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Harley-Davidson Needs a New Generation of Riders

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MarJay
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PostPosted: 08:31 - 29 Aug 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harley Davidson screwed over Erik Buell and all his employees. For this I will never forgive them.

They also need to get their backsides out of the 'raked out forks' mindset, even with electric bikes, but that's irrelevant seeing as they will never be as successful as they used to be.
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Riejufixing
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PostPosted: 09:27 - 29 Aug 2019    Post subject: Re: Harley-Davidson Needs a New Generation of Riders Reply with quote

grossopadlock wrote:
The first thing you should do when you meet a Harley-Davidson rider is check the back of his...

NO! That's ENOUGH of *that* sort of thing.

If that is your interest, which it seems to be, keep it private, between yourself and similar consenting adults, please.
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Bhud
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PostPosted: 14:40 - 29 Aug 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, it's funny, but if HD wants to market their Livewire towards young people outside the US, they're looking at only rather wealthy young people. That's a very expensive way to get down to Starbucks and back. Not being disparaging towards Starbucks or young people in any way, but the range of those things is abysmal, so you're headed to Starbucks and back. Imagine you're a somewhat feckless youth, whether in the Far East or Europe, with 30K-plus to spend. Rather than invest this money sensibly, you're into buying toys. And, rather than buying a much more expensive sports car or electric car, you plump for a bike. You ignore the protestations of danger from your parents. You're hellbent on that Livewire. WHY? Have you seen it in the movies? No. Do your friends have one? No. Are those 9s and 10s in your young social circle impressed by bikes? No. Are you interested in bikes yourself, for their own sake, and for the love of riding? Now, that one's a possibility, but it makes no sense to then plump for a HD. You don't have the "buy American" mindset - you just want the best performance and image you can get (after all, you're a rich youngster to have all that disposable cash). So it doesn't make a huge amount of sense. Bizarrely, whether you buy it or not, HD considers it a win if someone somewhere is talking about them, negatively or positively. That's really weird (not as weird as RE marketing dept's strategies, but weird enough). I'm no marketing whizz-kid, but it seems really silly to marginalise their US customer base, the origins of big noise, willy-waggling, etc. in this way. Pure logic. However, I don't care about "the Motor Company" and see no need to pretend to care.
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Polarbear
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PostPosted: 18:43 - 29 Aug 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^Wot he said, I think!^^^
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stevo as b4
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PostPosted: 23:21 - 29 Aug 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Assuming the future of all bikes is electric, then how would you brand and market HD to appeal to the future young buyers?

The grey traditionalists are dying out more quickly than the future of the air or liquid cooled ICE. I agree with the above post too in that HD is targeting the wealthy young foreign buyers with their EV range, but ones that have no brand affiliation to HD.

They can't target the budget EV market, as this will be sewn up by the Chinese no brand sector. This leaves them two options.

1, Cutting edge racer for the road sports bike market with performance and handling being the priority. This they have no experience of especially now that Buell is gone which could of maybe been a much more relevant important asset to them today.

2, Target style and the funky naked/retro/street/hipster market. To do that they'd need EV bikes that look classic and elegant and look and perform better than the BMW/Triumph/Guzzi alternatives while still being designed as an EV from the outset which is quite hard to outstyle a Bonneville for example without any historical styling cues or design features.

I wouldn't want the job of leading the brand development that's for sure! Oh and I agree with Marjay about Buell too. Even if the writing was on the wall if Buell could have had another 5years or so of cutting edge ICE bike development it would have been a hell of a finale!
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MarJay
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PostPosted: 08:00 - 30 Aug 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevo as b4 wrote:
I wouldn't want the job of leading the brand development that's for sure! Oh and I agree with Marjay about Buell too. Even if the writing was on the wall if Buell could have had another 5years or so of cutting edge ICE bike development it would have been a hell of a finale!


Harley used some extremely dodgy accounting practices to cut Buell's budget. Charged Buell for internal Engine development costs that ended up benefitting ONLY the V-Rod Project, Banned full fairings, banned chain drive, etc etc.

They cancelled the amazing Diablo 150bhp turbo XB project because they didn't want to compete with the 'adrenaline' market. How short sighted is that?

http://www.froggypwns.com/buellpdfs/Cycle%20World%20-%20May2010%20-%20Demise%20of%20Buell%20and%20Barracuda%202.pdf

Harley screwed Buell over from the start due to corporate infighting, protectionism and greed. They could have had a decent product to compete with the likes of Ducati and the Japanese factories in terms of power and handling, but instead threw it away because they couldn't face competing directly.

