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They need a sport bike. But not the Buell XB. It doesn't count. It's got a tractor engine. They need a sportbike with a liquid cooled engine. But not the Buell 1125R. Because something.

And they need to ignore their reactionary customers and make liquid-cooled cruisers. But not the V-Rod. That doesn't count. Because something.

And they need to get a younger customer demo so they can kick ass like BMW. Which has an older customer demo. And the younger demo Harley's grabbing doesn't count. Because something.

They basically need to do exactly what I suggest, unless they're already doing that, in which case it doesn't count. Because something.

Look, Harley sucks, OK?
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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I'm on my 8th one, you don't have to tell ME how much they suck, pure hype and junk!
 

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The Toad
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Dildell can KMA. F*** Dildell for screwing the Buell employees. This sweetheart article makes no mention of the fact that Bombardier offered to buy Buell. I bought a new HD back in 1985. I'll never make that mistake again.
 

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Far from an expert.

A lot of basic business stuff here. At least the parasitic unions made some concessions. Marketing demographics definitely are a factor but world wide market awareness makes more sense. I can definitely see the appeal. Personally I haven't seen the Harley I would spend my hard earned fiat currency on. But as we all know when it comes to motorcycles, cars, wine and women all you need to know is what you like. The appeal of modern motorcycling to me is the use of 21st. Century materials and technology combined with classic geometry and styling. I love Brembo brakes and modern tires. Like most CEO types Wendell needs to act like he knows what he's doing. Some people can be successful in spite of their ineptitude. There is nothing wrong with HD motorcycles. Let's hope the company keeps the that way.
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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They're doing pretty good now fer' sure. The funny thing is Harley Davidson has always been innovative, for example my 1980 Electra Glide had front and rear disc brakes and electronic ignition with integrated fairing and saddlebags while the majority of the Japanese bikes were still on rear drums and points with aftermarket windshields and bags. I believe only Triumph and BMW offered factory installed components prior to that.

HD has had EFI with no BMW-like surging issues since the 90's, antilock Brembos and throttle by wire since '08 air adjustable suspension, and the first working anti-dive front end back in the 30's with the original springer.

The styling tends to be older because that's wbat appeals to their demographic but they're every bit as modern as anything else out there, a fact proven time and again by Japan Inc's relentless attempts to copy them right down to the tail light shape.
 

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they're every bit as modern as anything else out there, a fact proven time and again by Japan Inc's relentless attempts to copy them right down to the tail light shape.
So how do you explain the enormous CA-CLUNK that sends a teeth-rattling bash through the bike and rider every time an HD is put in gear? Would that be "nostalgia?"

I heard a funny one up in NC on the topic. An "expert" was explaining how the Twin-Cam "B" model, with the balance shaft, had to be re-engineered after the initial release because the engine didn't vibrate enough to allow the shifter to work right.

You can't make this **** up....
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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The Clunk is on purpose because that's what their demographic wants. Do you really believe they couldn't figure out how to align a set of gears? Try popping your Honda into first when it's cold.

I agree it's stupid to engineer in "flaws" but that's what the nostalgia crowd wants and they pay good money to get it, the Japanese have done the same thing in their copy cat bikes. Go take a 2013 model Harley for a test drive then tell us what a piece of sh*t it is. Conversely if your basing your opinion on a Shovelhead or Evo, then take an similar model year Japanese bike for a spin and see how "modern" it feels.
 

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The Toad
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The Clunk is on purpose because that's what their demographic wants. Do you really believe they couldn't figure out how to align a set of gears? Try popping your Honda into first when it's cold.

