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Harley Davidson to Retire from Racing

34111 Views 146 Replies 69 Participants Last post by  Dangerousdave_2
Good. I never understood why they were in it to begin with. They weren't competitive, and their own customers didn't care one whit about racing.

It would be nice to think that without this extra burden, they'd drop prices to what is reasonable for the technology they sell. But that's wishful thinking, unfortunately.
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I am disappointed that they are pulling out. I ride a Japanese bike every day because it is relatively fast, light, and reliable. I don't like cruiser ergonomics. As long as Harleys are heavy cruisers, I won't buy one. As soon as they build a competitor to the Japanese and Europeans, I will seriously consider buying one. I hoped that the VR1000 would lead into a Harley standard or even sportbike. Buells are close, but don't quite do it yet.

I guess I will continue to wait...
Re: An analogy

Bob Cousy - I don't think he was that tall. In any event, I've been to a Sixers game (second row off court - awesome) and Iverson is 'barely' 6 foot. It's amazing he is even on the court with those guys yet 'ruling' them. He is an oddity in the NBA. HIs shot actually archs over defenders. Did you ever try to shoot a basketball like that (high arch)? It's very difficult to be precise and he hits them all the time. I'm sure if one researches all of the sports leagues, you'll find the outliers. My point is it's unfair to make broad statements about anyone's potential - that's just limiting and smacks along the lines that things should be a 'particular way.' If that were the case, women would still be in the kitchen and not all people would be allowed to vote because 'it just doesn't make sense.' My 2 cents.

I agree that Harley's are slower than other bikes but bikes are a personal decision. I own a HD 883 (chick's bike ;) ) and my wife a Suzuki Intruder 800. Cruising along, all she has to do is roll on the throttle. While I'm downshifting into 3rd, she's pulling away. While she gets a good laugh out of it, I've ridden her bike. I'm not overweight but the bike feels 'flimsy' to me, especially on the highway and I don't care to ride it. My Sporty, however, is solid and strong which makes it heavy and slow. But that's what I want. Yeah, it would be great if I could, at least, roll on and keep pace with her. To do that, I'll have to get the 1200. Doesn't seem fair but I'm working with aircooled pushrpods while she is working with a liquid cooled, dual carbuerated, lighter bike. It beats my bike in speed any day and twice on Sundays!!
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Why this turned into a debate about the XB is beyond me but you guys are going at this all wrong. Someone finally mentioned the 600's, and those are what the XB is supposed to run with, keep in mind it's still a pushrod motor with only 2 valves and it's under 1000 CC (950 something I think) So of course it won't run with an R1 or a GXR1000, Don't be stupid. My guess is this thing will be able to hold it's own with any of the supersport bikes and what it lacks in top end h.p. it will make up in torque and cornering speed.
OK, OK - rice burners suck and I love HD. Now I've conformed to the group - please accept me as being in the 'love HD bikes no matter what you say' groups. Burn on!

Now I have to go polish my wife's Suzuki - should I hate my wife for owning it??? I guess I should - let me start divorce proceedings now.
Guess what 'tardo

The TANK on the XB9R is the frame, and there are plenty 'o seams on it. Gosh, you guys really don't think before you post.
I would refer you to for a great article on why I didn't wave (I usually do). I wouldn't stop to help a HD rider because, well, I got metric tools on my VFR. Don't want to strip the corners off of your overpriced made in taiwan bolts. Don't read too much into what I say. I probably would see if you needed a ride or something, but to be honest (don't tell the other 'jap bike' riders) I haven't seen many Hardley's broken down in the last 2 years of riding 10,000 mi/year.
Ultimately, the correct decsion, if you know what running a business is all about. Harley's earnings are not the result of some Sunday afternoon glory.

Expensive to produce a winner? Sure, but I believe the real reason is they couldn't change their philosophy and no group of designers and engineers is going to go nuts and build a winner when the company would never be fully committed to the idea.

Americans made Harley what they are and I can't see that influence changing. Put on a black leather jacket, some loud pipes and be "bad" for a few hours a week. How can that be performance related?

A real shame

I've been on the record many a time for ridiculing the VR1000. But then even its most stalwart defenders must concede that the VR1000 is a ridiculous dog of a racebike. It is all the same a real shame that HD is pulling out of AMA SBK -- what I really wanted to see was HD tossing the VR and making a genuinely competitive bike, properly homologated so that it would actually be available. Oh well ...
What!!! If Honda quit racing, what model would losse sales, the RC51? Geez, they probably only sell a few thousand anyway! Has Yamaha lost out bigtime now that they've pulled out of W.S.B.? Honda might lose 5% of their sales without racing. Look at the late 80's to see what A.M.A. was like! It was pathetic. I think that Honda DID pull out of Superbike for a year or two!
Re: Too Bad, I hope they come back soon............

I was hoping they would get the liquid cooled thing working and win a AMA Superbike title. TOO BAD.

