Harley No Longer King : Company in trouble


Once upon a time, Harley Davidson use to be the mega force in the motorcycle industry. It was always at the top of the list for any respecting biker to want to own. To be in most motorcycle clubs, one had to have a Harley. A biker without a Harley wasn’t considered to be a biker but just some wannabee. All that has now changed. The once-mighty symbol of freedom and image has started to crumble. The company that used to be the king of the road is just a shadow of itself. The company has no one to blame but itself for its fall from grace.

Harley got to be where it was from those hard working blue collar workers, workers that went to work every day and busted ass just to be able to ride and raise hell on the weekends. Since the early 90s when the lifestyle started to change and different people, usually not a part of Harley’s core customers came flocking to the lifestyle, Harley took advantage of this new influx and started to raise prices. This was a serious mistake on Harleys part.Harley started to price out its core customer base and relied on a customer base that wouldn’t stick with the company for long.

In the early 2000’s shows like Biker Build-Off, Orange County Choppers kept Harley riding high. Shows like those brought customers who never considered riding before into the mix. The Chopper craze was in full swing and if you couldn’t afford one of those a Harley was the next best thing. Harley started it’s decline at this point I believe. Harley started to focus not only on raising prices, even more, they started pushing clothing and accessories as a bigger part of the company instead of staying focused on a better bike.

In 2006, most of the reality show started to go off the air and the recession was starting to loom. Those customers Harley relied upon started to get out of the lifestyle. Started selling off those bikes. The used market became saturated with all kinds of makes and models. That saturation continues till today. What happens when the used market becomes saturated with bikes? No one really wants to spend the 25,000 to get a brand new bagger. Shit, no one wants to spend 10,000 on a Sportster. When people don’t buy then production starts to be cut and people at the company get laid off.

Harley was lucky in its marketing. It had a loyal base from the Vietnam era that pushed an idea. If you were not riding a Harley then you were not a REAL biker. Some of that thinking still exist today but not like it use to be. The problem with that thinking is people started saying “If you’re on two wheels, who gives a shit what you’re riding”. I agree fully with that saying by the way. I got to that point when Harley started closing up factories here in the states and gave work to Mexico and India. When they started shipping production overseas the product suffered. Just look at all the recalls that have started just last year. Quality might as well be made if China.

Since the Old Scooter tramps are now moving onto other things in life a new generation has started to come up. That new generation has gravitated towards Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Indian and Victory. Why? Well, it comes down to those companies make a better product then Harley. Most have a better design and most important are way more reliable. No one likes being on the side of the road on a long haul because the ride they are on has design flaws.( Pictured below YAMAHA XV 1900 Midnight Star)

YAMAHAXV1900MIDNIGHTSTAR-783_2

I sometimes found it funny when old timers would say “Yea they might make Hondas in Ohio but the money still goes to Japan”. I would just shake my head and tell them “Well, at least, some of that money is going into a hard working blue collar American who is taking pride building that bike”. Yea that usually shut them up lol. It was even funnier when that same old timer called me a couple weeks later asking for a tow because he and his Harley were on the side of the road. “You were saying about Harley again?”

Don’t think I’m here picking on Harley. I own a 03 Soft tail. I also own a Midnight Star. I usually ride the soft tail around town and the Star on long hauls. My personal preference is the Star rides a lot smoother than the Soft tail and my old ass need all the comfort I can get.

What does this mean for Harley when companies like Honda, Yamaha, Victory start putting out better bikes then them? Simple the market share becomes smaller and smaller for Harley. (See Here). Harley is starting to literally fall apart according to their financials. The only bright spot for Harley has been its 550 and 750 models that mainly sell overseas. While Harley was raising prices and putting out some bad bikes over these past couple years the competition came in and swooped up that blue collar base that Harley turned it’s back

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Do I think Harley will ever get back to it’s original core, customers? If they don’t I think they will be in the same spot they were in the 70’s. They will be facing bankruptcy and this time, won’t have a loyal base to bail them out. Harley miscalculated who would stick by them in the 90s and 00s. They also miscalculated that everyone in the lifestyle just needed to have that Harley to live up to the image. The new Image isn’t about owning a Harley to be a true Biker. The new image is “Just ride” and who gives a crap what you are riding.

 

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251 thoughts on “Harley No Longer King : Company in trouble

  1. The article is pretty much right. They are spending millions on an electric bike too. Regular motercycles are such gas guzzling vehicles as it is!! NOT The ownership is way out of touch with it’s market. I am willing to bet the board ofp directors is loaded with out of touch liberals that have no clue what regular people want.

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    • My 1640cc gas guzzler gets 45 miles to gallon with me and ole lady on it I’ve owned two Harleys and never had a issue never broke down to to your so called poor design maybe you egoism ride a newer Harley before making comments like this yes they did have a lot issues in the 70’s and into the 80’s but not now so that tells me you are talking about things you’ve heard not anything you know about.

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      • My father owns a 2014 Ultra Classic. It has had an electrical problem from the get go, and been in twice for servicing. He speaks the truth

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      • The Army twin cam was a poor design with the cam adjuster set upbreaking in pieces and wasting the engine and now they use cast cranks that are pressed together and do not hold true which will not afford the opurtunity to run a better cam drive setup. I still own my shovel a v-rod and a springer classic. But don’t even try to get those bastards at Harley to stand behind a warranty issue because they will have the police sent to your house saying you threatened them

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      • I own a 2015 Street Glide. It’s my 3rd Harley. First one was a 2006 Nighttrain, it was bulletproof. The new one is comfy, but it’s a piece of sh!t. Had it not quite a year and a half. 21,500 miles. New neck bearing, 2 clutch recalls, rear brake master cylinder, transmission… the warranty work is constant. Sure, I’m not getting a bill for it, but I paid a lot of money for a bike I couldn’t ride for a week and a half while it sat around waiting for a new transmission case to come in. On top of that, the front spark plug wire rubbed a hole in the paint because it makes contact with the paint as routed from the factory. Their QC is crap right now, and their prices are the highest in their segment. So sometime in my near future, I’ll probably be doing some test riding. Someone else can have this turd that breaks all the time.

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      • they dont break down or leak oil so much, but unless you have ridden other bikes you dont know what you are missing. Or care.

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    • Out of touch Liberals….
      A truly stupid statement pulled out of thin air with not basis in fact.
      Lets try this….
      Any statement like this had to come from a presumptuous conservative, with no sense of anything but themselves and their only me mentality.

      Regular people…. I guess any one that dont like you is not regular people???
      That kind of thinking is just sad

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      • Ever notice those who have such bad credit they can’t buy a Harley want everyone else to think they’re terrible. Traded my 2000 Heritage with 97000+ miles with no issues in for a new 2012 ultra. He probably drives a Volt.

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    • You are correct, Harley management are mostly all under the ages of late flurries to early fifties now…they are so far out of touch with the old school bikers its sad!

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  2. I have two bikes that Harley Davidson doesn’t support a 1977 xlcr and a 2008 Buell 1125r
    They have taken a dump on anything that is a couple years old
    Anytime I need parts the common answer from the dealer is trade it in on a new motorcycle

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    • You can’t get most parts for a 77 Honda, Yamaha or Kawasaki either. The difference is you have places like V-Twin MFG and Jireh that offer all parts for vintage motorcycles. Up in Canada there is a parts supplier called Peterson (?sp) that does the same. As for Buell, those were not Harleys they started that way and were heavily modified. It would be like going to your local british bike dealer and looking for BSA parts. Try the parts suppliers listed above.

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      • Buell may have not been Harley’s but Harley owned 51% and when Harley stopped production they stopped pretty much all support and far as my 77 Harley the factory did not support it after 1979

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      • that’s unfortunate and likely a problem with an individual dealer. My parts guys here at the HD dealership regularly get parts of my 86 FXWG and any other vintage Harley I am working on. The do have to use Peterson rather than the motor company but they get me whatever I need.

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    • Your full of it bud…..Harley still has more bikes on the road than any other make….If they are down a little they will bounce right back…..Hell, a lot of other brands sells are way down because of the money crisis the country is end……The economy will not keep HARLEY DAVIDSON down…My buddy that works at Power Sport Motorcycles where they sell Harleys , Victorys , Kawasaki , Triumph says Harley is doing just fine……he said sells are down some but they are doing better than the others…….So go make your sell pitch for who ever you work for in Japan with the rest of the rice burner terds….aka..maddog.

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      • Nice try there “mad dog” (lmao). Hero, and Honda have millions more bikes on the road than HD does. Millions. Ducati, BMW, Motogizi and Aprillia sales are up! You can keep your slow assed inbred American crap. The rest of the world is moving forward. Loser.

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      • My friend. He makes good points. The biggest one is that Harley Davidson isn’t even American anymore. It hasnt been for awhile. All the parts are made over seas. Your Harley is just as much American as the next guys Honda. Sorry man. They got greedy and sold out. I wish it was all made in America. I would be proud to buy one. As it is your just buying from the same places the manufacture Hondas and the like. He’s right on that one. Just look it up. Sit here and say Harley is the best, they aren’t. They sold out man. They sold out.

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      • In 2014, Harley sold a respectable 268,000 bikes worldwide.

        Honda sold an astronomical 15.5 MILLION.

        Each week, Honda sold more motorcycles than Harley sold all year. In fact, in 2014, Honda just about outsold all Harleys EVER sold over the 112 years of the brand. Harley really is a bit player in the world of motorcycle sales. It’s iconic – but it’s sales volume simply is tiny compared to the big boys in the market.

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      • Your so full of #%it I can tell you that maybe in America there is a lot of Harley’s and even then I doubt it. Go anywhere else and the Moto Guzzi rules. A longitudinal v-twin that has been around as long as Harley but never sold out to anyone and still works out of there original factory and still hand assembles their beautiful product. My California is twice the bike my dyna wide glide is. Harley definitely doesn’t rule. They drool. As for parts they’re crazy for the price they want for Harley crap !

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  3. This article is a bunch of bullshit and no facts. I work for Harley and the plants in India and Mexico only produce Harleys for overseas the ones that the blue collars work so hard for here in the USA are still made here. Yes they,are assembled with some cimponents that come from other countries. But the engines transmissions and frames are all made right here. The plain simple fact is that for an example a brake line may came from china but that is because there is no company in the USA that makes them or can supplie the demand for Harleys needs. The new Harleys dont break down like the amf years. The quality that goes into the Harley line cant be matched by other companies and never will. Get your facts straight before you publish such garabage.

