It would seem H-F-D is on the verge of being screwed again. Surprise! It's for the same reason they've been screwed several times before: A steadfast refusal to innovate and market to broader demographics.
Some of the pundits are trying to liken this to the overall concept of: Younger people don't like motorcycles. Uh, guys? Search youtube for "motovlogger" or "supermoto". Then go take a look at the sales numbers for the Japanese and European bike makers. While I'm pretty far removed from a millennial, I do play one on TV, and let me tell you: There is no shortage of them willing to shell out ten grand for a fast, reliable and visually interesting motorcycle.
The key parts of that equation are: fast, reliable and visually interesting. These are words that H-F-D has been tone deaf to for decades.
Let us review the various market trends the company has entirely missed out on:
- Sport Bikes
- Adventure Bikes
- Muscle Bikes
- Retro Cafe Racers
- Cheap/Silly Microbikes
... and I'm probably missing a few. Sport bikes became a thing on the early 1980s fer chrissakes. That was fourty years ago for those keeping score at home. Every other market segment listed has been a thing for at least a decade, if not two or three. Yet Harley apparently thinks that like color TV and the internet, those things will never catch on. Aside from the fact that other manufacturers move tens of thousands of units every year.
Nope. Don't want to offend the 65 year old graybeard who bought a Road King from us two decades ago.
Now, to be fair, Harley has occasionally at least taken a passing stab at modernization. While Buell was roundly panned by everyone who took sport bikes seriously, they did at least make an attempt at the sport bike market. A half-assed, entirely stupid attempt, but an attempt none the less. The V-Rod was the first cruiser I'd actually sort of maybe want to own, at least if it didn't cost over 20 grand, and if Ducati hadn't come out with the massively superior in every way Diavel a few years later.
But generally speaking, Harley is utterly tone deaf to the youth, or hell, even the enthusiast market. I would love to own an American made motorcycle. I really would. But in order to get me into a showroom, you're going to need to at least be roughly close to on par with Ducati, KTM and the Japanese Four, guys. And you very much are not.
Yes, it would require a significant capital investment on the part of H-F-D to, say, develop a sport bike and a streetfighter. They would need to build two modern engines, and modern chassis to go with them. The rest-- suspension, brakes, etc, etc are all available off the shelf. Everyone else uses Ohlins, WP and Brembo for a reason, guys: They work. But there needs to be some hot sauce, and there needs to be some value, which are two things H-F-D seems to not only not understand, but be violently opposed to.
When I was a kid, they made shit like this:
As a result, I mocked them relentlessly. They made cars for old men. Slow, ugly, boring boxes that a young man wouldn't be caught dead in.
Today, they make this:
Do I want one? You bet your ass I want one.
It really isn't rocket surgery, guys. Build an interesting, quick, fun streetfighter and sell it for ~$8-10k. I'll buy one.
posted by Mr. Lion | 07/18/17 @ 09:50 | comments (1)
Back in the early days of this whole Blogging thing, not long after 9/11, Kim was one of the first bloggers I had regular and much enjoyed banterings with, along with Rob, Mike and of course James.
While I'm loath to read what Kim has gone through during his absence, I'm very glad to see him writing once more.
posted by Mr. Lion | 03/26/17 @ 18:29 | comments (0)
All I really have to say about Trump's Inaugural Address is: It's about fucking time. We haven't heard that since Reagan, and as such, I don't suppose it should surprise anyone with half a clue that it is, indeed, morning in America again.
Also, fuck you, ex-President Zero. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. By which I mean let it do exactly that.
posted by Mr. Lion | 01/20/17 @ 11:46 | comments (0)
In a nutshell...
I think this sums up Election 2016 pretty well.
posted by Mr. Lion | 11/09/16 @ 08:17 | comments (0)
I've never really had faith in any particular deity, though what I do tend to have a lot of, is faith in the average American. While they will abide a lot and resent little, there is a limit to the tolerance of stupidity of this great country. We crossed it 'round about 2012, and, it turns out that those wise men who designed the Republic we enjoy, really were some pretty smart SOBs. Because it still works. No amount of fraud, corruption, foreign money, or media propaganda can derail the American people when they finally say: Enough.
So, while the tears and pants-shitting hysteria of the left at present are awfully delicious, especially after nearly a decade of utter calamity and malaise, there are more important things that have come of the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.
First, and perhaps most importantly, the Clinton machine is done. The most corrupt, downright evil machine in the history of US politics, bested only by the likes of Boss Tweed, is over. There is no walking back the exposure of what goes on behind the velvet curtains. And while it's somewhat troubling that 59-odd million Americans, alive or otherwise, voted for a corrupt, habitual liar whose incompetence resulted in the death of many Americans-- the simple truth is that the lies, the cash, the deals, are all out in the public eye and will be for decades to come. Which brings me to my next point.