I agree it's stupid to engineer in "flaws" but that's what the nostalgia crowd wants and they pay good money to get it, the Japanese have done the same thing in their copy cat bikes. Go take a 2013 model Harley for a test drive then tell us what a piece of sh*t it is. Conversely if your basing your opinion on a Shovelhead or Evo, then take an similar model year Japanese bike for a spin and see how "modern" it feels.
Not only is he an aging cafe' racer but apparently an angry Harley guy too. Maybe HOG membership is just around the corner.
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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Not only is he an aging cafe' racer but apparently an angry Harley guy too. Maybe HOG membership is just around the corner.
Not angry, just picking the fly sh*t out of the pepper. I like Harley because they're fun to ride, plenty of other nice bikes out there too, even those oil leaking Triumphs. Harleys just seem to get under your skin, like a big stupid dog that follows you around and slobbers all over you, you can't help but like the SOB.

As you know I have a group of close friends I ride with. You could gather a few likely suspects and start a Utah chapter if you wish, your DD214 qualifies you.
 

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The Clunk is on purpose because that's what their demographic wants. Do you really believe they couldn't figure out how to align a set of gears? Try popping your Honda into first when it's cold.

I agree it's stupid to engineer in "flaws" but that's what the nostalgia crowd wants and they pay good money to get it, the Japanese have done the same thing in their copy cat bikes. Go take a 2013 model Harley for a test drive then tell us what a piece of sh*t it is. Conversely if your basing your opinion on a Shovelhead or Evo, then take an similar model year Japanese bike for a spin and see how "modern" it feels.
I've ridden every model HD makes as current as 2012 (thank you Bike Week). Hell I sold them for a year at "The World's Largest Harley Dealership." I have no beef with them; they're good bikes, IF that's what you want. But please, let's not pretend they're something they aren't.

As for my Honda, it has the slickest, smoothest gearbox I've ever ridden, cold, warm, or hot. More than one reviewer has called it the one of best transmissions on the market today. You go ride a CB 1100 and get back to me. If you don't agree, I'll ship you a case of Anchor Steam or whatever other brew you like.
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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I've ridden every model HD makes as current as 2012 (thank you Bike Week). Hell I sold them for a year at "The World's Largest Harley Dealership." I have no beef with them; they're good bikes, IF that's what you want. But please, let's not pretend they're something they aren't.

As for my Honda, it has the slickest, smoothest gearbox I've ever ridden, cold, warm, or hot. More than one reviewer has called it the one of best transmissions on the market today. You go ride a CB 1100 and get back to me. If you don't agree, I'll ship you a case of Anchor Steam or whatever other brew you like.
That's not necessary, I've ridden a few Honda's including a new Goldwing in '08 and was suitably impressed, I don't doubt yours is everything you say it is. In my experience most bikes clunk into gear when they're cold, if yours doesn't then it is indeed a well made example.

For me and my money Harley's work the best, many people who've never even ridden one are full of stories. Since you have ridden them your opinion is just as valid as mine and if they're not your cuppa' tea, well fair enough.

My usual summertime brew is Kokanee from British Columbia, it's probably not available outside the Northwest but it's a good crisp lager style beer, perfect for hot weather. Alaskan Amber is another good summer beer. I've never tried Anchor Steam I'm afraid..
 

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My Sporty shifts with a thunderous CLUNK!, but it's hella more positive than the notchy-ass shifter on my Bandit.
 

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The Toad
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Eh. Stop yer whinin'. Try the 1967 Ductai 250 with a tranny that was literally impossible to get into neutral with the bike stopped at idle and a couple of false neutrals too boot.
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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So they ran out of shims, what's a little gear slop and a few extra Neutrals among Ducatisti?....
 

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Clunk

"When you shift gears, the transmission shafts change ratios and spin at different speeds than in the previous gear. When you shift up or down, the tranny input shaft must change it's rotational speed to match the output shaft before the gear dogs can slip into the holes in the near gear. That's what causes the clunk when you shift gears. When you rev the engine when downshifting, you cause the input shaft to spin faster before the dogs try to engage. When you have the speed right, it shifts without any clunk at all." ---bikincowboy .......circa 2012

My roadster clunks when initially dropping into first. I thought this a feature of a dry clutch. When shifting aggressively going into a corner every once and a while I get a little wheel hop. The next bike will have a wet clutch with slipper feature and ASC.
 
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