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Harley-Davidson price in Australia

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Bosi72, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. As I'm "slowly" approaching to the age of 40, I started thinking about upgrading to Harleys :)

    Yes, they are beautiful bikes, but somehow I thought I am not "mature" enough for this bike. Each time I visit Harley shop, I always admire to those beautiful bikes. And as soon as I look into the price tag of A$20.000+ reality check says "leave the shop you've already got too many debts on credit cards, mortgages, etc..."

    But recently I surfed the Internet and found a price under US$10.000 for a Harley (!!!). Wait a moment ?! Then I visited Harley US website and found that it is possible to buy a Harley under US$10k !!!

    (choose the bike e.g. Sportster 883, then click Estimate a Payment - US$6695)

    Now question for Australian Harley dealers:
    Do you have a plan to lower the price of Harley-Davidson bikes in Oz ?
    Considering the US/AUS exchange rate, shipping charges, etc... I believe some Harleys shouldn't be too expensive.

  2. It's an 883 Sportster. They're only about 10k here which is not too bad a mark up over the US given the cost of importing, compliancing and the fact we're a small market. Of course you can easily double that price and then some if you start adding accessories/modifications.
  3. The Sportster is around 11k plus onroad costs in Australia, that's still not an expensive bike. It doesn't matter if the product is motorcycles, computers, cars or TVs, there's more to importing and supporting a product than just applying today's exchange rate to whatever overseas product it is that you want.
  4. Yup... the sportster 883 price is actually very competitive in Australia with other makers mid sized cruisers.

    It's the 1200 sporty that's actually a bit overpriced if you ask me, the differences are minimal yet the price difference is significant.
  5. Many people might not see this as an upgrade! :cool: jk

    Of course we would be happy if prices dropped everytime our our dollar went up, but I am sure we would NOT be happy about the prices rising when our dollar dropped back down again. As for most thing imported, keeping it the same allows for some fluctuation without drastic price increases & decreases.
  6. But it's the same in the US. The 1200 Nightstar for example is 44% dearer than the 883 there, and 44% dearer here.
  7. Whatever you do, don't buy an 883 sportster. Life begins at 1200cc

    If you only have limited funds and it has to be non-jap, have you looked at the range of triumph bonneville derivatives?
  8. The Kawasaki VN900 and the Suzuki VZ800 both make the Harley 883 look antiquated for similar money.
    I would never poo-poo someone interested in buying a cruiser, but in my opinion the only Harley Davidson worth looking at is the V-Rod and even then you can spend your money better elsewhere.
  10. I'm not saying anything about the relative value between the US and Australia, I'm just pointing out that the 1200 sportster is much poorer value than the 883 *not only here, but also in the US as you kindly pointed out* :p

    I could walk into the HD dealer, buy an 883.

    Buy a 1200 kit and a dual seat, fit them and pocket a couple of thousand dollars of savings over the 1200 as sold by the factory.
  11. Oh agreed, just nice to know it isn't only this country that's getting ripped off. I've no doubt most of the price difference is simply paying for the "image" of having a 1200 (since the 883 is often considered a "ladies bike").
  12. Theres a bit more in it than that. The 1200 head is a better head by a long shot and the latest 1200 bikes are much more like the large bike than they were a few years ago. Too much so if you ask me.
  13. Pulled from another site:

    There's no difference in the bottom part of '95-later 883 and 1200 engines... it's all the same from the cylinders on down, including the starter, primary, clutch, and transmission.

    The only difference between a factory 1200 cylinder and one that's been bored to 3.498" is the casting mark on the front of the jug. One says 883, the other 1200. The outer diameter of the steel liner, as well as it's thickness, is the same. Harley DOES inspect all new cylinders for porosity to a depth of .030" to ensure they can take 3 overbores. Some say that it's better to buy new 1200 cylinders than to bore 883 cylinders to avoid possible porosity. I've never even heard of a porosity problem with bored 883 cylinders. All this being said, if new 1200 cylinders are used in a conversion, even the casting stamp will be the same.

    The 1200 cast pistons weigh a whopping 517 grams with rings, wrist pins, and circlips. Because of this weight, they can't be revved as high as lighter
    pistons, such as the 425 gram 883, or Wiseco 883/1200 pistons, without cracking, or overstressing the rods, main bearings, and crankpin. This also causes engine vibration to occur at lower engine speeds, which would be at a lower road speed. So to get the vibrations back up to the same road speed as the 883's, higher gearing (a 29 tooth front belt sprocket vs the 27 on an 883) has to be used. This sacrifices acceleration.
    Also because of the much heavier pistons, the factory 1200 has a lower rev limit (5,200 rpm) in the ignition module than the 883 (6,000 rpm). Certainly either engine can be revved to 6,800 with a SE replacment module, but the heavier pistons produce more wear and tear on the factory 1200 lower end. The modules also have different advance curves that suits the combustion chamber they are used with.
    That's why a stock 883 module works well with the 883/1200 conversion.

