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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
before you guys say "oh,hell. not another what it's worth thread" it's not that.
in the 80s you could get a basket case for a couple hundred bucks often and a few year old rider for 1 to 3 grand(depending on size/model).
fast forward to early/mid 90s used ones were sellin' for almost as much as new ones. i found this insane. when i asked around i found that guyswanted new ones, but were on a 6 month waiting list because the factory couldnt keep up with the orders.
now understand supply and demand, so i figured it made sence and let it be.
now it's 2006 and used ones still are fetching crazy prices.
my question to you guys that know more than me(that prolly most of y'all) is why is this?
is the factory not makin' enough to keep up with demand still?
or do owners still have it stuck in their head that you can always get yer money back with a harley? in the first 70/80 years of H-Ds existance this wasnt true.

i'm not tryin' to be a smart-ass or put down H-D or the folks who love them. i'm just curious because a guy i work with and i talk about this from time to time and he cannot back it up with any facts. he just says that's the way it is and i cannot accept that.
 

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I constantly hear yuppies at my workplace talking about buying a Harley as 'an investment that I can ride' due to their high resale value. I bet that all goes away when the principle comes due on their '110% Loan-to-value interest-only mortgage'. I bet then you can name your price. These are the same bozos who wear their HD tshirts constantly in an effort to let everyone know that they got suckered on their shirt and their bike...
 

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I think the Harley investment bubble has burst. ten years ago the factory could not keep up with demand. That lead to a bunch of copy machines being produced,and the people with money bought them even though they were not Harleys just clones. Now Dealers have Harleys on the floor and are, get this, discounting prices. That and the fact that I think all the people that wanted them got them. The stock price of Harley is down as they say due to lackluster sales in the US. I think as the new fads take hold, Rat Rods or whatever, Harleys will continue to be displaced. If you look at any classifieds there are more Harleys for sale than all other bikes, and I don't think they are getting the asking price anymore. just my $.02
 

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I believe Harley keeps a pretty good reign on how the bikes come divvied out. Its now an issue of control and demand. HD is a smart cookie, they saw how the short supply and demand scenario worked, and they've geared themselves to replicate that when there isn't a shortage situation. The better the resale value, the better the company looks. And how do you keep resale up - by not flooding the market with new product. They trickle it out. HD knows they'll never have to sale wholesale/closeout bikes so they'll keep them in stock awhile so as to the market thin. And they'll keep manufacturing time lax so as to not get back-logged. The guys at the local HD factory have a good set-up. They put in a good days work, but they're not held to producing a certain number of bikes a day, more like a range and its pretty encouraged to stay at the bottom end.

The guy I bought my Duc works there. He used to do tig on the frames. He said most times he was bored because there wasn't an urgency breathing down you're neck.

Also I think dealers are encouraged to sale used bikes at higher prices, as the common guy will think that is the common market. Sellers are more than willing to embrace it, because it means technically they're making money back.

At least that my thinking on the matter.
 

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I also notice around here that most of the ads are for big twins, not for cheaper stuff. I love the ones that say '$10k worth of accessories' and then ask a price that's about the going used price plus $10k...
 

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oldspeed said:
I think the Harley investment bubble has burst. ten years ago the factory could not keep up with demand. That lead to a bunch of copy machines being produced,and the people with money bought them even though they were not Harleys just clones. Now Dealers have Harleys on the floor and are, get this, discounting prices. That and the fact that I think all the people that wanted them got them. The stock price of Harley is down as they say due to lackluster sales in the US. I think as the new fads take hold, Rat Rods or whatever, Harleys will continue to be displaced. If you look at any classifieds there are more Harleys for sale than all other bikes, and I don't think they are getting the asking price anymore. just my $.02
The funny thing about stock prices in HD's case is that when they are saying they are down, they mean its not holding up to the projected level. As far as the discounted prices, I think the ideology is little different than that. Dealers are pretty controlled by the factory. The execs are looking at the current public discourse with gas prices, and the number of motrocycle sales in general rising. (In the last 3 weeks I have seen 5 new Vespas around my house, 5 monthes ago nobody here knew they were around). HD is thinking - Hey we have this new, fairly uneducated riding market. They are going to be looking at cheaper priced bikes, but HD always has that stigma. So if you're in the market, with very little experience, and hear HD, but for not much more than a Honda or Kawi (relatively) - its going to hold some water. And I think the execs know that. Ensuring a product future demographic. Even discounted I don't think HD will take a lose on any of its bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ol_scratch said:
I believe Harley keeps a pretty good reign on how the bikes come divvied out. Its now an issue of control and demand. HD is a smart cookie, they saw how the short supply and demand scenario worked, and they've geared themselves to replicate that when there isn't a shortage situation. The better the resale value, the better the company looks. And how do you keep resale up - by not flooding the market with new product. They trickle it out. HD knows they'll never have to sale wholesale/closeout bikes so they'll keep them in stock awhile so as to the market thin. And they'll keep manufacturing time lax so as to not get back-logged. The guys at the local HD factory have a good set-up. They put in a good days work, but they're not held to producing a certain number of bikes a day, more like a range and its pretty encouraged to stay at the bottom end.

The guy I bought my Duc works there. He used to do tig on the frames. He said most times he was bored because there wasn't an urgency breathing down you're neck.

Also I think dealers are encouraged to sale used bikes at higher prices, as the common guy will think that is the common market. Sellers are more than willing to embrace it, because it means technically they're making money back.

At least that my thinking on the matter.
if that's true that's a great business move.
 

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Rare bikes will continue to be worth big money. Want an investment you can ride? Buy something rare. Ex.- Matching numbers big inch Flatheads, Knuckles, Pans, gen. Shovels. Want something that'll really be worth something, buy a bike w/ documented race history or old custom builder pedigree. Want to have fun, buy something unexceptional and ride it a lot.
 

