Is Harley-Davidson capitalizing on a reputation among its motorcycles for holding their value or trying to get stock moving in a troubled U.S. economy?
The company is currently offering U.S. buyers what they say is essentially a year’s ownership of a Sportster for free. Buy an ’08 or ’09 Sportster before the end of March, ride it for a year, and get your full purchase price as trade-in value on a new Big Twin Harley.
The trade-in has to occur within a year and has to be for a new Dyna, Softail, VRSC, or Touring Harley-Davidson. Sadly, the new XR1200 Sportster is excluded from this deal.
Meanwhile, in Canada, where this deal is not in effect, you can still ride for free — but not for a year. Deeley Harley-Davidson has posted a schedule of demo rides across the country on its website.
Yep, they did the same thing in the US in the mid ’80’s, where you bought your Sportster for $3995 and got that much on a trade in within a year.
This also sounds like what Buell was doing a couple of years ago with the Blast, where they would guarantee trade-in value towards a 1200cc Buell. It was supposed to get people past the hurdle of owning their first bike and having to take a hit when their skills outgrew the Blast. Funny thing that Harley is offering this, I bet there is all sorts of fine print and red tape that will end up making this less than the “no hassle” transaction they’re portraying.
If I’m not mistaken, this isn’t the first time that Harley has made this offer. I believe that a similar deal was offered back in the late ’70’s or early 80’s when Harley low-balled Sportster prices in an effort to counter surging Japanese bike sales.