Harley Davidson’s Liquid Cooled Heads Arrive in the Twin Cooled™ High Output Twin Cam 103™

Harley Davidson Twin-Cooled™ High Output Twin Cam 103™

Harley Davidson Twin-Cooled™ High Output Twin Cam 103™

Over two years ago we showed you the Harley Davidson Patent for a water cooled head design and it looks like it just arrived with their new Twin Cooled™ High Output Twin Cam 103™. If you look at the photo above and compare it to the patent drawings, you'll see it's a well disguised water cooling system enclosed within the fairing lowers.

Cooling system rear view

Cooling system rear view showing coolant route

Here's how Harley describes it:

Twin-Cooled™ High Output Twin Cam 103™: Designed to maintain performance in the most-challenging situations, the new Twin-Cooled™ High Output Twin Cam 103™ powertrain is featured in the 2014 Ultra Limited and Tri Glide™ Ultra models. A combination of air-cooled and precision liquid cooling strategies allow the Twin-Cooled High Output 103 to maintain peak performance under the most demanding loads and riding conditions, and enables a higher 10.1:1 compression ratio for increased power and efficiency. The Twin-Cooled High Output 103 offers 10.7 percent more peak torque than the standard Twin Cam 103 engine. Liquid coolant is routed through the cylinder heads in the area around the exhaust valves and then to ducted heat exchangers located in the left and right fairing lowers. The precision cooling system is thermostatically controlled, and uses an electric pump to circulate coolant. The Twin-Cooled High Output 103 may also improve thermal comfort to the rider and passenger in extreme conditions, such as stop-and-go traffic in high ambient temperatures. Cylinder head temperatures are lower, the airbox shape improves airflow, and reshaped fairing lowers improve venting of air to the rider and passenger.

They don't say much about it, you have to dig a bit and read closely, but it's there.

Remember, you saw it here over two years ago. :-)

Here's the patent and here's the bike.


  1. todd says

    At first I thought they ran the cooling through the chrome bars to hide it but that doesn’t look to be the case. It’s hard to tell from the photos but the text suggests they are able to divert the radiator heat away from the passengers – or at least the cylinder head heat is moved to the radiators. They must have some sort of flaps to move it farther out away from your legs.

    “10.7 percent more peak torque”, too bad they couldn’t increase torque over the entire range other than just at “peak.” snicker snicker


    • Paul Crowe says

      Well they also say:

      It’s got the fastest 60 to 80 mph 5th gear roll on in the history of Harley-Davidson. Which means it’s got the most passing power in the history of Harley-Davidson.

      So it’s more than just peak torque, it’s available when you want it.

          • todd says

            OK, I’ll bite.

            The V-rod has a 4.89 overall ratio in top gear. That puts the engine at around 3800 RPM at 60mph. At 3800 it’s producing around 68 ft-lb of torque (50 HP). 68 ft-lb with a 4.89 gear = 333 ft-lb at the rear wheel (333 LBF of thrust with a 24″ tire). The bike weighs 677 lb on the road plus a 200 lb rider = 877 lb for a 0.38:1 thrust to weight ratio.

            The Twin Cam 103 has a 2.875 top gear overall ratio. That puts the engine at 2250 RPM at 60mph. At 2250 RPM it’s producing around 88 ft-lb of torque (with an added 10.7% graciously added throughout the rev range in my calculations) or 38 HP. 88 ft-lb with a 2.875 gear = 253 ft-lb at the rear wheel (253 LBF of thrust). The bike weighs 896 lb on the road plus a 200 lb rider = 1096 lb for a 0.23:1 trust to weight ratio.

            The Twin Cam 103 will accelerate 65% as fast as the V-rod at 60 mph. I think the marketing folk at H-D need to retract their statement.


            • Paul Crowe says

              I guess we can close down the drag strips and race courses because with a few quick calculations we can determine the winner. Why bother with all of that messy real world testing? Young kids quoting horsepower numbers and graphs from the latest magazine tests will be vindicated.

              On the other hand, as I said above, someone will eventually compare the two, on the road with an actual roll on side by side, not with calculations or graphs. Then we’ll know for sure if it’s marketing speak or actual fact.

              When something can be easily tested, forget the formulas, just test. Remember this?

