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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: 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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Re: Is Harley

If I had to explain it......

Learn how to interpret financial statements and you will quickly learn that they are making gobs of money and they will likely not die off.

For an out of date POS they sure sell well and at much higher margins than other brands. Maybe some other marques should reconsider what they are selling?
 

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Re: Is Harley

Dus are great bikes, but they probably deserve the same criticism Harley gets from some people of being over-priced. But if it's too expensive you're too poor!

MN huh? Twin Cities HD (South) has to be the worst dealerships in the HD chain. My brother, foolishly, did not listen to me and bought a Fat Boy from those clowns. He had to repair their poor work after every scheduled service so eventutally he just started doing all the scheduled maintenance himself. I almost crapped my pants one year listening to one of their salesclowns spew a bunch of crap to a newbie. They could have sold this guy a Big Twin for over $40k by the time they got done with him.
 

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Re: Is Harley

Will Indian survive. Not as a clone bike. Perhaps with a proprietary bike, but they may have already done too much damage to what little brand equity they have in the new marque by slapping Indian nameplates on a non-proprietary clone bike.

The private equity group that invested $45 million in that Turd has some big cajones. Given the deteriorating market for clone bike they need to move on a proprietary motor NOW. They have overpromised and underdelivered for about 3 years now. They should consider a 4 banger because v-twin cruisers are just too ubiquitous.

My feeling is the newer (used) clone Indians will sell for around $7G if Harley continues to expand production and demand softens significantly.

I know it is a very gray area, but personally these morons that walk around with the chest puffed and the sleeves rolled up on their shiney new Indian t shirt crack me up. Hey dude, the real Indian guys restore a Chief.
 

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Re: Posing

Some people are posers period! Look around it's not a Harley thing. How many Jeep owners drive off road? How many people that buy $4,000 full-suspension mountain bikes won't ride them off a curb or try to bunny hop? How many posers have you seen boating lately? Now go to a Nascar race there are people posing there or to a PGA tournament, there are also people posing there. Some people pose it human nature.

Generally if you are worried about what someone else will think of you for what you ride, how you look or what you spend - you're probably a poser.
 

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Re: What goes up must come down

I'd seriously recommend that if this clown is your broker you think about an OLB. Dude, you compare EH and Titan to HD! You are really showing your ignorance of the motorcycle market and its financial performance.

First, EH failed because they could not produce a motorcycle at an adequate margin to cover their costs. i.e. - they generated negative cash flow

(around $2K) on every bike they produced and sold to dealers.

HD has great margins in this sector. Remember the gouging occurs at the dealer level not the MoCo. Demand would have to go away overnight for the company to feel an immediate impact to its pring (not likely).

Titan - does not even deserve a response.

Diversify - read HD's history. They used to sell motorhomes called Holiday Rambler and years back they used to manufacture bomb castings (this was after AMF). HD's stock was always somewhat depressed because of their diversity into things other than their core motorcycle line. The valuation multiples have all gone up since Holiday Rambler was sold.

With Harley's size and investment banking coverage dontcha think some young idiot investment banker tries to sell them a diversification strategy monthly? With the value of their currency they could easily buy Polaris, pay a huge premium and have the deal be completely accretive to earnings. Guess what? They won't and shouldn't. Most companies don't diversify they diversify. The MoCo has strong margins and has had strong predicatable growth. The MoCo needs to maintain that financial performance with the introduction of new "core" products like the V-Rod.

Don't make the mistake of trying to apply text book Economics 101 principles to Harley. You sound like some inexperienced retail (boiler room) broker with "what comes up must come down." Tell me why it must come down and to what level. How would curtailing HD's annual units to 170,000 a year affect their sales, margins and cash flow. Growth may slow, but to equate that to bankruptcy is ridiculous.

Read "Well Made in America" to learn why HD's management is completely different from what it was in the late 70's. Plus, HD is a public company so its shareholders (the ones that you think should sell) are scrutinizing the company which was not the case in the late 70's.

nuf
 
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