It's a good example of why American corporate politics can be so toxic.
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RhynoCZ
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PostPosted: 14:01 - 30 Aug 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never liked Hardly a Davidson bikes.

Heavy, slow, not cornering nor braking well, awful fuel economy, underpowered, unreliable, poor build quality... yet with a premium price tag.

Not that I enjoy cruisers/choppers. If I did, I'd buy a Japanese bike. Even 'merican police use/d Kawasaki motorcycles instead of 'merican made Hardly a Davidsons, because of how bad those HD bikes were/are.
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martin734
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PostPosted: 22:38 - 30 Aug 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never understood the whole H-D lifestyle thing. I ride a motorcycle because I love riding motorcycles. I am not interested in a particular image or a lifestyle nor am I interested in wearing overpriced branded clothing just because I ride that particular make of motorcycle. In the last few years it seems to me that H-D have become a marketing and lifestyle brand that happens to sell motorcycles. Rather than sell bikes that people want to buy because they are very good at what they do, they have for years been selling overpriced mediocre machines based around a particular image and nostalgia and be fair to them though, they have been doing this very well. The market is changing now though, due to a number of factors, both social and economical and the newer generation of riders are looking for something different. The ones who want something genuinely different and individual are moving away from the main manufacturers and towards the custom scene and those who are still buying mainstream are more and more looking for value for money and substance over style. I think that there will always be a market for H-D but I don't think they will ever be what they once were unless they start looking at their competitors, particularly makes like Triumph and Indian, and offering a more diverse range of truly good motorcycles. Unfortunately, at the moment, I think they are becoming a rather tired cliche.
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Bhud
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PostPosted: 11:30 - 31 Aug 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Harley thing will always be confusing to most Americans and to all non-Americans. It's a major Achilles heel for HD. It isn't in their best interests if posers take up "the Harley lifestyle", because posers are ridiculous and they turn off potential customers.

Americans have a written constitution, and this has, over the course of time (as Americans along with the rest of the world adopted mass literacy in the early 20th century) transferred over to a sort of attitude of symbolism, signification and bibliolatry towards historic and foundational concepts. For example, American schoolchildren salute the flag every morning and can recite the 10 amendments. Nothing wrong with that, but what I reckon has accompanied this sense of popular reductionism is a detachment from the key ideals that have underpinned American society from the start. Individual liberty, the freedom to adopt any course of action one chooses as long as one owns the consequences entirely upon one own's own head, the freedom to succeed or fail at any enterprise, etc. A belief in the collective good being, ultimately, best served by giving free reign to an unspoken but universally acknowledged desire of the individual to be free. This thinking all stemmed from the religious ideals of the early settlers and the Founding Fathers, at the core of which was the irrepressible, immortal divine spark in the heart of man, which impelled him towards individual autonomy and liberty. To this day, American elites, thinktanks, the highest echelons in American society, are all well familiar with these ideals. However, they have long lost traction among the burgeoning American middle classes, and they are often misunderstood by the rest of the world.

Europeans made their way westward to the Americas to make their fortune. By the time the 20th century arrived, the USA was the world's leading military and economic power. In 1945/46 America made more than half the rest of the world's GDP, summed. How did this happen? Free market capitalism, American style. No regulatory impediment to starting any business, or leaving or taking up any job whatsoever. From the cotton mills to Detroit, this is how it worked. If you were poor there was no safety net, you had to up-sticks and move to these industrial powerhouses, and you could make a decent, comfortable living wage. No class system: you could take your ideas and sell them to the CEO or the BoD, etc. Lots of advantages.

Today, that situation has long since reversed. America is in the process of being completely de-industrialised, and is reaching parity with us and European states, in that regard. Total American GDP is about 15% of the rest of the world, and it's set to hit %10 in about 5 years. That entrepreneurial spirit has been stifled by a lot of red tape, regulation and politics - a system as mired and top-heavy as much as the rest of the world. But there are a few who still have their own, personal "American Dream". People who live off the grid, the equivalent of "travellers" in the UK, people who buy and pay in cash, do odd-jobs, maybe sell a little moonshine or weed, etc. These people are a tiny minority of Americans, but they have a big place in the American mythos, and the whole romance of the "outlaw" image, Jesse James, the wild West, etc. These people have been the subject of movies. They have, perhaps, the most attractive mythology of all American types. This is the image that Harley has been dependent upon to sell bikes since WW2. But when the average American looks in the mirror, they don't see that wild, free guy. They see a square. To play dress-up wouldn't be authentic to them. This is why the whole "Harley lifestyle" thing never made it past the Boomer generation (who are, arguably, the last generation of old-school Americans). The closest thing we have to that authentic "outlaw" thing here is probably the matt black ratrod bike scene, but even that is turning into the poser brigade, because, as Americans say, freedom isn't free, big hat small cows, weekend warriors, etc.