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      • No way,I tried a vintage chief,I liked it but it wasent the bike classic road king I bougbought felt the victory influence alot

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      • Bullshit….ugly ass fenders…..and the little hippy fringe…..looks and runs like crap…….and yes I test drove a brand new 2016 and it sucked , the older Indians was much better…

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      • My Chieftain is the most stable, comfortable, reliable, beautiful bike that I have ever owned. The only issue that I have had is the big ass engine putting off a lot of heat. Looks, I believe it is awesome! You have the right to your opinion, but my buddies riding side by side on their Harley’s know what my motorcycle will do. Less than a month and 6500 miles later, I’ll let my experience be my opinion not the blow hard KoolAid of the competition. I love Harley, but my Indian has changed what my favorite brand is. .02 DILLIGAF

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    • Check Google. There are companies that can peoduce components in the US at a competitive proce. It’s just the powers that be at Harley would rather bilk the lawyer biker crowd at a higher profit margin rather than employ US blue collar workers at a lower profit margin, who might buy their products. Stop the Harley company line BS.

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    • Wrong on the transmission being built in the states. I guy I occasionally ride with has a ’15 Electra Glide dresser and the tranny went out after 4000 miles. Had to wait six weeks for a new one because it came from India!

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      • After harley bought the company back from AMF? Sure I guess they did. Just like Hitler saved the Jews after he took his Cyanide capsule.

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      • Hey, I think that Triumph Rocket 3 is KICK ASS! Was going to get one, but man, I couldn’t pass up a killer deal on a new 2014 Honda Valkyrie 1800. Not as fast as the Rocket, but big enough, and fast enough for me! The funny thing is that because Harley is so popular other makers are having difficulty selling in the same market. Great for me…as I got a bike that is light years ahead of ANY Harley for half the price. It’s the most incredible bike I’ve ever ridden…SO, so smooth…and POWERFUL…the tranny…man..shifts almost like an automatic…and the way it corners..the BRAKES…the LED lights..man everything…the bike is awesome. BTW…I was out in the Rockies last year with my family camping…driving my pickup and pulling a camper. Happened to be right during Sturgis. Was in a gas station geting fuel…chromed Harleys EVERYWHERE…all looking like clones of each other…except for one guy who pulled up to the pump with a black Rocket…that was COOL! Talked to the dude for a few…had nothing to say but ‘awesome’ about his bike.

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    • They should try a ‘steel toe tour’ at the York, PA plant where my FLSTC came from, or any other Harley plant to see how well made parts come together to make a well made American motorcycle. My Yamaha V-Star handled like a tank compared to my Heritage Softail.

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  4. I ride a vtx1800 13yrs old, 140hp done by S&S for free. Head work, exhaust 2into one powercommander, S&S super aircleaner. Done in 08 for 50th. Used my bike to test new parts for vtx. Nothing but fuel, amsoil and tires for 13years, and very fast. Best bike I have ever owned. 153MPH Not bad for a cruiser. Helps that I live in LaCrosse where S&S is at.

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      • I think he was talking about the article rather than your statement. Seeing as S&S have been improving Harleys since the long before they started to do the good work on metric bikes they work they did on your bike is just a statement of good work done.

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    • It’s so not crap. Had the vtx 1800, Harley couldn’t touch it. Riding a 2013 Harley now only has 11000 miles and shit falling off and got gear oil leaking out of clutch cable. How the hell does that happen without a hydraulic clutch.

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      • If your clutch cable is leaking oil, the o ring where the cable goes in the transmission is bad , had that problem ,very easy fix

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  5. I’ve owned and ridden, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki’s and now own a Softail standard, all were good bikes but each had it’s issues, none were perfect and none but the Harley lasted more than a few years before breaking down, but one thing that does stand out between any of the Japanese bikes and the Harley is torque, none of those other bikes would set me back in the seat when I twisted that throttle, sure the they would win out in the top end but I don’t need to do 150mph, what I need is that jump to scoot out from between those cars that are trying to cut me off or beat that oncoming left hand turner that “couldn’t see” me. If the other manufacturers could capture that they might get my business, until then I’ll stick with my Harley.

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    • The Victories and the Indians both have more torque than a factory HD also have higher top end and they handle much better. Especially at higher speeds

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    • Go ride a Yamaha vx1900 deluxe I traded in a 2010 street glide for the Yamaha same features with lots more low end torque rides awesome. I never thought I would have known anything but a Harley

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    • Try a Yamaha raider… kicks every Harleys ass.. 113ci has more than enough power to get you out of the way
      I bought a brand new raider for thousands less than Harleys version, the breakout.. And it’s faster and more reliable. I’m in a MC and every damn time a bike breaks down on a road trip it’s a Harley. Harleys rattle themselves to death

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  6. Harley-Davidson was taken over in the mid 70’s by AMF. I guess they got back to Harley-Davidson in the early 80’s. they have never been the best built bikes. A tariff was put on foreign bikes in the early 80’s to help Harley out.

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    • Love my Stratoliner lots of low end torque. I have road Harleys Indians and I think the v X 1900 has the best low end torque of any bike I have road so far

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  7. I just have to say I just got my first motorcycle last year and I went right to Harley Davidson and I’ve already traded up to a brand new Harley Davidson last month because I always wanted a Harley Davidson and not anything else because to me even now it means something to be on a Harley Davidson

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  8. Anonymous I eat my buddies Raider the first 3 gears with my 07 Night Train. I also have a buddy with a Stratoliner and I eat that thing all day off the line or top speed. Anytime you want to race me I would love to show you what a stock Harley can do with a tuner, pipes and intake.

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  9. I sometimes wish I had not received such a good elementary school education. If that were the case, I would not be bothered by the dozens of grammatical and spelling errors in your, otherwise, cogent article.

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  10. I have been a loyal Sportster owner for over 20+ years and since the EVO I would not have it any other way. Carb’d or EFI they are still an awesome bike. I recently purchased another one. I now own a 2015 Model 72 and it is an awesome bike since I shed the factory exhaust and added a tuner. Not HD’s fault, just those tree hugging nimrods providing environmental guidlines.

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  11. I don’t even know where to begin… Yes Harley has hit a wall but in truth they have been selling and relying upon their marketing for many years. In fact they now earn much more money, and profit, from their merchandise (Clothing) than the do from their bikes. This is part of the reason dealers were forced to build new 10,00sq feet showrooms…most of which is devoted to clothing and gifts.
    Their core group of buyers are diminishing and they are now attempting to attract more women and minorities (Just look at their advertising), in a desperate attempt to spur sales.
    The truth is Harley is the #6 or 7player in worldwide motorcycle sales with Honda and Yamaha far outpacing them due to their innovation, reliability, manufacturing and low costs. After a while it becomes hard to compete if you’ve lacked any innovation over the past 25 years.
    Just now, in 2014 and 2015 are you beginning to see them innovate and break out of their mold with newer models geared towards smaller riders, liquid cooling, chain drives, electric motors, and worldwide manufacturing that will allow them to compete outside the U.S..
    Most people hate to see change, especially in a brand that they identify with, but the truth is Harley can longer rely solely on a limited geography in one market (The U.S.). If they don’t make these changes today they will soon go the way of ACE, INDIAN, MERKEL, and 30-40 other U.S. motorcycle manufacturers.
    Change is hard but necessary.

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  12. obviously written by a harley hater……i bought my first harley 3 years ago. and im still thrilled to bits with it……….. good solid well engineered bikes. easy to work on. just love it……… had a go on a victory the other day……back ached. and really seemed to lack charactor……

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    • I think that everybody would probably benifit from the autopsy from Jim Russel for pro’s and con’s…it is normal that all these owners don’t want their “investment” to loose money…but isnt’it time to pull out their heads from the sand? Like other brand, there is good ansd bad stuff out there…one thing is sure however…i own a 1200 sportster and it is a good bike…and also a VTX 1800 and this machine is also awsome! But i will not pay more then the real value of a bike…if you want to test the real value of you machine, go and sell it to HD, Honda Suzuki or others…I had a VTX 1300 and got back exactly the same value as when i purchase it 2 years before…and putted 19000 miles on it…you will know what HD really think s of their own bikes…don’t take my word for it…just try it ..

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  13. Wow…. I must be unique. After totaling a bike in my 20’s, I got back on bikes 4 years ago at 50. First one was a new 2012 Sportster 883. After 26 months and 72,500 miles (yes your read that right), I stepped up to a new 2014 Heritage which unfortunately was ridden for only 28,000 miles in 9 months before being totaled. My current ride is a 2012 Ultra Classic which I have put 37,000 miles on it in 10 months. In the nearly 4 years and 137,500 mile on 3 different Harley’s I have had only 1 major break down and that was on the Sportster after 52,500 mile in 18 months.

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    • I love all bikes and owned all types. I got off the cruisers because I found that sport and supersports handle much safer. Cruisers tend to lock up the rear break and slide into an intersection while a Supersport has full braking on the front, no different than a car and gives the rider an extra second to see daylight then able to lean out of the crash. A heavy cruiser doesn’t have that option and why you will never see one at a track day. As long as we all ride as we are invisible to cars, it will save many lives. Hope Harley Davidson makes it. Would be a shame to lose that heritage. Bikers are all brothers. We all love to ride. Doesn’t matter harley, victory or supersports. Be safe

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  14. HD has had no technological advances since the 1950’s. Every other manufacturer has. Service and repair costs are high. Prices are high. Noise levels are high which is their claim to fame. The argument of “buy American” has not been valid for decades. Parts and components are made in MEXICO. HD riders love looking “different” in their costumes, just like every other HD rider. Decisions made on SPEED, AGILITY, RELIABILITY, COMFORT, LOOKS will never lead to HD.Decisions made on who has the loudest bike and the funnies costume will always lead to HD.

    To each their own in their choices in life. – “Be different, just like everybody else.”

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    • Exactly. I love all motorcycles, however Harley has NEVER really improved their engines technologically for decades. I have always admired the advantages of water cooling, shaft drive, wet clutch, and the fact that the engine crank and transmission share the same compartment. Less moving parts means better reliability, FAR better efficiency..less weight, less production cost, more HP to weight ratio, and MORE HP and torque at the rear wheel. It just makes SENSE. Now Harley, along with Porsche, developed an incredible motorcycle engine that is only available in the V-Rod line. And you know what? The average Harley enthusiasts, well those that I have spoke to and read about HATE IT? LOL!! I honestly think Harley should take that wonderful power plant and put it in a more standard Harley chassis/frame. If they did, that I’D buy one! In the meantime, I will continue riding and smiling on my incredibly powerful and smooth 1832CC 6 cylinder Honda Valkyrie..

