Harley-Davidson The Complete Mentality Shift.

HD1The recession was really what brought Harley-Davidson into the 21st century. “Since day one, we’ve been trying to transform the company in a way that is going to make us stronger and more sustainable in the future,” said CEO Keith Wandell in a telephone interview last week to Bloomberg. “That’s what we said we wanted to do four years ago and, voila, here it is.” “There was 107 years of inertia” said Matt Levatich, 48, Harley’s president and chief operating officer. Today, some 2014 Harley models feature a voice-activated and touch-screen GPS system, the first on a production motorcycle. When the bike is getting low on fuel, the system finds the nearest filling station and maps out directions on a 6.5-inch (about 16.5 centimeters) screen the rider can control by voice, touch or joystick. You can touch control your iPhone playlist the same way, with or without gloves.

HD22The global recession has been a loud wake-up call for Harley-Davidson. Revenue dropped by almost a quarter from 2006 to 2009. Wandell spent his first year at Harley-Davidson cutting costs, speeding development and putting in place a plan to crowd ource advice on the features bikers and HD dealers (a first time ever involvement of the network in new product planning ) wanted to see on the new models. Last year, the company staged focus groups and clinics in the US,  in Europe and Japan to evaluate the competition and its own prototypes strengths and weaknesses. The process, known as the Rushmore Project, resulted in 21st century high tech features that nobody expected being offered by a company whose culture is rooted in tradition.

HD33The 2014 Touring line of motorcycles, Harley’s priciest and most profitable models, is rumored by dealers to be on a very good early start. For sure, the new infotainment system and the electronically linked front and rear brakes that shorten stopping distance will remain. Infotainment will evolve in sync with new sound, telephony and mapping technologies. The question mark is about the new twin cooled engine system conceived to lower the temperature of the air in the exhaust pipe. It was an urgent necessity for Harley to offer a solution to the most frequent complaint of unbearable exhaust heat radiating to the tourer rider and even passenger during hot days or when the bike is idling.

My sources tell me that Harley still consider the system “experimental” and will evaluate its future depending of bikers appreciation, of technical and maintenance issues that may or not appear with time. At this time, there is no decision made to extend it to other models. With or without it, Harley’s mentality has already shifted. From inertia – the marketing attitude of they will buy what we produce – to a process of balancing an iconic traditional look with high tech features that the traditional and new generation of Harley bikers already want. It requires flexibility and the ability to shorten the product development process. Harley is more than ever ready to bring innovations, this new product development cycle having been already shortened from 6 to 3 years. But many are wondering.  Has Harley-Davidson been transformed for the better? How the company is going to continue to transition to modern motorcycles, with what kind of new high-tech features and all this without scaring its core clientele? (photos @ hd)

57 Responses to “Harley-Davidson The Complete Mentality Shift.”

  1. 1 BobS Aug 30th, 2013 at 8:50 am

    16.5 centimeters? OMG it’s METRIC!!! Lol the new features sound really good.

  2. 2 smithncustom Aug 30th, 2013 at 9:09 am

    this morning I rode my 1975 flh hand shift foot clutch about 45 miles to work. It was sort of comfortable, a little noisy, my right hand tingles a little from holding the throttle. im still getting some bug out of my beard. I can’t even relate to someone who would ride this 2 wheel Cadillac. Harley has become very pussified. You might as well be driving a car.

  3. 3 Fritz Aug 30th, 2013 at 9:10 am

    The new cooling system is still experimental? Too what degree? The whole concept or to go further and incorporate a water jacket for the whole top end? There are a lot of advantages to water (or fluid) cooling including sucking up to the EPA. How do the riders in the Southern States deal with summertime city traffic? It isn’t possible to split lanes all the time and citizens sure don’t like you using the sidewalk either.

