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Old 11-09-2012, 11:12 AM   #11
itchy
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[QUOTE=half_crazy;110774]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.QUOTE]

I ride with a guy that rides a V-Rod, and he says he often gets grief from the HD faithful about it not being a real Harley. Can't see them moving that motor to a different bike, even though they should.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by half_crazy View Post
HD engines are not designed to fail... The issues are that to meet emissions.
Well Im telling you what a parts guy who has worked for them for over 15 years told me face to face. They have had meetings that this has come up in discussion in and its a known fact. Whatever the excuse is. Emissions, lack of R&D, or the falure to make changes that would prevent problems that they know exist . If a change in technology and design is known to fix a problem that exists and it is not implemented in the next newer design, Its designed to fail. Thats a no brainer. WHY would they change anything with no other choices out there for the diehard "bikers" Hell that ment money to everyone in HD. Its the same thing Cadillac did to the general public when they first came out with a diesel engine in thier cars. They built the overhead strong but failed to build the lower end strong. Due to high compression that diesels have they tore up the lower ends. Cranks and rods where getting destroyed. They--> Cadillac used the general public as guinea pigs instead of spending money on R&D. You cant tell me and make me believe they HD were building engines to keep up with emission standards and they did not know thru testing that they had problems. It the problems ment $$$$ to them in the way of parts sales. That brand HD was and is so popular and with the lack of another choice people turned a blind eye and were willing to accept it and modify or spend $$ to fix a problem HD should have been fixing instead of investing in apparel. NOW that there is another choice hopefully HD has taken notice and will as you said make changes.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:26 PM   #13
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I've owned quite a few Harleys from shovelhead to evo to several twin cams and a vrod. I have to say that I am a big believer in the vrod engine. My Street Rod is an absolutely blast and is by far the absolute best performing Harley to date, IMHO. It is too bad that the Harley fan base is so reluctant to embrace new and better technology. So the Harley brass has a real dilemma - adopt new technology but risk loosing and alienating a loyal and profitable customer base.


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Old 11-14-2012, 11:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninja View Post
I've owned quite a few Harleys from shovelhead to evo to several twin cams and a vrod. I have to say that I am a big believer in the vrod engine. My Street Rod is an absolutely blast and is by far the absolute best performing Harley to date, IMHO. It is too bad that the Harley fan base is so reluctant to embrace new and better technology. So the Harley brass has a real dilemma - adopt new technology but risk loosing and alienating a loyal and profitable customer base.
That is it alright. The faithful don't want a lot of changes over the years so one part will fit many many years and the sound is paramount.

An HD rider will give up power and reliability but he won't give up the Harley sound. It is positively ingrained for most and they don't care how much extra maintenance they need to do make it all work.

Been there done that. That is until I realized how HD was cheating us with cheap bearings and other critical parts that would not have cost them or us much more to have a much stronger motor that did not have to be rebuilt from the bottom up if someone wanted to do a simple bore and piston job along with the cams which usually meant a replacement oil pump while you were in there and up graded cam chain followers.

You would be looking at $5-$7k on an HD but would be a relatively simple operation on a Vic. The Vic motor is built to handle about 140/140 hp/tq. The HD big twin motor is built to handle max of 100/100 hp/tq. That's just the way it is.

The HD 103 is as perfect as the Twin Cam motor gets. Go to high performance cams and be prepared to split the cases and do it all. Really just better off leaving it stock and just do a Stage 1 and call it a day. It will last that way but won't make the hp/tq hounds too happy.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:56 PM   #15
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No one is asking HD to put the V-rod engine in their other bikes.

Let's get back to the issue of this thread:
Their TwinCam engines have reliability issues, HD brass knows about it but refuses to address it.

HalfCrazy may be right that they are developing something new - but even if so that is no excuse to accept the status quo. It is not like they don't have any choices.

They could upgrade the parts at issue (bearings, cranks) in current models. Even if it costs them a few bucks to get out of current contracts.

But first and foremost they could own up to the problem and take care of their customers that experience failures due to substandard parts. That is what good companies do. Their #1 objective is to make their customers happy and they stand behind their product.

It shows that HD has gone the way of many a large corporation: They've lost their roots - the focus on the customer.

In fact they may not even see themselves as being in the motorcycle business anymore. The CEO of Starbucks was once asked by an interviewer about something or another about "the coffee business". He shook his head and told the journalist "but we are not in the coffee business. We are in the people business".

The point was that for Starbucks selling coffee is only a means to get people into their stores - supposedly to connect with other people. (Not sure I buy that - but that was his point).

Following the same logic, I think HD's brass has a similar fancy vision of being in the "lifestyle business", and selling bikes is only a means to get people into their interpretation of the biker lifestyle, where even the dog drinks out of a MoCo branded bowl.

