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emmissions regulations forced Porsche to give up air cooled engines. The flat-six engines had been developed to produce enormous amounts of power reliably, but they could not go much further with cleaner emmissions. With the switch to water cooling, a host of other benefits are also reaped. It was inevitable that Harley would have to go to liquid cooling in order to stave off tightening emmsions laws.



That said, I hold no hopes. Harley will stay loyal to its heritage of making shoddily built, underengineered, poor performing and handling rattle traps.



 

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Great - another fluid for Harleys to leak!



Just kidding!



I may actually have to welcome their new bikes into the last century if they actually build them. The idea of a Harley with enough power to get out of its own way is intriguing.



I won't trade my V-Max for one though, as I don't think they'll be that fast. Also, I imagine they'll not be cheap, either.



WartHog
 

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I conjecture that the Harley water-cooled mill is being developed to compete with the Honda 1800, which will out-power every current cruiser.



I sure hope the real bike is better-looking than the test mule, though. It's uglier than the south end of a north-bound buffalo.
 

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This should be interesting. Another poster remarked "how are the die-hards gonna feel about Harleys being produced by the Germans?" How indeed. There is a big difference between foreign PARTS on a Harley, vs a foreign ENGINE. Porsche was forced into water cooling in order to extract more power from their engines, in order to be more competitive in the sports car market. Harley is under no such pressure, not being marketed as a performance brand. Is it strictly an emission (noise and exhaust) thing? Hmmm. Personally, I think the faithful will hate a water cooled Harley, for the same reason "New" Coke flopped. Also, I think it would be a big mistake to try and beat Ducati, Aprillia, et al at their own game. Look at how competitive the VR1000 ISN'T. If, by some miracle it is competitive, it will be because Porsche did ALL the engineering. Personally, I think a better choice for an engineering partnership would have been BMW. Unlike Porsche, they HAVE experience with the handling dynamics (engine cg,/placement) unique to motorcycles. We'll see....
 

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Well, you know what they say about "oil and water don't mix". Wonder what the puddle underneath will look like? The oil puddle will probably form on one side, refusing to have anything to do with the foriegn "water", but it'll look good doing it, while the water will probably form a puddle much faster on the other side, turning up it's nose the the old-tech "oil", and evaporate outta there swiftly.......
 

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I don't like the direction the HD is going. I don't like balanced motors in Harley’s. The water-cooled bike might just was well be a joint partnership with Honda.



I understand that this is the price of progress to meet EPA guidelines.



I think the rubber mount is a good compromise. It shakes when it should and smoothes out on the highway. I like a lot of feedback from my bikes. All of mine are twins that make a lot of noise and shudder at idle and under hard throttle. They are alive. I’m thinking about de-chroming my RK, painting it in camouflage and squirting some oil around on the engine to catch some dirt.



Ducati 996

HD RK

79 Bonni (in pieces since last years frame off, soon to be a hard tail bobber)

 

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a real harley sportbike

I would love to see Harley build a real sportbike to compete with the rest of the world. But I can't see it being competitive in the slightest way if they are going to base it on the same motor used in their cruiser line up. Look at the size of that monstrosity in the test mule! Are you kidding me? That engine alone must weigh more than an R6!

However, if Harley is serious and develops an engine from the ground up to compete in AMA and WSB racing, it will be worth taking note of. And they should! 1999 net income was $267 million. I think they have a little extra cash to spend on R&D for new products.

Just try and fit the airbox on the inside of the motorcycle this time...
 

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Is that true, that the H20-cooling is more of an EPA issue? If it's only a sportster performance goal, then I'm not as put off by it, since I prefer Dynas and Softtails. But if they will be REQUIRED to go to water-cooled for all bikes at some point, now that is a different story. Do you remember where you read/heard that? How do you think I could find out more about it?
 

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I don't have a V-Max. And I've never seen a fast enough Dyna-Hydra-Fatboy-xlchfxsrtqrst-glide to beat a V-Max. My buddy has a legitimate 11 second-flat early 70's shovel, (with a 90-lb flyweight aboard), but when we ride together, I leave him for dead on my '86 GSXR-1100. By the way, my post was a JOKE. Get it now? Or do I have to post 3 times?
 

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Re: Correction - the V-45/65 motor....

Don't know if I believe this here rumor. Honda was racing the V4 RVF1000 in superbike, and world endurance racers in the early '80's. I think it was just a logical step the make a street bike out of the engine. I think it's accepted as fact that Porsche was the one collaborating on the ill-fated Nova program.
 

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Re: Funny how people think HD should develop their own engin

It's different because Ford or GM haven't built their sucess on the "f*ck it if it ain't American" attitudes of most Harley's owners. Also, "those 2 don't develop in cooperation with" as much as OWN the foreign brands you refer to.
 

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Good point.. how can Harley recoup the R&D losses?

Raising the price of the "dynamite" glide to 50,000.00? NOW try to buy a harley for list.

Oh, to the anon. squid above bashing non harley riders.. riding a harley makes you tough.. posting as an anonymous wrench twister makes you TOUGHER.

Love and kisses.. dave
 

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Well said.

Currently have four horses in the stable. The two that are mine are a Road King and a ST1100 and the two that my wife rides are a V-Star 1100 and a VFR800Fi. (Guess what kind of riding we do?) About the only bike/brand I've ever been loyal to was the one that was a gas to ride, would do what I asked of it and would get home from where ever the he!! it was I ended up. I sold a Valkyrie for the R-K because it was a better bike for ME.

All of the bikes I've owned in my life have had problems. None have been major but I have been DOH three times, twice close to home and once in the middle of the night on the side of I-40 doing a cross-country run. We ride Motorcycles not Volvoes.

I'm a commuter and an LD rider. If anyone feels the real need to b!tch about any particular group lets ALL support www.ridetowork.org and go after those that would have all motorcycles banned from the roadways of America.

"Cages are for HAMSTER!"
 

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Re: Nova program?

I believe it was in late '70's/early '80's. If I remember correctly it was a water-cooled, fuel-injected 60 degree V4 designed by Porsche. Can't remember all the details. I think the project was scrapped because management didn't believe the faithful would buy into it, but I'm not sure.
 

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Sure... Your ultra modified Dyna with a $25,000 forced induction, nitros injected, 500mile TBO motor MIGHT turn a sub 11 second 1/4 and be CLOSE to performing like his bone stock $10,000 V-Max but what does that prove????? Geee if you throw enough money at it (How fast do you want to spend?) you can make it a $30,000 fairly fast timebomb of a bike. Or you could compare a close to stock (read still fairly reliable) 1400cc Dyna with something more in it's performance league... say a $5,000 Kawasaki EX-500cc parallel twin or a $6,000 Suzuki SV-650cc V-Twin. Of course when you get to the twisty stuff both of those rice burners will leave you for dead.
 
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