2010 Harley range: revolutionary new models reinvigorate stagnant company!

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Remember just two weeks ago when Harley announced its earnings had dropped 91 percent? Well banish those memories, Harley-Davidson is roaring into 2010 with nine entirely new* models! Wow, when CEO Keith Wandell said the company would be investing in the brand, we thought that was just a cleverly disguised euphemism for firing people, we had no idea it would actually stretch all the way to new paint colors and this comprehensive of a raiding of its existing parts bin. If these all-new models can’t bring young people into the Harley family, we don’t know what will!
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“This ambitious new motorcycle launch reaches to our riders with the
incredible passion that Harley-Davidson has inspired for more than a
century,” said Bill Davidson, Harley-Davidson Vice President of Core
Customer Marketing. “We are thrilled to offer our customers nine new
models and a full selection of products for 2010 that lets their
enthusiasm for enjoying great motorcycles continue at full throttle!”
[exclamation point added for emphasis]

Headlining the all-new range of entirely new models is an
unprecedentedly new plating process called “Midnight Pearl” used on the
headlight cover, timer and derby covers, fender strut covers and other
equally exciting bits and pieces on the CVO Fat Bob. While Harley doesn’t officially claim any
performance, fuel-economy or handling benefits due to the fear of
overwhelming you with awesomeness, we hear from a company insider that
this new color is good for at least a 50bhp increase from the Screamin’
Eagle Twin Cam 110ci V-Twin, at last putting it on par with the
European maxi-scooter competition. It’s massive changes like that that
are really going to make 2010 model year Harleys fly out of dealer
show rooms!

Elsewhere in the range, you’ll find exciting all-new features like
“slammed suspension,” “an optional flame paint scheme,” “a larger front
wheel,” “a new tail light assembly,” ” a slimmed-down exhaust,” “new
paint schemes and styling details” and plenty of something called
“light and lean extreme!”

To say that we’re overwhelmed by the way in which Harley has honored a
long tradition of American innovation, American quality, American
competitiveness, American courage, American vision, American progress
and our favorite American tradition of all, honesty, wouldn’t
accurately express the emotions these new American motorcycles make us
feel!

In fact, all we can say about these 2010 Harleys is: America, fuck yeah!

Harley-Davidson

* This statement may not be entirely true.

  • andy

    Coming again, to save the mother fucking day yeah!

    Even Canada is more innovative!

  • http://muthalovin.com the_doctor

    This is why I check HFL post commute. Wes goes cold NUTS. I think all the awesomeness blew him away.

    This, made me laugh hard: “we hear from a company insider that this new color is good for at least a 50bhp increase from the Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110ci V-Twin, at last putting it on par with the European maxi-scooter competition.” ~ proper boss

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Who you callin nuts? Commie.

  • M.P.

    I needed a laugh! =D

  • Ua the Destroyer

    With the “slammed suspension” I won’t have to lean over as much right? That’s the part I dislike most about riding motorcycles. My d675 leans over to far. I should probably get one of these big boy bikes.

  • Marco

    Anyone wanting to master sarcasm skills, should take this text as a start-off!

    Problem is that most HDers won’t feel the sharp, gloomy humor in it.

    Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stephen

    Great. More DynaWideGlideFatBoySoftails.

    Meh.

  • Ceolwulf

    Superb.

    They will be having to be lengthening the strings of letters identifying their bikes if this keeps up!

  • Rainman

    Here are some letters: CityX! It’s 1998 iMac-inspired!

  • Ben

    Dude! There’s a Harley CONVERTIBLE! Dude! BRILLIANT!

  • mototom

    A buddy’s cellmates nephew’s closest friend has let it be known on the down low that in a surprise marketing move planned for Black Friday, HD will rock the industry by announcing that hence forth they will use the Cyrillic alphabet for model designation; effectively creating an entirely new line of bikes with a stroke of the pen. No way the Japs or Euro geeks can match that. Rock on HD!!!

  • contender

    The distressed leather on the Fat Bob, or whatever the big-front-tired bike is called, really ices the cake.

    My Vespa Sprint may have a real competitor.

  • http://www.fetherston.tumblr.com fetherston

    I may be roaring with laughter, but part of the American designer in me is dying a little inside.

  • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk urban rider

    Ok, I’ve bitten my tongue long enough on the HD thing.

    We are 50 yards from Warr’s HDs biggest European dealership and every day, without fail, I will have someone come in and ask for directions.

    The majority of the people are over 40, overweight, badly dressed, have questionable facial hair and shout a lot for some reason.

    It doesn’t matter if they are American, Italian, British etc.. they fit the same mould.

    They need HD and HD needs them. Why is everyone so surprised at their latest offerings? It’s not like they are going to turn into Deus overnight is it?

  • General Apathy

    I was hoping they would take some ques from the 2010 Beull Blast… You know.. Make their lineup a little more “sporty”.

  • http://tanshanomi.com Tanshanomi

    I take it you have a wee bit of contempt for Harley, Wes?

    While your sarcasm is entertaining, you should avoid making Harley a scapegoat. The whole motorcycle industry is moribund and teetering on irrelevancy. Harley’s just the most obvious target.

  • http://ikilldeer.mybrute.com http://ikilldeer.mybrute.com

    we all know HD puts all their funds into marketing the biker image, rather than actually designing motorcycles.

    how long can they point to the V-Rod and say “see, we’re developing stuff!”?

  • zanon

    This is an entertaining thread, but motorcycles are toys and right now, if you haven’t noticed, we’re in a recession and people cannot afford toys.

    I cannot think of a worse time for Harley to bring out new big twin models.

    and Harley is not about “developing stuff”. They’re about cruisers!

    The “recession” bike Harley put out this year was the 883 Iron, which is actually pretty sweet.

    Also, LOL, the innovative, different bikes Harleys put out (Buells) are rejected because they are too different!

    • s0crates82

      wtf are you talking about? I commute on my bike. 50mpg? FUCK YEAH. Suzuki GS500Fk5. Show me the HD that can match those numbers, while cruising at 90 indicated (closer to 85 actual), is capable of lane filtering in Los Angeles traffic, and has a new sticker price of less than 6k. I’ll fuckin’ buy it.

  • guero grande

    Rock, Flag, & Eagle!

  • aeolus

    Objectively, there is no difference in buying into the H-D thing, or Deus/Monkees or cafe racers or sport bikes. Very few use a bike for utilitarian purposes north of Marrakesh. Couriers? I exempt off-road extreme bikers. Paying $15,000 for a Wrenchmonkee machine is no proof of sagacity. So the snide comments on the H-D desperation are uncalled for in the context of the appeal of “sickles”.

  • Marshall

    This is why I love you guys…

  • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

    Canada innovates more than you realize, Andy…both on an individual level as well as across their companies.

    I disagree that HD doesn’t deserve some criticism. When they do try something new (even out of necessity), the herds shun it (example: Revolution Motor).

    It is very disturbing to see the BILLIONS of dollars earned each year for several years in the 90′s go nowhere, relatively-speaking. Meanwhile, they continue to miss market opportunities that, ironically, will help continue to build cool stuff like the Road King
    for the “faithful”.

  • zanon

    HOYT: Which market ops did they miss? The sportbike market? They tried to go after that with Buell. Listening to Erik, they did not seem to understand how important liquid cooling was, so Buell stalled in the air-cooled sport bike market. Very niche. I’m in that niche, but I don’t pretend like it’s mainstream.

    Now they are going after the super high end sport bike market.

    • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

      which market did they miss? Take your pick, especially if you start with the 90s.

      Sportbike
      Sport Tourer
      even the entry bike market was/is sorely being ignored.

      The Blast? If HD would have styled the Blast like the Hyosung 250cc cruiser (which was styled ironically like a bigger HD), then who knows how many they could have sold internationally & even domestically without taking sales from other models.

      I’ve heard/read the VR1000 was “development” work for the Revolution platform. Then can HD reconcile the fact that (at the time of their last race season) they hired a hotshot Manager to take the road racing up a notch? I remember the CW article because I read it with a lot of anticipation of what could come out of those efforts. What happened?

  • zanon

    HOYT: Having Harley make a sport bike is kind of like having Ducati make a cruiser. I’d like the too the result, but not for any reason I’m proud of.

