Liquid cooled Harley's in 2012 ???

Harley Davidson

41 replies to this topic
  • MXOldtimer

Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:15 PM

#1

Posted Image

Stolen from HDforums.com

Among the many different rumors and speculations about the new line of Harley Davidson motorcycles is a prominent rumor that 2012 Harley's will be Liquid Cooled. With each new line up of motorcycles by the popular Harley Davidson brand, there are bound to be rumors and speculations from fans and customers. These come along with the minor changes and alterations that are made to each of the different motorcycles for the new model year. While the company typically doesn't make major changes to its motorcycles, there are nonetheless conversations among fans and customers that major changes may come about.

Origin of the Liquid Cooled Rumor

Harley Davidson motorcycles have traditionally had air cooled engines for the entire life of the company. This unique method of cooling the engine helps to give it a distinctive sound and feel while you're riding. Liquid cooled engines are more common for newer models of other motorcycles and cars, though Harley Davidson has previously stood behind its air cooled methods.

The rumor that 2012 models of Harley Davidson motorcycles will be switched to liquid cooled engines began with a set of documents that were released by the California Air Resources Board and EPA. These documents consisted of certification requests and filings from the company that were filed with the government.

Potential Reasons for Liquid Cooling

Harley Davidson fans and customers have speculated as to why the company may choose to abandon its tradition in favor of a liquid cooled engine. There are a number of potential reasons why the company may do this. First, current regulations for emissions and engine functioning require certain minimum emissions standards, and liquid cooled engines are better able to meet those standards than air cooled engines. It could, therefore, simply be that the company needs to alter its vehicles in order to comport with the current legal rulings in place for all motorcycles.

Another potential reason for liquid cooling has to do with the performance of the motorcycle. Some fans have quoted representatives from the company to say that liquid cooled engines could operate at up to 35 percent higher horsepower than their air cooled predecessors, and that the engines themselves would run considerably cooler. This would mean that the likelihood of the engine overheating and being damaged would be greatly reduced.

Ramifications of the Change

While it remains to be seen whether Harley Davidson will really make the changes that are rumored to be taking place for the engines in its bikes, fans have nonetheless thought of the ramifications. Opinions are split, with many fans encouraging the progressive changes to the engine design and structure. Other fans, however, are concerned that the look, feel and sound of the Harley Davidson motorcycle will be changed irreparably. If the rumor comes to pass, it is likely that older engines from previous model bikes will make a resurgence on the aftermarket, and these parts will become more expensive as traditional fans search them out for their bikes.


http://www.hdforums....p?=industrynews

  • DrThumper

Posted 08 June 2011 - 12:27 PM

#2

The only way I'd ride a liquid cooled Harley is if I rode it off a pier.

  • f800strider

Posted 12 June 2011 - 10:42 AM

#3

I understand the die-hard dedication of the Harley rider, but are you guys REALLY happy with a 1199cc motor that is barely able to make 58 horsepower?
Vibration borders on torture, and overall weight is twice that of the competitors.
I've tried to like them, looked at buying one in the 70's, then once again in the mid 80's. I just can't justify that kind of coin for the finished product.
Tradition? Sure, I get it....but we moved on from 1940's technology in most products. It's time for Harley to do the same.

  • DrThumper

Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:49 PM

#4

I understand the die-hard dedication of the Harley rider, but are you guys REALLY happy with a 1199cc motor that is barely able to make 58 horsepower?
Vibration borders on torture, and overall weight is twice that of the competitors.
I've tried to like them, looked at buying one in the 70's, then once again in the mid 80's. I just can't justify that kind of coin for the finished product.
Tradition? Sure, I get it....but we moved on from 1940's technology in most products. It's time for Harley to do the same.


I agree tremendously. THeir 88ci makes about 48 rwhp, but Harley will never publish the data. My 50ci Boulevard makes that!

Costs too much to buy, too much to maintain, too much for aftermarket parts...then they just fall off due to all the vibration!

