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· Registered
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20 Posts
Not So BAD

Never owned a Harley before. Probably never would if not for the V-Rod.

I'm one of these guys! I don't see a big problem with HD pulling the VROD of the market (over the next few years). I think that it would just make the survivors worth there weight. I don't see all that many of us out and about anyway ( not like all the sportsters). I have a 2002 and yes I did get stuck with a high sticker but as long as people keep gathering around to take a look I don't mind a bit. Most importantly is that the aftermarket has been growing and I still love my bike! I'ts good to have freinds but it's still nice to be an individual. This site has already been a life savor!! Thanks. Ryan... :vrod:
 

· Vroddin' Madman
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271 Posts
Folks sure like to get their panties in a wad when talking about whether the V-rod is successful or not! Hopefully y'all bought it , to ride it! Not to pose with it (despite its beauty!) If you think you got your moneys worth from your Vrod then the bike is successful. I personally don't buy bikes to resell them so I will be riding my baby into the ground. It would be nice to know that the value of the bike will hold, but I don't lose sleep over it.
 

· skin changer
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824 Posts
I wonder what would happen if Harley took the Harley name off the V-Rod, put the Buell name on it and lowered the price a couple thousand $$?
.....thinking.... :confused:
I probably would not have bought one--stupid idea---I guess that's why I don't work at HD factory (which is only 50 miles from me).
......thinking again..... :confused:
I like mine and I don't really care what HD does with the rest of them...all I want is parts availability if needed.
......I stopped thinking now...it hurts to much thinking this hard...I'm going out to ride :ride: my :vrod: to clear my head.

0992
 

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167 Posts
As an 'umble motorcyclist for most of my life I have to say I think Harleys in general are overpriced. For Vrod money I could have got a top of the range 999S Ducati, possibly the classiest perfomance bike of all time. But I didn't. However the thing that does get to me is the banal marketing approach taken by HD to sell dog-bowls, socks and underpants with the Harley logo. It devalues the marque and makes Harley riders, (sometimes) look like suckers.
Me, if I was in charge of the Vrod 'brand' I'd reduce the price (especially for overseas markets). My local dealer (SW France) has only sold 10 Vrods in the last year (he says, so perhaps half a dozen in reality).
Still, it may well be a good thing if HD stopped Vrod production. Imagine the rarity value in a few years time.
Shite weather here, by the way, loads of rain and not much opportunity to get out and bust eardrums.
 

· Full Speed Realtor
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271 Posts
Well, I've got my V-rod - so for all I care they can stop making them. The downside would be the decrease in H-D accessories, though that would open the door for more custom part makers. I'm glad that the V-rod is still somewhat unique (roads not entirely flooded w/ them). I maybe see a fellow Rodder on the streets once a month or so where I live.

A price reduction by the factory would be a mistake, the Rod doesn't deserve to be labeled as the 'poor man's Harley'. IMO, if it cost more than the rest of the H-D lineup, it would still be a bargain (considering the effort to design it and the resulting performance).
 

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When I bought mine, the sales manager asked me why I chose the V-rod. I told him that what sold me on it (I was also looking at VTX's and Warriors, cause I have a sportbike background and still wanted performance) was the test ride. If they could just get more butts in the saddles, they'd sell more V-rods. If you're a real motorcyclist, not just one of those people who couldn't care less about what they rode as long as it was the "cool" thing to ride, but a true biker, you'd appreciate the V-rod for what it is.

A friend of mine made an excellent point about the V-rod the other day. He said, "Harley finally came out with a bike that doesn't suck." Now, I don't think that other Harleys suck, but this statement gets at the heart of the matter. Harley went out on a limb and really came out with something new and wonderful, but there are alot of folks out there that just can't get used to that.
 

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885 Posts
I wouldn't mind if they did stop making the rod, I've never pulled up next to another rod yet & don't really want to.
Also, I've got the fastest Harley in town & that's just how I like it. :diablo: Selfish huh.
Seriously though, I thought that Harley would have to drop the air cooled engines during this decade due to environmental legislation, emission control etc.
If that is the case, & I'm pretty sure it is, unless they have another engine under wraps they are leaving it a bit late to develop one.
I would think it's more likely that the v rod mill will carry the company forward & be used in all models in one guise or another.
It looks to me like the current market is mainly won over from other marques.
I've had flatheads, knucks, pans, shovels & evo's. For me the rod was a natural progression. My die hard (& younger) harley buddies all think I've sold out & take the piss out of me for riding the best harley ever made.
The only thing that will change their minds about the rod is when there is no other new harley engine available. :2cents:
 

· Ironbutt
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886 Posts
I bought mine to ride but it does burn when I see new members here saying they picked up their 03's at an abserdly low prices. 3 local dealers have decreased their stock in v-rod accessories. They went to having large wall displays with numerous choices in accessories to 1 rack in the back corner of the store????? Oh well, I already own mostly all the accessories so....
 

