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  #81  
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I suspect the failures of 'new designs' on the HD showroom floor has much more to do with the couch riding sales people & their influence over any other-minded new sales people than the failure of the product in the market place (did it really get a fair chance to succeed?).

HD should remain committed to the traditional bikes (as they are profitable) - but MUST ALSO EDUCATE their sales force on the psychology & economics of expanding the market... It is not necessary to be so 'Extreme Minded' as to suggest (like another thread here) that Sportster are a phase or that you 'really don't want' what you came in to test ride, but you need a new couch...

Unless they can change the 'attitude' of the sales people, those folks will never sell the new design...

Much of their previous failed models were 'ME TOO' designs, unwanted by the sales force, and HD was not committed to those products enough to force (with education) the sales of them...

It will be very interesting to see if HD can create a popular electric motorcycle market in the US... They might be better off hiring a completely new sales force to work out of their BOUTIQUE shops that will not be overwhelmed with the couch-only marketing of the full-service shops...

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  #82  
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Originally Posted by farmall View Post
If customers want a HD that handles they can build one. Every time HD builds or offers a machine that's not traditional it doesn't sell well.

Boat tails didn't sell well (but I wish I'd hoarded a bunch of them!). Dead.
XLCR looked great but was still an Ironhead. Dead.
FXR looked non-traditional due to the sidecovers. Dead.
Aermacchi was inferior to contemporary Jap bikes in the dirt and looked bizarre to American buyers. Dead
Buell didn't sell enough to survive the Recession. Dead like Victory.

Traditional bikes sell well enough. The frothing about stock prices is a side issue for riders. HD will remain. IDGAF what size it is.

If you want performance beyond a straight line, buy Japanese. If you want performance with more maintenance (the REAL definition of "character" as applied to bikes!) buy modern Triumphs or European brands. No one actually NEEDS an American sportbike. They are excess to what the market already offers.

If you want a better engine, buy aftermarket. If you want a better transmission, buy Baker. If you want a better frame, buy or fab one. For the cost of a bottom dollar big twin you can build a beastly FXR or clone and have plenty of cash to spare. If you don't wrench you can pay someone who does (after doing thorough research because you really need to be your own subject matter expert) and still come out far ahead.

The market is realigning as Boomers take the inevitable dirt nap. (I am one.) There are plenty of cheap used machines to modify and enjoy. If HD were swallowed by the earth tomorrow real bikers would be unaffected and the aftermarket would become even more awesome.

Today is the best era for people who RIDE Harleys, and if the MoCo croaks that's not a problem.
I can't dislike this post anymore.

My reason for starting this thread wasn't to suggest Harley chase sportbike performance figures.

It was to show how much Harley has castrated their own bikes.

There's no excuse for the vast majority of the Harley line to have worse cornering clearance THAN THEIR 800-900# behemoth touring bikes.

I'm not talking about Buell though that's another conversation that ends with failure due to Harleys poor marketing of the brand (limiting franchises to Moco dealers who were largely not motivated to sell Buell). Buell didn't fail because their bikes could corner.

I'm very skeptical about your FXR build claim too, but it's pretty irrelevant as well.
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  #83  
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It was to show how much Harley has castrated their own bikes.
It is a point well made Bone. Look at the 2019 FXDR "minimal weight for maximum performance." Thats 637 "minimal" pounds of dry weight
with a hyped 0.8 extra degree of lean angle (32.8) over the cheaper Fat Bob and for that you pay a serious price premium.
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Harleys have been castrated since they stopped competing with other brands outside walled garden race classes. That's why sportbike riders laugh at them. Before management figured out cosplaying real bikers was profitable some dealers wouldn't sell to chopper riders. They preferred cops and Shriners, and there aren't enough of either to sustain a modern motorcycle manufacturer.

The reason making a Harley fast requires major modification is they don't care, they can sell small displacement bumps, and they can sell what should be stock (Timken bearing kits for big twins come to mind) as upgrades. IMO HD deserve a horrible sales shock to point them back in the direction they had designing the Evo BT and Sportster.

