Interesting Harley article

  • Yep, us geezers are getting even older (sob). And the kids want a different experience.



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    John
    '15 Nuc 'em 'til they glow orange
    '15 Ram 2500
    '16 Denali 289 RK
    '17 Mazda 3 HB


    :ORANGESS:

  • Many contributing factors on this. First off, most of the die hard fans of the HD's are getting older, to the point that they may not be riding as much or even have moved on to something else. Secondly, the younger generation in general isn't as interested in motorcycles, and the ones that are have varied interests in them. Many ride crotch rockets, and there's the adventure bikes and dual purpose, not to mention the small type bikes that are more in town commuters. There are also many of the younger generation that aren't even interested in buying a car, let alone a motorcycle. They seem content with living in their parent's basement and playing online games. Throw in some young couples that are struggling just to have a place to live and dependable vehicles to get to work.... that leave a large gap in the buyers market.


    And lastly, I suggest this is the largest factor. Harley couldn't build them fast enough in the early to mid 90's. They upped production, built new plants, increased the bikes they could build. Many people jumped on to the wave, and sales went through the roof. The MoCo finally caught up by the early 2000's, where you could walk into a showroom and basically buy what you wanted, although you might not find the color you were looking for. By 2010, you could easily find the color too. Harley kept building them, like they would always have wanting customers. But in 2008, we hit a recession, and sales slumped. For expensive bikes, it really has never fully recovered. This last decade has left us with two factors that play heavily into this. First, Harley has backed off on building the bikes, but not enough to match sales. I was just at my local HD shop early this week. They still have "New" 2017's on the floor. Most of the bikes on the floor are 2018's, also new, never sold bikes. They have had 2019's in the back since late August. To say that sales have slumped is a vast understatement. And they never seem busy, at best there are a few bikes out front on a nice day. Also, with all the sales they had in the past couple decades, there are MANY bikes out there that haven't been used much, and are just sitting in the garage.


    Now people are starting to try to move them, and it's a buyer's market. My wife's bike is a perfect example of why the new ones aren't selling. She has a 2005 Super Glide Custom, looks like it has 3000 miles on it and well kept. I've maintained it very well, it has new tires, a new clutch, new brakes, and the front forks were rebuilt last spring. Couple of years ago, I put in new cams and a tune. The bike looks nearly new, and rides even better than it looks. But it has 56,000 miles on it..... oh there's at least 100,000 left in it, but that doesn't matter. A new one similar to hers would cost $16,500, give or take. Her bike is worth about $3,500 on a good day. It's all about supply and demand. There are just too many bikes for sale used out there, some with very low miles and half or less what a new one would cost.


    Kudos to anyone that read this whole post. :00000441: I do believe Harley is in trouble, the only thing that has kept them alive is the bikes they have sold abroad.

  • I’ve noticed many used Harley’s and others sitting outside at the local dealer. This is something fairly new. But then again the kid took over the business ...



    Across the ocean Harley’s could be a big status symbol. Might be driving sales there...surely there are cheaper motorcycles for sale there.

  • This might be the future of car manufactures...they are very close to pricing themselves out of business....


    By my rough estimates....since I bought my first new car in 1973....for $3000.... new car prices have gone up on average $1000 year....here we are 45 years later and they run about $43-$45,000 now. That’s not counting adding on all the bells and whistles...


    And you can see new car sales are slowing down... it’s only worth buying a new one now if they discount them $10-12,000 or more....new car prices scare me.

  • If you want to know why Harley won't rebound, just look at the cost of their bikes. Who wants to spend $30-40K on a motorcycle when ANY competing brand is 1/2 that! It also goes to how much things cost relative to income. Here's a little chart I put together that shows how much of the average wage items costs, either in months or years worth of salary. An AVERAGE car has went from 4.4 months of salary to 8.5 months - almost DOUBLE. An AVERAGE home has went from 2.5 yrs of salary to 6.5 yrs - almost TRIPLE. (This data came straight from The Peoples History.com.) Until Harley can start selling bikes back in a competitive prices as every one else (notice I didn't say same or less than), they will only be able to be purchased by the very exclusive few.


