Buell: the potential and the fate

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bike-collage.jpgCollage by: Grant Ray

Pictured Used as a graphic element above is the Buell that never was.  Captured testing near Milwaukee by a Road Racer X photographer, it was rumored to be a lighter, more powerful 1199cc version of the 1125R platform. It looks like a serious competitor for bikes like the Ducati 1198 and Aprilia RSV4 R.

Then there’s the next photo. If you think Buell’s lost potential is
hard to look at then we warn you, the fate of bikes leftover at the
factory may bring you to tears. If you think you can handle it, you’ll
find it below the jump.

Update: Image pulled at request of photographer who fails to understand the power of teh internets. Rights free illustration of the bike courtesy of HFL to follow shortly.>

Buell_Fate.jpgMake sure you check out our exclusive story revealing that Harley
didn’t calculate how much money it would save, if any by killing Buell
;
Buell, an obituary; Erik Buell’s fate and the photo of the last Buell
ever made
.

  • get fuct Harley

    that makes me wish I worked at a dump in Wisconson

    • Midwest SV Rider

      I have a friend who used to work at HD as a consultant and this is common practice according to him, not only would you see their own bikes treated this way, but any other number of Jap-bikes that came out each year would have the same fate GSXR1000s R1s etc etc… they would run whatever tests they needed on them and into the bin they go. They do permanently disable the bikes so that they can’t be run again but still a waste of parts.

      I’ve dreamed about getting my hands on that dumpster for a while now. This is the first picture I’ve seen of it, kinda reminds me of Scrooge McDuck’s money bin, but for motorcycles.

  • http://www.heng.jp Sen

    I find it hard to believe the last photo. Aren’t there laws governing how bikes/cars are scrapped? You don’t just toss them in the landfill.

    Even if they don’t sell those machines, they can still be stripped for parts. They have mentioned that they would continue selling Buell parts for years to come.

  • Gildas

    the second picture has cured me of wanting anything related to Harley – ever.

    They could have a least donated them to a technical community college for students to work on or a charity to ebay.

    It’s insane, wrong and hurtfull.

    G

  • sam

    im crying on the inside.

  • PJ

    Let me guess, the people mad at Harley didn’t buy Buells, including Wes?

    Maybe if they had produced some attractive bikes, Eric is a good, maybe even great engineer, but the bikes just got uglier as time went on.

    Strike one: Abandoning the tube frame for the horrid canteen frame.

    Strike two: The Useless

    Strike three: the Rotax fiasco.

    Insult to injury, the Blast and CR.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      PJ, we’re not mad at anyone and this is not a feature written to bash Harley. We’re merely pointing out the facts.

    • jconli1

      funny… most folks I know, as well as myself, never paid Buell much attention until the Uly came out – and were very excited for the Rotax partnership.

  • DaFoxx

    Seeing that first photo, and then seeing the second one really does make me sure that Harley is doomed to a slow and well deserved death.
    Nothing Buell has put out has ever caught my eye. The Ulysses was interesting, but not enough to motivate me do to much more than comment on its’ interesting-ness.
    That pretty yellow sporty thing? I’d go for a closer look for sure. Anything else from The Motor Co.? Nope. Not a flash of interest.

    I hope you bastards in Milwaukee enjoy the bed you’ve made for yourselves, because you’ll get to lie in it one of these days. I suspect it’s going to be a very cold day…

  • mixemong pete

    i’m totally disgusted by this picture, if this picture gets to the mainstream media harley will pay dearly above and beyond the current situation, and rightly so.
    all i see here is-WE DON’T GIVE A SHIT

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Not so fast, pete. We’ve heard that crushing unsold or defective bikes is a practice quietly carried by other bike manufacturers as well. We’ve just never had proof.

      • mixemongpete

        now we know why , grant

  • Tony

    I think we, as motorcycle fans need to put pressure on Harley to allow Buell to make that bike.

