A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official MotoGP.com website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

Harley-Davidson Debuts Liquid-Cooled Engines for Tourers

08/21/2013 @ 3:36 pm, by Jensen Beeler43 COMMENTS

Harley Davidson Debuts Liquid Cooled Engines for Tourers 14 FLHTCU LOC5 635x422

Harley-Davidson has debuted its 2014 touring and trike motorcycles, which would normally be an event that we’d forgo even mentioning here at Asphalt & Rubber, after all “brand new” to Harley typically means new paint and chrome pieces to bikes that already exist in the line-up — that’s not entirely the case this year though.

Rolling out eight “new” motorcycles for enthusiasts, Harley-Davidson has listened to customer feedback and made changes to the following models in its line-up: Road King, Street Glide, Street Glide Special, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Ultra Limited, Tri Glide Ultra, CVO Ultra Limited, and CVO Road King. Nothing crazy there, right?

However what was called “Project Rushmore” inside the motorcycle company, we now know refers to the company’s effort to bring more technology to its two-wheeled midlife crisis machines… the most drastic change being a liquid-cooled engine design. We’ve got your attention now, don’t we?

Debuting two liquid-cooling engine configurations, the Twin-Cooled High Output Twin Cam 103 motor will be used on the 2014 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited and the Tri-Glide Ultra trike, while the Screamin’ Eagle Twin-Cooled Twin Cam 110 will be featured on the 2014 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited.

The design philosophy is similar to the one used by BMW, where the coolant is used to precision-cool parts of the motor, while air-cooling is still the primary method of heat transfer. To achieve its precision cooling, Harley-Davidson has routed the coolant through the cylinder heads and around the exhaust valves, where the coolant then goes to radiators on either side of the motorcycle.

The Milwaukee brand says that the new design allows for a bump in engine compression: 10.1:1 (up from 9.7:1) on the 103ci Twin Cam motor, which makes 105.5 lbs•ft of peak torque (compared to the 104.7 lbs•ft on the 2014 air-cooled version and 100 lbs•ft on the 2013 model).

The Screamin’ Eagle Twin-Cooled Twin Cam 110 actually makes less power than its predecessor, though both models have reduced emissions according to their CARB filings.

Other changes from Project Rushmore include front integrated front and rear anti-lock brakes, as well as an integrated audio, communications, navigation, and vehicle information system that is displayed on a touch-screen display. Other changes have also been made for increased rider style and comfort.

Harley Davidson Debuts Liquid Cooled Engines for Tourers 14 FLHTK AF 635x502

Harley Davidson Debuts Liquid Cooled Engines for Tourers 14 FLHTCU DET2 635x423

Harley Davidson Debuts Liquid Cooled Engines for Tourers 14 FLHTK DET1 635x423

Harley Davidson Debuts Liquid Cooled Engines for Tourers 14 FLHX DET1 635x422

Harley Davidson Debuts Liquid Cooled Engines for Tourers 14 FLHXS DET1 635x422

Harley Davidson Debuts Liquid Cooled Engines for Tourers harley davison liquid cooling patent back 635x469

Harley Davidson Debuts Liquid Cooled Engines for Tourers harley davison liquid cooling patent front 635x570

Source: Harley-Davidson

Comment:

  1. coreyvwc says:

    Sooo…. What’s the point? At least BMW has a new and very handsome power curve to go along with it’s half assed water cooled engine. HD has, uh, wait, 1 lbs ft of torque? They undoubtedly spent many millions in R&D to achieve that too. One must feel very bad for the many talented engineers employed by HD whose efforts have repeatedly been quashed in the name of “Style”…

  2. JoeD says:

    It’s all about The Farkles you silly rabbit.

  3. irksome says:

    The big question is, do these “new” models come with an eyepatch and a parrot or do I still have buy my own?

  4. paulus says:

    I, for one, welcome Harley to the 20th Century ;)

  5. Gutterslob says:

    It’s like Nascar and electronic fuel injection all over again!!

  6. Damo says:

    It bums me out, because it isn’t like every engineer at Harley is a total moron. They could make a new and exciting bike if they wanted too, but they just don’t.

