Would HD ever make a scooter?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by LarryRickenbacker, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. LarryRickenbacker

    LarryRickenbacker Been here awhile

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    Howdy,

    Given that HD has already broken ground on a facility in India, would HD ever make a scooter? A plant in India would obviously help keep costs down.
    Should gas prices hit $4, $5 and remain in that range, HD could expand thier somewhat limited demographic (Baby Boomers) with say a 150 or 250cc scoot. Heck scooters just might appeal to thier current owners as well as other traditional bikers who dont't want to bother with a 1,000+cc bike just to run an errand. Chime in!

    PS: I'm pretty sure that HD in fact made a scooter decades ago, fwiw.
    #1
  2. garfey

    garfey Scruffy Adventurer

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  3. miboso

    miboso Adventurer

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    #3
  4. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    I would not hold my breath. Harley will not even make a motorcycle that is not a cruiser.
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  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Last summer I ran into a couple of Harley Factory test riders in the mountains of North Georgia. I had the chance to talk to them. Harley is faced with an aging rider base. Very few riders under the age of about 50 are interested in Harleys. The test riders were trying out a new model designed to appeal to the younger generation which is not only price conscious but also very concerned about the environment. I managed to sneak a couple of pics.
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    And another view.

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    :lol3:lol3:lol3:lol3:lol3.................OK, maybe NOT:lol3:lol3:lol3

    When I saw the Harley Key Fob I couldn't resist.
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  6. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    Here's the Harley Topper.

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    http://www.harleytopperclub.com/
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  7. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    Ok, I would REALLY like to see Harley make something under 500 cc. I LOVE Harleys, and V-Twins.

    You know, even LIFAN has caught on faster. They make a 250 cc V-twin, which is neat. It doesn't quite sound THAT great and doesn't feel like a Harley, but its sure as hell a start!

    When will Harley make a small displacement V-Twin? See, those Shortsters and MX bikes and small displacement bikes they made a while back FAILED for a reason! They resembled NOTHING of a Harley-Davidson! They were mostly built in italy and such, and stamped with H-D's sticker in real terms.

    Other than the price and tank badge, they were really just like any other Enduro or small bike. They were little single cylinder 2 stroke and some 4 stroke engines. Whats the big deal about that? They sure don't have that Harley sound or feel, but JUST the Harley price. No reason to buy and thats where the Japanese took over an H-D was stuck with big cruisers.

    WHAT they need is to make a range of sweet looking small displacement chrome V-Twin motorcycles. A cool looking cruiser with a true 150 cc V-twin engine WOULD sell big! Especially if it was priced well! Pop it in a cool looking frame AND offer both a 6-speed and CVT for beginners! It WOULD sell if priced correctly.

    Then make a CVT scooter with a TRUE V-Twin. I know it would likely have to be a bit different from your average Harley engine, as it would probably need a wet stump crankcase design, maybe liquid cooling, and probably a belt or chain driven cam to get any HP. But this, and make the scoot look cool in a Ruckus way but have chrome, leather, and saddle bags and badge it! That would be one hell of a scooter if it was priced right.

    WILL they? Maybe, but it isn't REAL likely, but it is surly out there! But Honda sure doesn't give a damn about customer's wishes on scooters and such, so who knows about H-D?
    #7
  8. Chupa

    Chupa Guest

    I like it! How about if they made it a transverse V-Twin ala Guzzi, but water cooled.

    I'm confused; what is an under-boned frame scooter? I assume it is like your Elite and my Scarabeo with a tube frame under the bodywork as opposed to pressed sheet metal frame like a Honda CT90?
    #8
  9. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    Yea that would work to! Just a nice V-Twin with that Twin feel! Instead of these maxi scooters with that boring buzz! Like the Yamaha Majesty sounds so horrible with stock exhaust, it makes it feel even more underpowered. I just LOVE that throaty torquey V-Twin feel, even if it doesn't offer inline four performance!