    And Yes, I've owned a Harley. But I've owned a lot more Yamaha's, Honda's, and Victory's - because of the price value issue.


  • Well after they move there production over seas you can bet I have bought my last one!
    They will soon find out that made in the USA has been a big part of there sales.
    Be back to quality like we had when AMF owned them.

  • If you want to know why Harley won't rebound, just look at the cost of their bikes. Who wants to spend $30-40K on a motorcycle when ANY competing brand is 1/2 that! It also goes to how much things cost relative to income. Here's a little chart I put together that shows how much of the average wage items costs, either in months or years worth of salary. An AVERAGE car has went from 4.4 months of salary to 8.5 months - almost DOUBLE. An AVERAGE home has went from 2.5 yrs of salary to 6.5 yrs - almost TRIPLE. (This data came straight from The Peoples History.com.) Until Harley can start selling bikes back in a competitive prices as every one else (notice I didn't say same or less than), they will only be able to be purchased by the very exclusive few.


    And Yes, I've owned a Harley. But I've owned a lot more Yamaha's, Honda's, and Victory's - because of the price value issue.



    There was a time that Harley held it's value better than other bikes on the market. Those days, it needed to be figured in on the competitive pricing. I bought my 2nd Harley in 1992, an Electra Glide Classic. It had 4k on it, and I gave $10,400. I sold it in 1997 to buy a Road King that I had to wait over 2 years to get. The Road King was $14,700, and I sold the Electra Glide (49,000 miles on it) for $13,500 and had 4 people waiting to see if anyone backed out. Those days are gone also.


    The Harleys that I ride aren't near that price. Those are the trikes and CVO bikes. A Road King is priced starting at $19,280 in black. They also will come off that price a bit.

  • I have the Red 2013 HD Soft Tail Slim that I paid for new $17,000. It has 20,000 miles on it all of the fluids have been changed new brake pads, new back tire with the Vance Hines two into one pipe (I forget the name) and the ECM with the Hi flow filter kit. Also just put a new battery in it last month. Yep! it is for sale, but not listed and I am not going to give it away. Maybe 1,000 miles in the last 3 years. Bought about May of 2013 and put those miles on it before I bought the SS on Feb.6, 2015

  • Well after they move there production over seas you can bet I have bought my last one!
    They will soon find out that made in the USA has been a big part of there sales.
    Be back to quality like we had when AMF owned them.

    The last I heard was they were only moving the production over seas for the bikes that would be sold over seas. None of those are coming back into the states. The bikes sold here will still be like they have been, mostly built here and assembled here. The wiring, shocks, and likely some other things come from out of the states.


    What they are doing is not different than the Honda, Toyota and other plants that are here. Avoiding the tariffs. Buick builds some of it's line in China, but none comes here that I'm aware of. But in all likelihood, I've already got my last Harley. I ride the Sling many times over what I put on the Harley nowadays.....

  • I still will not buy Honda/Toyoto and such even if made in the USA. Just look at where the money came from and where it is going to. The day and hour you see me do that, you will know that I have totally lost my mind. Yes I did buy the Honda Goldwing 1975 but at the time I was not going to buy a Harley because of the price and not being able to road trip with it. Also the Honda V 65 factory Hot Rod at the time, the fastest street bike at the time for 2 years and yes I did road trip with it also. It had plenty of ground clearance for the mountains. At one time I would not buy anything not made in the USA, now I am forced to do otherwise.

  • I still will not buy Honda/Toyoto and such even if made in the USA. Just look at where the money came from and where it is going to.

    I've followed the same pattern. I have two Chevys here, one GMC, two Harleys, and the Slingshot. However, the two Chevys I now find shows the origin mostly in Mexico, and the GMC is Canada. The truck it replaced was a 1994 Chevy Z71 extended cab, which also shows the origin in Canada. So, my question here is this.... If I buy GM and the company that owns it is American but the build is out of country, is that best? Or if I buy a Toyota or Honda that the company that owns it is from Japan but the build is in my country and giving many jobs to American families is that best?


