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?