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-   -   Entry level Harleys on the horizon? (https://www.motorcycle.com/forum/motorcycle-rumor-mill-new-model-news/10286-entry-level-harleys-horizon.html)

mscuddy 12-30-2008 04:16 PM

Entry level Harleys on the horizon?
 
Will Harley Davidson, who's only entry level motorcycle is the Sportster, start producing 100cc, 250 & 500cc entry level dirt bikes, dual sports and steet bikes?

Since HD's running out of 51 year old midlife crisis buyers for its big v twins, it's only natural they would want to tap into the expanding entry-level bike scene with smaller offerings, off-road bikes being the first major step. And combined with the Harley Davidson name, this could be a giant market for Harley.

Rumor has it the bikes will be assembeled in the United States, by a well known company who has years of experience building dirt bikes.

You can say "I heard about it first on Motorcycle.com".

Dr_Sprocket 12-30-2008 04:43 PM

Are you applying for the open position of GMP?

BrowningBAR 12-30-2008 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr_Sprocket (Post 200132)
Are you applying for the open position of GMP?

That wouldn't be possible. Cuddy has actual motorcycle knowledge and experience. This automatically disqualifies a person from applying for the position of GMP.

pplassm 12-31-2008 03:20 AM

Cuddy, is this the long-rumored off-road Buell? I thought they gave up on that before construction of a prototype.

longride 12-31-2008 04:36 AM

"Since HD's running out of 51 year old midlife crisis buyers for its big v twins,.."

So the next generation isn't going to make it to 51? Even Roger Daltrey didn't die before he got old.

seruzawa 12-31-2008 05:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by longride (Post 200138)
"Since HD's running out of 51 year old midlife crisis buyers for its big v twins,.."

So the next generation isn't going to make it to 51? Even Roger Daltrey didn't die before he got old.

And guess what? He's not dead yet! Though his career is. Now he's making documentaries on the History Channel. That's just one step above rock bottom.... a country & Western performer.

Kenneth_Moore 12-31-2008 06:58 AM

This concept makes sense to me. Rossmeyer, who has 6 dealerships in FL, has always had smaller bikes on the sales floor from various manufacturers. Not the "Big 4," but others. The Aermacchi partnership was successful for a time, at least it gave HD something to put up against the imports. However, what seems unlikely to me, is that they would invest in creating the manufacturing infrastructure to actually build bikes like this. Our corporate model is to hand that off to the rest of the world and then import it. Which sucks.

longride 12-31-2008 07:29 AM

"This concept makes sense to me. Rossmeyer, who has 6 dealerships in FL, has always had smaller bikes on the sales floor from various manufacturers."

Rossmeyer didn't get those 6 dealerships from selling small bikes. I doubt Honda is building new dealerships from the enormous profit from selling 250cc bikes here. Those bikes just don't sell, which is why few dealerships even bother trying to sell them. There is no way Harley can make a bike as cheap as the imports without actually building there and importing it. We don't have slave labor locally to take advantage of. At that point, why bother?

BrowningBAR 12-31-2008 07:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by longride (Post 200138)
"Since HD's running out of 51 year old midlife crisis buyers for its big v twins,.."

So the next generation isn't going to make it to 51? Even Roger Daltrey didn't die before he got old.

The current generations aren't as large as the boomer generation, so market share could take a hit.

sarnali2 12-31-2008 07:54 AM

I think the last time they tried that was the Buell Blast, don't see too many of those around though on paper it was a good idea. If they gave the bike enough power to get out of it's own way it might actually sell, trouble is the 51 year old mid-life crisis buyer isn't interested in actually learning some skills, they just want to plaster enough deathhead's on their bikes to embarrass an SS Division and go be tuff. That's where Harleys image bites them on the butt, they've always been expensive, now they have all this ruff guy rah rah sh*t to contend with. Turns a lot of people off.

BrowningBAR 12-31-2008 07:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mscuddy (Post 200127)
Will Harley Davidson, who's only entry level motorcycle is the Sportster, start producing 100cc, 250 & 500cc entry level dirt bikes, dual sports and steet bikes?

I don't think we will see a 100-500cc cruiser from HD any time soon. But with Harleys new business purchase I could see a dual sport/standard design coming from them.

And will someone kick them in the ass and have them redesign the damn Buell Blast!

longride 12-31-2008 08:15 AM

"And will someone kick them in the ass and have them redesign the damn Buell Blast!"

Do you mean put a real motor in it and the buyers will be beating the doors down to buy an 'American' starter bike like they did with the new Rotax Buell?

BrowningBAR 12-31-2008 08:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by longride (Post 200150)
Do you mean put a real motor in it...

