Quarter 1 2017 Harley-Davidson Results. Worldwide Retail Sales Down 4.25%. US Sales Down 5.7%. Reduced Shipments Improved U.S. Dealer Inventory.

First quarter worldwide Harley-Davidson retail motorcycle sales were down 4.2 percent compared to the same period in 2016. In line with the company’s expectations, Harley-Davidson retail motorcycle sales in the U.S. were down 5.7 percent compared to the year-ago quarter, with the overall U.S. industry down for the same period. Harley-Davidson’s U.S. market share for the quarter was 51.3 percent in the 601cc-plus segment, up compared to the first quarter in 2016. Harley-Davidson’s international retail sales decreased 1.8 percent compared to the same quarter in 2016.

“First quarter U.S. retail sales were in line with our projections and we remain confident in our full-year plan despite international retail sales being down in the first quarter,” said Matt Levatich, CEO, Harley-Davidson. “We are very pleased with our continued growth in U.S. market share and the progress our U.S. dealers made in reducing their inventory of 2016 motorcycles in the quarter.”

“We recently announced our plan to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally. We are energized by our focused strategy, and we believe our powerful brand and commitment to excellence will position us to drive demand for our products and grow our sport,” concluded Levatich.

The company’s long-term strategy through 2027 is focused on five objectives to:

·         Build two million new Harley-Davidson riders in the U.S.;
·         Grow international business to 50 percent of annual volume;
·         Launch 100 new, high-impact motorcycles;
·         Deliver superior return on invested capital for Harley-Davidson Motor Company (S&P 500 top 25%); and
·         Grow the business without growing its environmental impact.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG) first quarter 2017 diluted EPS decreased 22.8 percent to $1.05 compared to $1.36 in the same period of 2016. First quarter net income was $186.4 million on consolidated revenue of $1.50 billion versus net income of $250.5 million on consolidated revenue of $1.75 billion in the first quarter of last year.

First quarter worldwide‎ retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles were down driven by lower sales in the U.S. As we expected, U.S. sales were adversely impacted by soft industry sales and the company’s decision to reduce shipments of model year 2017 motorcycles. This decision helped dealers focus on selling down their model year 2016 retail inventory. International retail sales were down behind weak sales in Asia Pacific, partially offset by strong growth in Latin America. Retail sales in EMEA and Canada were both down as they compared against strong prior year growth of 8.8 percent and 16.3 percent, respectively.

Motorcycles and Related Products Segment Results

In the first quarter, revenue from the Motorcycles and Related Products segment was down versus the first quarter of 2016 on lower shipments.

The Financial Services segment operating income was down 6.6 percent year-over-year due to a higher provision for credit losses.

For 2017, Harley-Davidson continues to anticipate full-year motorcycle shipments to be flat to down modestly in comparison to 2016. In the second quarter of 2017, the company expects to ship approximately 80,000 to 85,000 motorcycles. Harley-Davidson continues to expect full-year 2017 operating and gross margin as a percent of revenue to be approximately in line with 2016. The company continues to expect that full-year 2017 capital expenditures will be $200 million to $220 million.

44 Responses to “Quarter 1 2017 Harley-Davidson Results. Worldwide Retail Sales Down 4.25%. US Sales Down 5.7%. Reduced Shipments Improved U.S. Dealer Inventory.”

  1. 1 BobS Apr 18th, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Losing sales but increased market share. Maybe I’m not reading that right but it sounds to me like 1, big bike sales are really dropping and 2, I’m guessing Victory buyers told Polaris to go pound sand and are buying Harley’s, not Indians. Otherwise HD’s market share wouldn’t be rising correct?

  2. 2 R Hammon Apr 18th, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Too bad the mother ship doesn’t have anyone who can properly format spreadsheet cells before the numbers are broadcast to the masses. Looks sloppy..

  3. 3 Aeromach Apr 18th, 2017 at 10:18 am

    environmental impact is the least of their worries

  4. 4 Gasman Apr 18th, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I did almost what BobS said. I was looking at Victory until Polaris killed them off. They can go shit in their collective hat and pull it over their head.