· Premium Member
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13,343 Posts
Same here, the V-Rod accessories rack is now behind the Buells at the Allen HD store. On the other hand, the new HD Apparrel catalog i just received has three (count em) V-Rods pictured in it, including the cover.
 

· Tired of the crap
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2,819 Posts
cubota said:
As an 'umble motorcyclist for most of my life I have to say I think Harleys in general are overpriced.
Given the current exchange rate between the Dollar and the Euro; Harley-Davidson could very well afford to do exactly this. I saw a V-Rod in London last Christmas, and at MSRP (in British Pounds) it cost the equivalent of $27,000 - almost $10,000 more than it costs here. Unfortunately, it is not so easy for manufacturers and dealers to react quickly to exchange rate changes (it would cause a paper "loss" on all existing inventory, and annoy previous purchasers.) H-D is commited to keeping its prices as low as possible, and to further expanding its European sales - so I think you may see some movement on this front.

As far as the Harley-branded "schlock" that they sell? They walk a fine line between maximizing profit, and protecting the value of their brand. There have been some notable missteps here: anyone remember Harley-Davidson cigarettes? I suspect that they will step up efforts to curtail the sales of products that step too far off the path. I've heard of some of the product licensing ideas that DIDN'T get made (toilet paper, condoms..) As Harley gets to be a bigger company, expect to see a better job in this area too.
 

· skin changer
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824 Posts
1 of my local dealers has 2-3 new V-Rods in the showroom and 1 used one and a fair amount of accessories.
Classic Harley..my other dealer has about 10 new ones in stock with the widest variety of colors that I have seen anywhere. Most are in the $18K-$19K range and all are 04's (A's & B's).
They all have price tags on them...but I don't know if they discount or not but they sure have the best selection I have come across.
0992
 

· 20 Eyes in my Head
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5,562 Posts
I see a couple reasons for this.

1) The standard H-D wannabe crowd (the ones with wallets larger than their desire for riding) is scared to leave the line of lemmings they are following and "think for themselves". For you Star Trek fans, think of the episode where they freed the one Borg and made him indeopendant from the collective.

2) It is a radical departure in design, no, a RADICAL departure from the older models HD offers. Astheticaly, they NONE of the models are really different than the last 70 some odd years....aside from the motors and "baby steps" from traditional styling of the marque.

3) Not every Harley rider wants the hi-performance ride the V-Rod is. They want the weekend sunday cruiser or the cross country hauler. Of course, the hardcore V-Rodder can do all types of riding on the rod, but those sold on a big bike probably won't like it.

I am one of those that got a ridiculously good deal and I see that more as buying it at the price is should be at anyways. If it ain;t selling for $20+ grand, why the f&%k would a dealer keep it at that price??? I rode a Sporty for 5 years and all I heard was "when you getting a real Harley?" or "That's a girls bike!" and the usual. Did I care? Hell no! I was to busy enjoying the bike! I have heard a few comments like that with the VRSC, but still the same...I DONT CARE! I bought it with money I earned for the sole purpose of riding by myself solo, with friends, and for that romantic weekend cruise with the wife to that far off restaraunt in hicksville, off the beaten path. It is my vacation everytime I am on the thing, be it freeway or back roads.

My smile is more than enough confirmation to know I have the right bike "for ME". Who cares what is sellng the best...I got "my" best!

Gary

PS

Hold Hard, I work at the truck plant in Piontiac Michigan...been in your situation a few times. Hang in there and BEST of luck! That new Saturn van looks like they have a winner! I like it for a family ride.
 

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I bought mine to ride and I'm happy with it! Who cares if they quit selling them, I also own a '02 Firebird! They don't make them anymore either!
I'm not like all the other sheep, I HAVE to be different. Really pisses me off to have someone "wanna be"" just like someone else. The V-Rod fit me perfect, I'm REALLY different from all the other bikes on the road, and I've yet to upll into a gas station or resturant parking lot, and not have several people looking to see what I'm on. I'm also a first time Harley buyer, so in that respect, it's a success.
 

· Moderator
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qcwiz said:
I bought mine to ride and I'm happy with it! Who cares if they quit selling them, I also own a '02 Firebird! They don't make them anymore either!
I'm not like all the other sheep, I HAVE to be different. Really pisses me off to have someone "wanna be"" just like someone else. The V-Rod fit me perfect, I'm REALLY different from all the other bikes on the road, and I've yet to upll into a gas station or resturant parking lot, and not have several people looking to see what I'm on. I'm also a first time Harley buyer, so in that respect, it's a success.
I like the way you think......AIM HIGH BROTHER !!!!
 

