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TheMadScientist 12-23-2001 09:53 PM

Re: Harley math
OK, you compare an $8,000 motorcycle with a $20,000 from Harley.

The assumption is that because some Harleys can cost $20,000 if you load them up with enough accessories, that all Harleys cost that much.

Instead you could just as easily say a Harley costs $6,000 because that's what a Sportster costs. So you spend $6,000 on a Sportster, which in 10 years will still be worth $6,000 (because the cost of new bikes then will be higher), plus you save $2,000 over the price of the $8,000 Japanese bike which you can invest.

See the point? You're comparing apples and oranges. If you were to compare an $8,000 Sportster to an $8,000 Honda, you come out way ahead of the Honda because of the depreciation.

You *can* spend $20,000 on a Gold Wing, btw.

My degree was in Journalism, BTW, with a minor in Marketing, and I make a living as an animator. Which I taught myself to do. Economics was part of the Marketing minor.

One last thing, I didn't get my first Harley until I was 38, and couldn't buy a house until I was 36. Even then, I couldn't have done it unless I had a working wife, who has bought two Harleys of her own. When I was in college, the only bike I could afford was a 6 year old CB750, and I never owned a brand new vehicle of any sort until I was 33.

When I was in college, I could barely afford my books and sometimes lived in my car, which wasn't running very often. Hence the bike. If I assessed the value of things by the money I had in college, I would have thought McDonald's was overpriced. Apartments and dorms certainly were to me at the time.

TMS--Los Angeles

ducatirdr 12-24-2001 05:39 AM

Re: Bravo!,...Harley Davidson is #1
Dude, you are my hero.

A Ducati 996 / HD Roadking rider. The Duc is for track days and strafing corners. While the HD is just for riding. A custom built Softail old school looking chopper is next on the menu. I was thinking of a rigid but I live in the North East where roads are too tough for an old guy hitting forty.

BTW don't sell the Mille it's a keeper long after the walk of progress marches on.

grover750 12-24-2001 05:59 AM

Re: Harley math
You may not care about the rebel image, but most do. How else can you explain the costumes? There is no reason to wear that stuff except for the image. Chaps? Fringe? It's all image. BTW, since you're not into the image, your riding gear is kevlar, right? No fringe?

And I do think the people on Touring HDs get into the rebel thing, just look what they're wearing. When is the last time you saw someone on an electraglide with a full face helmet and an aerostich roadcrafter?

As far as the number of motorcycles owned vs. the number in the country, the average bike only gets ridden 2000 miles a year (I'm assuming this is also a good estimate for HDs), which means there are many bikes out there not being ridden at all. And there are not 250,000 new HD riders (enthusiasts maybe, riders no) each year. Therefore, more and more bikes are essentially being treated as collectables, by that I mean just left under cover in the garage. And you know what happens to the price of collectables when the supply goes up. There are only so many people who can justify having a $6-20k bike in the garage that is not being ridden, and when the supply of those people is exhausted, I see the price of HDs falling.

I do think that this (owning, but not riding an expensive bike) is primarily a HD phenomenon. I really don't know anyone with a $15k BMW or wing or aprilia that doesn't ride it.


christianl 12-24-2001 06:04 AM

Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year
i didnt know the"sausage king of chicago"!!

Iceman996S 12-24-2001 06:37 AM

Re: Bravo!,...Harley Davidson is #1
I loved my 996S, but traded toward the Mille R because I'm 6'2" and the Mille gives me more room to move around without feeling cramped. I've been on the track with the Mille R, and now that I have the hang of it--easier to go fast than on my former Duck.

The old school look seems to be growing in popularity. I'm planning on selling my R1 and R6 and am looking at the Big Dog Bulldog or American Ironhorse Slammer. I rode a American Ironhorse Tejas (rigid) during a demo ride and agree--too much of a beating. I've got a strong back and am still fairly young at 34, but I wouldn't stay that way beating myself up on a hardtail. The wide rear tires don't help due to their low profile/stiff construction.

I plan on keeping the Mille R, largely because it is unique compared to most sportbikes I see in my neck of the woods.

