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I don't know that they'd ever sway me to buy one, but like them or not, looks like they are now making a genuine effort to depart from what they've been known for. If you haven't seen the news, pretty interesting:

https://jalopnik.com/harley-davidson-aims-to-save-its-bacon-with-these-new-m-1827978257

What they are doing in the realm of electric was surprising to me, especially the bicycle/scooter segment:

https://electrek.co/2018/07/30/harley-davidson-is-expanding-its-ev-team/

I hope they are at least somewhat successful, I'd love to see triumph or ducati start looking at electric more seriously. Anyhow, just thought it worth sharing if you hadn't seen this in the news yet.
 

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Hi Siggs,

Thank you for sharing that, very interesting.

I have owned Harley's on and off since the 80's and just after putting a deposit on my Bobber, called into a HD dealer. I was very disappointed at their offerings, it seemed like there was nothing special and very little had changed. I think as well as embracing the future they should also embrace their past. I feel it was a mistake to abandon the Springer model, which for me was perhaps the only one I would have considered buying.

Cheerio,

Roy
 

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The Streetfighter isn't bad but the Pan America adventure bike is pretty grim. By the way, didn't Harley try this earlier with the V-Rod?
 

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I really like the look of the smaller e-bikes they're considering. That little orange one looks cool. If it was something I could mount on a bike rack, and park it on the sidewalk like a bike, I'd be all over it, rather than paying for parking in a ramp every day.
 

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It’s about time for HD to be doing this. Maybe, well past time. They’ve taken a real beating in the last ten years when they sold almost 365k bikes. This past year I think it was about 245k. That’s a loss of 1/3 of unit sales!! �� For way too long they’ve resisted alienating the “faithful” only to see sales continue to decline. What they seemed to not realize is that the faithful who buy their big cruisers will continue to do so until they’re long gone. Why would they be turned off by HD entries in other segments. Those wouldn’t be marketed to them anyway. But, not having bikes in those othose segments just doesn’t attract younger, more performance oriented riders who also don’t want to spend $20k plus on a motorcycle. If HD is serious about the broadening of the line, their dealers have to get behind it and not look down their noses at these bikes (like they did with Buell, the V-Rod and the early Street bikes (the latter, admittedly, not great bikes). Like Roy, I used to ride HDs, went to look at what they had (nothing new), bought an Indian Scout, then the Bobber. Right now, HD has not much to compare. I hope they’re serious. The industry could use a boost and, like it or not, HD is still sort of the “elephant in the room.”
 

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I've ridden a couple of HD's, and for that reason, have never owned one. I remember going to a UK dealer open day several years ago, and being astounded at the price of accessories and clothing - I remember seeing a plain black T shirt which would have cost £10 for a good quality one being priced at £40 just for a printed logo.

As someone who "doesn't get" the HD thing, it strikes me a bit like Apple, form and marketing hype over function ( I used to have to support Macs, and would never ever own one!) but people seem to get sucked into it. HD will continue to bounce along on their knuckles whilst the rest of the world walks upright...
 

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I can remember as a kid seeing a Harley chugging through Sandwich when they were exotica in Britain (the late 60's) and it was an impressive beast back when most people owned Triumph 650's or Jap two strokes. Then I lived in the US for a while and saw a lot more of them. They are a bit of an acquired taste. One which I never managed to acquire.

They seemed to be in a death spiral in the bad old AMF days, but hauled themselves back. Partly as Larry observes by marketing non motorcycle stuff at inflated prices. Something which most motorcycle makers now seem to have cottoned on too as well. I think as Jerrman points out they need to stop being the tail wagged by the "faithful" dog and start building bikes that will appeal to a wider audience. The rise of Indian must have poached a lot of sales from these traditionalists anyway.
 

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The Pan America isn't horrible, if they redesigned the headlight/windshield it would drastically change the look of the bike. Until then, no thanks.

The others are interesting, and good to another bike brand trying to change it up.
 

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The Pan America isn't horrible, if they redesigned the headlight/windshield it would drastically change the look of the bike. Until then, no thanks.

The others are interesting, and good to another bike brand trying to change it up.
Looks like the love child of a Honda Varadero and a Cylon (1978 version).
 

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I've got a confession to make I like Harley's...please don't throw me off the forum! >:)

Having owned them in the past I'm not blinkered about their short comings but I love whole Americana thing, how easy they are to customise, and their bomb proof residuals. However with virtually every bike manufacturer now playing the heritage card and building retros there's a lot competition in a market that they used to have all to themselves. It's funny when people ask me what the Bobber's like, I tell them it's like a Sportster from the future - one with 75BHP, traction control, ABS, rider modes, awesome build quality, and a stock exhaust that not only looks good but sounds great too. So yes they NEED to evolve because if they don't they'll die and a world without Harley's would be a sadder place.
 

