6. Porsche Designed a Liquid-Cooled V-4 Engine for Harley in the 70s

080714-top-10-harley-davidson-06-Harley-Davidson-Museum-Nova

In the mid-1970s, Harley embarked on what would now be called a middleweight sport-touring bike. The Nova featured a compact  liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-4 engine displacing 800cc, designed by Porsche and slated to eventually be built in sport, cruiser and racing configurations. H-D was then residing, uncomfortably, under the corporate umbrella of American Machine & Foundry (AMF), which was approaching the conclusion that it was time to cut its losses and find a buyer for Harley. Thus, after what was reported to have been a $9 million investment in the Nova project, it was shelved. Among the companies expressing interest in the H-D acquisition were Caterpillar, Bangor Punta and Fuqua Industries. Fuqua Harley?

  • “…Harley’s bicycles were stout and stylish, but they were expensive in a quite crowded market….”

    And thus a tradition was born.

  • Shistang

    I wont buy a Harley-Davison they ignore the needsof the Black Communnity.

    • Bull

      Your a fuckin idiot!!!

      • Alvin White

        That would be “you’re a fuckin idiot” ….. but your sentiment is dead on ..

        • J Schtulmann

          LOL. and Shistang, what are the needs of the “black” community…..racist prick

        • Bull

          Lol, yes Alvin I know this. It was an intentional grammar stab at his use of the word “needsof”. Lol, but hey at least you were paying attention! 10 points for you and a gold star!

    • Dennis

      LOL ya go that to the All the black riders I see

      • Shistang

        What you said there dont make any sense, but Harley-Davison need to offer insentives to African-American customers with special discounts on bikes and then become known as a progressive company witch will help sells in the long run.

        • Wait. Are you suggesting HD offer discounts to black (potential) customers simply because they’re… (wait for it) black?

        • Dennis

          Are you kidding me …… go in and get the best deal you can like any other person…….

        • Dennis

          I don’t see a problem with ANY minorities not being able to afford a Harley

        • Doc

          It is unbelievable to me that you would even think that a company should for any reason give anybody a discount based on race, creed or color. You are such a racist piece of crap. A disgrace to the black community.

    • methamphetasaur

      Is that why the Road Glide and the Hayabusa have a 90+% lock on the black community?

    • Randy Kruger

      Harley-Davidson was the first manufacturer of motorcycles to grant a dealership to anyone of African-American heritage. Johnson did not need to pretend to be of African-Indian descent to achieve this – he had proven his skills in riding and repairing Harleys for several years.

      His exclusive dealership came under threat in 1969 when a competitor, Pat Cramer, was granted a dealership only five miles away from his shop. Many people saw this as an attempt to force him out of business in increasingly racist times, and Johnson not only resisted attempts by Cramer to buy him out but also (with help from the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) put pressure on Harley-Davidson to resolve the competitive issue by forcing Cramer to cooperate under threat of having his (Cramer’s) dealership status revoked.

      This all worked out rather well. Cramer agreed to drop the heavy-handed competition and instead resolved to cooperate with Johnson, and the two men not only began to work together but also became friends.

      William ‘Wild Bill’ Johnson died in 1985 and is commemorated at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee.

  • this is nice

  • Dennis

    “unfortunately ,I didn’t snap a picture of it”…….. how many times I heard that…….

  • miike

    I bought a new HD about 7 years ago…but HD wouldn’t stand behind their warranty. So I traded it for a VW powered sand rail, and kept my Honda V-twin, which now has 50K miles on it, and only routine maintenance & tires. The value of my new HD dropped to 1/2 the minute I drove it home. Never again! Maybe a used one? No hurry to make another mistake!

  • Mark Boese

    #11…They’re “Assembled” in America, but there are lots of overseas parts in ’em?

  • Doug Erickson

    #11 harley-davidson has a specific arm of their marketing department that specializes in excuses for not riding bikes that require actual ability. these excuses eventually become the basis of their most popular merchandise.

  • Renowned American Motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has a unique history. The company was founded in 1904 by William S Harley and Arthur Davidson. The company has completed 110 years and is still going strong.
    Harley-Davidson was the first producer of motorcycles to grant a dealership to anyone of African-American legacy.
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