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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering if there is a source for reasonably priced aluminum alloy rims to fit the 900 Classic LT, to replace the stock spoked rims. Would like to use tubeless tire.

Also wondering if there is any advantage to running radials instead of bias ply tires. Thanx in advance.
 

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Just wondering if there is a source for reasonably priced aluminum alloy rims to fit the 900 Classic LT, to replace the stock spoked rims. Would like to use tubeless tire.

Also wondering if there is any advantage to running radials instead of bias ply tires. Thanx in advance.
try meancycles.com . Key in your model year and model, it will list the accessories for that bike ... like these.



As far as tires go .... i have no idea

cheers maurice
 

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FWIW, the rear rim from the 900 Custom will fit the Classic, and it's a solid cast/tubeless rim. Takes the same size tire (up to a 200/70-15 in a couple of brands, like Metz). Since it's mostly covered by that classic rear fender, maybe that will help ya save some bucks and mean ya only need to find a front rim?
 

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I replaced my rear with a custom rear. Got it used for $125.00 Straight swap-out and a lot less worry about going flat in the back woods and having to walk. Most of the time, (most!) it will be the rear wheel that picks up the nail, so carrying a plug kit and a small slime air compressor to pump the tire back up is all you need to keep from getting stranded. Not sure why they don't give the classic or LT buyer the choice between tubeless and tubed rims; ... seems like a no-brainier on the part of Kaw. to provide the customer with an extra choice to match riding style with technical requirements. Especially in light of the fact that a lot of 900 riders use this bike to go on long tour rides.....(I did 2700 miles on a trip out west this last summer). Now I know the plug shouldn't be ridden on for long distance, but it will get you from poduck Arkansas backwoods to big city at 40 MPH so that you can replace the tire. I have heard of many riding on the plug for long distances but don't recommend it.
 

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Not sure why they don't give the classic or LT buyer the choice between tubeless and tubed rims; ... seems like a no-brainier on the part of Kaw.
Classic = old style = wire wheels .... Custom = new style = cast rims, could you imagine the inventory as follows ...

classic lt wire rims
in both colors of course
classic lt cast rims

classic wire rims
in both colors of course
classic cast rims

Custom wire rims
in both colors or course
Custom Cast rims

12 Different bikes of the same model.

Bike shops are doing all they can to stay open without doubling inventory or accessories like having a bunch of rims, wire or cast hanging around.

Manufactures are reducing the number of models to reduce manufacturing and inventory costs for themselves as well as dealers.

You cant please a 100% of the people 100% of the time, hence the "aftermarket Industry".

Henry Ford had the right idea for the T Model .... you can have any color as long as it is black.

GM tried it the other way .... Pontiac, Saturn, Chevy, Buick, Olds, Gmc .... mostly the same vehicals, just different cosmetics for the most part .... sent them right down the tubes.
 

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I disagree. The customer is moving towards more customization, which means the company that figures out how to support this need is the company that will stay profitable. In this instance, Kaw. could defer the final assembly of wheels to the dealer to install at time of delivery. Since all the wire wheels are the same, and all the solid wheels are the same, (with the exception of the smaller front wheel on the Custom, it would be a simple inventory for the dealer to manage. So, instead of shipping 12 different bikes , you ship only the different colors, and final assemble the wheels at the dealer......based on customer input........problem solved......
 

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How do you do a test run on the factory dyno without wheels ???
Your motorcycle is shipped in a crate and put together by the shop... The engine might be run on a dyno, but not the assembled bike.

As for the wheels, having only two options keeps costs down. If they offered your choice of wheels on delivery, the price would go up.
 

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Very simple to install and uninstall a test wheel and tire. I worked in auto assembly for 20 years, and it very easy to install what would be called a slave tool, (in this case tire) and then pop it back off for final packaging. Bikes are shipped somewhat in a state of disassemble as it is, the wheels would just be another simple process for the packaging engineers to design around.
 