    I’m sure Erik Buell still wants to make Buells and I’m sure there would be plenty of investors willing to back him.

    . . . and there would be plenty of us willing to buy an American Superbike.

    But Harley doesn’t want that competition so they’re just destroying it.

    I think we need to put pressure on Harley. We shouldn’t just mindlessly bash them, but we should tell them that as Motorcycle enthusiasts we INSIST they allow Erik Buell to continue to make motorcycles.

    I certainly won’t buy a Harley if they don’t let Erik continue and I intend to tell my friends who are considering Harleys what they are doing to Erik Buell.

    We aren’t powerless. We can speak out. I encourage everyone – on forums like this, in letters to executives at Harley Davidson, in letters to motorcycle publications and in conversation with friends to remind them that Harleys actions may be legal, but they’re not noble and they’re not “American”.

    Harley has killed the jobs of innovative Americans who are very good at what they do and would be able to continue and profit if they are simply allowed to be sold.

    We need to create a movement: “Sell Buell Now. Free Erik Buell.”

    I don’t intend to shut up about it and I hope at least some of you will consider joining me.

    • V

      HD’s core constituents and future buyers don’t give a crap about Buell, otherwise they would not consider a HD, therefore, any grassroots campaign would fall on deaf ears.

  • D2

    Tony, Did you work for Buell?

  • Isaac

    Now that Buell I would have bought. The second picture just goes to show that they are only interested in money and not puting out great timeless products. In about 20-30 years when the ‘Baby Boomers’ are gone, they will be too.

  • No Harley For Me

    Harley lost big time by dumping Buell. Buell was the only thing HD had to attract a younger buyer and Buell was just getting things going with Rotax. Wait till the baby boomers are too old to buy a bike. HD will be out of business. The younger buyers will not buy that out of date crap. HD is more interested in selling HD dog dishes, HD belt buckles, HD t-shirts, HD vests and all the rest of that shit a typical harley rider buys. Buy a harley and dress up like a pirate and ride around town showing off with your loud exhaust and hopping everyone thinks you are a cool biker. Those days are numbered as more and more cities are in acting motorcycle noise ordinances. HD can go straight to Hell…….

  • AceCafeClipOns

    Please someone tell me that second picture is photoshopped! Please!

  • Tony

    D2, Nope. I never worked for Buell but I have toured the factory and met several Buell employees.

    They’re a model for how things should be done and (contrary to popular perception) if you look at the numbers you’ll see they were growing in a shrinking market (and I think we would have really seen some growth when the above pictured midel hit the streets, tracks and dealers)

    If they hadn’t been owned by a company that had its own problems, I’m sure they’d still be open. And if Harley would simply offer to sell them, there would be investors knocking down their door for the opportunity.

    Harley can very easily sell them and we need to do everything we can to convince them to do that.

  • Dan Miller

    The second photo hurts. While I did sell my Ulysses due a string minor mechanical issues I got sick of dealing with, Buell definitely didn’t deserve the death that Harley gave it. The dumpster photo makes me sick. A Rotax in a Ulysses would have been interesting…

  • ben

    It’s sad to see the bikes being trashed in such a fashion, but more than likely, there is a great deal of proprietary engineering info with these, so that is why they are being destroyed. In the hands of others, any design or technology advances are free for the taking. And, even though the company is dead, this stuff is still proprietary.

    • RT Rider

      Yea you would not want anybody to get there hands on those hi tech harley motors.

  • Jnor

    This whole thing is a big fat travesty and has caused me to lose any respect I was slowly building for HD (on the basis that a bike’s a bike and that was it).

    Can somebody at least recover those bikes? I’m actually dumbstruck that they would just chuck them in a dumpster like that…

    I’ve always appreciated Buell’s innovation and left-field engineering, even if their bikes weren’t the sexiest out there.

    RIP Buell.

