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MCN  says:

Willie G Davidson retires

Harley-Davidson's Senior Vice President Willie G. Davidson is retiring after nearly 50 years as head of styling. The 78-year-old grandson of one of the company’s founders, William A. Davidson, will stay on as a Harley ambassador and keeps the title Chief Styling Officer Emeritus. It's thought he will be involved in occasional special projects. Willie G said: “Throughout my life, I...

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  • Posted 3 years ago (19 March 2012 12:06)

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Mar 10

Posts: 159


Didn't Honda have to try this sort of thing with the Goldwing? Not sure if it's worked or not, and it's more for the US market, and if you want a 'wing, you get a 'wing, and if you don't you don't. But didn't Honda get the man behind the RC211V motogp bike to head up the design of the latest goldwing in an effort to woo a younger owner. I think that no matter what HD do, it would have to be pretty damn drastic, as I think it's the same in that you either want a HD or you don't. But while they've got a market out there, I don't suppose they care that much.

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Aug 02

Posts: 997

ANichol says:

Something of a loss

Willie G lead Harley down some paths that are now so well-trodden that people forget that they once didn't exist. The SuperGlide may look like every other Harley to the casual observer (just as every sportsbike looks like all the others to the casual observer) but was in reality the first model to allow customers to engineer their own custom that could be moderately radical without having to scrap most of it and start over. No SuperGlide would've meant no HD parts catalogue. Whilst most only swap some of the bits for shiny bits, there are many that took the SuperGlide as a base for really unique customs; without that base bike, the coustom world would've been limited to those who could fabricate their own frames, etc, and all the poorer for that lack of diversity.

The V-Rod? Love or hate, but deviated from the 'norm'.

Streetglide - customers are getting older and "barhoppers" lack comfort; but "baggers" are uncool and what yer dad/grandaddy rode. Solution, make a "cool" bagger.

Harley have their plan for the youth market with retro-styled sportsers (48, 72) that appeal to the style desires of those who like the Harley brand/ethos/concept. Not everyone wants a crotch-rocket/scrambler/streetbike; Harley would make a big mistake in diluting their brand identity to take on other manufacturers at what those manufacturers do best. Selling MV (unless necessary) may not have been the brightest idea though. Look at Polaris - KTM, Indian, Victory - that's dirt, sports, "credible" custom and "new" custom all nicely covered.

And just a quick one to Piglet - the confederate flag may have connotations of slavery/racism but its not necessarily limited to that. That's like saying george cross knee sliders are for BNP supporters. Jefferson Davis and the Conferderates may have been condemmed by history for being pro-slavery, but America's founding fathers were all slave owners, slavery is endorsed throughout the bible, and the british empire was built (literally) upon it. There is an arugment growing that the confederate flag should be reclaimed as one for the defense of sovereignty and local "values" as a broad concept rather then the slavery issue as a narrow example. Just a thought.

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