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You're correct. While Kaw and Suzuki have been having their problems, Honda and Yamaha have had profitable motorcycle sales all along due in large part to bread-&-butter sales of small motorcycles in Asian/3rd world countries where they are the main form of transportation. (FWIW some of those countries get bikes that would make current Harleys look like technology showcases, such as the venerable Honda Cub --you sell whatever it is the local yokels want and the Japanese are just as guilty as H-D or more accurately, just as market-savvy on the turf they know best).
 

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Re: This is opinionated BS

> Some people think HD's have good tech, engineering, innovation, reliability, pricing, racing and competitive products.

Perhaps, but attaching "good racing" and "good innovation" to Harley-Davidson is a bit of a stretch. Why not just say that HDs deliver a "fun factor" (for you) that no other bike does? That's all that matters in the end, right?
 

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Maybe the Bonnie and the Sportster have stirred more emotions _in you_ than any Japanese motorcycle ever, but remember that beauty or "emotion" is in the eye of the beholder, not within the motorcycle design itself. I know plenty of people--myself included--who can get rubber-kneed over the sexiness of certain Japanese motorcycles. I have to consciously avoid drooling when I stop riding my SV long enough to stare at it. But I also have friends who think the Sportster 1200 is the sexiest thing ever. I even once met a guy who swore that MZ supermotards were the sexiest bikes ever built. Eye of the beholder.
 

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The biggest difference between you and I is I RODE the bikes you TALK about. You talk as if you know what those bikes were about, and you were in diapers when they were made. Again, since there is no frame of reference, then you probably would be rubber-kneed with your disposable machine. Right up until the next one comes along, and ole rubber-knee machine flies in the trashcan. Like I said, I have NO QUARREL with any bike you like or ANY Japanese machine. Please refrain from telling me about what a Bonnie or a Sporty was about though. The Japanese never made such machines and never will. Like comparing a 57 Chevy to an Acura. One is legendary and one will never be.
 

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technological skills? marketing skills? takin a good long look at a harley lately. dont let the old pushrod design engine fool you. it is full of good hardy quality engineering. now take a look at the quality of the components that make the machine. the lack of chinsy plastics and cover-ups to try to make things "look" better. the reason the japanese havent conquered the market on cruisers is they just havent found the "magic" that makes a harley special. it isnt just marketing my friend. it goes way deeper than that. ride one for real and feel what we feel. i rode cutting edge japanese bikes for years and they never gave me the feel my harley gives me. gotta be some kind of technology involved there. marketing? selling a high quality piece of machinery with an excellent resale value as opposed to ???
 

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being gouged? cmon! there are plenty of "affordable" bikes out there, new or used. hell of a comparison though. how about putting 5 $20,000 diamonds next to a 100,000 house. people buy them. it isnt about price. its about what an individual is willing to spend for their enjoyment. the only place you are getting gouged is in your thinking. and by the way...it is there. ride one and feel what we feel. open your mind first, it'll help. a shrink might think youre angry because you want what you cant afford from your statements. by the way...the loyal following isnt from weakness. its from the strength we have as a group. call it what you might. until youve experienced it you just wont understand. by the way...i still enjoy riding an occasional "other" brand and have owned my share in the past. they just dont have it though. if i have to explain.....
 

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I'm telling you a simple fact that every motorcycle manufactured is a mechanical mechanism. Emotion can ONLY exist in living things. Motorcycles do not HAVE emotion, they EVOKE emotion in individuals. This is fact. It has nothing to do with my age.



Since you seem more eager to talk about ME then talk about MOTORCYCLES, this conversation is going nowhere. Please refrain from telling me what _I_ am about. You are hardly an expert on the matter.
 

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Personally, I grew up in a family of bikers, who considered everything else besides H-D as crap. I never understood that train of thought as all I ever saw my father, brothers, uncles and the rest of their fellow H-D riders was wrench on their bikes. I even owned a 1983 XR-1000 for awhile. I have given up on H-D and for the price of a new Evo engined bike (Not to mention the lube job you would need for a VROD!) I bought a new Moto Guzzi California 1100 and a used 1996 Ducati 900SP. I even had enough to buy a new helmet and riding jacket and still have a few $$$ in my pocket. Kudo's to H-D for being company of the year, but they will not get a dime from me. There are too many other choices out there that are "better" in my eyes. To each his own though, just go out and ride safe!
 

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Lighten up, starving; you have to be able to take it as well as dish it out. Longride is right when he says that having ridden the bikes (and in their proper era) gives a very different viewpoint from simply talking about them. Anyway, buying a bike is only tangentially about money. For the cost of a bike you could have a car, which would keep you dry and let you take your friends along as well. Every biker knows this, but chooses to buy a bike for reasons which are beyond mere money - and probably beyond reason, too. So you find one which gives as much in these invisible values as you are prepared or able to pay in money, and you do the deal. If it isn't worth it to you, then don't buy it. Simple as that.
 

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First, you start with a monopoly....

Harley has done a fantastic maintaining its monopoly of American Cruisers. They could have gotten lost pursuing dirt bikes, racebikes, standards, and every other kind of bike. But they stuck to what they did best, and what their loyal customers wanted most. Sure, they cost way too much compared to any other bike out there, but if you want a Harley, you pay for a Harley. If you dial in resale value, they are actually a good buy.

I got a free '78 Suzuki GS750 with less than 20,000 miles on it. Sunk about $400 into it and it rides like new: 120 mph, solid, good handling. Would anyone ever give me a free '78 Harley that just needed routine maintenance? I don't think so.

And when you get a Harley, you also get a whole bunch of loyal friends who will do anything to help you out. Maybe Goldwing riders can say that, but that's about it.

Congratulations Harley-Davidson, you've hung onto your monopoly well. I believe you'll keep your monopoly too, because as we Jap bikers age (42 now) we want a bike with good resale that's never obsolete.
 

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

Karl,

Thanks for that insight. As a sportbike rider of 10 years, and performance oriented, your points and counter points were well taken. I am always scratching my head as to the allure of HD. Your objective disertation answered many of those questions without ramming the "be American, buy American" line down our throats.

thanks

ride on; shiny side up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
loyal friends..

If you know where to look, you can establish friendships with many different bikes. I can attest to your goldwing statement ('78 GL1000), but I've gotten just as much help/advice from the SOHC honda mailing list I'm on (for my '77 750F). I really think bikers go out of their way to help each other. I've never in my life passed a lone motorcyclist on the side of the road, and have never been alone very long when I've been on the side of the road. I've helped HD riders, and they've helped me.

As far as making friends so you can take huge group rides, could someone explain that to me? Why is it more fun to be in a group of 15 bikes going 53mph and stopping every 30 minutes (for 30 minutes) than riding the speed you want to ride at, all alone, enjoying the scenery (instead of staring at someone's back), being able to be in the correct tire track, and stopping when YOU need to stop?

I don't get it,

grover750
 

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Re: Harley math

What does that mean "In the two years of Evo (1999)" ? They were made many more years than only two! My FXR is an Evo and it's a '93. I thought they started putting out the Evo in the mid-eighties after AMF sold the company stock back to the employees in 1984. Enlighten me, I'm hungry for knowledge.
 
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