    The XR1200R was what I thought was a step in the right direction and they stopped making it, wtf!

  7. irksome says:

    Now if only they would sell an innovative sportbike designed in America… oh wait.

    Next thing you know, they’ll install flush toilets for all the low-wage factory workers they hired after they drove out the union.

  8. JW says:

    I am a small business owner who has been in several HD DEALERS in WA state. My company also requires me to visit Metric and Euro dealers as well. That said I can say the HD dealership cultures are the most pompas egotistical arrogant pricks. For this reason I will never enter in to the “brand”. To think HD was so high on themselves that they made cigarettes & beer . LMFAO

  9. smiler says:

    Welcome to the 20th Century Harley. Thank god Eric Buell exists to show the rest of us that America is able to make innovative motorcycles instead of vehicles that provide the most inefficient and corpulent method of transporting, usually one person, from one place to another.

  10. Tanker Man says:

    That seating arrangement looks a lot like a Gold Wing.

  11. Rico Bustamente says:

    Same comments as on every other site that ever mentions anything H-D….. doesn’t it ever get old for you people…. Don’t you ever get sick ‘n tired of whining….. I know I get sick n’ tired of hearing you whine….
    So… a few facts….
    H-D is & has been the largest & best selling brand for a long time here in the US (must be doing something right) & H-D stock is consistently rated “buy”

    Yes… it looks like they screwed Eric Buell… but I doubt he is hurting…. businesses are not democracies….
    Apparently… there are not enough of you, nor were there when Buell was in business for H-D to “listen” to you…. you whiners seemed to not put your money where your mouth is….

    So… do us (the owners of the best selling brand of motorcycle (AKA “The Majority of motorcyclists)) a favor…. keep your whining in check please!

  12. Rico Bustamente says:

    Same comments as on every other site that ever mentions anything H-D….. doesn’t it ever get old for you people…. Don’t you ever get sick ‘n tired of whining….. I know I get sick n’ tired of hearing you whine….
    So… a few facts….
    H-D is & has been the largest & best-selling brand for a long time here in the US (must be doing something right) & H-D stock is consistently rated “buy”
    Yes… it looks like they screwed Eric Buell… but I doubt he is hurting…. businesses are not democracies….
    Apparently… there are not enough of you (aka “Whiner’s), nor were there when Buell was in business for H-D to “listen” to you…. you whiners seemed to not put your money where your mouth is….
    So… do us (the owners of the best-selling brand of motorcycle (AKA “The Majority of motorcyclists)) a favor…. keep your whining in check please!

  13. Damo says:

    @Rico Bustamente

    Just a heads up, Honda actually sells more bikes in America every year than Harley, by a decent margin. Might want to get your facts straight. ( Honda also sells on the magnitude of 25 times as many bike world wide as Harley, granted this includes many small bikes.) Google it, don’t take my word for it.

    I have no problem personally with the bikes Harley makes. I have problems with people who live a lie. When Harley riders talk about all that torque their bike makes and say they can outrun sportbikes it drives me nuts. The V-Rod is a “fast harley” and gets dusted off by even the most bargain basement Japanese commuter bikes.

    Currently Harley does not make a bike bike that even remotely appeals to me, otherwise I would have considered buying one. My bike makes about the same horse power as a V-Rod, weighs 250lbs less (!), has all day comfort, gets better gas mileage, it is liquid cooled AND I can fit the Missus on the back.

    Some day Harley will expand their line and make something I am interested in, they almost did it with the XR1200R and when they do maybe I will write them a check. Until then I’ll stick with my Duc.

  14. Torch says:

    Jeez, i love it when Duc riders and HD riders argue; its so cute, especially when they don’t even realize they are cut from the same mold. Both ride expensive status symbols that are pieces of maintenance intensive artwork who probably wont wave at other bikers riding on the highway or strike up a conversation at the gas station because they’re too worried about how they’ll be viewed by other club members wearing their expensive brand logo’d clothing…

  15. JoeD says:

    Non-rider chap in line sees my helmet and asks “You ride a Harley? They’re the Cadillac of motorcycles, right?” He was stupefied that any one would even consider anything else. Kind of like religion-brainwashed early in life to perpetuate the myth. I love my 3 Guzzi rides but they are not for every one. HD isn’t either.

