Harley-Davidson salesmen show prospective buyers how much "attention" they'll get

scorpion

Ostrich
Gold Member
Boomer: rides around on a loud motorcycle to get attention
Gen X: rides around in an import hatchback with dual 15" subwoofers to get attention
Millennial: rents a Ferrari and pretends to own it on Instagram to get attention
Gen Z: cuts off his dick and demands to be called xir to get attention

 
Yeah - while the sales strategy may be fine, they won't be able to sell those bikes when most of their demographic goes away. Maybe when the current speed-motorbike generation ages, then they may go pick a chopper, but msot likely won't.

Harley Davidson will have a market, just a smaller one. Also the new more well-off Chinese are not picking that brand, so it will be a slow descent.

As for Game-relevance - I don't think that this matters. If you are a no-name-driving biker with a sixpack and Game then this works better than being overweight and riding a Harley.
 

Elmore

Kingfisher
Interesting how the Mid Life Crisis types these companies go for alter across the Atlantic. In UK, certainly in the last 10-20 years, it's overwhelmingly Mod Revivalists, that came of age around the late 70s early 80s, that were hitting mid forties around the Millenium. Got a few quid, they end up getting kitted out in Lambretta and Vespa Scooters. Buy authentic Fishtail Parkers, all the Mod gear they couldnt afford when they were kids. The Mod Life Crisis, as it became known. See them all down in Brighton for the get togethers. Something faintly tragic about it all tbh.

Extreme cases worship their patron Saint, Paul Weller, and are known as the Wellends on account of it.

Some classic Wellends in action





 

Belgrano

Ostrich
Gold Member
RE: Harley-Davidson salesmen show prospective buyers how much "attention" th...

If you're buying a Harley, you're not buying a motorcycle.

You're buying:

  • Membership to a tribe
  • A sense of community
  • Other people's attention

Those are the key benefits of the product, and most of the value a customer gets from his purchase will be based on that.

So I would say it's fair for the sales representative to try and point that out.
 

dicknixon72

Pelican
RE: Harley-Davidson salesmen show prospective buyers how much "attention" th...

As some may know, I'm in the retail used car business. I have a showroom with about eight motorcycles right now I've accumulated ranging from a '78 Shovelhead to a '17 Road Glide Screamin' Eagle. They're all pieces of shit. I have one non-HD right now, an '06 Suzuki C50 Boulevard with 68k miles and its the only one that starts up and runs correctly all the time.

HDs are about a lifestyle and an image. That salesman's training manual is very similar to a good walkaround/product presentation done by a seasoned automobile or boat salesman as well.

We have a boat dealership as well and employ the same strategy - get people out on the water. Everything else up until that point is :tard:. Once you're on the water on a relatively dry 84-degree Florida afternoon with the sun out and wind in your face, you're buying that boat no matter how bad of an investment you know it is.
 

roberto

Pelican
Gold Member
RE: Harley-Davidson salesmen show prospective buyers how much "attention" th...

Elmore said:
Interesting how the Mid Life Crisis types these companies go for alter across the Atlantic. In UK, certainly in the last 10-20 years, it's overwhelmingly Mod Revivalists, that came of age around the late 70s early 80s, that were hitting mid forties around the Millenium. Got a few quid, they end up getting kitted out in Lambretta and Vespa Scooters. Buy authentic Fishtail Parkers, all the Mod gear they couldnt afford when they were kids. The Mod Life Crisis, as it became known. See them all down in Brighton for the get togethers. Something faintly tragic about it all tbh.

Extreme cases worship their patron Saint, Paul Weller, and are known as the Wellends on account of it.

Some classic Wellends in action





Every time I see a full grown man on a Vespa, I want to shout at him for being so childish.

I ride an old school BMW F650. Off-road capability, on road comfort, fast enough for a bit of fun without risking your license. Dirt cheap too.
 

tr1cky

Woodpecker
The feel of the wheel will seal the deal.

Obviously they are loud to attract attention but its mainly a safety issue. In rural areas the noise will scare away animals (deer mostly) and in populated areas other drivers are more likely to hear you in the event they dont see you.
 
This year I started riding motorcycles starting out on a Honda 300 sport bike while I work with boomers who've owned multiple Harley's. My millennial friends all think my bike looks rad (so do I haha) but are too scared of the freedom and possibility of having a real fucked up day to pull the trigger on one. These are the same people who skateboarded, tore their ACL, got surgery and went right back to it. Even getting passed all of that, they're struggling to find a career that allows them to afford the luxury of a motorcycle.

The Harley guys I know are in the late stages of their career, white, live the lifestyle and live out in more small town countryside areas. One is even in a biker club wearing all the leather. For them its about the status of owning a Harley, having a common identity with fellow white guys and they think it looks badass. Of course I've heard about how outrageous the services fees are, how things break on newer bikes and how pricey the addition options are. For someone my age it just doesn't sound like a good deal considering I do like cruiser style bikes.

All that being said I've recently purchased another bike and despite Harley-Davidson being the biggest brand where I live, I've upgraded to a 600 Honda. Ultimately, the power to dollar ratio and coolness factor out weighs any sense of belonging with the Harley family. Times have changed.
 

