Uneasy Rider

Harley pleads for relief

Harley-Davidson Motor Co., the sole surviving U.S.-born and -bred motorcycle maker, is feeling wobbly. Last week H-D officials pleaded with the U.S. International Trade Commission hi Washington for import protection against Japanese-made bikes. Since 1978, argued H-D Chairman Vaughn Beals, Harley has lost more than a third of the so-called big-bike market (engines of more than 700 cc displacement), chiefly to Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Honda.

In many cases, the Japanese machines cost less than the well-crafted but expensive Harleys. Since 1977 Harley's prices have gone up about 60%,...

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