    I guess Buell doesn’t count as a sport bike, and their touring models don’t count as sport tourers. Buell would disagree with you, of course, but given their low sales, maybe it’s fair to act as if they don’t exist. Harley bought 49% of Buell in the early 90s, and I think Buell’s done OK, but not great. Harley didn’t ignore the sport bike market, it just failed! Same deal with sport tourer (S3T, S2T, XB12X-a stretch, I know, XB12XT).

    And Buell was Harley’s entry level bike. It wasn’t very good, although I had one. Again, Harley didn’t ignore this market, it just failed.

    For each segment you listed, Harley had bike(s), and they didn’t do terribly well (although Buell hasn’t failed, it hasn’t been on fire, and I think they make great bikes).

    I can hear the laughter now if Harley launched a single, or V-twin 250cc cruiser. They’d have to call it the piglet, and they would be mocked relentlessly.

    Harley should stick to what Harley does well, which is make cruisers. Buell should stick to what Buell does well, which is make innovative sport bikes.

    I know nothing about the VR1000.

    • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

      zanon:

      I wrote: “they continue to miss market opportunities”…that does not mean they did not have bikes in a market segment. It could mean they did not fill the segment or, to your point, they failed to have success in a segment.

      [btw: I don't discount any of Buell's bikes. I run a Guzzi V11, so I appreciate the XB platform very much & I would love to own a Firebolt.]

      Buell’s early Sport Tourers were discontinued (I believe right after HD bought the 49% of Buell). The touring bikes since have been more Adventure Touring – aimed more at the BMW GS market share than the Honda VFR line. So, HD didn’t (and doesn’t) have a bike in the Sport Touring segment. And they could with the Revolution motor. How about that gaping hole in that segment? – especially since the huge numbers of people riding sportbikes now may gravitate to a sport tourer as their next cycle instead of a cruiser, like we’ve seen the boomers do in the 90′s.

      Sportbike segment? I agree with your niche comment above. A clean example of a Firebolt will still be on my collector’s list 10 years from now. But – in the spirit of HFL’s post, where was/is the desire and passion to compete with their own high performance machine? Hell, even GM can still produce a very cool ‘Vette.

      Ok, so the 1125R comes out. It’s ugly. I’ll bet it’s ugliness keeps sales lower than any notion about the lack of an “American-made” engine. I’m not suggesting that it has to look like the other sportbikes, but how the hell did that thing get off the drawing table? I really want to like it, but I can’t and therefore I won’t buy. Vanity is an undeniable part of a streetbike purchase even in the performance category. I’ll bet I’m not alone with that frustration.

      “Piglet” – good one, but don’t fall into the trap of the “crusty faithful” attitude who shun anything that is not an air-cooled Big Twin. Take the Hyosung idea and watch it sell like mad overseas (if priced right). If HD believed they could take some of the Honda Cub’s market share in Indonesia and other places, then they could do it. Again, where is the desire? Think of the payoff potential.

      true story:

      About 6 years ago, I was visiting a friend & rode his black & silver Hyosung 250cc cruiser to a small town’s bike night (typical hogfest). Keep in mind, this paint scheme was very close to the 100th Anniversary HD attractive paint scheme. Before I could get my helmet off, a typical HD “hardass” with vest, black and orange, comes strolling over. He asks was is that? (my friend replaced the tank badges with a JC Whitney Eagle). I said, “it’s a baby Harley. Their new beginner bike.” The dude steps back, and is quiet while looking it over front-to-back, then says, “It’s n-i-c-e.” in a duder tone

  • zanon

    OK, so we’re agreed that Harley tried to fill at least one of the segments you mentioned (sport bikes) and failed.

    I’m sure that Harley did not want to fail! It’s one thing to be oblivious, but it’s another to try and not succeed. I’d really like Buells to do better than they have (and I’d also really like a Guzzi one day).

    Honestly I don’t know enough about the revolution motor to have a sense for whether it would make sense as a sport tourer. I just cannot associate Harley’s with “sport” (XR1200 aside) and I’m not the only one.