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  15. Dp, just look around, I have a 96 883 Sportster with a 1200 kit and it runs like a MF No problems gave $2300 for it 600 to get it perfect still less than 3 grand on an excellent Hot Rod Sportster. F the jap bikes, rode em for years, its like jerkin off, it will do the job but isnt the real deal a whole lot better?

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    • LMFAO, wow, an 883 rider dissing jap bikes. first of all, I wouldn’t be caught dead on a bitch bike, and second, there is no such thing as a “Hot rod sportster”, especially an 883. Guess you have balls just owning up to riding one. save your money and get a REAL bike.

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      • From what I have heard, (and this is from a Harley guy not me) a sporty with a big bore kit and a fat boy front end is a very good handling bike…well good for it! I’ll keep riding my 33 year old V65 Magna thankyou or my Goldwing , and still ride with the Harley Guys and Girls!

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  16. Polaris (Indian & Victory) along with the foreign metrics are slowly eroding HD’s base. I choose to ride another American made bike which I truly love, however, I don’t think the king (HD) is any real trouble soon. This is just wishful thinking by the haters. What does it matter…lets just ride!!

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    • I have ridden Hondas since like 1975 starting with their dirt bikes. Since then I have owned 3 of their street bikes and love/loved ALL of them. One thing always comes to mind while I am riding them: Their a well designed ‘motorcycle’.. FIRST. They have always been for me for he most part, perfect. However, I have taken crap for YEARS from the Harley crowd because I preferred the reliable, technological advantages Honda offered for LESS MONEY! Even back in the day when these big bearded dudes would give me shit about my ‘Jap’ bike I would always laugh and point out the KEHIN carburetors on their bikes..LOL!

      I guess I’m somewhat ‘torqued’ about the attitude over the years, and can see why there are ‘Harley haters’. In some ways their fan club brought it on themselves. Even to this day I STILL occasionally get the rap…while I am riding my ‘superior in just about every aspect’ 1800cc Honda Valkyrie… I just laugh…

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  17. Can some of you HD guys fill us in on this so called known built in issue regarding cam chain failures? I’ve seen Hondas (Valkyrie/VTX and Goldwings) go for up to 300k miles without a motor rebuild. All bikes are going to have some issues, but not where the motor needs cracked open.

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  18. Point of the article is that Harley is losing it’s market share and has outpriced its core customers. Don’t think either of these things are lies/exaggerations.

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  19. not sure if any of this is more than just speculation or whatever, but what I do gather is that the atmosphere that led to this harley vs anyone else was fed and bred with this whole line of thinking that “your not really a biker if you don’t ride a harley”. First of all, that is BS. It is riding for the enjoyment of riding no matter what bike it is. 2 wheels in the open air, yes….
    If it is true that HD alienated a section of bikers out there with the “not only are you riding something not as good as ours, but you are not even a biker” line, then what do they expect? Of course they are to expect a backlash. It happened with allot of big companies (Microsoft, Coke, Circuit City, etc….) If you ask me, that is a bad philosophy because if it were me, I would try to get more and more people joining the bikers no matter what it is they ride because eventually they would search the market for the best of the best in bikes and with that you would not have the alienation there stopping those new riders from buying a HD.
    And the author is right about one thing, only a section of people out there consider it worth buying something you don’t “need” for $20,000+ also,

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    • Correct, I agree. I remember that aspect of their more current marketing scheme. Something that evoked the notion, without coming right out and saying it, that unless you ride a Harley, you’re just a ‘wannabe’. This ‘scheme’ if you think of it is really quite stupid. Especially speaking to Americans who basically do not like being told what to do, or think. It’s in our DNA as this same attitude brought on the 18th century revolutionary war…earning our independence.

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  20. HD dosn’t make motorcycles anymore, they make lifestyles, and if you have enough money you can purchase a HD lifestyle too. I don’t need to buy a lifestyle, I bought a motorcycle because I love to ride. My stock bike cost less than a HD, has never broke down, looks better and smokes every HD in the same class and is made in the USA with less foreign parts than any HD. I’m not bashing HD, I did my research and testing and settled on a different brand and I’m thrilled with it. If anyone else wants to drink the HD kool-aid, feel free to but waste your time telling me HD build the best bikes, they stopped doing that a long time ago. You know, it’s funny how I know a lot of HD owners that don’t own a Ford, instead they own a Honda or a Chevy or a Mitsubishi, why don’t they all own Fords?

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  21. Victory/Indian are putting the hurt on HD. The Jap bikes have been around and haven’t been able to dent HD on most if not all aspects. I’ve had several Harleys in the past, now I have a Harley and a victory. Next is an Indian. The victory is by far my favorite scoot I’ve owned, being 6’2″ the fit is perfect, & the power spanks any stock harley.aside from the vrod that is, that’s a porche engine And from the test ride I’ve had on the Indians, they’re the Cadillac of the bike world for me. Smoothest ride with tons of power. I’ll always love HD, but my victory has changed my view that there ARE other quality bikes, that are AMERICAN.

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    • You do realize for the US cruiser market, harley has less than 50% of that market. Victory and indian aren’t making up the other more than 50%. That means import cruisers have made much much more than a “dent” in HD.

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    • the ‘Japs’ dont need to dent the V-twin cruiser market, because they make many other kinds of bikes. They get picked on for copying BUT Harley will never be accused of copying them because they couldnt make a sport bike to save their ass. Literally.

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  22. Love all the whiny harley fanboys crying about this article. I’d probably cry too if I’d paid top dollar when there’s better American made bikes to be had at better prices. THAT is a fact.

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  23. I have had Harleys, but never again. With that said, this is a horribly written article. Anyone who can not see truth in what is said in this article is simply a harley fan boy or has not been exposed to other motorcycles. Harley has inferior products. They know that. That is why the new 500 and 750 street is a copy of a Honda shadow.
    1. Harleys are not quick/fast
    2. Harleys handle poorly
    3. Harleys are very expensive.

    Why are they expensive when they perform poorly…because you are paying for flashy chrome and a name. That alone makes you a joke along with your bike.

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    • Now this is the most uneducated post I’ve seen here to date. Nothing but rhetoric.You are generalizing too much to be effective

      1. Which one, 883 certainly, VRod that bike is a straight line rocket, not the fastest bike out there but very quick.
      2. Post 2009 touring have arguably the best handling frame on the market for big tourers, the Fat boy low, well I would agree. Same goes with the older springers, how they came to the market with an offset front wheel is beyond me.
      3. Yup, they are overpriced by anywhere from $10 to $5000. Resale arguments aside if consumers will pay the price will stay.

      As for the Street line-up being a copy of the Honda Shadow. Where do you think Honda got it’s styling from?

      Nope sounds to me like you have a rectal cranial inversion.

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    • Using a credit facility offered by the fed bacause of a banking crisis brought about by government meddling is not exacly a bail out. They were loans that have been re paid. Other companies to use the facility include Caterpillar, Verizon and others….

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  24. I dont know, i am on a road king now i had a sportster before that i have not had any serious issues with either.. Price wise yeah they have gotten exspensive but victory isnt any cheaper nor is Indian.. i checked out both before buying my King prices right up there.

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  25. This article is BS! I can tell you from worldwide personal experience that the MoCo still lives beyond their word. I have owned Kawis, BMWs, Hondas, Suzukis,Harley, and EBR. Harley tops them all. Worked for the MoCo on multiple occasions and teach the sport. You really need to get your facts straight before publishing rubberish. I have also owned everything Harley from Tip of the line CVO to sporty. My 2013 is very reliable and fun!

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  26. I bought my first Harley it was a 1200 in 1988, in 2000 I was looking at a new bike did not want on the list so I bought a BMW 1200 LTC, Harley forgot who got them back on top. They looked a yuppy money instead of mine. Then in 2001 I bought used A 1966 flh , used again in 2013 a 2000 dyna and in 2014 used again 2010 ultra . I will never buy a new bike again from Harley and I service my own . Haley has left the poor man out in the cold and I don’t think they can fix it . More of there parts are made over sea’s so how is it an American made bike . they could not give them away in 1988 . the dealer made my first payment and took 2 checks for the deposit.

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  27. I ride a Honda VTX 1800. It can smoke a Harley all day long. Having said that, I have a buddy who is a Harley mechanic. He told me that on Harleys made in the middle of the last decade. the chain tensioner would go out at 40,000 miles. Just what you need to happen far away from home. I like water cooled, shaft drive, dependabiltiy.

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  28. I will agree that Harley has just about priced itself out of the market for the everyday rider. I have a 2003 Fatboy. So Yes I ride a Harley. But I will no longer buy a t-shirt at a Harley dealer. When you are paying $40-50 for a t-shirt and most are not even made in the U.S.A. It’s time to shop someplace else. I can go to a custom bike shops and pay $25 for a t-shirt $35 for a button up shirt. Most of my friends have done the same. I also buy aftermarket parts when I can. I think some are better quality then the Harley parts. They also cost a lot less. Are they made in the U.S.A.? Some are but most are not. But check the Harley parts you buy them and see where they are made.

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  29. The folks that bash the brand usually are the types that bash Ferrari, Mercedes, & Porsche products because they are expensive, can’t afford the lifestyle, complain about electrical issues or mechanical issues. Yes there are cheaper products out there that may ride smoother, faster, but do those brands do not hold their value. Harley’s and Indian’s can charge the money they ask for their products just like high line brands do with their automobiles. Hence they probably can care less about building a cheaper product to compete with foreign brands. These American motorcycles were never cheap to begin with, Back in the 1920’s it was cheaper to buy a Model T than it was to buy a Harley. Today you can buy a Smart car for less money than a top of the line Harley, nothing much has changed really.

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    • ^^ Comparing HD to a Porche or Ferrari is truly drawing no similarity to product quality of course, only the elitist lifestyle, evidenced by your comments, that has tainted he HD brand over the years. What was once a driving force in their popularity, has lead to their implosion as buyers more so now than ever demand the quality that should accompany such an expensive purchase. It’s sad that the manufacturer didn’t evolve with the times and improve products with available technologies instead of living high on the proverbial hog. The two car manufacturers you reference have commanded and secured their spots in the marketplace with similar competitors because you truly get what you pay for with their products. Mercedes, once a “King” in their line, has experienced its share of setbacks. Look at many of the current consumer ratings on their vehicles, and visit any used car lot and you’ll see the inventory to support consumers chasing the brand only to realize their mistakes. Hopefully it will rebound. I know many prior HD owners who have left the “lifestyle” because they are tired of getting shafted year in and year out, bike after bike, while new competitors in the marketplace, producing higher quality, more dependable, and reasonably priced products, are more deserving and proud to have earned their business. Cultures shift with the evolving times and generations, especially today’s up and coming millennials, to whom the “prestige” that has accompanied the HD owners over the years, means very little to. HD market share will continue to dissipate as products eventually fall out of everyday use. It will take time due to saturation, but the shift has been set in motion. Folks still have a choice and will continue to buy their products because of something that appeals to them. They (HD) should move swiftly and tactfully if they are ever to regain their spot as a market leader.

