How Harley Davidson Killed Itself - Page 2 - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #11 of 92 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by cra-z1 View Post
In the 70"s I thought they were on their way out when they were bought by AMF, then came the tariff and a lot of baby boomers with money who bought into the style, just as Cagefree's retired banker did. Since the early 2000's I have been saying it can't last. There are selling to a group that are aging rapidly. Polaris is also in the same boat with the Indian however they are a bit more progressive with their engine designs, heck they even developed a water-cooled bike.
They have been selling to an aging group for 50 years now. Let that sink in.

The problem isn't so much Harley. The problem is that the American motorcycle market has shrunk tremendously. Ask any dealer how they are surviving. I'll virtually 100% assure you the answer will be ATVs. I know several owners of dealers and that is what they all have said. How many Harley ATVs do you see at Harley dealers?

In my riding I bet that at least half the bikes I pass are still Harley's. It's just that the whole pie is a lot smaller.
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post #12 of 92 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 01:22 AM
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I hope HD finds a way out of their predicament … the more choices there are, the better for all. I know several people who ride HDs - every one of them loves their bike, and has no illusions about what they bought into - good and bad.

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post #13 of 92 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 09:15 AM
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......<snip>My favorite HD products were the V-Rod and most of the Buell offerings. HD refused to develop that wonderful, Porsche engineered Revolution engine and then cancelled it altogether and pulled the plug on Buell. <snip>........
At a previous job, we developed the ECU for the V-Rod and the Porsche based engine. The Porsche engine was very impressive on the dyno and the few 'undercover' rides I was able to take.
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post #14 of 92 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 09:44 AM
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At a previous job, we developed the ECU for the V-Rod and the Porsche based engine. The Porsche engine was very impressive on the dyno and the few 'undercover' rides I was able to take.
That's really cool! I just NEVER understood why HD never continued to develop that engine and used it in only one bike. I'm sure it was because it wasn't air-cooled and more expensive to manufacture which cut into the amount of money they could make off it. But it was an extremely reliable engine from what I've read on various Harley forums.

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post #15 of 92 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 10:13 AM
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That is a good video by Fort-Nine. I agree that the introduction of the small displacement models and new styles by HD is too late. That market has already been filled by the Japanese big four. I personally like the HD touring line and think they should focus on excellence in this type motorcycle.


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post #16 of 92 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 12:08 PM
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For those who weren't INTO motorcycles when the Harley tariffs were introduced, that is why you see all the 700cc Japanese motorcycles from those years, they were re-engineered to avoid the tariff on 750cc bikes.

It was always humorous to me that HD felt they were competing with the Jap 750 bikes, since the smallest "real" Harley was a 900cc "Sportster" and most were over 1200cc's. LOL
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post #17 of 92 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 03:55 PM
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That's really cool! I just NEVER understood why HD never continued to develop that engine and used it in only one bike. I'm sure it was because it wasn't air-cooled and more expensive to manufacture which cut into the amount of money they could make off it. But it was an extremely reliable engine from what I've read on various Harley forums.
At that time HD was holding on strong to there air cooled tradition. They were very skeptical about the V-Rod water cooled engine. They did not feel their loyal customers would accept it.

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post #18 of 92 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 04:51 PM
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The plan going forward is fewer models (only the most popular). less color choices and less customizing according to articles I have read lately..

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post #19 of 92 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 05:22 PM
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They did not feel their loyal customers would accept it.

Alas, they were right.
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post #20 of 92 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 07:43 PM
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If you haven’t ridden a newer HD, say 05 & newer you should ! they are not your pappy’s hd ! Quality, fit & finish is actually better than nothing from Yamaha or any of the other Japanese bikes. Are they slower and a bit ponderous, , yes they are. I agree with old bald sob in that in my opinion they hit a home run with the v-rod motor, just fast & smooth, handled & stopped well but the seating position just sucked for me. Put that engine in a “normal” chassis or something like the xr1200 and I think they would’ve had a winner. I do like the Sportster & Superglides, a bit different but fun, just can’t be in any hurry.

Anyone ever rode an indian ftr1200 ?i did last summer, it’s real winner as well, fun to ride ! I don’t care for the cruiser thing myself but the ftr1200 isn’t in that category and is just a hoot to ride, different than an fjr, reminds me of the Yamaha fz09, just a hooligan, & encourages you to do stupid **** ! Imho

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