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4% down for the quarter isn't that bad when you consider the number of Victorys and Indians now on the road. I'm surprised Harley isn't down even more, but I suspect they will be, given their American competitors. And that's good. There's enough of us "old white guys" left to keep to keep them going for a while yet, but they'll be forced to innovate to keep up, and that's good too.
 

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I don't own a Harley, but I have seen several I would like to. Now, I am white...but would not consider myself old-yet...41. What will be the downfall is $$$$ if anything. But most of those 'Old white guys" have plenty of it so it seems like a non issue.

It's like any other items you buy. A lot of the time you are buying the name-Nike, Pop-Tarts (not toaster pastries), Oscar Meyer hot dogs (not those red things), Mobil 1 oil (not Super-tech), and so on. Plus, as I said, they still have some pretty awesome bikes. They'll be fine and I hope so as they are one of the few that are still "American made"-at least for the most part.
 

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I will say this, I'd hate to be trying to sell a Harley on Craigslist. For every metric I see, I see about 10+ Harleys. The market is just flooded with them and if I was looking to buy one, I'd certainly tap the used bikes first and save a mint over what the local Harley dealers want for their bikes.

Having just recently acquired my Vulcan, it came down to it and a Harley Street Rod (think V-Rod without forward controls). The final decision was easy when I found out that my insurance was going to be 4 times as much insuring the Harley vs. the 900 ($100 vs. $430). $300 savings a year is certainly nothing to scoff at and go a long way towards upgrades and gas.
 

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I will say this, I'd hate to be trying to sell a Harley on Craigslist. For every metric I see, I see about 10+ Harleys. The market is just flooded with them and if I was looking to buy one, I'd certainly tap the used bikes first and save a mint over what the local Harley dealers want for their bikes.

Having just recently acquired my Vulcan, it came down to it and a Harley Street Rod (think V-Rod without forward controls). The final decision was easy when I found out that my insurance was going to be 4 times as much insuring the Harley vs. the 900 ($100 vs. $430). $300 savings a year is certainly nothing to scoff at and go a long way towards upgrades and gas.
Add into this the service charges, and regular maintenance cost and the Harleys are more expencive to purchase and own. Have road 3 of them and the Ultra Glide my brother has is the only one I found an advantage in and that was in mpg, he gets low 50s vs my Voyager getting hi 30s. For me, the Voyager is much more comfortable, and the Ultra was the only bike I've road I would have trouble doing more tan 100 miles a day on, it just wasnt a good fit for me. Its the only bike me knees hurt on after only riding 87 miles.
 

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This is sort of a tired old story. The economy is changing. The middle class is significantly smaller than it's been in decades with people spending less and less on 'toys' per capita, and the "Baby Boomers" won't keep buying junk for long. RV's, boats, Harley-Davidson; there are a lot of brands and entire industries who are going to be affected by the downturn of baby-boomers. I was reading recently about RV companies trying to produce more 'high tech' and 'hip' RV's because they need to find a way to keep their market alive. When everyone was retiring all at once marketing them to retirees was a great idea; now, not so much. They are a industry on the end of a boom heading for a decline and they need to react.

The same will be true of Harley-Davidson. They'll find ways to react. They've been down in the past, too. In fact, they've had trouble competing with metrics before metrics were as good as they are now. They know how to innovate and bounce back; they just don't tend to do it often. I suspect we will see it though.

4% down isn't the end of the world BUT, the Motorcycle industry as a whole is growing. Declining in a growing industry isn't a good sign, but one year doesn't tell the whole story. Markets are funny like that.

It's WAY to early to say it's the "downfall" of anyone. If a 4% loss because they aren't changing with the market will kill H-D they'd have died back in the AMF days.

The market IS changing and it's demanding more technology, updated styling, etc. As the motorcycle market grows it's growing from people who expect motorcycle brands to work like car brands; lots of new models frequently, lots of styling updates, color options, up-to-date technologies. None of the brands are really delivering that; but they are slowly getting there. I actually could see Harley-Davidson being more equipped to meet that market as their traditional market fades away into nursing homes.
 

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Its a changing `new buyer demographic` Harleys current one is slowly dying ... while 4% is not a large number, gone are the days of relying on `Made in America` consumers are more demanding, will not accept less for more and are more accepting to off shore brands.

In Harley`s defense ... they cop so much crap from their existing customer base in regards to the so called ` new non traditional ' products, its hard to offer a business model that works for all.
 

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I was in the local HD dealer today and a 2015 or 2016 CVO Road Glide Ultra had a sticker price of $41,000+. And that is before tax and the other charges....WTF!

IMO...there is no HD worth over 25k.
 

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I think the MoCo has seen the writing on the wall well before these numbers.
I think the Street, Rushmore and even the decade old V-rod all point to an acknowledgement of a changing consumer base.
Heck they've put a fair nickel into researching electric.

The 4% number is significant because it's "Marketshare".
HD has dominated the US marketshare for a long time and one of the biggest reasons is that it's THE bike with "cool factor".

With hipsters and hooligans going for standards and sports; and the RUBs moving to the Adv-Touring.
Cruisers, baggers, bobbers, choppers and V-twin tourers are seen more and more as old mens bikes.

Old men =/= cool.
:(dang!

There WILL be a market for HD for a long time. No eminent downfall on the horizon.
But, "cool factor" wont be worth near the up-charge they're getting now.

