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Harley-Davidson drops Buell, will divest MV Agusta

Discussion in 'Motorcycles & Boats' started by DMC, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. DMC

    DMC Formula 3

    Nov 15, 2002
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    Dean
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  3. tundraphile

    tundraphile F1 Rookie

    May 16, 2007
    4,162
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    It really sucks for all involved. Buell had really developed their product line to appeal to someone other than a diehard Harley fan. You couldn't have given me one of the POS air-cooled Buells, but the new Rotax motor could have been interesting. It surprises me though that they didn'r try to sell Buell, it seems to have differentiated itself from Harley enough to stand on its own.

    They didn't seem to be doing anything with MV, so if a well-funded company buys them and has a vision other than chaps and tats, it will be a good thing for MV in the long run.
     
  4. adc

    adc Karting

    Feb 1, 2009
    147
    HD must have read my earlier post. 1125 is a nice bike but ugly and I wouldn't buy one. There is no compelling reason to buy when I put it up against a Duc or Aprilia. I don't mind riding ugly bikes since I own a Capo Nord.

    Who would buy Buell? It all comes down to retail. The bikes did not sell.
     
  5. Choptop

    Choptop F1 Rookie

    Aug 15, 2004
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    Alan Galbraith
    Its pretty sad. I've been a huge Buell supporter, and one of their biggest detractors when they got it wrong... so much so that Erik has refused to talk to me at times :D....

    I hope that Erik can do something outside the realm of HD. It would be VERY interesting to see what he could come up with.
     
  6. tundraphile

    tundraphile F1 Rookie

    May 16, 2007
    4,162
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    I was (am?) considering an 1125r instead getting another Ducati for a 100 mile daily commute for a few compelling reasons:

    More comfortable
    Less maintenance for engine
    Dealer is much closer to me
    Belt drive means big mileage between servicing.

    It is ugly, but looks better in person than in pictures. That wide fairing also gives good wind protection.
     
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  8. Choptop

    Choptop F1 Rookie

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    I've yet to put one on track (it was raining the day I had one lined up to ride at Laguna and Buell wouldnt let me take it out).. but i've heard from other racers who's opinions I trust that the bike is really a peach. The front end was reported to be very good, even in stock trim and set up, then engine pulled hard, and the fairing while big and somewhat ugly offers great wind protection even for big fookers like me.
     
  9. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
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    #7 Wade, Oct 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    You can always add a full fairing...

    http://www.trojan-horse.co.uk/prods/249.html
    http://thekneeslider.com/archives/2008/03/10/buell-1125r-full-fairing-kit/
    http://www.twinmotorcycles.nl/webshop/artikel.asp?guid=YXHFSC&aid=2346&cid=110&s=
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  10. jmuriz

    jmuriz Formula Junior

    Dec 9, 2003
    387
    Arlington, VA
    Anyone think they dropped Buell because Erik went to another company to make him a liquid-cooled V-twin? I think it's a shame, I'd love for Erik to get back on his feet and keep going...seems like they were really starting to make better bikes and BAM.
     
  11. tundraphile

    tundraphile F1 Rookie

    May 16, 2007
    4,162
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    Buell only owned a tiny portion of the company, 2% IIRC. He couldn't have went outside without the blessing of Harley management.
     
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  13. Willybeen

    Willybeen Karting

    Aug 18, 2009
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    Vero/Palm Beach
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    William
    no surprise here :(

    sad still.
     
  14. Choptop

    Choptop F1 Rookie

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    absolutely not.

    Erik helped work on the VR1000 motor and the V-Rod motor. Neither one was suitable for Buell. The talk of a Rotax motor in a Buell is not new, it started in 2001 or so. HD gave its blessing.

    This is a strictly financial and "image core" move. HD sees its main value in its cruiser/american/heritage image. And they are right. The "American Sportbike" image never reaped bug returns for Buell. It grabbed a few, like me, but didnt make a dent in the VERY cut throat sportbike market.

    Is there room in the market for an American Sportbike? Yes
    But it needs to compete with the big boys head to head, no excuses, no compromise, no gimicks.
     
  15. tundraphile

    tundraphile F1 Rookie

    May 16, 2007
    4,162
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    I read a thing on superbikeplanet today in an interview with Micheal Lock (Ducati USA CEO) that he was far more surprised about Harley selling MV only a year after they bought them.

    You have to wonder if Harley is betting that crusiers will come back, because now that is all they have...
     
  16. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
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  17. Irishman

    Irishman F1 Rookie

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    #14 Irishman, Oct 15, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
    I bought my first Harley in '89 (Softail) and still have it with 125,000 miles and still going. I viewed the whole Beull affair as positive since Harley needed young blood for buyers. But, the Buell reality was expensive, heavy, slow and not cool. The recent racing advances aside they just didn't connect into the midstream of the youth who might buy them, not that they could afford them anyway.

    Fail.

    Major bummer with this news today.
     
  18. 8850

    8850 Rookie

    Oct 7, 2009
    19
    Sad day...
     
  19. PaulVincent

    PaulVincent Formula Junior

    Oct 21, 2007
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    #16 PaulVincent, Oct 16, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  20. adc

    adc Karting

    Feb 1, 2009
    147
    The Powersports industry is in reverse. As of today, HD will not be at Cycle World shows this year nor BMW for that matter. It will consist of 4 jap and ducati for the whole tour. Can AM and Victory will probably be at select shows. Victory has a brand new model and they have chosen a different way to market the new bike. I disagree but....