They could drastically narrow the drivetrain by going RSD on big twins, copying Sportster layout. There's no excuse for not doing that. Baker sell plenty of outstanding RSD transmissions so no R&D required. Hang an M8 top end on a quad cam bottom end, problem solved.
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Originally Posted by farmall View Post
Harleys have been castrated since they stopped competing with other brands outside walled garden race classes. That's why sportbike riders laugh at them.

IMO HD deserve a horrible sales shock to point them back in the direction they had designing the Evo BT and Sportster.
Farmall, as I see it you hit the nail on the head with these lines.

Lets face a few facts, if you want to really get a huge rpm and power from a v twin it has to be 90 degrees, physics dictates that. And if you want to get true performance from platform you have to make it as simple as possible. Even the original guys at HD knew that.

But HD does not need to be number 1 in performance, just what they need is platforms that are modern that offer modern performance.

I see that in the newer bike platforms. A answer to be more than a huge couch that you ride down the road.

Do you realize why baggers are the huge sellers today? Because they are MAN PURSES, you can bring it all along. Gone are the days of rugged individualism where the minimum is enough, life on the road meant ruffing it. now days trailering your bike to Sturgis is no longer looked down on. Infact the campgrounds cater to those who do by having areas to park the towing vehicle and trailers. It has become a joke to actually ride your bike. GO ahead and buy a colostomy bagger and tow it.

HD has to get back to making bikes guys want to ride. I can see a huge future in the street fighter platform being a bike that scares the shit out of your neighbors. One that men wished they owned but were afraid of what the community would think. As of right now everyone thinks Harleys are something that will make them liked, Screw that you want a bike that makes a statement, HD no longer makes that, it now means that you are part of the norm. and you can buy a used norm bike now for less than 5 grand with only 7000 miles o it. Check craigs list.

HD is having a rude awaking, sales are slipping because it is only in one market right now, and those guys are getting to old to ride.
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  #86  
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Quote:
Harleys have been castrated since they stopped competing with other brands outside walled garden race classes. That's why sportbike riders laugh at them.
Bravo Farmall.

Quote:
I can see a huge future in the street fighter platform
I am doubtful it will be a big seller for the reasons above. There are already well established competitors in that crowded niche of the market.
Even if the Street fighter was on par technically, HD would still have to justify their typically huge price premium. For all we know the Livewire
is the long term future for HD. They have bought shares in Alta and should have some leading technology to bring to the marketplace.
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  #87  
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It is a point well made Bone. Look at the 2019 FXDR "minimal weight for maximum performance." Thats 637 "minimal" pounds of dry weight
with a hyped 0.8 extra degree of lean angle (32.8) over the cheaper Fat Bob and for that you pay a serious price premium.
Well, hold on a minute. Maybe we should perform a new comparison for 2018/19 because the pendulum might be done swinging and is coming back the other way.

As a reminder, here was my conclusion in 2016 looking at the 1996 numbers as a base:

Quote:
1996 Harley Lean Angle Specs

FXST, FXSTS, FXSTB, FLSTF, FLSTC, FLSTN - 28 / 29

FLHT, FLHR, FLHTC, FLHTCU etc - 31 / 30

FXD, FXDL, FXDWG - 31 / 32

XLH 883 Hugger - 30.5 / 34

XL1200C - 30.5 / 34.0

FXDC - 33.5 / 34.5

XLH 883 / XLH 1200 / XL1200S - 40 / 36


So the Softails of 1996 leaned more than the Sportsters of 2016.

The non lowered 2016 Touring models are basically the same or lean a hair more than they did in 1996.

The 2016 Dynas are all WORSE than the 1996 ones (some by only a hair at least)

THE 1996 HUGGER OUT LEANS EVERY SOFTAIL, SPORTSTER, and DYNA of 2016

And nothing they build in 2016 leans anywhere near the normal height Sportsters of 1996.
Let's remember that in all of this the non-lowered Touring models remained with decent cornering clearances, and there were a few outliers here or there, like the XR, or CX.

The new FXDR is a step in the right direction - it's a hair lighter, has a fantastic chassis/brakes, USD forks, and it corners a hair better than the Dynas were for decades.

And similar things can be said about much of the new Softail line. Generally speaking they're cornering better than they did for a decade or more, certainly better than they were in 2016 and closer to what 1996 was.