Hope that helps to understand the Harley lifestyle thing, and how it's been lost in translation, and how Harley marketing can't claim any credit for it in any case.
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steve the grease
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PostPosted: 21:03 - 12 Oct 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember back in the seventies , Harleys were not imported into the UK in anything like the numbers we see them now . They were brought into the UK by a dealer ... Fred Warr , on the Chelsea road somewhere I think, in small batches like a dozen at a time . No one had ever seen one . We all assumed that if Triumphs/ Bsa's ( this is schoolkids right) did 100 or 110 then Harleys at a huge nearly double the capacity of a Triumph 1200cc must be good for some insane speed like 130 or something , .... right?
Then Bike Magazine came out with an article "Harley, the sad truth" and actually tested an Electroglide, properly .
In this article all the myths were exposed, less relable / more oil leaks than a Brit bike ( 20 years pre evo , remember), made of huge tractor like forgings, top speed about 80. I can remember a picture of the guy trying to go round a roundabout at about 30 mph the footboards sparking on the ground furiously. I could go on , but you get the idea. OK things have come on since 1974, but in my experience , even the Evo's are poorly engineered, designed and made. Why would anyone want to buy one?
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biker7
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PostPosted: 06:39 - 14 Oct 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

The largest number of HD critics by far are those who don't own one and usually ride cheap bikes. I've ridden/owned most bikes in my 50 odd years on 2 wheels. Next to my 4 Harleys, my 2016 Hayabusa gained most admiration. My current Fat Bob (2019) handles, stops and pulls better than most other bikes on the road, new or used. I'd buy another Jap superbike tomorrow except my 70 years may be catching up on me a bit, although I still enjoyed a blast on a Fireblade a few months back. Most Harley knocking is ignorance or plain hot air! Still, if you don't like a particular brand, just don't buy one, no need to go banging on about your views. Vintage Harleys are bloody gorgeous; some new ones better than many who have not ridden them know. I'll be out on my steed later this morning, rain or shine, an old man's hot rod may be. But one thing's for sure it's probably faster away from the lights and gets more approving glances from lorry driver windows than most. Jap, Brit and Italians make great bikes and I love (have owned) most of them, but don't knock Harleys if you meet me on the road, you won't see me for dust but you will hear my Short Shots when I'm in front! Wink Very Happy
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Minty
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PostPosted: 07:07 - 14 Oct 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mods, how many socks are you going to let Teff have before you do something?
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G
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PostPosted: 09:46 - 14 Oct 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

biker7 wrote:
My current Fat Bob (2019) handles, stops and pulls better than most other bikes on the road, new or used.

Yea, those WSB people just don't know what they're doing choosing sports bike chassis - I mean, obviously the geometry and kit of a 'Fat Bob' would be so much better! They obviously don't own a HD, silly people filled with ignorance and hot air to think that they know more about bike performance!

Just had a look and your bike actually weighs closer to a car I used to own than the bike I ride the most. Laughing
It also has less power AND less power to weight ratio than both!
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thx1138
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PostPosted: 10:00 - 14 Oct 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, if my home state was bigger than England, with long straight desert roads longer than M1, I might ride a Harley.
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Bhud
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PostPosted: 12:52 - 14 Oct 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very uncool because of the people who ride them... Another major reason why those bikes don't sell.

There was a funny book in the 80s called "How to be a Wally".
Said things like, when you get promoted to team leader at work, you stop hanging out with your old friends, and change your cigarette brand to Silk Cut. You also make sure the company gives you the "GL" version rather than the "L" version of your company car, to make sure everyone knows your status in life (your car and your job define who you are).

New Harleys cost between £6K and £34K. I suspect most change hands, used, at around £8K.
A BMW X5 base model costs what, £55K, and that's not even a high-end luxury car. So if a Harley is a status symbol, what does it really say about you?

I'm firmly in the millenials' corner, or even the hipsters, and not the yuppies, on this one. Rather have a few good ISAs than ride something I don't like to impress people I don't like.
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Bhud
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PostPosted: 23:15 - 14 Oct 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

biker7 wrote:
Notice when someone knocks Harley's they don't actually say what lump of shit they actually ride that's so much better. Come on you 'experts' tell us what you ride then we can all have a good laugh too! Very Happy


Can you be more specific about who you're addressing? I don't think anyone who's contributed to the debate has kept their bikes secret here. On the other hand, your account of your biking history could do with a little fact-checking IMO.
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linuxyeti
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PostPosted: 06:58 - 15 Oct 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bhud wrote:
Very uncool because of the people who ride them... Another major reason why those bikes don't sell.

