The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum - The XLFORUM®

The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum - The XLFORUM® (http://xlforum.net/forums/index.php)
-   Dear Harley-Davidson Inc. (http://xlforum.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=246)
-   -   Time for HD to copy Japan! (http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=44237)

Roadster_Rider 3rd January 2007 06:47

Err, Harley's are some of the easiest machines to work on, if not the easiest, and i personally like the simplicity of an Air Cooled design.

Kentucky 3rd January 2007 06:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigdogbark (Post 587719)
Not all of Japan's ideas are good but look at the Goldwing and then the Ultra. But here in the US it is also an EPA issue. My old 74 Yamaha SX 650 had more guts and power then the newer Sporsters.

The Gold Wing can be compared to a private jet on wheels where the Ultra isn't even in the same league. The Yamaha SX650 was nice and a great bike to have fun with but it didn't have near the guts the 883 rubbermount has. I had a 1977 XS650 and rode that bike for years. It was a niice bike for sure but it dang sure wasn't a Sporty nor could you have the fun with it you can have with the Sporty. I've got a 1200 Sporty and a 1670 Roadstar. Both are very nice and both have been trouble free. I like the ride of the Roadstar better than the Softail and the Roadstar dang sure has more power. The chrome isn't as cood as the Harley nor are the spoked wheels but it's still a very nice bike all around.

Y2K 3rd January 2007 16:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kentucky (Post 594965)
The Yamaha SX650 was nice and a great bike to have fun with but it didn't have near the guts the 883 rubbermount has.

We may disagree on a lot of other things but I'm with ya on this one and I've also owned both of these particular bikes.;)

Gary7 3rd January 2007 16:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by Old_Goat57 (Post 588239)
That's just how things were, and it's interesting to see NOW that the passage of time has changed very little - people aspire to ride the bikes that hold a place of respect and honor. People are proud to tell stories that they ride the same brand of bikes their fathers and grandfathers rode.

Well said. How many times do you see someone post "Here's a pic of my dad on his 1948 Honda?"

http://www.oysterquartz.net/Sportster/Dad-on-Harley.jpg

paris15 3rd January 2007 19:26

I agree with the original poster bigdogbark, he's made some very good points and shouldn't be receiving so much flack from you guy's.
I mean, how many of you a riding a STOCK bike? Do you all really think that there is no room for improvements? I don't think so! Nobody wants USD front end, aluminum swing-arm, fifty poundsless weight (like a Bonneville), you all think the stock front springs are good enough, LMAO! Mert Lawwill claims the engine mounts alone weigh ten pounds, is that necessary?
And did I once mention "plastic"?
Lighten up!
I love my sportster, but I sure don't think it's perfect.

DarkStar883 3rd January 2007 23:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by paris15 (Post 595299)
I agree with the original poster bigdogbark, he's made some very good points and shouldn't be receiving so much flack from you guy's.

Bigdogbark is making good points, the problem is in doing so he's speaking out against the Church of Milwaukee and that upsets many HD owners since it's questioning a belief system they have an emotional investment in. Look at the posters in this thread quoting the same tired clichés from the Book of Harley all the while performing every mod imaginable just to bring their beloved 'American Iron'(tm) 'Freedom Machines'(tm) up to the performance level of a riding lawn mower.

Imagine how different motorcycles would be if Hardley had been allowed to die instead of the .gov bailing them out in the 80's and the import manufacturers had begun focusing on engineering new designs instead of rehashing the same old dog and pony show...

http://img353.imageshack.us/img353/3661/iraqiminoe5.jpg

Gary7 4th January 2007 00:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by DarkStar883 (Post 595481)
Bigdogbark is making good points, the problem is in doing so he's speaking out against the Church of Milwaukee and that upsets many HD owners since it's questioning a belief system they have an emotional investment in. Look at the posters in this thread quoting the same tired clichés from the Book of Harley all the while performing every mod imaginable just to bring their beloved 'American Iron'(tm) 'Freedom Machines'(tm) up to the performance level of a riding lawn mower.

Imagine how different motorcycles would be if Hardley had been allowed to die instead of the .gov bailing them out in the 80's and the import manufacturers had begun focusing on engineering new designs instead of rehashing the same old dog and pony show...

:rolleyes:

JohnT 4th January 2007 00:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by DarkStar883 (Post 595481)
Bigdogbark is making good points, the problem is in doing so he's speaking out against the Church of Milwaukee and that upsets many HD owners since it's questioning a belief system they have an emotional investment in. Look at the posters in this thread quoting the same tired clichés from the Book of Harley all the while performing every mod imaginable just to bring their beloved 'American Iron'(tm) 'Freedom Machines'(tm) up to the performance level of a riding lawn mower.

