Too little too late? - Triumph Bobber Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Too little too late?

Today’s announcement from Harley-Davidson. Trying, finally, to do whatever it takes.

Harley-Davidson will partner with China's Qianjiang Motorcycle Co to produce a new smaller bike, making good on promises to build more motorcycles outside the United States, moves that have angered President Donald Trump.

The company said the new bike would have an engine displacement of 338 cubic centimeters, by far the smallest-powered engine Harley has ever made and would be sold in China starting at the end of 2020.”
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 12:15 PM
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You're totally right, too small and too late! NothIng more to say!

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 12:56 PM
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People have written off Harley Davidson before. They are selling a small HD to the Chinese? If it takes off, it could be massive.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 01:13 PM
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The motorcycle industry is endlessly fascinating.

Don't forget Harley practically kicked off this industry in Japan in the 1930's with the Rikuo (a licensed copy). That decision ultimately came back to bite all the western makers in the butt. But these things have a life span and what goes around comes around.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 02:57 PM
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Haven't we been down this road before so to speak with Aermacchi? Remind me again how that worked out Importing low cost bikes from China into the US (assuming they don't get slapped with import duties) is going to be a struggle up against Japanese manufacturers. Having seen some of this stuff I can't imagine it doing so well. Harley should stick with what they know.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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I think idea is targeted at India, about the largest moto market in the world. If successful there, they will expand to other Asian markets. I don’t believe they have any intentions on bringing them into the States. First, the tariffs would kill them and second, the faithful (core Harley users) would laugh them off the sales floor. Admitting, despite what’s happening in their U.S. market, they do have a rep overseas that may help them expand their presence, especially in places like India where very small bore bikes proliferate and are not really performance oriented. So, if the majority of bikes are purely for transportation, then selling one that has an HD logo on it with whatever baggage that carries with it might be a good idea. I’m personally highly critical of the way HD has been stuck in the mud for so many years when the writing was on the wall and the way forward was pretty clear. Their U.S.business has been guided by fear (of not alienating core, aging and dying users), preventing them from introducing new, lower cost, more performance oriented motorcycles. I think their electric bike is ridiculously priced and doesn’t have enough range. (You can buy a Zero for 1/3 the price and get more than twice the miles). The previews of some of their other planned entries might have some legs but, not sure they’re there yet on the combination of design, performance and cost. But, now that they’ve lost 30% of unit sales from their high of 2006-08, at least they’re finally waking up and attempting some new directions.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:15 PM
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The big obstacle for HD besides the demographics of their loyal costumers is the price point. Many of their models cost as much as some well appointed cars.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychopasta View Post
People have written off Harley Davidson before. They are selling a small HD to the Chinese? If it takes off, it could be massive.
I thought it was supposed to be small?
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob's_yer_firkin View Post
Haven't we been down this road before so to speak with Aermacchi?
Who built the small dirt bike for Harley? The Baja 100? Was that Aermacchi?

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gfspencer View Post
Who built the small dirt bike for Harley? The Baja 100? Was that Aermacchi?
It was. They did that in the late 60s. Lasted about 3-4 years I think. Aermacchi also did a 125 cc scooter for Harley in the early 60s. Not really successful against Vespa, etc. Maybe the third time around is a charm. Or not.
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