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Your motorcycle is shipped in a crate and put together by the shop... The engine might be run on a dyno, but not the assembled bike.

As for the wheels, having only two options keeps costs down. If they offered your choice of wheels on delivery, the price would go up.
The goal of the factory dyno test is to test the finished product, not just the engine. As was pointed out earlier, if you don't want spoked wheels you don't want a Classic.

Kind of like saying "I want sparkling wine, but without the bubbles"...

Very simple to install and uninstall a test wheel and tire.
On one bike, maybe, but on hundreds, no. Btw, what motorcycle manufacturer offers this today ?
 

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[/QUOTE]On one bike, maybe, but on hundreds, no. Btw, what motorcycle manufacturer offers this today ?[/QUOTE]

Actually....:eek: (please don't shout at me)... Harley Davidson offer this type option on a lot of their bikes. Some of the units are available with multiple offerings of custom rims. I admit, those have to be special ordered. But the 2011 Road King for one is available as standard with laced or solid rims.
 

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I disagree. The customer is moving towards more customization, which means the company that figures out how to support this need is the company that will stay profitable. In this instance, Kaw. could defer the final assembly of wheels to the dealer to install at time of delivery. Since all the wire wheels are the same, and all the solid wheels are the same, (with the exception of the smaller front wheel on the Custom, it would be a simple inventory for the dealer to manage. So, instead of shipping 12 different bikes , you ship only the different colors, and final assemble the wheels at the dealer......based on customer input........problem solved......
Companies stay afloat due to Mass production ..... It controls costs .... allowing Customer customisation increases costs .... for you its the wheels, I personally would have liked to see a selection for winshields, leather bags and seats, ...... for the same price of course. where would it stop

The big Four are not interested in changing their business model for the minority .... It would be never ending.

Harley Davidson have tried it and their in the tank, ( along with their custom Tanks, seats and colors ) just have a look at their shares ..... high around $75 ... now around $27 ....... It doesnt matter what choice of Fluff you offer if it is not cost effective.

They have dropped the Buell range completely and are reportable either up for sale and / or looking for a large investor.

Its the lean and mean companies that survive in any economy
 

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"I admit, those have to be special ordered."

When I bought my 900, the Kaw dealer told me they could order and install any special order parts and accessories I wanted. But, I did not see any point in trying to turn my Classic LT into an $18k Road King..
 

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Your assumption that variety has been the downfall of Harley is premature. All MC companies are having trouble because of the economy, not just Harley. And I haven't seen Harley file for bankruptcy yet.......so I wouldn't count them out. And one of the things Harley does bet is provide variety. I'm not looking for a much merchandising from Kaw. as from Harley, as I do like the lower price, but a wheel selection between tube and tubeless is a very low cost add on that would make a lot of customers happy. Just saying.....
 

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Your assumption that variety has been the downfall of Harley is premature. All MC companies are having trouble because of the economy, not just Harley. And I haven't seen Harley file for bankruptcy yet.......so I wouldn't count them out. And one of the things Harley does bet is provide variety. I'm not looking for a much merchandising from Kaw. as from Harley, as I do like the lower price, but a wheel selection between tube and tubeless is a very low cost add on that would make a lot of customers happy. Just saying.....
Nuff said

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Extra/more-troubles-for-harley-davidson.aspx