    Mehhh, screwit. I’ll just keep riding my 3 EVO’s and running until I’m dead.

  5. 5 Carl H Hursky Apr 18th, 2017 at 11:15 am

    While I can sympathize with Victory owners. The criticizing of Polaris is overkill. Consumers know nothing of the corporate operations. HD did the same thing to Buell. Where was the outrage then?

  6. 6 Coffeebeans Apr 18th, 2017 at 11:20 am


    ” I’m guessing Victory buyers told Polaris to go pound sand and are buying Harley’s, not Indians. Otherwise HD’s market share wouldn’t be rising correct?”

    Not so much.
    Polaris just had their 1st quarter earnings call. Indian sales are up 18% in the first quarter of 2017.
    They were up 20% in 4th quarter 2016, both compared to the previous year’s same quarters.
    (which is a good thing for Polaris, since they are taking a beating on their ORV sales and the recalls of the RZR’s)

    That’s 17 consecutive quarters of market share growth for Indian. There’s a great article that just came out in Powersports Business, describing the closure of Victory and the ascendancy of Indian. It’s up on their website.

    Additionally, HD’s market share growth to 51.3% was correct…it WAS an increase from 1st quarter last year.

    From 51.0% in 1st quarter 2016 to 51.3% in Q1 2017.

  7. 7 BobS Apr 18th, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Carl the outrage then was all over the place. People even made videos “thanking” Harley for royally screwing over Buell. Even today I doubt many Buell owners embrace or buy HD. Of course to make it an apples to apples comparison let’s talk about HD brass killing the brand they built their motorcycle business on to focus on the executive’s new favorite brand. This more accurate comparison would be HD dumping the Harley brand to focus on a faster growing Buell brand. You really want to say in that hypothetical criticism would be overkill? When corporate execs who know nothing about motorcycle buyers make bone headed decisions we criticize, it’s what we do and they do deserve it.

  8. 8 Jeff gundlach Apr 18th, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    There are only so many people going to buy hogs. Maybe they topped out.

  9. 9 NoH2oh Apr 18th, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    “Grow the business without growing its enviormental impact”. So, does that mean a plug in bike is close? The Sierra Club is now on the board?
    And as for the outrage over the killing of Buell, I’ll never buy a new HD because of it. Loved my Buell, just wish when I bought it HD would have told me I was f’d.

  10. 10 1550tc Apr 18th, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    havent they figured out that there arent any new 1950 to 1965 buyers being born to buy all these geezer glides in their line up

    and 45K for 2016 cvo sg plus tour pac ect + taxes ………get F KING real how tech is there in a cvo sg??

    is the infotain-crapment system really that costy cool or needed??

    you dont have to do; a focus group, r&d market research ect its simple demographics

    your customers are retiring from owning an HD………love to one day see the ave age of a geezer glide owner…….30 inch bagger guys dont count !!

  11. 11 Jerrman Apr 18th, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Oh, brother, this HD loyalist and Victory criticism of Polaris just ignores the simple facts that they tried. They tried big time. They tried to the tune of losing $100 million over 18 years! If this had happened after only a few years and small losses, the bashing would be justified. If Polaris had continued Victory, no telling how much more they might have lost. On a purely emotional level (and if I was a Victory owner), I understand how people feel about the Victory decision. But, it all flies in the face of you can’t just keep throwing good money after bad, especially after so many years and there still was no light at the end of that tunnel. And like HD, Polaris is a public company. I’m amazed they kept the Brand going that long.

    As for HD’s current woes, I think they’re on the right track with some of their newer entries, the Street Rod particularly. I recently looked at it in a dealership and they seemed to have fixed so many (and there are so many) of the problems with the Street 750 and 500). Should have great appeal to the entry level and younger rider. It’s cool, well made and gets high marks for performance. I think the recent intro of the cafe racer accessory parts for Sportsters is another good move that should have younger appeal. Its about time. It will take a long time, but this $20K+ heavyweight, cruiser market has had its day IMO.

