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Old 03-12-2001, 06:56 AM   #1
blip
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Default Re: Rebuilding Year for Harley-Davidson Superbike Racing

You have to admin, even you Harley-haters out there, that they turned in an impressive performance given their, well, not-so-stellar history.



That said, we'll grant you that in a dollar-spent scenario, they should be winning everything, but it's a new team, they're working hard, let's at least give them the benefit of a fresh start and a fresh opinion!
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Old 03-12-2001, 07:14 AM   #2
kman
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Default Re: Rebuilding Year for Harley-Davidson Superbike Racing

It was great to see Pascal get his bike up near the front during the 200. I almost thought for a second that maybe the bike would hold! I guess its too early to expect any real changes in the bike. It was definately a better race for H-D this year than last. I think Scott and Pascal blew 5 engines or so just in practice and qualifing last year!!
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Old 03-12-2001, 07:20 AM   #3
moose
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Default Re: Rebuilding Year for Harley-Davidson Superbike Racing

would Mike Smith still have placed seventh, had Yates, Hacking, Russell, DuHamel, and a few others not dropped out in one form or the other? I think not.
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Old 03-12-2001, 07:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Rebuilding Year for Harley-Davidson Superbike Racing

Quote the ESPN@ commentator: "Harley Davidson needs a new chasis and more power." So that would be a new chassis and a new engine. So a completely new bike, then. Why not just give up? I'm sure their results have absolutely no influence on their sales. Maybe they should run a fully dressed road king or whatever - it would have as much chance of winning...
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Old 03-12-2001, 07:29 AM   #5
stevegrab
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Default Re: Rebuilding Year for Harley-Davidson Superbike Racing

That's racing. You can't penalize people at the back for doing well because the racers in front crashed out. But that should always be part of the story.



Kind of like in CART (or other racing) if they say, driver X made a real good start, he moved up from staring 15th to run in 8th. But they fail to remind you that several cars in front of him crashed out a few laps ago. In essence he may have only passed 1-2 cars to move that far.



But overall, a nice performance by H-D. I agree let's give them a fresh start, and not harp on how bad they did in the past.
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Old 03-12-2001, 07:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Rebuilding Year for Harley-Davidson Superbike Racing

You do have a point, but if my memory serves me correctly, Pascal was running in 3rd for a few laps. This is an aweful good showing for a bike that started around 17th and in the middle of a rebuilding year. Wouldn't you say? I don't think they are going to compete for any titles or anything, but it is nice to see a Harley team run well. I know there are alot of people that put Harley's effort down in the area of superbike, but everyone must agree that the fan base that Harley can bring to AMA Superbike would be a great boost to thier attendence level. In the long run, it would be great for the AMA to have Harley as a viable compettive team.
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Old 03-12-2001, 08:02 AM   #7
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Default Time For Harley to get serious

Watching the race and listening to the commentary, one point was well-made: if Harley were a force to be reckoned with in Superbike, it would generate a huge additional fan base for the sport. There were a ton of empty seats at Daytona. What if they were filled with enthusiastic HD fans, the most fanatical, loyal and supportive motorcyclists on Earth? This could very well bring the sport of motorcycle racing more into the American mainstream sports consciousness.

Let's face it, motorcycle racing has it all over car racing when it comes to danger and excitement. The action is much more dynamic, it's not just a bunch of guys safety-caged into a car. This is dangerous stuff, the kind of bloodsport Americans love.



The WSB race was only available in my area (Portland, Oregon) on SpeedVision, via satellite dish- no cable, no broadcast coverage. If HD were to get in the game with a DOHC, liquid-cooled world beater and a non-exotic street version (under $15K- and you know they can if they would put the $$$ towards development), they could conceivably pull the sport out of the closet and have as much an impact as Honda did in the early 60's. The Daytona 200 on ABC with all that NASCAR camera work and surround sound? Why the hell not?



Of course, there would be the issue of racing as HD or Buell, but either way it's a win all the way around. An American brand on the podium- maybe even with a win- at Daytona? It would do wonders for the sport.





Bill R

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(I don't own a Harley, by the way).
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Old 03-12-2001, 08:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: Rebuilding Year for Harley-Davidson Superbike Racing

All things being equal Harley would have never been in the top 10. They look decent because Nicky, Yates, Hacking, Russell, Duhamel, Rapp and probably someone else I can't remember all suffered some terrible luck. Some crashed and some had mechinically difficulties.



I'm not trying to take anything away from Harley's top ten finish but let's keep things honest! Keep things in perspective. Pascal was in third and got a good start off the red flag but quickly realized his place and dropped back fast. To bad Harley can't give that guy a decent ride.
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Old 03-12-2001, 08:08 AM   #9
hindle
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Default Re: Rebuilding Year for Harley-Davidson Superbike Racing

I agree with great old bikes. HD being successful could potentially do wonders for the fan base of superbike racing here in the US.



We may never see that though.
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Old 03-12-2001, 08:15 AM   #10
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Default You are missing the point....

I think Harley is as big a joke as anybody but you have to admit that they accomplished what their stated goal was which was to further devlop the existing platform. I'm not sure but I think this is the first time they have even completed the race at Daytona. Who cares who dropped out ahead of them.... they finished with some success. Not bad for what is an "essentially" brand new racing team.



If nothing else it's a "worthwile" learning experience for what will probably be the next generation of racing Harleys. It is a big step int the right direction.... Forward instead of Backward.
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