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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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corporate knows HDs are inferior

I have 2 friends who work at one of the top 5 HD dealers in the world. I went there today to say hi and shoot the bull..I was talking to one about my KP as he was outside admiring it and this is what was said. He asked why a Vic? I told him before I purchased my KP I thought about an HD again but after looking at riding and reviewing the differences I made my decision based on reliabilty, price, power and looks. I mentioned I would not have a worry in the world to take off to the coast today and I needed an oil change. He said " I know what you are saying. Corporate knows that HDs are inferior and break down" " They rely on that to sale alot of parts". This guy is on straight commission 8.5% of net. He made over $50,000 last year. You do the math. This is one man. He said Vics dont break very often and that would be tough on Vic in parts sales. But popular to folks who want more for thier money. Seems it would be heart breaking to the die hards who put so much faith and loyalty in that brand. to know they are designed to fail seems pretty insulting to me and I dont have one anymore...Truth hurts in this case for sure. I will never have another..

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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 09:12 PM
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I wouldn't go so far to say that about all HD's. There were some good years and not so good years in both the Sportster and big twin lines. The V-Rod is in a class by itself.

I think the 95-99 were good years for the big twins and since they worked the bugs out of the newer 1200 Sportsters; they have both the power and reliability not found in models before them.

I'm less impressed with the Twin Cam models. It seems like one needs to completely rebuild it and put in the good parts HD should have from the factory. Cost-wise it wouldn't cost HD or its customers that much more for a far superior and far more reliable big twin but MOCO chooses not to and that fact alone is what pushed me away from HD with a few exceptions. I like my Vic's and find the 04's to run better than the 11' over all but the 106 definitely has more power; especially with some kind of tuner and the Lloydz cams, pipes, af, etc.
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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 04:45 AM
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HD engines are not designed to fail... The issues are that to meet emissions with their aging design they are killing the power. To combat this they keep making the engine bigger (88, 96, 103) but the bigger it gets the more heat it generates and the more stress is put on the bottom end of the engine. Since they did away with the Timken bearings on the crank and (like everyone else) went to low bidder on the press-fit cranks, the potential for failure increases. On top of that, the 103" in emissions legal trim makes the same HP as the 88" did. Something's gotta give.

I suspect that HD has a major engine revamping going on. This is why they won't do anything to improve the current engines. They are putting the money into something new and using up current stock and timing-out current vendor contracts.

I have seen a few magazine comparisons between Harleys and 1300cc Japanese cruisers. The sad part is that the 1300 will out-run the HD. All the 'mystique' in the world cannot help you when you're shaking your fist at the tail light of a Japanese 1300 yelling "But it'll never be a Harley!". Hard to feel badassed when you're getting your ass handed to you by a bike that's 24 cubic inches smaller and costs $8000 less... For this reason I think we'll see something new from HD soon.


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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 05:29 AM
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I wouldn't go so far to say that about all HD's. There were some good years and not so good years in both the Sportster and big twin lines. The V-Rod is in a class by itself.....

If HD put the V-Rod engine in their cruisers, I'd be riding one now.

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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 05:35 AM
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As a long time Harley Rider I will be the first to agree the quality is not what it was .. Will add I did get almost 70,000 miles out my last 09 Ultra, but had a few issues, most primary related. Replaced the Stock Compensator twice wirh the SE Compensator, 2 Inner primary seals and one inner primary bearing .Lost my TBW and had to replace the ECU .. ABS went out once and had to replace the Sensor unit .. Had a recall on the Rear Break Switch due to heat problems from it's location but it didn't fail on me .. These were all covered by Warranty and Extended Warranty an did not have any out of pocket cost and the Dealer treated me like family, but got tired of the aggravation.. Quite happy with my XC so far, and will never give up my FXR4.. Last of the FXR Frames and the last Big Twin EVO .. Never had a minutes problem with it ...

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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 06:05 AM
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If HD put the V-Rod engine in their cruisers, I'd be riding one now.
Most of HD's loyal customer base will never embrace the V-Rod engine. The lure of the big twins has always been the torque. The V-Rod makes no torque and really doesn't do much until after 4500 rpm. The traditional HD owner will hate that motor. Great motor for a sport-tourer, crappy motor for a dresser.

The V-Rod is a cruiser, isn't it?

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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 06:43 AM
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Most of HD's loyal customer base will never embrace the V-Rod engine.
Soon they may not have a choice. Once they get a taste of caviar, they'll be wondering why they've been eating equally high priced baloney all these years.

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The lure of the big twins has always been the torque.
Bahhh, the lure has been dressing up and playing outlaw for most of them.

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The V-Rod makes no torque and really doesn't do much until after 4500 rpm. The traditional HD owner will hate that motor. Great motor for a sport-tourer, crappy motor for a dresser.
Why? So what if it doesn't get off the line quite as fast (though it could certainly be geared to do so)? How many dressers are drag racing between stop lights? The engine and brakes on the V-rod are top notch components. I'd give my left nut to see them put together a Low Rider without the crap lowered suspension and scooped seat, powered by a V-rod engine and slowed by its fantastic Brembo brakes.

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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 08:02 AM
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So what if it doesn't get off the line quite as fast (though it could certainly be geared to do so)? How many dressers are drag racing between stop lights?
Why is it always about drag racing? Talking about a street ridden bike... a heavy bike... that you will load up w/gear and 2 people... Torque rules in that sort of application. Uphill, high elevation, passing with just a roll-on.

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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 08:58 AM
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Why is it always about drag racing? Talking about a street ridden bike... a heavy bike... that you will load up w/gear and 2 people... Torque rules in that sort of application. Uphill, high elevation, passing with just a roll-on.
What do they do so differently from our bikes? I'm not an engine expert, but I know that air-cooled Ducs use a two valve head and people used to claim to like them because they make more torque at lower rpm. I had 4 valve water cooled versions and except for the gearing issues I spoke of earlier, though I didn't much if any lack of low end power when compared to my friend's air-cooled Monster engine. Could have been because my engine had a bigger displacement than his.

Honda makes a v-tech system that only operates two valves per cylinder until the engine hits about 6k rpms. It then switches over to 4 valves to maximize HP at the higher end. Yamaha has a system that changes the length of the throttle bodies based on rpm to maximize power output across the rpm band.

I'm certain that Harley (Porsche) could tune the v-rod engine to better suit a heavier bike without making it into a slug.

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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 10:28 AM
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The HD 'faithful' don't embrace the V-Rod, and the sales figures of the V-Rod compared the their big twins bears this out.

Back in the motocross days, the 125cc bikes ran the same lap times as the 250cc bikes, BUT you had to ride your ass off and row that gearbox constantly on the 125, while the 250 was much easier to ride due to the wider spread of torque. The same thing applies to a 600cc sportbike vs a liter bike. The 600 makes 80 horse at around 10,000 rpm and spins to 14,000 rpm, where the 1000 makes 80 horse by 6000 and is all done before 12,000. Huge difference in the riding experience. Riding with liter bikes you'll be running the piss out of the 600.

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