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Future advances by the MOCO

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  • Future advances by the MOCO

    I'll try not to make this a rant.

    When is good enough good enough. When I upgraded to a couple of used bikes I was put in a position to say heck with it it is what it is. While technology is sweet and awsome and hopefully makes life better does it really.

    In the case of Harley Davidson motorcycles I feel technology is a double edged sword. Good because EFI makes cold starts especially better. Better controlled portioning of the fuel. And I am sure they are a few other cool things it allows. Not familiar enough with it all yet.

    The bad side is that I think computers are now necessary when altering that set process if I understand the technology. When you break down you're done. Most likely they're will be no roadside repairs. Rarely if ever do you hear about a carb crapping out. EFI has multiple sensors and relays that could imped and halt the process.

    96 inch motors..really. Tuned hot from the factory for EPA compliance? Where is the next step..water cooled Ultra's...I hope not.

    They went from 5 gallon gas tanks forever to 6 gallon?

    Twin cam big twin when the big twins were single cam for ever. Are 2 better?

    Is keeping up with the Jone's necessary for Harley? Does everyone agree with the technological advances taking place?

    I just wonder if another part of the technology is working at pushing the backyard guy out of the loop. Non factory car mechanics/shops are forced to purchase expensive computer stuff to diagnose todays cars. Is that where Harley is or is going?

    Is everyone cool with the advancements?

    I thought the 5 speed 80 CI evo was good enough
    Last edited by badinfluence63; 05-09-2010, 05:57 PM.
    HERD#00004
    *disclaimer: I am not an expert. Like everyone else I have an opinion.

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  • #2
    Well IMO some of the tech side of things is good but then again you get the tech blues when 1 thing goes wrong and you are fugged. The same with cars 1 sensor goes bad and you get a code of different things being bad that ultimately has you stranded and chasing parts that aren't bad, spending a ton of money on labor and parts. To me mechanical parts keep things more simple and can be more reliable in some instances. Motorcycles are moving towards being more EPA friendly due to regulations and I wouldn't be surprised to see emissions testing in the near future if not already in your state ( PA Has NO emissions testing for motorcycles )
    HERD Member #114
    2007 FLHTCU Ultra Classic
    When all else fails, GET A BIGGER HAMMER!
    If common sense was so common, wouldn't everyone have it?

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    • #3
      I enjoyed my 99 Softail with the EVO and the carburation along with the 5 speed.....I agree...They should not be playing keep up with the joneses as we did not like the joneses to start with anyway....My 2 Cents!!!
      Chris (Steveston)
      Herd # 93
      Retired Navy Vet

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      • #4
        As a die hard life long HD guy I've experienced the sometimes agrivation of antiquated technolgy of Panheads(but you could usually get going in most cirmstances/break downs). 80 ci Shovels moved in the right direction and not quiet sure what would be considered annoying of them. The electronic ignition could be easily swapped out to P/C and back again. The 80CI Carbed EVO again was awsome adding a 5th gear too.

        When is good enough good enough and then the envelope starts going on the other side. 2 extremes of the same issue are usually not good. Too much tech not enough tech. Wheres the middle ground?

        The 5 speed carbed, 80 CI single cam'ed EVO is in my opinion perfect. Were 2 cams necessary? Why? 5 gallons isn't enough. Same with 5 speed vs 6 speed.

        I love a Harley, I'm not trying to sound like I am knocking them. Can to much tech ruin a already outstanding product?
        Last edited by badinfluence63; 05-09-2010, 06:22 PM.
        HERD#00004
        *disclaimer: I am not an expert. Like everyone else I have an opinion.

        HS1 and HS2 Attendee
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        • #5
          OLD SKOOL RULES!!!


          Computers suck, cept fer da forum!
          OLD SKOOL BIKERS RULE, WE DO WHAT IT TAKES AND LIKE IT!!!
          With age comes wisdom, yeah right!
          FIRST "HERD BIKE OF THE MONTH CLUB MEMBER"
          RIP Rick.....Ride On Forever In Our Hearts My Brother!

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          • #6
            Sure too much tech can ruin a good thing. Some of the tech comes from regulation and not always from the manufacturer. I'm sure some of it does come from the manufacturer trying to improve the product but the biggest push comes from trying to maintain EPA standards.

            If I remember correctly Catapillar has stopped building heavy truck engines because they couldn't meet the 2010 emissions standards and prior to 2010 they were paying a fine for every engine shipped that didn't meet EPA standards for a prior standard.
            HERD Member #114
            2007 FLHTCU Ultra Classic
            When all else fails, GET A BIGGER HAMMER!
            If common sense was so common, wouldn't everyone have it?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Crocodile56 View Post
              OLD SKOOL RULES!!!


              Computers suck, cept fer da forum!
              With that said can't you agree things technologically needed some tweeking from the knuck/Pans? Shovels were better more improved..The Carbed EVOS banged it home. Got it dead on.

