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Old 07-23-2001, 10:54 PM   #251
Dannykookoo
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Default v-max

I personally am a big fan of the v-max (and a Yamaha rider), but if this article is being honest about the other aspects of the v-rod, then it will be a far superior bike. The V-max is a very one-dimensional ride with relatively poor handling and not something that you want to dump into a corner at any speed.
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Old 07-23-2001, 11:03 PM   #252
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Default Re: Amen Brother

How the hell does this get a score of '1'? The whole post is nothing but unsubstantiated, offensive stereotypes.
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Old 07-23-2001, 11:22 PM   #253
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Default Re: Harley V-Rod Reader Feedback

With airbags!
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Old 07-24-2001, 02:06 AM   #254
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Default Re: Harley V-Rod Reader Feedback

Very interesting to hear from an actual test rider; even though you're on the MoCo's payroll, you're still obviously pretty knowledgeable about other marques and models. FWIW my Sportster was fairly reliable over my 7 years' ownership - most of it's problems were caused by excessive vibrations, but then they're part of the Sportster package, aren't they?

One minor quibble though - if BMW (and Triumph) have more warranty claims than Harley, it's because they have longer warranty periods - 3 years for BMW, 2 for Triumph. H-D should really offer at least a 2-year warranty on their machines, if for no other reason than to help justify the price.



Former H-D owner, gone over to Triumph....
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Old 07-24-2001, 04:14 AM   #255
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Default Re: Harley V-Rod Reader Feedback

As a former H-D owner and "Hard-liner", I have to say - Well Put. It is for this reason I will be picking up my new Victory v92sc. Since buying back the company back in the early '80s, Harley has enjoyed success that is unprecedented in any retail market. However, like you said, what are they gonna do when the baby boomers quit buying? After all, they stepped on the toes of the majority of the old Hard-liners out there when they realized that another demagraphic wanted their bikes and had pockets full of cash. If you want examples, just take a look at companies like Titan and BigDogg. Those companies made millions selling un-harleys but are now loosing their corporate asses. There are only so many yuppies out there to hang the success of your company on. Harley knows this and they also have a good memory. Willie G still gets cold sweats when he reminisces back to the good ol' AMF days and he knows he doesn't want to see that happen again in his lifetime. The problem is getting anyone associated with HD to admit it

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Old 07-24-2001, 08:38 AM   #256
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Default Re: Harley V-Rod Reader Feedback

And that changes the fact that they asked for it, and DID benefit from it,... how???? Further, someone else told me that though they peititioned for it to be ended early, it did not end early. So, right now, all I have is your word against theirs. I do not have a reference to check that particular fact, but I would instead refer to HD's own web-site for some help:



"1987: Harley-Davidson makes both business and American history. H-D petitions the International Trade Commission for early termination of the five-year tariffs on heavyweight motorcycles. In effect, the move demonstrated confidence in H-D's ability to compete in the marketplace."



Note that there is no actual mention of it ENDING early just b/c it was asked for. I have no idea how tariffs work like this, but it would not surprize me in the least to find that once enacted you CANNOT (at least very easily) end them early (an authority on this would be nice about now)... which would make Harley's 'gesture' nothing more than good public-relations strategy. As in "Hey.. we -tried- to end it early.. but those mean-ol' politicians won't let us!" Do I fault them for that? NO! I would expect any company in their position to do the same. Ask yourself this, if it did actually terminate early, wouldn't you.. as Harley's PR guy, make SURE that this fact was stated very very plainly and openly on their own web-site?... as in (words to the effect of) "and they were granted that petition and it did end early...' As it reads to me right now, it's very carefully 'spun' to lead the casual reader into thinking it ended early. If I am wrong, so be it, and I will concede the point about when the tariff ended... can't be more fair than that.



In case you're wondering, we're talking about .. at most... one year early.. perhaps a year and a few months. Hardly worth quibbling about, IMHO...

the bulk of the tariff ran its course... and even 4 years of reverse-tariffs on 'Japan, Inc' took their toll.