    And an under-boned frame scooter? I do think it is a frame made of just one tube. USUALLY an underbone is considered more like a CT90 or such. I GUESS a scooter is sort of an underbone, but it does confuse me.

    But scooters also seem to have the engine as a stressed member of the suspension system, as in it goes up and down with the tire, unlike a CT90 with gears. I don't really know exactly how this works though! It seems like that big motor flying up and down would almost throw the scooter off balance [especially on maxis like the Burgman 400], but for some reason it seems to work just fine! But it kinda sucks on huge bumps at highway speeds AND makes the handling characteristics a bit funky.
    #9
  10. Birdmove

    Birdmove Long timer

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    Actually, I don't think the Buell Blast was a bad motorcycle. I even liked the looks. But, a 250cc v-twin can be a fine motorcycle. Look at the Hyosung GT250 and GTR250, and the apparently now discontinued Kymco Venox. The Hyosung, if you can find a youtube with sound instead of music, is a sweet sounding engine. As was the Venox. I've read the Venox could hit 90 mph.The Venox looks kind of like the HD Vrod. The Hyosung is a fine looking sporty motorcycle.

    The Sportsters don't get too bad of gas mileage. My 2006 XL883 has returned a high of 59.5 in warm weather on a longer ride. I had a 1984 Sportster XLX1000 that averaged 66 mpg.
    #10
  11. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    Yes I agree. But hardly anyone knows of them, and they weren't sold big like they would if Harley made them.

    And yes, Sportsters get fine milage. I am actually planning on buying a Sportster 1200 and setting it up for touring this year. I think their a great balance between a fun bike on curvy roads and something a little more comfortable if set up properly.

    BUT most inexperienced riders or beginners would be a bit afraid to climb aboard a 1200 cc or even 883 cc 550+ pound motorcycle with a boat load of torque or dish out $6,500-$9,000+ on a motorcycle if they don't want used. That is where a 250 Harley twin would sell!
    #11
  12. bdesj

    bdesj Been here awhile

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    No kidding? For a big bike (IMO, 650 and over is getting into "big" category), that`s danged impressive! Now if they just came with mufflers....
    #12
  13. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    Yep they had side car etc. HD has to do something or they died as a brand of usa bike builders. with most people whom buy one making 45 grand and in there mid 40 it doesn't look good for them. They might make something like a sporters scooter like bike. There main problem is engines due to using v twins. Whom going to buy something that doesn't look like HD?
    #13
  14. FRANK-N-WING

    FRANK-N-WING Adventurer

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    These were built on the HD platform several years back by Vetter I believe.
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    Frank-n-wing
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  15. Crossthread

    Crossthread Maker of Sharp Stuff

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    "Fat, overweight, underpowered, unreliable, vibrating, massively overpriced step-through POS scooter?

    Sure. We can do that." :lol3























    (So says the guy who has the H-D Softail in his garage. )
    :hide
    #15
  16. SPOFF

    SPOFF Been here awhile

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    Oh, I don't know... that Defiant chassis with a 125 hp Buell motor could be lively. :clap

    BTW, my local Harley dealer also sells Genuine Scooters, does that count?
    #16
  17. LarryRickenbacker

    LarryRickenbacker Been here awhile

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    Howdy,

    Spoff: Your local HD dealer is selling Genuine scoots? I count that as a "yes". Fairly close, at least. One would have access to a good dealer, parts and service..
    #17
  18. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    I will tell you first of all Harleys ARE VERY reliable. For one, the Harleys I've had have been far more reliable then all of the Hondas and others, except for the CRF 50. I've found that there WAS a period of time when H-Ds weren't great and everyone doesn't realize that all the other years and especially know their great.

    Harleys are great machines. I WILL agree with you that they are priced a bit high, and that it SHOULD be brought down a bit, but look at HONDA!

    They were expecting $4,500 and EVEN more out the door for a 150 cc scooter. Thats about $1,800 away from a brand new basic Sportster 883, and well over the price of a nice used Sportster 1200. They HAVE been raising their prices, I mean I remember when you could get an ST 1300 for around $12,000. Now their about $17,000 out the door.

