Harley No Longer King : Company in trouble

Once upon a time Harley Davidson use to be the mega force in the motorcycle industry. It was always at the top of the list for any respecting biker to want to own. To be in most motorcycle clubs one had to have a Harley. A biker without a Harley wasn’t considered to be a biker but just some wannabee. All that has now changed. The once mighty symbol of freedom and image has started to crumble. The company that used to be the king of the road is just a shadow of itself. The company has no one to blame but itself for its fall from grace.

Harley got to be where it was from those hard working blue collar workers, workers that went to work every day and busted ass just to be able to ride and raise hell on the weekends. Since the early 90s when the lifestyle started to change and different people usually not apart of Harley’s core customers came flocking to the lifestyle,Harley took advantage of this new influx and started to raise prices. This was a serious mistake on Harleys part.Harley started to price out it’s core customer base and relied on a customer base that wouldn’t stick by the company for long.

In the early 2000’s shows like Biker Build Off, Orange County Choppers kept Harley riding high. Shows like those brought customers who never considered riding before into the mix. The Chopper craze was in full swing and if you couldn’t afford one of those a Harley was the next best thing. Harley started it’s decline at this point I believe. Harley started to focus not only on raising prices even more, they started pushing clothing and accessories as a bigger part of the company instead of staying focused on a better bike.

In 2006 most of the reality shows started to go off air and the recession was starting to loom.  Those customers Harley relied upon started to get out of the lifestyle. Started selling off those bikes. The used market became saturated with all kinds of makes and models. That saturation continues till today. What happens when the used market becomes saturated with bikes? No one really wants to spend the 25,000 to get a brand new bagger. Shit no one wants to spend 10,000 on a sportster. When people don’t buy then production starts to be cut and people at the company get laid off.

Harley was lucky in it’s marketing. It had a loyal base from the Vietnam era that pushed an idea. If you were not riding a Harley then you were not a REAL biker. Some of that thinking still exists today but not like it use to be. Problem with that thinking is people started saying “If your on two wheels, who gives a shit what your riding”. I agree fully with that saying by the way. I got to that point when Harley started closing up factories here in the states and gave work to Mexico and India. When they started shipping production overseas the product suffered. Just look at all the recalls that have started just last year. Quality might as well be made if China.

87 comments

  1. Harley wouldn’t be in trouble if they didn’t burn people on 600 to 700 dollar payments and slam ur ass with huge interest rates

    • It’s not Harleys fault you didn’t have a big enough down payment or bought more then you could afford.

    • I understand what Harley did to get them back on track in the 80’s and 90′. Biggest attraction was the made in USA. Just bought my wife a head band and long sleeve shirt for Valentine’s day and spent $80 at Harley Davidson. The price gouging on apparel is where they are making most of there money.

      • And that $80 shirt was made in China.

        And most every Harley now only has 65% to 70% American parts, the rest are foreign, yet they still try to push themselves as American. A Victory is much more American than a Harley (Note: I own 2 Harleys and no Victorys).

    • Sounds like you need to work on your credit…..

  2. Harley Davidson fell from grace when they could no longer put “MADE IN U.S.A.” on their bikes but Honda could.

  3. I agree with you 100%.I always wanted a Dyna Wide then they made it look some goober threw it together in their shed to ride.The only bikes that I like now are $39,000 to $49,000.I buy a bike to play not for work.I can but a new truck for that!(or two Dodges so I have a spare when first one dies).So sad to say I’m looking at Victory now.

    • Harley’s biggest mistake was going public, from that point forward all they were interested in was making money for the stck holders.
      They laid off hundreds of workers and created a two tier sytem, they forced people to retire by simply changing the benefits package to a point where they had no choice.
      They started using cheaper matetials to build some of their bike components but nevet passed on the savings to their customers.
      They used so many foreign parts on the bikes they could no longer claim the bike was made in the USA.
      How do I know this? I gave Harley 19 years of my life. I never owned a harley for
      Many reasons, reliability and excessive cost being on top of the list.
      Im really sorry to see this happening but doesnt surprise me one bit.

