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Heed 505

Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Hits the Streets

Monday, January 25, 2010
Check out this swanky video commissioned by folks at Harley-Davidson, which shows a day-in-the-life of a posse of young urban hipsters aboard their Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight motorcycle. It kind of makes me want to rip around on a Harley. Kudos H-D.

Post Tags: Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight
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Comments
Mcguire -sewer rat February 13, 2010 06:06 AM
I don't know about the rest of you but I can hardly ever remember a TV commercial on prime time that was to market motorcycles. Yeah you see lots of commercials with motorcycles in them because of the cool factor but it seems the manufactures have all but given up on advertising. During last years annual reaming of the public by the gas companies (Theres a thunderstorm in the Gulf..oops,we gotta raise gas prices) It would have been wise of the manufactures to inform the public of the thriftyness of some of their machines. Instead they let the car companiew fight for the scraps of business out there. Motorcycles can be a much larger piece of the American transportation pie (Ive worked in the transportation industry for 32 years). People are cash strapped and seek bargans..cheap sells. Ive seen a train/bus company drop by 25% because of a 25 cent raise in fares. People seek cheap reliable transportation.
CCRydah -This is actually a nice effort by the "MoCo" January 29, 2010 12:47 PM
This is actually a nice effort by the "MoCo". Now..If they "Frisco"(lift)the tank" and rake the front end a few degrees with slightly longer front legs. Not much is needed. Just a tad like they did with the Dyna Wide Glide. With the rake and longer legs, a 18" or 19" x 3.5 front wheel would top it off. These things and it would definitely be on point. While 'ya BS'in, watch for RSD to do this within a year or two if you think I'm playin!! ... However, for those still on milk and not able to palate meat; just a few simple details would bring it closer to the mark. A couple inch higher risers for the handle bars, and/or drop the seat Not just lower the rear end. I mean drop the seat within the frame. A six-footer looks stupid perched atop that springer seat pan, hunched down trying to reach the low hand controls. Looks like he's trying to ride his little brothers "big wheel" tricycle. "86" that sprung seat-pan and replace it with a bare bones seat. Sprung saddles usually look fine on hard-tails, but don't always translate well to bikes with shocks. Same reason why replacing the sprung seat on a Cross-Bones with a regular "cobra" style seat TOTALLY transforms that bike. If they want to keep the sprung-saddle look then the MoCo need to actually drop the seat rails in the frame.... I digress... Anyway, this model is a good starting point for the "Sporty-Chopper" look HD are trying to achieve. Starts at $10k which is in the price range of a 1-Liter sport-bike which he demographic of the target audience has no trouble affording. So I don't know why someone said the kids can't afford this bike...
CCRydah -Re: MV Man- Smoker January 29, 2010 09:37 AM
Yep.. I caught them.. =D
Desmolicious -Harley owns the large bike market January 28, 2010 02:10 PM
Brian wrote: "I'm not an economist...but I belive Honda's 48% sales drop STILL leaves them WAAAYYYYY outselling HD's 25% drop"

Harley only sells bikes 883cc and bigger. In the marketplace for large capacity motorcycles (not just cruisers) Harley dominates the marketplace.
If you include scooter, small sport bikes, dirt bikes, ATVs etc Honda does outsell Harley in total sales units. But that is not a relevant market segment as Harley has no intention to nor does it manufacture those things.
Timberson -Desmolicious January 28, 2010 02:07 PM
You took the words right out of my keyboard Brian. Desmo, I would take any day Honda’s or any of the other four Japanese sales slump this year over the perpetual slump Harley has been in for the past 100 yrs. The big four measure their sales totals in the millions; Harley measures their sales totals in the thousands.

Here is a visual for you Desmo: Honda-15,000,000 total annual sales Harley 223,000.

“Are those who would never be in the market anyway”. Not with the junk Harley sells or the attitudes the owners have.

“Yeah, great job of selling themselves! Maybe if they actually marketed the product? Hmmm? The thing that many of you hate Harley for doing”? It isn’t just the lame old marketing gimmicks but it’s also the lame old product being marketed.

Realist?…Nope just another elitist desperately grasping at straws in an un-winnable argument.


