Harley-Davidson's (HOG) 2011 line of motorcycles has everything you'd expect: contemporary custom-designed bikes (also known as "customs") drenched in chrome and dark retro-style bobbers (bikes with a rear fender shortened or "bobbed") and wicked new colors and graphics.

But there are some new twists to the storied brand, like a built-in iPod Nano; a suspended, heated, two-up seat with leather inserts; dual mufflers featuring new chrome billet end-caps with black spears; and new mirrors finished in chrome.

"Everybody looks forward to seeing what they come out with," said Glenn Roberts, editor of Ontario-based Motorcycle Mojo magazine. "It seems like their new line is keeping with the trend of putting out a couple of new models and adding a bunch of modifications to existing lines and then giving them new names."

Overall, the new line Harley introduced Tuesday is modest, with only three new models -- the SuperLow, XR1200X and Road Glide Ultra -- and a host of upgrades to its existing line, including more powerful engines and so-called "Smart Security System." The Milwaukee, Wis.-based company's Custom Vehicle Operation line, or CVO, is also offering four new, limited production motorcycle lines for next year. The base prices on the new lineup of 2011 CVO Harleys range from $29,500 to $36,500, and the three new production models range in price from $7,999 to $12,799.



Hog Sales Still Slow

Yet even with the more powerful engines and sexy new bikes, investors weren't feeling exhilarated. Given the soft economy, Harley has been more tentative in recent years with the introduction of new lines. The company's stock slipped 65 cents, or 2% to close at $28.23 on Tuesday. In after-hours trading it dropped 2.5% more.

Sales are down this year, as they have been for the last three years. Last week, the company reported a $71 million profit, more than triple the same quarter last year. Harley has been saving money by squeezing its operations. It announced plans to cut up to 1,600 jobs by the end of next year. Last year, Harley cut 2,000 jobs, or a fifth of its workforce.

Last week, the company said it would begin talks with the union representing its employees in Wisconsin, where the company plans to restructure or relocate its production facilities in Milwaukee and Tomahawk in order to "close large cost gaps" and "improve flexibility to meet seasonal and other customer-driven production needs." Should a new labor agreement fail to be reached by mid-September, the company said it will move its production operations from Wisconsin to another part of the U.S. (Harley-Davidson said it will keep its headquarters, product development team and its Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee no matter what the outcome.)

"Our focus on continuous improvement goes beyond simply reducing costs," said CEO Keith Wandell. "It extends to our ability to deliver the right bikes to the right markets at the right time."

What About That New Engine?

The three new models add to Harley's existing line of 32 motorcycles. The new line includes the SuperLow, a bike that's designed for new riders with the hope of expanding the company's customer base. The SuperLow is built to be comfortable and to help new riders maintain balance and control.

But it was the four limited-edition motorcycles that had motorcycle blogs on fire Tuesday following the announcement. Particularly notable is the custom fuel-injected Screamin' Eagle Twin Cam 110 V-Twin, the largest-displacement engine ever produced by Harley-Davidson.

Production of this motorcycle will be limited to 3,000 units, and the model has a suggested retail price of $35,999. It comes in three custom color schemes: Rio red and black ember with quartzite graphics; charcoal slate and black twilight with quartzite graphics; and frosted ivory and vintage gold with quartzite graphics.

This story was updated at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday July 28, 2010.

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jdmadden01

I've been riding Harleys since I was 15 and I'm 61 now. It's the only bike on the road with character. I've riden almost everything else that friends had, but never felt at home on them. You can bash them all you want and joke about the gay pirates (just don't do it to their faces, or you might get your azz whipped). Sure, there are posers riding them, just like the prima donnas on the recycled beer cans. But I'd rather push my Harley than ride Jap crap, Brit sh_t, Herman the vermon German, or Greasy Luigi's machines that sound like a PO'd hornet. Too many wine swilling nancy boys on them for me. But that's just my opinion. See how it fits up your wazoo.

August 07 2010 at 2:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
WolfMurman

Yeah, friggin' people are a bunch of dopes for buyin' into that whole Harley "thing", kinda like that OTHER bunch of dopes that buy into some company sellin' them a bike that will do three times the speed limit. Nothing stupid about that! All that high technology, then you still gotta sign that big ol' check for the speedin' ticket with an plain, old fashion, ball point pen (Speed of a cop's radio wave is slightly less than 186,000 miles per second, 300,000,000 meters per second for you metric types, the 'busa ain't that fast yet.)......hehhehheh.....poetic justice, I tells ya! No doubt, there's lots of RUBs on Harleys, but you can smell 'em out by that "new leather smell" when they walk into the room, so it's really not a problem. Now, that OTHER crowd has more than it's fair share of posers too. Full racing leathers (On a 100 degree day.), full face with super-duper graphics (Like that's gonna do you any good at a-buck-fifty when granny left turns your azz!), and of course....the zip splat starship (From here to infinity, and beyond!!!)...but...the speedo has never seen the high side of 90. This thread just goes to show that everybody is a fast mofo rider, at least on their computer they are. One last thing, Harley or metric, whatever any of us ride, they are all "donor cycles" to the cagers, right?