  4. Wrong on a lot of fronts. Honda no longer makes bikes in the US. Victory and Indian ride like s*#t compared to my Road King. So do all the other V-Twin wanna be’s. The Asians make great sport bikes, but with the exception of the Gold Wing (Japanese-made), the Harley touring bikes ride the best.

    • Harley might be comfy but at the cost of handling. I’d ride an Indian with square wheels before I shelled out for a Road King. They price gauge for no reason. Their “name” doesn’t mean anything any more and they need to adjust for that or they’ll die.

      • Lol their name means nothing? Sell your victory then tell us how much you got for it. Polaris has closed a lot of dealerships selling victory because of poor sales. The Indians are beautiful but beneath the skin it’s still a Polaris and you have to deal with knowing it’s just a dressed up quad. I’ll take the road King any day.

    • A new Victory rides much better than that Harley, especially if you are tall. And the BMW K1600GTL is BY FAR the best riding touring bike you will ever sit upon.

      Why is it I find that most people that defend Harley the hardest have never even ridden another manufacturers bike, or if they did they talk about ones from 15 years prior?

  5. BULSH!T

    • Victories ride great, even the low end Vics are great riding bikes, smooth ride, plenty of torque, and when you need to twist the throttle, you better hold on. I will never ride another unless its A Goldwing. Also you will pay A lot less for the Vics.

      • If you ever sell that Victory, you’ll realize why u should have bought a harley….. (if u are going to buy Victory…buy used)

  6. blah, blah, blah I have a Softail so I’m an expert. Yawn….

  7. I’ve been saying for years that I would not pay top dollar for a bike with 40 year old technology of questionable quality. I had a 1986 Kawasaki with liquid cooling. Why is Harley just getting around to that?

    • Liquid cooled robs you of like 5-10% of performance. None of Harley’s customers wanted the bikes to go to liquid cooled so they held out as long as they could, but they have to keep up with competition.

  8. they forgot about us who kept them going in the past. all of a sudden you have to be a yuppie to own one..it took the cool points out..i have my shovel head from 1979 still..i went to the dealer to get oil;they did not carry it,(special order)for real…thats not harley that i grew up with,,v rod…what a slap in the face

  9. I ride an ’03 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 1500 F.I. bought used in ’11 and all I have had to do is replace the battery and keep the oil and filter changed. I will be the first to admit I would prefer to ride a Harley, but this is my hobby, not my life.

    • Enjoy you Vulcan brother. Don’t buy into that crap that if you’re not riding Harley you’r enot rigding a bike. That’s midget mentality.

  10. George "Twin-cam" Hubert

    I think another thing that hurt Harley-Davidson was their effort to grab up a share of the market currently held by Japanese imports with the introduction of the 500 & 750 street series. Harley’s were always big, heavy American bikes and were not for everyone. Harley kicked a large portion of its hard core following to the curb by attempting to cater to a group of posers and wannabes. Now that that these people have gone on to other things, will the old schoolers who have been loyal all these years be enough to keep the company afloat? Only time will tell. They pulled themselves out of dire trouble once, I for one would like to see history repeat itself. I currently own Two “hogs” and will ride them until I can’t ride them anymore, at which time I will pass them on to my son.

    .

    • I have an 02 Kawasaki Nomad 1500FI, bought it 6yrs old with very low Mileage for a private deal of only $7000, and have ridden it all over Canada and USA.
      Extremely comfortable cruiser that is equally great for Friday night cruising around town, or on a long distance trip dong 1000 mile days to put flat road behind you. V&H dual bagger exhaust, hypercharger, power commander was all ready done to this bike, so I put new rubber on and brake pads every couple years, change the oil each riding season, and that’s it. Ride and have fun.
      Funny thing is this bike sounds throaty rumble like a Harley, looks great, and when I pull into parking lots people are always commenting on it. I ride with many Harley owners and my Kawasaki Nomad fits right into the pack.
      Point is you don’t need to be spending $35-45k on a brand badge. I’m having just as much fun or more on my Nomad, turning just as many heads (including Harley riders), and my ride was bought & paid for the day I bought it. I’m money in the bank and riding care-free for years.

