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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone think HD could look to go down to 1/4 Litre displacements after the successfully roll out Street 500 and 750? The only reason I ask is because I've seen several of the blogs refer to Harley as going after Honda Shadow/Yamaha V Star type shoppers with the Street 500. Consider that the V-Star reaches all the way down to 250cc displacement..
 

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Anyone think HD could look to go down to 1/4 Litre displacements after the successfully roll out Street 500 and 750? The only reason I ask is because I've seen several of the blogs refer to Harley as going after Honda Shadow/Yamaha V Star type shoppers with the Street 500. Consider that the V-Star reaches all the way down to 250cc displacement..
Not enough of a market in North America, maybe in Europe?

I do suspect a 1000 CC big bore kit for the 500 and 750 in two years. Mess of us going to punch it out, port and polish anyway!
 

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You mean lop a cylinder off the 500 the way Buell lopped a cylinder off a Sportster engine to make the Blast? Well, not like it hasn't been done before. Didn't make for a very enjoyable bike though.

I think Harley should make a premium version with double overhead cams, dual throttle bodies and a centrally mounted spark plug. Make it an 800 or 850 and go head to head with the BMW F800 series bikes. Then retire the Sportster line for good. Bury that 57 year old pile. It was obsolete in 1957.
 

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You mean lop a cylinder off the 500 the way Buell lopped a cylinder off a Sportster engine to make the Blast? Well, not like it hasn't been done before. Didn't make for a very enjoyable bike though.

I think Harley should make a premium version with double overhead cams, dual throttle bodies and a centrally mounted spark plug. Make it an 800 or 850 and go head to head with the BMW F800 series bikes. Then retire the Sportster line for good. Bury that 57 year old pile. It was obsolete in 1957.
That already exists... abate a little bigger, the Vrod.
 

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That already exists... abate a little bigger, the Vrod.
No. The V-Rod is a big slammed cruiser. I want something that is light weight, short, agile and has some real poke. Other than the Street Rod, none of the V-Rod models have adequate suspension or lean angle, and they are over weight for the kind of riding I am thinking of. The kind of bike I want is along the lines of a BMW F800, Suzuki SV650 or Kawasaki Versys.

Take the Street, put a double overhead cam head on it, dual throttle bodies or at least a plenum that feeds dual velocity stacks and separate fuel injectors for each cylinder, higher quality suspension, no fooling Brembo dual discs up front and raise it a bit (oh, the horror) so it has enough cornering clearance to be competitive with the bikes I mentioned.

None of what I describe is even remotely like a V-Rod.
 

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No. The V-Rod is a big slammed cruiser. I want something that is light weight, short, agile and has some real poke. Other than the Street Rod, none of the V-Rod models have adequate suspension or lean angle, and they are over weight for the kind of riding I am thinking of. The kind of bike I want is along the lines of a BMW F800, Suzuki SV650 or Kawasaki Versys.

Take the Street, put a double overhead cam head on it, dual throttle bodies or at least a plenum that feeds dual velocity stacks and separate fuel injectors for each cylinder, higher quality suspension, no fooling Brembo dual discs up front and raise it a bit (oh, the horror) so it has enough cornering clearance to be competitive with the bikes I mentioned.

None of what I describe is even remotely like a V-Rod.
Meant the engine.... You described an engine you wanted.... The Vrod engine would be more than adequate, though the configuration of the Street frame would never stop the speeds that engine would make, and it would need large tires.
 

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Meant the engine.... You described an engine you wanted.... The Vrod engine would be more than adequate, though the configuration of the Street frame would never stop the speeds that engine would make, and it would need large tires.
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Again, no. The V-Rod engine is dimensionally to large and it's to heavy. Harley paid absolutely no attention to weight when the V-Rod was designed. I had a nice hour long converstation with the platform manager, Peter Michael Keppler, a German designer and road racer hired by Harley (not one of the Porsche people either). We had a discussion of the bike's weight and he rolled his eyes telling me Willie G, would not give him the engineering budget to reduce the bike's weight to something he thought more sensible. The original Street Rod was prototyped with 17 inch Marcheseni wheels and Ohlins fork and shocks. That is how the bike was tested. Willie G. nixed all of that too, forcing him to use the big heavy wheels that the bike came with and the lower quality suspenders. There is at least fifty pounds of weight that should come out of the V-Rod engine, just the engine, without affecting longevity, and that would help performance greatly.

