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SNAFU
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, it looks like Harley is off to another banner year but VRSC sales are down :(

MILWAUKEE, April 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HDI - News) today announced record revenue and earnings for its first quarter ended March 28, 2004. Revenue for the quarter was $1.17 billion compared with $1.11 billion in the year-ago quarter, a 4.7 percent increase. First quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) was 68 cents, an 11.5 percent increase compared with last year's 61 cents.

Click here for the complete story http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040414/cgw020_1.html

Harley-Davidson, Inc.
Net Revenue and Motorcycle
Shipment Data
(Unaudited)

NET REVENUE (in thousands)

Three Months Ended
March 28, 2004 March 30, 2003
Harley-Davidson(R) motorcycles $918,806 $876,507
Buell(R) motorcycles 22,083 20,498
Parts & Accessories 169,188 159,844
General Merchandise 54,408 56,475
Other 1,216 367
Total net sales $1,165,701 $1,113,691


HARLEY-DAVIDSON UNITS
Motorcycle shipments:
United States 59,744 56,952
Export 14,346 13,656
Total 74,090 70,608

Motorcycle product mix:
Touring 21,404 18,488
Custom 34,039 34,313
VRSC 2,825 4,659
Sportster(R) 15,822 13,148
Total 74,090 70,608

BUELL UNITS
Motorcycle shipments:
Buell (excluding Blast) 2,186 2,356
Buell Blast 417 585
2,603 2,941
 

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Registered Confuser
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828 Posts
Interesting. Glad to see the company doing well. But sorry to see the V Rod was the only one to significantly slide in sales. Whats up with that?
:sad:
 

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Dr. Funkenstein
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557 Posts
adamsg said:
Interesting. Glad to see the company doing well. But sorry to see the V Rod was the only one to significantly slide in sales. Whats up with that?
:sad:
Maybe lots of us are buying used '02's and '03's. I know that is exactly what I did.

Alot of people bought them just because they were the "New Harley's" and weren't ready for this fine piece of machinery (they expected it to be like the other Harley's). I think that is why we see so many used ones with under 1k miles on them.

The stealership wanted too much for a brand new bike. I just bought an '03 from an older dude who got way more power than he wanted in the V Rod and got scared. He had already started customization, and I just took it to another level. So for the $$ that the dealership wanted for a new one I got and '03 with under 800 miles with $3,000 in extras.

Just my opinion...
 

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P Funk said:
He had already started customization, and I just took it to another level. So for the $$ that the dealership wanted for a new one I got and '03 with under 800 miles with $3,000 in extras.

Just my opinion...
I can beat you there P Funk. I got my 02 w/ 785 miles plus 8k in previous owner add ons inc a 4yr ESP warranty. The original sales contract was still in the owners manual. He bought it "out the door" for 36k and finanaced it at 17.5% :deal:

I got it for $18,500 less the $8,300 I got for my wrecked Valkyrie for an out the door cost of 10k. :kaz:

problems have been minor :ithappen:
leaking fuel injector
bad fuel level sender
small leak on a rocker box cover
 

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V-Rod Addict
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466 Posts
adamsg said:
Interesting. Glad to see the company doing well. But sorry to see the V Rod was the only one to significantly slide in sales. Whats up with that?
:sad:

Only makes our V-Rods more rare! :twisted:
 

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Riding the good life
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4,908 Posts
Interesting to see the Sportster sales up, the custom or High performance v-twin side almost even. The biggest gains are the Sportster and standard V-twin. WOnder what the breakdown within the v-twin category looks like.....touring machines VS all the other v-twins.

With Sportster sales up, these buyers ib a couple years time will end up going to one of 3 choices...something else, v-rod or the v-twin lineup.

The Buell sector looks not too healthy though. Eric Buell has a big job to do fighting the inline 4's of Japan, and the twins from Italy.
 

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'02 Anodized Club
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970 Posts
True that there's a lot of them for sale with only a few miles, where people with a lot of money got tired of their new overpriced toy. Lots of opportunities for good deals for those of us who want a great bike at a reasonable cost (My stock '02 was $14.5 with 800 miles, and the original owner paid $19.5).