Brian -Desmolicious??? January 27, 2010 09:16 PM
Desmolicious...I'm not an economist...but I belive Honda's 48% sales drop STILL leaves them WAAAYYYYY outselling HD's 25% drop. So yes. Japanese bike DO sell themselves (as they don't rely on advertising). Ok..more % games...Triumph has reportedly suffered ZERO sales loss. Does this mean THEY are the sales KING? Certainly not. They simply produce less (as does HD compared to Japanese). TOTAL sales are the name of the game here, NOT %.
Let's also not judge WHO can afford WHAT. Many buyers could afford ANY HD they want, yet choose to get "more" for their money. I like low tech "classic" machinery as much as many do. However I DON'T like paying a premium for it. I love vintage old muscle cars too ('70 Hemi-Cuda's get me drooling!), yet I won't be buying one at more than the cost of a higher performing, equally well built, NEW car (which means...no Hemi-Cuda for me! ha ha). For many, such as myself, HD is just not a wise purchase.
Desmolicious -Funny how all the critics January 27, 2010 03:32 PM
Are those who would never be in the market anyway.
Elitist? No. Realist? Yes.

And yeah, Japanese bikes really do sell themselves, which is why Honda's North America sales dropped by 48%, compared to Harley's 25%.

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/582/5626/Motorcycle-Article/Honda-Releases-2009-Global-Sales-Stats.aspx

"The North American figure, which includes Mexico, shows a 48% decline, from 391,000 to 204,000."

Yeah, great job of selling themselves! Maybe if they actually marketed the product? Hmmm? The thing that many of you hate Harley for doing?

Seen this before -Overpriced Junk January 27, 2010 03:31 PM
Just some more "Harley New Last Years Model." I do want to me included in the outlaw Harley motif. This junk is way overpriced for a 50 year old bike. What in the hell do you do with a 2 gallon tank. Oh wait, I forgot, its a Harley. You don't need a big gas tank on a Harley because you don't ride them very long. Just long enough to show off your loud exhaust and your new village people outfit.
Brandon -Light or Fast? January 27, 2010 01:06 PM
Harley can't make anything light or fast; they lost the balls to do anything like that long before I was born. If I did have the money (I don't) to get a bike just for looks and relaxed "cruising" I guess is the term, I'd probably get a Triumph; classic looks, none of that RUB stigma, and it's not over-priced. With all that being said, the only bike Harley makes that appeals to me in any way is the XR1200. If this advertisement is the future of Harley riders, Hells Angels is going to have recruitment issues.
Timberson -Desmolicious...now for some real facts January 27, 2010 10:31 AM
I own two bikes that cost me only $3-4K each does that mean I can’t afford a Harley? No. I could afford 3 Harleys if I want but I have just as much fun on a used $4K bike as I do a $10-15K. Besides most riders I know start out with an inexpensive bike and then move up, maybe he is ready to move up to a more expensive bike because he has been saving money. The harsh reality,Desmolicious, is you’re a judgmental elitist. You probably meet someone new and sum them up by the kind of clothes they wear or car they drive which is fine because odds are that is all that matters to someone like yourself and because you have nothing else to offer the world.

Obviously Harley is marketing the younger crowd and this is what businesses do, but you don’t see Apple trying to sell Apple IIC computers or an Atari system to young people; this is why this ad campaign is so ridiculous.

The Japanese don’t need slick marketing gimmicks to sell their product…the product sells itself because it is soooo good. Their bikes win world championships, run forever, look good, ride nice and are a very good value. None of these virtues does Harley have so they need ad campaigns, gimmicks and marketing BS.

“Doing NOTHING to try to appeal to the young/hip/old/crusty – whatever” Yet the Japanese out sell Harley 10 to 1 in the young/hip demographic so what does that tell you about the Japanese product compared to the Harley product.
MV Man -Smoker January 27, 2010 09:02 AM
Did anyone else catch the smoker at the 1:04 and again at the 1:20 mark?
Cknugget -Very close to target January 27, 2010 06:50 AM
The video hits the sporty group around here close. At the bike nights I go to its about 50/50 on guys my age riding vulcans or sportsters and sport bike riders. The crusier riders dress and act like this.

