Harley to discontinue six models for 2014

Slow sellers get the chop; Road Glide due for a redesign

Posted: 29 April 2013
by Visordown News

The XR1200X is one of the models said to be on the chopping block

HARLEY-DAVIDSON intends to drop half a dozen models from its line-up next year, according to a leaked memo sent out to the company's dealers ahead of its annual dealer convention.

The curtain will fall on the XR1200X Sportster, the FXS Softail Blackline and the FLHTC Electra Glide Classic after this year, due to declining sales. The FLHRC Road King Classic will be dropped in North America, while the FLHR Road King gets the axe in other markets.

The FLTRX Road Glide Custom and FLTRU Road Glide Ultra tourers will also not be available for 2014, though this will be a temporary affair, as both models are getting a redesign and their manufacturing processes and tooling are due for an update. 

The tweaks to the range are meant to "optimise the number of choices available, reduce product overlap, reflect marketplace dynamics and reduce model complexity in showrooms".

Harley-Davidson's Q1 2013 sales were down more than 9% year-on-year to 54,257 units (mainly due to a drop in domestic US demand), but the company announced a rise in profits to $1.57 billion, up from $1.43 billion in Q1 2012. 

Link: Harley-Davidson Breakout first ride review
Link: Harley-Davidson Sportster 72 first ride review
Link: Harley-Davidson Softail Slim first ride review
Link: Custom bike reviews


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I am not surprised the XR is getting the axe. Here in America, people do not flock to Harley for performance and handling. They do it because they are ignorant louts who foolishly buy into the Harley lie that they are "Elite" and "Badasses" and "Individuals who enjoy Freedom". In reality, they are lemmings riding cookie cutter examples of 19th century technology. The only really modern tech on today's Harleys isn't even American, It's Japanese! Mikuni, Keihin, Nissin, and Showa, whom, by the way, is owned by Honda! As for the Vrod, it and it's Porsche designed engine are the final end to the argument that Harley can't build a watercooled engine to save their lives, that the XR1000 racebike started.

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 18:07

what Chris said

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 20:20

Sad for the XR1200X its the only Harley I would have ever bought, then again I never would buy a Harley, simply because of the cheesy culture around it. It seems everytime they try something different (V-rod, XR1200X) the Harley crowd don't like it so they end up selling very few...

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 20:35

Whatever reason people enjoy Harleys it's their choice, full stop. Like a lot of people, I for one am sick of all the unnecessary electronic gadgets being put on today’s motorcycle. I’ve owned, built and repaired all kinds of motorcycles over the years and travelled many continents on different brands. The thing I like about motorcycles is the ride, not how high tech they are or what wiz bang gadgets they have, whether it’s traction control, fly by wire, computer readouts, wifi, gps or abs. Stop all the vitriolic negativity and brand bashing. If it’s not your cup of tea, then get on with life and ride what you enjoy and stop the nastiness.

Posted: 30/04/2013 at 02:59

Jacob - Having an opinion isn't necessarily nastiness & I haven't witnessed any vitriol here yet. I'm friends with all sorts of bikers & we all take the piss out of each other for what we ride & we ride for different reasons. It's my main form of transport... I like ABS, heated grips & I'll have traction control as soon as it's available at a reasonable price. On wet or frosty roads they're invaluable. I don't see any Harleys on the roads for 6 months of the year for a good reason... it's the same reason I don't see many bikes at all for 6 months of the year... they come out in summer... another good reason for taking the piss out of my friends.

Posted: 30/04/2013 at 07:10

It's not like Harley really need performance or gadget bikes: they're minting it from a loyal market who want the same bike their pappy and grandpappy rode. Not a criticism, an observation. I'm keeping an open mind until I've tried one.

Sales down, profits up, prices presumably much the same? Them's cost cutting in them thar hills.

Posted: 30/04/2013 at 10:27

6 down....34 to go!!!

Over priced junk, my mate took one for a test run, I've seen stronger swing arms on pushbikes!

$1.5B profits in Q1.....ooohh noooo their not over priced at all!

Posted: 30/04/2013 at 11:22

Wow do people really think they look cool on them ? A turd of a bike is a turd of a bike. Took one out for a spin in the states once, got 300m down the road, turned around and gave it back.

