Harley Owners Competing with Harley Factory

I heard it several times before and it made me think a lot. “Why would I buy a brand new Harley when there are so many used ones available with low miles, a long remaining factory warranty and sold at such a big discount?” And this remark was not coming from individuals hunting for a bargain on the used bikes parking lot of a Harley Dealer, but from people calling desperate Harley owners caught upside down in the 130% Harley-Davidson financing trap and real estate melt down. Except if you are a “buy only new” guy or looking for a model produced only in 2008, what would you not look for bargains in your classified or on eBay? In addition, most of those who can really afford a brand new Harley are going to customize it, and it always starts by throwing away some factory parts. So, why not let the seller pay for these unused parts? We are now in situation of paradox. Harley-Davidson main competitors are no more the other manufacturers, but Harley owners who are flooding the market with used bikes. Harley riders competing with their bikes manufacturer!  Never seen before. The solution? As Harley did it, limit production. What else? Let the market absorb its excesses, and like for the US real estate, it will probably take a couple of years. 

Zipper's

13 Responses to “Harley Owners Competing with Harley Factory”


  1. 1 Mike Tokson Apr 21st, 2008 at 10:54 am

    As always, a quite intelligent analysis.

  2. 2 Don Keiffer Apr 21st, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Correct assessment about why it can get worse before the market improves.

  3. 3 Doc Robinson Apr 22nd, 2008 at 9:26 am

    If I wanted a touring model, I would not buy a second-hand model unless it was a 2008. The current models are vastly improved over the 2007 and earlier ones. This will be borne out in the second-hand marketplace as time goes by.

  4. 4 Rodent Apr 22nd, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Supply and demand will ajust the market as it does on Wall st. including pumping and dumping

  5. 5 Ted Apr 22nd, 2008 at 10:33 am

    This is a great time to buy a used bike and put the savings into customizing. The EVOs are an especially good value right now and I think the carburetor models will be collectors items soon.

  6. 6 Kyle Apr 22nd, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Take a look at the big picture here poeple. Harley Has been ripping us all off for years. Harley decreases production because the “Young Urban Professionals” had taken a liking to the Harley “Image” and wanted to experience the freedom of riding, yadda, yadda, yadda. So us “common folk” no longer could afford a Harley since they were bringing upwards of 2 to 5 grand over list price. Not to mention that Harley has been turning out the same bikes year after year after year. How many “night Train” type versions can you have? But in typical Harley fashion they do what they do best, make copies of the same bikes they’ve had for years and charge more money for them.

    Thank god for bike builders companies like Cyril Huze, Big Dog, Victory, Eddie Trotta, etc who have made an impact in the bike world. Instead of turning out the same old shit they are leading the way and giving us “real” custome Bikes for our hard earned dollar.

    Harley Davidson needs a bit of a reality check and i hope the downturn we are facing in our ecomony teaches them a thing or two about “value”. Not just what the almighty dollar can do for them.

  7. 7 J Apr 22nd, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    True, one way Harley CAN expand sales is to continue to develop products- i.e. the Brembo anti-lock braking system- that add value beyond a new color scheme now and then.

    Seriously, I’ve always found it asinine that Harley sells their bikes 90% finished; At the very least, enable a consumer to taylor the bike before a build- gee, like any car manufacturer will do- with reasonably priced upgrade packages and options ala carte, not wholesale CVO makeovers……

    I don’t NEED my original Road King Classic seat sitting around my shop, it sucked from day one, and I don’t do Ebay. Had I the option to upgrade the seat as the bike was being built at the factory for $150, I would have gladly done so- what does it matter to the guy on the assembly line which chunk of leather, foam, and seatpan he’s installing?

    As it stands, I now have $450 invested in another seat, and as a consequence, I’ll hold onto the bike longer to amortize that extra expense in my mind;

    Gee, guess the Harley actuaries didn’t ponder THAT scenerio…. lol.

  8. 8 Mike Apr 22nd, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    Victory does a nice job with their custom order program. You can build the bike on their site and wait for it to come in!

