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Topic: Visited a H-D Dealership  (Read 16174 times)

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« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2012, 12:56:56 PM »

Koot, I have been to the dealership before but I always went straight to the Buell section.  I glanced over at all the chrome and my eyes hurt so I stayed away.  This time was different.  I had time to really look closer and view the pricetag, talk to the sales staff, etc.  The words "style" AND "performance" was used in their language quite often.  I get the style.  But the performance?   Headscratch  I kept quiet and didn't tell them I rode Buells because I had a feeling as soon as they found out I did, they would drop the "performance" from their vocabulary.    

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« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2012, 01:07:22 PM »


With all due respect.......shouldn't you at least test ride one before you go off on a rant?  


To be honest, BEFORE I think about test riding a bike I would desire to have, I first check performance statistics and test reviews and IF the performance and looks of the bike appeals to me and I'm ready to buy then I test ride .  It has to be faster than most cars to begin with.  After that, looks.  This is why I never test drove any HD....none meet the minimum criteria of performance.  To me, performance is the very core of motorcycle riding experience.  Otherwise, I may as well drive a car.  This is also why I said the XR1200 is the only model that appealed to me.  I did not say ALL H-D are crap in my eyes.  Having said that, the XR1200 has LESS performance than the least performing Buell V-twin (Lightning XB9S).  So......no test ride.
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« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2012, 01:13:06 PM »




Seriously, I have trouble believing you just figured this out?   Lol  


I didn't just....I was indeed curious if there is something in there that I missed.  I thought maybe there was substance behind the image.  Perhaps there is, but it does NOT lie in the performance category.  That is the part I'm left wondering....so the image and portrayal of Henry Fonda and Dennis Hopper riding across Arizona is the substance behind it all?  That is the part I just don't get and probably never will.   Shrug    
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« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2012, 01:13:19 PM »


Okay.  I told myself I would never do this, ever, but my friend talked me into checking out their bikes.  Since he was a very good friend I went along.

The only bike that even remotely interested me was the Xr1200.   Even that was just okay (too long and not so attractive in my opinion).  However, it does look like an evolution of an old design.  Kind of like a Guzzi Griso 12v SE.  The XR1200 was priced competitively so it looks like a good one.  But I know this bike does not sell much here in the US.  All the pirates.....ahem, customers were interested in the chrome laden, white wall tired retro-looking models.   Wink

I was however, appalled at the prices of many of the bikes!  I mean $30k for a bike that looks totally retro?  Also, the biggest headscratcher for me is, why oh why do all H-D's look so old?  I saw pictures of a 1998 Road Glide in a book and I swear that it looked just like the 2012 Road Glide!  Yes I know the hardware is all new but to me, this is like selling a 1966 Mustang that looks exactly like a 1966 Mustang in 2012 as a new 2012 model and asking premium prices for it!  

Why?  WHY?  Headscratch

They even have a "new" model called a "72" and it looks like a chopper circa 1972, complete with white wall tires!  WTF?  

They sell this shit and people buy it?  Now, I'm all okay with retro as long as it has a retro-price.  Like for example the Royal Enfield Bullet or the Triumph Thruxton or Bonneville.  But dayum!  $25k-$30k for a bike that looks like it hasn't changed in 20 years along with performance that hasn't improved much either?  I mean, people pay $30k for a Gold Wing but that bike is thoroughly modern in every way with performance to match.  But a Street Glide is not even fast.  I really am not getting the attraction of buyers to H-D.  Not one bit.  I'm not trying to bash, but even my wife who knows nothing about bikes could not believe how expensive those "old bikes" were!  

If I think about this logically, since the bike looks old and has no performance advantage, it must be the look and the image that people buy into.  It's the only logical conclusion.  The stereotype is hard to deny here from the perspective of an outsider looking in.  I honestly don't know how H-D is able to stay in business selling this stuff.  To me, I would feel ripped off if I bought a $25k H-D that looks old and didn't go like stink because I could buy an equivalent BMW or Triumph that would go fast, handle, stop, and look sleek, like a modern motorcycle should.  I mean, even the Mini and the Mustang have both evolved and they look retro-yet modern at the same time.  They also perform the way a modern high performance car should.    




