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Old 4th January 2007
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DarkStar883 DarkStar883 is offline
Harley Engineer
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Southeast of Disorder
Posts: 326
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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...
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