  • f800strider

Posted 13 June 2011 - 05:12 PM

#5

However the guys that ride Harleys are TRULY dedicated. They spend the $$ for the initial purchase, then for parts, the HD gear. You can not find a more loyal customer. A large number of the club members I ride with have Harleys and they are excellent examples what I would hope to find in a customer base. I'm bewildered and impressed at the same time. :ride:

  • MXOldtimer

Posted 13 June 2011 - 09:09 PM

#6

To each their own.

Say Harley and it always has to lead to a sword fight....:ride:

  • DrThumper

Posted 28 June 2011 - 09:17 AM

#7

To each their own.

Say Harley and it always has to lead to a sword fight....:thumbsup:


Hahahaha!

Ain't that like a Harley Rider, bringing a sword to a gunfight....:ride:

  • MrBlahh

Posted 28 June 2011 - 09:23 AM

#8

vrod is already liquid cooled anyway

  • DrThumper

Posted 28 June 2011 - 10:03 AM

#9

vrod is already liquid cooled anyway


Harley guys don't consider V-Rods a Harley.
Non-Harley guys still consider them Harleys.

My conclusion is the V-Rod is the red-headed step-child of the Harley world.

  • MXOldtimer

Posted 28 June 2011 - 05:34 PM

#10

The V rods look like an over grown Hot Wheels.

  • cse2c

Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:18 AM

#11

C50 Boulevard has as many plastic parts as my dirt bikes. C50 also vibrates at highway speed worse than a 2 stroke MX bike.

Water cooled Harley? Really? V-rods are a mystery.

  • DrThumper

Posted 20 July 2011 - 07:18 AM

#12

C50 Boulevard has as many plastic parts as my dirt bikes. C50 also vibrates at highway speed worse than a 2 stroke MX bike.

Water cooled Harley? Really? V-rods are a mystery.


Not my C50. Yes, it has plastic fenders and plastic fake-tanks, but it don't shake, vibrate or shimmy, anyways near that of a Harley or even my C90.

A little vibration at idle, very little, just enough to see the taillights shake. That's about it. At highway speeds it has about the same high-frequency vibration as my Bandit or my GSX-R. Less than my YZ426 and not nearly as much as a Harley. It's quite smooth.

If you rode a C50 that vibrated as much as a 2-stroke there was something definitely wrong with that bike.

  • cse2c

Posted 20 July 2011 - 11:37 AM

#13

It was an 06 with cobra pipes.

Rode it for about 3 hours at a speed of about 65mph. It also spit gas out of the tank from under the gas cap while it was cruising down the road. I guess I had filled above the level it wanted when I gassed it. Sounded tough, quick at low speeds but not impressed with that bike. Why is that motor not rubber mounted?

  • cse2c

Posted 20 July 2011 - 11:53 AM

#14

I also think the tank was only 3 gallons.

  • DrThumper

Posted 20 July 2011 - 12:28 PM

#15

4.1 gallons.
Mine is a '07. Yes, if you overfill them, like my 426 and others, they will spit on you.
Mine has Cobra pipes, FI Controller and a "Naked Jug" Unifilter. The 50 ci motor has GSX-R inspired FI and 4 valves per cylinder OHC. Pretty up-to-date motor in a retro package. My C90 is even more higher-tech.

If only pipes were done, it would be a bit raw (tough as you said) and not run as smooth. It's like going off half-cocked. All the real aficionados do a intake mod as well, thus you also need a FI Controller (just as in Harley's and most FI Bikes). The motor has both rubber motor mounts and a couple spots directly frame mounted. What makes a C50 (and most japanese and euro twins) from huge vibration is a counter-weight shaft. A small invention from the turn of the last century, used in most small engines (motorcycles, cars, etc.)...except Harley's.

Mine puts out way more than 20% over stock in hp and torque. It's only a 50 ci motor but puts out more than a Harley 88 ci and even some 96's. The C90 is even a bigger torque monster, leaving Road Kings and the like in it's wake.

  • cse2c

Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:06 AM

#16

Ahh, so the motor FI may have not been mapped correctly and only half done? Got it.
Never understood the FI controller upgrade. I had my 95ci remapped at the stealership. Once you get it done, it's done right? If you were on a sport bike or drag bike i could understand. Having controller for adjusting your bike for track conditions, elevation and temp.
But do you use the contoller for cruising or touring?