  4. 4 Terence Tory Aug 30th, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I honestly can’t think of ever meeting a rider who would want all this over-priced cheap technology on a motorcycle.I thought the whole idea of getting on a bike is to get away from all the silicone chips in the smart phone,kettle and laptop.Now H-D has a computer to send you on a goose chase to a gas pump down a dusty road that closed three years ago.Like a mother in law telling you to go get premium.

  5. 5 Matt W. Aug 30th, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Linked brakes are a deal breaker for me personally but the fact that Harley is at least dipping it’s toes into a more modern mentality is a good sign. Harley’s seeming reluctance to take ownership of it’s new liquid cooled engine however would make me nervous to buy one at this point. I can’t help but suspect that their cryptically marketed Twin-Cooled “experiment” is intended as a band-aid until they can engineer a more efficient performing/cooler running oil or air cooled engine like the Indian Thunderstroke 111 or Yamaha 113. But only time will tell.

  6. 6 Woody's Aug 30th, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I talked to a rep at the 100th yesterday and they assured me that the bike lineup won’t make anyone’s current bike stop running, and unlike Obamacare there will not be fines for anyone refusing to buy a 2014 Harley. Seems pretty harmless to me. 😉

  7. 7 Nitschke Aug 30th, 2013 at 10:10 am

    the Harley bashing in the comment sections of this blog is getting old.

  8. 8 Seymour Aug 30th, 2013 at 11:22 am

    I heard that a MoCo commercial advertisement pops up on the video screen every 35 seconds automatically.

  9. 9 fuji Aug 30th, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Buy a Goldwing at this point.

  10. 10 Bobx67 Aug 30th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Agree Nitschke.

    Harley do nothing & they talk.

    Harley do something & they talk.

    Doesn’t matter. They’ll sell plenty no matter what anyone says.

  11. 11 BobS Aug 30th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Welcome to the world wide interwebs guys. Cyril posts a Victory rticle, the bashers pile on. An Indian article, the bashers pile on. Just think of it like this, if the bikes in the article really did suck, no one would be so jealous that they feel the need to bash. So if keyboard commandos are bashing your preferred model or brand…then it must not suck.

  12. 12 Kirk Perry Aug 30th, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Happy Labor Day…. we frickin’ earned it.

  13. 13 1550TC Aug 30th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    . Harley has become very pussified. You might as well be driving a car


    long live the fxr…………these bikes are for RUBBIES and HIgh Income Hog Chapter posers

  14. 14 1550TC Aug 30th, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    The new cooling system is still experimental?

    HD is just like Gm and love trying out new stuff on their high buck products and look look at me i gotta have the first one on the block type of consumers!!!

  15. 15 Blackmax Aug 30th, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Well, they had to do SOMETHING ?????
    They knew they were up against it 2 yrs ago when Polaris bought Indian
    They knew something was going to come & devestate their market share
    if they didn’t come up with something.
    ok, at least they had the focus group(s) on 3 different continents
    it appears like they listened sort of ?
    The hard core H-D faithful is going to buy it no matter what because it says H-D on it.
    Ok, that’s fine & they can spend their $$ any way they want. Just like I can spend mine
    I choose STANDARD ammeities that I don;t have to pay extra for
    I choose the spend on a product that produces a decent amount of power
    that I don’t have to spend $3500 – $5000 to get it to run
    the way it should’ve ran straight from the factory
    I can expect to lay down $18,000 to $25,000 for a heavy weight cycle
    Harley has never produced anything, that has ever fit mine or a lot of people’s needs
    Some of us, for whatever reason, choose to go another way
    My friend who REALLY wanted to buy an H-D Road Glide, got so mad at all 3 dealers in my area
    because he came in with cash, in hand & they wanted him to finance $65 & he would not do it.
    He ended up on a Kawasaki Vaquero & glad he did. He saved about $5000.00
    Arrogant dealers, inferior products (from the factory) Antiquaited technology
    Not to mention the “fanatic” who acts like there is no other motorcycle that deserves to exists in this universe. And you wonder why “bashing” happens, LMAO !!!!!!

