RE: Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight: PH2

RE: Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight: PH2

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tvrolet

3,418 posts

220 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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bogie said:
I rode an Indian Roadmaster 3000 miles in May across the US and when it was 30+ ambient the heat coming off the engine was unbearable. ......I was starting to dream about the BMW K1600 I should have perhaps hired instead LOL wink.
Yea, but the K1600 wouldn't have made 3000 miles without issue wink

But yes, as standard the Indian 111 motor runs very very lean and generates a bit of heat around the crotch when you're not moving. Plus with the Roadmaster you'd have had the leg guard thingies that block some of the airflow. But a remap makes them run a whole lot cooler, and while not exactly Death Valley I've ridden mine in 34 degrees and it was fine on the move.

Bonefish Blues said:
Why would they still be using pushrods (serious Q) in their new engine?

Is it just their "thing"?
Why not? There seems to be a view that pushrods are 'old' or inferior. In the HD (and Indian, and Corvette etc) they make the engine far less tall. Compare it to a similar V-twin with OHC like a Victory and the engine is much taller. And it's not as if OHC/DOHC engines are particularly new technology - they've been around for 80-odd year so hardly a 'high tech' alternative.

What did appear simple and neat at the time was when the DOHC cams ran directly over the valves with bucket and shim adjustment (as per original Z900/Z1000 etc), but folks soon found that lift, or at least the speed the valve could be opened/closed, was limited as anything over a certain profile would kind of slap on the bucket. So lots of performance manufacturers started putting back rockers. or finger followers, or whatever to give some leverage off the cam. So...we've got a cam going round and rockers between it and the valve. If we stick the cam(s) in the head that's all we need, but we have a tall head. If we put the cam(s) in the block we have the same rocker as the OHC - it's just there's a pushrod between it and the cam. But if course it's also dead easy now to put in hydraulic lifters to make valve adjustment unnecessary, and we don't need a long chain or belt to drive it, or a train of gears..

So the down-side of pushrods is it's extra metal jumping up and down, which has it's own rev limit - so clearly a disadvantage on high revving engines, but not an issue on an HD, or Chevrolet LS, Hemi, or Indian...of which I have one of each of the last 3...until tomorrow weeping Not a stickler for rockers though since the Maserati has DOHC...but then it's a revvy engine.

In summary - advantage for HD going OHC/DOHC on their engines - none that I can see.
Advantages of pushrods in a slower revving engine - low engine height, easy/compact automatic valve adjustment, shorter chain or easy gear-drive to the cam(s) - no real problems with chain stretch/tension/lube as it's in the block, easy maintenance for the 'top end' - just unbolt the heads and off they come, pushrod tubes look cool smile

If the motor was doing 10,000 rpm (or even 7,000 rpm) it would be a different argument - but for HD it's all 'win' with pushrods.

Edited by tvrolet on Tuesday 22 August 14:41

Bonefish Blues

12,324 posts

161 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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I'm enjoying my schoolday gents, thanks smile

black-k1

8,689 posts

167 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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bimsb6 said:
black-k1 said:
There is also a huge difference between a manufacturer who produces a retro engine as one part of a wider line up vs. a manufacturer who only offers a retro engine, and who has only ever offered retro engines since way back when retro was actually current!
The v rod seems to have passed you by then , water cooled , dohc , fuel injected .been around since 1999 i believe, producing more power than the current bmw twin of greater engine capacity .
You're right, I had overlooked the V Rod although, by measuring by the BMW yardstick is being very selective. If you measure against another poor performer then you're always going to look pretty good. 125 bhp from a 1000cc (0r 1200cc for BMW) is, at best, pretty average, even for a twin these days, and is no match for decent "high performance" engines.

What percentage of HD sales are powered by the "modern" V rod engine?

Prof Prolapse

14,370 posts

128 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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black-k1 said:
What percentage of HD sales are powered by the "modern" V rod engine?
Is that really a fair criticism? If the initial criticism was to the lack of performance diversity with regards engines in their range then no one buys it, then it just proves the point that HD are better to continue producing what they always have.

HD has a turnover of ~ $1.18 billion dollars a year. In a single breath they could most certainly pick some of the best engineers in the world and built a competitive high performing motorcycle of just about any category you choose, but as evidenced by Buell, no one would buy it. So instead they're building what people want.