  • RT Rider

    I think you are all wrong. Harley did the right thing by dumping Buell. Now HD can devote all the R&D money they were wasting on Buell to the new 2011 HD belt buckle, t-shirt, chaps, vest and HD do-rags line. Maybe even some louder screaming eagle pipes. Who knows, with the money they were wasting on Buell HD can now design a whole new line of pirate clothes and I would personally like to see more chrome, more flames painted on the gas tanks and I think leather tassels should be stock on the bar ends.

  • carlos

    I want that prototype. Erik Buell, if your out there, Let’s start an open bid. put the bike up on ebay. I’ll put in what i can for it. I think it looks awesome.

    side note:

    is it that harley is just too obsessed with selling their brand than selling their products? harley f-150s, harley tshirts, harley power wheels, harley tatoos, harely wall clocks, harley daytona superbike. when did it happen when a company, created an iconic product, which cemented the brand image into the root of pop culture? And then become so obsessed with it’s own “narcissism” to eat itself? when is brand more important than product? and how does a company like ducati avoid such a thing?

    • John

      When people start tattooing “Ducati” on their bodies… then start to worry.

    • Syke

      Carlos,

      I was the parts manager at Ducati Richmond (VA) for a few years the first half of this decade. Allow me to fill you in on one hell of a dirty little secret:

      Harley-Davidson customers and Ducati customers are virtually identical.

      Yeah, there’s an insane amount of style differences between them and you’d never get one side to talk to the other, but from a marketing standpoint, once you get past those style differences, you’re talking about an identical pair of customers.

      Handled right, a Ducati dealership can be as profitable as a Harley-Davidson dealership. You just gotta work a little harder in the beginning because you’re selling European style rather than American.

      • PeteP

        “Handled right, a Ducati dealership can be as profitable as a Harley-Davidson dealership.”

        Too bad Moto Europa couldn’t make that happen, eh?

        • Syke

          “”Handled right, a Ducati dealership can be as profitable as a Harley-Davidson dealership.”

          Too bad Moto Europa couldn’t make that happen, eh?”

          Unfortunately, a excellent product can always be sabatoged by a dealer with less than competent business sense. The shop was a case in point.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Tom

    I know that the HD cultists hate Chris Shields, but his post about why Harleys re not motorcycles and that Buell should have been promoted instead of shat upon rings as true today as it did years ago:

    http://www.goingfaster.com/angst/noharley2.html

    Too many people think that the reporting of a fact is equal to advocating it. Not true.

  • Terrible Paulzie

    What a crack up!!!
    I’m paying off one of these things and Harley is chucking them out??? How ironic…
    I hope I still get to pay a premium for genuine BUELL parts? I would hate to let the poor buggers starve from giving away their product.

  • http://weroam.wordpress.com Darek

    If I were the driver hauling that container away it would go strait to my house, where I would then start hocking beull parts on ebay full time.

  • Mitch

    Interesting, the prototype’s angular lines make it resemble America’s other sportbike, the Fischer MRX.

  • Tim

    A lot of ignorance being posted regarding the second photo. Did anyone consider that those bikes may in fact be test mules that have been damaged or destroyed during testing or R&D and therefore have no use aside from heading to the recycle yard?

    And as for the guy who accused them of sending that dumpster to a landfill, while I don’t know for a fact, that hardly seems likely.

    Is it sad symbolism? Yes. Is it a crime against humanity? Absolutely not. Get over it, they’re just motorcycles. And no, I don’t like HD.

  • Ted M

    As Motorcycle enthusiast the killing of Buell just doesn’t smell right, I don’t buy HD’s Answer..

    This was little more than Blood sport for long in waiting Corporate Suits with a chip on their shoulder for Erik Buell..

    Wandell coming on as CEO was their chance to pounce..

    There are a lot of things coming to light even as I speak..

    If I was HOG shareholder I would be concerned the Inmates are running the Asylum..

