It shouldn’t be that hard to find a used bike, especially when it’s a used bike from one of the biggest motorcycle brands in the world. While it hasn’t been impossible to dig around on Craigslist or eBay to find the Harley of your dreams (mine is an XR1200), the bar and shield has now made it extra easy with the launch of its new H-D1 Marketplace. This site is a nationwide register of every used Harley in the country, not just Certified Pre-Owned, but every used H-D currently sitting on an H-D showroom floor. And they offer financing. This could get dangerous.
Eric noted just this morning that Harley is determined to focus on selling its more expensive models on the new market, foregoing the inexpensive models that might have launched a lifetime fan of the brand in the mind of a young new rider who can’t afford a five-figure chrome job. It could be argued that The Motor Company is pushing younger riders into pre-owned models in an effort to grab their attention for life. This might not be a terrible strategy, because the company has a ton of great bikes in its history that were overpriced new, but hit a sweet price spot on the second hand.
“The launch of H-D1 Marketplace is the first step towards our ambitious transformation of H-D.com into the leading online destination for everything Harley-Davidson,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO, Harley-Davidson. “We want our online presence to connect and support our H-D network - from enhanced online experiences, unique community engagement, to exclusive content and learning. The H-D1 Marketplace platform will connect our customers, community and our strong dealer network, with the goal to become the largest marketplace for pre-owned Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the United States.”
While the program has launched with the inventory of every Harley dealer in the country, there is also a “Sell My Bike” feature, allowing sellers direct access to a nationwide audience. This democratization of used Harley sales is going to be a boon for bike dorks like me. I spend most of my day cruising CL for a used bike at a good deal, but now I have a massive 18,239 bike database to peruse when I’m feeling a little too rich.
It’s too soon to tell how the H-D1 Marketplace will affect the market for used Harleys, but there are two effects I see as potentially coming soon. Effect the first is that buyers from all over the country can now see used bikes in every market, potentially increasing the number of buyers interested in a specific bike. Effect the second, however, is a bit the opposite in that dealers and sellers all over the country now have an obligation to compete on price with their used bikes.
I already see this playing out in the used LiveWire market. There are currently 36 of Harley’s all-electric trial run on the marketplace right now, priced between $19,999 and $30,149 (LMAO, get fucked). The dealers pricing their used LiveWires above MSRP will soon get a rude awakening when they see how much more likely I am to call the guys who actually have their heads screwed on straight.
In any case, easier access to bikes for sale is surely a good thing for all involved. I look forward to spending many hours on H-D1 Marketplace for the foreseeable future. It’ll be totally fine.