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electraglider_1997 06-07-2002 10:34 AM

Re: High vs Low Tech
I've got a MSIE from Purdue. I still make spelling and grammatical errors. Sorry about that. My point is this. The way people get on Harleys about push rod engines you would think that they personally had engineered the jap bikes. I'll take a Harley motor any day over a 1 year special from Japan. The Harley motor will be around for awhile and be tweaked to perfection. The jap motor will be obsolete the next iteration. And yes, I own HDI stock and proud of it.

bfurman 06-07-2002 11:30 AM

Re: Final thoughts from the resident Harley critic (squid)
No "excuses" for Harley... They know damn well how to make a modern engine, and they don't want to.

I'm an engineer too. I can see what a crying shame it is to "waste" good chassis technology on a cobbled up old engine. There are many brilliant workarounds in the Firebolt that would have been unnecessary with a different power plant. Nevertheless, they *are* brilliant. The laziness isn't stemming from Buell himself.

It's a fair question to ask why Harley doesn't build engines like the Japanese do. Now, why haven't the Japanese companies developed Buell-like chassis innovations for their machines with great engines? Buell uses what engine they can get by with. The Japanese also use chassis designs that they can get by with. It's all a matter of economics. Bimotas cost a small fortune.

If you can't have fun with a Harley design, then don't buy it, and don't mock those who do. My point is that all motorcycles are compromises, with the possible exception of GP bikes. Some appeal to your sense of value and aesthetics, while others don't. It's that simple.

Me? I wish bikes all ran liquid-cooled Wankel engines - smooth with a nearly two-stroke like power/displacement advantage and a delightful sound.

Ben Furman

JALacroix 06-07-2002 01:12 PM

Ducati 900SS mods
hi everyone. after riding japanese race replicas for years i find myself drawn to the 900ss. it's a bike that just does it for me. kind of like a whole right/left brain thing. there's no way one could rationalize spending well over $11k on one based on performance figures or specifications. however, it will probably be the next bike i buy. plus i hear they respond quite well to a few simple mods including lower gearing, chip and exhaust swaps. can anyone give me more information on what sort of performance improvements can be made without major engine mods, etc. thanks,


KPaulCook 06-07-2002 01:26 PM

Re: Final thoughts from the resident Harley critic (squid)
You make some great points. The Wankel was cool too bad it didn't get the chance to be refined like piston engines. I saw a car race on Speed and all the cars had Wankels some kind of Jr open wheel racing thing.

bfurman 06-07-2002 03:54 PM

Re: Final thoughts from the resident Harley critic (squid)

I hope my tone wasn't too stern. We get passionate about bikes because we like them, and I guess that's a good thing on balance, but really they're just machines, and none of them is perfect. Beyond the peak output numbers, we experience the quality of a motorcycle's power delivery very subjectively.

I haven't really kept up with them, but I don't think even Mazda is actively developing the Wankel anymore. For a long time, there were problems with tip seal leakage around the rotors, but I think all that has been resolved. Even so, the market has dried up. Too bad Norton never sold more rotary bikes, although their engines were unattractive looking air-cooled lumps...

bfurman 06-07-2002 04:20 PM

Re: KPaul learned HTML
A few notes:

1) We don't burn alcohol because it has a lower power density than gas. You'd need a 6-gallon fuel tank for your Ninja and have to fill it up more frequently.

2) Oil is unbelievably cheap in the U.S.

3) Electric powertrains are actually much more efficient than mechanical transmissions, i.e. the difference you see in crankshaft vs. rear-wheel horsepower is largely due to mechanical losses. The problem with electric vehicles is storing the juice. Batteries aren't mature yet. Eventually, though, Erik Buell may build a motorcycle frame that stores solid electrolyte instead of gasoline. ;-)

KPaulCook 06-08-2002 06:42 PM

Good points
Thanks for educating me. I guess for me although oil is cheap economically I think it has a high political cost. But I probably shouldn't go there it might set Burns off a political thing. :)

I definitely agree that electrical power sytems are efficient but the battery thing is a big negative. However, electraglide suggested a hybrid motorcycle which at first glance, sounds unattractive. Especially so for a sport bike.

KPaulCook 06-08-2002 06:50 PM

Re: We know you own H-D stock ad nauseam . . .
I love the Power Rangers!!!

Thanks. :)

KPaulCook 06-08-2002 06:59 PM

Re: Yer pays yer money...
You're right. I don't ride to impress my buds. I ride for the pleasure it gives me. Thanks for reminding me of what's important. I guess my youth got the best of me sorry. I really wanted the Buell to be a great sport bike because its made in the USA. But like something others have said give Buell some time. I love the looks, the gas in the frame, and the oil in the swing arm.

KPaulCook 06-08-2002 07:42 PM

Best Post (uh Review of the bike) yet! Jeffery, you have my vote for Editor-in-Chief
Great Review. I agree MO should give you a position, perhaps Editor-in-Chief . You thoroughly covered all the points I was interested and you didn't wander off on a political tirade or complain about his backside like Burns does . Your review was powerful in that it was obvious you wanted to like the Bolt. The SV 650 material was interesting because I almost bought one but felt more comfortable on my Ninja ZX-6R, given that I am much bigger than Burnsie. I'm 6' 200 lbs and the SV seemed cramped for me. My Ninja fits me well only the Interceptor was better (my next bike). Perhaps this is why the reviews for the Bolt are bimodal i.e. big guys hating it and little guys like it. I have thought about trying one myself but my wife might like it and I would end up buying a bike that may have reliability problems latter on. I guess I'll have to try one out without her knowing about it. Right now she likes my very reliable Ninja and I want to keep it that way. :)

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