(Adds stock reaction, details from company's earnings statement)
July 22 (Reuters) - Harley-Davidson Inc reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday but cut its full-year forecast for motorcycle shipments, citing weaker-than-expected U.S. retail sales and a delay in getting its newest bike into dealer showrooms.
The news sent the company's shares down 1.6 percent to $66 in premarket trading.
Harley-Davidson posted a second-quarter profit of $354.2 million, or $1.62 a share, up from $271.7 million, or $1.21 a share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average expected the Milwaukee-based company to report a profit per share of $1.46, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Consolidated sales, which include revenue from the company's financing business, rose nearly 12 percent to $2 billion.
But Harley cut its full-year shipment forecast, saying second-quarter sales had suffered from prolonged poor weather across parts of the United States and soft demand for its low-priced Sportster motorcycles.
The company said it now expected to ship between 270,000 and 275,000 bikes to its worldwide network of independent dealers in 2014, down from a previous forecast of 279,000 to 284,000.
The low end of the new range translates into year-over-year worldwide shipment growth of just 3.5 percent.
The company attributed the weakness in Sportster sales to the introduction of the Street platform, its first all-new bike in more than a decade and its first Harley-badged foray into the lightweight market since the 1970s.
But those new bikes, which analysts say were supposed to begin appearing in dealer showrooms in May, did not begin to arrive until late June, Harley-Davidson said. It did not explain why the bike was delayed.
(Reporting by James B. Kelleher in Chicago; Editing by Franklin Paul and Lisa Von Ahn)