Most "bikers" are not the lawless rebel types we normally think of. And most folks riding Harley's are the opposite, usually well educated, well off RUBs (Rich Urban Bikers) who play dress up on the weekends.
That's actually been somewhat of an evolutionary process.
In the sixties and seventies, gangs of Hell's Angels riders were peddling methamphetamine. And with the use of crystal meth comes a complete loss of certain aspects of brain function - particularly empathy.
The Japanese meanwhile started making inexpensive, fast, dependable machines that kicked ass. That's around the time that I bought my brand new Suzuki GS750 (1977) which for a month anyway was the fastest production quarter miler sold at any price. AMF bought an ailing Harley Davidson - the bike most associated with the biker gangs - and put nothing into it. They nearly killed the great American motorcycle.
The British bike industry pretty much bit the dust. Bye bye BSA, Triumph, and Norton.
Then a group of concerned employees bought the company out. They went public on Wall Street with it, and found their niche. Basically they understood a passion niche that the Japanese did not get (and in my mind will never get) and built for it. They decreased production, and improved the quality. That drove the price of a Sportster or Hog up, but what was built was worth having at the higher price. It wasn't designed to compete with the high production Japanese scream machines. It was a quality specialty item with "gotta have" appeal.
No more of this...
Made of Tin
Ride 'em out and
Roll 'em in
No more "wet spot" on the garage floor.
No more "the usual" hard starting stuff, broken chains, etc., etc.
Now we have "overengineered" specialty machines with belt drives and electric starters. But they still have the V-Twin engine. And most importantly of all, they still look and sound like a Harley.
The Japanese even tried to copy them, but they couldn't. That's like trying to copy the way someone else plays a jazz piece. They just don't get it, which is fine by us.
So now... Who do you think is going to buy these machines now that they have way more than doubled in price and you have to wait to get one - at list price? Is it going to be the loser teenager without a job? Is it going to be the dope-peddling drug addict?
I don't think so.
Not only did Harley Davidson improve the machine, they improved the quality of the clientelle seeking them.
It's a great Small American Business success story.
The ones with suit and ties...their most often the ones that will scr#@ you over good
Amen to that. Those are the "brilliant" Vice Presidents with MBAs from "the right schools" who make decisions they don't have to live with because they move on to some place else before the consequences of their actions (on the business or humanity) can be accounted for.
I have little use for people who don't do "real work", don't have faith in real people, and don't have passion for the products and services they offer.