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I'm pretty sure HD makes a little:rolleyes: on the accessories...

Back in 2002, they required you to put put a deposit of $1000 to order one, then you couldn't apply that to the bike, but only to accessories... If you bought them the day you picked up your bike, you got a lousy 20% off.

I heard that other dealers had similar set ups were they forced you to buy accessories. I'm sure we all know about HD's lobbyists and the aftermarket...

Another reason to dislike the new factory.
 

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beatcad said:
if that's true that's a great business move.
I don't really know if its true or not. But from what I've seen and talking to some of the factory guys et al. That's my interpretation. Looking at the last 20 years, its not hard to say they are skilled business thinkers.
 

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Ol Scratch has it right on the supply demand thing, they will not produce at volumes that create a glut and depress the market price. US business may be a little soft but export is stong and sounds like it will continue to be as such. They are focused on reducing cost at this time more than anything, if they maintain price and reduce cost more profit better stock transaction value. Bikes are the least profitable item they have, it is clothing then Parts and Accessories where all of the money is made they are finding CVO bikes to have good profit also. It will be intresting to see where they are in ten years but right now they could be used as a text book example of marketing 101. I think as a management group they are getting away from what brought them to the level of sucess they have now. To many fucking MBA's and ex GM assholes.
 

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1 MBA is too many MBA's.
 

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Back in the 70's when I started riding Harleys it wasn't because it was the hot craze for the yuppies, it was the only Made in America bike. At the time the jap bikes were dirt cheap and HD wasn't, but you could find a good basket case for cheap.
I was a motorcycle racer and HD owned the dirt ( 1/2 miles and miles). Win on Sunday sell on Monday was the thing for the the top dogs at HD, but if you remember AMF owned them then and they weren't doing to good at the time. It was more ride on sunday fix on monday. When Harley went public I think it gave money to the company to expane their marketing and they did a good job. Will the market bear it who knows but they are in buisness to make money and will probly change to do so. Just my $0.25 worth and yes I worked for the BIG HD for 2 years.
 

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ol_scratch said:
1 MBA is too many MBA's.
That's a pretty ridiculous statement there. Running a multi-million dollar business w/ out MBA's, lawyers, accountants, and other well educated people is a recipe for disaster.

I appreciate a little counterculture, rise up against the man, punk rock attitude as much as the next guy, but that's no way to run a profitable large business. You need people w/ high levels of education just as much as you need production workers.

I've been at both ends of the spectrum and appreciate the struggles and challenges of each group. Both are necessary.
 

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harley is to motorcyles what debeers is to diamonds...they both work hard to control the supply and keep prices high.
 

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oldspeed said:
Sorry you feel that way, i won't give mine back
Perhaps I should qualify that, and no I'm not back-pedaling. I wasn't prodding everybody who is educated or holds an education in Business. Its more aimed at the large army MBA oriented newbies that are fresh out of school, or realtively fresh. The know-nothings with a piece of paper. Look around and notice something - for example - oldspeed, how long have you been in business? Have you not noticed that the newer generation of business majors miss the mark. There is a certain passe to doing business, and the newer generation lacks it. Its all about theory and no root in reality, most of the graduates now are taught in anti-business and pro-greed. And THAT is what I meant with my direction.

Now come on, if you need a hug, it'll be alright, its just joke. I figured when I wrote it that would ruffle a few feathers, but sometimes a crackas gotta do what a crackas gotta do.
 

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Tony Bones said:
That's a pretty ridiculous statement there. Running a multi-million dollar business w/ out MBA's, lawyers, accountants, and other well educated people is a recipe for disaster.

I appreciate a little counterculture, rise up against the man, punk rock attitude as much as the next guy, but that's no way to run a profitable large business. You need people w/ high levels of education just as much as you need production workers.

I've been at both ends of the spectrum and appreciate the struggles and challenges of each group. Both are necessary.
I'm not very intimidated.

And counterculture, punk rock, nor Jello Biafra had anything to do with the statement. I seen both sides of the spectrum as well (in a few different industries), I explained my position as I obviously hurt oldspeeds feelings (and from what I've seen he's a pretty upright guy). So to assume number one my comment was based on an innocuous statement of fashion, and number two anything more than a joke, is the ridiculous part.

Now I will not be drawn further into a irrelevant internet chestbeating match that has nothing to do with motorcycles.
 

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ol_scratch said:
I'm not very intimidated.

And counterculture, punk rock, nor Jello Biafra had anything to do with the statement. I seen both sides of the spectrum as well (in a few different industries), I explained my position as I obviously hurt oldspeeds feelings (and from what I've seen he's a pretty upright guy). So to assume number one my comment was based on an innocuous statement of fashion, and number two anything more than a joke, is the ridiculous part.

Now I will not be drawn further into a irrelevant internet chestbeating match that has nothing to do with motorcycles.
My feeling are not hurt, and I don't really need a hug unless you happen to be a chick with big hooters, and then I even have my standards, I don't go swapin spit with just anyone you know. This post started out with a question about the the current issue with resale on Harleys, and my opinion was the market is saturated. Time will tell, but I do know buisness hasn't changed all that much, it's still about supply and demand and pricing to what the market will bare. Harley has been very good at that. They make more money from clothing and dodads than bikes and they still ride the wave of "Harley's rule" but I think that is coming to an end. Time will tell who is right but if you look at the classifieds (any of them) you will see more Harleys for sale than all other brands combined, and I doubt the folks are getting what they are asking anymore. I now can drive down the road and see quite a few Harleys at the side of the road for sale, you never saw that before or at least I haven't. I still think the train is slowing and a lot of people will get off in the next few years, but, who knows.
 
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