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  #71  
Old 4th January 2007
ocndaf ocndaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStar883 View Post
This is exactly the point I was trying to make earlier. Harley being bailed out in the 80's had caused the entire industry to fall backwards. The imports makers are simply cashing in on the money that's to be made, just like Harley is, nothing more nothing less. It's called capitalism, but I do truly wish the import makers would leave the cruiser motif to the hillbillies from Milwaukee and concentrate on engineering. I'd love to see where the import makers would be if they left the V-twin alone...

I recall an article I read in a magazine [Rider?] in the early 80's where Honda said they considered the V-twin engine dead end engineering and didn't plan on introducing any... funny how the almighty dollar can get people to change their minds... Too bad for all motorcyclists who see technology and high end engineering in a different light.

I still stand by what I said: Harley was resurrected by the .gov imposed tariffs on large displacement bikes like some George Romero zombie and motorcycling has suffered ever since...

How is making a product that the consuming public wants causing the industry to fall backward? If you want a bike that looks like one from Star Wars buy one but don't be bitter that 98% of the motorcycle buying public doesn't agree with you. The only reason anyone maufactures any product is because it fullfills someones desire to have that product. No one in a free market is going to force the consumer to buy what they do not want. As far as the Harley being baled out the Government only did what it should have done with a number of industries, they have let government subsidized companies from other countries destroy our manufacturing base. Thats why now that the steel indrustry is gone in this country there is no longer cheap steel from China.
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  #72  
Old 4th January 2007
CBAS5 CBAS5 is offline
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Quote:
I still stand by what I said: Harley was resurrected by the .gov imposed tariffs on large displacement bikes like some George Romero zombie and motorcycling has suffered ever since...
So you consider the dumping of large displacement motorcycles that the Japanese were going to do perfectly ok? You see no problem with that unethical practice? I mean let's be real here you blame the gov from preventing the japanese from dumping motorcycles, but you don't critize them for the dumping? Does that make much sense to you Mr. Logic?

And motorcycling has suffered? Nobody forced anybody to buy a Harley-Davidson. How have they inflicted suffering on the motorcycle world?

Quote:
This is exactly the point I was trying to make earlier. Harley being bailed out in the 80's had caused the entire industry to fall backwards. The imports makers are simply cashing in on the money that's to be made, just like Harley is, nothing more nothing less. It's called capitalism
They didn't cause anybody to fall backwards. Harley developed their V-twin engines while the japanese developed their inline four engines. Then the japanese came to the conclusion that nobody wanted their four cylinder engines and then started to copy and sell v-twin engines. If the japanese had a superior product, then it would have sold better instead of them copying Harley.

Ever since then the history of their development has been decrease the stroke by half a mm, increase the bore by half a mm, then claim it as the lastest and greatest.

And for 2007 it is predicted that Harley motorcycle sales will surpass Honda motorcycle sales because Honda sales are dropping 7% while Harley sales are rising 7%. If Honda made such better bikes, then why are they losing market share? Harley is going to sell more big cruisers than all the sportbikes, cruisers, sport-touring, and dirt bikes that Honda sells.

And how has Honda made the V-twin engine better with superior innovation? It really hasn't. Honda V-twin's still have rocker box leaks and other oil leaks. All they did was bring the engines to higher displacements. Then at those higher displacements they don't make anymore power while using liquid-cooling and more valves per cylinder. The 1200 sportster engine is stronger than the 1300 vtx engine.

Quote:
Very simply, I delight in watching people cornered by logic squint their eyes down tight, cover their ears and scream, 'la la la I don't hear this'... I enjoy pointing out the ridiculous in life. Call it a personal flaw...
Really? We have some of the smartest people in the world (engineers, doctors, rocket scientists, etc.) riding Harley's yet we are the unlogical idiots? The japanese manufacturers cater to the walmart and target culture and yet those people are somehow smarter than Harley riders?
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Last edited by CBAS5; 4th January 2007 at 20:56..
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  #73  
Old 4th January 2007
JohnT JohnT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary7 View Post
My 07 Sportster ran perfectly from day one.
I'm glad to hear that. My '05 ran like crap until we did a Stage I, and I would say the same about every other new Harley I've bought. For years, the mantra has been, "Just do the Stage I and you'll be happy."

So, your experience indicates that Harley is, indeed, learning.