    The Buell XB12XT is actually a very competent sport tourer, but there is no heir to the S3T. I’d stack it as being closer to the WFR than the GS, the XB12X is firmly in GS territory. Another Buell sport tourer would be nice, but I’d like them to nail a liquid cooled sport bike first, faired and unfaired, liter and middleweight. 1125R and CR don’t look good enough, and they need ~800cc versions too.

    HFL was criticizing Harley for being… Harley. Harley is not about innovation, it’s about making stylish cruisers. It dominates it’s segment. It’s woes come from the woes of the industry and the economy, not anything it is doing wrong (or right). It’s innovative, sporty division is Buell, which is kicking-butt on innovation (and getting panned for it) and not setting the world on fire.

    s0crates82 summed it up: “give me a 50mpg 80 mile per hour $6K bike that can filter in traffic”. He already has one, a very fine Suzuki GS500Fk5, and he asks for another just like it. Message boards are filled with people who want Buell to put the pipes under the seat, the brakes on the disk, the fuel back where God intended it to be etc. etc. etc. It could do this and it would be just like every other bike out there, and would fail for sure. And be boring. I like that they’re actually doing something different.

    Sportbike riders, in their own way, are as conservative as cruiser riders.

    I 100% agree with you that the 1125CR is ugly, and the 1125R is kinda ugly (although I personally think they look better in real life than in pictures). Erik is a racer and an engineer, he is not a designer, and I’m sure all the designers asked that he do stuff which would compromise the engineering and the ride but make the bike look better and he said “no”. Does this make for a bike that rides better? Probably. Will this hurt him in the marketplace? Definitely.

    Buell’s are one of those rare things that you need to experience to appreciate. The best place to see what Buells are all about is to be on the seat, riding down some twisty road, where ironically you cannot see the bike at all because it’s so damn short. How do you sell that riding experience through the typical glossy ads in magazines? How do you sell the idea that yes, it looks odd, but you won’t care when you’re riding it and riding it will be awesome?

    Buell’s disappear underneath you and it’s magical. I came to mine through a Japanese I4, also great, but I just have no interest going back to that right now.

    I grew up overseas on streets filled with cubs, 125cc bikes, and 250cc was considered really big and rarely seen outside of police bikes. The people who ride these bikes are poor, and about as different as wealthy American riders as you can get. The bikes are pure utility because they cannot afford anything else, and they would stop riding them and get in a car in a heartbeat if they could. They would consider us all insane because we have cars AND bikes AND we choose to ride bikes. Those bikers are very different from the bikers who read HFL. I cannot imagine a market less suited for Harley.

    Yeah, a 250 cc Hyosung would seem monstrous and cool. But it just isn’t Harley’s bag, nor should it be.

  • tj

    you guys should see the size of the product development center for harley. its huge and FULL of overpaid engineers that buy ducati’s and every other brand to play with and still come out with the same bike every year.

  • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

    True story:

    Back in the early ’90s a bunch of guys at Ford Europe sat down and asked, “Why do we make such crappy cars?”

    No one had an answer. So, they decided to, from that day forth, to make the best cars they could possibly make. It took them a few years, but now, Ford Europe makes arguably the best car in each segment it chooses to compete in. In fact, they’re so good, that Ford US is hinging its success on importing them.

    It took nearly two decades, but Ford went from producing some of the most godawful products in the market to some of the best. That’s why they’re a successful company.

    I hope some people at Harley have had a similar meeting.

  • http://www.moonlakevintage.com james

    Triumph has a full line of street bikes and still have “heritage bikes”. Plus they started out with just a few models and then had a fire in their factory. That’s what is so frustrating with Buell. They could of had sport bikes, dirt trackers, scramblers and a hooligan bikes if they designed one bike for different uses and used HD dirt track past. Look at a 450 motocross bikes turned into street bikes and supermoto. What if the 500cc Blast engine was as good as Polaris’s 500 Outlaw ATV.(not the KTM motor)What kind of fun light bikes could have been made.

  • zanon

    Wes: Everyone sits down and says “let’s make the best X”. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it does not. Ford in Europe and pretty good, I wish Ford in the US had had that same meeting. No one sets out to make a bad motorcycle, and no one sets out to make a bad movie.

