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Re: Harley math

Punctuation is our friend--I normally don't sweat this sort of thing, but I had to re-read your post several times before I understood what you were getting at.

That said, if you're concerned with restoring a 70s vintage bike and replacing "whole engines," I sure hope you're doing it because you ENJOY it, not doing it because it's economically practical. Buying a 1985-90 CB750 would probably be significantly cheaper than getting a 1976 Superglide running smoothly--ESPECIALLY if you have to swap out a "whole engine." Heck, last summer I met a guy selling a 1980 CX500 that ran beautifully for $1000 obo. If all you cared about was economics, buying that CX would make a whole lot more sense than either struggling with a 550 that was having trouble OR working with a 1976 HD.

If you want to restore that old Superglide, by all means do it. It sounds like a really fun project, and it sounds like you really like the bike. But don't do it because you feel it's less expensive than dealing with Japanese machinery. That's simply not true.
 

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Re: Harley math

You reveal yourself the more you write. Where did the unpatriotic statement come from??? Have a hangup?? What do you care what anyone says?

I do agree with your last statement - people should ride what they want. Even your own conclusion states that either way, one buyer is not fiscally better than the other and it should go by what people prefer.

Would you agree that your first pointwas to state that the HD buyer was NOT better off? You have now come full circle to your above statement, it doesn't matter what the price, just go ride!!

I, in counter to you, do not agree with the savings argument because of two reasons - your interest rates are agressive (current rates are much lower given the average consumers ability to earn it and 2) Americans do not save - they spend (generally).
 

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Here's my holiday two-cents worth:



1- Yes, congrats to H-D for running a successful business, which is their mandate, first and foremost.



2- I'm an owner of two used Evos, never to buy any of the new models because they don't appeal to me in the least. The V-Rod is a joke, a bad one.



3- The comparison to cost of H-D s an investment vs Jap bikes is stupid, as is the notion the Jap bikes aren't "disposable". Of course they are! The marketing behind those is just as focused as H-Ds, but on the other end of the spectrum. One company sells the "history and "tradition", the other pushes the "technology advancement", "radical styling and performance" angle. The Jap companies WANT you to plan on buying a new model every year. How many sport bikes do you see out there that are more than 10 yrs. old? I can tell you in my part of the country they few and far between. I owned several and did manage to keep them 10 yrs or more but I was the only one in my group that did.



4- Everyone has their preferences, that's why God made chocolate and vanilla, I'll leave it at that...Happy Holidays to all!
 

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My bike

Yep. Saturday was the day at the dealership. The Shadow is a great bike--took care of me perfectly for 4 years--but it wasn't right for my interests and wants anymore. The SV had me hooked from 50 feet into the test-ride.
 

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Re: Harley math

The whole unpatriotic thing--something I have experienced in person many times, as well as on these forums. Getting that sort of attitude is why I don't go to motorcycle rallies anymore. It's one of the reasons that some people bash HD riders--they don't realize that the jingoistic a-holes on HDs are a vocal minority.

Why do I care what they say? Well, when they say it to my face, it's unpleasant. I don't care what they THINK, but when they get in my face about it, it is irritating. I don't like being falsely called a traitor to my nation--it's just that simple.

I do believe that economics don't matter, you should just go ride. HOWEVER, I also believe that buying an $8000 Kawasaki is just as economically practical as a $20,000 Harley, so long as you invest the rest (I am earning 4% APR on my savings account right now, and banks are not extra-generous to sometimes-employed starving college students, so I know 4% APR is not an unfairly high #). The two ideas are not mutually exclusive.

If you didn't have $20,000 to begin with, then the argument is moot--as in my situation. I could afford to drop $6k for a bike, but I simply did not have the $20k for a non-depreciating bike--even if I thought it WOULD make more sense in the long run.

As for "Americans do not save - they spend"--well, in that case, buying a cheaper bike lets you buy $12,000 extra toys that you couldn't have had with the $20k bike. Buy someone who admits that "they don't save, they spend" should not be basing the purchase of a recreational motorcycle on economic practicality instead of fun factor.

As a final important point--I was not trying to state that buying Japanese makes MORE sense than buying Harley-Davidson--just that it makes AS MUCH sense. Interest rates differ, and people do not ack with 100% economic sensibility, but the sentiment that "buying Japanese is economic suicide because the bikes depreciate in value" leaves too many factors out of the equation.

Keep the rubber side down,

Eric
 

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Re: I think you missed the point.

OK, so let's say Harley's a twice the price of a Japanese bike. Is it all that much better when you compare 10 Japanese bikes with a house?

