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-   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)

jamman 4th January 2007 23:02

Ok I got bored with this dead horse. Barely made it through the first page. I think your japasuki just sprung a leak...

Gary7 4th January 2007 23:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by CBAS5 (Post 596428)
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.

It looks to me like the V-Rod engine was derived from this Nova powerplant.

DarkStar883 4th January 2007 23:22

Thanks for the links... It does look like there was an intent to flood the market by the import makers during the early 80's and I stand corrected. I don't recall it being discussed at the time but it does indeed appear that it was happening, thankyou for the correction.

I do think we're all at about the same place on this whole topic. Like you I dislike the import attempts to copy successful design as much as I dislike HD's merchandising. I don't blame anyone for building what sells and I understand the reality of consumerism and a profit driven system but we end up seeing the manufacturers chase their tails and only rarely drop something new on us... and that's too bad for all motorcyclists. Better the manufacturers do what they do best, build their unique bikes instead of copying designs or selling beef jerky but I realize that's the fantasy.

I do indeed remember the Nova Project... Rider magazine had journalists staking out different HD test areas with long range telephoto lenses to try and get a picture. Harley had covered the entire engine area of the bike in large pieces of steel to keep the secret design from being seen. The pictures in Rider magazine were grainy and fuzzy but you could catch glimpses of the water jacket and I remember thinking HD was on the way back from the brink.

I think the poor sales of the V-Rod are a fault of dealers as well as the customer base. Atleast in my experience I don't think the dealers care for it and make it obvious. If my local HD dealer hadn't treated the V-Rod on his floor like such a bastard stepchild and try and steer me into a Softail I might have really considered it. Instead I ended up with a V-Max a short time later...

XL O.C.D. 5th January 2007 00:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamman (Post 596432)
Ok I got bored with this dead horse. Barely made it through the first page. I think your japasuki just sprung a leak...

:laugh This thread got boring real quick.

Y2K 5th January 2007 04:08

I for one prefer the simplicity of the air cooled pushrod hydraulic lifter engine for it's ease of maintainence,they are so simple a top end overhaul can be considered maintainence.
100K miles can be had out of a Harley engine with a little care before a top end job is needed and then the job is so simple the average Joe can do it at home.
By contrast a 4 or 6 cylinder,multi carb, multivalve engine with water cooling may make more power but is much more complicated to work on and most require valve adjustment every 5K -10K and over time can become more costly to maintain and repair than to replace.
There's a reason the scrap yards are full of unwrecked 10-20 year old jap bikes but there are still lots of 10-20-30-40-50 year old and older Harleys still running around.
I have over 120,000 miles on my Harley and it's been quite reliable , I fully expect to double that with ease and still have a running machine worth keeping.
It may not be as fast as a Goldwing but it's fast enough,handles well enough and it may not go as many miles without a top end job but but a fresh top end is easier to do than a valve adjust on the Honda.
Once that high tech wonder does get tired it's days are numbered do to the expense of repair.
The big jap bikes have their merits but so do the Harleys,they are just different.
Different strokes for different folks.

Gone 5th January 2007 09:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigdogbark (Post 587715)
I believe the engineers at HD need to take a trip/ride on some Honda's, Kaws, and Yamaha's. They will find many ideas that are better then HD offer. I like water-cool engines, low maintenance rides, better suspension and so on.
I am not saying that HD should copy Japan but to learn from them and improve on it. Just looking at them you will see that they looked at HD and improved on it. Where they came up short is keeping models in production.
Good luck to HD but really is the 95 incher an improvement or just an EPA band-aid?
As a side note I was a holder of HD stock but I am seriously considering shorting it due to some of your marketing ideas. Go talk to builders, Honda, Yamaha and others.

Let's see: The watercooled, plain-bearing crankshaft, double overhead cammed, 9,000 rpm, 11 second 1/4 mile V-Rod isn't a move forward? The Buells are not innovative chassis concepts put to real production? How much more low maintenance do you want than belt drive, EFI, and hydraulic lifters? And the new BT engine is a 96". H-D is running a tight-rope beteen EPA and what traditional H-D consumers want. H-D doesn't need to look to the Japs for innovation. YOU need to look at the whole H-D line in better detail.

wagoneer12 5th January 2007 09:07

I think HD knows their customer preeeettttty well. Except for the V-Rod experiment. Those V-Rods sell like Hot Cakes now don't they.

Gone 5th January 2007 09:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by ocndaf (Post 596429)
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.

As stated, all of the Jap bikes have hyper-sports machines for sale. While not what the "majority" of consumers want, the sales are significant enough that these bikes require complete design overhauls about every five years to remain competitive in sales and performance - and it takes substantial demand for these bikes to offer Formula I type performance for only $8,000-$15,000. If they only sold a handfull, these machines would be $30,000 a crack.

Gone 5th January 2007 09:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary7 (Post 596439)
It looks to me like the V-Rod engine was derived from this Nova powerplant.


The basic V-Rod design came from the VR-1000 road-race bike. They raced, learned, made necessary marketing changes, and put it into production.

Drew1200c 5th January 2007 11:35

4 valves 2cylinder simple air-cooled design works pretty well, it takes 4cylinders 16valves bunch of carbs water cooled and a lot of plastic to smoke you on a few bike lengths. face it most of of us drive on roads not race tracks, so low end power is what you use most. the Sportster looks good sounds good got good low end, I got foward contorls and don,t have to hug a gas tank with the back of my shirt flying up over my head. works for me, anyway.:tour

Gary7 5th January 2007 18:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by Duane Wood (Post 596939)
The basic V-Rod design came from the VR-1000 road-race bike. They raced, learned, made necessary marketing changes, and put it into production.

Then possibly the VR1000 engine was derived from the NOVA project engine. The casings look very similar. And the article states Porsche was used in the development of the NOVA project engine.

Y2K 5th January 2007 19:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary7 (Post 597158)
Then possibly the VR1000 engine was derived from the NOVA project engine. The casings look very similar. And the article states Porsche was used in the development of the NOVA project engine.

That is correct,they are both related as part of Harley's long standing engineering partnership with Porsche.
The biggest difference is that the Nova was V-4

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d1...eglide/h61.jpg

Gary7 5th January 2007 19:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by Y2K (Post 597166)
That is correct,they are both related as part of Harley's long standing engineering partnership with Porsche.
The biggest difference is that the Nova was V-4

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d1...eglide/h61.jpg

The more closely I look at the Revolution and Nova engines, the less similar they look to me now. The Nova engine is stressed, while the V-Rod engine isn't. And the cases really are not all that similar. (I don't no why they appeared to be on first blush.) The article did note, however, that the Nova was designed to be built as a v-twin, v-four, or v-six.

Where was that picture of a Nova taken?

Y2K 5th January 2007 19:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary7 (Post 597189)

Where was that picture of a Nova taken?

If I remember right it's in Trev Deeleys museum.

http://www.trevdeeley.com/

friday 24th July 2021 00:49

old thread, well here we are 15 yrs later with a water cooled "sportster"


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