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Old 05-10-2006, 09:00 AM   #91
gniewko
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Default Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?

Sure. But "obsolete" doesn't mean that the new Japanese bike suddenly works any worse after 12 months. It's just "moral obsolescence" - the product works just as well as before, but there is something better out there.



The only time this matters is when you want to sell your bike. Otherwise, you can just keep riding it.



I'd rather have a situation like with Japanese bikes: I buy a great bike, and 12 months later there is something better available. I have the option of either keeping my existing bike (which is great anyway), or paying more to trade up to the next model. With a Harley, there is never something better to upgrade to, so you're stuck always riding the same thing. Sure, you can sell the bike you have, but if you want to stay with the HD brand, you have to buy... the same thing you just sold, because Harleys never improve (except maybe for the introduction of the V-Rod).



I'd rather have progress than stagnation. That's not a hard choice. With Harley you have motorcycles that haven't changed much in the last 50 years. Don't you think that's a little boring? With Japanese sportbikes, current models would have won WSB and GP races 15 years ago.
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:25 AM   #92
anrajala
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Default Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?

Outdated merchandise? I think you chose a bit unfortunate attribute here to defend Harleys.



How far back can you walk back in the memory lane to pump into a jap rocket that does not totally whip the butt of a brand new Fat Boy (64.7 HP on the rubber)? Refresh my memory quick somebody.



As the last H-D test in www.motorcycle.com Dec 05 noted: "There's no acceleration to speak of so it's best to utilize all the torque and keep the gear selection high. It has just enough power to cruise safely and happily two-up on the Interstate, but don't drag race teenagers in Subaru WRX's, unless you can make up a good excuse as to why you lost. It's a charming motor, to be sure, with all the right sounds and feelings, but it's time to slot that V-Rod motor into these bikes. Life's too short to ride an antique all the time."



These are exactly my feelings. I will update my outdated 2002 Fat Boy to a 1990s already-out-of-production Valk as soon as it becomes practically possible.



- cruiz-euro

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Old 05-10-2006, 10:39 AM   #93
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Default Re: GPTB

No, Buzz, no disrespect intended. But to assert that somehow H-D is some wholly benevolent guardian of the consumer is the height of absurdity. There is no motorcycle company that markets more aggressively than H-D. And I doubt there is any company who acheives the same kind of margins.



If they thought they could beat the Japanese at their own game and make more money than they do now they'd be doing just that.



There's a customer for every type of bike, as it should be. I'm just irked by the people who play the "investment" card (otherwise known as the "I'm smarter than you" card) to justify their bias.



Besides, you can't kick me out. The greater evil is Kpaul.
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Old 05-10-2006, 10:43 AM   #94
bollert
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Default Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?

I've come to the conclusion that there are several types of motorcycles - forget the brands for a second. I've ridden sportbikes for over 20 years. But recently I had a cannot-pass-up opportunity to buy an 87 Honda VF700 Super Magna for a great price. The bike was clean, and perfectly sound, and by the way seemed pretty fast. You have to ignore your ego to ride this bike. It is an old japanese cruiser. Sure there are some reminiscing folks who really thought the bike was cool, but...So here I am riding the thing, and I noticed that the totally unpretentious ride opened up a whole new world to me. I wasn't so focused on the bike, or my riding, but I was enjoying the ride! Then it hit me. All bikes are enjoyable and fun when ridden in their design element. Riding my ZX-10R in the wine country was just not that fun unless I picked up the pace to dangerous levels. So, in regards to bikes, I think one should REALLY concentrate on how and where they will ride. Then decide what bikes appeal to them that will do what they want it to do. Then buy the damn thing, ride it and don't be a ****. The two-wheeled brotherhood out there does not care what you ride. If someone does exclude you because of what you ride, then it is THEY who are not in the brotherhood, not you.



