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The Motor Company –
The Motor Company web site:
Company history:
In the year 1901 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, William Harley, 21, and Arthur Davidson, 20, began experiments on "taking the work out of bicycling." They were soon joined by Arthur's brothers, Walter and William. Many changes were made to the engine design before its builders were satisfied. After the new looped frame was finalized, they were ready to begin production. 1903 production: 3 motorcycles. Surviving two world wars, Harley struggled during the late 1960's. AMF bought Harley Davidson through and carried them through the 1970's after near death at the hands of low cost reliable Japanese imports. The AMF years were not favored by many enthusiasts but the corporate conglomerate did modernize many manufacturing processes, including integration of final assembly in York, PA, and some features lacking in pre-AMF designs such as disc brakes.

13 employees including founding members grandson Willie G. Davidson bought the Motor Company back from AMF in 1983. They went public soon afterwards and the rest is Wall Street legend. They have come a long way since 3 motorcycles in 1903 producing well over 200,000 motorcycles in the 2000 model year. Plans are now being cast for a grand & exuberant celebration in Milwaukee for the 100th anniversary in 2003.

Boring stuff:
From TMF: “HDI designs, manufactures and markets heavyweight motorcycles, parts, accessories, collectibles and riding apparel. HDI, through HDFS, also provides financing services programs to dealers and retail customers. For the FY ended 12/31/00, sales rose 18% to $2.91B. Net income rose 30% to $347.7M from some 7,220 employees. Revenues reflect an increase in motorcycle unit shipments. Earnings also reflect improved gross profit and gain on sale of credit card business.

Officers: Jeffrey Bleustein, Chmn./CEO; James McCaslin, Pres./COO; James Ziemer, VP/CFO; James Brostowitz, VP/Treas./Contr.; Gail Lione, VP/Counsel/Secy.
Transfer Agent: First Wisconsin Trust Co. Company incorporated 1981 in DE.
Direct inquiries to: Director of Investor Relations.

Mkt. Cap. (Mil) $11,360.90 with Shares Outstanding (Mil) 303.04 Gross Margins of (TTM) 34.09% Operating Margin (TTM) 17.72% Profit Margin (TTM) 11.96%

Motor Company Mission:
We fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling,
by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public
an expanding line of motorcycles and branded products and services
in selected market segments.

Harley-Davidson's own magazine, Enthusiast, has been entertaining and informing Harley-Davidson enthusiasts since 1916! Enthusiast is the oldest continually published motorcycle magazine in the world. This magazine is a great source for the latest news about the company, its products, and its activities. Enthusiast is a benefit to full members of the Harley Owners Group®. You will receive Enthusiast three to four times a year! Along with six issues of Hog Tales®, you'll be sure to enjoy lots of good Harley® reading!

The Harley Davidson product family tree:

The 2001 standard HD models:
The Motor Company makes twenty-four models. Check out the 2001 Motorcycles section of this site to catch the latest models. Thirdly, go to your local Harley-Davidson dealer to see the real thing. Unless, of course, it's after hours and the dealer is closed. In which case, all you can do is jealously stare at your neighbor as he rides off on another adventure. But hey, at least you've got this Web site.

They also have a Custom Vehicle Operations group that makes show-quality factory customs:
Teams of men and women at the Custom Vehicles Operations (CVO) facility in York, Pa., meticulously assemble each Harley-Davidson CVO motorcycle. These craftsmen have earned their distinction as some of the best bike builders in the world. The motorcycles they build on the converted military motorcycle assembly line are some of the most sought-after customs ever built. Loaded with H-D Parts and Accessories, these special, limited-production CVO motorcycles represent the ultimate factory-custom bikes built exclusively by Harley-Davidson.

Fresh from the wildly successful launch of the Screamin' Eagle Road Glide and FXR2, FXR3 and FXR4 projects, the Harley-Davidson CVO program just unleashed two all-new factory customs: the FXDWG2 and FLTRSEI2 Screamin' Eagle Road Glide. Both are full-on, fully customized no-need-to-change-a-thing motorcycles worthy of lusty worship.

The 2001 Buell line, Different in Every Sense:

Harley-Davidson On-line Roadstore for parts, accessories & Motor Clothes.

Dealers -
You can not buy them in a box; you can not buy them with a fox; but you can buy them in 47 different countries throughout the world that have authorized distributors and direct dealers, including Canada, Ecuador, Poland, Malta, Thailand, Japan and, of course, the USA. Again, check the dealer locator on the above mentioned Motor Company web site for more specifics.

