Local radio station has the local Harley dealership on and they ask a trivia question. This week's was Erik Buell related. I won a choice of t-shirts in the shop. Didn't like any in my size so got one for my wife.
The question was: "While Erik Buell was working at Harley Davidson, what was the invention he was most known for?"
(Message edited by big island rider on November 22, 2015)
(Message edited by big island rider on November 22, 2015)
My second (third?) Harley-Davidson was an '86 FXR (FXRP, to be exact, an ex-Seattle police bike, wig-wag lights and all). For a relatively large, relatively heavy motorcycle, that thing would chew up a twisty road like nobody's business, and was mighty darned comfortable to ride in the process.
It wasn't until I got my first Buell, in 1996, that I learned that Erik's DNA was all over my then-gone-but-not-forgotten FXR.
Separating The Men From The Boys | History Of The FXR - Hot Bike Magazine Charles Plueddeman, October 25, 2010
In 1982 the ad copy said the new FXR Super Glide II was a Harley-Davidson that would "separate the men from the boys," the implication being that the boys were riding "foreign" motorcycles. The FXR promised to deliver handling to rival sporty bikes from overseas, and the potent performance of an American V-twin. Twenty-eight years later, there are still riders who claim the FXR was the best motorcycle Harley ever built.
That notion would be hard to defend, given the advanced engine, chassis, and suspension technology Harley has introduced in just the last decade. But the FXR does represent a moment in Harley history when the company put its talent and energy into creating not just a great Harley-Davidson, but a great motorcycle; a bike less constrained by heritage and the status quo. Keep in mind that the FXR platform would debut in 1981 as an '82 model, just months after the company had completed its buyout from AMF. The FXR represented Harley's commitment to its future.
"Around the company the FXR was considered an engineer's bike," recalls Bob LeRoy, who joined the company in 1979, worked as a designer on the FXR team and today is a Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) project manager at Harley. "It had a higher seat height and footpegs to give it more lean angle. And it produced much less vibration to the rider, so it felt more sophisticated. You could go out and have some fun on an FXR, not just cruise around."
The FXR was designed around the same 80ci Shovelhead engine and five-speed transmission package that debuted in the all-new '80 FLT Tour Glide, the first modern Harley with a rubber-mounted powertrain. The plan was to turn the Tour Glide platform into a sporty roadster to sell against the Japanese bikes.
The Harley engineering team-which included a young road-racer named Erik Buell-quickly determined that the Tour Glide frame was not suited to the mission and instead designed an all-new frame that would hold the powertrain in the same elastomer tri-mounts. [emphasis mine] The frame had a more triangulated shape than that of the FXE Super Glide, and the rear shocks were set further back on the swingarm.
"Instead of heavy castings, the FXR frame had a lot of welded stamped-steel parts," said LeRoy. "This was before the era of robotic welding, so it all had to be assembled by hand. It was expensive and difficult to manufacture."
...[T]he reputation of the FXR as "best Harley ever" has stuck, and in the minds of former owners, it's probably the truth.
The air was stored BOTH ..... In the handlebars AND the crash bars. Just depends on the model year.
Several years later the system would appear as A.C.T. on the BUELL RR1000. The system was quite amazing and a glimpse at Erik Buell's ... Yet to be shared .... Engineering genius.
Others had tried .....
Brake dive with telescopic forks can be reduced by either increasing the spring rate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspension_%28motorcy cle%29#Spring_rate) of the fork springs, or increasing the compression damping (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspension_%28motorcy cle%29#Damping_adjustment) of the forks. However, all of these changes make the motorcycle less pleasant to ride on rough roads, since the front end will feel stiffer, in the 1980s various manufacturers attempted to get round this by methods of anti-dive such as: ACT: Developed by Marzocchi and fitted to Buell motorcycles such as the Buell RR 1200 (1988). ANDF (Anti Nose Dive Forks): This was fitted to a number of Suzuki GSX models and the RG250. AVDS (Automatic Variable Damping System): This was fitted to a number of Kawasaki motorcycles. NEAS (New Electrically Activated Suspension): As fitted to the Suzuki GSX-R 1100 and GSX-R 750 Limited Edition. PDF (Posi Damp Fork): This was fitted to the Suzuki RG500 and GSX-R 750 and worked by brake fluid pressure closing a valve in the mechanism when the brakes are applied, restricting the flow of damping oil and slowing fork compression. The valves are spring loaded so if the wheel hits a bump when the brakes are on, they bounce off their seats and restore the flow of oil for a moment to allow the suspension to absorb the shock. TCS (Travel Control System): Anti-dive system with variable damping. TCS was introduced on the FZ 400 R (1984, only for the Japanese market). TRAC (Torque Reactive Anti-dive Control): This was fitted to a number of Honda motorcycles such as the CB1100F
Thanks, Court. I would've thought the volume of air in the handlebars would've been too small to be effective... but then Harley does use fatter than standard tubing and longer bars than most... Probably works best with a set of Ape Hangers?
Fb1, The answer is in you post. It is the rubber mounted engine in the FXR.
Rubber-mounted engines in Harleys debuted in 1980 in the FLT Tour Glide:
Harley-Davidson debuts the FLT with its vibration dampening, rubber-isolated drivetrain and unique trailing front fork. The FLT also debuts an engine and five-speed transmission that are hard bolted together.
The FXR debuted in 1982:
More innovations demonstrate a new commitment to quality, such as the FXR/FXRS Super GlideŽ II with its rubber-isolated, five-speed powertrain...
So, did Erik develop/invent the rubber mounting system that debuted in 1980 in the FLT? We know he played a large (perhaps pivotal?) role in the development of the FXR, which we also know used rubber engine mounting, but that engine mounting system was already a couple of years old when the FXR was introduced.