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Discussion Starter #1
Harley-Davidson is in deep trouble. Maybe not for a while, and a dysfunctional dealership network could prove me wrong, but Polaris has put together a legitimate game plan to strip H-D customers away one after another.
Now, I fully expect a lot of posts comparing the sheer size of H-D to a piss-ant start-up like Polaris has with their 2 brands, but I'm also not talking about what we will see in the 12 months, I'm talking about what I think we will see in terms of market share 10 years from now.
H-D's monopoly of the being the only legitimate 'American' motorcycle option is officially gone. Even the bar posers now have a reason to look across the fence.
Thoughts?
 
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Discussion Starter #2
I think you have a valid assertion. The unknown is the new and improved HD corporate thinking. Throttle by wire, ABS on all big bikes, fit and finish still strong, better reliability. They also have the development deep pockets to change gears. I see really cool liquid cooled bikes from HD in the next few years. V-rod power with retro cruiser looks.

You make a point with the assumption HD is asleep at that wheel. Only time will tell that story. Indian may get their sales from Kawasaki, Honda, and Victory for the most part. We don't know yet.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I think that in the short term we'll be seeing a lot more riders of other brands and potential buyers wearing Indian apparel. Don't laugh, but that's an indicator of desirablity and will only increase brand awareness. In the near future, I won't be surprised to walk through a mall and seeing Mom's pushing strollers with the toddler wearing an Indian T-shirt. Yes, creating a long-term brand requires the manufacturer to hook 'em while they're young!
 
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Discussion Starter #4
2009 said:
You make a point with the assumption HD is asleep at that wheel. Only time will tell that story.
H-D has done a good job of making me look smart on that one for the last 20 years. :)
They have some serious engineering power up there in Milwaukee, let's just see if they ever decide to use it.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Hehehe..i have been visiting HD 's forums tonight for a read, and am very suprised how many are already talking about selling to jump across to indian..so theres definately an impact even from day one. let the games begin..lol.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
I watched the Indian video earlier this morning and had commented to my wife just a few minutes before seeing this blog how much trouble I thought HD is going to have in the near future. I know a bunch of life time riders that have told their children and grandchildren about that Indian they rode so many years ago. I believe that a following already exists or we wouldn't be submitting our inputs to these blogs.
Polaris has done their homework. They aren't starting off small, they have an engine and tranny that ought to go the distance and they are outfitting the bikes with the latest technology. I am excited about the challenge to HD. I have owned three HD's, but at an unreaonable cost of purchase and maintenance. Bring it on boys, let free interprise reign.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I wasn't expecting 3 models and I think Polaris/Indian hit it out of the park with the the Chieftain.

What worries me is that Polaris can put an electronically adjustable windscreen on the Chieftain but hasn't, as of yet, put one on the CCT.
What's up with that?

I've got a strange feeling that Victory may end up as the red headed stepchild of Polaris.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I dunno...not buying it.


Stopped by 2 Harley dealers yesterday and 4 bars and only a few people even knew about the Indian reveal. Of course message boards guys are going to know....we are the bike nerds. The guys sitting at the bar are riding 5ish year old Electra Glides and Road Kings.......or pimpin Street Glides. NONE of guys are changing anytime soon, esp when they have to buy a new wardrobe.

However, I do think it's pulling over those Metric and BMW cruiser fans with the technology without them having to buy 'a Harley'. It's also going to pull over the 'Doctor/Lawyer' Harley owner. Don't forget Harley has a MONSTER party coming up on Labor Day with some serious annoucement of their own.....


Either way, I do think it will become a 'Coca-Cola/Pepsi' situation where both have ample market share to sustain their brands. They BOTH need to enourage industry growth and adovacy to RE-build motorcycling as a sport, hobby, leisure, vacation acitivity. Doesnt take a Wharton Grad to know this nation is getting older REALLY quick, so anything to keep another RV off the road is fine with me!
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I think until either Victory or Indian comes out with an entry level model its hard to hook them when they are young. You buy the entry level bike as a starter then move up. With Victory or Indian I bet most buyers are not fiirst time buyers on a motorcycle. Say you buy a HD or Honda for a first bike there is some loyality there not to switch. The key is to get the next gereration of riders and it starts with entry level bikes. They will take away sales from HD dont get me wrong. I just dont think its going to be the big numbers everyone thinks. We will see in 10 years. I do think Indian will pass Vic in sales in 5 years.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I'd have to see the Chieftain in person but from the pics, I'm less than impressed. Maybe it'll grow on me.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
11706 said:
Hehehe..i have been visiting HD 's forums tonight for a read, and am very suprised how many are already talking about selling to jump across to indian..so theres definately an impact even from day one. let the games begin..lol.
Yep I also saw some HD forums that have a lot of interest in the new Indian, even before the actual release . Harley has had ups and downs over the yrs, so they may not be the superpower that the may seem to be. Indian might have a good shot at chipping away the HD ownership, more so than Victory.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
A few things to think about.

1) of all Harley owners, how many are first time Harley owners?

2) How well did the V-rod sell? Harley 'people' rejected them because they are Metric.

3) If Harley refines thier motors to compete with modern bikes, will IT be a Metric?

4) It seems to me Harley has painted themselves into a corner with the Heritage angle, it will be interesting how it all plays out.


Kevin
 
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Discussion Starter #13
12463 said:
A few things to think about.

