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Harley finances make ownership easier

Harley-Davidson is taking the financial guesswork out of owning a bike with a guaranteed buy-back system similar to those being offered by luxury car companies. And it should have big appeal to buyers of the new Street 500 entry level bike when it hits the showrooms early next year.

Owners who buy under a Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS) loan will be able to lock down a buy-back price for their Harley at the end of their finance period. To meet the standard Harley agreement for minimum future value, bikes have to meet agreed servicing, modification and mileage requirements, according to Ian Skoyles, country operations manager for HDFS. “It makes our bikes more affordable,” he says.

The scheme has been in Australia since 2011, but has been low key and mainly directed at the top-end “Rushmore” Touring bikes. It has now been tweaked with lower monthly payments and a higher percentage “balloon payment” at the end of the loan period.

Harley also plans to promote the scheme across the range and Ian says it should prove very popular for buyers of the new Street 500 when it is released next year.

One of the drawbacks of buying a learner-approved bike is that owners feel they have outgrown them when they graduate to a full licence, he says. With a guaranteed buy-back price, owners will have confidence that they can afford to upgrade to a bigger bike.

Ian says they have also reduced the loan periods so owners don’t feel they are tied down to long-term loans. “We hope it helps bring customers through the model range,” he says. “The key benefit is it makes all of our products more affordable.”

Harley also offers more conventional hire purchase loans on approved genuine pre-owned vehicles which come from official Harley dealerships, are Australian compliant, have less than 50,000km on the odo and be under five years old. The vehicles come with a one-year warranty and one-year roadside assistance.