              • todd says

                The thing about physics and math is that it’s pretty reliable.

                Before you buy a house they run the numbers for you to see if you can afford it. The lender provides you with a “Good Faith Estimate” that is within a few bucks of reality.

                It’s silly to argue against the numbers but then that helps people hold onto their misconceptions and helps manufacturers continue to mislead the consumer.


                • Paul Crowe says

                  Funny thing is, when humans are involved, there’s more than just numbers, like that race video I linked above.

                  Some years back, late 70s or so, there was a big new trend in very complex mathematical financial modeling called econometrics. Powerful computers and complex equations said if you did this you got that. All too often, things didn’t go as planned and the financial wizards stuck to their guns and said people were behaving irrationally because their models couldn’t possibly be wrong. Well, the humans were being human and trying to model what they would do can be an exercise in futility. The models can give an approximation, but the models may have to be changed if experience shows they are consistently off the mark.

                  If we’re doing a straight calculation, the numbers are what they are, 3X4=12, no matter what some new teaching methods may say, but if we’re calculating what happens when you add in a human being, where a machine, like a motorcycle, responds to human input, that machine may surprise you.

                  • todd says

                    sure, I understand. If you put a new rider on one bike and a professional rider on the other the results could skew either way.

                    Manufacturer spec sheets and aftermarket dyno charts suggest things are being evaluated in a repeatable, scientific manner. Considering the human element, who’s to believe those numbers?


            • Scott says

              5th gear roll on. Not top gear. Please redo your calcs. The devil may be in the details. Kinda overlooked that one.

          • todd says

            For perspective, a 2007 Ninja 250 has a 8.86 overall ratio in top gear. That puts the engine at around 6900 RPM at 60 mph. The engine is producing 13 ft-lb of torque at 6900 RPM (17 HP). 13 ft-lb with a 8.86 gear = 115 ft-lb at the rear wheel (115 LBF of thrust). The bike weighs 355 wet plus a 150 lb rider 😉 = 505 lbs for a 0.23:1 thrust to weight ratio.

            At 60 mph in top gear, an old Ninja 250 will accelerate just as fast as a new water cooled Twin Cam 103 – without factoring in the difference in wind resistance between the two!


            • JJ says

              Or 0.20:1 with a 200 lb rider….keeping all things equal….where the Harley beats the Ninja. If you drop drivers weight of the harley down to 159…power ratio increases to 0,24:1.

              • todd says

                sure, but finding a 200 pound rider on a Ninja 250 is nearly as hard as finding a 150 pound rider on a Harley.

                Also, don’t underestimate wind resistance. Frontal area and drag coefficient plays an important role in acceleration as speeds increase. The little Ninja has a 6 sqft frontal area and a Cd of .56. That comes out to 30.9 LBF of wind drag at 60mph. The Harley has an 8 sqft frontal area and a Cd of around .7 for 51.5 LBF of drag.

                Putting those factors in place moves the thrust ratio down even farther in both cases!


                • Miles says

                  Sure, but I was 240-60 pounds and had a ninja 250

                  My only problem was the seat to peg distance making my legs cramp and fall asleep.

                  This is cool (ha)

            • joe says

              I’m sorry but I’ll have to disagree with that. My girlfriend owns a 2009 kawi ninja 250. That thing won’t come close to accelerating as fast as my Iron 883…anywhere, highway, 20mph, 50mph, whatever. Clearly your equations are wrong

              • todd says

                please point out what part of my equations (based on observed and well documented facts) is wrong.

                I did mention the findings were based on a 2007 Ninja – first gen bike. The Second Gen 250s have less power and gained more weight, so maybe it’s a wash with the new one.

                I think you need to look at real world test results:
                Ninja, 0-60 = 5.75 seconds, 1/4 mile = 14.6 s.

                883, 0-60 = 6.94 seconds, 1/4 mile = 14.98 s.


                  • todd says

                    Rich, changing gears does not increase or decrease the amount of power the bike is able to put to the ground. Changing gears merely changes the speed at which that power is produced.


  2. fxrocket says

    I cant wait to get my hands on one. Was looking at the HB switches looks like Running HD LAN system. I believe they did a great job hiding the cooling system. Maybe Next Step, 120 motor.

