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Harley Inventory

I think it's inevitable that Harley's sales (esp. those dealers selling over MSRP) are going to take a hit. Harley is after all part of the economy and a big part of the boom they had over the 90's was people who never could afford one before. I think Harley is finally going to actually meet demand and dealers are eventually going to start selling at or (gasp!) below MSRP. I think people have been asking for quite a while now, "What's going to happen when all those prosperous boomers, who have benefitted so dramatically from the economic boom, start having to make tough choices about luxuries (like $25,000 bikes that get taken out on the weekend for a spin around town)?"

Sorry if this is incoherent. Going on vacation soon. Less fried later. Work now.
 

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Re: Is Harley

Harley will sell everything they can make this year(maybe at sticker instead of inflated prices).next year(2003) is the 100 th anniversary year...every HD ride I know wants one.Every bike HD can make will sell at ridiculous prices.Then watch out---2004 is when I expect the market to "soften".I expect a couple off years(relative to the last 5 crazy years)

while HD tries to develope a new younger market with the VR series and the Buell.If they cant pull it off expect a ruff decade.If I owned HD stock(I dont)I would hold onto it through most of the 04 model year and then sell.
 

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Re: Is Harley

Harley is going to start feeling the pinch of overpriced (albeit, still very cool) bikes. I have NEVER seen so many used Harley's in the paper as I have in the last few years. It seems many people just buy them to re-sell. I think they are the equal of a mega-beenie baby or some other trendy collectible, but on a grand scale. Just think, once the market softens, mere-mortal bikers may now start to afford Harley's again! I am personally going to get great satification when Motor City Harley bites it. They have been price gouging our area since they opened. The better shops (Sylvania Ohio) knew that the gouging was a short term plan. Sorry if this is in coherent, but I just bought a YZ400f yesterday (yeah, used, but hot-damn quick in my book) and I am still coming down off the rush of my first moto-bike.
 

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Re: Is Harley

Well, since I couldnt find the generic reply button Ill reply here. S&S is building Harley parts and engines the way the should have been done in the first place. Light, powerfull and relativley inexpensive compared to the original. Harleys are HEAVY, EXPENSIVE, UNDERPOWERED, OVERRATED, and EXTREMELY poor handlers under speed. With an aging clientel still living in World War 2, it was bound to happen sooner or later. $25,000 for a 800 pound rolling pile of steel? No Thanx. I thought Americans were into PERFORMANCE and QUALITY?? Harley has NIETHER.....Hell even some parts are made in CHINA!!!! As a fellow rider once stated, there is more technology in my front brake rotor than on an entire Harley motorcycle.....Harsh , but TRUE.....

What does a dog and a Harley have in common? Both like to ride in the back of pick up trucks....
 

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This should be no big surprise to anyone

As the household stock value has plummeted and the economy is sliding towards a recession, people don´t feel that cash rich. It would be strange if HD could escape this - those guys who did not buy it last year when things were rolling how would they now?

Another thingie is that HD has sold extremely well the past few years and there are lots of them about. This will put some downward pressure on the used market.

Also there is the small matter of the introduction of VTX, a very desirable bike which simply clobbers the big Harleys on all the measurable qualities.

cruiz-euro
 

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Re: Is Harley

As long a wait as there is for parts, it may be a strategic move to reduce the waiting time and improve customer service.

Ya Think? ? ? ..... Naaa -

There goin under !

Don't let the sky hit ya in the head when it falls either.

I love my 2001 Sportster, especially since it finally sprung an oil leak, Now MAN that's COOL !
 

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Re: Is Harley

Sorry man, time to catch up. The only thing S&S builds are the evo motors, and they are not much lighter than stock, and sure dont seem to cost less. You will not buy an S&S Twincam or VR motor anytime soon.

