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I was speaking to the GM of the local HD dealer yesterday and he says the virus/economy has hurt them. The metric dealerships are going gangbusters, but mostly with ATV's and side by sides that HD doesn't have (and shouldn't have). The RV market has exploded too which hurts sales of other "optional" toys that we all like. I'm not sure what the boating industry is doing, but judging by the line of boats being towed out to the lake every week, I'd guess they are doing OK.

As a long time "Harley Guy", I think HD has lost it's way while trying to attract younger riders. I think the new CEO is trying to get them back on track and I hope he is successful. I would hate to see any 100+ year old iconic American company go belly up. HD needs to fix a few things to compete, but it is very "doable".
 

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They rely on their old worn out, under performing design and are trying to integrate that into the wire.
The second problem is training their service managers on how to lie to the customer about the wire.
 

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How can a bike the shakes/jumps/and bounces at an idle, be as smooth as a Goldwing???? NO thank you!

Ronnie
 

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I think the price of these things has gotten out of hand. You don't have as many people that can afford them anymore. They are very expensive toys. It's pretty bad when you can purchase a very nice car, or SUV, for the price of a toy. I think a lot of people are rethinking their budget in their older years which is the demographic of the touring bike.
 

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This does cause me to wonder how well Indian is doing since they compete very directly with HD in most areas including being expensive.
 

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This does cause me to wonder how well Indian is doing since they compete very directly with HD in most areas including being expensive.
For Q1 2020 Indian bike sales were up something like 6% while HD sales were down 15%. So Indian is actually doing very good right now, while Harley's downward trend continues.

More layoffs at HD are not good. The MOCO needs to be innovating and spending on growth but instead they seem to be retreating like a turtle into it's comfortable shell. I hope the new CEO knows what he is doing, cause to me his plan so far does not seem very promising for the future of HD.
 

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Looks like they're creating smokescreens to hide what they're really doing. New CEO and his cronies will bury the company and walk away with millions in compensation. Harley will be just a memory in, I'll say 5 years or so and there's no one left who cares that can make a difference.
 

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Looks like they're creating smokescreens to hide what they're really doing. New CEO and his cronies will bury the company and walk away with millions in compensation. Harley will be just a memory in, I'll say 5 years or so and there's no one left who cares that can make a difference.
I hope not but that is probably the truth.......
Or, they will get close to bankruptcy and then ask for a government bailout, which they will probably get.
 

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I was speaking to the GM of the local HD dealer yesterday and he says the virus/economy has hurt them. The metric dealerships are going gangbusters, but mostly with ATV's and side by sides that HD doesn't have (and shouldn't have). The RV market has exploded too which hurts sales of other "optional" toys that we all like. I'm not sure what the boating industry is doing, but judging by the line of boats being towed out to the lake every week, I'd guess they are doing OK.

As a long time "Harley Guy", I think HD has lost it's way while trying to attract younger riders. I think the new CEO is trying to get them back on track and I hope he is successful. I would hate to see any 100+ year old iconic American company go belly up. HD needs to fix a few things to compete, but it is very "doable".
I'm wondering why HD "shouldn't" have been in the ATV/UTV market long ago when the other makers began to develope the vehicles rather than continue to only market their single product and accessories. Major reason is/was they were busy saturating their own market and didn't feel a need to do anything else. Other makers (especially including Polaris Ind.) had more vision of securing a new market for the future and even if some ventures didn't work out long term (example, Victory motorcycles) they are now very diversified and not on the ropes financially.
But, Harley's troubles go so much further. They have been relentless in marketing a "lifestyle" in their products, accessories and advertising. That market is going away for various reasons. As I see it, (opinion only, usually wrong) their only hope of surviving another 5-10 years is new management that might actually see future market(s) trends as other manufacturers have, scale back and build far fewer units. Releasing a bunch of new products they have little prior experience with could really finish them off with the amount of capital such development consumes, not to mention recall/warranty campaigns. They learned little from their last critical slump.
 

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This is sad that we might lose a American brand. I have never been a Harley fan but wish them well. As was said they have failed to innovate like most of the metric brands. They have always had all their eggs in one basket so to speak.
 

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This is sad that we might lose a American brand. I have never been a Harley fan but wish them well. As was said they have failed to innovate like most of the metric brands. They have always had all their eggs in one basket so to speak.
Agree....but not just innovation, but diversification.

The only diversification was in apparel and logo licensing. For motorcycles, they basically make one thing. V-twin street bikes. (You could say they make touring and non-touring v-twins, which would be 2 things)

Other companies made sport bikes, adventure bikes, dirt bikes, luxury touring, sport touring, naked standards, big scooters, mopeds, little bitty bikes (like the Grom), dual sport bikes, 4 wheelers, jet skis, side by sides, generators....

