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Just looked at this YouTube video about The Rise and Fall of Harley-Davidson. It was an interesting explanation in this video.
Some points also apply to Indian Motorcycles such as the tax system, IMO.
 

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Good video. I didn't see the date of the video but I believe the tariff war is over to some degree with the China and USMCA trade deals. Can't blame Trump for wanting fair trade.

Harley and Indians main problem is going to be getting the next generation and the generations after that interested in motorcycles and the lifestyle that goes with it. They might have a rough patch now but I think in the future there will be a resurgence due to future generations wanting retro items. We are seeing some of this in the US now with clothes and other goods.

If only we had a crystal ball. But then again history repeats itself. US economy is growing and for me quality of life is great right now.

P.S. I already see the children and teenagers in my neighborhood checking out my bikes and have even received compliments from quite a few of them. They will be the ones buying the future motorcycles and replacing me as a rider when I am gone. You can just see the glimer in their eyes when looking at the bikes. Hopefully they will find the passion and freedom of motorcycling and carry the lifestyle forward.
 

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I don't think they need to thank the new CEO for coming up with the buy-back program... they had it in the 80's originally... and SJ12DS is right... it's the teenagers and low 20's generation that will bring a resurgence back to motorcycling... the real question will be if they want 800# air cooled V-Twins or not... I suspect not.. as the video aptly pointed out and reminded me of how long I've been riding... we are an aging consumer that in the blink of the eye in the corporate world will be gone... Indian and HD need to plan for it and ignore our complaining (Harley Electric/Challenger)
 

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The Rise and Fall title is a little premature. If you watch closely, Harley Davidson still makes a lot of money meaning profits. They just aren't making as much or selling as much as they used to. A huge NO NO on Wall Street. Wall Street wants profits to rise every year and forever which defies basic economics 101 of supply and demand.

The medium age demographics they showed also follow income in those levels. In the mid 1990's all the way through the mid 2000's banks were more willing to finance much larger dollar amounts driving entry costs and profits for the companies. This however had a negative defect on younger age groups because they don't have the credit or financial resources to fund a 25K motorcycle.

All the doom and gloom about Harley is not that they are loosing money, they are not, they make good money. But the company is smaller and getting smaller than when they were the darlings of wall street in the early 2000's. This means less stock valve and gains.

Indian is a tiny division under Polaris which is a much smaller company than most think. The Indian brand is huge, and is on par with he name recognition and nostalgia of Harley. But as a motorcycle company, they barely move the needle as of now. Someday they may want to be bigger. The lack of dealerships people ***** about Indian is because, the company just isn't that big, and they actually have more dealerships than the numbers of bikes made justify.


The bottom line for both to survive the new economic age. They need to make more lower cost commuter style motorcycles which means they will have to move manufacturing for them overseas.
 

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Just looked at this YouTube video about The Rise and Fall of Harley-Davidson. It was an interesting explanation in this video.
Some points also apply to Indian Motorcycles such as the tax system, IMO.
I’ve spent the last week in Paris (with another few days on either end in London) and I (a USA resident from California) am AMAZED at the number of motor cycled riders I have seen - in the cold of February - in rain. These riders are EVERYWHERE! They zip to and fro with agility and bravo, and enjoy respect by those in 4 wheel vehicles.

For these Parisians and Londoners, motor cycled vehicles (mostly scooters, but motorcycles as well) are a viable and essential form of daily transportation.

I’m very impressed (and a touch ashamed at the hesitancy in the USA) with the level of riding I see. A much higher participation (without the silly concern about the size of the ride) here!
 

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I’ve spent the last week in Paris (with another few days on either end in London) and I (a USA resident from California) am AMAZED at the number of motor cycled riders I have seen - in the cold of February - in rain. These riders are EVERYWHERE! They zip to and fro with agility and bravo, and enjoy respect by those in 4 wheel vehicles.

For these Parisians and Londoners, motor cycled vehicles (mostly scooters, but motorcycles as well) are a viable and essential form of daily transportation.

I’m very impressed (and a touch ashamed at the hesitancy in the USA) with the level of riding I see. A much higher participation (without the silly concern about the size of the ride) here!
I believe the higher desire to ride overseas is less about desire and fun and more about expense and necessity.
Kind of a "be careful what we wish for thing"
 

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Harley isn't going anywhere soon. They have a new motor coming this year to power a new line of motorcycles with four different displacements. That alone should tell you they have a game plan. That two of the known bikes are in configurations normally not associated with Harley; adventure and street fighter; shows that they do know there are areas of the market that are up for grabs.
 

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I think I'm alone in this regard. I have no desire to see the next generation jump on bikes. I honestly don't care why they won't ride bikes or if they ever will. If I'm among the last of a generation of folks that ride bikes, so be it. Maybe one day, the hundreds of HD dealerships will be gone and the tens of Indian dealerships will be gone leaving only a cottage industry for diehard enthusiasts. I'm fine with that. I don't need a bunch of other people riding bikes to love riding. You'll get two fingers down from me on the road, but it's about me and my bike when I'm out there. I don't do the rallies and bike nights. I hate going to my HD dealership on a Saturday and wading through a sea of donuts and arm fat just to pick up a replacement set of spark plugs. To me, the lifestyle was sold to many of these folks and it really doesn't have a lot to do with actually riding a motorcycle. That's why it's dying. It was kinda never a real thing for some.

