Thursday, May 25, 2006

Harley Owners -- Get A Life!!

< Stepping onto my soap box >

Let me preface this rant by saying I was raised around Harleys; I ride a Harley; its the only kind of bike I've ever been interested in. I like the way my Low Rider handles and I like her sexy, raw sound.

BUT, if you throw an item into a black wrapper and paste a Harley logo on the front -- don't count on me buying it.

Recently, I've been on the look out for a concise, yet detailed road atlas that would properly highlight many of the little roads in Texas and the surrounding states. Road atlases are available that provide this - but they are mammoth. A person would have to be driving an RV to open it up -- completely impractical for a normal bike with normal saddlebags.

So yesterday, the spring 2006 edition (isn't it almost summer?) of Enthusiast came out which is a publication for those of us that are members of HOG (Harley Owners Group). On page 9 is a half-page vertical ad advertising the Rand McNally Harley-Davidson Ride Atlas of North America with much hype.

Sounds like what I'm looking for yes? Wrong. I get to the Harley dealership today and with the exception of a few additional pages it's the same damn road atlas that comes as part of your annual HOG membership package.

WTF?! Slap a black cover and put a Harley logo on it and now it's suddenly worth $35?! Honestly, I can go to Barnes & Nobel and buy the 2005 Rand McNally spiral bound road atlas with a laminate cover for the bargain bin price of $5.99. Roads don't change that much from year to year so to save $30 I'll buy a year old atlas.

It's like the HD Cleaning Bucket with Multi Pocket Apron for a mere $60. Take a good look at this photo -- see all those bottles of "product" around the exterior? They MUST be empty. See, everyone I know that has this bucket all say that by the time you put the product into the apron, it's too heavy and falls off.

Also, let's consider the Snap-On Tools H-D Tool Kit for a mere $200. I confess to not being a mechanic but doesn't common sense dictate that you could go to Sears and buy what you need from the automotive / tools department for about $25?

I'm a firm believer in capitalism -- but within reason. I have no problem with Harley licensing their name and logo but again, within reason and be a little more realistic with the pricing. Just because we own a Harley does not mean we are rolling in copious amounts of cash OR if we have the available cash, we have it because we don't squander it on silly things at outrageous prices.

A couple years ago I was on a ride with a local HOG chapter and one of the members made this crack about if people can't afford to participate in most of the events, they shouldn't have a Harley. I think that was the last ride I attended. I had just had it with that pompous attitude. A lot of great people have a Harley because it's their passion or they've dreamed about it all their lives. They may be cutting corners in other areas of their life like not having cable tv or eating out as often so that they can afford their bike.

I just wish that so many Harley owners -- and yes I do mean "owners" because most of them sure as hell aren't "riding" so could never be classified as a "biker" -- would stop acting blonde when it comes to any do-dad that is wrapped in black and plastered with a Harley logo.

< Stepping of my soapbox >

1 comment:

Johnny Wadd said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of branding.