Harley-Davidson’s plan to step up appeal to women and young adults.

harley-davidsonHarley Davidson is stepping up with a new marketing plan aimed at increasing  brand appeal to women and young adults. The past year has proven disappointing in sales for Harley, consequently the company’s share of the large motorcycle market  has slipped. In the succession of events, Harley’s stock prices have dipped about a third from last year.  What is causing all this trouble for a company that has been a leader in the American motorcycle industry? The surge of recalls of defective bikes certainly can’t be helping the matter but word of a plan to increase marketing spending in 2016  sheds light on the lack of appeal to an audience diverse from the core Harley riders. An audience that is quickly growing in the motorcycle community; women and young adults. Marketing strategies which appeal to the millennial generation have gained traction becoming a trend in many of the world’s top companies, making it unsurprising Harley plans on campaigning towards a younger market.

Many Harley Davidson dealers are quickly picking up the campaign, posting youthful images on Instagram, donating bikes and parts to high schools, and hiring younger applicants for marketing positions. Young adults today take well to tradition and craftsmanship which is core to the Harley Davidson brand. The idea seems to be to use this to grab the attention of younger riders with interesting and relevant stories. That is in contrast to their current strategy of primarily relying on the rough and tough advertising that worked so well with the baby boomer men Harley plans to incorporate these strategies to attract women as well. While Harley is said to have sold seven times more than it’s closest competitor to women, the current brand image is pushing some women away from purchasing a Harley even when they truly appreciate the product.

The pictures of young women with a Harley that matches their blue hair isn’t negatively effecting the core riders of Harley Davidson but some dealers argue that Harley does not need to make these changes. The general manager of the Scottsdale Harley Davidson dealership argues that the brand is truly for those who can afford the more expensive premium models, some priced at around $28,000 and up. The Harley showroom floors are filled with the beautiful loud chromed out models on the higher end of the price range pushing the less expensive models designed for a younger rider towards the back, sometimes even in the basement.

The best approach seems to be somewhere in the middle where marketing ads can capture a brand image which incorporates women riders and the youth without drowning out the loyal core of Harley Davidson riders. Without doing anything too risky like hiring hip-hop bands for special events Harley dealerships across the nation are making these changes to diversify their customer population. Of course Harley Davidson riders are known for their deep running loyalty to the brand which is one of the things that makes Harley successful.

What do you think about the proposed changes? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Compiled from: Harley-Davidson Tries to Rejuvenate Motorcycle Sales.  The Wall Street Journal, James R. Hagerty. January 12th, 2016.

Also check out our blog on one of the latest additions to Harley-Davidson’s 2016 lineup! The Low Rider S is said to “redefine Harley-Davidson performance for a new generation of riders” could this be a bike made for the younger generation? Either way we love this addition to the 2016 lineup. Check out this link for the blog! A New Generation: 2016 Low Rider S

About the Author:

J&P Cycles Social Engagement and Content Specialist. Motocross racer and motorcycle enthusiast.

146 Comments

  1. Harleymom74 November 11, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I am a 42 year old email who has been riding her own bike for a few years. In my opinion, Harley needs to do these things:
    1. I own a street glide, red hot sun glow, the only color that really appeals to women. The CVO’s have graphics that are very manly. Lets meet in the middle. Is there a women designer on the design team? I would guess or bet n ot.
    2. As far as womens clothing goes, I love most of it, however, it costs too much AND… everything is slim cut and fitted for those who are 120 lbs or less. Alot of it is see through or thin material that shows everything. Trust me, no one wants to see the skin or rolls of this 42 year old mother of 3. It makes me uncormfortable to wear most of the day to day apparel.
    3. If you are going to have women on the floor selling bikes, make sure they know what they are selling. When I bought my street glide, I sold it to myself. The gal who was “helping me” couldn’t answer one question. She went to get “one of the guys” every time. Clearly, I knew more than she did. Just because she is pretty and eye catching, doesn’t mean she appeals to all your customers. I was completely annoyed and disappointed by this. AND she focused more on my husband than she did me. It was clear she was there to be a barbie doll.
    4. If you buy a harley from an HD dealer, those who purchase should get the new rider course free. As much as we spend on the bikes, there should be some safety incentive to take that class.

  2. Harley Lady November 10, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing, the number of Harley women is increasing.

  3. Stephanie Scovel May 7, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    I just purchased the 2016 Super Low. I fell in love with the bike as we walked in to the dealership. The bike is beautiful. The paint, graphics, and chrome… it’s a Nice bike. What I also really loved about the bike is that it came with windshield and bags. The Super Low is very comfortable to ride and maneuvers easily on the road. This is my first Harley. I had always pictured Harley’s to be a “mans” bike, a motorcycle for ruff, unshaven men like my husband. He took me to our local HD dealer. The staff was extremely helpful, the salesman “ruff, unshaven, man”, he was Great. What I really appreciated was the support of the women riders in the shop. They offered their experience of riding a Harley Davidson. It was important to hear about the ease in maneuvering and handling of the bike on the road. Harley Davidson builds beautiful bikes that are “Top Of The Line”. I tell my friends and co-workers about my new bike, and surprisingly enough… the first thing they ask is “you bought a Harley?” I tell them “Yes, women ride Harley’s too!” I think that including women in your marketing is very important, even down to the women in the shop. As a New Harley Davidson owner, I Love my new bike! If your a Girl reading this, go check out a Harley, you’ll Love it! If your a ruff, unshaven guy… go take your Girl down to check out a Harley, she’ll Love it.

  4. Mike March 29, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    First off I’m a Harley guy, and I have been since the very early 70’s. I did turn my back on them for a decade or so during the AMF years, but I eventually came back. My problem now is, there is not one single bike made by Victory or Indian in the touring category that looks good to my eyes, not one. I don’t like the steep prices new Harleys are commanding these days, but I’d rather pay a higher price for a bike I truly love and one that I love to look at than to save a few grand on a bike, no matter how well made, that is ugly to me. And since I can’t afford a new Harley either, like many of those who have commented here, I will just keep rolling the wheels on my ’93 FLSTC. Yes they are over-priced, but until the competition starts making a touring bike that suits my personal tastes AND costs less, I am sort of stuck like Chuck until I can afford a new Harley.

  5. Hanna March 24, 2016 at 1:08 am

    Needs to bring more work back to america, and step up their game. I bought a victory, because more parts were made in america about 90 percent, versus 50 percent for harley. The tee-shirt are still made In china. I refuse to participate in slave labor and where a shirt that says usa, then I look at the tag and it’s made in china. I’m not a hypocrie, I’ll go online and find a made in the USA teeshirt. Stop being greedy companies , I have, I spend more on things for usa made, and don’t mind. I have a good job, I can share.

  6. […] Harley-Davidson’s plan to step up appeal to women and young adults. […]

  7. Rogue February 17, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Been riding longer than most, grew up on Harleys and still riding them…I think Harley has forgotten where they came from. Most dealerships I’ve been in wouldn’t know a sprocket from a belt unless they looked it up.
    Harley too expensive? If you want one bad enough you can find one…just rebuilt and customized an ’84 for under $3,000 (including price of bike). The newer ones are pricey though.
    Harley shirts at $30??? and made overseas?? Ridiculous.
    Harley needs to go back to made in USA on all things

  8. Andy February 15, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    I’m 46 and bought my 1997 HD Heritage Softail new while in the Army. I’ve really only dealt with German HD dealers. Maybe they treat me different because i’m American, i don’t know. When I go to the dealer, which i’ve gone to since 2001, i’m treated great. The mechanics and i share a 6pack from time to time…it’s Germany. When I did go to an American dealer for services in Tennessee, i felt like just another customer.

    When talking to the German HD dealer mechanic, the same company also deals with Ducati and BMW at a building across the street. They say a Ducati race bike service is around 1000 Euros ($1300) for a normal service. My 2010 BMW S1000RR is serviced for about 200 Euros ($250). The HD small service is about $150, and the big one is about $350. So, BMW and HD aren’t bad when you compare them to Ducati. I know BMW in the USA is more expensive. Point being, i can chat with the mechanics while they are working, and they are great. One time i installed LED turn signals and brake lights etc. and they didn’t work right. The older mechanic was trying to figure it out, but couldn’t. We were having a beer, and after a couple of hours he finally figured out the electrical system needed a resistor to make them work properly. All the younger (30s-40s) mechanics were joking about it. When I go back they always ask first, if i’m there for an electrical problem. Anyhow, they only charged me for 1 hour labor even though it took a while more. With the VW dealer, they had to replace dash lights on my car. They said they had problems because they never did that work before and charged me full price for every hour when it was due to their inexperience.

