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Old 04-26-2005, 02:38 PM   #41
jibosch
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

Harley knows they have a demographics problem. They created the Rider's Edge Program, and designed the Buell Blast and re-designed Sportster to attract the younger/female riders. They publish their demographics in their website. They are also marketing directly to Women Riders in their Website. The problem is not that Harley does not know they have a problem, nor that they have not tried a 'fix', they have, more than any other manufacturer, it is just that the dealers have not caught on yet, to an over-supply of Harley's, [which is a MAJOR sales shift], or the need to invest time and effort, into attracting younger/female riders. And Harley has not been able to 'motivate' the dealers sufficiently, so that they take enough notice. The Harley salespersons would rather spend time selling a $20,000+ Fat Boy, than taking the time to help a beginner, who often takes more time to make a purchase, when the salesperson makes much less on a Blast or a Sportster sale. This is not unique to Harley though, many a Metric salesperson, frequently over-sells a customer also. If all of us, do not 'grow' the sport, declining-sales will dog most of the manufacturers, in coming years.
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Old 04-26-2005, 02:40 PM   #42
edward44
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

Well it's the same thread, so why bother with a new post. Actually this is the third time I have used it as the lets pretend outlaw editors whacked it the first time around I guess because I was disrepectful of an icon,.
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Old 04-26-2005, 03:07 PM   #43
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

" Look what new trucks cost now. Sheesh. You can't even get a basic work truck any more. They're all loaded to the gills." Ain't that the truth. My dad used buy a cheap pickup every few years cause nobody wanted them.... Now I think the cheapest thing out there are sedans maybe minivans.... Yep I am the same positon you are..waiting for used HDs to come down. I have been waiting at least 5 years now...
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Old 04-26-2005, 03:16 PM   #44
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

A buell that isnt the size of a CR80 would work for me. At the rate sport bikes are shrinking you may step on one here in about 5 years. Pocket bikes and sport bikes will only differ in engine size, price and build quality...
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Old 04-26-2005, 03:18 PM   #45
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

Never say never. pdad would know more, but Caddy dropped their median customer age something like 30 years in the space of a few. Whatever it exactly was, it's pretty much considered miraculous.
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Old 04-26-2005, 05:53 PM   #46
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

I am 49 years old, been riding 34 years. I have owned bikes by most of the major manufacturers in that time. A year ago I bought my first Harley-Davidson product. I bought a five year old Dyna Wide Glide. It isn't the fastest bike I ever owned, it isn't the flashiest bike I ever owned, it isn't even the most comfortable bike I ever owned. But I like it just fine right now. It suits ME. I ride with a lot of different folks on a lot of different bikes and we get along just fine, cruisers, sportbikes, tourers, whatever. I can look around and see that HD is not "in trouble" any more than the other manufacturers who wish they had the sales figures HD has. The local Honda dealers will tell you damn quik that it is currently a V-twin market. They are not going away any time soon, so all the hypothesizing about who, what, where and why is just fantasy and wishful thinking. I don't go for all the marketing crap that HD does. I don't even care for most of the Dealerships I have visited. But I like my motorcycle just fine. One of the great things about owning an HD bike is that you do not have to do business with an HD dealer. There are plenty of folks in the after market who make any part you want or need.

I waited a long time for the used HD market to break also, and it hasn't happened here yet
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Old 04-26-2005, 06:22 PM   #47
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Default Sooner or later...

Let's face it sooner or later the baby boomers are no longer going to be riding, when that happens they will have less of a rider base and therefore less sales.
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Old 04-26-2005, 06:28 PM   #48
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Default Re: Sooner or later...

Haha, that would be funny though. Bunch of 80 year olds in buttless chaps and half helmets. I'd like to see that
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Old 04-26-2005, 06:34 PM   #49
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

How much did you pay for the dyna, if you don't mind me asking. They're all going for $16,000 to $22,000 around here. Seems as though everyone got a huge loan and made $39 payments or something. I saw a 1995 FatBoy going for $17,500. It had like 50-55k miles on it. I've heard that Harley will finance just about anyone (at 22% though) not sure how true that is.
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Old 04-26-2005, 07:06 PM   #50
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

I owned a 1993 FXRSP and 1994 Fat Boy. I bought both of them used and rode each for about a year. I had a '93 Ducati 907ie and a VFR in the garage along with the Harleys. I only rode the sport bikes when I was "sport" ridding. I considered the Harleys wonderful at doing everything that didn't require an attact mode. Today, I would rather run to the store on a Duece than my Aprilia.

Then sometime around '97 the "Guilt by Association" hit northern California. Every $18,000 bike had a 50 year old guy with new leathers and little skill. I'd prefer the red Corvette as the national mid-life crisis vehicle. I considered the "boomer" stigma a negative thing to attach to a motor company steeped in heritage. I did feel part of a historic american motorcycle company until it became the 401k love ride.

I rode them to ride, not belong. I enjoyed the mechanical aspect of the straight forward design. I didn't have one problem in the 5000+ miles I put on each. When it came time for me to quit the HD "life style", I sold the bikes for exactly what I paid for them.

My aerostich and squidly replica helmet looked funny on the Fat Boy anyway.
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