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Original Article:
Inside BMW: From skunk works to Motorrad Days

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article Inside BMW: From skunk works to Motorrad Days in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
 

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World Class

A world class write up for a world class manufacturer.As I wait for other print publications again MO supplies me with a great read online real time.BMW offers a full line of mouth watering products and all world class.Keep up the good work gentlemen.I believe there will always be room in my garage for BMW.
 

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And we have Harley, content to pump out yet another iteration of the same damn bikes they've been building for over a century.

BMW seems a lot more willing to re-invest in themselves and their products. Look at what they've done in the past few years: they basically invented and own the ADV catagory. The S1000R blew away decades of Japanese domination of superbikes for the masses.

Maybe Harley has an R&D center, but I'll bet it's full of stylists figuring out the newest paint job for their old bikes, and not engineers building a new engine design.
 

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The Toad
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And we have Harley, content to pump out yet another iteration of the same damn bikes they've been building for over a century.

BMW seems a lot more willing to re-invest in themselves and their products. Look at what they've done in the past few years: they basically invented and own the ADV catagory. The S1000R blew away decades of Japanese domination of superbikes for the masses.

Maybe Harley has an R&D center, but I'll bet it's full of stylists figuring out the newest paint job for their old bikes, and not engineers building a new engine design.
Maybe getting shorn from HD will be the best thing that ever happened to Buell. It'd be wonderful to see Eric selling a load of performance bikes. Maybe that'd give the HD stockholders the impetus they need to dump their CEO.

Harley-Davidson CEO gets $6.4 million pay package in 2009 « The Daily Reporter
 

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Good grief, that is insane. "The company ended the fourth quarter with a loss $218.7 million, its first quarterly loss in 16 years." If that's not enough to get the guy dumped, what is?

Then again, GE's value dropped by 2/3 under Jeff Immelt (he's the genius who dumped GE Plastics and several other "boring manufacturing divisions" in favor of GE Captial, which got killed by mortgage securities fiasco) and he got paid a One Quarter Beellion Dollars (insert Dr. Evil sound bite here). He's still at the helm.
 

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Delusional

It looks like corporate America is running under the delusion that they must keep certain CEO's or their business will be even worse. Kind of like we saved 3 million jobs. From a realist perspective incentive should be based on profitability.Not to be confused with profit at any cost.I have no doubt Harley Davidson fears becoming a business modeled like BMW.They dissolved Buell and could not develop the V-Rod engine without outside help.They do not seem interested in developing their business past their historic offerings.Pitiful just pitiful.
 

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Maybe Harley has an R&D center, but I'll bet it's full of stylists figuring out the newest paint job for their old bikes, and not engineers building a new engine design.
I was amazed at a Harley press launch a few years back as engineers explained to me how much effort they put into making their engine covers look so good. Concentrating on aesthetics has merits, but there wasn't a lot of discussion about advancing the state of their current mechanical engineering. Still, it's tough to argue with big sales.
 

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The Toad
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Honda could take a cue from BMW. BMW obviously lets the 2 wheeled Division go its own way. Just compare BMW's generally quality and reliable bikes to their overpriced, stiff riding and high maintenance cost 4 wheel offerings.

Seems like only BMW, Triumph, KTM and Kawasaki are trying to put some excitement in the market. And to a lesser degree Yamaha. It's notable that Yammer, Kwacker, KTM and Trumpet do not have automobile divisions at all. It's also notable that the smaller companies seem to be doing the most.

Though I have absolutely no sympathy for Harley any more it's only fair to note that of all the bike companies only HD has a substantial portion of public that actually get angry at the company and ridicule it for trying to modernize. Look at how the Harley "Faithful" reacted to Buell. Heck, a lot of them don't even like Sportsters. That's a tough attitude to overcome and no other company faces it. Except for a small handful of Boxer owners but they are an extreme minority of Beemerphiles.

I'll still bet that getting shorn from HD and its kicked-in-the-head attitude will be the best thing that could happen to Buell.
 

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Well not to be rude but HD does actually improve their bikes incrementally each year. Of course the first thing most Harley yayhoo's do is "rip all that EPA crap off and run some performance pipes, a/c and down loads" thereby screwing up a perfectly good running bike.

Beside the point really since this is about BMW, who've had their share of stinkers too, ......power assisted linked ABS anyone?....smoldering rear drives?....surging and electrical issues on the R1150's? Anyway they are generally excellent bikes and if I wasn't on a Harley I'd be on BMW # 4 and happy as a clam. It is a whole different moto-culture no doubt and Germans are a strange bunch themselves so it all works. Sieht aus wie eine gutte Ziet hatte, wurde von allen..............
 
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