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View Poll Results: Should new-for-2020 975cc and 1250cc be called Sportsters
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  #71  
Old 23rd August 2018
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Most other major manufacturers can make more than one style of bike. Harley should be able to pull it off too.
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  #72  
Old 23rd August 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nibelungen View Post
according to these writers...Mo.Co. has commit to maintain tradition only on Cruiser and touring models...

it's really the beginning of the end...???
Most people will consider a Sportster a part of that “cruiser” lineup. At least over here.

“Sporty” as it may be, it’s not a standard naked bike by most people’s definition. It gets lumped in with all of the other Harleys. Cruiser tires, cruiser accessories, shiny parts everywhere with no attention from most performance brands that make “sport” parts.
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  #73  
Old 23rd August 2018
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Nibelungen Nibelungen is offline
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Originally Posted by andy_t View Post
Most other major manufacturers can make more than one style of bike. Harley should be able to pull it off too.

sure... but they will be rookie in other segments...
anyway i was not speaking about that...
i was telling that according to italian newspapers... Mo.Co. will maintain tradition only in cruiser (I.E. softails) and touring models...

ERGO

end of the Sportster line in 2020

but i think like this...

i have a 2017 Iron...
fashion vintage of pushrods on a "fake classic" but instead modern bike...
the max peak of development of EVO Sporty engine...

for a while i will keep that bike... that's for sure....
then... we will see if Mo.Co. will be able to compete with the most competitive brands of metric bikes...



you Americans were the only till now... that built aircraft carriers made of titanium decks... satellites at the state of the art... developed internetworking... microprocessors (along with israeli)...
then why not to compete on metric tech bikes?

i have to admit in Mo.Co. they have courage though... but history tells you americans have that as well...
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  #74  
Old 23rd August 2018
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ParrotHead ParrotHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nibelungen View Post
sure... but they will be rookie in other segments...
anyway i was not speaking about that...
i was telling that according to italian newspapers... Mo.Co. will maintain tradition only in cruiser (I.E. softails) and touring models...

ERGO

end of the Sportster line in 2020

but i think like this...

i have a 2017 Iron...
fashion vintage of pushrods on a "fake classic" but instead modern bike...
the max peak of development of EVO Sporty engine...

for a while i will keep that bike... that's for sure....
then... we will see if Mo.Co. will be able to compete with the most competitive brands of metric bikes...



you Americans were the only till now... that built aircraft carriers made of titanium decks... satellites at the state of the art... developed internetworking... microprocessors (along with israeli)...
then why not to compete on metric tech bikes?

i have to admit in Mo.Co. they have courage though... but history tells you americans have that as well...
Not as much of a rookie as many think. While they did not sell a lot of Buells, Buell did make an adventure bike (Ulysses) and several sport bikes so they have some experience with them. However, the general public may not recognize that experience.

I can see some thinking the Sportster line ending in 2020 just like some consider it ending with the demise of the Iron Heads. However I strongly feel there will be a bike called a Sportster and the more I think about it I think what they unveiled as the "Custom" will be a version of it.
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  #75  
Old 23rd August 2018
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Nibelungen Nibelungen is offline
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Originally Posted by ParrotHead View Post
Not as much of a rookie as many think. While they did not sell a lot of Buells, Buell did make an adventure bike (Ulysses) and several sport bikes so they have some experience with them. However, the general public may not recognize that experience.
you have your point
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  #76  
Old 23rd August 2018
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Originally Posted by ParrotHead View Post
I can see some thinking the Sportster line ending in 2020 just like some consider it ending with the demise of the Iron Heads. However I strongly feel there will be a bike called a Sportster and the more I think about it I think what they unveiled as the "Custom" will be a version of it.
Maybe i could be wrong (of course)... but IMO the end of the Sporty coincides with the end of pushrods... (i can imagine a water cooled Sporty... yes... but i can't figure a DOHC Sporty)....

then... if they are forced to disert the pushrods... they have to think at something peculiar to distinguish their bike from a metric one... (not easy way out)

Last edited by Nibelungen; 23rd August 2018 at 18:53..
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  #77  
Old 24th August 2018
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If you look at Harley total sales numbers on Big Twins and Sportsters (since the Sportster introduction) you will see that Sportsters have nearly always been 20%-30% of their bike sales. That is a BIG number on a single model for any company to just stop making them or fazing them out.
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  #78  
Old 25th August 2018
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If we all wanted a modern, fast reving, high horse power bike... we probably wouldn't be on this forum (except to deride and mock the poor few slobs who own one )
We're probably here cause we enjoy a real and unique bike that has never been cutting edge...but is "more than a machine" as the old Harley add said.

