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christianl 12-22-2001 02:21 PM

Re: Harley math
gentlemen,you are getting way off track here.riding has NOTHING to do with money and i dont ever remember trying to rationalize the purchase of a motorcycle.please turn off your calculators and RIDE!!!!!!!

gatling 12-22-2001 03:30 PM

Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year
I have a 92 Softail and I love it. I also have a 97 TL1000S and an 82 CBX. I'm not into the "lifestyle" BS that seems to go with the Harley crowd, or the Harley clothes, etc., etc. But, it is a lot of fun to ride.

Joe Berk

Spinetingler 12-22-2001 04:20 PM

Re: Harley math
Highlighting the flaw in a flaw finding analysis...

1) You did not account for inflation in your analysis. While this has not been the case lately, inflation will go up. The HD actually is appreciating since $1 today will not buy what $1 will buy 10 years from now. The HD will keep it's price.

2) You also assume that the rider stops riding after 10 years. While the HD rider has to add a few $K to purchase another HD, the japanese rider is using more than half of his savings to buy another Japanese bike. When purchasing such assets (motor vehicles), the purchasing does not usually end until death / incapacitation. Your point may work if the buyer is about to retire, however, not for the person that keeps upgrading / swapping out.

Good try, you almost had me going, but looking at any situation narrowly cannot fit in all situations. As in all other purchases, it's a matter of taste, then money. Not that I think you're coming from this point of view (although your screen name could infer it), the Harley haters usually are ticked because they cost as much as they do and decide it's not for them and hang the argument on technological competition. If that were the case, Toyota and Honda would have taken their place in the top three in USA. Hasn't happened yet (although Toyota is close to #3). People in the US buy what they want, not what fits the norm.

TheMadScientist 12-22-2001 04:51 PM

Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year
While fit and finish off the floor is good, part of what makes Harleys look like Harleys is some of their aftermarket stuff. I've got a pair of gen-you-whine chrome HD risers for both my wife's Softail and mine, and after 4 months, the chrome started flaking off. On both bikes. Since it was passed the 90 day warranty period for those items, the dealer wouldn't even consider replacing them.

Still, I like the bike. Comfortable for relatively long days (500-800 mile days) after changing the seat, they just run and run and run. Other than standard maintenance, we've done nothing to the bikes in 25,000 miles put on both in 19 months or so. Ridden hot, cold, raining, hailing. From sea level where we live to 12,000 feet in the Sierras. Never a complaint. Not even a single loose bolt. (I also had a Dyna Glide before and my wife still has her Sportster, which just passed the 30,000 mile mark)

Sure, someday I'll have some extra money lying around and I'll get a second bike, probably a sport touring machine of some sort. But use of something like that would be a toy to me, something to play around with in the immediate mountainous vicinity, rather than something to ride 800 miles a day on, day after day. Ironbutts (and ironbacks) not withstanding.

But there really is something about riding a Harley I haven't gotten from any of my previous bikes. Maybe it's all the people who just have some story to tell, even if it wasn't them that owned one, and they feel like sharing with you. Puts you sort of in the same continuum, I guess.

Oh, and to the guy who said 5 Harleys = 1 house. . First, each of our two bikes cost $12,600 in April 2000. Second, where we live cheap houses cost $250,000, and a modest house in a decent neighborhood goes for nearly $500,000.

Now compare any motorcycle to *any* car, and you can see that motorcycles in general aren't all that great of a value.

TMS--Los Angeles

TheMadScientist 12-22-2001 05:01 PM

Re: Harley math
"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). "

The problem with your "Harley math" is your base line assumption is flawed. Harleys range in price from just under $6,000 for a Sportster to just under $20,000 for a Heritage Classic or Electraglide Ultra. There are around 26 models inbetween that price range. I think some BMWs and Goldwings are about in the same upper range. Whether dealers are getting more or ripping people off is irrelevant: that's a local issue that isn't true in all localities.

So, using your comparison, someone who bought a Sportster comes out far ahead of someone who bought an $8,000 Japanese bike. Even Buells are better at holding their value, and those are in around $10,000 or so.

You may have been trying to logic your way out of the abysmal resale value of Japanese bikes, but I sure hope you don't make a living as an accountant. Your math and hypothesis suck.

TheMadScientist 12-22-2001 05:07 PM

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). "

Some more Harley math. In the two years of the Evo (1999), Harley made more Evos than all of the the bikes they made in previous years combined.

At the current rate of production + the current annual increases, HD will have made more twin cams than in all of the years of Evos + the previous bikes, in about 3 more years.

TMS--Los Angeles

nome 12-22-2001 05:21 PM

Re: Harley math
hey man now no kidding where do you get affordable parts for late '70s hondas? or any Asian bike? like whole engines ya know everything I need to put say a 76 back on the road. Thing is I am trying to get a guy to sell me his old Superglide and if he wants to sell it (give it to me really cause I'm not going to pay what it's book price is) I can put it back on the road, but no matter I can ride mine it's just his was the first Harley I really noticed, don't know what ever happened to my 550 it leaked oil then to, but nobody cared

jchin1979 12-22-2001 06:43 PM

Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year
In regards to Harley Math, the reason why Japanese sportbikes do not retain value has alot to with technology turnover. The Japanese motorcycle companies revolutionize sportbike technology every few years. Who would pay big money for a 1998 GSX-R when a brand new one is infinetly better? This doesn't mean it's not fun, I owned a 1987 GSX-R "the original" and it is one of the best bikes to ride ever. But it has no value on the market because the technology has been out dated for at least ten years now.

Which leads me back to HD, the company. The bikes, whatever your opinion of them are, is not the problem. If you like riding them, fine, by all means. This is America and you are allowed to blow your money on anything you so desire. Hey I've even heard of people paying woman to beat them?!?! The problem is HD the company. It is unfortunate that they are the only surviving (large capacity) American motorcycle company because their corporate behavior shames American motorcycling. Their lack of reliablity, tech improvement, pricing strategy, etc. is surely a disservice to the American riding public.

And somebody mentioned that Suzuki might go out of business soon. This is true, but this is also a sign, to me at least, that they have striven to improve motorcycling. Their continous technological improvements, realibility, keeping prices down, and investment in racing, although it might have made bad business sense, it makes for perfect motorcycling sense. Yes congrats to HD for being good capitalists, but shame on them for being bad stewards of the American motorcycling community.

grover750 12-22-2001 06:51 PM

Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year
Hey, I agree. But the award was for company of the year, and they are a great company. Companies make money. HD makes alot of money.

I don't care much for the american flag as a marketing tool, but HD isn't the only company doing it (which doesn't make is okay, just makes it hard for me to get mad at HD for doing that). As far as comparing what you get for the $, that's pointless, people will pay what they think it's worth. Some people need to be part of the crowd, some don't.

How are you being gouged? Did you buy a HD?

grover750 12-22-2001 07:03 PM

Re: Harley math
Therefore, the price of HDs will fall (I think it already is falling - anyone else notice that? bikes that used to be listed at 18-19 are now at 16-17), since the supply has risen. And as long as HD relies on the rebel image, eventually there will be SO many on the road that people will want something else. How can you be a rebel when you look like everyone else and ride the same bike as everyone else? That's always been my biggest question about HD.


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