  12. 12 Xenu Apr 18th, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Time for HD to announce the Croesus Edition.

  13. 13 highrpm Apr 18th, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    if polaris was losing $$$ big time on vicky for many years, then what the hell kind of logic made them invest in the indian brand. as the world is going to see lots sooner than 18 years, indian is going to be a harder sell than victory ever was. those fenders get old really quickly. as do the faux fined flat heads. and for the high retail $$$!? younger gen’s sold their souls to the racketeering banksters for overpriced/ overvalued student loans. any nation that burdens their next gen’ers with that kind of debt load for so little hope in rewarding career opportunities deserves to go down hard. really hard and ugly.

  14. 14 HistoryFirst Apr 18th, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Well highrpm . Suffice it to say that the logic of illogic which has overcome much of America’s manufactures and businesses obviously escapes your ability to comprehend its many faceted and convoluted twists and turns thats gotten us into the predicament we’re in . But then again as insane as it all is its no surprise nor an insult that it has . Let me see if I can sum it up in a (NUT)shell . Losing money hand over fist is the new making money – Losses are now profits – and Debt creates wealth . Make any sense ? Trust me if you’ve got a modicum of common sense it does not . But that is the big business reality we’re living in . Don’t believe me ? Have a look at TESLA . Despite subsidies grants and government guaranteed loans they lose on average of $1 million or more a month . Yet they keep on carrying on . Banks continue to loan them money . And the shareholders are lining up in droves to buy TESLA shares at inflated prices despite all the facts . Better yet look at the petroleum industry . Selling oil below cost with a glut of epic proportions yet continuing to drill for more building pipelines we do not need , Thus is the new world of money

  15. 15 HistoryFirst Apr 18th, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Yes BobS if the MC’s market share is up that means everyone else’s including the EuroCruisers , RiceCruisers and PII’s market share’s are way down regardless of the marketing hype coming from their pr spin doctors .

    As for the MC’s whinging about EPA and trade restrictions thats called ‘ corporate cronyism ‘ in the quest to be within captain chaos’s good graces . The simple facts why their sales are down and will continue to go down is 1) People have less discretionary income to spend on motorcycles 2) Heavy Weight cruisers are falling out of favor as the Lost and Boomer generation either age out or shift to the more sensible ADV’s Touring and GT Touring bikes with the younger buyers gravitating towards Cafe Scrambler and the affordable ADV’s ; if they’re buying anything at all 3) A lot of customers and potential customers have had enough of the MC’s fertilizer when it comes to customer service and reliability 4) Foreign customers overall do not want a road hog MC product 5) The reality that most folks know very little of todays MC products are American with the majority [ if not all ] of the parts and assemblies being manufactured overseas and then assembled here in the US etc , et al , ad nauseam .

  16. 16 Craig Hayden Apr 18th, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    I was looking at a 2017 Daytona bike week video. Didn’t see a Victory, but a few Japanese sport bike from the Big Four.

  17. 17 BobS Apr 18th, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    highrpm is correct. Execs and apologists like to throw out 100 million dollar lose as an excuse but that’s what it is, an excuse. Victory was profitable and starting up any new motorcycle company is going to cost money in the beginning. Money used to build the exact same infrastructure that produces Indian motorcycles today. It’s not like Indian came from different designers, engineers, R&D, etc…it’s all the same company right down to the factory in Spirit Lake. So Victory was profitable, sales were growing, and poor management squandered that. Just like poor management is crushing their off riad business. But I digress, we all know that bad management is responsible for bad results, the original point was their loss is whose gain? It’s probably too early to tell for sure but if Harley’s market share is growing and Indian’s growth is slowing I think I know the answer.

  18. 18 blu dog Apr 18th, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    One quarter’s numbers, yawn. Aging of current market for heavyweight premium cruisers, no surprise there.

