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You have to admin, even you Harley-haters out there, that they turned in an impressive performance given their, well, not-so-stellar history.



That said, we'll grant you that in a dollar-spent scenario, they should be winning everything, but it's a new team, they're working hard, let's at least give them the benefit of a fresh start and a fresh opinion!
 

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It was great to see Pascal get his bike up near the front during the 200. I almost thought for a second that maybe the bike would hold! I guess its too early to expect any real changes in the bike. It was definately a better race for H-D this year than last. I think Scott and Pascal blew 5 engines or so just in practice and qualifing last year!!
 

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Quote the [email protected] commentator: "Harley Davidson needs a new chasis and more power." So that would be a new chassis and a new engine. So a completely new bike, then. Why not just give up? I'm sure their results have absolutely no influence on their sales. Maybe they should run a fully dressed road king or whatever - it would have as much chance of winning...
 

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That's racing. You can't penalize people at the back for doing well because the racers in front crashed out. But that should always be part of the story.



Kind of like in CART (or other racing) if they say, driver X made a real good start, he moved up from staring 15th to run in 8th. But they fail to remind you that several cars in front of him crashed out a few laps ago. In essence he may have only passed 1-2 cars to move that far.



But overall, a nice performance by H-D. I agree let's give them a fresh start, and not harp on how bad they did in the past.
 

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You do have a point, but if my memory serves me correctly, Pascal was running in 3rd for a few laps. This is an aweful good showing for a bike that started around 17th and in the middle of a rebuilding year. Wouldn't you say? I don't think they are going to compete for any titles or anything, but it is nice to see a Harley team run well. I know there are alot of people that put Harley's effort down in the area of superbike, but everyone must agree that the fan base that Harley can bring to AMA Superbike would be a great boost to thier attendence level. In the long run, it would be great for the AMA to have Harley as a viable compettive team.
 

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Time For Harley to get serious

Watching the race and listening to the commentary, one point was well-made: if Harley were a force to be reckoned with in Superbike, it would generate a huge additional fan base for the sport. There were a ton of empty seats at Daytona. What if they were filled with enthusiastic HD fans, the most fanatical, loyal and supportive motorcyclists on Earth? This could very well bring the sport of motorcycle racing more into the American mainstream sports consciousness.

Let's face it, motorcycle racing has it all over car racing when it comes to danger and excitement. The action is much more dynamic, it's not just a bunch of guys safety-caged into a car. This is dangerous stuff, the kind of bloodsport Americans love.

The WSB race was only available in my area (Portland, Oregon) on SpeedVision, via satellite dish- no cable, no broadcast coverage. If HD were to get in the game with a DOHC, liquid-cooled world beater and a non-exotic street version (under $15K- and you know they can if they would put the $$$ towards development), they could conceivably pull the sport out of the closet and have as much an impact as Honda did in the early 60's. The Daytona 200 on ABC with all that NASCAR camera work and surround sound? Why the hell not?

Of course, there would be the issue of racing as HD or Buell, but either way it's a win all the way around. An American brand on the podium- maybe even with a win- at Daytona? It would do wonders for the sport.

Bill R

G.O.B

(I don't own a Harley, by the way).
 

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All things being equal Harley would have never been in the top 10. They look decent because Nicky, Yates, Hacking, Russell, Duhamel, Rapp and probably someone else I can't remember all suffered some terrible luck. Some crashed and some had mechinically difficulties.



I'm not trying to take anything away from Harley's top ten finish but let's keep things honest! Keep things in perspective. Pascal was in third and got a good start off the red flag but quickly realized his place and dropped back fast. To bad Harley can't give that guy a decent ride.
 

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You are missing the point....

I think Harley is as big a joke as anybody but you have to admit that they accomplished what their stated goal was which was to further devlop the existing platform. I'm not sure but I think this is the first time they have even completed the race at Daytona. Who cares who dropped out ahead of them.... they finished with some success. Not bad for what is an "essentially" brand new racing team.

If nothing else it's a "worthwile" learning experience for what will probably be the next generation of racing Harleys. It is a big step int the right direction.... Forward instead of Backward.
 

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I'm a big Harley fan, owner, supporter... But I find it mystifying they continue to race an old air cooled, push rod motor that is perfect for cruising, but not racing. I believe with all of the development work going on with the new liquid cooled motors they may actually be developing a racing motor not based on cruiser technology. If thats true they are probably developing the rest of the platform to carry that motor in the interim. If I were in charge of race team engineering, I wouldn't give everybody a year or two off while we were waiting on the motor. I would be developing the rest of the bike to be cutting edge when the motor got there. It was a good race though, plenty of excitement and I may be a Harley rider but I couldn't help but pull for Miguel Duhamel, I wish him better in the next race!
 

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Clearly, Harley is kept afloat by great riding and lotsa luck. The VR1000 belongs in the Museum of American Embarrassment.



Harley calls being 5 seconds off the pace "a strong performance." Yeah, right. Their technical efforts remain pathetic and I wouldn't hold my breath for Ford's involment to fix anything. I envision lots of money being spent and little results for at least two years.
 

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I actually think the Ford involvement could be good as it means that Cosworth will be helping with the engine. Cosworth has made winning engines in F1, CART, and numerous other auto racing series. Don't see why they couldn't help Harley build a good one.



That said, I am a little disappointed that Harley has taken so long to re-evaluate the program. The VR1000 has never really been competitive. I agree with the above post(s) that a succesful Harley team could bring in new fans.
 

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As much as I hate to agree with JoeBuell I belive he is right.



I've seen the bike in the paddock a few years ago and if memory serves me correclty it had quite a huge radiotor. It would never survive on air cooling alone. Nobody would. It's also fuel injected. They had the tank up or off and you could see the large throttle bodies on top of the engine.



It's also a 60 degree V-Twin instead of the traditional 45. I'm almost positive it's got over head cams.



Why HD choose 60 degrees I don't know. I belive all the manufactures are using a 90 degree design like Ducati. Honda, Bimota (last year before they pulled out of the WSBK) and Apprilia.



It seems as though being different is more important and everything else is 2nd. Once Harley stops trying to be different they will start being competative. Until then. They suck. Right Joe.
 

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They need to call it the 'Buell Racing Team', after all Harley is just using Buell tech to get them there. They really need a true sports variant of their '88' and some new think to make difference in the way they will be percieved in racing or in the marketplace. They made us take notice, but let's see if this newfound seriousness translates to the marketplace. Good luck.
 

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Hindle is right, VR1000 is a 60 degree twin, water-cooled, OHC. I actually didn't know it was a fuelie.



Can't say why they choose a 60 degree angle, however, I believe the Aprillia RSV Mille is a 60 degree twin, and doing quite well in WSBK.



As much as I hate to admit it, they are currently not competitive. I do hope the new race team will improve things.
 

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What a superbike! Harley bends the AMA rules about selling so many bikes to the public. Now Harley nails a 7th place due to attrition. Maybe we should let Harley run 50 laps in a 57 lap race so they can get on the podium! After all they are an American company.
 

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I didn't know the Aprilia was a 60 degree twin. If so HD should take some notes cause not only did Troy C. win a handful of races last year (which I believe was the first year out for the bike) he also cleaned up yesterday in both race 1 and 2 of the WSBK opening round in Valencia.
 
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