harley worries about brand as its bik...

harley worries about brand as its bike sales sputter

There are 28 comments on the Monterey County Herald story from Sep 26, 2008, titled harley worries about brand as its bike sales sputter. In it, Monterey County Herald reports that:

Owning a chromed or custom Harley-Davidson is "not about transportation; it's about an experience," says the company's chief executive, James L. Ziemer.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Monterey County Herald.

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Likes Life

Los Angeles, CA

#1 Sep 26, 2008
Harley's are for old, deaf guys who are trying to feel young again. Their "sound of thunder" is not only old fashioned, but a hazard for others on the highway. Since so many of these riders like to travel the country roads, they have ruined the country, even for other people who like to ride the country roads, by making the countryside sound just like the city. There ought to be a law against loud bikes, oh, wait, there is, but Harley bike riders think they don't have to follow the law and make their bikes louder. Thanks Harley guys, for being so considerate of the other people on the planet!

Since: Jul 08

United States

#2 Sep 26, 2008
Likes Life wrote:
Harley's are for old, deaf guys who are trying to feel young again. Their "sound of thunder" is not only old fashioned, but a hazard for others on the highway. Since so many of these riders like to travel the country roads, they have ruined the country, even for other people who like to ride the country roads, by making the countryside sound just like the city. There ought to be a law against loud bikes, oh, wait, there is, but Harley bike riders think they don't have to follow the law and make their bikes louder. Thanks Harley guys, for being so considerate of the other people on the planet!
I get tired of saying this again and again. Not just HD's have loud pipes. I own a V-Rod and have the stock pipes which are very quiet. I have ridden with owners of Honda's, Yamaha's, Suzuki's, etc (and HD) with loud pipes.. You are obviously not a motorcycle rider, and hear a loud motorcycle and say "f***ing Harley Davidson riders. I imagine you as one of those inconsiderate cagers that talk on your cell phone and try to run us motorcycle riders off the road. Go Troll somewhere else... Please.
Irover

United States

#3 Sep 26, 2008
Thats right, put your head in the sand or maybe up your a** and ignore that your
customer base is aging out, that you have a great product in buell that you have
done nothing to promote (most sport bikers wouldn't get caught dead in a Harley
"Store", and keep building over-weight, overheating, over priced "customer experience". The generational shift is here and leaving Harley behind.
DynaJohn

United States

#4 Sep 27, 2008
As a long time rider of HD's products, the writing was on the wall well ahead of time. The motor company has a fine product in the XR1200 but has opted for European release only. I am sure they have some marketing professionals who have re-examined this decision in light of the current gas prices and economic downturn, and will be looking at ways to bring more high mpg bikes to market. The Buell Blast gets 60-70 mpg but is saddled with a tiny frame and wheels, but put that engine in a rubber mount Sportster type frame, and offer it with extended forward controls for taller riders, and mid pegs and a low seat for shorter riders and women riders, and they can compete with scooter sales with 60-70 mpg. Who would want a plastic scooter, when they can have American Steel, that will still be worth something in 2 or 3 years!
DynaJohn

United States

#5 Sep 27, 2008
As a long time rider of HD's products, the writing was on the wall well ahead of time. The motor company has a fine product in the XR1200 but has opted for European release only. I am sure they have some marketing professionals who have re-examined this decision in light of the current gas prices and economic downturn, and will be looking at ways to bring more high mpg bikes to market. The Buell Blast gets 60-70 mpg but is saddled with a tiny frame and wheels, but put that engine in a rubber mount Sportster type frame, and offer it with extended forward controls for taller riders, and mid pegs and a low seat for shorter riders and women riders, and they can compete with scooter sales with 60-70 mpg. Who would want a plastic scooter, when they can have American Steel, that will still be worth something in 2 or 3 years!
jc of nor cal

United States

#7 Sep 30, 2008
Likes Life wrote:
Harley's are for old, deaf guys who are trying to feel young again. Their "sound of thunder" is not only old fashioned, but a hazard for others on the highway. Since so many of these riders like to travel the country roads, they have ruined the country, even for other people who like to ride the country roads, by making the countryside sound just like the city. There ought to be a law against loud bikes, oh, wait, there is, but Harley bike riders think they don't have to follow the law and make their bikes louder. Thanks Harley guys, for being so considerate of the other people on the planet!
if you look at statistics you idiots on rice rockets who fly up and down are roads have more accidents than the bikes with load pipes cause you are hauling ass and we dont see nor here you but yet louder bikes people are more aware of and we dont usaully ride willies down the freeways at 80 mph and do stupid crap like you guys.Ive road alot of bikes over the years and I've had fewer close calls on a harley because because are a little louder and people are more aware that your around so look at statistics bh
Old Deaf Guy writes