  16. 16 Woody's Aug 30th, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    @Bmax-Since your buddy bought the Vaquero, is it still Indian that’s going to “devestate” H-D market share? No doubt much of Indians’ sale will come from others’ market share but who’s to say it won’t be more from Yamaha, Kawasaki, etc. or especially Honda who has almost given up on the USA big cruiser segment.?

  17. 17 fuji Aug 30th, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Woody’s .Where do you get your info from a crystal . Funny stuff . LOL

  18. 18 roscoe Aug 30th, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Nice to see HD step into the now.
    I like to see them moving forward, making progress and evolving. You can go ahead and ride your old beater and think your cool, but I want a reliable, powerful, up to date bike with all the amenities.

    I like having some info when I am on the road like maps, it’s handy if I need a gas station. I still prefer check out my route with paper maps, it’s part of the experience.

    If you don’t like where HD is going, maybe your not the intended consumer.

    Shit, I’d be riding a Goldwing if it was made by an American company.

  19. 19 Mike Greenwald Aug 30th, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Is Harley bashing getting old?
    Happy Birthday, Harley Davidson.
    All this is bashing Harley?
    They are building a smartbike for the riders that are gullible enough to believe they want one or need one because of a deficit in their lives. It was a better return on investment rather than trying to rely upon a smartrider.

  20. 20 bart65 Aug 30th, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Can’t remember if it was video from H-D’s Rushmore promo or the new Indian but it showed the dashboard linked smartphone (or whatever) screen indicating that the “Boss” was calling. FFS, now who the hex wants their boss tracking them down when out on a ride? I thought the “infotainment” was the actual riding of the bike? Are they gonna have Gameboys on em next year?

  21. 21 baggerdude Aug 31st, 2013 at 6:25 am

    The bashers arn’t buying new bikes anyway! Let them bash!

  22. 22 Maytag Aug 31st, 2013 at 6:31 am

    ”long live the fxr…………these bikes are for RUBBIES and HIgh Income Hog Chapter posers”

    You must not be in this game too long. The exact same thing was said about the FXR when it was new. The more things change the more things stay the same……

  23. 23 Smittydog Aug 31st, 2013 at 7:27 am

    I agree Greenwald about Harley bashing getting old,but the bikes will be out of everyones price range soon.

  24. 24 Boss Hawg Aug 31st, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Well now….Harley what….

    Polaris Recalls 2009-2013 Kings Mountain Designed Indian Motorcycles Subject to Rear Rim Safety Recall…just sayin…hope the new Indian doesn’t have any of this.

    Boss Hawg

  25. 25 baggerdude Aug 31st, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Maytag, I got my FXR and it will be mine till the day I die. Best H/D ever. Got a bagger but ride the FXR more!

  26. 26 Terence Tory Aug 31st, 2013 at 8:16 am

    BobS:”Just think of it like this, if the bikes in the article really did suck, no one would be so jealous that they feel the need to bash” If you need further advice on this notion,phone this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmund_Freud ,he’s often slow to get to answer these days,so be patient.Very patient.

  27. 27 Mike Greenwald Aug 31st, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Thanks for the party, H-D.
    Do the demographics of your customer base show that they want a tethered relationship rather than showing loyalty? Congratulations.

  28. 28 mot ikswelborw Aug 31st, 2013 at 9:02 am

    will I think the bean counters are a lot of times of the problem cut cost ,, through these guys out ,,,,I love by Harley its made mainly in America,,,
    Dealers are a problem too,,,,, too many dealers just out to squeeze every dollar out of somebody that loves to ride a Harley, there’s great dealers out there old timers most of the time but there’s two few and they’re falling fas..t around here there is no good dealers sad you buy the product you get a warranty after that its best you fix it yourself and learn how to,,, tom

  29. 29 William Aug 31st, 2013 at 9:05 am

    If they want to more people freindly and take the economy into consideration. Maybe they should lift the dealer zone ban on independent after market shops. Cause some of us live or work where you can’t get Harley parts or the dealer is a total ass and won’t sell you parts. Who cares where you work or live the damn Motor Company still gets our money.

