Go Back   Motorcycle Forum > Motorcycle.Com General Discussion > Motorcycle General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-29-2010, 01:41 PM   #31
Duken4evr
Founding Member
 
Duken4evr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 722
Default

Harley knows what sells and they have done a masterful job. The risk is they will become irrelevant as the "Faithful" toddle off to the nursing home and nobody is there to replace them. The younger gens coming after the Boomers could care less about Harley. They have clumsily tried with Buell and MV Agusta. They need to do a lot better to remain viable for the long haul.

I foresee Victory being the dominant maker of American bikes in 25 years. A bold claim but they are on a smarter and better long term path.
Duken4evr is offline   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links Remove Advertisements
Motorcycle Forum
Advertisement
Old 12-29-2010, 01:44 PM   #32
pushrod
Founding Member
 
pushrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Baja 'Bama
Posts: 3,642
Default

The lack of an American bike brand of other than a Heavyweight Cruiser is a bit of a puzzler.

Look at what John Bloor did with Triumph. Then look at the various less-than-stellar results of the various start-up and revival efforts in the 'States.

And there must be a reason Honda pulled their American bike manufacturing out of Ohio.
__________________
You would not understand,
this is not how I am...

I have become -
Comfortably Numb.
pushrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2010, 03:31 PM   #33
schizuki
Founding Member
 
schizuki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,030
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by anrajala View Post
So what is it? Does the American corporate culture not allow producing world beating motorcycles (or cars for that matter)?
1) Look at a topographical map of the United States. Most Americans either live in cities or in flat places. Cornering prowess has limited utility.

2) Why do you think it is necessary to have racetrack-level performance that cannot be used on the street? That's wasted effort.

3) I ride a Bandit 600 that is about as technologically advanced as a Harley Sportster. It does everything I need it to, and I'm not even close to exploiting its "limited" (according to you) capabilities. And in fact, a Sportster would be a better choice for me, since it's torquier.

Do you really believe that the effort expended by the Japanese on constant incremental and unexploitable improvements in the 600 class is really all that empirically sensible? Or that their customers' demand for that is objectively logical?
__________________
Reverēre meam auctōritātem

Bill Clinton and Chuck Schumer are praising the Supreme Court for overturning an anti-gay-marriage law that they both signed.
schizuki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2010, 07:01 PM   #34
Jeff Cobb
Motorcycle.com Staff
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 146
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by schizuki View Post
1) Look at a topographical map of the United States. Most Americans either live in cities or in flat places. Cornering prowess has limited utility.

2) Why do you think it is necessary to have racetrack-level performance that cannot be used on the street? That's wasted effort.

3) I ride a Bandit 600 that is about as technologically advanced as a Harley Sportster. It does everything I need it to, and I'm not even close to exploiting its "limited" (according to you) capabilities. And in fact, a Sportster would be a better choice for me, since it's torquier.

Do you really believe that the effort expended by the Japanese on constant incremental and unexploitable improvements in the 600 class is really all that empirically sensible? Or that their customers' demand for that is objectively logical?

No, I don't think it's objectively logical when focused on your criteria. But just the same, I'm glad we have the performance we do! Even if you can't "use it all on the street" (a point which at other times I've made too, in context, and with qualifications) ...

1) Sportbikes and higher performance bikes are fun on the street regardless, 2) They make nice spin-offs and trickle down technology for less focused bikes, 3) They are the feeder bikes for grassroots racing and track days.

I think it's unfortunate – now that you got me on the subject – that the traffic laws are what they are (artificially restricted, and catering to the lowest common denominator in terms of driver competence).

I can safely ride my bike at 50% over the speed limit in many situations, if not 225% more (like on some super highways). I also (usually) have the good judgment to slow down when needed, and there's a time for that too.

In Germany, I believe, they make you earn your stripes (driver's privileges, tiered licenses), and then reward their licensed citizens with more freedom (higher speed limits). Here in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, we sold that liberty to the insurance lobbies, and safetycrats decades ago.