Don't hate Harley Davidson, hate people with Harley Davidsons.

black-k1

8,689 posts

167 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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Prof Prolapse said:
black-k1 said:
What percentage of HD sales are powered by the "modern" V rod engine?
Is that really a fair criticism? If the initial criticism was to the lack of performance diversity with regards engines in their range then no one buys it, then it just proves the point that HD are better to continue producing what they always have.

HD has a turnover of ~ $1.18 billion dollars a year. In a single breath they could most certainly pick some of the best engineers in the world and built a competitive high performing motorcycle of just about any category you choose, but as evidenced by Buell, no one would buy it. So instead they're building what people want.

Don't hate Harley Davidson, hate people with Harley Davidsons.
In the context of where my point started, then I think it's fair ...

black-k1 said:
And they're not the only make suited to cruising empty wide roads in the US. Most alternatives appear to offer better "everything" other than the name!

All credit to HD. They've made a lot of money out of selling "a dream" that's never really existed on the back of technology that is outdated and has been superseded by just about everyone.
I don't hate Harley. In fact I admire them. As above, they've made a very successful business out of selling fashion to the motorcycle world.

Likewise, I don't hate Harley owners as it's their money and I totally support their option to spend their money on whatever crap they want. (I spend my money on my crap so why not?)

My only point of contention is in defining a Harley engine as a "good engine". Good is always determined by the yardstick used for measuring but most (outside of the Harley specific world) people with a general motorcycling interest would not view any of the Harley engines as a "good engine". The V Rod may make the definition of reasonable but that's about it.
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Prof Prolapse

14,370 posts

128 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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Fair enough.

I'd also like to amend what I said earlier just to "don't hate HD, hate everybody"

tvrolet

3,418 posts

220 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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black-k1 said:
You're right, I had overlooked the V Rod although, by measuring by the BMW yardstick is being very selective. If you measure against another poor performer then you're always going to look pretty good. 125 bhp from a 1000cc (0r 1200cc for BMW) is, at best, pretty average, even for a twin these days, and is no match for decent "high performance" engines.
I just don't get this 'measuring performance by capacity' thing - does it go down well in the bar or something? For me, at least, I'd start with the performance I want, then how I want the performance delivered, and then capacity used to deliver it comes a distant last place...

Sure I'd love huge horsepower in a bike, but in truth around 90hp gets me down the road - BUT I want massive thumping torque that will pull a wall down in 6th from idle. I'm past wanting to wring the nuts off stuff these days - I just want to open the throttle and go...in any gear, at any revs. Now to do that Indian used 1800cc, and HD do something similar with a similar capacity. Could they deliver the same 'performance envelope' with less cc? Probably, but to what end? Seriously - if a bike is making say 115ft/lb and 90hp out of 1800cc, what makes it any better if you can do it out of 900cc. My response is 'so what' - is it nicer to ride? And the answer is probably not. You quote 125hp from a 1200cc BMW - what if next year BMW replaced the 1200 with a 750 but it still made 120hp. With your logic that's instantly a better bike?.

Same with car engines - I wanted 500hp, and if I dropped in some 2-litre turbo 'performance' engine with sophisticated this and that I'd probably have got it; instead I put in a 6.2 litre Chevrolet V8 and it makes 500hp without breaking sweat and delivers massive torque too. But mister, it's less than 100hp/litre - so what - it makes 500hp.

Jeez, heaven knows why I'm defending HD here as I'd never buy one, but they do seem to come in for a lot of misguided criticism imho. It would be interesting to do a poll of 'dislike' versus 'actually knocked up some miles on one'. It's a bit like a friend of mine who 'doesn't like Indian food'; only he's never actually tasted Indian food and just orders steak!

bimsb6

6,382 posts

159 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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black-k1 said:
You're right, I had overlooked the V Rod although, by measuring by the BMW yardstick is being very selective. If you measure against another poor performer then you're always going to look pretty good. 125 bhp from a 1000cc (0r 1200cc for BMW) is, at best, pretty average, even for a twin these days, and is no match for decent "high performance" engines.