  19. 19 Jerrman Apr 18th, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Highrpm, I’m afraid you may be a little behind the sales curve on Victory vs. Indian. Not only will it be easier to sell Indian, it already is. In the six years of marketing Indian, Polaris has already sold 3x as many motorcycles than Victory did. Is the styling love it or hate it? Maybe. But it’s all about branding (something HD knows a lot about) and Indian is becoming very good at in addition to playing off its heritage. And to broaden the line and it’s style appeal, the Scout and the Sixty fill that void. Plus, Indian has just had three consecutive multiple podium wins in Flat Track with the new FTR750 and I think it’s only a matter of time before some performance street version of this bike is introduced. So, for now Indian is on a roll which unfortunately, Victory never was despite its lofty unrealized goals.

    Can’t disagree with those youths who sold their souls to get an education though. That alone must have been an eye opening economic lesson. By, just another reason why the entry level of motorcycles by HD or Indian need to keep up the pressure on lower priced performance machines and not the $20m+ market.

    And as far as Tesla, HistoryFirst, they keep on rolling despite losing money because banks and investors keep thinking they will reinvent the auto industry. Elon Musk may or not be the genius he think he is (I think he is) but regardless he’s already had an enormous impact on the industry. If he actually makes the Model 3 and it’s a success (400k reservations and counting) Tesla will become a legitimate car company and will have upset one of the world’s oldest and strongest industries. Time will tell. So, like many high flying concept stocks, the hype is what propels them. And that has made a lot of money for a lot of people. Just have to know when to bail before reality brings it all back to earth.

  20. 20 richards Apr 18th, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    It seems there are [plenty opinions here…some likely are based in knowledge of the Motorcycle business and are fact based….some don’t seem to be. I think more information about UNITS SOLD would greatly help us understand what the % gained, % loss actually means. It would take the influence of selling price, replacement parts and accessories out of the equation. Price variation dramatically influence sales $…if you sold 1 bike this year fir $15,000. and raised the price to $16,500 the next year , it would it would represent a gain in sales of 10% but unit sales would still be the did not change, they only sold 1 bike each year. These Sales $$$ numbers really don’t tell us much about about the number of bikes sold. Harley publishes them…Polaris does not.

  21. 21 fuji Apr 18th, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Soon the 2016 bikes that you buy at discount will be two years old then what is a two year old bike worth. If you intend to keep it and ride the wheels off you will be OK , anything less guess who takes the loss.

  22. 22 Uthinkuknowme Apr 19th, 2017 at 5:19 am

    1550 TC- funny I used to make fun of geezer glides. Then in my early 20’s got tired of trying to rack up miles on a softie and traded bikes for the day with a buddy who had a geezer. 2 days later, that softail was sold and have been on a big glide since for 20+ years. If you are 2 upping and putting any kind of miles on a bike, it doesn’t get any better. 800 mile days are easy, no way could I do that day after day on a softail custom. And for the record, no I don’t have a Clown Wheel, just a plain old geezer with a built motor. Give it a try, you may just like it.

  23. 23 Mdkuder Apr 19th, 2017 at 8:55 am

    I know here in Tulsa the local dealer had a demo truck in last weekend and the wait was 1-2 hours to ride. They said the bikes sales that weekend was the best they’ve ever done.

    Personally I buy the be quality bike available that fits my needs at the time which is why I bought the 07 Roadliner and rode for 6 years and still the best motor out there IMO! I now have a 14 Indian Vintage, which overall is the best bike I’ve ever owned and an 09 Indian Deluxe which is my jewelry piece! I haven’t owned a HD in 20 years and can’t say I will ever again although the Softail Slim does have it’s appeal.

  24. 24 1550tc Apr 19th, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Uthinkuknowme……….all kidding aside HD does a great job on these touring bikes

    Victory just had no soul…….hard to explain its like a ducati to a jap bike

    its like in cars that 3 pointed star and the air plane propeller cars have been coming down the highway for a 1000000000 years

    that is what indian has….

    when u didn’t see infotainment on the 2016 2015 victory bikes you knew they were done ………or when scouts out selling octanes 10 to 1 ……it was a no brainer

  25. 25 Jerrman Apr 19th, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    1550tc? I think u nailed it in terms of “soul.” For some reason, yes, Indian does have that, maybe due to its heritage and mystique as a brand. I do know, from personal experience that I can’t ride my Scout without people coming up to me when parked or giving me the thumbs up sign when riding. HD has it too, but Victory, probably not. All that may have contributed to Victory never really getter my a strong foothold in the cruiser market. But the ultimate decision was definitely driven by a public company’s responsibility to its shareholders. You just can’t keep losing that kind of money and justify why you shouldn’t also lose your job. If it was a private family run biz, that decision would have been made years ago or, if not, the company would have long since been bankrupt.