  9. Stormie February 4, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    As a woman rider and owner of a 883L I fell in love with the softail Slim, mostly because of the fact that I can sit flat footed comfortably on this bike. After checking out one at the local HD shop I ended up talking to the sales manager. Price out the door…23K. A bit more than I wanted to spend and he was unwilling to negotiate. So, I started looking around for a used one. I ended up buying a 2015 with 60…yes 60 miles on it for 13K LESS than the dealership wanted for their 2015. So, they lost a possible sale there. I also love the HD clothing and accessories but come on, $50 for a made in china t-shirt?! They need to rethink their price points and it probably wouldn’t hurt to bring some manufacturing back to the good ole USA…I would be much more inclined to purchase their merchandise if I saw a made in USA tag. Women are not stupid and most are pretty savvy about spending money so good luck with the attempt to bring in more female sales.

  10. MIKE January 31, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    I bought my first HD in 1984,I have 4 in my garage now,a 63 77 06 and a 13 lazyboy.I’ve seen aloof changes with the motor company and the biker,back in the day we helped each other out even the dealers helped ya out if you were in a jam,now days the new biker is dressed head to toe in HD over priced foreign made crap and can’t even put air in his tires, the parts guys are clueless and if your scoot is more than 10 years old they don’t even wanna talk to ya(thanks for j n p to keep my shovel Goin).Now simple economics say American products keep Americans working and spending,30$ for a China shirt and a American is un-American. When some little snot nose dealer wants to talk down to guys who helped give them jobs why go there,if they to get more women and younger riders they’ll have a whole new group to piss off, My shovel is as dependable and better built than my ultra for the time difference. I know it won’t be long before I need that third wheel and I’m thinking a non HD will be in my garage, I could go on but I’m tired of bicthin cause they don’t care and I’m tired of typing

    • Ralph February 27, 2016 at 8:04 am

      Hi Mike read your story ,sounds like me with the same rides. In 2014 I test rode an Indian Chieftain and fell in love with it. In 2015 I clocked 50,000 miles in one season of riding and only the front forks seals needed replacing. They come with a 5 yr power train warranty also.You should test ride one and see what you think ,I really don’t think you will be disappointed in the ride or power
      Ralph
      Edmonton alberta

      • Bob March 24, 2016 at 11:09 am

        Really, 50,000 miles/year living in Edmonton?

      • Bob March 24, 2016 at 12:54 pm

        Been riding HD awhile and we now have an Ultra Classic for myself and a Road King for her. Yes, we bought into the HD “culture” but we like all motorcycles just like in the movie “Why We Ride”. In the “sport” there are many sub sects as is in the world generally so live and let live.
        Observations: #1. Yes they are $$ not only to buy, but to service and maintain. #2. Just look at their dealer network and the costs of running those thousand plus showroom operations in North America alone plus Europe. Compare them to other dealers which often carry multi brands and are much smaller. So maybe they could pare down them down a bit as well as other as other measures.
        #3. Yes, they are trading on nostalgia and the HD brand to keep the cash flow going but why not reduce the prices on the higher end products and therefore sell more? I personally don’t care about the fact that HD are luxury products but we do love to ride HD and any other brand is just not quite the same to us, and that’s ok!
        So ya we are suckers for HD.

  11. Tony Marano January 31, 2016 at 10:12 am

    A new marketing campaign definitely won’t hurt. But as for sales overall, it’s simply a matter of money. Although or economy is showing some small signs of improvement. It comes down to two simple things: A new Harley, even a lower end, is still a costly investment. And, people just don’t have the money to buy one outright, Come up with enough for the down payment, or for that matter, continuously make the monthly payments. The only reason I have mine is my Dad was able to get financed on a new bike. So I bought his old one. Which he originally bought privately and made payments on that.

  12. Amy mo January 30, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    The x500 and x750 should only be marketed in city and slow mph areas. You cannot travel long distance on these bikes, and you cannot go more than 40mph comfortably on them. These bikes should be advised in this manner.

  13. Allen January 30, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    I’ve been riding off and on since 17 and am mid-50s now. I’ve only ridden two Harleys, both borrowed – an 883 Sportster and a Softail Custom. I enjoyed the softail. I keep looking at the new lineups but can’t get past the prices for the bikes or the “official” parts. As the alternative, I look at the used ones but can’t pull the trigger on those either due to maintenance concerns (maybe I’m stuck in the past but does anyone recall the AMF days?). Maybe they will get turned around and more mainstream, but for now my old Goldwing does fine.

  14. Allen Mckinney January 29, 2016 at 8:50 am

    I believe that this is something of a must for HD, 90% of the younger generation would never be able to hold up my ultra,but on the other hand would they be able to handle my 48 sportster? Which is a hole lot of engine for such a light bike. I have reviewed the low rider s and the new breakaway, 2 very well balanced bikes. I believe HD is going somewhere with this!

  15. chad January 28, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Harleys have always been expensive along with servicing them. Even the sportster is more expensive than its competition. I like harleys but for the money and not being able to ride yr round where I live 20+ g’s for a bike I can maybe ride 6-7 months depending on conditions its not in the cards. Even though they still hold there value. If I was able to ride yr round so I could use it as my daily mode of transportation it would be a little different and didn’t live so far from the nearest paved road. As for us shorter people don’t expect a 100+ ci motor in a honda rebel frame. I guy I ride with is 6’8 and he had to put ape hangers and extended controls on his victory to be comfortable. And i can afford to Buy a harley even with 3 kids I got a decent job and am not working at mac & dons supper club at minimum wage. Got house payment some cc debt and don’t live out side my means. But still haven’t bought one. They can’t build a bike to fit every one. The reduced/extended reach is a good start. Can they drop their prices on there products sure are they going to I highly doubt it. There marketed as a premium brand that’s like having the big 3 cut their prices on trucks and autos. And hd’s clothing your not paying for the clothes that cost nothing to make your paying for there trade mark on the clothing not the clothing . I’ll keep riding my little vstar looks like a baby hd without spending the extra $$$ for keeping it on the road. Look how long it took to go to a rubber mount frame to keep the motor from shaking the bike apart. And I like the one where he didn’t read the fine print on the loan they tell you the final purchase price on the paperwork along with interest rate. Are local hd does the free saftey classes. ? Why would that make a difference at purchasing a bike! You should have taken it before ya spend a 10-35 g’s on a bike before ya kill yourself. It should be the product, the sale staff and service dept that help make your decision along with what your pocket book says you can afford. As for american made. The machine shop I worked at back in the 90’s I machined the rear axle plate before it went to one of the other shops in town where they made the softtail swing arm and welded on the plate. Then took the production in house and wiped out needed jobs in the area so theres no love lost for hd here. Went from a job I loved doing knowing someone was getting a quality product that would enjoy it. To a job I hate and because there are few decent paying jobs left here. I’m stuck but they keep us feed & clothed and I like the people I work with.

  16. The Kid January 28, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    True riders hold their bikes for several years…so this market plan is aimed at rubs and youth….i think woman are more decisive when choosing a ride.. generally size …iexperience or from my view and life observations..generally lack of…i feel comfortable in saying most woman who began as a passenger and not a rider…probably sat on a huge heavy bike that can intimidate…and if uneducated on variations and models …leaves harleys generalized as heavy load…..i want to see more woman riders on the sales floor to rope in the wife who secretly wants to be rider and not passenger. ..need lower models that can allow woman to sit flat-footed and in control. ..also less attention to rub bikes such as street glides. .which is a fad…and will pass eventually. ..they need to go back…more old school…bring carborators back as a option to appeal to the older generation…i know alot of bikers that dont trust something they cant work on themselves…where is the bike for the old school biker thats ready to upgrade…appeal to riders..that ride..and not poser or deep pocket wanabees…functionality. .practicality. .serviceable for joe shmoe…and priced reasonably.

  17. Gary G January 28, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    I think what Harley had,to do to attract not only women and youth is to drop the outrageous prices. Their competition such as Honda is selling bikes at half the price.
    Granted, the loyal Harley rider will always justify paying the price but there many who just want to ride. I personally bought a bike for the first time since I was 15 years old a few months ago. I went into Harley, priced their new bikes, went back and priced the used bikes and then proceeded to go to Honda and bought a comprobable new bike at Honda for less then the used Harley!