Oh yeah and if I ever start racing my touring cruiser. I will be sure to watch out for Suzukis. Whatever. If I was concerned with racing the guy next to me on the street. Then I wouldn't be sitting on a bagger.

  • OrangeTJ

Posted 03 August 2011 - 01:33 PM

#17

The engine pictured in the OP sure looks a lot like the existing V-Rod engine.

For me, the thing with Harleys (and other non-HD cruisers) is that they're fun and comfortable to ride at legal speeds. It doesn't take a ton of power to do that and frankly introducing a huge amount of hp to a bike made for "cruising" only causes a person to more quickly come up against the handling limitations of this type of motorcycle. In the same way that a beach cruiser bike can be more fun to ride along at a relaxed pace taking in the pretty girls on the beach-side than a top of the line racing bicycle, HD's can be more fun to cruise down a lonely country two lane taking in the scenery than a performance-focused bike doing the same thing.

If you don't like riding at a relaxed pace, obviously this kind of bike isn't for you. For me, I no longer have an interest in pushing the limits when I go out for a ride and I found the higher performance bikes I've owned and ridden just weren't as much fun to ride when I wasn't pushing them hard.

  • OrangeTJ

Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:01 PM

#18

What makes a C50 (and most japanese and euro twins) from huge vibration is a counter-weight shaft. A small invention from the turn of the last century, used in most small engines (motorcycles, cars, etc.)...except Harley's.

Mine puts out way more than 20% over stock in hp and torque. It's only a 50 ci motor but puts out more than a Harley 88 ci and even some 96's. The C90 is even a bigger torque monster, leaving Road Kings and the like in it's wake.


You do realize that HD has been using a balancing shaft in all of it's Twin Cam B series motors (those that go into all of the Softail models) for years now, correct? The V-Rod engine is also counterbalanced in addition to being isolation mounted. The Twin Cam A engins used in the Dynas and Touring bikes, and the Sportster engines since 2005 are not counterbalanced but are rather vibration-isolation mounted. This lets through the shake of the engine at low engine speeds but smooths out very nicely once underway. In short, vibration is a non-issue on any currently made HD.

Are the C50 and C90 essentially the same bikes as the M50 and M90? If so, saying the 90 leaves HD's in it's wake and the 50 is faster than 88's and 96's doesn't line up with what's reported in MCN's performance index. Even if your 50 is 20% up from stock power levels, I highly doubt that gets you a half second or more in the 1/4. They show the following (I've thrown a few HD models in for reference, since none they tested are really directly comparable to the 50)

M50 1/4 mile = 13.99 @ 88.88mph Braking 60-0 = 118.5 feet
M90 1/4 mile = 13.11 @ 96.51mph Braking 60-0 = 131.25 feet
HD XL1200C 1/4 mile = 12.99 @ 100.11mph Braking 60-0 = 123.7 feet
HD FXST ( TC88 Softail) 1/4 mile = 13.13 @ 98.99mph 60-0 = 122 feet
HR Road King (TC88) 1/4 mile = 13.44 @ 96.44mph 60-0 = 124.7

While I personally feel that slamming any of the cruising bikes based on power and performance kind of misses the point of this type of bike, at the end of the day, far from leaving them in it's wake, the 90 is a bit quicker than the RK but not the ST or the XL. The 50 lags behind all of them, but is probably somewhat quicker than an XL883C, which is closer in engine size.

Edited by OrangeTJ, 04 August 2011 - 06:20 AM.


  • cse2c

Posted 04 August 2011 - 06:02 AM

#19

Can't believe all the new ones are coming with the 103. Almost makes me want a new one. 103 motor - 6 speed tranny - 6 gallon tank and HD are so willing to deal...... but dealer would never offer me what I feel my bike is worth.

  • grumpy_mx159

Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:06 AM

#20

Liquid cooled motors have been a rumor around the dealerships since about 2004 but havent come out as of yet. I personally would never own a water cooled harley or puddle heads as we call them lol. Yes the vrod is considered the bastard child child of the line up





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