    The 1125 is an OK track bike. Nothing overwhelming. For my money, I would buy a couple year old Mille R (full Ohlins, OZ wheels) for a few thousand dollars and have a dedicated track bike.

    I understand if you want to buy a Buell for the street if the better dealer is close to you. Too many people only buy "the bike". They forget to take into consideration: parts, service, strength of dealer and dealer network.

    It was a financial decision to shut down Buell. I am sure HD is looking to close York plant. I would surmise that this will be pretty simple analysis since this is a union plant plus the facilities are older.
     
  21. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    While I am bummed about it, I am not shocked. The market is in a downturn and you must play to your strengths...Harley's strength is cruisers.

    I was screaming for Harley to acquire Ducati back before TPG purchased them and took them private. Harley responded by acquiring a stake in Buell, but those bikes were really niche and didn't have a global presence like Ducati. Big mistake in my book, as Ducati has a great brand and decent sales (certainly more than Buell and MV Agusta).

    MV Agusta was a good move, but with a smaller dealer network and limited brand, it would require additional investment.

    Harley risks becoming another Cadillac (at least prior to the CTS) - an aging buyer population, with a younger crowd not necessarily into the "mystique". Not to mention complete retreat from an adjacent market (sport bikes) and pressure from the Japanese companies into their territory (which prevents them from making defensive moves).

    Bad move.
     
  22. Hexnut72

    Hexnut72 Formula Junior

    Nov 22, 2006
    324
    I wish they would have made a bigger Buell. I am not a small guy and while I loved the idea of a Buell, they looked tiny. I think the pic of the bike with the full black fairing would have gotten more people in the showroom.
     
  23. Choptop

    Choptop F1 Rookie

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    check out a Ulysses. They are HUGE.

    the 1125R is also decent sized.

    The XB series is small.
     
  24. Choptop

    Choptop F1 Rookie

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    1125's are on FIRE SALE !!!!

    only one day after the announcement dealers are dropping them like hot rocks. Reports of new 1125's going for $5300 OTD (new, with warranty) are being told and verified.

    If you ever even thought about one of these bikes, now is the time. A lot of bike for that price.
     
  25. tundraphile

    tundraphile F1 Rookie

    May 16, 2007
    4,162
    Missouri
    Some dealers have new '08 models in the fours, and one dealer in Wisconsin advertised a demo '08 for $3995 (now sold).

    What I read was that Harley told the dealers they would help with the losses but to sell the bikes for 50% of retail or $5000. The "going rate" Friday for an '09 1125r appears to be be about $6k before fees, which happens to be 50% off retail, further strengthening the rumor of Harley kicking in money to the dealers.

    Friday was probably a record day for Buell sales, the internet was buzzing with people that bought them for these prices. Some dealers are still holding out for high prices. Once the majority of inventory is cleaned out at the other realistic dealerships, they will be sitting on the last new inventory. However, I doubt an 1125r will ever be worth more than it is today, and that is about $3000 less than Wednesday.

    The dealer near me has had an '08 1125r as their demo bike this year and is sitting on all three colors of '09 models plus a couple of cr's. I wonder what they would take for the demo two-year-old bike with known teething issues from a defunct brand...$3800?
     
  26. PaulVincent

    PaulVincent Formula Junior

    Oct 21, 2007
    322
    New for $5,000? Then offer them $2,501 cash for the '08 demo and not a cent more.
     
  27. D.B.Cooper

    D.B.Cooper Rookie

    Oct 14, 2009
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    #24 D.B.Cooper, Oct 17, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2009
    HD\'s the 3rd company that Castiglioni has scammed, on to the next, mail is it might well be VW Group?

    HD know *FA* about engineering, that marriage was never going to work.HD where only a money pit for Cagiva, but alas they have finally seen it was going nowhere, nice opp. and escape for HD to get out of the deal!

    Lots of new MV products out @ next months big Italian show, maybe Piaggio or Ducati can buy them, my wish is for it to be back in Italian hands?
     
  28. tundraphile

    tundraphile F1 Rookie

    May 16, 2007
    4,162
    Missouri
    Harley has a $5000 rebate back to dealers on the 1125 models, $3000 on XB12, and $2000 on XB9. Some dealers now have this on their website.

    So that 1125r you see advertised for $7k isn't such a great deal considering full retail is $12k. To the dealer it was like they sold it for full MSRP.

    In the morning I'm going to ride the last '08 demo 1125r my local dealer has in stock. Let's see, retail two model years ago was $12k. Now a two-model-year-old demonstrator from a defunct company should warrant a discount of what, 25%? The last demo I bought (Ducati 999) was a little over 25% off.

    So without the rebate you are looking at $9k.

    BTW, several dealers over the summer had '08 (non-demo) advertised for $9k. May have been willing to deal from there, so this is reasonable number, probably a bit high actually.

    Subtract off $5000 from $9000 and you get $4000 as the offer. Sounds crazy low but the dealership will be compensated. I don't expect them to take it (other dealers have though). I will probably have a personal limit of $4800 or so OTD. I don't need the bike, they are just so cheap I cannot resist.
     

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