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BIKELAND > FORUMS > VFR1200.com > Thread: Stick a Fork in It - They're Done - A Bad Economy Swallows up Buell NEW TOPIC POST REPLY
Editor


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posted October 15, 2009 02:53 AM        Edited By: Staff on 15 Oct 2009 18:07
Stick a Fork in It - They're Done - A Bad Economy Swallows up Buell

Erik Buell, in an online video press release, announced the culling of his namesake, Buell motorcycles - yet another victim of a downward spiraling economy. Harley Davidson simultaneously issued this press release, which also details the tender of MV Agusta...


Harley Davidson said...

Buell and MV Agusta

The Company will discontinue production of Buell motorcycles. Remaining inventories of Buell motorcycles, accessories and apparel, while they last, will continue to be sold through authorized dealerships. Warranty coverage will continue as normal for Buell motorcycles and the Company will provide replacement parts and service through dealerships.

The decision will result in a reduction over time of about 80 hourly production positions and about 100 salaried positions at Buell. Employment will end for a majority of Buell employees Dec. 18, 2009.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. expects to incur approximately $125 million in one-time costs related to the discontinuation of the Buell product line. The Company expects to incur approximately $115 million of that amount this year.

Relative to MV Agusta, the Company will immediately commence efforts to sell the business, which is based in Varese, Italy.

In the third quarter, Harley-Davidson, Inc. recorded a one-time fixed-asset impairment charge of $14.2 million related to Buell and a goodwill impairment charge of $18.9 million related to MV Agusta.

"Buell and MV Agusta are great companies, with proud brands, high-quality exciting products and passionate enthusiasm for the motorcycle business. Buell has introduced many innovative advancements in motorcycle design and technology over the years and MV Agusta is known in Europe for its premium, high-performance sport motorcycles. However, our strategy to focus on the Harley-Davidson brand reflects the fact that we believe our investments in that brand are a better utilization of overall company resources," said Wandell.


The entire Harley Davidson announcement can be found below...



Harley-Davidson, Inc. HOG announced decreased revenue, net income and earnings per share for the third quarter of 2009 compared to the year-ago period, while reporting a moderation in the decline of retail new Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales compared to the second quarter.

Worldwide retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles declined 21.3 percent in the third quarter compared to last year's third quarter, an improvement from the 30.1 percent decline in this year's second quarter. An 84.1 percent decline in net income and an 84.5 percent decline in diluted earnings per share from the year-ago quarter reflected lower motorcycle shipments and the effects of the economy on retail and wholesale loan performance at Harley-Davidson Financial Services.

Harley-Davidson also unveiled major elements of its go-forward business strategy to drive growth through a single-minded focus of efforts and resources on the unique strengths of the Harley-Davidson brand, and to enhance productivity and profitability through continuous improvement. As approved yesterday by Harley-Davidson's Board of Directors, the Company will discontinue its Buell product line and divest its MV Agusta unit as part of this strategy.

"While the environment remains challenging for us, we are mildly encouraged by the moderation in the decline of dealer retail Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales," said Keith Wandell, Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. "And moving forward, our strategy is designed to strengthen Harley-Davidson for long-term growth and deliver results through increased focus.

"As our announcement regarding Buell and MV Agusta indicates, we are moving with the speed and decisiveness required to bring our business strategy to life," said Wandell. "The fact is we must focus both our effort and our investment on the Harley-Davidson brand, as we believe this provides an optimal path to sustained, meaningful, long-term growth."

Third Quarter and Nine-Month Results
Net income for the third quarter was $26.5 million, compared to $166.5 million in the third quarter of 2008, on revenue of $1.12 billion, compared to $1.42 billion in the year-ago period. Diluted earnings per share were $0.11 for the third quarter of 2009 and $0.71 in the year-ago period.

Through nine months, Harley-Davidson, Inc. reported net income of $163.6 million, down 71.6 percent and diluted earnings per share of $0.70, down 71.4 percent from the year-ago period. Revenue through nine months was $3.57 billion, down 17.1 percent from the same period last year.

"Delivering Results Through Focus" Strategy
A key element of the Company's go-forward strategy is to focus on extending the Harley-Davidson brand by leveraging unique Harley-Davidson strengths. The strategy focuses company resources on Harley-Davidson products and experiences, global expansion, demographic outreach and commitment to core customers. In addition, the Company will continue to expand its initiatives to enhance profitability through continuous improvement in manufacturing, product development and business operations.

