well, they do use some nice lipstick. Seriously, the paint and chrome is better than any bike (JMHO). I have a friend that had a 2002 Shadow he bought new. It has 25,000 miles and he has babied it from the day he bought it new. It was not in nearly as good of condition as my UC that had 40,000 miles. In looks, tightness, feel, my chrome had no pitting, ---things like that. He had "plastic chrome".
They are going backwards in the drive train--again, JMHO. The 103 is not as good as the 96CID and the 96 is not as good as the 88, and none of them are as good as the EVO. They insist on sticking with the primary chain while my Vic has gears. Their idea of improving is "self adjusting tensioners" instead of changing to gears. Their customer base likes it that way and don't mind 5,000 service expenses. Yes, they are cutting corners, but who isn't? The V Rod is an example of what they can do, but most of their buyers don't want it. Harleys have good resale compared to most bikes, but the V Rod falls just like a Honda--- and it is their most advanced machine even though that design is over a decade old.
They are having to fight with the EPA and they are having a hard time copeing. I am not defending them, but they have backed themselves into a corner with no way out.
I still like my Vic over Harley.
"The Road Goes on Forever and the Party Never Ends"-Robert Earl Keen