  18. Rob January 28, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    I have been riding since 1968 and riding Harley’s for the past 25 yrs. I currently have a ’12 Street Glide. It has had a recall for the brake switch, and the voltage meter went out but was fixed under warranty. In the summer of ’13 the CD player went out. I took it to the dealer and the looked it up on the computer and said the warranty was up…19 days earlier. I asked them what they would do and they said they would put a rebuilt radio in …for $500…I recently shared this experience with a HD salesman at my local dealership and he started yelling at me for daring to blame HD for these problems. I’m done with HD. They no longer care for the riders that made them number at one time. I also own a Triumph and an Indian. The Harley will probably be traded for a Victory (except its value is diminished because the CD player still doesn’t work).

  19. Dan January 28, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Being a first time bike owner at 57 , I felt prepared for the HD expenses and all the stereotypes that go along with it .Yet I have been surprised how I always feel that the dealers are trying to get deeper into my pocket.Primarily in the service dept ,more often than not I know I paid for items etc not needed. I have yet to here someone tell me they were happy with a HD dealerships service dept.This troubles me. I have more money tied up in my 2013 limited than I care to think about but it is a toy just as a boat etc.Yet I don’t like being treated like a chump .The fact that the other HD loyal customers I talk to feel the same about other dealerships tells me this attitude flows down from HD moco. But what would I know they been around longer than I have

  20. Bill Millar January 28, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    I think that a mix of the new and old is certainly in the best interests of Harley. While I will always be drawn to the traditional models I realize that Harley needs to attract the younger people with models that appeal to what they are seeing, I.e the Ningas and the adventure models like KTM or BMW. Only makes sense to me and we can both enjoy Harley Davidson in our own way. I would like to see college open houses at HD dealers as a way to introduce new riders to Harley.

  21. Melissa Park January 28, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Moms love Harley and they love to shop. But I cant afford Harley Davidson fo r the whole family at the same time. Having some young adult clothes priced cheaper I would by more and more often. Also I could probably work towards getting my own bike a lot sooner if the bikes in the article were brought in.

  22. J.D. January 28, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    So HD has women & the “other generation” in their crosshairs so as to bump up sales. Well try this instead HD, improve quality, craftsmanship & innovation. Make sound engineering decisions & execute. Longevity without cost prohibitive repairs/preventive maintenance.
    Saddlebags falling off, switch/gauge failures, venting ports breaking, timing chain,crank slipping & the list goes on. Don’t gimme that stupid look either, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
    I don’t & won’t own/buy a HD tee. I’m not a walking billboard. You’ll pay me if you want me to advertise your product.
    Shelf the TC & reinvent your power plant/ chassis & electrical with QUALITY driving the reinvent, not shareholder returns.
    I own a 99(evo) FXST with a few inexpensive upgrades & still going strong.
    You want my money/loyalty, bring back the FXRs with the Evo.
    Don’t target Women & children..Target QUALITY & you’ll find out people will lay down a lot of the cold hard cash your asking.

  23. Michael Ham January 28, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    I have owned 10 Harley and still own 3, I was a British Motorcycle fan when younger, until they went bust, I then switched to HD. Harley need to look at the demise of the unchallengable British industry and ask why. Triumph, BSA, Matchles Norton etc all had a loyal following, they all had street cred, so what happened. The bottom line is, out dated product offering in comparison to the competition being offered. A company can only milk the loyalty of users and nostalgia for so long, by offering new paint schemes and cosmetic changes year after year will only appeal to us older bikers (I am 63). Youger generation are more technically savvy and like multi cylinder fast nimble bikes,with electronic suspension adjustments, balance engines that dont jump around in the frame. Females like lighter weight lower seats and nimble bikes, my wife rides a CVO Softail, but struggles manouvoring in carparks etc .
    Marketing campaigns driving the image and lifestyle aspects will only be succesful if backed up with product. I could go on for hours but lets leave it there.

  24. Dolores "D'Lo" Boyd January 28, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    I’ve had several Harley Davidson motorcycles from the Night Rod and Road King to two Road Glides and I loved my bikes but one of the biggest draw backs was “Heat” if I got stuck in any traffic for to long I had to pull over or shut my bike of while the owners of Japanese touring bikes sat comfortably in their WATER COOLED bikes. How about making ALL OF YOUR BIKES WATER COOLED. I was almost tempted go trade my Harley in for one of those……But I couldn’t!!! Oh yeah by the way “I’m a woman Harley rider”

  25. Wayne'r January 28, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    08 deluxe and a 80 fl, 62 years old been riding since 16 .Don’t own any logo clothes, prices are insane. Hard enough to keep them serviesed and rubber on them. Secret shoppers would be a great idea. And don’t forget the service department. Rude half witts don’t need to working in a service industry! Or on a sales floor. The demand for a quality product at an attainable price, for anyone is what is needed. New models as well for the smaller riders. Don’t forget there are more American made Bikes out there now.

  26. BILL LAMPHERE January 28, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I have been HARLEY owner for 52years. WHEN new prices keep raising and quality drops what do you expect riders to do ? REMEMBER JAPS can copy and improve on any mistakes. Take HARLEY chrome after market is way better. OLDER HARLEYS are built to last. THEY have class which new ones lack. I have worked on all brands and new riders don’t want to work on their bikes. HARLEY factory owners get your head out of your ass . MAKE the great bike you can and get your loyal people back. MONEY isn’t everything and you can’t get customers you lose BACK. Snowmobile company is kicking your ass .DIDN”T learn from first time. ANOTHER thing I have noticed HARLEY replacement parts for older bikes ,example 68 rear brake plunger was1/2 inch to long. GOT right one at naap for half the cost, had exact same part number stamped on it. USA parts are still better and price is times also. TRY harder and loyality will be there. TAIWAN on my new HARLEY doesn’t make me able to be proud to say I bought AMERICAN made. I suppose all cyclist could say American made because all have factories in USA. OHIO, CALIFORNIA, Nebraska,. COMPARE number parts on your HARLEY made out of this country to theirs ! MAKES you think. DID I buy AMERICAN ?

  27. Jason Ricci January 28, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    I think its a good idea to not only look at the younger generation of future riders as well as women, but Harley also needs to look at the competition. Harley has priced themselves out of the middle and lower class buyers market.
    I recently purchased a 2015 cvo street glide, wow! Could have bought a nice pickup for the money. With that being said I’m 100% dedicated to spending my hard earnd dollars with company’s that are American. If Harley could make there product more obtainable to lower and middle class fokes they would be back on top.
    There is no feeling that comes close to riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle, well maybe there is one but we won’t go there.

  28. JeffR January 28, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Like the “common people” & every other struggling company, Harley principles need to take a major pay cut & let “cuts” extend to their product line. The “Street” should be priced at $4995. Bring on incentives/ rebates on overpriced “slow movers”, while gradually cutting back list prices relative to leftovers. Stop producing unpopular/ stale models & try a totally new model for short periods (1- 3 yrs, depending on sales). Bring back the “Springer” and how bout trying a “Dual Sport”, light weight model.

  29. Joyce January 28, 2016 at 11:47 am

    With Harley prices as high as they are now, it’s no wonder they’re experiencing a loss. Most people are struggling to put food on the table so to most it’s only a dream to buy a new Harley. We own two but buying a new one is definitely not in the foreseeable future.

  30. Derrick clouden January 28, 2016 at 11:36 am

    A good idea is to do some tv spots showing the whole family on haley from grand pa on the trike dad on a road king sons on roadglides and wife on sofetail and grandson and daughter on street 750s. On there way to disney and make all bikes more affordable and do more to appeal to all customers who buy and might buy love my 99 road king

  31. Juanita Rodriguez January 28, 2016 at 11:31 am

    I truly believe more and more women / ladies are buying Harley Davidson motorcycles. My personal opinion/comment is when my local Harley store has events, majority of it is basically attracting men. I did commented one time to them about the fact that more women are buying Harleys and that they should also include events to attract females.

  32. Tom Deneen January 28, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Like all of corporate America , Harley must have a good ROI for their shareholders , but not at the risk if losing long time Harley customers . ( I ‘ve had 2 riding buddies jump to Indian this yr because of bigger motor ( HP) price , and 5 yr warranty ) .
    Like most longtime H/D riders , I started with 2 rice burners , grew up , and have owned 6 Harley’s since . I wouldn’t think of riding anything else.
    A better approach may be to have special 1st time Harley buyer programs , like with the Sportster . Then develop that life time customer loyalty , that 99 % of Harley owners enjoy !
    Capt Tom
    Cocoa Beach , Fl

  33. De January 28, 2016 at 11:06 am

    My biggest issue with Harley is the cost of everything after the purchase of the bike. There are certain things that just about every Harley owner changes or wants to change on their bikes…exhaust, stretched bags on baggers, foot controls, tuners and other engine mods for more power. the list goes on. so by the time you change even the basic things to make the bike more comfortable to you, you couldn’t afford to trade it in and start over. How about Harley puts a decent sounding exhaust on to start with?

