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Topic: Visited a H-D Dealership  (Read 17121 times)

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« on: February 19, 2012, 02:31:03 AM »

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.    

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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 04:57:55 AM »

 :popcorn:
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 05:18:56 AM »

Let me be the first to say,
"If I have to explain it to you, you wouldn't understand".    Lol
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 05:28:57 AM »

Although I am not interested in the cruiser market anymore, Harley is VERY good at selling an image.  From their advertisements to their clothing and other odds and ends, HD caters to a customer that wants that image.  

If I had a dollar for every potential new rider who said, "If I learn how to ride, I want to buy a Harley", I would be $100 richer!  Probably a tad more but you get the idea.   Thumbsup
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 07:22:18 AM »

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.

Not that that's worth 30k, but few of their bikes are that expensive.  The ones that do have full luggage, fairings, radios/CD/MP3 players, and a nice sound (in stock form) to boot.  They sell b/c not many other bikes offer that - at any price.  Throw in the image of a badass on the open road and you have yourself a business model.

I want one (or two).
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 07:34:03 AM »

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. 


Seriously, I have trouble believing you just figured this out?   Lol  
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 07:42:07 AM »



The thing about Harleys is they weigh more than FJRs so what you got is this very stable sport touring platform.
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 09:12:41 AM »


  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.



They only complain when you twist the grip.

 Wink
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 09:43:25 AM »

You would appearantly not be one of Harley's "core" customers, as they claim. That is the excuse they gave for getting rid of Buell.

As for the question as to why...   I still can't rationalize it in my mind either.  Goes with the Apehanger bars, and the choppers that can't do anything except in a straight line, or sitting there looking pretty.

As for the weight making for a stable touring platform, well then so does a cement truck, but you don't see me throwing a sleeping bag in one of those, and taking off for the weekend.  Lol

I guess it's like the "Jeep" thing. We just wouldn't understand...
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 09:50:06 AM »


Let me be the first to say,
"If I have to explain it to you, you wouldn't understand".    Lol


I do not ride a Harley but from what I know, and what friends that do ride HD's say, there is a huge amount of truth to this statement.

You either get it or you do not, and yes the "club" aspect of riding a HD, the image, does play a big part in it.
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2012, 10:08:56 AM »

I don't get it, but they don't get my Ducati either, so it's a wash...
What's good for Harley is good for motorcycling.  Shrug
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2012, 10:15:18 AM »


... 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.    




Welcome to the dark side.

Leave while you still can.  I love it when hd owners try to convince me to buy a hd.  It's ridiculous fun.
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 11:12:53 AM »


 Harley is VERY good at selling an image.  From their advertisements to their clothing and other odds and ends, HD caters to a customer that wants that image.  


This is an understatement, Harley is the BEST at selling it's image, their bikes aren't my thing, but they are marketing geniuses, no company has brand loyalty like H-D.
Apple, Coke, Levis come close, but how often do you see an Apple, Coke, or Levis trademark tattooed on someones body?
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 11:28:42 AM »




This is an understatement, Harley is the BEST at selling it's image, their bikes aren't my thing, but they are marketing geniuses, no company has brand loyalty like H-D.
Apple, Coke, Levis come close, but how often do you see an Apple, Coke, or Levis trademark tattooed on someones body?


Correct, they are at the pinnacle of marketing. But the sad fact is that the motorcycles are completely secondary.  Its ALL about image, brand loyalty and being an 'merican made Union product. They could be selling dump trucks, or limo's and it wouldn't matter, because the rest of us "just don't get it". Rolleyes

-oh wait, I think they do sell limos and dump trucks already  Lol, ones with 1972 styling to boot !
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 11:31:37 AM »

I am sorry but I had to review the OP, and see from what year it was posted.

I thought this thread would have been covered long long ago.
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« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2012, 12:06:53 PM »




As for the weight making for a stable touring platform, well then so does a cement truck, but you don't see me throwing a sleeping bag in one of those, and taking off for the weekend.  Lol





And yet many of our members continue to laud the virtues of the FJR...
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« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2012, 12:07:51 PM »

So much of motorcycling is about lifestyle statements, emotion and marketing.

It is all over the industry and the rule rather than the exception.

Look at the plethora of adventure style bikes arriving on the market with virtually no off road capability (eg. Honda HC700X). In some cases it is a good thing. ICON has probably done more to get young riders in proper safety gear than any safety PSA, by making it fashionable. Their style has done much to replace the wifebeater, backward baseball cap, saggy pants and flip flops as the uniform of young riders. I can't help but think how much mioney and of a positive impact on rider safety the Hell's Angels could make if they came out with a line of Hell's Angels branded riding gear. It could be argued that the adventure touring trend has done much to reintroduce the "standard" bike back into the market, opening up and making exciting a host of better choices for riders to start on as first bikes.

Motorcycling is a luxury industry. Motorcycles are luxury items for the most part, not necessities, and the industry produces and markets products with this in mind. To think our choices are beyond the marketing messages of the industry is a bit delusional in my opinion. We may not buy the messages that HD sends, but we are certainly at some level buying the marketing messages, makers of our bikes of choice send.
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« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2012, 12:09:47 PM »




The thing about Harleys is they weigh more than FJRs so what you got is this very stable sport touring platform.


County, this made me  Lol
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« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2012, 12:18:44 PM »

With all due respect.......shouldn't you at least test ride one before you go off on a rant?  I will totally agree that they are IMO very overpriced for the initial purchase.  However, historically, they have held very high resale value, even though that is not so true anymore.  I will say that I have rented a few and really enjoyed riding them, as long as I kept my expectations in line with what they were.  Actually the new ones handled much better than what I expected, and the roadglyde I rented was extremely comfortable.  I still wouldn't spend the money they asked for a new one, but I did come away somewhat impressed with the design and build quality.  

I also will point out tht there are plenty of young riders that go out and buy the latest 600 or 1000 supersport just so they will look cool.  Ain't just a Hardly thing.
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« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2012, 12:39:48 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.


I thought you had a Buell?  Two of 'em, in fact?  So, you never, ever went into a Buell dealership?

My first experience in a Harley boutique was a direct result of my interest in Buells.  Of course, I got a crash course in marketing strategy--both the good (Harley) and the bad (Buell), but...I did go in.  Indeed, I've visited quite a few.  No-one does the "motorcycle boutique" thing quite like Harley (well, Ducati comes close, but they still insist on hiring guys who actually know something about the product...Harley has learned the trick of hiring cute young chicks who don't need to know a thing to be effective sales aids Wink ).
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