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Harley Davidson owners.......
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Why do 95% of you look like this guy or very similar..:-)



Wife and I went to the International Motorcycle Show in Toronto today. We both want to get new bikes for the spring but not Harleys. They claim its the biggest show of its kind in North America with about 425,000 sq ft of almost every motorcycle manufacturer you can think of plus all the mom & pop accessories stuff. It was actually very over whelming because there was just so much to see and so many people.

What I couldn't get over was the Harley crowd. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a physically fit Harley rider. Or one that wasn't a hundred lbs overweight? Or a younger Harley rider? Harley had the biggest display there but the average age of a new buyer is now 48. Thirty years ago the average age was 32.

And then its the leathers, the leather vest in particular, the tats, etc. But as my wife described it - the owners are like the bikes - overweight and slow.

OK I get it. Harley Davidson is as much as an American icon as the Corvette. Its the the all American motorcycle (even if much of the components are now made in Japan and they have opened up a plant in India). If I wanted to do long distance cruising a Harley would be a serious contender but so would some of the Jap bikes.

I just don't understand the Harley Hell's Angels wannabe image that so many of my fellow baby boomers have with the brand and feel that they are failing to capture the younger market. We'd all hate to see the brand disappear in twenty years but don't they have to change their direction?

So what are your thoughts?
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
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Not a Harley owner, but, I live in HarleyLand.

Couple reasons. First, have you seen the prices of these things??? I think it is a lot like Corvettes - too expensive for younger riders. I am stunned by the prices of these things.

Second, they aren't modern and sexy. Also, they are not old enough to be nostalgic or even old school.

Third, they have catered to a certain image for far too long. They are just now figuring out they screwed up and trying to appeal to a younger crowd.

Finally, MOST Harley riders do not look like that. MOST Harley riders are middle-aged professionals. They just are not as visible as the ones you notice.

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

Emery's Third Coast Triathlon | Tri Wisconsin Triathlon Team | Push Endurance | GLWR
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
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Most Harley owners these days seem to be dentists and lawyers who get dressed up in their clown suits on weekends so they can pretend to be bad ass bikers.
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [Arch Stanton] [ In reply to ]
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Arch Stanton wrote:
Most Harley owners these days seem to be dentists and lawyers who get dressed up in their clown suits on weekends so they can pretend to be bad ass bikers.

I'd have to agree with both you and JSA.
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [JSA] [ In reply to ]
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JSA wrote:
Not a Harley owner, but, I live in HarleyLand.

Couple reasons. First, have you seen the prices of these things??? I think it is a lot like Corvettes - too expensive for younger riders. I am stunned by the prices of these things.

Second, they aren't modern and sexy. Also, they are not old enough to be nostalgic or even old school.

Third, they have catered to a certain image for far too long. They are just now figuring out they screwed up and trying to appeal to a younger crowd.

Finally, MOST Harley riders do not look like that. MOST Harley riders are middle-aged professionals. They just are not as visible as the ones you notice.

I think you've nailed it. Doesn't Wisc have a major Harley plant? I know another is in York, Penn.
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
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cerveloguy wrote:
JSA wrote:
Not a Harley owner, but, I live in HarleyLand.

Couple reasons. First, have you seen the prices of these things??? I think it is a lot like Corvettes - too expensive for younger riders. I am stunned by the prices of these things.

Second, they aren't modern and sexy. Also, they are not old enough to be nostalgic or even old school.

Third, they have catered to a certain image for far too long. They are just now figuring out they screwed up and trying to appeal to a younger crowd.

Finally, MOST Harley riders do not look like that. MOST Harley riders are middle-aged professionals. They just are not as visible as the ones you notice.


I think you've nailed it. Doesn't Wisc have a major Harley plant? I know another is in York, Penn.

Yep. Harley was born here in MKE. Corporate HQ is here. Primary plant is here.

