Hot off the FTC desk is a complaint that the company was violating American freedom.
“Consumers deserve choices when it comes to repairing their products, and independent dealers deserve a chance to compete,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. [Harley Davidson was] imposing illegal warranty terms that voided customers’ warranties if they used anyone other than the companies and their authorized dealers to get parts or repairs for their products.
Perhaps The Drive said it best:
The truth is, Harley-Davidson is a luxury brand cleverly disguised as a blue-collar, workin’ man’s brand. It’s a name synonymous with regular, working-class folk, but have you seen the prices of these things? Harley-Davidson is in the same price range as BMW and Ducati, two brands with a public perception of being expensive toys for the upper-class.
Agreed. Harley is like riding a BMW or Ducati. None of them are meant for working people who actually work on things. They are brands that represent heritage-obsessed lawless elitists — German, Italian and American icons of fascism if you will.
I mean we all know BMW and Ducati riders don’t wrench, right? The dichotomy between freedom and “luxurious ignorance” was literally the thesis of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance published in 1974.
The freedom-loving Robert Pirsig rode and repaired Honda, not some white-collar shiny untouchable Harley.