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I knew it! The bubble was going to burst, all those "old riders" were going to die off and nobody is going to buy Harley anymore! Er, oh, um, what I mean is, uh, Hey! Way to go Harley! Good to hear they're doing so well, anxiously awaiting that V-Rod engine in future model bikes, too!



luvmyvfr
 

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Hmmmm...



They think they are going to get 8.5% return on their pension funds. I wonder how they propose to do that. Also, they "sceuritized" a bunch of bike loans. I believe that really means they sold them. The buyer probably expects some kind of return. I wouldn't buy a bike loan, would you?



Who is their accountant. I would feel better if I knew it was not somebody like Anderson.



If all that money is real (and I hope it is), then maybe Harley Davidson could come up with an SV650 killer and sell me a bike one of these days.
 

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Time for Harley to invest in the next generation

As a Harley stock holder I am happy. However, as motorcyclist I say ....OK no more excuses invest money an engine for Mr Buell. How about a nice light (read no vrod engine) 90 degree V-Twin liquid cooled that puts out 100 horses or better and that can propel the Bolt and Lighting to Sub 11 second quarter miles. Give Buell an engine and watch sales to 20-40 year olds take off. Please Harley invest in the next generation. VRod was a good start and the Firebolt is almost there.
 

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Re: Time for Harley to invest in the next generation

KTM is producing a fantastic V-Twin engine that makes power like the Japanese bikes but weighs much less. Harley's resources are far greater so they really should be able to do the same, if so inclined. As an aside, it's a shame that their financial windfall is not being used to improve quality. Before anyone gets mad at this blanket statement, Motorcycleconsumernews published a list this month of all the manufacturers, their recall history over the last few years and came up with a quality index. Lo and behold, who was bottom, even worse than Buell?.....
 

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Re: Time for Harley to invest in the next generation

Is owning Harley stock better than owning a Harley? I think you're right for now, and I too think they are headed in the right direction. Perhaps I'll own both some day. I have comtemplated buying Ducati stock; perhaps if they really do build the new Supermono as rumored - AND if the 999 does well...
 

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what Harley needs to do is set more stringent price controls on thier dealers in regards to MSRP vs turn- you- upside- down-and shake prices, I like Harleys, jingoistic "THE MOTOR COMPANY" crap aside, I'm just to aware to pay a few grand over invoice for what are inferior machines by any objective criteria, and thank you, but I have a lifestyle already, I just like the bikes.
 

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Dear Harley,



Glad to hear you are doing so well financially.



Please spend some of your fortune building a winning Superbike. Some of us would like to see an American company rule AMA and FIM Superbike racing, and why shouldn't we? Do you realize that you could bring in hundreds of thousands motorcycle racing fans and help to improve the image of motorcycling and racing in the process?



Harley, you have the power to change and impove the motorcycle industry, but will you be a typical corporation and choke to death on your own profits, or will you move on to a higher plane?



Signed,



Sleepless in the Saddle



 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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Re: Time for Harley to invest in the next generation

If you take "recall history" as an indicator of quality of products then you are sadly misled. The big four NEVER recall something unless they are forced to by some safety agency. Otherwise the new GoldWing would be recalled for an overheating problem that is constant, the Hayabusa would be recalled for the rear subframe breaking and starter clutch problems. The Hayabusa web site even has a petition for a recall on the subframe. I could name many more but I think I made my point. Harley at least owns up to a problem and fixes it. I would rather a company recall and fix something than act like it doesn't exist. The quality of a current Harley product isn't determined by recalls.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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Re: Time for Harley to invest in the next generation

This just in. Harley will never cater to the "squid crowd". Too fickle and Darwinsim dwindles the pack down to the ones that will buy Harleys when they grow up and don't squish themselves into a bloody mess. Needing 100 horsepower to have fun is nice, and I bet there are other mfgs. that produce bikes that make more than that and cheaper too. If Harely comes up 5 hp short and $1000.00 more, you won't buy it anyway. Price/performance ratio and all that. By the way, having record earnings in a faultering economy needs no "excuses". The only thing I wish is that Harley would fall back out of fashion so I could add a few more to my collection cheap. Feel free to buy another Ninja in the meantime.
 

