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Posts Tagged ‘XR1200’

Screamin' Eagle 120R Engine

In a move that contradicts previous year investment strategies, Harley-Davidson is feeling flush this holiday season and announced increases in race team support and contingency funds.

First off was the $45,000 fund announcement and support of the AMA Pro Racing Vance & Hines XR1200 Series.  The series expands to nine rounds of the 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing season scheduled for a March 10 – 12, 2011 start in Daytona.  The Vance & Hines XR1200 Series features H-D XR1200 motorcycles specially modified with racing kit parts supplied exclusively through V&H.

On the same day H-D announced that all three factory sponsored riders (Hines, Krawiec, Coolbeth) were re-signed for 2011 and will be returning to their respective race teams.  Steve Piehl, H-D Director of Customer Experience stated that “Although we didn’t win any championships this year, Andrew, Eddie and Kenny all displayed the hearts of the champions they are, and we are confident they will continue to perform at the highest level in 2011.”

The more interesting news (at least to me) was the additional announcement by H-D to create a new Draggin’ Bagger Class (D.B. Class) for the 2011 race season.  This new drag racing class is centered on the introduction of its Screamin’ Eagle 120R engine, a 120 cubic-inch V-Twin capable of outputting 135 HP and 137 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheel.  The new class is for 1999 and up H-D touring motorcycles equipped with the 120R engine.  The motorcycles in this class must run with an original frame, fairings, saddlebags and other bodywork as race fans watch to see who can run a wheelie popping 10-second race.

This is the first time in decades that H-D has offered a crate racing engine and I’m sure we’ll see some exciting racing in the 2011 season.  Lastly, H-D announced it will continue its sponsorship of the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA) and the Draggin’ Bagger class will debut in Orlando, FL on March 4-6, 2011.

Photo courtesy H-D.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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H-D XR1200X

Some might see this as a big yawn… others will think it’s a totally new motorcycle.   I’m talking about the XR1200X Sportster which recently received a refresh for foreign markets, and will be available in the U.S. as a 2011 model.

The latest incarnation has:

  • Showa Big Piston Front fork (BPF) eliminates many of the internal components used in a cartridge-type fork.
  • Showa rear shocks feature 36mm pistons with piggy-back nitrogen charged reservoirs and adjustable compression damping.
  • Nissin dual front brakes feature 292mm full-floating rotors and four-piston calipers.
  • Black powdercoat finish 1200 cc V-Twin engine features downdraft Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection, high-performance camshafts, precision oil-cooled cylinder heads and a large-capacity oil cooler.
  • Upswept, high-volume 2-1-2 straight-shot exhaust system with satin black finish.
  • Chassis features a high-performance designed tubular mild steel frame. The rigid, cast-aluminum swing-arm is engineered to enhance handling.
  • Dunlop Qualifier D209 tires were designed specifically for the XR1200X.
  • Three-spoke lightweight cast-aluminum wheels, 18-inch front / 17-inch rear, are finished in gloss black with an orange pinstripe on the rim.
  • Wide, black dirt-track handlebar for enhanced steering leverage and comfort.
  • Rear-set foot pegs for additional cornering clearance.
  • Compact instrument display with white-faced analog tachometer, digital speedometer, dual trip meter and clock.
  • 3.5-gallon fuel tank with aircraft-style aluminum alloy fuel filler.
  • 29.2-inch seat height with standard passenger pillion and foot pegs.
  • Optional Harley-Davidson Smart Security System.

I think it might pull in a few of those not wanting to be accused of being “Harley Curious” when comparing a Triumph Speed Triple…

Photo courtesy of H-D.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Nothing like a little real-life danger to provide the backdrop in promoting a product.

Harley-Davidson is doing just that with the live streaming of the attempt at the world record jump on a H-D motorcycle.  Seth Enslow will be trying to break Bubba Blackwell’s record by leaping 160 feet across the front of Sydney Harbor, at Sydney’s Barangaroo, East Darling Harbor Waterfront – a world record.  The jump will be attempted on a H-D XR1200 with the Harbor Bridge in the background.

The jump will stream live March 2nd starting at 9:15am Australia EST.  This is happens in less than an hour.

