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Topic: A Surprising New Bike from HD  (Read 4620 times)

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« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2019, 10:49:37 am »




Are Gold Wings still made in America?


I think I read they are being built in Japan now.  Not sure.  

Blue.  Those retired 65 to 70 year old doctors and Lawyers are now 80 ish and not buying or riding HD products anymore.    That segment of the industry may be over.
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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2019, 06:58:08 pm »


Harley is going to have to bite the bullet and change their motorcycle sales direction. This new bike is going in the right way. Their problem will be alienating their bread and butter old school clientele. For every rider that gives up riding due to their "only bike I can ride" mentality , Harley will have to pick up another rider like us that wants to buy/ride American.



I don't see how this could alienate their current clientele, it isn't like Harley is saying they are going to stop making cruisers and only sell these new bikes.  These are additions to the line.  If a harley-person is "alienated" by the presence of these bikes, well, then they are pretty dumb-ass in my view.  

But I still maintain harley doesn't know how to sell these "non-image" bikes (see: Buell).  And selling them in the same showroom won't work (see: Buell).  In fact, I think harley would do better to bring out a new line of bikes with a different name (hmmmm ... Buell?) and sell them in separate showrooms.  If harley hasn't learned anything from the Buell debacle then these bikes will suffer the same fate.  A good product sold by a bad dealer network will never be successful.
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« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2019, 08:17:19 pm »

The way these things usually work is that the owners/managers of the dealerships usually attend the new product revels and often there are workshops where they are given lots of product information.  Itís up to them to take that information back to the dealership and to share it with the sales people.  In addition, many times there are online product information courses that the salespeople can access and use to get even more information.

BUT...the key here is not that the information is out there.  Itís at least as important, if not even more so, what attitude those owners, managers, and sales people have.  If they see the new products as an opportunity to increase sales and profits, they will learn not just about the products, but also about the potential customers for those products, and will treat each with respect.  The successful businesses will have people that do this.  Will there be enough successful business people out there to make HD successful?  That remains to be seen.

Motorcycle companies do NOT sell bikes to riders.  They sell bikes to dealers.  Itís up to the dealers to sell bikes to the riders.  It up to the OEMs to give them tools to do that.  I donít doubt that HD will do that.  I only doubt what the dealers will do. Itís been my experience that when Iíve walked into virtually any HD dealership wearing riding gear and a helmet that I have been ignored.
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« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2019, 02:00:58 pm »





I don't see how this could alienate their current clientele, it isn't like Harley is saying they are going to stop making cruisers and only sell these new bikes.  These are additions to the line.  If a harley-person is "alienated" by the presence of these bikes, well, then they are pretty dumb-ass in my view.  

But I still maintain harley doesn't know how to sell these "non-image" bikes (see: Buell).  And selling them in the same showroom won't work (see: Buell).  In fact, I think harley would do better to bring out a new line of bikes with a different name (hmmmm ... Buell?) and sell them in separate showrooms.  If harley hasn't learned anything from the Buell debacle then these bikes will suffer the same fate.  A good product sold by a bad dealer network will never be successful.


I might point out the Harley VRod! That was a very nice cruiser type bike. Heck, that it wasn't total Harley got some of the usual crowd offended. Same might happen to this new sport bike.
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« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2019, 04:21:55 pm »




I might point out the Harley VRod! That was a very nice cruiser type bike. Heck, that it wasn't total Harley got some of the usual crowd offended. Same might  will happen to this new sport bike.
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« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2019, 09:13:05 pm »

Going to the Springfield Mile every year it seems over half the spectators are HD riders and they sure don't hate on the flat track Harleys. They certainly aren't like the standard HD cruiser.
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« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2019, 09:34:27 pm »


Going to the Springfield Mile every year


We had planned to go this year but couldn't get it to work out. Thought about going to the Minnesota Mile for 2020 since it's only five miles from M-I-L's house but it looks like they won't be having it next year.
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« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2019, 07:32:20 pm »

I like it.  But like most other HD's, I fear it will be pricey!
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« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2019, 09:42:15 pm »



You have misconstrued my post.  I am NOT anti-HD motorcycle, far from it.  I’ve rented, ridden, and enjoyed several HD bikes over the years.  I’ve never owned one, but my brother had built, owned, and serviced many in his life. I enjoy them for what they are.

I’m merely trying to point out that HD, as a company and as a community of riders, have tried to build a wall of superiority around the brand for decades.  It wasn’t Sportbike riders that came up with terms like “rice burners” and “ power rangers”.  It was HD that petitioned a government to enact tariffs against larger bikes from foreign manufacturers.  

I will still contend that building a sportbike that is “as good” as the competition will not be enough. The true anti-HD riders will only be convinced to actually BUY them if they are superior products.  So much of the HD sales strategy has been to get people to buy into the mystique of the brand.  But that’s not going to fly with most sportbike buyers because most sportbike riders don’t get that mystique.  If anything they are already much more anti-HD than they are pro HD....and a big part of that is because of the type of things I mentioned in the 2nd paragraph.