    Ive seen a lot posted here regarding short riders…well im 6’4″ and I can tell you, Harley doesn’t make a bike for tall people either. its a chore to make even the larger models comfortable for tall people. not to mention the cost.

  34. Josh crites January 28, 2016 at 11:06 am

    The Scottsdale guy is a dumb ass. The reason their market has dropped is because nobody can afford their stuff I’m 26 and I have a very good job I have a 2001 road king and I love it, I would like a new bike but there is no way I can afford it, I am a Harley lover I have had different bikes and involved in older bikes also like panheads, on top of not being able to afford it I almost wouldn’t want a new one just because the people that buy the new ones are like that guy from Scottsdale that make to much money and have a Harley just because they can, go out buy a new bike and all new leathers and don’t ride a bike because of the right reasons, they have one just because they have money and they are all old guys that still go to the tanning bed that is why the Harley market sucks. I have done a lot of modifications to my bikes but strictly use j&p cycles because buying Harley parts is bull sh**. The young market is the most important for anything, the young get old and need to grow old liking an item if they despise it young it’s doubtful they will like it when they can afford it. Thank you j&p cycles and to you the guy from Scottsdale go work at a bmw dealer were you belong, sell your Harley and your new leathers and quit giving Harley a bad name, some of appreciate Harley Davidsons for what they are not the class of people that can afford them. Feel free to email me back thank you

    • R boggs January 28, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      Amen brother.

  35. Dean January 28, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Have ridden all makes over 38 years of riding and a H-D for the last 16. A 2000 RK.
    Just my .02 cents…..
    Made in America clothing – do that Harley, please – what they sell at the dealerships is cheap, poorly made and overpriced imported clothing.
    I agree with many of the posters about free rider courses. H-D took a good step in that direction this year by offering free riders courses for all of 2016 for all Veterans and First Responders (Fire, Police, EMT, etc…). And notice I said a good step – lets make that across the board and really bring in the younger crowd!
    My local dealer is female owned and so they already have an excellent reputation for taking care of women who are looking for a bike and/or just curious about riding. Free info classes, ‘ladies nights’, special deals on particular bikes more suited to shorter riders, etc…
    Yes, I agree they are too expensive – but so is their direct American made competition – Indian. No bargains there either. Looked at them as an alternative and the bike I was interested in, the Indian Chief, required you to buy the windshield as an accessory…a $600 accessory. Ummm…nope.
    Probably make a good ‘union – vs – non union made’ argument there on costs of American made bikes -vs- imports but not my thing, no dog in that fight.
    $9 a quart for H-D brand oil – ummm, nope!
    The only reason anyone would get offended by the ‘hip-hop’ comment is if they see that music as only belonging to the black community….it isn’t…so find something else to be offended about today – and if your that easily offended I’m sure you are up to it.
    Old guys like me are Harleys past – and they are right to look at what needs to be done to lure new – that means younger – buyers. Good on ’em for doing this – I want to see the brand survive. 1/3 loss in earnings kills companies, not addressing marketing and sales problems kills companies. I’m no major corporation executive or expert in such things….but I can see where the problems are (as can many of you) and realize they need to change things.
    I hope they do. I like that big ‘ol orange and black bar & shield and like my old 100,000+ mile Road King but I realize I am the customer of the past and to survive they need to dial in and grab that customer of the future while also keeping old farts like me in the fold….now THAT’S a helluva challenge.
    I look forward to – and support – their efforts to do that.

  36. Robert Garner January 28, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Harley Davidson is that old dog chasing its tail… They are going to be whatever it takes to get the most money… They would cater to Russian lesbians if they thought that’s where the money was…

    • Cromy January 28, 2016 at 10:59 am

      What’s wrong with Russian lesbians? The problem with Harley is they cost to much, and the sales people at most dealerships suck.

  37. keith January 28, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Hey Harley Davidson Marketing, let me do you job for you.
    “for the price of a monthly bus pass, you’d could be riding a Harley Davidson Street to work”

  38. Jo Z January 28, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Harley D. would do better to pay less attention to advertising and more to designing a cycle that would actually suit a woman. For me at 5’3″ the seat height of all the vehicles was the issue — way too high, so high I could never put my two feet on the ground at the same time when stopped. Yeah, you can lower the seats on some bikes, but it would be nice to be able to test ride a vehicle that was actually designed for a woman’s body and one which could be driven right out of the showroom without going through a mechanic’s hand. There is also the weight issue. If I can’t pick the vehicle up from a tipped over position, it isn’t going to be one I buy. And the seats need to be quite a bit more padded to suit my fanny, a cruiser seat. I’ve done two cross countries and on both trips, it was the fanny that limited the day. I also would like to see wider mirrors and comfy handle grip/cups to protect my delicate fingers when it gets cold and rainy out. Yeah, I know they don’t look cool, but I’d rather be able to use my fingers than not, as a matter of safety. No, heated gloves aren’t the same.
    I’d also like to see some rain gear for the body, as in some optional protective add ons to deflect rain. I also noticed the positions of the pegs and gear shifter/and or brakes was not exactly suited to a shorter foot. My suggestion would be to hire a lady rider and design the machine for that body rather than have the woman adapt her body to a machine made for a man. I am almost 70 and my heart still races when I hear that motor start up and gurgle. Harley is missing out on selling machines to a lot of gals like myself by not paying attention to our specific needs.
    If Harley made a machine for us, no advertising would be necessary – word of mouth would keep the machine sold out of show rooms.

  39. Steve King January 28, 2016 at 9:08 am

    I rode a Thunder Mountain Softail for years. Loved the 80 Evo. I did a retro rebuild on it. I really enjoyed doing mods and riding it on trips. It was my bike and there wasn’t another like it. A couple years ago, due to medical conditions, I got somewhat unsteady on it. I did not want at minimum drop the my bike, so I decided to buy a new bike with three wheels. Due to the price of the Harleys I bought a CanAm Spyder Touring Model. The price made it very affordable along with a four year warranty. And my wife now enjoys riding with me. The price of the Harley along with the price of accessories drove me to another brand.

    • BNewlun January 28, 2016 at 9:37 am

      Harley’s new Free Wheeler has met the Can AM Market. The Free Wheeler price point is in the low 20’s. This matches all but the very entry level Can Am models. Since it’s launch last year, the aftermarket sector has quickly began to produce aftermarket accessories to customize the Free Wheeler to your personal taste as well. My wife who never felt comfortable on a standard bike, due to many of the reasons listed here (weight,height etc.) Absolutely has fallen in love with riding her own bike. The 3 wheels made all the difference in her feeling comfortable and yes it is heavy, but that is what makes it ride comfortably on the road and with a reverse, is never a problem parking.. We have also customized a few things on it to stand out from the others, it is hers and she is very proud of it!

  40. Carol January 28, 2016 at 8:55 am

    I agree that a new Harley is out of my budget no matter how badly I want one. (And I want one really bad!) While I like a lot of the riding gear and apparel, I don’t purchase much of it due to that high price point.

    Cost aside, the other reason I haven’t purchased a Harley yet is the safety class. If you offered the safety class was free, (or apply the fee to the downpayment of the bike) I know I’d be more inclined to revamp my budget and would be a Harley owner today. A lot of ladies I’ve talked to (including my 23 year old daughter) say the same thing; if the class was free, they’d be talking to sales people the minute they get that licence. My daughter’s crowd (and my 18 year old son’s) have opted for bikes that are more affordable for their college and student loan budgets. As a matter of fact, almost no one under 40 in our riding group has a Harley; most say it’s due to pricing. The ones that do bought used fixer-uppers directly from the previous owners.

    In short, offering a quality, affordable product is a more sustainable business model than relying on brand inflation.

    • Robert Garner January 28, 2016 at 9:45 am

      If the safety class was free you would tend to not take it very seriously because you don’t have anything invested…

      • Annabelle January 28, 2016 at 10:06 am

        Robert Garner, that is totally untrue. In many states, including my own, the MSF courses are generally free. In my state $20 to sign up, hold your spot, and then they ask if you want to donate that back at the end of the course. You don’t have to, so it is free. I have taken the beginner course & one advanced course. I donated both fees back to the program. As much as Harley charges, they can keep it, I never recommend them for classes. The MSF is a good program with knowledgeable, qualified instructors. Some people don’t pass, but they come back & take it again, bc they want to get their licence & be a good, aware rider.

      • Keith January 28, 2016 at 10:42 am

        I don’t know about the free riding course not being taken seriously. Here in PA we have free riding classes. If you don’t sign up early, you can’t get in to them. I took one and there wasn’t an absence person through the classroom or the riding portion. I like the money credit towards a new bike though .

