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Old 01-27-2011, 08:12 AM   #31
vortexau
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Am I to take it that none of you are familiar with the HD-Nova project?

http://www.bikerenews.com/AntiqueBikes/CodeNameNova.htm
(Nova The V-4 Harley you never saw!)

Quote:
At the time of the Nova's conception, Harleys were powered by big-bore, long-stroke, slow-revving pushrod engines. A healthy Harley in a good state of tune might register 50 horsepower on a rear-wheel dynamometer. The plethora of short-stroke, water-cooled, overhead-cam engines that the overseas competition would eventually usher in were still just a gleam in their designers' eyes. But in 1976 Harley put into motion a plan to design and produce a radically new family of motorcycles powered by a series of engines that would incorporate all those modern features...and produce up to 135 horsepower.

Brad Chaney
After several years of development and testing, and with a planned release date of mid-1981, the Nova project had at least 30 engines and 12 complete, running motorcycles to show for its efforts. The engines had more than 2,000 hours of testing, and the bikes had logged 100,000 miles on the road. Engine tests and handling evaluations had all been completed without experiencing any major structural failures in either the chassis or the engine. One of the prototypes even met strict California emission standards.
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Porsche was eventually selected and subcontracted at the end of 1979 to design and develop the Nova engine and transmission. All chassis development and testing would be done in Milwaukee.

To cover the desired range of displacements, the Nova family would share many common, interchangeable components. The basic concept revolved around a 60-degree V-cylinder arrangement of two, four and six cylinders. Other requirements included liquid cooling, double overhead camshafts, a balance shaft to reduce vibration and a five-speed gearbox. The valve gear and even the gearbox were to be interchangeable. In addition to carbureted models, a fuel-injected version would also be developed.

All the engines were designed to use either 200cc or 250cc "wet" cylinder liners and pistons. These would interchange between the V-twin, V-4 and V-6 engines (see chart, Nova Displacements, page 34). So the 800cc and 1,000cc fours are basically made of two 400/500cc twins, and the 1,200cc and 1,500cc six-cylinder versions consist of three banks of twins.
This project continued up into the late AMF era, and according to the web-site, it was the funds (allocated towards the Nova) and freed when the project was cancelled; that made possible the buy-out from AMF and the following re-surgence that led to improvements in HD build quality and the mushrooming sales after that change.

The worry now is that HD models don't appeal greatly to under-50s riders.

I don't see HD management being able to see past the existing air-cooled V-twin cruiser model range to anything other. If they dropped Nova in the past and let Japan grab the sub-litre 1960, 1970, 1980 marketplace -- I doubt they even realize that maxi, small-displacement scooter, and non-cruiser, market segments even exist ---- and are what entry-level riders usually ease into.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:26 AM   #32
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I heard that Harley was going to make a new scooter, but they abandoned the project when even Willie G couldn't find the right chaps to go with it.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:28 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Speedo66 View Post
I heard that Harley was going to make a new scooter, but they abandoned the project when even Willie G couldn't find the right chaps to go with it.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:11 AM   #34
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Anyone?

http://media.photobucket.com/image/H...man-Harley.jpg

Its described as a "Harley engine in a Cushman".
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:43 PM   #35
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Harley's not going to make a scooter. They have other plans for the future: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHpa0...layer_embedded
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:13 PM   #36
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HD is evolving from a motorcycle manufacturer to a merchandise marketer capitalizing on apparel and other low quality yet high priced merchandise will HD logos, flaming sculls, etc, leveraging its perceived association with biker gangs, one-percenters, and other criminal aspects. This merchandise is sold through mass merchandisers such as Wal-Mart. This activity requires much less capital equipment and fixed costs, and results in a much higher return to stockholders than the production of motorcycles ever did.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:23 PM   #37
techguy
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Since Buell was an attempt for HD to develop a street and racing bike market that didn't require chaps and it has failed, I don't think the MoCo wants to do anything outside the core HD cruiser market. This is based on readings of what Eric Buell had to say this month in Rider magazine.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:40 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by techguy View Post
Since Buell was an attempt for HD to develop a street and racing bike market that didn't require chaps and it has failed, I don't think the MoCo wants to do anything outside the core HD cruiser market. This is based on readings of what Eric Buell had to say this month in Rider magazine.
I thought they learned that 30+ years ago when the '77 and '78 Willie G designed XLCR Cafe Sportsters were a total marketing failure (for the record, I loved mine until it vibrated itself apart ).

If you're not familiar with that model, if you saw "Black Rain" with Michael Douglas, the bike he rode was modeled after the XLCR.

XLCR photo here: http://raresportbikesforsale.com/bri...portster-xlcr/
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:05 PM   #39
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An ex dirt riding buddy of mine rides a Harley now and has been riding and and hanging with Harley guys for a few years. He says that most of them have almost Zero motorcycle knowledge. They have never heard of flattrack racing, don't know what a Goldwing is, They will point to any sport bike, --Ducati, Aprilla, Triumph etc-- and call it a damn Jap bike.

I don't see this crowd buying scooters.
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