"We are refocusing our business with the expectation that we can provide growth that is both profitable and sustainable over the long term," said Wandell. "We believe we can create a bright long-term future for our stakeholders through a single-minded focus on the Harley-Davidson brand."

The Company said it would share additional details about the strategy during its investor conference call today.

Details of Buell and MV Agusta Actions
The Company will discontinue production of Buell motorcycles. Remaining inventories of Buell motorcycles, accessories and apparel, while they last, will continue to be sold through authorized dealerships. Warranty coverage will continue as normal for Buell motorcycles and the Company will provide replacement parts and service through dealerships.

The decision will result in a reduction over time of about 80 hourly production positions and about 100 salaried positions at Buell. Employment will end for a majority of Buell employees Dec. 18, 2009.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. expects to incur approximately $125 million in one-time costs related to the discontinuation of the Buell product line. The Company expects to incur approximately $115 million of that amount this year.

Relative to MV Agusta, the Company will immediately commence efforts to sell the business, which is based in Varese, Italy.

In the third quarter, Harley-Davidson, Inc. recorded a one-time fixed-asset impairment charge of $14.2 million related to Buell and a goodwill impairment charge of $18.9 million related to MV Agusta.

"Buell and MV Agusta are great companies, with proud brands, high-quality exciting products and passionate enthusiasm for the motorcycle business. Buell has introduced many innovative advancements in motorcycle design and technology over the years and MV Agusta is known in Europe for its premium, high-performance sport motorcycles. However, our strategy to focus on the Harley-Davidson brand reflects the fact that we believe our investments in that brand are a better utilization of overall company resources," said Wandell.

Motorcycles and Related Products Segment
Third Quarter. Revenue from Harley-Davidson motorcycles during the third quarter of 2009 was $803.3 million, down 22.1 percent compared to the year-ago period. The Company shipped 54,236 Harley-Davidson motorcycles to dealers and distributors worldwide, down 27.4 percent from the third quarter of 2008 but in line with previous guidance of 52,000 to 57,000 units.Revenue from Parts and Accessories totaled $221.8 million during the quarter, down 14.4 percent and revenue from General Merchandise was $70.7 million during the quarter, down 15.9 percent compared to the year-ago period. Gross margin was 33.1 percent of revenue for the quarter compared to 34.0 percent in the year-ago quarter. Operating margin was 9.5 percent compared to 16.4 percent in the third quarter of 2008. Operating margin was affected largely by lower gross margin, restructuring charges and impairment charges.

Nine Months. Through nine months, revenue from Harley-Davidson motorcycles was $2.62 billion compared to $3.23 billion in 2008 on shipments of 187,085 Harley-Davidson motorcycles, compared to 226,898 motorcycles in 2008. Revenue from Parts and Accessories totaled $623.1 million during the first nine months, down 11.8 percent and revenue from General Merchandise was $215.5 million during the nine-month period, down 12.0 percent compared to the year-ago period. Gross margin was 34.6 percent and operating margin was 14.1 percent, compared to 35.4 percent and 18.9 percent respectively in the year-ago period.

Retail Motorcycle Sales.During the third quarter, retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles decreased 21.3 percent worldwide, 24.3 percent in the U.S. and 13.1 percent in international markets, compared to the prior-year quarter. Industry-wide U.S. retail heavyweight (651cc+) motorcycle sales declined 35.9 percent during the quarter, compared to the year-ago period.

For 2009 compared to 2008 through nine months, retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles decreased 22.9 percent worldwide, 25.5 percent in the U.S. and 16.5 percent in international markets. Industry-wide U.S. retail heavyweight motorcycle sales declined 38.7 percent year to date in 2009, compared to 2008.

Harley-Davidson Financial Services
Harley-Davidson Financial Services recorded an operating loss of $31.5 million for the third quarter of 2009 compared to an operating profit of $35.6 million in the third quarter of 2008. This decrease of $67.2 million was due to a higher provision for credit losses in both the retail and wholesale portfolios as well as increased interest expense. Year to date through the third quarter, HDFS reported an operating loss of $110.8 million, compared to operating income of $107.7 million for the prior year period. The nine-month operating loss includes two non-cash charges recorded in the second quarter of 2009: a $72.7 million credit loss provision for a one-time reclassification of motorcycle loan receivables; and a one-time $28.4 million charge to write off goodwill associated with HDFS.