  41. Jon Schwartz January 28, 2016 at 8:40 am

    As an owner of 3 Harleys I just bought an Indian last fall,I think Harley has upped their game recently but me n the wife prefer to ride the Indian.The competition is going to be good for the consumer.

  42. Jason morrow January 28, 2016 at 8:29 am

    I have a 1948 flathead 80ci I have a 1999 FATBOY I have a 2009 road king I’m 33 years old I was born in to this life. It’s not for everybody we don’t need a bunch of squids on the street making it more unsafe than it already is. Just my opinion

  43. Roadhog January 28, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Why would hiring a Hip-Hop band be risky if your trying to attract a younger market unless you want that market to be on the vanilla side!!

  44. Rick T January 28, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Marketing/sales change. Harley must remain nimble enough to make changes as the market demands if they are to survive as a corporation, however they can’t forget their history and the legacy that made them who they are today. It is for certain that a blow to quality because of recalls could give them a reputation paralleling the dark days of AMF.
    Change for change sake is not value added, that said, the bikes used in rider courses are sales tools. I bought my wife a 1200 Roadster for her Christmas when she finished her course, she thanked me and bought her own 750 Street ( she rode a 500 in class). She let me keep the Roadster. Looks good by my Ironhead and 86 Liberty edition.
    I would love it if HD would have something for the die hards like me and now my wife. We both love the street 750 its a great job HD engineers did on it, but at events and stuff when we are bragging on it, would be nice to earn some credits toward merchandise or something. Us old toad customers can help bridge the generation gap for HD, just throw us a tshirt or two, :-).

  45. Bob Williams January 28, 2016 at 8:17 am

    I own two HD’s . A 1970 FLH and a 1971 XLCH both bought new. I have been riding for 47 years. I have bee around HD enough to know changes over the years. First as a veteran I hate that your products are not made in the US. It flat turns me off. I own 85 tee shirts and wear them constantly. The shirts today are too small, too thin and the designs don’t suite me. I stopped buying tees. You would think that HD would sell tees at cost because of the advertising that the wearer displays every time we go out in public. HD has turned into a limited marked simply because of over pricing and too elaborate motorcycle designs. For the new, young buyer you need to lower prices, offer bikes and gear that fit woman and get back to less cluttered and complicated design. As a veteran I feel that HD which claims to be an American Motorcycle icon should remember that we fought for and are still fighting for this country to be free and strong and selling foreign products turns us off. It just doesn’t cut it.

  46. David Franklin January 28, 2016 at 8:12 am

    I am newcomer to the Harley scene. I just bought a Tri Glide and have some perspective to share about the loss of HD’s stock.

    For one, they simply cost too much. They are about $10k more expensive than they have to be. The old standing joke among Harley owners is HD stands for “Hundred Dollars” which is how much you spend every time you walk through the dealerships door.

    They need to make it more affordable to own a Harley, not more expensive. Everything costs. At some point, HD owners look for alternatives to save money.

    They have a cult like following and that is all that is saving them in bad economic times. Trying to introduce lower end bikes isn’t that great an idea. They cost $16K which is more than some of the Rice burners high end bikes cost.

    They do have some advantages, like in accessories and options where other bikes have to reply on aftermarket and not so perfect fitting parts.

    So drop the cost some HD. You shouldn’t have to feel like you have been raped everytime you bring you bike into the stealership.

  47. Richard moffitt January 28, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Harley doesn’t need to high younger employees or hip hop band for events they should stay true to there roots. The reason there having so many recalls is the twin cam bikes have to many flaws thevo was truly a great design its to bad that some how they couldn’t stop others from designing the same motor and selling it don’t get me wrong I ride a twin cam and its an ok bike but the evo is still a much better bike IMO maybe they should this k a bout addressing the problem twins have and come up with a more reliable motor.

    • Keith January 28, 2016 at 8:41 am

      Hi Richard. I’m not saying that Harley doesn’t have to give up its “roots” but let’s look at the truth. I know that I couldn’t afford a Harley until I got the kids through college. I’m part of that baby boomer market at 63 years old. The fact is…we are dying off!
      If the Motor Company doesn’t do some adjustments they too will be dying off.

  48. BNewlun January 28, 2016 at 8:01 am

    We are Baby Boomers, I have Screaming Eagle Ultra, Wife purchased a Free Wheeler this year, We are loyal riders, have been for years! That said, we too have seen a slide in the last couple of years. Granted the down turn in the economy took its toll, but I see it as an enthusiasm problem. In my opinion,The marketing once again needs to be the freedom of the open road or an evening “vacation”. This promotes the fun side of owning the bike. Events, Dinner Runs and meeting new people. This is where I feel they need to concentrate. The motor clothes side of it is light years ahead of everyone else. And yes, marketing to the younger age and women is the key to this success… Price point is high, but for us, we just check out the clearance racks. Usually about 1/3 to 1/2 off. That is the price range we purchase at, if they would market in that range to begin with, it will make sales easier. (I still don’t get the Black label stuff, who wants to pay the high price for a shirt that does not show the brand?) Bottom Line, I feel the key to continued dealer success is not as much price point but the experience, make it fun to get the bike, make the dealership “The Destination”. Events, rides,and apparel that continues to set the Harley Rider apart Is what will make them successful. Building cheap bikes for price points is NOT the way to grow the brand. Because when you want to step up in a couple of years to the next model year, you need your original purchase to have a resale value. Going back to the “1 bike short” marketing, may be the key?

  49. Keith January 28, 2016 at 8:00 am

    I just checked my email after posting my comments to see Harley has just released a CVO Street priced at $25,000 plus.
    Are they out of their minds! I think the inmates are running the asylum!!!

  50. Todd Kropf January 28, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Harley Davidson is getting away from your true Harley. The project Rushmore looks cheap and cost more. They need to go back to the basics what brought them so much sucsess. The bikes look more like a Victory and Indian models and the paint schemes are terrible. I have worked in the industry for 10+ years and seen the decline every year, the past two in particular. The market is flooded with the Street 500 and 750’s, those bikes aren’t worth the space they take up. (There junk!)

    Get back to the basics!!!

    What Harley is doing isn’t working and going after young and women riders is a big mistake as well. The young and along with the women can’t afford a 12K bike, price is big deal to them. They will most likely purchase a metric bike priced much lower.

  51. Randall Cater January 28, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Scout…

  52. Keith January 28, 2016 at 7:48 am

    First off, Harley screwed themselves with the marketing and release timing of their Street bikes. They had hyped up the release of those bikes, then delayed the release, so everyone forgot about them.
    The Streets maybe a great seller in Far East markets but they’re a big yawn over here.
    Second. They’re starting to price themselves out of the market with the bigger bikes. And that market is dying off fast.
    Here are my thoughts about selling to the “millennums” generation.
    1. Revamp the Streets by changing the pipes to make it sound more like a Harley than an egg beater! I was at an HD shop here they replaced the stock pipes with a set of Vance and Hines….wow! What a sound difference.
    2. Second make the Streets in more color options. Especially colors that appeal to young women.
    3. Make the customized parts for the Streets more numerous and less expensive. BTW the millennums like that “retro, “vintage” look.
    4. Market the Streets as more of a commuter bike than a toy. Millennums are strapped with some huge college loans and need some type of inexpensive but fun type of daily transport.
    5. Give FREE beginners riding courses. And aim those courses toward the young women riders.
    6. Have a complete line of clothes and accessories aimed for the millennums. Maybe even section off a portion of the dealership floor area for those products and bikes. Like a department stores that has its young men’s area and men’s area.
    I do believe the Street models could crack the millennum code
    My wife and I were at a Harley dealership and showed her the Street. I asked her to sit on it and she said, ” I think I could handle this bike. I like it”. This is from a women that had absolutely no interest in riding a motorcycle.
    The Street could be Harley’s saving grace if they’d only get their head out of their asses and get some new younger blood into the company .

  53. Randy January 28, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Some great ideas here. Times are a changing, and I say let the youth push the envelope – youth will change HD like they did with Uber to the taxi. The issue is balance – how to bring in new blood while staying true to old blood.
    I am 50 (been riding since 17), in Canada, but have always refused to buy HD in Canada because of the Deeley deal – a soviet economic style scam – very “un-American” and “anti-freedom”. Stop telling Canadian customers which dealership they have to shop at!

    Offer a range of good products, at a competitive price, and sales will grow. People admire this brand – just hate being taken advantage off when they want to spend their hard earned cash! I would love to walk into a HD shop and buy one for me, and one for my 16 year old daughter – that would be a dream come true!