El Chinito loco

Crow
Gold Member
They should create a new model of Harley Davidson where the rider just licks from a thick black colored lead exhaust pipe while it pumps carbon into their mouth.


Boomers are completely retarded and the only good thing is that within 20 years they will be gone.
 

questor70

Ostrich
I know this is about bikes and not cars but the larger trend in the 21st century is moving away from physical objects and towards digital ones. So transport goes from coal (trains) and horses to gas to electric to robotaxis. Media has gone from analog to digital to on demand streaming. Women may still be impressed by the symbolism of a Harley or a Lambo but generationally speaking, that stuff is on the way out.
 
I admit it : I do not earn a lot and I could not afford a brand new Harley Davidson, even not a bike from another company.

However, my Honda 750-BC Nighhawk 1982 that cost me $800 Canadian bucks is a good if I want to go for a ride, does not cost me as much as a HD for insurance, and if I scratch it, I don't care as much as a HD biker would.
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
What hasn't been mentioned yet is that there is another huge market for Harley Davidson: Japan.

Tons of Japanese boomers love these things. They watched all the same movies as American guys did, and they love the aesthetic. But I think the same problem is happening in Japan now, where the boomers are getting old/dying off, and younger people don't care about the same stuff.

The biggest difference to me is that the Japanese bikers dress incredibly well. The brands making clothes for these enthusiasts basically make the best jeans, leather jackets, boots, shirts, and wallets in the whole world. When I see some American boomer motorcycle guy he's always wearing dad jeans, Rockwell shoes, and a Jimmy Buffet T-shirt. Come on, dude, riding a fancy bike won't make you cool if you're dressed like a dork.

I notice the same thing with other boomer status symbols like Rolexes, or Gibson Les Paul guitars: the fancy toy is often the only nice thing they have on. You're way better off dressing decently and skipping the look-at-me status symbol.

I bet a similar crash happens to the guitar market in a few years: only a small niche of young people listen to guitar-based music, and most of them don't care about boomer classic rock. I won't complain, I'd love to get some good deals on a new guitar or two.
 

Handsome Creepy Eel

Owl
Gold Member
In Split, Croatia, the Harley Davidson dealership is conveniently located next to the Miele dealership - another bullshit image-based company whose products are bought solely for attention whoring purposes. I visited Miele once when my old washing machine broke down and this is how it went:

"Why does this washing machine that has features identical to other washing machines cost 800% more?"
"Well, it's made with great care, and it has metal components."
"But... doesn't every washing machine have metal components?"
"Yes, but ours has more, and it's all made in Germany!"
"Oh, so it's higher quality than other washing machines."
"Exactly. It is so well made that it will last you forever!"
"That's great! So it comes with a lifetime warranty?"
"No, the warranty is 2 years, and may be extended to 5 years if you purchase extra warranty."
"But I thought it was supposed to last forever?"
"It will! It's German quality!"
"So why don't you offer lifetime warranty then?"
"Because you won't even need any warranty! See, it's made in Germany with the highest quality components and manufacturing."
"But it will last forever anyway, why can't you offer at least a 5 year warranty?"
"Well we do. Just pay (amount equal to an entire washing machine of any other brand) and it will be 5 years."
"What about 10 years? Can I pay a bit more to have it extended to that?"
"No. 5 year warranty is the maximum."
"But it's supposed to last forever. That's why it costs so much."
"Of course it does, it's German quality."
"I see."


I'm sure the Harley Davidson dealership features the same conversation because other than myself that one time, I've never seen a living soul in either of those shops.
 

porscheguy

Ostrich
From the mid 80s until 7-10 years ago HD essentially had a license to print money. And they squandered it. I sold all the big Japanese brands back in ‘04 and we made money hand over fist, but we still had to deal with customers. At the HD dealer, you wanted a bike you paid sticker and waited 6 months. You wanted to haggle? Take a hike.

But to give an idea of how things have changed, back in ‘04 the jap dealer I was at sold close to 200 units per month. That was jet skis, atvs, dirt bikes, road bikes, and generators. The same place now only moves 30-45 units per month.

There are 3 major issues.
1. Soy. Young people aren’t interested in buying cars these days, much less bikes.
2. Lack of disposable income. You can’t buy a motorcycle when you’re paying off $200k in student loans for a degree in artisanal tea brewing that seemed like a great investment back in 2005.
3. Price of the product. In ‘02 I bought a Kawasaki zx6r (the top of the line 600cc race bike replica) brand new for $7200. I believe the price has more than doubled now. You can walk into many jap bike dealers these days and find brand new 2017 inventory, and occasionally 2016.

Boats and RVs are doing better because they appeal to an older market and they’re more versatile and family friendly. Also worth mentioning is the boat market has many low volume manufacturers. One of the best selling brands is sea hunt. They sell 2400 boats per year. The company only employs 200-300 people. But even so, the boat industry was cut in half in ‘91, and again in ‘08/‘09. But due to the nature of boat manufacturing, it’s an industry that can adapt.

But the fact is, unless something changes, from here on out, you’ll see less and less recreational toys each year.