      • How does introducing a new products like the street bikes, to reach buyers that would never have bought existing Harley products hurt their sales? You know what hurts? People who think anyone who doesn’t want a big, heavy Harley, want a smaller handling bike for urban riding are posers. Look down at anyone who isn’t like themselves.

  11. Whom ever wrote this is full of crap and needs to get out on the road and see what bikes people are riding . 100 harleys to 1 victory or Indian . Most everyone that I ride with we do 600 mile days up in the hills on baggers . guys on barhoppers can”t do them kind of days their bikes aren”t made to do all day in the seat on .

  12. very well put article. i myself was always looking to buy a harley but after pricing out some have come to the decision to purchase a vstar or shadow instead. plus have alot of friends that do own harleys and …you guess it, they are always breaking down or in shop for repairs lol. mind you not all but most, and parts for those beasts aren’t cheap !

  13. What a load of BS! O.C.C. was run into the ground by pops. Tax problems all the drama etc. Biker build off ended, Indian Larry-Dead, Johnny Chop-Dead, Billy Lane DWI-jail time. The chopper craze bikes cost a hell of a lot more then a stock Harley. Most of the people buying big bikes are 35+ years old. kids are buying the imports because they are cheap and they all think they are the next wonder on two wheel with the Go-Pro on their head. The real reason that Harley is not selling is because dumb ass people put a idiot in the White House whe has destroyed the economics of our country. No one has any money to buy big bikes, be Honda, Harley Indian, Victory or anything else.

  14. Victory is American made correct? Also How many remember how HD came out on top of Indian during the WWII era? It was from a LIE each company was ask to produce a 500cc bike for trials. Indian did and however HD made a bigger motor and “called” it 500 thus it out did the Indian. Things that make you go HUMMM Oh I do own 2 used HDs and enjoy them when they run.

  15. What a load of croc. I wonder why the writer is so upset with sporsters can he ride one, is he a man? Harley have been making parts in china for many years and the quality has never fallen. This a whinge not a news item however it is as informed as a regular newspaper story, where they never let the truth get in the way of their bias.

  16. Mike Retaus, Germany

    I really had a good laugh by reading this article. As IF there was EVER any good quality being manufactured in the U.S.
    To be frank, all your U.S. cars suck big time, and, although I do love your bikes, the quality of the bikes you build is, if at all, mediocre.
    Sorry to say so, but you americans just have no idea at all what real quality looks like.

    • Well.. It seems you stop in time a few decades ago,when Mercedes cars could do a million kms with no major repairs.. Nowadays German brands are just the same as harley with one major difference.. Problems with hi-tech are much more expensive.. I saw brand new Mercedes for delivery leaving showroom to repair shop cause they wouldn’t start.. All injection part replaced in cars with zero kms. As for your best sellers Bmw motorcycles, we’ll… Just say that none of the four gs 1200 ended the long term test (50000 km), all 4 broke the engine before the end of test.. Engine problems , broken gearboxes, final shaft issues, electronic failures, abs and more is something Bmw owners live every day..

    • Currently I’m on my second valkyrie, sold the first cause needed the money two years ago , but regret it right away.. Luckily I found another last month (hard to find here in Portugal) and this one will never leave my house. Simply a superb motorcycle.. My brother owns 18 old bikes (mostly Japanese and 2 old Bmw to) and dreamed with an harley, so found one at a good price almost new (8000 km) from 1990 same owner always.. It shake so much that speedometer jumped out on the test drive..dream ended there. I ride for 25 years Japanese motorcycles, done thousand kilometers, and the most expensive repair are the tyres.. The main problem with all of them was in my honda varadero 1000 and had to replace electric regulator – rectifier (70 euros) used from a fireblade.. Just 2 friends with harley davidson, first never had issues but maintenance is very expensive in dealer and have to replace front fork cause it won’t handle with him and is wife, the other bought it from a wreck and have small issues mainly electronic

  17. It was a similar story with the UK bike industry, back in the 1950’s.
    Norton, Triumph, BSA all made world class bikes back in the day.
    But like them, Harley became complacent. They haven’t really pushed forward with new products or innovated anything in years, assuming their loyal customers would remain loyal forever.