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  30. Those two bikes above look like crap and should worse. Yeah Harley’s are expensive because the Union workers are paid better than overseas workers just like American cars and trucks. Who ever wrote the story is sore over something. Probably got picked out by a true loyal American.

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  31. I have had 2 harleys and a ton of other bikes as well, wouldnt trade my Star stratoliner for any of them. More power comfort, better balance, phenomenal reliability lighter weight, and less money.

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  32. As Samuel Clemmons stated, “The news of my demise is greatly exaggerated.” Am very happy with my 2014 Ultra Limited. No problems. Had a 96 low-rider with 99,000+ miles. Could have kept her longer if I had the transmission worked on about 10K earlier, but no complaint. She was rode hard and too often put up wet.

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  33. I purchased a brand new 1999 Ultra full dresser. The bike was suppose to have a 2 year 24,000 mile warranty. In 16 months she had almost 22K miles, and the bottom end came apart. The bike was never modified, and always had HD service done. HD wouldn’t honor their warranty, and wanted 5600.00 to make repairs on the bike. I handed the bike back, told them I would see them in court, and have ridden nothing but Victory since. With over 160K miles on my Victory’s, I’ve only hade to replace a clutch cable on 2 of them. Fuel, tires, and oil changes! That’s what your suppose to do! Victory has never replaced a full crate motor (as of 2011). Repairs have been made. HD has way too many issues. The better American made Motorcycle, is VICTORY!. I’ll never touch a Harley again. I’ve left to many friends on the side of the road with their HD’s broken down. Many of them have gone away from HD and are riding something else. 4 of my friends are riding Victory’s and 3 others are riding Goldwing’s. Almost 100K miles without issue. Both made in the USA! Fix you Harley, I’ll ride my Victory!

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    • That sounds like a dealer issue. They recalled almost all of their twin cams in 1999 because of tensioner issues. New model years are always a gamble and with the major changes they made in 1999 I wouldn’t have been caught dead with one. Sorry you had such a bad experience, how did the law suit turn out?

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      • The ’99 Ultra is rubber mounted EVO engine. The Twin Cam (B), with counter rotating balance shafts, was introduced in ’99 for the Softail line. The rubber mounted line saw the Twin Cam (A), with no counter rotating shafts, in 2000.

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  34. I don’t know about all that. I know I like my bagger. I worked hard for it . and work hard to keep it. and I fought hard for the freedom of making it my choice. and if you have to make your money to bad mouth it. that’s your choice. But do not disrespect the people . your not in there shoes .

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  35. I’ve ridden Harleys and Honda Goldwings, NOTHING beats a wing. More power (stock), more torch, and much more dependable. I like the styling of Harleys but let’s face they are just bar hoppers for short trips around town. Ridden my wing from coast to coast, won’t even think of trying that on a HD.

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  36. How am I supposed to take this article / writer seriously when this article is littered with grammatical mistakes? If you can’t even put forth enough effort to proofread and edit your article I highly doubt you put forth enough effort to gather any actual facts.

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  37. How am I supposed to take this article / writer seriously when this article is littered with grammatical mistakes? If you can’t even put forth enough effort to proofread and edit your article I highly doubt you put forth enough effort to gather any actual facts.

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  38. This is nothing but a trash mouth, uninformed, no basis, assignation piece. How it made it here is a mystery to me and it will not work. The whole purpose is to attack a lifestyle and equipment that is tried and true. The wannabes just talk that crap with the hope that a few will believe it. Not happening.

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  39. I work for another image oriented motor vehicle product. The product is crap and slowly people are realizing it’s not worth their time and money to own one. Sales are declining, customers are pissed off and people are not returning … It’s almost like they’ve given the finger to the Largest Sector of society ( Middle Class ) and oriented the entire existence of the company to the pretentious rich posers that walk into their Harley Boutiques. ugh What do I know? – I’m just a dumb middle class idiot. FYI: I own an FLSTF and a Victory XC. Guess which one I ride everyday?

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  40. After owning and riding mostly Hondas (my last being a 750K), I ponied up and bought a beautiful Sporster 1200C, with less than 5,000 miles on it. I always wanted a Harley and I finally bought one!!
    In the years that I owned it, 5 to be exact and 10,000 miles later, I replaced the entire ignition system, the transmission broke, the belt drive whined incessantly being readjusted multiple times, the shifter linkages fell apart twice while I was way from home and the right shock bolts came off. The ultimate insult was the $160 oil change at the HD dealer,with a $50 transport fee. I sold it the very night I picked it up from HD, leaking oil from the clutch cable, where it never leaked oil before.
    I purchased a used Road Star 1700 with 38,000 miles on it serviced and ready to go. 4,500 miles later, I have yet to have ANY problems with it. It rides like a dream, cruises up to triple digit speeds without a problem and gets the same mpg as the Sporty did 40-45 mph.
    I priced another HD, but dollar for dollar, my Road Star is a better bike. And much less expensive. Oh, my oil change for the Star? $65….plus 7% sales tax…..
    Take it for what it’s worth, Harley broke my heart and my wallet.

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  41. I own a victory vegas low 2008 mod love it handles great i dont mind the look of harley but ide never own one only couse people allways trying to improve power with them ive allways owned triumphs previous

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  42. i ride an old EVO `87 FLTC. i`ve had a bunch of bikes over the years. took a 20yr break from the “life” to do the wife&kids,life in the suburbs,house payments,car payments,divorces(3),finally came back to the “life 12yrs ago today,bought an`02 1200C Sporty. great little bike,very quick,but i out grew it. traded,got a brand new `06 LowRider. really nice bike. found out at 120mph,that it was`nt fast. had a Bro run off & leave me on a “built” EVO. got hit by a drunk driver,lost a leg,a motorcycle,a way of making a living. on the road back to life again i found the `87 EVO ElectraGlide in `09 for $2500. best 2500 bucks i`ve ever spent. sure,i`ve had to spend some bucks,but i have a very comfortable,pretty quick for what it is,nice old bike. it says H-D on the gas tank,its got alot of heart&soul,&i got maybe 9 grand in it. the new junk H-D builds does`nt impress me at all. the only way you will ever catch me in a dealership is if somebody gives me a H-D gift card. yeah,i`ll go buy a t-shirt. last one i got was made Haiti. as long as there are aftermarket parts&shops for repairs i can`t do myself,i`ll be otay,&i`ll keep riding this `ol motorsickle. J/B…

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  43. Interesting article but I disagree on two main points. The problem with Harley isn’t that they are overpriced. The problem is that the quality is bad, especially for a product that you pay a premium for. The problem also isn’t that Harley outsources to other countries. If your quality control is good enough, it doesn’t matter where you make your stuff. The rest of the world doesn’t really care where the parts are made. The problem is that Harley customers have become more sophisticated and don’t fall for the “if it’s made in America it must be the best” slogan anymore. It’s something a lot of Americans have difficulty with. Harley Davidson has always been one of the crown jewels of the American Dream. Even if you were a blue collar worker, you could still ride your harley with pride knowing that you were a corner stone of a country ruled by God and Guns. This image is gone even though demagogues like Trump cater to those that desperately want to go back that time. The rest of the world buys motorbikes because they like the style or because they want quality but mainly they buy a motorbike because they want to buy a motorbike, not a lifestyle or a feeling. There is still a place for Harleys on the market but, like most other American brands, they’re not special anymore.

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  44. I work for Harley. They hire a seasonal/casual workforce straight out of prison who come in and steal from the regular employees and smear feces on the bathroom walls (both have happened numerous times). Senior management has devolved from men who knew the product and liked to ride to a bunch of greedy wall street jerks who only care about short term profits. Meanwhile regular employees are continuously mandated to work 12 hour shifts and weekends until their bodies break.

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  45. I agree mostly with the article. One big thing the author missed is the women riders are one of the biggest influx of riders buying bikes I’m short, 5’3″ and not much more with my biker boots on. Too many of the Harley’s are not designed for women. Many women I have met, salesmen put them on Sports’ and they had a bad experience with them The sportys have a high center of gravity and most women do not have the upper body strength need for that bike. Several years ago when I went to buy a new bike, I went to several HD dealers and couldn’t get a salesman to pay attention to me! why, cause I’m older, a little on the heavy side (i.e. not a blonde with fake boobs and my ass hanging out of a pair of shorts) I am a biker, have been since Dad put me on his bike and took me for a ride when I was a little girl; I know how to ride, did the research on the HD I wanted. I told one sales@sshole what bike I wanted to see/test ride and he pointed at the bike across the showroom floor and walked away. I stood checking out the bike for quite a while, I looked up to see where the ahole was. He was standing over by the entry way, talking to the other 3 sales guys, too busy b.s.ing to pay attention. I would have bought the bike that day, but ended up leaving without anyone else speaking to me. F’ that. Rode across town to the Honda dealer, bought a VTX 1300r. I’ve never regretted buying my bike, she’s been reliable and got a lot more bike then I would have if I bought a similar size HD.
    I’ve got 85K miles on my VTX and she’s still going strong.

    You totally blew the article referring to your site, by saying ‘most importantly hot babe pics’ Seriously get over yourself. Women ride and most of us better then wannabe men. UGH!!!

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    • I love the hate the Harley can garner. You rarely see Harley owners bashing other bikes, why? Because it’s disrespectful, that goes against the “biker code” and respect is supposed to be the key part of the code. All these posts about 3rd party problems (IE: my dad, a friend etc) just demonstrate how inadequate those riders feel. Understand that you only know part of the story, and it makes those statements appear suspect, in other words could have been misinterpreted or outright lies so they hold little weight. That and we are smiling because if you have the time to find problems with what I choose to ride, if you’ve taken the time to develop a cogent argument or even partial fabrications, then you have taken the time to covet my ride enough to convince yourself that you would never own it.

      To those that love your ride, regardless of make, good on ya. That’s what it is about, enjoying the motorcycle you have rather than coveting or finding fault with some other guy’s bike. That you had problems with your 19XX Harley I feel for ya but in the end you are riding the perfect bike for you, so count it as blessing in the long run.

