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Hello Harley

Discussion in 'Motorcycles & Boats' started by boxerman, Oct 22, 2018.

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  2. Korr

    Korr F1 World Champ
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    Newton Earl Anderthal.
    He says one model reminds him of a full size pickup.

    That's pretty unfair. Pickups handle much better.
     
  3. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Haven't read the whole article yet, but those images of their full-sized bikes are pretty ugly. The matt paint doesn't help any either.

    But this is really interesting! Sad to see that it's named after the category of motorcycles they put into the grave - Streetfighter (i.e. Buell).


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  4. Alcav5

    Alcav5 F1 Rookie
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  5. boxerman

    boxerman F1 World Champ
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    Depends on which one, and why you want it. They do make some cool fun bikes,
    I have asportster 48, moved the controlls to mid mount and it has the bycycle style seat. To me its a charismatic modern antique. Very similar to what i imagine bikes of the 30's and 40's were like, but modern reliable. Frankly the brakes suck, the suspension is hard, it weaves above 100 and you can feel the forks bending when you brake hard. The motor sounds great, and it pulls like a train. Its also well built, chunky and feels like it will last forever. It also does not go out of style or fashion, it is what it is, one is either into that or not. In comparison with my 1986 yamaha, its faster to 50 , handles worse brakes worse rides worse and is heavier.

    But a harley is a harley, its like if you could buy a 1920s dusenberg or bugatti new and reliable, essentialy the art of a viceral machine. It feels fast when youre going not that fast compared to a modern bike, so its fun and wont get you into too much trouble. Like an old car, you really are engaged and have to ride it. As they say its a harley thing. Thats just fine but that core group is aging out and harley does not have a good new template and seems to have missed many easy boats.

    Yes I'm sure their streetfighter will be an intresting bike, but compared to a ducati or BMW it will be heavy, probably not aclass leader and one has to ask why get the harley.
    One needs only look at the cafe racer and now tracker movement to realize that harley has missed two boats in territory they actualy owned but failed to produce products for. They could have made great bikes here with a lot of existing hardware. The tracker thing is a total puzzlement, stroz and mule have been making stunning harley trackers for years, its a style the younger genration loves, fits harleys mechanicals and harley has a long history here, yet they totaly missed it. Meanwhile Indian comes out with the FTR 1200.

    Lack of management vision.
     
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  7. Alpintourer

    Alpintourer Formula 3
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    I had lived and breathed motorcycles since I was 14. Had a '49 Panhead when I was 19. My last new Harley Davidson was white a 1983 Police Special; a demo bike my local dealer used to bid on Police Department RFP's. It was the last of the Shovelheads if I remember correctly. Then one day, I observed all these mid-life crisis males flocking to the brand and wearing cutoff denim jackets over black leather and putting braided leather thingys on their handgrips. My HD dealer moved out of a shack of a place he had been since the 40's and bought a recently closed Mazda showroom along the Auto Row. As I traveled the country, billboards pointed me to brand new showrooms with "Harleys in the Sky" gimmicks like Electra-Glides spinning in plexiglass bubbles atop silos. Suddenly Harley was the new brand/lifestyle.

    I retired from motorcycling a few years ago after a post HD foray into Dual Sports and adventure traveling (no, I think BMW GS's are too heavy). I'm more of a small group (two is enough) traveler rather than having a street posse of Hells Angles wannabes. It really wasn't too hard, not to see this all coming to an end. I supposed I should have shorted HOG but I never bought the stock to begin with.

    I haven't sold my Aerostich Roadcrafter and my Gerbing heated suit and my Nolan Full Face helmet still sit in the attic. I guess it's time to put them on eBay and not look back. Its been a good ride!
     
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  8. boxerman

    boxerman F1 World Champ
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    This is simply an awesome post.


    I remember reggie pink harley in a little shacky buiding, they were one of the oldest harley dealers ever. Then they were forced in 05 to build a marble palace and subsequently went bust. Remember in the 80s when harleys were selling over list and you couldnt get them, that was the path to becomming a bogus "brand."
    Ferrari would do well to take note.

    Its funny I ride my sportster with my arai helmet and dainese jacket, just makes sense, love the machine hate the image. Its really funny because harleys sold to plenty of regular people in the 60s just as big bikes, then it became the wannabe biker thing for dentists on the weekend.
    What I hate most is ridiculously loud exhaust (that actualy reduce power) and clots of harleys in the left lane going 65.
     
  9. F456 V12

    F456 V12 F1 Rookie
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    Good article, almost something I could have written.

    Back in the late 90's I had the hots for a Road King, read all about them, asked for owners opinions/feedback, etc. decide it was for me. Went to the dealer, told 6 to 9 months waiting list or I could pay $6 to $10K over sticker and drive out of the showroom that day. Build quality was OK, could have been better, but it seemed at the time, what H-D was selling was just a starter bike kit. Needed more chrome, new cam for HP, different exhaust, upgraded seat and so on. At that point with all the adders, the 16.5K bike was looking more like 30K, a lot of money today and more so in the 90's...decided to pass and ultimately ended up with a BMW R1100RT...17.5K out the door, tax, two helmets, ABS, warranty. Ultimately I did not like that bike as much as I thought I would, sold it after a few years with very low mileage. Now I have a CBR600RR and S1000R, kind of went a different direction. :)

    I do believe there to be a cultural/loyalty brand effect, I have friends that are Corvette fans, some with tattoos to show their loyalty, to me they are junk, but a good bang for the buck, but don't ever try to tell a diehard fan they are junk. My very over generalized and unscientific correlation:

    H-D, Indian owners = Corvette, Camaro, Mustang Owners
    BMW, Ducati, Triumph owners = Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, Lamborghini owners
    Honda, Susuki, Kawasaki = CivicR, WRX, Mitsubishi EVO

    MB
     
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  10. boxerman

    boxerman F1 World Champ
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    Meanwhile Indian has announced that the FTR is a platform for a whole range of bikes, Indian is designed and enginered by passionate riders.

