Harley Davidson – are they lying to you

Harley Davidson – are they lying to you – Here I discuss some perceived lies, misinformation and poor communication from Harley Davidson Motor Company and existing customers

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3 thoughts on “Harley Davidson – are they lying to you

  1. Tony Lewis

    Hi Alf
    Just watched your video and have to say I’m totally confused by what it is you are trying to achieve. Harley-Davidson operate in a similar way to many other brands and as such market their products accordingly.
    I have owned 5 Harley-Davidsons over the last 30 years, along with 2 Ducati’s, 2 Kawasaki’s, 1 yamaha and one KTM.
    At no point do I ever remember Harley claiming their bikes were 100% American made, in the same way Triumph are not 100% British, what evidence are you basing this claim upon?
    Harley-Davidson dealers offer similar finance packages to their competitors, so why are you trying to suggest otherwise?
    Their bikes have improved year on year, they may not be considered modern by many people, but that is just missing the point, people buy Harley’s as is if buying a modern classic, they don’t want them too refined.
    Power as you said can be measured in many ways, Harley-Davidson are all about torque not HP, which their engines provide plenary of, again Ive not seen any promotional material from Harley claiming otherwise, so again I’m confused by your statement.
    None of my Harley’s has ever missed a beat, and I know many owners in the same situation, so again I’m unsure as to why you are questioning reliability, when in fact Ducati, Triumph and BMW all have a much worse official reliability rating.
    Harley-Davidson merchandise is aimed at those who want a piece of Americana, not all do, but it fits the brand and fulfils a need, it provides a form of escapism and adventure, and in this world that’s not a bad thing.
    Pricing is an interesting one, As I’m sure you are aware Harley-Davidson Motocycles have the highest residual value of any motorcycle, so the initial cost doesn’t tell the whole story. My first Harley was a 1200 custom, it cost me £6000 new, I kept it for 8 years and sold it for £5000, so I only lost £125 a year! It’s been a similar story with the others I’ve owned.
    Harley-Davidson only have one direct competitor, Indian. Their lowest cost bike is the Scout 60 £10,349 for a bike that makes 88 NM of torque. Harley-Davidson’s lowest cost bike is a Street 750 for £6145. However is you were quoting like for like a sportster iron 1200 is £9,395 and makes 96 NM, how is this not competitive?
    A Dark horse is £17,999 and makes 151 NM, the Harley Fatboy is £17,545 and makes 155 NM, so again I can’t really see your point.
    You also claim that Harley claim to be the “brand of the people” again not an advertising tag line I’ve ever heard?
    However you claim that the brand no longer attracts blue collar workers, well I’m one and so are a majority of my fellow riders, again I’m really not sure what you are basing these statements upon?
    Parts problems again is not something I’ve experienced, however this may be because none of my Harley’s has ever gone wrong, however I have ordered accessories etc and all have arrived within a week.
    During you video you kept referring to “many riders” say this or that, who are these many riders? Are you sure this is not just your opinion?
    I have watched a few of your videos and generally enjoy them, but I feel this one was a pointless exercise that will only feed the ignorant Harley haters who will never understand why the brand exits. The points you made could be made about any brand, so why target Harley, when there are many doing much worse.
    I look forward to your views


    1. Hi Tony and thank you for your questions.
      All I can say is perhaps you have misunderstood the whole point of the video and may want to revisit this after another viewing or more.
      Suffice to say the ‘many riders’ refers to the many emails and messages I receive from Harley riders about issues and also many other online problems and recalls. I am like you in that I have not had any problems with my bike but that is not what the video is about.
      Which is really about actual historical or ongoing issues and those which are perceived by owners or the motorcycle community at large…whether they hold water or not.
      You have said that I have made statements but these are more argument and counter arguments I have placed together as a discussion topic and much of what you have said is actually what I have said too, so I am confused by your frustrations.
      Finally I agree that much of what has been said could be said of other manufacturers too but that is not the point. I have not singled out H-D but the video is about their bikes, their marketing, their manufacturing and reliability and the perception thereof. It is the similar juxtaposition with financing, dealerships and the state of the company financial position. What is the real situation and what is the perception…once again there are many reports of owners having issues with finance deals and the price point is out of their grasp. But you are also correct in saying that other manufacturers have expensive bikes too…but again the video wasn’t about others, it was about H-D and unlike most other manufacturers, especially the big four Japanese whom all have entry level-small displacement engine motorcycles on offer whereas H-D do not, and not since the AMF years.

      I hope that answers some of your questions



      1. Tony Lewis

        Hi Alf
        Thanks for your reply, can’t say as I agree with some of your answers but I appreciate the point you’re trying to make, I just feel it’s a mute point. Comparing Harley with the big four Japanese companies doesn’t really make any sense to me, they sell to completely different people with completely different tastes.
        I think you need to look at Triumph and Indian as their main competitors, and maybe Royal Enfield if the release their V-twin cruiser.

        Anyway, thanks for the response and look forward to more videos



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