  54. Jim Tom Stimpson January 28, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Take the energy you are focusing on the marketing and apply it to the product.

  55. Brian Martin (South Africa) January 28, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Many comments regarding shorter people noted. I have to agree since my wife bought a Harley new, completed 300km (about 190miles) in a year and since the bike was too “tall” for her short legs, it was sold. Sportster 883. Maybe something along the lines of a Softail (I have one and love it) built lighter and a little smaller?? The Yamaha Dragstar 600cc really “fitted” smaller people. In Afrikaans the word “jammer” means sorry or “excuse”. So we named the Dragstar a ‘Yamaharley’- sort of excuse for a Harley. Good look-alike, but not a Harley.

  56. Doug Balko January 28, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Unfortunately, Harley Davidson riders have invoked the “image” of rough and tough in regards to all motorcycle riders, irregardless of the make/model of the bike they ride. The idea of tradition has CERTAINLY hampered their sales when other manufacturers have embodied trends to the fullest with the current technologies. I’ll continue to ride my metric touring bike and enjoy hearing the wind, and riding in ultimate comfort without the racket of my engine otherwise disrupting my solitude.

  57. David Eustache January 28, 2016 at 6:54 am

    I should not have been approved for my loan in any way shape or form. I sincerely thought it said 2.3% and in all reality it was 23%. Harley Davidson Eagle Motor Credit. I am paying $50,000 on a $25,000 bike. Enough is enough I am mortified and lose a lot of sleep. Its not even the bike I want. I cannot possibly customize it with the amount of money I am paying for this bike.’14 Street Glide for 50k

  58. Scott S January 28, 2016 at 6:43 am

    I think it’s going to get worse with Indian recently entering the market as a good North American produced motorcycle alternative .

  59. Jorge Ramirez January 28, 2016 at 6:28 am

    Easy way for more people to buy a bike is simple lower your pricing your bikes aren’t afordable

  60. Randy Lamb January 28, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Do you remember what happened when Coca Cola switched over to the “New Coke”? That’s what I see happening here.

  61. Jason January 15, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Love the article and agree with most of it except for the last paragraph where it states “without doing anything too risky like hiring hip-hop bands for special events.” Though I believe i understand what your trying to say it comes across in a wrong way to where a statement like that can hurt the brand I love more. What is more risky about a Hip-Hop band than a hard rock or metal band. It’s still hard and can promote the same violence etc.
    I’m of the hip-hop generation and I’m an African American who works for Harley Davidson by teaching their riding academy. I’ll tell you that the dealers in my area do not discriminate like that and have had much success with the “hip-hop” community. We are actually considered one of the top selling dealers in the nation and more than 1/4 of their sales were to said customer base. Please keep that in mind next time you post something like this. Remember this it’s about the ride and the lifestyle, not your race, music preference etc.

    • J&P Cycles January 15, 2016 at 7:58 am

      Jason,
      I’m so sorry the last statement came across in that way thank you for sharing this with us. I meant in no means any sort discrimination the reference towards hip hop music was a quote from one of the Harley Davidson dealership general managers found in the Wall Street Journal article in which some of this information was compiled from. I believe what the general manager of that dealership meant with the hip hop reference is the reference of a younger generation in music preference, but I can understand where the statement is easily misconstrued. Personally I love the Harley brand and hip hop music myself, I absolutely agree with you. Thank you for sharing with us I will always keep this input in mind when choosing my words! Ride safe!

      Kaitlyn

      • Dan January 28, 2016 at 7:46 am

        Kaitlyn,

        Why apologize to Jason? J&P never anything about distinctly White Americans. Statistically I suspect there is more to be concerned with involving hip/hop over R&R. It’s just numbers not colors.

    • Richard January 28, 2016 at 8:12 am

      I didn’t see anywhere where it said not to sell bikes to colored or Hispanic or Asian it just stated it might or could be a risky venture to higher a hip hop band now where is that racist? Every time someone says something that a certain race or religious group don’t like they cry that’s racist people really need to get over themselves just my opinion here no pun intended

  62. Cajunrider January 15, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Price, Price, Price! Make the motorcycles affordable and they will sell themselves to any age genre. Also make service affordable, who wants to pay 700.00 800.00 out the door with new tires? As for the clothing and some of the goodies, pathetic on pricing again. And I would like to see both the Livewire and a version of the old XR1000/1200 track bike back on the market. I helped introduce the Livewire at our local H-D dealership and responses were mixed but it wow’d the younger riders both male and female and I’m 61 yrs old and I was totally blown by the power of the Livewire. I also like the track bikes as racing is in my blood but I’m limited on my bagger even though it’s been upped a couple stages. Prices & Models, change them or go belly up!

  63. Del Rangel January 14, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    We need to see young people filling the ranks, and to do that Harley Davidson needs to market specifically to them. Sportsters, the Dyna line, and the smaller Street bikes do that. I love my RoadGlide, and waited a long time to get a bagger. Still, I miss simplicity and the open uncluttered feel of a bobber. Its that awe inspiring feeling you offer to the young customers. Offer more, less expensive bikes and you create an immediate market–effectively, Harley would be grooming its new clientele for the long ride over the next 30-40 years. And, hate to admit it, but the youngsters are more fun to ride with anyway–just sayin . . .

  64. Clint January 14, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Need to have more Bike shows (to purchase )to draw people into the life style like the Boat & RV industry has done for years

  65. Sharon January 14, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    I bought my first Harley last year. 2008 Sportster 883 Low. I will have to keep it forever because there is Nothing else made to fit me. GUESS WHAT HD WOMAN ARE ON AVERAGE SHORTER THEN MEN. Build us a bike and we will come. !!!!

  66. Ryan January 14, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    I am 41 been riding since I was 17 on a Harley by 24 .I live in Canada love your bike’s but there are just 2 bloody expensive don’t know if I will ever be able to afford another new one 35 to 40 g’s is a lot of loot for barley 6 months a year .so if your marketing means getting something other than a sportster for 25 to 30 grand.great idea.

  67. Larry vaughn January 14, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Shops Need to stock plus sizes for woman. 3x plus. My wife would Rather buy in the shops than order and wait weeks for delivery.

  68. Frank Albanese January 14, 2016 at 10:16 am

    They will be at the bottom of the list if they don’t do this. Devoted HD riders like myself are content with the bike they have and in most cases have built it to their dream specs, therefore, we aren’t buying new bikes. Young adults both male and female are the future of the brand.

  69. Nick January 14, 2016 at 5:23 am

    Simple concept, lower the over inflated prices on all bikes and merchandise (made in china)

  70. Tommy Hemingway January 14, 2016 at 2:14 am

    How about getting the prices down. I wold love a new street glide.

  71. JuliAnne Scully January 13, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    Would love to get HD involved in Ovarian Cancer Awareness. They support ‘pink’ why not ‘teal”. Ride for Hope , an ovarian cancer awareness motorcycle group would love to discuss the possibilities.
    http://WWW.RIDEFORHOPEIL.COM

  72. Angie January 13, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Clothing quality is bad. Refuse to spend $30 and up for a t shirt that does not fit a real woman! Made in China sucks! And when u visit an HD factory they should focus on everyone as a potential customer and treat everyone as equal.

  73. Suzan January 13, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    As a woman, I am all for Harley expanding their brand to include woman but not to the point where it makes my man uncomfortable! Harley is still one of the few brands people, both male and female, get tattooed on their bodies. They shouldn’t forget that loyalty from the older generation!

  74. Jon January 13, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Harley marketed to the last of the baby boomers with absolute brilliance. But guess what, they have priced themselves out of reach for most of the post 2008 recession upper middle class wage earners. They need to limit production for about 6-8 years, let the flood of excess inventory come back in demand, then start over again, but slowly. The best things in life ain’t free, but they are better with age. I have been riding Harleys since 2003, coincidence is that is when I moved into my prime earning years. The love is still there, but $100 a piece genuine HD valve stem covers are no longer a priority.

  75. Mark Brown January 13, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    I think the changes are great. I love my Harley, but I can’t stand the right-wing “traditional-values” bullshit that too many people think goes along with riding one.

