Great.... Now I'm stuck with it


Living Legend
Feb 25, 2006
As I surf around the other non Rocket III motorsickle forums I am getting a vibe that there is a "crash" of sorts going on in the motorcycle sales world... mostly HD stuff. I am seeing many posts about people lamenting the fact that they can't sell their used Harleys unless they almost give it away. Evo 80", Sportsters and now even Twin Cam 88's are very very soft. Thousands in accessories add almost nothing to the resale price.

Many people have huge loans on these things and some actually worked them into a refi on their house and now find themselves hopelessly upside down. They are pretty much stuck with what they have.

The big loosers here seem to be the custom non Harley bikes... Big Dogs and the like. Most are useless other than being garage art, poor engineering and design keep most of them off of the road for any kind of real use (other than posing) and I wouldn't work on one if you gave it to me. Most had huge problems new and just can't be made right. Since no one wants someone else's problem the price of these has headed straight into the dumpster it seems.

All of this is going to put pressure on the Rocket's resale value. Its a good time to buy, a bad time to sell. If I'm going to be stuck with a bike, I'm glad its the Rocket. Every time I get on it the love affair starts all over and I can't quit smiling. I can live with this bike forever if I have to....

That is an astute observation.

The worst HD resale is on the V-Rod, the best HD in my mind. Also, I like the 1200 Roadster, it is retro like a Bonnie. Funny thing is that these are the most unpopular HD's. I will pick up a Roadster or V-Rod next year after the price falls even more. Right now a used V-Rod does not quite bring $10,000 on ebay or in the local paper. Anyone who financed one likely owes more than that on the bike.

Now HD resale is now in the same range as the metric brands, a sharp decrease right off the lot then maintaining a steady value.
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Anyone who thinks they will get much more than 10 cents on a dollar for added bling is crazy. Its no different than spending money at the local fair. All you will walk out with is sticky fingers and a upset stomach. Put $900.00 dollars into a seat and it is just a seat. Nobody is going to buy your bike without one. to them its just a place3 to plunk your A$$. :(
Harley resale

Careful guys, you are upsetting the iron clad dogma of owning a Harley by way of selling it for about what you paid for it (getting lost in the mentioned, is the almost zero worth of accessories added on and engine upgrades after the sale).

Those of us on metric bikes (japanese or otherwise) are used to it, it must be coming as quite a shock to the Harley rider to run into what we have taken for granted as real world economics. Harley owners welcome to the fun world of real depreciation.

The worst screwing I've ever seen by any manufacturer to it's customers was Harley selling it's 2003 "Anniversary" models, pushing them as a ONCE IN A LIFE TIME OPPORTUNITY! Especially the people who bought anniversary Sportsters, only to have the VERY much improved 2004 models come out.. hahaha. If I'm not mistaken, Harley even extended the 2003 model year so more people would have the "wonderful opportunity" to buy a genuine 100 Anniversary model. I really do like the 2004-up model Sportsters..

Look in any classifieds and there are as many 2003 models for sale as there are the combination of all other years.

As far as Harley's go, I did make a pretty good deal. I bought a 2001 Road Glide for $10,500, after selling my beloved Thunderbird Sport for $3500 (mistake!). I put about 8,000 miles on it before deciding I really needed to get back on a Triumph, a Rocket in particular, and turned around and sold it for $13,000 and picked up my Rocket as a demo with 123 miles on it for $12,500... :) Now, 18,500 miles later the Rocket is a keeper!
Boy, is this thread right on the money. I bought my Rocket last August after over 20 years of owning Harleys. I love my Rocket!!

I could see that my personal history of selling my Harleys at original purchase price, or close to it, was changing, so I went looking for a Rocket. First I discussed a trade in with the Harley dealer where I bought my last Harley. I was informed that " the times they are a changin' VinnyBoy", but hey, your 2 year old Electra Glide with $5K worth of upgrades and $10K cash will put you into a new 07!! (just for you 'cause you're part of the Family and all). Hmmm I said to myself, that and $5k more to get the 07 to go - maybe not!

So off to the local Triumph dealer where I negotiated a trade in just slightly better than the Harler dealer offer, but hey, no need for another $5k to get it to go. I actually feel kinda lucky to have gotten out of the "Harely Family" when I did. And I think Harley makes a good bike so don't get me wrong there, but the Rocket is so different, so competent, that I feel like a reborn Christian who needs to tell all current Harley owners to wake up and smell the cat litter. We can all speculate on how that might go ( I too once had no time for non Harleys).

All this to say (and to repeat former posters), the Rocket is a keeper regardless of its market value, because the emotional value has a high ROI (return on investment). Who knows, maybe this market change will cause Harley owners to at least start to smell the air!
All of this is going to put pressure on the Rocket's resale value. Its a good time to buy, a bad time to sell. If I'm going to be stuck with a bike, I'm glad its the Rocket. Every time I get on it the love affair starts all over and I can't quit smiling. I can live with this bike forever if I have to....


ME TOO!!!! In fact I intend to keep it until I can't ride anymore. If I suddenly get rich I might think about adding a couple more bikes but don't know if I would ever ride them :D
First bike was a 1968 Triumph Trophy Model 650. Still have one in the garage. My last bike is my Rocket. Cradle to grave as they say. May get another bike oneday, but I could care less about the trade in value of the Rocket because I'll never let it go.
One more makes 3

I believe I'm going to get another bike this summer, besides I got permission from my wife (very important, concerns living in the house instead of the garage).

It's going to be a toss up between a Ducati, A Guzzi or an MV Agusta. I suspect the MV will win out. Ducks are very expensive to maintain, Guzzi's lack pizzaz while the MV is an icon of the 60's. Just like Triumph but with more of a racing heritage on Eurpoean circuits.

You don't have to be "rich" to afford multiple bikes. Just have a good relationship with Trans-Union.
It's interesting to see so many V-twins traded in for cages around my area.I know there are distinctions that make "Harleys", stand out but never owning a V-twin find the distinction difficult.Maybe that is part of the problem.All I know is if it is loud more times than not it is a Harley.I don't waste time on any of them anymore as more than likely they have been waxed by just about everybody and I know they are just cruisers but my cruiser does more things better,faster,and doesn't fit into a certain category which I find very appealing.