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Author Topic: Turn around plan  (Read 1461 times)

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Warhawk

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2021, 09:01:09 PM »

I agree Don but you and I weren't born old farts.

I remember sitting in class in 1983 lusting over an indigo blue Wide Glide. I'm maybe a little different than some because my family, Dad and older Brother, always had motorcycles and a lot of them were Harleys. I learned to ride on a 1949 Harley that is still in the Shrader Fleet, along with about 70 others. My first bike was a Harley 65 that Dad bought for me after I learned to ride.

My point is there are ways to develop new potential customers that are riders without straying too far from the thing that got you where you are or were...

The main reason I lusted after that particular Wide Glide was because it was in a Billy Joel video called Uptown Girl with the lovely Christy Brinkley. I thought the bike looked cool. My first big twin was a 1980 shovel head that I scrounged parts to build from basically a motor. Guess what I built it as, that's right it looked like a 1983 Indigo Blue FXWG right down to the paint that I got from Harley.

I guess what I'm saying is it about passion. A passion for a bike that you see, whether it's on a TV show or riding down the road, or whatever. For whatever reason Harley has failed to get me passionate enough about one to buy one for the last 7 years. Partly because of their paint colors and partly because of the reliability issues.

Maybe someday they will trip my trigger again, but what I've seen lately ain't done it.

I agree, some of my earliest memories are “helping” my dad work on his ‘57 Duo Glide.  Dad was a huge man and his fingers were too big to do stuff like adjusting the pushrods so he showed me how and he would set the valve lash.  At least that was what he told me years later, I suspect he just wanted me out there.  He later bought a ‘65 Electra Glide Shriners bike, red with silver and gold trim, and the whole thing had bass boat sized metal flake.

I doubt that today’s man bun generation will ever be interested in riding a Harley.
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Sea Biscuit

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2021, 09:16:06 PM »

I heard there going back to carbs :drummer:

Yes, and after an exhaustive survey (apparently with the same people that wanted a cable clutch), Harley has decided to go back to drum brakes, thereby eliminating the issue with warp disks!

Sure, laugh now but look out!😆
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FLSTFI Dave

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2021, 07:30:51 AM »

My biggest issues with Harley and I think many other is not the bikes, or looks of the bikes.

For me it is the ever down hill slide of quality while price goes up and content goes down.  I love some of the new 2021's.

Disc brake rotors, it cant be that hard to make a rotor that doesn't warp in 6 or 7K miles.  Yet I'm on the 4th new set on my 2019.  Have an 09 in the garage with over 105K miles on original rotors  Only one other bike I have owned has had a rotor replace, and only once.

Speakers, really other than your Harley what have you had to replace blown speakers on multiple times?  Since my 15 all four CVO's have had speakers replaced multiple times.  Oaky you say out door speakers, harder for them to last.  My boat is 11 years old, is not garage kept.  Never replaced a speaker. 

Seat's, well quality is way down there.  On 3rd seat on the 19 CVO, they wear miserably and at 11,000 mikes look much worse than the seat on my 13 CVO with 3 times the miles on it.

The list goes on.  I have had shifter levers replaced on last two bikes, finish coming off.  Fork legs replaced on this bike, finish coming off.  Don't forget the speedometer replacements on last four bikes. 

When Harley learns they have an issue, to fix it and reduce warranty cost they make the tolerances looser.  Make more crank run out ok.  In case of rotor on the 19 first two set once 5 thousands run out warranty replaced them.  Now for the last two sets its 8 thousandths. 

We, the loyal customer are to blame.  We accept it and buy another one.  Yet if your car or truck was like this, you would buy a different brand next time.

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WildClyde

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2021, 12:07:09 PM »

Quote
You are counting them?  After they did away with the hydraulic clutch, I think they should consider the old reliable kick start instead of those newfangled battery reliant expensive electric start thingys.

isky, you continue to be my hero in telling it like it is. I always look forward to your posts.

PS: I asked a friend of mine who is a long time motorcycle police officer about reverting to a cable clutch. In a word, he said "NO". Not if he has to pull a clutch 100s of times during a shift, especially as a training officer. Harley didn't ask him for feedback.   :(
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iski

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2021, 02:39:46 PM »

isky, you continue to be my hero in telling it like it is. I always look forward to your posts.

PS: I asked a friend of mine who is a long time motorcycle police officer about reverting to a cable clutch. In a word, he said "NO". Not if he has to pull a clutch 100s of times during a shift, especially as a training officer. Harley didn't ask him for feedback.   :(

 ;D

Thx.

Harley is doing a U-Turn instead of going forward.  Actually may not be a bad thing in some ways since the Forward Direction they have been heading is over the Buy Out Cliff. 

Reverting to a cable clutch just seems like a dumb move.  For the good reason you stated WildCycle.  Am willing to bet that at least one planning meeting somebody (probably with a neck beard) with a book of pics of old Harley bikes has said - "Say that old PanHead looked kinda cool. Can we make a motor that looks like that for a new retro bike?"
« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 04:34:31 PM by iski »
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Twolanerider

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2021, 05:13:06 PM »

Actually....  if "retro" modernity is what it would take to be a bridge or lifeline to some refreshed interest Iski's approach could be a way.  Just to see if they could actually pull it off I'd be curious enough to go look at a correctly proportioned and well designed "modern Panhead" or "Power-Knuckle" or the "Pan 124" or whatevder else such a thing might get called.  If harking back to one's heritage is what it takes their half-baked approaches at doing it only fall short.  They need to do well, modernized tech in the truly retro look.  A "new" 65 FL with the two tones of the era that was a competitively modern bike is something that would attract press and commericial interest (I think....). 