Merry Christmas

grover750 12-24-2001 06:50 AM

Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year
They don't have to be disposable. They get treated like they're disposable because they are not worth anything. I've got two extremely reliable 1970's Hondas, that are worth $2k combined. My wife and I went from Minnesota to Alaska and back (via Arizona) in June on a '78 GoldWing I bought for $950. Why aren't they worth anything? Why are the junkyards full of 70s and 80s japenese bikes, and not HDs?

Old japenese bikes that are not worth anything get purchased by broke people who park them outside, don't change the oil, and drop them off at a junkyard when a starter goes bad. HDs are purchased by people with heated garages, brought to the dealerships for oil changes, and lavished with extras.

If the old Japenese bikes were treated like the HDs, would they still be running great? ABSOLUTELY. If the HDs were treated like the old jap bikes, would they be in junkyards? ABSOLUTELY.

So why?

Marketing. Marketing has artificially kept the price of HDs high, causing people want HDs for reasons other than riding. Since there is a limited number of riders out there, prices for other bikes drops. Since the price is low, they're bought by broke people, stored outside, etc. How else can one explain the acres of 70s japenese bikes in the junkyards, when in the 70s japenese bikes were CLEARLY of higher quality than the AMF Harleys? (anyone who argues against that needs a history lesson)

Japenese bikes wear out because they're not worth anything. HDs don't because they are worth something.

Obviously, not all HDs are treated like royalty, and not all japenese bikes are treated like crap (just look in my garage). But, the general trends control the pricing, not the exceptions.

That's my theory and I'm stickin' to it,


Spinetingler 12-24-2001 07:36 AM

Re: Harley math
StarvingStudent, you always get the 'goat' of the HD people when you make these statements, don't you??? It's much fun, but also enjoy your civility about it. There's too much hatred that goes on when HD is mentioned in this post.

RRocket 12-24-2001 09:02 PM

Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year
1987 the original?? Sorry...the 1985 with flat-slide carbs from the factory is the "original" GSXR

TheFox 12-24-2001 10:18 PM

Re: I think you missed the point.
Once again, I see the point, but I am talking about the RATIO. I screwed up my inital post. I was saying take 5 harleys vs. a house.

What I should have talked about is the ratio.

1 Harley($20k) = 1/5th of a home ($100K) vs.

1 Japanese Bike ($10K) = 1/10th of a home ($100K).

Now this makes 10k for me a decent chunk of change.

1 Harley ($20k) = 1/10th of a home ($200k) vs

1 Japanese Bike ($10K) = 1/20th of a home($200k).

Here, the ratio is different. My home is worth $100k...a $20k Harley is just too much money; they are priced outside of what I consider a reasonable depreciable asset as opposed to my assets that don't depreciate. Now if I had more assets that were appriceating ($200k house) I could allow myself the luxury of the Hog.

All these fictional (and simplified) figures mean is that I feel Harley Davidson has priced themselves outside of the average FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE person. I caps that because I could go out and get a Harley. The credit companies would let me, but I know that it would be an unnecessary risk for me to do so...if I lost my job, or had an accident, etc., etc., I know I could not pay my bills with $20k note over me. Now then, I can afford that $10k jap bike and still stay under my means...

BTW sorry about that. I admit I have some class prejudice that I have a hard time getting past sometimes. I'm from Chicago, where I think houses that go for $125k are too much $$$ for what you get. LA real estate must be rough...I was thinking of going out there for the police force too. Must be hard to fuind a decent place to live making $40k a year.


starvingstudent 12-25-2001 09:45 AM

SRe: I think you missed the point.
"All these fictional (and simplified) figures mean is that I feel Harley Davidson has priced themselves outside of the average FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE person."

...except for fiscally responsible individuals with more disposable income than you or me, like those in the upper-middle-class and upper classes. Sure, you and I can't afford a $20,000 HD, but we also can't afford a 996SPS, a Brutale Series Oro, an Aprilia Tuono, etc--yet HD seems to get _all_ the flames for selling an expensive product.

When I was passing through Wyoming last summer, I noticed that you could get a HUGE home on a big tract of land for $100k, and gas was $1.15 a gallon (when it was $2/gallon in Chicago). Sure, there's no night life, but it sure did tempt me...

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