  76. Linda Lezotte January 13, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I believe is HD truly wants to gain women’s attention, they need to make a bike that truly FITS a woman. Instead if having to spend thousands of dollars lowering the bike, putting on new handle bars, grips, reduced reach/height seat, easy clutch, etc.
    Not to mention the cost of the bike that doesn’t even have a radio. People want more bang for the buck. Also, a better purchase experience. Purchasing a bike shouldn’t be harder than buying a car, but it is…

  77. Cathy mainprize January 13, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    I agree change is needed. The world is changing fast and you need to step it up to attract the new generation. Both myself and husband ride and love Harley’s. My husband sold them for over 10 years up until late 2015. There is to much less expensive competition even Harley owners are switching to because of price, mainly victory and Indian. There are tons more women riders in all shapes and sizes as well as new riders. Price point is an issue in some of the larger bikes as well as size. We do as women want the street glides and road glides but they are also heavy and most expensive. Today’s generation are very techy and also like gadgets and technology

  78. Michelle Irvin January 13, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Love it ! I have had a Harley for 6 years and actually have upgraded to a bigger model twice – therefore I am now riding a 2015 Streetglide .
    I find it challenging to find Harkey apparel that is age appropriate and stylish .
    I believe a female middle aged , middle class is your target customer for being a female — and styles and quality of clothing need to be at the same level as the retail clothing store of which one would shop. (Ann Taylor, White House Black Market etc).
    Clean lines , flattering to a variety of body shapes .
    Thank you for asking

  79. bonny stringer January 13, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    You would get alot more money from me if you would have bigger sizes in womans clothing. The clothing sizes are pathetic. The prices are overated to but if it is a size that would fit me I would spend the money.

  80. Rich Csavoy January 13, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    HD stands for: every time you go into a Harley dealership, plan on spending a hundred bucks. Quality yes but……

  81. Danielle O'Hara January 13, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    As a female rider it would be nice to have functional riding gear. I’ve owned a few Harley’s now and will always come back to them for a bike, but there isn’t a single article of clothing that I feel comfortable in on a bike.

  82. Steve January 13, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    I agree that HD needs new blood. HD does not need to abandon its core values and its history to do so. Do not change HD, change the marketing. Convince new blood to come over to HD side; don’t go to the “other” side.

    Riding HD since 1979.

  83. James Boyles January 13, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Harley only builds “biker’s bikes” and not rider’s rides. The last rider’s ride Harley built was the XR1200. Sorry Harley, I am not a feet forward rider like seen on a Vespa. But I do hope your marketing plan works. I don’t care what you ride but that you ride,

  84. James Boyles January 13, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Harley only builds “biker’s bikes” not riders rides. The last rider’s ride they built was the XR1200. Sorry Harley I am not a feet forward rider like you see on Vespa.

  85. Mickayla Renaud January 13, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    I’m 17, I own and ride a Harley sportster! Think it would be a amazing idea to set up appeal for woman and younger adults! Riding is for guys and girls! And if you love it, ride with a passion

  86. kelly peck January 13, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    I love my Street Glide, 3rd Harley for Me, they need to treat lady’s with more respect.
    So talking down to someone that is spending 25-30,000 not very smart.
    I have been on 2 wheels for 40 years . Nicer line of clothing would be nice to 🙂

  87. Sharon January 13, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    I say get clothes that fit women better yes I know you have 2x and 3x but they are tight (I normally wear xl but in harley clothes i have to get the bigger sizes) and the price of a tshirt $30 or more is a little too high not to mention the button up shirts costing $70-$80 each

  88. Pete Hewitt January 13, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Us boomers aren’t going to be around forever and I think the brain trust at Harley is wise to do some forward thinking. That being said I would do something about making them more affordable. Myself I have been a life long rider and Harley fan but I wasn’t able to afford a Harley Davidson until I was in my fifties. I tell people there isn’t anything cheap about owning a Harley.

  89. Cheryl Zeglen January 13, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    I personally believe that HD is sexists to a point! I own my own bike and when going into a store I’m treated with disrespect especially at a parts counter, now if my husband is with me it’s a total different story! The joke is HD stands for “hundred dollar” not Harley Davidson! Mark up is out of sight especially when clothes aren’t even made in the USA! Seriously wake up!

  90. Alexander Mall January 13, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Indian and Victory Stepssssssss ………

  91. Edwin Cubero January 13, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    if you’re trying to be Sears, you’ll end up exactly where they’re headed, out of business.

  92. Melissa Bekkum January 13, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Id love to walk into a HD store and be asked if I’m looking for a bike. I have sat, oogled and awwed over bikes in many dealerships. Never asked if I had a question. If they did, it was because my husband was with. Then they only talked to him. I appreciate getting asked in the clothing section, but I will never pay $80 for a shitty hoodie. HD Corporate needs to deal with these problems. Maybe having some secret shoppers see how sexist there stores can be.

    • Laurie Alexander January 28, 2016 at 7:52 am

      YES! Mystery Shoppers for all areas of the dealership is a GRAND idea! Catch them/their attitudes when the boss isn’t looking….

      And I once asked HD corporate about bringing back a ‘made in USA’ line of clothes and the email reply was ‘it just didn’t sell’. HA! I buy a quality bike but not the duds? What kinda logic is that??

  93. Ben January 13, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    I have nothing useful to say really. I wrote a quick post on why Harley for me. I hope HD rebounds and kicks butt! This makes me want to go for a ride on my 2016 FXDL though! Peace!

  94. Bobby Moser January 13, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    You are pricing yourself out of the market !!!! Lighten the bikes so small people can handle them ,and their feet can touch the road at a stop sign !!!!!Hold riding class for new riders free or at a small fee .not $250.00 !

    • Alischia greene January 13, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      In HD defense, I am 5’3″ and have a heritage softail classic. Perfect fit and very responsive. Have over 60,000 miles on her and would never have any other bike.

    • Rick Webb January 28, 2016 at 7:23 am

      I am 5’8″ with a 29″ inseam and ride a Road Glide Ultra. I have no trouble handling the bike and can flat foot when stopped no problem, try that with a Gold Wing or BMW. As to handling I have never had a problem as the bikes are well balanced. With the optional seats and suspension Harleys can be custom fit for anyone.

      Harley had the market all to itself for years as the faithful American bike riders had no option until Victory then Indian diluted the market. I think the street 500 and 750 are a good start and hope the innovation will continue.

  95. Edwin Cubero January 13, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    I’ve been riding Harleys for 37 years. Love the bike, hate the dealers. How about just building a reliable American motorcycle without parts made in Japan and spare us the $40.00 dollar t-shirts and other high dollar made in Indonesia apparel.

  96. Rudog Capelo January 13, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I am a big fan of Harley Davidson . I like everything they have put out so far . If they want to cater to the younger generation they could start by coming up with some new clothing styles. And bike parts. I saw what they have done with the baseball caps. Very nice. But why stop there? Hire some young artists to revamp your shirt collections no offense but I haven’t seen a new t shirt that I just had to have in years.

  97. 4235067299 January 13, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    I think price is the biggest issue! Who wouldn’t want a Harley? (in my opinion) but realistically they are just not that affordable! Even with2 of us here with good high paying job’s, we find it a real treat if we get to buy any accessories ever, even on sale! Yes, we have a Harley and pay greatly for it but with the price of necessities being ridiculous enough already, that just makes it even harder! And speaking of the clothing, yes please add to the plus sizes! When bigger sizes are out out they are limited and when is bigger girls ask for plus size, were not long and super slim, we need round! Lol. I have 3 size 2x shirts my size medium daughter can’t squeeze into! If we’re gonna pay that much for clothes we would like to be able to get into them! Thanks! 😉

  98. Lori January 13, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Then perhaps Harley Davidson should encourage their dealers to stop with the outdated sexist events like pinup contests. And perhaps the parts department could carry in stock more of the parts that help make the bikes suitable for women’s smaller frames, such as turn signal extenders and pullback risers

    • 1ANDY0nLy January 13, 2016 at 10:05 pm

      How would turn signal extenders help with shorter riders? Just curious!

      • Rick Webb January 28, 2016 at 7:31 am

        She is probably talking about the switch on the handle bar, I’ve been told it is hard for people with small hands to reach.

  99. Tammi January 13, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I am a 42 years old female and I own a street glide. I have a 22 year old son who also prefers a touring bike over a sportster. I believe all models of HD are sellers, just to the right people. Our local HD dealer (In Iowa) gets a bad rap for 2 reasons 1. the sales people know very little or just basic information. The last time i was in the dealer ship, a young gal was trying to sell a bike. Doesn’t ride, nor had she ever rode on one! And she is trying to education me on the advantages of one over another??? 2. our dealership does not post pricing on their bikes. They force you to talk to someone, who then acts like a vulture… its not a comfortable way to shop or browse. Its like a car dealership, people come out of the wood work! Lastly, while marketing to the young people is a great idea, they also need to market safety and they need to make their products affordable. Not just bikes, but apparel as well. A t-shirt should not cost $40. HD has made their money on their brand and logo. Rant over. I love and am dedicated to HD. They have made plenty of money of me and my family but even i will admit that pricing is ridiculous and I do buy aftermarket if/when I can.

