Motorcycle Forum

Motorcycle Forum (
-   Harley-Davidson News (
-   -   H-D Continues VR1000 Rebuilding Effort (

Abe_Froman 05-10-2001 12:07 PM

Re: H-D Continues VR1000 Rebuilding Effort
The only way Harley will ever be competitive is to fire their engineers and hire every person they can get from Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha. The VR1000 is what you get when a tractor manufacturer tries to make a race bike. The VTX1800 is what you get when a racebike manufacturer tries to make a cruiser---smooth, fast, powerful.

I think the most revealing thing I have ever heard about Harley was a comment in a review for a Dyna Glide. The reviewer was stunned that no oil leaked from the engine cases.

Abe_Froman 05-10-2001 12:10 PM

By the way....
Make no mistake, I have romantic notions of cruising on a blue Fat Boy with jeans, a t-shirt, a black leather jacket and a shotgun al'a Terminator 2, but let's face it, Harley-Davidson motorcycles are probably the most poorly engineered vehicles on the road today.

Gixxerboy 05-10-2001 12:33 PM

Re: time for a change
If Harley really wants to win races it needs clean thinking. Can't even start with the v2 concept... blank sheet, engineered for max hp lowest weight, ANY configuration. Harley, even now with fuel injection and all that super duper high tec stuff (!) they're getting into, are strangled by their corporate retro thinking.

Whilst I distintly dislike harleys and would never own one... I am intreagued by the thought of a real sporty bike with a harley name. Why not? It's even in their 'heritage'.

Just think of the advertising:

"real amerikin aluminium!"

"will take you places... faster"

"whitewall low profile tyres"

Uh oh, I just had a bad thought.. squids on Harleys... well, maybe that will save some premium Jap engineering from being splattered by squids;-)

Lunatic 05-10-2001 12:53 PM

make that 99.9 percent
even the basic engine design is a far stretch from the engines they sell to the public. One piece cranks, two piece rods, flat bearings, 4 cams. th eonly thing a dragrace Hd has in common with a street Hd is the paint. As a Hd owner I find is pathetic that they choose to run such non competitive machines. time to join the 20's century.

mysman 05-10-2001 02:00 PM

Re: H-D Continues VR1000 Rebuilding Effort
Aprillia successfully developed a truely competitive, non-90 degree WSB V-twin in about 3 years, with less resources than HD!! There's no excuse for HD, just incompetance and arrogance, IMHO. They don't have to be successful at this venture, and their customers don't really care if they fail. Aprillia, OTH, cannot afford a poor showing.

JimA4Media 05-10-2001 02:02 PM

Re: time for a change
In case you haven't noticed Harley has new people in their racing program. I watched them last weekend at Sears Point, and they seemed to be doing well compared to last year.

Pascal Picotte wasn't back to 100%, but then neither was Nicky Hayden or Mat Mladin either. Mike Smith is still getting up to speed on the VR-1000, and Jordan Szoke looked pretty good out there too.

I think after a few more races, this team is going to start to pull together.



BammBamm 05-10-2001 02:20 PM

Re: H-D Continues VR1000 Rebuilding Effort
Don't count them out yet. The longer the race program fails, the more reasonable HD headquarters seems to be. They have new people running the program this year, and they are viewing this season as a rebuilding year. They apparently have a very good handling chassis, they just need more power. I think they should check out the Aprillia, as the engines are similar, and they need to let go of the round fairing and go through some aero studies.

They should learn from Ferrari. They tried to do everything themselves, but a few years ago they hired an international crew of the best designers, managers, and of course a driver capable of winning a championship. I am pulling for Pascal and Mike as they are decent guys, but I would think a development rider with experience with twins would help immeasurably. Is Troy Corser available next year?

El_Flaco 05-10-2001 02:48 PM

Troy Corser
Heeeellll no! Troy Corser loves Aprilia, and for good reason. They support him all the way. If he wants more power, WHAM!, he's got more power. Sharper handling? Here you go, Mr. Corser! He just signed an agreement to stay with Aprilia's SBK effort indefinitely because he likes it so much. Think you'd get the same sort of support and speed of technological development at H-D? Erm, nope!

uncleron 05-10-2001 03:13 PM

Re: H-D Continues VR1000 Rebuilding Effort
All of this HD bashing is incredibly lame. One of the strengths of Harleys as street bikes is that there are so many aftermarket parts available, so you don't need to ride the same exact bike as the guy down the street if you don't want to.

The Japanese 'big four' manufacturers are not the only ones who can build a winning race bike. Anyone ever heard of Ducati? How about Britten?

A Buell is much more than a sport bike chassis with a cruiser engine. A stock Buell engine puts out almost twice as much horsepower as the HD motor from which it is derived. No, my Buell is not as refined or as powerful as my Hayabusa, but the experience of riding a Buell (or a Harley) is very different from the experience of riding a modern hi-tech Japanese sport bike.

The HD racing program needs to improve, but abandoning the company's heritage is not the answer. As for the comments that Harley riders don't care about racing - there are an awful lot of bikers who would be very proud to see the orange and black on the podium, and the factory should do its best to give us that. I don't think that there is any question that HD can afford to build a competitive race bike, they just need to shift their focus away from the lawyers (remember the attempt to trademark the sound?) and let the engineers do their thing.

anythingfast 05-10-2001 05:32 PM

Re: time for a change
Steve Schiebe is no longer the head guy for the H.D. race effort. John Baker is the leader for their revitalized effort. Gemini racing, which used to do all the development in-house, is still involved with the project but at a lesser level. All the development was brought in-house to H.D. with some of Eric Buell's engineers involved. Harley has basically started throwing cubic dollars at the bike to make it competitive. There have been strong rumors tying them in with Porsche. I really see good things on the horizon for the black and orange machines.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:22 PM.