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Good, some one slammed Harleys as being rolling POSes. I've said it before and will again. If they are so inferior, how come mine is still running like a top with 174,000 miles on it! The last 40K hauling a really big Watsonian sidecar, at 80MPH a lot of the time! Like it so much that after 7 BMW motorcycles (none of which have even made it to 100K before I felt they had to go, the K12LT might do it if I keep it) to that one Harley over the past 15 years, the next new one will be a Harley (E-Glide Classic, Gunmetal Pearl to be precise, should be here around Christmas, my timing not theirs!). No it won't do 140, but I wouldn't anyway, want to live a while longer and actually like riding motorcycles so much that I don't see why one would want shorten the time on one by going to d*** (don't want to get censored again) fast. Plus that last 89 in a 55 cost $250 can't imagine what it would have been if I had been going faster...



On trying to force the dealers to actually sell at the MSRP, well, Harley cannot legally do that. You see, they tried that in the 50's and 60's and got slammed by the feds for it. That is why it is a suggested price, manufacturers are legally forbidden in the US from forcing a franchised or independent dealer to sell their products at the MSRP. H-D knows the consequences all too well if they try! Harley would if they could as there is plenty of profit for the dealer at MSRP. Only the buyer can regulate the price, which is what I did. Went shopping, found a dealer that was upfront and said we add 8%, that's it. Noticed that they did not play the freight and set up game after the 8% either! Could have gotten it cheaper, but would have had to go +1000 miles to do it, not worth the effort.



Uh, Harely does make an 11sec 1/4 mile bike, its just a cruiser and the sport bike guys can't stand that! And you know Mr Buell has to have something planned for that motor and the 4 cam motor they build that is getting further and further away from being a Sportster motor! Take a good look, it won't even fit into a Sportster frame anymore. And the rumor mill has it that there just might be a water cooled 4 cam or OHC motor in the future for Buell.



Agree with the comment about other platforms for the Vrod engine, 3 are comming but we have to wait until fall to see them! Don't even think MCN (UK not ours) has pics of those yet!



Whoops, got worked up again, so much for working from home, time to go riding, the Harley, the beemer (which is so much more technologically advanced than a Harley) is in the shop, day 3, for Annual (or is that anal) Maintenance....
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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Your right. They could waste millions of dollars on a winning superbike and have nothing to show for it but a trophy. That would be the best idea for them. I wonder if you would do the same?
 

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My wife and I were in a Harley showroom just last night looking for her 1st bike (1200S sportster). They had the 2002 models discounted by $1000 trying to make room for the 2003 bikes coming next weekend. However she wants a 2003 in black with the 100th anniversary decals, etc (A very beautiful bike, by the way). Well they are taking orders for delivery in March.



My friends wife rides a SV650, even though this bike gets so much praise, the HD 1200S Sportser is, in our opinion, is just a prettier bike. And has really good performance. Please note that the 'S' model doesnt have forward pegs or pulled back bars, so you can actually get on the balls of your feet and get the thing to turn.



[email protected]_FXDX../..F4i

 

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All this is fine if you can get one of the dam things without getting screwed by the dealer or waiting years. The weak link in Harley Davidson is its dealer network and the corporations inability to deal effectively with dealers that screw their customer over.
 

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The Toad
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When you hear the old "HD is crap" mantra you're usually dealing with someone who hasn't yet realized that HD broke away from AMF some twenty years ago. Or you're just dealing with someone whose agenda requires a large dose of misrepresentation.



The one nice thing about HDs is that when you feel the engine does need to be rebuilt, you can do it quite cheaply compared to most any Japanese bike. My last HD rebuild was an 81 shovelhead. I did most of the work myself and the total ticket came in under $500 bucks. At one time I checked out the cost of rebuilding my old Honda 900C. The parts cost alone for the top end was about $1000. Throwaway city.



As longride said above. The Japanese virtually never recall a motorcycle unless forced to. Like Microsoft, the public is their beta-tester....
 

