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Noise is another factor, liquid-cooling can allow tighter clearances (less clatter/slap noise) and also eliminates "ringing" from the fins of an air-cooled cylinder/head.
I had always assumed that noise was a selling point for Harleys; as in: look at me, guys! Didn't Harley copyright the sound of their engine?
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I had always assumed that noise was a selling point for Harleys; as in: look at me, guys! Didn't Harley copyright the sound of their engine?
Can't copyright a sound. Otherwise the world would be paying royalties to someone or other.
I actually think someone tried to copyright the word "the" or something similar. Of course didn't work.
 

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Back to air cooled again, and a hot engine ride. A lot of parts that might go bad. Everyone else is using "water" cooled and Harley possibly wants to go back to air cooled. New Tech, for them but not new tech if the others thought it was a good idea. They had the Porsche engine which had no problems, and the Evolution engine which was also good. Just don't get it.
Here is a paragraph from the article on this engine:

While many have suggested that future emissions laws, particularly in Europe, will make air-cooled, pushrod-valved engines a thing of the past, in fact that’s wide of the mark. The Euro emissions rules are actually much harder on high-revving engines. Big, lazy twins that don’t need high revs can achieve surprisingly clean emissions—the newly launched BMW R 18, for example, demonstrates that large-capacity, air-cooled engines will be with us for a long time to come.

If you "don't get it", I would guess you don't understand what Harley people want in a bike. Water cooled engines are towards the bottom of the list. Harley is developing water cooled engines in order to try and get new riders into the Harley camp, and probably developing this air cooled engine to satisfy Harley enthusiast. I think they are smart to do this. There are two things that could make the water cooled engines unsuccessful. First, if Harley over prices these bikes, and secondly, if too many of their dealers treat these bikes as a stepchild like they did with the Buells and Vrod.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Here is a paragraph from the article on this engine:

While many have suggested that future emissions laws, particularly in Europe, will make air-cooled, pushrod-valved engines a thing of the past, in fact that’s wide of the mark. The Euro emissions rules are actually much harder on high-revving engines. Big, lazy twins that don’t need high revs can achieve surprisingly clean emissions—the newly launched BMW R 18, for example, demonstrates that large-capacity, air-cooled engines will be with us for a long time to come.

If you "don't get it", I would guess you don't understand what Harley people want in a bike. Water cooled engines are towards the bottom of the list. Harley is developing water cooled engines in order to try and get new riders into the Harley camp, and probably developing this air cooled engine to satisfy Harley enthusiast. I think they are smart to do this. There are two things that could make the water cooled engines unsuccessful. First, if Harley over prices these bikes, and secondly, if too many of their dealers treat these bikes as a stepchild like they did with the Buells and Vrod.
And what are the chances that 1. Harley won't overprice it. 2. Not treat it as a stepchild. The VROD was a great bike. It worked, held together, had a low center of gravity unlike the peanuts tanks, and had a rack and trail that allowed the bike to turn easily. The old guard is dying out, Giving up riding, and New riders are attracted to the competition. So Yeah, I don't get. Harley is holding onto the past, and there is no one left to support the "Great Days of Harley" I loved my nightrod, but it was heavy. And of course Harley has no parts to support it anymore so I sold it.
 

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I'm glad they are working on an air cooled V-tech motor. People buy Harley's for traditional looks. I wish Honda would do more with their air cooled 4. It's true someday they will be regulated out of existence but until then it's nice to see old school motors. I loved the Buell Firebolt, both the 9 and 12. Very fun bikes and the paint shaker lump was part of the charm. I'd buy one today if they were still offered.
 

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Harley does have an entry level motorcycle. Harley Davidson Street 750 and they used to sell the 500. Can't get much more entry level than those two under powered bikes. I started out on a Sportster 1200. I traded off and on for newer Sportsters till about 2016 when I went to the Softail Heritage Classic. Then in 2019 I went to the new Low Rider and found out I did not like it at all and went with an Ultra Limited.


Sportster accounts for almost 1/4 of Harley sales. There will be a Sportster. It may have a different engine. I think Harley's biggest mistake is not bringing the 338cc bike into the USA asap. They say they want new riders. What better way to do this than to have an entry level bike?
 

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Harley does have an entry level motorcycle. Harley Davidson Street 750 and they used to sell the 500. Can't get much more entry level than those two under powered bikes. I started out on a Sportster 1200. I traded off and on for newer Sportsters till about 2016 when I went to the Softail Heritage Classic. Then in 2019 I went to the new Low Rider and found out I did not like it at all and went with an Ultra Limited.
Like I previously said, that 750 is a bike that nobody wants. They need something that appeals to new riders.
 

