Go Back   Motorcycle Forum > Motorcycle.Com General Discussion > Motorcycle News > Old News > Harley-Davidson News

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-26-2005, 10:36 AM   #11
smithrob75
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 137
Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

I'll throw in my 2 cents. I don't think that Harley has, or probably ever will reach my demographic. I started riding at age 11 on a Yamaha, and have owned Japanese bikes ever since. The Harley name just doesn't mean and much to me as other people. I've had a chance to ride a few and wasn't really that impressed. I know that the reason people like them goes deeper than the bike itself, kinda like a brotherhood or fraternity.



I noticed this after talking to my Dad. After my Mom died he decided to get a motorcycle to pass the time and partly because he had to give it up when we were born. He immediatly liked the dresser type bikes and bought a Suzuki C50T. He really enjoys riding the bike and has put probably 2500 miles on it. But after telling people that he bought a bike they always ask if it's a Harley, when he tells them what it is their reaction ranges from disapointment to disgust and at that point they treat him like a second class citizen, so he's already decided he wants a Harley. I talked to him about it and even though he's happy with his bike he still wants one. I think it's a shame that he cares that much about what other people think. Strange because he's a very smart man that started a business from stratch and has done well in life, paid for his house, cars, etc in cash.



I think that where I have the biggest problem with Harley, it has more to do with the mystique, the image, the perception than the actual ride. Plus I feel like they've sold out and watered down the brand by selling dog clothes and stuff like that. It's almost like teenagers the way the Baby Boomer Harley guys try to fit in, always wanting to have the latest and greatest to show off to others and try to feel like they "fit in"
__________________
Harley-Davidson... giving you yesterday\'s technology at tomorrows prices.
smithrob75 is offline   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links Remove Advertisements
Motorcycle Forum
Advertisement
Old 04-26-2005, 10:38 AM   #12
jungkvist
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 955
Default Re: Dont count on it..

Somehow - in a alternate-universe, sort of way - Harley wheelchairs make sense



Any bets, it's been discussed in the board room already?
__________________
Yeah, well, you can get up and leave, DEAL WITH IT!
jungkvist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2005, 10:42 AM   #13
smithrob75
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 137
Default Re: Harley has options

I think that Harley has a lot of ground to make up. It'll be hard to compete with the Japanese on their own ground. To me the Harley name means something different than to all the baby boomers. It's the brand that caters the retired, and the guys who won't wave back on a ride. The guys more interested in image. Not a lot of younger guys interested into buying into that. I think Harley chose their path and now it will be hard to backtrack.
__________________
Harley-Davidson... giving you yesterday\'s technology at tomorrows prices.
smithrob75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2005, 10:44 AM   #14
longride
Super Duper Mod Man

 
longride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Anywhere they let me
Posts: 10,479
Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

If you have such a low opinion of Harleys, what kind of opinion do you have of the Big 4 Japanese manufacturers spending the last 20 years trying to copy them? Sounds like it's THEM that are trying to "fit in", doesn't it?
__________________
I'm a knucklehead
longride is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2005, 10:59 AM   #15
eekadog
Founding Member
 
eekadog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 466
Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

yuck vtx1300...you'd be better off on a bike with more clearance...like a sportster.
eekadog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2005, 11:03 AM   #16
eekadog
Founding Member
 
eekadog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 466
Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

honda's cbr600 is a value at $9,000
eekadog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2005, 11:10 AM   #17
smithrob75
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 137
Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

A few other things hurting Harley is that it doesn't have a full range. You go to honda you can get a 4-wheeler, cruiser, sportbike, standard, personal watercraft, dirtbikes. etc, etc, etc. As well they have any kinda motor you can think of. Harley makes cruisers with air cooled twins, nothing else. As well they really don't have an "entry point" bike. The sportster 883 is still expensive for what you get.



FWIW I think for the most part they cater to non enthusiasts. Most guys that buy one only buys it because of the name, most don't know that much about motorcycles. All the people that say imports suck can't tell you why Harleys are better, they just think they are because Harley says they are. Eventually it won't hold water. Someone will question why they're so expensive and why they should want one above a VTX or Vulcan, etc.
__________________
Harley-Davidson... giving you yesterday\'s technology at tomorrows prices.
smithrob75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2005, 11:12 AM   #18
seruzawa
The Toad

 
seruzawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: 8501 ft.
Posts: 17,461
Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

God, I hope so. I'd like to get a used Dynaglide. The HD market can't collapse fast enough for me.
__________________
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."
seruzawa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2005, 11:14 AM   #19
seruzawa
The Toad

 
seruzawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: 8501 ft.
Posts: 17,461
Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

Except, wait a couple of years and see which bike is the true "value".
__________________
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."
seruzawa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2005, 11:22 AM   #20
smithrob75
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 137
Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

I think they saw a market for cruisers and went after it. I'm talking more about the riders, yes I know squids try to "fit in" too. I condemn them in the same breathe. What ever happened to riding just to ride, riding for fun and not caring what everyone thought. Also the Japanese makers are running a business, they make in many cases a better product at a lower cost. Just like Toyota/Honda did to GM in the 70's..
__________________
Harley-Davidson... giving you yesterday\'s technology at tomorrows prices.
smithrob75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off