1) of all Harley owners, how many are first time Harley owners?

2) How well did the V-rod sell? Harley 'people' rejected them because they are Metric.

3) If Harley refines thier motors to compete with modern bikes, will IT be a Metric?

4) It seems to me Harley has painted themselves into a corner with the Heritage angle, it will be interesting how it all plays out.


Kevin
Harley has sold more V-Rods then Victory has sold bikes in their 15 year history...
 
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Discussion Starter #14
HD is not in trouble. You have to remember, they gross a BILLION dollars a quarter (every 3 months). They are expected to move over 250K bikes this year alone. Love them or hate them, they are engrained in American culture, Americana as Coca-Cola or GM/Ford and the most desirable and recongizable American brand name around the world after Coca-Cola. They are the Mt. Everest in the motorcycle world....even compared to all other moto-styles and brands.

With that said, the folks who need to worry are the corporate staff who lead the cruiser division at Star, Kawasaki, Suzuki (Honda is out and changed focus). As Indian's begin to roll out, dealers become more plentiful, bikes live up to the hype....bikes such as Stratoliner, Vaquero, etc...will be decimated unless they seriously undercut them. Even with revamps and offer some improvements, the Indian name, American-marquee will be tough to over come. I wouldn't be suprised if all of them except for Star start to pull back on the big-cc cruiser market all together.

I'm sure the brass at Polaris is aiming squarely at that market first, along with dissatisifed HD owners. Tackling HD straight out of the gate would be extremely foolish and honestly, simply not possible.

There is no doubt HD brass is taking notes. They just can't really mess with their winning formula too much....cause it works so damn well.

In the end, I'm VERY glad Polaris has entered with some modern-era Indian's. Competition is good for the market and consumers.

Next few years will be very exciting from both sides, and I'll be back in the market in that time frame.

If there is anything HD is worried about is comsumers will have a 'Choice', which will effect them moving forward to a certain extent. Polaris initial marketing campaign of 'Choice' was excellent,
 
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Discussion Starter #15
845 said:
Harley has sold more V-Rods then Victory has sold bikes in their 15 year history...
And the whole metric thing makes me laugh too. If you choose what motorcycle to buy based on the specification of the fasteners they use YOU are the one with a screw loose, not the bike.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
8841 said:
HD is not in trouble. You have to remember, they gross a BILLION dollars a quarter (every 3 months). They are expected to move over 250K bikes this year alone. Love them or hate them, they are engrained in American culture, Americana as Coca-Cola or GM/Ford and the most desirable and recongizable American brand name around the world after Coca-Cola. They are the Mt. Everest in the motorcycle world....even compared to all other moto-styles and brands.

With that said, the folks who need to worry are the corporate staff who lead the cruiser division at Star, Kawasaki, Suzuki (Honda is out and changed focus). As Indian's begin to roll out, dealers become more plentiful, bikes live up to the hype....bikes such as Stratoliner, Vaquero, etc...will be decimated unless they seriously undercut them. Even with revamps and offer some improvements, the Indian name, American-marquee will be tough to over come. I wouldn't be suprised if all of them except for Star start to pull back on the big-cc cruiser market all together.

I'm sure the brass at Polaris is aiming squarely at that market first, along with dissatisifed HD owners. Tackling HD straight out of the gate would be extremely foolish and honestly, simply not possible.

There is no doubt HD brass is taking notes. They just can't really mess with their winning formula too much....cause it works so damn well.

In the end, I'm VERY glad Polaris has entered with some modern-era Indian's. Competition is good for the market and consumers.

Next few years will be very exciting from both sides, and I'll be back in the market in that time frame.

If there is anything HD is worried about is comsumers will have a 'Choice', which will effect them moving forward to a certain extent. Polaris initial marketing campaign of 'Choice' was excellent,
Actually most of the big 4 have already stepped back from the big CC market and have focused their attention on the sub 1200cc cruisers. Keep in mind that the 1200cc + markets is relatively small compared to the under. The Japanese companies are more concerned with selling 20-30 million under 800cc bikes rather then the 500,000 over 1200cc bikes.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
I think Polaris did a great job with the chief line. I think they will sell well and will pull buyers from all cruiser brands. I also think they will increase awareness and acceptance of victory as a legit American bike. My dealer is going to have Indians and Vic's together. So a guys will come into look at Indians that might never have thought to look at Vic's. while there some will see the Vic's and will buy them. I personally love the style of Vic's they are in my opinion the best looking bikes out there. Time will tell the tale.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
111 speaks volumes in the motorcycle market. Many will ***** and moan about looks, heritage, color, accessories, etc. At the end of the day, that motor will win. Who cares what the fairing looks like, they'll only be seeing your tail lights.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
8841 said:
As Indian's begin to roll out, dealers become more plentiful, bikes live up to the hype....bikes such as Stratoliner, Vaquero, etc...will be decimated unless they seriously undercut them.
Indian doesn't care a bit about the Strat, Vaq or anything else in that category. They are 2 totally different markets. The Japanese cruisers aren't 1/2 the bikes the Indian is and are priced accordingly. You can buy a brand new Vaquero for less than $14k.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
The bikes don't do much for me? In my opinion They will attract a small % of the motorcyle buyer. I could see where Victory could be percieved as the 2nd teir bike of Polaris? Harley, Honda, Susuki, Kaw, etc.. could be the winners. Time will tell
 
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