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A lot of folks here wonder why I so passionately express certian viewes I hold. Many times that passion displays itself in an insulting manner. I assure you, it is never meant as a personal attack on an individual. It is always focused at some "system".

The MoCo is a large Corporation. As such, their job is to turn profits for the investors. These well laid plans at conducting bussiness in the most highly profitable fashion calls for vision.

Scan forward 20 years now. What do you see as far as The Harley Davidson that will travel the roads? Shall they have stuck to tradition in style or will they have gone to the jet age look around them? Although the Roadking of today can look back decades and see the like style, not so in the year 2022. Our experiment in the years 2002 and 2003 proved that the real money was in the rich guy who just had to have something he could say he owned. We released the V-Rod and many a folk laid down the cash and parked them in their garages so they could show their friends on Bridge Night. It was almost funny but proved to be a good market ploy when the following year we released the SE RoadKing. We then saw many of the V-Rod Owners trade in at a loss a bike they did not ride just so they could get the latest fad Harley. Therefore we deduced that change is a good thing and the more dramatic the change the easier to market at higher prices the new bikes. This is why today you see no resembelance of the Traditional Harley of old.

Scan back to today and if you were around in the 70's and 80's look around. We are being weeded out by The Company. Today the MOCO hires folks just to track down any of those dirty bikers who dares have a problem with them. The avid need to control the market demands that a rainbow of false marketing ploys be used to attract the new guy that has the bucks to burn. Creating a new breed of "biker" was no small task, but they have done it.

My problem with the MoCo is that they are destroying the very Spirit that kept them alive when they were going down hard. It was at that time that customer loyalty rallied the life back into The MoCo. There was one and one type of customer then and without them even the AMF bailout would not have saved them. The loyalty thing was big because the bikes were not the best thing on the road at the time, hell, they still aren't. But the people stayed their ground and supported Harley Davidson.

Well those same "type bikers" today are becoming more and more amazed at the cold transition of this Company. They are big enough to believe they don't need "us" anymore and they are probably right. They look to and will find a way to attract folks that they don't have to be all that loyal to.

Yes, they are killing The Spirit slowly that eventually will place us as a small footnote in the History Books, wherefrom I fear, is the only way our great grandkids will ever come to hear the term, "Biker."

Oh and they are greedy shitheads to. :D
 

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Bro, I look at it in a much more pragmatic way.

They simply are a reflection of society in general. Image over substance.

The only thing that bothers me to some extent, and actually less every day, is the fact they are a bunch of fakes. If they were to tacitly accept the fact they are a bunch of bean counters instead of pretending to be a part of a family or brotherhood, the whole thing would be easier to swallow.

Let them keep pushing, there are other bikes out there.
 

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Fear not, friends, for this is still America, land of opportunity. The market will still be there and someone with vision, be it Indian, Victory, American IronHorse , whoever, will rise to the occasion and make a KILLING catering to the "old school". We shall lament the passing of the once great, but also forever enjoy the American V-Twin

Dean
 

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jimmy i always look forward to your thought and ideals. some day every Harley shop will hav e 10 of each model on the floor for sale. and rebates sales going on just wait we will see that in the next frew years. especially after the 100th stuff is done.
 

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Again, JimmyK you have a good thought. The company almost died and has forgotten where they came from. They have gotten too big for their britches. Hell, why isn't Wille G. doing anything about the progression of things? He's been involved for years and has seen H-D change so many ways.(Doesn't he have enough Benjamins in HIS pocket?) We, the people saved the CO. They would have long been history, if it weren't for dedicated people who loved the bikes. Yep, the bikes are far from perfect, but the $hit they produced from AMC only proves how dedicated those people really are! Corperate America at it's best. I guess money does make the world go 'round. Just depresses the human spirit. Just my opinion. J.T.
 

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Slamin is right. Sooner or later the rubs and the speculators will move on to the Next Big Thing and the cycle will complete. The sheer numbers of production on the 100th anniversary models are a sign of things to come. I think a "market correction" will be coming in the next 5-10 years that will re-define how the true enthusiast is treated by the MoCo.
 