My question is why? Why is it so important to you that more people ride?
 

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I’ve spent the last week in Paris (with another few days on either end in London) and I (a USA resident from California) am AMAZED at the number of motor cycled riders I have seen - in the cold of February - in rain. These riders are EVERYWHERE! They zip to and fro with agility and bravo, and enjoy respect by those in 4 wheel vehicles.

For these Parisians and Londoners, motor cycled vehicles (mostly scooters, but motorcycles as well) are a viable and essential form of daily transportation.

I’m very impressed (and a touch ashamed at the hesitancy in the USA) with the level of riding I see. A much higher participation (without the silly concern about the size of the ride) here!
Same trip a few years ago, loved Paris and took the trip to London via the high speed train and Chunnel. Like you sure noticed the abundance of motorcyclists. Some really interesting machines in Paris that I have not seen here. But I think there are some structural factors that favor two wheeled transporation there. No doubt our European riders will offer their perspective shortly.

Price of fuel there makes fuel efficient transportation very desirable; $7 a gallon instead of $2.35 would see the Indian on the road more during the week.

Then there are the taxes. In Florida I think the annual registration on the truck was $60 MOL. In France I understand you have Taxe régionale (about 40-50 euros); Taxes sur les véhicules polluants (carbon tax, below a certain level, 0 euros, but otherwise 120 euros and up;Taxe de formation professionnelle ( I think thats like registration fee here) ;Taxe de gestion ;Redevance d’acheminemen. (No idea what that is)

Over in London they have a congestion tax, 11.5 pounds a day for riding your vehicle in the congestion zone of the City, but, there are discounts to registered cars which emit 75 g/km or less of C02, and motor-tricycles, two-wheeled motorcycles (and sidecars), mopeds.
 

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I think I'm alone in this regard. I have no desire to see the next generation jump on bikes. I honestly don't care why they won't ride bikes or if they ever will. If I'm among the last of a generation of folks that ride bikes, so be it. Maybe one day, the hundreds of HD dealerships will be gone and the tens of Indian dealerships will be gone leaving only a cottage industry for diehard enthusiasts. I'm fine with that. I don't need a bunch of other people riding bikes to love riding. You'll get two fingers down from me on the road, but it's about me and my bike when I'm out there. I don't do the rallies and bike nights. I hate going to my HD dealership on a Saturday and wading through a sea of donuts and arm fat just to pick up a replacement set of spark plugs. To me, the lifestyle was sold to many of these folks and it really doesn't have a lot to do with actually riding a motorcycle. That's why it's dying. It was kinda never a real thing for some.

My question is why? Why is it so important to you that more people ride?
I feel the same way in many respects of your post. And you pose a great question I've asked my self. The answer?
It's all about the numbers of economy.
If this was a cottage Industry, we'd have far fewer choices in rides, gear, and parts, while paying even higher prices for all and would have even less representation with in governments and in numbers of witch to lodge resistance to law, or petition for our needs.
 

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HD has weathered many storms since 1903 and over the years has stayed on the radar, much more so than Indian since its inception in 1901. I/P makes a good motorcycle but face it, the current Indians have been in production only about 7 years, and the brand (name) is owned by a huge company that appears to be quite successful, and that produces many different products. If the Indian brand flounders and hits bumps in the road like HD has over the years, Polaris has proven it could easily drop the Indian line and still be in business, it did it with Victory.

My Vintage gets more ride time than my Road King so no I'm not biased, just realistic.

It would be interesting if Business Insider made a video about the rise and fall of Indian Motorcycles.
 

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HD has weathered many storms since 1903 and over the years has stayed on the radar, much more so than Indian since its inception in 1901. I/P makes a good motorcycle but face it, the current Indians have been in production only about 7 years, and the brand (name) is owned by a huge company that appears to be quite successful, and that produces many different products. If the Indian brand flounders and hits bumps in the road like HD has over the years, Polaris has proven it could easily drop the Indian line and still be in business, it did it with Victory.

My Vintage gets more ride time than my Road King so no I'm not biased, just realistic.

It would be interesting if Business Insider made a video about the rise and fall of Indian Motorcycles.

I think you mean the "Fall and Rise of Indian Motorcycles"
 

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Times are indeed changing and not always for the better. Cost to purchase a new motorcycle just keeps going up while income for the most part isn't keeping pace. Cost of ownership, insurance, parts & labor, fuel & oil costs all go up as well. This upward spiral is hitting a wall with regards to the demographics, people with disposable income are aging and dying off while younger folks with student loan burdens that have good jobs as well as those less educated have lower paying jobs. Those young ones are much less likely to buy a recreational (for the most part) vehicle.
 

