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Tonik

Let them die.

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Somebody is buying Harley's, its all you see around NE Ohio. I see a few triumphs hear and there, a good amount of gold wings , a sprinkling of sport bikes , and BMW's. Rarely see a Indian,  or KTM in the wild. There are few high end Italian bikes parked in front of coffee shops but its only on Sunday mornings. 

 

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I have a vested interest in this since i own HD stock, but I am curious as to why anyone would want a American company to die out?  they employee around 6000 factory employees in the US , plus dealer staff in  its 700  dealerships,  and a shit load of truck drivers and techs. Like it or not they account for more than half the motorcycles sold in the USA, without the benefit of ATV and dirt bikes being counted as total sales.  Hate them if you want but wanting a US company to fold because you don't like their product is horseshit. Did you want GM and Dodge to fold when they took our bailout money?  

 

Edited by JT72
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I haven't been following HD very closely and don't particularly want them to fail nor do I care what they do since they don't make anything interesting to me.... But maybe that's precisely the problem.  They should be the ones setting the tone for motorcycle trends and all eyes should be on them but they have been clinging to the same loser formula for years even as their customer base dies by the thousands every month.  Their electric bike is a joke, they sabotaged their only half assed chance at the youth market, and like you alluded to: not even an attempt at the very closely related rec vehicles market.  You can't sell stickers/shirts your way out of a dying market in a long challenged segment like motorcycles.   Even the Corvette went mid-engine eventually because they knew they had reached the end of that road.  Harley needs a serious overhaul but it might already be too little too late. 

 

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24 minutes ago, jbot said:

I haven't been following HD very closely and don't particularly want them to fail nor do I care what they do since they don't make anything interesting to me.... But maybe that's precisely the problem.  They should be the ones setting the tone for motorcycle trends and all eyes should be on them but they have been clinging to the same loser formula for years even as their customer base dies by the thousands every month.  Their electric bike is a joke, they sabotaged their only half assed chance at the youth market, and like you alluded to: not even an attempt at the very closely related rec vehicles market.  You can't sell stickers/shirts your way out of a dying market in a long challenged segment like motorcycles.   Even the Corvette went mid-engine eventually because they knew they had reached the end of that road.  Harley needs a serious overhaul but it might already be too little too late. 

 

They killed off their apparel division earlier this year I think, which, honestly... not sure about that. I feel like Harley should probably at this point be focusing on the lifestyle portion and get away from all the overhead of developing new bikes. Go hand-made boutique high-dollar versions of older more popular bikes. Sell merch to the die-hards. Rehab and certify their older/vintage stuff and resell as showroom. 

As for innovation at Suzuki, the variable valve timing in the newer GSXR1000 is really good. It gives the bike so much more midrange without sacrificing top end. Suzuki was the first manufacturer to put VVT in a superbike as far as I know. 

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...

Edited by Pauly
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On 6/16/2020 at 9:46 AM, Tpoppa said:

Adventure bikes are by far the most virile segment right now.  Give HD credit for making an effort with the PA, but they are late to the game and their is already strong, well-established competition.  Harley could really use a win here.  Which is most likely scenario:

A)  Sales flop.  HD is too far out of their comfort zone.  It will be too heavy, will lack features and capability & will be at the bottom of every comparison.

B)  Mediocre sales.  It will never make it to showrooms in meaningful numbers.  HD dealers won't know how to talk to adventure buyers (ala Buell).  Will be a niche bike among the HD faithful. 

C) Sales success.  HD will knock this out of the park and and surprise the GS, KTM, Tiger, AT, VStrom, & Tenere.  It will be a viable contender and attract riders from other manufacturers. 

 

2020-Harley-Davidson-Pan-America.jpg

I feel like anyone who is in the market for an adventure bike would not even give the Harley a look.  This thing is going to flop hard.

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On 7/25/2020 at 10:30 AM, JT72 said:

I have a vested interest in this since i own HD stock, but I am curious as to why anyone would want a American company to die out?  they employee around 6000 factory employees in the US , plus dealer staff in  its 700  dealerships,  and a shit load of truck drivers and techs. Like it or not they account for more than half the motorcycles sold in the USA, without the benefit of ATV and dirt bikes being counted as total sales.  Hate them if you want but wanting a US company to fold because you don't like their product is horseshit. Did you want GM and Dodge to fold when they took our bailout money?  

 

Let the market run its course.  If your company needs to be bailed out then you failed to set up your company properly or you have a shit product that cant hold it's ground.  If they die then other companies gain a larger market share which in turn will have them looking to put more dealerships and factories here.  Look at the auto industry, Toyota employs almost as many Americans as Chrysler.  

 

If I had my way then GM and Dodge would have folded instead of the government bailing them out.  If a company, especially those the size of Harley or GM or Dodge, cannot manage to set themselves up for success and adapt to the market then they need to die and let those with better product and/or business structure continue to thrive.

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On 7/25/2020 at 10:30 AM, JT72 said:

 I am curious as to why anyone would want a American company to die out? 

 

On 7/25/2020 at 10:30 AM, JT72 said:

Like it or not they account for more than half the motorcycles sold in the USA, without the benefit of ATV and dirt bikes being counted as total sales.

