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Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by MHaz01, Sep 7, 2018.
Facts not in evidence.
Harley for one has used the "buy American" crutch to sell their bikes. It has worked in the cruiser segment, but not others. HD and Indian need to up their game in those other market segments to sell bikes. The Scouts are doing well, there is alot of hype surrounding the FTR, I'm sure Harley will have some nice offerings in a couple years.
Indian has an engine upgrade kit that increases displacement. Its use was halted for a long time because the upgrade turned the engine into a grenade. I think Indian only recently began to offer it again. I'd be wary.
They have much beefier rods from Carrillo in the kit now, and it comes with a 1 year warranty. The couple that I’ve heard that failed, the factory sent out a brand new engine either 111 or 116 whichever the customer choose with a new warranty.
At first I thought you were joking. But as you aren't, I submit the following facts:
1986 Honda Shadow VT 1100C:
1100cc liquid cooled v-twin. 3 valves per cylinder. Shaft drive.
80 hp, 72 ft-lbs torque
13.2 sec 1/4-mile, 0-60 in 4.4 sec
106mph top speed
Weight: 585 lbs wet
1986 HD FXR Superglide 80 cu in.:
1337cc air cooled v-twin. 2 valves per cylinder. Belt drive.
58 hp, 67 ft-lbs torque
14.4 sec 1/4-mile, 0-60 in 5.8 sec
105mph top speed
Weight: 678 lbs wet
Those numbers speak for themselves. With the Shadow you get a more powerful, lighter, quicker and significantly cheaper bike. And though long-term service records aren't readily available, I'd bet a lot of money that the Honda is lower maintenance and more reliable. Really, I'm surprised you weren't aware of this.
Those are just mechanical numbers. Most Harley and now Indian riders consider their bikes rolling pieces of Americana art.
If Polaris is going to copy Harley maybe now they will build an Adventure Touring bike.
The world already has enough parade floats.
That means nothing with regards to long term reliability and, maybe just as important, livability.
It's also ancient history. Shit man my wife was only born 6 years earlier.
I remember when the Shadow Ace came out and magazines concluded they JAPanInc. had finally rivaled Harley in finish and design, but had built a worse motorcycle.
In the years since the Shadow has lived up to its name being a mere whisper of its former self or competition.
With a career in the service industry I often wonder why so many people worship at the altar of JAPanInc when the differences are measured better with micrometers than yardsticks.
In the 90's and 00's Harley became a poster child for low and easy maintenance and reliability.
It's one of the chief factors why this lazy azz has chosen so many of them and let his JAPanInc products go.
Off the rails, and back in time...gotta love this place. 1986? FFS.
Honda musta went full on Harley after that, and then some. My wife's '07 Shadow Spirit C2 was a nice enough bike, but drum brakes, crap suspension, and fit/finish nowhere near a Sportsters. It was really cheap though. Literally, and figuratively.
I was just looking at the '19 ChiefGlide in white, nice looking bike, but it's really not that much like a SGS is it? I'm hoping they copy Harley's best touring bike for 2020.
Such a disappointment when Polaris had so much opportunity with their clean sheet of paper designs and their motorcycles enjoy(ed) great engines and frames to the point HD finally got off their asses and raised their own standards in a big way. Without beating a dead horse Polaris appears to be licking more sweat of Harley's balls with each iteration so I hope the the FTR delivers more than the much teased 156 they put a bullet in the head of. If not I don't see them having a long range plan other than some bold new colors and minor trim changes to milk a few more $ before doing the same with Indian as they did to Polaris.
This is similar to the reason I read the first “new” beetle didn’t sell well and the subsequent redesign. I didn’t buy either but I only woulda considered the second “new” beetle.
Actually, as far as I can see this is incorrect. The first generation new Beetle seems to have handily outsold later generations in the US.
And, we owned a turbo version and it was a pretty fun car.
Not dissing the "new" beetle. Just the reasoning VW was quoted for the redesign. They said the round appearance appealed to females but not males. The redesign was meant to be more "masculine". I think by then most who wanted a beetle already bought one. Surprised with the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500 craze that the Beetle didn't live on. A pick-up woulda been boss!
I actually thought the redesign was half-pregnant and not true enough to the original.
We loved our mini Cooper even more.
We would consider a Flat 500 as well.
I remember when I was dating my wife and I had to drive her white cabriolet somewhere by myself. Guys would pull up next to me, look over, and I could see their expressions change to severe disappointment.
Man, that's a heck of a nice looking street glide!
Oh, wait... That's an Indian...
I guess Indian might have built the better looking SG!
Obviously, you define "better" as strictly performance, as do a few others who are critical of the types of bikes HD typically makes. Neither good nor bad, but an opinion of what defines "better". Curious if you've actually ridden the Shadow vs FXR? Myself, previously having owned a Yamaha Roadstar, and also having ridden a pretty good smattering of other Japanese cruisers, and having rented and now own an HD Dyna, at least from my experience, I would take the HD every time. Any given bike might be faster, or whatever, but for me, none of the Japanese cruisers (I don't consider a V-Max or similar an apples to apples comparison in cruiser discussions) get near the character, fit and finish, low COG and general handling of the HD, or least a typical Dyna and RK. But, to each their own....
The point was that the Shadow was outperforming HD as far back as 1986.
"Better" is strictly performance. If a bike is lighter, faster, less expensive and more reliable, by definition it's a "better" bike. Try to convince a jury in a courtroom otherwise.
I don't know what Japanese bikes you've seen, but the fit and finish on every Honda I've come across matches or exceeds that of any standard HD. Low COG doesn't mean much when the bike handles like a tractor. Which, up until recently, is how most Harleys handle.
But HD's do have an undefinable feel that appeals to countless thousands of riders. Including me. So although most metric cruisers are "better" bikes on paper than HD's, Harleys still own the cruiser market. I ride a big American V-twin. I could have bought any metric cruiser made, but I didn't.
1. Depends on how you define "performance". I define it as doing what I want it to do and how I want it to do it.
2. Also depends on the bike/year you're comparing. A Shadow really should be compared to a Sportster, especially in later years.
And with regards to #2 when the ACE came out with the shared crankpin motor reviewers said Honda had finally built a Harley, but the Harley was now out performing it in the metrics on which you seem to focus.
A. No, that's YOUR subjective qualifier. For me the more important performance metrics involve how well it does what I want it to everyday. How easy it is to live with, maintain. No valve clearance checks/adjustments, no chain to clean or oil, no throttle bodies to synchronize, no coolant to flush etc. That means way more to me than if it weighs a little less or is a hair quicker in the quarter mile. And as for reliability that's just bs. I've never seen a reliable source for true data on that and I've seen too many trouble free Harleys and too many troublesome JAPanInc. bikes to believe it.
B. You're dreaming or have never seen a Harley up close if you think most Hondas come anywhere near the fit and finish of Harley.