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In the early 90s, HD pretty much turned their backs on the people who kept them afloat through the tough years. This also included the dealers like Robison HD in Daytona Beach that was for years a center of activity during Bike Week. HD demanded that Robison remodel his dealership into the more trendy "boutique" style. When Robison refused HD pulled his dealership license. For a good article on what Robison's HD was like in the good ole days click here. Many HD dealers now are just big, greedy corporate conglomerates who's only interest is whats in your wallet. Just TRY and borrow a wrench these days! They would be happy to SELL you a wrench set (complete with HD engraved logos) for five times the market rate of an equivalent set!

HD first started annoying me in the mid-90s when they wanted to patent the "sound" of their engines. At that point, they were really paranoid of all the Japanese cruisers taking some of their market share. Why couldn't HD just focus on building a better motorcycle instead of engaging in legal wrangling to prevent someone from using the same bore and stroke? How ridiculous. Since HD was doing so well financially they didn't dare approach Congress again for import tariffs or some other good ole boy favor.

I'm really surprised HD is doing so well these days. Although HD would never admit to this, the reason they are doing so well is because they became "trendy" in the early 90s. HD would lead you to believe it is because of their superior engineering, reliability and styling. Most of us know that is absolute BS. Although I must admit they have made progress in engineering and reliability, but then, who the heck wouldn't when you have boatloads of cash coming in! I just wish they would spend less on glam marketing and litigious attorneys (just ask DP) and more on engineering and reliability. Like all trends, some day the HD trend will end and I can't wait to see greedy dealer showrooms packed full of bikes that no one wants!
 

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HIPPO,
I know that what I'm about to ask sounds absolutely ludicrous, seeing how I've been talking about wanting to get my first Harley so bad, but you made a comment "there are other bikes out there".
I'm having 2nd thoughts about the Harley I have on order -- I realize it sounds whacky but from all that I've been reading I'm beginning to ........................
Anyway, what other bike would you recommend? ([{"IF" the Harley wasn't in the picture)]}
 

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cox9000 said:

Anyway, what other bike would you recommend? ([{"IF" the Harley wasn't in the picture)]}
Just get your HOG my man!!! Ya've waited long enough for it! :rolleyes:
 

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Well, we ride Harleys because that's what we do, but there are some great bikes out there.
The two bikes I would seriously consider are the Yamaha FJR1300 and the BMW R1150RT. I came real close to buying another BMW several times but I don't like the full time power assisted ABS. If they had a selective non power assisted system it would be a real close call.
The other bike that I could live with is the Honda ST1300.

The japanese bikes are very good but have the same problem Harley has, the service support is non existent and the dealers are a bunch of jagoffs.

BMW is the only motorcycle company that provides adequate support.
The argument factories have no influence on dealers is just so much bull$hit. As an example there is a conglomerate here that owns the franchises for three HD dealers, most japanese franchises (except Kawasaki) and the BMW franchise.

The tone at the BMW franchise is very, very different from all the others.

See, the funny thing is that this group also owns Cadillac franchises among others, so they are well versed in treating customers correctly and taking care of problems in an efficient manner.
Conclusion is that they treat you like $hit and rake you over the coals simply becuse they can get away with it.

The BMW store is the exception, not because they have a different management team, but because whatever you may think of BMW riders in general, they do not buy motorcycles to ride to the nearest tavern or hot dog stand, and they don't put up with $hit.

In the end it's not the dealers, it's us as a group that put up with them. This is the reason many of us dislike the airheads that put up with market adjustments in the pricing and $500.00 oil changes, nothing personal.
I could care less how they ride, if they trailer the sumbit(h in circles or what winds their clock, but they are the reason we can not get parts in a timely manner while having hundreds of T shirt and panty designs available at any time.

This is also the power of these boards. As new riders get realistic information and have a few dealer experiences, the initial infatuation wears off in a hurry. Just like when the date with the great tittz shows her real personality. The ranks of those that will not stand for business as usual is growing every day.
 

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Thank you very much HIPPO for responding. I just wanted to say that this forum is lucky to have you and I very much appreciate your input (not just with me but for all the people that sign in).
 

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I don't want to get into a flame war here but i can't really agree with the BMW as far as my experience with them goes. My dealings with BMW weren't great and the dealer wasn't super good either. Early Flying Brick models ...the K Bikes had a problem where they smoked like a two stroke if the bike was left on the sidestand for any length of time..and for a while, the factory's response to correct the smoking problem was to put the bike on the centre stand..imagine that eh? The service for the BMW wasn't cheap either and each time I brought the bike in I worried as to whether or not I was going to get another mark on the bike. I don't have that problem with the Harley shop here. the motor company is anal in a lot of ways but the local shops look after their customers.......up this way at least. and wrenching your ride is a good thing.
 

