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Jul 29th 2018, 07:56 PM   #16
 VeritasImageryNW's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Allyn, WA

  '06 HD Street Bob, '85 Yamaha FJ600, '99 Honda CBR600f4
Quote:
Originally Posted by FireDave
Are you kidding about HD's ads?

Here's one example, I remember an HD ad for a sportster: "Don't let the special low price confuse you, this is no foreign imitation." That's from CycleWorld.

Another, a softail ad, celebrating it's authenticity, "not affected by the fad of the moment."

And another: "Other companies may be content to imitate . . ."
Imitation is not the same a "posing". The reality is that the Japanese were trying to imitate Harley, and failing miserably. Remember the first Japanese motorcycles? They were little, and nothing like the "big bikes" made by Harley and Triumph. Then Honda decided to take on Triumph, with the CB750 and ended actually killing Triumph. Then the Japanese tried their hands on taking on the cruisers built by Harley. Those '80's era cruisers were absolutely horrid looking machines. They were trying to imitate. They were trying to play on the "image" of Harley. And those ads you listed were just pointing out the reality of that. Basically they were saying, "If you want a Harley, then buy a Harley. not an poor imitation." And they were right.

As far as division is concerned, being a person that owns a Harley after many years of hating on them, I hear and see more divisiveness from people who ride something other than a Harley. The majority of Harley owners I have spent time with, though they may not understand the desire to own a sport bike, don't usually bash on them, or on other brands. If they happen to bash on anyone, it's those people who ride like complete idiots on the street. Unfortunately, it seems that the majority of those people ride sport bikes or supermotos. Sure, there are those who dislike the "imitators" and feel like "if you're going to ride a cruiser, then why not buy the brand that originated the genre?" But that's a sentiment that I get. My first cruiser experiences were with Japanese ones, a big Kawasaki Nomad and then the Honda Shadow that I owned for a while. But they just felt "wrong", they were plain vanilla. Then I rode a modern Harley and I "got it". It would be like wanting to own a 70s Dodge Challenger, but owning a Honda Accord. Both can do the same thing, but they are not at all the same, and if you really want that Challenger then that Accord will never cut it.

But here's what I see, as usual, mention Harley in a post on this forum and out come all the Harley bashers. Out come all the people whose purpose is to continue the division rather than try to bridge the gap.

The reality is that Harley's tactic has allowed them to dominate the street motorcycle industry in this country for decades. It is only in the past several years that we have seen its decline (along with the entire industry). Interestingly enough, the same marketing strategy that isn't working in the US anymore, is working quite well overseas. Harley sales are climbing in the UK, and if you watch any of those British YouTubers riding Harleys, it is everything people on this forum seem to hate that draw those riders to the brand. I find it strange that being "American" is a viable sales slogan outside of the US, but is deemed almost "evil" within.

So, again, back to the point. How do we "save" Harley? Stop feeding the division, no matter what side of the fence you ride on. By doing that, we can save the whole industry in this country.
dstevens and MotoDan like this.
Jul 29th 2018, 09:33 PM   #17
 WarpShatner7's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Here

They should partner with the creative team from Marvel Studios and introduce a motorcycle where you stand on a marked spot in your garage, pull on your gauntlets, press a button on the cuff and in a matter of seconds robot arms assemble the bike around you like Iron Man.

Edited by WarpShatner7 on Jul 29th 2018 at 09:36 PM Reason: Typo. Really.
Jul 29th 2018, 11:04 PM   #18
 
  Mar 2016
  Seattle

  '14 KTM Duke 690, '08 BMW K12GT, '05 BMW R12ST
Quote:
Originally Posted by VeritasImageryNW
Imitation is not the same a "posing". The reality is that the Japanese were trying to imitate Harley, and failing miserably. Remember the first Japanese motorcycles? They were little, and nothing like the "big bikes" made by Harley and Triumph. Then Honda decided to take on Triumph, with the CB750 and ended actually killing Triumph. Then the Japanese tried their hands on taking on the cruisers built by Harley. Those '80's era cruisers were absolutely horrid looking machines. They were trying to imitate. They were trying to play on the "image" of Harley. And those ads you listed were just pointing out the reality of that. Basically they were saying, "If you want a Harley, then buy a Harley. not an poor imitation." And they were right.

As far as division is concerned, being a person that owns a Harley after many years of hating on them, I hear and see more divisiveness from people who ride something other than a Harley. The majority of Harley owners I have spent time with, though they may not understand the desire to own a sport bike, don't usually bash on them, or on other brands. If they happen to bash on anyone, it's those people who ride like complete idiots on the street. Unfortunately, it seems that the majority of those people ride sport bikes or supermotos. Sure, there are those who dislike the "imitators" and feel like "if you're going to ride a cruiser, then why not buy the brand that originated the genre?" But that's a sentiment that I get. My first cruiser experiences were with Japanese ones, a big Kawasaki Nomad and then the Honda Shadow that I owned for a while. But they just felt "wrong", they were plain vanilla. Then I rode a modern Harley and I "got it". It would be like wanting to own a 70s Dodge Challenger, but owning a Honda Accord. Both can do the same thing, but they are not at all the same, and if you really want that Challenger then that Accord will never cut it.

