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Discussion Starter #21
I saw a noon news item on the EV a while ago. My first thought was why does it have a gas tank... Since you don't need gas, why not make it a really useful shape: easier to hang onto with your knees while cornering? Or rectangular and large enough to fit 12 american shitty beer cans in?
The reason they have a plastic faux tank is to tie it in with their brand, yes its completely useless. The more important question I think is why do they think they can charge 30 grand for a bike that is out performed by a bike 2/3rds the price? The Zero SR's top of the line model is 20 gs and has a lot more torque about 50 lbs more then the HD.
 

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I can see them trying to move in the right direction with sport bikes and soon an adventure bike. I fear they are too late and/or the bikes will be noncompetitive on performance and price.

That's kind of the gist of all the recent youtube videos on this same subject. Cost to the consumer. There are other complaints but that one seems to cut to the chase of what consumers see as the biggest issue to them.

Hard to figure how the other makes have evolved and Harley has not. The Buell bikes were ahead of their time and the Ulysses may have been the first adventure bike. So sad HD that killed Buell.
Those things go hand in hand. Harley tried to evolve. When things got tight, and the path to the future was right there, the board of directors went to their comfort zone and hacked all the modernization models off the line up.



That killed the innovation of Buell, and any forward direction the company had found. The reasoning of the board was as I remember "Harley typically has not done well outside of the core models"



Whether that is because the models were technically uninteresting and behind the performance curve or because dealerships were not interested in supporting them is open to debate. I suggest equal parts of each.



One of the major complaints in the youtube videos, aside from cost to the consumer is the arrogance of the dealership network.



The other involves the corporate decisions to abandon the working class buyers who kept the company afloat during their difficult times.



The abject failure in building a younger customer base is a bigger more strategic issue that was recognized a couple of decades ago.



The reason for the abject failure is not appealing to the changing tastes of a generation of younger riders.



The sad irony is, Harley Davidson was once an innovator. A company who raced on Sunday and sold on Monday. Sadly, outside of dirt oval racing, a Harley hasn't won a race in the last 50 years.



Not for lack of trying. Harley commissioned the VR1000 project back in the 90s. Went racing with some moderate success. Problem was, they spent too long in development and by the time the bike hit the track it was 3 or 4 years behind the competition.



Also, rather than build some of those bikes for the US market, Harley made 50 of them available for sale in Poland. Enough for homologation but not a single one for the US. That I think, made the whole exercise an expensive failure.



I'm sure there would have been a buyer for everyone of those 50 race replicas. Maybe more if they weren't sold at some stupidly extravagant price. Which brings us back to the main complaint on the current youtube videos.



No one in their right mind is going to buy a bike, regardless of brand that doesn't deliver bang for the buck. Sure, some will out of brand loyalty but that only works for so long.



$60K for a bike that is slower and less stylish than a "standard" 916 that sold for well under $20K?(the VR1000 I mean) 99.9% of consumers would walk away.



Buell could have been Harley's future consumer base. The brand was well on its way to being just that when Harley pulled the plug. There went that opportunity.



I sincerely hope they make good with the new product line. They are still an iconic brand with a rich history.



I've ridden a few and enjoyed riding them for what they were. However, I'd not spend my hard earned money on one, based on what I got in return.



I'm not wrapped up in the whole individuality through sameness mentality. That however, is another issue for the motor company and a different though related discussion.
 

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Same ownership yes but much better tactics this time around. Instead of going for the modern cruiser look going balls deep on the history, but applying the modern technology.

Building stuff that looks just like a road king but fancier (chrome trim and whatnot) but a completely new engine design, better fueling, more tech integrated, etc.

But also building stuff like this:


With a fully integrated dash and full IMU (meaning full traction control, slide control, wheelie control) for something like $16k.



Thats pretty neat.
 

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I hope they make it. Not everyone does.
I would buy one of the classic looks...
IF
If it was water cooled for the last decade at least...
If it had made the Fatboy into and American Ducati Monster...
It's a Vtwin so I am for it...

Rex
 
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