Scott
 

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I think a lot of it too, is that it seems to me, there is almost an anti-Harley sentiment that is growing. For a long time in the late 90's early 2000's, Harley couldn't keep their sales floors stocked and you had to be on a waiting list to get one. Everyone wanted to ride a Harley. That along with their prices (which border on ridiculous IMO), kept a lot of people from riding them and the people who could afford them knew this and almost seemed to look down on those that couldn't and had to buy alternate makes.

There's a local place here on Route 66 that on any given weekend day, will have at least 50 bikes out front. It' a great place to ride to, have a coke, and talk with all the bikers. Well, except for the Harley riders as they won't talk to you. This is the kind of thing I'm talking about and why I believe that some of Harley's problems aren't due to them specifically, but the people who ride their bikes.
 

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I get that buying a new HD would be out of the question. But to be truly honest I could afford a new Voyager or Vaquero either. But like stated by others the used market is very affordable. I have just as much into my older Electra Glide as I do my Vulcan 900. They each have their place on the road in my world. Wouldn't hesitate to take either one anywhere! Except for touring reasons and not enough room on the 900 of course. But mechanically they are both sound. Maintenance and upkeep are also comparable from my experience.

This of course does not impact HD sales at all, of which I have no concerns. It's not my problem! LOL
 

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I think a lot of it too, is that it seems to me, there is almost an anti-Harley sentiment that is growing. For a long time in the late 90's early 2000's, Harley couldn't keep their sales floors stocked and you had to be on a waiting list to get one. Everyone wanted to ride a Harley. That along with their prices (which border on ridiculous IMO), kept a lot of people from riding them and the people who could afford them knew this and almost seemed to look down on those that couldn't and had to buy alternate makes.

There's a local place here on Route 66 that on any given weekend day, will have at least 50 bikes out front. It' a great place to ride to, have a coke, and talk with all the bikers. Well, except for the Harley riders as they won't talk to you. This is the kind of thing I'm talking about and why I believe that some of Harley's problems aren't due to them specifically, but the people who ride their bikes.
I have been on many rides and ralleys. Many of which are put on and supported by the local HD dealership. I have taken my Vulcan on many of these rides as it is water cooled (usually midsummer and HOT) and it's just easier to cruise vs. my Glide when hopping around at stops. Never have I had someone NOT want to talk to me because I am on a metric. Most are just people like me and you, and all they really care is that you DO ride, not WHAT you ride. Sometimes I just do not get all the hype when people say things like that. Maybe, just maybe it's not the bike at all BUT the rider. See what I did there? I said the very same thing you did, but in the opposite direction. No offense intended, just trying to make a point and speak my opinion. We are all on 2 wheels for a reason, simple as that!

Now Aholes are Aholes, don't matter what they ride, still and Ahole! LOL
 

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I have been on many rides and ralleys. Many of which are put on and supported by the local HD dealership. I have taken my Vulcan on many of these rides as it is water cooled (usually midsummer and HOT) and it's just easier to cruise vs. my Glide when hopping around at stops. Never have I had someone NOT want to talk to me because I am on a metric. Most are just people like me and you, and all they really care is that you DO ride, not WHAT you ride. Sometimes I just do not get all the hype when people say things like that. Maybe, just maybe it's not the bike at all BUT the rider. See what I did there? I said the very same thing you did, but in the opposite direction. No offense intended, just trying to make a point and speak my opinion. We are all on 2 wheels for a reason, simple as that!

Now Aholes are Aholes, don't matter what they ride, still and Ahole! LOL
You don't have to get it for it to be true.

It's a well documented phenomenon.

You do make a good point about it being the rider and not the bike though.

Scott
 

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You don't have to get it for it to be true.

It's a well documented phenomenon.

You do make a good point about it being the rider and not the bike though.

Scott
True! I understand it happens. Just not sure why I guess. There's a hatred that goes both ways. My buddy has a Vulcan and swears he would never own a Harley. They are just motorcycles, its the people that make the difference. Bikes aren't stereotypical people are.
 

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^^^^^^^Yep. Money is the problem. When I can get my sig bike for $2800...yeah, price is an issue. But anneasy fix really.
 

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Their mark up has to be ridiculous. I'm just speculating. They hold value right now but they won't when no one has cash. Used market will become very affordable. It already is in some places. Then they will have to lower prices or offer different products that are a lower price. They have several bikes I like but I just won't pay that much for a toy.
 

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True! I understand it happens. Just not sure why I guess. There's a hatred that goes both ways. My buddy has a Vulcan and swears he would never own a Harley. They are just motorcycles, its the people that make the difference. Bikes aren't stereotypical people are.
I would never go as far as to say "never"... ...OOPS. :p

But, in all seriousness. Except for styling; I don't think HD makes a bike that someone else doesn't make better...or at least make as well at a much better value.

I like the RG.
Well; I like the RG Ultra. I guess since HD doesn't make the RG Ultra now; just the RG Ultra CVO.
I like the RG Ultra CVO.
But, I really don't like the pricing of the RG Ultra CVO.

It's not really a bias though. I don't like Hondas much either. It's not that I don't respect what they do.
Honda is really really awesome at innovation and building a dependable bike.
I just don't really like the looks of the end product.

It would be an excellent bike made just in the midway between HD and Honda.
Half on Honda's innovation in HD's image, and half of HD's "Coolness" in Honda's performance--
Such a bike would win any biker in the world; if he could get her goodwill.

Sorry; my love of literature is showing.

Anyway, all of that to say that I have a LOT of respect for Honda. But, I don't think I will ever own one.
Chances are probably lower that I will ever own a Harley either.
No hate. Just my preference.

Scott
 
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