              As a mechanic what are the inherent advantages of 2 cams over one? Would one have continued to meet or exceed performance expectations?? 96" hotter motor? EFI? Do the advantages out weigh the negatives/disadvantages? Did they need the twin cam for the 96 inch motor?

              break it on down croc.
              HERD#00004
              *disclaimer: I am not an expert. Like everyone else I have an opinion.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dan View Post
                Sure too much tech can ruin a good thing. Some of the tech comes from regulation and not always from the manufacturer. I'm sure some of it does come from the manufacturer trying to improve the product but the biggest push comes from trying to maintain EPA standards.

                If I remember correctly Catapillar has stopped building heavy truck engines because they couldn't meet the 2010 emissions standards and prior to 2010 they were paying a fine for every engine shipped that didn't meet EPA standards for a prior standard.
                How is going from 80 CI to 96CI meeting EPA? Carb to EFI EPA related? I don't know I'm inquiring.
                HERD#00004
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                • #9
                  I've owned several 88 twin cam 5 speeds. I also had a VROD. My newest 96 and 6 speed is the best yet. The trans actual goes in gear without a clunk, and shifts far better than most other Harleys I've owned. The 96 torque advantage over a stock 88 is amazing. I'll take the new stuff. Of course I use to be a calibration engineer and have a little knowledge of EFI and ECMs!! Carb bike did and do BREAK down. Latter carb bikes still had computer controlled spark! And the new ignition systems and plugs work far better than point/condenser and old low power spark plugs.

                  I think we sometimes remember the "old times" as better than they were. Been riding since 1963! I do remember pushing heavy non-running motorcycles!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by badinfluence63 View Post
                    How is going from 80 CI to 96CI meeting EPA? Carb to EFI EPA related? I don't know I'm inquiring.
                    Well you just exceeded my knowledge on this. I'm not a mechanic nor engineer that would possibly be able to explain the how's and why's. Most of what I know about the electronics added to engines is due to speaking with mechanics that say the electronics are mostly due to emissions garbage.

                    Some of it has to do with keeping up with other manufacturers as well.
                    Last edited by Dan; 05-09-2010, 06:53 PM.
                    HERD Member #114
                    2007 FLHTCU Ultra Classic
                    When all else fails, GET A BIGGER HAMMER!
                    If common sense was so common, wouldn't everyone have it?

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                    • #11
                      Well, I have to say this is a thought-provoking discussion. I have had carbed bikes up to now, and it seems like you could limp along even if something was wrong. Only the electronic ignition module failing really put you out of business right now. With my new bike, which I absolutely love by the way, I have fuel injection, which is dependent on the ECM, and I have TBW, which is also dependent on the ECM, and I have O2 sensors, and etc. To have fuel injection, you need the computer, plain and simple. My experience with mechanical fuel injection tells me as much. If I had to pick one thing that I think might be over the line, it would be the TBW. Taking a time proven, reliable, mechanical device and replacing it with a sensor and computer seems excessive. But I guess I just described a lot of things besides throttle didn't I? I'm rambling, which I think means I like what the technology brings, but I am wary of it.

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                      • #12
                        I have always owned crabed bikes up until my latest with is an '07 with EFI and the six speed and I absolutely love it hands down above all the other bikes I have ever owned. I was a bit leery about the EFI but then I tought of my old truck which has 190,00 and is EFI and has never even once gave the first hint of trouble. I will say the days of mkaing a quick repair on the side of the road are a thing of the past with the EFI bikes but I guess that is just the way things go I suppose, dont really like that aspect of EFI but I would go back to a carb as my primary road bike either. The thing about the EFI is it will run the same no matter what elevation you are at, so no more rejetting your carb when you travel across country.
                        Herd Member #87
                        US Navy Veteran

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                        • #13
                          You've all covered it pretty well....
                          All I can add on the subject is....I think a computer controlled motorcycle "may" improve runability, but ultimately, it is nothing more than a government mandate allowing them more control over an otherwise "un-regulated" area. They already control the taxes on the bikes, why not control the tailpipe gases as well. Violations mean money....plain and simple...g
                          U.S. Army "Retired"
                          (Disabled Veteran)

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                          • #14
                            The other thing is if you listen to guys that ride rice, they say that Harley is antequated technolgy and has not changed their design is forever.
                            Herd Member #87
                            US Navy Veteran

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wndchsr View Post
                              The other thing is if you listen to guys that ride rice, they say that Harley is antequated technolgy and has not changed their design is forever.
                              Well, That may be true in a few cases, but in order to see how many "real" advances have been made, compare a 2010 sporty to a 1976 sporty...The changes are dramatic...In fact, the two hardly share any original parts. Including the motor....Things have changed far more than we realize....Some of them not for the better.......(plastic rear fenders ?) for example...
                              U.S. Army "Retired"
                              (Disabled Veteran)

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