      Now to the article. Boy do I ever agree. HD went after the big money in the 90’s and 2000’s. Appealing to the baby boomers and older yuppie’s mid life crisis. Offering the chance to channel their “inner biker” making you an instant tough guy with riding something loud festooned in chrome and then covering them from head to toe in leather, denim, chrome and chains. Alright that’s a brilliant marketing ploy. But the did not keep an affordable base model for the fan base that kept them alive in the dark years. Lets face it, most of us that rode in the 70’s through to the 90’s could not afford a high end bike. We wanted something easy to get parts for and cheap to ride. With the other great bikes available on the market today, and less people looking for the instant tough guy thing they are loosing their fan base. Now what will they do?

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    • Those that say they don’t make bikes for women haven’t been in a dealership for a while. In the last 5 years more and more bikes have designed to accommodate those with smaller inseams. They recently put out two smaller and lower water cooled bikes looking for shorter, newer riders. They make a “low” version of every single bike in their lineup. They redesigned their touring line-up to accommodate a lower seat height and to have a stance that has your feet closer together. Oh and for well over 10 years Harley Dealers have offered a fitment option, where you can try out a bike as if it were lowered, and you can be measured for the perfect set of bars and pegs. The dealership can, at a cost(substantial at times), install it before the customer can even take the first ride on the stock motorcycle.

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  46. Raider… Ha! been there done that. You left out all the lifter and top end issues. Talk it up all you want but they are shit boxes! One day i’ll be able to afford a Harley most of the people talking shit can’t afford them so what better way to feel good about riding your metric turd. $13,000.00 loss on that junk ass Raider…. Fuck Yamaha!!!

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  47. Even the dealerships are like car dealers anymore. Used to be a Harley dealer was laid back, one on one and personal. Sold you what you wanted with a variety of accessories now it’s only H-D. No Drag Specialties, Fubar ect. It used to be about the bike. Now it’s enhancing shareholders performance. I miss the way Harley did things. They wouldn’t let you test ride unless the people at the dealership knew you. They wouldn’t trade anything but another Harley. Don’t worry. There’s always Ducati and now Indian is back

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  48. Nope. What you ride still matters. The Jap bikes are rip-offs, cheap imitations. They’ve got a lot more plastic than a Harley, and they don’t have half the life-span of a Harley.

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  49. What dumb ass wrote this I have rode them all had Harley’s last ten years guess what I haven’t been broke down on ding ding your wrong my Harley’s I ride 25 k a year and have yet to Be broke down on side of rode so do your home work before u talk shit fuck stick

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  50. I feel this article is a little bias. I am a Yamaha, Honda rider but I have no grieve with Harley. I understand that buying a Harley is like joining a way of life compared to the other guys. I think another reason Harley is seeing a loss in sales is because older riders are not buying Harleys but gold wings or leaving the biking community. New, younger riders are bombarded with high cost of living,schooling, insurance and a more smaller amount of $cash$ to buy a $15000 -$25000+ Harley Davidson. Other companies realized that to draw new riders in you need a good looking bike that doesn’t cost more then a car. The 250- 650cc single, parrellel twins and a few triples are the focus of motorcycle manufacturing. Because they are easy to ride, cheaper on insurance and you can buy a new bike in the price range of $2500-9000. Also when those riders age, and upgrade, some will remember the reliability, enjoyment there first bike gave them, and be more connected to that company. Then Harley missed that boat, they missed the youth who will one day replace there current target market.

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  51. Harley does have its issues, but I have never had one leave me on the side of the road! The Yamaha you have picture is an example of a Harley knock off, it is not even close to a Harley! I’ve ridden these bikes as well, it just goes to show everybody has an opinion. The only bike I would even consider close is an Indian, and I have also ridden the Indian, very nice. Yes Harley does need to wake up and make changes, but not because Honda or Yamaha is better.

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    • Mike, not to sound argumentative, but that is where you are wrong. Assign parameters that we can all agree upon OUTSIDE of subjective styling cues, and their indeed inferior to many Yamahas, Hondas, and Victory motorcycles in the same class technologically, and that is before you even factor in the cost. Just study the engine design and think about which design is more modern and efficient. Now the V-Rod is one kick ass power plant..probably one of the best ever made, but imo, needs to be on a different chassis.

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      • My reply is a reply in general to a shit load of shit load posts I’ve read here about Harley’s, first of all let me tell ya I’ve owned and worked on Harley’s ,Suzuki’s, Yamahas, and Hondas I’m 62 years old and have ridden before I was old enough to get a driver’s licence , so I think I know a bit about bikes and their performance reliability’s. I have read a fat load of crap here about Harley’s and the warranty’s, I can tell ya from many personal experiences of mine and people i know that Jap bike warranty’s are just as crappy ,they have every excuse under the sun to not honor or even void warranty’s, the problem that has been previously mentioned in these posts about corporation or company be it American or friends is the almighty dollar, and company’s only want to collect them, so they figure warranty’s cost them, and they will do their damnedest not to honor such, and believe me they are all guilty of this. Now as far as these so called all dependable Jap bikes , I for one know this is not quite accurate, they have shit loads of vacuum and electronic failures among other failures, and the average Joe non mechanic wouldn’t even have a clue as to what the cause is, and if ya call and talk to a tech, even if they know they won’t tell ya, why because they want to stroke ya for shop time, just like Harley, now to a post I read about a sportster being a bitch bike especially the 1200 evo think again , I’ve owned the larger displacement twin cams and the sportster , and I can vouch to he fact that the bigger v wins will not take the punishment most people deal out to their sportster , they just don’t this has been proven time and again, I recently went on a 300 mile day trip on a 1200 xlc 2007 sportster with a friend that was riding a v star up along the Oregon coast there were quite a few steep hills he had after market pipes and air just like me, I let him lead the way to the destination , he continuesly tried to loose me, but I was right up on his ass every time, and finally proved the sporty would smoke hos ass by almost five bike lengths in a quarter mile, we even tried it from a dead stop, same results, so we switched bikes and virtually the same results, since then I put an over drive pulley on the sportster and the speedometer won’t even register what speed I’m going past 120 , I had the torque on the v star on the hills and even the top speed on the flats , all this before installing the overdrive pulley the bike has 8700+ miles on it I don’t treat it like a pussy and it has held and ran strong, that for sure ain’t a bitch bike, no bull shit this sporty has smoked 103 ci. dynas on the interstate as well as in the quarter, and with the pulley is not change it cruises right along with them at about the same rpm, this all boils down to the fact any bike can have problems just like some never do, a lot has to do with simple maintained, Harley’s for the most part are well built ,and I live in an area where there are plenty of them and ya just don’t see them broke down on the side of the road like some of these posts indicate, mabe I just live in a magical area lol.

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  52. Pingback: Is Harley in financial trouble? - VTXOA

  53. This guy is an idiot! I own a motorcycle performance shop and work mainly on Harleys, the new Harleys have very few issues and all of my customers are a very loyal bunch. A new Harley is not much more $$ than a new Honda or Yamaha. I do agree that they flooded the market but that is more due to the reason that they ARE priced very close to a Yamaha road star (which is nothing more than a Harley clone) and easy financing so everyone could own one. This guy just sounds like he had a bad dealing with Harley and wants to get even!!

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  54. YOUR vs YOU’RE. Please do yourself a favor and learn the difference. Yes, that goes for the author of the article and all of you people leaving responses.

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  55. Yup Got my bike up on my lift. Only 12,000 mi and I need a new stator? Apparently, the battery t hat was starting the bike with ease. Wasn’t holding enough charge when the bike was running. A volt meter is needed to monitor your output as to not make the stator work too hard.

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  56. anonymous you are an idiot! no wonder why you choose to call your self anonymous.your hardley a davidson is probobly as full of hot air as you are….if Harley’s are so bad why are all the metrics and everybody else trying to mirror them so much? imitation is the most sincere form of flattery! yall ride what ya want and quit being hater’s!! it’s not very becoming!

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  57. Why did the other manufactures start making v twins? And the first time Indian came back they used Harley engines…. Well s&s engines but we all know where that started, I just don’t like them because their original product wasn’t popular enough, so they had to set themselves to COPY a Harley Davidson, and then focus on building you something that is styled like and sounds like but isn’t a Harley but since their Hondas they are more reliable and priced lower. And that’s fine for some people, I just prefer the original not the cheaper copy.

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  58. I dont know where you get your facts but the dealers in this area are booming. I see alot oung people on Harley’s. The other companies make the crotch rocket crowd happy but Harley is atill king in the cruiser market.

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  59. Listen Up Everybody!!…… the King of Cruisers is the 2008 Suzuki C109R Boulevard….It will start, hunt you down, catch you, fly by you and it rides like my 2006 Mercedes E350… what an amazing bike…..

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  60. I had an 04 Road King. Now I ride a 2015 Chief. The road King was like riding a dump truck through a mine field compared to my Chief. I had it for 3 moths now, not one problem…

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  61. Excellent article,, sad but true. This is a classic marketing blunder of abandoning your core loyal customer base for what you think our green fields. Instead of building a product with superior features like Brembo brakes on all bikes, Harley whored out their brand trying to chase down the “upwardly mobile” biker new to the segment. This was driven by the Chopper/chrome/bling phase promoted by the OCC and other TV shows. When that went bust, demand crashed as no traditional rider would even want a custom chopper “tool scooter”. Those idiots paid mega bucks for those ridiculous customs which they can’t even give away now. Harley was so busy being Wall Street’s bitch that they didn’t innovate, ripped off their customers by pricing the bikes too high, and spent all their effort on clothes merchandising. As a result competitors took their customers while their dealer network imploded under the pressure of carrying too much inventory with low sales to show. Dealers like Westchester Harley went out of business after being forced to build new facilities that where like Disneyland without ever being able to sustain that infrastructure with sales growth. For 60 years those dealer did just fine in a modest building with a shop for service. I do love my Springer, but if I had to buy now it would be an Indian or for sport, a BMW R nine T. I don’t want to both without offering a solution as post mortars are useful history but won’t help the future. Harley needs to go private (aka run by people who have a passion) and focus on engineering superior products that still keep a heritage of the old motor company. Superior means a new engine platform, state of the art braking, user adjustable suspension and a bike that can be tuned by the user with a smartphone app. As far as Heritage, stop with the Fuc**n chrome! Offer new innovative finishes and color schemes.. Oh yeah and how about a 5 year powertrain warranty? OK Im off the soapbox.