July 30 2010 at 9:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
urrozcjs

The real question is will real union members still buy them if they go rat???

July 30 2010 at 7:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Ed

I would rather have a used 152 Cessna for the same money.

July 30 2010 at 7:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
zbigbadw0lf

I've owned 2 harleys and both were pieces of ****. I didn't learn from the mistake of buying the first one and was dumb enough to buy another one.

my last bike was a zx-14 kawasaki. when called upon, it handled like it was on rails. stopped like hitting a brick wall. and accelerated like a rocket. all I ever did to it was change the oil and ride.

fire willie g davidson, bring the company into the 21st century and quit building the same old 1970's garbage. people are tired of the same old bikes and gay pirate costumes worn by "bikers". most hd guys are just posers. the sportbike guys are the outlaws now.

AND THE WORST THING ABOUT HARLEYS...will the ******* NOT IDLE???!!! every gay pirate that you see riding one has to constantly rev it up. everywhere they go rev, rev, rev. stop, rev some more. riding through a parking lot, rev, rev, rev. desperately hoping for someone to look their way and behold them in all of the harley leather clad badness.

July 30 2010 at 6:18 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to zbigbadw0lf's comment
ur2brepod1x

Well my harley is a 97 wide glide the only thing i've changed is tires and oil,it's taken me from florida to sturgis 3 times, over the smokeys at least 20 times and i never even have replaced a cable or the belt. Lets go for a long road trip mr ZX14 and see who who gets there first. If you ever go to deals gap look up
in the tree of shame and you'll see parts of a R1, thats the last jap bike I'll ever ride, it was like riding on rails until I slipped off. Glad it wasn't mine.

August 09 2010 at 4:42 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
LolaMarie

So Sorry I will hate to see you go but people just can't afford that anymore. Even the lower priced Harleys. While I admit America needs to hold on to what little manufacturing it has anymore the bottom line. Unless you are one of the "Haves" and not like the average American like me "the Have nots" It just doesn't make sense. Should I buy a Harley or pay my rent. Sell some to the Clintons. I hear the big bash is going to cost Bill about $3 million. Cake cost $10,000. I am sure glad after his (Bill's Cigar joke with Monica in the Oral office and Hillary acking like she is one of us I am so glad I didn't vote any of those folks in. Read the UK Headlines. They call it a wedding of American Royality. Not mine! Hillary in tow with her assistant following carying the $over $10,000 wedding dress. What's wrong hillary got to lazy or too old or too rich to carry your own kid's dress. Oh and the Father in law spent time in jail for swindleing millions from people. A million dollar ring he bought her? Must have been from some of those swindled millions. I am only thankful Chelsea says she's not into politics. Thank GoD! Harley if you need to leave sorry to see you go but the average guy with a mortage and 2.3 kids can't even afford $7000. He's already up to his a** in hock and don't know how to pay his electric. WoooHooo go Chelsea! Sorry but I am so over it!

July 30 2010 at 5:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hpycmpr155

Harleys are overpriced and you have to accesorize.
The jackets, the boots, the LOGOS...the "lifestyle"/
Puhleseesze.
I will take my smooth, quiet Goldiwng anytime.
At least I don't have to dress up just to let everyone know what kind of a motorcycle I am riding.

July 30 2010 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hpycmpr155's comment
jdrein

I heard Honda is working on a DIESEL version of the Gold Wing...Then the "truckers" can fill-um up useing their "big rig" credit cards and if heir "tractors" break down they can "pull with teir Gold Wings"---they're big enough and "drive" the same...

July 30 2010 at 9:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
oafdawg

The only people buying a Harley now are yuppie wanna-be's!

July 30 2010 at 4:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lawtonwill

JUNK IS LOUD AND SLOW HARDLEY DAVIDSON IS FOR OLD PEOPLE AND GAYS

July 30 2010 at 4:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tomkat685

One last time - LOUD PIPES ONLY CAUSE HEARING LOSS

July 30 2010 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply