Gotta go with Taylor on this, more or less.
From my recent research (purchased a new HD in 2008), I understand "made in America" vs 'elsewhere' is about 50/50.
But, the line is SO blurry with today's global economy if you're looking at materials alone. Iron Ore for a cam is from Australia but processed in China, then formed into general shapes in Brazil and finally finished in USA. Where was it "made"?
What I like about HD - besides they look tough, sound great, and make me look cool (
) , is close to 10,000 folks in USA work every day putting them together. Then, a trucker in the USA brings the bikes to my town, where my neighbor owns the dealership, and some other local guy sells me the bike. Lots of USA jobs.
What I love about HD, is it's a quality made USA product. Sadly, embarrassingly, I feel those are becoming fewer and fewer these days. Sure, some may argue it's a little low-tech, but I've never found an accessory I couldn't buy for it - and three t-shirts professing my undying devotion.
Having said that, I bought my first (used) BMW this year, from a local dealership, and feel good about owning the bike and happy about the commission the local guy got from the sale.
My next bike will most likely be a Ducati or Triumph. If I were to go to Italy/UK to buy it and shipped it to the house using an Italy/UK shipping service - maybe I'd feel a little guilty - otherwise, no way.
So, go down to your local dealer, buy your 1600, have them do the service and know you're getting what you want and pumping some cash into the USA economy at the same time.
p.s. - Take Taylor up on the free beer - just make sure it's Domestic
p.p.s - ATGATT applies to Harley ridin' too, my friend.
Originally Posted by DavidTaylor
Harley has sourced 1/2 or more of the parts for its bikes from overseas for many years now. My 1993 Ultra Classic ElectraGlide was 35-40% overseas content.
Not sure I can help you feel better about your decisions since your feelings and emotions on these topics are yours, not mine. But I can share my perspective for you to consider.
I try to take the view that it's a global economy and it's virtually impossible to buy anything with more than a couple of moving parts that's wholly created, formed, machined, assembled and produced in the US. A motor vehicle is far outside the realm of possibility in that equation. Where a fork leg, brake disc, cam follower, etc., comes from is less important to me than me purchasing the end product I want in the US, and locally in my city and/or county whenever possible.
I don't feel I have a great deal of impact with worrying about a $.28 fastener and whether it's made in Pittsburgh or Poland. But when I drop $20k+ at the dealer I know he and the staff that I am counting on to support me in the long term and the larger corporation that's providing the bikes I like and prefer are making money. And the local economy is getting a boost from the taxes I paid, the business I just helped keep afloat, the paychecks I just helped fund, etc.
That's the perspective I try to take on this. Don't know if that works for you, but it may be worth thinking about in those terms. If not I can always pour beer into you at Cambria in the Spring and make you feel better about things, at least until you wake up the next day.
Originally Posted by sorchilla
Does anyone know what % of a Harley is manufactured outside the US? I must admit I sometimes (not often) feel guilty about driving/riding non-US manufactured vehicles. My current 05 LT, an 07 X3 and my wifeís new love, her Z4. It is the one Harley vs. BMW debate I donít have a good answer for. If I was to purchase a new ride I most likely would get a new GT/L 1600. I canít help but feel a little guilty considering the miserable unemployment rates right now. Of course in addition the being US built, I want to buy US products but sometimes itís tough to do. Of course, Harleys come with the advantage of not having to wear protective gear and full face helmets Ė just a tee shirt, jeans, and something resembling a boots. Guy - help me feel better about my decisions.