 year old riding buddy who has a an old shovelhead (because that was the only Harley he could afford) who has had miss out riding on a couple of occassions because his bike is always haing something wrong with it. When we tease him about it he just says don't buy a Harley if you not willin' to work on it.
I totally agree with people of ANY age buying into the bad-ass motif, but KPaul is wrong about the under 35 crowd not buying Harleys in the future.
Now, if you can in any way read that as saying "All Corvette owners are "poseurs", I guess I wasn't very clear, but I certainly thought I spoke to this guy alone. Now, are you saying there are no Corvette "poseurs", or just that you aren't one? I get confused easy.
Why, thats absurd, Kpaul is an engineer, with other engineers working under him [eeew], He's a legend in his own mind, out-standing in his field! He predicted the death of V-twins in racing, and by-golly Ducati builds a V-4 GP bike! pretty soon Hardley-Ableson will be building inline fours that look suspisously like ZX6 engine's, just ask him!
You are correct that for the most part, the basic appearance of the Harleys have not changed for quite some time. However, to say the bikes have only been "massaged" would be incredibly inaccurate. Not only have there been completely new engine designs that -- given their design brief -- are quite impressive, every model has received new frames, suspension, engine management (unitl recently, the fuel injection introduced on Softails, added to the touring line for '02) was among the most sophisticated on the market. Very little that would fit on a 1992 Harley would fit on a 2002.
Harleys do what they are designed to do very well. Though relatively young (now 28), between the ages of 22 and 26 I put about 35000 miles on two harleys, most of the miles with my wife on the back, almost none of the miles in any group setting (unless you count my mom and dad).
Harleys are not sportbikes, nor are they intended to be. People that ride them do not intend them to be sportbikes. Think modern Ford T-Bird vs. the Corvette; one a cruiser, the other a sports car.
As for Porsche being called in to help on the V-Rod (their work only on the engine, by the way), this is not unusual in the least. Porshe's consulting/engineering arm is the source of a great deal of the company's profits. They have even done work for Mercedes. One of the reasons given by Harley for the help from Porsche was that they were more concerned with making the TC88 50 state legal while maintaining an air cooled design.
As for me, I like almost all bikes. But I love Harleys and Buells. They make me smile. I test ride other brands on occasion; in my heart I want to love the Falco, for example, but it fails to move me. And in the end, that is what motorcycling must be about -- finding the bike that moves you on an emotional level. If I find a bike other than my M2 cyclone that will do that, I will jump on it (that bike is not the Firebolt, by the way, a bike I enjoyed by felt no connection to).
As we all know, there ARE plenty of Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche, Harley, Ducati and GSXYZFCBRPDQ poseurs.
Your statement of "A guy who owns a Corvette talking about posers" certainly APPEARS to imply that you believe that Corvette owners talking about poseurs is akin to the Pot calling the Kettle Black Forgive me if I reacted based on what you appeared to imply.
Very well written and accepted on my part. Please read some additional H-D business driven decisions in magazines such as Business 2.0 and other business periodicals--not biker magazines. Here you will learn that H-D itself is struggling with where to go next concerning their marketing and their target market. The best thing H-D can do is lose the "retro" and move up as they have in the V-Rod. Retro's dead and I don't know why America keeps trying to go back to what wasn't all that good anyway.
As far as Buells, I love 'em. I only wish H-D would let Erik do what he needs and wants to do in the engine departure. H-D is overlooking a treasure in their own backyard (typical H-D) by not supporting Erik more. The Lightning XB9S may shortly find its way into my garage because it represents some of the best America has to offer on the sportbike scene and it suits me fine as a cut-loose hooligan romp of a bike.
I agree that Harley will have to expand the V-Rod line. But despite doom and gloom forcasts, Harley continues to set sales records year after year. It can't go on forever, but there will always be some market for their core product. The hardest thing for Harley to do is to expand their product line without p*ssing off core constituents. The V-Rod is a first step.
And you you still couldn't help that little dig about business mags. Can't accept that someone who rides a Harley may be intelligent? I responded to the portion of your post that made sweeping generalizations, not future business decisions. Besides, business mags routinely praise HD for the amount of money they put back into R&D/product research. They have to figure out what comes next, but they seem well equipped to do so despite the naysayers.
Business magazines were not meant to be a dig--to the contrary. In my discussions with H-D personnel they all state that their market is changing. This can be seen at one the H-D stores near me where H-D owners pull up in Porsche's and BMW's and the guy who comes looking something out of Easy Rider stands out like a sore thumb; never said H-D owners were not intelligent. America is developing into enclaves, whether it be cultural, ethnically, social/economic or through its habits. What H-D is selling now (again, other than the V-Rod) will surely lose its future market place. Americans, if anything, are fickle and trendy (And yes you can say that I am indeed stating that for many H-D owners it is a false status and wannabees who know nothing of what motorcycling is truly about). H-D has that trend market, but mark my words--it will not last. So, H-D should get going because as the saying goes, "When your number one, there's no place to go but down."