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Old 04-26-2005, 08:16 AM   #1
jeburk
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

"After 19 straight years of record sales and profits, Harley-Davidson, the sole remaining US motorbike maker,..."



Someone better tell ATK and Polaris.
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Old 04-26-2005, 08:22 AM   #2
nokneedragin
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Yea I noticed that also. I'm astonished that a "journalist" would make an obvious error, and miss that little peice of research.
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Old 04-26-2005, 09:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

Maybe the Harley posers finally had a look in the mirror and realized how silly they look all dressed up in their "bad guy" cloths. I would consider owning a Harley but i'm too worried about getting caught up in the "bad guy" image. Imagine seeing yourself dressed up like a complete goof once a week when most of the time you wear a nice suit to work? Can you imagine actually setting out on a shopping trip to look for a jacket with fringes? I also think the metric cruisers are starting to become more desirable each year as the Japanese catch onto the needs of the cruiser riders.
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Old 04-26-2005, 09:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

A couple of weeks ago when HD decided to update the financial forecast and reduce the unit sales by 10k bikes people paniced. I still think they're in panic mode. Just how do economist and the rest of the educated world think that a company that sells motorcycles can sustain a 350k bike a year sales projection. It was smart for HD to redirect now. They will increase revenue no matter what happens to overall sales. The market shifted to high-end bikes in the 90's- now it's time for a shift again. The custom bike market will crash within the next 5 to 8 years. Companies like Titan, Big Dog and Vengence will be done within a decade. That will allow the market to re-align and less expensive bikes like the SV650 and VTX1300 will take major market shares again. The commuter generation of bike riders will be back and manufacturers of low-cost bikes will benifit (Look at Hyosung).
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Old 04-26-2005, 09:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

Before folks start writing off HD. Just remember HD''s P/E Ratio is 16 today. A traditional rule of thumb is that the norm for a manufacturing company is 20. So at this point HD stock is undervalued based on this old rule of thumb... (this rule took a vacation during the internet boom of the late 90s i.e. AOL, Monster, Yahoo etc had P/E ratios over 100 I think )



I think Buell has a lot of potential for younger buyers if they updated to a modern liquid cooled V-Twin. V-Rod is doing well right? I don't think HD needs to get into the race replica business like Triumph did.... Minor tweaks to products I think is what in order and HD is the master of that...







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Old 04-26-2005, 09:39 AM   #6
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Default Dont count on it..

You wonÂ’t catch me losing any sleep over the fiscal health of The Motor Company. TheyÂ’ll figure out something - nobody knows how to make money better than HD!



(How 'bout HD branded powered wheelchairs with lotsa' chrome, fringe, & flames?)
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Old 04-26-2005, 09:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

I find that I like the look of the Softail duece and the Dyna Low Rider. As well I think the Street Rod is pretty cool. I just think the pricing on their bikes is a bit too high for me. I would probably get a Ducati or BMW first. As well, I would probably look weird on a H-D with a full helmet, gloves , and a jacket.
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Old 04-26-2005, 10:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

They need a good naked bike, perhaps under the Buell name. with a powerful liquid cooled V-twin. An under 400 pound, 100-120 hp bike that costs under $10,000 would go a long way at getting me over to that side. The current buell just doesn't do it for me. For just a little extra money I like the Monster better.
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Old 04-26-2005, 10:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: Harley's changing customer base and the motorcycle in US culture...

IMHO, the V-rod is the best thing Harley has in it's inventory. It hasn't been a big seller here, even though it's well over-priced, but I hear it sells well in Europe. I'd agree that the Buell has tons of potential and - yes, it would be nice if it were updated to the 21st Century.



For over a decade, Harley has had what's amounted to a free pass. As I see it, Harley will do fine as long as they don't compete head to head - using performance and value as the yard-stick - against manufacturers like Honda. However, if the day ever comes and the Emperor is found naked, Harley had better be ready with some unbelievable R&D.



Otherwise, look to your portfolios.
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Old 04-26-2005, 10:35 AM   #10
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Default Harley has options

Harley's management has to be smart enough to realize that their string must run out eventually, after all, that's why they have Buell. Maybe it is time that they reevaluated their strategy. They have been pricing their bikes very high because they can. If they were to drop prices significantly, which they can do and still make a profit, they would attract more riders. They need to actually compete with the metric cruisers, which have gotten better over the years. Or maybe they should expand their range and offer a good, midrange street bike which is not a reworked sportster. How about their building a world class street bike based on their 750 engine?



The company has a lot of cash and a lot of options. They just need to make the right moves. As for the comment one person made about being able to support selling 350,000 bikes a year, I think we should remember that Honda sells in the range of 5,000,000 units a year, maybe more.



Harley can continue to support their graying audience and add some excitement for the younger set. Ducati has made an astounding recovery. Harley can learn from them.



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