Although somebody insists on counting the years from January 1st to December 31st, anybody who has accomplished a minimum of elementary college is aware of that actual life is marked by the varsity years: September-July. August has the duty of “finances month”. Beneath the umbrella you make inevitable (and painful) balances, beginning out of your bodily state.

We dream of a restart in September stuffed with these virtues which were hidden till now and that now, for mysterious causes, we really feel able to blossom. Briefly, as yearly, this August too lays a stable basis for disappointments for the following finances. To take time away from private budgets, underneath the umbrella I then dedicate myself to the budgets of others. Particularly to the stability sheets of Harley-Davidson as an organization and of customized as a motorbike philosophy, of relationships but in addition of the gap between the 2.

Within the 1990s, the overlap was full: “customized” meant “customized bikes”, or bikes made within the Harley-Davidson model. Everybody did them a bit, from the Japanese (the Honda Shadow 600 was the best-selling bike in Italy within the mid-90s) to Ducati (the Indiana mannequin), however on the high of the meals pyramid, there was just one motorbike producer: Harley- Davidson.

A model that represented the one supply of sunshine from which all different homes might solely soak up by reflection. Copy properly, maybe efficiently, cost much less and nothing else. For those who beloved customized there have been two circumstances: both you had a Harley otherwise you needed one. Tertium non-datur. It was so, it was a truth.

Right now the connection between  “customized” and Harley-Davidson is extremely extra sophisticated. To know this, simply attempt to reply whether or not an unique Harley-Davidson Streetfighter or an outdated BWM personalized cafe racer is extra customized. Till 10-15 years in the past the query merely didn’t come up, however right now it’s not solely right to ask it, however the reply has even been reversed.


It’s ineffective to be virgin: somebody because the first half of the 2000s has understood that the legacy that had made the “customized” values ​​and the Harley Davidson firm a single and inseparable block, was exhibiting cracks. Eradicating the monopoly of “customized” values ​​from Harley-Davidson would have supplied a fantastic industrial alternative. Similar to? Reworking the outdated idea of “customized” or “motorbike much like a Harley-Davidson” into a brand new and broader idea of “customized” or ” customized made to measure motorbike “.

Right here is how the rules and values ​​of customizing bikes as a instrument to indicate who we’re, of our individuality and uniqueness, as soon as faraway from Harley-Davidson’s considerably frollo monopoly, regained vitality and have become a robust gross sales file for a lot of homes. motorbike. Giant and small homes threw themselves into it, which generally arose to fulfill this new means of conceiving bikes.

This extension of the brand new customized philosophy to all fashions so long as they have been personalized based on stylistic and aesthetic rules was good for individuals who love lovely bikes, a lot much less for the Harley-Davidson firm which discovered itself with out one of many major differentiating causes so folks have been keen to purchase his costly and inefficient bikes.

It’s no coincidence that the corporate has been in disaster for a number of years, additionally and above all within the values ​​of its model. The accusation of essentially the most loyal clients, the true holders of values, is that over time they’ve misplaced their means and the power to guide the world of customized. A vicious circle has been set in movement fueled by the drop in gross sales that has compelled the corporate to maneuver between dangerous stylistic selections, removed from the values ​​to be preserved and a purely conservative method to aesthetic requirements which in any case didn’t assure the mandatory gross sales on a market. in profound change.

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All this, with out the potential for leveraging the exclusivity of customized “freedom” and “ardour” values. Unhealthy state of affairs. An actual id disaster, because of the bitter discovery that it’s exactly on the bottom on which you thought you have been extra unassailable than your opponents challenged you earlier than and now they’re enjoying them loudly, because of the sensible concept of ​​altering the that means of “customized”. This resulted within the lack of 850 million {dollars} in revenues within the first half of 2020 and -30,000 bikes bought in comparison with the primary half of 2019. After all, covid-19 is weighing, however the pandemic has definitely accelerated an issue that has come greater than far.

In latest weeks Harley-Davidson has introduced a brand new CEO and a brand new industrial plan, which could have the arduous activity of mixing custom and innovation, of elevating gross sales on the 2020 motorbike market, with out hurting the sensitivity of those that haven’t but digested. the 1340 Evolution engines, the primary forged iron-free engines launched within the 1980s.

The plan is to chop the manufacturing of Livewire electrical bikes by 30% , consideration to historic markets on the expense of latest markets (which ought to translate into fewer loopy concepts on fashions and displacements which might be removed from custom) and the launch in 2021. of Pan America, a threat but in addition an fascinating alternative to imagine in one thing really new. Good luck, actually.

It takes braveness, imaginative and prescient and a good quantity of luck to get out of this case complete. Harley-Davidson stays the customized motorbike producer par excellence understood as a motorbike and using philosophy, even whether it is not the principle reference home for individuals who love personalized bikes. By no means thoughts: issues change consistently and we’ve to take care of it.

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It will be significant that Harley-Davidson continues to be there and to take action I wish to give an umbrella suggestion: by no means take something with no consideration, particularly the love of your most loyal followers that should be consistently renewed, with out dropping the braveness to dare. In abstract: a Goat and Cabbage technique.

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