Still fools will be fools and get suckerd into buying the brand. Im just off to but by Cal Cruchlow rep gear, at 42 i can just about aford it now.

Posted: 30/04/2013 at 12:45

I dunno. I test rode a Sportster once. I actually thought it was an okay bike, but not worth $10,000 to me.

Then again, I would never pay $10,000 for any bike.

Posted: 30/04/2013 at 16:07

Less bike sales more profits.
Sounds like a lot of HD merchandise licenses sold ;)

Posted: 01/05/2013 at 08:00

Mmm... There maybe a few bargains to be had, My friend picked up a ridiculously cheap Buell a few years back when HD were flogging them off.

As for HD I think its a great biking lifestyle and always enjoy seeing all those bikers having fun over at Daytona on their cruisers dressed up like pirates with bikini clad women on the back

Although its not for me personally as I love sportsbikes and the look and performance of those bikes and enjoy watching MotoGP ,WSB and BSB. I ride a NC700S its a fantastic bike but if money was no object I would be buying the new R1 and Harley.

Posted: 01/05/2013 at 08:38

IMHO, H-D have far too many feet-forward bikes and not enough choice of bikes with mid-mounted pegs. I'm 5ft 5inches, small but not unusually so, and I can't comfortably operate forward controls. Harley are ignoring a large slice of marketing potential by limiting the choice for those of moderate height.
Victory are even more blinkered, and don't have a mid-peg bike in their whole range!

Posted: 01/05/2013 at 20:42

The XR1200X Sportster was already dropped for 2013 as I came back from riding Route 66 last summer planning to buy one.

Pity about the Road King as that was a nice classic Harley.

Posted: 02/05/2013 at 09:43

Well I owned a 21st century Street Triple R for a year before a SMIDSY left me with a write-off. I bought a 1200 Sportster Custom for a bit of a change expecting to be cruising sedately everywhere. Instead I ride it hard and regularly exceed that so-called 60mph "velocity" or whatever you're on about. It's not cutting edge performance but neither does it sell itself as such. The torque from a 1200 vtwin will kick yer arse into next week. It's a blast and surprisingly agile on country roads near where I live. I dunno mate....perhaps you HARDLEY knew how to ride it?

: )

Posted: 23/05/2013 at 18:43

I ride a 883sportster and find my mate on his bmw f800 struggling to keep up with me! The sporty is just that agile and manouverable. Ride it hard and it performs with 50 to 60mpg. And it looks n sounds good.

Posted: 25/05/2013 at 00:11

I have not been without a motorcycle since 1965. I have owned bikes from many continents and found positive and negative attributes in each of them. I settled on Harley Davidson in 1984 merely because each time I climbed on I was glad I bought it. I have looked at and ridden other bikes at every buying opportunity since and remain a HD owner. I hope all the passionate people I see in these comments are as satisfied with their rides. If you're putting your face in the wind, you're okay with me.

Posted: 26/08/2013 at 21:28

I'm one of the "ignorant louts" that rides a Harley. I've had other bikes - Yamaha, BMW, Benelli, and of all of them, I like my Harley best. Why? Because, to me, rather than being a "cookie-cutter example of 19th century technology", my Road King is the closest thing to my envisioned motorcycle archetype. I find it interesting that on the one hand, Harley's are accused of being nothing but 19th century technology - so are we talking steam here? - then almost in the same breath being accused of using technology from Mikuni, Keihin, Nissin, and Showa. I don't see a problem using proven components from other companies. BMW didn't make the carbs on my BMW, and Yamaha didn't make them on the Yammer I owned either. SO what's the problem?
As far as ride - the Road king is nimble, responsive, and a lot of fun to ride. Isn't that what's supposed to drive us to the decision we make about what we ride? Why do riders of bikes other than Harley always seem to be compelled to bash the brand and the people who ride them? I'm having fun on mine and I don't care what you ride. Maybe you feel the need to bash my choice because your not happy with teh choice you made?

Posted: 11/09/2013 at 19:56

Talkback: Harley to discontinue six models for 2014



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