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Riding High

Wait Two Years for a New Harley-Davidson? That's How Long It Can Take to Get Delivery on America's Motorcycle Wait Two Years for a New Harley-Davidson? That's How Long It Can Take to Get Delivery on America's Motorcycle
Mark Vaughan
From the Print Edition:
Ron Perelman, Spring 95

(continued from page 5)

Teerlink, whose motorcycle experience was nonexistent before coming to the company and who now owns three bikes (the 1988 and 1993 Classic Electra Glide Anniversary Editions and an FLHT Electra Glide Standard), cites an obvious reason why being close to the source heightens the Harley mystique. "When you're involved in making a product of the quality and appeal of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, you naturally want to own one."

In recent years, Harley also has been very successful in marketing its lifestyle image. The company's 600-item Motorclothes and Collectibles catalogue features everything from top-of-the-line leather riding clothes and sexy lace bodysuits to jeans, T-shirts, watches, belt buckles, knives, cigarette lighters and other nonbiking goods. The look is tough, racy and cool. According to Teerlink, the catalogue fits into the Harley philosophy that "we are more than a machine, we're an experience."

Despite his upbeat attitude and general tone of optimism, Teerlink strikes a note of caution when speaking of the company's future. "I don't want to get into flag waving. Harley-Davidson is an American institution, and all of us here feel a responsibility to keep that institution alive. If there is one thing we have to fear now, it's arrogance. It would be very easy to rest on our laurels and take the position that we've got it made. But the law of nature operates in the marketplace, just as it does anywhere else, and the name of the game is survival of the fittest."

Maybe so, but from the outside looking in, Harley-Davidson certainly seems fit for the road. And whatever the future brings, it should be open highways for the hogs that made Milwaukee famous.


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