Personally, I'd like to see HD go the way of Excelsior-Henderson, Big Dog and Titan. They should stop fooling themselves into thinking that they can EVER be competitive against Japanese or Italian racing programs. Stick a fork in it already !
Why are you so worried if they race or not? seems that since it dosent cost you a dime for Harley to race, you guys wouldnt care. But it seems whenever HD and racing are said at the same time, all the SQUIDS get there pantys in a bunch. Just would like to know why.
P.S. Please think about it before you flame me, "Harleys suck, and so do you" is not a real good thought provoking reply.
Oh, well Hooo Rah! A huge American company making V-Twins since dinosaurs roamed the earth, with enormous resources, monster margins and gigantic R/D facilites comes up 7th against new V-Twins from Honda, Ducati and Aprilia? This is shameful. HD is sitting on its sales laurels. Any company with even a tiny bit of long-term vision could see that developing a WINNING racebike and a matching product line is going to preserve their market share, no matter how good it is now. HD is going to be in for a big shock at the sales of bikes like the VTX and other new power-cruisers being marketed to the sport-bike crowd. They don't need to scrap their current line or anything drastic, just get on with the R & D, get the new l/c engine out the door and win some friggin' races. Until then, no way will I but one of those slow, creaky HD cruisers. How about showing a little EFFORT, HD?
I could personaly careless about a Harley or it's racing program, but if they want to race so be it, but here is reality.
Harley doesn't race nor (for all intensive purposes) sell a sport bike. (The Sportster is not a sport bike, and the Buell is a Hooligan bike with good handling.) They actually don't build a fast motorcycle. (They don't, so don't argue.) Harley sells an image, name, and idea. They openly admit this. (Has anyone stepped in a modern Harley shop that wasn't about a third or more appareal???) Their sells don't go by "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday's" philosophy. They build CRUISERS. Pretty motorcycles to be seen on, that is what they do. Why do they continue to disgrace what once was a proud and impressive racing history, with a charcoal brickette on a race track and saying they are pleased with the results.
I applaud them for giving it the effort, though.
To reply what does it do to me that they race, nothing. But to YOU the Harley rider, it jacks up the price of your already overpriced ride.
Well, well...seems as though TCair beat me to the punch on that one. I actually wasn't gonna say that you sucked, in part, because I don't care if you do or not. If you're referring to me in that "squid" comment, I don't wear panties and don't consider myself a squid. That would have been about 15 years ago. I ride sportbikes because they offer the latest technology and are priced within reason. You're correct in that it doesn't cost me a dime for HD to race. I'm sure they pass those costs on to all the posers that ride HD's. They once had (about 40 years ago) a chance at being competitive and I think are still holding onto that heritage. My gripe is that they aren't even in the same league as the competition. Believe me, I don't lose any sleep over HD's next loss in road racing. It's like the sun rising in the morning....a given ! I guess if you really want to know why people get upset when HD and racing are mentioned in the same breath, it could have something to do with the fact that HD really doesn't care about racing and seems to be out there to be seen. More imagery for you. Isn't that what HD is really all about now....image ? Tell you what, next time a squid on a sportbike goes by you on your springer just try to keep him in sight and then you'll know what I mean. And, no, Buell isn't even close either..remember they use an HD engine. Pitiful, just pitiful.
I think lots of us would like to see HD succeed--then maybe they'd actually give us a modern machine and not just retro cruisers. But they've been making "progress" with that thing for what, 6 years?, and either they're taking microscopically small steps, or everyone else is making bigger ones. I say toss the thing, and start over with a clean sheet.
Well, I agree with you that they are out gunned when it comes to racing, and with the money they have, they should do better. I guess I'm just happy to see them race, and get defensive when nobody gives them credit for at least being out there in the first place, and giving us posers someone to cheer for.
