Harley-Davidson Motorcycles – A Company in Decline?
The problems facing Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
The main problem with Harley-Davidson comes down to cost. They are just too damn expensive!
The motorcycle cruiser market is in the same place the car market was back in the day . . . import cars were cheap but viewed as low standard and inferior to American vehicles…nobody viewed them as a threat. Then the big three got complacent and stopped innovating making crap lemons while charging top dollar. Then imports quietly crept up improving, quality, power,looks and reliability and surpassed them. Then American cars were viewed as inferior. They are making a comeback slowly.
I see Harley Davidson going throught the exact same thing.These import cruisers are serious contenders. Harley-Davidson still has the name but consumers are getting smarter. Other import brands catch loyal customers a lot younger.
It seems that the newer younger generation of motorcycle riders want reliability and safety at half price of a Harley. Yes, this newer generation of motorcycle riders believes that Japanese bikes are much better and far cheaper than a Harley-Davison motorcycle!
Ther truth is there are die hard lovers and haters of Harley Davidson’s. I don’t see to many 50+ year olds on sports bikes, while the young take speed over comfort the time comes where the value of comfort starts to out way the need for speed. And yes there are many big cruiser bikes out there but none that match the feeling of sitting comfortable and still feeling the rumble of power when cracking the throttle on a Harley.
In 1969, William Davidson jr. stated that “…Honda will never win the heart of the American motorcyclist…” during an interview by Cycle Magazine six months after Honda had released its breakthrough CB-750 Four, launching a new era in motorcycling. “… large and powerful…”??? Nearly all the technological advances used on a Harley are either European or Asian (starter, electronics, disc brakes, drive shaft, multi-cylinder, DOHC, water cooled, ABS, fuel injection, etc… Most world police forces have switched to Hondas, Kawasakis, BMW… for performance, comfort, safety, etc… Consumer Reports tested the Harleys and rated them as the second bike to the LAST in their ratings in 2015 – maybe Harley needs a major upgrade?
For more info, view the Harley-Davidson site at: http://www.harley-davidson.com