I have taken my 883 with a 3 gallon tank accross the country but that took some careful fuel stop planning. The 2 gallon tank may be to limiting even if it does look sharp.
irksome -! January 26, 2010 08:23 PM
Kind of reminds me of when my grandfather tried to sell me on the virtues of buying his old Buick. At least the Buick didn't have a 2 gallon tank. Harley's demographic will be pushing walkers into their RVs in the next few years; so they kill Buell. They've made their corporate policy obvious: keep flogging a dying horse. Perhaps if they gave out free pirate costumes...
Morvegil -Kids cant afford this bike January 26, 2010 06:04 PM
Unless you have rich parents, you aren't affording this bike.
Harley Marketing -What if it works... January 26, 2010 01:17 PM
Look Harley's demo is aging, but so is the entire industry! Who's to say H-D can't get some 20-30 something hipsters onto a sub-10K cruiser. The Sportster looks great and is a fun ride. Most people that ride MCs arent looking to scrape pegs and drag knees. They want to get out and go for a spin.
Aren't the Harley bashers always bitching about posers dressing up like pirates, a la the South Park episode. Isnt it a good thing to get some hipster yuppies tooling around in Chuck Taylors and retro lid. Why the hell not!
Desmolicious -Face the facts.. January 26, 2010 12:19 PM
If you're riding a YZF 600 you're not in the market for an XR1200. Harsh reality, because no matter how light or fast Harley made it, you can't afford it. If you could, you'd be riding a current model Japanese sport bike. Not one that costs $3K.
That's the harsh reality.

(not knocking on your ride, it's a nice bike)

As for " In that video they literally showed dudes riding around with SKATE BOARDS in their back pack while wearing Vans."
Hah! I do that with my Harley Street Bob! I often ride around with my skateboard in a back pack if I'm going further away than normal to skateboard! (normally it's Venice Beach, but sometimes I'll cruise down to Hermosa Beach).

Look, people bee-yotch about Harley marketing, their videos showing cool hip people etc. Whaddya expect? They are selling product and they want to show it in the intended setting.
What kind of marketing have the Japanese mfgs done? I don't remember ANYTHING apart from that really lame 'viral' effort by Honda for their Fury cruiser. And seeing that I have not seen one Fury on the streets of LA, I gotta say that was a miserable failure.

Instead of being mad at Harley's marketing (which makes no sense, they are a business after all trying to sell product), you should be mad at the Japanese mfgs for doing NOTHING to promote their product. Doing NOTHING to try to appeal to the young/hip/old/crusty - whatever.
Brandon -What??? January 26, 2010 07:03 AM
Okay I'm 24 and the only Harley that kinda appeals to me is the XR1200, of course when I read that it weighs in the 600 pound range I say no thanks; I'll keep my sweet-handling steel-framed YZF-600R that weighs 482 wet, that's heavy 600cc sportbike.
Racer1 -Rebranding and slick ads January 26, 2010 06:58 AM
do not change the fact that this demographic would have a much better time - riding - on pretty much ANY other bike! This is a sign of the recession - pump out an ancient model with a new name to a new market... as Harold says.... gravy.
adam-motousa -funny comments January 25, 2010 09:56 PM
guys haha
Harold -Get Real January 25, 2010 02:20 PM
So did Harley hire the same people who do ads for Abercrombie & Fitch but asked them to make the actors look a little “grungy” looking. Looked like the best times in the video were when the bikes were parked and they were hanging out with the babes. This video is about as bad as the video they made when the Crossbones model came out. In that video they literally showed dudes riding around with SKATE BOARDS in their back pack while wearing Vans.

I guess Harley is about done milking all the 50-65 yr. old posers and is now moving to the 18-25 yr. old wanna be. Maybe this is why Harley killed Buell. Harley doesn’t want to sell them something cool like an XB or 1125R/CR…no…no those bikes actually cost money to produce, but a 50 yr. old sportster design is pure gravy.

Pointless. Harley kills the only real chance to attract younger buyers and instead tries to shovel off this garbage called the 48.
Desmolicious -Reality is... January 25, 2010 11:13 AM
The hipsters in LA are roaming around on cafe'd out beater bikes, mainly Japanese I4s from the 1970s.

I'm sure they'd love the 48 (by the way the article by your editor Harley didn't even mention the basis of that name - it's the first year the peanut tank was used), but the old Japanese bikes are very very cheap to get going. Gives them that grunge PBR cred...