    I only ask, because the line in the sand looks like the win wouldn't go to the "American Company".


    Signed, a (almost entirely) GM and Harley guy for 4 decades.

  • I still will not buy Honda/Toyoto and such even if made in the USA. Just look at where the money came from and where it is going to. The day and hour you see me do that, you will know that I have totally lost my mind. Yes I did buy the Honda Goldwing 1975 but at the time I was not going to buy a Harley because of the price and not being able to road trip with it. Also the Honda V 65 factory Hot Rod at the time, the fastest street bike at the time for 2 years and yes I did road trip with it also. It had plenty of ground clearance for the mountains. At one time I would not buy anything not made in the USA, now I am forced to do otherwise.

    I've followed the same pattern. I have two Chevys here, one GMC, two Harleys, and the Slingshot. However, the two Chevys I now find shows the origin mostly in Mexico, and the GMC is Canada. The truck it replaced was a 1994 Chevy Z71 extended cab, which also shows the origin in Canada. So, my question here is this.... If I buy GM and the company that owns it is American but the build is out of country, is that best? Or if I buy a Toyota or Honda that the company that owns it is from Japan but the build is in my country and giving many jobs to American families is that best?
    I only ask, because the line in the sand looks like the win wouldn't go to the "American Company".


    Signed, a (almost entirely) GM and Harley guy for 4 decades.

    I still refer to the quote. Right or wrong it is just me

  • I still refer to the quote. Right or wrong it is just me

    I hear you. I'm still there with you, but I do see other views. Jobs HERE are important. American made is important. Considering that, there are very gray areas on what is best for here... or the definition of "American made". I need reliable vehicles, that will last and at least hopefully retain some value, while being American made. But that last part is the tricky part. An American owned company is not the same as American made company. I could care less about the upper 1-2% getting rich by me buying GM made things. Good jobs here, jobs that can take care of a family well, mean more than that. If the company changes to not help the country's people, and only is wanting profit, is that still something to stand for or something to rebel against?


    Just so you know, I'm not looking to hear "Right or wrong, it is just me". I'm asking a question that is really plaguing me. 20 years ago, my Dad (who was in manufacturing for all of his life) told me that it's a "world market now". I told him that unless we are all playing by the same rules, the ones that we are forced to use here, that's just not correct. In my work, we have to maintain OSHA, IOSHA, and keep certain standards. In China, they have 1000 workers ready to take the position of the one that just died falling into the hot metal that was ready to be poured.


    Draw the line in the sand. But today's world makes that hard to define.

  • I also dislike the fact that American company's decide to take their factories to say Mexico. They do this to maximize their profits at the cost to the American public and their jobs. Not caring in the long run what it is doing to the USA. But then we have the buying public, (Example) they will pay $5 for something that will last only a year rather than pay $10 or more for something that will last for years. It is not only that , we use to build buildings to last 50 to 100 years, now 15 to 20 years or as cheap as it can be built. That is why we are called the throw away society. This is America today. We do not even support ourselves. This is a long way from the Harley thread.

  • Nobody has mentioned how Harley Research and Development Department was turned over to the owners of Harleys... After 4 new Harleys over the years, My last one was a new 2017 M8 Tri-Glide And by last i mean i will never have a Harley in my garage .... :cursing:

    Some times a Cigar is just a Cigar.......


  • [/quote]

    Quote

    DLROSS wrote:
    Well after they move there production over seas you can bet I have bought my last one!
    They will soon find out that made in the USA has been a big part of there sales.
    Be back to quality like we had when AMF owned them.


    Yep, being an USA product WAS a strong selling point for Harley, but later it became apparent that foreign vehicles were becoming better in quality. I used to be strictly a US buyer, thumbing my nose at foreign produced products, especially vehicles. But then we purchased a VW Jetta TDI in 2001, in which is still our primary use vehicle of today. It has nearly 400,000 miles on it now, has been by all practical purposes trouble free, and makes upwards of 60 MPG, (35 pulling a thousand pound camp trailer.) Unfortunately there was, (is), not a single US manufactured vehicle that could, (can?), come close to this quality, reliability and performance.


    Bill