Harley sux, they're going out of buisness next week, Honda bought them out, they make more money off t-shirts than motorcycles, only aging boomers buy Harleys and they're all to fat to ride, good thing because the bikes are so unreliable they can't make it past the mailbox anyway.......Let's see...Oh yeah loud pipes save lives, full face helmets are gay, you should never use car oil, Bush is the best president we've had and Iraq blew up the dikes in New Orleans and blamed it on a Hurricane, UN troops are sneaking in from Canada in black helicopters and Hillery Clinton runs the Tri-Lateral Commision which in turn runs the country from it's base in Cuba......
It's always great when people just set out looking to start an argument. It's always Japanese v. Harley or Japanese v. Ducati or something similar. Check out the Suzuki recall posts.
But I think the argument about Harley "crashing and burning" is related to the fact that their target demographic is aging and eventually won't be buying new motorcycles. The company clearly doesn't market toward younger buyers, and even if they did, the price on most of their models is prohibitive for the vast majority of younger buyers.
I am 21 years old, and most of my friends my age are interested in Japanese sport bikes because of the performance/$ you get with them. Harleys are nice, but I know very few people my age actually intent on purchasing one.
Also, no one ever said that inferior products don't sell. Harley may be "inferior" in some ways engineering wise, but they clearly are not inferior in terms of marketing and giving their customers what they want. It seems that most of their customers are willing to pay high dollar for the image and the entire brand experience, rather than worrying about performance and value as much as Japanese bike buyers.
I think the Rod series is a step in the right direction in terms of appealing to younger buyers. If the company were willing to give Buell the liquid cooled motor, possibly in smaller displacements, they may make that brand much more appealing.
"But I think the argument about Harley "crashing and burning" is related to the fact that their target demographic is aging and eventually won't be buying new motorcycles"
The theory is that the Harley boom is due to baby boomers all riding Harleys. The average Harley rider is in his 40s, baby boomers are late 50 to 60 y/o. So the theory that baby boomers are carrying Harley is largely bogus. (When the boomer were in their forties the whole motorcycling industry was in a slump)
In 20 to 30 years when the current HD owners are too old to ride, you and your friends will be in your 40s and 50s. Will you still be racing around at top speed on a ricer then? Maybe, but it is more likely you wont. More than likely youll prefer going for a more sedate cruise (on a big bore v-twin?) Youll also (hopefully) be in a position where paying either 10K or 20K for a bike be of little consequence, both being totally affordable.
HD is not worried. Believe me, the Japs are not falling over themselves to build cruisers because they think the market for cruisers is going to disappear.
The funny part of your argument is that you think you are never going to get old. You are 21. Think you might make it to 61? 81? Think you might still be riding that 600cc backbreaker at 61? 81? Doubt it. Still gonna speed around town doin those horn mono's at 60? Doubt it. Think you might ride slower and more relaxed as you get older? Most likely. As the Harley base gets older, so do you, unless you assume you won't make it that far. Harley dosen't court the 21-year-old's for a reason. They are fickle. They will buy the cheapest, lightest, fastest bike no matter what brand it is. How many guys are Suzuki/Honda/Yamaha fans for life and would never buy a competitors product no matter what? I haven't met any. The Japanese have to chase each other for sales. Harley is a completely different bike that they will be never be able to duplicate. I doubt Harley will ever appeal to younger riders. It isn't their market niche.
Nice thread. Only one post had anything negative to say about Harley.. and it was just a 21 year old kid speculating that their market might eventually dry up. All the rest of the posts are anti-anti-Harley flames against their invisible antagonists. I'd call it defensive, but there is not opponent. A little paranoid, ar ya ya Harleyers?
Here's the problem when you get older - how do I put this/ Your, uh, let's see, uh, well let me just say it's nice to have a little more room in the, uh, crotch area, so to speak. Also, I like to have my back straight up and down - it's easier to get on and off the bike.
Don't get me wrong. I have a semi-sport bike too, but it isn't like those Ninja 600s that bends you over the tank. I need a little more room here and there.
If you want comfort, a standard, touring or a dual sport will provide far better ergonomics than most cruisers and the longer travel suspensions will soak up the bumps better. A lot of cruisers have notoriously short travel rear suspensions which are not particularly good for the spine.
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