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Old 03-10-2018, 01:13 PM   #81
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

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There were better choices at the time

You were only 13 years old in 1976? Dreamer LOL

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Old 03-10-2018, 01:23 PM   #82
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

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You were only 13 years old in 1976? Dreamer LOL

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Old 03-10-2018, 03:44 PM   #83
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

... and I thought you guys would be talking about the tariff impact on HD that the finance geeks are worried about...
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:21 AM   #84
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

someone said this earlier...

"If someone was to give my nephew who just graduated college $20k he would probably go back to Europe for another year rather than buy a bike and that's okay."

I think this is where HD is finally getting it right with their summer internship program. My generation (yes I am a Millennial...it is not a dirty word) generally cares more about experiences than THINGS. We have debt out the wazoo from college, so we can't afford to collect THINGS when we have to be paying off student loans. However, if motorcycling is marketed as an experience, the same way vacations are, I bet you'd see a lot more young motorcycle riders.

The RV industry is growing thanks in part to younger generations using it as a less expensive way to have family vacations year after year. And millennials travel/vaca 30% more than previous generations. Traveling is viewed as a lifestyle and not just a treat. Motorcycle manufacturers need to tap into this big time.

And that is what HD is doing with their summer internship. "Ride a harley across the country and tell everyone about it." I think it is a great move.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:20 AM   #85
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

^

The above is a well written and accurate post

About the debt due to college thing. The next thing just over the horizon is this: the reason for going to college that it is for "having a degree to be successful" thing is already begun to roll back. Colleges in general trade on brand more than output. College/University acceptance in the middle of last century was a significant family event because it was an event to get a degree. Now everybody goes, in debt, and for degrees that have little job place relevance. Mike Rowe is a cultural leader in the push away from college campuses for college sake and toward trade craft.

Back in southern Connecticut where I'm from the monied mansion class (we weren't in it) finds it almost impossible to sell their McMansions to the emerging generation for the very reason in the post above: the culture just does not see the point in dumping piles of cash into a fixed object that will require even more money - they'd rather pile into a car and go hike Yosemite or go to Burning Man or backpack South America. And post about it on social media.

Less college and housing debt for up and coming generations and more money for a Heritage Classic?

The one miss bet that Harley Davidson is making is new generations of buyers may buy into the motorcycles for experiences thing BUT bypass their expensive niche marketed bikes (leather vests, club patches, get back whips, formation riding, after market pipes for accountants with tiny Richards) and go for the "cheaper RV" of motorcycles. Motorcycle sales to this generation won't be for GS Adventures and Harleys and if it is significant will be towards bikes well below the current price points.

And please please please Harley Davidson, don't promise anyone that they too can grow up to be a Road Captain.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:23 AM   #86
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

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Originally Posted by t-cab12 View Post
someone said this earlier...

The RV industry is growing thanks in part to younger generations using it as a less expensive way to have family vacations year after year. And millennials travel/vaca 30% more than previous generations. Traveling is viewed as a lifestyle and not just a treat. Motorcycle manufacturers need to tap into this big time.
I do not consider RVing cheap. If you are comparing a new RV to new Harleys and total $$$ expended, RVs are more expensive. Yes, I know a small "cheapest price leader on the lot" might be advertised on TV at $14k, but that is junk quality and easily seen in comparisons around the lot. A mid-quality trailer will be over $20k easy. Add to that a truck large enough to pull it, horrible gas mileage, rapid depreciation of RV, the time it sits, and the fact momma will want full hookups for convenience/comfort factors - you have no cost savings over other vacations.

We have RV'd a lot. In the long-run it is cheaper to motel it. However, you miss out on the camping "lifestyle" experience, but you do pay for the experience.

I do understand the concept of "the entire family" can enjoy an RV. Something that is not possible for any motorcycle regardless of brand.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:34 AM   #87
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

You're absolutely right. When you add it all up and amortize everything, RVing isn't a bit cheaper. And neither is motorcycling. They're lifestyle choices.

But shhh, don't tell.
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:44 PM   #88
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

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You're absolutely right. When you add it all up and amortize everything, RVing isn't a bit cheaper. And neither is motorcycling. They're lifestyle choices.

But shhh, don't tell.
well exactly! They are lifestyle choices! and the lifestyle HD is marketing doesn't mesh with Millennials and younger. It needs to be less about rumble and more about the roads you are going to be on. "see the world, get there on a Harley." I think their "all for freedom, freedom for all" is cool but maybe a little too military-esque.

Honda's newest commercial (not even on youtube yet or i'd post it) really hit the spot for me. Invoked spirit of adventure, spontaneity, etc...but I don't want a Honda...I want a Harley lol

someone else mentioned earlier that HD is more successful because of all the merchandise they sell. Good for them! Other than MX, you don't see people walking around with Yamaha shirts everywhere you go.
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Old 05-09-2018, 04:12 PM   #89
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

As consumers we're pretty bad about being swayed by marketing tag lines and paying way too much for motorcycles, educations and ice chests is just the tip of that iceberg. That's not to say that college debt is all bad if you selected a course of training that pays for itself. Many folks don't, though, and I'd be surprised if most incoming college freshmen know what a BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook is, much less are using one to select a profession and school.

And the trades have been alive and well all along. There are guys that I can think of on TWT that are skilled artisans and fabricators. A couple of guys I went to high school with went into the trades and now own their own businesses. The folks that just went to work and never kept their training relevant, if they trained at all, are the one who are struggling.

A few years ago I parked the bike to get an MBA. I paid one tenth of what I would have paid at Wharton - if I could have gotten accepted, LOL. My niece is becoming a physical therapist and between grants and scholarships has a full boat. So value educations are out there.

The only other notes I'd make is that HD apparel, parts, and licensing makes up about 5% of their total revenue, or at least it did a couple of years ago. They won't make it on doo rags alone. Polaris on the other hand was closer to 40% (KLIM) and Honda makes more money in financing cars than they did on motorcycle/power sports. Finally Yamaha has a big presence in MotoGP. Bunch of blue Yamaha 46 jerseys and young people with Yamaha tattoos in the weirdest places.

HD may have an identity conflict with the next generation of riders. Fortunately there are a bunch of bright young people to sort that out. It will be interesting to follow.

m
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:43 PM   #90
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

^

Another good post
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:53 PM   #91
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

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Mancuso on 290 used to have one of those Rotax powered bikes up above the parts counter several years ago. Didn't know they were still making them.
they still have it.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:54 PM   #92
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Re: Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

I'm always amused by Harley discussions, whether they're on Facebook, motorcycle forums, or in real life over a beer. Most who bash the brand have never owned one. The die hard owners who drink the Kool-aid believe those who ride anything else aren't real bikers.

I'm somewhere in between as I used to make fun of Harleys and the people who dress up like pirates before I owned one. And it was a real touring Harley with hard bags!

It was one of my favorite bikes and in my opinion one of the best looking bikes I've had. I didn't mind it was slow and heavy; it was easy to ride and I was enjoying myself. I was constantly getting compliments about it, more than any of my previous bikes combined.

In the end I missed something with a bit more power and ground clearance. When the kids are older and there's more garage space I'd love have another one parked next to a sporty bike.

When I was Harley shopping, I didn't even consider the metric brands because they're not Harleys. There's a reason they demand a premium and hold their values so well. Like them or hate them, what's good for Harley is good for America and all motorcyclists.
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