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Old 20th October 2017, 12:11   #16
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

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Originally Posted by payeng View Post
Chalk and Cheese
I wouldn't say they are entirely different. While Royal Enfield is far cheaper & used by owners for commuting (India = 2-wheelers = daily commuters), there are some things that the Bullet has in common with Harleys.

1. An iconic image. It has an enviable aura & following.

2. Oldschool technology.

3. Reliability, fit & finish aren't perfect.

4. More of cruisers than handlers.

5. Premium pricing. For what it offers, a Bullet is surely premium priced.

6. Big on fan clubs, group rides etc.

7. Styling inspired by classic machinery.

8. The brand is so sexy that you want to buy its merchandise. I myself bought Royal Enfield Cargo Pants . Related post:

Last edited by GTO : 20th October 2017 at 13:02.
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Old 20th October 2017, 15:06   #17
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

I feel that Harley in India have been decently successful, mostly because of the same reason as Royal Enfield, the image and the brand presence. I remember seeing HD badges on the Bajaj Avenger, years before HD officially entered India. There is no denying that Harley is an icon, the brand presence is right up there with Beetle, Mustang etc.
RE is popular for similar reasons but I would not place them in the same boat. RE is not even close to Harley in technology, capability or creativity. RE is barely 20 year old and was a small player until late 2000s. I guess that V twin cruisers are not as popular as rocket inline 4s with the younger generation and the big bikes market is shrinking. HD is in a dilemma, to progress and embrace technology to attract new fans and anger the old or to continue to be old school and not attract new fans but keep the old ones happy.
As for RE,Triumph is the biggest threat to RE not HD IMO.

Last edited by Doge : 20th October 2017 at 15:10.
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Old 20th October 2017, 19:51   #18
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
there are some things that the Bullet has in common with Harleys.


3. Reliability, fit & finish aren't perfect.
Harley ditched that reputation in the 90's itself. Hogs nowadays don't mark their spots.

There are several Harley owners on the forum, are there enough posts related to reliability, fit and finish to keep propagating the myth?

RE, on the other hand, seems to be sticking to that glorious tradition, as evidenced by several posts.

Cheers

Ride Safe.
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Old 21st October 2017, 09:59   #19
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

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Harley ditched that reputation in the 90's itself. Hogs nowadays don't mark their spots.
Our review did highlight some rough edges.

And a quick search on the forum shows some problems on relatively new bikes - link.

Lastly, Consumer Reports (based on ownership surveys) ranked Harley & BMW last in terms of motorcycle reliability (link).
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Old 21st October 2017, 11:36   #20
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

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Our review did highlight some rough edges.
Ok, that might be enough for some to not just be convinced about Harley, but enough to equate it to RE. Can't really stop them from tooting their horn.

From what I know and to others like me it does and might sound a little hollow.

Cheers

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Old 21st October 2017, 13:21   #21
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HD have failed to interest me, I personally don't have much of an opinion on the bike, to the extent that I am willing to call it Hardly Ableson.
HD India has failed to keep customers happy and interested , the parts are way too expensive , not performance oriented , not comfortable for city rides in hot sunny conditions, I can go on listing endless failings. Still people buy because of its cult following, which sooner or later people will realise was stupidity.
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Old 21st October 2017, 18:47   #22
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

I think that a lot of factors are coming into play regarding non-commuter motorcycles.
One reason is economic; earnings and business sentiment is down all over the world. Cost, maintenance, etc can all be clubbed under this heading.
Second reason is safety and comfort. Even if you have good roads, the comfort and safety quotient of a 4 wheeler will always be far superior than that of a motorcycle.
Third reason might be climate change. How long is the motorcycle riding (the enthusiast kind) season in different countries? In India, you shall see HOGs active more during November to February, at least in the north of the country. The riding time is shrinking all over the world.
You have unprecedented and unpredictable heat waves, floods, hurricanes, snow storms.
When will you ride?
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Old 21st October 2017, 20:33   #23
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

Aspirational value, ya right.

And do have a look at the spelling.
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Old 21st October 2017, 22:34   #24
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I wouldn't say they are entirely different. While Royal Enfield is far cheaper & used by owners for commuting (India = 2-wheelers = daily commuters), there are some things that the Bullet has in common with Harleys.

1. An iconic image. It has an enviable aura & following.

2. Oldschool technology.

3. Reliability, fit & finish aren't perfect.

4. More of cruisers than handlers.

5. Premium pricing. For what it offers, a Bullet is surely premium priced.

6. Big on fan clubs, group rides etc.

7. Styling inspired by classic machinery.

8. The brand is so sexy that you want to buy its merchandise. I myself bought Royal Enfield Cargo Pants . Related post:

RE is actually in a extremely profitable position.