We cater to the least competent, and make the privilege open even to the ones who can't drive their way out of a wet paper bag.

Rant over.


Last edited by Jeff Cobb : 12-29-2010 at 07:18 PM.
Jeff Cobb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2010, 10:12 PM   #35
The_AirHawk
Founding Member
 
The_AirHawk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Leanin' Tower O' P-P-P-P-POWAAAAAAAAA!!!!
Posts: 11,490
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Cobb View Post
In Germany, I believe, they make you earn your stripes (driver's privileges, tiered licenses), and then reward their licensed citizens with more freedom (higher speed limits). Here in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, we sold that liberty to the insurance lobbies, and safetycrats decades ago.

We cater to the least competent, and make the privilege open even to the ones who can't drive their way out of a wet paper bag.

Rant over.

Well, they used to - as I understand it, the "unrestricted" autobahn is now but a fond memory. 120 (kph) is the Limit, with markers on the vehicles restricted to lower speeds (such as trucks, buses, etc.).

I've also learned over the years that, JUST because you "learned to drive in Europe" does NOT automagically make you a "better" driver - just one that knows the law and penalties like the back of your hand. I went to HS with 3-different German exchange-students. Two of them could not drive for shyte, and they already had International Driver-licenses when they set-foot in the U.S.
__________________
Parfois, on fait pas semblant
Sometimes, it's not pretend
Oderint Dum Metuant
Let them hate so long as they fear
политики предпочитают безоружных крестьян
Politicians Prefer Unarmed Peasants
Nothing to see here, Citizen. Move along now...

Last edited by The_AirHawk : 12-29-2010 at 10:18 PM.
The_AirHawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 03:05 AM   #36
Dr_Sprocket
Founding Member
 
Dr_Sprocket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delmarva Peninsula
Posts: 2,331
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by schizuki View Post
1) Look at a topographical map of the United States. Most Americans either live in cities or in flat places. Cornering prowess has limited utility.

2) Why do you think it is necessary to have racetrack-level performance that cannot be used on the street? That's wasted effort.

3) I ride a Bandit 600 that is about as technologically advanced as a Harley Sportster. It does everything I need it to, and I'm not even close to exploiting its "limited" (according to you) capabilities. And in fact, a Sportster would be a better choice for me, since it's torquier.

Do you really believe that the effort expended by the Japanese on constant incremental and unexploitable improvements in the 600 class is really all that empirically sensible? Or that their customers' demand for that is objectively logical?
And that, my friend, is why Harleys sell so well in the US. It is my firm belief that if we lived in the Alps or Pyrenees mountains, Harley bikes would look much different today. Remeber, for the most part "form follows function".
__________________
"Aid to the helpless indigent is civilized. Aid to the irresponsible is socially corrosive." ----- Schizuki (c. 2011)
Dr_Sprocket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 06:40 AM   #37
Duken4evr
Founding Member
 
Duken4evr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 722
Default

Well, I love in Colorado with plenty of remote canyon roads and high speed sweepers out in the plains in range. Another factor is the elevation, which saps power. Perfect country for musclebound sharp handling sport bikes right? You would think so, but Harleys still outnumber all others at least 10 to 1 around here.

Sure, some riders just want to kick back and cruise on a big twin, but the absolute domination of Harley here suggests to me that a lot of people want to make a "me too lifestyle statement" with their bikes. Me? I just wanna ride something fast, good handling and comfy. Don't much care that I rarely see one like it coming at me on the other side of the road. Actually I rather enjoy that

Last edited by Duken4evr : 12-30-2010 at 06:45 AM.
Duken4evr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 07:38 AM   #38
Morbo the Destroyer
Registered Member
 