    And as for power, yes they aren't the fastest bikes for their displacement. But you know what, they are PLENTY fast for me MOST of the time. They will easily run 85 MPH all day long, and actually the sweet spot is right around 75-80 MPH where they just "feel" right.

    Thats one reason they get BETTER MPG than a lot of the bikes their size. The big twins like low RPMs, so they have either a 1:1 or overdrive top gear, so they will run a lot lower than say, a sports bike.

    But hell, if you want to go faster just get a used Sport bike. But they accelerate just fine and cruise nice. The weight is there so they feel better on the highway, and don't get blown around all over the place.

    But see, Harley IS NOT designing these for performance at all! These are highway bikes, and they do what they were made to do great. Yes, these won't do very well on a drag strip or race track, but I'd like to see you ride a stock super sport bike across America with minimal stops. You may make it, but you won't be a happy camper after endless hours on the interstate!

    Yes, you'll say get a goldwing or touring machine. Well, those are big heavy and not that fast either. BUt thats what these so.

    I am saying if Harley would make a SCOOTER. Not a big giant scooter, but a real V-Twin scooter with around 250 cc.
    #18
  19. Crossthread

    Crossthread Maker of Sharp Stuff

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    :lol3LOL! I knew I could get a rise out of you with that comment!

    Actually, you're right on all counts. The Twin'Cam 88" in my Softail is just an awesome motor. It isn't supposed to be a rocketship, it's supposed to be a highway cruiser. Designed to haul the rider and a ton of gear all day in a nice leisurely manner. It does that exceptionally well. It's even smoother than my old Goldwing was. It's the only bike I've ever owned that I can be going down the road at 75mph and be able to read the license plate of the cage behind me in the mirrors! And it gets near 50mpg on long trips. My Goldwing never broke 40 mpg in its life.

    That being said, I don't think H-D would ever try to market a scoot. They have become victims of their own marketing. Big, Badass, and Traditional is what they sell, and no self respecting "rider of fashion" would ruin his image by riding something as wimpy as a scooter. :ymca
    Still, it makes you wonder what it would be like to have that motor in a 300-500CC package along with 16" wheels, a CVT and a good steel tube frame like the Zuma has. I'd buy one. :nod

    edit: I forgot to mention- my local H-D dealer also owns the local Vespa/Piaggio franchise, in a building next door to the H-D shop. The parking lot can get real interesting sometimes during the hot days of summer! Talk about Mods and Rockers!
    #19
  20. SPOFF

    SPOFF Been here awhile

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    Interesting that we’re having the “Harley argument” in a scooter forum, but let me lend this perspective. I’ve been lurking because I am seriously planning to sell one of my big street bikes in the spring to buy a scooter. (The Honda PCX and Zuma 125 are at the top of my list—this week.) I’m thinking to do this as a hedge against $5 gasoline, which will happen sooner or later.
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    But if mileage is a major consideration there is another option. An 883 Sportster can be tuned to get 70 to 80 mpg if you know how to tweak one of the old carbureted models. (I would shoot for a 1995 model, give or take 5 years.) In the middle of the New Hampshire winter these show up on Craigslist for less than what a 50cc scooter costs. If you’ve never ridden a Sportster, they vibrate a lot. If you ride them at 150cc scooter speeds, though, they don’t vibrate that much. So it’s possible to have a relatively small but real motorcycle that ridden at scooter speeds gets scooter gas mileage, but still capable of 100 mph if you really wanted to. So you don’t have to worry about highways or the “bigger” roads that you wouldn't take a 150cc scooter on.
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    And Sportsters are reliable enough. I put 20,000 miles on one with no issues. They aren’t as reliable as a new Honda, but they are as reliable as my 1970s Hondas—which is still damned good. But in my case, I doubt I’d do another Sportster. I’ll probably go with a scooter.
    #20