    So, I vote for Wet Head.

  16. Damo says:

    @Torch

    Thanks for the stereotype, but you can check your ignorance at the door. My 2013 Ducati Hypermotard is anything but a “piece of maintenance intensive artwork”, it has longer valve adjustment intervals than most Japanese bikes and dealer required services are nonexistent until 18,000 miles. Have you ever owned an Italian bike?

    I also have a CBR250R, RC51 and SV650 in my garage, they all get ridden. The new Hypermotard is actually the cheapest bike you can buy on the market that comes stock with adjustable ABS and a full electronics suite, plus it is actually fast AND comfortable AND I can ride pillion on it.

    I know it is hard for you to believe, because you probably don’t, but some people buy euro bikes and actually put down 10,000+ miles a year on them.

    In all honesty I am a Honda guy first and a Ducatist a distant second.

  17. Pedro says:

    @Damo

    If you look at street motorcycles, H-D beats everyone, including Honda, by a good margin in the US market. H-D had about 52% of the US on-road motorcycle market in 2012. Considering the vast array of Honda street motorcycles to choose from, in many different classes and styles, it’s pretty impressive how many people still prefer and pony up the cash for those H-D bikes. It’s easy to believe that Honda wins if you consider ALL motorcycles. That said, I still love my RC51 and wouldn’t give it up for anything short of an EBR 1190RS.

  18. Chaz Michael Michaels says:

    Liquid cooled?

    Sonny Barger is spinning in his grave…it is this sort of nonsense that could make you want to bully people at a free concert and blame it all on Mick Jagger.

  19. Richard Gozinya says:

    @Rico Bustamente

    So what you’re saying is, HD is the One Direction of motorcycles.

  20. buellracerx says:

    boldest release out of H-D in awhile…hopefully the start of a new trend.

    Increased rider comfort from less heat thrown off the heads, better power at low speed from decreased knock sensitivity, less NOX emissions…I’m in.

    Most popular mod will be swapping the old fairings onto new, watercooled bikes. That scoop kind of kills it

  21. motoguru says:

    @coreyvwc

    It’s more about reducing emissions and keeping it cool than adding power. They already have a system in place that shuts down the rear cylinder when it goes above 290 degrees.

  22. Damo says:

    @Pedro

    You are correct, I was using all motorcycle sales by Honda, not just on road.

    Also glad you like your RC51, I still contest it is the best overall superbike Japan ever manufactured. Wish Honda never stopped making liter class v-twins.

  23. L2C says:

    Steff McKee and company. What a laugh.

    “…I can say the HD dealership cultures are the most pompas [sic] egotistical arrogant pricks.”

    That’s because HD always gets the last laugh. Always.

    HD stays true to a vision and an aesthetic and snobby Euro/Japanese modern-tech bike worshipers gives the company shit about it. But it’s because the company stays true that it prospers despite the hate. And so the confidence is naturally becoming of that package because the only one that tells HD how to conduct its business is HD.

    The company doesn’t need you. This is clear.

  24. aaron says:

    pretty sure sonny barger doesn’t give a crap. I hear he loves the new victory models :)

    more interesting to me is that someone at harley decided that braking was important. I’m sure that having directions to the local service center will prove valuable to many riders, too. that screen shot cracked me up.

  25. Cameron says:

    So they add the complexity of a water pump and 2 radiators, each with it’s own fan; but they don’t even properly cool the whole motor. Anything to keep up appearances, I suppose.

  26. Peter says:

    Would it not be more correct to describe this “advancement” as “air-cooled with liquid assist”? I’m not too keen on the “…uses an electric pump to circulate coolant”- I wouldn’t think an electric motor pumping hot liquid snuggled up to a hot engine with limited airflow could add much to the reliability factor. At best, this design seems to be an afterthought making the most out of a bad situation.