Imagine how different motorcycles would be if Hardley had been allowed to die instead of the .gov bailing them out in the 80's and the import manufacturers had begun focusing on engineering new designs instead of rehashing the same old dog and pony show...

http://img353.imageshack.us/img353/3661/iraqiminoe5.jpg

Bombs away!

CBAS5 4th January 2007 00:44

Quote:

Look at the posters in this thread quoting the same tired clichés from the Book of Harley all the while performing every mod imaginable just to bring their beloved 'American Iron'(tm) 'Freedom Machines'(tm) up to the performance level of a riding lawn mower.
First, when i went shopping I looked at a lot of different brands. I choose Harley and the sportster in particular because I liked their product the best.

As for mods, check out a vtx, m109r, or goldwing forum some day and see how much they spend on performance mods. Actually, to be accurate the vtx/m109r forums spend money on performance mods while the goldwing guys spend money on comfort mods. Mods are fun to do; it doesn't make them necessary.

IMO harley engines perform great in the area where 99% of the riders ride 99% of the time. I don't care about 10 extra hp on top where I never spin the engine.

I won't even comment on the lawn mower thing.

Quote:

Imagine how different motorcycles would be if Hardley had been allowed to die instead of the .gov bailing them out in the 80's and the import manufacturers had begun focusing on engineering new designs instead of rehashing the same old dog and pony show...
Are you referring to that time when the japanese were going to ILLEGALLY dump a bunch of big engine motorcycles below cost? Oh the shame; preventing someone from dumping. Also, isn't Harley right now the FIRST company to go all FI?

lyonoso 4th January 2007 01:32

Ive Had Quite A Few Jap Bikes But The Sportster Was My 1st Harley. I Fell In Love With The Bikes Looks And The Harley Wow Factor. But Sadly Its Ride Quality And Comfort Are Medieval Even With Suspension Upgrades. Personally I Dont Think Id Go With A Harley Again And Would Go Back To Something More Practical, Great Bike But Sadly Flawed.

Y2K 4th January 2007 03:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by CBAS5 (Post 595533)
First, when i went shopping I looked at a lot of different brands. I choose Harley and the sportster in particular because I liked their product the best.

As for mods, check out a vtx, m109r, or goldwing forum some day and see how much they spend on performance mods. Actually, to be accurate the vtx/m109r forums spend money on performance mods while the goldwing guys spend money on comfort mods. Mods are fun to do; it doesn't make them necessary.

IMO harley engines perform great in the area where 99% of the riders ride 99% of the time. I don't care about 10 extra hp on top where I never spin the engine.

I won't even comment on the lawn mower thing.



Are you referring to that time when the japanese were going to ILLEGALLY dump a bunch of big engine motorcycles below cost? Oh the shame; preventing someone from dumping. Also, isn't Harley right now the FIRST company to go all FI?



Dead on on all accounts,doesn't mean there isn't room for improvements,there certainly is but who wants a copy of a jap bike.
Of course in reality there have been many improvements made without sacrificing the traditional engine arcitecture that makes a Harley a Harley.
Just try and run a '67 Shovelhead or '67 Iron Sporty from 40 years ago the way you can a new '07 TC 96" or Evo Sporty and see how long either lasts trying in vain to keep up.
The Japanese have a history of the dumping method of destroying the competition you mentioned,they tried to put Hyster out of buisness the same way by illegaly dumping Toyota lift trucks below cost.
Big jap companys that make tons of different things can take a loss in one division to kill the competition in that market without taking a big hit overall.
Dirty :censor pool but they do it.

MisterB 4th January 2007 03:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by sycle1 (Post 587725)
I agee with ya XL O.C.D.
I have riden Japanese bikes alot since the 1970's and apart from being fast and reliable they use cheap metals and cast alloys, they rust really fast, they are too light they get thrown around and blown off the road on windy days, they are uncomfortable to ride, they are imposible to work on with normal sized hands, they sound like a reved up sewing machines and their resale is crap, apart from that they are great I guess.

Well said. To me, a motorcycle is a toy. It should bring enjoyment to all of the senses. It shouldn't always be a rational decision like many of the other decisions we all have to make in life. If I want Jap reliability, I'll take the car- but let me tell you, I have been very impressed with the reliability of this machine.

