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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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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: This should be no big surprise to anyone

Exactly. In case you didn't pick up on it I *like* the Valkyrie but sorry, to me it does look a bit ungainly if not porky and sounds more like a Subaru than a TurboCarrera to me. I could live with those things if I were in the market for such a beast. I don't need or want a bike that big right now but might when I retire. Too bad the Valky won't be around then, but the Hawgs probably will be. Yes beauty is in the eye!
 

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Re: Is Harley

Harley built a plant near Kansas City several years ago and all Sportsters have been assembled there for quite awhile now. The V-Rod is also made in KC. They have no brand-new plants, but do plan to increase production somewhat with the eventual goal that no dealer will have to wait more than a year to procure any particular model for a customer. An enviable position to be in.
 

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Unless I missed something glancing at the 10Q...

there was nothing "clearly" indicating there is a "real problem with unsold Buells." Indeed, the only Buell dealer I know was completely sold out of some 2001 models by June and would love to have more! And there's a reason he couldn't get them. There definitely *was* a problem with Buells (too many recalls and quality control problems) and the parent company forced them to slash production in an effort to improve that seems to have been very successful. THAT is the primary reason sales have dropped significantly. Though many consider them oddball novelties, Buells have a following almost as loyal as Harleys, just not in the huge numbers.
 

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Neither, HDI made them cut production...

due to too many recalls/QC problems. 2001's are much better. Try to find a Buell dealer that has large numbers of them deeply discounted. You won't. Any *significant* increase in unsold inventory would have to involve Harley product, IAL Sportsters which have been produced night & day to ease supply disruption as the Kansas City plant shifts part of its resources over to the VRod. It would be doubtful if Buell could accomplish that all by themselves even if they did experience a slowdown in sales.
 

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Re: do all the engines sound the same

I try not to make a habit of contradicting people either, but sometimes they do need habitual *correcting.* Cruiz, FYI some Subarus ARE sixes. And they do sound kinda like a Valkyrie with stock mufflers, which is what I'm familiar with. Perhaps the Valkyrie could be made to sound closer to a Porsche with the right aftermarket exhaust, I don't know. Will soon be a moot point.
 

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Re: do all the engines sound the same

Uh, the stock market isn't all there is son, it goes up and down no matter what, and it can take a beating while the underlying economy is still reasonably sound even good in some areas as we have all seen lately. Especially if you bought a lot of .com ipo's you shouldn't have. I'm sure MotherShip.com is in your portfolio somewhere and yes it's leaving for a black hole with your money, probably already gone. Sorry 'bout that. Meanwhile mine is down a bit yes, but will recover (and dip) a few more times before I retire I'm sure.

And Valky's DO sound closer to a Subaru than the sound cruiser customers want to hear. A pity since it's a great bike, soon to be *was* a great bike. Reality's a b*tch, ain't it.
 

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Yes, they did cut down on some 2001 models...

regardless of "projections" which may or may not mean much. I *know* of a dealer who had to turn people away in June because he could NOT get as many (1200cc) Buells as he had asked for. That wouldn't make any sense if the HDI had scads of them at the factory. Apparently there were Blasts available. Maybe they made too many of those. Projections at this point must be for *calendar* year 2001 not model year 2001 since those are a done deal, and they could easily meet 10000 units in 2001 by ramping up production of 2002s which are already hitting showrooms.
 

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Re: Is Harley

It's fun, isn't it, to end pure speculation of what will happen in several years with "mark my words," knowing full well nobody will be reading it more than a few days from now --so it will never be proven that IMO you are mistaken. It's certainly mistaken to say "nobody" wanted them when they were able to keep from going down the tubes even through the dismal days of AMF. H-D has been making motorcycles (continuously) longer than anybody, almost a century now, and they didn't accomplish that by being purely a fad. Their popularity may swell and wane but they can, and IAL will, continue to prosper for a long long time.

FWIW all that growth in motorcycle sales has gone primarily to 2 companies: H-D and Honda. In spite of that I can agree with you that HDI would not be a growth stock I would pick for the next 5 years. Sales have got to slow down somewhere, but Harleys will not become dodo birds in our time. The guys who *really* love Harleys (I'm not talking about trendoid yuppies who buy them as a fashion accessory) pass that on to their kids before their religion!
 

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Re: Unless I missed something glancing at the 10Q...

also it's pretty obvious from the 10Q that based on total percentage of sales, HDI could dump *every* Buell they make at reduced prices and it wouldn't have much impact on their overall financial picture. Buell is still a tiny piece of their pie.
 

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Re: Unless I missed something glancing at the 10Q...

Obviously you're not one of the loyal following I was talking about. Most sportbikes produced in small numbers have terrible resale. Even worse resale value than Japanese big 4 sportbikes which are pretty dismal themselves. If you want decent resale get a metric cruiser; if you want by far the BEST resale get a Harley. Even members of a niche bike's "following" don't want to pay much for a used one because they know they don't have to! Only guys trying to sell one with a bunch of debt on it seem to think they're worth big bucks. Don't buy such bikes unless you can pay cash and afford to take some depreciation.
 

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Not all dealers are that way...

Sounds like you've experienced one of the opportunistic carpetbagger dealerships that have popped up (or been bought out) just to cash in on price gouging. IF you go to a dealership that has been around for decades when times were much leaner, and is still owned by the same family, they don't treat customers that way. They are friendly, provide good service, and have fair prices (which may mean a long waiting list as well, unfortunately). Some are even very interested in getting riders of any brand together for events that improve the public image of motorcycling and the cameraderie felt between all. Foreign bike dealerships rarely do that IME, though I'm not saying there aren't any. Stereotyping is ugly and inaccurate even when applied to Harley dealers. They are not all alike.
 

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Re: LimeSqueezr: Did you not notice HD´s butt got waxed

Cruiz, as I've stated many times before, I don't own a Harley but am more knowledgeable of them than somebody in Venezuela since I live just a very short ride from where they're made and know individuals who work there personally. The bike I ride is not made there, nor Japan (my handle is a hint). I am NOT a die-hard HD fan (though I've owned a few, I've owned more Japanese bikes) my main "beef" is with people who post here who are so clueless about Harleys they might as well be from another planet but they think they know it all because of what they've read on the internet.

BTW whatever it is you slip your "chicas" to make them hallucinate that you are attractive must be some really potent stuff if it can even make them like the looks of a VTX!
 

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Re: Not all dealers are that way...

Thanks for making a good point, that even *positive* generalizations have their exceptions. He's unusual because most of the ones who were *just* in it for the money got out in the very lean years when there wasn't much being made by even the strongest dealerships, and it looked like H-D would fold altogether. When the price gouging ends (and most everybody agrees that will end someday even though H-D will survive) then he won't have the grateful and loyal clientele of the established dealers who just said no to "vaseline tax." I hope his kids are all out of college by then.
 
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