Bottom line: I couldn't care less that it ended early... the main point was that it was asked for and that whatever it's ultimate duration, it DID go a good ways towards saving Harley.



If I need to make the point even clearer:

FACT: the tariff bailed out Harley. The end. Get over it already, your pet company is not flawless.



The various posters here that seem to want to deny or bury this whole little affair simply amaze me. Bring up one little smudge on the 'Great Harley Name' and people flip out completely. Try to look at them a little more objectively: they are a company trying to make money... they have suceeded in spades, yay for them. Everyone has a past though... remembering it helps to keep some perspective... and THAT is what all of my posts have been about. If this were a discussion about any other bike-company that had the same experience, my stance would be no different... I'm pointing out facts (or what I have been told were/are facts); I condemn/defend no company (they really don't care about it)... I do enjoy a little devil's advocate though.



-James









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Old 07-24-2001, 12:48 PM   #257
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Default Re: Harley V-Rod Reader Feedback

Longride, I'm not a cynic, but I am a critic.

LR: "You called yourself a cynic. Go back and re-read original post"



All I'm offering is the constructive point of view of a younger guy who just bought a bike. And yes, I did consider/test ride Harley with an open mind. I said, "pass" for the aforementioned reasons. The V-Rod, on the other hand, might just be enough to bring a guy like me into the fold.

LR:"So constructive is calling Harley buyers "suckers"? You passed on a Harley to buy a cutting edge,tech marvel BMW1200c? And if the V-Rod doesn't bring you into the fold will Harley care? Not by a long shot"



To say that Harley doesn't want or need new business from the next generation of bikers is just plain ignorant. Harley marketers obviously realized that there is a vast demographic group out there with money to spend and they're not buying Harley. Why?

LR:"What I said wasn't ignorant. It's the truth. Harley is not going to change overnight to satisfy you. They will continue to make a product that they think will sell to the demographic targeted, which is not you. The reason people are not buying them is there is none to buy. This year, next year and the year after that are all sold already. Good enough reason?"



In fact, this is what the marketing strategy behind the V-Rod is all about. It's about getting new riders into the fold. The V-Rod is fresh. It's funky. When I fist saw the pics I thought, "cool" and when I read about the German engineering and technology improvements, I thought, "Damn, I want one of those!"

LR:"No that is NOT what it's all about Gen-y boy. It's about a different product for the SAME audience, get it? If you want one and it's so fresh and funky then go buy it and quit whining about how Harley has to shape up to suit YOU."



I'm not disputing the fact that Harley is successful as a company. Both Harley Davidson and BMW are successful 'adult' motorcycle manufactures. (To imply that my choice in BMW is in some way not 'grown up' is just unsubstantiated blather.)

LR:"Your reasons for buying don't fit the "grown up" mold where things like classic styling, lasting value and pride in ownership mean anything. You didn't mention any of these for a reason to buy a Harley. If tech is what you want at the cheapest price, buy a H-O-N-D-A. Then use it as a boat anchor in a few years. No wait, the boat anchor will be worth more!"



Successful companies like Harley are always thinking toward the future. They ask questions like: What are we going to do when the Baby Boom generation is through with its mid-life crisis? Who's going to buy our bikes? What do they want in a motorcycle? Will sales continue if we uphold the status quo or should we innovate? What does the future hold?

LR:"Since Harley has surged in popularity since 1983 and it's 2001, that means 18 years of mid-life crisis? Are you for real? Do you think that those are the only Harley owners? They outsold Honda last year. Maybe they have more than you think because you obviously never owned one. Time to put away the cliche's and get real. It's a real product with real owners."



Harley is smart. They don't want the same thing happening to them that is currently happening to Cadillac.

LR:"100% agreed. They will end up like Cadillac by trying to cater to spoiled brats and not sticking to what they know. Caddy used to make the best big cruisers and went tech. They are dying because they played the middle instead of their strength. End of story."