But here's what I see, as usual, mention Harley in a post on this forum and out come all the Harley bashers. Out come all the people whose purpose is to continue the division rather than try to bridge the gap.

The reality is that Harley's tactic has allowed them to dominate the street motorcycle industry in this country for decades. It is only in the past several years that we have seen its decline (along with the entire industry). Interestingly enough, the same marketing strategy that isn't working in the US anymore, is working quite well overseas. Harley sales are climbing in the UK, and if you watch any of those British YouTubers riding Harleys, it is everything people on this forum seem to hate that draw those riders to the brand. I find it strange that being "American" is a viable sales slogan outside of the US, but is deemed almost "evil" within.

So, again, back to the point. How do we "save" Harley? Stop feeding the division, no matter what side of the fence you ride on. By doing that, we can save the whole industry in this country.
How do we save HD? That question presumes it should be saved, doesn't it?

Feeding the division? As I said before, HD did ALL they could to create the division, all the way back to them lobbying for import tariffs on Hondas, to their continued lifestyle branding.

I'm feeling it? Or passing along an observation shared by nearly everyone?

HD's the gorilla in the room, right? Sell more bikes than anyone, right? Imagine what could be our reality if HD used their 'leadership' in the market to actually make bikes sought by the bulk of current and future riders. Instead, they shoved their overblown hardware at us, convinced far too many they were the sole ticket to cool-town.

Now it's coming back to bite them, despite decades of people like me begging them to offer a modern masterpiece. Well . . . boo-frickety-hoo. I hate to say . . no, scratch that . . . I rather enjoy saying to HD . . . I told you so.

How can we save HD? Bigger question is: How do we save motorcycling? The death of HD wouldn't be a bad start.

HD would have failed long ago if our congress hadn't drunk the same kool-aid as their customers. "Save an American Icon" HD cried, and DC bought it, bailed them out. Did they 'dominate' for so long because of how good they were? Or because they've been repeatedly subsidized? Bailed out with$ 2.3 billion in federal loans in 2008, (HD still owes us $1.3 billion, contrary to the creative accounting from HD and Congress that says otherwise). In 1983 they lobbied for and achieved 50% tariffs on large displacement (700cc+) import bikes.

UK is buying HDs? OK, but just like the failing tobacco industry, when the US consumers started to quit their bad habit, RJ Reynolds found new markets oversees. They'll wise up too, sooner of later.
Meanwhile, what is HD doing to make a bike that I, my compatriot riders and young people such as my kids are willing to buy, a bike they can afford? Are they even trying? 500cc versions of the same ol' schtick aint gonna cut it.

I would love to buy an American bike. Motus is close, but their bike is flawed. Their primary flaw is the idea that low-rev and muscle-car torque is what people want.. Maybe, if they can get their low-speed fueling correct, and if they come to realize their bike is overpowered to a cartoonish extent.

Edited by FireDave on Jul 30th 2018 at 09:46 AM
Jul 30th 2018, 01:56 AM   #19
 Thumperpilot's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Rome

  SV650S, CRF450R, and others
I, for one, want to see Harley still making Motorcycles! That way we can one day watch Indian smash them once and for all (and not needing a government bailout to do it)...

Edited by Thumperpilot on Jul 31st 2018 at 01:09 AM
Jul 30th 2018, 06:30 AM   #20
 VeritasImageryNW's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Allyn, WA

  '06 HD Street Bob, '85 Yamaha FJ600, '99 Honda CBR600f4
For those who thought Harley wasn't serious about making changes. Here are four completely new motorcycles. Including an ADV and a naked sport bike.

https://www.hotbikeweb.com/harley-da...src=SOC&dom=ig

Sent via SM-G950U
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Edited by VeritasImageryNW on Jul 30th 2018 at 06:33 AM
Jul 30th 2018, 07:04 AM   #21
 VeritasImageryNW's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Allyn, WA

  '06 HD Street Bob, '85 Yamaha FJ600, '99 Honda CBR600f4
Bailouts don't create consumers. Harley may have been able to stay afloat initially because of that, but that was when they started marketing the "lifestyle" aspect and that is what created the consumer desire. I don't quite understand why people dislike it when a marketing campaign works. The whole point of marketing is to draw in people to buy your product. And in this way Harley excelled. Just because you don't like the "lifestyle" aspect doesn't make it wrong, and it certainly doesn't make the MoCo something "evil". Just because you don't like the bikes they make, that doesn't make them wrong. Nor does it somehow decrease the value of those people who do like the "lifestyle" aspect and the bikes.

The whole "well they started the fight" attitude comes across as a spoiled child who has to find justification for continuing the fight.

Sent via SM-G950U
MotoDan likes this.
Jul 30th 2018, 08:04 AM   #22
 albatrosscafe's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Issaquah

  2015 Yamaha FZ-07
Just like @VeritasImageryNW hinted at, looks like they are shifting focus to smaller bikes abroad! It's almost like Harley read this thread!

