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Buell Forum » Quick Board » Archives » Archive through November 18, 2009 » Hyosung Motorcycles to be rebadged, sold at H-D dealerships » Archive through November 14, 2009 « Previous Next »

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Socalbuellriders
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 - 01:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

I'm absolutely flabbergasted.

"First, the press release from S&T/ATK, makes the bare bones facts available. S&T motorcycles, the Korean manufacturer of the Hyosung brand motorcycles will be working directly with ATK motorcycles, the US manufacturer of dirt bikes. Together they will produce a motorcycle that will be largely produced in Korea by Hyosung and assembled in the USA by ATK. These ATK-badged motorcycles will be smaller displacement motorcycles that will be sold in selected Harley-Davidson dealerships."

http://dalefranks.com/cycles/

http://www.othermakes.net/2009/11/12/harley-davids on-dealers-to-sell-atk-branded-hyosungs/
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Boney95
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 - 01:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Holy shit...!!! And I'd take one on that bike too.
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Midknyte
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 - 01:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Not quite time to get panties in a big bunch. It's not much different than some dealerships selling scooters on the side.

From this page
http://www.othermakes.net/2009/11/12/harley-davids on-dealers-to-sell-atk-branded-hyosungs/

"...The company Harley Davidson is not involved in the deal, the dealerships are taking it upon themselves to work with Frank White, one of ATKís owners..."
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Reepicheep
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 - 08:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Hyosung deserves better. Thank God Harley isn't also giving them an engine also, or they would be *totally* screwed.
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Rfischer
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 - 09:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Don't hold your breath waiting for this folks. Frank White has a long and inglorious past of over-promising/under-delivering. Most recently, he has been embroiled in an internal battle for control of ATK with ATK Oklahoma, an outside investor group, which sort of includes Dale Franks, a noted flim-flam character in his own right.

There's lot's more to this story, including the on/off again involvement of a certain band of Swedish gnomes with whom I have had an association. And a wanna-be manufacturer of electric bikes out in OK.

H-D corporate has absolutely nothing to do with this story or any element of it, so don't get'cher shorts in a knot.
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Court
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 - 09:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Any time Dale Franks' name shows up you know something fishy is afoot . . . he's indeed a flim-flam character.

This reminds me of the "Ducati and Harley are in talks" story that gets floated (presumably by Ducati investors looking for $$) from time to time.

HD has their own problems at present and they are problems aplenty.
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Swordsman
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 - 10:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

If there IS any truth to this, it could be a good thing for Fischer. More exposure to the Hyosung products (if they're worth a flip) will make it easier for Fischer to make some headway with their MRX. I think that's what makes a lot of people have second thoughts about them, having an unfamiliar (in the States) Korean engine as their powerplant.

~SM
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Rfischer
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 - 10:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

6 months of Frank White, Dale Franks, et al. and Hyosung will be gone like the wind. They are a large and respected manufacturer who will quickly figure out who/what they are dealing with and will cut their ties.

I admit I'm somewhat surprised Hyosung have been caught up in this, but it will be short-term I'm sure.
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Gohot
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 - 11:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Holy Crap. you got'a be strokeing me...............Somebody take the TESTORS glue out'a the board room. lol, lol, friki'n lolWhat is going on at HD ? I'd suggest you all sell your stock in HD, without delay. Even the nails in the coffin their useing are likely to bend....??....?? WTF...

(Message edited by gohot on November 13, 2009)
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Rfischer
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 - 11:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

See??

Posting clear warnings not to take this silly self-serving "story" out of Milan seriously was wasted effort....
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Nik
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 - 11:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

So now the same Hyosung models are to be sold in the US as Hyosungs, United Motors, and also ATK.... doesn't really make any sense.
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Aptbldr
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 - 12:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Nik, perhaps its sense is indication of brand/name's competitive significance in US market-place.
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Midknyte
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 - 01:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

So now the same Hyosung models are to be sold in the US as Hyosungs, United Motors, and also ATK.... doesn't really make any sense

They've been re-branded several times before in the last few years. Nothing has really taken hold...

