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Harley's brush with modernity
Have Bikes - Will Travel
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Join Date: November 17, 2006
Location: Ashburn
Harley's brush with modernity - March 27, 2008, 10:56 AM

Or the Harely that almost was


Ill believe corporations are people when Texas executes one.
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Ling Long
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March 27, 2008, 11:09 AM

Good read!... long... but good

Lots of
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opossum puncher
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March 27, 2008, 11:18 AM

What a shame

Just imagine, the possibilities.

Attack Life! It's going to kill you anyway.

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singin sweet home alabama
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Posts: 4,174
Join Date: March 6, 2006
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March 27, 2008, 11:44 AM

Good read.

"No race has ever been won in the first corner, but plenty have been lost there."
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Republicans for Voldemort
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Join Date: July 1, 2003
Location: Laurel
March 27, 2008, 02:00 PM

Originally Posted by hughtwg

I am not a HD bike fan - but I do admire their biz plan....

Couple of things to note... This was the DARK days of HD - ie owned by AMF... The article touches on it slighty... HD was was one of AMF's Cash Cows - but wasn't putting anything back into the company... Had they decided to produce a 4 cyclinder standard style bike - it's possible they could have gone under...

Keep in mind that in the early to mid 70's is when Honda - specifically the cb750 - became the bike to beat.. Honda produced a inexpensive I-4 that performed, didn't leak, and didn't require much maintenance... It grabbed a foot hold on the market - and honda has never let go. HD - while it made money - it was NOWHERE near previous and expected levels - it was in trouble.. If HD would have gone head to head into production - the NOVA would have lost and lost big - possibly taking HD down with em...

I think it was the early 80s when HD management leveraged a buy-out ... HD didn't try and revamp or retool - and create new(er) bikes to compete with the Japaneese.. They went after image and lifestyle .. It took a bit - but it paid off ...

DAMN Rider DAMN Rider

Maybe you have to be messed up... before you can step up!
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What failure looks like
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Join Date: June 11, 2005
Location: Shirlington, VA
March 27, 2008, 03:14 PM

Very interesting read. I would be interested to see what would have happened to Harley if they would have gone with the Nova.

Personally, I think of Harleys as underpowered, overweight, over-priced motorcycles. That may have been different if Harley took the time to innovate instead of continue to produce a dinosaur.

'04 600RR - Street
'07 GSX-R 750 - Track only now
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