Morbo the Destroyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,307
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Sprocket View Post
And that, my friend, is why Harleys sell so well in the US. It is my firm belief that if we lived in the Alps or Pyrenees mountains, Harley bikes would look much different today. Remeber, for the most part "form follows function".
+1. Harleys, like much of our American society, developed around an agriculturally-focused society. That's why we change our clocks 2X a year, the schools sit empty 1/4 of the year, etc. etc. Harley's engineering core development environment was dirt roads spanning long distances. How that design paradigm became hugely popular in the late 80's and 90's is another story, one I've never fully understood. It was much more than their design that caused the "Harley Craze." Let's not forget that HD was a gnat's whisker away from bankruptcy and failure when AMF bought them in the 1970's. Americans were all over higher-tech, better handling Japanese bikes as soon as they started shipping them here.
__________________
Fun Facts to Know and Tell!

Thomas Jefferson wrote that the 1st Amendment erected a "wall of separation" between the church and the state (James Madison said it "drew a line," but it is Jefferson's term that sticks with us today). The phrase is commonly thought to mean that the government should not establish, support, or otherwise involve itself in any religion.

Its.......A FACT!
Morbo the Destroyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 07:48 AM   #39
Morbo the Destroyer
Registered Member
 
Morbo the Destroyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,307
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Cobb View Post
No, I don't think it's objectively logical when focused on your criteria. But just the same, I'm glad we have the performance we do! Even if you can't "use it all on the street" (a point which at other times I've made too, in context, and with qualifications) ...

1) Sportbikes and higher performance bikes are fun on the street regardless, 2) They make nice spin-offs and trickle down technology for less focused bikes, 3) They are the feeder bikes for grassroots racing and track days.

I think it's unfortunate – now that you got me on the subject – that the traffic laws are what they are (artificially restricted, and catering to the lowest common denominator in terms of driver competence).

I can safely ride my bike at 50% over the speed limit in many situations, if not 225% more (like on some super highways). I also (usually) have the good judgment to slow down when needed, and there's a time for that too.

In Germany, I believe, they make you earn your stripes (driver's privileges, tiered licenses), and then reward their licensed citizens with more freedom (higher speed limits). Here in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, we sold that liberty to the insurance lobbies, and safetycrats decades ago.

We cater to the least competent, and make the privilege open even to the ones who can't drive their way out of a wet paper bag.

Rant over.


You're right about sportbike tech benefiting the rest of of the riding "realm." My VStrom 1000 is hardly a "sportbike," but it has the same frame, engine (in different tune) and much of the same suspension as the TL1000 or SV650s, that are full-on sporties. Racing and high-performance technologies have always made their way from the track to the street, to everyone's benefit.

As for the quality of US drivers...it was bad enough before. Now, with cell-phones and texting, it's beyond belief. I watched a small pickup weaving from side to side down my street a few evenings ago. I was about to call the cops and report a seriously impaired driver, but as he came by, I saw his IPhone lighting up his face. Of course he was texting, two-handed, while trying to drive. Instead of requiring helmets, the Feds should mandate a phone and PDA disabling device in every vehicle. THAT would save lives.
__________________
Fun Facts to Know and Tell!

Thomas Jefferson wrote that the 1st Amendment erected a "wall of separation" between the church and the state (James Madison said it "drew a line," but it is Jefferson's term that sticks with us today). The phrase is commonly thought to mean that the government should not establish, support, or otherwise involve itself in any religion.

Its.......A FACT!
Morbo the Destroyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 07:53 AM   #40
jmdonald
Founding Member
 
jmdonald's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 1,291
Default Great Commentary

Different bikes for different types of riding no doubt.I grew up riding country roads and now enjoy many nearby canyons.I do like the occasional longer trip along with a cruise up and down the coast thrown in for good measure.I feel blessed to be able to ride all year long with so many options available without the need to create an Identity for myself.The only Harley to hit my radar was the Sportster but when compared to other offerings I could not justify a purchase.I figure I need at least 5 bikes to cover all the specific types of riding I may want to do.
__________________
Secede.
jmdonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off