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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just got back from tourning the two Harley plants, Pilgrim road where they make twin cam engines and capitol drive where they make sportster and buell engines. they have this new machine from Germany called tri flex (I think) one machine takes the place of 7 Okuma machining centers. Lots of newer machines at the Pilgram road plant, I think Harley should be able to start holding, japenese and german type tolerances, if they aren't already world class manufacturing indeed. they had a couple of cut apart engines very cool and they had an ultra cut open in different spots. very tight security, they would not let me into the design area, dam. they also had a 500 hp nitro drag bike in the capitol drive plant which the guy said they had up to 196 mph save riding rickpoco
 

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See any bigger engines sitting around there perhaps for the new 2003 model year bikes?
 

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They are getting there with machining tolerances, but their Achilles heel is in the castings. They are all over the place. Probably why the VRod castings come from Europe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I saw a lot of twin cam engines. but of course nothing they didn't wnat you to see. They had some vendors set up in a tent , seat suppliers some casting companies,etc the one guy showed me different stages of the v-rod casting I thought they were a local company but I really didn't pay close attention. One surprise at the twin cam plant is they had there own heat treating area, that is one thing I thought they would farm out. It will be interesting to see what they come up with for the v-rod engine, I wish they would liquid cool the twin cam engine, but I suppose that would be like starting from scratch. saferiding
 

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It has little to do with ability. Not so long ago the company that did the casting for HD also did the casting for S&S, and the S&S castings were of much higher quality and precision. All this stuff is done to a price point.
The castings for the VRod are much more sophisticated then the ones for the VTwin.
It's no surprise that they do the heat treatment as it is done either after or just before the final machining operation. It would be a logistical nightmare to farm this out, and it is a relatively simple process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess I am just used to smaller operations where all the heat treating is sent out. You are right that v-rod casting was really something.
 

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Watching a special on the production of the V-ROD and it's new engine, I think they said they wanted to build the engine in house, but kept the relationship up with Porsche as they did not have the internal skill and machines to mass produce that engine.

The interestig thing is I know they wish to come out with more bikes based on the V-ROD engine, so perhaps they will figure out how to build those engines here in the states.

I am hoping, to increase the displacement of the current engines, one of the Screaming Eage Big Bore kits would replace the current jugs and pistons, and since they already have new EFI mappings for the bigger displacement coming out this July.....
 
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