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Wow that Roadliner looks better all the time, and that dyno is very impressive !!



I wonder why H-D doesn't just do a higher displacement V-Rod motor and put in there, that thing is way down on power ! I know that people don't drag race these things, but more power is always a good thing on a bike that weighs over 700 pounds..
 

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For once I'll skip the gratuitous nasty comment on my extraordinary lack of interest in all things cruiser.



But thanks for the Chrysler Imperial link! When I was a kid men were men, sheep were scattered and Uncle Tom McCahill was writing about cars in Mechanix Illustrated which included driving the stink out of Imperials. Am I remembering pics of Uncle Tom mostly sideways in a tailfin (Virgil "Excess") Imperial or was that his ole fav, the 300?





Regardless, I feel better already. Thx again, Gabe.



"Calling Peter Gunn, your car is here".
 

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Because the true believers will call it a Honda Davidson!

The Road King isn't supposed to be the fastest. It is supposed to reliable and have a classic feel to it.

I like the looks of the Roadliner as well. All it needs now is some Indian style fenders to complete the art deco look.

The only bike in this bunch I don't think I could love is the Rocket. To me it is very ugly and sounds like it isn't a lot of fun to ride.

 

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Re: Rocket, Roadliner, ®oad King®

Nice compa®o. Although, it's a shame that you had to use too many ®'s when listing the names of the big H-D®. Of cou®se, we all know if you didn't, they'd likely t®y to sue fo® misuse of T®adema®ks.

*sigh*
 

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That's a nice article. The Roadliner is a fine-looking machine. It's nice to hear that its quality and engineering are up to snuff. I'm guessing it's a notch above the VTX at this point. Then there's the new big Suzuki, oops, Boulevard.



 

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H-D has some bigger engines in development. There are some EPA documents floating around the internet about their being certified for emissions, or some such regulatory business. I believe the engines are significantly larger, and liquid-cooled. The engines are still a year or two or three away from release. The documents would probably turn up in a Google search, if a person was interested.
 

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Re: Rocket, Roadliner, Road King, and Imperials

As the former owner of an Imperial with a 427 Hemi engine and torsion bar suspension that mention brings a sigh of nostalgia.

The chief things that come back to mind:

There was a time when I was dozing while a friend drove that big beast. I noticed that there was a certain amount of wind noise, almost never heard otherwise, and looked over at the speedometer. My comment was "Your speeding tickets are your business, and I'll send you some cookies if you go to jail, but you should know you're going 110." He opted to slow down..

Also, it seemed that the carburetor had a waste gate. I got 11 mpg uphill, downhill, any speed up to 90 mph (my personal limit).

I've looked at the big Star at my local Yammie dealer. I think I'll stick with my BMW, thank you. But it is a nice looking big bike..
 

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Engineering at HD is at a deadend compared with the Japanese and even Triumph. Except for the V-rod, HD have only ever made 45 degree, long stroke OHV motors. The V-rod was a huge engineering project that had to be contracted out. The twin-cam was described as a major redesign of their big V motor - I still can hardly tell them apart from the EVO. I think some day their whole product line will become obsolete due to EPA or fuel requirements.



Triumph has been a remarkable success with totally different machines, the triples, in-line 4, parallel twin and longitudinal triple. They can't sustain the in-line 4 and we'll see how long the Rocket lasts. But, those are completely different designs that they can profitably manufacture. Whenever I see the Rocket it reminds me of the movie - Have Rocket Will Travel. The Harley needs Elvis, the Triumph needs the Three Stooges! The Yamaha? - a clown.



Yamaha has to have a marketing department to explain that their bikes are cool.



I'd rather have the Harley.
 

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Thanks for the test. The older I get, the more interesting I find the opinions of riders, including myself. In a word, sometimes it seems we haven't riden the same bike. My conclusion is that what we ride most often heavily weighs our opinions until we get used to whatever new it is we are riding. Road testing has to be a *****.... but I wish I had your job. I know I could enjoy riding even the worst of them for a while, heck maybe even all day.
 

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I just purchased the Rocket 3 and it is one of the most fun bikes I have ever ridden. It is funny how they compare the R3, with the old timer and the imitator. The HD was good in its time but is sadly outdated and the Yamaha is a knock off of the HD with modern features. The Triumph is a original bike. The rear suspension stinks but it can be upgraded for about $400.00 . The R3 puts the fun back into riding. Don't let this review cloud your judgement go test ride all 3 and see that they are comparing apples to a very fast orange...
 

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I had a '61 300H with the 413 & cross rams. Front disc brakes & aerodynamic short front deck & long rear deck. Chrysler knew what they were doing back then. Would hit 120+ in the blink of an eye. And the insides of the Torqueflytes were made out of stainless steel, not pot metal & hard plastic.
 

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How disappointing for Triumph. I know our local dealer says they're selling as fast as he can get them in...but as another MOron said, a $400 aftermarket shock makes it a much more rideable bike. It's just a shame that Triumph didn't put it there in the first place.

Hinckley has done a marvelous job of putting first rate bikes out that don't need significant upgrades to be a competent road bike, hate to see them fall off that wagon now. Don't own a Triumph, but that new Sprint looks to be right up my alley.
 

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Gettin Sideways in cars with cheap materials...

I had a '99 996 (911) GT-3. The interior was crappy plastic, but the rest of it was stainless steel, aluminum or good old German high-tensile. It ate brake pads like strudel and understeered like a pig around town. But it you drove it like a race car (it was) it rewarded with the prettiest drifts and would out-brake everything short of shifter karts. -Sean
 

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Road tests are subjective based on the particular journalists personal likes and dislikes. If anyone buys a motorcycle based on their opinions alone they must have rocks in their heads. At the end of the day a few hours playtime between the boys is no way to judge any motorcycle. Buy what you like not what the media tells you to buy.
 

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In motorcycling parlance, you can never have too much motor, and I think this is an accurate statement. I used to ride sportbikes and have recently converted to cruiserdom. The low slung design and oversize rear tires of these machines compromises the amount of suspension travel available. This is a big problem and one the Rocket III apparently suffers from. Nevertheless, to my eyes its a totally original looking bike that never leaves its rider wanting for power. I'd happily invest the $400 in suspension upgrades to enjoy this machine. Between the Rocket and the Harley as my pick. I'm going to be the first voice of descent on the styling of the Roadliner, but I think it's atrocious! I'd have to ride the Yamaha and determine if there really is all that engineering refinement built into it. I'm quite sure, though, that it's grotesque styling will make it a cheapie on the used bike market and it'll probably go down as one of the tackiest looking bikes ever built.
 
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