Porsche Had a Hand... - Harley Davidson Street Forum - Street 500 and 750
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-25-2014, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Porsche Had a Hand...

SO in doing some research into the Revolution X engines I stumbled across an interesting piece of information.

First things first the Revolution X engines are derivatives of the VROD's Revolution engine. Thats not the interesting bit....

The interesting bit is that Porsche co developed the Revolution engine with Harley. Harley already had the basic architecture based on the VR1000 superbike engine, but the story goes Porsche helped them clean up the design and make it bullet proof...

Anyone with more info? All i seem to be able to find is fighting on other forums between air heads and Vrodders....
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-25-2014, 05:17 PM
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If you google up the "documentary" called "Birh of the V-Rod" you can see Porsche's contribution to the V-Rod engine. They took a selection of VR-1000 race engines and redesigned them for durability on the street and to meet emissions requirements. For anyone who has lived with and worked on BMW motorcycles, the components of that engine and it's basic feel are instantly recognizable as German. I joke the bike speaks English with a heavy Bavarian accent! Harley and Porsche formed a joing venture company in 1996 to design and manufacture the V-Rod engine, and the joint venture's manufacturing site was located inside Harley's Kansas City assembly plant. You can google around and find old articles in business magazines and corporate disclosure documents that describe the joint venture.

Harley's association with Porsche goes back many decades. Raise your hand if you ever saw a bike Harley nearly produced called "Project Nova"? This was a modular engine, with two bores on a single stroke that could be built as a V-twin, V-four or V-six. The bike was ready for production in 1983 when the program was cancelled due to lack of funds. Porshce was retained to do the major engine design on that bike.

Porsche was also hired to help Harley develop the Evolution engines and the Twin Cam engine, primarily with emissions control matters. Inside all Harley engines you will find German pistons from Mahle and in the V-Rod and Big Twins you will find gears and shafts sourced from Getrag. Early V-Rod engines had even more international content, with French head castings, German powder forged conrods and a forged steel crank from Hatz, a German manufacturer of small diesel engines. Even the gaskets have "Germany" cast into them! As an old "propeller head" (BMW bike enthusiast) this gives me a lot of confidence in this engine. I am guessing, until I know differently, the Revolution-X engine is every bit a quality piece as the V-Rod mill is.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-25-2014, 05:29 PM
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Here are some images of a V-4 Nova from the Harley museum. All the magazines had grainy spy photos of this new water cooled Harley and I had money saved for one when the company left AMF, went private and cancelled the Nova for lack of money.





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post #4 of 6 Old 02-25-2014, 05:32 PM
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The Nova had some interesting features. The bike was liquid cooled but you don't see a radiator. Those intakes alongside the "tank", which isn't a tank but an airbox, feed both the airbox and a radiator located horizontally under the bike behind the engine! Fuel is carried under the seat, and you can see the filler is behind the seat on the right side. BMW copied this design with the F-650 and F-800, but Harley was there first.

I like this particular prototype Harley has on display because it is the sporting model, and notice the perimeter brake. That prototype dates to about 1981, when Erik Buell was working as an engineer at Harley. Coincidence? You tell me.

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post #5 of 6 Old 02-25-2014, 05:36 PM
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Seeing someone so thorough with the technical aspect of the motor and harley davidson in general giving his vote of confidence to street 750 is admirable. If harley gets this motor right , it will be huge for them as well as for us Indians who don't have any other quality offering in this price segment(dozens of brands if one increases budget by 33% ) . One can get the ninja 300 for 25% less but it is a sportsbike with its own characterisitics. The only thing that might prove suspect is the manufacturing standards of the indian vendors. But south asian countries like thailand have been manufacturing complete high end motorcycles(ducati , triumph etc etc) for sometime now , I guess they are a good example for india to follow.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-25-2014, 05:39 PM
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I would buy one of these tomorrow if Harley would just build it! The design of the wheels is very nearly identical to the XR-1200 wheels I have on my Street Rod.



If that fairing looks familiar, it is. When Harley cancelled the Nova they put that fairing on an FXR chassis and called it the FXRT. Look how clean the guage package is, with a central tach, speedo and coolant temp guage. No retro nonsense, just a modern sport touring bike. How different Harley could have turned out!

Here is that fairing on an FXRT.






And the Nova:

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Last edited by Desert Tortoise; 02-25-2014 at 05:41 PM.
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