    James: I like Triumphs overall, almost got one of the new Bonnevilles, and they’re a great back-from-the-dead story. That said, their cruisers suck. The Rocket III is shameful, and the America and Speedmaster are lame. I have a few in my area, and why anyone would get those over even a sportster baffles me. The Thunderbird is also awful.

    Speed Triple is awesome, but too much bike for me. Street Triple is great in it’s R form. I like all the classics. I like the Tiger ergos a lot, but don’t like how it looks. The Daytona is interesting, it’s like an inline 4 but just different enough not to scare off the sports crowd. Sounds wonderful btw.

    I wish I had been following them for longer, I don’t know how their lineup evolved, but they have a great stable of bikes on offer. I’d love to know how it evolved. I like BMW’s line-up too. The 800 series in particular are fantastic, and a wonderful example of how you can take a basic engine and stretch it across a line.

    I agree that the Buell line-up is frustrating, but even the bikes they have that are great aren’t bringing in the masses. I just think it’s a shame because they are so awesome to ride.

  • Richard B

    One simple point: Harley has come to utterly dominate the American cruiser market through a process of steadily refining a basic idea.

    One simple question: What, exactly, does Wes think Harley should build and, if it did, would he buy one?

    Of course not, because it would still say Harley-Davidson on the side.

    Let’s not pretend that this is a serious article about Harley-Davidson’s failings. It’s a rant based on intolerance. Different people want different things from their riding experience and I think we’d all be better off if we accepted that instead of thinking that our particular way to ride is the One True Way.

    I gotta admit, though, that I did LMAO reading this.

  • zanon

    Richard B: I think you nailed it!

  • Mike Moon

    First off…I did chuckle while reading this article. Those chuckles were based on my own personal disdain for Harley, which is obviously shared with the authour.

    My predjudice however, may come from a different angle. I’m first and foremost a car geek. Motorcycles interest me as all other tech does, but I ride very little and when I do, it’s a dual sport. Harleys suck because their customers suck. It’s like a buncha doctors and lawyers spent their whole lives penned up being studious and industrious, and just realized they’d missed out on fun. So what do they do? They get into the Harley culture because it’s one place they can go and act youthful without looking moronic because of their lack of youth. Imagine if they all picked up skateboards instead. The worst thing about the Harley culture is that it’s 90% poseurs. I once overheard a group of professionals bitching and moaning about the “dirtyness” of the Redwood Run. They thought it was all about looking cool in tassles and chaps and were disturbed to see actual outlaw activities (whores in tents, methanphetamines, public sexuality, prison-style tatooing, etc)

    Anyhow, that wasn’t my original gripe. As a car geek, trying to enjoy a twisty road in the summer time often gets interrupted by a 2-mile-long stretch of man-humpers loping along and choosing revs arbitrarily to enjoy that godawful 45° v-twin popping. It’s easy to hate them because they ride slow, clog up traffic and sound like ass. The techno geek side of me hates them for being carburated and using ancient suspension technology. The artistic side of me can appreciate the “rolling sculpture” idea, and I’ll have to admit I’ve seen some pretty sexy customes (check out Walz Hardcore Cycles as an example). If only the subculture didn’t spoil my appreciation and maybe even the validity of the art.

    As an aside, you sportbike guys tend to clog up the curves too, but you can ditch me in a straight, unlike a Harley. Typically sportbike guys run in much smaller packs and are more considerate of others on the road.

    It’s obvious through reading the comments section that the majority of this blog’s readers are sport-bike riders. This group seems to include almost exclusively Japanese bikes, as they are admittedly the best of this class of bike. I hate to see rice-bike riders be so closed minded though. There is a sub-culture here too, and it seems to be one that has a disdain for non-homogenous attempts at sportbikes. Did it ever occur that some people find the R1 butt ugly and the new Buells sexy? That’s me. In general I don’t like fairings, but I especially don’t like them if they look like they have Majora’s Mask pasted to the front. Say what you will about performance numbers (and the sportbike geeks will always do that), the Japanese do NOT make the sexiest bikes. I’ll give that to the Italians or maybe even Triumph.