  • tonyw

    Look guys it’s simple. Harley makes a good product and people buy it. Then they hire more and more people and make more and more product. Then the supply outpaces the demand. They scratch their heads and say, but they were buying our product before and why not now. The dealers have so many bikes that they are forced to use incentives to get people to buy the bikes. Well that only works for a little while. So Harley lays off as much as they can and “refocuses” their attention to their brand. It is common for cars and bikes manufacturers to overbuild then lay off and then the demand catches up and we begin the process again. I wish they would quit dabbling in other markets. They buy a great company like MV to get their foot in the door and just when they get their production line working they announce the sell off. That is a tragedy. They should have never been involved. Buell is just another example of a very poor commitment from Harley. I hope he can find capitol so he can get away from the giant company and start building innovative bikes again. I have not always been their biggest fan but I have admired their differences.

  • http://matthewabate.wordpress.com Matthew

    If the 1125R had looked like the bike in the first picture when it came out Buell wouldn’t be dead now. I have mixed feelings about this whole thing but I sure as hell won’t ever allow any of my money to go in the direction of H-D now.

  • Steve516

    As stories go, I think Yoshimura used to bury bikes in the back yard (literally) at the end of the season. Or maybe that was HRC? I dunno, but I have read stories about that. Bikes that were brought over from Japan that they did not want to let into the wild because the papers were non-existant, etc…

    Real shame about Buell – I hope Erik finds a way to keep innovating

  • Michael

    While these images are hard to see, there is NOTHING untoward about them.

    Crushing or rendering “mechanically inoperative” prototype, non-series pre-production vehicles, and test vehicles that have been declared tax write-offs is a normal, frquent occurance at all OEMs. While working at Yamaha Motors Europe in the early 2000′s, I saw mechanics punching and drilling perfectly good engines, cutting frames with angle-grinders, then marking those damages with flourescent paint so the Dutch tax inspector would know where “compromised”. It is normal practice.

    However, the saddest thing I saw was two YZR500 Grand Prix bikes being destroyed. Painful.

  • JRed

    It’s true that Harley is the source of all things evil.

    I believe those of you who say, “I would have bought that Buell.” or “I was just about to buy a Buell, then this happened.” Really, I believe you.

    It’s true that Harley is the only motorcycle manufacturer in the world that scraps bikes. The others, after obtaining whatever information they need from testing, actually refurbish their bikes (including prototypes), then sell them at ridiculously low prices on craigslist simply to be nice.

    It’s true that H-D’s management has secretly hated Erik Buell since day one, and they were looking for any chance to destroy him. Businesses do this all the time (spend dumpsters full of cash to buy someone, only so they can torpedo them). This elaborate plot might have cost millions of dollars, but it was worth it. Damn you, Harley-Davidson!

    Harley-Davidson should NOT be in the business to make money. They should be in the business of saving motorcycles from the scrap heap, and to “put out timeless products” as Isaac notes. They are currently working on gum that never loses its flavor. If it works…it will be timeless.

  • Brian

    So finally I see a picture of an American made motorcycle that I would consider buying and Harley binns it! What kind of American Recovery is this?

    LAME, Harley, LAME, LAME, LAME!

  • Keager

    Living in the midewest, home to John Deere world wide headquarters, and at one time Case & International Harvester, there are precedence to just destroying things that could be used down the road.

    When IH stopped selling tractors, everything was scrapped. Half built tractors were sent to the scrappers, brand new radiators were pierced with the forks of fork trucks in the plant. Cabs were destoyed, even if they were brand new and could be used for older models where farmers may have wanted to purchase them.

    I’m sure those bikes are headed for the metal recyclers, not the junk yard.