Do that well and it's maybe a focal point to attract at least the sniffs of an audience that wasn't looking before.
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Eqcons

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2021, 11:03:03 AM »

I’m not pretending to be a business turn around expert, but I’m pretty sure a purple $44,099 Ultra isn’t the way...

WHS.  Particularly when it's yet another year with items removed and others cheapened from the previous year.
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iski

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2021, 01:15:08 PM »

Actually....  if "retro" modernity is what it would take to be a bridge or lifeline to some refreshed interest Iski's approach could be a way.  Just to see if they could actually pull it off I'd be curious enough to go look at a correctly proportioned and well designed "modern Panhead" or "Power-Knuckle" or the "Pan 124" or whatevder else such a thing might get called.  If harking back to one's heritage is what it takes their half-baked approaches at doing it only fall short.  They need to do well, modernized tech in the truly retro look.  A "new" 65 FL with the two tones of the era that was a competitively modern bike is something that would attract press and commericial interest (I think....). 

Do that well and it's maybe a focal point to attract at least the sniffs of an audience that wasn't looking before.

A "Re-creation bike" is not a bad idea.  Retro paint, seat, fenders, etc. except use a modern suspension, motor, lights, etc.  The V engine has been the heart of soul of Harleys for years - a cosmetic reproduction of a 50s or 60s era Panhead (or pick another era) would sell, but the market would likely be limited. Indian gave a nod to their past with their engine, just not a fan of their overall look still.  But those old post WWII Indians...cool.  I digressed, as usual.
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Yellow09SERG

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2021, 06:10:38 PM »

Well if reading all of this doesn't make you want to go out and buy stock what would? It's that the market they are in now? Building stock and not motorcycles?
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spook120

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2021, 06:39:22 PM »

Stock was up again today after taking a bite the other day. Just as an aside I can buy a leftover 2020 SG CVO for 35k. Dealers aren't so arrogant now days.  Little wonder why...
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Ironhorse

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2021, 08:37:32 AM »

A "Re-creation bike" is not a bad idea.  Retro paint, seat, fenders, etc. except use a modern suspension, motor, lights, etc.  The V engine has been the heart of soul of Harleys for years - a cosmetic reproduction of a 50s or 60s era Panhead (or pick another era) would sell, but the market would likely be limited. Indian gave a nod to their past with their engine, just not a fan of their overall look still.  But those old post WWII Indians...cool.  I digressed, as usual.

But why should/would HD do that when they know we'll do it for them. 

If I'm not mistaken some parts books carry stuff to make the  Road King look even more "Retro". There are antique looking conversion parts for Rocker Box Tops, Horns, Air Cleaners, and "Flex" looking exhaust pipes.  You can swap out the locking hard bags for saggy fringe bags.  Add half moon floorboards, white rubber grips, a white buddy saddle and wide white wall tires and Elvis may come back from the grave to ride it.

It's difficult to go "Full Retro" on a production bike.  Kawasaki and Honda did bikes that paid "Homage" to the Z1900 and CB1000, but aside from paint and gauges, they are totally different bikes in everyway.  Even the Big 3 have done the same with the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger.  They resemble the old cars, but that's about it.

Like you said it's a limited market.
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iski

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2021, 09:01:40 AM »

But why should/would HD do that when they know we'll do it for them. 

If I'm not mistaken some parts books carry stuff to make the  Road King look even more "Retro". There are antique looking conversion parts for Rocker Box Tops, Horns, Air Cleaners, and "Flex" looking exhaust pipes.  You can swap out the locking hard bags for saggy fringe bags.  Add half moon floorboards, white rubber grips, a white buddy saddle and wide white wall tires and Elvis may come back from the grave to ride it.

It's difficult to go "Full Retro" on a production bike.  Kawasaki and Honda did bikes that paid "Homage" to the Z1900 and CB1000, but aside from paint and gauges, they are totally different bikes in everyway.  Even the Big 3 have done the same with the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger.  They resemble the old cars, but that's about it.

Like you said it's a limited market.

Yes there are sources for all sorts of old/retro stuff for bikes already.  Several years ago a friend did a Heritage retro look, turned ok ok and have seen some Springers done retro as well.  My first Harley was a 2002 RK Classic & I spent quite a bit to make it shinier & faster. I liked the older "look".  As you say, they are totally different bikes/cars but they have a "look".

No idea if Harley would try this.  They are certainly not shrunk to the level of a niche company but their problem remains: younger generations are not buying motorcycles in anywhere close to the numbers compared to the Baby Boomers.  Cultural shift, too many reasons to list here but one key is lower disposable income vs cost of toys & the type of toys the younger people want.

Maybe it's just me but when I look at the older Harleys 90's & back - it seems to me that the styling was better in some ways than today.  I am an old curmudgeon - I like lots of the older paint sets better than the newer ones, like the "look" of a lot of the earlier CVOS better than what I see now.  Obviously I am not the current target market for a lot of Harley's 2 wheeled product. 

Nostalgia still sells, but the Boomers did not sell it to the generations that followed when it came to motorcycles.  My parents did not ride but that did not stop me from wanting to (they tried).  I rode mini bikes & dirt bikes & when I could afford it - teen years with a job - I started buying bikes.  Do not see that much today - kids around here don't have bikes. One exception is a neighbor who let's his son ride a mini bike.

If Harley tried a "new" retro bike old codgers like me would smile & maybe some of us would buy one.  Not enough numbers to turn the company around, and I truly hope Harley finds a way to do that.
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BigLock

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Re: Turn around plan
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2021, 09:45:59 AM »

The mothership I guess is still looking for the next Willie G. If so they may need to look for someone who grew up in the MC riding life style.
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