Roeders HD in Monroeville, OH:
The Roeder family tradition of motorcycle racing dates back to the early 1960's. This unconditional love of the sport has been kind to George Roeder Sr., founder of Roeder Harley-Davidson. He successfully raced for more than a decade and was then able to watch his own children follow in his steel-shoe footsteps. “George piloted his 250 Harley Davidson Sprint-powered Streamliner to a motorcycle Land Speed Record," says Julie Roeder. On October 21, 1965, at the Bonneville Salt Flats, George reached a speed of 176.824 mph and was the fastest man on two wheels. The record-breaking bike is now prominently placed within the Roeder dealership. And this is a true Fly –n- Ride dealership with an airstrip out back.

George hadn't been retired from racing long himself when he became the "head mechanic" for each of his three sons. " The eldest son, Will, who now owns the family dealership, rode a Harley-DavidsonXR-1000 and pretty much dominated the stock class in the "Battle-Of-The-Twins" road race series, taking the championship title home in 1984 and 1985," says Julie. He accumulated the number one plate by scoring more points than any other class champion.

These days you'll find another son, George Roeder, number 66, giving the top riders in the AMA Grand National Dirt Track series a run for their money. "He has consistently finished in the top ten nationally (he has also won the regional championship several times) and shows no signs of giving racing up any time soon," Julie explains.

And you will see George's youngest son, Jess, carry on the family tradition. An interesting note here is that Jess will compete with his father's old number 94. "Perhaps it will give him some luck," George says. Jess will not only compete in the 750cc expert class, he will also campaign the 883cc dirt track class. He also rides a Buell Thunderbolt for Southeast Harley-Davidson. This is a new series that debuts with six road races called the "Buell Lightning' class," points out Julie.

Pikes Peak Harley Davidson, Colorado Sprgs:
Pikes Peak Harley-Davidson, Inc. was begun as Colorado Springs Harley-Davidson in 1934 and was located in 3,500 square feet in "Motor City", the local "Auto Row." In that first year they sold approximately 20 motorcycles and a few parts. It changed ownership in 1955 to the Newell family.
In 1995, Herb and Sunny Aston purchased the dealership when they moved to Colorado Springs from Milwaukee, where Herb was Harley-Davidson's Director of Worldwide Training. In 1993, the Buell franchise was added, as a sport bike alternative (with HD engine and transmission) and as a method of attracting additional riders.

In 2001, the business was again moved to a new, much larger building on 7 acres of land on north Nevada, close to the I-25 and Nevada interchange. The building will have 40,000 square feet with a 1800's gold mining theme in the main showroom. Pikes Peak Harley Davidson is one of the largest dealerships west of the Mississippi and the largest in the Colorado Rocky Mountain region. There HOG chapter is one of the largest in several states region, with over 1,100 members.

Enthusiasts –
Harley Owners Group: “550,000 members, One passion”; &

HOG History:
Started in 1983, this riding association is now home to over 550,000 members in 2000. Safe Rider Skill course, Fly –n- Ride programs, national & international events that draw tens of thousands, road side assistance, theft reward, Ladies of Harley and local dealership sponsored chapters touch on just a few of the many benefits a member has access to in addition to fellow riding brethren.

Hog Tales, the official publication of the Harley Owners Group®, is sent bimonthly to all full members. Hog Tales features information about H.O.G.® benefits and services, events around the world, member stories, and updates on the Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

Local chapter samples:

Scottie Parker racing:
AMA Grand National Dirt Track racing superstar, Scott has 9 national titles to his credit, and well over 90 national race wins, doubling his nearest competitors. And he has done this aboard the venerable Harley Davidson XR750 with the aide of renowned tuner Bill Werner.

Now in 2001 a young Jennifer Snyder of Texas joins the Harley Dirt Track Racing team at only 17 years of age:

BRAG about them Buells:
The goal of the Buell Riders Adventure Group is to bring Buell® motorcycle owners into the Buell philosophy that life is an adventure, and that the Buell Motorcycle Company has the unique ability to make that adventure more exciting by providing a motorcycling experience unattainable from any other brand. B.R.A.G. assists owners in achieving the ultimate experience in exhilaration by planning and supporting riding and social group activities on national, regional and local levels, which reinforce the unique bond and camaraderie between Buell enthusiasts.

A new service to promote safety and the riding experience:
The American Motorcycle Association, AMA:
A whole community of riders:
Motorcycling heritage with a Harley flavor:
Sturgis, biker Mecca: with over 300-400,000 attendees each year in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
An enthusiasts page:

Investor info
Investor relations information can be had at:
Or call 877-HDSTOCK (437-8625)

For the most part I researched TMF HDI board past posts & threaded replies for what are likely & commonly asked questions of new board entrants. In many cases I used my posts since I was familiar with their content when seeking appropriate topics. By no means do I pose to be an authority on all things Harley. Many great posts exist here attached as threads to the original I have categorized. These come from many a great poster who hang out on TMF HDI board – thanks to all of us for making this board that which it is: Informative to the enthusiast rider and investor alike.