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High Bobber-Bomb,

I very much share your views. As a young rider growing up on a traditional English estate farm I loved Harey's and would import Easyrider magazine. I bought my first Harley (a 76 Sportster/pic attached) by the time I was 20. There was 'very' few around in Shropshire then and even though all my biker mates would take the micky out of me I loved it.

I still love many of the vintage Harley's but feel the company has lost their way somewhat. Living in this northern New Mexico town almost every bike I see is a Harley, some real crackers here too. However the moment I saw a Bobber that was it, heaven and earth well and truly moved and now she is all mine.

In hind sight I know I made the right choice as I feel the Bobber is well ahead of the Harley's both in style and fit/finish and much more sophisticated too. I still have a soft spot for the older Harley's thought as indeed I do for vintage British bikes.

In my 20's and in Britain I had the only HD in town, 35 years later in the US it seems I have the only Triumph in town - who would have thought..:surprise:

Cheerio,

Roy
 

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I've ridden a couple of HD's, and for that reason, have never owned one. I remember going to a UK dealer open day several years ago, and being astounded at the price of accessories and clothing - I remember seeing a plain black T shirt which would have cost £10 for a good quality one being priced at £40 just for a printed logo.

As someone who "doesn't get" the HD thing, it strikes me a bit like Apple, form and marketing hype over function ( I used to have to support Macs, and would never ever own one!) but people seem to get sucked into it. HD will continue to bounce along on their knuckles whilst the rest of the world walks upright...
For anyone who has been in the HD fold, you sort of get the idea that it’s more than just a Brand but somehow a lifestyle. That’s why they can sell $40 t-shirts and get people to tattoo the HD logo on their back (no kidding). Of course, no one is forcing you to buy that t-shirt. Just wear an old one from the Gap :laugh:. HDs problem, aside from some outdated machines is that the lifestyle they’ve been marketing has started to go out of style. There are a lot of younger riders who do not want to be associated with that lifestyle. That said, to really understand HD, you have to live in the States and attend one or more of the big motorcycle rallies, like Sturgis, Daytona, Myrtle Beach, etc. It really gives you an insight into the strength of the Brand (at least until the last few years) when about 75% of 400-500k motorcycles are HDs. But, as far as Apple is concerned, couldn’t disagree more. Love the products, the design and most importantly, the stock :grin2:
 

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I have never owned a Harley but have ridden a few over the years. I have friends who have never owned anything but a Harley, we get along just fine. Some good fodder for pub night discussions. I just bought my 2018 Bobber a couple of weeks back. I was on the hunt for a new ride to supplement my two 76 GoldWings, they are great bikes but at 65 I am not so much into wrenching as I was when I was young lad. I wanted a new ride that a local shop could fix, if need be. I did not look at the current HD line at all. I did consider the Indian Scout and the Guzzi lineup. Being a happily married man for just about 40 years now, I asked the wife what she liked. She is mostly a non-biker, well she does do the Scooter thing at our Caribbean winter home, but that is a bit different. She picked the Bobber, and I am very happy she did. I am glad to see HD is trying to up its game with different bikes, but I think some of my HD hardened buddies perhaps will not agree.
 

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I think the biggest key to the new offerings from Harley is the fact that they aren't marketing to their existing customers, but rather working to bring NEW riders into the fold by offering a wide variety of options. HD is a global company now, and the fact that they're finally seriously considering offering bikes that may appeal to a wider worldwide audience shouldn't cause a negative reaction from their existing customers.

Personally, I'm not a Harley fan. Once upon a time I had dreams of owning one, but I've had too many negative experiences and stories of Harley culture to ever consider buying a cruiser from them. I definitely hope the company figures out how to move forward in a way that includes a much larger group of riders. Right now the impression I have is that the H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) believes they're better than all of the other riders out there, which means many of them look down on every other rider on the road. Granted, there are plenty of inclusive HD riders out there, but I can guarantee that if I'm riding and wave at another rider and the other rider doesn't wave back, they're riding a Harley. I'm not saying none wave, but if somebody isn't waving back, that person is highly likely to be riding a Harley. Also, I have a neighbor that used to ride a Japanese cruiser (Kawi, I think) and his Harley buddies would ride with him one time and then, once they realized he wasn't riding a Harley, wouldn't ride with him again until he finally bought a Harley. Such complete and utter BS. As long as somebody is riding on 2 wheels instead of 4, I think we should be waving and supporting and encouraging the lifestyle, to keep as many riders as possible on the road. The sooner old school HD riders get on board with that idea, the better for the industry as a whole.
 
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