The Harley marketing machine is impressive, no doubt. Their re-sale is all tied to that "desire" they instill in A LOT of people. I also agree with you that that re-sale advantage is faltering. I have two friends that have a Fat Boy and a sweet Deuce for sale, but they are not getting any bites because the market here is so saturated with H-D's. They are sitting on consignment at one of the most popular H-D shops. You see later models advertised with less than 4000 miles on them. Spending that much for a bike and not riding it, is a piece of the H-D mystic that I will never understand. I sold my 2002 V-Star 1100 Classic, with 15,000 miles on it, for $2,400 less that I bought it for. Even with all the cruiser chrome goodies I had added on to it, I got a 60% plus re-sale value on a Japanese H-D clone. From what I see with my two friend’s situations, they may have to take around 15K or less on bikes that they have invested at least 22K in. I think the very popular cruiser segment in general has an overall good re-sale value tied to it. As for ride, I have switched bikes with my H-D buddies, and the V*, except for chrome, chrome, chrome, more chrome, held it's own with them, in both power and handling, quite nicely (again, in my humble, biased opinion). It's all about marketing perception. Maytag does it, Coke does it, Harley does it, and darn well. Since beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, marketing and selling that image is huge. But I give my kudos to Harley. They are an absolute marketing giant (to bad I didn’t invest in them back in the AMF days!), and not only with bikes, but also in accessories and clothing. Non-motorcyclists buy and wear their stuff all the time. Even PetsMart carries dog products with that famous H-D emblem on them, amazing...
But back to my original post: The V-Strom 1000 rules in both performance and “value”!
Lencho - Blue DL1000K5
A former Motocrosser living in a middle aged, creaking body