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Aging Cafe` Racer
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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.
 

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MODERATOR X
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JB said it best when he compaired a 10 year old SV650 with a milk crate bungied to the seat, and smelling of cat urine, vs. a 10 year old CITY X lovingly cared for, and quite rare. Guess he was right.

From someone whose ridden about everything on two wheels, that City X was the bees knees. Just the look of the tucked in forks (short tracker) and the 50 inch wheelbase made me want to ride it all the time. Like I said before, it handled like a dream. And that old XR1000 based Sporty lump was plenty fast for me.

R.I.P. Buell.
 

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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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I personally think this is a small step into what will emerge as greater difficulties in the future for Harley Davidson long term. Where does this leave the motor company? What innovative ideas will they develop with such a rigid structure? Wrap it up anyway you like, the company still has no vision to get beyond the baby boomer population in what is soon to become a passé cruiser market... I'm sorry Eric got caught up in all this but he did have a good run at living out his passion for a long time as not everyone always has that opportunity. Hope he tucked some of those earnings away. If not, any of us impacted by this economy can show him how use more beans than beef in your chili to stretch it further…
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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They seem to sell pretty well around here, we have a lot of short people I guess
 

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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.
I know 2 or 3 guys that thought the only thing Buell was good for - was cylinder-heads for their Girlsters.
 

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I've owned my Y2K Cyclone since it was new. It's a unique, fun bike and I'm sorry HD is pulling the plug on the company. That said, I never really warmed to the XB line, and apparently, not enough other people did either.
 

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I personally think this is a small step into what will emerge as greater difficulties in the future for Harley Davidson long term. Where does this leave the motor company? What innovative ideas will they develop with such a rigid structure? Wrap it up anyway you like, the company still has no vision to get beyond the baby boomer population in what is soon to become a passé cruiser market... I'm sorry Eric got caught up in all this but he did have a good run at living out his passion for a long time as not everyone always has that opportunity. Hope he tucked some of those earnings away. If not, any of us impacted by this economy can show him how use more beans than beef in your chili to stretch it further…
You might be too young to remember everyone babbling the exact same thing about Harley in the late 60's through the 80's. "Only old Shiners and Hell's Angels will buy Harleys. Their market has no future. Their product is irrelevant to today's buyers."

Same ****, different day. I don't want a Harley these days, but I have no doubt they will remain a huge player in the US market. They are unique in so many ways...what other brand comes close to HD in terms of owner loyalty and fanaticism?
 

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Speaking of getting suckered by Internet noise, I wonder how that XR1200 is selling?

I'll be glad when that's killed and they get the Roadster back.
 

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LR- you're too cynical. Buell managed to take an underfunded business into it's 26th yr of business. Harley's business model had Buell as a footnote. If HD would have let Buell market independent from HD shops the customer base would have been much broader. Ducati, MV, Bimota, Motor Guzzi, and KTM (street bikes) all sell at or under 10k bikes a year in N. America. If Buell was within the same percentile of annual sales they could have competed on the same sales floor. He could have operated and marketed as the boutique band that Ducati was in 1998-2003.
Those guys with money and a desire to start new motorcycle ventures are what keep us happy. Czysz is finding the financing he needs to continue, but having a guy with Erik's skill on a team like that would certainly make a difference in R&D, marketing and sales.
Great Czysz quote Ken. He saw that the 4cyl off-set motor couldn't accomplish what he wanted. He opted to engineer his way into a land speed record using the "green" technology we tend to make fun of. He's looking forward and using a small team to do it. If Erik were disgruntled wouldn't it be better to start over somewhere that would appreciate and exploit your talents rather than stiffle them in a huge, sterile corporate environment?
 

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The Toad
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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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Super Duper Mod Man
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"LR- you're too cynical."

I'm that or realistic. Depends on how you look at it.

"Buell managed to take an underfunded business into it's 26th yr of business."

That was becuase Buell was handed a Golden Apple, yet nobody will admit it. He had a ready made motor, dealerships, customer service, warehousing, parts department, manufacturing plant, advertising, and engineering staff help all on Harley's dime. Underfunded? Not by anyone's accounting. It was really overfunded for what started out as a kit bike with lots of problems and recalls. All Erik had to worry about was building the bikes. No cynic here, just realist.
 

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You might be too young to remember everyone babbling the exact same thing about Harley in the late 60's through the 80's. "Only old Shiners and Hell's Angels will buy Harleys. Their market has no future. Their product is irrelevant to today's buyers."

Same ****, different day. I don't want a Harley these days, but I have no doubt they will remain a huge player in the US market. They are unique in so many ways...what other brand comes close to HD in terms of owner loyalty and fanaticism?
You're right, owner loyalty and fanaticism has carried them for a long time and tradition will continue in some form. What the future HD looks like, will change, not go away. What I expect is economics will hit hard same as it impacted GM, from a continued decline in sales, causing a reduction manufacturing and cuts in models offered, and eventual decreasing size in the dealer network. Let's face it, the same loyal owners are the same folks being displaced from work right now and tightening lending practices on credit will have it's impacts. There is also a new issue involved that was not factor in the past which is the amount of used bikes now flooding the market. Huge production rates the last decade has placed a lot of bikes in the hands of owners right now trying to keep their home to raise their families. As far as design and innovation, we won't see the same level of risks going forward so development takes a hit as well. HD is changing so they don't become a GM but no question it's a sad reality whatever they become. I'm not saying they go away.
 

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HD has the same problem as motorcycle.com too many bitter angry middle aged white men running the show
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.
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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Pathetic doesn't begin to cover it. He gets banned the first time he pops his head up, you'd think the SOB would catch on after awhile.

Anyway, I can see HD dropping unprofitable models just like everyone else has done. The advantage Harley has is that they use the same two big twin engines in every model, they use the same frames in each model group, same forks and most other componants like wiring and switch gear, all those add up to streamline production and parts supply and lower costs overall. The Japanese on the other hand use a different engine frame and running gear for each model and almost each year so their costs per unit as a percentage are going to be higher, the only thing in their favor is lower labor costs, pricewise it's not reflected in the product because they're on par or more than competitive models from HD, add in Harleys desirability and owner loyalty and it's a safe bet they'll ride this out like they have every other downturn in the last 100 years.
 

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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.
Interesting that he IS exactly what he's denigrating in his silly missive you quoted.

Typical Lefty Projection.
 

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The Toad
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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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Aging Cafe` Racer
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Interesting that he IS exactly what he's denigrating in his silly missive you quoted.

Typical Lefty Projection.
That's a good point, a little self-loathing thrown in the mix with whatever other psychosis he displays.....

Probably be the next Ted Bundy
 
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