Again, the V-Rod is a thrilling step in the right direction. I applaud H-D for finally having the guts to stand up to the hard-liners and steer the company in a new direction. It's about time.



LR:"Then quit cheering and get down and buy one. The only way it will be around for many years is to SELL and not sit in showrooms like other Harley ventures. If you are waiting for a price drop I have some bad news. I don't remember any since about 1981. That was probably before you were born."



Anyway have fun on the Beemer and ride it till the wheels fall off.
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Old 07-25-2001, 06:05 AM   #258
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Default Re: Harley V-Rod Reader Feedback

Interesting note from a HD shop in NC. 4 VRods orderd with deposit, sight unseen. Once the bike was introduced, all 4 orders were cancelled.



May be just that particular region that doesn't like the bike. I like it, but not for $17,000. I could see $12,000.00. Maybe.



I'll wait and see. lots of great bikes coming out.

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Old 07-25-2001, 08:00 AM   #259
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Default Re: Harley V-Rod Reader Feedback

"It's not that hard to sell every bike you make when you're not making that many. " ~ jamesohoh7



Correct me if I'm wrong(i'm sure you will) but doesn't Harley still outsell (US sales) all other manufacturers combined?
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Old 07-25-2001, 09:00 AM   #260
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Default Harley has evolved!

As of yesterday, I am the proud future owner of the first new bike HD has created in 50 years! I live in the Milwaukee area, and needless to say there is a lot of American Iron in my neck of the woods. I can't tell you how excited I am, especialy after reading about your test ride. Up untill now, I've only talked to dealers, and read dealer literature.



I'm a 32 year old man, and I have been trying to buy my first Harley for a few years now (I was planning on a Road King). This was going to be the year for me, but I made a job change, and had to buy a "beater" 81 GS850 so that I could just get on two wheels again.



I read through a few of the posts, and it's interesting what people think! First off NOT ALL dealers sell there HD's over list. I'm paying 16,999.00 (Racine Harley Davidson, Racine WI) Also according to another dealership owner that I spoke to, (the day he got back from the dealer show in CA) there arent 11,000 being produced (not for US anyway) there is only 7,500.



I also read the "full circle" post about HD - imitating Jap bikes - that imitate HD. (Interesting insite!) and I agree with most of what was said, but as for who to wave to? EVERYONE ON 2 WHEELS! I ride an $800 peice of crap and all but a few wave back. If they (or you) don't like it F**K em'! We all have a similar passion, and a love for the wind in our hair!



Why I finaly got off the fence?



1) This is a bike that I will keep forever. Next year there will be a million changes, and a few new versions. The 2002 is the only oppertunity to have an original v-rod. In 20 years it will be like owning an Indian. I'll ride it for 2 years (about 20.000 miles I figure), and then get my Road King for back and forth to work, and retire the v-rod to an around town bike. I don't think I will ever have the heart to store it!





2) It is gorgeous! Just look at a closeup of the frame. It has a combination of gentel bends, sharp angles, and radical curves. It's a peice of art. They took "form follows function" and used the function to CREATE the form.



3) Performance, as important as it is, was probably my last reason. I've owned crotch rockets in the past, and beleive me, I like having a little juice. I have no intention of doing 140MPH, but going from 50 to 90 in the blink of an eye is mighty attractive to me. Braking, and cornering are definately big factors as well.

Years ago I drove a friends 69 Dodge Super Bird with a 426 Hemi. It was amazing the feeling of making such a heavy car move so fast. It was unlike a sports car, but nimble because of it's power! Is that the feeling I'll get with the v-rod!?



So in a nutshell, I'll be the first guy I know to own a history making, show stopping, speed machine. This is a truly unique bike, and a huge moment for Harley Davidson. Now is a good time to buy HD stock! Unfortunatly I'm going to have to save my liquid for the v-rod!!!



Matt

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