Harley could bring AMA Superbike racing to the general public in a big way, just think of all the Harley fans. We need Harley to come back to Superbike as soon as possible and win a title.
Re: Petition to H-D..Give Buell race team

I agree, and I want to buy a water cooled Buell or HD sportbike.
Uh, the Wing was first injected for 2001. Harley has injected the FLHTCUI (Electra Glide Ultra Classic) for 6 years, and most of the touring line almost as long (Electra glide, road glide and road king). Harley will sell well over 200,000 motorcycles this year. Of that number, I am not sure how many are touring or softail models equipped with injection. My point was not that Harley is necessarily superior, only that they are not necessarily the technological backwater that starving student implied. Harleys cater to a different crowd than Honda et. al., but they have adopted some pretty impressive solutions to the inherent problems with a 45 degree single-pin V-twin. In addition, the F-4 only got injection this year. I admit that I do not know when the 929 got it. The RC51 is not a large volume seller. If Honda has sold more injected bikes than Harley, so be it. I fully admit that Harley makes great bikes. Why is it so difficult for Harley bashers to admit that Harley comes up with some pretty good solutions of its own?
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Who says Triumphs are good bikes? ;) Just kidding, just kidding! I would like to see more makes involved in racing to improve the sport. HD and even Triumph would make things more interesting with good racing programs.
Re: An analogy

If I came off as a bigot (or someone inclined to bigotry), then there was a big miscommunication, and I apologize. My only point is that supersport/superbike racing is _extremely_ competitive right now, and it's almost impossible for a company with little experience in street sportbikes, not to mention racebikes, to win. Triumph's gotten their ass handed to them in regards to the TT600 (though it still makes a great streetbike), and they have a lot more sportbike experience than HD.

As for streetbikes, personal satisfaction is all that matters. I wave to everything from street-legal dirtbikes to CBRs to Road Kings. Hell, I ride a Shadow 600 myself (though I wouldn't say no if someone offered me an SV), so it's pretty obvious I'm not a squid on the street and don't object to slow bikes (or VERY slow bikes, as mine is ;) ). Though I object to Harley pricing and wouldn't own one myself, I've got no problems with other people owning them.
Thank you... =)

...for a very intelligent reply.

Sorry. That next to last line should have read, "I fully admit that Honda makes great bikes."
The problem with Harley's pricing is... it's a fantasy! I am tired of seeing standard 883 Sportster with a $7500 ($5600 list) price tag on it. The Motor Company encourages dealer price gouging. I can't see why a sportster would have a "premium" on it when they are sitting around gathering dust! I had one dealer in PA try to sell me a used (only 70 miles) 1200 S for $11k !!! Should be $8k,right? I wanted to hear it so he said "it might not start, it's been sitting a few months! Everything I have seen makes me think that the backlog is a lie manufactured by businessmen to fool the consumer. If you think this is OK, then you have made your statement that stock values are more important than dignity and pride.
Re: An analogy

Wow - more voices of reason. While I'm not going to start a love fest, I'm glad there can be spirited conversation without the hatred. I agree with you and the point of HD as compared to other bikes. I'm very rational - and usually make decisions on the facts. I'm currently looking to upgrade my Sporty to a new bike, however, the research is producing internal conflict. I basically want a bike that will start and go and, with basic maintenance, continue to go. On paper, I'm thinking BMW or anything Japanese. Then I go and sit on them and the HD catches me. I can't explain it but, except for family and motorcycles, I can't 'rationalize' the purchase. This means I'll probably buy another HD. Yikes!
Re: A real shame

Yes.....I agree. As much as I dogged HD deep down inside I wanted to see them succeed. My only guess is it never was a priority to win races and championships and build a real sportbike customer base. Seems as though they got what they wanted and now they are leaving.
I'm ready for H-D to produce a sportbike with the VR1000 engine that I can buy for around ten grand. Don't want the V-Rod I already have a TC88 RoadKing and don't need another long and low over the road bike. I don't like the sporster engined Buells. To much vibration for me. I've always wanted a VR1000. A real H-D sportbike with the handling, brakes and performance that I can use everyday in my commute. I don't even care that it's not the fastest or best or whatever. Hell I own an ST1100 and a VFR so you know I don't care about those things. I buy what I want. Maybe now that the new product line using the new engine has been introduced H-D will consider building a sportbike with the Harley name on the side. Certainly would attract the younger rider market that they so desperatly need.

I've read all the brand bashing from the previous posts and I'd rather not get involved in that at all. I post this message only to see if there are other riders feel the same way or if I'm alone in my desire to own a Harley-Davidson, 1000cc, watercooled, V-Twin sportbike. Save the brand bashing for the street or the bar stool. If you've got the guts to say it to my face then you also have my respect but to call people names or slam another persons ride of choice from relative annonymity of BB discussion groups you merely get my pity.


"Cages are for Hampsters!"

Note: I don't know why but the preview shows me as "Anonymous Squid" but I am logged in as user tatdnprcd.
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