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Original Article:
State-of-the-Cruiser Address

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article State-of-the-Cruiser Address 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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Chinese Harley starter bikes...

...designed in Japan and built in China. One way to stick it to the union, eh wot?
 

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Jim Ziemer said:
Ziemer added that Harley with reduce shipments through temporary plant shutdowns and adjustments to daily production rates. This will result in a decrease of about 370 unionized employees over the next several months.

"The company will also be reducing the non-production workforce by about 360 jobs," said Ziemer. "We believe these actions will better position the company for a business environment that we expect to continue to be challenging."
Translated: "We fired all the Janitors, Groundskeepers, and Secretaries. Except for my personal "Secretary" - Lot'a FaChina......."
 

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This shouldn't be surprising to anyone. We've been talking about this for three years, at least. Demographics can't be wished away. The manufacturers will have to adjust. There will always be a relatively healthy cruiser market in the U.S. but it can't be expected to match the boom of the recent past.

Personally, I know of several cruiser riders who are considering more performance oriented bikes, including one long-time H-D enthusiast (and these guys ain't real young, either). It seems like some people who start on cruisers or who have been riding them for a while are becoming more curious about sportier bikes. I don't know if this constitutes any kind of significant trend, but it seems like a few are starting to go opposite the usual sport-to-cruiser migration.
 

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This shouldn't be surprising to anyone. We've been talking about this for three years, at least. Demographics can't be wished away. The manufacturers will have to adjust. There will always be a relatively healthy cruiser market in the U.S. but it can't be expected to match the boom of the recent past.

Personally, I know of several cruiser riders who are considering more performance oriented bikes, including one long-time H-D enthusiast (and these guys ain't real young, either). It seems like some people who start on cruisers or who have been riding them for a while are becoming more curious about sportier bikes. I don't know if this constitutes any kind of significant trend, but it seems like a few are starting to go opposite the usual sport-to-cruiser migration.
Where ya been P? The city put some kind of limitation on how many times a year locals can post on the internet?
 

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“Cruiser ownership is the last stage of the evolution of motorcyclists,” said Glenn Hansen, American Suzuki’s communication’s manager. “A kid starts with a dirt bike; then a sportbike, then a cruiser."

You wish.
 

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Where ya been P? The city put some kind of limitation on how many times a year locals can post on the internet?
You mean here in the Great Soviet Republic of New York? (Glory to the workers!)Nah, Bloomy couldn't even manage to get "congestion pricing," aka "a$$ raping," passed. Although, it's still the land of Starbucks and group-think.

I've been kind of busy and, since I've been working in the digital space, I was a bit burned out on the Web. Good to see some improvements on this site.

I let my subscription lapse. Look at my Founding Member icon. It used to be a sunny orange Premium jobby. Now it looks like an effing tombstone. They trying to tell me something?

But I did miss all the pissing, moaning and sporadic encrusted hilarity here.

Just picked up my new Daytona 675 on Saturday. Yippee!
 

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But I did miss all the pissing, moaning and sporadic encrusted hilarity here.
Welcome Back, Mista' Kotta'!

Aww gheez, I'dknow..........
 

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Harley is attempting to market to riders who prefer sportier bikes through Buell, which, at long last, finally has an engine worthy of the chassis. I look forward to more Buells with the Helicon/Rotax engine.

I concur, I will never own bike with a 24 inch seat height. I also can't get by on less than 130 hp :)
 

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I dunno'.........

...designed in Japan and built in China. One way to stick it to the union, eh wot?
I think the "Jap Crap" and "Rice Rocket" attitudes are finally dissapearing but I really can't see a Chinese made Harley selling very well here. While modern Harleys are competitive quality wise and set the bar for looks and fit'n'finish the made in the USA angle counts for a lot of people, myself included.

If they want a starter bike then a lighter 400 or 500cc Sportster style bike would be their best bet. Even reviving the 350 Sprint would be cool, they were neat looking bikes with the Italian flair and unique cylinder configuration. I personaly would consider a Chinese made Harley a stab in the back to my union bro's and simply wouldn't own one nor would I do any more business with them in general. There's plenty of Japanese, British and German bikes I'd like to have, I don't need another Harley that bad.
 

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"Cruiser ownership is the last stage of the evolution of motorcyclists," said Glenn Hansen, American Suzuki's communication's manager. "A kid starts with a dirt bike; then a sportbike, then a cruiser."

You wish.
Heh heh heh. You caught that too... "then a cruiser, then a DS to commute on, then maybe a ****|n Hyabusa because he's got the need for speed, then a... What, do these guys really believe that Viagra commercial where R. Bored comes home on the Vulcan and the old lady drops the groceries on the driveway?

HD must have an extremely fine-tuned organization if a drop of less than 10% in production results in 600+ layoffs. "Just in time firing," I guess.

Aside from a very brief mention of gas prices, I didn't see anything about manufacturers targeting possible new buyers who are looking for alternatives for commuting etc. It seems like there should be an emerging market there.
 

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Heh heh heh. You caught that too... "then a cruiser, then a DS to commute on, then maybe a ****|n Hyabusa because he's got the need for speed, then a... What, do these guys really believe that Viagra commercial where R. Bored comes home on the Vulcan and the old lady drops the groceries on the driveway?

HD must have an extremely fine-tuned organization if a drop of less than 10% in production results in 600+ layoffs. "Just in time firing," I guess.

Aside from a very brief mention of gas prices, I didn't see anything about manufacturers targeting possible new buyers who are looking for alternatives for commuting etc. It seems like there should be an emerging market there.
I was chuckling because the cruiser/chopper thing was the first thing I lusted after when I got out of the Nav. Later I went to standards and stayed there until I finally got a 'real' sportbike a couple of years back.

I thought that the actual sign of old age and impending death was the desire to own a Gold Wing or a Buick.
 

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Yup....

I was chuckling because the cruiser/chopper thing was the first thing I lusted after when I got out of the Nav. Later I went to standards and stayed there until I finally got a 'real' sportbike a couple of years back.

I thought that the actual sign of old age and impending death was the desire to own a Gold Wing or a Buick.
Back then they were all standards, if you wanted a sportbike you just added clip ons and a Kerker. The bike that opened my eyes was my buddys VF700 Sabre, it was so far ahead of my '78 Sporty that I went out and sold it, bought a GPZ750 and said f**k Harleys. Took me 20 years to get another one and I still ride the Bandit most of the time anyway.
 

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If the demographics really do move younger, Harley (by virtue of Buell) is in a good position to catch them. Buell is making great bikes these days, and now have good choices for naked standards, adventure touring, or pure sport. Its a shame they paused the Buell dirt bike program, or that would have hit one more important segment of the younger demographic.

But fact is, cruisers still outsell all these other markets by a huge margin. Buell is turning an honest profit and selling what they make, but there is no shortage of them.

Heck, I think Harley sells about 10 times as many Sportsters alone as all of Buell. So maybe the demographic is shifting slightly, but it has a LONG way to go.

On the other hand, the KLR-250 I bought last winter for $600 now seems to be worth about $1200. The high cost of gas and a resurgence of interest in riding dirt seem to be helping the dual sports go from a really small niche to a slightly less small niche ;)
 
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