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longride 06-11-2007 07:15 AM

Re: A premium to buy American?
What is it that Harley does every day with great success?

Kenneth_Moore 06-11-2007 07:19 AM

Re: A premium to buy American?
Sell American made motorcycles at a premium price over their foreign competition.

Kenneth_Moore 06-11-2007 07:26 AM

Re: Why not here?
Which came first? The lack of interest in American products, or the lack of interesting products from America? Ok, set aside the "premium price" point for a moment, I'm not saying that the HD business model can, or should be duplicated by a US sportbike builder.

The point I'm making is: why don't we even try? If the UK, with all their social programs, European regulations, etc. can succeed like Triumph can, why can't we? We cannot build a future for our kids with everybody serving each other hamburgers and buying Chinese-made goods. Our auto industry, while troubled, is at least still competing.

ksquid 06-11-2007 07:27 AM

Re: Why not here?
Yes it's unfortunate for us that the U.S. doesn't have a world class proper MotoGP track... I like Laguna but it isn't world class. Mladin says Barber isn't world class. That leaves Miller Sports Park in Utah but to get a decent crowd to Salt Lake would be a challenge.

As far as U.S. manufacturing jobs we are all to blame. Unions demand high wages, health care, and huge pensions. U.S. management gets salaries many times their Japanese counterparts. We could get more competitive by having the government take over the health insurance but we are unwilling to create a French style system (even though it is considered to be the best in the world). Thus our large corporations remain at a competitive disadvantage. Our tax system is too complicated and inefficient.. When the Republicans took control of the White house and Congress I was hopeful that the tax system could be changed...Since that party, Republican, always runs on the platform of tax simplification and reduction. I was disappointed when that didn't happen. In addition, when they (W and the Republicans) started spending far more than we pay in taxes, I became disillusioned with them. By creating large deficits W has created a huge hole for us and the next generation.. It robs the private sector of the needed investment in new plants and equipment. The government debt is risk free and they set the interest rate which means corporate bonds have a trouble competing with it. And then there is the Iraq war which will have the same detrimental effects as the Vietnam war...

electraglider_1997 06-11-2007 07:29 AM

2 cents (worth??)
Maintenance costs. The motorcycle manufacturers build bikes that need too much maintenance. Harley has helped by going with belt drive and hydraulic valves (thank you). The dealers love to make money on maintenance but at $70/hr very few can afford it especially with gas prices where they are. There is no reason (my opinion) that the manufacturers can't make bikes that are near maintenance free. I own a couple of Harleys and a Buell Ulysses. Why should I have to take my ULY in for "throttle position resets" or to have the timing verified?? The bike should be able to check these parameters on the fly and keep themselves at optimal values. Cars can go 100,000 miles without a tuneup but motorcycle owner's manuals suggest you take to the dealer at 5000 miles so that the certified mechanic can verify everything is ok on a 100 pt checklist. Nevermind that he/she only "looks and checks off" to 90% of the check list items. Then you hand over 300 bucks for what really amounted to just an oil change. If I want to do the TPS reset myself then it costs me $200 for the software that should have been a built-in item on the bike i the first place. I'm all for keeping dealers in business but not by letting a mechanic stick it to me with 5 second checklist bs.

ksquid 06-11-2007 07:48 AM

Re: 2 cents (worth??)
Excellent Post..Well said

longride 06-11-2007 07:52 AM

Re: A premium to buy American?
But you were talking about people paying a premium for buying a sportbike. History has shown that they won't do that. So if Harley makes a literbike that is down 25 horsepower, 40 pounds heavier and is 4 grand more,(which is pretty much what they would turn out) then people would buy it cause it's 'American'? I think not. For the bikes Harley sells currently, they have no foreign competition. They only have imitators. The Japanese can't produce heritage and history. They don't have it, and they never will. Harley has a lineage dating back to the early 1900's. The 'classics' that come out of Japan are imitations of the real thing. Harley's also return a premium to their customers when they sell, which is why people are willing to pay the premium going in. What is a 3-year-old sportbike worth these days? Not much. Sportbikes are like computers. The day they aren't the fastest and the lightest, they are unwanted. I don't believe that Harley will ever go down the sportbike path. There is no money in it.

ksquid 06-11-2007 07:53 AM

Re: Why not here?
Excellent Post.. Well said...The whole entitlement thing is an issue I deal with on a daily basis. Great Point that gets overlooked a lot.

longride 06-11-2007 07:54 AM

Re: Why not here?
"If the UK, with all their social programs, European regulations, etc. can succeed like Triumph can, why can't we?"

Triumph sold abotu 50,000 bikes last year. I think Harley will sell 350,000 bikes. What is your measure of success?

Buzglyd 06-11-2007 08:07 AM

You're a shareholder in H-D. Willie G announces that the MoCo is going to invest heavy $$$ in R&D to develop a cutting edge sportbike to compete with the Japanese.

Do you remain a shareholder or sell your stock?

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