The mainstream media are finished. For decades, many have assumed that various media outlets were nothing but Democrat party collaborators and had not been journalists for generations. Most, however, still largely gave them the benefit of the doubt. They believed, perhaps with a grain of salt here and there, what was said. They believed polls. They believed debates were fair and honest. Most everyone now knows, thanks in major part to WikiLeaks and the exposure of the Clinton Machine, that this is not the case. They lie, they cheat, they do whatever they can to forward their globalist, leftist agenda, and actively hate the average American. The feeling, I believe they will find, is quite mutual, and it will be quite interesting to watch the slow and happy death of a number of major media outlets in the coming years.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the GOP is finished, and so is the credibility of so many of the Establishment hacks in media and elsewhere who were supposedly on our side. Those who mocked, chided and insulted Trump for over a year. Those who pedaled doom and gloom about how it was impossible to win the Presidency without being in the club, or without being a bible thumper, or whatever the excuse has been for the last six months that I haven't been listening to them. Trump could never win, they told us. We told them they were full of it, and this morning, the rather stark lack of "I was wrong" among these folk tells us all we needed to know about them.
Turns out, yard signs do matter. Rally crowds matter. Experience in business and leadership matter. Because we just won Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
For the last few months, my key indicator of what was going to happen here actually was yard signs. I live right smack in the middle of liberal utopia. In 2012, I saw a fair number of Romney signs, and thought that indicated good things in general. This year, I saw a massive number more Trump signs-- and the key thing that really gave me hope, is just how many hand made Trump signs I saw. For the first time ever, I also saw constant Hillary attack ads, in this same region, and also for the first time ever, well made and executed ads for Trump. When you live in a foregone conclusion, this is not insignificant, it turns out.
So, here we are. President Trump. Decades of solid Supreme Court decisions. Sane business regulation and tax. The de-weponization of the Federal Government. It turns out, Gen. Patton was right: Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser.
I think I'll go grow the economy a little.
posted by Mr. Lion | 11/09/16 @ 07:43 | comments (0)
iPhone 7: First Impressions
Turns out I picked a few weeks ago to shatter my iPhone 6, so while I was in no particular rush to upgrade, that event moved it up the priority list. As did Jet Black, which is the finish I've wanted on Apple devices since they started putting black on anything.
So, things I like:
- Jet Black was worth the wait. The finish is very nice. If you geek out over interesting finishes on metal as I do, you'll probably love it as well.
- The not a button home button. The taptic feedback works exceptionally well, and the TouchID sensor works much better than it did on earlier hardware.
- The speakers are massively improved. Doesn't matter much to me for music, as I rarely play any natively on the phone, but for UI events it just makes for a better experience.
- The camera is massively improved. Back when I got my first iPhone, I never thought I'd care much about the camera on it. It has since become my primary method of taking photos, and live photos are kind of neat.
- It's fast. Real fast. The 6 never really left me wanting for more performance at any given time, but every so often I'd run into a tiny bit of lag here and there. Gone on the 7.
I also quite like that it's much closer to waterproof than it used to be. While I've never taken an iPhone for a swim, I've come close a few times. All in all, from a hardware perspective, the iPhone 7 is a very nice refresh that feels, works and looks much nicer than the 6. I wouldn't call it particularly ground breaking-- if you're on the "S" upgrade path, I'd want for the 7S.
Things I don't like-- I really can't say anything bad about the hardware. I don't care that the audio jack is gone as I haven't plugged a set of headphones into an iPhone since the original one. No, the only things I dislike have to do with iOS 10.
- My annoyances with the setup process enabling a bunch of crap I hate was not outlier on the iPhone 6-- the process is the same stupidity on the 7. Apple, I do not wish to shove all of my sensitive data into iCloud. I have my own servers for that. Hence, enabling it by default is fucking stupid. Stop it.
- Enabling "Find my Phone" by default also still happens-- If I want it on, I'll turn it on. If you want me to turn it on, provide a method that prevents government agencies from accessing my iCloud information, warrant or otherwise.
- Take your news app and shove it up your blowhole. If I wanted that crap enabled, I would turn it on. When I've been disabling it for over a year at every major iOS update, maybe take a hint.
- The "squirt gun" emoji is infantile, and generally retarded. All you'll make me do with that bullshit is buy another black rifle. Stick to great hardware and software, not bullshit social engineering and the appeasement of idiots.
So, all in all, a few annoyances with iOS 10 notwithstanding, I'm quite happy with it. Especially considering it doesn't explode like.. other phones I could mention.
posted by Mr. Lion | 09/30/16 @ 09:58 | comments (1)
Thanks for the following iOS 10 crimes:
1) Making Notes look like utter dog shit.
2) Completely disregarding my setup selections to not use iCloud for every damn thing.
3) Automatically turning on Find My Phone with no approval from me.
4) Taking the time to slather on what I'm sure is at least a Gigabyte of ruined, stupid, or generally useless emoji and other crap I didn't need or want.
5) Auto-enabling a bunch of crap I've never used and have no desire to, like News.
... with, I'm quite sure, more to come.
posted by Mr. Lion | 09/16/16 @ 14:36 | comments (2)
Read older articles.