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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
Times are tough. And the bear market crash just up the road apiece isn't going to help HD out much either. Losing divisions have to go.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
They should have let Buell hold it's own as a company instead of being tied to HD dealers. Those "Sportbike" shops that exsist around the country like Corse Superbikes should have been the dealer network rather than HD shops and their less than enthusiastic sales people.
Sometimes you have a real talent for understatement, Ace. If anything many of the dealers did their best to sabotage Buell. Heck, a lot of them don't even like to sell Sportsters.

I think LR's comment about Eric being suckered by internet buzz is on the mark too.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
"Point is, Erik's name is his marketing. "

Really? How'd that work out for the Buell Company? Sportbikes are losers in any market. They don't make money. All those companies you named that are setting world records and holding their own aren't making a dime. They are run by rich guys that have nothing else for a tax writeoff. The rogue company that makes it big is such a romantic idea, but there was a big reason Erik partnered up with H-D. They were the only ones that would have him
At least Eric made a good go of it. More that you can say for Czyxtlplx or whatever his name is and his "we'll be marketing a cutting edge sportbike real soon, just keep sending me those investment dollars" bs.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
The problem was the whole Buell brand in the first place. They should have called them Sportsters. The Sporty was always supposed to be Harleys performance bike and the Buell is that concept in reality. The current edition of the Sportster would then become a Roadster and marketed that way with the low seats and all that crap.

That eliminates the whole antipathy between HD and their dealers about getting Buell jammed down their throats, they can display them as Harley Sportbikes, HD only guys that wanted a hot rod would have it right there in front of them.......the clouds would part, angels would sing, the streets would be paved with gold coins and cagers would pull over and park in shame as the faithful rode by...........

well maybe not but they still should be Sportsters. HD has it's head up it's ass as usual.
The only problem with your analysis is that too many HD dealers don't even like to sell Sportsters.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
This whole Buell thing begs the issue of the motorcycle industry in the US in general. HD seems to get the most attention but the other manufacturers are not in a very good position either. Go to any BMW rally and you will see an aging demographic that easily rivals Harley's. Go to a Goldwing rally. Go to just about any motorcycle venue and compared the numbers of people in their 60s to any other age group. Boomer are by far the largest age group in any venue and this includes sportbikes.

Oh no. The problems for the US bike market are just beginning. The media is lying to us about just how bad the economy is and how ineffective all of those bailouts have been. Just check out the state of the local food bank in your community if you think I'm exaggerating. And right now the powers that be are working on making mortgages even easier to get than ever. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
Then why do you keep coming back here? Why do you spam our mailboxes? Why are you no longer active at 2WF?

You're the sad nerd who makes fun of the cool kids while desperately trying to get into their club. It's pathetic.
Kook's the original Buell-hater in all it's glory. For him to pretend to be sympathetic to Eric is beyond... well, even beyond his usual beyond stuff.

Kicked off 2wf, eh? That's batting 1000.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
OK, I keep reading (here and on other sites) that HD is ignoring and alienating younger rider with their current offerings. I think that is wrong.

The "Iron", "Nightster", "X-Bones", and "Fatbob" are clearly targeted at younger riders, and very popular. They have all the youthful attention they need or want. They didn't need Buell.

This from a guy whole loved the way my old Buell performed.
I've heard that "common wisdom" too many times. Yeah, lots of young guys like sportbikes, but lot's of them like HDs and choppers as well. I sure did when I was 22 and out of the service. The fact that the chicks dig the HDs is a factor too.... a big one.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
In this case, common wisdom is pretty much on the money. The average H-D buyer is 49 years old as of 2008, which is nearly a decade higher than the industry average. Of course there are lots of younger folks that dig H-Ds, but, in relative terms, it's probably not enough. The Dark models have helped a bit, but their ultimate impact remains to be seen.

As I've droned on about before, H-D's demographic problem is fairly unique because it's not so much a demographic that's their core customers, but a generation of people (Baby Boomers). While there will still be a significant number of people who are drawn to the H-D style and brand--including some younger ones--there will likely be fewer and fewer as the years go by, which will ultimately be a real problem. Add to that the increase in "value" and "savings" thinking that the economic recession has brought on, and you may see a significant drop in purchases even from the Boomers, who are at or nearing retirement.