I can't say harleys top my list of favorite bikes (no cruiser but the confederate make the top 20) but they have seen the writing on the wall, and know that the buyers who are lining harleys pockets now are not going to be around in 10 years. They also know that the people who MIGHT have taken the older buyer's place 10 or 15 years ago is no longer likely to be a candidate for buying a harley, as most riders have grown up on sportbikes, standards, and light cruisers that have braking and handling capabilities that they are not willing to give up.
 

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Re: This should be no big surprise to anyone

You must get your news by reading very stale magazines in your shrink's waiting room, cruiz-euro.

Actually the economy is warmng up again, inflation is down, real estate prices are very high. Many people are feeling affluent because home equity is skyrocketing and are spending again. But maybe they're not buying as many motorcycles.

Harley sales *are* getting softer than years past, and everybody knows 2002 will be the best year in years to buy a Harley. The reason is simple but not understood by everyone: 2003 will be their centennial year and everybody wants one of those not a 2002. Believe me, the phenom is real with some dealers having lotteries to buy them near MSRP while others plan to slap a minumum $10K vaseline tax on every bike (read $16000 for a basic 883 --now that actually does make a VTX look like a deal!)

Speaking of which, it *is* a small matter. The VTX is one model, a muscle cruiser, which competes against against only one Harley model that to say is selling quite well is the understatement of 2001 regardless of how you think it stacks up against the VTX. Ironically Honda is dropping the Valkyrie which is the only big bike in their line that actually *is* a darn good buy on "measurable qualities" and for which they did offer both touring and cruiser versions to compete dead-on against Harley more of Harley's line. But it's ugly and sounds like a Subaru so they couldn't give them away.

Which begs the question, whatever gave you the idea people do (or are even supposed to) buy their bikes based solely on "measurable qualities"!? A good question to pose to your shrink next time you're in there reading the stale Newsweeks.
 

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I doubt it

One quarter does not a trend make. If inventories continue to expand and sales soften for a couple of years, then there's a trend.

Another possibility is that production was just a little too high, but sales are still expanding.

Another possibility is that HD demand is a little soft because of the ongoing economic concerns about the future, and the soft stock market levels. Pretty much the same reason that the sales of cars and some classes of homes are down. HD sales are going to be relatively elastic because for most people they're a luxury rather than a necessity.

If anyone's ever heard celebrity-economist Harry Dent talk, he says HD is hot because of the generational bulge of (self-indulgent) yuppies earning and spending lots of money. He says the HD growth will continue until later in this decade when most of the yuppies outgrow their consumptive middle age, and start entering their more conservative and fiscally responsible 50's and 60's.
 

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Re: Is Harley

Well, if any of the posters had actually read the 10Q, they would see that it is plausible that the increase in AR is due to Euro shipments. It is also clear that there is a real problem in unsold Buells. But since no one bothered to read the 10Q, you didn't notice that.
 

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Re: Is Harley

Perhaps aggressive pricing by some dealers could at least in part explain the increase in finished goods. " This about sums up the problem!

One other issue is the lack of salesmanship at most Harley Dealers. I have been in Harley dealerships where you need to put down a deposit to get waited on! The huge demand for the bikes has fostered and environment where there is no need for customer service or selling skills. This will come back and bite these dealers in the butt. I am sure H-D will motor through this little blip. I love the V-Rod technology but the styling, even though I like it, sure reminds me of "NEW COKE".
 

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Brilliant...

even if you despise their motorcycles so much you couldn't be paid to ride one, the people who do ride them are out there in huge numbers, they are often affluent, and they are usually very dedicated to the rights of motorcyclists whether affluent or not.

If Harley-Davidson went the way of so many other marques it wouldn't be very many years before the cellphone zombies in cages and the do-gooders who would like to get motorcycles off the road entirely (so they have one less thing to look out for and get sued by) would almost certainly prevail. Let's all remember that the 2nd biggest "motorcycle" company operating in the US (which combined with Harley would make up the majority of full-size motorcycles sold here) is a company that now sells one helluva lot more CARS than they do motorcycles! So we all know who their corporate loyalty is going to be with if push comes to shove.