So I am tempted to be cautiously optimistic (of course that's my baseline/nature but still).
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  #88  
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Harleys have been castrated since they stopped competing with other brands outside walled garden race classes. That's why sportbike riders laugh at them.
Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday has been dead for decades. The vast majority of the riding and driving public don't give a shit about races. You think BMW has grown to over 100k bike/year based on racing in the last decade or two? How about the neo-Indian? How about Triumph? What racing are they doing that led their neo-classic line to the current level of sales success? Royal Enfield is suddenly over 700k bikes/year without anything that even remotely resembles a race bike.

Sport bike guys laugh? Great, all five of them in the US? The Sportbike market is far, FAR worse than the "Cruiser" market in terms of cut-throat competition and minimal sales figures. Hell the only real growth happening in the sportbike market is with small/cheap/light - CBR300, Ninja300 etc, we're talking bikes with 30 hp. No-one on that is laughing at anything, they're just happy to be on the road. Though at least a few of them realize how much fun a small, light, handling bike can be, but that's another story and has little to do with Harley (other than that's part of what they were aiming the Street at).


Quote:
Originally Posted by farmall View Post
The reason making a Harley fast requires major modification is they don't care
It has nothing to do with not caring. As a matter of fact it's a carefully calculated plan. Harley and their dealers make a significant chunk of profit by purposely selling tamely tuned, RELIABLE, motorbikes purposely leaving performance on the table to tempt the sale of pipes, and air cleaners, and displacement bumps etc.

That said, as a rider who has largely left them in stock tune I can attest they are more than capable stock if you are about riding more than wrenching.


Quote:
Originally Posted by farmall View Post
They could drastically narrow the drivetrain by going RSD on big twins, copying Sportster layout. There's no excuse for not doing that.
I'm not sure I see the need.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jammantoo View Post
Lets face a few facts, if you want to really get a huge rpm and power from a v twin it has to be 90 degrees, physics dictates that. And if you want to get true performance from platform you have to make it as simple as possible. Even the original guys at HD knew that.

But HD does not need to be number 1 in performance, just what they need is platforms that are modern that offer modern performance.

I see that in the newer bike platforms. A answer to be more than a huge couch that you ride down the road.
I mostly get where you are going with this. I mean yes the better balance of a 90 degree will allow you spin it more for greater hp. But not everyone wants that kind of bike. And honestly even though we have 2 90 degree twins in the fleet they are purposely not ones that spin sky high and that's because I don't prefer that feel and I don't need THAT much power anyway.

So you start to go off the rails at this point.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jammantoo View Post
Do you realize why baggers are the huge sellers today? Because they are MAN PURSES, you can bring it all along. Gone are the days of rugged individualism where the minimum is enough, life on the road meant ruffing it. now days trailering your bike to Sturgis is no longer looked down on. Infact the campgrounds cater to those who do by having areas to park the towing vehicle and trailers. It has become a joke to actually ride your bike. GO ahead and buy a colostomy bagger and tow it.

HD has to get back to making bikes guys want to ride. I can see a huge future in the street fighter platform being a bike that scares the shit out of your neighbors. One that men wished they owned but were afraid of what the community would think. As of right now everyone thinks Harleys are something that will make them liked, Screw that you want a bike that makes a statement, HD no longer makes that, it now means that you are part of the norm. and you can buy a used norm bike now for less than 5 grand with only 7000 miles o it. Check craigs list.

HD is having a rude awaking, sales are slipping because it is only in one market right now, and those guys are getting to old to ride.
Purse, Couch, Scare your neighbors?!?

Hopefully more often than not the adults in the room don't give a shit about those juvenile things.

"Rugged individualism where the minimum is enough"

Yeah, whatever, go grocery shopping on a chopper some day and get back to me.

Ya know why baggers sell? Largely they sell to guys who ACTUALLY RIDE... who ride every day, who carry things to and fro work or a store or a gym, or who tour for weeks or months or who take their wife, girlfriend, partner along etc.

Yeah some pose with em just like many do with any other kind of bike.

But the touring platform sold because it's a great platform (if a bit big these days). And Harley was smart to ride that trend (or drive that trend) to the bottom line being their most profitable models.