I'm going to disagree on the need for these new bikes to be better...  I think they just need to be close enough.  Why do I think this?  Because of the dealer network.

Think of it this way...  You're interested in buying your first motorcycle, you don't know anyone who rides, and it seems that there's a Harley dealership in just about every city you've ever been in, conveniently set-up across the street from the auto dealerships, right off the freeway.  Harley's are expensive, but they'll finance almost anyone.  Oh, and they have learn-to-ride schools, and riding gear, and all the accessories for your shiny new motorcycle.  Oh, and if you ever have issues while you're on vacation, or traveling, or move somewhere else, etc., there's probably a dealership that's close by that can work on your bike.  And while your bike's in for service, you can rent another one from the same dealership.

Most people don't do their own car maintenance anymore.  There are a lot of people, even when they have the tools and knowledge to do their own maintenance don't, because they don't have the time.  I listened to a podcast recently where an MSF instructor had an entire class of 19 y/o's who didn't know what the purpose of a clutch was, and were stalling bikes left and right until they finally got clear, explicit instruction on how a manual transmission works.  These are the people we're trying to get to buy motorcycles.  They don't care how it works, just that it does.  They don't care how to fix it, they just want it fixed.

Harley still needs to be competitive in what they bring to the table in terms of their machines, but the reality is the biggest benefit they bring to the table is how easy they make it to own a motorcycle.

With that in mind, I don't think these new bikes (the Streetfighter and the Pan-America) really need better spec sheets than the competition, just close enough.  Power and torque needs to be in the ball park, weight needs to come down to a reasonable figure, features need to be comparable, and even if they're priced just a little bit above the competition, they'll still sell well.  Why?  Basically, because they're easier to find, and easier to own.

I've only owned Hondas, and I learned to do much of my own maintenance largely because finding a Honda mechanic is kind of pain, and then the turn-around time for service was often ludicrous.  This was largely because the dealership sold 8 other brands of bikes, plus off-road vehicles, and serviced all of those as well, with about half the mechanics of a Harley dealership.  At one point, I lived near a Harley dealer that happened to have a metric cruiser mechanic on staff, and I went to them over the Metric dealer because the service was MUCH better.

I've test ridden a couple H-D's and they've always put a smile on my face.  I wouldn't consider them by any stretch "bad" motorcycles.  H-D knows they don't make their money on the spec sheets, it really is the whole "H-D" package that they sell bikes on.

All that said, I think a lot of their sales loss is coming from the lack of starter offerings in their line-up.  The Street series is pretty underwhelming.  They do need some cheaper offerings to get people started and hooked on motorcycling, something more comparable to the metric 125-500cc range of "starter" bikes.  The H-D brand does seem almost entirely premium.  Some sort of a Grom-esque offering could potentially do way more for their growth than another bloated premium model aimed at the "elite."  The other "premium" manufacturers have seem to caught on.  I think H-D is starting to head in that direction, too, based upon their teased concepts for scooters and e-bikes, but just not as quickly as everyone else.

That's really the biggest difference I've noticed between H-D and everyone else, everyone else has more and better options to start from.  Once you get into "premium" territory though, the spec sheets aren't as important.  I can see the potential for a large swath of 1200GS riders and the like switching to the Pan-America because of the dealer-network alone.  The Streetfighter will most likely do well simply because of availability and visibility.
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« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2019, 03:38:10 pm »

HD is very stupid when it comes to sport bikes.

Aremacchi: Other than the WC, they didn't capitalize/integrate.

VR1000: gave up too soon.

Buell:  'Nuf said.

MV Agusta: buy for 35 million, sell back for 1.00. (I bet they wish they had it now ;-))

Live Wire: nice but too pricey, and at the cost of a nice indy E-bike start-up.

Ducati: lol...hahaha, right...like HD has more than a billion laying around to buy this prestige racing brand.

And now the Street Fighter.

Given their mismanagement of sport bikes, it seems destined to fail. Pity as it has some nice lines and power figures.

What they need to do, is go racing on Sunday. Develop a winner. Sell it on Monday.

I hear Jorge Lorenzo is available. :-)    
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« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2019, 05:32:47 pm »

I think HotPursuit is on the mark here. Too bad he is not on the HD Board of Directors.
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« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2019, 11:03:01 pm »

I think HotPursuit is on the mark here. Too bad he is not on the HD Board of Directors.
If I was, then I could afford a Harley! 🤑 Not sure if I would though... The old adage about never use your own product or something like that.  It'd certainly be a good reminder of what the competition's doing.

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« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2019, 07:01:20 am »

For those that choose a bike based on what kind of dealer support they might get after the sale...HP might be correct.  Those people are not as interested in the bike as they are the dealership.  Dealerships that work hard to get the business and support the customer after the sale are the ones that will do well.  But is that every HD dealership?  Certainly not.  Nor is it no non-HD that delivers a great experience.