HDFS continues to successfully access the credit markets to fund its lending activities. On October 9, HDFS completed a $700 million term securitization transaction with a weighted average interest rate of 1.2 percent.

Update on Restructuring Activities
On a combined basis, the Company expects previously announced restructuring activities, together with the discontinuation of Buell operations, to result in one-time charges of $215 million to $245 million over 2009 and 2010, or an increase of $55 million from the estimate provided July 16, 2009. The Company estimates annual ongoing savings from restructuring of approximately $140 million to $150 million.

The Company continues to pursue its previously announced "two path" study to determine whether additional major restructuring at York, Pa. facility can make those operations competitive and sustainable long term, or alternatively, whether the Company will relocate those operations to another U.S. location. As part of the restructuring analysis, the Company has begun contract talks with the union representing employees at York and expects to make a final decision on the status of the York operations by the end of this year.

Income Tax Rate
The Company's third-quarter effective income tax rate was 61.8 percent compared to 38.2 percent in the same quarter last year. This increase was due primarily to the tax implications of MV Agusta, including the non-deductible write down of goodwill, and the impact of reduced Company earnings. The Company expects its full-year 2009 effective tax rate on continuing operations, excluding MV Agusta, to be approximately 59 percent due to the previously reported one-time charges for the Wisconsin tax law change and the non-deductible goodwill write-off for Harley-Davidson Financial Services, as well as the impact of reduced earnings for the remainder of the year.

Cash Flow
Cash and cash equivalents totaled $1.52 billion as of Sept. 27, 2009, compared to $504.4 million at the end of the year-ago period. Cash provided by operations was $511.1 million and capital expenditures were $89.4 million during the first nine months of 2009. For the full year, capital expenditures are now expected to be $125 million to $145 million, including $15 million to $25 million related to restructuring activities.

Guidance
The Company is narrowing its guidance for full-year 2009 shipments, and now expects to ship 222,000 to 227,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles to dealers, including 35,000 to 40,000 during the fourth quarter. The Company continues to expect full-year gross margins to be between 30.5 percent and 31.5 percent.

Company Background

Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company for the group of companies doing business as Harley-Davidson Motor Company (HDMC), Buell Motorcycle Company (Buell), MV Agusta and Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS). Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, touring and cruiser motorcycles. Buell produces American sport performance motorcycles. MV Agusta produces premium, high-performance sport motorcycles sold under the MV Agusta brand and lightweight sport motorcycles sold under the Cagiva brand. HDFS provides wholesale and retail financing and insurance programs primarily to Harley-Davidson and Buell dealers and customers.

Forward-Looking Statements

The Company intends that certain matters discussed in this release are "forward-looking statements" intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can generally be identified as such because the context of the statement will include words such as the Company "believes," "anticipates," "expects," "plans," or "estimates" or words of similar meaning. Similarly, statements that describe future plans, objectives, outlooks, targets, guidance or goals are also forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated as of the date of this release. Certain of such risks and uncertainties are described below. Shareholders, potential investors, and other readers are urged to consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements and cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this release are only made as of the date of this release, and the Company disclaims any obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

The Company's ability to meet the targets and expectations noted depends upon, among other factors, the Company's ability to (i) execute its strategy and successfully exit certain product lines and divest certain company assets (ii) effectively execute the Company's restructuring plans within expected costs and timing, (iii) successfully achieve with our labor union partners flexible and cost-effective agreements to accomplish restructuring goals and long-term competitiveness, (iv) manage the risks that our independent dealers may have difficulty obtaining capital, and adjusting to the recession and slowdown in consumer demand, (v) manage supply chain issues, (vi) anticipate the level of consumer confidence in the economy, (vii) continue to have access to reliable sources of capital funding and adjust to fluctuations in the cost of capital, (viii) manage the credit quality, the loan servicing and collection activities, and the recovery rates of HDFS' loan portfolio, (ix) continue to realize production efficiencies at its production facilities and manage operating costs including materials, labor and overhead, (x) manage production capacity and production changes, (xi) provide products, services and experiences that are successful in the marketplace, (xii) develop and implement sales and marketing plans that retain existing retail customers and attract new retail customers in an increasingly competitive marketplace, (xiii) sell all of its motorcycles and related products and services to its independent dealers, (xiv) continue to develop the capabilities of its distributor and dealer network, (xv) manage changes and prepare for requirements in legislative and regulatory environments for its products, services and operations, (xvi) adjust to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates and commodity prices, (xvii) adjust to healthcare inflation, pension reform and tax changes, (xviii) retain and attract talented employees, (xix) detect any issues with our motorcycles or manufacturing processes to avoid delays in new model launches, recall campaigns, increased warranty costs or litigation, and (xx) implement and manage enterprise-wide information technology solutions and secure data contained in those systems.

