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Author Topic: Harley-Davidson Has a Big Problem and It's Not Trump. It's That Its Motorcycles  (Read 2024 times)

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DesertHOG

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This mentality might help explain some things:
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/harley-davidson-has-a-big-problem-and-its-not-trump-its-that-its-motorcycles-dont-fall-apart-fast-enough/ar-BBNPx3w?li=BBnbfcL

Hard to wear them out the way most people ride. They hardly use them at all. If you ride them, they will break down on you more often then you would like. Anyone who reads the message threads on this site can attest to that.

There was a recent article in the WSJ that talked about the "Glut of Used Harleys" on the market being a drag on new sales as well.

DH
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2002FXDWG3

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That's it.  WSJ says they're too reliable and owners say they're too unreliable.
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iski

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From that WSJ article:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-glut-of-used-hogs-is-a-drag-on-harley-davidson-1538391600

A Glut of Used Hogs Is a Drag on Harley Davidson

Harley-Davidson Inc. HOG 0.67%▲ is facing a particularly tough competitor for new riders: its own used motorcycles.
Three used Harleys are sold in the U.S. for every new one. A decade ago, it was the other way around. New motorcycle sales in the U.S. are down by half from a 2006 peak, while used sales are up 13%.

Milwaukee-based Harley in 2018 is heading for its fourth straight year of declining sales as the company’s core older customers scale back purchases while younger riders fail to pick up the slack. A glut of used Harley-Davidsons has emerged after years of strong sales growth and production volumes, and offers a variety of choices for those unwilling to splurge on pricey new models.
 
“It comes down to price, always,” said Jim McMahan, co-owner of a Harley dealership in Greensburg, Pa. “There are people who just don’t want to spend $18,000 to $25,000 on a new motorcycle.” Used Harleys in good condition can cost less than $15,000, dealers say.
Harley wants to reverse its sales slump by drawing new riders with 16 middleweight bikes it plans to roll out by 2022. Among them will be the company’s first electric model, debuting next year.
Harley hasn’t released prices for the new bikes, but dealers expect many of the models will be cheaper than the big bikes that make up the core of the current lineup. Offering more motorcycle choices at lower prices could lure younger riders to the Harley brand for the first time and help offset slumping sales of traditional models.

Heather Malenshek, Harley’s vice president of marketing, said used Hogs aren’t the company’s biggest problem. “The greatest challenge is to bring younger people into the sport,” she said. “Our used motorcycle base is a great way to get them in.”
But some Harley fans—including one Harley salesman—say the price of a new Harley deterred them from buying one. John Call, 31 years old, has sold Harleys at a dealership outside of Cleveland since 2016. In buying his first Hog last year, he chose a used 2009 Dyna Fat Bob for just under $10,000.

“A new Harley isn’t really practical for me,” he said. “I’ve got a growing family.”
Harley-Davidson motorcycles tend to have long lives. They don’t wear out easily or go out of style quickly and owners tend to take care of them, making the bikes appealing in the used-motorcycle market.

Harley has struggled to lessen its reliance on baby boomers, whose growing discretionary income and passion for hobbies including motorcycle riding brought the company back from the brink of bankruptcy in the early 1980s. Now, those riders are aging and buying motorcycles less frequently. But younger riders often can’t afford as many bikes as their parents or don’t see themselves living the Harley free-spirit lifestyle.
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iski

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Cont.~

In response, the company is pursuing younger people who don’t fit the profile of a typical Harley fan: male and clad in a black T-shirt and leather vest. On Monday, Harley said it would start selling its popular branded apparel through Amazon.com Inc. Currently, Harley apparel is sold through the company’s website or at dealerships.

Two of Harley’s new models will be dual-purpose bikes for riding on both paved and unpaved roads, a motorcycle category that is growing in popularity in the U.S. Nine will be sports bikes with racing-style body features and seating to reduce wind drag. Harley doesn’t currently compete in either of these categories.