Motor Company stuff:
On the Motor Company and their effective brand management:

On Harley quality assurance:

On the Motor Company management & union relations:

On innovative ways to increase after sale revenues:

On HD sales in Europe:

A view of globalization & marketing in the motorcycle arena:
In S America:
In Europe:

On Harley Dealers and the Motor Company heritage:

On Motor Company products:
Harley Sportster origins:

On the Buell Blast “Ride free for a year” offer:

On sales figures comparison to Honda, which logic alone would tell you that there are not that many unsatisfied Harley owners out there:
On other manufacturer sales numbers:
On Dealers sales projections for 2001:

On MTBF of Twin Cam motor:

On Buell monoshock recall:

On air cooled motors versus water cooled:

A series of threads on the Motor Company producing water cooled motors:

Product & Machine Technical assistance & issues:
Exhaust system help:
A series of threads & replies regarding motor oils in Harley's:

TMF Board members experiences & opinions:
My Motor Company product ownership and experiences are well documented on this board. on Jap vs Motor Company product ownership
On my experience with reliability:

On dealership support:

On diversity of ownership & patriotism:

On USA (HDI) content & quality:

Memphis Eddie's excellent post on quality and value:

On MSRP and resale – real value of ownership: and
2001 MSRP for models:

On price comparisons of competitive products:

On a personal note regarding recent Twin Cam and suspect quality from the Motor Company:
In 1984 I bought a brand new Evo from a recently acquired new dealer, his 13th new bike sale to be exact. What turned out to be a mutual acquaintance through the as-yet to be formed HOG club there took delivery on his '84 Evo FXR the same day as me. In the fall of that year on a ride in northern lower peninsula of Michigan his bike was back-firing, sputtering, just plain running poor. It was worse in the Spring, he had not had anything diagnosed. He traveled a lot so it went un-diagnosed. By summer it was obvious this was not bad gas, jetting, timing. The dealer finally got the bike and found that the front cylinder wrist pin keeper didn't and the pin was scoring the front cylinder. By now the bike was out of warrantee. Harley factory rep took one look and fully reimbursed the dealer and owner, keeping the parts for factory analysis of this new motor design. That FXR is still owned by the same guy and, as of the last ride we took together a couple years ago, along with my '84 FXRT, had well over 50,000 miles with no other failures.

Now, I recognize this recent Twin Cam bearing problem is inadequate in design and application on both the bearing manufacturers part and the engine designers part, maybe putting unexpected forces on the bearing in various manufacturing tolerances. This doesn't necessarily compare to what appeared to be a singular component failure in that early Evo motor. My point here is that once fixed, an owner should very much expect a long period of trouble free service if the Twin Cam is designed and manufactured as well or better than the Evo. If not, we should not own stock the Motor Company and should not buy one of its products.

I have lived in 5 states while owning various Motor Company products and dealt with probably a dozen dealers and HOG chapters. Each is filled with people who have come over, been raised on, or came back to Motor Company products. Some have problems, as many have had horror story problems with Yahmsakizukionda brands. In the 70's AMF Harley Davidson turned out anywhere from 40-65,000 units a year of some of the worst quality product under the Bar & Shield. Now the Motor Company sells over 200,000 units a year with global sales increasing double digit and profits as well for many years running. Quality generalizations can not seriously be made that say Harley makes bad products with these numbers.

Did your friend have a bad experience with a bike & dealer? - Sure.
Is that unfortunate? – Sure.
Does this plausible realization shake my confidence in the Motor Company?

Heck No!

On HDI the Stock:
On the late winter 2001 slide of HDI shares:

On evidence of resale value of Harley's in 2001:

On the TMF HDI Board Stock picker contest for 2001:

On Motor Company supported racing:
Bike Week 2001 Racing Recap:

A complete thread on 2001 and more Harley Davidson SuperBike team efforts & VR1000:

On political issues effecting the product & its customers:
On recent proposed regulations regarding insurance discrimination for motorcyclists: and

On EPA sneaking in emissions rulings on motor sport vehicles:

Although there is no one truly “like” Harley Davidson, here is a web list of Motor Company competitors:

Finally, I would like to thank fellow TMF HDI board poster, Steve, “SKLAM”, for suggesting I compile this in March 2001.

Now get on your BIKES and Ride!

Live to Ride .......o~'o Invest to Live.
Learn from it all.
We are learnin' a lot these days!
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