The campaign is being heavily promoted with a special micro-site HERE, the Australian YouTube H-D branded site HERE and on twitter HERE.

Nothing like the possibility of a death to bring in the viewers!

UPDATE: 3:15 PST — SethEnslow is the new record holder after breaking the previous record held by Bubba Blackwell.  The streaming video was fraught with technical issues, and we had to put up with advertising, but in the end we did see the jump live from Sydney.  Seth made it look too easy.  Congrats!

Photo courtesy of Cam Sinclair.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Ice Racing -- Franky Zorn

Yes, it’s been ten years!

Magazines and newspapers with decade-ending rankings have started to appear.

Over the next month, we’re going to be deluged with statistics.  Telling us who the winners were.  People who provided fodder for the system, that you consumed, and forgot.  Best movies, best athlete, best TV shows, best songs, best companies etc.  So, I thought it would be good to go back and compile highlights on the Harley-Davidson decade.

It wasn’t all good news—marked by the roughest economy since the Great Depression.  In pulling together the data I was reminded of a song by James McMurtry’s “We Can’t Make It Here”.  It’s a favorite and one I would vote as the “best” song of the twenty first century, yet it never seems to get air play.  But, this isn’t a rant about how they killed radio and now have us anesthetized in front of the flat screen, selling us products we don’t need, that we put on credit cards that charge 29%.  Sure, McMurtry’s lyrics are poignant, but there’s a hypnotic groove that hooks the listener.  It makes me want to play the song again and again.  But, I’ve moved a little off topic… here is a look back:

2000 — The Softail Deuce is introduced.  All 2000 Softail models have the Twin Cam 88B engine, a counter-balanced version of the Twin Cam 88.

2001 — The V-Rod is introduced for the 2002 model year. Inspired by the VR-1000 racing motorcycle, the V-Rod is H-D’s first motorcycle to combine fuel injection, overhead cams and liquid cooling.  It delivered 115 horsepower.

2002 — The all-new Buell Firebolt is launched.

2003 — Buell launches the Lightning XB9S.  More than 250,000 people come to Milwaukee for the final stop of the Open Road Tour and the H-D 100th Anniversary Celebration.

2004 – The Sportster family models receive rubber engine mounting, a new frame, and a wider rear tire. The Road King Custom is introduced with a low rear suspension and wide handlebars it brings a beach cruiser look to a classic motorcycle.

2005 — The XL 883L Sportster 883 Low brings a lowered seating position to the Sportster line.  H-D and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) mark the 25th anniversary of their partnership.

2006 — The first of the 6-speed transmissions are made available on 2006 model year Dyna motorcycles. The 2006 model year includes the all-new Street Glide, a lower profile touring motorcycle. H-D appoints Beijing Feng Huo Lun (FHL) as the first authorized H-D dealer on mainland China.

2007 — Union rejected a proposed new collective bargaining agreement for employees and went on a strike at its final assembly operations in York, Pa.  H-D launch the Sportster XL 1200N Nightster. The H-D Foundation and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Mobile Service Offices (MSOs) launched the Harley’s Heroes Tour.  H-D celebrated 100 years of Police Motorcycle Sales.

2008 – H-D teamed up with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).  H-D holds its 105th Anniversary Celebration and the H.O.G. 25th Anniversary.  H.O.G. launched the Million Mile Monday ride. A H-D Softail stars in the new Indiana Jones movie. H-D acquires MV Agusta Group expanding presence in Europe.  The H-D museum opens to the public. H-D introduces the 2009 Tri Glide Ultra Classic motorcycle (3-wheel).  For 2009 touring models H-D introduces the all-new frame, swingarm, engine mounting system, wheels and tires and new chassis.   The H-D XR1200 is launched in the U.S.