In addition, the Company could experience delays or disruptions in its operations as a result of work stoppages, strikes, natural causes, terrorism or other factors. Other factors are described in risk factors that the Company has disclosed in documents previously filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Many of these risk factors are impacted by the current turbulent capital, credit and retail markets and our ability to adjust to the recession.

The Company's ability to sell its motorcycles and related products and services and to meet its financial expectations also depends on the ability of the Company's independent dealers to sell its motorcycles and related products and services to retail customers. The Company depends on the capability and financial capacity of its independent dealers and distributors to develop and implement effective retail sales plans to create demand for the motorcycles and related products and services they purchase from the Company. In addition, the Company's independent dealers and distributors may experience difficulties in operating their businesses and selling Harley-Davidson motorcycles and related products and services as a result of weather, economic conditions or other factors.


Harley-Davidson, Inc.
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
(Unaudited)

Three months ended Nine months ended
September 27, September 28, September 27, September 28,
2009 2008 2009 2008
---- ---- ---- ----

Net revenue $1,121,275 $1,422,834 $3,565,568 $4,301,716
Gross profit 371,086 484,072 1,234,147 1,522,133
Selling, administrative and engineering expense 194,973 249,120 611,864 697,945
Restructuring expense and other impairments 50,745 926 100,738 12,475
Goodwill impairment 18,888 - 18,888 -
------ --- ------ ---
Operating income from motorcycles & related products 106,480 234,026 502,657 811,713

Financial services income 136,993 111,966 365,627 312,095
Financial services expense 167,333 76,333 446,881 204,408
Restructuring expense 1,204 - 1,204 -
Goodwill impairment - - 28,387 -
--- --- ------ ---
Operating (loss)
income from financial services (31,544) 35,633 (110,845) 107,687

Corporate expense 5,288 1,657 19,370 14,482
----- ----- ------ ------
Income from operations 69,648 268,002 372,442 904,918
Investment income 947 2,751 3,217 7,033
Interest expense (1) 1,312 1,226 13,110 1,226
----- ----- ------ -----
Income before provision for income taxes 69,283 269,527 362,549 910,725
Provision for income taxes 42,800 102,986 198,969 333,816
------ ------- ------- -------
Net income $26,483 $166,541 $163,580 $576,909
======= ======== ======== ========

Earnings per common share:
Basic $0.11 $0.71 $0.70 $2.45
Diluted $0.11 $0.71 $0.70 $2.45

Weighted-average common shares:
Basic 232,677 233,081 232,527 235,068
Diluted 233,875 233,420 233,357 235,321

Cash dividends per common share $0.10 $0.33 $0.30 $0.96

(1) Interest expense for the nine months ended September 27, 2009 includes $8.0 million related to the Company's $600.0 million senior unsecured notes (Notes) issued in February 2009. This interest expense represents a portion of the total interest incurred on the Notes during the first quarter and corresponds to the initial temporary investment of proceeds at corporate. Prior to the end of the first quarter, the full proceeds were transferred to HDFS and, as a result, the balance of interest expense on the Notes for the period has been included in financial services expense.

Harley-Davidson, Inc.
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands)

(Unaudited) (Unaudited)
September 27, December 31, September 28,
2009 2008 2008
---- ---- ----
ASSETS
------
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $1,524,382 $593,558 $504,385
Marketable securities - - 524
Accounts receivable, net 339,163 296,258 331,388
Finance receivables held for sale (2) - 2,443,965 2,245,015
Finance receivables held for investment, net 1,525,164 1,378,461 1,115,035
Inventories 432,691 400,908 401,277
Other current assets 423,684 264,731 222,890
------- ------- -------
Total current assets 4,245,084 5,377,881 4,820,514

Finance
receivables held for investment, net 3,652,987 817,102 906,244
Other long-term assets 1,454,997 1,633,642 1,472,979
--------- --------- ---------
9,353,068 7,828,625 7,199,737
========= ========= =========

LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
------------------------------------
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable & accrued liabilities 953,112 865,108 1,070,770
Short-term debt 1,325,303 1,738,649 737,886
Current portion of long-term debt 668,205 - 401,096
------- --- -------
Total current liabilities 2,946,620 2,603,757 2,209,752

Long-term debt 3,176,648 2,176,238 2,033,000
Pension liability and postretirement healthcare benefits 768,474 758,411 275,959
Other long-term liabilities 171,354 174,616 180,667

Total shareholders' equity 2,289,972 2,115,603 2,500,359
--------- --------- ---------
$9,353,068 $7,828,625 $7,199,737
========== ========== ==========

(2) During the second quarter of 2009, the Company reclassified its finance receivables held for sale to finance receivables held for investment, net due to a change in the Company's intent to structure future securitization transactions in a manner that does not qualify for accounting sale treatment under the provisions of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 140, "Accounting for Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets and Extinguishment of Liabilities."

Harley-Davidson, Inc.
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)

Nine months ended
September 27, September 28,
2009 2008
---- ----

Net cash provided by (used by) operating activities $511,052 $(221,222)

Cash flows from Investing activities:
Capital expenditures (89,411) (153,687)
Finance receivables held for investment, net (519,916) (111,250)
Collection of retained securitization interests 45,843 75,379
Net change in marketable securities - 2,019
Acquisition of business, net of cash acquired - (95,224)
Other, net (4,566) (1,192)
------ ------
Net cash used by investing activities (568,050) (283,955)

Cash flows from financing activities:
Proceeds from issuance of medium term notes - 993,550
Proceeds from issuance of senior unsecured notes 589,030 -
Net borrowings of securitization debt 1,088,779 -
Net (decrease) increase in credit facilities and unsecured commercial paper (556,101) 88,538
Net borrowings of asset-backed commercial paper 56,691 -
Net change in restricted cash (127,462) -
Dividends (70,329) (225,243)
Purchase of common stock for treasury (296) (250,008)
Excess tax benefits from share-based payments 148 301
Issuance of common stock under employee stock option plans 11 1,179
-- -----
Net cash provided by financing activities 980,471 608,317

Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents 7,351 (1,609)

Net increase in cash and cash equivalents 930,824 101,531

Cash and cash equivalents:
At beginning of period 593,558 402,854
------- -------
At end of period $1,524,382 $504,385
========== ========



Net Revenue and Motorcycle
Shipment Data
(Unaudited)

Three months ended Nine months ended
September 27, September 28, September 27, September 28,
2009 2008 2009 2008
---- ---- ---- ----
NET REVENUE (in thousands)
Harley-Davidson motorcycles $803,256 $1,031,247 $2,622,774 $3,229,085
Buell & MV Agusta motorcycles 21,800 26,111 92,999 89,704
Parts & Accessories 221,832 259,033 623,058 706,640
General Merchandise 70,671 84,034 215,463 244,830
Other 3,716 22,409 11,274 31,457
----- ------ ------ ------
$1,121,275 $1,422,834 $3,565,568 $4,301,716
========== ========== ========== ==========

MOTORCYCLE SHIPMENTS:
Harley-Davidson
United States 36,524 49,953 124,428 149,228
International 17,712 24,751 62,657 77,670
------ ------ ------ ------
Total Harley-
Davidson 54,236 74,704 187,085 226,898
====== ====== ======= =======

Buell & MV Agusta 1,853 2,760 8,753 9,224
===== ===== ===== =====

MOTORCYCLE PRODUCT MIX:
Harley-Davidson
Touring 22,360 24,008 69,324 75,691
Custom 20,969 34,322 75,133 105,316
Sportster( R ) 10,907 16,374 42,628 45,891
------ ------ ------ ------
Total Harley-
Davidson 54,236 74,704 187,085 226,898
====== ====== ======= =======



Retail Sales of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

Three months ended Nine months ended
September 27, September 28, September 27, September 28,
2009 2008 2009 2008
---- ---- ---- ----
North America Region
--------------------
United States 44,650 59,000 141,101 189,437
Canada 3,494 3,682 10,376 14,552
----- ----- ------ ------
Total North
America Region 48,144 62,682 151,477 203,989

