bookman1995,bookman1995 said:According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_(motorcycle)), Indian built their first V-twin in 1907. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constant_dollars) also provides a chart indicating the value of a 1907 dollar in real terms was approximately $21 in 2005 dollars. This info would suggest the value of the bike advertised as about $4095 in 2005. According to this AP newswire(http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070118/ap_on_bi_go_ec_fi/economy), inflation in 2006 was about 2.5%, suggesting an equivalent price of $4,200 in 2006 dollars.
But the numbers themselves don't really tell the whole story. Obviously, you won't find a 1907 Indian for $4,200 today (not one worth riding, anyway). On the face of it, one might take this ad to mean that Indian was offering a worthy transportation option for what seems to be a reasonable price, at least to the typical middle-class person. But we have to be mindful of context. Income disparities between rich and poor were much much higher in 1907 than they are today, and the middle class was a small (albeit growing) segment of the US population.
My house only cost me $50,000 and my car cost 15,000.. that'd be 30%. The VLX was around 6,000, or 11-12%. I can't imagine spending close to $40,000 on a car, that's nuts! They all do the same thing.. go, turn, stop, reverse! It kinda sounds like spending 20,000 for a bike just to get a name badge.bookman1995 said:Your ratio analysis leads me to think some amusing thoughts! If we assume the national average house price is $220,000 (which I believe is pretty accurate), then our cars would cost about $155,000, and our bikes would cost $110,000! In other words, we'd all be driving Bentleys, with an Orange-County Chopper in the garage back home!
The good news is that Detroit's and Japan's economies of scale have kept auto/bike prices much, much lower than that!