Harley marks 110th birthday with blowout party
The iconic motorcycle maker, whose fortunes have improved in recent years, throws a Labor Day weekend event for its fans.
For fans of Harley-Davidson (HOG), this Labor Day holiday weekend could be a dream come true. As part of its 110th anniversary celebrations, the motorcycle maker is throwing a party in its hometown of Milwaukee, Wis.
Harley is also one of America's most iconic brands -- with a financial history, especially in recent years, that analysts say has reflected much of the national economy's ups and downs.
Of course, sales in this industry can be -- pardon the pun -- cyclical.
The Motorcycle Industry Council reported 2012 retail sales for the sector's 19 top manufacturers increased 2.6% for the year. It was also the first time all four segments of the motorcycle industry -- scooter, dual, on-highway and off-highway -- reported increases in year-over-year unit sales.
But another recent council report, quoted by Motorcycle USA, says overall sales for the first quarter of this year were down nearly 15% compared with 2012. Weather was cited by both Harley and its nearest U.S. rival, Polaris Industries (PII), for their first-quarter sales downturns.
And Polaris, while having just a fraction of the high-priced, heavy motorcycle market dominated by Harley, isn't backing down. The company unveiled three new versions of its Indian motorcycle earlier this month at the annual rally in Sturgis, S.D.
But so far, nothing appears to be raining on Harley's birthday celebrations. The event has also been good for local businesses in metro Milwaukee -- especially Harley dealerships.
Todd Berlin, sales manager at Suburban Harley-Davidson in Thiensville, Wis., tells the Journal Sentinel that motorcyclists from nearly all 50 states have stopped by -- as well as bikers from Australia, Russia, Chile and Italy. And what's more, according to Berlin, the dealership also sold out its initial shipment of 2014 touring bikes.
I've rode a Harley for years, they are no worse than some of the Jap bikes I rode.
The newer bikes are leaps and bounds better than the older Harleys, and you just
can't beat that beautiful sound
I had a H
arley and women trouble .............never mind...I miss the hell out it....
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