XL O.C.D. 4th January 2007 04:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by bam (Post 595758)
I rather ride a HD than anything else.

http://home1.gte.net/res0sd48/emeril_bam.jpg

:smoke

Gone 4th January 2007 10:49

Hey Bubba- if you think jap bikes are so freaking good ..the answer is simple - go buy one. If you don't like Harleys then don't buy one and as far as I know there is no law that says you have to even look at one.

A Harley is what it is .. nothing more, nothing less. If you don't understand the Harley, then there is nothing I or anybody else is going to say to change your mind.

Somehow I get the impression you wanted a Harley but settled for a plastic Jap imitation of one, and now you lament your decission.

Kentucky 4th January 2007 12:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by paris15 (Post 595299)
I agree with the original poster bigdogbark, he's made some very good points and shouldn't be receiving so much flack from you guy's.
I mean, how many of you a riding a STOCK bike? Do you all really think that there is no room for improvements? I don't think so! Nobody wants USD front end, aluminum swing-arm, fifty poundsless weight (like a Bonneville), you all think the stock front springs are good enough, LMAO! Mert Lawwill claims the engine mounts alone weigh ten pounds, is that necessary?
And did I once mention "plastic"?
Lighten up!
I love my sportster, but I sure don't think it's perfect.

Hey, if I wanted perfection I would have bought Japanese bikes... Oh, sorry, I did, nine of them. I do have a sporty and it only cost me $4,000 more to fix it right......:laugh :laugh :laugh

iBloke 4th January 2007 12:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kentucky (Post 596009)
Hey, if I wanted perfection I would have bought Japanese bikes... Oh, sorry, I did, nine of them. I do have a sporty and it only cost me $4,000 more to fix it right......:laugh :laugh :laugh

:roflblack :roflblack

DarkStar883 4th January 2007 12:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by vpats (Post 595990)
Hey Bubba- if you think jap bikes are so freaking good ..the answer is simple - go buy one. If you don't like Harleys then don't buy one and as far as I know there is no law that says you have to even look at one.

A Harley is what it is .. nothing more, nothing less. If you don't understand the Harley, then there is nothing I or anybody else is going to say to change your mind.

Somehow I get the impression you wanted a Harley but settled for a plastic Jap imitation of one, and now you lament your decission.


I can't speak for other posters, but at least in my case over the years I've owned 4 HD's, each purchased new off the dealer's floor, most recently an '06 Sportster with near every mod available which was traded in October for a '06 Yamaha V-Max and a '97 FXD I sold in November and used the funds to buy an '07 Yamaha R6S.

Your statement, 'If you don't understand the Harley, then there is nothing I or anybody else is going to say to change your mind', is the old 'If I have to explain you wouldn't understand' form of the argument. Sort of like saying, 'everyone else gets it and can't be wrong and so I followed along, so why don't you understand?' Your comment is flock behavior inspired by HD's marketing, nothing more.

Don't misunderstand, I love motorcycles... all of them. Harley's sound wonderful and have a great visceral feel, but I'm no fan of Harley Davidson as a company and their drive to market image instead of engineer motorcycles. HD's became fashion accessories, places to hang HD's officially licensed store bought Liberty™ and billet garbage. Harley knows as long as they slap their logo on something people will buy it with not a thought or care. Brilliant proof of capitalism at it's finest and I give Willie G. credit for creating and feeding off the 'I own a Harley and I'm a badass' ego facade...

As long as the marketing department is able to convince people style is more important than substance and stagnation is really nostalgia, the wannabes will continue to pump their money into Milwaukee and HD can keep the doors of their engineering department closed...

shotgun46 4th January 2007 13:19

this is a harley fourm is it not ! i feel that way about honda and in my life i have had 24 diffrent bikes so far and 5 were harleys but never a yamaha they dont look good and seem to copy every other bike out there ! the sportster is the roughest bike harley makes you either love em or hate em ! i dont care for the V -Rod to me its not a harley but i have a feeling thats the way harley is headed so for me i will keep my old slow ass leaking piece of shit harleys then ride Jap junk but hey thats just me

Kentucky 4th January 2007 13:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by kdarejr (Post 596030)
this is a harley fourm is it not ! i feel that way about honda and in my life i have had 24 diffrent bikes so far and 5 were harleys but never a yamaha they dont look good and seem to copy every other bike out there ! the sportster is the roughest bike harley makes you either love em or hate em ! i dont care for the V -Rod to me its not a harley but i have a feeling thats the way harley is headed so for me i will keep my old slow ass leaking piece of shit harleys then ride Jap junk but hey thats just me

Well, I would expect as much from someone still stuck with a glorified attempt at a production land Yacht. That’s cool as long as you understand the rest of the world is moving forward while the MoCo seemingly remains in reverse. The Sporty is nice but it’s the only Harley I would even begin to think about owning as the rest are simply expensive butt candy for the unknowing….