Most bikes are not sold for basic transportation in this country...to sell they have to appeal to a persons emotions, imagination and adventure.

If Harley were to drop the essential elements of the Sportster for a more modern platform it would probably be a better machine but I fear it would loose some of the "real world" (versus "race track") appeal of performance, balance, handling, looks and soul.
The Indian Scout has definite performance advantages over the Sportster but If performance was my main criteria I would avoid all cruisers anyway. Besides I couldn't stand looking at it.

It reminds me of when Coca Cola changed the formula for the "New Coke".
It was not a bad drink but the "Coke Classic" was too ingrained in the public desire of what a "real" Coke was.

I agree with Toejam ...I don't think they would ever drop the basic Sportster until they had another model that would replace it's +20% in sales.
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  #79  
Old 4th September 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportyone View Post
If we all wanted a modern, fast reving, high horse power bike... we probably wouldn't be on this forum (except to deride and mock the poor few slobs who own one )
We're probably here cause we enjoy a real and unique bike that has never been cutting edge...but is "more than a machine" as the old Harley add said.

Most bikes are not sold for basic transportation in this country...to sell they have to appeal to a persons emotions, imagination and adventure.

If Harley were to drop the essential elements of the Sportster for a more modern platform it would probably be a better machine but I fear it would loose some of the "real world" (versus "race track") appeal of performance, balance, handling, looks and soul.
The Indian Scout has definite performance advantages over the Sportster but If performance was my main criteria I would avoid all cruisers anyway. Besides I couldn't stand looking at it.

It reminds me of when Coca Cola changed the formula for the "New Coke".
It was not a bad drink but the "Coke Classic" was too ingrained in the public desire of what a "real" Coke was.

I agree with Toejam ...I don't think they would ever drop the basic Sportster until they had another model that would replace it's +20% in sales.
A good argument however it seems to be based on the sportster being improved toward track performance. Remember when the sportster was released it was to compete with the British invasion bikes, which were very high performance for their day, so there is a history of performance in the breed, plus remember the 883 challenge in the late 80s and early 90s when AMA had a road racing class for sportsters? You see several times the motor company has stepped up.

But in stepping up they had to take development funds from their status quo, style driven cruisers, so they left well enough alone and turned the sportster into part of the status quo. It seems that at those pints in history the market was expanding for cruisers and the other markets were diminishing.

That is no longer the case, cruiser sales, while high, are not growing withing the segment, but bikes such as naked bikes and adventure bikes are. Even sports bikes are not the hot item they used to be. The market pendulum is starting a swing back to more overall bikes such as what we once called the UJM and toward bikes that can perform on and off the road. Those dual purpose bikes at one time were huge in sales. Now the Adventure bike is the modern version of them.

The Pan American is a nice looking platform, ok I do not like the headlight but I am an old fart. Instead of damning the entire line because we do not want to see change, why not we see what happens and see if it makes Harley stronger instead of declining sales. After all if the sales keep declining then HD goes under, with these new bikes maybe they will recover unit sales and be stronger offering us our beloved cruisers with the new line.
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  #80  
Old 5th September 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jammantoo View Post
Remember when the sportster was released it was to compete with the British invasion bikes, which were very high performance for their day, so there is a history of performance in the breed,
I agree Sportster's was considered a performance bike for it's first 10+ years. It has since had it's moments in the sun with it's flat track brother XR750, land speed records, and the 883 racing you mentioned.
But when the multi-cylinder bikes showed up in the late 60's the writing was on the wall, but by then the Sportster still had a macho man's bike image.
I believe since then what has kept it around so long has been a combination of size, style, value and an overall enjoyable street and road performance.
I still think for the near future the Sportster will continue...until the new water cooled cruisers take the sales lead.
BUT if an updated air cooled Sportster rolls out with the M8 treatment (8 valves, oil cooling, and balancers) it may keep rolling for who knows how long.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jammantoo View Post
After all if the sales keep declining then HD goes under
I'm hopeful that even if sales go WAY down...that Harley can shrink and survive like they have had to many times in the past.
They have such a unique product and large following, I can't see them ever completely disappearing.
Look at Indian, the name disappeared essentially for over 50 years and people kept finding enough value in it to keep investing in it's restart.
The Harley name has WAY more stroke than Indian.
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