Harley-Davidson saw a 16% rise in profits during its third-quarter. H-D's latest performance beat analysts expectations as Harley earnings rose nearly 25 percent. Sales for Harley in the U.S. took a 12 percent increase, near the 11.5 and 13 percent increases seen in Europe and Japan respectively. The company is expecting to sell over 329,000 Harleys this year, and expects to ship around 350,000 for 2006. Despite investor concerns over the long-tern growth of the Harley brand, H-D has managed to grown sales for this year. Part of this increased short-term demand may be marginally motivated by the rise in fuel prices and the attractive alternative of motorcycles to more conventional forms of personal transport. In other words, high fuel costs are a good excuse to lobby your significant other for a new Harley.

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