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I've read that. I was just posting this up cause it was making some noise on the hd forums. Just prompting some conversation is all.
 

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Harley Davidson seems to be having a lot of problems with those new water cooled HOG's. There is a "DO NOT RIDE" order issued from Harley Davidson on them for a clutch problem and there are many who are having issues with the cooling system from water pumps leaking to radiator caps failing and even reports of bad thermostats.

There are reports Harley Davidson has bought back several 2014 water cooled bikes already to try and avoid bad publicity over the failures.
 

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Harley Davidson seems to be having a lot of problems with those new water cooled HOG's. There is a "DO NOT RIDE" order issued from Harley Davidson on them for a clutch problem and there are many who are having issues with the cooling system from water pumps leaking to radiator caps failing and even reports of bad thermostats.

There are reports Harley Davidson has bought back several 2014 water cooled bikes already to try and avoid bad publicity over the failures.
I spent a little time perusing the HD board and saw numerous complaints about the "coolant puking." But there were also quite a few who didn't have problems and thought the bikes were the best Harleys ever and it's hard to deny with several significant upgrades "in this the year of our Indian." Competition is a good thing.

What I've seen few of is posts about my favorite of their model lineup, the Road King. It didn't get the faulty hyraulic clutch or the sea sick radiator. It doesn't have to lug a home theatre system housed in a giant plastic Manta Ray atop its handlebars. Guess those guys are too busy riding to post much. I'd love to see an comparo article between that and an XR, but these are the dayz of gizmo infatuated riders, so I guess I'll have to settle for articles detailing how the radios in the Winnebago models crackle...
 

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While I would not want any part of the New Water Cooled HD especially the first year anyway even if was in the market .. They can't keep keep one on the Showroom Floor of the Dealership .. Just for fun asked about an Ultra Limited at my closest dealer and he said at least 2 months waiting .. Some have to have the Latest and Greatest Regardless ..
 

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The one recurring theme I observe at the local Harley dealer where I buy my cleaning supplies is the age of the riders. This has to be a major concern for Harley as I see 95% of the riders are in the age range from 55 to 70 years old. You very rarely see younger riders in there and this is a very busy Harley dealership.

I think Harley is pricing themselves out of the younger riders in the 50 and under range.
 

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The one recurring theme I observe at the local Harley dealer where I buy my cleaning supplies is the age of the riders. This has to be a major concern for Harley as I see 95% of the riders are in the age range from 55 to 70 years old. You very rarely see younger riders in there and this is a very busy Harley dealership.

I think Harley is pricing themselves out of the younger riders in the 50 and under range.
They do make some models at the lower end, they just aren't very good. There was a recent copy of MCN that reviewed the Sport '48. The same guys also reviewed a BMW 700 GS just after. They kept commenting that after riding the '48, the GS felt like the best bike every made. I'm not sure the report on the GS wasn't skewed higher than it should have been due to riding something just before that sucked so bad.
 

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They do make some models at the lower end, they just aren't very good. There was a recent copy of MCN that reviewed the Sport '48. The same guys also reviewed a BMW 700 GS just after. They kept commenting that after riding the '48, the GS felt like the best bike every made. I'm not sure the report on the GS wasn't skewed higher than it should have been due to riding something just before that sucked so bad.
Good Point about the 48 While love the looks and feels and handles very light, after a few miles the comfort of it takes anyway anything going in looks and handling ..
 

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First, the original article is not objective. The author has an axe to grind. It makes some valid points though.
Harley does suffer from an inability to cultivate a new breed of rider. That is the wages of the sin of hubris for decades.

OTOH in the MoCo's living memory lingers the bad taste of insolvency and bail out. Strategic planning at board level invariably includes a paranoia about what tomorrow could bring and the bad taste of yesterday is in their mouths. I expect that there is much time and energy expended plotting a course through the minefield of aging customer base.

Apparently the ability to survive the dark clouds is a shared concept. An entirely different board at Polaris decided that dinosaurs of a different era have enough marketability to create a division for one.

Honda has stripped a Wing to grab more of the market. Yammie has a line dedicated to the geriatric boulevard set. Suzuki agrees.

Methinks you doth protest too much.
 

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First, the original article is not objective. The author has an axe to grind. It makes some valid points though.
Harley does suffer from an inability to cultivate a new breed of rider. That is the wages of the sin of hubris for decades.

OTOH in the MoCo's living memory lingers the bad taste of insolvency and bail out. Strategic planning at board level invariably includes a paranoia about what tomorrow could bring and the bad taste of yesterday is in their mouths. I expect that there is much time and energy expended plotting a course through the minefield of aging customer base.

Apparently the ability to survive the dark clouds is a shared concept. An entirely different board at Polaris decided that dinosaurs of a different era have enough marketability to create a division for one.

Honda has stripped a Wing to grab more of the market. Yammie has a line dedicated to the geriatric boulevard set. Suzuki agrees.

