As hogmaker to the world, Harley-Davidson rides far ahead of all other bikemakers for its ever-loyal fans. Even as its customer base ages, riders still rush to snap up its constantly refreshed—and pricey—line of bikes. That’s why revenues rose 9% in 2006, to $6.2 billion, as net income climbed 8.7%, to just over $1 billion, capping decades of unbroken growth. But with sales expected to dip after a three-week strike by workers at its big York (Pa.) plant cut production 21% in the first quarter, the company faces some rough road. Its stock, which peaked at nearly $76 a share in the past year, is struggling to stay in the mid-60s. Analysts have scaled back their ratings. Long term, Harley is wrestling with how much to change its bikes to suit shifting tastes and skimpier budgets among younger riders. Over time, avoiding becoming “grandpa’s wheels” could prove Harley’s biggest challenge.
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|Economic Sector||Consumer Discretionary|