  30. 30 Seymour Aug 31st, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Polaris Recalls 2009-2013 Kings Mountain Designed Indian Motorcycles Subject to Rear Rim Safety Recall…

    … taking care of a motorcycle that’s not even theirs… tells you something

  31. 31 fxrocket Aug 31st, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I work and breath Harley_Davidson since 99. I love all motorcycles and to hear all these negative people is disappointing. Have you even gone to the Dealership and seen these new bikes and the QUALITY they have. I have ridden every single model for the last 14 years. Every year the ride gets better. Styling is very Subjective so sometime we may not like what they look like but hell its too wheel id ride it anyway. See you guys on the road

  32. 32 Rodent Aug 31st, 2013 at 10:23 am

    A Colorado Harley dealer told a person to move his 1983 FXR shovel chain drive away from fron cause it didn’t look good for business.

  33. 33 Scott Aug 31st, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    The reason I ride is to get away from it all. No electronics. My GPS is in my head my entertainment is in my head. I think the addition of all the gadgetry is a detriment to the riders safety. I spend way too much time watching out for the morons on the road that are trying to kill me to look at a little screen. Once again the design team at HD isn’t listening to bikers. The are catering to the weekend hang out at the local gas station trying to impress on looker, wannabes.

  34. 34 Gary Bang Aug 31st, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    The new Harley-Davidson line up. For those of you who love a touch screen on your Dash. Street Glide Special, the CVO Ultra, the Ultra Limited and the Trike and for those of you who hate the Touch screen on your Touring Harley-Davidson. The one’s that do not. Regular Street Glide, the Ultra Classic and the Road Glide.

    How about Liquid Cooling Good idea the one’s that do are the Trike, Ultra limited and the CVO Ultra, and how about the ones the ones that do not have liquid cooling? All Street Glides, all Road Kings and the Ultra classic. Their seems to be a lot to choose from.

    Prices and this depends on the model you choose. From a little Over $8,000.00 and they can go depending on the model $36,000.00.

    Each year they just keep getting better and better and this model year is right on track.

    Thanks Harley-Davidson for the Fun and most of all for being here.

    Gary Bang

  35. 35 Toomy Boy Aug 31st, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Lots of opinions; none of which should necessarily be discarded. The reality is, the used car dealer crowd discovered an HD Dealership was a better investment than any automotive dealership. They are lining up and fighting to spend $2 – $3 – $4 million on small HD Dealerships that sell up to 300-400 new bikes annually. Their business model includes only hiring 20 somethings to sell bikes and extended warranties and extended service contracts and financing to other 20 somethings. They masterfully understand the majority of senior riders have the money – but senior riders don’t and won’t spend it on stuff they will never use. Whereas the 20 something crowd will spend money they don’t have on just about anything that is marketed as cool. Walk around a newly owned dealership and note the employee group. They may have facial hair and a few tats but they’re not your average caring fellow biker. Their care is getting you in to the finance managers office and making their management demanded monthly quota. And they can’t make the quotas unless they have product that the 20 somethings deem as cool. And that my riding friends is why Harley’s product line has become so technologically diverse. In today’s world market you cannot and should not find fault with the fine folks in HD – Milwaukee. Instead find fault with the poser dealers whose 5 year plan is to take those former 300-400 a year dealerships to 1000, 1200 or 1500 new bikes a year and unload the dealership for $10 million plus blue sky dollars. After-all, getting rich is most every Americans DREAM!!!!! So, I guess you cannot or should not find fault with them either. Ride safe………. on whatever trips your trigger

  36. 36 Doc Robinson Sep 1st, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Rodent . . . so what?

  37. 37 Badams Sep 1st, 2013 at 11:37 am

    @ Toomy Boy……you nailed it perfect.

    The reality——

    The Bikes :: They last and can take a beating, fact.

    The MoCo :: Its a public company, period.