What is really concerning is that 7 year car loans are becoming increasingly common and repossessions are increasing every day.
 

jeffreyjerpp

Kingfisher
RE: Harley-Davidson salesmen show prospective buyers how much "attention" th...

porscheguy said:
But the fact is, unless something changes, from here on out, you’ll see less and less recreational toys each year.

What is really concerning is that 7 year car loans are becoming increasingly common and repossessions are increasing every day.
If I didn't know better, I'd say an economic collapse was already underway, and the standards of living in America were visibly declining every decade.

But I follow CNBC, and today they mentioned that GDP is up, so I know everything is awesome....close call there.....
 

Brother Abdul Majeed

Kingfisher
Gold Member
What's with all this hate for HD and stupid boomers?

I went out and bought a brand new one from the dealership about 15 years ago, a couple of years before I turned 40. It was definitely a midlife sort of thing. It was obvious that Harley's weren't the fastest, most efficient or reliable bikes. I was buying it because it was a Harley Davidson, the brand appeal was illogical, but I didn't give a crap. I could afford it, as well as the extra insurance it requires to insure a Harley. It was double that of most other brands, simply because they get stolen so often.

Mine was an 883 sportster, just about the smallest bike they made then (nothing like some of the little things they spit out today though). It used to be nicknamed "the paperboy's bike" because of the small stature, and more than once I had some other Harley rider tell me "That would be a great bike for my girlfriend". But still, it was a pretty heavy bike, it weighed 560 lbs. If I remember correctly, the average rice-burner crotch rocket weighs around 300 lbs.

Check out some of the 2020 models. You have to admit, they look pretty good.
https://www.harley-davidson.com/us/en/motorcycles/index.html

I rode it for about 5 years, but towards the end it became a little dull, and I rode less and less, and the riding season is relatively short in Canada. I had to insure it for 12 months, store it for about 6, so I ended up selling it to someone. There was a pill popping wanna-be biker offer to pay me a grand for it and then make monthly payments. He'd call me every day, getting angrier and angrier when I refused his offer to take the bike off my hands. He came by my house one night to try to steal it, (it was usually parked under a tarp structure in my driveway) but I had decided to put it in secure storage early that week when it became clear that this guy was going to be a nuisance. The security camera footage shows him pulling up with a trailer, minutes after I left the house to go to work and poking around in the tarp garage. He did end up stealing something else, the security footage shows him leaving with something in his hands, but the footage wasn't that clear. I could never figure out what he stole. Obviously nothing that I'd miss. I ended up selling the bike for a fair price to a young guy who would treat the bike well.

It was a good bike. It was about a year or two after Harley got the rubber mounted motors right, so it wasn't as rumbly as previous generations were, it was actually a pretty smooth ride. There was a great local mechanic mechanic who maintained it, so the motor was always in fine shape, it wasn't terribly loud. Other than boring out the cylinders up to a 1200 and changing the pistons, it remained stock, very smooth.

There are some great memories of this bike. Twice we went to "Friday the 13th" at Port Dover, Ontario. It wasn't a comfortable bike for long tours, so about a 500 kilometer radius from my house was about as far as we got. I did once drop it in front of some people in the parking lot of a local restaurant though. I was backing it up a sandy incline and lost my footing. I felt about two feet tall.

My next bike will be a dirt bike. The roads where I live are atrocious, I don't think a big bike would do.
 

Leonard D Neubache

Owl
Gold Member
I certainly don't think it's the case for everyone who rides a HD but a lot of it is game/frame substitute.

I always found it weird when I used to ride how you'd get these guys who did everything they could to pump up their image as a rider because to an extent it worked on the normies, but whenever they were in the presence of fellow riders they deflated like a slashed air mattress, even if the other riders were only on "shitty Jap bikes".

You'd have the hog riders whose gear was shiny and new while they were trying to throw out the image that they were grizzled veterans. You'd have the crotch rocket crowd in their space-suits hoping nobody would notice the sissy lines tacking a mere inch from the center of their tires. And the girls would say "nice bike" before they sauntered over to the guy with frame who was riding a POS Yamaha that looked like it had been through multiple wars.

Maybe things are different elsewhere or over the passing of time but during my stint riding bikes it was the most poisonous atmosphere to be in and I only really enjoyed myself when I was alone.
 
RE: Harley-Davidson salesmen show prospective buyers how much "attention" th...

I'm an older millenial and in the market for a motorcycle right now and got to say that some of these Suzuki cruisers are looking pretty good over HD. Price is always a factor but I'm really looking at the simplicity of the engine. It looks like Suzuki takes their simple engine then maximizes the performance out of it then adding other performance enhancing things as necessary. I get it why adding a lot of electrical sprockets and such is important esspecially in the larger the bike but it's a pain to be messing around for hours on end fixing things (and paying a lot for parts) The simpler the better.

As for performance speed in cruisers it has to go fast enough or about 120m/h because when an I really going to go over even 85? Seems like it's more more about the zero to sixty time in a bike honestly. Anything faster then 120 is better for a croch rocket. Speed for a cruiser just has to be OK; doesn't have to be excellent.
 
Top