Declining Market?

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by juspassinthru, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. juspassinthru

    juspassinthru Member


    I did a Search and didn't see any Threads on this, so I have a question-I am just coming back into Biking again, and have seen references to the Bike Market declining-I am on the outside looking in, so I really don't know what has been happening-I ran a motorcycle Dealership about 10 Years ago and it was good, but I got out and haven't paid attention.

    I have noticed that some of the Harleys sold on Ebay have been going fairly cheap (if they are Bid on at all), and was wondering: what is the state of the Harley Industry, and, what is the state of the Motorcycle Industry as a whole?

    If it is declining, why is that? Is it an Economy thing, or are the number of Bikers waning? Please educate me!
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    I see it more than anything else as a ploy by some to manipulate prices. It depends on whether you are they buyer or seller. The dealers softened up a bit on prices and aren't trying for over MSRP any longer but that was because of the ramped up production by the company and all the bikes that are available now.

    Used bikes took a hit because of this and I can say from first hand experience that if you have a product (bike) that is worth the price , then you'll get it.LOTS of shoppers and tire kickers out there but also some educated buyers that know a good deal when they see it.
    It just won't fly out the door like in past years when production was down so the dealers could charge over MSRP for the new bikes.

    I know there will be others with differing opinions but I judge my experiences on first hand deals, not what others say. I usually don't keep any vehicle for extended periods and by 15K on a car or 5K on a bike they will be sold and sold for a very healthy price because of the condition and maintenance records not to mention the extras.

    An educated consumer can work for you as well as against you. It all depends on what you are selling , condition and that it's priced fairly with extras taken into consideration. Some say you can't get extra for chrome which I have found to be not true. I have found this to be only partially true but when a certain theme is followed and it's done tastefully, the return can be rewarding for the seller. Naturally they buyer wants to relate that they don't like what you have done to the bike but usually it's to hammer you on the price and I tell them that maybe this isn't the one for them under these circumstances and they soon change their song.
  3. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Most assuredly the number of bikers is NOT declining. I've noticed a lot more motorcyclists as the summer has gone on. I do think the economy is affecting the upper end of all the so called luxury items - motorcycles, boats, airplanes, etc. If you are a buyer and have the funds, this is a GREAT time to pick up one of these items. Lots of folks having to cut back financially and the first thing to go are the "toys."
  4. Audioi

    Audioi Member

    I think the Bike market is up around here due to gas prices but people are not paying the premiums they were in the past.
    With winter coming here, I expect to see some killer good buys in a few months though.
  5. Fossil

    Fossil Active Member

    I still have some connections with the US motorcycle market. The economy is down and still declining as well as the Asian and European markets. Motorcycle sales in the US has been declining. Harley has been outselling Honda for about six years. Honda is now shutting down their US motorcycle plant ans going back to Japan. This is how bad the market is. When looking at a sales chart by brand there is a big difference between Harley and the rest but even Harley is now declining. Go to EBay and see where bikers are selling boxes of parts for money. They are cleaning out their garages trying to find money. Get a Blue Book and look up the value of your bike. They are dropping quickly. Trading in a bike is a big money loser now. What you can personally sell for $8000 is only worth half that on trade in and just a bit more for retail. Fossil
  6. alto

    alto Active Member

    The motorcycle market is taking a hit like everything else that is considered a 'luxury' type buy. Harley stock is down pretty hard but will come back when all this shakes out. Harley cut back on production as to not saturate the dealers with bikes they can't sell. Europe/ Asia markets were strong for Harley but are also taking the hit with the world markets now. It will take some time, but the Harley market will come and overseas. In the meantime, if someone is ready to buy, now is a good time to wheel and deal.
    I do think the purchase of MV Agusta will help Harley make even stronger gains in the overseas market..If China and India ( the people want Harley) would just lower their tariff prices, that market would hum.
    I do think it's a good time to buy . The market took most of my money so, I won't be buying anything for a long while. My 01 Ultra should last me the rest of my riding years.
  7. R. Lewis

    R. Lewis Senior Member Retired Moderators

    quick thoughts on H.D. buying the M V Agusta group ( Italian motorcycle) for $109 Mill.???? If this is a declining market / slumping economy ---- will this hurt or help MoCo???
  8. Randall K. Wilson

    Randall K. Wilson Junior Member

    I agree with Dr. Doo.... I live on a major US highway in Indiana and more and more cycles are zooming up and down the road all the time. Especially on Weekends, and most of the time they are Harley Davidsons.

    Now folk talk about our economy being down and a recession and all. I just went to Las Vegas on a business trip (not a gambler). I was advised that 80 to 90 thousand folks fly in and out of the airport everyday. The Las Vegas Blvd. and everywhere else is packed with gamblers. For the sake of this discussion...if we were in a recession how could so many people be able to spend that kind of money on what they deem is pleasure? Flying out the plane was packed and flying back it was packed with lots of empty pocketed people I dare say.

    Granted I think the Harley dealers have made a lot of money particularly since the middle 1990's. However there was a different time in the life of Harley dealers that I was not aware of. Bob Schulteti the owner of Indianapolis Southside Harley Davidson and Buell told me this a few months ago. When Bob went into the Army in 1954 shortly after going into basic training he won a lottery for $1,000.00 *(According to my internet inflation calculator what would cost $1,000.00 in 1954 would cost $7,632.00 in 2007)*:newsmile093:

    At that time Bob's Dad and a partner owned their Harley Dealership. Bob advised his folks to just hang onto his one thousand bucks until he returned home. According to Bob back then times would get so tough in the business that Harley dealers would make small unsecured loans to each others competitors in order to help each other have operating times would get lean.

    I think Bob was in the army two years...During that two years his folks loaned out that thousand bucks 3 or 4 times. In order to help their pals who were trying to keep the doors of their H-D shops open. No interest was paid on these loans and they were done on a handshake. Some of those old timers have gone to that big cycle shop in the sky, and were not around to build those Harley shops that cost millions of dollars.

    In todays times I could not imagine a business practice being conducted like his folks did with Bob's $1,000.00 !
  9. WHM1

    WHM1 Junior Member

    I am somewhat surprised ? Went to my local Harley Davidson dealer on Saturday for an all day open house...demo rides for the new 2009 models. Been hanging around there since buying my first Harley in 1996 and have known some of these same people for 12 years now. The apparel dept. has been slow through the summer but last month sales up over 40% and now tracking year to date sales over last year. Their bike sales are also up well over last year and the 2009 model are selling as fast as they arrive. All is not dead in Harley land......
  10. htiger

    htiger Member


    That's interesting.

    I've visited about a dozen dealerships and generally get the same story: "Better buy that bike now as it's a Harley, you know, and it'll be gone fast."

    So I waited.

    And now the salespeople are calling me and emailing me, "Hey man, just calling to see if you've bought a bike yet." I'm learning that the bikes that weren't going to be there long are still there.

    When I'm ready to buy I am going to let several dealerships know that I'll pay MSRP plus tax and title. That's all. The first one to call me with that deal will make a sale that day. Some of you may be thinking that it wont happen. And that's Ok. I'm patient. It may takes months. But I'll be happy and so will the dealer; I'll have my money and he'll have his bikes.

    I really wish all the Harley shoppers would just stop paying all the dealer add-on fees. That only encourages them to ding us for every dollar they can.

    I posted this in another thread; but, it's so true: "A Harley dealership is like a jewelry store for men. We count on guys coming in a leaving their brains at the door. They'll pay anything we put on the price list." That quote was from a business school classmate who used to own a H-D dealership.

    Remember...we have what a dealer wants: CASH! Let's act like it when we shop.