At the end of last year, we announced Harley-Davidson’s promotion where if you bought a Sportster motorcycle (sadly, not the XR1200), you could receive the MSRP value of the bike if you traded it in the following year for “bigger” model.

The promotion was such a great success apparently, that now that it has ended, Harley-Davidson sales have slumped off.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales fell 20%-25% after the promotion ended, based on an analysis done by Craig Kennison for Robert W. Baird & Co.

Baird surveyed 75 Harley dealers, and found that new bike sales were down from a year ago. Additonally, used Harley sales fell 5%-10%.

New motorcycle sales dropped after a recent promotion in which Harley guaranteed the value of a Sportster when traded for one of the company’s more expensive bikes. Riders could get a new or recently purchased Sportster’s original MSRP value when they traded up to a Big Twin or VRSC motorcycle through March 31 of 2009.

The report by Baird showed that 63% of the Harley dealerships surveyed in late April and May were back to selling their bikes below MSRP. Compare that to the 36% that were selling bikes below MSRP in the same period a year ago.

To stimulate sales, dealers said they wanted Harley-Davidson to launch more promotions, the Journal Sentinel reported. A current promotion allowing customers to test ride a Harley has seen mixed dealer reaction.

Source: PowerSports Business