Screw It. Let’s Ride.

This headline is not from me. It’s the Harley-Davidson tag line of their new ad campaign reflecting on today’s difficult times. In it, Harley states that “Over the last 105 years in the saddle, we’ve seen wars, conflicts, depression, recession, resistance and revolutions. We’ve watched a thousand hand-wringing pundits disappear in our rear-view mirror. But every time, this country has come out stronger than before. Because chrome and asphalt put distance between you and whatever the world can throw at you.” I can’t say it better and I think it’s a very clever ad campaign. The ads intend to boost morale among the Harley faithful, but I don’t think it will convince non-motorcyclists to buy a bike.. The campaign, launched this week with a full-page ad in USA Today. The campaign is complemented by an interactive Web site called “” where bikers are able to share their personal testimonies.

18 Responses to “Screw It. Let’s Ride.”

  1. 1 goldiron May 3rd, 2008 at 6:45 pm


  2. 2 Nicker May 4th, 2008 at 12:00 am

    “…The ads intend to boost morale among the Harley faithful..”

    How about among the HD work force…. ?


  3. 3 Kephas May 4th, 2008 at 9:01 am

    IT’S NOT THE ECONOMY JUGHEAD! Yes, it’s soft but not in a recession. I’m telling you, people are buying bikes left and right! Record sales for the first quarter for many U.S metric and sport bike dealers. While Harley sales managers are wrenching at slow sales.

    Gas is at record levels! The general population believe the motorcycle is the answer. I know it is my answer to my sales travels to motorcycle dealers. I get 42 city mpg on my ultra. Why aren’t they buying a Harley? Answer: The cost of the first investment. They still have a 50K car in the garage.

    Harley is throwing money at a crystal ball hoping that they’re right. Put the money in product development and come up with a couple big V-Twin Harley lines that are 10 to 14K that are fast, safe and can cruise. The mega trend of the past 20 years is gone. Professionals are not buying a Harley for a garage ornament like they did a few years ago. As a matter of fact, they’re selling them on ebay. CHEAP with less than 5000 miles. If Harley wants to return strong and vibrant, they better pay attention to the new generation of bikers. They are buying metric and sport bikes. Would they like a Harley? Yep. But, Not until they are in their mid 30’s or early 40’s well positioned with some money in the bank.

    Right now, I see cold winters for Harley. They have to quit listening to CNN, FOX, NBC and CBS about the econoomy and talk to some people at their competitors dealerships.

  4. 4 Asa May 4th, 2008 at 9:55 am

    You are so right Harley should hire you to get there product back to market. You see the whole picture. Ab

  5. 5 Patrick May 4th, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Kephas. Check your numbers before you make your statements. Sales and net income of all Japanese manufacturers went down more than HD in the 1st quarter of 08. Check 1st their
    financial results, then you can talk. Not in a recession? You must be a hard core republican. Harley has a well known problem with the aging of its clientele, but it’s not the only issue. The economy, stupid.

  6. 6 Nicker May 4th, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    “…You must be a hard core republ…”

    Well, the definition of a Recession is: “2 consecutive quarters of negatve GDP”

    That’s the metric, not how good or bad you feel or what party you do or don’t belong to.


  7. 7 DJ CHOPPER GOD May 5th, 2008 at 2:24 am

    I kinda like those commercials. I will say though that I did a quick walkthrough of a local Harley shop (a big one) and not one person approached me. They were to busy talking among themselves. Pathetic. Maybe it was the tattoos. C.F.L.

  8. 8 hoyt May 5th, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    “screw it, let’s ride.”

    A lot of good thinking can be done while on the open road. Just be sure your thinking also includes the pain during the AMF years.

  9. 9 Asa May 5th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Hate to tell you Pat but Kephas has his numbers right Mid size 600-1000 cc metric bikes sold more last quarter than Harleys have sold since 06 when harley took the carb awawy you need to check your numbers .AB

  10. 10 PC May 5th, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Unfortunately, the general population does not have the disposable income in years past. This is not just motorcycles, but everything from ski boats to high dollar electronics. The failing realestate market, rising gas prices, jobs going overseas, etc are all contributing factors. Harley-Davidson is in a tough spot because they do not want to devalue their main staple product. They have a more affordable motorcycle, the Sportster, but the sales have rapidly decreased with the rest of their line. Harley will continue to cut production until the used bikes for sale, last years models still sitting on dealers floors, and the new bikes being built can equalize in the market creating a demand for their product again.

  11. 11 Bob Woods May 5th, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Blame george and his worthless war.

    Illegals are not buying bikes.
    Too busy trying to blend in with mainstream.

    Iraqi’s sending money from convience stores sending
    money back home to fight us.

    Most mexican workers earn too little and are to short
    to ride.
    Stop wasting money in Iraq
    Temper the cost of fuel and energy.
    Throw out Nafta, Cafta, Gatt.
    Tax Chinese goods
    Restore real unions.

    Econeomy would be fine.
    Make it here, sell it here

  12. 12 PC May 5th, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    I agree with you somewhat Bob, but the problem is more complex in my opinion and simple fixes aren’t going to make it all go away.
    The war is not worthless. You shed the blood of Americans on American soil and a response is an absolute necessity. Unfortunately, it has turned into another Vietnam scenerio where there cannot possibly be a “win”.
    Not all Arabs are anti-american. The fact is, the money being used to fight us with is being given to them by all of us everytime we fuel up our cars.
    Eliminate “free” trade, absolutely. Tax all imported goods, absolutely.
    Unions are a good thing but the quality of the American worker needs to be improved. We have slowly slid to the point of mandatory break times, sick leave, internet screwing off at work, etc etc.

  13. 13 Rodent May 5th, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    all the above crap is depressing….screw it lets ride and enjoy the wind in wherever

  14. 14 psychodrew May 6th, 2008 at 12:58 am


  15. 15 Nicker May 6th, 2008 at 2:42 am

    RE: (Bob)
    “…Econeomy would be fine…. Make it here, sell it here…”

    That presumes were still capable of making something they want to buy.

    “…the problem is more complex …”
    Yap, Way More!

    RE: (pc)
    “…Eliminate “free” trade, absolutely. Tax all imported goods, absolutely…”
    OK, but the result may well be another world-wide depression.
    In which case no one will be making or selling anything…. anywhere.

    “…screw it lets ride and enjoy …”
    Abd if we keep yammering for a socialist nanny state (that won’t drill for oil in Alaska), anything ya plan to ride is better be equiped with pedals.


  16. 16 Soulfur May 6th, 2008 at 8:49 am

    I wonder how Matt and Dean at DICE feel about Harley stealing their sauce

  17. 17 burnout May 7th, 2008 at 10:11 am

    I can’t figure out why gas is so high when what we are having to buy is absolute CRAP! let it sit for 3 months and you can’t even burn trash with it! I have 87 to 100 octane available in my area but this past Sturgis as I was riding part of Montana all I could buy was 85 octane…………at 3.85 per gallon then! NOW they are starting to put 10%ethanol in our fuel here. woo woo! progress! peace

  18. 18 Nicker May 7th, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    “… NOW they are starting to put 10%ethanol in our fuel …”

    Just happen to come across some documentation that suggestted the damage i could expect if i ran alcohol through the fuel injection system on my daily driver.

    Wonder how much of that stuff i’ll be running into between here and Glacier National Park…. 🙁


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