I read a great editorial piece on AutoEvolution that took a critical look at Harley Davidson and its new Street 500 and 750. The main idea is that Harley-Davidson is using marketing genius to sell the Street. And that can be taken for better or for worse.
I wonder how much money it took to put the Harley Davidson Street into the next Captain America movie. It couldn't have been cheap. This move is aiming to get the bike as much exposure (to a younger audience) as possible. Ideally it would spark a trend. Captain America rides a Harley, and you can too!
Now, it's only a fraction of posers who bought a Harley just because it represented something which looked good. They hoped their own lives would become better just because they were wearing some branded clothing and ride on Sundays around the town to be seen on lab-clean bikes and with carefully ironed shirts.
Is this quote accurate? Are Street 750 buyers buying a brand and not a bike? I think that represents only a small fraction of buyers.
Are these machines bikes like no others? Definitely not, as middleweight Japanese cruisers have been around since forever. Oh, wait, but they're not Harley, right? So back to square one.
It is true that there is something about it being a Harley that sets it apart from other bikes. It also is the fact that it is a first. The first Harley that is affordable, and the first Harley that goes with "less is more" rather than "bigger is better."
Advertising a locking fuel tank cap as a feature for a modern, 2014 bike is pure crap. It's like selling bottled water and saying that being able to drink it is a true feature and benefit.
The same goes for the passenger pegs and the dark attire. Seriously, is the all-black color one of the big selling points in a modern, all-new bike? Many of the decent, true-to-themselves riders will smile, I just know. Because this is the truth. Still, the way these bikes are marketed can make them sell very well, especially with the right price tag.
The Harley-Davidson Street 500 and 750 are kinda like the iPhone 5C of motorcycles. Sure, its a Harley, and it works well and is cool, but you know that you are missing out on the real thing to a certain degree. Harley-Davidson has done an amazing job at marketing so that you don't get this feeling though. The Harley-Davidson Street is ridden by Cpt. America. It represents freedom and heritage, just like every other Harley.
So what's the difference? Oh yeah, its a 35hp, 480 lbs cruiser. Not exactly your dad's Harley.
On Bigger Is Better and Less Is More