Point Pleasant Beach, NJ

#8 Sep 30, 2008
Likes Life wrote:
Harley's are for old, deaf guys who are trying to feel young again.
Thanks Harley guys, for being so considerate of the other people on the planet!
Dear Likes Life,
It appears you do like life... because I am sure you wouldn't go face to face with one of those old deaf guys so they could read your lips of that of which you just wrote.
I can tell you that I do not consider YOU any better of a benefit to mandkind.
Now - let me go back and "shine my pipes"
Grrr Grrr
HD lover

Warsaw, IL

#9 Sep 30, 2008
Irover wrote:
Thats right, put your head in the sand or maybe up your a** and ignore that your
customer base is aging out, that you have a great product in buell that you have
done nothing to promote (most sport bikers wouldn't get caught dead in a Harley
"Store", and keep building over-weight, overheating, over priced "customer experience". The generational shift is here and leaving Harley behind.
With 48% of the total market share in the USA many others have a different opinion that yours. Numbers speak BS is weak...puney boy.
Not So Deaf Yet

Winchester, KY

#10 Oct 1, 2008
The people who complain more about Harleys than anyone else are the ones who want to buy one but can't afford it. So they settle for a foreign bike and try to dress it up like a Harley. As a longtime Harley rider, I have no issue with you buying a knockoff, but then don't trash the real bikers who ride Harleys. Maybe when you grow up, you too can afford a real bike. In the meantime, stay on the porch and cover your ears if you can't run with the big dogs.
Cagebender

Toronto, Canada

#11 Oct 2, 2008
Harleys rule.People respect them.People buy Harleys for the same reason they would buy a real Colt instead of an Italian Repro.Call it Romantic attachment or nostalgia, but I feel genuinely American when I ride mine. Cold you look a Veteran of Iwo-Jima and tell him he fought so you could ride a Japanese Bike.You can ride what you want but for me Im funny that way.I love my country and would fight for it again<Vietnam class of 68>.
Irover

Port Norris, NJ

#13 Oct 3, 2008
Cagebender, I also served in Nam, what has that
got to do with it ?? If you love the USA so much
why live in CANADA ?? By the way your harley has
a great deal of its parts made in Japan & China,
ever been to a harley plant and seen all of the
shipping containers with Japanese labels, LOL
Likes Life

Garden Valley, CA

#14 Oct 19, 2008
Not So Deaf Yet wrote:
The people who complain more about Harleys than anyone else are the ones who want to buy one but can't afford it. Maybe when you grow up, you too can afford a real bike. In the meantime, stay on the porch and cover your ears if you can't run with the big dogs.
In fact, as a woman who lives in the country, where I moved to get away from the noise of the city, I have to put my hands over my ears whenever I sit on my porch because of the noise of the many motorcycles. More and more every year. As far as I know, it is only HD who uses noise as a selling point, with their own "Sound of Thunder" tag line. I understand it's not a problem for you actual bike riders because you've already lost your hearing from spending so much time around loud bikes. I would like to keep my hearing, and keep the country quiet so I can hear the sounds of nature, which should not be drowned out by motorcycles.
Irover

Glenmoore, PA

#15 Dec 18, 2008
To all those who think that those who complain about the Motor Company don't own or ride a harley, WRONG. I have two, a restored 1951 and a 04 sporty,rode along with HOG for a few years and almost got sucked into the peer pressure to "trade up" my sporty for a "Big Twin" hotbox..... Glad I did myhome work and didnt get stuck with a bike that overheats stock, requires significant additional investment to ride, and in the summer shuts down part of the engine a stop. LOL Oh, and by the way,is worth 50% of what I paid for it once it leaves the stealership....
Kruzer

Coppell, TX

#16 Dec 18, 2008
I am proud to be American and ride the only true American brand, so what if most of the parts are made in Brazel or Indocheenie or wherever, it's the design that's all American. And anybody that thinks Harleys overheat at stops and parts vibrate loose and they shake like paint mixers well ...they got all that fixed now.You need to ride a new one before you speak.
Capt Don