  3. Tin Man says

    Bringing this change in on the top of the line up appears to be a clever marketing move, Create demand without alienating the core customers. About time HD spent some of their enormous profits on some needed R+D. Linked brakes are a welcome addition as well.

          • Smokee says

            Awww…c’mon y’all….it’s nothing more than a pair of small radiators tucked into space that wasn’t used anyway, a small liquid pump that takes the space formerly uses by the oil cooler, and a few small coolant lines that you have to look hard to find. The system makes the bike a lot more comfortable to ride and the other features make it a lot more fun to ride. Also, don’t let the liquid cooling jokes distract from some of the other improvements…the new front end is amazing…the bike handles like it’s a hundred pounds lighter than it is. The Boom Box 6.5 audio/GPS system is really nice…AM/FM/CB/Sirius-XM/iPod/and intercom with a touch screen display that is the coolest thing I’ve seen on a motorcycle. I had my ’11 Limited for 36 months and I can say that my ’14 is a whole other animal….a better one.

  4. Bob Haas says

    I think for the new 2015 Road Glide it will be a new designed full faring likely something along the lines of what BMW did on the K1600GTL. On the non faring models I am not quite sure how they intend to integrate the cooling into the design other than possibly some sort of center mounted radiator which will be a huge undertaking in redesign.

  5. IrnButt says

    A lot of complication added to a bike that at least had relative simplicity in its venerable design. Even if this is another project they consulted with Porsche on, I would still expect that it’s going to have a few wrinkles ironed out by the only true real-world test riders (affluent schmucks who simply must have one of the first).

    Given certain inflated prices and probable bugs too in the first ones out, would not consider one of these new Harley “wet heads’ OR a BMW “jello head” until they’ve been around for a couple of years.

  6. says

    Returning from Sturgis,I wish my Ultra Ltd had that extra cooling last week in I-90 gridlok in Eastern Washington,……man! that oil was “singing” like it was water,….bottom end started knocking,too!

  7. Scotduke says

    This would make a very suitable unit for powering a small hot rod too. I remember a while back there was a story on here about a guy who made a very neat looking hot rod using a race car chassis with a replica Ford 1930s body. It looked great but I wondered how well it’d fare on a hot day in stop-go traffic, just like BigDog commented regarding his trip back from Sturgis on his HD. I remember my Guzzi getting very hot when I was trying to fight my way through heavy London traffic on a hot summer’s day many moons ago. Like BigDog’s HD, the poor old Guzzi started making noises that it wasn’t too happy and I had to pull over and let it cool down a while. This cooling package would fit the bill – reckon a few hot rod builders might want to try it out.

  8. Mike says

    It looks like they’re taking another page from the Porsche hand book. The Porsche 911 was the last air-cooled stalwart in Western automobile market (minus the VW beetles that were designed earlier but produced until after 2000). The Porsche flat six originally switched to water cooled heads before they did a full water cooled engine in the mid-late 90s. I wonder if it’ll go over better than the V-rod engine?

  9. Gleason Gallinger says

    Question now will be is it going to offered as aftermarket touring parts through the Harley wish book?

  10. Doug says

    Kim – we’ve read that above. I prefer BongHead.

    I find it interesting that Indian is making their 111-inch motor available across their range with just an oil cooler. The HD is tapped out at 103-inches while at the same time adding this complicated liquid-cooling system. Victory also runs 106 inch motor with just an oil cooler.

    Don’t bogart that bong, HD b/c a Scout is coming soon with the same 111-inch bigger motor & less complexity.

      • Doug says

        Still 1 cubic inch smaller than the standard Indian motor, that is what. More importantly, how many models is HD making with the 110 as standard equipment?
        And, why would they be using the 103 with this more complicated-than-one-oil cooler system instead of the 110?

        • DetroitDave says

          The new “twin cooling” system is also on the 110 cu. in. CVO Ultra Limited Harleys.

          • Tom says

            …which makes the bigger Indian motor more attractive if a buyer is looking for as close to a nostalgic look as possible without lower fairings.

            Indian is beating HD in 2 ways:

            Displacement & torque
            Staying true to nostalgia if you don’t want lower fairings

            That is remarkable

            • Paulinator says

              I haven’t seen the new “faux flat-head” personally, but the fake fins do absolutely nothing for me…and probably absolutely nothing for cooling, either.