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No flame war here, everyone has their own experiences and problems. The late BMW's also have a lot of problems with surging they have been dancing around for a while, and it has been quite a few years since I owned a BMW.
Maybe it's the area of the country we live in, some smaller family run HD dealers, notably in OR, ID and MT, also have professional attitudes and discuss problems truthfully while trying to be helpful within their means. They also have much less personnel turn over and the service people have been at it for a while. That's all one can ask for, $hit is going to happen with anything mechanical sooner or later.
 

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Good Points

I see a lot of good points in all of these posts, but I still wish we could get through to H-D management somehow. I have owned or ridden just about every bike out there. I hate to say it, but to me nothing beats the feel of a Harley, subsequently I own and ride one. But I am really disappointed in the way the dealers treat customers and the Factory just let's it go on.

I know that the H-D could stop all of this crap by standing up for their customers and standing up to their dealers. They just do not seem interested however. If they were to pay attention to forums like this one, perhaps they would see the future..or in this case the lack of a future. I'm old enough to remember when we were all loyal to the American auto manufacturers, but they pee'd on that rug and haven't recovered yet. When I get the fever for a new bike my business will go to the company that earns my business and makes the best bike. Right now it looks like that could very well be something other that H-D.
 

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I agree that most large corporations are run by bean counters these days. I know I work for one of them, and have for 20 years. Everyone listens to what the accountant says. The only thing that is important is profit today - at just about any cost. I do not think the MoCo is any different. Because the profits are good, they must be doing the right thing, right?
 

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If the MoCo wants to keep profittable they are going to have to start paying attention to the customers. They do have control over there dealers, it's by holding back the product and limiting there sells until the dealers correct the problem. If that is what happened to Robison trying to force the boutique then they could do the same to force reliable service. MoCo I know your watching, time to wake up and smell the java.
Dan
 

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I think a dealer certification is in order. Mabe something similar to Chrysler's 5 star delarship certifications. There are major differences between delarships. I was in need once of a battery for an old bike while I was living near Pittsburgh. I was about 14 years old and was getting my pops bike ready after winter. I walked into the dealership, asked for a battery. The parts guy said sure. In line behind me was some asshole in a polo shirt and kakis looking for some chrome and new pipes. The parts guy forgot about me and spent an hour talking to this guy right in front of my face. Now I'm in Seattle, and let me tell you the guys of Eastside H-D are pretty straight up MFers. I always get treated with respect and they won't BS you. Of course they never have the parts you need. :rolleyes: THe BMW Shop crew in Kirkland is pretty cool too but my brother in law used to work there so I'm a bit biased.
 

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Oh yea, I can't spell worth a damn either.
 

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Maybe it's me, don't know, but I just purchased my new V-Rod and the dealer I purchased it from was very concerned how I filled out the customer survey. They did me very right, and wanted to make sure I was happy. At first I thought they were ok, but after reading what happened to a lot of you, it sure make me feel real good.

For starter I paid less than MSRP, only $75 but that is something. And then on top of that they gave me 15% off all my parts/accessories. I had a great experience with my Dealer, and will go back to them. I try to purchase something every time I am there to help support them, any thing from a pin to a tee for the kids. I saw one post where the guy was happy paying $600 over MSRP and the Dealer added $1,200 of chrome on top of that. I can't relate to a bad experience, the worst thing for me was the wait; H-D was about 30 days behind in production, so my date slipped too.

I don't dislike H-D, I think they put out a great product and have come to realize, that I had a great Dealer, Frederick H-D, Frederick MD. But the bottom line to all this is I think Harley is pay attention to the dealer feed back that customer provide in the form of the survey they send you. Tell them what you think, fill it out and send it back, if you aren't happy let them know, you didn't send it back and blew it off; shame on you, you need to let the MoCo know what's going on. And I fully believe that the MoCo could benefit from the Board. But like I said before, in other posts, they are concerned about the use of the name, it's all about the name.

My 2 cents
 
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