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Old 06-23-2006, 05:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Harley and old technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by berserker
... Most people who buy Harley don't care what they are getting though. Harley will slowly advance though. Last 6speed was probably the first major step. 20+ year old techology though.

This is a serious question. A lot of people talk about 10 or 20 year old tech on a Harley. What is old about it besides the styling? Pushrod obviously, but is overhead that much better?

Is the tranny set up old? Is belt drive old school? Chain primary? I'm admitting my ignorance on this issue. Nothing wrong with being ignorant unless you don't do anything about fixing it.
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Old 06-23-2006, 06:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i don't reply to much in this form, i just like to watch! but i find this "old tech" stuff a bunch of B.S. i've been working on harleys for years, and there technology is as good as any body elses, if not better. example: people always rave about german engineering. their technology isn't better than american craftmanship, it's just more presice. there are just as many old fords and chevys on the road as there are bmws and volkswagons. you can take 30 year old harley from the back of a barn and get it running with out to many issues, try that with a 10 year old copycat thats been in a garage covered!
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Old 06-23-2006, 06:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you look at history, you'll see

that the first HDs, in the 1900s were belt drive, electric start was available in about 1918, and so on. Harley has a different philosophy than most companies, it builds a design, and gradually refines it over a period of several years, rather than coming out with a radical change every couple of years. Old technology isn't necessarily bad, it's just different. What's 'better' really means what's better for what you're trying to do, right now.

The modern belt drive is 'better' for touring and cruising, more reliable, longer lasting and less maintenence than a chain. Doesn't transmit max HP as reliably, so high-powered machines rely on chain drive. There's efficiency issues as well.

Overhead cams, especially shaft driven, like the 60's Ducatis, work much 'better' for high reving engines, giving better control of the valves and responding faster and better to the cam 'lumps'. Its expensive and difficult to manufacture and set up, though, and extremely difficult to adjust. A Harley on the road rarely turns much over 4000 rpm, and even screamers max out around 6K, so there's no gain and a good deal lost if you go to overhead cams.

Liquid cooling, yes, according to engineering, you can make a more efficient engine if its liquid cooled, AND the cooling system is maintained in excellent condition. A pinhole leak in a hose that you never notice will leave you stuck, probably halfway between Needles and Barstow on hot afternoon. Aircooled is 'way more efficient if it gets me home to SF or Flag. I've had way too many cars die because of cooling system problems to trust liquid cooling if I can help it, given ordinary maintenence conditions. And yes, I've seen Goldwings and the Yamaha equivs sitting beside the road with steam coming out everywhere and needing a pretty complete rebuild.

The 6-speed tranny's a tradeoff, too. There's greater complexity, which means greater cost of manufacture and repair. There's power losses too, the more gears and shafts you have spinning in that heavy gearlube. The more gears a tranny has, the more fragile it is, as a general rule, although there are exceptions. Multi speed gearboxes have been around since steam engine days, its just a question of did enough people want one, and was there enough of a 'better' to justify the expense and complexity.

Old can also mean tried and true...if I had to set out tomorrow, on a 20 year old bike, to try to get to New York without much preperation, I'd want it to be a Harley.
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Old 06-23-2006, 07:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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An Old School P-51 Mustang may not be as High Tech as an F-14 TomCat. However I bet it is a dream to fly, and is just as dependable today as it was back then. And it looks so cool too!
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Old 06-23-2006, 07:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Lefty is reading this now saying WTF is this? Lefty is reading this now saying WTF is this?
After a while this gets fuggin old. I go to the garage, get on my hog, start her, ease slowly up the street and I'm in hog heaven. I don't care what anyone else thinks about the technology of my bike. I'm not a fukin' racer or poser. I just get high when I'm on my Jolene. If you don't like the technology, buy one that has something you like.

Lefty

'05 Fatboy (Jolene)
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Old 06-23-2006, 08:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Lefty,

Jolene.
What a great name for bike!

Mark
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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technology?