2009 — CEO James Ziemer retires and is replaced by Keith Wandell. H-D reports decreased revenue, net income and diluted earnings per share and provides a new strategy and restructuring update. Buell named Official Pace and Safety Bikes of AMA Pro Road Racing. H.O.G. set a 5 Million Mile Monday goal, but falls just short of the goal. H-D launched the Ride Free II Guarantee program.  H-D rolls out nine new motorcycle models for 2010 across six model platforms. H-D formally enters the motorcycle market in India. H-D unveils long-term business strategy after poor Q3 revenue and announced the discontinue of its Buell product line and plans to divest its MV Agusta unit.  Erik Buell leaves the company to establish Erik Buell Racing.  H-D announced it will keep its motorcycle operations in York, Pa., that includes a restructuring plan which eliminates almost 50% of the workforce.

H-D Revenue: 2000 = $2.24 Billion (2000 was the 15th consecutive year of record revenue); **2009 = $4.08 Billion (back-to-back yearly declines — in ’06 revenue = $4.55B)

H-D U.S. & Canada Market Share (651+cc): 2000 = 45.9%; **2009 = 45%

H-D Gender:  2000 = Male (90%); Female (10%); **2009 = Male (89%); Female (11%)

H-D Median Age: 2000 = 44.2; **2009 = 48.1

H.O.G. Membership: 2000 = 582,400; **2009 = 1.3 Million

Unit Shipments: 2000 = 204,592; **2009 = 225,000

(** indicates estimates as final results not tabulated/reported and subject to change)

From record revenue and income to record downsizing and decline.  I didn’t mean to get you reaching for the Prozac, but it’s not all that bad.  Just like ice racing in winter months can be slippery with the occasional crash, H-D will continue to modify, adapt and adjust to come out on top.

Photo courtesy of Rutger Pauw;  Statistical Sources: H-D; H-D Investor; Google Finance and various analyst estimates.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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xr1200_tankHarley-Davidson succumbed to the buzz of blogs as well as other customer demands and have now decided to introduce the XR1200 to the U.S. market.  I’ve previously posted articles about the XR1200 HERE and HERE.

The XR1200 was initially designed and launched only in European markets earlier this year. It received a lot of interest along with a positive reception from the European markets.   Many (including this blog) ask why Harley didn’t launch the motorcycle in all markets because it was inspired after the XR-750; one of the most dominating American dirt track racing motorcycles of all-time.  In fact, Harley factory rider Kenny Coolbeth won his third straight AMA Grand National Twins flat track championship on the XR-750 in 2008.

The motorcycle has many unique features and will provide the performance and distinct style demanded of the demographic the company wants to attract.  North American MSRP is $10,799.  This is a smart move.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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xr1200This motorcycle has a fuel-injected 1202cc motor, one of the best tach’s, 43mm Showa inverted or “upside-down” cartridge front forks, Nissin 4-opposed-piston caliper brakes, and Harley-Davidsons first cast-alloy swing arm for rear-wheel movement. 

But it weighs more than most Euro cruisers and “shakes so badly at idle that you can’t read street signs!”

That was the opinion of the reporter.  What is it, you ask?  The Harley-Davidson XR1200.  The author viewed the bike as neither a cruiser or sports bike.  Unavailable in the U.S. market I’ve been trying to find more background information on the motorcycle and ran across this good review from Motoring in South Africa.  The road test was in the same area of Africa’s biggest Harley rally and where the 2009 HOG Route 62 Rally will be hosted.

hd_tachI’m thinking this motorcycle will come to the U.S. market next year as Harley tries to extend the brand and if a Buell, Aprillia 750 or Ducati GT 1000 are too radical then this might be the ride for you.

What do you think about the motorcycle coming to the U.S.?  Send any suggestions or comments to Harley-Davidson HERE.

Photos courtesy of Dave Abrahams and Motoring web site.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Dealernews is reporting that Storz Performance, Inc. reached an agreement with Harley-Davidson to acquire the business’ trademark rights for the term “XR 1200”.  Storz had filed a U.S. Trademark application for the term.  Nothing publically was stated on terms because of the confidential nature of the agreement.  Storz Performance introduced its XR 1200 dirt track style conversion kits for Sportster motorcycles in January of 2005.

I previously blogged on Harley launching the new XR1200 only in European markets and how that strategy was somewhat confusing. This sport-bike looks to be popular and maybe this settlement paves the way for the model to hit U.S. dealers.

Photo courtesy Storz Performance.

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