Harley Davidson - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Harley Davidson

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Just for laughs I went to our local Harley Davidson dealer here in Glendale California, a couple of points. As I looked at the bikes, one thought came crashing through my mind. And that was how Harley has turned its bikes into cultural icons.
We all can agree or disagree on what this means, but the fact cannot be argued is that the HD is a true American product. All the chrome, the large displacement engines, the paint. As someone who had a father that had 50's American cars until I was 6 or 7, I grew up around cars that had chrome, and massive interiors, and chromed out engine compartments. And some how seeing those bikes at the store struck that chord in me.
The HD motorcycle has a big group that it caters to, and none of us can predict where HDs future will take it, but just going to the HD dealership yeasterday in a way took me down memory lane. I am a guy that grew up with 50's American cars and have an appreciation for them, as I do the bikes. But the modern, efficient, practical Japanese motorcycles like our Versys is where my heart and dollars go. Anyway, GV09
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post #2 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 12:33 PM
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I agree with your post, but here's a personal twist: I had a gorgeous 1962 Corvette with the 340 hp 327, 4 speed, for 21 years till I sold it a year ago.

Was it fun to 'go nostalgic' in it? HELL yes!!!

Would I want to drive it EVERY day? HELL no!

Even my '03 Mazda Protege5 will out corner, out handle, and out brake it and be WAY more comfortable in the bargain! PLUS - I could buy TWO Mazdas for what I sold the 'Vette for...!

So - would I want to drive around in or ON a "dinosaur" like the '62 'Vette or H-D?

My Versys (and my KLR650) are the equivalent to the Mazda... fun, comfortable, economical and practical.

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post #3 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 12:57 PM
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When you old farts are gone they're going to have some problems, though.
I haven't got any interest in those things outside of a museum. Neither do my brothers, friends, etc. I know two guys my age who have Harleys and they are acquantances removed 2 or 3 degrees. I've only seen one of them get theirs out of the garage, although he does actually commute on his so props for that.

Id rather have something modern with fuel injection and good handling. Same for bikes, actually double for bikes because thats something I actually spend money on.
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post #4 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Old Farts

Shatrat,



HD will have no problems when I am (or other old farts) are gone. The reason as I stated in my post, do not purchase HD bikes. I, like you, enjoy fuel injection, fast cornering, all the perks of modern tech. HD motorcycles are antiquated monsters, symbols of yeasterdays technology. An almost 900cc Sporster puts out 43 bhp.. The Versys puts out as probably know, 60+ out of 650cc. .
HD will have an image problem, that there is very little doubt. It needs to attract younger riders with newer, fresher, motorcycles. HD will always have its core group of riders young and old, but it needs to change its direction.
Signed, GV09 one of the old farts.
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post #5 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 01:15 PM
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but it needs to change its direction
And they just ****canned buell and MV Augusta. They're hosed. You heard it here first folks.
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post #6 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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HD

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Touche, . You are correct, they chit canned Buell, and Augusta, two companies that could have given HD a new perpsective, and product direction. GV09
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post #7 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 02:15 PM
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As long as there is a middle-class white-collar 36-45 crowd that wants to roll through small towns on the weekends and scare old people, Harley Davidson will be in business. That's why they scuttled Buell/Augusta. Sport riders don't ride Harleys and Harley riders don't ride sport bikes. Upper middle-class, McMansion-dwelling weekend warriors are HD's main clientele.

Folks that like to 'farkle' their $8K bikes with an additional $3K in gear are more niche than HD riders, and as long as that's the status-quo Harley Davidson will be around forever.

2009 Versys
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post #8 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 02:25 PM
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Harleys aren't my preference. To each his own, or hers.


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post #9 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 03:07 PM
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Sport riders don't ride Harleys and Harley riders don't ride sport bikes.
I don't know . I have a harley parked along side couple yamaha rz 350s and a fzr400 and the versys. Kenny Roberts 3 time world champ also rides a Harley. I just like motorcycles . The Harley would not be my first choice to take on an anti social ride through the twisties just like the versys would not be my first choice to take on the race track. But I think they all have a special place.
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post #10 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 03:31 PM
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I don't think HD's appeal has a thing to do with the bikes. The bikes are a necessary accesory to the HD life style. Chicks dig badass. The clothes, the image, the attitude and the bike all need to say badass.