Dude. You answered your own question. Big sales. Huge profit margins. Broke again??

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Why would anybody buy a Pan America when they can get a Tiger or GS? I have yet to hear one of my motorcycling enthusiast friends clamoring for this last-ditch effort to form relevance. 

Do I want HD to go under? No. Do I get what I want? Rarely. This all falls on the MC's shoulders. I played no part in this catastrophe and what happens is of zero consequence to my life. HD made their bed, now they can drink it. 

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15 hours ago, Killer_kaw said:

 

Dude. You answered your own question. Big sales. Huge profit margins. Broke again??

how does that answer anything? 

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6 minutes ago, JT72 said:

how does that answer anything? 

You asked why anyone would want them to fail. Take a hand out, brag about sales, squander your money, blame COVID and go looking for another handout. Bad business practices are supposed to fail aren’t they? 

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On 7/25/2020 at 10:30 AM, JT72 said:

I have a vested interest in this since i own HD stock

 

Out of curiosity, do you hate money?  HOG will never be in my portfolio.

I don't want them to die if they build relevant motorcycles and stop letting the styling dept overrule engineering (which is a fact by the way).  If they keep building the same then I just don't care what happens to them.  I bought 3 Buells to support relevant American Motorcycles.

The recent Street Rod (which was touted as a game changer to win younger riders) flopped because of the god-awful riding position...which was the sore spot in every single review.

 That Pan American is interesting.  But, hey would you look at that seat?  Never saw a flat seat like that on anything with Adventure aspirations.  It looks nothing like a seat for an ADV or an ST.  But it sure does fit the lines of the blocky styling doesn't it?  And...that V Twin is on display just like a cruiser...looks pretty high on bike though...and top heavy designs are especially problematic for slower ADV riding.  Almost looks like it was designed by a moto-stylist that will never ride a motorcycle on a "B" road, or has any idea what's involved 😨      

 

2020-Harley-Davidson-Pan-America.jpg 

 

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8 hours ago, Tpoppa said:

Out of curiosity, do you hate money?  HOG will never be in my portfolio.

I don't want them to die if they build relevant motorcycles and stop letting the styling dept overrule engineering (which is a fact by the way).  If they keep building the same then I just don't care what happens to them.  I bought 3 Buells to support relevant American Motorcycles.

The recent Street Rod (which was touted as a game changer to win younger riders) flopped because of the god-awful riding position...which was the sore spot in every single review.

 That Pan American is interesting.  But, hey would you look at that seat?  Never saw a flat seat like that on anything with Adventure aspirations.  It looks nothing like a seat for an ADV or an ST.  But it sure does fit the lines of the blocky styling doesn't it?  And...that V Twin is on display just like a cruiser...looks pretty high on bike though...and top heavy designs are especially problematic for slower ADV riding.  Almost looks like it was designed by a moto-stylist that will never ride a motorcycle on a "B" road, or has any idea what's involved 😨      

 

2020-Harley-Davidson-Pan-America.jpg 

 

After looking more closely at this bike the design makes less sense.  This is absolutely another form over function HD, which will makes no sense at all for an ADV bike where function is everything and form means nothing.

Look how close the rear cylinder is to the front of the seat.  When riding a big ADV bike though fire roads, double tracks and single track trails you tend go go pretty slow and crawl around in lower gears picking the best line.  At slow speeds the bike will be running hot.  Would you want your knees or shin resting that close the rear cylinder or heat shield?   Why is that much of the engine exposed anyway?  Most ADV bikes are packaged with the engine low and forward to keep the weight distribution more manageable.

LED turn signals on the hand guards on an ADV bike?   Really?   Hand guards take abuse on trails, the good ones have inserts that can be replaced cheaply when they get broken...and they do.  Turn signal should be mounted out of harms way so unpaved tip overs are less expensive.   

I could go on, but it's pointless.  I'm not even convinced this motorcycle will ever actually make it to showrooms.

 

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2 hours ago, jbot said:

 

HD should never have killed Buell.  I get that Erik was kind of a dick to work with, but his bikes had (even still have) a loyal following.

...but, selling Buells in HD dealerships mixed as well as orange juice and toothpaste.  Buells were tucked in the dusty back corner of most HD dealers.  If you could even get a salesperson to talk about Buells the conversation went something like..."After you get bored with this 130 hp, 400lb beginner bike, you'll want to step up to the 65 hp, 900 lb Geezer Glide..."  It was a terrible fit.

Buell support was limited to OEM parts (even tires) and Buell (HD) branded gear.  You couldn't walk into a HD dealer and buy Michelin, Pirelli, Shoei, Alpinestars, etc.  That model worked for Harley, but was a huge turnoff for more sporty Buell riders.  There was once an argument within HD Marketing about why Buell (sport bike) riders wouldn't wear Buell leather vests. - this story was told several times by Buell insders. 

It will be the same if the Pan American actually makes it to dealers.   It will be only OEM tires and HD gear.  No Mitas, or Klim, or Giant Loop...non HD,  popular ADV accessories will not be on the menu & sales people won't know a thing about ADV riding.

 

 

 

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Yep. My only bad experience with Buell was any time I had to interact with a HD boutique. What a bunch of twats. 

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