Some dealers said they doubt customers for those kinds of bikes will one day trade up for a new, expensive Hog. Ms. Malenshek acknowledged some might not, but said Harley also needs to accommodate riders who aren’t interested in its traditional models.
“The point of all of this is bringing new customers into the brand that weren’t there before,” she said. “They don’t all want to be in the lifestyle. You can have Harley on your terms.”

The new models are also designed to attract riders overseas, where Harley wants to generate half its sales a decade from now, up from about 39% currently. Harley in June said it would shift production of motorcycles bound for Europe out of the U.S., after the European Union imposed what would have amounted to a roughly $2,200 tariff on each Hog imported from the U.S.

President Trump and unions representing Harley workers said Harley was using the trade fight to justify existing plans to move production overseas. Harley said that assertion was false.

Many foreign markets are dominated by Harley’s competitors. Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries , Suzuki Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. make popular utilitarian bikes, while Germany’s BMW AG and Italy’s Ducati, owned by Volkswagen AG , make higher-priced models.
Harley faces those same competitors in the U.S., too, along with a resurgent U.S-based competitor in Indian Motorcycles, owned by Polaris Industries Inc.

Harley still accounts for about half of sales of U.S. motorcycles built for riding on highways. That share has held steady in recent years even as its own sales stalled because the market for new motorcycles overall has shrunk since the 2008-2009 recession.
And some riders of used Harleys do eventually buy a new one. Sarah Pellatiro of New Kensington, Pa., bought a new Harley Sportster this year for just under $12,000 after riding a used version for three years. Ms. Pellatiro said she chose the middleweight bike over a larger, more expensive model because she was confident she could handle it in traffic after gaining experience with a used Sportster.
“I got that bike right when I was still learning how to ride,” said the 32-year-old photographer and silversmith. “I don’t think I’ll ever ride any brand other than Harley from here on.”
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charles05663

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I corrected the headline:
Harley-Davidson Has a Big Problem and It's Not Trump. It's That Its Motorcycles Don't Fall Apart Fast Enough Are't Reliable Enough

You can see the company spin in the original headline.  Or maybe, they are intentionally making them fall apart.

:oops: :nixweiss:
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If you ride much they fall apart a lot. Just got of the phone with Harley customer service asking why they can't build a speedometer that does not leak and why they will only replace it once. And they replace it with the same junk. No real answer but did give me a case number and wants the dealer to call when I go in this Thursday. I'll keep you posted
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DesertHOG

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If you ride much they fall apart a lot. Just got of the phone with Harley customer service asking why they can't build a speedometer that does not leak and why they will only replace it once. And they replace it with the same junk. No real answer but did give me a case number and wants the dealer to call when I go in this Thursday. I'll keep you posted

Even an accurate speedometer would be appreciated.
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iski

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Another way to say it is - Harley customers fix their bikes to get them running right, when they don't always come that way from the factory. Understandably after all that time, effort, & money many used Harley owners are reluctant to sell.

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2002FXDWG3

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Very true.
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Biga1680

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Harley’s problem there bikes are to reliable
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2018, 12:58:59 PM »

  Article is kinda funny, wouldn’t be what I would say is there problem.https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/harley-davidson-apos-big-problem-100937888.html
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Ironhorse

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Re: Harley’s problem there bikes are to reliable
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2018, 04:41:40 PM »

There's sumpin' wrong with that article. Just sayin,....
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RivRaptor

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These articles are interesting, just the other day had a conversation with a buddy about used bikes becoming a problem for Harley in the future.  With most new sales involving a (trade or sell) a used bike is created.  Some sales are brand new riders but not so on bigger & upper end bikes.  Then factor in price, quality, aging out riders (many of who have multiple bikes) and competition....the future should be interesting!  Oh and I bet the Dealers are going to LOVE Harley selling on Amazon!
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 05:31:56 PM by RivRaptor »
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ultrafxr

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I’d hate to be a highly leveraged Harley dealer nowadays. The bloom is definitely off the rose.


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« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 08:09:52 AM by ultrafxr »
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2002FXDWG3

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Clean, low mileage used bikes have value and a decent market, no different than used cars.  It's a bit of a catch 22.  If they don't hold their value to a certain extent a lot of buyers wouldn't have bought them in the first place.
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