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.
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.Women accounted for 12 percent of U.S. heavyweight motorcycle sales last year, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. That’s a market share increase of 30 percent over the past decade.
Harley won’t say how many of its bikes go to female riders, but it does claim to have 62 percent of the market. If that’s the case, somewhere around 7 percent of Harley bikes are going to women. This year that will be almost 20,000 hogs, if the company’s sales forecast is accurate.
So do you think that the Street will appeal to ladies? Are they going to buy into the Harley brand?Garber, meanwhile, says independence and freedom are the values that resonate with current and potential Harley riders, not testosterone.
Can Harley-Davidson Finally Woo Women? - Businessweek