(Message edited by midknyte on November 13, 2009)
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Teddagreek
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 - 08:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

I don't like the way Dale wrote it...

He said it over a month before it happened..

He was right that HD was coming down to cut Buells throat..


Seems to me he has a source of sorts within HD..


http://dalefranks.com/cycles/index.php/2009/09/bue lls-future-uncertain/
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Dalefranks
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 02:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

ATK Oklahoma, an outside investor group, which sort of includes Dale Franks...

I have no idea who ATK Oklahoma is. The only investor group I'm a member of is my 401(k) plan at work. I have no ties with, investment in, or business position with, any company in the motorcycle industry. I don't even have any stock investments, since my 401(k) has been entirely vested in Treasury bond funds for the last year.

So, you clearly don't know anything about me, and you certainly have no knowledge of my relationship with the motorcycle industry.

...a noted flim-flam character in his own right.

Really? That's news to me. What, exactly, has been the nature of my flim-flammery? Did I make any money off of it? If so, could you tell me where it is? Because I have no idea what you're talking about.

Any time Dale Franks' name shows up you know something fishy is afoot . . . he's indeed a flim-flam character.

What's the problem, Court? Still upset that I knew the axe was coming to Buell a month before you did? Kind of embarrassed about denying it so vehemently, then turning out to be, you know, wrong?

And, again with the "flim-flam" deal. What does that mean? Do you have examples of it?

6 months of Frank White, Dale Franks, et al. and Hyosung will be gone like the wind.

*shrug*

Maybe so. And if that happens, I'll write about that, too.

I happen to know a couple of guys in the industry, and I write a personal motorcycle blog. The only income provided by that is what I make off of Google ads.

I don't have a personal stake in any of this. I write about things that attract my interest, and I provide my personal analysis about events from time to time. That's pretty much the extent of my involvement in anything that goes on in the industry.

If the Hyosung/ATK deals blows up in 6 months...so what? It's not my life. it doesn't affect me.
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Dalefranks
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 03:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

No, I am not upset.

Then what's the deal? You were completely unaware of my existence until the "Buell's Future Uncertain?" post got posted here, then, all of the sudden, you turned up ready for some odd penis-measuring contest.

I could see you being upset if what I wrote was wrong, or turned out to be a total fabrication. But since it wasn't, what's the problem?

If you disagree with my analysis, then why not make a good-faith effort to disagree with argument? Why the personal attacks?

It just seems weird to me.
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Dalefranks
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 04:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Odd. It appears Court deleted his reply to my first post.
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Cityxslicker
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 04:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

That Hyosung RX450 has been in the project stage for the last 3 years. If ATK picks it up, gives it some DS tires, and puts some damn quality to it... It could end up in the garage. IF the price is right....

3 Years to move out of concept phase is a bit long in my book. Especially since there is a BIG hole in that market with only Suzuki, Aprilia and KTM competing in the segment.
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Ferris_von_bueller
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 05:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Skinner, it would appear Dale Franks has a reason to post because it is HIS ARTICLE that is being discussed.

As to reporting Mr. Franks to Jon Flickinger - get real !!!
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Mr_grumpy
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 05:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Did I miss something here?

I don't know Dale Franks from a hole in the ground, but the guys writes his pieces as he sees it.

I see no reason to gratuitously insult him, & make unsupported claims about him, then tell him he shouldn't reply to them because he's not a Buell fan.

For f***s sake grow up!
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Cityxslicker
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 05:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Look if ATK can bring an American dual sport/MX/Super moto that is street legal, to the market, and keep it affordable, then I am in.

It is the dirty Rooster that I wanted Buell to build. And they will be on fire sale prices in the H-D shops, cuz 90% of them wont know what to do with them, any more than they knew what to do with Buell.

