Investors are a fickle breed, they drove down the shares of H-D stock because H-D is not producing enough of their high end bikes to meet demand and yet H-D has been following their restructuring plan pretty much to a tee.

The company's restructuring has seen them pare back and consolidate production and as the rumour mill goes they are slated to close as many as 70 dealerships.  The company's over all health appears to be good, and their delivery of new motorcycles to dealers is up. Revenue is up but disappointed shareholders by not hitting the mark of 1.29 billion dollars - they only hit 1.23 billion. Although gross margins are down, profit is up, share dividends are up and restructuring costs are down and yet the investors aren't happy. I JUST DON'T GET IT.

By not having enough supply to meet demand, it will drive the prices of both new and used bikes up making it so Harley's will once again hold their value better than other brands. How is that a bad thing?

I remember back in the 80's being at a huge and very spontaneous beach party in Milwaukee when Richard Teerlink and the group of 7 bought H-D back from was touted as a great time in H-D history, the company was once again going to be family owned and operated.

I am no fan of the current version of the Motor Corp, it has become, in my humble opinion, a company that is run by bean counters (investors and book keepers) and has gotten away from it's core customer and it's founding principles. It flouts itself as the machine of the rebel - the's ad campaigns represent so much of why main stream society views bikers in the unfavourable light that it does and there are lots of people that eat it up...because it resonates with their idea of being a bad boy or girl for at least the weekend. And - many of those weekend warriors live up to the ads promises, perpetuating the bad boy/girl image/lifestyle that H-D sells that the main streamer detests.

If the rumours that abound are right, then - no longer are dealers allowed to sell parts to the small repair shops, if you as a dealer aren't in a multi million dollar facility you potentially face the chopping block....It appears that the manufacturer has forgotten the simple courtesies of customer service and that attitude has become prevalent in many of it's dealerships...crap runs down hill, right? If you are a Canadian that owns an American version of an H-D and not the Canadian version, good luck with service and repair....

It appears that the "New" Motor Corp has very little regard for dealers (their primary customer) who have sold their products for 20, 30 and more years and is taking away their dealerships because they aren't in multi million dollar facilities...pretty hard to have a good attitude towards your customer (the rider) when the manufacturer treats you so badly. The dealers are working so hard to improve the bottom line to stay off the chopping block that in far too many cases they appear to forget that customer service is the foundation for longevity and end up on the block much for being part of a family, it appears that's what happens when investors and book keepers run the company.

H-D, whether you love them or not is still one of the greatest marketing companies in the world, with diverse products that sell for exorbitant fact anything you can buy in another dealership or repair shop at a reasonable price will have an extra fee added to it because it has the H-D logo on it and it is generally NOT a small fee either.

It appears that they will put their logo and name on pretty much everything and anything they can all in the name of selling a lifestyle, again it's that bottom line that counts...they sell their trademark licenses to the bidder that can provide them with the highest profit margin, not necessarily the one that can provide the best product. Remember, they are in this to make money and to heck with the customer getting a good product, if it is potentially good for the bottom line well it's a least that appears to be the idea.
And let's face it - many H-D customers are so brand loyal they will buy whatever is available with that special logo on it because it makes them feel ....what is/are the right word/s? A pride? A sense of history of being a rebel, belonging to an elitist set???? So the high prices for products that oft times are lesser than is not an issue, build it and it will sell and sell well and improve the bottom line.

Yes, H-D is, in my humble opinion, the epitome of the ruthlessness that often accompanies big business...and too often big business can be ruthless,  even when it really doesn't need to be.
Big businesses like H-D are all about the money and have very little to do with much else, it is cut throat, dog eat dog environment - and down right nasty at times. (Every time I see big business crush a little guy I think of Kevin O'Leary from Dragon's Den - SHOW ME THE MONEY)

The bottom line is all that is cared about, and investors made that really plain this week...if only it was a family run business again instead of a publicly traded company...sometimes I think that biggest isn't always best, that public isn't always best, sometimes I think that family and roots should be a bigger part of the equation than it appears to be today...but hey, that's just me and what do I really know about big business?

I do not understand investors or the stock market, they knew the company was restructuring, they knew it was closing dealerships, they knew it was consolidating manufacturing, they knew that the American dollar getting stronger was going to hurt margins and yet the growth is there so why are they driving down stocks? Can anyone answer that one for me?  Is it really JUST About Money? Is it really the way business has to be conducted? Sign me confused about big, publicly held business.

In Other news:

A suspected member of the Devil's Soldiers in Grande Prairie AB was arrested for possession of a half kilo of cocaine and other drug related charges.

In Hamilton Ontario, the officer who was charged with impaired riding while off duty in September of 2010 is back in the headlines potentially facing more charges once his criminal matters are dealt with.

In the US a San Jose man who allegedly who shot and killed a member of the Hells Angels at a funeral is thought to be dead or other wise being hidden.

Aslo in the US, a Pennsylvania Councillor is under indictment for malicious assault and conspiracy, he also is reported to be a member of  the Avenger Motorcycle Club.

There is lots more in the news feeds that might affect your day or impact your life so check it our over at where we sift through the news so you don't have to.

Have a safe and happy Wednesday everyone...

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

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