Recession hits Harley Davidson

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by SilverhawkUSA, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    .............Harley has been stung by the rapid downturn in motorcycle demand. The recession has prompted many consumers to put off purchases of its high-end bikes, while the credit crunch has kept some would-be customers from obtaining financing.

    Harley said worldwide retail sales fell 13.1% in the fourth quarter, with sales in the U.S. -- its biggest market -- falling nearly 20%.

    For the full year, worldwide retail sales fell 7.1%.

    Harley said it was slashing motorcycle shipments in 2009 to between 264,000 and 273,000 to cope with the down market. That would be a drop of 10% to 13% from a year earlier.

    Harley said its profit declined 58% to $77.8 million, or 34 cents a share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with $186.1 million, or 78 cents, last year. Revenue dropped 6.8% to $1.29 billion.

    The earnings fell short of Wall Street estimates. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected 57 cents a share on sales of $1.29 billion, on average.

    Shares of Harley fell 90 cents, or 7.3%, to $11.50. The stock is down 69% in the last 52 weeks.

    :arrow: Full story here; ... 2593.story
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  3. Azoulay

    Azoulay Ol'Timer

    Hi Friends, Hi SilverHawk,

    Looking at figures, it's typicall from a too fat company, with high overhead beware of the sliming programme... and psecially on quality which could drop again and again, knowing what I am talking about when I compare my old Fat Boy with the recent HD bikes.

    The second hand market will suffer as well...
  4. ajahnlau

    ajahnlau Active Member

    Don't know how you came to that conclusion. Newer bikes are far better than older ones. Wish I could afford a new one.
  5. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    Do you have a perverse desire to lose money?, buy a BMW out of warantee.

    On my 2000 K1200LTC in almost 5 years of owning it:

    1. Rear drive failure - very common problem that continues on the new gen bikes. Luckily found a salvage/rebuild unit and installed myself.

    2. ABS pump/valve assy failed - Common problem, again luckily I found a unit off a salvage bike for $300 vs. $2000 from BMW.

    3. Clutch slave cylinder seal leak. Luckily I noticed a little fluid while doing an oil change. I caught it early. Many guys have had the clutch plates trashed from fluid seepage there. You basically have to take half the bike apart to do a clutch job. $2000-2500 at a dealer.

    This was a very nice, dealer serviced bike when I bought it. Looked showroom new. But if you own a BMW, you better be handy with a wrench or its going to be an expensive relationship if you dont get an extended warantee contract. Just sold the thing for $2000 less than I paid for it 5 years and 30000 miles ago, so not too bad overall.

    I'm not a big fan of H-D in general, but I do think they get a bad rap and are nowhere near as bad reliability as some say. What DOES irritate the khrap out of me are some H-D riders that knowingly bring a bike with mechanical issues on a ride. When the inevitable breakdown occurs, they expect a big group hug and pull together like a big, fat, happy family. I see this more with H-D riders than any other group and stopped going on rides with them after a few bad experiences. Just not fun.

    So, I dont really blame the H-D bikes, but some owners for the bad reputation. And then you have BMW, where you can maintain it to the letter and it still will let you down. Lesson if you like to ride and not wrench? Yamaha or Honda. In 5 years with the FJR, only one thing replaced. A rheostat called "Throttle Position Sensor" which Yamaha re-imbursed me for after they issued the recall. Absolutely nothing else and Ive ridden the piss out of it. Same goes with every Honda I've ever owned.
  6. Muzz

    Muzz Ol'Timer

    I have 4 Harley's and two Buells for sale. Anybody interested?????
  7. Azoulay

    Azoulay Ol'Timer

    Hi Muzz,

    If coming with book, of course could be interesting but please illustrate your post a bit better...Bike descriptions, prices and pictures.

    Maybe would be efficient as well to post it in the right section, with a very good description.

    Thanks my Friend.
  8. Azoulay

    Azoulay Ol'Timer

    Hi Feejer,

    Sorry for you with your bad experience with the BMW, in fact that's quite rare I did not hear it too much in Europe, the only issue I heard, was that you must check motr oil level quite often....
  9. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    Feejer, sounds like you got a "lemon" or a "Monday bike", which is no excuse for your bad experience. But overall BMW stands for reliability and there are hundreds of thousands of bikes to back that up.
    Talking about blaming Harley riders, not the bikes: if their bikes wouldn't break down, they wouldn't have any problems, be it before, during or after the ride...
    In short, BMW has a reputation for building the most reliable motorcycles on the planet, and the plethora of Harley jokes say just as much. I mean, we all know what a Harley Davidson and a hound dog have in common, and that's not only the H and the D but the fact hat they both spend a lot of time in the back of a truck...
    But you raised a point there, I'd like to know how the "new" HD engines built this century are holding up - technically I remember reading about lots of improvements on the "clean sheet" new engines (Harley's first totally new engine since WWII), with a bigger bore, a shorter stroke, shorter pushrods and bigger cooling fin areas.
  10. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer


    I should have quantified my experience more as an LT problem, more than an overall BMW problem. If you care to do a bit of googling, you may find my experience is not uncommon at all for the LT models. Let's just say I'm glad its gone.
  11. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    There may be some truth to it - Daimler Benz is not what it used to be, either. My last Beemers were K75s and K100s made in the late 80s and early 90s, maybe the quality went downhill from there...
    But the problems feejer listed (rear drive, ABS, clutch slace cylinder) couldn't be LT specific since the parts are the same through the whole K1200 model range?
  12. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    But those parts are subjected to much more of everything. MUCH more weight/loads, heavier clutch pull, heavier braking etc, etc. I think that was the fatal flaw. BMW bean counters likely said common parts = lower cost. I dont think they did their homework, or maybe didnt listen to the engineers when they told them heavier duty designs would need to be built/used on a 400+ kilo bike. Add 2 riders and enough gear for a lengthy trip and you're talking 550 kilo rolling down the road. "Off the shelf" components that worked on the sport or sport touring bikes just might not cut it when faced with that.

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