    As for the Harley hate, I feel it too- and can best describe it this way: As an American, I am embarrassed by a US manufacturer who can earn over a billion dollars a quarter (I won’t comment on whether that’s because H-D is smart, or their customers aren’t) that refuses to even attempt to build a world-class product. Other than Honda (got some hate for their corporate shenanigans, too), there is no better company in the industry than H-D in having the capability to design, build, and market superior motorcycles in every market segment (Touring, Sport Touring, Sport, Naked, Dual Sport, Offroad, & Scooter)- yet they will not even try. Staying “…true to a vision and an aesthetic” is the same as quitting by not showing up in my opinion. The Japanese build world-class products in multiple segments, as does BMW, Ducati, Triumph and others- while here in America we’ve got an 8,000 pound gorilla that is too afraid to leave its cage even if you left the door open for it. That’s nothing to be proud of, and certainly not what I expect from a “successful” American manufacturer. It’s damn embarrassing!

  27. Arthur says:

    On most modern tourers, slapping two giant plastic and chrome pannier-looking lumps to the front of the engine would look hideous, but on a Harley they actually enhance the feng shui. Now it looks less like a rolling armchair and more like a complete mobile living room suite. Despite the obvious temptation to change I think I’ll stick to my $4k ZRX1200R and continue to acknowledge Harley riders on the road, even if they do treat me like I was holding up a begging sign at a stop light.

  28. JW says:

    L2C

    When I go to an Apple store I am treated kindly (thank you Steve)

    When I go into a Ferrari dealership I am treated with respect

    When I go into a Porsche dealership I am treated as though I have a key to the city

    When I go into a Victory dealership they want me to join them

    Harley has suffered market share because of the brands culture, plain and simple. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna ever drop 22k on a bike and be treated like (i’ll use your favorite word) shit.

    Harley Davidson has suffered as a company from their “we don’t need you” attitude. Folks like me won’t buy the brand because of this attitude. Funny how they rely on the Japanese with several parts on this so called made in American bike con. Reminds me of the mighty macho Dodge Ram built in Mexico. It ain’t what it’s cracked up to be…

  29. MUSTAFA IBRAHIM says:

    I am not a Harley guy. But for all of you haters of Harley who whine about the bikes they don’t build, remember this: Harley, under AMF, did try to branch out and build all types of motorcycles. Remember the Baja? And the RR250 and RR350 motorcycles that actually won world championships? And the 250MX that actually did pretty well for a while? Yeah, lots of the Aermacchi stuff was crap, but not all. Third in the Baja 1000 didn’t happen by accident, nor four world roadracing championships. What did it do for Harley? Not a lot. The company almost went under 30 years ago, and now they concentrate on their “core competencies” to make products that sell quite well thus ensuring they stay in business. They do have some competent engineers. Just remember: In the next few years they will be building motorcycles in Asia for the Asian market; smaller bikes for that market. If our economy ever recovers, Harley might have to build some smaller bikes again to compete with the products coming from Polaris/Indian. Oh, one more argument: I would bet the number of Ford F-150 pickups sold is about 20 times the number of Corvettes annually. There is an argument to be made for practicality and utility. For geezers like me, sportbikes and now even sport tourers are no longer an option.

  30. Rico Bustamente says:

    I rest my case….

    I am not, in any way, trying to say anything (above) other than that you are all a bunch of whiners…. I am not saying Harley’s are good, bad or indifferent…. only that you all constantly bitch ‘n complain but you all miss the point…. which is that HD can build any damn bike they want & if they can sustain a business with the piece-a-shit bikes you all claim they are making, then what the hell do you care! no one is asking you to support them in any way… you don’t have to go into their dealerships, buy their shirts or anything else…

    I don’t hear any of you V-strom riders bitchin ’bout why Suzuki doesn’t do this or that… or you sportbike riders bitchin to this extent about why, for instance, didn’t Honda make a 250RR instead of the wimpy 250r…

    I’m willing to bet none of you supported Eric Buell in any way & maybe most of you NEVER even go to the Superbike races! … but that doesn’t stop any of you from whining….

