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Buell Forum » Balancing Allegiance with Rebellion, the H-D Way » Why are harleys so slow? « Previous Next »

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Archive through July 15, 2010Strato9r30 07-15-10  07:42 pm
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Archive through March 31, 2009Brumbear30 03-31-09  08:19 am
         

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186bigtwin
Posted on Saturday, July 17, 2010 - 07:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I'll have to chime in on the AHDRA "slow" statement, Joey Sternoti on the Ray Price Fueler has run as low as 6.14 @ 234mph AND runs 230+ mph alot...........
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Gunut75
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 01:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I had an 85 Ironhead that I could ride the wheels off of. Could hang with any big twin till 85 then ran out of gears. Fun, fun bike.
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Slaughter
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 08:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Hey boys - pack up your spec sheets and head to Starbucks. Looks like it's time for some COMPETITION.
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Ratman
Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 10:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Although a insult to Harley, their like a newish Jeep. You buy a overpriced platform to build upon. Grandmas Monte Carlo has more ground clearance than a stock TJ but you can fix that. A stock HD is slow, and considering the skill level of many of the buyers in recent years, first time out on a 650+ pound bike, that's a good thing. I'm willing to bet my 01 bagger would smoke my Buell when it was fresh off the showroom floor.... in a straight line anyhow.

(Message edited by ratman on March 10, 2013)
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Sir_wadsalot
Posted on Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - 12:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Air cooling necessitates low compression, which equals slow. That is the answer.

Pound for pound, engine size, dollar for dollar, any way you compare it, the HD will be slower than the competition. Even the V-Rod, their "fast" model. They build big, overweight, non competative machines because they don't want to compete. Creating their own niche specifically so as not to compete is part of the HD business plan. They hamstrung Buell in the same way...

Purpose built "top fuel" bikes don't count. That's like saying a funnycar with a firebird painted on the hood is indicative of a trans am. It is not, nor is anything on the NASCAR grid indicitave of any of their makers. I read somewhere that half the NHRA "Harleys" run Japanese made blocks, and some of the "Suzuki" & "Kawasaki" teams run US made blocks. It's all US against them marketing crap for the rednecks.

I'm not saying it's easy to be a top drag racer, I'm saying it's the easiest way to go fast, comparatively. Personally I can't drag race for crap. My bike is still faster than any stock Harley.

Compared to any other form of motorcycle racing, it's easier. You have to be able to launch just to get a hole shot in...any real type of racing. A competant motorcyclist can learn the basics of drag racing in a saturday afternoon and turn a decent time on Sunday. It takes a lifetime to road race, or hill climb, or motocross or flat track....

And you claim flat track? Really? You're still holding up the XR750 as proof of Harley's awesomeness? And whining about the Japanese? Really? It's a race homologation special that the average person can't even buy. Comparing that to any roadgoing Harley....oh wait, you can't compare it to any road going or mass produced Harley, there aren't any.

You know what you can compare? An R spec World Superbike homologation Ducati. Knock off the 10 thousand dollar suspension and the carbon fiber, and you have a base model that's still pretty damned fast, and pretty much the same bike, and you don't need a race license to buy one. I've never seen an SR750 streetbike, or dirt bike, and never will. When you put an XR1200 (which I love), or Fat Boy, or an XLCH Screamin'Eagle special whatever on a dirt track and win a race, gimme a holler.

I used to think my '96 Sportster was fast too, right up until I got an SV1000. Actually, I rode a friend's SV650 and started wondering what was wrong with my bike.

I've seen Sport Rider put an exhaust on a Kawasaki 600 and strap down the front end. Rickey Charmichael ran a high 9 second quarter mile. That's a ten thousand dollar bike, and that was like five years ago. How many tens of thousands of dollars would you have to dump into any harley to get it into the nines? A V-Rod won't even outrun an 1125R, much less a V-Max. I bet an 883 Sporty can't even outrun the new bottom dollar Yamaha Bolt.

I have nothing but respect for anybody who can race any sort of Harley and make it go fast. To overcome that handicap out of love and technical skill is akin to training your inbred, retarded daughter to compete in spelling bees. It just means you are awesome and dedicated. I would love nothing better than to take an XR1200 to a track day at VIR. It's still slower than an SV650.

I used to do Brodys and powerslides in the mud in a HEMMT wrecker, that doesn't make it a drift car. That makes me awesomer than hell.

You could bolt a rocket engine to my niece's tricycle, that wouldn't mean tricycles are fast.
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Hybridmomentspass
Posted on Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - 08:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

" I read somewhere that half the NHRA "Harleys" run Japanese made blocks"
I assume youre speaking about PSM, not the harley series in NHRA
so
PSM Harleys (there are only 2) are made by Vance and Hines. In house.
if you mean the Buells too, S&S makes those.

Now, if you include the new Harley series in NHRA, I'll say similar:
the Pro Drag class - Johnny Vickers at Hawaya makes almost every bike in that class - dude is great! He makes some of the pro fuel and top fuel bikes too.


I cant tell you an exact amount to get a HD to run 9s
I know you can buy some right now for 15k or less - i checked ebay yesterday and two Destroyers on there, the more expensive was 15k. ANd I know of other harleys and vrods for sell in the last year for less than 10 that would run in under 10.
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Sir_wadsalot
Posted on Friday, July 05, 2013 - 02:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

OK, the Destroyer is a purpose built drag racer. $30,000.00, and a Rotax engine.

