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Harley to close assembly plant in Kansas City

Joined
Nov 20, 2012
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1,216
Location
Dallas
Joe Namath....

This guy right???
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BCWvH2ISyI"]Joe Namath pantyhose - YouTube[/ame]
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
970
Location
Weatherford
Cadillac had a lot of help from the cross platform compatibility as well as the marketing blitz. Putting their latest gen ATS cars on the same platform that your average Cruze is based from and selling it for 65,000 goes a long way to making a turn around. HD doesn't have the luxury, aside from putting chrome spoke wheels on a leather couch and calling it an FLHC and trying to sell it for more than any other market bikes... You think they would have learned something after not being able to sustain EBR (which probably had a better business model than HD had for it's own bikes)...
You mean my ATS is really a Cruze? :doh:
 

woodsguy

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Aug 15, 2006
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Huntsville
^- This.

Fewer and fewer kids play outside these days. They don't learn to ride bicycles. Motorcycles seem too skeery for many young men raised on soy milk, xbox, and surveillance camera nannies.

Plus, the teenagers who watched Joe Namath and Peter Fonda ride Harley's in the 1970's at the drive-in theater are now too old to ride.

N8IVEnH.png
Nailed it on the young-us.
 

TX_northstar

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May 9, 2008
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641
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Denton County, TX
I wonder if these were the "brand ambassadors" we saw on stage when my daughter and I regretfully rode through one Saturday? http://www.americaneaglehd.com/--american-girls
If this is the norm for all dealerships, then they may have already missed the boat on millennials and next-y's. They (M&N's) already have less disposable income, and they tend to favor friendly, socially conscience, and stylish brands. I work at a university primarily for women, and although not typical for university populations, this campus is well represented with scooters, groms, and more recently small ninjas and cbr's (even an odd bonnevile, but that may belong to a prof). Not to mention tons cheap & really expensive bicycles. There is interest in two-wheels by today's "kids".
I hope they can figure this out. I'm 48, and I may not be able to swing my leg over this strom forever. 10 years from now, I want as many choices as possible, and this will require all mfg's to figure out how to keep the doors open with these generations.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
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At the back of the pack and out of the dust
There was a Grom pulling into the parking lot across from the MD Anderson research building this morning as I left the gym. Among the several bikes there, all seem more orientated towards transportation- scooters, small dual sports, etc.

I had a poster of Captain America on the wall along with a half dozen others. Being a third generation motorcyclist, I grew up in a garage along with AJS, BSAs, Triumps, Hondas, Benellis, Ducatis and my uncle Doyle's K model. Dad drag raced out of Dalio's shop and the big dog in the neighborhood in those days was the latest Triumph built by Jack Wilson. Maybe I was jaded listening to dad complain about how HD influenced the AMA rules to keep obsolete bikes competitive, but neither movies or HD defined motorcycling or personal identity for me. HD was just another brand, and one that didn't make a decent dirt bike, which is all I cared about as a teenager. Now the 250 Elsinore, that was something special.

Two acquaintances of mine returned from their tours in Iraq to buy Buells. Both kept them for six months before trading them in on Gixers. The kids these days...
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2016
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1,092
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Euless
Just imagine if Harley had diversified their product line.

There is no valid reason they couldn't build a KLR 650ish bike.
They do

http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/model/h-d/harley_davidson_mt_350e_army_bik.htm

HD is doing what it has always done when markets are tight (remember Buell, axed in the economic downturn of 2008). They also eliminated 2 lines of bikes, more to come? Any company with half a brain is going to make changes when it's required, the ones that don't are the bankrupt ones :eek2:
 

Texasrider58

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Feb 1, 2016
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Mineral Wells
Read today that Harley invested in Alta Motors. They are into electric mx, Mxr, supermoto, and a new enduro coming out also from what I read. Wonder where they are going with that ?
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
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Frisco, TX
Read today that Harley invested in Alta Motors. They are into electric mx, Mxr, supermoto, and a new enduro coming out also from what I read. Wonder where they are going with that ?


I don’t know, but it’s going to take somebody with big money to get that tech to a point where it’s a suitable and affordable alternative to internal combustion. I don’t know if HD is that company or not, but I sure hope they are.
 
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Oct 25, 2010
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HUNT COUNTY
They've Almost got the range. What really needs to be worked out is charging time.

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Joined
Oct 25, 2010
Messages
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HUNT COUNTY
And charging infrastructure.
True. The stations exist as gas stations but we'd have to get a lot of companies onboard and get some heavy duty electrical service into each one.

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Joined
Oct 27, 2008
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They've Almost got the range. What really needs to be worked out is charging time.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk


I could handle long charging times with a 150 highway mile range. I really think the practical aspects (weight, power, range, and charging time) will get to an acceptable level for the market long before cost does. I just they can sell enough between now and the. To convince them it’s worth the trouble.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
18
Location
Houston
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.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
8,805
Location
Cibolo, Texas
^

The above is a well written and accurate post :sun:

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. :lol2:
 

h2000fb

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Nov 21, 2006
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Crawford, TX
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.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
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Arlington
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. :-P
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
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Houston
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. :-P
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.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
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At the back of the pack and out of the dust
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
 
Joined
May 2, 2004
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1,564
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Great State of Texas
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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