CBAS5 4th January 2007 19:35

Quote:

That’s cool as long as you understand the rest of the world is moving forward while the MoCo seemingly remains in reverse.
Really? So yamaha is moving forward by moving away from shaft driven, liquid-cooled, four cylinder engines and going to belt driven, air-cooled, v-twin engines? Wow, so they are moving forward by doing what harley has done for years and yet they are modern but Harley is going in reverse? Man, I understand everything now. It makes so much sense :laugh

And Honda has made a large displacement V-twin bike along with Suzuki because that's the modern thing to do right? So these V-twin engines that are anitqued technology and harley has used for years are modern now because the japanese manufacturers are using them and anything they do must be modern.

And moving your entire lineup of motorcycles to fuel-injection must be reverse because the japanese manufacturers still have bikes with carbs. OMG they are so innovative how can harley be so blind :laugh :laugh

ocndaf 4th January 2007 20:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by CBAS5 (Post 596270)
Really? So yamaha is moving forward by moving away from shaft driven, liquid-cooled, four cylinder engines and going to belt driven, air-cooled, v-twin engines? Wow, so they are moving forward by doing what harley has done for years and yet they are modern but Harley is going in reverse? Man, I understand everything now. It makes so much sense :laugh

And Honda has made a large displacement V-twin bike along with Suzuki because that's the modern thing to do right? So these V-twin engines that are anitqued technology and harley has used for years are modern now because the japanese manufacturers are using them and anything they do must be modern.

And moving your entire lineup of motorcycles to fuel-injection must be reverse because the japanese manufacturers still have bikes with carbs. OMG they are so innovative how can harley be so blind :laugh :laugh

I agree totally; not everybody wants a crotch rocket; what everyone wants, it seems, is a Harley or cruiser that looks like a Harley if that is not true everyone would not be copying the Harley Davidson line of products. I hear in this thread that Honda and the others are so far ahead and thats what the buying public wants. If that is true, why did Honda drop the Valkyrie ( one of the best bikes it has ever made) in favor of a big twin motor on a bike that looks like a Glide? I will say it again why would Harley want to copy a clone of its bikes? Harley must have it right or there would not be so many knockoffs.

Gary7 4th January 2007 20:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by CBAS5 (Post 596270)
Really? So yamaha is moving forward by moving away from shaft driven, liquid-cooled, four cylinder engines and going to belt driven, air-cooled, v-twin engines? Wow, so they are moving forward by doing what harley has done for years and yet they are modern but Harley is going in reverse? Man, I understand everything now. It makes so much sense :laugh

From what I've seen, Yamaha's Road Star is the best of the Japanese "American style" v-twins. To me, the other Jap v-twin bikes still look like a Jap bike. The Road Star captures that authentic American style that originated with Harley, Indian, and Crocker. I think Yamaha drew heavily on the Crocker for the styling of the Road Star.

http://www.crockermotorcycleco.com/photos/ph13.jpg

http://www.crockermotorcycleco.com/photos/ph41.jpg

http://www.crockermotorcycleco.com/photos/ph6.jpg

http://www.crockermotorcycleco.com/photos/ph15.jpg

shotgun46 4th January 2007 20:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by CBAS5 (Post 596270)
Really? So yamaha is moving forward by moving away from shaft driven, liquid-cooled, four cylinder engines and going to belt driven, air-cooled, v-twin engines? Wow, so they are moving forward by doing what harley has done for years and yet they are modern but Harley is going in reverse? Man, I understand everything now. It makes so much sense :laugh

And Honda has made a large displacement V-twin bike along with Suzuki because that's the modern thing to do right? So these V-twin engines that are anitqued technology and harley has used for years are modern now because the japanese manufacturers are using them and anything they do must be modern.