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And what are the chances that 1. Harley won't overprice it. 2. Not treat it as a stepchild. The VROD was a great bike. It worked, held together, had a low center of gravity unlike the peanuts tanks, and had a rack and trail that allowed the bike to turn easily. The old guard is dying out, Giving up riding, and New riders are attracted to the competition. So Yeah, I don't get. Harley is holding onto the past, and there is no one left to support the "Great Days of Harley" I loved my nightrod, but it was heavy. And of course Harley has no parts to support it anymore so I sold it.
Harley sold 220,000 motorcycles in 2019, down 4.3%. Here are the numbers from some of the others, all negative. This info from Motorcycle Data:
In the 2019, the top seven brands have lost volumes, not only the leader. So Honda was down 1.5%, Yamaha 3.5%, Polaris 5.9%, Kawasaki 6.6%, Suzuki 4.9%, Can-Am 1.2%. Some more than Harley, some less. Many Harley riders already feel abandoned by Harley when they dropped the Dynaglide line in 2018. Harley in that same year, also restyled the Softails, using square headlights on some, and other styling ques that do not appeal to their base. Some Harley riders went to Indians because of this. The new air cooled engine if we ever see it, will be a step in retaining their base. The new CEO realizes that the first step must be to retain their base, then build from their. You say there is no one left to support Harley, but I disagree, I know many riders between 30-60 who are Harley riders period. Where I live on the East Coast of Florida, Harleys are dominant in a big way.
As far as peanut tanks, they are on Sportsters. I had a Heritage and a Dynaglide, and they both had a 5 gallon tank. The Nightrod has a 3.7 gallon tank.
The only statement of yours that I agree with is that you don't get it.
HD has lost a tremendous amount of sales, but I am hopeful the new CEO will take them in the right direction. Time will tell.
 

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If the old stuff is what everyone wants why arent sales numbers flat or up, instead of them sinking every year - vb18?
Are those sales numbers the new norm for HD?
I believe there is a base that want the normal Harley bike, but you have to get new riders or you wont survive.
 

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The funny thing is the the vrod series had no problems, so they junked it.
The VROD is a sweet machine. Probably dropped it because they were losing money on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
The VROD is a sweet machine. Probably dropped it because they were losing money on it.
Yeah, it didn't need fixing every week. Not a bolt loosened. Not a glitch in my nightrod. With the autoclutch it was a sweet semi automatic that wouldn't stall. So they drop the line, drop the parts, there is no way they had 10 year supplies, and made what I would call the best Harley obsolete. I had even added a complete diagnostic screen that gave engine temp, rpms, electrical output etc all in a numeric digital. It was easy to work on, easy access to the air filter and wires. And now they are going for bigger engines for first time riders (if any). No intimidation factor there!
 

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The Nightrod was a good bike for it's time but the 1250 motors should be a suitable replacement and they aren't stuck in that low slung frame. The Custom will be for customers who don't like much turning radius and the Brox will be more sporty. All should be much lighter than the old V-rod platform.
 

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Harley, you pay more for the name and get a little less quality. Most people know this and will still chose Harley.
I must have been lucky? I had three Harleys, and they were the most reliable machines I have ever owned. Never put a nickle into them besides normal maintenance. They were as reliable as my Japanese bikes. The only brand I had that was not reliable was a BMW. I would like to know how many on this forum have had Harleys and what type of reliability problems they have had with them. My brother, who rode for 57 years and had 6 Harleys never had a mechanical problem. His only complaint was for some reason, he got numerous flat tires with them.
I have not had a Harley in 8 years, but I really hope that they succeed. An American brand and American workers.
 

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I must have been lucky? I had three Harleys, and they were the most reliable machines I have ever owned. Never put a nickle into them besides normal maintenance. They were as reliable as my Japanese bikes. The only brand I had that was not reliable was a BMW. I would like to know how many on this forum have had Harleys and what type of reliability problems they have had with them. My brother, who rode for 57 years and had 6 Harleys never had a mechanical problem. His only complaint was for some reason, he got numerous flat tires with them.
I have not had a Harley in 8 years, but I really hope that they succeed. An American brand and American workers.
I feel the same way. I've owned 7 Harleys since 1999. The only bike I did not like was the 2020 Lowrider, which was now on the softail frame. I had it for 6 months and traded it in for a 2016 Ultra Limited. Before the 2020 Lowrider I had a 2016 Softail Heritage Classic. I wish I had never traded that in for the 2020 Lowrider. Lesson learned.

Here is my Heritage Classic
86760


Then my 2020 Lowrider
86761


and now my current 2016 Ultra Limited
86762


and of course my 2014 CTX700N
86763
 
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