              • Hank says

                Even if they do nothing for cooling, Indian is motoring along with a bigger motor & just an oil cooler

    • Steel head says

      I am installing the Ultra cool “reefer”on my 09 Street Glide…It’s a fan assisted oil cooler with 2 fans and its thermo coupled. I read all good reviews on it. I know when I was down in DC last year for Rolling Thunder it was hot and my bike was not a happy camper…..LOL. The HD oil coolers now on the big bikes do nothing when you are in traffic..

    • Mykola says

      If you take the official numbers at face value, Negative fifteen pounds heavier.
      That said, the posted wet weight is the same (911lbs) between the ’13 Electra Glide Classic and the more-contented Ultra Limited, so who knows what they really weigh.

  11. says

    with it being {water cooled to the heads –this was what dirt bikes did for years their design;; i hope HARLEY-DAVIDSON offers a 120 or a 131 cubic inch motor or MOTOR KIT;; because the water cooled keeps the motor cooler and can handle more cubic inch{{ this is what most HARLEY RIDERS like more HORSEPOWER and more TORQUE>now whats the {$$ UGLY price for this UNIT

  12. says

    I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the “electric pump to circulate coolant.” Is it just me, or is an electric water pump next to a hot engine pumping hot liquid not the brightest idea in the world?

    • Bluegrass says

      Some cars now have electric water pumps, it helps reduce parasitic losses, and it Harleys case, didn’t require a redesign of the timing chest to find a way to drive it. This isn’t a true liquid cooled motor, no water jackets in the rest of the engine. The big thing I wonder is if there will be sealing issue with the heads and cylinders. Anyways if the water pump system ever fails, its not like it cant be moved and this engine operated like a normal twin cam.

      • todd says

        Interesting points. However an electric water pump is not as efficient as a direct mechanical one. Instead of just spinning an impeller now it needs to spin the alternator a little harder, convert that AC to DC, spin an electric motor and then, spin an impeller.

        Since now there are voids in the heads (arount the hot exhaust valves) where aluminum used to be, if you take the coolant away it’s a bit more difficult to cool without it.

        Most owners upgrade to aftermarket heads anyway.


        • Aaron says

          Yes, an electric water pump is not as efficient as one directly driven by the engine. But with electric you get the benefit of being able to ramp up to the full speed of the pump (or near it) when idling, which for any HD cycle is when cooling is desperately needed. Being able to use the stored energy in the battery to pump liquid coolant at near full flow rates through the cylinder head is a great benefit to have.

  13. toby says

    Not to mention all that rubber hosing joining right behind the voltage regulator. This is a Rube Goldberg system.

  14. Rob says

    One problem with judging exceleration in a Harley in 6th gear at 60 mph. You are almost lugging the engine in 6th at that speed. Most of the time I am in 5th gear because that is about the same ratio as the older 5 speed models had as the 6th gear is more of an overdrive ratio.

    Since I used to own a trouble, I mean shovelhead, I love the comment about calling the new water cool heads, a showerhead.

    OBTW, I saw one of these new showerheads just two days ago at Downtown HD. It was on the lift being prepared for delivery. It was hard to see much difference in the setup and I kept wondering where the water cooling was because I couldn’t see much difference. I like all of the features on the 14s with the exception of the redisgn of the Tour Pak. It doesn’t look like a Harley anymore. That might be a good thing, but I am not used to it. I always figured that HD would have to go water cooled to meet emissions, but I figured they would use the Revolution (AKA V-Rod) engine.

    1980 HD FLT replaced by 1996 HD FLHTCU replaced by 2007 HD FLHTCU replaced by 2012 HD FLHTK All at least partially in blue. Electra Glide in Blue. ;-p

    • todd says

      Right, they did say “5th gear.” I guess that’s fair, let the 103 downshift while everyone with a 5 speed needs to stay in top gear.

      In 5th, the motor will be spinning 2700 RPM where it’s still making 88 ft-lb of torque (but now 45 HP). It’s 3.31 overall ratio in 5th will give you 291 ft-lb at the rear wheel (291 LBF of thrust). This still gives only a 0.26:1 thrust to weight ratio vs. the V-Rod’s 0.38:1.