What percentage of HD sales are powered by the "modern" V rod engine?
No idea , my comparison was off the top of my head based on your user name and assumed ownership of a bmw , i could have used a guzzi in comparison also , i'm also not sure who claimed a harley as having a high performance engine .

bimsb6

6,382 posts

159 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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Prof Prolapse said:
HD has a turnover of ~ $1.18 billion dollars a year. In a single breath they could most certainly pick some of the best engineers in the world and built a competitive high performing motorcycle

.
They did ,google vr1000 1994 .

Mr Dendrite

1,163 posts

148 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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tvrolet said:
In summary - advantage for HD going OHC/DOHC on their engines - none that I can see.
Advantages of pushrods in a slower revving engine - low engine height, easy/compact automatic valve adjustment, shorter chain or easy gear-drive to the cam(s) - no real problems with chain stretch/tension/lube as it's in the block, easy maintenance for the 'top end' - just unbolt the heads and off they come, pushrod tubes look cool smile

If the motor was doing 10,000 rpm (or even 7,000 rpm) it would be a different argument - but for HD it's all 'win' with pushrods.

Edited by tvrolet on Tuesday 22 August 14:41
That might icon of motorcycle history the Honda cx500 had pushrods and a redline at 9,800 if I remember rightly, oh and the standard issue Honda chocolate camchain tensioner. laugh And yes I did own one paperbag

HD Adam

4,249 posts

122 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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Prof Prolapse said:
Don't hate Harley Davidson, hate people with Harley Davidsons.
hehe

gregs656

2,226 posts

119 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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I don't really get the HD hate. I took out a Fat Bob a while back and had an absolute blast on it, though I do think they could make more of an effort on the quality of the fixtures and fittings. A surprising amount of surface rust on it.

Shame that Victory are no more, I thought they're offerings were a great alternative to HD. Not so sure about the Indian style.

I'm seeing A LOT more cruisers, bobber and flat tracker style bikes on the road. And lots of HD metal around here on the South Coast. I guess between Soton and Guildford the area is well served.

ZesPak

18,898 posts

134 months

Tuesday 22nd August 2017
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gregs656 said:
I don't really get the HD hate. I took out a Fat Bob a while back and had an absolute blast on it, though I do think they could make more of an effort on the quality of the fixtures and fittings. A surprising amount of surface rust on it.
You answered your own question.
I don't mind the cruiser style, or the lack of power in the engine. It just that everytime I sit on one I get a feeling they were designed in the late '80s and then left alone.
This would be fine if it was a small company that doesn't have the means to put out quality switchgear or more efficient and reliable engines, or if the prices were resonable.
I just can't get along with companies offering things at a premium price and then seemingly invest that money back into marketing rather than improving their product.
That's my 2 cents.

Pothole

26,193 posts

220 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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I've ridden a few. Never felt like buying one.

black-k1

8,689 posts

167 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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tvrolet said:
black-k1 said:
You're right, I had overlooked the V Rod although, by measuring by the BMW yardstick is being very selective. If you measure against another poor performer then you're always going to look pretty good. 125 bhp from a 1000cc (0r 1200cc for BMW) is, at best, pretty average, even for a twin these days, and is no match for decent "high performance" engines.
I just don't get this 'measuring performance by capacity' thing - does it go down well in the bar or something? For me, at least, I'd start with the performance I want, then how I want the performance delivered, and then capacity used to deliver it comes a distant last place...

Sure I'd love huge horsepower in a bike, but in truth around 90hp gets me down the road - BUT I want massive thumping torque that will pull a wall down in 6th from idle. I'm past wanting to wring the nuts off stuff these days - I just want to open the throttle and go...in any gear, at any revs. Now to do that Indian used 1800cc, and HD do something similar with a similar capacity. Could they deliver the same 'performance envelope' with less cc? Probably, but to what end? Seriously - if a bike is making say 115ft/lb and 90hp out of 1800cc, what makes it any better if you can do it out of 900cc. My response is 'so what' - is it nicer to ride? And the answer is probably not. You quote 125hp from a 1200cc BMW - what if next year BMW replaced the 1200 with a 750 but it still made 120hp. With your logic that's instantly a better bike?.

