A pretty decent video about how Harley-Davidson killed itself

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Todd n Natalie

Observer
@MTVR I don’t understand Why should they have to know. Or how that is a metric to measure someone by. Folks get way too worked up about what other people want to do or spend their money on.
Agree 100%. I've been a car nut as long as I can recall. I'm told I learned how to tell the difference between a GM, Ford and Dodge truck before I could read.

But, I have no clue what car or car company for that matter has the most racing wins. There's tons of stuff I don't know about how vehicles work or their history. Whateves.
 

MTVR

Well-known member
Agree 100%. I've been a car nut as long as I can recall. I'm told I learned how to tell the difference between a GM, Ford and Dodge truck before I could read.

But, I have no clue what car or car company for that matter has the most racing wins. There's tons of stuff I don't know about how vehicles work or their history. Whateves.
That is the difference between being a "fan", and actually involving oneself in something.

For example, since you say you are a "car nut"- most fans that attend NHRA national drag racing events are simply consumer lemmings- they buy brightly-colored overpriced T-shirts with dramatic graphics depicted on them, pester professional drivers for autographs between rounds, swill $8 plastic cups of urine-colored beer, and stand in line at the blue plastic portable toilets. Very few of them know that the stoichiometric ratio for nitromethane is 1.7:1, know how Buddy Ingersoll won an NHRA National event with a car that didn't run, remember Modified Eliminator, know what an NHRA SS/VX car is, or know why the late Willie Borsch drove with one hand.
 
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Todd n Natalie

Observer
That is the difference between being a "fan", and actually involving oneself in something.

For example, since you say you are a "car nut"- most fans that attend NHRA national drag racing events are simply consumer lemmings- they buy brightly-colored overpriced T-shirts with dramatic graphics depicted on them, pester professional drivers for autographs between rounds, swill $8 plastic cups of urine-colored beer, and stand in line at the blue plastic portable toilets. Very few of them know that the stoichiometric ratio for nitromethane is 1.7:1, know how Buddy Ingersoll won an NHRA National event with a car that didn't run, remember Modified Eliminator, know what an NHRA SS/VX car is, or know why the late Willie Borsch drove with one hand.
I'm a car nut. Not a racing nut. There's a difference.
 

jkam

nomadic man
For a long time now Harley has probably made more money off of branding it's name than making any motorcycles.
They are fierce at protecting that brand, that's where the money is.

Why that is, is a lesson in marketing.
 

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DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
The problem is that Harley-Davidson is not a motorcycle company- they're a marketing company. And their customers are not motorcycle riders- they're simply posers.

So there is this cringeworthy codependent relationship, where Harley-Davidson panders to the Walter-Mitty delusions of an aging group of suburban dentists, to include selling them Village People dress-up costumes...
That can be said for many products. Millennials, like, say "Like, what is an Easy Rider?" There's no relevance to them. Apple sells an image as much as any products and they are the opposite, they seem to keep pulling rabbits out their hat in pop culture.
 

BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
I don't want to get too far off subject, but...

To preface my comments, I must explain my background. I have been successful in multiple motorsports disciplines, as both a driver/rider, and as a builder, crew chief, and so on. Part of my background is as an expert-licensed motorcycle road racer, motorcycle road racing instructor, and motorcycle road racing official. I have been paid at the rate of $1,000 an hour, as a rider and model for a major motorcycle manufacturer's advertising campaign. I also am a retired police officer fully trained and with significant experience in investigating motor vehicle collisions (to include motorcycle crashes), and with advanced DUI training and TONS of experience in DUI cases (often involving Harley-Davidsons). And finally, I have also been ASE certified in multiple disciplines of vehicle repair, and have been scored easily in the top 1% in the nation within the profession. So I think I'm up to speed on this stuff.