When I was deployed to the Gulf, guys were buying Harleys via a special program where they would place the order and pay a little each paycheck. I didn't get it b/c we were gone for a year and they were paying for something they would not see for months. But, guys were saying waiting lists were 9 months or more. I did not realize that was the case. Around here, you can walk into a dealership and get nearly anything you want. I did not realize that was not the case in most places in the US.

Now, that was a number of years ago. I don't know what it is like now in other places, but you can find whatever you want here --- if you can afford it!

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

Emery's Third Coast Triathlon | Tri Wisconsin Triathlon Team | Push Endurance | GLWR
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [JSA] [ In reply to ]
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JSA wrote:
cerveloguy wrote:
JSA wrote:
Not a Harley owner, but, I live in HarleyLand.

Couple reasons. First, have you seen the prices of these things??? I think it is a lot like Corvettes - too expensive for younger riders. I am stunned by the prices of these things.

Second, they aren't modern and sexy. Also, they are not old enough to be nostalgic or even old school.

Third, they have catered to a certain image for far too long. They are just now figuring out they screwed up and trying to appeal to a younger crowd.

Finally, MOST Harley riders do not look like that. MOST Harley riders are middle-aged professionals. They just are not as visible as the ones you notice.


I think you've nailed it. Doesn't Wisc have a major Harley plant? I know another is in York, Penn.


Yep. Harley was born here in MKE. Corporate HQ is here. Primary plant is here.

When I was deployed to the Gulf, guys were buying Harleys via a special program where they would place the order and pay a little each paycheck. I didn't get it b/c we were gone for a year and they were paying for something they would not see for months. But, guys were saying waiting lists were 9 months or more. I did not realize that was the case. Around here, you can walk into a dealership and get nearly anything you want. I did not realize that was not the case in most places in the US.

Now, that was a number of years ago. I don't know what it is like now in other places, but you can find whatever you want here --- if you can afford it!

Harley is producing and selling about 250 K units a year from what I've read which is very impressive. The most profitable per capita motorcycle company in the world is Royal Enfield which produces about 800 K units a year in India/Asia which has a market of about 1.2 billion people in India alone. They've now recently started to go world wide with bikes only up to 350- 650cc. Give them a another decade or so. Everybody used to laugh at Honda when they first started selling in our part of the world. I figure in twenty years we'll all be riding electric bikes any ways so that is the challenge for today's companies.
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [Arch Stanton] [ In reply to ]
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Arch Stanton wrote:
Most Harley owners these days seem to be dentists and lawyers who get dressed up in their clown suits on weekends so they can pretend to be bad ass bikers.

That is the part I always find amusing. Is it a requirement that they always wear their little outfit before heading out?

We are so fucked.
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
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I think the entire industry has a problem. I believe the number of new riders is decreasing across the board.
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
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The average H-D rider is a perfect weight--- 50% of them are fat that look like they'd croak if they ran 50 meters, the other 50% are sporting the meth'ed-out, anorexic, heroin-chic, Keith Richards look.

H-D dealerships are actually tee shirt boutiques that happen to sell as a side line overpriced/ under-performing gasoline powered two wheeled noisemakers.
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [daleagain] [ In reply to ]
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daleagain wrote:
The average triathlete is a perfect weight--- 50% of them are fat that look like they'd croak if they ran 50 meters, the other 50% are sporting the meth'ed-out, anorexic, heroin-chic, Keith Richards look.

Bicycle dealerships are actually spandex boutiques that happen to sell as a side line overpriced/ under-performing sugar powered two wheeled money pits.

I edited this to apply to triathlon...
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
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It must be an indication that I'm getting older, but I can't stand how loud those bikes are. I would have thought that in this day and age noise pollution regulations would have clamped down on some bikes. Where I work there are a number of riders that love to blast it up the low speed, CBD roads to get the noise bouncing off all the high rise offices. Irritates the heck out of me. But again, I'm probably just getting ready for the rocking chair on the front porch.
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
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Harley owner here....

