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Harley Davidson to Retire from Racing

34216 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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My apologies. That was a rather stupid way to put it.

Actually, my intention was "watch roadracing and be personnally interested in the type of bike that wins".

For some reason, when Suzuki wins, I get happy and that may affect my next purchase - suzuki vs. yam. vs Kaw. etc. for sport bikes.

Road racing, I would think, does not have that affect on Harley owners or any cruiser or tourer rider.
Not really. That's the beauty of a mechanic.

You can build some pretty cool suzuki engined drag bikes, touring bikes, cruiser bikes, etc. Makes no difference what brand of engine you use. Witness those Chevy engined bad boy bikes.

Harley's got no corner on customs... or custom history - triumph, indian, vincent, norton - even yamaha xs'!
How did HD being in AMA Superbike bring you into racing? Are you a big Harley fan that only decided to watch racing when HD got involved? If so, why will you continue to watch racing now that they are no longer in it?

I know the previous poster was stereotyping by saying that Harley owners don't follow racing. I tend to think that applies to all people who are primarily cruiser riders (regardless of brand). A much higher percentage of people who ride sport bikes are interested in racing. I think that is because they are much more interested in the performance and technology involved. And the skill required to ride a high performance bike on the twisty circuits.

That is not meant as a slam of Harley (or other cruiser riders), just my observation. I always enjoyed car racing (Indy, F1, sports cars, but not NASCAR). I never followed MC racing much before I rode, mostly because it wasn't (and still isn't to a great degree) a premier sport with wide broadcast (other than on cable). Once I started riding (I got hooked into riding when I attended the WSC race at Laguna in 97 with my brothers) I was very interested in MC racing and follow it as much as I can.
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I agree on dealer gouging, but Harley has it's hands tied by anti-trust law as to what it can do to control dealer prices. That's why the "S" in MSRP stands for "suggested". I have two Triumphs right now because I didn't want to deal with the local jerk when I bought a new bike. The last new Harley I bought also wasn't from the local guy. I like Harley & will probably buy another one some day, but not from the local shop as long as they continue their policies. You have a problem with Harleys; fine don't buy one. However, try to have the good manners to let others excercise their option to choose.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That's hilarious! The cheap crap just couldn't perform... too many DNF's because they flat out suck! It's nice that they decided to stop embarrassing themselves.
I did not say I supported gouging. Please read what i wrote. Harley, like any other franchiser business, gives it's franchisee a territory. They are the only one allowed to sell new bikes in their territory. The price they actually sell the bikes for is Suggested by Harley, but cannot be mandated. That a dealer will not sell to someone outside his area is understandable. If he sells to someone who will never be back, he loses the opportunity to sell any upgrades as well as the normal servicing of the bike.

If you like Triumph, take a look at the Bonneville America. I'd suggest you use a dealer that specializes in Triumphs though. Many of those who list Triumph as a fourth or fifth marque do not service or support them well.
Actually, as a former Harley owner, I've always been more interested in the rider than the bike. Most of the Harley & Buell riders I know are the same way. A group of us were at Daytona in March. We stayed over until Monday just so we could see the Daytona 200. (You want sheer awe inspiring talent? Watch a group of 4 or 5 riders go down the front stretch at Daytona at about 190 mph with just a hand's breath between them.)
I never mentioned a specific engine. Tell me this: how many Harley/Cruieser Custom bike shows have there been compared to other makes? Who has the largest aftermarket? i think the answer to both has been Harley, hands down. My only point is that an entire clone industry has been built up around the harleys. Can you say the same about triumph, indian (the new ones dont count, they are really harley clones), vincent, or norton? I know they replicate some of the vincents and nortons but not nearly on the same scale.

People are beginning to diversify because there has been such a strong concentration on the harleys, and it is getting to the end of its rope. It is getting very hard for anyone to raise the bar and not look like a rip-off of somebody else's bike. i think the custom places are going to start looking for new platforms. As you said, thats the beauty of mechanics. Most mechanics (esp. custom builders) i know like to be innovative and provocative, and that is becoming very hard to do on the same old FXD/FXST based frames. maybe we will start seeing some crazy sportbikes that have more than just paint thrown on them.
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sorry gixxer, i misread who you were responding to and answered a question that was never asked. sorry!
amen, brother! if buell made a bike that could hang with the best of 'em, i would be riding one now. i like the sound of that,"real american sportbike".
I'm not going to give you a hard time for giving an opinion, but I got to tell ya, there are a whole lot of foreign bikes behind them in the standings. No, they have'nt won a superbike race ever, but it was still cool for them to be out there. Look at it this way, if you hate Harley, and you think it was funny to watch them get there butts kicked, next year will be pretty boring. Oh, I like the fake e-mail address. GO GREEN!
When did Harley first implement liquid cooling? And when did they first implement FI? Japanese bikes have been liquid cooled since I've read/followed them in the early eighties, even dirt bikes. But I'll defer to facts provided.

