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Tag Archives: Motorhead Memo

Motorhead Memo: Make the eagle scream

A $19,000 Heritage Classic will run with a $40,000 CVO Road Glide. A 114” Heritage will outrun one! Huh? The bargain Tourer will smoke the flagship? How can that be? Well, it almost always has been, because Touring bikes are heavier than cruisers. So how can it not be? Besides, since the advent of 103” Big Twin engines, most riders ...

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Motorhead Memo: Head stroking

Couple of things we need to get through in the space allotted. Let’s start with the two 114” M-8 engines, one supplied stock or optional and one a Screamin’ Eagle upgrade to the base M-8 engine. As you’d imagine, the two engines have much different characteristics. But deep at heart, the main thing is the stroke… uh… strokes. You wouldn’t ...

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Motorhead Memo: The new Softail: Classy Chassis (Part II)

Last time around we talked briefly about a few of the neat (and unsung) supporting players in the total redesign of the 2018 Softails. This time… let’s dig a little deeper into the engine and chassis combo that’s got everyone rethinking Harley’s cruiser image. Or should! After all… dynamically… about the only thing these new machines have in common with ...

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Motorhead Memo: The Gentleman’s Express

For those too young to recall or too new to Harley-Davidson to realize: Harley-Davidson FXR = Forever Excellent Roadster. Actually, it really means… F = Big Twin engine X = (Sportster-derived) front end R= Rubber (vibration-isolating) engine mounts … and the factory should have stuck with that simplicity, in more ways than one. For instance, Harley never bothered to “name” ...

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Motorhead Memo: The new Softail: Classy chassis (Part I)

Let’s get this out of the way up front. Last month I made the wish (in print) that Harley would give the new 2018 cruiser lineup a chassis to match the capabilities, character and potential of the Milwaukee-Eight powerplant. They have! I’ve ridden them all and will talk about that… soon enough. For now, it needs to be said that ...

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Motorhead Memo: Requiem for Buell… or is it?

“Oh, I’ve seen the bottom and I’ve been on top. But mostly I’ve lived in between. And where do you go when you get to the end of your dream?” —Dan Fogelberg I sat down to regale you with the odd facts regarding how Harley-Davidson began racing OHV machines while selling IOE and side-valves to the public… then turning that ...

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Motorhead Memo: I came, I saw, I pondered!

As this is written, I’m still absorbing and analyzing my impressions of the first Street Rod 750 I’ve seen in person. First impression is, Harley probably should’ve done this in the first place. Then… fleetingly… I recall this thing makes more power than the first generation of superbikes. Back in those days a 750 was a big bike and one ...

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Motorhead Memo: Gauging success

Two of the old Corvettes I have owned over the decadent decades had a nifty little “safety device” in the form of optic fibers in a dashboard indicator that let you know all was well with various exterior lights… notably the taillights. I was reminded of this when (for what seems like the umpteenth time) I got word of a ...

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Motorhead Memo: Kickin’ it

You’ll get a kick out of this! (Or not) You haven’t been able to buy a new Harley-Davidson with a factory-equipped kick starter for 31 years. Sportsters haven’t come with one for 38 years! Yet, the desire for a kicker has never really gone way. In fact, it seems to be increasing. This got me thinking about kick starters… or ...

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Motorhead Memo: XLR: When form follows function

A long, long time ago a very impressionable young man went looking for his third motorcycle. The first two had been two-strokes, of 80cc and 250cc respectively. This time it had to be a “real” motorcycle, a big bike of at least 500cc and for sure… a four stroke. He was open-minded about it. Sure, he read Cycle World and ...

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