And moving your entire lineup of motorcycles to fuel-injection must be reverse because the japanese manufacturers still have bikes with carbs. OMG they are so innovative how can harley be so blind :laugh :laugh

i could have not said it better !:clap :clap :clap :clap :clap :clap

JohnT 4th January 2007 20:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by CBAS5 (Post 596270)
Really? So yamaha is moving forward by moving away from shaft driven, liquid-cooled, four cylinder engines and going to belt driven, air-cooled, v-twin engines? Wow, so they are moving forward by doing what harley has done for years and yet they are modern but Harley is going in reverse? Man, I understand everything now. It makes so much sense :laugh

You neglect to mention that Yamaha has figured out how to make at least, if not more, HP/TQ as a comparably-sized H-D, while easily meeting EPA requirements without leaning out the engine to ridiculous degrees, and that their bikes run as-advertised out-of-the-box with no requirement for a Stage anything.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CBAS5 (Post 596270)
And Honda has made a large displacement V-twin bike along with Suzuki because that's the modern thing to do right? So these V-twin engines that are anitqued technology and harley has used for years are modern now because the japanese manufacturers are using them and anything they do must be modern.

These twins are all liquid-cooled. Why do they make them? Apparently their customers like them. They also run as-advertised out-of-the-box with no requirement for a Stage anything.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CBAS5 (Post 596270)
And moving your entire lineup of motorcycles to fuel-injection must be reverse because the japanese manufacturers still have bikes with carbs. OMG they are so innovative how can harley be so blind :laugh :laugh

And all their carbureted bikes meet EPA requirements without affecting their performance.

I'm no big fan of metrics, but let's not oversimplify. Harley could be doing a much better job of delivering ready-to-ride motorcycles (witness all the overheating problems with the new 96 engine).

shotgun46 4th January 2007 20:56

Its Ride Quality And Comfort Are Medieval Even With Suspension Upgrades but thats the sportster thats the good thing about it it feels like a motorcycle not a sofa ! like i said before ya either love em or hate em !

doc 4th January 2007 20:57

Here's the deal: If you want a metric, buy one. Who gives a rat's ass what you ride, as long as you are riding. If you want a Harley, buy one. It's that friggin simple. As far as product goes, I'd rather have a bike that I enjoy and that means both riding and maintainence and for me that is why I got a Sportster. If I can't find a good deal on a low or an older hugger, my wife is getting a metric. Will I work on it? No. Will I ride it? Yes. Will I enjoy it? Possibly.

Gary7 4th January 2007 21:00

My 07 Sportster ran perfectly from day one. :banana

DarkStar883 4th January 2007 21:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by CBAS5 (Post 596270)
Really? So yamaha is moving forward by moving away from shaft driven, liquid-cooled, four cylinder engines and going to belt driven, air-cooled, v-twin engines? Wow, so they are moving forward by doing what harley has done for years and yet they are modern but Harley is going in reverse? Man, I understand everything now. It makes so much sense :laugh


This is exactly the point I was trying to make earlier. Harley being bailed out in the 80's had caused the entire industry to fall backwards. The imports makers are simply cashing in on the money that's to be made, just like Harley is, nothing more nothing less. It's called capitalism, but I do truly wish the import makers would leave the cruiser motif to the hillbillies from Milwaukee and concentrate on engineering. I'd love to see where the import makers would be if they left the V-twin alone...

I recall an article I read in a magazine [Rider?] in the early 80's where Honda said they considered the V-twin engine dead end engineering and didn't plan on introducing any... funny how the almighty dollar can get people to change their minds... :frownthre Too bad for all motorcyclists who see technology and high end engineering in a different light.

I still stand by what I said: Harley was resurrected by the .gov imposed tariffs on large displacement bikes like some George Romero zombie and motorcycling has suffered ever since...

Gary7 4th January 2007 21:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by DarkStar883 (Post 596332)
This is exactly the point I was trying to make earlier. Harley being bailed out in the 80's had caused the entire industry to fall backwards. The imports makers are simply cashing in on the money that's to be made, just like Harley is, nothing more nothing less. It's called capitalism, but I do truly wish the import makers would leave the cruiser motif to the hillbillies from Milwaukee and concentrate on engineering. I'd love to see where the import makers would be if they left the V-twin alone...

I recall an article I read in a magazine [Rider?] in the early 80's where Honda said they considered the V-twin engine dead end engineering and didn't plan on introducing any... funny how the almighty dollar can get people to change their minds... :frownthre Too bad for all motorcyclists who see technology and high end engineering in a different light.

I still stand by what I said: Harley was resurrected by the .gov imposed tariffs on large displacement bikes like some George Romero zombie and motorcycling has suffered ever since...

I can only think of one reason why a person who feels the way you do about HD would continue to post on a HD forum. :rolleyes:

DarkStar883 4th January 2007 21:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary7 (Post 596351)
I can only think of one reason why a person who feels the way you do about HD would continue to post on a HD forum. :rolleyes:



...and I suspect you'd be wrong...