  26. 26 BobS Apr 19th, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Jerrman you still don’t get it. But keep trying to convince yourself. I have owned many brands including HD. You can make up whatever “soul” excuse you want. You can believe any “money losing” lie you want. Here’s is reality that isn’t up to your interpretation or opinion: The Indian Chief and it’s variants is nothing more than a modified Victory Cross Country. They took the bottom of the motor, converted the top to look really old with push rods, mated it to a modified Cross Country frame, and put fake old bodywork on it. There’s your heritage right there. Think your Scout is different? It was under development as a Victory before Polaris even purchased Indian. It’s not about Indian or Victory, they’re both just Polaris. Victory wasn’t losing money, it was MAKING money. The money that was “lost” in the beginning is the same investment responsible for Indian being alive today. So should they drop Indian right now? Never mind they will soon enough. The point is this company is being run by execs that make bad decisions.. They are mismanaging their off road business and they are mismanaging their motorcycle business just like they mismanaged their watercraft business, They don’t understand bikers, they never will, in five years they will decide Slingshots and Jeep parts are the “better horse to ride” and Indian will be dead again. They could have made something great with Victory but they had no vision. They could have made something great with Indian, but all they can see is Harley. They will never out Harley Harley which is why Indian will die again.

  27. 27 Kent Apr 20th, 2017 at 8:37 am

    If you think the numbers aren’t real for Harley’s ,go to the dealership, now the sales people are like flies on shit! Talk about reduced prices they have all kinds of sales, “old friends”, “please be loyal”, “don’t leave us now”, “what you gonna do with your apparel” and my favorite “what are your friends gonna say!” No signs of the nasty aggorance they desplayed less than five years ago! And I love how they always question the sales numbers when they aren’t favorable!

  28. 28 fuji Apr 20th, 2017 at 9:02 am

    For Gods sake man wipe off your Binky . Knowledge and factual information puts you in the ocean below whale dung. So much negative BS negates any credibility that you self believe in.

  29. 29 Sturgis Pride Apr 20th, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Consumers who bought Victory’s never owned Harley’s. Victory took market share away from metric OEMS, not Harley. That being said, prospective buyers of Victory’s will more likely purchase a metric OEMs again.

    It is respectable that Indian Motorcycle has 14 consecutive quarters of growth, but that growth is from a minimal amount of units sold overall compared to Harley. Harley still has one of the largest market shares of any domestic brand in its given market. Indian has yet to break the 15% market share threshold.

    Just some further context.

  30. 30 Pat h Apr 20th, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    3 indian dealers closed in the Chicago metro area in the last 6 months and the only one open within 40 or so miles from me is a ghost town the other is 85 miles away I don’t give them time, never seen one on the road a couple maybe a few at so called biker hot spots can’t miss the pastel easter egg paint jobs and wonder women fairing

  31. 31 Grumbler Apr 21st, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Plenty of patch holders have switched from Harleys to Victorys on the west coast. That’s all water under the bridge now as Victory is, for all intents and purposes, a dead marque.

    Remains to be seen whether the heavyweight cruiser and tourer market for 700-lbs to 900-lbs v-twins remains robust or starts faltering. If the latter, it’ll hit Indian harder than Harley.

    Triumph is selling tons o’ Bonneville twins these days. OTOH, the Japanese have all but abandoned the 1500cc and larger cruisers with sales revolving around the 750cc to 1300cc v-twins.

  32. 32 Jerrman Apr 22nd, 2017 at 11:49 am

    BobS, what i get is that you seem to know a lot about motorcycles. Marketing and corporate finance reporting, maybe not so much. If you have that secret information about Victory making so much money over the years, you might want to talk to the SEC about Polaris’ corporate earnings and help put those guys in jail. As far as all the Indian motorcycles and engineering that were really Victory inspired and actual Victory ideas, little of that has much to do with marketing and sales success. Ask Apple about that. In addition to many electronic categories that Apple entered late, possibly took ideas from others and then became the consumer choice, mobile phones were out there way before iPhones but, Apple reinvented that category and made it relevant through marketing, so much so that they actually have over 90% of the profits. Not the unit sales (where Android phones way outsell iPhones) but where it counts, in the pocketbook. Whether iPhones are better phones is debatable but consumers don’t seem to care. Apple can charge more money and make more profits because of marketing, not because they were first.

    I will agree that Indian has to stop seeing just Harley-Davidson in front of them and make some end runs before it’s too late. Lighter, more responsive, less expensive models based on the Scout or the FTR750 would seem to be the way of the future for customers considering entering the motorcycle market. The heavyweight cruiser market is saturated, getting way too old, too expensive and can only really support one, maybe two major players. At least one of them is Harley-Davidson. Who the other is, time will tell.

  33. 33 BobS Apr 22nd, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Jerrman we agree on a lot, including Scott Wine being potentially guilty of SEC violations. Here’s one little tidbit you may find interesting. Allegedly Victory lost 100 million dollars over it’s entire existence. Now this may be a fact, or it may be a marketing ploy, as in let’s spin the numbers to make Victory’s losses look high and that way riders won’t get pissed and will still buy Indian. Sounds far fetched at first but…at one time an announced investment in Branco was 39 million dollars. That was before it was purchased outright for another undisclosed sum. So how much was the purchase? Let’s be conservative and say Brammo fire sold it for a mere one million which makes the total cost 40 million dollars for a bike rebranded as a Victory. Which ledger seat did that 40 million dollars end up on? Yes, probably Victory’s. Then there was a 32 million dollar expansion of the plant to install a state of the art paint facility that was fubarred and created a production backlog that Wine himself blamed for a sales drop a couple years ago. How much of that expenditure ended up on Victory’s ledger? Same thing when they spent millions expanding the R&D facility in Wyoming MN. Makes sense that the parent company would split up those costs over all brands right? Except there were NO changes to Vic models after the expansion, just the new Indian models. So now how authentic does that 100 million dollar loss look?
    Here’s my conclusion. Polaris doesn’t want a share of the motorcycle market, they want half of Harley’s market. They can’t see past Harley Davidson. It wasn’t that Victory wasn’t selling and it wasn’t losing money hand over fist. This decision was about the future. Why spend another dollar of R&D on a bike that would take sales away from BMW, Ducati, or Triumph when that dollar could be spent taking what trying to compete with a Harley? No, Victory was not a smashing success but they were really good bikes in spite of bad management shackling them to be a modern copy of a Harley. Now they’re trying a retro copy of a Harley and will fail again.

  34. 34 fuji Apr 23rd, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Bob S, You did not win the last discussion, we still recommend claiming incessantly that you did.

  35. 35 BobS Apr 24th, 2017 at 5:59 am

    Win something? No idea what you’re talking about.

  36. 36 hark Apr 24th, 2017 at 9:51 am

    My take is this….Just a short few years ago HOG membership was around 1.2 Million members world wide. Now that membership has dropped to around 700 thousand members. Someone who thought it would be a good idea to cut back on the things HOG members do really screwed up…the first thing that happened was they did away with Regional Managers … as I recall there were 7 regions in the USA. Each manager had around 6 or 7 states. Things were really going great…HOG members had State Rallies plus much more to look forward to…they also did away with Fly and Ride. This list goes on of screw ups from Milwaukee idiots that have no clue what so ever who were are…just go back to Elton John showing up at the 100th consert…Nuff said. I do not see any changes in site…only down hill…when you hire none bikers to sell a product or program your going to get an idiot that has no clue. I for one will never give up my Harley…HOG is another thing all togeather….but loosing 300 thousand plus HOG members hurts like heck….at 40 bucks a pop, not to mention the buying power lost on merchandise.