  • HD NO MORE

    Buell never did fit the harley buyer profile. Harley dealers want to sell a harley then they can sell that sucker all the HD crap to go with it. A HD jacket, shirt, chaps, vest, belt buckle, dog dish, window decal plus the stock harley only has about 65 smokin horsepower so the dealer can sell the new buyer a screaming beagle kit to get the horsepower up to 75 or so. No wonder HD dealers ignored potential Buell buyers. Plus a Buell rider would look pretty funny riding around with a harley village people outfit. Come to think about it, the harley riders look pretty funny riding around in there village people outfits.

  • cWj

    Somebody should forward this post to Polaris with the subject line “In the event you’re interested in new market share…”

  • AceCafeClipOns

    “… no use aside from heading to the recycle yard?”
    Go to e-bay’s “motorcycles – parts and accessories” and see if you can find any other use apart from “the recycle yard”, please…
    ;D

  • just me

    For me motorcycles are everything. They are my passion, my dreams, my hobby, my transportation tool.
    My motorcycle takes me to work every single day of the year (regardless of the weather), and in the weekends we go for our 800kms rides, to see this big world we live in.
    I love motorcycles. But for some people they seem to be just “disposable things”!

    That said,
    Shame on you HD!
    This image is a prof of MOTORCYCLE HOLOCAUST!

  • Papasan

    I spent a couple of hours Sunday looking over the 1125CR, here in AZ they are $7500 out the door. The Helicon engine, design, and seating postion is down right awesome. It was my dumb luck to have a sales person that new almost everything there is to know about Buell, the 2010′ 1125CR, and the local cycle scene sans the HD Village People showing up for the free head rag raffle, [insert laugh here]!
    The only defence we as REAL & TRUE bike folks have is to buy up the remaining rements of Buell at fire sale prices, preserve it for our own selfish use, I can’t think of a better way to get back at HD for ice-picking Buell…
    Think what it will be like when 25 years from now you roll out a Buell to show someone that you gave a sh!t about preserving a true original motorcycle.

    Papasan in AZ

  • HD Crap

    HD could care less about Buell and they are probably happy to get rid of it. HD only sells a “lifestyle” and Buell did not fit. The dealers want to sell a bike PLUS all the other shit to go with it. Belt buckles, ash trays, do-rags, t-shirts, dog dishes, and all the other HD shit plus when they sell a harley they always sell the Screaming Beagle hardware as a harley only has about 65 horsepower from the factory. The Screaming Beagle shit gets the HP up to a smoking 70 or so. Buy a out of date harley, dress up like a clown, cruise around your town revving your puke engine hopping everybody will notice you. AND guess what – Everbody DOES notice you and they say “Look at that Asshole on the harley” trying to impress us. You can’t do any of this on a Buell and the dealers knew that so they pushed them into the back corner and hoped nobody asked about them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/michael.evertsen?ref=profile Mike

    I have no issue with the second photo. Unfortunately this is protocol at many factories for many reasons, both accounting- and liability-based. I’m sure had Buell still been producing bikes, that crushed, melted metal would find new life as part of a Buell production model.

    But that first photo? Wow, that bike is gorgeous. Pure style and power. It’s something different yet still has Buell design cues like the gas cap, fat swingarm, and large-diameter rotors. AND it manages to make a spiked tail look good – instead of awkward, as is the case with the new Aprilia. I love it.

    Erik, you have so many supporters. Time to round them up and start anew.

  • Phillip

    Harley Davidson is a joke. They are only using bikes to market all the cheesy crap they sell to go with them. Like $2000 tables and $500 stools to go with the $250 wall clock. Buell has made some sweet bikes but I can’t think of a worse powerplant than an HD unit. They would be alot better bike with a decent powerplant. I hope they find a new partnership and excel. Friggin’ leather monkeys are scared of anything that doesn’t rattle thier tooth loose, has leather tassles attatched to ape hangers, and more chrome than a rapper’s ’64 Impala. Screw you, your crappy bikes, and your cheesy merchandise HD!

  • carlos

    WTF Grant????!!

    what is with this comical streak you guys are on? First power rangers and pirate harley guys, now your bringing back south park, lego man, daft punk and some elements out of a 1980s peter gabriel video???

