Author Topic: Harley Davidson  (Read 1174 times)

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Bilgemaster

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Reply #15 on: December 02, 2022, 01:05:10 pm
Harley-Davidson's biggest challenge is overcoming its own past success and "Tradition" hype. They need a new and separate brand name or three to explore other options without risking sending their increasingly elderly and reactionary loyalists, who just automatically kneejerk despise anything "new," into a full psychotic break. If they're smart they should continue to produce their big costly "boutique" V-Twin behemoths for their shrinking and generally aging market under the Harley-Davidson badge, explore electric options as "LiveWire" (shedding the "Harley" moniker), and christen a new "York" or perhaps "Milwaukee" brand (named after the locations of their chief American factories) for a newer breed of middleweight or light bikes made or assembled in the States, with perhaps a fourth dusted-off marque from their past (e.g., Hummer, Buell, Sportcycle, Street, etc.) for their chiefly foreign-produced ventures. All could be sold and serviced through their existing dealership networks, but differentiated by insistently separate branding--similar to Honda/Acura or Toyota/Lexus. This might be way out for them to wrestle their big "mobility scooter" from the regressive brand expectations hole they've dug themselves into.

Though many are surely familiar with it already, I'll just leave this FortNine recap of Harley's past missteps and current plight here: https://youtu.be/EOwxxsPaogY



« Last Edit: December 02, 2022, 01:37:26 pm by Bilgemaster »
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Richard230

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Reply #16 on: December 02, 2022, 02:16:59 pm
What's the boggle with selling something people want and can afford? Are HD committed to corporate suicide? The whole "HD lifestyle" schtick eludes me. You want real speed? Get a Hayabusa or ZX14. What's wrong with the Goldwing or Rocket 3 if you want to tour effortlessly? Why anyone in 2022 would spend real money, $25K-$45K, on faux 1930's tech is a puzzler. The target audience is aging out, play money is harder to come by, there's certainly no objective performance reason to own one, you are just buying into a pricy, machismo infused boys club.

HD needs to develop new clientele if they expect to stay in business. That means a new product line and new marketing engagement. The current dealers won't work as they are fully committed to the existing  lifestyle schlock. Maybe they need to break away "HD" from the new hardware, like Toyota/Lexus or Honda/Acura. There's no disgrace in selling solid transportation or decent light & middleweight machines, but it would take a much different attitude.

Break away from H-D for new hardware - like they did with the LiveWireOne and didn't do with Buell?   :(
2011 Royal Enfield B5 500, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM Duke 390, 2002 Yamaha FZ1


tooseevee

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Reply #17 on: December 02, 2022, 03:46:04 pm
The old Harley rationalization, " If I have to explain it you wouldn't understand" always bugged me a little bit but the fact of the matter is like some other makes they speak to you on an emotional level. They aren't the best handling or the fastest but they excel at moving the soul, something that other appliance like bikes or tiddlers just aren't able to do. They are a touchstone to the past and for those that like their motorcycles in classic flavors find all the boxes ticked by them. The baby boomers seemed to long for an idyllic past that never really existed but manifested itself in music, guitars, and cultural niches, from the sublime to the ridiculous. The younger ones now don't look back but are looking forward and for most, motorcycles don't fit that vision.

Harley owners have always fallen into three camps, the RUB's (rich urban bikers) the dirt bag 1 %'s (I say that with some affection) and the third group is a bit harder to label but distill down to your general motorcycle enthusiast who sees / hears / feels something in these bikes and gets something from them that other motorcycles just don't provide (there's that emotional level thing again). Harley doesn't have the market cornered on this, you'll see the same with British and Italian bike owners and more so with the classic enthusiasts of those brands I don't enjoy the prospect of Harley Davidson fading away or for that matter motorcycle culture as I have known it in my life time, but change is inevitable and time marches on. In the meantime I look forward to that day next Spring when I can get my Harley down to the highway for the first ride of the season and the world and all it's problems melt away as I'm in the the wind once more with my anachronistic big twin motorcycle.


            Wellsed, Karl. Thanks. I find it harder & harder all the time to condense 84 years of every day bike involvement & "passing scene"/current events watching into short paragraphs. I'd hafta write a book & even THAT wouldn't make any sense of it all. And I love the history of it all (bikes AND cars). It's the BS & sweeping generalizations from random samples that make me nuts. ALL motorcycles & motorcycle people from ALL countries have valid histories & heritages & they're ALL interesting.
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #18 on: December 03, 2022, 06:06:59 am
@ #16: "What's the boggle with selling something people want and can afford?"
"Livewire, Starting at $22,799..."
https://www.livewire.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Electric_LiveWire_Brand_E&utm_term=harley%20livewire%20price&gclid=Cj0KCQiA4aacBhCUARIsAI55maFLGDka_wZf78mLE1gqvE9x4nDzKpSyCWuLsjmv4cSEooZ6Kief-_waAnVCEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

$23K will likely buy a new 2023 LC450, a new 650 interceptor, and a new 350 Hunter with change left over for registration, fuel & insurance for a few years. A helluva lot more folks can afford $4K-$7K for something they can actually use than will shell out $23K for a see-pretty. The Board at HD must already have a shut-down plan in place, they sure don't seem to be doing much more than riding it into the ground. Craigslist gets fuller every year with low-mileage premium HD iron, no real reason to spend 2x - 3x more at the dealer unless you are just impressing the 25 year old trophy wife.