New Harleys cost between £6K and £34K. I suspect most change hands, used, at around £8K.



In the eu at least, cost aside, there's also not even any A2 compliant license Harleys around, without the faff of restricting them. that could change, if they bring into europe the Qianjiang (keeway) design smaller capacity HD's. The electric bike, would be more appealing, but, again, it's the cost, and, range that kills that.

Plus, as has been said already, the image of HD puts off at least as many as it appeals to
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ThatDippyTwat
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PostPosted: 17:40 - 15 Oct 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

biker7 wrote:
Next to my 4 Harleys, my 2016 Hayabusa gained most admiration.

If you're riding and choosing bikes based on your perception of the image others hold for you, you're doing it wrong. Ride a Harley because you like it, not because Joe Public thinks you're straight out of sons on anarchy or some other bullshit.
biker7 wrote:
My current Fat Bob (2019) handles, stops and pulls better than most other bikes on the road, new or used.

Bet you it doesn't. In fact, I bet you my £950 Korean 250 work hack handles better.

Harley have to figure out how to sell a lifestyle to people with purchasing power. At the moment, that's the mid 30's and up. Harley's problem is most of us into two wheels have no interest in either the lifestyle they've used to sell bikes, or the bikes themselves.
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G
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PostPosted: 20:22 - 15 Oct 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

biker7 wrote:
Notice when someone knocks Harley's they don't actually say what lump of shit they actually ride that's so much better. Come on you 'experts' tell us what you ride then we can all have a good laugh too! Very Happy

Triumph 675 mostly at the moment.
Name your local/preferred track and perhaps we can do a decent test to see which "handles, stops and pulls better" - seeing that your bike is 11 years newer with almost three times the capacity, it should be a pretty dang easy win for you?

I would suggest we "do it for V5s"... but I don't have any boats I need to anchor Laughing .
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Nobby the Bastard
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PostPosted: 20:36 - 15 Oct 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

biker7 wrote:
Notice when someone knocks Harley's they don't actually say what lump of shit they actually ride that's so much better. Come on you 'experts' tell us what you ride then we can all have a good laugh too! Very Happy


Triumph sprint st 1050. Any time.
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grr666
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PostPosted: 20:37 - 15 Oct 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

G wrote:

I would suggest we "do it for V5s"... but I don't have any boats I need to anchor Laughing .
Laughing You could tie a big dog to it I suppose...
Hell, I'd even give that a go on my shitty old budget pogo stick Yamaha. I don't understand science but if I did I'd definitely
know 188kg stops better than 3 hundred million tonnes of pig iron drifting through the galaxy looking for a moon to latch onto.
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Polarbear
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PostPosted: 21:43 - 15 Oct 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

G wrote:

I would suggest we "do it for V5s"... but I don't have any boats I need to anchor Laughing .


I'll have it off you when you win, I can use it to tow my boat when the horse wants a rest. Thumbs Up
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biker7
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PostPosted: 07:56 - 16 Oct 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah good, a few brave fellows are sharing their bike identities to knock now. Actually my taunt was a ploy because I'm not into insults - if we own a bike, it's great. I've been in biking for a half century and know that no one likes it when someone says their bike is rubbish, let alone they are an 'uncool' individual - bit immature really! Ok - Triumph Sprint - great bike, practical but not so hot on image (image doesn't matter? ....well I prefer my Nike trainers to go running when they are no better than my Tesco versions but the tick on the side makes me feel good!) Triumph Daytona - owned one 3 years back - fabulous machine but for me under powered (I'm into +110 pounds of torque which is what real men prefer (joke)) I'm told I buy bikes for the wrong reasons - well if I like a bit of admiration, that's my business surely. My Harley rides great and has image. I like both those things. Some less experienced riders would be scared shirtless on my steed in it's current state of tune. Still, each to our own. Harley knocking is quite fashionable, I know. HD riders are fairly immune to jibes. Contrary to comments, they are not all wallies, well no more than most bikers I have met, on all makes of bike! Race track, handling, bhp, image....all bollocks. We ride what we ride. I chose my bike because I like it a lot. Is not that what we all do? Think about the bike you would buy if you won the lottery. Well, I'm on mine. Not saying there are not others I love. But HD as a concept is not outdated. Their bikes are great and have a place in the serious biking world. You might disagree. But I might disagree with your reasons! Test ride the new Fat Bob by the way. It is not a million miles away from a high powered sports bike ( and I've owned a fair few of those) but a bit more comfy.
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