Boy, where to start.....
1st of all, my condolences for having to experience such a horrific event in your life.  Lol

The XR1200 is a giant leap in the right direction but, IMHO, falls way short of being competitive with other "sporty" standards; the engine is too weak, the chassis WAY too heavy and the price is WAY too high. Unless the one you saw was discounted below MSRP (quite possible) there is no way it is "competitively priced". Almost $12g is too much considering there are MUCH more capable bikes out there for less (Street triple for example). The XR is about 5 steps backwards from what Buell was producing and a bit of a slap in the face to those of us who really liked Buell and what he was trying to accomplish.

The prices are appalling, pretty much across the board. The entry level Sportster (883 Superlow) is the only one that is priced reasonably given the market segment it's in. All the rest I'd say are worth about 75% of what the asking price is (a $20k road sofa is probably a $15k bike with a $5k badge on the tank. They are nice bikes and generally well made but I could never overlook the performance shortcomings given the price premium. It's FAR too easy to get a quality bike with better performance from another make for less cash. For my money, Victory is the FAR better buy, although their styling seems to be polarizing to most.

As far as the styling, well that's a totally subjective matter. Personally, I like their styling a lot but I HATE the compromises in performance that are made in the name of styling. A super low slung bike looks cool but lack of any appreciable cornering clearance or suspension travel is definitely NOT cool in my book. The fact that their best handling bikes with the most clearance are their road barges (aside from the XR) is a BIG turn off for me.

Harley sells an image and they are the BEST at it. The bike and it's performance is secondary (or possibly further down the list in some cases) . Because the market is so HUGE for image the prices follow accordingly. Is a Street Glide worth $17-20k? based on performance and quality absolutely not; based on what the market will bear, yup.

My wish is that one day Harley will cut back on the "classic" models a little (not eliminate them, there is a VERY lucrative market for them) and add a few "sporty" options into the mix. A Dyna setup more like a Yamaha Warrior would be cool, a Sportster that more closely resembled a tube frame Buell but with a modern powerplant would be wicked. A V-Rod with Ergos a normal human being would like would be awesome (kinda like the "Street-Rod" from a few years back).
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« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2012, 01:13:56 PM »

I see that all 14 buyers that bought Buells are still mad at Harley.  Lol
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« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2012, 01:15:29 PM »


Well - HD's don't have the top end HP - but I will say that I like that the power is available down low.  A smooth pull from idle w/o having to rev the shit out of your motor is a good thing.  Even most of the other twins I've had don't have that.  Shit - my S2R1000 in stock form wouldn't hardly run below 4k, but the HD's I've ridden could roll around almost at idle w/o complaint.



My Firebolt XB12R had a smooth pull down low.  It was one of the things that made it a joy to ride in the city--lots of low end torque and strong midrange.  I rarely revved it past 6k RPM.  When I did rev it to redline, it had a decent top end.  The best of both worlds.
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« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2012, 01:16:34 PM »


Koot, I have been to the dealership before but I always went straight to the Buell section.  I glanced over at all the chrome and my eyes hurt so I stayed away.  This time was different.  I had time to really look closer and view the pricetag, talk to the sales staff, etc.  The words "style" AND "performance" was used in their language quite often.  I get the style.  But the performance?   Headscratch  I kept quiet and didn't tell them I rode Buells because I had a feeling as soon as they found out I did, they would drop the "performance" from their vocabulary.    




The language used is all relative to the target market for a product.

Let's say for example that the heart of the HD market is targeted at guys suffering from a mid-life crisis who regularly drive mini-vans and four door sedans popular a mid-sized rental cars. To this audience the performance of virtually any motorcycle is likely to be pretty exciting and makes sense to  emphasize in marketing materials.

Of course these words are lost and rightfully might be considered ridiculous by people outside of the target market.
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« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2012, 01:18:53 PM »


I see that all 14 buyers that bought Buells are still mad at Harley.  Lol


I'm mad at H-D yes.  But my point was the shock of their pricing of low performance, retro bikes, which left me wondering why people buy them and pay those prices for that.  That's all.  
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« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2012, 01:20:35 PM »




To be honest, BEFORE I think about test riding a bike I would desire to have, I first check performance statistics and test reviews and IF the performance and looks of the bike appeals to me and I'm ready to buy then I test ride .  It has to be faster than most cars to begin with.  After that, looks.  This is why I never test drove any HD....none meet the minimum criteria of performance.  To me, performance is the very core of motorcycle riding experience.  Otherwise, I may as well drive a car.  This is also why I said the XR1200 is the only model that appealed to me.  I did not say ALL H-D are crap in my eyes.  Having said that, the XR1200 has LESS performance than the least performing Buell V-twin (Lightning XB9S).  So......no test ride.



