The real news is the price gouging at the dealerships (with tacit approval from the factory) and the hidden cost of ownership to traditional Harley riders who have never before had to be concerned with gapping valves.
I really thought I might buy a Harley for the first time in my life. Forget it. The V-Rods are now showing up on the Trader-On-Line site under the Motorcycle section at prices from $22,000 to $32,000. At $16,999 it was overpriced, but I might have justified the extra $5,000 over the Jap bikes just to buy American, but at those prices I will continue to buy Japanese and German. This reminds me of 15 years ago when Honda automobiles were so hot that dealers gouged the customers on them. Dealers are too stupid, or too blinded by quick profits to realize that we customers don't fortget when someone takes advantage of us. That is what allowed Toyota to catch and surpass Honda on the sales floor.
I couldn't have said it any better!! The only dealer in my community that doesn't gouge has a waiting list of about 2 years. There's a lot of other choices I can think of riding during a two year wait. Regarding the gouging dealers, to hell with them! I'll never do business with them whether times are good or bad. It's too bad because Harley's finally producing some pretty good products.
YOu would think Harley would get smart and try to up production a bit (without buying more plants) and get the bikes to the people that want them, or better yet, sell 'em on the internet. But Harley wants their bikes to be a status symbol and retain value so they encourage gouging.
I saw the H-D dealer just before Christmas, delivering a V-Rod to his first sucker, er customer. At $25,000 this dope paid a hefty price to be the first on his block with a V-Rod. I hope he enjoys the ride on the bike more than the one the dealer just gave him.
50% improved "feel"? With what H-D charges for that ugly piece of doo-doo, one has to ask if their proctologist could do the same at their next rectal exam.
If I had 30K free to spend on a bike, I'd drop 7 each for a pair of Mean Streaks, and spend the rest getting me and a riding companion over to Europe with the bikes for... say... a month or so... Too bad, Willie G, but those German and Italian tour badges on the jacket are a LOT better status symbols than the V-Rod will ever be....
I was able to test ride a V-Rod at a local dealer recently. I was quite impressed. I posted my ride comments on an earlier board on V-Rod's showing up at dealers.
As for the "harley" tax. This is not unusual for any manufacturer with a popular new model. How much did RC51s go for when they were introduced? Air cooled Harleys are coming down. There are two dealerships within 2 hours of my house in VA that regularly have new models on the floor at MSRP. Harley has increased production something like 600% in the last decade (from around 50,000 units to well over 200,000). Harley gets nothing when a dealer gouges. The only beneficiary is the crappy dealer.
Nonetheless, we live in a market economy. Any product is worth whatever someone will pay for it. The goal of any company is to sell a product at a price that exceeds the cost of producing it (for example, profit margins on most SUVs are huge while margins on a honda civic, dodge neon, etc., are almost non-existent).
I would not pay 25K for a V-Rod with my current salary. If I made quite a bit more money, I might consider it. Motorcycle purchases are rarely about logic -- they are about what touches you. There are many more sensible things I could buy for the 10K I recently spent on a new motorcycle. But for me, I enjoy it.
You may not value a V-Rod enough to buy one at the current prices. That is fine; ride something else. But just because someone else chooses to ride one doesn't make them a sucker. If they have the financial means, more power to them. If someone tries to buy it and gets in over their head, he/she has made a bad financial mistake. But not a mistake unique to Harley owners by any means.
The H-D V-Rod is an instant collecter's item due to its significance and the limited number that will be produced during its first model year. No matter what the price, the bike should increase in value. How much is an early-20th century Harley going for these days? So why shouldn't an early-21st century bike do likewise?
Just wait and see what happens with the 100th Anniversary 2003-models!
You hit the nail on the head with the 'market economy' statement. If demand is higher than supply, price goes up. If people are willing to pay what the dealer is asking, then that is their free choice. The last 3 bikes I've purchased have been Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki, but I've got nothing against HD(I wish I bought their stock 15 years ago). They just don't happen to make a bike that fits my needs. If they could somehow get that v-rod engine into a sub-500lb frame and keep the price reasonable I'd give it strong consideration.
A collectors item, huh? Well, first of all I don't buy "collectors items", I buy motorcycles. Seriously though, the reason early Harleys or early comics or early baseball cards (etc.) are so valuable is because so few nice examples remain. Superman #1 is worth $50K these days but only a few dozen remain and only 1 or 2 are in mint condition. And then there were all of those Mickey Mantle cards that we put in our bicycle spokes! If all of these new "collectors items" are stashed away, it will be a long time before any of them are worth more than the $25K that people are paying for them now. It don't matter if it's a beanie baby, a cabbage patch doll or a Harley, it's only "worth" what someone is willing to pay for it. Speaking of "what it's worth", now that Harley has something new, what are the old air cooled collectable Harleys, that no one wants now, "worth"?
While I agree with whoever moderated this post down to Dipstick level, I also sympathize with the poster's sentiment: Who cares?
The V-Rod is a world-class motor wrapped in a chassis that amounts to functionally impaired eye candy. As sculpture, it's a handsome piece, but weight distribution is wrong, front-end geometry is wrong, the limited suspension travel is wrong, and seating position is abysmal.
To attract a fresh market of serious riders, I suggest a motorcycle more along the functional specification of the ZRX-1200: a big, bad, standard made to do more than to be, unafraid of twisty roads and fully up to the rigors of a 400-mile day. Done the Harley way, with uniquely American styling, impeccable details, and that jewel-like 60-degree twin providing the thrust, even this die-hard Honda sportbike guy would be tempted to switch.