I pretty much agree with that view. What I don't understand is with as much resource as HD has, why HD has not designed a new motor over the many years that they been racing? Aprilia, Ducati and Honda have - and the other contenders have made significant and continuous changes to their motors (as well as the rest of the bike). I think that answer is clear, HD has no in house design skill to speak of. If they did why would they have Porsche design their next motor? Incidentally, the new Porsche designed motor is at least a little hopeful. If Harley made a bike that was as close to an R1 or GSX-R1K, as the Triumph 600 is to an R6 (and that's not too darn close) I'd seriously consider it. I am not however holding my breath waiting...
I think it would be awesome if HD started to do better in racing. Maybe then there would be an american made sportbike that I could buy. Now I ride a Honda that I love but I think it would be great to have a harley sport-bike ( at least something with a modern engine unlike the Buell).
Thanks for the English lesson you two. I will be sure to tell my College instructor just how poorly she has impacted my life. If you will notice the time of submission of said article, you will realize the message was clear, but the typing was lacking.
The point being, I do care. To see an American motorcycle co. disgrace itself in competition for whatever reason, is just foolish. As the previous post attempted to say, "Why is Harley marring a proud racing heritage..."
Rod, I am glad for you that you are happy paying twice the price for something to say Harley on it. Crusty Old Fart, please find something more preductive to do with your time than critize others typing and grammer.
I hope this clears everything up for Webster and Roget, respectively. I think Harley needs to get it's priorities straight and continue work on it's cruisers, or hire more outside help to improve it's sportbike.
P.O.F. (Point Of Fact) A visit today to the Buell/Harley dealership I observed something. I brand new Fat Boy with a
"Made in Taiwan" sticker on the license plate frame.
Just in case anyone wanted to know.
P.S. I am not affiliated with any Airline, it was a nickname given to me by some friends.
no offense to you Hog boy's, but who gives a ship how someone spells, were talking about bikes and racing, not grammer and spelling. I think this is the worst part of the reader feed back, you go from a good conversation, and turn it in to a childish grammer contest.
And for the record I paid $18,000 for my springer, and while I wouldnt give it up for anything, I think that is a hel!uva lot to pay for a bike.
A couple of quick points. First, I think the Harley racing effort is sad at best. I would very much like them to revamp the effort or get out. Now that they are working with Cosworth/Ford on for their racing program, maybe next year will be better. But to suggest that their design skill is lacking ignores what they have accomplished with the new Twin Cam given the constraints that the 45 degree V-Twin air cooled twin has. And to say that they should abandon that design ignores that without that design, they would face a great deal of backlash from their customers.
As for Ducati, Honda and Aprilia. Ducati sticks with desmodronic valves for the same reason that Harley uses a 45 degree twin -- heritage. Desmo heads are not the best design, but they are a Ducati trademark. That being said, Ducati gets help from Ferrari and others on racing engines and transmissions. Aprilia? Please note that Rotax, an Austrian company, builds the engines for the Mille and the Pegaso -- the latter of which is basically identical to the BMW Funduro. Honda's racing effort draws on a great deal more than motorcycle expertise -- they are able to take lessons from all of their automobile and racing efforts. Even with these vast resources, Honda stuck with the V-4 in Superbike for way too long.
This is not to excuse Harley's racing effort. But to suggest seeking outside advice means a complete lack of design skill while mentioning these other companies ignores the outside resources they call on.
You, Rod, are just a jerk. Instead of adding something to the discusion you decide to just criticize others typing, spelling and grammar. Please go to another web site if you are not going to, at least, try to stay with the topic.
Got mixed feelings about the water cooled motor. You are right about the numbers looking good. on one hand, the main thing I like about HD is the history, and water cooled goes the other way. BUT, it shure would be nice to have, I hate it when my brand new bike starts smoking when the temp hits 105 deg. hear in the desert, still will not be on par with Jap. bikes, I dont think, but at least it would be a step in the right direction.
I think that IF HD is going to have a good sport bike, most of you guys are right, they have to start all over with a new motor.
Had a GSXR 750 once, shure would love to ride a bike like that that was made in the U.S.
I have seen to many jobs leave U.S. for cheaper labor, so I kind of feel like I should try to buy american.
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