H-D was already running out of customers at their previous production levels, which, no doubt, led to the sub-prime financing debacle that is the company's biggest problem right now.

It's not a figment of everyone's imaginations; there are real challenges for the company long- and not-so-long term.
Never argued with any of that. But broad claims that "young guys don't like Harleys" are patently false because I know many who do. If one said that "young guys can't afford Harleys" that would be a more accurate statement. But the baby boomer problem in the US bike market affects all brands. Most of your buyers of big ticket Japanese bikes are boomers too. As the boomers get too old to ride all manufacturers are going to be hurting in the US market. Of my unscientific sampling of my kids' (20s) friends only a very few care about owning motorcycles at all. Of my motorcycle riding friends' kids very few care about riding as well. They seem to like bikes, just not enough to bother to own one except maybe a scooter here or there.

Thinking that only Harley is in serious trouble is wishful thinking. The boomers are buying the vast majority GSes, K12s and FJR1300s and they will be the ones buying the new VFR1200s.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
Typical America hating pinko commie, go ahead and choke on your Jap Crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm going to go buy a Buell RIGHT NOW Dammit!!!!!!!!
I think that LR should get a Busa, or better yet, the Speed Triple 1050. And then he needs the NOS conversion for those 120mph throttle only wheelies. Yep, that's the ticket. (pun intended)
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
I only have one question to ask: Who here is going to pony up for an 1125? If you aren't, why not?
We already know the answer to that one. Not one person who demanded a "proper engine" will buy one.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
Does the ugliness make it work better, or is it a byproduct of the enhanced functionality?
The two are unrelated. For example the BMW 1200C was a weak sister motorcycle but also was the ugliest motorcycle ever built.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
"So, I was cruising blogs today looking at some of the stupid ideas to keep Buell alive and like a bolt of lightning it hit me:.."

Might the bolt of lightning be: Stop listening to the dopes on the Internet?
Funny thing about dopes on the internet. The movie makers are getting sucked in by internet demands too. They get loads of demands from fans saying "We want Sam Raimi to do a horror movie again!" So Sam says, "People want another horror movie." Sam gets up a bunch of money, makes a fairly decent horror movie and guess what? The fans stay away. Just like the demands for "We want a naked bike" or "We want Eric to use a 'proper engine.'"

Dopes on the internet. A sure method to get in trouble.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
Well, the V-Rod certainly sells like Hotcakes at a Church Fellowship Breakfast, don't it? Universally LOVED by riders of The Motor Company's product, too.
Wasn't Buell already America's version of Bimota until Eric merged with Harley? Maybe some enterprising businessmen will buy up buell. It is even possible that HD dumped Buell this way purposefully for the tax loss and to allow someone else to pick it up cheap.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
This is wrong on so many levels it's hard to tell where to start:

Fixation on size is typically a reflection of low self-esteem. If speed and power are tops on your list, you don't buy a frikin cruiser to begin with.

Nobody has overtaken Harley. HD sells over a quarter-million bikes. Only Honda sells more, and they do that only by selling everything from dinky scooters to a gazzillion sport bikes. The dumbest thing HD could do would be to make a significant change in what they build. Every time they do, it's a bust. Chasing after the latest gizmo or the Style De Jour like the rest of the market does is not a good strategy for them.

BTW: do you know what nation is the second largest market for Harley Davidson? I'll give you a hint: a lot of cheesy HD clone cruisers come from there.
I see the envious Finn has got another one going again. If he's this bad now just wait 'til February when he's been cooped up inside in the freezing dark for a few months.

Europe - wishing it was America for 300 years now.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
"Buell revenue was $134.9 million in 2008 and $59.4 million in 2009 year-to-date. Capital expenditures related to Buell were $6.6 million in 2008 and $3.8 million September year-to-date."

"Well, we just figgerd, 'what the hey - we hate the fukkers anyway - just git fukkin' rid of them rice-wannabe-fukkin' Bools'............"

Harley didn't calculate savings before killing Buell, hopes business as usual leads to financial recovery - Hell For Leather
Have you ever read such gold-plated BS as that HD idiot's driveling about 'leveraging" and "playing up our unique heritage" or whatever the fock that moron was saying?

I like that banker's comment about HD selling Hondas.
 
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