Agree 100%. To me, a bike is a performance machine and should perform accordingly. That's not to say they should all be laying down 10sec. 1/4 miles but they should be able to defend themselves from Honda Civics.  Lol

I've always wanted to see a Bone stock Buell XB12 Lightning go head to head against one of the race prep XR1200's they have in that V&H series.  I think it would be quite the eye opener as to what a step backwards the XR was/is.
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« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2012, 01:24:29 PM »


The XR1200 is a giant leap in the right direction but, IMHO, falls way short of being competitive with other "sporty" standards; the engine is too weak, the chassis WAY too heavy and the price is WAY too high. Unless the one you saw was discounted below MSRP (quite possible) there is no way it is "competitively priced". Almost $12g is too much considering there are MUCH more capable bikes out there for less (Street triple for example). The XR is about 5 steps backwards from what Buell was producing and a bit of a slap in the face to those of us who really liked Buell and what he was trying to accomplish.



Here, here!  I'm with you on all points Rattlehead.  I'm glad i'm not the only one who can see this.

I do think the XR1200 is competitively priced against a few bikes in its class--the Moto Guzzi Griso 12V and the BMW R1200R.  The XR cost a bit more though but it's in the ballpark.  It does have the advantage of having massive dealership support.  But yes you are 100% correct.  They took the performance of the Buell XB12S Lightning SS and took it a few steps back.  That's another one in my "WHY-List" that leaves me scratching my head.   Headscratch
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« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2012, 01:26:58 PM »


Of course these words are lost and rightfully might be considered ridiculous by people outside of the target market.


I agree with you.  

You sound like you work in marketing.  
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« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2012, 01:29:49 PM »

I'm pretty sure Henry Fonda and Dennis Hopper never rode Harleys together.
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« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2012, 01:46:56 PM »


Koot, I have been to the dealership before but I always went straight to the Buell section.  I glanced over at all the chrome and my eyes hurt so I stayed away.  This time was different.

So, you never had the friendly H-D salesman gently steer you away from the Buells while uttering "How about this nice Sportster?" Wink

Maybe the dealerships you were going into were bigger...up here, the "Buell section" consisted of maybe one Lightning and one Firebolt, tucked in a back corner behind the ceiling post where they wouldn't take away important retail space from the Harleys.  There were no specific Buell personnel, either in sales or parts (I had to physically take the parts book and show them what "frame pucks" were...).

I don't mind looking at Harleys (or the cute young chicks they hire at the boutiques... Smile ).  In the Trev Deeley dealership in Vancouver, there is a small motorcycle museum which is definitely worth looking through.

Oh, and BTW, I have ridden a few demo Harleys...one was even the Street Rod that Rattlehead mentioned.  Not one of them made me want to trade in my Firebolt--which is interesting, because AFAIK one of the ideas behind Harley's ownership of Buell was that they'd be kinda like "starter" Harleys, to develop brand loyalty with the expectation that Buell owners would eventually "trade up" to a Harley--something which AFAIK seldom, if ever, happened.  And yes, I'm still pissed at H-D, to the point I will never, ever buy one of their products, even in the unlikely event I should ever desire one (kind of the opposite of the brand loyalty they were initially hoping to achieve...).
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« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2012, 01:51:12 PM »



I agree with you.  

You sound like you work in marketing.  


Guilty as charged. Use to work in marketing before I retired.
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« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2012, 01:51:26 PM »


I'm pretty sure Henry Fonda and Dennis Hopper never rode Harleys together.


They did.

According to them, Dennis Hopper did NOT know how to ride well at the beginning of the film.  So both of them rode often (off film) as Fonda helped Hopper to get acquainted with riding.  

I saw the interviews when the DVD was released.   Lol

I liked the movie (except the weird ending).  I thin the bikes on that film as appropriate for that period in time.  That period in time was also around when H-D gave up the performance part of the equation and went on down the road (so to speak) on an image branding because they could not match what was coming out of Europe and Japan.  Maybe they didn't want to because they found enough sheep to buy their products on image alone.  