Very simply, I delight in watching people cornered by logic squint their eyes down tight, cover their ears and scream, 'la la la I don't hear this'... I enjoy pointing out the ridiculous in life. Call it a personal flaw...:D


edited to add: And I support the XLF... where's your team membership, stud? It's all just good banter, no matter what...

ocndaf 4th January 2007 21:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by DarkStar883 (Post 596332)
This is exactly the point I was trying to make earlier. Harley being bailed out in the 80's had caused the entire industry to fall backwards. The imports makers are simply cashing in on the money that's to be made, just like Harley is, nothing more nothing less. It's called capitalism, but I do truly wish the import makers would leave the cruiser motif to the hillbillies from Milwaukee and concentrate on engineering. I'd love to see where the import makers would be if they left the V-twin alone...

I recall an article I read in a magazine [Rider?] in the early 80's where Honda said they considered the V-twin engine dead end engineering and didn't plan on introducing any... funny how the almighty dollar can get people to change their minds... :frownthre Too bad for all motorcyclists who see technology and high end engineering in a different light.

I still stand by what I said: Harley was resurrected by the .gov imposed tariffs on large displacement bikes like some George Romero zombie and motorcycling has suffered ever since...


How is making a product that the consuming public wants causing the industry to fall backward? If you want a bike that looks like one from Star Wars buy one but don't be bitter that 98% of the motorcycle buying public doesn't agree with you. The only reason anyone maufactures any product is because it fullfills someones desire to have that product. No one in a free market is going to force the consumer to buy what they do not want. As far as the Harley being baled out the Government only did what it should have done with a number of industries, they have let government subsidized companies from other countries destroy our manufacturing base. Thats why now that the steel indrustry is gone in this country there is no longer cheap steel from China.

CBAS5 4th January 2007 21:50

Quote:

I still stand by what I said: Harley was resurrected by the .gov imposed tariffs on large displacement bikes like some George Romero zombie and motorcycling has suffered ever since...
So you consider the dumping of large displacement motorcycles that the Japanese were going to do perfectly ok? You see no problem with that unethical practice? I mean let's be real here you blame the gov from preventing the japanese from dumping motorcycles, but you don't critize them for the dumping? Does that make much sense to you Mr. Logic?

And motorcycling has suffered? Nobody forced anybody to buy a Harley-Davidson. How have they inflicted suffering on the motorcycle world?

Quote:

This is exactly the point I was trying to make earlier. Harley being bailed out in the 80's had caused the entire industry to fall backwards. The imports makers are simply cashing in on the money that's to be made, just like Harley is, nothing more nothing less. It's called capitalism
They didn't cause anybody to fall backwards. Harley developed their V-twin engines while the japanese developed their inline four engines. Then the japanese came to the conclusion that nobody wanted their four cylinder engines and then started to copy and sell v-twin engines. If the japanese had a superior product, then it would have sold better instead of them copying Harley.

Ever since then the history of their development has been decrease the stroke by half a mm, increase the bore by half a mm, then claim it as the lastest and greatest.

And for 2007 it is predicted that Harley motorcycle sales will surpass Honda motorcycle sales because Honda sales are dropping 7% while Harley sales are rising 7%. If Honda made such better bikes, then why are they losing market share? Harley is going to sell more big cruisers than all the sportbikes, cruisers, sport-touring, and dirt bikes that Honda sells.

And how has Honda made the V-twin engine better with superior innovation? It really hasn't. Honda V-twin's still have rocker box leaks and other oil leaks. All they did was bring the engines to higher displacements. Then at those higher displacements they don't make anymore power while using liquid-cooling and more valves per cylinder. The 1200 sportster engine is stronger than the 1300 vtx engine.

Quote:

Very simply, I delight in watching people cornered by logic squint their eyes down tight, cover their ears and scream, 'la la la I don't hear this'... I enjoy pointing out the ridiculous in life. Call it a personal flaw...
Really? We have some of the smartest people in the world (engineers, doctors, rocket scientists, etc.) riding Harley's yet we are the unlogical idiots? The japanese manufacturers cater to the walmart and target culture and yet those people are somehow smarter than Harley riders?

JohnT 4th January 2007 22:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary7 (Post 596326)
My 07 Sportster ran perfectly from day one. :banana

I'm glad to hear that. My '05 ran like crap until we did a Stage I, and I would say the same about every other new Harley I've bought. For years, the mantra has been, "Just do the Stage I and you'll be happy."