  100. Mona January 13, 2016 at 11:36 am

    It is good to get more women riding but you need to keep the older riders around to teach the young how it is done for they think they are amun to riding with out rules, I started on a 350 Yamaha and have had 8 bikes sense 1974 now ride a free wheeler. It is good that harley has come out with smaller bikes for I have heard women say that the big bikes scare them

  101. Tracy January 13, 2016 at 11:30 am

    How about making a lower cc automatic for those who are first timers n never learned how to drive standard. With some new colours would help too. Just an idea. ✌?

    • Lori January 13, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Um, those are called scooters, and they don’t belong in the Harley dealership.

    • Jasonof2000 January 14, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Go look at a Honda CTX700. Cruiserish styling with a 700 parallel twin and available with a six speed DCT transmission. I have the standard NC700 with the manual and I love it.

      I’m a 34 year old male who has been riding for two years. HD makes nothing that interests me. They make over sized geezer bikes for posers.

  102. Tim January 13, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Working at a Harley dealer for 6 years, the “young” adult with the economy is having troubles buying “new” Harleys, as most are priced out of range to the lower income young adult. The market is also to flooded with used machines at this point, hard to sell new.

  103. EL January 13, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Been riding for over 30 years, love HD. Walking in most dealerships has become similar to buying a car, most of the sales or parts people do not have more than basic knowledge. There are a few exceptions but it is not like it used to be-if they can’t look it up in a book by specific year and model they are lost. HD could stand to make things a little more receptive to women riders. Even the clothing/riding gear for women is not up to the same standard as the mens.

  104. Bsue January 13, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I am a women Harley rider, since 1999. More miles than most men I know. I have watched Harley change over the last few years. The clothing has gotten over priced as has some of the bikes. They need to become a ‘biker’ shop again. Concentrate more on bikes, accessories and service.

  105. Ron January 13, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I myself never even concidered a Harley until I was near 50 was not for want but financial. I road a Kawasaki for twenty one years before I purchased a Harley. I don’t think $ 20000.& up for a toy is in the cards for young people with big collage loans or low paying jobs.

  106. Gary L Stewart January 13, 2016 at 11:04 am

    If Harley spent as much on R&D as they do on marketing and copyright lawyers they would remain profitable and competitive.

  107. Marguerite Weaver January 13, 2016 at 11:01 am

    I’m a woman, I ride a Harley! There are too many wanna be’s running around in Harley gear now. You don’t see me wearing a Yamaha shirt!

  108. Temple January 13, 2016 at 10:54 am

    As a woman who has been riding a Harley over 16 years, I am not happy. I am in my 50’s and will not buy HD shirts any longer. They are too thin, too short and not made for a middle aged woman’s figure. If Harley wants to sell more to women, they need to take a hard look at their women’s motor clothes. I can afford a $50 shirt but I refuse to buy any more until they get more realistic. Use thicker material, make them longer so they can be tucked in, make the short sleeves a little longer to cover my bat wings, and be realistic with the size.

    • Brigitte January 13, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Isn’t that the truth !!!! Not all woman are a size 2 !!!!

      • Mkwright January 28, 2016 at 9:53 am

        But not all men and woman are size 1x and above with fat guys either.

    • Bobbi January 13, 2016 at 11:42 am

      I agree. Plus their woman’s boots suck. I ride my own harley don’t need high heeled boots. Need practical sensible and safe! Clothing is way overpriced too.

      • Lori January 13, 2016 at 12:28 pm

        So true. My HD riding boots tore up in no time. The high heeled boots are simply useless. Too much emphasis on non-riders in the wrongly named “Motor Clothing” department.

    • Sheila January 13, 2016 at 11:52 am

      I totally agree with you. I am 51 and also would like to see the clothes more true to size and don’t make everything so skin tight and short. I also can afford a $50 shirt but at least make it fit right!

    • Lori January 13, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      Agree! We “old ladies” are the market segment with money. HD needs to stop trying to sell me shirts that make my belly hang out. (And before anyone comments about my supposed size, I’m 5’6″ and 132 pounds. Hardly a big girl.) 🙂

  109. Peter Moran January 13, 2016 at 10:27 am

    HD either change and develop new models or become irrelevant…they must also begin to start listening to customer’s needs and what other manufacturers are producing….the collapse of the relationship with Buell meant that a great medium sized engine perfect for a growing market as described has now been deemed to be not even worth considering by HD and indeed seem to actively discourage any suggestion of change within….there is a great retro movement at the moment ….HD need to use this and not dismiss it in their usual arrogant way ….if they do they will fail as a company and they will only have themselves to blame…

  110. Ed Marra January 13, 2016 at 10:21 am

    It’s not going to help if they can’t afford them. Its getting ridiculous that bikes are 25-30k or more. They are pricing people out who want to buy Harleys but can’t. I know a few loyal Harley riders who have been riding Harley longer then I have, that have switched to other American bikes especially Victory. You can get a loaded Victory bagger that matches a StreetGlide special for $4k less with more power. Their words: If it’s good enough for Sonny, it’s good enough for me.With prices like this is reason why typical Harley riders can’t afford them & your getting these weekend CEO riders.. Another thing I have heard about is the colors & I think the same. They have limited paint colors & designs. That is another thing your making customers pay to look different and is more money they don’t have. A company as big as Harley should be able to have more & better colors. Maybe some flames or skulls some minor custom paint schemes at no extra charge

  111. TJ January 13, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Change isn’t always welcomed, but is inevitable if a company desires to succeed. Women riders are a large part of the biker community, and their needs are different than the male rider. HD needs to recognize this difference and start marketing towards the women rider as well as the young adult. Without the young adults becoming HD fans, and eventually, traditionalists, HD will fade into to the sunset.

  112. Denise Daughtry January 13, 2016 at 9:22 am

    I don’t think you should change , I think a Harley should not cost as much as a house, I also think Harley Davidson motorcycle ‘s should be American made again… Maybe they would not be recalled…. American woman rider

  113. Fred Snyder January 13, 2016 at 9:14 am

    The more Harley rides the bigger the market when you get ready to sell your own bike.

  114. Jared Harris January 13, 2016 at 8:57 am

    It may work, but the point it made at the end of the article, when the the dealership states its customer base and hiding lower priced bikes. This was part of my letter to CEO Matt Levitch. H-D has gone to wealthy dealer owner corporations rather than a family owned business atmosphere. Millennials like small business, family owned “quaint” businesses.
    Without dealer support, H-D marketing may fail.

  115. Tania January 13, 2016 at 8:53 am

    There will always be naysayers and traditionalists. I know. I’m one of them.

    But you can’t sacrifice profits for the sake of ideals.

    The most successful brands are those that innovate. That grow and change with the times. Harley’s been down the hole and they don’t need or want to go back there.

    As much as I hate to admit it, as a traditionalist, I’m also a realist. You go where the money is.

    Or you die.

  116. Bob January 13, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I’m 68 years old and have been riding Harley’s since I was 18. I was never, and am not now a fan of those “Luxo-barge” full dressers; not my style. I don’t think it’s they style of the younger folks interested in owning a Harley either. Keep the price under $20k and you just might see some acceptance; if you put those bikes on the floor, not in the basement or loft…

    • Diane January 13, 2016 at 10:59 am

      Bob, I completely disagree with you on the fact that the tour bikes are not the style of the younger crowd. Harley has made the tour bikes, the bikes for all ages. I see many young people on Street Glides. I do agree, however, that the price needs to be kept below $20,000. I, myself, ride a Street Glide Special and I don’t need special marketing strategies to convince me to ride a Harley. I do appreciate that the dealership I go to accepts me as a valued customer just like any man who comes in to buy a bike.

  117. Al January 13, 2016 at 8:50 am

    they should have kept the buell brand as a sporty alternative and promote it as the young hip brand and leave harley for the traditional leather and chrome crowd

    • Joe January 13, 2016 at 11:39 am

      I agree with Al. The Buell brand was the youthful go fast division of Harley. The Street 500 and 750 are not the answer to keeping the business growing. The dealer in Scottsdale is a fool to not utilize the potential of Sportsters and Dynas. not everyone can afford a 28,000.00 luxo bagger that is just like everybody else’s. I guess he believes it’s ok to be an individual as long as your riding the same bike everyone else has.

      • steve January 28, 2016 at 4:48 pm

        Does anyone remember the names” PUP” & “PEASHOOTER ” ? Seems to me HD should look to the past to see the way of the future.

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