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Times are indeed changing and not always for the better. Cost to purchase a new motorcycle just keeps going up while income for the most part isn't keeping pace. Cost of ownership, insurance, parts & labor, fuel & oil costs all go up as well. This upward spiral is hitting a wall with regards to the demographics, people with disposable income are aging and dying off while younger folks with student loan burdens that have good jobs as well as those less educated have lower paying jobs. Those young ones are much less likely to buy a recreational (for the most part) vehicle.

Also the recession of 2008 made people think hard about what to do with "disposable" income
 

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I think I'm alone in this regard. I have no desire to see the next generation jump on bikes. I honestly don't care why they won't ride bikes or if they ever will. If I'm among the last of a generation of folks that ride bikes, so be it. Maybe one day, the hundreds of HD dealerships will be gone and the tens of Indian dealerships will be gone leaving only a cottage industry for diehard enthusiasts. I'm fine with that. I don't need a bunch of other people riding bikes to love riding. You'll get two fingers down from me on the road, but it's about me and my bike when I'm out there. I don't do the rallies and bike nights. I hate going to my HD dealership on a Saturday and wading through a sea of donuts and arm fat just to pick up a replacement set of spark plugs. To me, the lifestyle was sold to many of these folks and it really doesn't have a lot to do with actually riding a motorcycle. That's why it's dying. It was kinda never a real thing for some.

My question is why? Why is it so important to you that more people ride?
I really don't care either as a consumer and rider. I, like you, don't go to bike nights and have only attended a handful of rallies. To me it is about the ride.

I do see interest in motorcycles by the young people in my neighborhood and see how they react to the bikes which makes me think that motorcycles will not die off. As said above, if it were a boutique hobby then it would be more expensive than it is now.

Remember cafe racers? They were hot at one time and very popular but now I don't see any. The models in demand might change but there will always be motorcycles and people who want to own them.

I hope to be riding when I am 80+ and I hope that I am not the only motorcycle on the road when that time comes.
 

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Times are indeed changing and not always for the better. Cost to purchase a new motorcycle just keeps going up while income for the most part isn't keeping pace. Cost of ownership, insurance, parts & labor, fuel & oil costs all go up as well. This upward spiral is hitting a wall with regards to the demographics, people with disposable income are aging and dying off while younger folks with student loan burdens that have good jobs as well as those less educated have lower paying jobs. Those young ones are much less likely to buy a recreational (for the most part) vehicle.
There's more to it than income. Intervention from the likes of EPA has a lot to do with the cost of bikes too. Plus many riders want more widgets and gadgets, which increases the cost of the newer bikes. Bikes are way more hi tech now. It all increases cost.

Bikers just want to ride. Enthusiasts want a loaded up two wheeled car. Crazy chit go'n on, mang LOL
 

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Also the recession of 2008 made people think hard about what to do with "disposable" income
that is why it will be the late teens early 20's generation... just like baby boomers and the great depression they will hear only stories of the 08 crash and subsequent recession.. we are all retired or retiring we are not changing bikes every other year anymore... many, many members here even post or ask an opinion on a bike because "it's their last bike"... I might have mine or might get one more... either way they won't be staying in business because of me...
 

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The aging process takes it's toll for sure. I went from a relatively expensive 2015 Chieftain to a less expensive but not cheap 2019 Scout ABS. The trade-in cost difference with accessories added to the Scout came to something like $2900 or so which wasn't too bad considering the cost of Indian stuff. I had to do this downsizing because of that aging thing but at least I'm still riding on two wheels.
 

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Times are indeed changing and not always for the better. Cost to purchase a new motorcycle just keeps going up while income for the most part isn't keeping pace. Cost of ownership, insurance, parts & labor, fuel & oil costs all go up as well. This upward spiral is hitting a wall with regards to the demographics, people with disposable income are aging and dying off while younger folks with student loan burdens that have good jobs as well as those less educated have lower paying jobs. Those young ones are much less likely to buy a recreational (for the most part) vehicle.
I am thinking about my son. He likes my Scout, some of the miles on it are his. When he is not here to borrie mine, he rides a used very entry level bike he picked up for about $2K. Later this year or next after he trades up jobs he will be in the market for something better, but a new $13000 Scout is as on the far side of the moon for him as a $25,000 full size. And he is not interested in full size. More into the cafe racer style. Looking at those, his affordable price point is in the $6k to $8k range. When I think back to being his age, money was pretty tight, most of my first cars cost way less than his first bike.

He rides more or less same reason I do, its the unique open ness and rush of the experience, its relaxation, its allows meditation, its disconnecting from all the stress of everything else. And its backup transportation when his 15 year old car takes a dump. The idea of there being a motorcycle "lifestyle", HD or otherwise, is kind of a foreign idea, we don't ride to be part of a community with a branding lifestyle of some kind, although we recognize there is such a thing as a motorcycle community that shares a common experience with its fun and dangers, and for sure everybody on two wheels will get the two fingers towards the road salutation from either of us..
 
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