Dave K.
Agreed, Although I don't ride Harleys, I am an American. It's hard to sit back and let a company embarrass us by putting a bike into racing that is clearly inferior and saying "this is the best we Americans can come up with". The bike should not have been allowed to compete in the AMA series anyway do to the fact that it was not a bike any of us could have gone into a Harley shop and bought. I would like to have thought that they would have been able to do better if they weren't so adamant about making a statement that Harley technology, as it stood was advanced enough to be competitive. If a small European company like Aprillia can come out and be highly competitive in just two years, why couldn't Harley, in the time span of almost a decade? That, to me, shows just how stubborn these people are about not wanting to advance. This is evident with their production bikes. While very popular, still use archaic technology. Bottom line is this...If they weren't going to put real effort in winning; they shouldn't have even tried.
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I don't have a problem with Harleys, and don't believe I have bad manners. Its the same way I feel about people who pay top dollar for Nike shoes (for example) just to wear around (not for their athletic benefits). Only because they say Nike, and have some status associated with them.

Did you see the post elsewhere in the forum by somebody who wanted to buy a bike from a Harley dealer and he wouldn't sell him one, because he was not in his territory (as dictated by corporate H-D)? He could have gotten the bike cheaper there, but the guy wouldn't sell it. Never heard of that happening with any other brand. So don't tell me that Harley is doing everything they can to prevent price gouging.

Wait I went back and read that, and see you responded. I don't know how big these territories are, or how other dealers handle them. I live in a large urban area (Cleveland/Akron/Canton Ohio) and have many dealers around. I bought bikes were I got a good price, and rarely go back to any of the original dealers for service (mostly because they are inconvenient, and unreasonably booked up).

Honestly, I don't hate Harleys, or their owners. After riding for 4 years I can appreciate the "just cruising along idea", I do it at times (taking it easy, just enjoying the ride and the scenery). What bothers me is the Harley crowd that try to argue either:

1) that H-D are hi-tech, better than the Japanese bikes

2) they are worth what they charge for them

Unlike most marketing people, I don't agree that something is worth it, just because people will pay.

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No worries! But you brought up a good point... there is a 'new' custom thing going on.

While many may scoff at the latest crop of streetfighters, they certainly becoming an art form of their own.

While I do like drag Harleys and that sort of 'build your own' style bike, I'm really enjoying seeing what everyone is doing with old (and new) sport machines... making them more comfortable for one!!!

It's weird--spooky, really. Last I heard, the Motor Co. was building a huge addition to Willie G's eponymous R&D facility. Next thing they do is trot their racing program out the back door and put it out of its misery. So long, old paint, it's been swell and all that, but you're headed for the glue fact'ry. What exactly are they going to research if not a racebike? Chrome doodads? Motorclothes? Chrome Motorclothes? Chromoclothes? This is obviously a beancounter's decision from the same 40-watt mentality that decided to try and patent the potato sound. Goshdernit, Harley, get back in there and compete! NASCAR never beat formula one, but they never tried, or had to. Motorcycles are different. Imports rule the roadracing world. The next generation of riders won't be lining up to pay for pokey, overpriced cruisers, so Harley (or Buell) had better come off the nostalgia kick long enough to sharpen up their technology and go racin.
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Re: Petition to H-D..Give Buell race team

if i don't have to pawn a kidney i would buy one
who are you to tell someone else what they are or are no interested in? I've just pulled a book from my shelf written in 1971 on Formula 1 racing and the author states and I will not quote because I don't want to name the writer, but. "the internal combustion engine must be living out the last few years at this time of improving the breed should only be made by those developing other forms of propulsion" There are lots of opinions on everything, and unless it's running a turbin on some hydrogen fuel, it's all yesterdays news (just my opinion because who knows where the wild goose goes?)

You are just a snob --one who has an offensive air of superiority in matters of knowledge or taste
While I am the proud owner of a Dyna that pulls an honest 100 horsepower at the rear wheel, I must agree that when it comes to performance, Harley Davidson misses the mark widely. Honesty compells me to admit that comparing apples to apples, the VR1000 could never compete with the other superbike offerings. While I admire Eric Buell's effort, the fact remains that dollar for dollar, the Buell motorcycles are not a good value measured against the likes of GSXR 1000's that cost less. I think that Harley Davidson makes the best cruisers on the planet. They are expensive and frankly should offer more horsepower and better handling for the money they cost. With a lot of $$$ invested, my bike now handles better than I am capable of riding and runs strong too. That being said, I can't help being somewhat bitter about having to re-engineer the whole bike. Next time, Aprillia.
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