    With the exception of Triumph, those companies died at the hands of the more reliable and more affordable Japanese machines.
    Even Triumph died too, but was finally resurrected to its current state only after they started making new bikes people wanted to own and not relics from the past.

  18. I worked for Hardley-Davidson for 20 years in Milwaukee. I quit after seeing the direction the company was headed for several years before that. Pretty sad that management treated us like we were 2nd rate citizens for years and the outside world never knew about it. They always portrayed “family” and the “Harley Family” way. What a joke. If you only knew how far that was from the truth. The early days of my employment were actually awesome, right before the 95th Anniversary is when greed took over and by the time the 100th rolled around, you could see and feel where it was headed. And it wasn’t good. Fast forward a few years, India and mexico come into play and then the contract busting for the union people. It’s too bad, because it was the union people that made that company what it was… RIP harley…..

  19. I ride a 98 Honda Valkyrie. No Harley comes close!

  20. I dropped Harley several years ago for a Honda VTX 1800, it’s a V twin, sounds great and Made in Ohio. Harley has just as many foreign parts as mine, so what’s the difference? About $10,000 dollars, that’s a lot of money for me. I was a loyal Harley guy for years, have the tats to prove it, but reality finally set in.

  21. I owned all jap bikes until.07 bought a brandy new street glide nothing but a lot of problems compared to.the jap stuff I had in the past shame spend a lot of money on something with a company that has been around over 100 years and they still can’t make it right and they wonder why their loosingare share step up make it right the first time

  22. I have two HD’s and the B.S. that comes out of this article and some of these comments is a laugh. I have 2 big twins a 88 and a 96 and neither has left me stranded in 15 years. I would never ride or take a cross country trip in anything else but a Harley. HD fan 4ever!

  23. Union is what is running company in ground! Another liberal opinion!

    • So if they bust the union I guess the price of HD will become competitive with other manufacturers, like it did when they started bringing in foreign parts.
      Oh wait. That didn’t happen either.

  24. When you can’t afford something you convince yourself every way that you don’t want it. But in reality you want to ride a Harley. I was the same way before I bought my Wide Glide. Now I’m on I have a Road Glide.

  25. Back a few years ago one of my family went out to buy a bike… Of course it had to be a Harley.. They purchased a 05 springier for $15K They talk me into looking at getting back into riding after i have been off for 20 years but 15K it just way to much for a summer fun. So i looked at a Honda vtx 1300. Almost the same bike, weight cc, rake etc.. i compared the spec.. but $10k cheaper, And it will go for 100K miles. So how justifiable in paying $10,000 more just for the name Harley… their excuse was I can afford it….lol So as long as you have people with more money than brains they will not go away…But i do love the marketing of the cloth Harley has Wish Honda did too… Guess you could say i am a cross dresser.. yes i where Harley..

  26. I am a locksmith, so I don’t make a six figure income. I have never owned a new bike because now days, you cant bike a bagger or big tour model of any kind that wont cost you an arm and a leg. I have owned a Honda Goldwing and loved it. I now own a Harley Davidson Road King Classic and love it too. I bought it used from someone who took really good care of it. I have never had any trouble with it. I love the way it rides! I am not interested in joining a biker club, me and my wife just love to ride long distances and we welcome anyone one two wheels, It doesn’t matter to us what your on. Lets just get some wind in our hair!

