'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.
The H-D "Riders Edge" program (MSF-approved rider training) is BIG business for Harley.
Most states limit training motorcycles by statute to "499 cc or less."
With Buell's out of the picture, they need a replacement bike - unlikely they would use a Japanese product.
Kevin Greenwald - MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
Motorcycle & High Performance Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track
The bike was as a result of H-D's move into the India market and expansion in Asia. The fact they are bringing it back to the U.S. is interesting for the reasons Kevin points out but also for how future production of sub assemblies might work out.
On the BMW front there is growing talk of BMW partners in the India market developing models that could find their way back to markets like the US.
HD used to make 125 cc and 165 cc 2-stroke bikes back in the '50s and '60s. I think they were made by some other company and branded H-D.
My older brother had a 165 cc when I was about 10 years old that he bought used for $65 ... that was the bike that got me my first traffic ticket riding it when I was 11. Cop thought I was too short to be old enough to have a license.
This is a pic of one beautifully restored:
Now: '12 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metallic / '11 Ural Patrol 2WD ridden to Alaska / '09 KLR 650 / '05 HD Heritage Softail / '08 Harley Sportster 1200C / '85 Yamaha VMax bought new. I wasn't ready to say goodbye: www.shaunlunt.typepad.com
All the allies had their go at the DKW two-stroke design that was "lifted" through war reparations...
current:14 R1200RT 75 R60/6
past: 11 R1200RT 10 R1200RT 03 R1200CLC
I find it interesting and curious too, that the new HD Dark Custom 750 and 500 look almost identical. Strange marketing if you ask me. one should be very different from the other in my opinion.
The bikes also look very "Honda Shadow" like, meaning Shadows from the late 80's. Guess Harley only knows what it sees as the market. I got an email from Harley announcing their new bikes:
Get trained! The best "performance" upgrade you can get is YOU. Visit msf-usa.org for training info.
2005 R1200RT (It's new to me!)
Northern Virginia, USA
If you are not continuously learning, you are slowly getting bored.
At least they use screw adjusters on the valves - good on 'em for that.
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Marketing-wise it's probably a good idea. Not sure how about all those guys who think an 883 Sportster is a "girl's bike".
1986 R80RT, 2005 R1200GS
Livin' Large On The Lake
The Bloomberg version of this story had an interesting line......
"For most of its 110-year history, Harley sold motorcycles as fast as it could to customers it knew well: wealthy, middle-aged American white men. "
Now, how can you be really "Bad-a$$" when you're a "wealthy, middle-aged American white men"? I think it will take more than a few tattoos and a dime store beanie helmet.
Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
Yeah this is no surprise, nor is it a surprise that anyone would want to capitalize on a market as big and fat as India (or China for that matter). IMO it shows strong market savvy in this regard, not to mention the entry-level & sales potential (as mentioned previously) of bringing these new bikes to the USA. No doubt the "rugged individualist/weekend pirate" types
(not that there's anything wrong with that )
are gonna huff and puff...
But a whole other level and generation of people are going to be brought into the fold- thus securing brand loyalty & setting the table for future buyers of their bigger, more expensive bikes. Again, smart move.
Not to say I'd ever consider one. I'm thinking Road King, MAYBE... someday. For now, I'm quite content with my BMW Sport-Tourers, and my Norton.
Be The Change You Want To See In The World
I have noticed similarities between BMW riders and Harley riders. I think their personalities are basically the same, Harley riders are fiercely loyal to their brand, have chrome and black leather and fringe. BMW riders are fiercely loyal to their brand, have electronic doo-dads and Gore-Tex. Same personality (addictive, perhaps?), just expressed differently.
On the coast of Kansas