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Old 12-21-2001, 11:52 PM   #11
MrDeadeye
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Default Not that bad

I've been riding for 30 years and owned every Japanese brand and a BMW. I never considered Harley because of their bad reputation for reliability, poor performance, old technology, high price, ect... BUT, last month I rented a Softail Deuce for a day..... and it was fun! I've had bikes that are faster, and handle better, but for 95% of the riding I've ever done, a Harley would do fine. One thing Harleys are NOT, is a disposable bike. Riding Japanese bikes all those years was fun, except at trade-in / selling time! I'm looking hard at the FXDX these days.
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Old 12-22-2001, 01:13 AM   #12
Spinetingler
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Default Re: Not that bad

Ahhhhh... another Harley convert. Thanks, MrDeadeye. Many of the Japanese riders would not admit this even if they did like the test ride and most of this argument, which can be a valid point but disguised by technological comparisons, is price. However, most riders, when jumping on a Harley, get that undeniable grin that this is 1) cool 2) neat 3) wow 4) fill in the blank. There are level headed Japanese riders, though.



Now, you make a valid point about trade-in, which the other motorcycle company purists will refute by saying it has nothing to do with motorcycling, but, unless you are Forbes, money has everything to do with everything, or (I suspect) we would all drive Mercedes and live in mansions. However, it is nice not to lose $$. This is an HD benefit.



I own / have owned Japanese brands (like to try a BMW ), and they are great bikes in their own rights. However, my experience has been that, unless you buy their biggest bikes, the frames are flimsy at high speeds. I haven't done extensive research, however, HD bikes are heavy along their entire line and hold a line better for my body frame. This is one of the reasons I like HD; they're solid. It appears motorcycling does come down to taste after all.



Good luck with your HD search. If you find the right dealer and are in it for the experience, it can be fun. Also, you meet the nicest people on a Harley.....
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Old 12-22-2001, 11:03 AM   #13
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Default Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year

Yes they are a money making machine and they do it through preying on the weakness of it's loyal following. They do it by utilizing hot key items, showing Vietnam Vets, the American Flag, and things that make you want to prove your patriotism. Very ingeneous on their Advertising and I commend them for it. On the flip side they show record profits because they over price their product and the sheep don't complain. I'm sure all motorcycle companies do this. All you have to do is look at any bike and ask yourself............"where is there 10 to 22 thousand dollars worth of goods". It ain't there. Put 5 Harleys along side a 100 thou house and you get my drift. I'm a rider who is tired of being gouged.
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Old 12-22-2001, 11:35 AM   #14
christianl
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Default Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year

damn,i wish id have written that!well put sir
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Old 12-22-2001, 11:39 AM   #15
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Default Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year

tee hee!
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Old 12-22-2001, 12:16 PM   #16
starvingstudent
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Default Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year

D@mned straight. I ride a motorcycle because it's fun and I like the bike that I ride. If someone else likes their bike and has fun on it, MORE POWER TO THEM. As to how much they paid for it or how long they waited on a wait list--if they don't mind, why should I?
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Old 12-22-2001, 12:30 PM   #17
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Default Harley math

Now, I'm not bagging on you for liking riding a Harley--if you like a bike, ride it. That's what it's all about, right?



BUT...



First, Japanese bikes are NOT simply disposable. Why does everyone say this? A well-maintained Honda lasts at least as long as a well-maintained Harley. Maybe some people choose to trade up because they like a new model or want to "keep up with the Jones's," but it's NOT because Japanese bikes up and die after five years.



Second, the "resale value" math that HD owners often cite is flawed. I've posted this a ton of times, but I'll do it again. Compare a $20,000 out-the-door HD and an $8000 Japanese bike (600cc supersport; ZRX; Concours; Shadow 1100). Rider A spends $20,000 on the HD; Rider B buys a Japanese bike and puts the remaining $12,000 in the bank (earning a VERY conservative 4% APR--but hey, the economy's down).

Ten years later, they both sell. Rider A gets $20,000 for his used HD. Rider B only gets $2500 for his bike, but his $12,000 in the bank has turned into $17,763. They're equally as good off economically.

Now, if you bump that 4% APR up to 8% APR (say, the economy is up and some of the money goes into the stock market), then after 10 years the $12,000 in the bank would be $25,907, and Rider B would be significantly better off economically than Rider A.



If you love your Harley, ride it every day. That's the best reason to have a motorcycle--because YOU enjoy being on it. But ride it because you love riding it, not because of flawed economic arguments or some myth of Japanese unreliability.
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Old 12-22-2001, 12:36 PM   #18
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Default Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year

There's no question that Harley-Davidson Inc is a very successful company right now. I just wish they'd put some of those profits into properly counter-balancing the Sportster. The Sporty _could_ really tempt me if it weren't for details like that.



But if they decide not to, that's cool too--I'll just do the sensible capitalist thing and buy a different motorcycle from a different manufacturer that suits my wants better. But sitting around bashing HD all day for low-tech designs is SILLY--Kalashnikov and Ural make low-tech motorcycles too, and I don't see MO users perpetually flaming them.
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Old 12-22-2001, 01:37 PM   #19
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Default Re: Harley math

>>some myth of Japanese unreliability.



I never said Japanese bikes were unreliable. They are hyper-reliable. I live in Japan and my wife is Japanese, the last thing I'll do is bash Japanese technology.
When I implied that Japanese bikes are disposable, I meant that because their value falls so far and so fast that many of them end up on the junk heap after 10 years because it cost more to keep them going than the bike is worth. There are exceptions of course. There are some Japanese classic bikes that break the mold (ELR, Z-1, V-Max). But what about the Vision 550, V45 Magna, LTD, GPz, and other 1980s Japanese bikes.... how many of them are still on the road?
How many 80s Harleys are still on the road? Probably just about all of them that haven't been totally FUBARed in a wreck.

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Old 12-22-2001, 01:45 PM   #20
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Default Re: Harley math

That's fair--though nowadays I seem to see more twin-cams than EVOs, and very few pre-EVO harleys on the road (though I do see some well-maintained examples at rallies and such). It may be a location-specific thing though, as I live in a college town where 1986 Shadow 500s outnumber 1980 HDs, and new SV650s far outnumber new TwinCams.



My only point is that you can even _throw away_ an $8000 after 10 years and still come out ahead (economically) of where you'd be with an expensive-but-valueholding bike (ie BMW or HD).
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