I wonder how many of these could reach the US?

https://www.businessinsider.com/harl...rcycles-2018-7
Jul 30th 2018, 08:06 AM   #23
 albatrosscafe's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Issaquah

  2015 Yamaha FZ-07
I for one, really like their 975cc Streetfighter assuming it isn't 600lbs.

Greg likes this.
Jul 30th 2018, 08:37 AM   #24
DGA
 DGA's Avatar
Moderator
 
  Jan 2016
  PDX

  An Ape and a Husky
HD has to find a way to survive. Look what Ducati did to make their market share bigger, smaller more affordable bikes while still developing their core product.

That Streetfigher HD looks great, modern, powerful and appealing. I hope it's not all growl with no bite. It's going up against the Super Duke, Tuono, FZ-10, and others. Half measures will not work for HD in this segment.
Jul 30th 2018, 09:40 AM   #25
 
  Mar 2016
  Seattle

  '14 KTM Duke 690, '08 BMW K12GT, '05 BMW R12ST
They might be approaching getting it right:

The Pan America 1250 looks way too heavy. The 1200GS and Tenare' are already way too heavy. A saturated market no less.

Their StreetFighter definitely has potential. Wow, HD, a standard bike, was that so hard? Someone above hoped, as I do, that it's not overweight.
Greg likes this.

Edited by FireDave on Jul 30th 2018 at 09:43 AM
Jul 30th 2018, 10:53 AM   #26
 WarpShatner7's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Here

I'm liking the Custom a lot; it's the least derivative looking and it's giving me a semi just looking at it. They need to offer a less stoic seat option though.

I'll go out on a limb and say the Pan America will be the first to be discontinued. I just cannot picture who the customer for it is.
Jul 30th 2018, 11:48 AM   #27
 Greg's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  PDX

  2014 675R, 2015 Versys LT
Funny timing for this to launch. Streetfighter looks promising, curious what the price point will be.

Harley ADV bike actually looks almost as bad as it sounds. Very happy for the 5 people that filled out customer comment cards asking for this

Sent via SM-G930P
HalcyonSon likes this.
Jul 30th 2018, 02:35 PM   #28
 unicykle's Avatar
 
  Sep 2017
  milwaukie oregon

  gsxr600 gsxr750 gsxr1000 i like gsxrs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg
I appreciate harley's tradition of making slow heavy bikes. I'm 32 and I know younger people than me riding Ducati Supersports, Scramblers, RSV4's, etc. etc. Quality and performance will get you a lot further than tradition and young people will pay for it. Harley doesn't have anything that can compete in that space. Also, the image thing I think comes back to bite them. Old People. Cartoon Eagles. Leather Fringe. hard pass

Triumph doesn't have any issue selling their retro line alongside performance oriented machines.
The problem comparing harley to triumph is harley for some reason has stuck with this frumpy old tech all noise no hp v-twin and just cant move forward and things have progressed passed what twins can reliably provide hp wise even ducati and aprilia have gone v4 and all the other manufacturers have gobs of experience and tech in lots of motor configurations so harley is hard pressed to produce anything but a “also ran” in the motor department for anything they produce no matter how awsome it may be.
Jul 30th 2018, 03:04 PM   #29
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

As far as cheap transportation, HD does have a Street 500 and 750... but they are overpriced compared to japanese bikes and are seen as "baby" / "girly" versions of the "real man's bike." That's all thanks to their marketing department and sales floor painting the Sportster 883 as a "wuss bike" for decades.

For the sporty standard bike market, the Street Rod 750 is a move in the right direction. It still has huge glaring faults that prevent it from making much progress for a single rider (awful ergos and a fat between the knees but too small tank). It's ALMOST where I feel they need to be. It's ALMOST right for me to take the girlfriend to grandma's for a visit or camping in the mountains or into the city for a night out. A slightly longer flatter rear seat would help, as would a narrower more sculpted 4+ gallon tank, moving the air cleaner away from my knee, and a little more leg room. It doesn't need to go head-to-head with an FZ-07. It needs to be a capable daily ride for two without feeling like a bus.

HD is perfectly positioned to cash in on the standard above and the neo-retro trend that's going on now. They simply need to continue to make lighter bikes with larger tanks and smaller engines. Drop the goofy ass tank shapes and the giant lumpy v-twin and wannabe bad-ass branding. They could easily pull off a "scrambler" style bike like Ducati and Triumph have, or the "basic motorcycle" style of the Bonneville and Street Twin. Make a little one (300), a medium one (650), and a big one (1000), then market the shit out of all three with people going about their lives in non-branded ATGATT. I think they need a modern-day "nicest people" campaign that focuses on practicality and making riding routine rather than a weekend warrior thing. Something like "today, tomorrow, everyday." Start pushing FOR lane-splitting instead of AGAINST helmet laws. Push FOR additional motorcycle parking instead of AGAINST noise restrictions. With their market share and image, HD could be doing a lot of good for the sport as a whole rather than just trying to grab a few percentage points.

Edited by HalcyonSon on Jul 30th 2018 at 03:11 PM
Jul 30th 2018, 04:20 PM   #30
 Tripledij's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Custer WA

  Aprilia Tuono 1100
New HD ad.

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