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The thought of buying a new bike has crossed my mind, and it would be a Harley, but technically the bike I have right now is new enough to last me the rest of my life. In other words, even if I bought one new it would be my last.
 

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The new Sportster S might be more of what Brian is looking for, but I don't know. If you don't like Harleys you don't like Harleys.

The Sportster S has two or three times the power of mine but I'd buy a new Softail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
The new Sportster S might be more of what Brian is looking for, but I don't know. If you don't like Harleys you don't like Harleys.

The Sportster S has two or three times the power of mine but I'd buy a new Softail.
Honest to God I wish they made a Sportster I could buy. I just can't get past that wacky uneven firing vibrator.
 

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H-D's golden goose is the 45 degree V-Twin. The PA is surprisingly competitive. Outside of 'buy American', I can't think of a reason to buy a Rev Max cruiser. Way too many better options from Asia and Europe.
 
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Can't deny HD's success from 2010-2020. But that's more to do with marketing and mystique with weekend-warriors (who have moved on to Ducatis and Aprilia).

HD's main problem has always been inept management (AMF, Wandel, etc.). At bottom levels, engineering & production, they can be be great. But management cripples and stifles things that would make them more competitive. I have friend that works in engineering and he says they've got tonne of stuff in their basement that's cutting-edge. Prototypes and experiments that'll better than anything on market today. But... management doesn't want anything to do with innovation.

They'll go way of other companies that failed to adapt and stay current with market trends. Failures like Polaroid when digital-cameras came out. MAG when LED flashlights came out. Heck, even GM if it wasn't for billions of our tax-dollars bailing them out.
 

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I don't disagree about H-D management stifling innovation. Also bailing out too early e.g. Buell, V-Rod. I do think they can live on another decade off the 45 degree V-Twin and limited supply / high price strategy. Once environmental regs kill 45 degree, H-D better figure something out. Most every major manufacturer is years ahead of them.
 

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yeah, should've really taken advantage of Buell's technology to make awesome cutting-edge products. And throwing away Porsche's engine? Simply stupid!!!
 

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They floored me when I ordered a Screaming Eagle 1200 kit and they sent me 1 883 head & 1 1200 head. The stupidity level was off the charts on that one and they did it three times. I will call a spade a spade.

The heads aren't even close to the same and you'd have to be a literal moron to do something like that. Blind people working at HD.
 

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I shouldn't include blind people because they probably still would have got it right. Hmmm, this combustion chamber doesn't feel anything like the other......

The 883 head has more of a hemispherical chamber and the 1200 is more coffin design. Not even close to the same.
 

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Pic just to stick the knife in & twist. These are brand new heads and if someone was stupid enough to install them they'd probably eat the valves as soon as they tried to fire it up.

Automotive design Rim Auto part Electronic instrument Machine
 

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HD does rank at bottom for customer-service...

Although you can't blame grunts doing the work. Mgmt set up that system... apparently to fail...
 

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What got me mad is you can't talk directly to the people that screwed up, you have to go through a dealer and like I said they just kept sending the same thing. Let's say you didn't eat the valves, want to talk about a real vibration?
 

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You can run 883 heads with 1200 pistons but I'm pretty sure they have to be dished. The kit came with flat tops. If you didn't eat the valves you'd have one hell of an interesting setup.

You'd have two different compression ratios and the valves aren't the same size.
 

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ME: 62 years old./ 12 Hondas/ Current bike: 2022 Kawasaki Z650RS.

All my life I've wanted to buy that all-American icon. But , at least in my opinion, the engine is the main focal point on any motorcycle, and I consider the single crank pin V-twin inherently a defective design.

To be fair, Honda, and other Asian bikes have made this (in my opinion) engineering error.

I just feel its inherently wrong to have a two cylinder engine fire both pistons so close together. It creates massive vibration issues, necessitating a heavy counterweight, and difficulty in making horsepower.

I actually once owned a 2002 V-Rod, and I kind of liked it, but the damned exhaust burned my right leg, and I traded for a Honda VTX1800.

Now, to be fair, HD once made a prototype smooth running, powerful bike. They called it the Nova, and it had serious potential.

I hate that I have to purchase Japanese (like some Harleys, made in Thailand!) bikes to get a smooth running, powerful engine, that makes engineering sense to me.

I WANT to buy the American icon. I WANT to buy and love an HD.

But they refuse to build an engine I can respect.

Am I the only one that feels this way? I don't want potato potato potato. All I want is a smooth running, even firing, powerful American motorcycle.

Flame away if you must.

Brian
In sunny Tucson
I didn't feel like a group discussion. Now I'm about to be 61. I sold motorcycles for a long time. Unfortunately the "defect" which is so stupid and held them back. I sold all 4 Japanese brands, Triumph, Victory. I rode everything.
V Twins can be great but the Harley engine in every generation does one thing well. They cruise well at lower speeds, they aren't reliable enough for me personally.
I've had a ton of bikes, my favorite was my '87 Yamaha FJ1200. I like torque, I also dislike any bike that I drag the pegs in a parking lot. Mainly because I find it dangerous.
Obviously you've had different bikes. I'm sure you have ridden others you didn't own.
You can just bolt an engine you are pleased with into a HD you want. Many people wouldn't even notice, a few cosmetic covers. You might fool everyone, it strictly depends on what You want.
Personally being at the Young and of Harley's average customer buying age. They need to make a great electric motorcycle, I will be old enough it won't matter. I love the internal combustion engine, not all equally. Electric is interesting but nothing goes for enough, Yet.
Good luck, ride fast and take chances. Always wear Helmets and other protection. Being in front of everyone is safer.
 

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The thought of buying a new bike has crossed my mind, and it would be a Harley, but technically the bike I have right now is new enough to last me the rest of my life. In other words, even if I bought one new it would be my last.
Was seriously jonesin' on the new HD Sporty S. Did a little research, only to see, after almost a century and a ¼, OVER 100 FREAKIN' YEARS, those fools still can't get their act together!

Just stay Japanese brother and forgo the endless aggravation...
 

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Harley do what they do and people like them.
If and when Harley ever make a bike which appeals to me. The people who by Harley bikes won’t like it.
And I would probably stick with the brand. Which make the bikes I like anyways.
 
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