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
In thousands, except per-share amounts 2009 2008 2007
STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS DATA:
Motorcycles and related products revenue $ 4,287,130 $ 5,578,414 $ 5,726,848
Gross profit 1,386,196 1,931,144 2,114,100
Selling, administrative and engineering expense 851,165 942,267 900,708
Restructuring expense and other impairments 220,976 12,475 –
Operating income from motorcycles and related products 314,055 976,402 1,213,392
Financial services revenue 494,779 376,970 416,196
Financial services expense 581,059 294,205 204,027
Restructuring expense 3,302 – –
Goodwill impairment 28,387 – –
Operating (loss) income from fifi nancial services (117,969) 82,765 212,169
Operating income 196,086 1,059,167 1,425,561
Investment income 4,254 11,296 22,258
Interest expense 21,680 4,542 –
Income before income taxes 178,660 1,065,921 1,447,819
Provision for income taxes 108,019 381,686 513,976
Income from continuing operations 70,641 684,235 933,843
Loss from discontinued operations, net of tax (125,757) (29,517) –
Net (loss) income $ (55,116) $ 654,718 $ 933,843
Earnings per common share from continuing operations:
Basic $ 0.30 $ 2.92 $ 3.75
Diluted $ 0.30 $ 2.92 $ 3.74
Loss per common share from discontinued operations:
Basic $ (0.54) $ (0.13) $ –
Diluted $ (0.54) $ (0.13) $ –
(Loss) earnings per common share:
Basic $ (0.24) $ 2.80 $ 3.75
Diluted $ (0.24) $ 2.79 $ 3.74
Weighted-average common shares:
Basic 232,577 234,225 249,205
Diluted 233,573 234,477 249,882
Cash dividends per common share $ 0.40 $ 1.29 $ 1.06
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET DATA (AT DECEMBER 31):
Total assets $ 9,155,518 $ 7,828,625 $ 5,656,606
Total debt $ 5,636,129 $ 3,914,887 $ 2,099,955
Total equity $ 2,108,118 $ 2,115,603 $ 2,375,491
74.1 % H-D Motorcycles $3,174.8
17.9 % Parts & Accessories 767.3
6.6 % General Merchandise 282.2
1.1 % Buell Motorcycles 46.5
0.3 % Other 16.3
Total Net Revenue $4,287.1
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WORLDWIDE
2009 MOTORCYCLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS REVENUE BY PRODUCT LINE
Dollars in millions
67.9 % United States $2,910.1
16.3 % Europe 700.9
6.0 % Japan 255.9
4.1 % Canada 175.9
3.2 % Australia 137.6
2.5 % Rest of World 106.7
Total Net Revenue $4,287.1
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WORLDWIDE
2009 MOTORCYCLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS REVENUE BY REGION
Dollars in millions
18 HARLEY-DAVIDSON, INC. 2009 ANNUAL REPORT
S&P 500 H-D COMPARISON OF YEAR-END VALUE OF $100 INVESTED DEC. 31, 1986 (20 YEARS SHOWN). ASSUMES FOR BOTH HARLEY-DAVIDSON AND S&P THAT ALL DIVIDENDS ARE REINVESTED




They are in deep doo doo
 

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Personally I believe that is a big part of HDs problem, too much variety. So many models they actually are competing with themselves, same problem GM had..
 

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Just so the original thought doesn't get lost in a HD bashing, I agree there are extremes on both sides of the equation; with HD probably too much customization, and with Kaw. not enough. Having said that, though, I don't think you have come anywhere close to making your case with the statistics presented. HD has a lot of issues not related to variety that is causing them to suffer stress, including such items as a huge used market that resells MC's at a fraction of their original cost with almost no miles on the bikes, a tough economy where disposable income has seen a huge drop, easy money loans all dried up etc. So, to say their problems are because of servicing the customer with options is a bit short sighted. Again, IMHO. Now, back to the Kaw. subject, if I have to spend close to $3000 for aftermarket wheels, then it makes sense for me to go to a higher priced bike, which means Kaw loses a sale. That would put the bike up close to the price of a Honda Fury, which IMHO, is a lot nicer looking bike, but it doesn't have the gas tank range that the 900 has. So I did the next best thing and bought a used Custom rear wheel and slapped it on my bike and I am out riding, grinning from ear to ear. I just think Kaw. is missing the boat on an option that could be offered at minimal extra cost.
..... Ok, your turn....
 

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"Now, back to the Kaw. subject, if I have to spend close to $3000 for aftermarket wheels, then it makes sense for me to go to a higher priced bike, which means Kaw loses a sale."

No. Actually it means you buy a Custom as opposed to a Classic.
 
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