Will the HD Street bring in female customers? - Harley Davidson Street Forum - Street 500 and 750
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post #1 of 45 Old 06-03-2014, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Will the HD Street bring in female customers?



Harley-Davidson's core customer base has been middle-aged men for quite a long time. The HD Street is not aimed at those core customers though. Harley is hoping to bring in female riders, at the controls, not sitting on the back.

Bloomberg writes:
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Women accounted for 12 percent of U.S. heavyweight motorcycle sales last year, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. Thatís a market share increase of 30 percent over the past decade.

Harley wonít say how many of its bikes go to female riders, but it does claim to have 62 percent of the market. If thatís the case, somewhere around 7 percent of Harley bikes are going to women. This year that will be almost 20,000 hogs, if the companyís sales forecast is accurate.
Easier said than done though. Harley's brand is wrapped up in machismo. Pinup girls have been an advertising staple of the brand, and the Sturgis motorcycle Rally awards a bikini-clad woman "Miss Buffalo Chip" every August.

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Garber, meanwhile, says independence and freedom are the values that resonate with current and potential Harley riders, not testosterone.
So do you think that the Street will appeal to ladies? Are they going to buy into the Harley brand?

Can Harley-Davidson Finally Woo Women? - Businessweek
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post #2 of 45 Old 06-03-2014, 01:27 PM
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I think it will appeal to them, it's not as intimating as other bikes out their and that alone should help but there will be other factors.



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post #3 of 45 Old 06-03-2014, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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I do think that a bike like the Street may appeal to ladies more than some of Harley's bigger beasts. I also think that there is only so much you can do to get women to want motorcycles. In fact, its less about making women want motorcycles, and more about making the women that already want motorcycles want yours the most. I think that Harley may be doing a good job of that.
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post #4 of 45 Old 06-03-2014, 03:02 PM
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I think Kyle is off base on his analysis, completely.

The Harley Street has been developed to appeal to the urban male. Hence the reason most USA Harley dealers will call it the "city" bike.

In my opinion the risk adverse make up of most women will not suddenly go away because they see a lighter Harley Davidson on the market. That said, of the 12 per 100 women that are willing to accept the risks of motorcycling, I can see that percentage choosing a lighter Harley over a crotch rocket changing due to the Street. Particularly with the Goth oriented to start, and some of the more athletic built young female adults that have greater confidence in their coordination abilities. But, in the end it is more of a fight for market share of the 12 in 100 than how to make the 12 in 100 move to 22 in 100.

To make that happen, the country will have to start testing old people regularly and pulling licenses. Couple that with making in damnn difficult to get a drivers license to begin with, in essence creating a situation where anyone with an IQ below X (Say 90) can not possible get a drivers license. This of course will never happen, but it would make the streets a lot safer and create a situation where more would drive motorbikes. It would also see the nation create a great public transportation system that was profitable.

I don't really think that the Miss Buffalo Chip and wet t-shirt contests that happen at rally's really makes a difference in a woman's decision. I raced a turbo'd 455 Olds, jet drive, 24 foot day cruiser on Havasu in the early 80's as a single guy, we had the same stuff going on as "river rats" as goes on at any motorcycle rally and the women were there voluntarily and playing the same game we were. While I can see the Feminazi up in arms over such things, most people realize a party is a damnn big flirt where singles hook up. The Breastaurant business trend certainly has showed that women, and especially sexy women will pack a place to the gills. In the end there is no reason to ever believe that the interaction between testosterone and estrogen will suddenly stop working because some small segment of people wish everyone would be gender neutral. While I am not rude about it, I make no excuse testosterone courses through my veins.

I believe the article is way off since there is no bike that will change the 12 in 100 ratio, that is level that will ignore the risk level, won't change til they stop seeing idiots run people over and get off free. Education will help, but ultimately it will take a change in the level of expertise required to drive a car legally.
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post #5 of 45 Old 06-04-2014, 07:27 AM
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No, I don't see them getting a big increase in female customers. This bike is mainly aimed at the learner/beginner rider market (yep, that includes me) regardless of what sex they might be.

Did the Buell blast sell to lots of female riders? (It was never sold in Australia).
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post #6 of 45 Old 06-04-2014, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Testiphony View Post
I do think that a bike like the Street may appeal to ladies more than some of Harley's bigger beasts. I also think that there is only so much you can do to get women to want motorcycles. In fact, its less about making women want motorcycles, and more about making the women that already want motorcycles want yours the most. I think that Harley may be doing a good job of that.
That is true.
Harley does have an upper hand in getting people onto bikes since they developed a lifestyle around it which can get someone that likes the brand and their apparel, accessories, etc eventually covert into an HD rider.



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post #7 of 45 Old 06-04-2014, 12:48 PM
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yea I think that I can see Harley getting a bigger chunk of the female market, but I don't think that they are going to have success in actually making the female motorcycle rider market larger. That is a pretty tough thing to do for just one company. Its hard to change motorcycle culture of general female culture with just a new motorcycle model.
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post #8 of 45 Old 06-05-2014, 11:05 AM
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I think what they need to do is start having commercials and things that make it seem like they're really trying to reach out to women, not sure if that will ever happen but it would be cool to see a commercial with a woman



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post #9 of 45 Old 06-05-2014, 11:32 AM
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How about Harley Street branded Lipstick, Mascara and other cosmetics.
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post #10 of 45 Old 06-05-2014, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Puneet View Post
How about Harley Street branded Lipstick, Mascara and other cosmetics.
LOL.

I think integrating women into more of the advertising would probably be a good idea. They need to make motorcycle culture and Harley-Davidsons seem like they aren't just for men. Women can do errands with it, pick up the kid and put them on the back to pick him up from school, I don't know, something like that.
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