In 2007, we wrote about the Harley Davidson Nova V4 engine project from way back in the mid 1970s. AMF owned Harley in those years and decided a V4 wasn’t a profitable venture so they killed it. Then, in 2009, there were rumors of a new Harley V4 project. This one was supposedly around 1600cc, with a 72 degree V angle and output around 170 horsepower. Cycle World in May of 2009 wrote a short piece referring to the rumors, but had few details to add. Those were some lean years at the Motor Company with the economy crashing around it and the V4 seemed to disappear as did talk of the project.
In our last article on the Motus Lone Star 2, Bob left a comment about “Project Overlord,” a name I had not heard before, but according to a post on Australian website Netrider, that was name of this most recent V4 and that’s where these photos come from.
You can examine the engine castings and glean whatever information that might reveal, but what I found interesting was the plastic concept. It looks like a 3D print of a possible model powered by the V4 and it’s definitely outside the usual Harley Davidson mold and it could have been a direct competitor for, well …, for a lot of motorcycles. Was this a Harley design?
Why not a V4?
The Motus custom Brian Case put together and the printed concept you see here make it clear you can put a V4 in a naked bike without the overdone styling of the new VMax. Just let the engine show and let the sound and performance speak for itself. Unfortunately, if this was the ill fated V4 the Motor Company was considering, I doubt it will ever see the light of day, but it sure would have been a breath of fresh air and tire smoke.
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