  27. Take a tour of Harley’s York operations center. Build in quality and employ American workers. My Road King runs without problems. What’s hurting Harley is the kids riding lower priced, sport bikes.
    My old back can’t bend over to ride one.

  28. I have a 2008 harley with 52k on it and its bin totaled twice by getting hit by cars so the bike was being repaired for 2 six month clips. I’ve rode the east coast shoreline from jersey to florida in 3 days down 2 days back. Any bike is a good bike and it’s what you prefer. And to the germans you do have better quality but at a much higher price then the USA ! that’s where were heading cause of taxes. Harley is only selling to who can afford there bikes yes and it’s a big mistake . Reason most people continue to ride or drive what they start out with so, if you start on a Honda you’ll most likely stick with a Honda. So this is why there building 500 and 750’s now. As the why aren’t Harley’s water cooled? Harley’s are for cruising not sitting in traffic. And why don’t any of the technology bikes run a belt drive, it works great and no maintenance required.Every bike manufacture has there own ideas and it’s what we like is what we buy. Keep riding and enjoy the scenery.

  29. Well when H-D abandoned the core group of buyers and started chasing the new customers and producing more bike then the dealers could sell while making loans to people who couldn’t afford them was their big mistake.GREED is the key word here,the motor company is no longer run by riders themselves,is is run by the financial group and that is never a good idea. as a result people like me are laid off and find new careers and will never buy another one,the last one i bought i still own and ride faithfully as a reminder when it was still an icon in America. I remember the day they came into the plant and took the boxes away that said made in the USA. What a sham the company has become,they betrayed their core group and i hope they pay through the ass for it,FYI my street glide rides and performs like a dream….

  30. I’m a softtail rider for many years and Harley is a bike that has been very dependable and also very expensive. I’m comfortable with that because I don’t want cheap. I’ve never had a better time than on a Harley. And one good thing about Harley riders is they get laid just cause of the bike.lol

  31. There are a few that have posted here that know nothing about Harleys. I’ve owned 4 and currently a 2014 FLHTK which is a fantastic bike. All the improvements Harley made with the Project Rushmore greatly improved the bike in comfort and styling. The big improvement I noticed was the reduction of engine heat with the liquid cooled heads. For those who think Harleys always break down I say, its not a AMF.

  32. You have to flex with times and the fact that Harley Davidson has some of the toughest map policy and restrictions on selling the product they dont want the market being devalued. That is good to a point but if you dont know the buying demo graphs and how they have changed over the years you will not get that retention back. You must be able to flex and that company never moved a inch. Full retail on all parts and accessories and machines… How did that work for you now.

  33. Interesting article and how true!Forty years ago when Honda introduced the Gold Wing that was a game changer for me. From that point on I made my purchases based on shaft drives,comfort and stone cold reliability instead of ego. That choice also saved me a lot of money over the years. I sold my bone shaking, oil puking iron head and road side wrenching ride. Am I surprised Harley is in this position? No! History always has a way of repeating. It just doesn’t make sense to spend up to 40k on vintage technology when someone can get a solid comfortable long distance bike from 12 to 25k loaded with technology from Honda,Yamaha or BMW that will easily last well into the six figure mileage bracket.

  34. Charles ( GoodtimeCharlie)

    Harley had a down fall for awhile damn nearly went broke; had a Harley had to have a drip pan under it. but things have improved in the near past, Now that Harley, Victory, Indian all owned by the same corporation; Have always liked Harley but are now way over priced. $37,ooo.00 to $50,000.00 for a descent ride, However most are well over priced because the dealerships want the big profit. Then you have a problem they want to keep your ride for two three weeks for repair; hell I don’t buy to have it sit in the dealer shop! I now have a Yamaha !700 and can run with any Harley out their. Had a gold wing loved it was an all dayer ride, but they are like Harley, priced out of site. I am with you brother! no matter what you ride; its your, you like it, ride it. and tell those assholes that think your not a rider if not a Harley; KISS OFF…

  35. Bought a used HD touring bike at 17,000 after bringing it in for same issues over and over from day one they offered to trade it for a newer one but then only offered 8000 for trade value!! It was a joke and their CS from store to store is horrible!!