    The Dealers :: A Sales and Marketing culture, read between the lines.

    If all this is chappin’ ur arse then saddle up and go dig trough the next milk crate at the swaps, haggle and horse-trade and call your bros when stranded at dusk on a highway, cause those F’n RUBs screwed up “The Factory, bro”.

    The options are those….feel blessed the pastime/passion/hobby or whatever you want to call it is evolving opposed to dissolving.

  38. 38 TONY DAVIDSON Sep 2nd, 2013 at 8:20 am


  39. 39 Speed Metal Built Sep 2nd, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Touch screen GPS?! Remember when people bought a motorcycle in hopes they would get lost?

  40. 40 Lugnut Sep 2nd, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Just stop by to bash those who trailer, rubs, wussy bikers, wealthy bikers, all bikers that don’t ride their bike to work, yuppies, anyone that rides a bike other than a Harley, all those that ride a Harley less than 5 years old, all bikers that don’t change their own tires with anything other than a c-clamp and 5 big screwdrivers, all bikers that don’t ride in the rain, and finally, bikers that love and respect their wives and don’t call them “old ladies” – I guess that’s it.

    As usual, I am late. Most of these have already been hit. Dang. Got to get up earlier on Monday.

  41. 41 New York myke Sep 2nd, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Rode new HD 2014 LTD from San Diego to Milwaukee and its the best motorcycle I’ve ever ridden! Oh how the seenoevo guys bashed me in 85 when I got my new Fxrp, like hey your motors on. Rubber band! I guess the same crew just got older! Gary Bang is right, this is the best motorcycle lineup so appreciate the work, and good old American inginuity that goes into this stuff, even if like me you need an IT guy on your backseat to use half of it! And what in the hell is wrong with being successful (unless you are one of my high school teachers lol )!!! Thanks Harley-Davidson!!!

  42. 42 Joe Doaks Sep 2nd, 2013 at 9:35 am

    You can agree or disagree with the direction Harley is going but I was shocked and really saddened by the remarks of the new leadership. It speaks of arrogance and big ego.

    “There was 107 years of inertia” said Matt Levatich, 48, Harley’s president and chief operating officer.”

    The recession was really what brought Harley-Davidson into the 21st century. “Since day one, we’ve been trying to transform the company in a way that is going to make us stronger and more sustainable in the future,” said CEO Keith Wandell in a telephone interview last week to Bloomberg. “That’s what we said we wanted to do four years ago and, voila, here it is.”

    What about the company, its executives and workers that took a company on deaths doorstep and turned it into one the all time great success stories? Was change needed – probably, but to throw these people under the bus is to hear from people that are out of touch with what makes a company great.

  43. 43 Griz Sep 2nd, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Will video games be available soon, or perhaps Netflix for those long trips?

  44. 44 Marc Frantz Sep 2nd, 2013 at 10:54 am

    As a person born in the last year of the baby boomer generation, and having spent more than ten years in the motorcycle industry, here is my humble opinion from the front line.

    Now 50, I still love the brand for what it represents in my lifetime. I grew up watching them roar down the street, and I wanted one. I saw ‘Easy Rider’ and I wanted one. I saw the movie “Hells Angels Forever” and I wanted one. I saw Arnold schwarzenegger ride a fatboy in the first ‘Terminator’ movie and I wanted one.

    The rock music from the 60’s and the 70’s further polished the aura of this V-Twin wonder and cemented my dream of becoming a Harley owner one day. Most in my generation would agree that this was their sentiment as it stands true even today. We’re a loyal bunch us baby boomers, and Harley was more than just a motorcycle to us, it was our culture, our dream, our personal brand, evidenced by the inked tattoo of the MoCo on my arm and on countless millions of other people.

    Now we find ourselves some 30 years later, and much has changed. The generations coming up behind us DO NOT understand our reverence for the brand, as they did not live through it. They look at us in much the same way as we looked at our parents and their love for ‘Leave it to Beaver’, “Father Knows Best’ and I love Lucy”. To use our own generational parlance, they think we’re ‘square’ or ‘Nerdy’.