I am very careful in my application of the word "rider". The word "rider" implies that a person actually knows how to ride, and in my experience (as cited above), I have NEVER met a Harley-Davidson operator on the road, that actually knows how to ride. And unfortunately, when you tell someone on a Harley that they don't know how to ride, they act like you told them that they had a small wiener, which I personally don't understand, because I don't know how to golf, and if someone told me that I don't know how to golf, I would agree with them, instead of getting all butt-hurt.

Riding a vehicle with two inline wheels (like a motorcycle) is very counter-intuitive. Almost everything works the exact opposite way that a lay person would assume that it does. For example, most lay people assume that you push the handlebars left to turn left, and most lay people assume that the rear brake has some material role in braking. So the chances of just "figuring it out" apart from competent professional rider training, is just about zero. Competent professional rider training has never been more accessible than it is today, but you'll probably never see a Harley-Davidson at a track day, because that would involve them admitting that they had something to learn about riding, which to them, would be like admitting that they had a small wiener.

The typical process of a Harley-Davidson operator ending up on public roads, is that they started out on a bicycle as a small child. Small children are incapable of understanding things like counter-steering and gyroscopic precession, so they generally learn how to steer through trial and error. They fall down. They fall down again. Eventually, they SUBCONSCIOUSLY learn how to keep it upright. But they have no idea how they're doing it, or the principles involved. Forty years later, they are fat, balding, and impotent. They are greeted by the "Chrome Consultant" at their local Harley-Davidson boutique, and assume that since they sort-of learned how to subconsciously keep a bicycle upright, that they are ready for a 900-pound whoopie-cushion. Again, just like when they were a small child, they learned through trial and error, how to manage the clutch well enough to get it rolling in first gear without stalling the engine...and then they just stop learning. What they assume is an advancing skill set, is simply them becoming more and more comfortable over time, with not knowing how to ride.

Unfortunately, many of them learn in the last instant of their life, that they didn't actually know how to ride at all, so they aren't around to admit it.

And the remainder of them are simply alive because no one has killed them yet- they literally don't have enough skill to have any role in their own survival. Periodically you will encounter one that the laws of statistical probability have not caught up to yet, often with some claim that they've been "riding" for "50 years", when in reality they haven't been riding at all.
Sounds like a great LEO career. Congrats on making it to the end and thanks for your service. How many years as a wheel man? Speaking of muscle cars and racing, this LE tutorial video on drag racing should help people better understand the value of traffic enforcement. Cheers

 

MTVR

Well-known member
Ferrari or Pontiac? Do I pass your test now?

Pontiac was 1964. DeLorean brainchild I believe.
Very good!

1962 was the first year for the GTO.

John Delorean was quite smitten with the original GTO (the Ferrari 250 GTO), and it was his idea to borrow the GTO name for the Pontiac Tempest's optional performance package. Enzo Ferrari was not amused.

When you think about it, using the GTO name on the Tempest was really kind of silly- GTO means "Gran Turismo Omologato", which is Italian for Grand Touring Homologated, as the 250 GTO was a homologation special for FIA-sanctioned international Group 3 GT road racing competition. The Pontiac Tempest "GTO" wasn't Italian, wasn't a GT car, and wasn't ever homologated for any FIA road racing class. The Pontiac "GTO" was mid-size American passenger car and had had a top speed of about 115 mph- the Ferrari GTO was a hand-built throroughbred with a 12-barrel V-12 and a top speed of about 175 mph.
 
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Dendy Jarrett

Expedition Portal Admin
Staff member
Gents - please pull it together. We are much to mature to discuss apple vs. Microsoft, Ford vs. Ram, Harley vs. Indian. To each his own and let's keep the gentlemanly respect please. Thanks - (Reported post 2 times now - 3rd time and I lock it down)
 

2Jeeps&PatriotX1

Active member
Interesting. I work for a H-D group that sold 10,000 H-Ds last year throughout our dealerships. I also know how much revenue each of our dealerships take in. Doesn’t seem to be slowing down for us.
 
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