    Like the Eagles song says… get over it….. no one gives a shit what you think…

  31. irksome says:

    “No one gives a shut what you think” is a double-edged sword. Me, I have nothing against the bike itself, they fill a niche. I’m 55 and my ’98 Speed Triple that I service myself fills my current needs. When my current knees start begging for a tourer, I have many options but I’ll probably stick with Triumph and find a used T-Bird. Brand loyalty for starters, sure. I also don’t respect a company that markets itself as for the American middle class that screws it’s union employees and hires $17 an hr workers with no benefits. I don’t understand a company that has motorcycle shops in malls that don’t sell bikes or parts. And I don’t understand a culture that accepts new paint jobs and higher prices on the same archaic technology. Also, I think pirate outfits are kinda silly.

    But that’s just my opinion, which are like assholes; everybody has one but some are bigger than others.

  32. Grimey Benson says:

    “Like the Eagles song says… get over it….. no one gives a shit what you think…”

    @Rico Bustamente

    Take you own advice and kindly fuck off!

    Cheers!

  33. Richard Gozinya says:

    @Rico Bustamente

    So in other words, you’re pissed that people dare to express their opinions in the comment section of a blog? Oh no, how dare anybody say anything negative about our corporate overlords, this mustn’t be tolerated! Fuck Harley, I have no respect for anybody with any authority in that company. I simply laugh at the dumbasses who buy their patriotically themed Harley merchandise, which is all made in China. All the while trying to tell the world that only Harleys are “real bikes.”

    My most memorable experience involving a Harley was witnessing one get spanked by a scooter in a stoplight to stoplight drag race. So for that, thanks for the lulz Harley.

  34. Rico Bustafucco says:

    guys….Richard & grimey…. no “IN OTHER WORDS”… the “other words” are YOUR WORDS! my original words are just find if you’d only read them with your ego checked at the door….

    I like ALL bikes & scooters too! Wouldn’t mind owning a moto guzzi too… I am not trying to say anything good or bad about Harley ,,, they are relatively mid tech, not particularly fast, lumbering, heavy bikes…. that a hell of a lot of people like & buy. At least that’s what my eyes tell me when I see bikes on the road…

    So yours & the others constant, relentless whining & complaining seems to deny reality… why do you all get so spun-up over what Harley &/or it’s customers do or don’t do….

    & the no one gives a shit applies to me as well…. I am fine with the fact that no one gives a shit about what I think…. has no affect on me…. e.g. some GoldWingers & some BMW riders won’t allow Harleys to ride along with their groups,,,, I could get all spun-up like you, or just accept it… I choose the latter…

    I re-read your last post Richard…. where do you get this stuff…corporate overlords, real bikes, dumbasses, etc…. do you say the same thing about the AGATT-dressed V-Strom rider in 90 degree heat? or the full leather wearing guy riding his 999 Ducati? Or the guy driving the Ural full camo rig?

    If 1/4 mile times & hp are your only metrics for deciding if a bike is good or bad, then yes.. Harleys are bad…. but if they are the majority of bikes on the road.. & THEY ARE, then maybe this metric isn’t the one used by their customers… maybe it’s only the minority who think that 190hp superbikes are the only bikes eligible to be called “real bikes”…. so then why aren’t you riding one!
    CASE CLOSED!

  35. Tom says:

    Harley-Davidson is the Scientology of motorcycles. They don’t sell product, they sell an identity for people incapable of formulating their own from within.

    Sure, the cult members will deny this, but the fact remains that Milwaukee has made a lot of money, after nearly dying and then being killed by AMF, on selling an identity. With the rise of China, don’t expect much changes from H-D. Motorcyclists will continue to enjoy our hobby, H-D cult members and their sycophants will continue to lament the poor lost souls not saved by their religion, and life will go one as it was before this news story was released.

  36. Singletrack says:

    The radiator illustrations above look like an artificial lung transplant apparatus ;)

    But seriously, when is H-D going to put the V-rod engine to good use?
    Can’t they make a touring or god forbid, a Sport-Touring bike with that superb engine? I haven’t heard or read a bad thing about it, but it’s relegated to the black sheep of the H-D family.