I don't want a repeat of the V-Rod engine. I want something lighter and smaller dimensionally so the bike it is in stays nice and light and narrow. I have a Street Rod and it's a lot of fun, but it's a long and heavy bike to play with on a tight mountain road.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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Again, no. The V-Rod engine is dimensionally to large and it's to heavy. Harley paid absolutely no attention to weight when the V-Rod was designed. I had a nice hour long converstation with the platform manager, Peter Michael Keppler, a German designer and road racer hired by Harley (not one of the Porsche people either). We had a discussion of the bike's weight and he rolled his eyes telling me Willie G, would not give him the engineering budget to reduce the bike's weight to something he thought more sensible. The original Street Rod was prototyped with 17 inch Marcheseni wheels and Ohlins fork and shocks. That is how the bike was tested. Willie G. nixed all of that too, forcing him to use the big heavy wheels that the bike came with and the lower quality suspenders. There is at least fifty pounds of weight that should come out of the V-Rod engine, just the engine, without affecting longevity, and that would help performance greatly.

I don't want a repeat of the V-Rod engine. I want something lighter and smaller dimensionally so the bike it is in stays nice and light and narrow. I have a Street Rod and it's a lot of fun, but it's a long and heavy bike to play with on a tight mountain road.
But aren't we now taling about morphing Harley into a completely new type of company? From a branding perspective I just don't see it flying. As much as bandana mans are harped on they pay the bills and pay them well. From a branding standpoint I see it being a tough sell for harley to convince people they are no longer what they were, but a new breed of company more closely resembling a Japanese major.

I'm not saying it cant be done, but I am saying the effort to move the mountain of perception may be too risky and too daunting for HD...

However I do like the idea you propose..
 

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Again, no. The V-Rod engine is dimensionally to large and it's to heavy. Harley paid absolutely no attention to weight when the V-Rod was designed. I had a nice hour long converstation with the platform manager, Peter Michael Keppler, a German designer and road racer hired by Harley (not one of the Porsche people either). We had a discussion of the bike's weight and he rolled his eyes telling me Willie G, would not give him the engineering budget to reduce the bike's weight to something he thought more sensible. The original Street Rod was prototyped with 17 inch Marcheseni wheels and Ohlins fork and shocks. That is how the bike was tested. Willie G. nixed all of that too, forcing him to use the big heavy wheels that the bike came with and the lower quality suspenders. There is at least fifty pounds of weight that should come out of the V-Rod engine, just the engine, without affecting longevity, and that would help performance greatly.

I don't want a repeat of the V-Rod engine. I want something lighter and smaller dimensionally so the bike it is in stays nice and light and narrow. I have a Street Rod and it's a lot of fun, but it's a long and heavy bike to play with on a tight mountain road.
A new engine light weight racing from Harley? Hah the horror of it all!

You are already driving a Street? 500 or 750? I am told the 500s will be here end of this month for the riding class replacements. I will finally get to ride one then.

I am taking mine a totally different direction then you want to go, I am going 70s retro chopper with it. Have Sugar Bear waiting for the neck specs and such so they can do a 12 over front end for me. The seat I will do myself. And I am really hoping I can put some larger wheels on it without to much shop time.

Usually by now I can order a shop manual in the system for a new model from Harley, but nothing yet..... Hard to start getting parts ready when you cannot get specs.

I rode a KTM last year on two trips over engineer pass and I have to say that was a very nice dual sport. More nimble than the BMW IMO. Not as nice on the highway as the BMW though.
 

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Not racing. I don't race. I just like to play on tight twisty mountain roads where light weight, agility, great steering and moderate power that you can meter out to the rear tire easily are the keys to controllability, and a fun day of riding.
 

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Harley has made small cc bikes in the past. Sprint (Aermacchi), Harley Hummer, Scat, Pacer, and Bobcat. Some of which were perfectly good motorcycles.
 

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Harley has made small cc bikes in the past. Sprint (Aermacchi), Harley Hummer, Scat, Pacer, and Bobcat. Some of which were perfectly good motorcycles.
I had one of these......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ugzMua6Xw

Think it was made in Italy, but it was badged HD and it did haul chicks to the swimming Spot at the creek effectively!
 
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Harley bought bikes from Aermacchi, which is an Italian airplane company, up until 1978 when the Castiglioni brothers bought the motorcycle making business from Aermacchi and renamed it Cagiva (for CAstiglione, GIovanni, VAresi). Cagiva later bought Ducati, then sold it to some American investors and subsequently bought the MV Agusta name and resurrected that brand. Harley bought Cagiva back in 2008 right before the market crashed. When the current CEO came on board later in 2008 as the economy was coming ungluded, Waner the Wanker sold off both MV Agusta and Buell within six weeks. Some of us will never forgive him for this. The former owner of MV bought his company back from Harley for pennies on the dollar.

Aermacchi is still around as a subsidiary of the big defense comglomerate Finmeccanica. The bikes HD bought were 250 and 350 singles and a 250 cc motocrosser. HD actually has some 250 and 350 GP championships to their credit so the Italian bikes were good, if not what the bandanaheads associate with Harley Davidson. They have a bit of a cult following now however, though the demographic of the Aermacchi owner is not at all like what you think of as a Harley Davidson customer.
 
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