MANUFACTURING: The Comeback Of the Beast

The Comeback Of the Beast

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle, the beast of the roads, is again growling at the head of the pack. Four years ago, the sole remaining U.S. motorcycle manufacturer was skidding toward bankruptcy and was saved only because the Government slapped a steep tariff on big Japanese bikes. After a swift comeback, the Milwaukee-based firm was able last week to make an unprecedented move: it asked the Administration to drop the tariff. "When we needed help, the Government gave it to us, but we didn't need it anymore," said Vaughn L. Beals, Harley-Davidson's chairman.

Harley, whose heavyweight cycles are known as "hogs," has refinanced...