I don't look like the pic, not even close. I've had a moto most of my life, first car was a bike. Current bike is my first Harley (bought 7 years ago) and it's a nice bike for the riding I like to do, cruising back roads low and slow, a crotch rocket would have gotten me killed long ago. I did demo the new Harley's when they came out last year and they are very pricey, you could buy a pretty nice car for the same money, but they have improved greatly. I wouldn't buy another Harley unless it was the current generation. Next bike may or may not be a Harley but I've enjoyed this one more than my previous bikes. I've looked at Goldwings but don't like the riding position or all that tupperware.


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Vote for me and all your wildest dreams will come true - Pedro
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [mv2005] [ In reply to ]
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mv2005 wrote:
It must be an indication that I'm getting older, but I can't stand how loud those bikes are. I would have thought that in this day and age noise pollution regulations would have clamped down on some bikes. Where I work there are a number of riders that love to blast it up the low speed, CBD roads to get the noise bouncing off all the high rise offices. Irritates the heck out of me. But again, I'm probably just getting ready for the rocking chair on the front porch.

Their theory is "loud pipes save lives". And there is some truth to that, if the cagers can hear them next to them they may not pull over into them.
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
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Harley owner here; don't look like the picture but do fit the owner profile (mid 50s, middle/upper class income).

Their bikes (and tshirts, and accessories, and anything HD branded) are overpriced, but so is triathlon. I'd rather have $28k into my Road Glide Ultra than the money I'm embarrassed to say I've spent on my tri-bikes over the years.

My brother is riding from Orlando to Sturgis this summer; he's never had a beard before but he's 2 months into growing one and is letting it grow till August. He will look the part anyway. Although a long beard and bald head will look pretty funny. He puts about 10k miles a year each onto 2 different Harleys, so he rides a lot.
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [Chilybil23] [ In reply to ]
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Chilybil23 wrote:
daleagain wrote:
The average triathlete is a perfect weight--- 50% of them are fat that look like they'd croak if they ran 50 meters, the other 50% are sporting the meth'ed-out, anorexic, heroin-chic, Keith Richards look.

Bicycle dealerships are actually spandex boutiques that happen to sell as a side line overpriced/ under-performing sugar powered two wheeled money pits.


I edited this to apply to triathlon...

LOL! Yeah, that too
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [justgeorge] [ In reply to ]
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justgeorge wrote:

Their theory is "loud pipes save lives". And there is some truth to that, if the cagers can hear them next to them they may not pull over into them.

Not only cagers but around here you have to keep an eye out for critters and I believe a little noise (not a lot) helps there as well. I know a guy who rode a quiet bike and was taken down by a turkey. My wife and I have both hit deer in cars but I rarely surprise wildlife on the bike since they know I'm coming.


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Vote for me and all your wildest dreams will come true - Pedro
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [mop] [ In reply to ]
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I don't look like the pic, not even close.

I'm guessing most Harley owners responding to the OP on a triathlon forum probably don't, either. ;)

I've got the gray and the beard going for me, so I'm edging closer to that look by the day.

My pop died when I was nine. His '56 panhead is the only material possession of his that I have left, and it evokes pretty strong memories, even just looking at it in it's current state of disrepair. I had always planned to restore it, but that project is still a good ways off with my 1,900 square foot house, two young boys, and a single car garage. So I bought a 2015 Forty Eight two years ago, chopped and modified it to suit my tastes, and recently traded it in for a lightly used Softail Slim S. I don't see me ever getting rid of it, given the infrequency of use and how it suits my wants and needs. Harley Davidson, for me, is a generational experience, and I fully expect to pass this bike and my dad's '56 along to my boys, after they've reached the age of sanity.

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing." -- Ron Swanson
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [sphere] [ In reply to ]
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Really like the look of that Softail. When the time is right to take on the Panhead project I hope you'll share that experience here.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vote for me and all your wildest dreams will come true - Pedro
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [justgeorge] [ In reply to ]
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justgeorge wrote:

Their theory is "loud pipes save lives". And there is some truth to that, if the cagers can hear them next to them they may not pull over into them.