An average car costs $20,000. How about 5 cars?

And what about Sportsters, which cost around $6,000? Or Dyna Standards for around $11,000. Or Softail Standards for around $13,000. Or Electraglide Standards for around $14,000. I mean there's a whole bunch of non-FatBoys out there. And the MSRP for them is around $15,000.

I'm not bragging about what I'm worth. Los Angeles is an expensive place to live and a cheap house here in a marginal neighborhood is $250,000. If you're ever offered a job here, keep that in mind when they make you an offer. And I didn't pay $500,000 for the house, that's just what it has appreciated to. I couldn't afford to buy the same house today, no way, no how.

People act like $20,000 is this immense amount of money, but when you consider how much cars cost, a lot of people must have that much to spend on their vehicles. If you're serious about riding, you spend more on the bike and buy a car for when you can't ride, for whatever reason.

I know I spent what I consider a lot of money on my Harley, as did my wife. About $14,000 out the door. But the bikes are our main transportation, and we ride around 15,000 miles a year. If they were just toys to take out on weekends, we wouldn't have bought them. They're an integral part of our lives.

Y'know what really gets me? Here in LA, Harleys go for MSRP. But in Oklahoma where people make less money, the dealers rip people off to the tune of $3-6K over MSRP, and people *pay* it. It's just unbelievable to me.

TMS--Los Angeles
 

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Re: Harley math

OK, you compare an $8,000 motorcycle with a $20,000 from Harley.

The assumption is that because some Harleys can cost $20,000 if you load them up with enough accessories, that all Harleys cost that much.

Instead you could just as easily say a Harley costs $6,000 because that's what a Sportster costs. So you spend $6,000 on a Sportster, which in 10 years will still be worth $6,000 (because the cost of new bikes then will be higher), plus you save $2,000 over the price of the $8,000 Japanese bike which you can invest.

See the point? You're comparing apples and oranges. If you were to compare an $8,000 Sportster to an $8,000 Honda, you come out way ahead of the Honda because of the depreciation.

You *can* spend $20,000 on a Gold Wing, btw.

My degree was in Journalism, BTW, with a minor in Marketing, and I make a living as an animator. Which I taught myself to do. Economics was part of the Marketing minor.

One last thing, I didn't get my first Harley until I was 38, and couldn't buy a house until I was 36. Even then, I couldn't have done it unless I had a working wife, who has bought two Harleys of her own. When I was in college, the only bike I could afford was a 6 year old CB750, and I never owned a brand new vehicle of any sort until I was 33.

When I was in college, I could barely afford my books and sometimes lived in my car, which wasn't running very often. Hence the bike. If I assessed the value of things by the money I had in college, I would have thought McDonald's was overpriced. Apartments and dorms certainly were to me at the time.

TMS--Los Angeles
 

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Re: Bravo!,...Harley Davidson is #1

Dude, you are my hero.

A Ducati 996 / HD Roadking rider. The Duc is for track days and strafing corners. While the HD is just for riding. A custom built Softail old school looking chopper is next on the menu. I was thinking of a rigid but I live in the North East where roads are too tough for an old guy hitting forty.

BTW don't sell the Mille it's a keeper long after the walk of progress marches on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Re: Harley math

You may not care about the rebel image, but most do. How else can you explain the costumes? There is no reason to wear that stuff except for the image. Chaps? Fringe? It's all image. BTW, since you're not into the image, your riding gear is kevlar, right? No fringe?

And I do think the people on Touring HDs get into the rebel thing, just look what they're wearing. When is the last time you saw someone on an electraglide with a full face helmet and an aerostich roadcrafter?

As far as the number of motorcycles owned vs. the number in the country, the average bike only gets ridden 2000 miles a year (I'm assuming this is also a good estimate for HDs), which means there are many bikes out there not being ridden at all. And there are not 250,000 new HD riders (enthusiasts maybe, riders no) each year. Therefore, more and more bikes are essentially being treated as collectables, by that I mean just left under cover in the garage. And you know what happens to the price of collectables when the supply goes up. There are only so many people who can justify having a $6-20k bike in the garage that is not being ridden, and when the supply of those people is exhausted, I see the price of HDs falling.

I do think that this (owning, but not riding an expensive bike) is primarily a HD phenomenon. I really don't know anyone with a $15k BMW or wing or aprilia that doesn't ride it.

grover750
 

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Re: Bravo!,...Harley Davidson is #1

I loved my 996S, but traded toward the Mille R because I'm 6'2" and the Mille gives me more room to move around without feeling cramped. I've been on the track with the Mille R, and now that I have the hang of it--easier to go fast than on my former Duck.