  36. I’ve gone from 2 vstars 650, 1300, now I ride 2011 ultra glide 96, no comparison in comfort, and not feeling cheap, ride 2up a lot , the wife loves the Harley, will never own metric again,

  37. $35000 + for a Harley trike is more than a nice car money.Dont know what aVictory/Indian cost but that fairing is too ugly.

  38. Straight up this is some real shit & I own 3 Harleys right now.. not one I bought new 🙂 & not one I bought from our local harley davidson dealership. . Rip off prices n if ur from Hawaii its very monopolized here. I love my Harleys no doubt but wouldn’t discriminate against Indian.. but even their prices are getting outta control with their scout selling for $12,500 out the door that’s crazy.. it’s a $8k bike if that..lol. bottom line is buy smart buy what u can afford it’s doesn’t matter the brand it’s what makes u happy n jus being on 2 wheels.
    Harley Davidson I hope one day you folks realize this one day every empire falls when they get to greedy !!! Please come back to earth.

  39. Hogwash.. Did HD market to yuppies in the 90’s and 2000’s? Yep. Do they try to sell an image to accountants and lawyers? Yep. Did we have a generation of shaved heads, bandannas, and more leather and studs than a Judas Priest concert? Yep. So, while we might hate the riders, its not really fair to hate the product. I see a lot of morons driving BMW’s and Benz’s so they can look cool. Anyone who’s ever owned ether of these cars know they are money pits from the day you buy them to the day you sell them. Yet, that doesn’t mean they are crappy cars. They are image more than anything else. HD is image, but its also a quality product that sometimes breaks. Sure there are a ton on the used market. So what? Bikes aren’t for everyone. Neither are 2 seater roadsters but people still buy them. HD is doing what they want to stay competitive and to stay in business. Their product isn’t cheap and what’s wrong with that? No one is entitled to a Harley Davidson.

  40. as a veteran rider of 40 years, i was a die hard harley fan, 1979-1999 till the yuppies came.then over priced,and was a bit deluded.
    now whats the differance today,over priced and still unrelible bikes..but at middle aged.i get tired to ride,and i would rather save my money..bit like the so called yuppies are now…they are past it.
    good shut,and to ”harley davidson ..

  41. I’ve loved big bikes for a long long time, but if you ask me these new harleys look like lego. I see a few about, but i hate them. They look cheap.personally i would never but one.

  42. I have a good friend that owns Barnett Cables and Clutches. They make a far superior product than Harley. Most, will opt for Barnett parts than Harley.

  43. I’ve ridden since 70’s, own a 65′ Impala SS, & F350 Powerstroke. I use to think I may buy a HD someday, but then one day looked at them and the smell of Grandma’s house a mothballs came to mind, old, stuffy, somehow they slipped from looking classic to just tried. Recently bought a Vic Cross country, for a bagger/tour bike simply a beast, can also carve twistes Damn well, I personally like the Arlin Ness art deco, I married over 30 yrs. but chick’s do dig the Vics too, sorta awkward when out with better half! Whatever, we need to stick together as riders, to many want to take it away.

  44. I say ride what you like, but don’t buy something you can’t fix yourself. Problem solved.

  45. Harley Davison is like a old hotrod car most gear head’s want to stroke and change cams. Well that’s great if your into that because if your not. You will be diapointed. Because you will half to replace these parts. So If your not into mods buy honda yammerhammer etc. I own a 2003 softtail 28th 22000mileage and needs crank because run out is terrible chaintensioners wore slap out. It sucks harley won’t recall this junk.

  46. The only Harley I ever encountered broke down, had been worked on by the owner, not the dealer and it had aftermarket parts. When you look at the bikes on the road, I see about 60 Harleys to every 100 bikes. Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, BMW, Triumph share the other 40%. So if you do see one Harley broke down that is a very small percentage.