So, your experience indicates that Harley is, indeed, learning.

As to the original idea that began this thread, that Harley should consider what other manufacturers are doing, I'm absolutely certain they already do. I would bet anything that in Harley's R&D shop, as in those of every other motor vehicle manufacturer, you'd find disassembled machines from many other makers. Harley knows what everyone else is doing. They also have a somewhat unique challenge in that they've created an image they have to carefully maintain, lest they offend their long-time and loyal customer base. So, they move slowly, more slowly than some of us would like, but they are carefully evolving the product line.

At same time, they have to attract new buyers, and many of those new buyers are of a different generation, do not want to tinker with their bikes, and want the machines they buy to function as advertised without the need for a Stage anything. So, yet another challenge.

Finally, back to the beginning of this thread. I don't think the original intent was to trash H-d, or praise metrics, but merely to suggest something that is already happening. And it certainly wasn't anti-Sporty in any way. Instead, it seemed an attempt to begin a general discussion on the development of motorcycles. There are, after all, many on this forum who enjoy discussing something beyond the usual 'Which oil do you use?', 'Which seat, handlebars, mufflers I should buy?', etc. And, as has been pointed out before, there IS room for general motorcycling discussion on this forum.

shotgun46 4th January 2007 22:02

HARLEY-DAVIDSON, INC.
2006 Quarterly Motorcycle Shipments
(UNITS)

HARLEY-DAVIDSON® Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 2006
All 651+cc

Sportster® 16,175 15,746 16,909 48,830
Custom 35,794 36,714 44,096 116,604
Touring 27,537 27,336 36,041 90,914
79,506 79,796 97,046 0 256,348

Domestic 60,270 58,052 80,398 198,720
International 19,236 21,744 16,648 57,628
79,506 79,796 97,046 0 256,348

BUELL® UNITS
Buell 651+cc 2,578 3,148 2,131 7,857

Buell Total 3,037 3,539 2,529 9,105

Gary7 4th January 2007 22:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnT (Post 596383)
I'm glad to hear that. My '05 ran like crap until we did a Stage I, and I would say the same about every other new Harley I've bought. For years, the mantra has been, "Just do the Stage I and you'll be happy."

So, your experience indicates that Harley is, indeed, learning.

Yes, I think Harley finally figured that closed-loop EFI was the only way to go.

DarkStar883 4th January 2007 22:24

CBAS5, please if you could provide the evidence or any links that motorcycle dumping was taking place, I'd love to read it and I'm the first one to admit it when I'm wrong. I will do some searching on the topic. I seriously don't recall dumping, I was riding a '78 Low Rider in those days and was indeed carrying the water for HD and did want them to survive... It was later when I saw HD say screw the old riders and old owners and start marketing t-shirts and beer to middle class wannabes instead of taking the chance they were given to really take the lead as a true American motorcycle developing powerhouse that I turned a bit rancid toward them.

I was able to find this:

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa032.html

When I say the industry fell backwards, I'm referring to the import manufacturers embracing the V-twin anew and focusing their attention and engineers on them instead of saying, 'Harley does the V-twin best, leave it to them and lets develop an inline 6 or V-6 motorcycle engine or a thermonuclear whatsis or whatever'...

Harley does the V-twin well, it's their niche, I've got no bones there at all. The import makers desire to have a piece of the pie is good business, but I believe the industry as a whole suffers when marketing and the drive for market share become the motivating force. The import manufacturers used to focus, not quite as much now, on racing for the sake of winning and the technology developed for their racing programs spilled over into their consumer production bikes. When the manufacturers keep shuffling the same old parts around so as not to stray from the format and lose market share development stagnates...

I realize how it comes off when I say it would have been better for HD to have died in the 80's. Seeing the old, traditional Harley Davidson motorcycle company and all it stood for dead and now hawking t-shirts instead of real American Iron while import manufacturers run around trying to pick up scraps dropped from the table is what I mean when I say the industry is moving backwards...

Gary7 4th January 2007 22:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by DarkStar883 (Post 596360)
...and I suspect you'd be wrong...



Very simply, I delight in watching people cornered by logic squint their eyes down tight, cover their ears and scream, 'la la la I don't hear this'... I enjoy pointing out the ridiculous in life. Call it a personal flaw...:D

No, that's pretty much what I figured. Though you and I have different definitions for "the ridiculous in life."


Quote:

Originally Posted by DarkStar883 (Post 596360)
edited to add: And I support the XLF... where's your team membership, stud?