  9. 9 Rodent Apr 22nd, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    You guys are right. If Harley would let dealers order bikes like Chevy lets their dealers order cars the individual wouldn’t have to pay for parts twice….But look at it from Harley view..They sell twice as many parts on one hand….on the other hand you can buy the parts from an aftermarket company and Harley don’t get the part sale…….Harley hates the after market people taking the bucks away from them, but, If you could custom order from Harley you wouldn’t buy from an after market vendor. Harley though their supidity allowed the aftermarket to flurish do to there mismanagment…. Ya want to kill the aftermarket…Take care of your customers, stop screwing them, stop screwing your dealers(make them build buildings that they’ll never beable to pay for and make a living).

  10. 10 Tom Goodrich Apr 22nd, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Rodent, except that after-market parts will always be more attractive than the ones from Harley.

  11. 11 Rodent Apr 23rd, 2008 at 12:27 am

    Tom, not IF and a big IF Harley can get their shit together…and stop screwing their customers and dealers are customers also

  12. 12 B Rock Apr 29th, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Ride a Big Dog! Custom paint, custom seats, hundreds of up grades available. It is good to see the big boys suffering a little bit as well. A market wide slow down will just separate the strong from the weak. In the end I am sure we will all learn a few lessons.

  13. 13 DEALER DAVE Apr 30th, 2008 at 12:15 am

    ALRIGHT, NOW’S THE TIME FOR THE REAL MOTOR COMPANY TO SEE WHO THEIR CUSTOMERS ARE !!. THEY WERE CATERING TO THE RICH URBAN BIKERS WHO NOW HAVE TO SELL THEIR BIKES SO THEY CAN PAY THEIR MORTAGE ! BOO HO. THEY WOULD ALSO SELL THEIR NEW “BIKER” TATTOO’S IF THEY COULD !!.

    HARLEY MADE THEIR DEALER’S BUILD BIG WALMART TYPE WAREHOUSES .NOW THE SERVICE SUCKS, THEY DO NOT KNOW HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR CUSTOMERS; AND THEY ARE OVERPRICED !! NOT TO MENTION THAT THEY PASS THE BUCK IF THERE EVER IS A PROBLEM. THEY DON’T PAY THEIR EMPLOYEE’S ENOUGH TO GIVE A SHIT.

    BOTTOMLINE, WHY WOULD I BUY A NEW HARLEY AND LOSE 25 % OF THE VALUE RIGHT OFF THE LOT ???

    I JUST PICKED UP A ONE OWNER 2002 DRESSER (CLASSIC) ON EbAY FOR 8300 BUCKS ! SO CAN YOU IF YOU LOOK HARD ENOUGH. THE GOLDEN DAYS ARE GONE. HARLEY HAS TO WIN IT’S CUSTOMERS BACK. THEIR TRUE CUSTOMERS ARE DIE HARD BIKERS LIKE ME AND YOU HAVE BEEN RIDING SINCE WE WERE KIDS AND WILL DIE WITH A BIKE IN THE GARAGE. I FELT THAT 20 $ FOR A PRIMARY GASKET WAS TOO MUCH 20 YEARS AGO !

    SUPORT YOUR LOCAL WRENCH, HE’S THE GO TO GUY WHO WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU AND YOUR BIKE . WHEN YOU HAND HIM YOUR HARD EARNED $$$, HE WILL THANK YOU !!. AND QUESS WHAT, WE IS WILLING TO EARN YOUR BUSINESS. EVER GO TO A HARLEY DEALER AND HAVE TO WAIT 20 MINUTES BEFORE THEY NOTICE YOU ARE IN THE STORE ?? GUESS WHAT, EVERYONE HAS.

    NOW HARLEY AND IT’S DEALERS ARE FINIALLY LOOKING AROUND AND SAYING, WHERE THE HELL IS EVERYONE ???? WE ARE STILL HERE BUT HAD BETTER THROW IN A LEATHER AND AN EXTENDED WARRANTY NEXT TIME I BUY A BIKE OR I WILL FIND SOMEONE THAT WILL !! AND BUY THE WAY, HOW ABOUT THROWING A FREE OIL CHANGE JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT !

    WILLIE G,, ARE YOU LISTENING ?????????????/.

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