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Re: Time for Harley to invest in the next generation

Longride,

You really should subscribe the Motorcycle Consumer News. There are a number of issues HD is trying to hide and has not been willing to "bite the bullet" and recall. Among them are problems with the Twin Cam motors that result in the bike just dieing and not running again until the cam drive is fixed. The factory has been, according to reports, very good about fixing the problems after the fact but that will not do you much good it you are stuck in Nevada on highway 50 twenty miles from shade, much less parts to fix the bike.

Then there is the flexible chassis/ wheel alignment on FL series bikes. The last FL MCN tested was off over an inch. The handling was described as "dangerous". One reader's response to the road test included the details of watching his riding buddy's Harley go into a wobble that ended in the death of said riding buddy. No one else in the group had any problems, the combination of road conditions and wind just started a divergent wobble in the Harley. Making bikes handle well enough to win races is a black art, building stiff frames that resist this behavior is basic engineering. BTW, guess what HD model got stiffer a chassis this year? That is great if you are buying a new bike but it will not do the guy on the older bike much good. MCN has also published a way to correctly align the wheels, it looks like HD was (and maybe still is) simply not putting the bikes together correctly and some bikes excited the tendency of the of the chassis to wobble and some didn't.

I haven't taken a formal survey but BMW and Honda seemed to be tied for second for complaints but HD is clearly in the lead. I'm neither anti or pro Harley, neither is MCN. I am, however, very strongly in favor of getting information to the public about these kind of issues and MCN is the best source I have found. MCN is a subscription only, paper magazine with no color, no slick paper and no advertising. You can read at bit more at http://www.mcnews.com/mcnews/. Other than being a subscriber I am in no way affiliated with MCN.

SlowBear
 

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Re: Time for Harley to invest in the next generation

Longride,

The FL problem wasn't reported by one rider, if I recall correctly this subject holds the record at MCN for most letters and E-mails received one a subject, a large percentage complaining about the problem and the lack of support from their dealer in getting it resolved. Do you consider it OK to build a chassis for years that is borderline unsafe? Do you think it is OK to assemble that chassis so poorly that it moves from borderline to simply unsafe when the customer receives it? I simply can't understand anybody thinking that is acceptable, not in cheap moped, much less in a bike that will cost $20K or more before it gets out the dealer's door. As has been pointed out, every manufacture has problems but I can see any other company being defended for designing and building a bike that poorly. If Honda (or Kawasaki, Triumph, BMW or anybody else) tried that they would be crucified.

As far as the twin cam problem, the point was a response to your statement that HD "Harley at least owns up to a problem and fixes it". In the case of the twin cam problem HD forced their customers to ride bikes with a serious problem and did not fix them until they broke, often stranding HD customers far from home. Several rider wrote to MCN saying they either paid to have their bikes fixed or stopped taking trips until the bike failed and could be fixed under warranty. That is not, in my opinion, "owning up" to a problem. The only thing I can agree with is that BMW looks pretty bad given the number of Harley and Hondas Vs. the number of BMWs on the road.

I'm sorry, based on some of your earlier posts I really though you were a Harley rider who was aware of the rest of the world and not blinded by loyalty to a corporation that seems to have fooled a lot of people into thinking it cares about its customers any more than any other corporation.

Sorry for the mistake,

SlowBear
 
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