I suspect that’s an incidental ‘benefit’ rather than the original intent. It’s a signature of the brand that sells more because of the desire to be noticed for reasons other than the point referenced.

Pure speculation but IMO people don’t drop that amount of coin on a bike because they deem it safer. Motorcycle riding is inherently more dangerous but only a small component of that would appear to be due to not being seen. An article I saw linked to a Federal Highways report that allegedly claimed that 45% of bike fatalities are single vehicle only and of the remaining 55%, 75% were said to be the fault of the rider. That leaves about 15% driver error which is not fully ‘not being seen’. I can’t verify those stats. As a driver witnessing bike behaviour it would not surprise me but conversely I suspect that every bike rider has numerous near miss anecdotes that would make them doubt those stats.

If I owned one I’m sure I’d love the signature sound. As a pedestrian or a neighbour, not so much.
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [mv2005] [ In reply to ]
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mv2005 wrote:
justgeorge wrote:


Their theory is "loud pipes save lives". And there is some truth to that, if the cagers can hear them next to them they may not pull over into them.


I suspect that’s an incidental ‘benefit’ rather than the original intent. It’s a signature of the brand that sells more because of the desire to be noticed for reasons other than the point referenced.

Pure speculation but IMO people don’t drop that amount of coin on a bike because they deem it safer. Motorcycle riding is inherently more dangerous but only a small component of that would appear to be due to not being seen. An article I saw linked to a Federal Highways report that allegedly claimed that 45% of bike fatalities are single vehicle only and of the remaining 55%, 75% were said to be the fault of the rider. That leaves about 15% driver error which is not fully ‘not being seen’. I can’t verify those stats. As a driver witnessing bike behaviour it would not surprise me but conversely I suspect that every bike rider has numerous near miss anecdotes that would make them doubt those stats.

If I owned one I’m sure I’d love the signature sound. As a pedestrian or a neighbour, not so much.

If you're going to have loud pipes be sure to get some custom ear plugs. Loud motorcycles can contribute to deafness. But then wearing a helmet, especially a full face one can save your skull. Its amazing how these things are lost to so many motorcycle people.
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [Arch Stanton] [ In reply to ]
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Arch Stanton wrote:
Most Harley owners these days seem to be dentists and lawyers who get dressed up in their clown suits on weekends so they can pretend to be bad ass bikers.

Isn't local resident Sphere a doctor, Harley owner, and planning a sleeve tattoo?? Hmmm
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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BCtriguy1 wrote:
Arch Stanton wrote:
Most Harley owners these days seem to be dentists and lawyers who get dressed up in their clown suits on weekends so they can pretend to be bad ass bikers.


Isn't local resident Sphere a doctor, Harley owner, and planning a sleeve tattoo?? Hmmm

I've posted before about the 5'3" 120 lb 50 something yr old gal at the bottom of our street. She works as a dental hygenist. Seven years ago she went out and bought a brand new big mutha Harley with all the leather fashion accessories despite never had rode a bike in her life prior to this point. The bike has about 2000 kms on it, sits in the garage and hasn't been rode for three years. Her husband told me she's afraid of it.
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [justgeorge] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:


Their theory is "loud pipes save lives". And there is some truth to that, if the cagers can hear them next to them they may not pull over into them.

And yet the vast majority of H-D riders wear neither a helmet or any kind of body protection or anything that would make them more visible (hi-viz) to others.

I saw a decal in a BMW shop 'If loud pipes save lives, imagine how many more would be saved with proper gear and training'
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Re: Harley Davidson owners....... [justgeorge] [ In reply to ]
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heir theory is "loud pipes save lives". And there is some truth to that, if the cagers can hear them next to them they may not pull over into them.

80% of them have radios louder than there bike...why not skip the pipe noise and just play the radio as loud as fuck like they do anyway :-)

~Matt

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