    To wrap this up, I’ll get back to my original intent though, which was to defend H-D. I get so caught up in hating the poseurs, I forget about the company itself. As has been pointed out, the company is hurting because of an economy that isn’t supporting luxury toys in general. H-D did make some pretty nice attempts at “in house customs,” but that hasn’t helped much because Harley riders are a traditional group and wouldn’t buy them. If they were intended to bring new customers to the brand, that’s a bigger chore. To get new customers to H-D, they would have to build a world-beater to prove themselves, and the V-rod certainly wasn’t that. Those who aren’t already inclined to buy Harleys have the same attitude towards them as the author, and probably never will as long as they continue to sport sub-100 horsepower engines. Harley’s failing does not lie in making bad bikes or making bikes that people don’t like. Obviously tons of baby-boomers still love H-D. Harley’s failing lies in trying to reach out to a group that has long ago dismissed H-D. The new marketing mentioned in this blog is simply a retreat to what works. Harley people like stupid options, tacky add-ons and flame paint jobs. I still don’t think I’ve successfuly defended H-D, but I’ve gone way long, so I won’t try (it’s hard to do!).

  • Hank

    First off, it always seems like Harley articles attract the most attention on this website. I think it’s because a bunch of you secretly want to like Harley, but hate what they make, and therefore pretend to hate them.

    That said, I was in the MoCo museum the other day and had a bit of a realization. Harley has two classic bikes that if re-vamped (a la XR1200), could be seriously competitive and actually worthy of buying. One model was the XLCR. I personally think the original XLCR from the 70′s sucks eggs, but if they take an XR1200, paint it black, throw a manx style tank, bubble fairing and cafe seat on it (while hopefully stripping off like a kajillion pounds…), they could have a seriously awesome litte street bike that could compare with the likes of Triumph or the Ducati Monster.

    The other bike I would love to see them make something out of is the VR1000 racebike. Stop and think a second, one reason people love Harleys is that look of an air-cooled V-Twin at it’s heart. Well, the acvt is pretty damn antiquated and not all that quick. What if you took the idea of the VR1000, kept the black and orange split paint scheme, kept some of the retro lines and put a Revo in it? I’m sure someone could take a hint from Walter Roerich (Roehr Motorcycles) and even Mr. Buell on how to create an effective sportbike. Just don’t let Erik into the body design room.

    I’ll admit, I’m a MoCo fanboy. I grew up in Milwaukee by the lake where a Harley would go by every 25 minutes. I ride a Sportster. I love it. But seeing a lack of an XLCR or VR1000 in their new lineup kinda left me feeling a bit empty. Seeing it full of trikes and $35k “Custom” bikes made me want to vomit. Seeing this post made my day.

  • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

    Zanon – my story about the Hyosung doesn’t have to be the type of model that HD uses to take some of the Honda Cub market overseas. If HD wanted to go after an inexpensive cash cow, they could….

    which points to the main topic about this post.

    It’s far more than intolerance. Hank’s comment is full of “If”

    Right.

    Richard B – Steadily refining the cruiser segment is admirable ‘if’ that is only one part of your line-up. Intolerance?

    No. Disdain for not executing well in other segments. They will need to innovate & diversify sooner or later or die. This does not mean stop building the most excellent Road King and Nightster.

    OMMAG’s comments on The Kneeslider’s equivalent topic says it very well.

    While Hank and many of us think about the If’s, HD’s money has been invested in a Trike.

  • http://setthemfree.tumblr.com Sasha Pave

    Harley got too big, too fast. They ascended into a huge company based on sales from it’s fashion. But once the fashion wears thin, they’re finding themselves too big for their market.

    This is a perfect time for Harley to pick itself up and go after some new markets. Dirt bikes would be a great new segment for them. If they developed a 450 competitive with the Japanese, and serviceable at every Harley shop, they’d have a winner. Shit, let Kymco produce the motor like BMW does to speed things up.

  • http://www.bikepics.com/members/voldemort/ Kostas Gazis

    You Sir, are the frontman of motorcycle journalism, and I salute you. Laughed hard on this report. :-)

  • Emmet

    At first I thought you were serious about the Harley Revolution, thankfully it was just extreme sarcasm!

