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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 wife’s new love, her Z4. It is the one Harley vs. BMW debate I don’t have a good answer for. If I was to purchase a new ride I most likely would get a new GT/L 1600. I can’t 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 it’s tough to do. Of course, Harleys come with the advantage of not having to wear protective gear and full face helmets – just a tee shirt, jeans, and something resembling a boots. Guy - help me feel better about my decisions.
 

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Well, it's like most car parts made in other countries...

It's all about the yen/pound/dollar.

Ride what gives you the best bang for your money.

The only "advantage" to "buying American," IMHO is that some Americans can feed their families... for now... usually.

Years ago it was rumored that HD management looked in their parking lot and realized many of their workers were NOT driving or riding "US" vehicles.. They made it an issue and within short order, the trend changed. I don't know what it is today.

I wonder how many of us really know who runs the corporation ... or any corporation...
 

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H-D will be opening an assembly plant (of U.S.-built components) in India in early 2011. And with that, one could imagine a scenario when it is their only assembly plant. A "business decision", you know...

And if that happened, what would all those H-D owners say about "buying American"?
 

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Well boys! Looks like curry's on the menu! Budschwiller, curry and nan at the old clubhouse. Who woulda thought?

Loren

hschisler said:
H-D will be opening an assembly plant (of U.S.-built components) in India in early 2011. And with that, one could imagine a scenario when it is their only assembly plant. A "business decision", you know...

And if that happened, what would all those H-D owners say about "buying American"?
 

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Mercedes Benz manufactures cars a variety of cars and trucks in India, Hero Honda is the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles in India too.

A bike like Harley Davidson shouldn't be too difficult to manufacture here, besides if well priced and marketed they will have large sales as the domestic market itself is huge with a population of 1.2b plus with an extremely rich top 20% bracket.

I guess spice and curry help increase business and employment :)
 

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HD like any other business buys their parts from the lowest bidder,

I understand about "buy American"
but why should you or I feel obligated to support incompetence and an inferior product?
If HD's were 100% American "their" argument would have some merit, but they're not.

Goldwings and ST1100 were assembled in Mary'sville Ohio,
Nissan built a huge plant in Mississippi yet those brands are considered "Jap"

I have no Idea what percentage of an HD Is US made verses US assembled,
I do know that when you are at the sales counter of an HD dealership
90+ % of their replacement parts are Taiwan made.
 

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THE Democracy Doctor
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It seems that BMW had better luck building in Amerika than Mercedes did.

Perhaps H-D should still consider eliminating their dealer network altogether and just sell at China-Mart?
 

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sorchilla said:
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 wife’s new love, her Z4. It is the one Harley vs. BMW debate I don’t have a good answer for. If I was to purchase a new ride I most likely would get a new GT/L 1600. I can’t 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 it’s tough to do. Of course, Harleys come with the advantage of not having to wear protective gear and full face helmets – just a tee shirt, jeans, and something resembling a boots. Guy - help me feel better about my decisions.
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. :rotf:
 

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For now, and, like your comment, I specifically say, for now - that new India plant is designed to assemble bikes for the upcoming India market. Assembly onshore, of parts HD gets from where ever they get parts today - will greatly reduce the cost of a bike for a local Indian. Good for HD, good for America.

hschisler said:
H-D will be opening an assembly plant (of U.S.-built components) in India in early 2011. And with that, one could imagine a scenario when it is their only assembly plant. A "business decision", you know...

And if that happened, what would all those H-D owners say about "buying American"?
 

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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 ( :dance: ) , 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 :histerica

p.p.s - ATGATT applies to Harley ridin' too, my friend.

DavidTaylor said:
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. :rotf:


sorchilla said:
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 wife’s new love, her Z4. It is the one Harley vs. BMW debate I don’t have a good answer for. If I was to purchase a new ride I most likely would get a new GT/L 1600. I can’t 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 it’s tough to do. Of course, Harleys come with the advantage of not having to wear protective gear and full face helmets – just a tee shirt, jeans, and something resembling a boots. Guy - help me feel better about my decisions.
 

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THE Democracy Doctor
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HarleyBrad08 said:
....p.p.s - ATGATT applies to Harley ridin' too, my friend.
STOP the presses! HOOLLLLDDDDDDDD up!! :wtf: :confused:
Since when does a "pirate" costume qualify as ATGATT?! :D
 

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THE Democracy Doctor
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saddleman said:
When your skin is as tough as leather. :D
Let that be a lesson to me! :eek: I forgot how "bad-ass" those Hardley guys are! :D

Make that "leather" Kevlar, and I'm down with da sickness! :rolleyes:
 

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saddleman said:
When your skin is as tough as leather. :D
+1 :histerica
 

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jayjacobson said:
STOP the presses! HOOLLLLDDDDDDDD up!! :wtf: :confused:
Since when does a "pirate" costume qualify as ATGATT?! :D

Maybe I should have said "should apply". :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Great responses. I will take Dave up his offer for a beer in Cambria. No beemers in my neighborhood so I occasionally ride with a few HD friends, albeit short rides. Good guys but I'm getting tired of their US Made argument. I'll let BMW know you guys help sway me to getting a new GT/L 1600. Would you mind convincing my bride that my 05LT with only 89K miles needs replaced?
 

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HarleyBrad08 said:
Maybe I should have said "should apply". :rolleyes:
Speaking of Amerikan beer: I'll take an ice-cold Guinness! :D :rolleyes:
 

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jayjacobson said:
Speaking of Amerikan beer: I'll take an ice-cold Guinness! :D :rolleyes:
Well, at least when Guiness gets real cold you use a spoon instead of gulping :D
 

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saddleman said:
When your skin is as tough as leather. :D
He's "overdressed" by local standards,
he's wearing shoes!
 
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