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Old 12-26-2001, 04:15 PM   #71
starvingstudent
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Default Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year

Yes, Harley is a more economically successful company than the Japanese Big Four right now. Top reasons:



1.) HD has been better at establishing customer loyalty--as many people have pointed out, people get Harley badges tatooed on them but not Honda wings.

2.) HD has a clothing line that brings in a LOT of money; the Big Four do not.

3.) The Big Four put a lot more money into racing.

4.) The big Four put a lot more money into R&D--they make many more engines and frames and replace them at a much higher rate.



Does this make Harley a great company to buy stock in? For sure. Does this make it a great company to buy the motorcycles of? For plenty of riders, NO. Remember, if you take a Harley Sportster, CB750, or 1969 Triumph Bonneville, and apply "3mph faster and 5lbs lighter" for 30 years, you get a ZX9R or SV650. And I'd rather ride the latter than the former.



"Harley has probably been the only profitable motorcycle company since the 80's."

Actually, in North America I believe the Big Four have been very profitable as well, though not the Microsoft-esque success story of post-AMF Harley. The recent slump in their profits is PRIMARILY due to Chinese incursions on the Asian market, not faulty business practices in North America.



"Motorcycles are a business to Harley and a writeoff to the Japanese."

Well, "writeoff" or no, they make some great bikes, as I'm sure you'd agree.



"Ride what ya like and who cares what anyone else thinks anyone else thinks anyway."

The best thing you say. But why bash the intentions of Japanese designers for a paragraph and then end with this statement?



Keep the rubber side down,

Eric
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Old 12-27-2001, 01:51 AM   #72
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Default Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year

I didn't "bash" anyone. Just stating facts. If you didn't like them or agree with them that is your business. If you enjoy disposable motorcycles, good for you. I would say the Sportster and the Bonnie have stirred more emotions than the Japanese bikes did in their whole history. Since you never owned a Bonnie or a Sportster ( I had a 72 Bonnie and 80 Sporty) you have no reference on which to draw. The Japanese DO make wonderful motorcycles. Much like a computer, when a faster one comes out you get it and toss the old one and don't care what name is on the tank. Different philosophy and different results.
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Old 12-27-2001, 05:11 AM   #73
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Default Re: OK, you missed the point too. This is getting old.

OK, change that to "average person who is flirting with over-extended if not already there" (because it's true the typical American household falls not too far from it) and then I'm in complete agreement that a Harley probably isn't a good idea.
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Old 12-27-2001, 06:52 AM   #74
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Default Re: you forgot the Touring line

you can't forget the FLH Touring models.
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Old 12-27-2001, 06:57 AM   #75
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Default Re: This is opinionated BS

How dare you say the MoCo only sells on image? I guess nobody rides Harleys. Just because they do not suit your riding style does not mean they are only sold on image. Some people think HD's have good tech, engineering, innovation, reliability, pricing, racing and competitive products. For others there are several other great brands to choose from. For many others, like me, multiple brands and multiple types of bikes are the way to go.



I don't care to argue, which product is better because that will never be resolved. Buy what you want!!!!
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Old 12-27-2001, 07:38 AM   #76
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Default Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year

But on the other hand, people who ride Urals or Kalishnikovs do not get in your face when you ride something other than what they ride. Most Harley guys don't but there are enough out there that do this to generate a fair amount of animosity towards Harley riders. Why are they called Harleys any way? Why not Davidsons? There was only one Harley to the three Davidson brothers. Just some sleep-deprivation provoked thinking (non-thinking) going on here.
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Old 12-27-2001, 08:08 AM   #77
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Default Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year

Japanese bikes wear out because a lot of people know nothing about maintaining them. "Change the oil? Didn't know there was oil in it!" As soon as a minor problem rears its ugly little head the Japanese bike generally gets dumped in favor of a newer/different model/brand. The Harley owners that I have come across seem to have a bit more patience for looking after their machines.
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Old 12-27-2001, 08:25 AM   #78
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Default Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year

I'll have to dispute the part about motorcycles being a write-off for the Japanese manufacturers. Racing is an excellent R&D arena, a lot of technology has trickled down from GP, Superbike and Supersport racing allows the Japanese to make bikes 3mph faster and 5lbs lighter with the occasional giant leap forward every 2 to 4 years. The only Japanese manufacturer that may use motorcycles as a write-off would be Kawasaki, the others have too big a chunk of their businesses in motorcycles.



Harley dropped out of roadracing because they were not competitive. It becomes hard to keep up when everyone else is several design changes down the road when you are convinced you can compete with your original design. The V-rod motor is a result of their racing program. While not identical the basic design is the same.



In the world of dirt track racing, Harley dominates. Roadracing favors constant change and forward moving technology. Dirt track favors old tech. That is why whenever Honda or Suzuki try using a more powerful motor in their dirt track bikes they do worse than they did before.
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Old 12-27-2001, 04:50 PM   #79
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Default Re: Harley Davidson is Company of the Year

I have a 2000 Kawasaki Nomad and a 2002 HD Ultra. If I added all the stuff to the Nomad that the Ultra has standard, I'm sure it would cost over $30k. So, the HD is a bargain if you really do the cost analysis.
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Old 12-27-2001, 08:57 PM   #80
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Default What's up with Harley Math, Fiscal Resp, $100,000 homes?

Guys/Ladies,



Why are we debating return on investment, fiscal responsibility in buying a motorcycle, and how many bikes one has to purchase to make it worth a home? It has even gotten to the point that someone pointed out the fact that homes in Wyoming are cheaper. The original intent was to point out that Harley-Davidson is the motorcycle company of the year (and a great stock to boot from my personal experience).



When I was in grad school 7 years ago, I couldn't afford a Harley--so I didn't ride one. I couldn't afford a bunch of things back then--no big deal. I never questioned whether people who owned Harley's were being fiscally responsible, or whether they were making a solid return on their investment. I just assumed that they liked Harleys.



I can afford my lifestyle, my bikes, my home, my responsibilities to my family, my depreciation on my bikes, my retirement, and all manner of things that have nothing to do with the fact that I like my 4 bikes (Harley, Aprilia, and 2 Yamahas).



This is not to gloat, but it is merely to point out that everyone has to make choices about where to spend their hard earned money while factoring in their long term goals. Heck, you don't even have to factor in any goals if you decide not to. Your choice.



Debating the social consciousness of those who spend "disposable" income on Harleys or any motorcycle in general could go on forever. Some people buy Corvettes; some buy second homes in resort cities; and some have inside info on what stock will earn mega bucks tomorrow. From my small view of the world, that has nothing to do with why Harley is THE MOTORCYCLE COMPANY OF THE YEAR.



Apparently, there are lots of people who can and do purchase and enjoy Harley's enough to keep them going strong.



I have no doubt that Harley will attract younger riders as they age and decide to move to cruisers. Heck, I'm not even old yet; and I like riding my Harley. As I said before, if I could only keep one bike (and I've owned a bunch over the years)--it would be a Harley. I don't buy into any lifestyle, don't wear tons of Harley logo clothing, and don't have any tattoos. I do like riding motorcycles--Harley or anything with two wheels.



Regards,



Karl



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