But that's a big drop, and the HD dealers I've talked to personally like the bike but give a shrug when you ask how sales are going. And all the other HD numbers are flat or up (even the Sportster).

Is a new one too expensive? Is it in the odd market positioning spot where HD purists don't think it's enough of an HD, and the non-HD owners aren't attracted enough to any HD at all to go for it? Certainly, it couldn't be the fundamental qualities of the bike, which are outstanding.

I'd be real interested to see HD's market studies, since I'm sure they're doing them to better understand this kind of drop.

I'll email they guy I bought mine from, since he had two HD choppers in his garage and sold the v-rod of the three. If he has anything intelligent to say I'll let you know. In the meantime, has anyone gotten credible feedback from a v-rod seller who kept other bikes but the v-rod and had a coherent explanation for it? :confused:
 

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Here's my question...why don't we see a television commercial or magazine/newspaper ad campaign promoting the V-Rod? They did a big one on the new sportster, and I think it obviously turned out well.

They should have had the Hell's Angels all on V-rods riding across the desert...that would have hooked some buyers. Or get it in a high profile movie. I saw one in the last Matrix movie, but it was hardly featured and was more or less there because of its look.
 

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Dr. Funkenstein
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Sportster Sales

The Sportster sales are up because of the new rubber mounts for the engine. That makes a HUGE difference in the ride, and it makes it an even better Harley "starter bike."

I also agree that a bolder marketing plan should be used to promote the V Rod. A nice tie in with the drag bike would be good. Maybe they think that it will just sell itself. I haven't even seen any commercials on Speed Channel...at least durining races that they show. We'll see what happens!
 

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Dr. Funkenstein
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557 Posts
greenham said:
I can beat you there P Funk. I got my 02 w/ 785 miles plus 8k in previous owner add ons inc a 4yr ESP warranty. The original sales contract was still in the owners manual. He bought it "out the door" for 36k and finanaced it at 17.5% :deal:

I got it for $18,500 less the $8,300 I got for my wrecked Valkyrie for an out the door cost of 10k. :kaz:

problems have been minor :ithappen:
leaking fuel injector
bad fuel level sender
small leak on a rocker box cover
Great deal! Sounds like you and the stealership found yourselves a FOOL! Good for you!
 

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Chad 02 V-ROD
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1,364 Posts
P Funk said:
Maybe lots of us are buying used '02's and '03's. I know that is exactly what I did.

Alot of people bought them just because they were the "New Harley's" and weren't ready for this fine piece of machinery (they expected it to be like the other Harley's). I think that is why we see so many used ones with under 1k miles on them.

The stealership wanted too much for a brand new bike. I just bought an '03 from an older dude who got way more power than he wanted in the V Rod and got scared. He had already started customization, and I just took it to another level. So for the $$ that the dealership wanted for a new one I got and '03 with under 800 miles with $3,000 in extras.

Just my opinion...
Ya I agree got my 02 with 1100 miles on it for around 13800 it was bone stock but that is the way I wanted it so I could do the mods. :jeannie:
 

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HD is now running an ad with a V-Rod, shows a guy mowing his grass and someone rides by on red V-Rod. It goes on to say something like in your older years do you want to remember you had a crab grass free yard or do you want to ride, or something like that. But it doesn't come out and push the V-Rod.

I love my bike sorry to see sales drop but I do recall seeing something about how HD was going to start to send the V-Rods to the markets that they do well in and not dump them on the Dealers. They must have gotten some Dealers complaining. I still don't think most Dealers know how to sell them, and they appear not to care. I'd just like to see one Dealership come out and be the V-Rod HQ, it would be interesting to see what might happen.

I would be willing to give it a shot.

Dave
 

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VA V-Rod said:
HD is now running an ad with a V-Rod, shows a guy mowing his grass and someone rides by on red V-Rod. It goes on to say something like in your older years do you want to remember you had a crab grass free yard or do you want to ride, or something like that. But it doesn't come out and push the V-Rod.