    My 2000 Wide Glide is now 16 years old, has 85,000 miles on it and has only been to the dealer for new bearings in the front forks and tires. That’s it. Nothing else broke. I got caught in a snow storm in April, at 33 degrees F it ran perfect. Crossing the desert at 125 degrees, no problem. Ran into torrential rain in Tennessee, it never skipped a beat. When people talk about poor quality Harleys, I cannot comprehend what they are referring to.

  47. Isn’t this the same people that felt their core riders would enjoy Elton John as the surprise singer at the 100th celebration?

  48. Harley Davidson do not manufacture bikes, they manufacure kudos.
    If HD manufactured computer software instead of bikes they’d be selling Windows95 at Apple prices and you’d still see people going for it.
    I have a ’95 Dyna Superglide FXDX 80cu.in. EVO.
    A “British” bike by HD standards!
    Along with the FXR it is perhaps the only bike you can ride in the twisties without rear wheel wobble, brake fade, or front wheel drift.
    In Europe HDs are ego tractors, nobody is willing to pay road tax and insurance fir a 1600cc bike that performs like a 500cc scooter… or slower!

  49. I see a lot of keyboard experts here… it makes me laugh! Most of you font have a clue. PERIOD!
    Harley Davidson is a multi billion dollar world wide company. You don’t think try have a handle on brand recognition or how they study their demographics? But you… yup, you behind the computer screen know best how this company should change… lol.
    Let’s first address the writer of an article that claims to be a Harley owner yet despite riding one forcyears, can’t even spell “Softail”
    Rest assured that if you own one, you know it’s not a “Soft Tail” to me, he loses credibility for the rest of the article.
    Second… someone else adelaine a comment about gouging you for tshirts and claiming that this is how they make their money…
    While I’m sure once again that you think you’re an expert, understand that you would pay the same over inflated prices for any other brands. Again.. it’s marketing and brand recognition at work. I’ve worked for a dealership for over 13 years now, I can promise you that clothing is NOT how we make our money! Sales… Bike sales! Period.
    The rest of the dealership functions as a support for sales because if you’re spending your hard earned money on a bike, you’re gonna want to have access to all the latest and greatest things for it. Including a service department to install all your cool new stuff!
    Last point I’d like to bring up, you cannot bash Harley for their pricing, then compare it to the Goldwing. Honda no doubt makes an excellent bike… but the price of a Goldwing is not any cheaper than a comparable Harley-Davidson.
    Lastly… if they “gouge you” on interest rates, it’s time to look in the mirror and start paying your bills on time. Credit scores are not Harley’s fault but your own… don’t like it? Go to your own bank! Then try to finance for 84 months… or get less then 20% down… or try to finance your extended warranty, your $4000 worth of parts or even your new leathers and riding get gear…
    Not gonna happen!
    In closing I’d like to say that while all the metric companies make great bikes, none of the cruisers can touch a Harley…
    That’s why all of you who say otherwise are comparing your bikes to them! “My yamaha looks just like a Harley!” Or “It gets just as many looks as a Harley”
    The fact that you are justifying your opinions with comparisons to Harley-Davidson only solidifies that Harley-Davidson IS the benchmark and you sirs, have just confirmed that!
    I don’t judge others by what they are riding, but when you bash the Harley name you’re the hypocrite that sounds just like the old harley guy that bashes people who don’t ride “real bikes”
    Oh the irony! Lol
    Ride and let ride!!!
    Stay safe out there!

  50. Road HDs for over 46 years,still do I have two with over 90,000 miles.Taken excellent care of both. Would have trade them in on new one,but since the late 90s the company depreciated the value of their product by insulting loyal costermers with extremely low trade offers and unfair prices for Harly parts.