Bring on the bendy and dirty.
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Court
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 06:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Dale:

I just got a call, presumably from your "confidential source with high-level contacts inside Harley-Davidson" or someone who knows them, urging me to come back and reread this thread.

I did and I indeed owe you an apology. I read the thread without clicking on the links and my "flim flam" comments were in regard to another quasi-moto-journalist with less credible sources.

That having been said, I sincerely apologize.

With regard to the weather you or I knew fist, I don't know the answer to that. I suspect you did. You source apparently beached confidentiality. I did not know what was coming down until Erik called me very early the morning of October 15. You win.

With regard to the blog you'd posted I also think you were right on several points. . .


quote:

informs me that a number of H-D executives will be pushing to have the company divest itself of Buell Motorcycles




I agree.

The decision to "divest" (which functionally translates in this case to destroy all evidence it ever existed) Harley-Davidson of Buell is appearing more and more . . .as you indicated to have been less driven by sound business judgment or genuine concern for Harley-Davidson as an opportunity, with the ear of Wandell who knew nearly nothing about the motorcycle business (he's never ridden one or been in a dealership), to carry out a personal vendetta that went back to around 1983. You win again and it seems others are beginning to stir about asking some of the questions you brought up. In all candor, you are the sole journalist to date, save the publication in the United Arab Emirates, to have expressed this opinion.

I'm sure your high level source provided you with some more details.

The little midnight raid that was carried out under Wandell's novice eyes never would have been tolerated, under Teerlink or Bleustein. Even if they'd shared the sentiments they were wise enough to know not to piss away millions of shareholders dollars in pursuit of a purely personal and self serving pursuit.

Some very familiar long term names have been driven from the ranks lately. That only served to exacerbate things. One didn't want to go and didn't until he found he was going to have to report to a "kid". It was becoming, as evidenced by a number of Buell successes, more and more obvious that Erik Buell was gaining political capital. That REALLY pissed a couple folks off.

Again you are right when you said . . "it would be a sad close to an overall sad chapter at Harley-Davidson."

You also nailed it on the race bike, what a great opportunity it was and how Harley-Davidson blew it. Ask your source how much Harley-Davidson spent just trying to field a credible racer. . . ask about the dinner conversation at the Davidson household the day the VR program was killed. When Buell took that #1 trophy they may have sealed their fate with a couple folks.

The folks have tried to do Buell in before . . there are some legendary efforts including the secret off site meeting I sat in and still have the notes from in 1997.

More recently a friend was using a consultant on a project in Minnesota. The consultant noticed the Buell stickers on his desk and asked about them. He went on to tell a harrowing story about doing a consulting gig with HD marketing and reported that during the time he was at Juneau the disdain in the department for Buell was so thick you could cut it with a knife. It's been described as "not just lack of support but active sabotage".

Another point you made that bears mention . . .


quote:

"Harley also alienated its dealers by forcing them to accept consignments of Buell motorcycles that they didnít want to sell, and, in many cases, knew they couldnít sell. "




As has been proven time and time again . . in most cases the "couldn't sell" was the result of the "didn't want to". I think when Dave Stueve, in rural Iowa, decided to take up the challenge and started breaking records for Buell sales in Iowa it proved that point. When folks started mentioning "luck" Dave moved to Appleton, WI and guess who, all of a sudden, was right up there among the top Buell dealers in the world?

Many dealers, as you said, were still pissed off about their 100th Anniversary allotments being tied to Buell sales. If the dealers were pissed off the District Managers were livid after being forced to ride Buells in 1998.

You're right on another point . . . and one that I mentioned in my response on your blog . .


quote:

This is not to say that Erik Buell has been blameless either. He is reputed to be abrasive and difficult to work with by many H-D executives. This has resulted in bad feelings among executives that has made them less likely to give Mr. Buellís opinions about the direction of Buell Motorcycles any serious consideration.




