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What's so "Premium" about Harley?

Old 04-09-2019, 08:04 AM
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Default What's so "Premium" about Harley?

Seriously, I'm getting tired of them touting themselves as a "premium brand". What justifies it as premium? No other manufacturer I can think of calls themselves a premium brand which makes me think it's just some marketing bullshit intended to sway sheeple into thinking they're actually buying something of greater quality than the competition.

If I had to answer that question I'd say it's defined as a product that excels in the execution of manufacturable product such that the consumer has a minimal number of issues and complaints, and quality of product is kept to similar high standards to minimize warranty expenses.

That being said, the only non-premium motorcycle manufacturers I can think of are out of China or Russia where we hardly ever see their bikes on the street and most people don't even know they exist.

Although, I will say this, I do appreciate the ability to walk into most HD dealerships on a Sunday to buy parts (most of which are in stock). Not sure that's something the mothership is behind or not, but it's a good selling point for someone who wrenches on his own bikes.
Old 04-09-2019, 08:24 AM
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The premium comes from salesmanship.

They get folks to pay much more for a product that they are convinced isn't good enough unless they pay another premium to upgrade it (pipes, stage x, tuning). Then pay a further premium to buy clothing and accessories to advertise for the company.

It's funny when you think about it.

Last edited by Walter White; 04-09-2019 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:35 AM
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People will complain about anything.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:39 AM
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I think it comes down to the little stuff. The build is quality. Statistically speak there will always be problems, but for the most part they use quality materials and execute clean builds.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:43 AM
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To be honest I do like their quality, history and the dealership network. No matter where you travel or live there is a dealership not far away.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:49 AM
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Coming from Japanese brands, the quality of components on the Harley are superior. I won’t say they are more reliable or their engines will last longer than Jap bikes, but the little things are what matters when it comes to the bike. The switches and controls don’t feel cheap as with other manufacturers. Similar to sitting in a baseline Chevy pickup vs gripping the wheel in a Denali, sometimes the little things sell a bike.

The dealer network and parts interchangeability are also convenient.

Last edited by Almostinvincible119; 04-09-2019 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:04 AM
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If you put a Harley side by side with any other manufacture and spent 5 minutes looking at, sitting on and touching stuff on the bike you would realize why its a premium brand. All the parts are high quality, from the paint and metalwork down to the smallest switches and buttons, everything feels and looks better on a harley. Most manufactures cut costs by using cheap switches, plastic everywhere, plain paint etc etc. I'm not saying they perform better or are more reliable, but I think there is no question they are nicer than all of their competition. Thats why I own one, but from the looks of all the complaining on this forum about harley taking their money half the members here should strongly consider getting rid of theirs and going to a different brand. Harley doesn't make you buy any of their products, parts and accessories, but I am glad that they have anything I could ever want to customize my bike, no other manufacture can come close to competing with that.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:06 AM
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A premium brand is mostly in the eye of the beholder. take for example BMW and Maserati, two brands that are considered top tier but whose vehicles break down often and come full of glitches out of the factory. Same for Range Rover.

In my opinion, Harley Davidson makes a quality product but falls short of going the extra mile by not incorporating modern safety features on their vehicles that other manufacturers include on motorcycles costing less money. $40 grand for a bike is a lot of money, specially when you have to spend a few more grand to make it work properly. Shoot, they don't even give you a gas cap holder ;-)
Old 04-09-2019, 09:11 AM
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They have coffee and actual bakery donuts (not the grocery store kind) in the waiting room, and reading material for when you're getting the sumping oil pump replaced, and the failed ABS re-flashed,
Premium, baby.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Mattbastard View Post
What justifies it as premium?
While not particularly attracted to the the new models (and to me, "new" means anything from about 1999 forward), I will say this: Go to any other brand's showroom and look around, then go to an HD showroom. The finish quality in general, and the paint quality in particular, on HD's is dramatically higher than anything else. HD obviously puts a lot of money into their finishes, and it shows.
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