What is the perfect mix? For Harley Davidson, they have mixed their Harleys with Baby Boomers and found they are a perfect mix. Baby Boomers are approaching their social security age so why in the world do they want a Harley? Boomers are not like any of the prior groups of people who have already approached retirement. Boomers still want to continue to live their youth.
Harleys offer fun, excitement, thrills and also a position of class envy. Harleys ain't cheap so these Yuppies want to buy one and show off their financial status. They aren't the fastest bikes or the easiest to ride but that don't matter to a Boomer. It is all about perception. Harley motorcycles, Harley babes, Harley road trips are all part of the dream that unites the Boomer with his Harley.
Even the name of the Harleys seems to point toward us older folks. Harley Softails reminds me I need a soft place to park this old rear end. Harley Fatboy motorcycles and a peak in the mirror reminds me of my physical condition. Let's not forget the Harley jackets, sunglasses, riding pants and the hundreds of other must have Harley accessories. Face it, Boomers may be getting old but they still need it all.
We even enjoy motorcycle auctions especially if there are some good buys on Harleys. Heck, we even buy a Harley Davidson and rarely ride it. We just park it in the garage and wait for it to appreciate. Funny think; it usually does.
We grew up watching biker movies, the call to Sturgis, and Hell Angels. When we sit down on that hog, we can't help have vision of being one of those "bad" but misunderstood biker. We just know owning a Harley comes with Harley babes. It is probably a myth but a boomer worth his salt is certainly not going to deny it. It is all about image.
Bottom-line, the good folks over at Harley-Davidson have nurtured this image of Harley motorcycle riders being a tough guy. This image has been translated in quite a successful profitable business that just keeps going on and on. Harleys and the Japanese bikes have no comparison. The Yamaha's, Suzuki's, and Kawasaki's have a reputation of fun, power and sports. Yet they can't compete against the rumbling sound of a Harley with a Baby Boomer straddling this beast with a huge smile of his or her face.