    Most senior managers at Harley ride, but they became riders after joining harley.
     
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  12. JohnnyRay

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    [QUOTE="Indian is designed and enginered by passionate riders."[/QUOTE]

    True. I used to have them as a customer. All enthusiasts who ride the product...
     
  13. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
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  14. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
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    I was hoping to catch an early Steetfighter (see post #3, and now called the Bronx) but they said "maybe August".
     
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  15. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Just went into my local dealer - they said June / July.

    The new bikes are good looking, but the salesperson told me the Baggers are selling the most, which is concerning as they aren’t a volume play.

    The Street 500 / 750 look nice in person, the salesperson told me they don’t sell at all, which is a shame. Low priced and decent looking but as I’ve said a million times befor, HD sucks at cultivating the younger buyer. Should have made a play for Ducati.

    The LiveWire was impressive looking - I’d go so far to say a hot looking bike. Drop the Bronx motor into it and offer it for $15k and they would sell, it looks “right”.

    I knew when they hired Wandell, the company was in trouble. I was right. I didn’t realize he would be responsible for almost killing the company, they should have never hired outside of the HD “family”.
     
  16. boxerman

    boxerman F1 World Champ
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    That name and the imagry it engeders is enough to kill it. i think harkley still dont get it.
    Also the production Bronx has lot too much in the detail and looks department in the translation from the strreetfighter concept.
    It looks too conservative now, something suzuiki would have done. teh emotion must come from the machine not some bogus name.
     
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  17. boxerman

    boxerman F1 World Champ
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    To add fuel to the fire.
    Was just in South Africa which was a decent export market for Harley.

    All the cool cats have switched to Indian and the Indian dealer in the best hangout area. Nice selection of bikes.
     
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  18. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
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    I agree. But I'm still interested in seeing the [stoopidly-named] Bronx in person. Btw, I've been to the Bronx lately and it's a place that I hope to never enter again. Anytime soon anyway.
     
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  19. boxerman

    boxerman F1 World Champ
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    Harleys sales are now nearly 50% off their peak.
    They messed up and then cut loose Buel.
    They invezted a fortune in MV htne cut it loose.
    They werer asleep when Indian ate diretly off their plate in their key markt segment.
    They learned nothing from the sucess of Triumph with modern retro themed bikes.
    They failed to enter the tracker or cafe racer youth sgements,This being an area of growth that could use a lot of existing harley hardware. segments for which their is ample harley design inspiration om the likes of Mule and Storz.

    MBA's and professional mangers can run companies fantasticaly. But companies selling emotional products also need to be led by people with an inbuilt from birth passion and understanding of that product.
     
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  20. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    They should have kept Buell and put a detuned XR750 motor in it. A real XR motor, not the iron pig like last time. And a tracker with the same motor.


    I have no issues with the touring line. I have one and have ridden lots very long distances and they are well evolved for the job but their products aimed at younger riders are pitiful. Not a single item in the Sportster powered part of the line up I'd consider. The Iron series isn't bad from a styling point of view but it needs a horsepower injection and real brakes. And they really need to get someone to make sticky tires for the wheel sizes they use. Not everyone wants 10,000 mile tires on their motorcycle.

    And the 3 above? All I can say is Goofy, Goofier, and Goofiest. Is Willy G still drawing this stuff? Can't be. Must be a millenial who never rode anything but a Vespa.
     
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  21. stretchgeneral

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    It would be good if they had a CEO that was really a rider.
     
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  22. boxerman

    boxerman F1 World Champ
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    I think youre spot on.
     
  23. NORTY

    NORTY Formula Junior

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    HarleyD has a problem. Not just with their present/future, but with the recent “cheapening” with their product.
    There is no reason, whatsoever to require wheel bearings be replaced every 6-10,000 miles. Wheel bearings should last 100,000 miles, at a minimim. Transmission bearings also seem to be short lived too. Fork seals that “blow” at an alarming rate are also signs that the MoCo is using substadard quality parts to prop up false ecomomies. This may make the stockholders less fearful, at the cost of real customers/riders.
    These mechical failures are a design issue, NOT a maint issue. They’re also the signs of desperation.
    It’s an ugly thing to say, but older Harleys will outlast the new units on the floor, that haven’t been ridden yet...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  24. NYC Fred

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    Oh, man. Shoulda seen it 25-30 years ago. It's sane and civilized by comparison, now.
     
  25. boxerman

    boxerman F1 World Champ
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    Since when has this been an issue. Theyre probably using cheap parts because some MBA figured out they could save $5 per bike.
     
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  26. Korr

    Korr F1 World Champ
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    The Sportster is the mechanical equivalent of Rosie O'Donnell. Loud, obnoxious, slow. Waddles from point A to point B with no other purpose than to get on everyone's nerves.

    I have to hand it to HD's engineers, though. No other company is as good as they are at making 8HP/liter so loud.
     
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  27. boxerman

    boxerman F1 World Champ
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    The noise comes from clowns who put straight pipes on and actualy slow it down.
    With proper tuned pipes so it breathes but not obnoxiously loud, an intake and powr comader my sportster out drags my freinds FJ1300 to 80 or so.
    Course the harley weaves like a mother at 100, you can feel the forks bending when you brake hard(and the brakes are crap to start)
    Its really like turn key vincent for a price, a modern antique,crude but lots of fun for what it is. Sorta like a morgan then.
     

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