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We’ve written about determining what your used motorcycle is worth. Now let’s explore what factors impact the Harley-Davidson® brand and its bikes’ values.
Some love them and others hate them. Harleys are their own breed of motorcycle. That has a large impact on their valuation. So, what exactly is a used Harley worth?
Harley-Davidson is an American motorcycle manufacturer. They are one of the largest producers of bikes in the world. Harley also enjoys an unparalleled amount of brand loyalty. This is especially true within the United States.
The Harley Brand
Harley is a century-old brand that is studied by marketers and those in business academia. This interest is because of their extended success in the industry and immensely loyal following. The brand is iconic and well-known even among those who do not ride.
The brand’s recognition is partially driven by the fact that Harley-Davidson motorcycles have a rich history. They are deeply interwoven into popular culture and the history and society of bikers.
Consider the counterculture phenomenon of the 60s. Remember the movie Easy Rider? That lead into an explosion of customization and choppers into the 70s and beyond.
Harley-Davidson was smack in the middle of all of this. And they continue to be very popular and culturally significant among a large segment of the biker community.
The Brand’s Value
This brand equity that Harley has invested in over the years carries through into every bike they sell. This means every Harley motorcycle is worth slightly more than if another company had built the exact same bike without a Harley-Davidson logo.
Fans of the brand will say their motorcycles are American-made and higher quality. Even more loyal enthusiasts say riding a Harley yields a singular riding experience. For them, that can not be replicated on any other bike.
Naysayers contend that Harley-Davidson bikes are more prone to break down. They also believe they require more frequent and more expensive repairs.
It doesn’t really matter who is right. Either way, there is a large and loyal following that are willing to pay a premium for the Harley name. That drives up the price for Harley motorcycles. This is doubly true or even more so if you get into vintage Harley motorcycles. That is because classic and antique Harleys have a decently-sized collectors market.
Some people believe that Harley-Davidson attempts to control the value of both their new and late-model used motorcycles. It’s speculated that they modify production quotas to control the pricing of their brand’s motorcycles. This may or may not be true, but they certainly do control the number of motorcycles they produce each year.
If they increase production and oversaturate their dealerships with new motorcycles. This decreases used motorcycle pricing. That happens because dealers are more aggressive with new motorcycle deals.
The reverse happens if Harley-Davidson limits production. The existing used motorcycles will increase in value. That is because fewer new motorcycles will be available to potential buyers. It’s hard to know if this is a corporately led effort. It could also just be the natural ebb and flow of their supply chain and the overall economy and motorcycle market.
In the past, Harley-Davidson corporate and their dealerships rarely offered cash rebates or other incentives. However, in 2017 they did offer a limited rebate on their 2016 model year bikes at their US dealerships. It’s unknown if they will continue this practice. It’s also up in the air as to how that may further affect pricing.
Individual Bike Pricing
We recommend using all the same tips we discussed in our article on determining what your used motorcycle is worth. You can also check out ChopperExchange. They are a used classifieds website that specializes in Harley-Davidson and other American V-twin motorcycles.
ChopperExchange also has an article, What is My Harley Worth. It talks about how to value your Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The article includes tips and links to valuable tools.
One tool is their price report for determining a fair price for your Harley. It uses buying and selling data from their thousands of listings.
The more knowledge you have the better off you’ll be when it comes time to sell your Harley.
Have any other tips, tricks, or stories? Any other info regarding buying, selling, or valuing a Harley? Let us know in the comments below.