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    • Agree…totally. And for those whom think that the other bikes ‘mimicking’ styling I would also say to a degree that is correct as well. HOWEVER, why must this be a point of contention when it comes to motorcycles and not anything else? How many damn cars out there, and I don’t care who makes them, look like a BMW or a Benz eh? This also applies to clothing, music, art in general, lawn tractors, weed whippers…toothpaste…geezz, do I need to further elaborate? The real difference that OTHER bike makers have yes, used styling ques, but in many cases DID IT BETTER! Not necessarily styling as that’s subjective…but technology. The current Harley mill dates back to the 1950s…with some changes, but the engine configuration is the same. It’s heavy, expensive to make, asymmetrical (ugh, hate that big bulky transfer case)inefficient…i.e. primary drive, transfer case, final drive etc…separate oil pump..tank…man I could go on how out dated that technology is… If you want an air cooled V-twin geezz…Victory and Yamaha have them beat BIG TIME…just do the math and study engineering and you’ll, if you are truly objective, see the advantages to these aforementioned brands. I think Yamie V-twins are beautiful bikes..and could give a damn if it looks like a Harley… Bottom line I would have a great looking machine, that will run forever, offer reliable, affordable, fun for nearly zero maintenance cost.. and could use the money I save on the machine and invest it into other cool things…like guitars, amps, boats, good brew, nice house…cool car/truck WHATEVER… It’s just plain STUPID to spend more for something that is less… BIZ 101 here fellas…

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  62. Having worked there for decades, I can tell you one big mistake that this company made is it did not value its older experienced workforce enough and allowed a greedy Corporate “Slash & Burn” artist to change the make-up and culture of the company. (In my opinion).People outside of the company started to despise this M.O. as they saw it in their own companies/products/work situations being change for the worse. They resented it (especially from this American icon).Also, the over pricing of the accessories and Motor-clothes has killed the “Goose that laid the Golden Egg” with the younger generation, as a poor economy and student loans etc. dried up the discretionary money for the young. I still believe they make a quality, rugged product that is safe & well made. But I have lost my former zeal and am glad I don’t have a tattoo to remind me what once was, and has been lost.

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  63. These biker clubs that have traditionally only allowed Harleys have softened their stand a little . They now say that as long as it’s a North American built bike , it’s acceptable . I ride a Victory . It’s an ’02 , heavy and bigger , but man , what a ride ! That’s what it’s all about , the ride !

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  64. What a crock of :turd: . Harley sold over 264 thousand motorcycles in 2015, and netted over 750 million in profits from 6 billion in total sales. I think that’s a hellova lot, maybe more than any other motorcycle manufacturer. The stock is down because investors are sad that harley didn’t meet their expectations for year over year growth, which is how a stock is priced. Friggin speculators.
    Modify message

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  65. Due to the poor grammar and spelling, I can’t finish the article’s content.
    Not a big deal to some, but if you are going to write, you should at least write correctly.
    Good luck.

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  66. If you’re a writter that doesn’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re,” how am i supposed to believe anything in the article?😦

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  67. You all are forgetting one thing. I take a Harley off the showroom floor and drive it home it’s still worth what o paid for it.. Say that about your Japanese bike or Polaris. And you are just lying to yourself. Paid 14k for mine put 7000 miles on it and they will still give me $12500

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  68. I owned a 2006 FLHP and I have worked my butt off for it and yes the other motorcycle companies do have nice bikes , but take and trade in one of those bikes. You want lose on Harley on trade in. but don’t get me wrong, the composition has step up .I am old school and I am happy with Harley Davidson

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  69. lots of bad info here,, the India and Brazil plants are “re-assembly plant” the bike are built here and then taken partially apart and shipped to these plants to be reassembled,, avoiding huge import tariffs, AMF bought HD in 1969 and was purchased back in June of 1981. I had a 77 xlcr, and the factory supported it for years, hell, there are still parts available for iron heads. Trannys,, yup, built in Milwaukee, I’ve been in the plant, although about 28% of the parts on the bike do come from overseas, but that is more of an indictment on the state of American manufacturing. Polaris had a big influx it’s first year with the Indian brand, but around here anyway, they are a non issue,, and I’m in MN, the home of Polaris.. I realize there are HD haters out there, and I think Polaris is a great option for those people as that is a mostly American built bike.. but HD is still top dog,,

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  70. I love my Harley but the truth is a new one is way over priced and I hope they go belly up because then I will be able to get one at a reasonable price. I have always said Harley are over priced junk and a good example of American’s f@c?in Americans all for the money. You don’t build a cheaper bike the 550 and 750 to let others join in you lower the price on all your bikes. By the way no one I know would be caught dead on one of those new little bikes they are looked at just like a Yamaha. So Harley you want to save your ass drop 7 or 10 k off the price of your bikes I mean there not made in America anymore anyway

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  71. Pingback: Der sterbende Schwan........ : Harley Davidson

  72. BTW..’It’s acceptable because it’s American made’ argument is tired, so, so tired, and at best; naive. Aside from the fact that Harley, like *most* other American companies, source out whatever they can WHENEVER they can to save a few $$, and could give a damn about whether or not you are getting an ‘American Made’ product. Don’t kid yourself, their number one responsibility is to the share holders, regardless of what anyone thinks. Same thing is happening to Guitar Center..and I could on, and on, and on. The American corporation years ago, maybe as many as 30, has forsaken the American citizen abandoning all loyalty to them Like it or not we are in a global economy and nothing is going to change that. Wake up.

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  73. Look, if you want to be taken seriously – regardless of the quality of your content – you’ve got fix all the spelling and grammatical errors. If that’s not your strong point, that’s OK – but have someone else look it over.

    Now,as for the substance: H-D can *not* go back to its original base: they don’t exist. They’re dying, they’ve ceased riding, and we’ve lost our manufacturing base so that blue-collar middle-aged male worker is a shrinking target market. Diversifying into apparel, financing, etc. is the only thing that’s kept them afloat this long. (I do agree that the emphasis on pretty young blondes riding a H-D is a brand-killer.)

    They need to continue the stock buy-back in a major way: they split far too many times in the 80s and 90s, and have diluted their own market.

    They also need to reach a younger generation that hasn’t even thought about riding. That means reaching college campuses, Iraq War vets, and even high schools with riding classes, and reasonable financing and support for what can be overwhelming to many young people. H-Ds are very affordable, in spite of the common knowledge that they are not.

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  74. There is a lot of bad blood between those who ride Harley and those who ride any thing else.
    I ride a Yamaha RoadStar. 1601 cc.
    I have been all over this country on it. I’ve been to all 48 contingent states.
    I have ridden the entire perimeter of this country in one ride (41 days ).
    The point I want to make isn’t that I have ridden a lot f miles the point is I have NEVER broke down.

    110,000 miles with out a break down.it has never left me on the side of the road .
    I replaced the belt at 80,000 because I thought it was time.ive done brakes ,oil changes, air filters, plugs all standard maintenance.i have never needed a major repair. It still runs great, and still doesn’t leak or burn oil.

    I have seen lots of Harley’s in my travels . I see them mainly within 50 or 100 miles of a big city.
    Out on the road ( I do not ride freeways ) I don’t see them unless they are on a trailer.

    I did run into a kindred spirit once camped on the side of the road off Highway 2 in ND .
    He was on a Harley and was roaming just like me. He was on a Harley. We rode together for about a thousand miles.That’s the only time.

    My feeling is that people who ride seriously and alone usually don’t ride HD .
    They ride a jap bike for the dependability.
    People who ride with someone else or in a group or a club ride HD .
    There s safety in numbers.

    This is MHO

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    • Oh my, the keyboard warriors/experts…a friend has a 2010 Harley Street glide with 132,628 km on the Odometer. Other than regular services and plugs the engine hasn’t been touched! Another is of an 09 Ultra Classic with over 160,000 km of hard riding trailer pulling trips. Ride what you’ve got and stop whining, everyone has a right to a lifestyle that suits their individual needs.
      Here is MY reasoning for riding a Harley Ultra Classic CVO Limited:

      2015 Motorcycle Values Chart

      The best-performing resale value motorcycle was the Harley-Davidson CVO Ultra Limited which retained 78% of its value in the first year, dropping to 61% in five years or a massive 100,000km.

      Together with the high retained value for cruisers, is it any wonder Harley-Davidson has the highest brand retained value at 77% reducing to 60% in five years?

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  75. 30 grand for a bike? Your stupid! Where is the rest of it? Went to buy one, looked the same, unless you customized it…..off the same sheet they gave everyone else. So at 48 yrs old I built a rigid. Found that Harley Davidson had lobiest trying to pass laws to prohibit assembled bikes unless you have a licence. Ride free , hmmmmmm.

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  76. Would the pinhead who keeps complaining about the grammar and spelling go visit another sight? Like maybe, “Grammar Critics Anonymous” or something. It proves how superficial you are when it comes to biking.

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  77. “…you’ve got fix all the spelling and grammatical errors.” LOL The pinhead complaining about grammar made a grammatical error in his own sentence. Haha, what up with that, Mr. Simmons?

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  78. I been riding for 51 years and have owned ten Harley’s amongst the other bikes I had. The last Harley I owned was a 2008 low rider. Inherent faults aside the heat generated by the 96 cube was a major factor in moving back to Triumph. Riding a late model Harley in the summer in Brisbane is like putting your legs in a microwave! Would be great in a cold climate I guess!

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  79. Do you really believe this artical? Been riding since 1969 first bike was a 38 flathead suicide no electric nigger got my first push button in 2003 I’m 70 and still ride a Harly been a family member for over 30 years plz don’t show up on your Honda we don’t live in the same world

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  80. “It’s” is the contraction of “it is.” You should have used “its.”
    “Do I think Harley will ever get back to it’s original core customers?” That really says “Do I think Harley will ever get back to it is original core customers?”

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  81. After owning both Harley and other motorcycles, I have reached a conclusion: If you want to get into the “zen” of motorcycling, i.e. being “one with your bike”, and knowing everything about the inner and outer workings, checking all of your hardware and connectors,and constant attention to your bike after every ride, then Harley is for you.
    If you want to ride between oil changes, ride and just ride, enjoy the ride, and not worry about the latest recall, then look elsewhere.

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  82. Just like to say I agree I live in the UK and at the moment I have a Xvs950 midnight star..the bike is brilliant..I decided a test ride on a sportster and I’m sorry to say there was no comparison the xvs won hands down on everything from handling performance and price.. I do hope harley get their act together soon. It would be bad news if it goes the same way as the British bike industry did in the 70s because they wouldn’t listen and change…

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  83. Try buying a used Road King for long trips – I could not and cannot afford a new Harley but I could afford an older model and fix it up how I want it –Screw Harley I am a Harley enthusiast for all the righteous biker reasons not some bloated money grubbing corp.

