I too got to see, sit on, and hear, this bike. I would agree with the comments above with the additional comment that it is a VERY visual experience. I am a sportbike guy, bikes like this aren't supposed to exite me? WRONG! Harley's never did much for me before yesterday...that's all changed! I can't say I will run out and buy one, but the dealer said I could ride one in March when he gets a V-rod demo. in. I will be there! I will say that it's the first offer of a demo. ride that the sales guy asked if I wanted, and not the other way around. On the face of what I saw yesterday "Nice Job H-D"! We all will see how the bike holds up. A good number of people here seem to want H-D to fall flat on their corporate face. I for one, want this effort to work out for them because it will move the bar up just a little so that another manufacturer will have something to shoot at. We all win!
I've gotta say, for all the arguments harley guys have for owning their brand, the "depreciation" one is the silliest, and yet the one most frequently bandied about. The "I'm just out to cruise around, I don't need to go fast" one is far more sensible, but of course it fails to justify the massive premium one must pay for the super-chromed parade boats.
I mean, if you want to invest $20,000, there are far more sensible ways to do it. Harley guys don't correct for inflation, maintainace, and what must be pretty high comp and collision insurance. (I know liability is much lower than sport or standard bikes)
But finally, there is no other liesure/sporting activity that anybody pretends is a good investment. I view motorcycles as sporting goods. semi-durable commodities to be used and consumed. If I wanted to invest in art or sculpture, I'd do that AND buy a cheap bike to "cruise around" with.
Ironically, just think if our theoretical biker/investor had bought $20k of H-D STOCK 20 years ago! (and a cheap Japanese cruiser) He'd probably never need to work again! Maybe H-D should print their stock certificates on the side of the V-Rod tank? THAT would be a good investment!
The flaw in your argument is that you would have to keep replacing the worn-out oriental bikes every five years, totally depleting your bank account. Then, at the end of twenty years, you'd have an Asian bike with a very short lifespan and no money.
If you bought your own country's motorcycle, though, at the end of twenty years you'd still have the world's finest motorcycle with an unlimited life ahead of it. Be American - Buy American.
I don't know what universe you live in, but in THE REAL WORLD, the Honda CB750 (aka Nighthawk) is known as "the bike that never dies." Same with other UJMs such as Kawasaki Zephyrs and Suzuki GSes. Japanese cruisers and touring machines are just as reliable. Even many sport-standards have awesome reliability records. The EX500 (Ninja 500) usually racks up 75,000-100,000 miles or more with NO unscheduled maintainences--and it weighs 380 lbs and makes as much power as a 1340cc Harley. The _only_ bikes that have 5-year lifespans are track machines like the GSXR series, and even then many last 10 or 15 years. The same works for BMW--an R1150R costs $10,000 even, makes 85 hp and 71 ft-lbs of torque (in stock form with quiet stock exhaust), can function as anything from a backroad scratcher to a touring rig, and will run FOREVER without dying.
If I bought a Harley-Davidson (which is not "my own country's motorcycle" as the US government is in no way affiliated with Harley-Davidson Inc), after 20 years I would have a motorcycle that is mechanically identical to what HD would be building then, so at least I'd feel good about myself, right?
By your reasoning, shouldn't all European and Japanese motorcyclists boycott Harley-Davidson, as it isn't "their own country's motorcycle?"
Of course most of the fuss comes from the fact that this is a Harley-Davidson, as opposed to the actual specs/performance (though it IS groundbreaking visually, especially with the brushed aluminum finish). However, that sort of thing isn't all that uncommon outside of the Japanese big four--remember the fuss when BMW revealed the R1200C (a BMW cruiser!) and the R1100S (a BMW sportbike!), when Aprilia released its first 1000cc twin, when Triumph released the TT600, etc?
To expand on the "to be American, you have to buy American"; what if everyone in every nation wanted to have that sense of national pride.
There'd be no global trade. Since global trade makes up such a HUGE part of everyone's economy, I think that limiting yourself to the products that your country produces would be shooting yourself in the foot.
How far would everyone get if we were all like "To be a Washingtonian, you have to buy products made in the State of Washington".
