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Original Article:
Harley-Davidson to build a Tri-Rod?

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article Harley-Davidson to build a Tri-Rod? in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
 

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Interesting. Nice to see the motor company has been doing something like this. I know everyone says "LOLZ Harley Enjuneers just mak widgets bettor lulz!" and maybe this will quiet them a little.

Though more that likely, I'll hear about how "Piaggo did it first, Harley is a rip-off and the engine in the V-Rod is a Porsche Engine blah blah blah."

I'd be really interested to see them bring this to market. Hm
 

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Not a Harley fan by any means here, but I think it's kinda cool that they're at least seriously considering something other than their previous status-quo.

Though it's just drawings, it looks better to me than the current 3-wheelers out there.

Wouldn't it be great if it does come to market, and it's not only good-looking, but fun to ride?
 

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Something I just noticed was that the drawings are all with the air cooled big twin rather than the Revolution powerplant. You would think that this would be a good place for the water cooled mill...
 

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Something I just noticed was that the drawings are all with the air cooled big twin rather than the Revolution powerplant. You would think that this would be a good place for the water cooled mill...
Yeah, the article did say it looked like the Revo engine would go nicely in the frame, and seemed to say HD hinted that was a possibility. I like the fact that they made it so it can lean; maybe it won't have it's balls whacked off with nanny controls like the Spyder does. And I agree that it's great that HD is trying new things; albeit just a bit behind the other builders.

Did you know that HD built a V-4 liquid cooled bike in the 80's? It was another design done with Porsche. Apparently quite a few prototypes were built, but never made it to production.
 

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If you check the US Patent Office they applied for the patent around 3 years ago when Piaggio released the MP3. I find it refreshing that HD R&D is thinking outside the box. Don't know that it would sell. However, the concept is interesting.
 

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Did you know that HD built a V-4 liquid cooled bike in the 80's? It was another design done with Porsche. Apparently quite a few prototypes were built, but never made it to production.
Actually I did, but only because I went to the new Museum in Milwaukee. They have one on the floor there but I'm pretty sure it's mostly clay model rather than an actual one (they tell you that on the card). It looks cool in a very 80's sort of way. I wonder what the motorcycleing world would be like it it had been built (and succeeded).
 

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Actually I did, but only because I went to the new Museum in Milwaukee. They have one on the floor there but I'm pretty sure it's mostly clay model rather than an actual one (they tell you that on the card). It looks cool in a very 80's sort of way. I wonder what the motorcycleing world would be like it it had been built (and succeeded).
How was the museum overall? Worth going?

I was watching one of the bike shows on Speed, and they were filming a traveling HD exhibition of famous bikes. There were three or four of these; they were all runners according to the narrator. Looked pretty cool; like a FXS with a VMAX stuffed in there.

It's always struck me how Harley's supposed deficit of an antiquated engine design turned out to be what saved the company. Pretty hard to get that potato potato sound out of a V-4!
 

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The latest Motorcyclist has an article on the Piaggio MP3, the Bombardier, and a gawd-awful F1-fornicated-with-a-R1200 looking four-wheeler.

They didn't have much nice to say about the last two. The biggest complaint was the weird tracking and hard steering, followed by the bump-steer issue.

They really liked the Piaggio. They especially liked the ability to really throw the bike into a corner, because with the front twin tires, you really have to try to lose the front.
 

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The latest Motorcyclist has an article on the Piaggio MP3, the Bombardier, and a gawd-awful F1-fornicated-with-a-R1200 looking four-wheeler.

They didn't have much nice to say about the last two. The biggest complaint was the weird tracking and hard steering, followed by the bump-steer issue.

They really liked the Piaggio. They especially liked the ability to really throw the bike into a corner, because with the front twin tires, you really have to try to lose the front.
What do you expect out of a bunch of motorcyclist? Let the ATV rags test the last two vehicles and then formulate an opinion. Bet they give a different view point.
 

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They didn't have much nice to say about the last two. The biggest complaint was the weird tracking and hard steering, followed by the bump-steer issue.
The best part was when they said that the 4 wheeler would be just terrific if you could put the engine ahead of or behind the rider, instead of under the rider. "But then it would be a car."
 

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I actually think it's pretty cool looking. I suppose they went with the air cooled twin to simplify design, the Vrod would of course require a fairly large radiator. Still doable and it could be integrated into the front end without any trouble. I'd like to see them build a few.

The '80's water cooled bikes were v-4's called Nova's and were fairly innovative supposedly being capable of 135hp using an underseat radiator & fan and the engine as a stressed frame member. I wish they would have stuck too them, It had AMF's backing and was supposed to replace the Shovelhead. What killed the project was The CEO of AMF retired and with him went the enthusiasm for the project and HD as a whole, the gang of 13 organized the buy-out and the Evolution engine and belt drive became the Shovelhead replacement first seen in the '84 FXST. Too bad really the Nova engine was a giant leap forward for HD, not that they've done so bad with the air-cooled engines.........
 

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Just one thing to note, this patent application was filed over two years ago yet no such bike has yet been seen in the flesh so it may not be a real prospect for a production vehicle. MCN in the UK keep quoting published patent applications as evidence of the latest news. However, its takes 18 months for patent applications to get published so they are not really evidence of the latest cutting edge research.

For Europe anyway, the width of the front end would obviate most of the advantages of a bike, particularly the loss of the ability to filter through traffic. However, I do have a hankering for a Piaggio MP3 (or a Gilera Fuoco as they are called over here) but think that they are underpowered for their weight, so the idea of a similar design with decent powerplant is appealing. I think the concept of two front wheels for added grip while still having the handling of a bike would be interesting.
 

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It was worth going to but I thought it was a little overpriced for what it was. I've heard some people say that it's too industrial, but I thought it was nice nice architecture. That being said, I'm one of the few who likes the UIC campus in Chicago (built in the "Brutalism" school of architecture - no kidding). Motorcycle parking is free throughout Milwaukee, or so I've been told.

If you go, make sure to visit the Milwaukee Art Museum. The building alone (Calatrava's first building in the US - it's amazing) is worth seeing and there is a very good collection of Eastern European Art. Makes a good trip.
 
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