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  84. As long as you begin your reply to the effect, “My bike is better than a Harley”, or “Mike bike sounds better than a Harley”, or My bike is *** insert your own b/s here *** you just don’t get it. My original 74 FXE now sports a 100 ci shovel head short stroke, raked wide glide, 6spd Baker and 2 1/2 open primary and it is not only fast, it will climb a wall. My bagger cruises at 100 mph for 2 1/2 hours straight, in the most comfortable of fashion and style imaginable and has been doing so for over 100,000 miles. Gas, Amsoil, tires and horrors of horrors, one shift linkage (it fell off in front of the H/D dealer in Kingman Az, are really the only things I have had to do to the bike… The rest was done in honour of the bike. I was brought up on Honda, Kawi’s Triumps but once I rode my first XL as a kid, I knew what I wanted. Ride what you want, say what you like, but when you start off your argument by saying any of the above, I know what you are really saying.

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  85. If you weren’t too busy bashing on the motor company, your spelling, and grammer would improve significantly. Also your sources appear to be missing too. Your information about the bikes are also incorrect. As a matter of fact most of the Indian and victory motorcycles are in the same price point. The warranty argument also favors Harley. Every company experiences recalls, and every company builds a product that might experience issues sometime in its life, but we aren’t bashing Mercedes-Benz, BMW, or any other expensive brand. Next time, please, really do some digging before taking a shameless swing at a strong brand.

    By the way the depreciation rate of your Yamaha is worse than that of a kia. Food for thought.

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  86. that was the reason i have what i have. i could afford a mint condition 85 honda that wont let me down vs a 10-20k Harley. plus it doesnt run like crap by design. harleys are nice but man not everyone likes something that sounds like it is going to rattle its self apart during idle. other companies make nice running nice sounding v-twins.

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  87. I rode harley’s for years(always a custom chopper and a stroker) they do not go fast or brake well ,about all you can say is hey sounds great.that is until they calve then you better be a mechanic,Hate playing mechanic myself.love the braking systems on the yamaha’s( never rode any honda’s)when I touched the brakes on a old mind you yz 1200 yammie I damn near flew off my first thought was why can’t harley make brakes like this as for acceleration you harley rider’s do not want to go there as there is no comparison,yamaha toned down there scooters to 1100 cc’s stiil to much for harley’s to handle though.My brother was a drag racer,canada’s fastest harley for a short time,I looked his ride over and be damned if I could see a stock harley part anywhere after market stuff everywhere,blah blah blah and on it goes

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  88. I’m not gettin your mind set here. You talk about harley buiding a bad bike. Have’ nt seen one. They have gone through some changes but neccessary ones to keep up with the technology of the new bikes. Yes there have been some bumps but harley has responded very well to this. Obviously you havent ridin a rushmore project bike yet so check it out before you bash the king. And by the way i dont like all of Elvis’s songs but he’s still the king.

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  89. I work for BMW and the cars are shit. But people buy them because as BMW states ” We’re not selling a car, we’re selling an image.” As for Harley the same thing goes – everyone knows there are far superior reliable motorcycles that offer so much more for the hard earn dollars we all make. But the ego and stubbornness created by the brand loyalty is nothing short but an image which conjures up rebellion, anti-establishment … and this folks is why we pay much more the actual value of a Harley. We are buying an image. Isn’t it sad? There will be the brainwashed fools that will literally start twitching at what I just wrote – not because it’s a lie – but because nobody likes to be made a fool of. Like the old saying ” You can’t handle the truth! ” … Do yourself a favour and Google the truth on Harley Stocks and customer satisfaction. FYI: Lexus is killing BMW in sales and customer service satisfaction … but to stroke ones ego is far more satisfying then admitting the truth. LET’S ALL KEEP LIVING IN DENIAL and play the narcissistic pretentious games we have chosen to embrace.

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  90. I started with jap. bikes had lots of fun with them, but when I turned 50 I finally could afford a Harley, had it for 11 years no problem, Harley is legend , that’s why you see all the hot babes with Harley clothes, not too many with Jap. clothes, Made my point.

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  91. That whole article is a crock….I have close to 20k on my 2014 FLHTK and never been broke down. I just did a 7300 mile ride across 22 states and Canada, and could not have been more comfortable. I have put more than 75k on my 1997 Road King and never been stuck along side the road. It is as comfortable as any other bike of that style.
    That doesn’t count all the miles on all the other Harley’s I have owned and sold over the years, and not a one of those has ever left me stuck or been broke down along the roadside.
    Next let’s talk about how 3 different times I have walked into a Victory / Indian dealership and saw something like the the saddlebags broke on a brand new bike on the showroom floor. And those new Victory bikes are UGLY, UGLY UGLY!!!
    Every time I turn around Indian is making some other crazy offer to get people to buy their bike. It is like the only way they can sell them is by pricing them so low people can’t walk away.
    Sure HD has had a few recalls on their new bikes, but look at home many changes they did. And they all were minor changes. Heck 1 recall was just to add a couple zip ties to a brake line.

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  92. I agree brother. I have been riding for 45 years of my life. I was riding a ’48 Pan rigid frame chop to high school. Yeah, I was loving it. I have never ever thought of riding anything else yet I cannot purchase a shirt anymore. I have paid less for leather jackets. I mean good leather jackets. Their product before T’s was motorcycles and then big motorcycles.
    I am seeing myself looking at these other bikes and seeing the price. They are not throwaways anymore. Come on HD we need you to make a bike that I can ride for 25 + years like you did with my old FLH in the early 70’s. I then sold it for 3x the amount I paid. Where are those bikes? I ride year around, I need a bike I can depend on and it has been HD thus far but I may just be pushed into the arms of a motorcycle that is priced for me, a loyal customer who is not being treated like one. Pick it up or see it go…

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    • A lot has changed w/Harley. One big thing is the Patent on the V engine is up and all can copy.. That’s why everybody gets the Japanese bikes.. And resale hurts.

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  93. I sold my Harley Fat Boy due to the fact that Harley has forgotten what customer service is. My husband and I bought bikes on the same day and it went down hill from there. We would make appointments for service, then get there and be told that we had to wait because they had a group ride in from somewhere else. To top it all off, when my husband’s rear tire blew at just under 6000 miles, they would not warranty it. When I took my bike back to them and told them to buy it, they tried everything to get me to keep it and I told them that I would never own one of their bikes again. I will go somewhere that everyone is treated equally and customer service means something.

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  94. Once they became all super trendy, they upped the price 150% and sales slumped. They never used the money to actually improve the ride. They JUST introduced water cooling AND the bikes still don’t come with antilock brake systems as standard. Features that their European competition has had for years. There are only so many bun wearing vape smoking craft beer drinking fingernail polished skinny jeans wearing hipsters that’ll buy their sportsters.

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    • Clearly u can’t afford a real bike… Most Harley riders don’t want ABS… Harley has the most advanced infotainment system on the market to date, more customizable options than all other manufacturers combined, and a 110+year heritage unmatched by anyone. Your opinion is squashed son. Go ride your star… See how many panties drop at the stoplight for ya

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  95. Misspellings, atrocious grammar, poor sentence structure, ad libitum.
    I work at Harley in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dude, you are just flat wrong (pardon the pun) concerning virtually every point you state as seeming factual. This article is just a complete mess, not to mention misinformed and totally incorrect.
    Harleys are still the benchmark to which all other manufacturers aspire in design, ride, dependability, safety and value. Get your facts straight before you start incoherently babbling trashclap.
    Billy Callaway (aka Snake)
    Baton Rouge Harley-Davidson

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  96. This is the dumbest article ever! Harley may not be 100% American made… But look at all the rallies… The HOG chapter rides that rack up miles as a team (meaning more routine maintenance), rallies need employees, not to mention what’s the last metric bike dealer u walked into and found 8 salesmen available? Hardly any of them have more than 1 or 2. Not to mention I have a job thanks to Harley and I’m USA through and through. At the end of the day the Harley brand provides more Us jobs than ALL other brands combined so u can take this bias B.S. Article and shove it up your metric ass… By the way… Resale on a metric bike is shit. Always will be

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  97. Well, the business I work at, we were contacted by one of our suppliers that HD had over 2000 bike frames they needed stripped and painted. The Frames were powder coated in China and it was terrible. With the price they wanted to pay we could not produce for descent profit,so we decline. HD is doing what ever it can to save many, which lets you know there is a money issue. So do not kid yourself. They have massive over head and union killing them.

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  98. I ride a 2014 Victory Cross Country, like the one in the pic and I’m also a member of the Melbourne Australia chapter of Victory Owners Group. At club meetings our bikes line the kerb for about 50 metres. I would agree that Victory & Indian are doing quite well. I never once saw a broken down Vic.

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  99. My disdain for Harley was not as this man say because of rising prices. It was because of the falling prices. I had a used Harley for $20,000 and the low prices that were chopped lower meant you could get a new softail classic for $25000. This flooded the market with new lower priced bikes making mine worth $10000 instead of the 20 I paid for it two years earlier.
    It was an honour to work hard and afford even a used Harley and low pricing made everyone able to get one. No distinct proud owners anymore. Every Tom, Dick and Harry had one. Just another cheap Japanese bike. That’s the problem… And outsourcing when you got a new part stamped made in China… Awful thing for them to do to a legend… No loyalty to Harley anymore…. Simple as that man
    Cheers

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  100. I owned a harly amf broke down more times than what the motor cycle was worth don’t get me wrong love Harley’s but when you push a brand new bike 30 miles a few times because the head came loose and oil every where’s I traded it for a Honda and still ride a Honda but maybe some day I’ll buy an Indian

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  101. Owning a Jap bike is like buying a Bic lighter – you push the button, it works, if it does not, throw it away – Buying a Harley is like buying a zippo – you can always buy a new wheel, flint, stuffing and own them forever – tough to customize the jap bikes – your money, spend it where you like…

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  102. Side note: spent 12 on the Harley IPO – with all the splits, dividend reinvestments, the $12 is now thousands – anyone care to guess what figure is on a Harley Stock certificate? – company not dead, yet!

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  103. I disagree totally Victorys I have rode they ride ok. The Indians are way overpriced to me rides like shit in comparsion to the 2016 Ultra Limited which I happen to own. The Indian roadmaster mind you without a nav radio and touch screen sells for 4 grand more than the Ultra Limited and puts out twice the freaking heat off engine. Before buying my Ultra Limited I rode 5 different bikes compared all specs against each other incuding yahammy, Honda’s, Indian’s and Victory’s my choice at the end was the Harley Ultra Limited Quartz Black and very satisfied with it ROLL ON HARLEY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  104. All I can say are you other than Harley salesman. You are promoting some other bikes. I never seen Harley bikes not running on side of the road. If you do, Riders are taking a break or doing gear adjustment or smoking..I don’t mind taking my bike to the dealer for recall they fixed it anyway. I’m don’t think I will buy another brand except Harley Davidson..Still #1 bike in my dictionary..