  37. 37 Jeremiah McKenna Apr 24th, 2017 at 10:30 am

    The funny thing is that they lost a small amount of sales(that were equal with the rest of the market loss) but gained market share of units sold. Those units are coming from new demographics of the female, Hispanic, AA’a and Millennial’s /younger riders. They must be doing something right.

  38. 38 rebel Apr 24th, 2017 at 10:36 am

    everyone that leaves comes back (or wishes they could) to HARLEY, it’s evolution man

  39. 39 Jeremiah McKenna Apr 24th, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Bob S, you are correct when you say that Victory has been used as a whipping boy. All of their bikes were the same with a different set of bars or wheels. Then they came up with their Octane, and unfortunately haven’t sold a lot of them, mainly because they paraded around two really cool looking bikes, but actually gave us a vanilla, almost boring bike to look at. I used to like them a few years ago, but got bored every time I would look at their bikes in the showroom.

    And you are also correct with your assessment of Indian wanting to take part of HD’s market share. They always have. The thing about Indian is they are plagued with hate and bad intent towards HD from day one. The founders tried to discredit HD many times, and then when that didn’t work, they tried to beat HD on the track. They failed miserably there too and then took them to court several times, trying to keep HD tied up in court and outspend them with legal fees since they had deep pockets.

    However, those type of bad vibes tends to permeate throughout the rest of the company, as well as be plainly seen by the buying public. That is why they failed to capture the eye of a majority of the market.

    This continued throughout the years and every time the name was revived, the rivalry continued for one reason or another and again and again, Indian has failed. If Indian would simply look at their own product and marketing, then I believe they might be able to pull it off. But when the majority of Indian buyers are the Boomers, then they are again short lived.

    I personally like the engine tech that is in the frame, but the fact that they only have one look, it makes me look elsewhere, just like Polaris does with the rest of their lines.

    As far as the Victory electric fiasco, that was not only a $1 million dollar buy in, there is also the cost of licensing and royalties that jacked up the cost of an already too expensive bike that only gave you a short amount of range and a really long recharge time. No one bought them because there wasn’t a way to go riding with your buddies in their gas bikes.

    But yes, Victory was their write off arena.

  40. 40 Jeremiah McKenna Apr 24th, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Even though this is not the proper place for this topic, but since it has been brought up, HD is not responsible for the demise of Buell. Buell is the only person for the demise of Buell, as we have seen time and time again. You can’t get upset at HD for taking a chance and trying something new. But you can’t expect them to continue to pay for a money losing venture. Eric Buell is a great engineer, but not even a good business man. He needs to find someone that will run the front of the business while he stays in the back and designs the bikes. Maybe Victory should have hired him to make some exciting bikes. Maybe Indian will hire him and get out of the 1930’s/1940’s with their styling. But Polaris is too boring to do anything like that.

  41. 41 Jeremiah McKenna Apr 24th, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Rebel, you are correct.

  42. 42 fuji Apr 24th, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Jeremiah McKenna you are correct Bob S is very asstute of the motorcycle industry and should be commended for his insight. Thanks Bob S.

  43. 43 BobS Apr 24th, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    lol Fuji. I thought this was a conversation not a competition. Jeremiah I only threw out the 1 million dollars to make a point. We know that at one point they investested 39 million in Brammo and after that they purchased the remainder of Brammo for an undisclosed amount. So they spent at least 39 million +++ and all they got out of it was a bike rebadged Victory. I doubt snowmobiles, Rangers, or Indian took the 39+++ million dollar hit on their balance sheet when Victory got the bike.There’s probably over half of Victory’s losses in that one stupid decision. Which was not the only stupid decision by management that Victory had to account for. The reason Victory failed is because of bad management, same bad management is running Indian.That’s the point I was trying to make. Incessantly apparently.

  44. 44 fuji Apr 25th, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Point well taken Bob S pardon me for my oversight

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