Re: Whoa!, there, Tex.
Without competition, Harley would have had to upgrade, or be out of business. They were failing in the 60's because of outdated design and poor quality control, which is why they sold out to AMF to begin with. They were losing ground to the British, and their bikes weren't much better, if any better at all. Harley would also be doing exactly what they always did; cater to their customers, and not to the masses that will never buy their product. focus on your target audience is what it's all about for anyone. Harley makes a world class product with world-wide appeal. There is no denying that fact. The Japanese, on the other hand, don't even ride what they sell. Motorcycle riders in Japan are at an all-time low, so what type of 'corporate culture' do they have? At least Harleys are made BY riders, FOR riders. They aren't made in some corporate office by Japanese guys that have no interest in the sport other than technical specifications and winning races. You seem to confuse technology with worth, and nothing could be farther than the truth, at least for me. All those technological marvels all end up in the junkyard before their time is due, because it's machinery that has no soul and no purpose other than to go fast, and when it goes slower than the next model, it's worthless. We don't live on a racetrack, so the real world of stopsigns, traffic, and speed limits lets us know every day how impractical these bikes can become. I like fast bikes too. I have owned a CBX, ZX9, V-Max, TL1000S, just to name a few, and currently own a Hayabusa. I still own my 1976 Superglide, and will never sell it. It's a piece of junk to most, but that bike has more of what motorcycing is about than all the GSXR's in the world. Lots of people think bikes should be made for the real world and simple and satisfying. I guess that's as cohesive and logical an argument as I can give. Willie G. is out at every rally getting ideas and living with the people that buy the product. Where is the president of Honda these days? Eric Buell has BRAG rides that he goes on every year. Where is the Prez of Yamaha? That tells you everything you need to know about the 'corporate culture'. One makes bikes made for the people that buy them and the other makes bikes they hope you buy.