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  105. I just bought a 2016 street glide I love the bike I love the Harley I hate their financials the financial office charges me $3 to make a payment over the internet interest me $12 to make it over the phone and on top of that they are just absolutely anal in the financial department I went ahead and refinance my bike after 1 month of owning it I still love my Harley I will not buy another bike I love the way it sounds I love the way it looks to me personally its just an awesome bike I know a lot of parts are made overseas but I still love my bike

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  106. Pingback: Harley Davidson on the Ropes-News not good – Twisted Throttle Lifestyle

  107. I bought a new bike in early august 2015. My short list was 20015 Indian Roadmaster vs a 2015 H.D. Ultra Limited. The Indian had a more unique look and a larger 111 c.i. motor and several other rather minor nice options that are not available on the H.D.. I liked it A LOT! The Harley won out for me because of the Liquid cooled heads and the 6.5″ navigation system mounted at the center of the gauge cluster. . I have been driving for years and the fact is that bikes with big displacement air cooled engines are really hot to ride in warm to hot weather. I have read forums with MANY complaints about how much heat the 111 Indian puts out. I would hope that Indians sales are going up, up due to the fact that they have only been back in the market for 2 full model years under Polaris industries. BTW, I paid thousands less for the Ultra Limited than they wanted for the Indian Roadmaster. I’m not sure where you are getting your information that Harley is priced beyond it’s maket. They all are then, because A top end Harley is NOT priced higher than a top end anything else.

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  108. I have a 52 pan ,72 shovel , 04 custom with a 110 evo . Have been riding since 1980. Pan was my first bike, it had issues as all of the older bikes did. Reliability may not have been there strongest point. But as i’ve told many a foreign bike rider, when they wanted to run light to light. I may not win tonight, but be back here in 40 years on the same bike and we’ll run again. I mostly just got a dumb look , I look for them all the time when on my pan. Just cant seem to find them. My pan has left me on the side of the rode a few times , flat tires, busted clutch cable throttle cable burnt points , fouled spark plugs, everything except tires you carried in you tool pouch or saddle bags. Even changed tubes out on the side of the rode with a little help from your bros. Met soom good people on the road side, and helping others out . Shit sure has changed i still get laughed at by younger crowd and asked why dont you get somthing new and reliable, They dont get it, its all for the love of the MOTORCYCLE . We use to tell the foreign riders when they asked is why we ride our old unreliable dinosaur, FOR THOSE WHO DONT UNDERSTAND NO EXPLANATION CAN BE GIVEN, FOR THOSE WHO DO UNDERSTAND NO EXPLANATION IS NEEDED. So in 40 years meet in springhill fl at springhill rd and rt 19 ,I may be fixing something but we can go from light to light. And I’ll still be loving my AMERICAN MADE DINOSAUR. Just love the ride not the destination. Remember, RESPECT

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  109. Interesting that a Harley dealerships arethe only motorcycle dealerships without leftover models.
    I just left The Japanese shop, looking for a cheap cover, and there were 2014/15 mixed among a few 2016s.
    Went to Harley to get a high quality cover, no last year models and the bell rang twice.

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  110. What a load of bollocks …you can see why they say Americans talk a load of shit . When your read crap like this you can understand why .. You come over a s a bitter and twisted old man that hasn’t had a good shag in years .. Somebody help him out and give him a blow job ..

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    • LOL big time..maybe to the many whom know nothing of motorcycles, or have appreciation for sophisticated machinery…because Harley definitely IS NOT…Put any objective, true *motorcycle* enthusiasts on my bike…and they would see why my modern 2014 Valkyrie puts *ANY* air cooled, archaic, lawn mower, weed whipper, chain saw Harley to shame. If they didn’t their just STUPID. People you need to get over this MADE IN AMERICA crap. That shit flew out the window decades ago. Wake the fuck up! There are over 7 billion fucking people on this planet and Americans don’t have humanity cornered. Give me a fucking break. There is far more to life then football, firearms and cheap beer! (btw I love all that too, but the cheap beer) We exist in a global economy and America sold you out years ago. Again, WAKE THE FUCK UP!

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  111. I own a 2005 Harley Road king custom and a 2013 Harley Street Glide and nidder one of them Harley,s have ever let me down the always run afther the first push of the starter button and every day i ride idder one of my Harley Davidson motorcycles i just want to ride them and never stop because i have owned a lot of Japanese motorcycles from Suzuki GSXRs 1300, 750, 400, and even 125 to Honda,s and kawasaki,s but ive never felt comfortable riding them so i bought a Harley Sports 883 that was my first Harley Davidson and then i bought a Harley Vrod and now i own a Harley Road king custom and a Harley Street Glide and i will never ride any thing but a Harley because my rides just gets better every day im out riding idder my Harley Road king custom our my Harley Street Glide the Harley Davidson is the true king of the road and always will be

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  112. Your suggestion that the Yamaha touring bikes are passing Harley’s is severely flawed. Yamaha has discontinued making big naggers for touring in favor of the smaller sport adventure models.
    You need to update and be truthful, haven’t seen all those HD dealers going out of business that you claim.
    Now on HD riding with no Yamahs in Star Touring and Riding .

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  113. Man, did your boss read this articel?
    Unbelievable, I usually don’t reply on this kind of articles but now I have to.
    For 42 years I do ride Harleys, I live in Europe so I have to pay for it, BIG. It was worth it all those years and I will continue to pay for it as long as I am able to pay and ride
    You know why?
    I guess not, because I believe you never had the right feeling to ride a Harley. Try a Roadking instead of a softtail, your old ass should the difference.
    Sure, I could buy a Japanese or a German bike, less expensive but less fun too.
    I made a choice when I was 11 years of age.
    Your article can not change it, I bet there are still enough “idiots” you can not convince.
    Or can you convince me this factory is doing everything wrong…….for 113 years from start.

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  114. Most of the men I ride with have Harleys. They look great and sound great. They have very few major problems. We have every make and model (not really, but a lot). We fellas on the Jap bikes like to bust the chops of the Harley owners and visa versa. At the end of the day we are on the road with our big fat heads in the wind and that is what matters.

    Harley-Davidson is a company that has a rich and valued history. It would be a real shame to see the company fail, in my opinion.

    There are still many people who still associate Harley with soldiers returning from war and patriotism. Whatever your opinion is to the validity of that view, that is a real selling point and I believe is what still sells Harleys to the blue collar man.

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  115. Nothing in the article is remotely true. We are pacing a record month at the largest HD dealership in SE…check market share.

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  116. Pingback: Cost to rebuild 2004 Vtx 1300c engine - Page 2 - VTXOA

  117. Harleys are great, until you actually have to ride it. Then you know why their parts fit back to 1957, because thats where they are stuck at.

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  118. Some reason I never get the animosity from the HD riders that riders of Japanese bikes get. Probably because I ride a Triumph. The one brand with arguably more heritage than HD. They get this misty eyed look and start telling me about their dad’s old trumpet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually Indian built a better bike, but Harley was better at business. I cannot think of one innovative thing they have brought to market, they are always 30 years behind the times. They are stuck deep in the 50’s but people keep buying them. I think they resent the Japanese bikes because deep down they know they are buying a turd for way too much money, but cant admit it and lose their coolness.

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  119. Typical troll. Formulaic too: talk about number of riders, costs, REAL bikers vs fake, historical significance, then say that he owns a Harley as well and can complain. There were valid points, but no data. I would have stuck with the cost factors and shit canned the drama (REAL biker stuff). I would have also talked about two interesting changes in motorcycle riding and at HD… many more women riders and how HD has released a less expensive hybrid metric bike (XG500 and 750). Plus it is hipster as all hell for younger generations to work on older Harleys now, especially Sportsters and turning wrenches to modify/customize them. Do a search on instagram for thelitas, ironlilies, saltykooks, thethrottledolls, thethrottledollsukireland, thethrottledollseurope, sportstersquad, lowbrowcustoms, thedreamroll, the__dahlias, sportstergram, lonewolfmotoclub, womensmotoexhibit, etc… Lots and lots of riders, lots of women riders, and lots of people who love DIY Harley bikes. These instagram accounts make me want to buy an old piece of shit sportster, put it back together, and get it going. See you on the road!🙂

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  120. I’ve been riding for 35 years, and for as long as I can remember, HD motorcycles have been over priced and overweight. Compared to other bikes, they don’t accelerate, brake or corner nearly as well. But, lots of guys with little dicks think HDs will make them cooler than they really are. I’ve never understood the need to sacrifice performance and money just to fit in with all the other guys who spend thousands and thousands on chrome and performance upgrades when there are so many better built machines to choose from.

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  121. People that comment on an HDs cornering or braking ability have never witnessed aMotorcycle Cop Competition like the SPMTC. Had they they would realize that those officers on their HDs take away most of the trophies. So much for the braking and cornering myth.

    The problem is not in the bike itself – the problem is most definitely overpriced when compared with other offerings in the market.

    Add to that a line of dealerships with a
    “take-it or leave-it” attitude, a laughable “trade-in” policy, and outrageous APRs, you have a lose-lose rather then win-win situation.

    I’d been driving a Harley for more years then I can count. At almost 70 and the wife retiring, and wanting to finally come along we opted for a Trike.

    The dealership would not budge a penny one a rental unit that just became available, the trade-in on my Electra Glide was a joke and the APR was like 19%. The manage would not even talk to us. The wife basically said screw this.

    We went to another dealer, they took 6K off the price, gave me 3K more for my trade then Harley, thru in 2 year extended warranty, 3 years free maintenance, no doc fees, and no freight fees!

    So now I’m the proud owner of a different American Made Trike, a Can-Am Spyder and I dare ANY HD Trike to keep up with me in the “twisties!” But if you do, tell me how your arms feel when we’re done. LOL

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    • you mean North American made, but in Quebec where they are built they speak mostly French anyways lol…Harley has been living off their ‘image’ since they almost went bankrupt, they make bigger and bigger engines for more power instead of improving that archaic combustion chamber and valve gear, put high quality paint and chrome on and call it a day. Then the customer puts loud pipes on to create a racket where ever they go, which usually isnt very far. You can put lipstick on a pig…

      Like

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