I love my bike sorry to see sales drop but I do recall seeing something about how HD was going to start to send the V-Rods to the markets that they do well in and not dump them on the Dealers. They must have gotten some Dealers complaining. I still don't think most Dealers know how to sell them, and they appear not to care. I'd just like to see one Dealership come out and be the V-Rod HQ, it would be interesting to see what might happen.

I would be willing to give it a shot.

Dave
I know a few dealerships are on that path to being "V-Rod HQs". San Diego Harley has 100's of V-rods.
 

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Rich Moran said:
The Buell sector looks not too healthy though. Eric Buell has a big job to do fighting the inline 4's of Japan, and the twins from Italy.
Is he going to put the VROD motor in a Buell?
 

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cubota said:
Is he going to put the VROD motor in a Buell?
Doubtful. The Revolution engine is considerably too big, heavy, and costly to go in a sportbike.

Frankly, Buell is going to be seriously challenged as long as it is tied to the Sportster engine. They would be far better off buying a modern liquid-cooled engine from somebody else (Rotax, etc.) - but that is not going to happen given Harley's union environment . Maybe the V-Rod development program gave Harley's engineering staff the technology to develop their own modern sportbike engine - but don't count on it. Honda allegedly spends more than $50 million a year on motorcycle engine development alone - and H-D doesn't have that much to spend on a brand that barely sells 10,000 bikes a year.
 

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SNAFU
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
vroddrew said:
Doubtful. The Revolution engine is considerably too big, heavy, and costly to go in a sportbike.
:confused: The Revolution motor came out of a sport bike :confused: It could go back into one in a heartbeat, especially considering they would build a frame around the motor.

Frankly, Buell is going to be seriously challenged as long as it is tied to the Sportster engine. They would be far better off buying a modern liquid-cooled engine from somebody else (Rotax, etc.) - but that is not going to happen given Harley's union environment . Maybe the V-Rod development program gave Harley's engineering staff the technology to develop their own modern sportbike engine - but don't count on it. Honda allegedly spends more than $50 million a year on motorcycle engine development alone - and H-D doesn't have that much to spend on a brand that barely sells 10,000 bikes a year.
It's not the unions as much as Eric Buell. He's on record as stating that until he can't get the performance he needs from the air cooled v-twin he doesn't see the need to add the complexity of a water cooled motor. Eric's a bit on the eccentric side, his idea of performance and yours are probably on opposite ends of the spectrum.

I don't know if you've ridden a current Buell but the motor isn't the weak point. The weak point is the size of the bike. I was completely uncomfortable on the bike but really likes the way the motor ran vs. an older S3 Buell I had in '99.

BTW, BMW only sells 15000 motorcycle / year in the US, 10000 Buells isn't a bad number considering the market placement.
 

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mjw930 said:
It's not the unions as much as Eric Buell.
Eric doesn't call all the shots at Buell - its a fellow named John Hevey. Eric's position there is still pretty influential, at least on the design side.

No - my point is that Harley's unions would kick up a big stink if the company were to start outsourcing engines; even though Buell's manufacturing operations themselves are non-union.

I did have a chance to ride the new XB-12R at the 100th last year. I know they made a big deal about how much the had reduced vibration with the new engine mounts, etc. - all I can say is it must have been pretty bad before. Aside from that, the bike itself was great. But when you consider that for roughly the same money you can buy a Honda CBR1000RR, with 174 RWHP, or for $2000 less you can get a CBR600 you've got to admit that Buell has an uphill battle.
 

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SNAFU
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
No, Eric doesn't call the shots from the business side of the equation but he's still the chief designer. Regardless, the sporty motor is pretty much tweeked to it's limits with the last redesign.

Comparing the XB series with a racer replica isn't apples to apples but your point is well taken :D

Rumor has it that there's a sport touring bike built around the revolution motor that might hit the street with a Buell name tag :goof:
 
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