All that tells me is you've paid for the privilege of being contentious here.

JohnT 4th January 2007 22:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by DarkStar883 (Post 596402)

Excellent article.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DarkStar883 (Post 596402)
. . . but I believe the industry as a whole suffers when marketing and the drive for market share become the motivating force. . . .

Unfortunately, this comes along with public ownership and the attention of stock market analysts/pundits, who can seriously undermine a successful company with a series of bad recomendations.

CBAS5 4th January 2007 22:56

Quote:

CBAS5, please if you could provide the evidence or any links that motorcycle dumping was taking place, I'd love to read it and I'm the first one to admit it when I'm wrong.
Here are two links that I found that mention dumping:

Quote:

Meanwhile, the competition was moving ahead. Though the recession of the early 1980s had depressed demand for heavyweight bikes, Japanese manufacturers swamped the U.S. market with their surplus inventory, driving average market prices down still further. In 1982, however, the company won an anti-dumping judgment from the International Trade Commission (ITC). This led then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan to impose additional tariffs on imported heavyweight Japanese models, as allowed by the ITC.
http://www.answers.com/topic/harley-davidson

Quote:

# In 1983, Harley successfully pushed for a 45% tariff on large imported motorcycles claiming that Japanese manufacturers were dumping them on the US market in large numbers.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_r...dson/49432.stm


Quote:

It was later when I saw HD say screw the old riders and old owners and start marketing t-shirts and beer to middle class wannabes instead of taking the chance they were given to really take the lead as a true American motorcycle developing powerhouse that I turned a bit rancid toward them.
I personally don't like that practice either. However, it made them money and worked. Honda and other japanese manufacturer's tried the same thing of selling motor cloths and other things with their logo, but they failed because nobody bought that stuff. The japanese tried the same practice. The only difference is that they failed and now they use it to make fun of harley. If they had succeeded, then they would have been praising their marketing innovation.

Here is a Honda merchandise website:
http://www.hondapartsdeals.com/index...FQGPWAodgH4_NQ

Quote:

The import makers desire to have a piece of the pie is good business, but I believe the industry as a whole suffers when marketing and the drive for market share become the motivating force.
This is the problem that I have with them. They desire a piece of the pie in a highly unethical way. They will see that a motorcycle is selling well and instead of creating a motorcycle that falls into that category they instead copy one. Basically, they copy the style, add some mechanical improvements, and drop the price. That practice isn't much better than stealing someone's design. In the 70's when triumph was in the spotlight there were tons of japanese triumph clones. Right now when Harley is in the spotlight there are tons of japanese harley clones.

Harley or triumph have never done that. When triumph wanted to make a sportbike they didn't make an inline four clone; they used a inline three design that is true to triumph heritage. When Harley wanted to make a power cruiser they didn't go and copy a V-4; they made a V-twin with unique styling. The triumph rocket is pure power without having to copy anything.

What the japanese do is no better than taking an existing product, producing a copy and adding one or two features, and then selling it for a lower cost. That's stealing a product IMO. Weren't we boycotting a company that did exactly that not too long ago?

As for innovation it is not Harley's fault that they don't innovate. Their customers don't want innovation. In the end, isn't it better for your survival to give your customers what they want? Look at buell. They have done great things with the sportster engine but sales are lacking. Look at the V-Rod. For years it was in a class of it's own and still has a better 1/4 mi. time than the competition using 109 ci. engines. It never received the recognition it deserved, but the bikes that copied it were praised.

Have you ever heard of the Nova project?

http://www.bikerenews.com/AntiqueBikes/CodeNameNova.htm

That was basically the grandfather of the V-max in the late 1970's. It had 135 hp, which was very performance oriented. It was never released, but if it was then Harley may have bankrupt due to a lack of sales.

Everytime they try to release a performance model of their bikes it pretty much flops in terms of sales. So do you blame them for giving the consumer what they want and abandoning what doesn't sell?

ocndaf 4th January 2007 22:59

The last time I looked all of the Jap manufactures had 200 mph racing bikes for sale on their showroom floor. They are not what most of the motorcycle buying public wants. I can understand what you want but all of these companies answer to the sales numbers and the stock price. Even if Harley Davidson had failed in the 80s someone would have filled the vacancy and would be manufacturing what the public wants. At the time of tariffs Yamaha was well on the way with their Virago line of bikes. The Star line is the result of this line of bikes. The only thing these publicly traded companies are conserned about is stock price and profit. You will only get the developments that the rest of the sheep want.


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