Go back to the beginning of this thread -THOSE are the bike they never castrated.
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Quote:
The new FXDR is a step in the right direction - it's a hair lighter, has a fantastic chassis/brakes
I don't think we are disagreeing. The FXDR gets an alloy swing arm and an alloy subframe to save about 17
pounds over the cheaper 2019 114" Fatboy, which has the same brakes and UD forks. I agree that's is a step in the
right direction for weight loss but my point was that it is hardly "minimal weight for maximum performance."
You would have thought the new range would ALL have alloy swing arms for their steep asking price.

Quote:
I'm not sure I see the need.
Personally, I think Farmall makes a good point about an RSD gearbox. It should result in a much narrower engine, offer
potentially improved lean angles, save some weight and make it a lot easier to change the drive belt. It is one reason why
I prefer the Sportster.

Quote:
What racing are they doing that led their neo-classic line to the current level of sales success?
OK, "based on racing in the last decade or two"; let me give that a shot: BMW developed their K46 1000RR in 2009 to satisfy World Superbike homologation
requirements. The S1000RR won every single race of the 2010 FIM Superstock 1000 Championship. It won the 2014 and 2016 Isle of Man TT superbike
class race and Superstock class, under Michael Dunlop. There are also wins in the North West 200 and they support the international BMW Motorrad Race Trophy series.
The R80G/S-PD "Paris-Dakar" was launched after an R80G/S won the Paris Dakar rally. If I recall correctly BMW Motorrad have won the rally twice in the last
two decades alone and turned adventure bikes into a strong sales niche; now KTM dominates the rally. Triumph have developed and will be supplying all the Moto 2 GP
engines next year based on their successful 765cc 2017 Street Triple engine. And as for Polaris owned Indian, they announced that they will launch a street based
version of the Scout FTR750 motorcycle that dominated the American Flat Track series races last year...........
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Four Speed View Post
The FXDR gets an alloy swing arm and an alloy subframe to save about 17 pounds over the cheaper 2019 114" Fatboy,
which has the same brakes and UD forks. I agree that's is a step in the right direction for weight loss but my point was that it is hardly "minimal weight for maximum performance." You would have thought the new range should all
have alloy swing arms for their steep asking price.
Ok, the "minimal weight..." is a bit of hyperbole, but still when you compare it to other Harleys (and most other cruisers) it's a fair amount lighter than the 800-900# behemoths.

The only way they're going lighter still is an all aluminum frame and maybe rethinking the M8. That's a different bike, so we'll see how they do with the new modular platforms cause we've really moved into that territory then.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Four Speed View Post
Personally, I think Farmall makes a good point about an RSD gearbox. It should result in a much narrower engine, offer
potentially improved lean angles, save some weight and make it a lot easier to change the drive belt. It is one reason why
I prefer the Sportster.
Again, I don't think I see that great a need on this line. But that said, they HAVE some narrower primaries on some models (like the Sport Glide). These are still cruisers and touring bikes first and foremost.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Four Speed View Post
OK, let me give that a shot: BMW developed their K46 1000RR BMW in 2009 to satisfy World Superbike homologation requirements.
The S1000RR won every single race of the 2010 FIM Superstock 1000 Championship. It won the 2014 and 2016 TT superbike
class race and Superstock class, under Michael Dunlop. The R80G/S-PD "Paris-Dakar" was launched after R80G/S won in the
Paris Dakar rally. Triumph will be supplying the Moto 2 GP engines next year.........
https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/globa...17?language=en


Well, I'll give you that I'm surprised how many S1000 variants BMW sold (21,752 units in 2017). That's more than I would have guessed.

BUT is represents only 13% of total BMW sales.

Even the "lowly" Sportster with no racing to support the current models achieves approximately 20% of Harley sales with totals in the 40-50k unit range.

And you can't tell me that racing from the 1980s helped BMW sell more than 50,000 R1200GS variants in 2017, or 86,090 R-bike Boxers variants in total.

Similarly Triumph's nice growth these past few decades has been built on the neo-classic Bonnie variants and that has jack all to do with Moto 2 GP right?

I'm not claiming NOBODY pays attention to motorsports, but win on Sunday and sell on Monday is a far cry from what it once was and I don't think it plays a significant part of the most bike segments/markets.
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