Harley's "Freedom To Ride" Loan Program

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Dr. Dolittle, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I'm part of HD's Advisory Panel, as I'm sure MANY other forum members are. This months survey had a very interesting topic.

    I've always wondered, and even started a thread years ago, why you can't lease a motorcycle like you can a car. You can buy one, rent one, demo one, but can't lease one.

    Well, now it seems Harley is jumping on that trend, too. Most of this months survey was geared towards getting our opinions on their proposed "Freedom To Ride" loan program. They boasted about lower monthly payments but at the end of the "loan" term you must either:

    1) Trade the bike in on a new Harley
    2) Sell the bike on your own and use the cash to pay off the remainder of the balance
    3) Refinance the balance into a new loan

    They never once used the word "lease" but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck!

    So what does everyone think? Is this a good strategy to get younger folks into the Harley family who maybe can't afford the down payment or higher monthly payments of a conventional loan? Will there be lots of nice 2 and 3 year old bikes coming off of "lease" on the market in the future? Will this appeal to the folks who get a new bike every 2 or 3 years anyway? Now they can continue that strategy and have lower payments - just eliminates the chance to own the bike if you fall in love with it unless you refinance the balance at the end and end up paying more than you would have originally.
     
  2. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

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    While I have never used a lease program, many find it a way to get a vehicle they would not be able to afford. It would seem that it would appeal to Harley owners that trade and or trade up every couple of years. For me milage restrictions would probably come into play.
     
  3. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Lease programs can be good for some, but you best read and understand the restrictions JMO
     
  4. Slo-Ryd

    Slo-Ryd Junior Member Contributor

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    The mileage details would be one of the bigger sticking points for some....other than that, I think it would be a great way to get someone on a Harley that wouldn't otherwise be able to afford the payments. Maintenance would be the other key......now if it included all "scheduled" maintenance with the wear items being the responsibility of the lesee, then it'd be something that could catch on.
     
  5. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Harley had a program like this when I purchased a new 1997 FLHT, tho the cost was not a good deal then
     
  6. pjciii

    pjciii Member

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    i agree with the maintenance being included other wise you will get a bunch of 2 and 3 year old bikes in bad condition hitting the market and the brand will suffer. not all lease'es will keep their bikes up like owners, some will just want to say they own a harley.
    my 2 cents
    patrick
     
  7. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    You guys bring up an excellent point - I never really considered the maintenance side of it. Of course you're not going to take exquisite care of a bike you know you're turning back in to the dealer in a couple years.

    Another consideration - everyone knows how much we love to customize and accessorize our bikes. There would probably be restrictions as to how much you could do to the bike while it's out on lease.
     
  8. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    :D Good point Dr, my guess is restrictions would state only H D accessories
     
  9. canaan canam

    canaan canam New Member

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    cant see this working hd wont loose money.when the bike is turned in and its not perfect that lease deal will go ugly. had a friend lease an ford suv turned it in 2 years later. got a bill from ford credit for 1200 dollars because it had cosmetic issues.suprise would you like to lease another
     
  10. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    My kid wont ride a Harley even if I bought it for him. Jap bikes are his dream. So depending on the definition of "younger", young people his age arent interested in HD's product no matter the payment plan.