    Wiseco 883/1200 pistons weigh about the same as the stock 883 pistons, so they don't have the vibration problems of the heavy factory 1200 pistons and require you to sacrifice acceleration with higher gearing. And as forged pistons, they're MUCH stronger than the factory cast pistons.

    While the factory 1200 heads do have larger valves, they have a huge, 3.5" wide inefficient combustion chamber with no quench (squish) area above the piston. IMO they are the poorest design put on a Sportster in recent years. To improve upon them for performance requires welding in a lot of metal and then machining it, while with the 883 heads require only machining to remove material, and they also provide a 1/4" wide quench ring all around the top of a 1200 piston, resulting in very efficient combustion. The SE heads used on the 1200 Sport are much better than the factory 1200 heads, which couldn't tolerate the higher compression.

    It IS possible to do an 883/1200 conversion using factory 1200 pistons, but this brings with it the vibration problems, and it requires grinding out
    the quench area of the 883 head to lower compression, making them as poor as the factory 1200 heads in that respect. And it is even possible to acquire used 1200 heads additionally. Those who've tried this route eventually have to sacrifice acceleration with the larger front belt sprocket to raise vibration speed.

    Ignoring the 7% torque multiplication advantage of the 883 gearing, a Wiseco 883/1200 conversion has a 9.6:1 compression ratio with stock HD 1200 gaskets, and over 10:1 with thinner aftermarket head gaskets. This added compression produces significantly more torque at lower and midrange rpms than a 9.0:1 factory 1200, and the additional compression of the conversion almost exactly offsets the advantage of the larger factory valves at higher rpms. The 883/1200 and factory 1200 engines make the same hp at higher rpms.

    Combine this stronger 883/1200 engine with the 883's 7% torque multiplication advantage in the belt drive, and the conversion easily outperforms a factory 1200 on the street. Put Andrews N4 cams or SE bolt-in cams in the 883/1200 and you have better acceleration than
    even a factory 1200 Sport.

    In summary, the only differences between the 883/1200 and a factory 1200 are the pistons and the heads... and the conversion has better ones, resulting in better performance, even when gearing isn't considered.
  14. fair enough, though it doesn't mention the fact that the 883 doesn't have the twin plug setup of the 1200 and therefore requires a conversion if you want it.

    this article talks about using SE heads, which would be filthy dear in Australia.
  15. Twin plug conversions aren't actually that expensive.

    And I agree Wiseco pistons are much better.

    I suppose it all comes down to what one is trying to achieve.

    Personally if I was going for a sporty with mods I'd start with an 883 but each to their own.
  16. yeah I think you've won me over. The new 1200s are too dressed. So for a lean bike you would start with the 883.
  17. Having been the owner of 2 Harley Sportster 883's and a Harley softail custom I would suggest from experience that its not really an "upgrade" from what you are riding.

    Yes they are very beautiful to look at and they can be a lot of fun to ride, but some of the glaring shortcomings of the suspension, seat, and brakes need to be addressed by the MoCo to bring them up to acceptable standards.

    A standard 883 is a heavier bike than the 1200 believe it or not. And it makes very docile power. For example if you wanna remove that piece of dunny paper from the nail you'll need a snatchem strap and a good run up :LOL:

    Anyway I got tired of the way my Sporty beat me up every ride. Even after suspension upgrades it was still awful.

    I consider trading my Harley for a Hornet to be a real "upgrade" :grin:
  18. harleys are an ongoing expense. dont even get me started on the 1974 skirtster i was trying to rebuild at the time, but late last year i was talking to a bloke here in perth who makes a living out of repairing harleys, and here are just a few cases he had in shop:

    a 2006 flxthcthxf or similar that had the alternator-retaining nut fall off. subsequently the alternator made a break for it through the chaincase and the crankshaft lost all endfloat and slammed the crankcases whereupon the flywheels twisted about the crankpin. if you can imagine, you now have two great big bobweights smashing up the base of the cylinders, the crankcases and basically anything between the wheels. so in order to get his almost brand-new 'bike' back on the road, he needed new crankcases, crankshaft, crankpin, cams and timing gear, alternator, clutch and chaincases - that was the conservative damage estimate at anyrate.

    a 2005 sportster (a large one, 1200cc i think) which had about 5,000 kms on the meter. the owner wobbled around a corner, gave it the beans in second gear and all of a sudden found himself flying through the air with the greatest of ease. reason being one of the gearbox stays had vibrated loose and dropped out, so when he gave it stick the engine completely twisted the gearbox shell about one of the remaining studs, seizing every poorly made cog in the housing

    another miscellaneous model had cracked along the top of the crankcase where the barrel bolts to it - because there are oil galleries drilled in between the tapped stud-holes. 'break between the dotted lines just about as they leave the factory' this bloke reckons.

    so i ask this fix-it man 'which are the good harleys if this heap of junk '74 is no good and the new ones are no good?' and he just laughed and told me 'anything made before 1930 or between 1980-90'.

    anyway, up to you, just beware that the showroom price might not be all you end up paying.

  19. Yeah, other brands have no problems, no horror stories. :LOL:
  20. I think you left a couple of letters off.