AOL

#17 Dec 18, 2008
When I grew up, Harleys were police bikes or Ice Cream vendors.In those days- every real rider rode a Triumph, BSA, Norton,(Well off) a Vincent, & some other (now extinct) machines. Triumph (the last survivor) went south when the Japenese bikes came on the scene w/ reliable, fast, good looking machines_ something Triumph shoulda done back then UPGRADE to more moddern technology. They didnt & went under. Now they have re-emerged as a 1 good looking (vintage) & some real NEW modern technology machines of variuus design/ purpose. Their reliability record @ present is better than Honda!
HD became popular when Hells Angels got them by the pound & made loud choppers outa them.They went thru many transitions from a leaky vibrator- to a bowling ball, to bankruptcy. The empoyees bought the co some time back & their reliability got better- "Pride in Ownership", BUT they still made the same old (better reliability) antique, vibrating dinosaurs they always did.A stock HD isnt that loud & shouldnt be, but you can sell the same old shit for just so long. Emmisions have made them turn into space heaters as well.Then came the V-Rod- Engine designed by Porsche, watercooled & a real fast (strait line) bike. I like good handling/ lite weight & good performance in my bike! There is NO HD that will do that! No bike has to be loud enuff to set off car alarms!! HD is in for some real changes soon!
ALL bikes are. States are starting to really crack down on "Noise" & require DOT stamped pipes
if stopped for noise. Its about time! A nice bike deserves to be heard- NOT hated!!
Pig Pen

Olanta, PA

#18 Dec 19, 2008
Harley sells more bikes in the US than any other manufacturer. They must be doing something right. The Japenese make fine motorcycles and if you own one be proud of it, you don't have to knock Harley owners because your envious. Frankly we don't give a damn what you ride as long as you're on two wheels. Thats what it's all about. Instead of listening to all the BS about Harley's, go visit a plant, I think you will be amazed at the technology. Because they don;t look like rocket ships doesn't mean they aren;t technologically advanced. No they don;t leak oil and they vibrate at idle because they are designed to. And they are very quiet with OEM exhaust. I might also add they are very simple to work on if you choose to do your own maintenance. The cliche - If I have to explain you wouldn't understand - is probably appropriate here.
Irover

Vincentown, NJ

#19 Dec 19, 2008
Pig Pen, mind backing up your claim that "Harley sells more bikes in the US than any other manufacturer" ??? Maybe they sell heavyweight touring class, but overall, not a chance!
Pig Pen

Olanta, PA

#20 Dec 19, 2008
Well technically you are correct. Honda sells more bikes if you include dirt bikes etc....Harley's market share is compared to sales of 1250CC and up in which they have approx. 48% of the market. No one else is close. Since this is what they build this is what you have to compare them to. It would be silly to compare sales of Fat Boys to Honda 250 dirt bikes. But having said that if you include the dirt Bikes etc...Honda has about 27% Market share compared to about 24% for Harley, so still not that great a difference. Both are far greater than Yamaha at around 17%.
WHY I OUGHTA

Willimantic, CT

#21 Dec 19, 2008
Irover wrote:
Thats right, put your head in the sand or maybe up your a** and ignore that your
customer base is aging out, that you have a great product in buell that you have
done nothing to promote (most sport bikers wouldn't get caught dead in a Harley
"Store", and keep building over-weight, overheating, over priced "customer experience". The generational shift is here and leaving Harley behind.
Well, just remember this, once your (as you call it) "generation shift" is in full swing, people (um, maybe even veterens) who paved the way for you to ride your state of the(boring)art machines in a free country will be gone. And once they are the sheer number of registered motorcycles in the USA will drop to a level not seen since the 1950's. It's sad how ignorant you are. I doubt you even comprehend what is cleary happening. A little hint, most (not all) young adults today are not interested in motorcyles. Just for the record, I have owned many sport bikes, put 125k on a Gold Wing and now own two Harley Davidson's. By the way,I believe your the one that doesn't get it. Variety is truley the spice of life!
Capt Don

AOL

#22 Dec 19, 2008
Harley makes too many of "essentially the same" bikes. Different trim & other stuff- but too many V-twin/ aircooled bikes.W/ pollution shit- they now have cooling problems. They need to trim down the std V-twin line & go more v rod ish. Will take care of the cooling issues.All bikes have to evolve, HD has been late in the program & its comming back to haunt them! The bikes we know today will be classics real soon! HD has too many of them . 2010 & we will see whats up then! I got my re-born classic that runs sweet! I got it because I knew that ALL bikes today are gonna go by the wayside as we know them & what will be there after??? Its anybodys guess?

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