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View Poll Results: How long will Harley continue to Make air-cooled Sportsters
Less than 4 years: the air cooled motor is doomed. 52 21.67%
4-10 years: They should be able to get another decade with oil cooling. 78 32.50%
10-20 years: they'll add water jackets to reduce noise. 12 5.00%
Never, the air coooled Sporty will live forever!!! 103 42.92%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 240. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 1st August 2008
Fauxsuper Fauxsuper is offline
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Default How long do you think harley will make air cooled Sportsters???

The limitation that Harley is stuck with is the fact that a Sportster has to look like a Sportster. Look how much weight they had to add to the frame to make it stiff enough to not have to use the engine as a stressed part. Buell's engineering (even the bikes out before the previous generation bikes) didn't have the limitation of having to use a conventional looking double cradle frame.

The Sportster's link to tradition and the original 1957 bike is both it's strength and it's weakness. It's getting harder and harder to improve the bike's performance without turning it into something altogether different. The XR1200 probably represents a high water mark for something that uses a poweplant derived from the original EVO motor.

Or spending a huge amount of money to re-engineer the bike from the ground up. As long as Harley can sell spin-offs of the current bike at a profit, they have no incentive to do just that. The fact that they can take what is essentially the Evolution XL bike (with fuel injection and rubber mount frame) and get a fairly remarkable level of performance out of it is quite an accomplishment in itself.

.
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  #2  
Old 2nd August 2008
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bigjnsa bigjnsa is offline
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Why mess with a good thing? The Sporty to me is KISS.. Keep It Simple Stupid
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  #3  
Old 2nd August 2008
Moved On / My Own Choice Moved On / My Own Choice is offline
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My prediction - as long as it can - I suspect that the EU or EPA will likely force a change before the market will.

That said, I THINK the weight thing is largely a cost driven issue - i.e. they could go to an aluminum frame and save a serious chunk, plus go with lighter materials for bodywork etc, but it would all cost and these are really entry level machines.

Kev
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  #4  
Old 2nd August 2008
shmoo shmoo is offline
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Harley may begin to think about liquid cooling when global warming makes air cooling impractical and civilisation collapses.
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  #5  
Old 2nd August 2008
Fauxsuper Fauxsuper is offline
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Wink Glad you brought this up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev M View Post
My prediction - as long as it can - I suspect that the EU or EPA will likely force a change before the market will.

Kev
I agree. If you couldn't make them louder (IE: if only stock bikes could be registered) with aftermarket exhausts, Harley would sell a lot fewer motorcycles today. Some people won't buy a bike if they can't make racket with it.
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  #6  
Old 2nd August 2008
Moved On / My Own Choice Moved On / My Own Choice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauxsuper View Post
I agree. If you couldn't make them louder (IE: if only stock bikes could be registered) with aftermarket exhausts, Harley would sell a lot fewer motorcycles today. Some people won't buy a bike if they can't make racket with it.
I was talking tailpipe emissions, not noise, but the same principle applies.

And though I think a LOT of people buy Harleys on this juvinile noise making image - you're also talking to a 4 time owner who has run stock pipes or close to stock pipes for over 100k miles of Harleys - the LOUDEST bike I've ever had was my first Sporty with Screaming Eagle mufflers - since then it's been either stocks or gronks...
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  #7  
Old 2nd August 2008
stealthammer stealthammer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shmoo View Post
Harley may begin to think about liquid cooling when global warming makes air cooling impractical and civilisation collapses.
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  #8  
Old 2nd August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev M View Post
My prediction - as long as it can - I suspect that the EU or EPA will likely force a change before the market will.

That said, I THINK the weight thing is largely a cost driven issue - i.e. they could go to an aluminum frame and save a serious chunk, plus go with lighter materials for bodywork etc, but it would all cost and these are really entry level machines.

Kev

Have you seen the ghey -rod, or the XR 1200........ they already use lighter materials, or the fact the new XL line doesen't use metal oil tanks or metal side covers anymore??

but i do agree, it will come down to cost savings in the long run.......it has to.......... for the MoCo to survive!!


As far as air cooled goes..........it's going out........when ...........thats the million dollar question........ Stay Tuned!!
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  #9  
Old 2nd August 2008
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Ralphthe3rd Ralphthe3rd is offline
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Exclamation ahhh...

The rubbermounts DO USE Metal side Covers !

Quote:
Originally Posted by xllent01 View Post
Have you seen the ghey -rod, or the XR 1200........ they already use lighter materials, or the fact the new XL line doesen't use metal oil tanks or metal side covers anymore??

but i do agree, it will come down to cost savings in the long run.......it has to.......... for the MoCo to survive!!


As far as air cooled goes..........it's going out........when ...........thats the million dollar question........ Stay Tuned!!
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  #10  
Old 2nd August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralphthe3rd View Post
The rubbermounts DO USE Metal side Covers !

Sorry man.........thats what happens when your brain types faster than your fingers........


Anyhoo.........you get the jist of it.... even if the bikes still use plastic clips and zip ties to hold the sidecovers on........
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