HD put all the eggs in the chromed out v-twin lifestyle. It was great when it was booming....but the people that really thought it was the coolest are aging out. There aren't enough young consumers that want that lifestyle. HD must adapt or die.

So far, they appear unable to adapt...
 
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Adapt or die, right?

I've never been a Harley fanboy, but neither am I a hater. (I once rode a new Ultra Classic when I owned an '07 Wing, and admired the hell out of its comfort.)

A few years ago, Porsche was on the ropes. How did they save themselves? They started pumping out SUVs, to the angst, tearing of hair and wringing of hands of the hardcore sports car Porsche faithful. Today, Porsche is an SUV company that also sells the world's best sports cars, because they make so much money on SUVs.

Is this a possible survival scenario for HD? To sell a kazillion e-bikes and/or adventure bikes so they can stay in the business and continue to evolve and refine America's iconic V-twin motorcycle? An interesting thought.

Tim
 

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The sad fact is; we are aging out and the newer generations care more about cell phones and social media. Us being on this forum is proof, that the world is changing.
I love Harley Davidson. I enjoy all bikes, but Harley is special. The Army, Police, and Outlaws are all part of this American Icon. It is American history, as much as Triumph is British. Triumph was revived, as an iconic British motorcycle in the '90s as Harley was revived 1980. The Baby Boomer generation allowed them to bank on the memories and cultural icons of our youth.
When I go to a car show, I don't even look at new Corvettes. I want to see a '63 Sting Ray with that terrible post in the rear window. The '58, '59, or '60 are my favorites. I can't afford one, and it probably runs and rides like a 60 year-old car - but I love the "idea" or memory of the car.
Harley found that marketing the "Outlaw" image, helped sales. Based on Baby Boomer culture, movies, and music, it was a winner for them, for as long as our generation kept riding (or dreaming of riding). The "outlaws" now, are kids doing totally stupid crap on monkey bikes or crotch rockets. Our perception of the old "outlaw biker" has become the crochety, old retired guy, trying to live-out a fantasy of his youth. Basically telling the young guys to "get off my grass!".
Go to a rally now. Have you looked at the new batch of "Prospects" or 1% clubs? Middle-aged guys serving old men on canes or walkers! I'm not a huge fan of the "Leather & Chains" crowd, but Harley has banked on that for so long, it's no wonder they're at loose-ends on how to move on.
Harley won't be the only motorcycle brand to suffer. There will always be a niche market, but the "Glory days" for them, sadly, are gone.
 

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I hope not but that is probably the truth.......
Or, they will get close to bankruptcy and then ask for a government bailout, which they will probably get.
I agree. While Covid19 has crippled the economy there are still some with disposable income. I think Harley has tied their woes to the virus in hopes of a bailout. The gov't is handing out piles of cash to other sectors of the economy, why not powersports ? HD is counting on its brand conjuring up nostalgia, patriotism and Americana. The discerning buyer of two wheeled conveyances has a decent selection of alternatives that typically are priced lower and offer better technology. Harley is married to the past but the younger generation isn't enamored with the Harley nostalgia of yesterday. Their only hope is to change their image to one of innovation which I believe the VRod at one time was supposed to be.

I've looked at Harley before each bike I've purchased yet I could never pull the trigger. After test riding and renting a number of Harley models I just have never been "wowed". I've had friends tell me they bought their Harleys "for an investment". You know how that turned out. I don't think the "kids" will be as easily duped.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
They made an enormous error when they shut down Buell. Too short sighted enjoying their success with their cruisers. Buell would of been a great platform for them to gain traction with the younger generation.

They should swallow their pride and resurrect it.
 

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They made an enormous error when they shut down Buell. Too short sighted enjoying their success with their cruisers. Buell would of been a great platform for them to gain traction with the younger generation.

They should swallow their pride and resurrect it.
They should buy Motus. That bike was better than any Buell sold by Harley. They could produce it for much less than Motus did, have the best dealer network in the country, be reliable enough since younger riders don't want to get their hands dirty wrenching on a bike and the R&D is already done! Sadly, won't happen and we'll be discussing Harley like we discuss Oldsmobile.
 

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This is sad that we might lose a American brand. I have never been a Harley fan but wish them well. As was said they have failed to innovate like most of the metric brands. They have always had all their eggs in one basket so to speak.
I agree (although I have always been a fan) Harley has just failed to change, I find it sad, I grew up with the Harley & hate to see another American brand bite the dust.
 
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