The funny thing is how that lifestyle evolved: I can remember a time where many 'real' riders refused to ride with the HD guys because their bikes always would break down.
Read: The special 'bond' between HD riders was not created by the MoCo - the riders of other brands made them the outcasts with greasy fingers.

The reason the MoCo subsequently improved the quality of their bikes was that they realized their target market was finite in numbers and with limited disposable income.

It was more lucrative to exploit the midlife crises of attorneys, bankers, doctors and other good earners by selling them the biker lifestyle. However they realized that required bikes that would not break down on every ride - No one wants to see their surgeon show up for work Monday morning with the telltale black fingernails of a roadside repair.

Note that they did not eliminate the problems - they just pushed them up into a mileage bracket these people would never see. And if you are used to the maintenance cost of a Porsche etc., the cost to have the dealer replace your cam chain tensioner proactively every once in a while is only a drop in the bucket.

The only ones that leaves out is the guys (and gals) that actually put substantial mileage on their bikes and aren't interested in giving their dealer carte blanche todo whatever whenever to keep their bike running - without regard to the cost.

But there is not that much profit margin in those people anyway. Maybe HD doesn't mind if they leave the happy lifestyle family and go ride Victorys instead....
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBob View Post

The HD big twin motor is built to handle max of 100/100 hp/tq. That's just the way it is.

The HD 103 is as perfect as the Twin Cam motor gets. Go to high performance cams and be prepared to split the cases and do it all. Really just better off leaving it stock and just do a Stage 1 and call it a day. It will last that way but won't make the hp/tq hounds too happy.
I can vouch for that. I had a big bore on a twin cam, 123 CI. That bike left me stranded on numerous occasions. After that, I stuck to stage I.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:10 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=NGArider;111436]No one is asking HD to put the V-rod engine in their other bikes.

Let's get back to the issue of this thread:
Their TwinCam engines have reliability issues, HD brass knows about it but refuses to address it.

HalfCrazy may be right that they are developing something new - but even if so that is no excuse to accept the status quo. It is not like they don't have any choices.

They could upgrade the parts at issue (bearings, cranks) in current models. Even if it costs them a few bucks to get out of current contracts.

But first and foremost they could own up to the problem and take care of their customers that experience failures due to substandard parts. That is what good companies do. Their #1 objective is to make their customers happy and they stand behind their product.

It shows that HD has gone the way of many a large corporation: They've lost their roots - the focus on the customer.

In fact they may not even see themselves as being in the motorcycle business anymore. The CEO of Starbucks was once asked by an interviewer about something or another about "the coffee business". He shook his head and told the journalist "but we are not in the coffee business. We are in the people business".

The point was that for Starbucks selling coffee is only a means to get people into their stores - supposedly to connect with other people. (Not sure I buy that - but that was his point).

Following the same logic, I think HD's brass has a similar fancy vision of being in the "lifestyle business", and selling bikes is only a means to get people into their interpretation of the biker lifestyle, where even the dog drinks out of a MoCo branded bowl.

Think you have hit the nail head on with the Hammer never looked at that aspect of it .. Lets see, this group you refer to does 5-6K a year would take them 12 years to find out what I did in 3 .. Never really had any problems to speak of until had 60K and by 70 K was totally disgusted with it being in the shop 4 more different times in less than 10K miles .. Even though warranty covered them not my idea of a Good Bike
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:11 PM   #18
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What is the MoCo's motivation to improve something that sells like pockets on pants?
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:44 PM   #19
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Been a Harley guy since 2004 until the Vic. EVO was the best HD engine. The Twinkie is OK in its stock form--- but few guys leave it that way. My last 2000 Ultra Classic, I spent over $3000 in a 95" big bore kit, cams, upgraded chain tensioners, PCIII and custom map, etc and got it up to 88 HP and 96ft lbs, which is just about the max for durability. Test rode the Vic and traded it the next day. Nuff said.

Rode a buddies Night Rod and it was awesome! But "true HD guys" do not see it as a real Harley. The newer rod models do have more low end torque--- but they do not have the THUMP! Therefore, check the resale. They are very cheap and do not hold their value like the big twins.

The one I wish I had back was a 90% restored 1990 Heritage that was "modified" and stronger than any 88 CID twinkie that I have owned. It also got 29 MPG, but it had a swagger that was hard to beat! Here are some pics.

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Last edited by 4 inch pistons; 11-15-2012 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:09 AM   #20
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Yes. The earlier evo's were fine once the cam bearing issue was taken care of and maybe a gasket or two. Small stuff for sure but it should not have been an issue in the first place and that's why I ride Vic's today.

You might notice I do have a 2001 Sporty. It's a fun little bike and it's for sale but dang if I don't like that sound coming out of the V&H pipes. People look at it where ever I go and that sound perks up their ears as well.


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