As I reported HERE Harley-Davidson has drastically changed their cruiser platform for the 2018 model year. All Softail and Dyna models now share the same frame and basic suspension combining them into one model family, which Harley-Davidson has named the Softail line. The Motor Company went with the Softail name because they wanted to maintain the legacy the name carries and felt like it had a higher recognition value. This set in motion a surge of backlash from enthusiasts loyal to the Dyna platform. Outrage around the Continue reading The 2018 Harley-Davidson Softail and Dyna Myth
Harley-Davidson has announced several Anniversary based events for 2018. The first is a 115th Anniversary Party and Rally to be held in Prague in the Czech Republic. This event wil take place July 5-8, 2018. The second Anniversary Event will take place in Continue reading 2018 Harley-Davidson and HOG Anniversary Rides and Rallies Announced
To read the initial Cycle Blog report on Harley-Davidson’s fine and settlement with the EPA CLICK HERE.
In August Harley-Davidson and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached a settlement regarding the sale and use of Screamin’ Eagle Race tuners, a device used to change factory fuel and ignition settings, allowing bikes to operate outside of the EPA’s clean air rules.
The tuners in question have always been labeled as “Race Only” with a warning stating their use may “reduce or void” the factory warranty. Harley has also always stated that their limited warranty Continue reading Harley-Davidson and the EPA: What the lawsuit means for your warranty
Harley-Davidson Motor Company has announced they will be laying off 200 employees. 115 of the cuts will come from their York, Pennsylvania plant where they produce most of the Big Twin line. At it’s peak in 2009, the York plant employed 2000 people. Currently, they are operating with around 950 full time employees.
This current round of layoffs are expected to begin in early October and end in November. It is no surprise the company is cutting personnel given in July they announced sales were down 5.2% compared to 2015 with profit down 6.4% for the same period. At the time the company stated the U.S. market was weaker then expected and as a result the company would cut production by 5000 units, from 274,000 down to 269,000.
While the U.S. economy seems to be improving this is further evidence many U.S. company’s are still fighting to get back to pre-recession levels. Harley-Davidson is not the only power sports company to go backwards this year. In fact, despite fewer sales, they have actually gained market share in 2016, indicating the industry as a whole is down year over year. Many cite political uncertainty as a reason sales have declined, while others blame stagnant wages or global economics. I believe a combination of issues have reduced consumer confidence and expect the industry to remain stagnant for the foreseeable future.
With the heads out for machining, work on Project Knucklehead has slowed down. I pulled the remainder of the chassis apart and now have a bare frame to work with. As before, almost everything was finger tight or missing fasteners. The seat post gave me the most grief because the bike had bottomed out at some point and mushroomed the end of the retainer stud threads. Some work with a file and thread chaser cleaned it up enough to get it apart but it will probably have to be replaced. Continue reading Project Knucklehead : Reviving a 1946 Harley-Davidson Part 3
Harley-Davidson has officially released a new motor, the Milwaukee Eight™, in their touring models. The standard version of this motor is 107 cubic inches with a 4.4 inch stroke and 3.9 inch bore. The CVO platform boasts 114 cubic inches from a 4.5 inch stroke and 4.0 inch bore. There is also a Screamin’ Eagle Stage 3 kit available to bump the motor up to 117 cubic inches.
Harley’s other Big Twin motor, the Twin Cam, operates using 1, two lobe cam per cylinder requiring a dual chain drive assembly. The Milwaukee Eight™ operates with a single, four lobe, cam driven by Continue reading A Technical Guide to The New 2017 Harley-Davidson Milwaukee 8 Motor
Harley-Davidson has agreed to pay $15 million to settle a suit with the Enviornmental Protection Agency (EPA). $12 million in fines and an additional $3 million towards a “clean air” project to offset carbon emissions. The suit alleged that the Motor Company sold 12,000 bikes that were not certified as compliant with Federal Government standards. It also claimed Harley-Davidson sold over 300,000 performance tuners that, when installed on their bikes, caused them to emit excessive amounts of certain air pollutants making them non-compliant.
Harley released a statement saying that reaching the settlement was Continue reading Harley-Davidson and the EPA Reach a Settlement
The Discovery Channel has announced they will be premiering a new mini-series titled “Harley and the Davidsons” on September 5th. The film will chronicle the creation and rise of the Motor Company in 1903 to the historic creation of the Knucklehead motor in the mid-1930’s, including some of the great early flat track race wars with the Indian Motorcycle Company. It will use the tried and true formula of adding a dramatic fictional element to spice up actual historical events. Love it or hate this usually makes for an entertaining story.
I’m excited to catch this series because I love motorcycles, racing and the history of Harley-Davidson. Many people are not familiar with this part of the company’s history including it’s origin story. Continue reading “Harley and the Davidsons” to Premiere on the Discover Channel in September