    It’s weird looking behind at the Gen X’ers, Gen Y’s and what I dub the ‘Generation of Apathy’ coming up behind us as we retire and pass away. They grew up in an era of techno music, raves and gangster rap. Their morals and values are as different to us as a foreign language is to English.

    Having said all of this as a primer, I now turn my attention to our beloved brand, which to me and probably many many others, made my life worth living. I could say to the MoCo that you are definitely missing the boat in reaching out to the generations behind us, as I see nothing but 50 somethings come into the dealership day in, day out. These are Harley’s core customers. The young people come in, look around, but they don’t buy anything.

    Using the quote from the 1967 movie “Cool Hand Luke’: ‘What we’ve got here is… failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach’. This quote has made me realize that HD will NOT be able to do anything to attract the generations behind us in adopting the brand that we love. Much like trying to get us baby boomers to fall in love with our parents Edsel back when we were in our twenties and thirties, the world has changed greatly.

    I was in an elevator the other day with a twenty something young man and a thirty something gentleman. When I caught them sneering at my Harley-Davidson shirt, I asked their opinion, and they said “It’s an old man’s bike” and made some comment about it having had it’s ‘Day in the Sun’.

    For all you purists out there, don’t get mad. I too got upset with this, and it made me realize that this is just a part of natural evolution. We did have our time in the sun and it was absolutely glorious, but a only a fool would dilute himself into thinking that we’re still relevant when in fact we’ve only gotten older and like our parents, we have to step aside and let the young take the baton and move forward.

    With all this said, I can’t help but think that there must be one realist at the MoCo that sees this, in that the sun is beginning to set on our venerable brand and it will take its place in history along with the Excelsior Henderson, Crocker, Pope and others that have come and is now gone. Much like all of us, it too is getting old and will one day pass on. The 60’s 70’s and 80’s were probably the best time in human history, period. Nothing lasts forever.

    What I see is a slow erosion of the brand’s value, not because it has anything to do with the MoCo or all of it’s hard work, but simply because of time. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just human nature. What Harley did this year is akin to me installing a Sony digital sound system and touch screen dash in my 64 Shelby Cobra.

    Given the current market players of Honda, Yamaha, Ducati and BMW, none were able to tap into and become a part of a generation’s culture like Harley-Davidson did, none of them! But the double edged sword on this, is that when that generation is gone, so are all the iconic figures that made it. does anyone still remember Al Jolson, Rita Hayworth, Flappers, Drive-ins, Bobby Socks, Juke Boxes? When was the last time you saw some girl waking around the mall in a poodle skirt?

    Other than what Harley is going to do to address this eventuality, we as members of their congregation should continue to embrace and enjoy the brand that allowed all of us to feel ‘cool’ and movie star like when riding down the road. I’m sure many of us have stories of our Knuckleheads and Shovelheads that we can tell our grand kids, as we try to explain the romance of the psychedelic era as well.

    Some of us may live long enough to see our beloved MoCo close it’s doors for good, but I don’t think this will happen, as given that the only true religion in this world being the dollar, when sales drop to the point that the share price gets affected, we will see the MoCo being sold to a big company to become part of their holdings as a line-up of two to three models, much like Triumph is nowadays.

    This again, is just my humble opinion based on what I see happening in the showrooms of today. Back in the 90’s if you didn’t buy a Harley before the end of September, your only choice of product left would be a Sporty or a Dyna, and in black as everything was already sold. Not the case today.

    To add one more quote from our generation, from the great Clint Eastwood: “A man’s gotta know his limitations”, I think this rings true of companies as well. To every season turn, turn, turn.

    Harley-Davidson represents and is deeply entrenched in the era of the sixties and seventies. Rock & roll music, being free, peace & love, the brotherhood of bikers, the bad boy biker gang coolness, Easy Rider, Peter Fonda & Dennis Hopper. This was the golden era for us, and it made Harley-Davidson what it is, and they should be grateful to have been a part of it.

