Before I bought my first motorcycle, a 2005 Honda Goldwing, I never understood Harley Davidson riders (I still don’t to be honest). I didn’t understand paying $45 for a $10 T-Shirt, $200 for a pair of $50 motorcycle boots, the overpriced riding gloves, glasses, hats, the overpriced everything that is Harley Davidson merchandise. The whole getting into costume approach to motorcycle riding still baffles me, especially when a rider has on Harley everything. There’s a reason they say HD stands for a C-note every time you visit the dealer.
It has now been thirteen years since my first motorcycle. I currently ride a Honda VTX 1800 and a Harley Davidson Street Glide that I bought from a friend because after my experience at Peterson’s Harley Davidson South, I said I will never go back there to buy a motorcycle, and if all dealers seemed to walk on that air of over-confidence, in reality arrogance, which I also experienced at the Peterson’s North, then I’m not interested in giving you my money. This includes another dealer in Broward which keeps changing names so I don’t know their name today, but it is not a Peterson’s dealer.
Now, before I’m called a hater, understand that the dealers had called me to participate in my event. I go there on my own time and dime, only when I get there, to have to wait forever, treated by the sales personnel like they are better than me, only to have me leave and get nothing done after waiting a long time and arriving on time. The first time this happened, I couldn’t cancel the event, so the next day when I appeared with 175 motorcycles, 9 cars, and a 18 wheeler, they took notice, and all of a sudden personnel/management found the time to come talk to me. They never got an another event from me after that and when they were calling me for my last event, I didn’t return their call (the third time was the charm). And to be clear, I’m not alone on this issue. Studies/roundtable discussions indicate that women are now experiencing the same.
To this day, I have no Harley Davidson this or that for the simple reason that Harley Davidson isn’t paying me to advertise for them. I’ll elaborate.
Years ago- I’m talking the eighties, remember when Coca-Cola put out their own clothing line? I wanted a long sleeve shirt and my mom, typical of a Cuban mom that is straight to the point, asked me if I were an idiot? Huh? She then asked me if Coca-Cola was paying me to advertise their product? Good point!
Ever since then, I have avoided wearing clothing that obviously advertises the company. I think just having the shirt or jeans is more than enough advertising. Which, in a long, roundabout way, brings me to the point- what’s the obsession with Harley Davidson that results in nothing more than expensive loyalty?
Harley Davidson sure as hell doesn’t give owners deep discounts on their motorcycles or merchandise because of loyalty. If anything, they take advantage of this lopsided emotional relationship. Let’s not forget, it’s a business and businesses exist for the sole purpose of turning a profit.
For a million different reasons, Harley has been struggling financially as of late, and failing to manufacture affordable motorcycles is definitely at the top of the list. And for another eighties reference- as Eddie Murphy said in his stand up ‘Raw,’ “What Have You Done for me Lately?” Which brings me to my point (finally)—
Harley Davidson is closing their plant in Kansas City, Missouri and moving operations to York, Pennsylvania. Why?
Harley Davidson repurchased 15 million shares of their stock, $700 millions worth, and passed on the savings in the form of dividends to stock holders. Harley Davidson benefited from the corporate tax cut from President Trump that was reduced from 35% to 21%, even though Harley has been very critical of President Trump. Ask those eight hundred employees if any of that money “trickled down” to them. Also, take into consideration that a survey by CNBC found that only ten companies would use the tax break to boost employee salaries.
At the end of the day, you can spend your money where you wish, I’m just cautious where I spend mine.