  37. Richard Gozinya says:

    @Rico

    You decided to attack those who mock HD, assuming we’re just oh so worked up about it. We’re not, or at least I’m not. They’re simply a big fat easy target. Seems to me you’re the only one getting worked up, apparently because people dare to criticize a large company.

    As to my mocking HD riders, they deserve it. Far too many of them are smug assholes. The San Diego HOG vs BMW thing that happened a few years back is a perfect example of this (You can google it if you’re interested, it is rather entertaining). It’s fanboism with a veneer of tough guy aesthetic.

    As to what constitutes a real bike, I’m generally of the opinion that anything with two wheels and a motor is a real bike.

  38. gwilo says:

    Just looked at the picture and have one question.

    When did HD switch to disc brakes?

    Never new they where so modern.

  39. James May says:

    How do you guys have so much time to hate in between worshiping your MotoGP shrines?

    As much of a “lie” you think Harley owners live with their image your living the same lie on your shiny sportsbike with your colorful leathers. To think your as fast as your idols is a lot of wishful thinking and rather a weird and slightly homoerotic fantasy. That even goes for you low level “racer” types who think you have what it takes. You don’t. If you really did you would have a contract and not be buying parts and getting pennies on contingency money. Your just as sad as the kid with the guitar on their way to make it in show business and ending up homeless.

    Bikes are all about marketing. If your being logical you would be driving a CAR and not a bike. It does not matter who’s marketing you choose to go with. Your just as much of a sucker as the next guy. We all love our bikes because we have bought into somebody’s marketing plan. Just be glad your not stuck in a champagne colored minivan and enjoy your own ride and don’t worry about the other guy.

  40. L2C says:

    @ James May

    “Your just as sad as the kid with the guitar on their way to make it in show business and ending up homeless.”

    This is the only problem that I have with what you said. There are literally thousands, if not millions of great musicians who never “make it,” but those who make and support music know about them and show appreciation whenever they can.

    Similar can be said for motorcycling and other disciplines. It’s not an entirely sad story if one gets to do what one loves to do.

    Passion is passion. Most of the time it doesn’t align well with fame and fortune.

    Otherwise, well said.

  41. JW says:

    I see many of the rants are about the bike Harley builds, dispite thier flaws I actually like the bikes OK. it’s the brand and culture that I am unable to come to terms with. I find myself around the brand too much in my profession and hate it. I have been a reader of this blog several years and when HD news pops up, it really seems to polarize so many including myself. I guess this is the point of the brand and why it is a success. Harley does not want or need to be everyone’s bike. Fair enough..

  42. PMC says:

    You know, I usually don’t butt in where I didn’t start or at least participate in the conversation, but I just couldn’t help myself. All I have to say is this…. If I want to ride a Harley, I’m going to ride a Harley. If money were no object I would have a Harley, an Aprilia, a Kawi and a Suzuki, and maybe a BMW. Bottom line is that if I want to ride a damn Huffy, I can do that too! You guys can all talk about whats great and what sucks until you are blue in the face, but everyone knows that every bike has flaws and every bike has its purpose. I think Rico is right on the money, “get over it” this argument has gone on for many years before any of you could ride a tricycle and will continue to go on, long after you are pushing up flowers! To each their own!

  43. FJP says:

    Say what you will but Harley will outsell whatever you ride by at least 100 to one, more like a thousand to one in most cases. No doubt that the Japanese make bikes that perform at an incredible level but the truth is that none of you are professional riders that can take advantage do it. Who’s the poser now. I’m not a kid, I don’t want to ride at 100+ per hour anymore. Harley’s build quality is extremely good. I have owned several and any problems were of the self inflicted variety. If American made means nothing to you, you should rethink your priorities. You don’t get it, you never will. I’ve been hearing this same stitch and bitch for most of my life but people still buy Every bike Harley makes because WE LIKE THEM. I am in agreement that no one cares what you think, especially those that ride Harley’s