    As on south park, “jezuusss christphs…”

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      WTF? Well, I like humor, motorcycles are fun, dude got all pissy that HFL grabbed a version of the image he shot from yet another online source and I decided to go a bit bonkers and have a little fun-time. Because that’s what bikes are. Fun. I have enough other things to be serious about..

  • Syke

    “It’s true that Harley is the source of all things evil.”

    Yes I fully understand that that was written with sarcasm fully flowing. Unfortunately, too many people here actually believe it.

    Bull-freaking-shite.

    Harley-Davidson is nothing more than a very successful motorcycle manufacturer, creating a line of motorcycles that are of a style (both engineering- and life-) that the vast majority of the readers here would never consider throwing their leg over. They’ve managed a multi-decade marketing campaign that has a Harley dealer being the most profitable motorcycle business out there (how else do you think they can get away with all those forced upgraded dealerships, clothing stores in the showroom, etc.), and a level of market share in the cruiser class that Honda, et. al. would happily give their left nut before.

    When in Suzuki history did you ever see a one year waiting list with advance payment for a GSX-R1000?

    It was that level of profitability that allowed them the finances to support Eric Buell in the first place, and to support a company that wasn’t exactly rolling in profit all those years.

    Yeah, Harley made a huge mistake: They decreed that Buell’s could only be sold in Harley dealerships. Well, the company isn’t stupid. They knew back in the ’80′s and ’90′s that the day was going to come when the Harley market would be saturated, and there was a strong possibility that they’d be locked in to a design and style of motorcycle that they couldn’t branch out of – actually, they already were before Harley mania started, from all those guys who supported the company during the AMF years.

    The hoped for answer was Eric Buell and his designs, something to appeal to a younger generation of rider. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the dealers.

    Strike that last sentence. Harley knew enough to tell the dealers – and they told them repeatedly. Unfortunately, the dealers were too stupid to listen. Let’s face it, a vehicle dealer (be it automobile, truck, motorcycle or scooter) is always going to go after the easy sale. In his eyes, better the guy who’s already slavering over what’s on the showroom floor, ready to pay full list plus markups without a whimper; than to spend hours on a sale that falls through because a competing marque down the street offers a better deal. And that was the problem: To a Harley customer, there was no competition. To a sportbike customer, the Buell had four Japanese, three Italian and one British marque all fighting for his dollars.

    So the Harley dealer didn’t try. Hell, for the time it would have taken him to convince one of you to buy a Buell instead of a GSX-R, he could sell two grand worth of t-shirts. And make more money on the clothing than on that one motorcycle sale.

    You really want to know who killed Buell? That’s easy. Just go back to all the previous postings, and all the posting on other Buell articles since the shutdown was announced. Look at all the “Now that’s a Buell I would have considered if they’d have brought it out” comments and the others related to those.

    Every one of you who’s made a comment like that has publicly admitted that you’ve never seriously considered putting your own good money into a Buell. No doubt you’ve become the other type of sheep, riding those plastic faired in-line four cylinder bikes, all dressing the same like a Valentino Rossi wannabe, and . . . . . well, being just like those pirates and mountain men on their Harley’s – only in a different direction. And now you’re crying that Buell is dead.

    Free Eric Buell? Give me a freaking break! The last I knew, Eric Buell is free to tell HD to **** off at any time as he turns in his resignation, and go off on whatever project he cares to take. So, if he’s still in the Harley offices by this time next year, you can be safe in your assumption that he’s staying because he wants to be there.

  • Watcher

    “So the Harley dealer didn’t try. Hell, for the time it would have taken him to convince one of you to buy a Buell instead of a GSX-R, he could sell two grand worth of t-shirts. And make more money on the clothing than on that one motorcycle sale.”