I find that very sad.  I mean, there is a loyal following of Royal Enfield bullet owners around the world.  I understand that and can see the attraction to those who want to harken back to the purity of the riding experience, along with the appropriate look and feel.  H-D does that part extremely well.  But as to my previous analogy, a Royal Enfield Bullet 500 cost $6k and it's probably worth something like $4k but what's a couple of thousand?  H-D it seems sells the same image and perception but their products sell upwards of 3 times that of the Bullet.  Even when compared to the Triumph Bonneville, H-D models still sell at almost twice as much.  There are that many people who buy into that?  I see that as the biggest marketing genius of all time or the biggest rip-off.  Maybe both.    
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« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2012, 01:53:39 PM »




They did.

According to them, Dennis Hopper did NOT know how to ride well at the beginning of the film.  So both of them rode often (off film) as Fonda helped Hopper to get acquainted with riding.  

I saw the interviews when the DVD was released.   Lol



Psst.

*nudge*

That was PETER Fonda.
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« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2012, 01:57:14 PM »



Oh, and BTW, I have ridden a few demo Harleys...one was even the Street Rod that Rattlehead mentioned.  Not one of them made me want to trade in my Firebolt--which is interesting, because AFAIK one of the ideas behind Harley's ownership of Buell was that they'd be kinda like "starter" Harleys, to develop brand loyalty with the expectation that Buell owners would eventually "trade up" to a Harley--something which AFAIK seldom, if ever, happened.  And yes, I'm still pissed at H-D, to the point I will never, ever buy one of their products, even in the unlikely event I should ever desire one (kind of the opposite of the brand loyalty they were initially hoping to achieve...).


Koot, I always thought fondly of the Sportster 1200.  I thought someday I would own one (when I was much older and lost the desire to go fast).  

Now, never.  The XR1200 is a distant maybe..... but the Griso and BMW still outpace it at similar prices so guess what?  Still no.   Lol

Yes, the dealerships I went too were huge!  They had a whole section of the store devoted to Buell.  I applaud that.  I did go visit a couple of dealerships with token Buells on their showroom (two or three) and I never returned to them.  There was no point in it.  
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« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2012, 02:16:55 PM »

Just playin' with ya Rogue.  Wink
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« Reply #38 on: February 19, 2012, 02:24:12 PM »



Yes, the dealerships I went too were huge!  They had a whole section of the store devoted to Buell.  I applaud that.  I did go visit a couple of dealerships with token Buells on their showroom (two or three) and I never returned to them.  There was no point in it.  


I didn't know such a thing existed. Around me they were always a token presence which irked me to no end.  
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« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2012, 04:18:36 PM »

I've ben riding MOTORCYCLES since 1962. I've never felt the need to belittle what someone else rides. Of course "back then" we all rode Motorcycles, even if it was a Yamaha 80 or Honda 90. Big bikes for us were X6 hustlers, Big Bear Scramblers and 305 Hondas. Any "new guy" on any bike was welcome to ride.
I've also owned many different bikes from Honda, Yamaha, Triumph, HARLEY, and Kawasaki.( Including an H1, and C14 along with a "Samuri"350)
Having been both exposed and experienced to ride many fast and not so fast bikes, I find it funny that some feel they must put down a Harley rider.
I ride motorcycles and right now a Harley is well built and paint fininsh and yes Chrome are far superior to "other" cruisers. And anyone that wishes to belittle Harley ( I know the lifestyle crap makes them the target) But  Honda or "Star" cruisers are the same ride! So why do OU care if someof us wish to go slow in comfort and enjoy the wind!

New riders seems to feel they must "justify" what they ride by downgrading what others have. I should say I also have a Rolex and know a timex is cheaper and keaps better time! SO WHAT! I also appreciate the craftsmanship in "things." ( And yes I've also owned a 1941 ChrisCraft in the 90's that had far "better/faster/less labor intensive" boats available. I never felt the need to tell guys riding/boating" something other than what I have how foolish they were that they weren't rapping their nuts into the tank everytime they hit the brakes!( I miss carving curves, but I don;t miss the backache, and leg cramps, after riding 12 hours in a day!) But I also would NEVER ask,
What you see in YOUR bike! you obviously decided it was what YOU wanted!

New riders are NOT motorcyclist if they think what you ride on two wheels MEANS SQUAT to ANYONE else!

Ride Safe, wave or don't, but I do miss the old days when EVERYONE was happy to see another guy riding a BIKE on the road!

P.S.
I don't "wear" a bike I ride one. It's not a lifestlye, it's what I do. I've had five or six motorcycles before I ever owned a car!
I ride a Harley today!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 04:27:24 PM by FBRR » Logged
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