  • zanon

    Sasha: This is the first time I’ve heard Harley Davidson, a company that has been making essentially exactly the same bike for 100+ years, described as “fashionable”. I shudder to think what you would qualify as “classic”.

    All: HD make dirt bikes? A competitor to the Honda Cub? Another sportbike? (VR1000 failed, XLCR failed, Revolution engine did little, Buell is modest success). I’m just glad no one encouraged them to start making cell phones, and chase Nokia. Although given time…

    Personally, I want to see Buell focus on making fun, sportbikes that are as good to ride as their current line-up, but look better. A middleweight liquid cooled bike would be awesome, but as others have mention, a true sport tourer would be great too (although XB12XT is close). Glad they cut the Blast. They need to focus on quality, design, and execution. They’ve nailed the ride.

    HD should continue to be HD and crank out 1-2 cool models a year like the Nightster (both 1200 and 883) and XR1200.

    • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

      Sasha’s post makes perfect sense.

      As the weekend biker fad (i.e. fashion) & economy has waned, they’re a much bigger company with not much else to offer (not counting companies they purchased).

      If they don’t have other successful models to sell to changing trends (taste and energy-driven), then their size will shrink. They have a lot of catching up to do because small companies like Guzzi still offer twice the diversity than HD when not looking at Buell or MV Augusta].

      “A competitor to the Honda Cub?” or dirt?

      Why not?

      “HD should continue to be HD and crank out 1-2 models a year”.

      You’re missing the whole point of this post. They don’t crank out 1-2 models a year like you said.

      In addition, as the BILLIONS of sales each year for nearly 5 years straight within the same goddamn decade are drying up, I want to know where HD’s desire, skill, & versatility in manufacturing other models is before they fucking ask for bailout money.

  • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

    HD went from:

    2003 revenue = $4.62 billion
    2003 net income = $760.9 million
    2004 revenue = $5.02 billion
    2004 net income = $889.8 million
    2006 revenue = $5.80 billion

    …to asking for bailout money in 2009

    Cash Flow?

    Cash & securities totaled $896.5 million as of December 31, 2006. Cash flow from operations was $761.8 million.

    …And we have the model line-up as listed in HFL’s post for 2010?

  • zanon

    HOYT: “A competitor to the Honda Cub?” or dirt?

    Why not?”

    LOL

    Thanks ; )

  • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

    So are you laughing at Buell? He’s been working towards a dirtbike recently, but had to postpone it.

    Honda Cub? If Honda is one of a couple selling hundreds of thousands of these, why wouldn’t a motor manufacturer consider it?

    If those little bikes help Harley or, (hmmm, Honda) do other more ambitious projects, then they’ll laugh at you. What has Honda been able to accomplish with profits made by the Honda Cub?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I actually really like your Honda Cub competitor idea. Having said that I don’t think the company in its current beer-swilling, helmetless-riding form is savvy enough to do that.

      In the last decade Harley has entered India and China (probably other countries too, can’t be bothered to look it up) where the brand carries a very very romantic image. There’s millions of bike buyers in those countries in the market for 100cc-ish four-strokes. Within that market, a small premium could likely be charged for something with a Harley badge and they wouldn’t even need to engineer or build one, just license it out.

      And for the record, I’d love to be able to buy a bike with a Harley badge, they just don’t make anything that I’d be happy with. I do plan on buying a Buell at some point, they’re great.

  • mjk

    once got blown away on my then 2007 Speed Triple over Vauxhall Bridge by some skinny grandpa on a white Softtail with evilly tuned Evo engine. Up to 50mph anyway… And the sound… feel like buying me one of these rat-style and riding the whells off it just like that old b’stard did to me that day.

  • amsterdam

    Dear Friends of HFL,
    Irony is a sign of intelligence but I don’t know about sarcasm…
    you know, the whole cruiserthing to me is like Linedancing, I don’t know these people and I like to keep it that way.
    But I guess for you guys it’s different, it’s your culture.
    Why not a word about the good stuff.
    I think the most interesting and least exploited heritage of the HD brand is the 750 flattrack history.( Look sideburn magazine.)
    The rest is targeted at fatties and over-40s.
    (In Amsterdam; Corporate Lawyers, cabdrivers on a day off and Hells Angels)
    It is like a dying brand and I also don’t think there’s any future in making Royal Enfield sort of shit;Harley means; Big Engine, Big Sound.period.
    So in all fairness you should pay attention to the XR1200X thats coming out in Urup and the Middle East in 2010.