I get pretty tired of the statements about HD's being old tech compared to the Japanese cruisers as well. First of all, overhead cams, 4 valve heads and liquid cooling aren't exactly brand new technology. On top of that, for all of the supposed "more modern technology" on most of the Japanese cruisers, the majority of them are no quicker/faster than a comparable Harley. With the exception of the mammoth motored Kawasaki 2000 (which, by the way runs with pushrods designed to look exactly like a Harley) and the "power cruisers" (which virtually all get spanked by the VRod), most Japanese cruisers provide performance about on par with a Harley. What's the advantage of a liquid cooled 4 valve/cylinder overhead cam engine if it's no more powerful and not demonstrably more reliable than the TC88? Additional complexity is no advantage.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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When the Japanese started importing motorcycles to the US,they said the V Twin was outdated,inefficent and doomed to fail when compared to the in line 4's they were producing.
After importing bikes and selling them at a loss trying to drive HD into oblivion,the motor company asked for help in the form of tarriff's on import cycles over 700cc.They got the help and eneded up being able to compete sooner and asked the tariff be lifted early.

The reason the Japanese run chains and shaft drives is that the Japanese have alot of money invested in gear and chain manufactureing.They have for years.Japanese companies make products using Japanese materials.Some say "Well they are made here."Yeah and as soon as they are bought,the check goes overseas.
Fast forward a few years and what do you see?*** "V TWINS"Suddenly they arent so doomed.....
Damn I'm glad you people are here.It shows interest in keeping something genuinely AMERICAN even if it has a few foreign parts.
Riding a "METRIC" V twin must be like dating a transvestite...It may look close to the real thing,but you just know something just ain't right......LOL
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefty
I go to the garage, get on my hog, start her, ease slowly up the street and I'm in hog heaven. I don't care what anyone else thinks about the technology of my bike. I'm not a fukin' racer or poser.

Lefty

'05 Fatboy (Jolene)
For once iam glad to say i agree with you completely.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Lefty is reading this now saying WTF is this? Lefty is reading this now saying WTF is this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 475wildey
For once iam glad to say i agree with you completely.
You & me both, brother.

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Old 06-23-2006, 11:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the answers. For the record, I have no problem with any of the tech on a Harley. I like the idea of being able to do most if not all of the work on my bike, right down to a rebuild of the engine.

It bothers me that if I buy a new car these days, beyond an oil change or filter change, I will be ill-equipped to do any engine work. Computer diagnostics equipment that cost many thousands of dollars will not be at my disposal. That is one of the reasons bikes appeal to me and that I'm holding onto my old Ranger and Lincoln cages. I can still do most of the work on these to keep them running. And even if I have to spend a couple grand a year to do so, it's much less than the 400 dollar car payment I would need to replace them.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paniolo
An Old School P-51 Mustang may not be as High Tech as an F-14 TomCat. However I bet it is a dream to fly, and is just as dependable today as it was back then. And it looks so cool too!
Even better, one of my customers a while back was an old P-40 pilot. He said that while the P-51 was fun he wouldn't want to fly it in combat. The P-40 was air-cooled. He could still make it home with a shot up engine.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Please. Just more of the same BS the anti-Harley crew has been spiting out since 1918.

Think about it.

Change for the sake of change is just stupid. It is all just bs to get you to feel like you need to buy some other bike besides your Harley.

My Harleys always do exactly what I want them to. I have no need for the moco to redesign everything just so they can pass of the changes as "Advanced Technology"

I think some of the other companies just come up with all this buzz word crap so they can get some lost sheep to buy their junk.

Pay no mind to all the hype. Just get on your Harley and ride! The feeling you get cannot be made any better in some design lab.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Would someone define OLD SCHOOL? What's the number of years that make old school? The technology of the *** bikes have been around for what 40 years or more with no real advances. The V twin has evolved with the last revival in 1999 for the TC88 and the TC88B in 2000 and let us not forget the V Rod in 2002.
Give me an OLD SCHOOL Harley anyday, if you want NEW TECHNOLOGY buy ***. but buy it to keep because you are gona loose your a$$ if you go to sell it.

Last edited by 03 Roadking; 06-23-2006 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:03 AM   #15 (permalink)
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If you want to understand why HD is old technology, go read the specifications on a GSXR1000. Then you'll understand. Yes, we all understand that an HD gets you from A to B. So would a Ford Model T. I assume you all drive them. And that when you respond to this, you'll do so using a 486/66, because you're so fond of old technology. And I really hope that you aren't dripping candle wax on that 486, because it's not good for the keyboard. Motorcyclists are very resistant to new technology. That doesn't make us special, no matter how much you might think it does. Just a different kind of luddite. And before you praise luddism, understand that if everyone was that way the economy would crash, and then you'd have to sell that 486, and maybe, dammit, even the HD.
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