As to the original idea that began this thread, that Harley should consider what other manufacturers are doing, I'm absolutely certain they already do. I would bet anything that in Harley's R&D shop, as in those of every other motor vehicle manufacturer, you'd find disassembled machines from many other makers. Harley knows what everyone else is doing. They also have a somewhat unique challenge in that they've created an image they have to carefully maintain, lest they offend their long-time and loyal customer base. So, they move slowly, more slowly than some of us would like, but they are carefully evolving the product line.

At same time, they have to attract new buyers, and many of those new buyers are of a different generation, do not want to tinker with their bikes, and want the machines they buy to function as advertised without the need for a Stage anything. So, yet another challenge.

Finally, back to the beginning of this thread. I don't think the original intent was to trash H-d, or praise metrics, but merely to suggest something that is already happening. And it certainly wasn't anti-Sporty in any way. Instead, it seemed an attempt to begin a general discussion on the development of motorcycles. There are, after all, many on this forum who enjoy discussing something beyond the usual 'Which oil do you use?', 'Which seat, handlebars, mufflers I should buy?', etc. And, as has been pointed out before, there IS room for general motorcycling discussion on this forum.
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  #74  
Old 4th January 2007
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HARLEY-DAVIDSON, INC.
2006 Quarterly Motorcycle Shipments
(UNITS)

HARLEY-DAVIDSON® Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 2006
All 651+cc

Sportster® 16,175 15,746 16,909 48,830
Custom 35,794 36,714 44,096 116,604
Touring 27,537 27,336 36,041 90,914
79,506 79,796 97,046 0 256,348

Domestic 60,270 58,052 80,398 198,720
International 19,236 21,744 16,648 57,628
79,506 79,796 97,046 0 256,348

BUELL® UNITS
Buell 651+cc 2,578 3,148 2,131 7,857

Buell Total 3,037 3,539 2,529 9,105
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  #75  
Old 4th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
I'm glad to hear that. My '05 ran like crap until we did a Stage I, and I would say the same about every other new Harley I've bought. For years, the mantra has been, "Just do the Stage I and you'll be happy."

So, your experience indicates that Harley is, indeed, learning.
Yes, I think Harley finally figured that closed-loop EFI was the only way to go.
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  #76  
Old 4th January 2007
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DarkStar883 DarkStar883 is offline
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CBAS5, please if you could provide the evidence or any links that motorcycle dumping was taking place, I'd love to read it and I'm the first one to admit it when I'm wrong. I will do some searching on the topic. I seriously don't recall dumping, I was riding a '78 Low Rider in those days and was indeed carrying the water for HD and did want them to survive... It was later when I saw HD say screw the old riders and old owners and start marketing t-shirts and beer to middle class wannabes instead of taking the chance they were given to really take the lead as a true American motorcycle developing powerhouse that I turned a bit rancid toward them.

I was able to find this:

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa032.html

When I say the industry fell backwards, I'm referring to the import manufacturers embracing the V-twin anew and focusing their attention and engineers on them instead of saying, 'Harley does the V-twin best, leave it to them and lets develop an inline 6 or V-6 motorcycle engine or a thermonuclear whatsis or whatever'...

Harley does the V-twin well, it's their niche, I've got no bones there at all. The import makers desire to have a piece of the pie is good business, but I believe the industry as a whole suffers when marketing and the drive for market share become the motivating force. The import manufacturers used to focus, not quite as much now, on racing for the sake of winning and the technology developed for their racing programs spilled over into their consumer production bikes. When the manufacturers keep shuffling the same old parts around so as not to stray from the format and lose market share development stagnates...

I realize how it comes off when I say it would have been better for HD to have died in the 80's. Seeing the old, traditional Harley Davidson motorcycle company and all it stood for dead and now hawking t-shirts instead of real American Iron while import manufacturers run around trying to pick up scraps dropped from the table is what I mean when I say the industry is moving backwards...
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  #77  
Old 4th January 2007
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Gary7 Gary7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStar883 View Post
...and I suspect you'd be wrong...



Very simply, I delight in watching people cornered by logic squint their eyes down tight, cover their ears and scream, 'la la la I don't hear this'... I enjoy pointing out the ridiculous in life. Call it a personal flaw...
No, that's pretty much what I figured. Though you and I have different definitions for "the ridiculous in life."


Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStar883 View Post
edited to add: And I support the XLF... where's your team membership, stud?
All that tells me is you've paid for the privilege of being contentious here.
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  #78  
Old 4th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStar883 View Post
Excellent article.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStar883 View Post
. . . but I believe the industry as a whole suffers when marketing and the drive for market share become the motivating force. . . .
Unfortunately, this comes along with public ownership and the attention of stock market analysts/pundits, who can seriously undermine a successful company with a series of bad recomendations.
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  #79  
Old 4th January 2007
CBAS5 CBAS5 is offline
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Quote:
CBAS5, please if you could provide the evidence or any links that motorcycle dumping was taking place, I'd love to read it and I'm the first one to admit it when I'm wrong.
Here are two links that I found that mention dumping:

Quote:
Meanwhile, the competition was moving ahead. Though the recession of the early 1980s had depressed demand for heavyweight bikes, Japanese manufacturers swamped the U.S. market with their surplus inventory, driving average market prices down still further. In 1982, however, the company won an anti-dumping judgment from the International Trade Commission (ITC). This led then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan to impose additional tariffs on imported heavyweight Japanese models, as allowed by the ITC.
http://www.answers.com/topic/harley-davidson

Quote:
# In 1983, Harley successfully pushed for a 45% tariff on large imported motorcycles claiming that Japanese manufacturers were dumping them on the US market in large numbers.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_r...dson/49432.stm


Quote:
It was later when I saw HD say screw the old riders and old owners and start marketing t-shirts and beer to middle class wannabes instead of taking the chance they were given to really take the lead as a true American motorcycle developing powerhouse that I turned a bit rancid toward them.
I personally don't like that practice either. However, it made them money and worked. Honda and other japanese manufacturer's tried the same thing of selling motor cloths and other things with their logo, but they failed because nobody bought that stuff. The japanese tried the same practice. The only difference is that they failed and now they use it to make fun of harley. If they had succeeded, then they would have been praising their marketing innovation.

Here is a Honda merchandise website:
http://www.hondapartsdeals.com/index...FQGPWAodgH4_NQ

Quote:
The import makers desire to have a piece of the pie is good business, but I believe the industry as a whole suffers when marketing and the drive for market share become the motivating force.
This is the problem that I have with them. They desire a piece of the pie in a highly unethical way. They will see that a motorcycle is selling well and instead of creating a motorcycle that falls into that category they instead copy one. Basically, they copy the style, add some mechanical improvements, and drop the price. That practice isn't much better than stealing someone's design. In the 70's when triumph was in the spotlight there were tons of japanese triumph clones. Right now when Harley is in the spotlight there are tons of japanese harley clones.

Harley or triumph have never done that. When triumph wanted to make a sportbike they didn't make an inline four clone; they used a inline three design that is true to triumph heritage. When Harley wanted to make a power cruiser they didn't go and copy a V-4; they made a V-twin with unique styling. The triumph rocket is pure power without having to copy anything.

What the japanese do is no better than taking an existing product, producing a copy and adding one or two features, and then selling it for a lower cost. That's stealing a product IMO. Weren't we boycotting a company that did exactly that not too long ago?

As for innovation it is not Harley's fault that they don't innovate. Their customers don't want innovation. In the end, isn't it better for your survival to give your customers what they want? Look at buell. They have done great things with the sportster engine but sales are lacking. Look at the V-Rod. For years it was in a class of it's own and still has a better 1/4 mi. time than the competition using 109 ci. engines. It never received the recognition it deserved, but the bikes that copied it were praised.

Have you ever heard of the Nova project?

http://www.bikerenews.com/AntiqueBikes/CodeNameNova.htm

That was basically the grandfather of the V-max in the late 1970's. It had 135 hp, which was very performance oriented. It was never released, but if it was then Harley may have bankrupt due to a lack of sales.

Everytime they try to release a performance model of their bikes it pretty much flops in terms of sales. So do you blame them for giving the consumer what they want and abandoning what doesn't sell?
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  #80  
Old 4th January 2007
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The last time I looked all of the Jap manufactures had 200 mph racing bikes for sale on their showroom floor. They are not what most of the motorcycle buying public wants. I can understand what you want but all of these companies answer to the sales numbers and the stock price. Even if Harley Davidson had failed in the 80s someone would have filled the vacancy and would be manufacturing what the public wants. At the time of tariffs Yamaha was well on the way with their Virago line of bikes. The Star line is the result of this line of bikes. The only thing these publicly traded companies are conserned about is stock price and profit. You will only get the developments that the rest of the sheep want.
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