Europe Region (Includes Middle East and Africa)
-----------------------------------------------
Europe* 5,058 8,481 27,952 34,284
Other 2,941 1,006 4,733 3,483
----- ----- ----- -----
Total Europe
Region 7,999 9,487 32,685 37,767

Asia Pacific Region
-------------------
Japan 3,948 4,697 10,240 11,502
Other 2,184 2,310 7,235 7,722
----- ----- ----- -----
Total Asia Pacific
Region 6,132 7,007 17,475 19,224

Latin America
Region 1,454 1,776 4,243 6,034
------------- ----- ----- ----- -----

Total Worldwide
Retail Sales 63,729 80,952 205,880 267,014
====== ====== ======= =======

Data Source (subject to update)
-------------------------------
Data source for all 2008 and 2009 retail sales figures shown above is sales warranty and registration information provided by Harley-Davidson dealers and compiled by the Company. The Company must rely on information that its dealers supply concerning retail sales, and this information is subject to revision.

Only Harley-Davidson( R ) motorcycles are included in the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Sales data.

* Data for Europe include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Heavyweight Market Data

Nine months ended
September 27, September 28,
2009 2008
---- ----
United States(1) 260,842 425,732

Eight months ended
August 31, August 31,
2009 2008
---- ----
Europe(2) 253,694 317,065

1 - United States industry data includes 651+cc models, derived from submission of motorcycle retail sales by each major manufacturer to an independent third party. This data is subject to revision and update. As of the second quarter 2009, industry data includes three-wheeled vehicles retroactive to 2008.

2 - Europe data includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Industry retail motorcycle registration data includes 651+cc models, derived from information provided by Giral S.A., an independent agency. Europe market data is reported on a one-month lag. This data is subject to revision and update.




Source: Bikeland.org

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Bently


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2012 14r In Blue and no Mods!
Posts: 5428
posted October 15, 2009 03:20 AM        
Hope I'm not hurting anyone's feelings here but maybe it's time for harley to come out with some new stuff at a lower price can't keep selling the leather jacket and chaps image forever. I'm sorry but when I go to the local bike night in my town which last time the only two bikes there that where not harleys where my Thruxton and my Buddies Busa it's plain to see what kind of crowd is there. I would say 90 percent of the guys or couples that where there are into the harley thing just so they can dress up. and ride from bar to bar. it's not about the ride to the harley crowd it's about the clothes IMO. to bad to see Buell go I felt there 1125r could have really been a good seller but then again most harley shops don't know about sport bikes or care to know about sport bikes so unless someone walks in that knows they want one the sales poeple are not going to push them.
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fish_antlers


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Posts: 21786
posted October 15, 2009 03:25 AM        
I may be wrong about this, but didnt the latest buell feature a rotax engine? and that same engine is the type found in the BMW GS? If so then would the chinese not have some sort of a hand in Buell as the GS rotax is made in China?

thinking out loud...
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Shane661


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Posts: 11494
posted October 15, 2009 03:26 AM        
I guess it doesn't pay to build sportbikes with antiquated engine technology.

The big money is in H-D monogrammed tassels and accessories.

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Shane661


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posted October 15, 2009 03:27 AM        Edited By: Shane661 on 15 Oct 2009 18:28
Man, I can't help but be fixated on Buell's hair. It is mesmerizing.
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Bently


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posted October 15, 2009 04:12 AM        
But at least the rotax was a good engine for the 1125 unlike the engine in the first Buells.
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INTIMIDA2OR


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Posts: 13081
posted October 15, 2009 04:18 AM        
Aww no more buell... When can we say that about harley?
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nabrxx


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Posts: 2853
posted October 15, 2009 04:23 AM        
The weak die...and the strong get stronger. I rode a Buel lightning at a meet...not impressed. It was like riding a paint can shaker at idle and though it pulled ok from 1st, the rest of it's acceleration was hardly anything of note. RIP.
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Bently


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Posts: 5428
posted October 15, 2009 04:35 AM        
Nabrxx I'm no Buell fan but riding a lighting is nothing compared to the 1125 they finally had a decent bike with a strong motor, I would have expected this about 4 or 5 yrs ago when the lighting was the best they had cause they where JUNK IMO.
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aliveagain


