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-   -   Is Harley's Demand Softening? (http://www.motorcycle.com/forum/paranoid-news-clips/794-harleys-demand-softening.html)

Bat_Matt 08-16-2001 10:31 AM

Harley Inventory
 
I think it's inevitable that Harley's sales (esp. those dealers selling over MSRP) are going to take a hit. Harley is after all part of the economy and a big part of the boom they had over the 90's was people who never could afford one before. I think Harley is finally going to actually meet demand and dealers are eventually going to start selling at or (gasp!) below MSRP. I think people have been asking for quite a while now, "What's going to happen when all those prosperous boomers, who have benefitted so dramatically from the economic boom, start having to make tough choices about luxuries (like $25,000 bikes that get taken out on the weekend for a spin around town)?"



Sorry if this is incoherent. Going on vacation soon. Less fried later. Work now.




Neal 08-16-2001 10:31 AM

Re: Is Harley
 
Harley will sell everything they can make this year(maybe at sticker instead of inflated prices).next year(2003) is the 100 th anniversary year...every HD ride I know wants one.Every bike HD can make will sell at ridiculous prices.Then watch out---2004 is when I expect the market to "soften".I expect a couple off years(relative to the last 5 crazy years)

while HD tries to develope a new younger market with the VR series and the Buell.If they cant pull it off expect a ruff decade.If I owned HD stock(I dont)I would hold onto it through most of the 04 model year and then sell.
























































lazy1 08-16-2001 11:02 AM

Re: Is Harley
 
it's about time, and absolutely inevitable.

there's some dealers out there that are going

to have to change their attitude...........

deanmass 08-16-2001 11:19 AM

Re: Is Harley
 
Harley is going to start feeling the pinch of overpriced (albeit, still very cool) bikes. I have NEVER seen so many used Harley's in the paper as I have in the last few years. It seems many people just buy them to re-sell. I think they are the equal of a mega-beenie baby or some other trendy collectible, but on a grand scale. Just think, once the market softens, mere-mortal bikers may now start to afford Harley's again! I am personally going to get great satification when Motor City Harley bites it. They have been price gouging our area since they opened. The better shops (Sylvania Ohio) knew that the gouging was a short term plan. Sorry if this is in coherent, but I just bought a YZ400f yesterday (yeah, used, but hot-damn quick in my book) and I am still coming down off the rush of my first moto-bike.

BlainetheMono 08-16-2001 12:01 PM

Re: Is Harley
 
Well, since I couldnt find the generic reply button Ill reply here. S&S is building Harley parts and engines the way the should have been done in the first place. Light, powerfull and relativley inexpensive compared to the original. Harleys are HEAVY, EXPENSIVE, UNDERPOWERED, OVERRATED, and EXTREMELY poor handlers under speed. With an aging clientel still living in World War 2, it was bound to happen sooner or later. $25,000 for a 800 pound rolling pile of steel? No Thanx. I thought Americans were into PERFORMANCE and QUALITY?? Harley has NIETHER.....Hell even some parts are made in CHINA!!!! As a fellow rider once stated, there is more technology in my front brake rotor than on an entire Harley motorcycle.....Harsh , but TRUE.....



What does a dog and a Harley have in common? Both like to ride in the back of pick up trucks....

cruiz-euro 08-16-2001 12:48 PM

This should be no big surprise to anyone
 
As the household stock value has plummeted and the economy is sliding towards a recession, people don´t feel that cash rich. It would be strange if HD could escape this - those guys who did not buy it last year when things were rolling how would they now?



Another thingie is that HD has sold extremely well the past few years and there are lots of them about. This will put some downward pressure on the used market.



Also there is the small matter of the introduction of VTX, a very desirable bike which simply clobbers the big Harleys on all the measurable qualities.



cruiz-euro

Burnster 08-16-2001 12:51 PM

Re: Is Harley
 
As long a wait as there is for parts, it may be a strategic move to reduce the waiting time and improve customer service.

Ya Think? ? ? ..... Naaa -

There goin under !

Don't let the sky hit ya in the head when it falls either.

I love my 2001 Sportster, especially since it finally sprung an oil leak, Now MAN that's COOL !

john 08-16-2001 02:26 PM

Re: Is Harley
 
Sorry man, time to catch up. The only thing S&S builds are the evo motors, and they are not much lighter than stock, and sure dont seem to cost less. You will not buy an S&S Twincam or VR motor anytime soon.



I can't say harleys top my list of favorite bikes (no cruiser but the confederate make the top 20) but they have seen the writing on the wall, and know that the buyers who are lining harleys pockets now are not going to be around in 10 years. They also know that the people who MIGHT have taken the older buyer's place 10 or 15 years ago is no longer likely to be a candidate for buying a harley, as most riders have grown up on sportbikes, standards, and light cruisers that have braking and handling capabilities that they are not willing to give up.

LimeSqueezr 08-16-2001 02:39 PM

Re: This should be no big surprise to anyone
 
You must get your news by reading very stale magazines in your shrink's waiting room, cruiz-euro.



Actually the economy is warmng up again, inflation is down, real estate prices are very high. Many people are feeling affluent because home equity is skyrocketing and are spending again. But maybe they're not buying as many motorcycles.



Harley sales *are* getting softer than years past, and everybody knows 2002 will be the best year in years to buy a Harley. The reason is simple but not understood by everyone: 2003 will be their centennial year and everybody wants one of those not a 2002. Believe me, the phenom is real with some dealers having lotteries to buy them near MSRP while others plan to slap a minumum $10K vaseline tax on every bike (read $16000 for a basic 883 --now that actually does make a VTX look like a deal!)



Speaking of which, it *is* a small matter. The VTX is one model, a muscle cruiser, which competes against against only one Harley model that to say is selling quite well is the understatement of 2001 regardless of how you think it stacks up against the VTX. Ironically Honda is dropping the Valkyrie which is the only big bike in their line that actually *is* a darn good buy on "measurable qualities" and for which they did offer both touring and cruiser versions to compete dead-on against Harley more of Harley's line. But it's ugly and sounds like a Subaru so they couldn't give them away.



Which begs the question, whatever gave you the idea people do (or are even supposed to) buy their bikes based solely on "measurable qualities"!? A good question to pose to your shrink next time you're in there reading the stale Newsweeks.

desertbilly 08-16-2001 03:09 PM

I doubt it
 
One quarter does not a trend make. If inventories continue to expand and sales soften for a couple of years, then there's a trend.



Another possibility is that production was just a little too high, but sales are still expanding.



Another possibility is that HD demand is a little soft because of the ongoing economic concerns about the future, and the soft stock market levels. Pretty much the same reason that the sales of cars and some classes of homes are down. HD sales are going to be relatively elastic because for most people they're a luxury rather than a necessity.



If anyone's ever heard celebrity-economist Harry Dent talk, he says HD is hot because of the generational bulge of (self-indulgent) yuppies earning and spending lots of money. He says the HD growth will continue until later in this decade when most of the yuppies outgrow their consumptive middle age, and start entering their more conservative and fiscally responsible 50's and 60's.



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