Here's another possible scenario of future events for motorcycles in America:
Let's say Harley Davidson gets to hurting again, really badly, as I've mentioned, due to various dynamics having adverse affect on their market share. Let's say one of those dynamics is the American people getting so fed up that they force the federal govt. to stop the corporate welfare (I know- that's a long shot- probably not in our lifetime). Remember, HD has already been a recipient of government bailout in the past, just like GM and Chrysler, just to name a few. Harley Davidson has no where to turn, except to join forces w/ one of the major Asian manufacturers, i.e. Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, maybe even TaTa in India. Let's say Honda buys either part of HD or maybe even all of it. Now, HD is saved from extinction, and depending on what side of the fence one's impression is of HD, people might even say it's a good thing. Honda's reliability will flow into HD's designs and manufacturing processes, thereby making HDs more reliable. Honda's vast supply chain will incorporate HD parts, thereby resolving my gripe that started this thread.
Next thing you know, the distinction between Harley Davidsons and Hondas is getting blurry, more so with each new model year. They start to incorporate each other's designs, and their platforms start to share more and more parts, until you have the equivalent of a Ford Explorer and a Mazda Navajo (you do remember these don't you?). An even better example and more recent was Ford's acquisition of Jaguar. Jaguars became more reliable- their fit and finish improved- and they even started sharing some parts w/ the Taurus and other Ford models where they simply took the existing parts off Ford's shelves to build new Jaguars. Low and behold, the $70,000 Jaguars are starting to look a little like your neighbor's $25,000 Crown Victoria (that's probably a bad example), or a Ford Taurus. I suppose this formula worked okay for awhile, at least until Ford start hurting so badly themselves, they had to sell off their share of Jaguar to none other than TaTa of India (true story).
Next thing you know, Honda owns a bit of HD, and Yamaha owns Victory, and who knows, maybe BMW winds up w/ Buell... the combinations are endless, but the end result is everyone is essentially riding something other than what they originally envisioned. I wonder if K1600GTL owners would still be in love w/ their motorcycles if they had a striking resemblance to an Ultra Glide- maybe just from the back side- possibly from using the same trunk and taillights? The kicker is they're still paying $26K+ for their German badge w/ an American backside attached.
It won't happen overnight. Just like our liberties have been gradually stripped from us over the last few decades. I can't remember the term, but it seems to involve the word "creep", as in something creeping up from behind someone- not noticed. Mark my words.