  51. Go online and Google victory vs Harley and see the comparison for your self…….p.s. 80% of victory owners were Harley owners

  52. Way to dam old schoolto change now.I still say MotherFucker’s if you ain’t riding a Harley you ain’t riding shit

    • That’s true, I’m not riding an HD and I’m not riding a shit. I also not riding an overpriced POS with last century technology, badly tuned just to have a “special” sound. I remember my friend dad who had to tighten almost all the bolt on the bike every oil change so it don’t fall apart on the road. Yeah, That’s real quility right there bro. Get your head out your ass.

  53. I’m not here to bash HD or any brand, I just love motorcycles.
    Most of the bikes being discussed here are overpriced.
    Triumph Thunderbird’s the best bang for the buck for big bikes. 1700cc, 104ci, 98hp, 115ft of torque and fast as hell right out of the crate and great handling bikes as well. Ok, Triumph doesn’t make a faring bike with hard bags but anyone with wrenching abilities can add a Corbin faring etc. I’m on my second Thunderbird, had a 2010 with full faring from Memphis shades. Currently own a 2014. Give these bikes a look, Ride on brothers.

  54. just enjoy the ride

    Ride what you want, make certain whomever “writes” an article can spell Softail correctly and can’t we all just get along? It’s not that complicated, unless you want life to be.

  55. Terry Parkin ( UK )

    The indications are that this is a US site and the comments refer to the US perception. HOWEVER, Harley is a global brand and sells world-wide, and not all countries and nations share the US view. In the rest of the world Harleys are bought and ridden for the prestige of the brand and the world-wide availablity of parts. In my view, Harley went wrong when they deleted the bling and started painting everything Black. What works for one market is a complete turn-off for another. HD should concentrate on what they do best – their heritage, and stop trying to be as mean and nasty as the writer of this article presents them . Simple as that.

  56. I own a 2013 victory XC and I love it.It runs awesome has plenty of power and it’s very roomy and a very easy bike to ride having said that I really loved what Harley has done with the Rushmore project bikes.Now the fact is if man built it and it has electronics things can go bad with any brand I’ve heard of people driving Harley’s with over a 100.000 trouble free miles and I’ve heard of kawasaki,s having problems from the get go.Harley makes a few models that I drool over Unfortunatley I can’t afford to spend the 32 plus geez their asking.If I had my way I wound on a CVO street glide,a Yamaha Fj sport tour and of fours I’ll never get rid of my XC.Ride safe and beware of cell phones.

  57. I luv Harley’s but I’m sick of corporate Harley . These oversized fancy dealers, it’s lost all its character. Just feels like they want your $$. I miss the old days .

  58. Ha ha ha! Serves them right for being greedy. In the first place I can’t imagine what all the hype is over these machines. Every single one that I have ever seen sounds like it is going to conk out at any moment. Why would anyone want to ride a machine that sounds like it needs a serious tuneup? The bike I ride now is a 1981 Yamaha XJ650H which I bought for $350. Yes I put some money and time into it in parts but I OWN IT and it is a great classic cruiser to ride. Also, I love the sound of this 4 cylinder bike. It’s somewhat distinct and doesn’t sound like an oversized lawnmower engine with dirt in the barburetor like Harleys do. And what’s with the constant blipping? Blaaaap blaaaap blaaap! Is that all for show or is that to stop the Harley engine from crapping out? I don’t have to do that on my Yamaha. It’s meticulously tuned up and purrs at idle. One thing is for certain is that there will always be a bumper crop of mindless fools who feel pressured into following the latest trend or fashion so they can fit in.

    • Mark, you are a empty headed twit. Didn’t like that statement ? Have your boyfriend explain it to you. I’m glad you found a heman bike to sit on. You may even start it one day, if you don’t get your skirt caught in the chain, and your high heels work for shifting.

  59. To be honest I must say that insurance does have a lot to do with it also. In Ontario, the cost of insuring a Harley is generally twice as much as its Japanese competitiors. I had the chance to either pick up an Iron 883 or a Yamaha Bolt 950 and I ended with the Yamaha simply because the insurance was literally double the price. This obviously isn’t something that Harley controls, but it does effect many of the riders I know.
    Ride Safe!