Though I don't currently own a Harley I sure hope they stay around here for a LONG time!
 

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Re: Is Harley

I can remember back 10+ years ago..... Harley had used the breathing room that Ronald Reagan gave them to develop the Evolution engine and soon...... they started selling bikes like crazy... and then we heard about the waiting lists, and the jacked up prices...... every yuppie suddenly wanted one.

And a decade ago, I heard people say, "It won't last" and "It's a fad". And I believed them. I thought, "Are there really that many people who want to pay over $15,000 for a motorcycle. Eventually everyone who wants one will have one and there will be a flood of used Harleys on the market".

But, I was WRONG !!!! There are just tons of guys out there who dream of owning a Harley, wouldn't think of riding anything else. And, these tons of guys are willing to pay anything to have their dream bikes. So Harley doesn't have anything to worry about, it has a virtual monopoly on a HUGE segment of the American motorcycle market. Furthermore, the people who make up this huge market share don't really expect much from Harley in regards to performance, innovation, comfort, handling ect. I'm not saying that Harleys don't have any performance, innovation, comfort or handling......... I'm just saying they don't NEED to. All a Harley has to do is look like a Harley and say "Harley Davidson" on the tank. I mean, nobody buys Harleys based on their stats or how they stack up against other bikes in magazine road tests. Most Harley buyers never seriously look at other bikes.
 

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Re: Is Harley

Softening? Perhaps, but to what degree? Go step foot into your local Japanese or Italian brand dealers. These guys sit on huge inventories. Everyone knows that if you want a Honda (and you live where its snows) buy it in the winter. Honda practically gave me a VFR in the fall of 1999 and VFRs are high in demand for sport/sport touring bikes.

Please remember the HD dealer network is big, around 1,000 dealers in the US. Some are dealers and some are stealers. If you accurately study the supply/demand you will quickly learn that the stealers are the ones with some limited models on the floor and lower waiting lists on other models, not surprising given their business model - gouge, gouge, gouge!

Next visit some responsible dealerships that value a long-term customer base. They still don't have bikes.

It's funny because someone now walks in the local boutique and sees 5 bikes on the floor and thinks the market for Harleys is crattering. Well walk across the street to the Honda, Suzuki, Duc ______ (plug whatever other brands you want to in the blank) and compare their inventories and their margins.

No doubt the market will get saturated with Fat Boys and Heritage Softails, but Harley is doing a mcuh better job to create new demand than they have in the past. I think the V-Rod is a fine example along with the vast improvements they have made to their historical lines.

If the demand does soften significantly in 2004, like many believe, I don't care I have a lot of space in my garage and a strong interest to expand my stable at more reasonable prices.
 

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Re: This should be no big surprise to anyone

Before questioning the staleness of his sources, you had better check the freshness of your info. No we are not in a recession, however, consumer spending was down for the month of July and the core inflation rate (with energy prices removed) edged up two tenths of a percent. Not a big deal, but not down as you suggest. Also, the economy is not warming up. It is expected to stay as is through Q4 with most companies forcasting improving conditions in Q1 and Q2 of 2002. If the previous poster lives in the manufacturing belt (i.e. the Midwest) things definitely are not great there. Also, the skyrocketing real estate prices are killing people in San Jose. People who paid $750,000 for a two bedroom bungalow when they thought their stock options had some value are having a rough time finding buyers. While in other parts of the country the economic climate wonderful. It's all a matter of perspective. Everyone here is happy that you did get the Hooked on Phonics program and are trying to put it to good use.

For some reason is shows me as Anonymous Squid.

Squidly
 

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Re: Is Harley

I agree with some of your point that people will buy it because of the name, but most Harley owners like the way Harleys perform. They think the handling and performance is just fine. If this was not true, obviously all of these rich, newbie HD owners could afford to buy a coulple of those rather inexpensive better handling and performing bikes to suit a different riding style. From what I have observed many don't, they like their Hogs just the way they are - except for the $5,000 in doo dads they bolted on :)
 
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