Unfortunately, yes. And make it a bit more reliable.

longride 12-31-2008 09:10 AM

I think it would be much smarter and more profitable to just drop the thing altogether.

mscuddy 12-31-2008 09:35 AM

It's going to be built by *** in the USA and will use imported Rotax and Gas Gas motors, Ohlins phorks & shocks, and will be a two stroke in the smaller models. Remember most of us started off on 100cc or smaller dirt bikes, and that is not lost on one of the new board of directors at HD, Mr. Maico Hissef. Sorry, I'd like to give the whole story, but have been sworn to secrecy under penalty of having me pushed down a flight of stairs while in my wheelchair. "Rats in the cellar Cuddy, rats"

mscuddy 12-31-2008 09:49 AM

And another thing...
 
It was originally going to be built in China but HD reasoned no Harley buyer would go for an HD with a "Made in China" sticker on it. So it's going to be home grown of various quality parts made in Urrip.

The_AirHawk 12-31-2008 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seruzawa (Post 200139)
And guess what? He's not dead yet! Though his career is. Now he's making documentaries on the History Channel. That's just one step above rock bottom.... a country & Western performer.

I thought he WAS a Country & Western performer............

seruzawa 12-31-2008 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrowningBAR (Post 200145)
The current generations aren't as large as the boomer generation, so market share could take a hit.

Ummmm, that applies to a lot industries. But not to worry. Harley just needs to shift to golf equipment and adult diapers.

Why not? You seem to see just about everything else in a HD boutique. I'm sure you MOrons can think of other HD branded products for the aging boomer.

longride 12-31-2008 02:56 PM

Taking a hit in market share is certainly preferable to making a product that doesn't sell. They need to stick to what they do best and let the sales fall where they may. That is how they became #1 in sales.

Dr_Sprocket 12-31-2008 03:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sarnali2 (Post 200144)
I think the last time they tried that was the Buell Blast, don't see too many of those around though on paper it was a good idea. If they gave the bike enough power to get out of it's own way it might actually sell, trouble is the 51 year old mid-life crisis buyer isn't interested in actually learning some skills, they just want to plaster enough deathhead's on their bikes to embarrass an SS Division and go be tuff. That's where Harleys image bites them on the butt, they've always been expensive, now they have all this ruff guy rah rah sh*t to contend with. Turns a lot of people off.

New slogan suggestion:

"You meet the nicest people on a... Harley."

(Insert image of a roughneck with one front tooth missing, cutoff denim jacket, no shirt underneath, and skull rings on 3 of 4 fingers - each hand.)

MOKE1K 12-31-2008 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mscuddy (Post 200127)
Will Harley Davidson, who's only entry level motorcycle is the Sportster, start producing 100cc, 250 & 500cc entry level dirt bikes, dual sports and steet bikes?

Since HD's running out of 51 year old midlife crisis buyers for its big v twins, it's only natural they would want to tap into the expanding entry-level bike scene with smaller offerings, off-road bikes being the first major step. And combined with the Harley Davidson name, this could be a giant market for Harley.

Rumor has it the bikes will be assembeled in the United States, by a well known company who has years of experience building dirt bikes.

You can say "I heard about it first on Motorcycle.com".


Wondering if this has anything to do with all those 598beacons scores they approved for 20k? Naaaah!

MOKE1K 12-31-2008 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrowningBAR (Post 200153)
Unfortunately, yes. And make it a bit more reliable.

Where have I heard this before,.... Oh yeah, Harley!

mscuddy 12-31-2008 03:57 PM

No, I think HD's seen the signs and since my contact said it's market share went from 50% to 14% in five years (didn't check) HD needs some new bikes. This is no BS. HD hired a BIG distributor from the 70's (who's home office was in Burbank BTW)and put him to task on the off-road market, and put he this plan together.

I think it's a mistake myself, what with the economy and everything, bad timing. The Japanese still own the small bore trail bike/dirt bike market. Hard to beat products. HD would be lucky to break even.

We'll see.

sfcdjevans 12-31-2008 04:05 PM

Hmmm, branding in young off road riders. Get's 'em to the dealership in dads truck and then keeps 'em there.

acecycleins 01-01-2009 04:21 PM

Three pages of thread and no one says ATK? ATK folding onto HD would be great. Like the MV move. Stunning, but cool. It's a great time to buy companies and HD must be forecasting some 5-8yrs forward. If they pay MV debt and re-adjust the profit figures south the stock will drop, but the cost of the long term investment will pay off. Buying MV and (if it is) ATK would round out the entire HD platform.

mscuddy 01-01-2009 05:09 PM

Pretty savy there Acecyleins...of course I can't verify your claim, but...

pplassm 01-01-2009 07:09 PM

I don't see how they can afford to buy anything more. Their stock went from the 50's to under 20.

longride 01-02-2009 05:24 AM

It doesn't matter if they can afford it or not, or even if the idea works or not. After a few years of screwing up by buying MV and trying to produce small bikes that never will sell, they can get in line with Ford and GM with their hands out for a bailout.

sarnali2 01-02-2009 06:48 AM

I dunno'... maybe they could get Oblama to enact a 5 year import tariff...say on bikes over 750 cc's you know, just untill they can get back on their feet....I mean they could have it lifted early if things went well...

mscuddy 01-11-2010 05:22 PM

See? And it turned out that Frank White from ATK (who sits on the HD board of directors now) went the cheap route and is giving us warmed over Hyosungs slapped together in Korea, with either an ATK or Harley sticker on the gas tank.