      Even in 5th gear, still slower than a V-rod – not to mention a Ninja 250!


      • rohorn says

        Recent top gear 60-80 times from the same convenient source (MC Magazine, since it was the only place I could find them for the least amount of work):

        2011 250 Ninja 6.3 seconds.
        2013 CVO Road Glide 6.74 seconds.
        2010 V-rod Muscle 3.3 seconds.

        H-D’s perpetual new model year announcement, just to save space: If you didn’t want one of our bikes last year, then you won’t want one of our bikes next year, either.

        • todd says

          The XR1200 does it in 3.87 seconds for a second place finish in the Harley lineup.

          I wonder what they meant by “It’s got the fastest 60 to 80 mph 5th gear roll on in the history of Harley-Davidson.”


        • Mike says

          Your not comparing apples to apples, yeah sure the other two bikes may be quicker, but which one would you want to ride for 1000 miles without getting off.

  15. Not Todd says

    Hey Todd.. here’s a simple fix to all your whining and complaining.. DONT BUY ONE.

    Bye now!

  16. Medicated Steve says

    Liquid Cooling obviously alows more timing and compression. Yay! Now if HD could only figure out how to make more power before they get to three litres. Speaking of rediculous displacement numbers, how does this compare to the new indian?

    • Nicolas says

      Next move is diesel. Since apparently the folks who carry proudly HD sticker on their truck seem to have a strong attraction to F250s and other diesel mammoth …

      • Medicated Steve says

        haha yes and also since torque numbers are all that are advertised on the big twins.

  17. JohnBoy says

    It is good to see HD continuing to improve. Rode my bike with several others in a couple of parades last year, mine suffered a stretched clutch cable, and a few of the HDs actually had to get trailored because of the heat. The Jap bikes didn’t have a problem because they were water cooled (they have been for years though, so it is really about time for HD on this).
    I just hope that it doesn’t change the look of the HD, and that it definitely doesn’t change the sound of the HD.

    – John

  18. Paulinator says

    I had a little trick that I used when I was riding my ole British bikes. If stuck in stalled or stop-n-go traffic, I could “rich-cool” the engine one cylinder at a time by tickling the carbs alternately. Too much and the cylinder would get washed clean of its lubricating oil film. Oil-dilution and plug-fouling were other things to think about, but cooking an engine really sucks (did that to my dune-buggy once).

    Harley should bump the compression another point (or two) and introduce a Water/Methanol injector that works in unison with ignition timing and the CHT sensors.

  19. Paulinator says

    U guys never factored-in atmospheric density or planetary rotation. Stop guestimating!!!

  20. Ivo says

    Water cooled heads? Did Porsche have a hand in it like some time in the past? The late 1980s Porsche 959 had the same characteristics.

  21. '37 Indian says

    Scott motorcycles were water cooled in 1909, so this technology certainly isn’t new, but I suppose if the small HD radiators would keep your toes warm in cold weather, that would be a plus. I don’t get the “gotta have more power, cubic inches, Screaming Eagle, loud exhaust, and now water cooled heads etc” stuff anyway, seems it’s all watering hole bragging rights material. I have as yet to have ONE HD rider willing to race me on my ’78 Yamaha 750 triple, guess they’re afraid I might win, could you imagine the humiliation? That’s right, 35 years of no HD willing to race, maybe I need to be more obnoxious about it. I personally avoid owning water cooled bikes because the heat blast of the cooling fan coming on at stoplights on hot days is enough to make me want to jump off the bike (I owned an ’84 Honda 700 V4 Sabre for a short time). In 45 years of riding air cooled bikes, I’ve never had one overheat. HD’s already make plenty of power for what they’re intended to be, and the new Polaris Indian will be fine without water cooled anything. I’m all for technological improvements if they are needed, but techno-marketing hype bores me. The Road Glide, V-Rod, Ninja 250 comparo is interesting, sort of a David and Goliath 15 cubic inches vs 103. Even though it’s water cooled, I’d root for the Ninja.