No doubt about it . . . I've quote Louis Rukeyser from his "Success offends Bureaucrats" column several times. Some of the ideas of some of the Harley-Davidson execs, like the folks who decided to turn the TT into a coloring book, have evoked some strong reaction from Erik and others at Buell. Right or wrong, good or bad for Harley-Davidson wasn't even part of the criteria . . these folks were on a quest to put Erik in his place. I saw some of this start with Mike Hilman, but at that time it was more indifference. As Buell grew it escalated to something on the order of blind rage as the folks at Buell did things like develop a motor for a fraction of what HD could . . . and then prove the motor was great. You can imagine how the VORD team, all couple hundred of them felt, watching Buell develop the Helicon for less than the lunch catering cost to the PDC during the VROD debacle.

Bleustein would have never tolerated this. As you know the BLAST was his "baby". It was going to be a Harley-Davidson project and only after he was laughed out of the board room did the idea come to East Troy. I think (no clue if I am right) that the "cubing" of the BLAST was a thinly veiled "look what we can do now that you are gone" nose thumbing to Bleustein.

You closed by saying


quote:

"If the anti-Buell Harley execs get their way, this long litany of failure will come to an end by pushing Buell out the door.




I'd just point out that the failure was on the part of Harley-Davidson. Buell was increasing numbers of shipments and lowering costs at a time when HD was experiencing two of the most traumatic programs in the history of the company.

My guess is that that line is about a direct quote from your highly placed source and I'll bet they'd confirm that the amazing success of the nearly completed Buell Barracuda promised to not only put Buell into the mainstream among outsiders, but to expose how poorly HD managed certain programs. You source can explain the details.

In summary . . .you were right and I was wrong.

My apology is sincere and I'll be eager to see if your source provides you with the fodder for the next installment . . . folks are beginning to ask questions. I hope you don't mind if I share your blog with some folks.

Court
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Ferris_von_bueller
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 06:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

I love it when posts magically disappear. Life would be so much better if we ALL were afforded the luxury of retracting our words, eh, Mr. Skinner.

Nice post, Court. I sure hope something can be done about Buell. I must have that new 2010 bike, dammit !!!

(Message edited by Ferris_von_bueller on November 14, 2009)

(Message edited by Ferris_von_bueller on November 14, 2009)
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F_skinner
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 06:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Ferris_von_bueller, I deleted it because I was out of line, you were correct and I was wrong.

Thanks
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Squidbuzz
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 07:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Just an FYI, Wandell does now own a Harley and even rides it. He bought one at Suburban in Thiensville, WI and also completed the Rider's Edge course there. He also apparently rode to Sturgis on it with Willie and Billy.

So, the "he doesn't ride a bike" is now no longer valid.
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Dalefranks
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 07:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

Court;

Thanks for your apology.

I appreciate the public retraction you've issued, and, naturally, I accept your apology. That was a very nice thing to do, and I hope we can forget all about the unpleasantness of the past.
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Dalefranks
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 07:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

I'll be eager to see if your source provides you with the fodder for the next installment

Hmmm. Funny you should mention that...
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Court
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 08:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

>>>Just an FYI, Wandell does now own a Harley and even rides it.

That is accurate. My intent was simply to convey that Wandell, at the time the folks brought him the idea that ditching Buell would somehow help HD focus on it's "core business" had not ridden a motorcycle and likely lacked both the passion for the sport and an appreciation for some of the less visible benefits that have flowed to HD from Buell.

If we're still splitting hairs on day Wandell bought the bike and if you want me to assume that he miraculously acquired all this lifetime of passion that afternoon then I'd be willing to restate by simply saying he never rode a motorcycle until he was 59 years old.

My point is not really his riding or not riding . . . I'll bet he's enjoying it and he lives not far from the dealer in Thiensviile so I'll bet he's been learning a lot . . my point is that he was perhaps fertile ground to be hoodwinked that somehow looping off the 2.5% that most accounts would deem immaterial is going to do much in pursuit of the new corporate goals. He may have been unwittingly used for to play out a nefarious personal agenda. Dale's blog supports that in about 9 places.