· DX Rider
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630 Posts
I think the V-Rod will be around... for a long time. As Milwaukee knows, and as indicated here, V-Rod volume is mostly new business versus trading business with riders already loyal to the make. Last year it was the 6th best selling model out of 28 or so. And as noted, a huge hit overseas.

H-D stated they were going to balance out the regional (dealer) inventory. I think the 1st quarter shipment decline is evidence of this. I also like seeing fewer V-Rod's on showroom floors... let's have demand a little higher than supply. VRSCA/B numbers later this year and next year will be more reflective of reality.
 

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715 Posts
The Vrods birth has it's following like the pans and the shovels people will lean toward what bike suites them we are V-rodders and were proud to have H-D's new toy what's next?? The V-rod life style, and were making it right here so just keep :biker: The stories will come before you know it some actor will pull up on one in a movie and bang!!!. It's about time for a remake of easyrider anyway staring who else The Rock, Tom Cruse, or some other new guy to the Action sene. It will happen no worries about the V-rod it has to many advantages to include sex apeal. :2cents:
 

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252 Posts
Marketing 101

The V-Rod isn't going away. When necessary, Harley will apply pressure (or inventives) to dealers to help sell them. This dip is a normal part of the product life cycle. It is actually the second dip for the V-Rod.

1) Product Release Stage: This stage benefits from a flood of PR (positive PR in the case of the V-Rod). At the same time, the product release stage also suffers from price gouging. When the market ran out of meatballs willing to pay over MSRP, a sales dip occured. Harley responded to this initial dip. They must have had a chat with the dealers, because they started selling v-rods at MSRP (this is when I bought my bike)

2) Enthusiast Stage: This is where the people who inherently like the V-Rod make purchases. Minimal marketing effort is required to make the sale.

3) Saturation Stage: Real enthusiasts have made their purchases, used bikes enter the market. Additional marketing is required to sustain sales. This is where Harley is at now. They tried to stave off saturation by introducing the "B" Model. But the B is just too similar to the A. Not enough price differential. Hell even if they had raised the price on A's to create artificial differential--it would have helped.


Dear Harley-Davidson,
Creating an almost identical model, the "VRSCB", is not enough to re-generate interest. You either need to make a significantly different VRSC model (i.e. touring or cafe racer) OR (or) If you don't have a different bike ready, DO THE FOLLOWING:
All you had to do was spend some $$$ on marketing. Buy some ads, sponsor more racers, and most of all: GIVE SOME BIKES AWAY to the right people and let them make V-Rod customs. Remember how you resisted the initial bobber and chopper eras? The custom segment has ALWAYS fueled motorcycle sales. Let Cobra or Ron Simms build some V-Rod Choppers (Ness is aligned with Victory and JJ is aligned with Honda). Pressure the magazines to build some mild customs (this shouldn't be too hard to do if you give them bikes and accessories).

Ads and sponsorship are important--but more than anything, the end user needs to see how V-rods can look customized. Do this and you will see sales kick into high gear.
/Steevo
 

· '02 Anodized Club
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970 Posts
Promoting sales

Good points, streetfytr (I did high-tech marketing in a former life). Product placements would make a huge difference. And where most hollywood pics would put a typical Harley under a biker gangmember or an ...unsightly... touring couple (you know the cliche -- a grubby couple leaving the trailer park, etc, etc.), the V-rod would look cool enough to be ridden but a male or femal stud -- James Bond, Tom Cruise, Lucy Liu (sp?), etc, etc. That's the kind of placement that generates sales in the vrod target market. Get a nice rebuild on Americal Chopper or Jesse James' show would definitely drive sales

And the target maket is: people who whould never have bought a Harley until the V-rod. Course, there's lot's of multiple HD owners here -- but look at the poll: 70+% are buying their first HD, and paying $15-20K for it :eek: ? That's amazing, if you're a marketer.

Another issue right now is that there is virtually no difference between the years 02-04, except for the paint and a couple of minor mods anyone can do for less than $300. Love the bike, but why pay an additional $3-4K for new when so many fine used ones are out there? And when you paint the skins no one can tell what year it is. V-rod needs a real visual evolution of some kind to refresh the brand. Engine in a nice tourer would be a good evolution. Not sure if its possible to put this engine in a cafe racer (but as I think of it, an Aprilla or Duke twin isn't all that different).

And with respect to other HD riders, owners of traditional HD iron tend (overall) to be a pretty conservative bunch. Again, with respect, the fundamental design of the engine is many years old, and in many ways HD ridership is about honoring the past and enjoying the present, with a lot less interest in the future of MC design.

yes, :soapbox: and :2cents: ....

Best to all--
 
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