  22. menormeh says

    It will be interesting to see how long it takes to view the first big twin HD rider on his knees, in a parking lot, examining his scoot for the source of glycol mixing with the oil slick under his bike given HD’s reputation for fluid containment. Last year I had a salesman in an HD Dealership try to convince me to trade in my Goldwing for a new Ultra Glide Decker. One of the inducements he used was to tell me how much Harley had improved their machines and actually boasted that, and I quote, “They hardly leak any oil at all any more”, unquote.

    Don’t get me wrong. I have owned five Hogs and I still admire the style, the sound, and the low end torgue. But I grew weary of the constant routine maintenance, the poorly designed and made brackets and accessory hardware, and the fact that the manufacturer wanted me to do his R&D on my ticket. The only HD I would consider today is a VRod as it is, in my personal opinion, the only model that approaches modern day design and technology.

    I’m not going to indulge in the seemingly ongoing discussion regarding what will beat what in competition. It’s entirely dependent on the venue, as shown in the “Hildo” video. Had they run a true quarter mile instead of 100 yards with equal riders, I am sure the outcome would have been considerably different.

    The point I am trying to make here is simple. If this proves to be effective and HD can get it to work reliably, more power to them. But given Harley’s track record over the years I for one will have to wait and see for they have not been the most candid supplier out there.

  23. Renegade_Azzy says

    All that cooling when you need it (AKA, for 2 up overweight riders in a crowd moving 3mph max)

    Glad Harley finally figured out how to make a liquid cooled bike. I bet all the other manufacturers will follow… oh. Wait. Nevermind.

    Welcome to the mid 20th century HD!

  24. Joe says

    Ok Gents…. I have hered alot of calculations, data, comparisons and speculations about the 2914 Ultra Limited . I will offer evidence…. I own it and I love it. Does it have the rw power of a Crouch Rocket? Not quite.
    But then again, its NOT a race bike and it was built for comfort, with one new enovation…….IT DOES HAVE EXCEPTIONAL POWER.
    If you asked any builder to give you a liquid cooled bike with the standards of having lots of power, but maintain great comfort (not to speak of the Boom Stereo, GPS, Bluetooth, EXC…) there are gonna come up scrtching thier heads. Harley did this one right. I know because I an 54 years old, I love speed and comfort, and I own it and I love what H-D has done.

  25. says

    I was away for a while, but I can see nothing has changed.
    Discuss a relaxed road-going Harley cruiser motorcycle designed for passenger and luggage and comfort, and it gets criticized for not having race bike speed.

    Faster is NOT necessarily better for this intended market. They aren’t interested in riding “Willow Springs Race Track”. They don’t care what some Power Ranger suited squid on a rice burner thinks about it. It does what they want it to do, and it’s made where they want it to be made, and it’s the brand name that they want it to be, and they are laying their money down for it, and that my friends is what counts.

    • todd says

      Ninja 250 is a race bike? Willow Spring Race Track? We are talking about being able to accelerate on the highway, hopefully better than a 250 beginner bike.

      My main gripe isn’t with touring bikes or cruisers but with Harley Davidson. They continue to mislead their customers with their mighty claims and misinformation.


  26. says

    It only needs to accelerate as well as an average car, to do what this motorcycle is intended to do on the motorways. And it can do that.

    Regarding their misleading information, my reading of the ad copy shows that they showcase their latest improvements vs what their previous models features or performance.
    I don’t see any references or comparisons vs a 250 Ninja or any other motorcycle in that ad copy. All of that is dragged in by you, for some seemingly unknown purpose.

    • rohorn says

      If performance is so unimportant to their customers, as you say, why did they see the need to impoved it? And why is Harley even bringing it up? Why are they resorting to the use of cryptically useless terms? Are their customers that technically illiterate? Or do they just want the rest of us to point and laugh at them?

      In the mean time, I can point and laugh at projects H-D named after famous American landmarks, such as their amazing Project Rushmore. I wonder what problem Project La Brea Tar Pit would fix. Or they could start Project Detroit and think about their future…

  27. says

    I don’t have any connections inside HD to say why they are doing it.
    But, I would guess that they realize that they are probably going to have to get into liquid cooling to cope with tightening emission control standards, and that this is a transition bike, and that the marketing department wanted to showcase some features to sell the idea to their primarily air-cooled target market. A little more powerful, and a little more grunt in the lower rpms, and a bit more forgiving in the heat of traffic, which are things that the target market would like for their typical riding style. A bit more capabilities than they used to have from last year’s model. That’s the way the ad copy reads.