Same with car engines - I wanted 500hp, and if I dropped in some 2-litre turbo 'performance' engine with sophisticated this and that I'd probably have got it; instead I put in a 6.2 litre Chevrolet V8 and it makes 500hp without breaking sweat and delivers massive torque too. But mister, it's less than 100hp/litre - so what - it makes 500hp.

Jeez, heaven knows why I'm defending HD here as I'd never buy one, but they do seem to come in for a lot of misguided criticism imho. It would be interesting to do a poll of 'dislike' versus 'actually knocked up some miles on one'. It's a bit like a friend of mine who 'doesn't like Indian food'; only he's never actually tasted Indian food and just orders steak!
You are, of course, absolutely right and if the “there ain’t no substitute for cubes” approach works for you then brilliant and you should buy a big V twin motorcycle and a V8 Jeep. (Just like you have!!!) wink But that doesn’t mean that an 1800cc push rod, air cooled V-twin can be regarded as a “good” engine. If ALL you want is grunt then it’s certainly an approach that delivers, but most people don’t just want grunt. They want lightness, they want power, they want smooth, they want economical, they want reliable! Oh, all as well as some grunt! A “good” engine is generally viewed as one that can deliver on all of these requirements to a greater or lesser degree and can deliver to one or more to a near exceptional degree.

One very basic measuring tool to help establish how well an engine delivers is to look at power output per cc. Lower cc engines tend to be smoother as there are smaller combustion volumes and smaller/lighter moving parts. Likewise, smaller capacity engines tend to be lighter and physically smaller, benefitting significantly to the overall size and weight of the motor bike.

As said before, I don’t dislike Harley Davidson or Harley Davidson bikes/riders. People can and should buy whatever bike they want and ride it how and where they want. My only objection doesn’t even relate Harley Davidson specifically, but relates to any air cooled, push rod engine. The only way such an engine can be considered “good” given modern technology, and the alternatives of OHCs and water cooling is when simply comparing to other air cooled, push rod engines. But, saying one turd is a good turd and another is a bad turd doesn’t change the fact that they’re both turds!


gregs656

2,226 posts

119 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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ZesPak said:
You answered your own question.
I don't think so. No problem with identifying problems, or even just saying 'they're not for me' but I don't understand why HD generate the kind of visceral hatred you see.

I suppose the flip side is the fans who refuse to see there are areas they could improve.

You don't have the be a scholar of HD history to notice that when they do try and produce the bike the magazines claim they want - lighter, more powerful, better brakes and suspension etc - they are not commercially successful.

The cost thing is an interesting one - yes they're more expensive than the competition but they have better residuals, access to a vast after market parts bin, and like VW a ticket into a scene the value of which is very subjective.

Got an email about the 2018 model range this morning. They do seem to have a more modern flavour this time round. The riser mounted display on the street bob is very neat.

Prof Prolapse

14,370 posts

128 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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I did the first time you said it!

Very impressive!

bogie

13,711 posts

210 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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They must have heard the feedback already, Harley just launched the 2018 range with bigger engines, more power, more lean angle (!) and some models even have monoshock rear suspension with an easy pre-load adjuster. ....wow wink still no mention of traction control, anti wheelie control etc......

http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/harley-davi...


bimsb6

6,382 posts

159 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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Prof Prolapse said:
I did the first time you said it!

Very impressive!
Lol no idea why it did that , it wasn't me honest .

HD Adam

4,249 posts

122 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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Surely the modern HD engines are good enough for what they are and the bikes they are fitted to?

Let's take the Triumph Bobber as an example.

It's got a twin cylinder, high torque engine that looks a lot like a 50's Triumph engine and suits the bike.

Sure, Triumph could fit the revvy triple out of the 675R and it's more powerful & modern. But, it wouldn't suit the bike.

The 103 in my Softail Slim also suits the bike just fine. It looks the part, sounds the part and happily drags the bike (and my lardy arse) around because it's a cruiser bike.

I don't need 150hp & 12,000rpm. The only time I'll ever get my knee down on it is if I fall off in the Blue Oyster Bar carpark at the Village People tribute night..
It's just not that sort of bike and neither is the rest of the HD range.

If I wanted high performance, I'd have a turbo Hayabusa or something but I'm just an old fat bloke and my wrists & back wouldn't take it anymore.

Plus, I'd need a concave tank for the belly and XXXL leathers biggrin