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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2001, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like there is a new water cooled engine in the works. Check out the article from MO!

By the Motorcycle Online Staff
Pictures from Motorrad

Torrance, California, January 9, 2001 -- Advertisement

Buy it now at Amazon.com!

There have been some spy photos of a Harley-Davidson 4-valve test mule floating around, and they recently surfaced in the German magazine Motorrad. In addition to this, several netizens from a prominate H-D e-mail magazine had the opportunity to chat with some of the lead engineers on the Porsche-Harley project, and came away with a few details that are probably released here a bit premature for Harley's tastes.

For all you legal geeks our there, it's necessary that we review the Motorrad article in order to use some of these photos: We liked the article. A lot. Motorrad rules, you should buy it. If you don't speak German, no worries, you can always babelfish it.

There have long been rumors about the Porsche-Harley collaboration that is to result in a high horsepower, water-cooled motor. This motor is to be the basis not only for The Motor Company's next generation of cruisers, but also for their entry into the sport bike market.

Unfortunately for Harley, this information has been available through the Harley mailing list for quite some time -- the first detailed post came almost a year ago, January 13th 2000 to be exact from a well-informed (lucky?) person we'll just call "JW." And because this information is now publicly available, here it is for your perusal, along with the photos that're appearing in this month's Motorrad magazine.

This post is taken verbatim from the Harley Digest list, January 13th, 2000:

"A friend of mine goes to the Milan, Italy Motorcycle Expo every two years, this past year being one of them. While there, he (through another friend) met up with the Director of Water Cooled Engine Development for Harley-Davidson. My bud went to dinner three nights in a row with this guys, and was privy to some pretty good info.

This Director had been hired by H-D and was on assignment at the Porsche engineering facility in Stuttgart, Germany. They purchased about five different V-twin, water cooled sport bikes (guess I don't need to mention Ducati was the principle one) to dismantle and study. Then they reassembled and did all sorts of performance and endurance testing.

With knowledge gleaned from what the competition was doing, they designed a ground-up new engine for H-D, a motor that is destined to replace the current air cooled designs.

He told my bud that H-D is currently involved in all but one primary motorcycle market: Sport. And they have their eyes set on that one now. Of course, he was not at liberty to reveal a whole lot about H-D's plans, but he suggested pretty heavily that that H-D is going to go head-to-head with Ducati. He also told him that the VR1000 is dead. No future development planned for it. This new motor is a ground-up design, not related to the VR at all.



He also said that water cooling will be the future for Harley- Davidson. It is inevitable, no getting around it. So we can all piss, moan and whine about it all we want, but it won't change a thing. They are in a corner and have no choice.

But then, while we're pissing and moaning about it, let's think about the upside, okay? A water cooled engine has a lot of advantages over an air cooled one. Power and reliability being the two most prominent. In this day of modern technology there is some pretty cool stuff you can do with water cooling and innovative combustion chamber design.

Just for a reality check, see if you can find a way to take a ride on a late model Japanese liter bike. Get a sense for the amazing amount of power those things produce. Then consider how nice it might be to have that kind of power come from a Harley-Davidson right off the showroom floor. Is that really a bad thing?

H-D has made millions of air cooled motorcycles. Most of 'em are still around, and if you like 'em, you can still have one. The aftermarket will be supplying air cooled motors for a long, long time. The air cooled motor is not dead, just being overtaken by water cooling. That is progress just the same way overhead valves overtook flatheads and the way overhead cams superseded overhead valves. Technological progress is an easy thing to poo-poo, until you're actually had a taste of it.



How many of you that are so quick to piss on the notion of a water cooled Harley would be willing to give up the overhead valve bikes you now have to go back to flatheads and lose about half the horsepower? I sure don't see any of you doing it. Technological progress isn't bad, now is it?

Harley-Davidson is not completely foolish. They know they have a market in the air cooled motorcycles and to just dump that market would be plain stupid. I believe they will be offering air cooled bikes for quite a while, along side water cooled once. At least for as long as they can. The twin-cam 88 is a great motor, and will be with us for quite a while.

HD has a tendency to offer the new stuff in their premium priced machines -- hence, fuel injection is still really a touring bike thing. But I bet it will find it's way into the entire product line soon. Rubber mounting started with touring bikes as well, so I expect water cooling to follow this same trend, along with overhead cams.

We will probably see a large displacement OHC water cooled V-twin for the bagger models. With the fairing, hiding a radiator is not that big of a styling problem as it is with a Fatboy. This will get the public used to the idea of water cooled Harleys. And when the air-cooled diehards see 100-plus horsepower baggers blowing their Dynas and Softails off the road, they too will wake up to the idea of water cooling.



Buell, no doubt, will see water cooling, and in very short order I suspect. H-D has already eased into the sport bike market, something they did with very calculated control. Now that they are there, it's time to make radical changes and get seriously competitive. Who here would not like to see a true street-based Harley-Davidson win and dominate the AMA Superbike series? Who here would not prefer to see American, Canadian, Australian, European and Japanese squids riding Harley-Davidson sport bikes instead of Japanese ones?