Methinks you doth protest too much.
I read something recently that said there is something like 50 million 50+ year old white men in the country. In ten years it is projected that there will be 50 million 50+ year old white men in the country. In 20 years it is projected that there will be 50 million 50+ year old white men in the country.

So while there may not be a great share of new growth potential, making comfortable, stylish two wheel travel for old white guy demographic seems like a market worth providing to for the forseeable future. As long as Honda is building bikes that attract younger people to the sport anyway...
 

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Unfortunately, it will probably be spun as a positive and Warren will get shares and a hint of controlling interest in exchange for the debt he is carrying in HD's name. The HD marketing machine will "spin" it into a good thing and HOG stock will jump up (instead of down) when it all comes about. It is the way of the beast...
 

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Honda is hardly pulling from the Harley crowd nor is Yamaha or Star or what ever they are calling themselves these days. Kawasaki the same as well as Suzuki. None of them have the demographics that Harley is pulling from.

The 50 year olds 10 or 20 years from now will not be the same as the 50 year olds of today.

The one constant fact is Harleys core group of customers are getting older. Harley was nowhere near as big as they are today back in the 1970's and even mid 1980's. Hell Harley damn near went bankrupt and if not for AMF stepping in and buying the company and keeping them afloat Harley would be nothing more than a memory today.

The current group that made Harley popular is aging and Harley can't count on the next group of 50 year olds to pick up where the current aging group leaves off.

The even bigger question is with Harley making so many of their dealers build these huge fancy showrooms what happens when sales start to decline? Those big fancy showrooms cost a lot of money and require a lot of inventory to move through them to keep those doors open. A lot of those dealers won't be in a very good position not if but when some other makes start to take their market share.

I think Indian and Victory both are in a good position to pull from Harleys Market share in the near future.
 

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Harley is the King. No doubt. No matter what you offer a die hard HD rider/member or a new HD rider he is not going to look at anything else no matter what. The magnetism and loyalty HD created is a lesson learned in marketing and sales. They do it better than any other company. They did it first and they survived all these years which means a lot to a true American buyer. They concentrate on motorcycles only and the MC lifestyle the American way. They use standard fasteners still, and they don't want to deviate from what American HD owners have always loved. No matter how poorly engineered they are! Indian and Victory will never compare to what HD has done in all these years. Survive!

Hell I don't want them to fail, just make a better bike so I can finally put one in my garage some day. Next to my Victory. I still think HD makes a Great looking bike. They own that look that everyone else seems to copy.
 

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Honda is hardly pulling from the Harley crowd nor is Yamaha or Star or what ever they are calling themselves these days. Kawasaki the same as well as Suzuki. None of them have the demographics that Harley is pulling from.
My point was that someone needs to make motorsicklists out of the young folks today if they're going to become grizzly old bikers of tomorrow.

Due to price and performance, I was never tempted to buy a cruiser until recently. But now that I'm older and the bikes are better made, it's almost all I'd consider. I don't reckon I'm that unusual.

The current group that made Harley popular is aging and Harley can't count on the next group of 50 year olds to pick up where the current aging group leaves off.
Harleys have looked like Harleys since what the 40s. Today's 50 year old wasn't around when that style was popular, but they still like it today. It's a tradition thing handed down thru the generations. Even if those porky bikes don't appeal to 20 year olds, their sense of nostalgia may perk up as they get closer to their eternal nap.

The even bigger question is with Harley making so many of their dealers build these huge fancy showrooms what happens when sales start to decline? Those big fancy showrooms cost a lot of money and require a lot of inventory to move through them to keep those doors open. A lot of those dealers won't be in a very good position not if but when some other makes start to take their market share.

I think Indian and Victory both are in a good position to pull from Harleys Market share in the near future.
I wouldn't count on it. You are completely discounting the whole social aspect of the Harley dealers. I got a buddy with a Street Glide. We went out for a ride on some roads I like to ride and it took the better part of a day. He of course dressed for the day like he was going for a 10 minute ride to the dealer. By the end of the day he was begging me to go back and looked like rock lobster.

He didn't call me anymore last season, but he still goes up to the regular parties at the dealership to listen to rock bands and knock back a few cold one.

I had some carpet laid earlier this year and they too were telling me about the big dealer poker ride they did over the weekend and the concert and food provided at the dealer afterward.

When I go to the Victory shop I'm stopped by the used car salesman who wants to make me a deal on a nice Chevy Vega owned by a little old lady. Not exactly the same experience.
 

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"The Pope doesn’t approve. Clearly, not everyone
is Catholic. But, when the Pope complains about
your brand, it’s probably not good for business.
Pope Francis was given a Harley motorcycle in
June by a group of Harley-Davidson owners. He
responded by cautioning that “power and
pleasure”, among other things, lead to God being
“replaced by fleeting human idols."

Somebody clearly forgot to tell the Pope, that they really don't make any power. :ltr:
 

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I don't reckon I'm that unusual.
OK, Pop will be moving along now. That quote can percolate at its own pace just fine with no editorializing from me.
 
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