The old school look seems to be growing in popularity. I'm planning on selling my R1 and R6 and am looking at the Big Dog Bulldog or American Ironhorse Slammer. I rode a American Ironhorse Tejas (rigid) during a demo ride and agree--too much of a beating. I've got a strong back and am still fairly young at 34, but I wouldn't stay that way beating myself up on a hardtail. The wide rear tires don't help due to their low profile/stiff construction.

I plan on keeping the Mille R, largely because it is unique compared to most sportbikes I see in my neck of the woods.

Merry Christmas
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
They don't have to be disposable. They get treated like they're disposable because they are not worth anything. I've got two extremely reliable 1970's Hondas, that are worth $2k combined. My wife and I went from Minnesota to Alaska and back (via Arizona) in June on a '78 GoldWing I bought for $950. Why aren't they worth anything? Why are the junkyards full of 70s and 80s japenese bikes, and not HDs?



Old japenese bikes that are not worth anything get purchased by broke people who park them outside, don't change the oil, and drop them off at a junkyard when a starter goes bad. HDs are purchased by people with heated garages, brought to the dealerships for oil changes, and lavished with extras.



If the old Japenese bikes were treated like the HDs, would they still be running great? ABSOLUTELY. If the HDs were treated like the old jap bikes, would they be in junkyards? ABSOLUTELY.



So why?



Marketing. Marketing has artificially kept the price of HDs high, causing people want HDs for reasons other than riding. Since there is a limited number of riders out there, prices for other bikes drops. Since the price is low, they're bought by broke people, stored outside, etc. How else can one explain the acres of 70s japenese bikes in the junkyards, when in the 70s japenese bikes were CLEARLY of higher quality than the AMF Harleys? (anyone who argues against that needs a history lesson)



Japenese bikes wear out because they're not worth anything. HDs don't because they are worth something.



Obviously, not all HDs are treated like royalty, and not all japenese bikes are treated like crap (just look in my garage). But, the general trends control the pricing, not the exceptions.



That's my theory and I'm stickin' to it,



grover750

 

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Re: Harley math

StarvingStudent, you always get the 'goat' of the HD people when you make these statements, don't you??? It's much fun, but also enjoy your civility about it. There's too much hatred that goes on when HD is mentioned in this post.
 

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Re: I think you missed the point.

Once again, I see the point, but I am talking about the RATIO. I screwed up my inital post. I was saying take 5 harleys vs. a house.

What I should have talked about is the ratio.

1 Harley($20k) = 1/5th of a home ($100K) vs.

1 Japanese Bike ($10K) = 1/10th of a home ($100K).

Now this makes 10k for me a decent chunk of change.

1 Harley ($20k) = 1/10th of a home ($200k) vs

1 Japanese Bike ($10K) = 1/20th of a home($200k).

Here, the ratio is different. My home is worth $100k...a $20k Harley is just too much money; they are priced outside of what I consider a reasonable depreciable asset as opposed to my assets that don't depreciate. Now if I had more assets that were appriceating ($200k house) I could allow myself the luxury of the Hog.

All these fictional (and simplified) figures mean is that I feel Harley Davidson has priced themselves outside of the average FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE person. I caps that because I could go out and get a Harley. The credit companies would let me, but I know that it would be an unnecessary risk for me to do so...if I lost my job, or had an accident, etc., etc., I know I could not pay my bills with $20k note over me. Now then, I can afford that $10k jap bike and still stay under my means...

BTW sorry about that. I admit I have some class prejudice that I have a hard time getting past sometimes. I'm from Chicago, where I think houses that go for $125k are too much $$$ for what you get. LA real estate must be rough...I was thinking of going out there for the police force too. Must be hard to fuind a decent place to live making $40k a year.

--Foxy
 

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SRe: I think you missed the point.

"All these fictional (and simplified) figures mean is that I feel Harley Davidson has priced themselves outside of the average FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE person."

...except for fiscally responsible individuals with more disposable income than you or me, like those in the upper-middle-class and upper classes. Sure, you and I can't afford a $20,000 HD, but we also can't afford a 996SPS, a Brutale Series Oro, an Aprilia Tuono, etc--yet HD seems to get _all_ the flames for selling an expensive product.

When I was passing through Wyoming last summer, I noticed that you could get a HUGE home on a big tract of land for $100k, and gas was $1.15 a gallon (when it was $2/gallon in Chicago). Sure, there's no night life, but it sure did tempt me...
 
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