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Posts: 5033
posted October 15, 2009 04:45 AM        
They should of kept the sportster motor.With all the aftermarket stuff, a 96" stroker would of been a(pardon the pun) blast.You guys are all fuck wads.It seems like every bike has to be on the cutting edge and you might have fun with it.Why are you guys so concerned about what others wear?There is nothing more idiotic then riders walking around in full leathers and road race boots,but hey if that floats your fancy.I think Harleys make great bikes if you use them for what they are,transportation.There is a reason the big 4 went out and made cruiser bikes and that is because thats what the market demands.Not everyone wants to ride like an asshole and back it into a corner,kneedragging or line ride 100mph through traffic.I guess I never understood this us against them mentality.I like Harleys and would consider buying one again.I notice noone has made a comment about Victory bikes,not much different.
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INTIMIDA2OR


Needs a life
RED rider!
Posts: 13081
posted October 15, 2009 05:02 AM        
Victorys don't break. I'd rather own a victory or a big 4 cruiser over a HD anyday!
____________
'06 Passion Red ZX-14



*Lee*

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tcchin


Zone Head
Posts: 867
posted October 15, 2009 05:10 AM        Edited By: tcchin on 15 Oct 2009 20:10
Good thing Buell bought his only national championship when he did. He really cut that one close...unlike his mesmerizing hair!
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Bently


Needs a life
2012 14r In Blue and no Mods!
Posts: 5428
posted October 15, 2009 05:13 AM        
Have you owned a Buell with the sporster motor? I did and the dealer had it more then I did, biggest piece of shit on the market. vibrated parts to death. if you did not stay on top of nuts and bolts parts would fall of going down the road speedo quit working 4 times in 1200 miles. and by going to the rotax I would not say they where cutting edge by anymeans. but the sure are a much better bike and fun to ride. still not gsxr hp but who cares that's not what they are. But for you to call someone a fu-k wad for there opion maybe you should know more then you think you do. And to think we all have to be on the cutting edge my second bike is a triumph thruxton with a whole 55 hp and carbs and 130 rear tire that if you hit the top speed of 110 on you better hang on for your life. and i would rather ride that now a days vs the 14. and your right about Victory will they be next to go? I hate to see anyone lose there jobs.
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Port_Angeles_NINJA


Expert Class
Posts: 388
posted October 15, 2009 06:14 AM        
quote:
They should of kept the sportster motor.With all the aftermarket stuff, a 96" stroker would of been a(pardon the pun) blast.You guys are all fuck wads.It seems like every bike has to be on the cutting edge and you might have fun with it.Why are you guys so concerned about what others wear?There is nothing more idiotic then riders walking around in full leathers and road race boots,but hey if that floats your fancy.I think Harleys make great bikes if you use them for what they are,transportation.There is a reason the big 4 went out and made cruiser bikes and that is because thats what the market demands.Not everyone wants to ride like an asshole and back it into a corner,kneedragging or line ride 100mph through traffic.I guess I never understood this us against them mentality.I like Harleys and would consider buying one again.I notice noone has made a comment about Victory bikes,not much different.


Full leathers and race boots will keep your skin attached if you wreck. Since chaps, leather vest, skullcap helmet, and earrings will not do the same i have to agree that the harley dress-up is a fashion statement.
____________
Red/Black 85' GPZ900
Blue 07' ZX14

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Shane661


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Posts: 11494
posted October 15, 2009 06:25 AM        Edited By: Shane661 on 15 Oct 2009 21:27
I wouldn't say that "a bad economy swallowed up Buell". Did they produce anything truly competitive in the sport bike market?

Seems like they spent a lot of time trying to convince the public that having a modern engine and competitive hp was not important in a sport bike. They failed.

I think the Buell's were at times innovative, and Buell himself is passionate about his work...but ultimately he and his company were held down by the engine design.

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zixxer14


Pro
Damn that was Quick
Posts: 1232
posted October 15, 2009 06:35 AM        
fuckwadfuckwadfuckwadfuckwadfuckwadfuckwadfuckwadfuckwadfuckwadfuckwadfuckwadfuckwadtoyoutoo! dieharleyscumposerassholenonridingdickwads! therethatwasrealmaturehuh?
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2000redrocket