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Re: Time for Harley to invest in the next generation

Don't forget the "smoking" problem with the Bandit 1200. Or the TL1000 tank-slapper fiasco. Or the GSXR-750 head gasket issue. Or the Honda V-4 oiling issues. Or the GL1500 bank angle sensor.

All bikes, indeed all machines, will have problems. Not cheerleading for H-D. Just pointing out facts. Japanese bikes are not as infallible as people say, and Harleys/Buells are not the complete pieces of crap that some people say either.
 

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Re: Time for Harley to invest in the next generation

As the owner of a 2002 Goldwing, please inform me as to my bike's constant overheating problem. Funny, me and four other owners have had no problems, even riding loaded in 110 degree heat. There were a few cases in the first model year bike, but first year anything should be avoided. However, if you think Harley is such a sweet heart, then why do they refuse to recall a lot of the twin cam motors for defective cam bearings, telling the owners to ride them until they break. Then they will be fixed. This happened to motorcycleconsumernews ( I quote them a lot as they are the only publication that does not accept advertising, hence they should be more legitimate than anything else out there), when the cam bearings on their twin cam failed. How would that make you feel? Say on a long trip, waiting for the engine to grenade? As for Suzuki, well I'm with you buddy! My Tl1000s (which is great fun to ride now that I sorted everything) was a joke, with everything failing from computers, suspension, gas tanks, frame snapping....Amazingly no recalls on the frame snapping, even though I know of numerous cases where this has happened.

Using a recall list as an indication of a marque's quality may not be the be all and end all, but it sure gives one a good idea as to the general state of things. Saying that having more recalls is a good thing is a beautiful spin that any politician would be proud of!
 

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The Toad
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Re: Time for Harley to invest in the next generation

Price/performance.

A. You spend $6000 on an HD and it performs for you for twenty years. You trade it. Trade in for a twenty year old HD FX is about $6600 which is more than the original bike.

$6600-$6000/20 years = $30 appreciation/year.

B. You spend $9500 on a GSXR750 and you have to replace it two years later because it no longer "performs" compared to the new ones. Figure the ruinous depreciation of sportbikes. Trade-in is $5350

$9500-$5350/2 years = $2075 depreciation/year.

Another viewpoint on "cost/performance". It's all in the way you view "performance".
 

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Re: Time for Harley to invest in the next generation

Longride,

You really should subscribe the Motorcycle Consumer News. There are a number of issues HD is trying to hide and has not been willing to "bite the bullet" and recall. Among them are problems with the Twin Cam motors that result in the bike just dieing and not running again until the cam drive is fixed. The factory has been, according to reports, very good about fixing the problems after the fact but that will not do you much good it you are stuck in Nevada on highway 50 twenty miles from shade, much less parts to fix the bike.

Then there is the flexible chassis/ wheel alignment on FL series bikes. The last FL MCN tested was off over an inch. The handling was described as "dangerous". One reader's response to the road test included the details of watching his riding buddy's Harley go into a wobble that ended in the death of said riding buddy. No one else in the group had any problems, the combination of road conditions and wind just started a divergent wobble in the Harley. Making bikes handle well enough to win races is a black art, building stiff frames that resist this behavior is basic engineering. BTW, guess what HD model got stiffer a chassis this year? That is great if you are buying a new bike but it will not do the guy on the older bike much good. MCN has also published a way to correctly align the wheels, it looks like HD was (and maybe still is) simply not putting the bikes together correctly and some bikes excited the tendency of the of the chassis to wobble and some didn't.

I haven't taken a formal survey but BMW and Honda seemed to be tied for second for complaints but HD is clearly in the lead. I'm neither anti or pro Harley, neither is MCN. I am, however, very strongly in favor of getting information to the public about these kind of issues and MCN is the best source I have found. MCN is a subscription only, paper magazine with no color, no slick paper and no advertising. You can read at bit more at http://www.mcnews.com/mcnews/. Other than being a subscriber I am in no way affiliated with MCN.

SlowBear
 
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