    As we now have three generations coming up behind us that do not share the same love & understanding of the brand as we do, my final comment on this to bring it to a full circle is that as these generations weren’t alive during ours and Harley’s heyday, all we’re left with is trying to explain it all to them, and we all know the statement: “If I had to explain, you wouldn’t understand”.

    No blame, nobody’s fault other than time and evolution. If this were not true, we would still be flying propeller Corsairs in the military, taking steam ships to Europe, drum brakes on cars and kickers on bikes.

    At least we lived in the greatest time of peace and happiness in history, and we had Harley there along with us. As our parent’s generation used to classify themselves as a Ford Guy” or a “Chevy Guy”, our generation get’s the honor of being able to classify ourselves as the “Harley Guy” and for that I’m more than proud. Amen!

  45. 45 Terence Tory Sep 2nd, 2013 at 11:04 am

    New York myke: “its the best motorcycle I’ve ever ridden!” He’s a H-D dealer by his web link.Genuine grain of salt:order on line?

    “There was 107 years of inertia” said Matt Levatich.Yup that thing with all that inertia stuff there is called a flywheel.107 years of Motor Company inertia wasn’t without a few stutters,shunts,farts and stops:but it worked.And got there.

    Griz,Yup set the auto pilot on the mothership,watch Easy Rider on the display and have it turn of the superslab when the bottom massager and rectal heat sensor determines a feed or rest room stop.

    I’m stunned by the H-D heads somewhat arrogant comments.Without Willie G’s efforts there would have been no Night train,Lowrider,FXWG.Without Vaughn Beals and company,well there would be no company.

    “Harley is more than ever ready to bring innovations, this new product development cycle having been already shortened from 6 to 3 years.”: So the Japs can design and build just about any kind of motorcycle from concept to it being delivered in about one year.A three year product time line is still about twice as slow as it needs to be.

  46. 46 richard Sep 2nd, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Over the last forty or so years, I’ve owned and ridden just about every brand of motorcycle. I’ve always believed that “it’s not what you ride, it’s that you ride”. The Harley bashing is so asinine, inane and childlike. When you read these posts, it’s obvious most of these “riders” really don’t know shit about Harley. They talk about the quintessential AMERICAN motorcycle company as if they are a bunch of idiots. They whine about not enough technology and now they are whining about too much technology. They are dammed if they do, and dammed if they don’t. These guys contradict themselves on a regular basis and clearly demonstrate they have not ridden a Harley in 30 years; and cry like little girls about Harley clothing being produced in Asia, while they drive their gold wings and such. Hypocrites!

  47. 47 Hark Sep 2nd, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    The new sound they talk about on the 2014’s is something that older riders may not like…I hope the pure sound of that Harley running has not changed.

  48. 48 Woody's Sep 2nd, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    @Marc, Some good thoughts (except the Shelby reference, no part of H-D will ever make someone think Shelby☺ ) but I would point out that even though every generation rejects their parent’s, eventually they all come quietly slinking back to emulate them. Young riders may be getting moist over a zx14 or who know’s what now, but eventually they’ll slow down. They all start to ride a few hundred miles in a day instead of 100MPH for a minute. When they get older and slower (the riders☺), Harley will be waiting to sell them a bike 😉 That may sound like a slam at H-D but it isn’t. Lots of folks who made jokes about minivans ended up driving them…