Rotax, not HD.

All these top fuel bikes you gentlemen banty about were not built by HD, nor do they have HD engines. No part of them was produced in a HD factory. Some of them don't even look like V-Twins, they look like paralell twins. I could be wrong about than, I bow to your obviously greater knowledge of the breed.

Custom built, not HD.

Suzuki Hayabusa- $14000, GSXR1000- $12000.....Kawasaki ZX10R, ZX12, Honda 1000RR, geez I could go on all day.

Put wheelie bars on all of those bikes and they'll do it. For half the price. Street legal, built in their own factories with their own engines. Strap down the front on the Busa or the ZX12, or an S1000RR, and they'll probably still do it without the wheelie bars.

I didn't say you couldn't make a Harley fast, and I didn't say you couldn't custom build a dragster from whole cloth and put a HD sticker on it.

Street legal, production Harleys are slow. Any "fast" harleys are one offs made from unobtanium, (XR750), running someone else's engine (Rotax) or so massaged and changed as to be unrecogniseable as a Harley (Buell).

Case in point, Sportster vs Bolt vs Triumph Bonneville

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/10/16203/Motorcycle- Article/13-Sportster-883-Iron-vs-Star-Bolt-vs-Bonn eville.aspx

Triumph Bonneville- 13.87
Yamaha/Star Bolt- 15.02
883 Sportster Iron- 15.69

Slower than a Bonneville, the hobbled old lady of the retro set? Pathetic. You would have to look hard to find an $8000.00 bike that won't outrun it. My '96 Hugger ran 15's, and I bet the 84 Sporty ran 15's too. Because it's still the same old, slow bike.

Lets try the big end of the stick?

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/238/10325/Motorcycle -Article/2011-
Suzuki-Boulevard-M109R-Comparison.aspx

Suzuki M109R $14,000 12.99
VRod Nightster- $14,000 12.39
XR1200 Mid 12's
Bigasss 30K Baggers? Didn't bother.

The V Rod engine was designed by Erik Buell & Porsche, built by Rotax. Not a Harley engine, & most HD purists hate the thing. The XR1200 as far as I know is the fastest "real" harley, and again, it's a heavily messaged Buell engine. A stock 1200 Sportster will be slower. I'm not gonna even bother to waste the time to look up the bloated couches that are the baggers.

So I'll give you the Rotax 'Rod and the Buell'ed XR1200 in cruiser land. Until they have to turn. Did I mention that HD made Eric design the 'Rod engine to be too heavy to use in a sportbike, thereby neutering it? Yeah, they even shot their one fast bike in the foot, on purpose.

Even then, any 600 would outrun either of them, for less money.

I don't hate Harleys, they're just slow. 99% of em, anyways. The only reason I sold my '96 Sportster was that I blew out my back in Iraq and can't ride upright anymore, and I would LOVE to have an XR1200. I would like to see HD improve, that's all.

The fact that HD has manipulated the US market into the Monopoly that it is, and yet still is incapable of building a modern, water cooled, high compression powerplant makes me want to throw up in my mouth. The fact that HD can't build the SV1000....they could own that market, it's gone, the SV650 is the pathetic Gladius now...giant hole in the quick upright market Harley's got a bigass goose egg for it. Pathetic. Even when they developed the XR12, did they release it here? No. Europe. How badass and fast is that? It's not.

Slow bikes, slow brains. I want better. Competition makes them better, making excuses for them does not.

I still want an XR1200 though.
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Hybridmomentspass
Posted on Friday, July 05, 2013 - 08:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

"OK, the Destroyer is a purpose built drag racer. $30,000.00, and a Rotax engine. "
Destroyer doesnt have a rotax engine....

i know they dont blaze a trail...trust me - going from my 1125R to my dads electra glide...as comfy as it is its shockingly slow

i was pointing out above that the PSM Harleys are not Japanese built, but MIA
same for the Fuel bikes (most harley orgs still want them to be similar in degrees of V, i think most are 60* vtwins).

Yeah, sport bikes run circles around any harley and buell in 1/4 times. Fully aware lol.
I went to the Nopi race last year - only non-japanese bike there. On my 1125R the only bikes I could stay in front of were 600s and some 750s. The liter bikes were GONE.
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Kev_m
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2014 - 08:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Just reading old threads today..the answer to this one was simple:

"Because Harley builds what their customers want."

End of story.

But if you want, there's more to the story.

1. Air-cooling plays a part (limits it somewhat within emissions standards).
2. Ease of maintenance plays a part (hydraulic lifters, large/heavy components, engineered to run a long time with little attention).
3. FEEL plays a part (tuned for big torque at low rpm, and ergos that give the impression of stability and strength).
4. A brilliant marketing plan plays a part (where most owners expect to spend hundreds or thousands extra to get additional hp that should have come stock, and many are willing to give up warranty coverage for it, corporate win-win).

But honestly, it results in a bike that is fun to ride at legal speeds, often moreso than many of todays uber performance superbikes.

I'd generally rather enjoy 90% of my bike's capabilities without being a total scofflaw than only be able to enjoy 10%.
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