    Boy isn’t that the truth. HD doesn’t care about improving there product. They sell the same old shit every year with more or less chrome or a different color. There real money goes into R&D on the next years line of dog dishes, belt buckles, t-shirts, clocks, vests, do-rags and all the rest of the shit that HD dealers sell. With a motorcycle that has about 70 HP and can almost break a 100 mph the harley rider has to buy the Screaming Beagle shit to get the HP up to 70 or 75 HP. Wow I don’t know if I could handle a overweight piece of shit like that with a whooping 75 HP. Gee, my HD do-rag might blow off or I might get some bugs on my HD t-shirt and mess up my HD clown outfit.

    • Syke

      Watcher,

      You’re missing a big point here. Harley Davidson is continually improving their product WITHIN THE LIMITS THAT THEIR REGULAR, STEADY CUSTOMER WILL ACCEPT. The guy who is the bedrock customer doesn’t want a modern sportbike, dual sport, cafe racer. He wants a Harley Davidson, with everything that goes along with that name – a traditional American motorcycle.

      OK, just for the sake of argument and fantasy:

      Visualize what would happen if, tomorrow, Harley Davidson would stop production of both the Big Twin and the Sportster. They keep the V-Rod going as their nod to a ‘traditional American motorcycle’.

      In place of the rest of the line, they take the MV Augusta F4 production line, move it to America, and change the name on the tank to Harley Davidson. Produce the exact same bike and bring the price in slightly under the V-Rod.

      OK, now you’re talking two reasonably modern lines of bikes. Now, what would happen?

      I predict they’d be bankrupt within 24 months. If that. The traditional HD customer, the guy who buy all those Softails, etc., would walk away and never come back. His current Harley would probably be his last bike, maybe some of them would transfer over to Victory. V-Rods are for Europeans, not Americans.

      Meanwhile, the sportbike crowd, well represented by the comments on this forum, would refuse to go near the bikes because of the Harley Davidson name on the tank. All of a sudden blogs would be finding all sorts of reason to pan a bike that, in the past, was usually universally loved – when it was called an MV Augusta.

      Don’t ever think that because HD doesn’t come up with knee-dragging handling or 140 stock horsepower they aren’t developing their bikes. They are, but they’re completely constrained by their clientele.

  • http://www.xborgforum.de/forum/portal.php Eric H.

    @ Syke:

    Greetings from a European Buell owner – XB12X & XB12STT…

    I admire and respect your intelligence as well as the way you display it here in this thread…

    I’d like your opinion on the following question…

    Let’s pretend that H-D doesn’t have the state garantee that it will never go bankrupt and imagine for a moment that it does just that in the first or second quarter of 2010…

    Now, as the last supplies of H-D bikes dry up during the remainder of the year, exactly what brand will the present “typical american softail” buyers turn to deliver them their cough-rotfl-cough “individuality” and hair-skrunchies, dog food bowls – etc., etc., etc…???

    In other words, what happens to the “Hoggies” of the world when H-D finally goes tits-up…???

    Thank you in advance for your answer,

    Eric H.

    • Syke

      Syke,

      That’s easy. They’ll just continue to ride the current Harley that they own, and keep it running for the rest of their lives.

      I saw a lot of that back in the early 70′s when AMF had taken over and the company was hanging on by the thinnest of threads. Most of the hard core weren’t worried. They were ready to get 50 years out of their panheads, if necessary.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Tom

    The traditional HD customer, the guy who buy all those Softails, etc., would walk away and never come back. His current Harley would probably be his last bike…

    syke,

    The deal is that the typical Harley buyer is already on his last bike anyway. The demographics are simply against Harley and if they cater only to this dying market without innovation then HD will go bankrupt anyway.

    No reasonable person is saying that Harley should stop making cruisers. Its just that Harley could branch out into other market segments like every other major manufacturer. When you put all your eggs into one basket then you better watch that basket! Harley didn’t do this and now they are paying the price for their hubris.