Pro
Posts: 1662
posted October 15, 2009 07:09 AM        Edited By: 2000redrocket on 15 Oct 2009 22:10
alive,
calling us fuckwads cause you think we all are the guys agenst the image guys is stupid. i am not calling u stupid, just what you said and lumped all of us in to the dickheads that ride the line at 100mph and have to race everyware all the time.
one day harley will have to build a bike on quality. my friend that day is getting closer. less and less are getting them and now you loose money if you get rid of the harley in a year if it is not for you. baby boomers are old er and thier kids are grown up now. all oythers are going to have to be sold on getting one.
would you go to the ford dealer and think you got a good deal cause you are going to get chicks and thumbs up in your 1974 maveric with a cool paint job and fuel injection and pay say 25,000 for it when you can get a new other brand(pick one) that has new stuff and new ideas.
a friend got a rocker with the 100inch engine upgrade. has about 100hp. yeah did i say out the door for 26,000 bucks. wow i hope he likes it. don't call us names cause we do not under stand. most will not pay the price to try to under stand what getting that harley is all about. if you like your bike i will talk to you like a brother.i am just one of the guys that do not get it.

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K Bryant


Needs a job
Sponsor
Posts: 2911
posted October 15, 2009 07:24 AM        
We've been friends since we raced against each other in the 70's. I built his first 50 exhaust systems for the RR1000 and many thousands more afterward as his company evolved. As with any other "small business" owner, he went all in with a huge amount of dedication, heart and a dream. Most people who have never owned their own companies won't have any idea what I'm talking about. As he got bigger, and H-D finally came on board at various levels, before the buyout, I was thrilled for him. His hard work and sacrifice finally paid off when he sold the company.

I've ridden almost every single model Buell except the RW750. I even owned a 2000 X1 limited edition. As with almost every single bike I've ridden or owned, they were cool for what they were. It's easy to give pros and cons on any motorcycle: regardless of what it's designed for. I wasn't trying to compare it to anything else, simply appreciating and enjoying another motorcycle.

If you don't know the man, you cant' possibly imagine how hard it was for him to make that closing statement. He's a good guy.

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Bently


Needs a life
2012 14r In Blue and no Mods!
Posts: 5428
posted October 15, 2009 07:36 AM        
I've talked to Erik at an event a few years back and he really likes what he was doing, he might of made it if not for getting involved with harley from the begining but lets face the harley shops did nothing to help Erik and its reall to bad. he did do alot and none can take that from him.
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dubious


Needs a life
Needs more time to ride!
Posts: 8442
posted October 15, 2009 07:41 AM        
Great words of wisdom Kerry.
We can not ever understand a man until you have stood in his shoes, no matter what the situation.

For the first motorcycling season in my life, I have realised that performance is short lived, and character is long lived.
To produce a bike with both is a very difficult acheivement. To satisfy both spectrums a great feat. Probably an impossible one.

As antiquated the engine design is, his bikes were equally very unique.
The bikes had character. The man had a dream.
I hate to see any good business in the sport fail.
We all loose when this occurs.
____________
natural selection.....
destiny will overcome intervention.
Some are not worthy of the effort.

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Shane661


Needs a life
Posts: 11494
posted October 15, 2009 07:42 AM        Edited By: Shane661 on 15 Oct 2009 22:44
I'm sure we have not heard the last of Erik Buell...

I remember reading an article about him in Cycle magazine..back in the mid 80's. It was about his attempt to build a competitive Formula 1 bike. Seems he is drawn to challenges, and you can't keep someone like that down for long.

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Flame On


Needs a life
Fuel Air & Spark
Posts: 17104
posted October 15, 2009 07:59 AM        
Yes I believe Eric Buell will be back with something new he was being held back with the HD engine design.
____________
77 RD 400
80 GS1000 GT
06 ZX14

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Flame On


Needs a life
Fuel Air & Spark
Posts: 17104
posted October 15, 2009 08:05 AM        
Good business choice to scrap the buell HD needs him & others to design a new rotary engine for his advanced concepts.
____________
77 RD 400
80 GS1000 GT
06 ZX14

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gilberjj


Needs a job
Friend of Fast
Posts: 3193
posted October 15, 2009 08:20 AM        
Even though I have never been a fan of buells, I take this as really bad news. Not only does it hurt to see another pure American company fall by the wayside, but it's a motorcycle company. And when it comes to American motorcycles....... I'd say buell was the best one. I would love to buy American if they produced something worth buying, however, that day has not yet come, and I sincerely hope that Eric Buell continues and finds a new way to produce a true high performance motorcycle.
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Tool Man


Needs a job
Posts: 4493
posted October 15, 2009 08:27 AM        
Suck..
____________
The banks are failing..
The banks are failing...
Invest in Ammo

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