I don't like to tempt the fates but at almost 70k miles my TC88 Road King is still just as good as your Glide; tires and routine maint for the most part. I've had a minor problem with oil blowback into the breather but that's about it.
My Honda ST1100 however, while it has yet to become an oil burner at over 74,000 miles, has had odd little problems like: a kill switch which had to be replaced at about 30k (that little bytch tried to strand me in Arizona) and a cracked piece on the intake manifold which leaked anti-freeze everywhere. Also I have to replace the rear shock every 30,000 miles. All of these have been fixed under the extended warrenty but that expired in June so it'll be up to me now. Oh and I need to replace the clutch but that's my fault. Did you know a 700 lb, shafty can wheelie? It can and it's really cool.
My only problem with the Harley is I have to remember to change the oil to a thinner viscosity (from 20w50 to 10w40) during the winter months. She'll start and run below 15 degrees (Fuel injection is great!) but she bytches alot. Lots of creaks and growns from every joint. Kinda like me.
I've never been able to figure out why Harley gets bashed so roundly over their 30's technology based engines while the Japanese engines are also based on technology from the 30's. Mercedes built shortstroke DOHC racing engines before WWII. You'd think the Japanese invented all this in the 70's to listen to some people.
i recently wadded my 900ss racebike. i have a backup for now, but one of the guys in my club wants to sell a raceprepped xb9r. i have to check on the classes i can run it in first. he wants 7700. does anyone know if this is fair? wot's it like to race a buell? are they durable?
Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Honda release sales figures in the past? I seem to remember seeing yearly sales figures back in the 70's. That's how we knew that Honda sold more CB350s each year than every other motorcycle company's total production combined.. including Honda's other models.
Why did they stop? It does sound fishy.
Maybe, like Ford, they lose money selling vehicles but make it up by offering the financing. They just want to avoid the embarassment of admitting it.
Honda has been selling their XR100, 80etc motor for several decades. I would guess they can make an XR100 for about $400 and they sell it for about $2100 MSRP. I'm sure the dealer gets a couple hundred out of it, but the company must make over a thousand per copy. Millions are sold around the world and I'm sure they are cheaper to those customers, but still very profitable to Honda. That's gotta be where they make their money.
I'll bet the only sport bikes they make money on are the 600's and everything else is sold at a loss.
I think Triumph, after about 9 years in the US market and a dozen in Europe and Britain still have yet to recover their investment. And they sell their bikes at prices a bit higher than the Japs.
I'm at 74,400 miles on my '92 FLHS and the drive train is starting to rattle a bit (loose rocker arms most likely as the pushrods are tight). So, in a year or so I'll be doing a top end rebuild. But the tranny, clutch, suspension and nearly everything else are in good shape. The odd bit that has needed fixing (voltage regulator, shifter return spring) was easy and cheap to fix.
Now, my '02 Triumph on the other hand with only 10,800 miles on it, although repair-free to date, I'm afraid to touch. It took me a whole weekend just to check the valve lash.
I can check valve lash on my '70 Tiger in-between sips of coffee.
I'll tell you honestly, if I never had to go over 65 mph I would sell all my bikes, but that old Triumph!
This needs to be looked at in the greater picture. Motorcycle sales in general are up. One manufacturer may be doing a bit better than others, but almost all are up. Triumph is another company that has seen HUGE increases in sales so far this year. This is not intended as any knock on Harley, and it's actually a great thing for the motorcycling industry as a whole. But it's not just that Harley has done something tremendous to separate themselves.