    Oh, and if Harley had done that with the MV Agusta and allowed the bike to be sold in non-HD shops than yes, that bike would have sold. Just read about the treatment of buyers at a Harley dealer and you’ll see why the V-Rod and Buell sales never took off. I’d seriously consider a HD superbike (Mv Agusta) but I’ll be damned if I ever went to a HD dealer to buy it.

  • Watcher

    If you walk into a HD dealership dressed like a normal person and without tattoos the sales people ignore you. I know this from experience. HD dealers cater to the guys dressed like pirates because they know they can not only sell them one of there out dated bikes but they can also sell them all the “Lifestyle” shit like clocks, belt buckles, do rags and such. Also, the most important item to any HD buyer are the Screaming Beagle straight pipes. 90% of HD buyers have to have straight pipes so when they pull up to stop lights they can prove what a moron they are buy revving there engine. You see, by doing this they think everybody will think they are a bad ass biker. Really they are just stupid morons that suckered for the HD image shit and wasted there money trying to impress everybody with there tattoos, gay pirate outfits and loud exhaust hopping everyone will think they are a real man not just a Harley fag.

  • Buell & HD

    What image comes to mind when you think Harley?

    Power? Nope. Handling? Nope. Well educated owner? Nope. Member of society riding it? Nope. See one parked outside the Country Club? Nope. See a Harley on the race track? Nope. These are the images that come to mind when I think of a Harley: Redneck, trailer park, cheap beer, truck stops, bad country music, pickup trucks, tattoos up one arm and down the other, leather wallet on a chain, Rottweilers as pets, German W.W.II helmet with the spike on top, murals on the tank, trailer parks, Grim Reaper, uncut beard, Hell’s Angels, Nazis, smoke filled bars, knife hidden in the boot, American flag bandanna, huge belt buckle, leather saddlebags, tassels, wannabe rider. Everything that motorcycles are not supposed to stand for.

    Does anything positive come to mind when I think of a Harley? Uh…. Hold on, I’m thinking. I’m really trying to be fair…

    No.

    The target buyer for Harley Davidson, if I read their ads correctly, are male overweight, middle aged, sexually repressed ex-cons with an abundance of tattoos, body and facial hair, and odious personal habits. They also tend to have a severe leather fetish with a passion for chains, tassels, and metal studs.

    So, what does that make Harley Davidson? A Harley is the world’s best selling motorized wheelchair for hippies and wannabes, and for those who would rather buy a reputation than earn one.

  • PJ

    Well, this has been fun to watch, no wonder Harley doesn’t want some of these yahoos in their dearships. I keed I keed.

    Here ya go haterz : Eric Buell just announced the formation of Eric Buell Racing Co.

    With the cooperation and support of the evil MoCo by the way.

    I’m guessing I can’t make a link to this here so >>

    http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2009/11/erik-buell-quits-harley-founds.html

  • PJ

    Well looky there, auto linked

  • Isaac

    I like the hubless front wheel. Ah the joys of Photoshop! =O)

  • B Starrenburg

    Nice Photo of the Buell Grant. Did you take that picture? If not, who did you buy it from? I recognize that image you changed, but not that much. Just wondering if it is yours. If not did you get permission from the photographer? I think that image is copyrighted…

    Bruce Starrenburg
    mail@lightboxinc.com

  • http://www.international-web-marketing.com/ affiliate networks

    This rather good phrase is necessary just by the way

  • http://www.conteneurs.org/FR/tag-SOCI.php3 Theron Throndson

    Por supuesto, lo que es un gran sitio y puestos informativos, voy a añadir backlink – Agregar a favoritos este sitio? Considera, lector.

  • http://www.fencingguides.com/garden-fence/ Maud (Garden Fence)

    I can’t to believe how hot this little tramp is. I gasp for air every time I see her.

  • http://bedbugs.jimdo.com/ bed bug

    Good post, thanks