Hey TODD, "Be an idiot-reply like a ". Harley Davidsons , although nice to look at, require more maintenence than any Jap bike that I have ever owned. That is well overshadowed by the fact that they cost well over what they are worth. If Harley or Victory made a good sport bike that was liquid cooled, performed well, and cost within $2000.00 of it's Japanease counterpart, I would choose to ride American., but this would never happen.
BTW- I buy motorcycles to ride them, not sell them.
BTW#2-Sonny Berger even calles Harleys "Crap" and admitts to liking the ST1100 better than any Harley.
ALWAYS is a bit strong. The entire engine architecture has more to do with maximum engine RPM than "bore". Piston speed is of course determined by stroke, and breathing efficiency is determined by the intake tract, valve layout/actuation and exhaust system. So to say that "Big Bores" always rev lower than small bores, would of course be a little bit wide of the mark.
Given the personal, leisure oriented nature of a motorcycle purchase, depreciation is one of the most moronic things a Harley nut can bring up. Depreciation is one of the last things most M/C enthusiasts consider when buying a bike. Maybe posers with 6-figure salaries will think of their purchase as an addition to their portfolio, but not me. The elevated price the bike will sell at is only evidence of the large number of morons that exist in the world, not any superior design, engineering or manufacturing on Harley's part. My portfolio will probably outperform the poser's, too.
If you think that a poorly engineered peice of crap that resembles agrcultural equipment will outlast the modern Japanese sportbike, you have been smokin' too many of those tweeds again. Then again since a lot of Harley riders don't actually ride, maybe their bikes WILL stay out of the shop.
I have a 1974 Honda CL 360 that has had the living crap beaten out of it. It still starts on the first or second kick, runs great, and does not take any oil.
The point is that Japenese bikes do not wear out like you say they do. I do not hate HD, and would by one if I had the $$ and a sportbike. I just can not see myself having a HD as an only bike, they are too slow, even the V-ROD (which looks really cool in person minus the belt cover, which may look better cromed).
And just so you know, I am not a Squid. I have ridden 15,000 miles this year, including 2 track days and a trip to the superbike race at Road America. All on my 600 sportbike.
I'm afraid that the V-Rod motor would make the XB9R to heavy, and to long. The XB9R has enough power now, putting in the V-Rod motor would hurt the handling so much we would just have another bike with too much motor for its frame. Kind of like the V-Max, but not as bad.
If oriental bikes are so much sturdier and more reliable than Harleys, where are all the Kawondamazukis from twenty years ago? Hint: look up "motorcycle salvage" in the phone book. And while you're there, try to find one single Harley of any year in any junkyard anywhere on earth. You won't. Almost all of the Harleys from that same period (and much, much earlier) are still in use.
And yes, people from Europe should buy motorcycles made in their country, just as Japanese should buy Japanese motorcycles and Americans should buy American motorcycles, unless they wish to support a country other than their own, in which case they should move to that country to give it their full support.
You have obviously never owned a Harley. If you had, not only would you not make such false claims about them, you would still be riding one, as everyone else who buys one does. People move up to a Harley, not down.
Quote: "To expand on the "to be American, you have to buy American"; what if everyone in every nation wanted to have that sense of national pride."
Everyone in every nation SHOULD have that sense of national pride. I'm just ashamed that America has some (like you) that don't.
Quote: "There'd be no global trade. Since global trade makes up such a HUGE part of everyone's economy, I think that limiting yourself to the products that your country produces would be shooting yourself in the foot."
No, there will always be foreign trade. However, the more America imports, the weaker we become; the more we export, the stronger we become. Every dollar you send to Japan makes America that much weaker. Power is money, period.
Quote: "How far would everyone get if we were all like 'To be a Washingtonian, you have to buy products made in the State of Washington'."
I go out of my way to deal with local merchants first, as opposed to some corporate chain. If everyone supported their hometown first, things would be fine indeed.
Anyone can stick an American flag on their bike, all that shows is that you wish to be perceived as supporting America. If that flag is stuck on a foreign bike, it's plainly evident to all who you really support.