They have marketed badass with the rest as frosting.

HD will never fail, no matter what. America would totally make sure of that. HD makes America feel tougher than anyone else.
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post #11 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 05:31 PM
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good luck HD for survival
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post #12 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 07:53 PM
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"Folks that like to 'farkle' their $8K bikes with an additional $3K in gear are more niche than HD riders, and as long as that's the status-quo Harley Davidson will be around forever."
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2009 Versys
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Who paid $8000.00 for their V ?
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post #13 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 09:24 PM
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I like and can appreciate all bikes, but not interested in owning them all, not interested in H.D. to pricey and I really don't dig all the chrome, rather ride than pollish my bike. I also wouldn't own A race style super sport, dont need that much horsepower, plus I would rather sit upright. bikes like the V are just the answer for me, enouph power, handles well, so it has the fun factor, and the price is decent. I am A very happy V owner.
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post #14 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 09:59 PM
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Harley Davidson is a religion. Ask any owner and he will admit to you the bike is overpriced and under-engineered. They own the bike for it's "status" and "the sound". Harley made a smart choice in the 1990's. To hell with technology, our money is going into marketing. It has paid off for them in spades. On a typical sunny weekend here in south Texas, I would say the ratio of V-twin cruisers to sport bikes I see is about 10 to 1. It boggles the mind.
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post #15 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 10:30 PM
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well things have changed for them in a drastic way..they forced their delaerships to include ridiculous boutique clothing, $60 sleeveless shirts and mugs, posters, and anything you could put a leather tassle on!! if the dealer refused, they pulled his dealership license, those that did are now struggling to sell all that crap that no one has the money for now either cause of the economy or they moved on to the next fad.. they started outsourcing their small chrome parts to china..thats right ..china, the quality has dropped but the price didnt...if you ride a shovelhead..good luck in getn any dealership help..they scratch their head ..lost.. they built the Vrod to pull buyers away from big inch metric cruisers and failed...why pay $17 grand for it when you can buy a vtx honda for 10 grand...the Vrod is the edsel of harley. Its actually a good bike but doesnt do any one thing really well. shops are closing every month with more to come.....
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post #16 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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HD

Glowcat,



You read my mind. GV09
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post #17 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 11:29 PM
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The difference between HD and Kawasaki, or any of the other motorycycle manufacturers is they are selling a lifestyle and image, the others are selling motorcycles. The people I know who have bought HD's would never consider even test riding another brand before buying a Harley, it's like they've drunk the HD coolaid.
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post #18 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 06:44 AM
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+1 twowheels...it really is a cultural thing and they will have a customer base for a long time to come...I just doubt that I will be part of it. I was orginally going to buy a Harley, but the more I thought about it and talked to people that rode, the more apparent it became that it wasn't the kind of riding I was interested in. It is really more like a giant club. There is a HD dealership about a mile from my house and people hang out there all the time. The dealer has all kinds of events to get people into the place and they buy all of that over priced apparel while they are there. There are some very smart HD dealers out there and of course there are some not so smart dealers that will fail. As long as there are people that want to join the club, HD will be around. They just won't be getting my dollars.

Steve

I bought a motorcycle because my wife said that I couldn't! Now I have two and she still says I can't have another one!
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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #19 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 07:24 AM
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Don't stereotype all Harley owners . I have a Harley . I don't own any Harley t shirts or jackets I don't have a Harley sticker on my truck don't belong to the hog chapter. I wear a ff helmet Joe rocket jacket draggin jeans gloves boots .I did not buy it to act like a bad ass or join some secret brotherhood .I just like bikes. I would have just as much passion for a Honda nsr 50 as I would for the Harley xr1200. Harley will be around if not I will not loose any sleep over it same if Kawasaki stopped making the versys . There are to many excellent motorcycles out there to limit yourself to one brand either Harley or Kawasaki.

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post #20 of 71 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 07:45 AM
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My comments were more about HD as a company than about all HD riders. Their goal is to get you into the culture and the club so that you have to have a HD to stay in the club. There are plenty of people that ride them because they enjoy the relaxed ride. I have friends that ride Harleys just because they like them.

Steve

I bought a motorcycle because my wife said that I couldn't! Now I have two and she still says I can't have another one!
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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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