    And mjk; learn how to ride and get some Arrow
    exhaustpipes.
    You’re a disgrace to the Speed Triple Community.

  • zanon

    WES: So you recommend that Harley, a company that relies hugely on its brand (because it certainly doesn’t sell bikes on value or performance) license out that 100+ year old badge to 100cc scooters in India.

    Brilliant! This thread just gets better and better.

    • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

      Then why do you keep participating?
      You have not answered any questions about…
      Buell’s dirtbike, your false claim that HD should continue to build 1-2 models a year, or your inability to see the validity of HDs 1990′s success as “fashionable”.

      zanon: “I shudder to think what you would qualify as “classic”. “

      Brilliant!

  • Stephen

    I know how to position HD for future profitability. They should simply raise their prices on T-shirts, bandanas, bumper stickers, etc. That’s mostly what they’re selling anyway.

  • zanon

    HOYT: I participate on this thread because it’s wonderful.

    Buell has yet to build a sports bike to take the world by storm, but you want it to build a dirt bike!

    Wes wants Harley to re-badge a honda cub! And sell it for $75 in India (a 10% premium over the typical $68 retail price!)

    Sasha thinks that Harley is “fashionable” — a company that has made the same bike for over 100 years and continues to make the same bike today (which it’s being criticized for in this post!)

    This is rare stuff.

    STEPHEN: Excellent suggestion. Check out their new Ink and Black clothing lines.

  • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

    HD is not being criticized for making the same bike for 100 yrs. Wrong again capsboy.

    note the favorable comments towards the Nightster and Road King.

    It is being criticized for not having the ability to successfully build-out their range for various reasons that have been spelled out for you numerous times.

    With that kind of net income over a decade and talent available for hire, one can expect great bikes in any class.

  • ridingdirtymaui

    Wow. First, I can’t believe I actually read all of these posts. Seriously need to get some sleep!

    Yes, HD became “fasionable”. That’s why my neighbors bought them. Just like anything else, you don’t want what everyone else has.

    My father-in-law rides them for tradition and American unity. I won’t buy one until it speaks to me. My father-in-law wanted to give me his Dyna if I would only sell my Shadow. I just like how my bike looks compared to the HD. For those who would die to ride HD, there isn’t a bike they can afford right now that feels right and that kills the company. They need to market that it is ok to ride the 883 and its not just a “wife’s bike”. They can make all the smaller bikes they want but if they don’t market the bikes as a classic throwback, no one is going to buy them.

    Personally, my identity isn’t that linked to what brand I ride. I just don’t care about it. My daily driver is a leagalized enduro. It fits me. Now, if there was a comparable bike built in the US, I would really consider it. But it would have to be backed by a solid dealership. That’s why I never bought a cannondale or something else for an enduro.

    Someday, when I sell my Shadow, I might get the new Fury or I might go for something else if it speaks to me. Right now, HD isn’t speaking to guys like me. We are out here and some of us can afford bikes to a certain price point. HD just has to decide to go after our market or just stay with what used to work for the past 15 years. We have to remember that HD almost died a few times in its history. You either suffer through to better times or die if you don’t innovate. This time, who knows…

  • Hotch

    Must just be me here but what ever happened to buying a Harley and ‘personalizing’ it whether that meant buying all the extras in one shot or saving and buying a piece every paycheck? Now you can buy a ‘rocker’ or a ‘crossbones’ pretty much all done up. WTF? I am not impressed with the new line up from HD…Way overpriced, and don’t even mention the fucking bloodsucking dealerships around here.

  • Coupe55

    Real innovative EPA bikes, already leaned out, AFR
    makes em ride hot and the EPA CAMS. Now they stuck a Catalytic Converter on an already to hot air cooled engine.

    Sticking a potato in the tail pipe is not innovation to me, you can’t hang CATS on an air cooled engine.

    Post 06 Harley’s are just a weak imatition of what they used to be!