The Products are Essentially Commuters.. but the Owners believe that they are buying a Lifestyle/Manly Product.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 22nd October 2017 at 15:22. Reason: image from quote removed
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Old 22nd October 2017, 05:41   #25
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

Pound for pound a typical Harley is too crude, too slow, to heavy, too old tech to even match the competition. Even in the pure cruiser space there are much better bikes available. Even in India, once Triumph launches the speedmaster cruiser I can bet further decrease in Harley sales.
I personally can't understand the need to pay big bucks for what is essentially a larger bullet. I have ridden quite a bit on various harleys and found each of them wanting when compared to competiton in the 600 to 1000cc space
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Old 22nd October 2017, 10:02   #26
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

- Millennials burdened by student loans

I don't think this is applicable in India at all especially the lowest model cost upwards 4 lakhs. Unless otherwise, the student is from very rich background and burning dad's bank balance. Even if so, he might go for a sport bike or a car (I could not stop myself getting reminded of that hilarious hank panky thread)

- Harleys are too heavy and / or too expensive

Yes, this is applicable in a way. They are expensive. I have seen people buying for the fun of it or some wrong expectation, then regretting especially on the weight part and as well as the maintenance costs. They are not refined as well.

- No connect with the brand which is known to have a following by rebellious types in the USA

This is not surely applicable to us in India and our people still does not care much about that image in US.

- Poor handling and / or reliability

For sure! but it is a long drive cruiser and kind of expected from handling part. Reliability is a concern.

- They prefer motorcycles from other manufacturers

Yes, especially Japanese has better options that are more reliable for our roads, fuels and weather.

But still HD's sells because there is a cool factor and its size gets enormous attention. May be once the road condition improve in India, HD may have better prospects. Until then, RE will do for us Indians!

Last edited by sgmuser : 22nd October 2017 at 10:04. Reason: Typos.
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Old 22nd October 2017, 10:08   #27
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

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Originally Posted by Alfresco View Post
You have unprecedented and unpredictable heat waves, floods, hurricanes, snow storms.
When will you ride?
More important, for India, is where will you ride? I won't even venture out on the highways with my Nano, and on any two wheeler, the exposure to the vagaries of the roads and other road users is much higher.

Obviously this applies to all high capacity high speed bikes, not just Harleys.
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Old 22nd October 2017, 19:09   #28
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
True, but the question remains would whoever buy a HD? This point is about ‘connecting’ to the brand. It’s one thing to know and or be aware of a brand. To actually buy a product of the brand is a very different thing.

Many manufacturers in just about all industries struggle with this very same topic. Especially with globalisation. Just because your brand worked in one country doesn’t make it an automatic succes all over the world.

Jeroen
Absolutely; however In India, we love to have more for less. That's one reason expensive brands don't connect with us (progress is being made) we'd rather admire and dream of owning one. when the time arrives, the dream is shattered by the realistic syndrome 'is it really worth it?'

I reckon, Harley knows its a uphill task; VW is still here, aint it?

They definitely need to improve the quality of their vehicles. especially the entry level models.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 12:36   #29
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

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More important, for India, is where will you ride? I won't even venture out on the highways with my Nano, and on any two wheeler, the exposure to the vagaries of the roads and other road users is much higher
That is too perceptional and individual specific is what i feel. If you want to enjoy a ride you will enjoy it even in a scooter. The machine will allow you to expand the ways you can enjoy the same ride. I have more patience and control and less aggression when i take my FZ1 out vs the SSB bullet inside the city and its vice versa when its highways. I call myself a squid in a bullet and avoid it. Its all about perspective as some of us think about "How" than "Where" we ride our bikes.

Last edited by VW2010 : 23rd October 2017 at 12:45.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 13:02   #30
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson: Sales down, profits down

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That is too perceptional and individual specific is what i feel. If you want to enjoy a ride you will enjoy it even in a scooter. .
Too true, same for the weather. I rode all year round on my bullet and so did more or less the various Bike clubs I belonged too.

It's all about the enjoying the ride, with friends, in a group of mind like, or just by yourself. If you are to picky about the road conditions, the weather etc you wont ride much.

then again, I rode my bike strictly for fun. If it was absolutely pouring with rain I might consider staying home. Once on the road you take your chances.

If you depend on your bike as your means of transportation, none of this matters at all of course. You just ride no matter what the roads, congestions, weather is like.

Jeroen
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