    Perhaps they didn’t “get the memo” from the mass-market motorcycle magazines that a bike isn’t worth having if it isn’t some kind of MotoGP replica engaged in out-powering the competition by a half a hp and 200 more rpm than the Hamazawa 1000 in the store down the block.
    These guys just want a big chunk of American Iron under them, while they enjoy a sunny day on the big black asphalt ribbons with their other Harley riding buddies. They couldn’t care less about what bike can turn in the fastest lap at Willow, or has titanium valve train parts for that extra edge at 17000 rpm at 182mph. And they won’t be buying anything like that, either.
    They didn’t “get the memo”. They are buying what they want to ride.

    I personally don’t grasp this “need” for some people to ridicule these HD owners for buying what they want. This is what they want. If they wanted a rip-snortin’ rice burner, they’d buy one. They have the money, They are consciously making a decision that they would rather have the HD. For their needs, the HD is much better suited, and it makes perfect sense to them to purposely select the HD. This criteria of “faster” or “higher revving” or “lighter” or “better handling” means nothing to them. The HD does all they want it to do, and it’s the bike they have always wanted, and none of those other brands ever even get on to their radar screen. They will never buy those other bikes.

    It’s funny, a long time ago, it used to be looked down upon for old school HD owners to say, “If you ain’t got a Harley, you ain’t got #&*%”.
    Now, it’s the import riders who are running around waving the ridicule stick at the Harley owners, and it’s just as repugnant from them, as it used to be from the hawg riders back in the day.

  28. Dudley Clark says

    Is it just me, or is it a coincidence, that the announcement of the wet heads matched the introduction of the new Indian motorcycle line?

  29. Elkapower says

    After reading this line of reasoning and actually riding the new Indian motorcycle, both the Classic, and the Chieftain, they both are hot as heck on an 80 degree test ride day. Yes they were smooth, balanced, torquey, but no rockets. Drove a BMW K1600GT also, and no vibration, perfect balance, and VERY fast. If they electrical issues weren’t so prolific for a costly touring bike, isn’t the point to get back home after a tour….and feel good about the trip. After all, for those of us that can buy a bike, any bike, used or new, the point is we want time with someone special, or with a group that have a common interest.
    So quibble all you want, but my choice will be a new 2014, cause I can tolerate a vibrating machine better than a choice of a bike that has limited service help nationally. Or having to wait for parts from another country, that maybe will be taken off an assembly line so I can get home. So, all the above should be about likes and dislikes, and whether you like a hot butt, or like some music to ride by, or a GPS to get thru a traffic jam, or just want to spend a nice day with the wind in your hair, or some girls arms wrapped around you. Be well. Live life.

  30. Radio Randy says

    I don’t care what others think or say…after owning multiple Japanese and one German bike, Harley Davidson just does it for me. I once told my wife that I would own a BMW and a Harley before I died. The Beemer is long gone and I’m already on my third Harley in 10 years! It’s personal and you simply can’t take that away.

    Sure, we have the Harley egos (no tats, though), but we still ride with friends on any brand of bike. Why is it that so many of our riding friends bemoan the fact that they don’t own a Harley Davidson? Why do you see all the derisive H-D comments on the Bombardier Spyder boards, but nothing about the Spyders on any of the H-D boards (that I’ve seen). Most Harley riders don’t CARE what others choose to ride…that’s why.

    I wasn’t sure I wanted to have another monthly payment on a vehicle, but when I saw ALL the upgrades for the 2014 Harley Davidson Tri-Glide, I couldn’t help but trade my 2010 trike in. Fact is, my wife was pushing pretty hard for the upgrade (I let her pick the color scheme) and it’s tough to say “no” when the wife insists on a new motorcycle (he, he).

    Only time will tell if the new “Twin Cooled” engines are all they’re cracked up to be. I guess I’ll just have to live on the “bleeding edge” for awhile and see how it all shakes out. After all, if I ever get tired of riding Harleys, I can always sell the trike and buy 2 or 3 new “crotch rockets”.