Guess he couldn't battle all those union types that would have made a 650cc Hyosung V twin "built in America" cost around $15,000.00.

Betcha thay don't sell many at the HD dealers...

silentgrayfellow 01-11-2010 06:21 PM

H-D were using the Buell Blast as their training platform in the Rider's Edge course. They'll be needing a replacement to fill that role, and I don't think Sportster's will cut it. None of the current H-D lineup are newbie friendly IMO.

If I may digress, I'm on a U.S. military base overseas, where you can buy a new Harley-Davidson motorsickle through the PX/BX. So there are some guys here who bought new big twins as their first bike ever even though there are plenty of smaller used bikes (like Hyosungs) available (can you say mid-life crisis?). Of course it would be embarrassing for these people to be seen on anything other than the genuine article. Then they end up only riding the bikes on the base becuase riding off-base here (Seoul, Korea) is overwhelming for new riders--hell it's no picnic for veteran riders.


So, not sure if entry level bikes from H-D would be successful, but hopefully some of those people who can't put their butt on anything but a Harley would have enough sense to start off small and move up. Also I think they may find a market among women riders.

pplassm 01-12-2010 06:59 AM

I had heard about the ATK/HD/Hyosung connection before.

Perhaps they'll rebadge the ATK 440. The bike wasn't that bad, just needed refinement.

mscuddy 01-12-2010 10:09 AM

"If I may digress, I'm on a U.S. military base overseas, where you can buy a new Harley-Davidson motorsickle through the PX/BX. So there are some guys here who bought new big twins as their first bike ever even though there are plenty of smaller used bikes (like Hyosungs) available (can you say mid-life crisis?). Of course it would be embarrassing for these people to be seen on anything other than the genuine article. Then they end up only riding the bikes on the base becuase riding off-base here (Seoul, Korea) is overwhelming for new riders--hell it's no picnic for veteran riders."

We had that same program when I was in the Navy. I got an XLCH myself, but you wouldn't believe all the new riders who purchased a big hog, and got to ride my Honda CB100 for a few months, while I "broke in" their FLH or whatever other giant HD they purchased. One guy ate it so many times in the parking lot, I think he was buying clutch & front brake levers by the gross dozen.

It was OK by me, they couldn't ruin the CB100, and I had fun on their new shiney e start hogs, since starting my XLCH in the fall was a hit-or-miss proposiiton at best.

seruzawa 01-12-2010 11:14 AM

The Nav had bikes in the Exchange at Yokosuka. In 1970 you could get brand new CB350s for $400. CB450s for $600. I got a Kwacker W2650 for $800.

'Course 10 bucks would buy a week's groceries in the States. And the Yen was 360 to the Greenback. And I had to walk uphill to school 4 miles both ways.

Harley is better off forgetting about entry level bikes. Each previous attempt has been a miserable failure. They didn't lose enough money over Buell and MV already? LOL!

notabiker 07-30-2010 11:46 AM

whatever it is it will need a huge seat for the AVG 300 lb HD rider

The_AirHawk 07-30-2010 12:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by notabiker (Post 246854)
whatever it is it will need a huge seat for the AVG 300 lb HD or Victory rider

Fixed that for ya'!




Essentially the "same" demographic - Vic is pursuing HD's clientelle, so what applies to one applies equally to the next! If "HD Faithful" want these bikes, so do "Victory Faithful".

notabiker 07-30-2010 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The_AirHawk (Post 246857)
Fixed that for ya'!




Essentially the "same" demographic - Vic is pursuing HD's clientelle, so what applies to one applies equally to the next! If "HD Faithful" want these bikes, so do "Victory Faithful".

i am 6-1 205 lbs with a very small butt:D i am also 63 years old:confused:

The_AirHawk 07-30-2010 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by notabiker (Post 246868)
i am 6-1 205 lbs with a very small butt:D i am also 63 years old:confused:

You made a Generalization - but I pointed-out that Victory is essentially "hunting" the same woods as the Harley dealer down the street.

If you count yourself as a "typical" Victory rider, then your comment is incorrect, as they share the same types of buyers - that means the "typical" H-D-Faithful closely resembles yourself.

mscuddy 07-31-2010 03:21 PM

Verified ATK-HYOSUNG-HARLEY DEAL
 
Read about it here:

Rick Sieman: SuperHunky.com

sarnali2 08-01-2010 11:07 AM

BMW and Kawasaki beat ATK by 10 years at least with fuel injected motorcycles.


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