A "Motor Company" separate location sidebrand shop stocked with these gems might be a possible starting point. The QJ300 is a treat.

https://motor.qjmotor.com/ProDetail/QJ500-8A
https://motor.qjmotor.com/ProDetail/QJ250-9
https://motor.qjmotor.com/ProDetail/QJ500-19
https://motor.qjmotor.com/ProDetail/QJ300-12
https://motor.qjmotor.com/ProDetail/BJ250-3B
« Last Edit: December 03, 2022, 06:18:17 am by AzCal Retred »
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Richard230

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Reply #19 on: December 03, 2022, 02:47:05 pm
H-D spun off the LiveWire into a separate company. There are a number of big investors, but I believe H-D still holds a controlling interest in the LiveWireOne company. I can't recall if it is a publicly traded corporation or is privately held (like Zero). I am also not quite sure how they are selling and servicing LiveWires now, but initially you could only buy one through the internet and then had to visit a dedicated LiveWire dealer (just try to find one) to actually pick it up and get it serviced if needed. The last I heard there was only one LiveWire dealer in California, located in Southern California. Most established H-D dealers will not support the LiveWire - although they might fill out the paperwork for you and let you pick it up at their shop before sending you on your way. No surprise there, I guess.  ::)
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #20 on: December 18, 2022, 12:12:24 am
https://www.cycleworld.com/story/motorcycle-news/harley-davidson-hd350-hd500-qianjiang-partnership/
First Photos of Harley-Davidson HD350 and HD500

The idea of a small, parallel-twin Harley-Davidson was first announced way back in 2019 as part of a plan to join forces with China’s giant Qianjiang group; now not one but two such bikes have been type-approved for sales in China.

Originally, this small Harley was to be called the 338R, reflecting a 338cc capacity achieved by combining the stroke of Qianjiang’s 300cc twin with the bore of its larger 500cc motor. However, since then, the Chinese firm has introduced its own 353cc version of the engine, and that’s the unit that will appear in the smallest of the Harley-Davidsons, internally called “HD350″ but wearing badges that appear to read “X350.”

As shown in the sole photograph accompanying the type approval, the production machine is essentially identical to the sketches Harley showed back in 2019, with a flat-track-inspired shape. It’s wrapped around a set of ready-made chassis components, largely borrowed from the Benelli 302S roadster. Benelli is, of course, owned by Qianjiang. The Chinese market QJMotor SRK350 also uses the same parts, as well as an identical 353cc engine.

That engine, according to the approval documents, is good for 36 hp in the Harley HD350, but it has a relatively hefty load to move. Ready to ride, the quoted weight of the smallest Harley is 430 pounds. The type approval says the result is a top speed of 89 mph. Other figures on the paperwork include a wheelbase of 55.5 inches, while the wheels, which appear identical to those used on the Benelli 302S, wear 120/70-17 rubber at the front and 160/60-17 at the rear. The suspension and brakes are straight from the Benelli 302S, including the petal-style front discs and upside-down fork.

But the HD350 isn’t the only fruit of the project. Harley is also making the HD500 (potentially to be called X500), a 500cc twin based around the chassis and engine of the Benelli Leoncino 500. Also type-approved in China, the X500 makes 47 hp and weighs in at 456 pounds wet. Top speed is 99 mph, and the wheelbase is 57 inches, while the wheels and tires are the same sizes as the HD350. The larger bike has bigger brake discs and radial-mount calipers—directly from the Leoncino 500—and its styling is more traditional cruiser than the HD350, particularly toward the rear.

Both bikes are made by a joint venture company set up by Harley-Davidson and Qianjiang, going by the name Zhejiang Jisheng Motor Vehicle Co., Ltd. This brand was originally established in 2021, but was only awarded a license to manufacture motorcycles by the Chinese government as recently as November 2022. This delay likely explains the long gap between the announcement of the project and the type approval of these finished-looking bikes.

Will the small Harleys be sold outside Asia? That remains unknown at the moment. The intention is clearly to attract new riders to the brand in markets like China where full-size Harleys are unaffordable to most riders. However, given the components shared with globally sold Benelli models there’s no reason that the bikes couldn’t be approved for sale in Western markets if there’s a hunger for them.

A trifecta of Pre-Unit Bullets: a Red Deluxe 500, a Green Standard 500, and a Black ES 350.


Karl Childers

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Reply #21 on: December 18, 2022, 04:44:05 am
That 500 has some serious stopping power!


AzCal Retred

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Reply #22 on: December 18, 2022, 06:01:50 am
QJ looks to be skipping the HD middleman, they are filing to sell bikes stateside.

" The QJMotor machines are largely based on the same engines and frames used by Benelli models, but feature their own distinct appearance. Models listed on the US VIN document include the SRT750X, an adventure bike using the same engine as the Benelli TRK800, as well as the SRV550 (a 50 hp parallel-twin cruiser), SRV300 V-twin cruiser, the 76 hp SRK750 roadster and the full-faired SRK400RR sportbike, which uses a 43 hp twin.

Other notable models included in document are the brand’s electric models, the QJMotor G2 and EZ scooters, plus the Q2, a hybrid between a mountain bike and an enduro, powered by a 3kW (4 hp) motor and a 60V, 32Ah battery to give a 75-mile range and 30 mph top speed. "
A trifecta of Pre-Unit Bullets: a Red Deluxe 500, a Green Standard 500, and a Black ES 350.