Water, water, everywhere. Get used to it, kiddies; there isn't a damn thing you can do about it except bitch and complain..."




Rumored Specifications:
V2
60 degrees
Liquid could
4 overhead cams
Engine 1000 and 1450 cc
80 HP on the on the cruiser-twin and 135 HP on supersport-twin
Primary drive is gear drive (bye bye chain)
Secondary drive Belt
Engine and gear box are one piece

Ride the Pace,
JD
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2001, 06:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by JDM1200
Who here would not like to see a true street-based Harley-Davidson win and dominate the AMA Superbike series?
Fortunately we have a long while before that's gonna happen. It's gonna be hard enough for them to get a rider who wants to ride a bike that won't win for its first few seasons.
Quote:
Originally posted by JDM1200

Who here would not prefer to see American, Canadian, Australian, European and Japanese squids riding Harley-Davidson sport bikes instead of Japanese ones?
There might be a select few, but I still think the majority of us are going to stick to the Japanese and European bikes...not to mention who the hell wants to pay the sticker on a Harley.
BTW, since when are we all squids

Just my .02

Will
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2001, 09:26 AM
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While many in this forum derive great pleasure in slamming Harley (not that they don't deserve it sometimes), I do think Harley is about to shake up the market.

From a corporate perspective: They have a boatload of cash, a huge, brand new production facility, one of the largest, best financed dealer networks in the industry and Porsche in bed with them on this project. You can bet, by the way, that Porsche isn't only looking at engine development.

Consider this, when any of the Japanese makers introduce a new model, their dealer network will place that bike on the floor next to at least one other dircetly competing model from another Japanese mfr. (there are less than 8% single line Big-4 agencies, vs. 75+% exclusive Harley-Buell) add to this the demographics of Harley's customers (nose to nose with BMW in income & education) Harley WILL be successful selling in the sport market.

Racing does sell bikes in the sport market, but even the last place mfr sells virtually every bike they make each year. Harley won't need to win in racing to sell their bikes. It has also been obvious for some time now that the VR-1000 wasn't going to cut it. However there are some very talented folks on that team and given fresh equipment, you could see a very rapid appreciation of success.

My scientific wild-assed guess is that Harley will introduce the new motor in a few new models in 2003 (100th anniversary) with much fanfare.

Oh, and Will, how many folks paid "sticker" for an RC-51 ?

Just my $.25 worth.
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Kev

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2001, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Talking

Hey don't blame me, all I did was cut and paste!!!
lol

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JD
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2001, 11:31 AM
 
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I didn't mean to make it sound like it wasn't a good idea. I think its about time Harley got into the air cooled market and I would love to see them as contenders the AMA and other circuits...the more the merrier....I was just ranting using my uneducated experience...

And I hope no one has ever paid full sticker for a bike...that would be blasphemy! But I'll bet you that whatever they put out in the consumer market will still be more expensive than its equal from the japanese market.

(Just idle banter here)

Will

Will
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-11-2001, 11:41 AM
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Snip:
But I'll bet you that whatever they put out in the consumer market will still be more expensive than its equal from the japanese market.

Boy, you've got that one right!
I have noted, however that the premuim cruisers from Yamaha have moved up into HD priceland...something like 13,500 for their topline V-twin. Granted, it's still less than the 17K+ I paid for my Road King Classic (yep, sticker), on the other hand, I wouldn't trade the RK for anything. Not that I'd sell it, but it's still worth about what I paid for it, which always makes one feel a little bit better.

I am hoping that HD builds a nice w/c sport touring rig, as that is my favorite segment. I'm getting to old to suffer with the ergos of a pure sport bike and would likely kill myself with 100+ hp & 400 pounds of bike. I do like the ST-2 from Buell, but it isn't quite right as it sits.

We shall see what develops.
Take care & ride safe
Kev

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2001, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Cool

Well like the article says they will probably put the engine in one of their big touring rigs first to kinda get all the faithful accustomed to the w/c. Then I'm guessing about the same time the Sportster and Buell will get slightly different versions of the same motor. The current motor is way long in the tooth and due for replacement. Things are definately looking up.
No doubt it will cost more than offerings from Japan, but no doubt they will sell them all!

Ride the Pace,
JD
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2001, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Rumor has it the new Buell motor won't be availaBuell till 2003! Hopefully its just a rumor and it will get here sooner!

Ride the Pace,
JD
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2001, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tahoe

Oh, and Will, how many folks paid "sticker" for an RC-51 ?

Kev
Uh, most of them. There were a few much-hyped exceptions who paid $12K+, but these are the same people who paid $200 for a Tickle Me Elmo. HD buyers on the other hand routinely pay retail and above. Not making any judgements here, just killing time making random observations.

Suck mean people!
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