BTW, I sold the Magna and bought an M109R, and I feel I have been freed from the cage that was riding a sportbike on the street. I will always own and ride a sportbike, but it is just so much more satisfying to ride a cruiser on the street IMO. But guess what, I wish the 109 sounded a little more Harley like. Sure it's faster and handles better, but I think I have been conditioned to expect a big V-Twin to sound like a Harley. So I get it - the HD thing. I will not trade the 109 because I need the performance and value, but there is something missing from the experience.
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Old 05-10-2006, 10:46 AM   #95
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Default Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?

The significance of the technical improvements on the newer models is not proportional to the level of depreciation of value of the old models.



Very true, and the fact that the new sport bikes are the latest and greatest is probably a large factor in selling them.



The Japs do this on purpose.



That doesn't make sense.



People who buy sportbikes generally want the latest and greatest, which the Japanese fight viciously to provide. The deflation in value is a result of the kind of people in that market.



Last I heard, Japanese cruisers outsell their sportbikes by roughly 2 to 1, and they don't depreciate as badly as sportbikes.



The highest performance sportbikes sell, and those are built with the latest technology. If one of the Big Four slipped significantly behind in technology, they wouldn't sell sportbikes for very long. The coolest cruisers sell, and coolness ages a lot slower than technology, at least with bikes.



That's why the price drops so fast on old bikes, not some Jap conspiracy.
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Old 05-10-2006, 10:53 AM   #96
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Default Re: GPTB

I'm not down with the investment thing either. And you're right, H-D is into making money which is precisely why they don't get into the Supersport market.



KP has become a parody of himself. He was a lot more fun before the medication kicked in.
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Old 05-10-2006, 10:57 AM   #97
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Default Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?

I think you make a valid point. On my Ducati I'm always angry cuz everyone is in my way.



On the geezer glide I just don't care. I'm enjoying the scenery instead.
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:24 AM   #98
KillerKowalski
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Default Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?

What's it to ya, atrociteur?
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:37 AM   #99
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Default Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?

The enmity Harley riders have toward other riders derives from their insecurity about poor performance. Time was, a Harley was the fastest bike you could buy. And everyone associated with Harley was rightly proud of this fact. Eventually, they were dethroned, and with the exception of the Destroyer, have not made a serious bid for high performance again. They may say "If you have to ask, blah, blah, blah," but remember, cruising at slow speed was not always Harley's thing. They are defensive about it, will be the first to tell you about getting a "real bike," and won't hear logical arguments to the contrary. That said, in evaluating the bike on its own and without all the hype, they've got a lot going for them.
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:45 AM   #100
pdad13
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Default Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?

Not really, genius. You're cherrypicking. I bought a leftover because I don't feel the need to have the absolute latest, greatest model, like a good many other people and contrary to your assumption.But in the process I saved a lot of money (the dealer took most of the depreciation) and can sell the bike for a good price used. You tied up a whole lot more money I'm sure and probably blew a significant amount of money on a$$ jewlery and some absurdly loud pipes. In the end, I doubt you'll net out any better than me.



Oh, and it's not Japanese.



What do you think the depreciation of a Japanese bike is anyway? Sure, it's more than an H-D, but upwards of fifty percent depreciation in a year or two is a myth propogated by your kind. It's more in line with normal vehicle depreciation. Go price a clean '04 CBR1000RR. See if you can get one for $5500. In fact, see if you can get a '99 Interceptor for the same.



H-D and the Japanese manufacturers are, to some degree, selling to different audiences with somewhat different messages and business models. Guess what? They both work for the most part. The Japanese competitive advantage is technology and price/performance ratio. People who buy for those reasons know that technology changes. If they feel that they have to trade up every two years, they'll pay. Would you prefer that the Japanese make only air-cooled pushrod twin cruisers? (So then you could deride them as being even more derivative of H-D.) Would you prefer that no one develop bikes any further. How is that good for the consumer, Einstein?



If your only measure of whether a bike is a worthy purchase is if you can sell it used for almost the same amount as you paid for it, you should probably be collecting antiques instead of riding.



Isn't it okay that some people don't aspire to own Harleys?



No, you just want to prove how smart you are. Keep trying.
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