What happens when they go into that HD dealership to inquire about the new bikes in either a) find the dealer doesnít have one in stock, but can order it for you, or b) have one each in stock, but find the salesman really doesnít know anything about them and really thinks you should take a look at the FLX/Streetbob/long and cool/rodedog/etc. that they have several colors to choose from?

Iíll be really surprised if any of the HD dealerships around me order and stock more than one of each...so they wonít be easier to find, and these two motorcycles wonít be any easier to own than any of the competition. These are NOT entry level motorcycles.  

And yet, this doesnít even account for the person that is going to read the road tests online and from their favorite magazine/website/blogger and find that the products a) canít perform at a level comparable to the offerings from the more established brands that have been producing these kinds of bikes for years, and b) are not competitive in price.  Those people are not even going to go into the dealership, other than perhaps out of curiosity.

In my case, I have to a Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki dealership. A Yamaha and Honda dealership. A KTM dealership. ALL closer to me than the HD dealership.  There is an Indian dealer just a couple of miles from the HD dealership. And the last time I was in the HD dealership, I wasnít even acknowledged.  But I know the people at the other dealerships by name.  So it really might depend on what kind of experience one has in the dealerships they frequent, how accessible and abundant dealerships are, and how willing one is to travel to a dealership they like but might be a distance away.
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« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2019, 11:23:43 am »

I think K is on the mark here. Too bad he is not on the HD Board of Directors.
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« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2019, 12:59:04 pm »

Hell no folks

The way forward for Harley Davidson is selling apparel and souvenirs

 Bigsmile

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« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2019, 02:33:38 pm »

For those that choose a bike based on what kind of dealer support they might get after the sale...HP might be correct.


Sounds like those making decisions based on the warranty of the rifle scope. Some point out that, while Vortex has a great warranty, you'll need it.
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« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2019, 04:23:54 pm »




Sounds like those making decisions based on the warranty of the rifle scope. Some point out that, while Vortex has a great warranty, you'll need it.


Used to be the thing they said about Hyundai too... Bigsmile

While I do consider the reliability of an item when making a purchasing decision, I canít ever remember making that decision based primarily on the availability of service.  Thatís probably in part because Iíve lived near major metro areas most of my adult life, and in part because Iíve never been reluctant to work on my own possessions if I needed to. I suspect that service after the sale is pretty low down on the list of reasons to buy by most Adventure Bike and Sportbike buyers, and quite possibly high up on the list for first time buyers, women buyers, and high end exotic buyers.  But I donít think these bikes are targeted at the latter group of buyers.
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« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2019, 02:55:32 am »

For those that choose a bike based on what kind of dealer support they might get after the sale...HP might be correct.  Those people are not as interested in the bike as they are the dealership.  Dealerships that work hard to get the business and support the customer after the sale are the ones that will do well.  But is that every HD dealership?  Certainly not.  Nor is it no non-HD that delivers a great experience.

What happens when they go into that HD dealership to inquire about the new bikes in either a) find the dealer doesnít have one in stock, but can order it for you, or b) have one each in stock, but find the salesman really doesnít know anything about them and really thinks you should take a look at the FLX/Streetbob/long and cool/rodedog/etc. that they have several colors to choose from?

Iíll be really surprised if any of the HD dealerships around me order and stock more than one of each...so they wonít be easier to find, and these two motorcycles wonít be any easier to own than any of the competition. These are NOT entry level motorcycles. 

And yet, this doesnít even account for the person that is going to read the road tests online and from their favorite magazine/website/blogger and find that the products a) canít perform at a level comparable to the offerings from the more established brands that have been producing these kinds of bikes for years, and b) are not competitive in price.  Those people are not even going to go into the dealership, other than perhaps out of curiosity.

In my case, I have to a Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki dealership. A Yamaha and Honda dealership. A KTM dealership. ALL closer to me than the HD dealership.  There is an Indian dealer just a couple of miles from the HD dealership. And the last time I was in the HD dealership, I wasnít even acknowledged.  But I know the people at the other dealerships by name.  So it really might depend on what kind of experience one has in the dealerships they frequent, how accessible and abundant dealerships are, and how willing one is to travel to a dealership they like but might be a distance away.
I agree that most of the time when I browse an H-D dealership, the sales rep is trying to tell me which bike I want, vs the couple I'm actually interested in.  They don't shy away from test rides though.  But it was the H-D dealer near me in KS that was the only place for hours that carried kids size DOT rated full face helmets in stock so I could appropriately fit one for my son.  I still had to order one in though, because the only one in stock in his size was pink.

I can definitely see the dealers shooting themselves in the foot if their sales floor doesn't fully embrace these new bikes.  Were I on the board of directors, I'd highly recommend that the sales reps get a little time in the saddle at both an off road school/course with the Pan-America, and a track day with the Livewire and Streetfighter so they can speak intelligently about the bikes.  Probably won't happen though.  But they are definitely trying to bring in new customers, it'd be helpful to speak their same language, and have a clear concept of their expectations.

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