  49. 49 TONY DAVIDSON Sep 2nd, 2013 at 5:04 pm


  50. 50 TONY DAVIDSON Sep 2nd, 2013 at 5:07 pm


  51. 51 BobS Sep 2nd, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    @ richard…do you realize you just described the average Harley rider? They whine if there’s nothing new, then whine when something is new. That’s not Harley bashers, that’s Harley riders. They, Harley riders, talk about Harley like a bunch of idiots. They have no idea what their machine is capable of and even less of an understanding regarding other brands machines. They throw around meaningless insults at other brands like “it looks too metric”…um just what does a millimeter look like? Or, “It has no soul” As in I can’t think of anything my bike does better so I’ll just say it has soul that way it can still be better even though it’s not. I traded Harley for another brand that I liked better. Not that anything was terrible or wrong with the Harley, I just liked this new bike better. Would you like to take a guess at how many times some moron in a Harley logo shirt asked me when I’m going to step up to a real bike? Wanna guess how many times some toothless wonder in a rusty pick up (with a bar and shield sticker in the back window) yells, “GET A HARLEY” as they turn right away from me at a stop light chicken-shit style?
    Does Harley bashing take place? Yes of course it does. But if you want to talk hypocrites lets count how many brand bashers there are on both sides and see how many of them have actually owned and ridden the brand they’re bashing. I’m quite certain the people who have told me my bike is a wannabe Harley, the people who said I must have bought this because I couldn’t afford a real Harley, and the ones who told me Harley is the only real bike out there…I’m willing to bet none of them have owned and ridden my brand like I have theirs.

  52. 52 Terence Tory Sep 3rd, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Richard,half this centuries GoldWings on the road in the U.S. were made by American hands in Ohio.I’ve never,ever in my whole life heard a Harley rider say he wanted more technology,like once.

    “They talk about the quintessential AMERICAN motorcycle company as if they are a bunch of idiots.” I never thought about it that way before,but you are right.And they are right too.

    Indian must be scaring the bejesus out of H-D management.I can just see them pacing around staring at wiggly worms on their tablets looking at the danse macabre of PII and HOG charts.

  53. 53 Terence Tory Sep 3rd, 2013 at 3:32 am

    Marc Frantz,Triumph builds about ten different motor models from Twins,Triples,road,sport,tourer and adventure bikes or more.The sixties were good,but not that great.The young look at you and see nothing but a good reason to avoid old nostalgic nonsense gleaned and glossed over by fading memories in the passage of time.Right here,right now is THE golden age of motorcycling.

    “At least we lived in the greatest time of peace and happiness in history” ? You need a history book.

  54. 54 Bobx67 Sep 3rd, 2013 at 6:33 am

    I agree w Richard.

    Damned if they do.
    Damned if they don’t.

  55. 55 shanedrive Sep 4th, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I live, eat, sleep, breathe HD’s. They’ve been my career for the last 25 years. I’ve rolled w/’em at every turn so far, I see no reason to stop now. I do have to admit, as I’m starting to get “geezer’ish” at the age of 49. The new technology is a bit intimidating. Ah, but I shouldn’t worry about that. I was intimidated by the EFI when they introduced it in 1995 1/2. Got a firm grip on that technology now. I see no reason why I won’t get my head around their new in-dash TV (grin) or their cooling system(s). It’s neat stuff. I like being able to punch a button on a computer. Keeps my hands cleaner. (grin again!) I also enjoy the challenge of learning new stuff.

  56. 56 Jusmecuz Sep 5th, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I’m 34 years old and I ride everyday, year-round and so do most of my friends. Most are close to my age and even younger (twenties) and most if not all ride HD.

    For you to say that the younger generations (gen x, or whatever) will never share your “experiences” is an ignorant idea.

    You may not see us younger folk at the local HD dealer but that don’t mean the brand is dying. Myself and others (whom ride HD) just don’t care to pay for over-priced chrome trinkets from the P&A catalog or buy $30-$40 t-shirts. Most of whom I know prefer independent shops (and drag spec or bikers choice products)

    That dying spirit you speak of is alive and well here in Bama.

  1. 1 Harley-Davidson Tomorrow. Short Term A 500 cc Model. Long Term, Possibly An e-Harley. at Cyril Huze Post – Custom Motorcycle News Pingback on Sep 3rd, 2013 at 8:25 am
Comments are currently closed.
Cyril Huze