Dale . . the unpleasantness is indeed behind us.

It's been an interesting day and, once again, we agree on the "funny you should mention that". It seems some of the press is taking note of your clairvoyance. I'd suggested there may be reasons, other than those publicly stated, and was asked my source. It was nice to be able to point them to your blog predicting, a month before Harley-Davidson made the announcement, precisely what happened. The stark contrast lies only in the reasons. When you got the information it was dead accurate with nary a single mention of ANY business purpose, purely personal vendetta. Now, with time to study the statements provided, the "business reasons" simply holds no water.

The only thing that changed in the month between when you wrote your piece and the day the announcement was made were the REASONS that were provided.

Insiders, as you mention a number of times, have long maintained that the reasons were personal. You mention nothing about the business aspects in your blog except the myriad of mistakes and missteps by Harley-Davidson with regard to the dealers, marketing, the 1125R product launch that HD did and the "cubing" of the BLAST by the firm HD brought it.

. . things that all conspired, as Buell won a championship and was really hitting their stride to begin making some folks, the sames ones who'd watched several of their fellow top execs shown the door, look vulnerable.

As I was asked today . . . how is it that Harley-Davison, with one of the world's most formidable marketing organization couldn't move what even the magazines were lauding as a really good product? How come the majority of the dealers in America's largest dealer network, the one's that Harley-Davidson trained, didn't know how to determine which ECM flash was in a Buell, didn't know what spark plug a Buell used, had to "special order" parts like a clutch cable or tire?

This may be a cycle . . the "business basis" for not only discontinuing Buell but for taking all the partially developed products, people and intellectual property and essentially tossing them in the "organization shredder" holds no water. . . nope your If the anti-Buell Harley execs get their way, this long litany of failure will come to an end by pushing Buell out the door. seems to be getting a closer look. . . . again.

You had the guts to say it . . I'll be eager to see if any other journalists have the guts to risk their gratis media bike next year to ask more questions.

Interesting stuff . . . indeed.

My "high placed confidential source" had a Father who was a big shot with HD in mid 80's and he's livid.

At the very least this is going to be a fun chapter to write . . .
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Dalefranks
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 09:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

When you got the information it was dead accurate with nary a single mention of ANY business purpose, purely personal vendetta. Now, with time to study the statements provided, the "business reasons" simply holds no water.

Well, I don't really think there WAS a business case for getting rid of Buell. All that stuff about the need to concentrate on the HD brand was not only BS, it doesn't mean anything. How does dumping Buell help you concentrate on the brand? And what does concentrate on the brand even mean? That you're gonna find even more 52 year-old dentists that have never ridden before to buy your bikes?

Personally, whatever they told Wandell about the business reasons, I think everybody who disliked Buell saw a chance to publicly slit Erik's throat when the new guy showed up. I could be wrong, but that's my opinion.

As for the dealers...well...a significant proportion of Harley dealers don't have professional sales people. They have ex-cops or ex-firemen who ride Harleys, who knew somebody at the dealership, and who thought that selling Harley's after they retired from the force would be a fun job. And an easy one, since most of the people who walk in to buy a bike already want a Harley.

Nationwide, there's probably 30 or 40 Harley dealers who run top-notch, professional sales and service operations.

Buell needed a better dealership network than what Harley has to offer.
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Moxnix
Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 10:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

H-D may do well in India, competing against their Royal Enfield line, both selling antiquated machines to great hordes of people. Certainly the cost of shipping parts from Taiwan to assembly lines in India is less.

I'm watching patiently for some folks of business and economic importance to point out how many dog turds the folks (who organized Black Thursday and killed Buell) left in how many pockets throughout motorcycledom, let alone they favored old ideas against innovation and vanguard M/C technology. I want that news to be very public. As a follow-up gift to schlubs like me, I'd like to see these "masters of the universe" tossed out on the street. And, I'm willing to wait.
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