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Why do Harley-Davidson police motorcycles have a top speed less than a Toyota Prius?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by orangebottle View Post

    It's not a need, it's just their design.
    You're avoiding the question- is there a legitimate NEED for Harleys to be that slow?

    Without geeking out too much on the engineering,
    Feel free to geek out as much as you want. We can discuss BMEP (Brake Mean Effective Pressure), VE (Volumetric Efficiency), connecting rod ratios, piston speed, stoichiometric ratios, whatever you want.

    HD motorcycles all use a V-twin engine. That engine configuration does something really well -- it develops torque. Thing of torque as your 'get up and go' power. It's a good engine for when you have something heavy you need to get moving quickly from a standstill. But they typically run out of power relatively low in ther rev range.
    There is so much wrong there, it's hard to know where to start. But here goes...

    There is nothing about the V-twin engine configuration that causes it to produce any more torque than any other engine configuration. The Yamaha V-Star 250, for example, only puts out about 15 pound-feet of torque.

    And there is nothing about the V-twin engine configuration that causes it to "run out of power relatively low in their rev range". The V-twin powered Yamaha TZ250 peaks at over 12,000 rpm, and makes good power to 14,000 rpm.

    Harley-Davidson motorcycles, for the most part, are large, comfortable bikes designed for the kinds of all-day riding/touring that tends to be popular here in the U.S.
    This is all wrong too.

    Harley-Davidson motorcycles are MUCH less comfortable for touring, as compared to other, more competent touring motorcycles like the BMW K1600GTL.

    And "all-day riding/touring" is not what Harley-Davidsons are designed for- Harley-Davidsons are designed for a particular visual aesthetic, in the absence of any legitimate functional purpose. They are generally the largest, heaviest, and most expensive element of the costume of non-riding posers exploring their Walter Mitty delusions.

    Because they're heavy beasts, the V-twin makes sense.
    Harley-Davidsons are not "beasts". They're just impotent and morbidly obese.

    As a result, Harleys tend to get off the line quickly, but have limited top speeds.
    You should read the Michigan State Police report that I linked in my first post.

    The Harleys most definitely do NOT "tend to get off the line quickly". The stock Harley FLHTP averaged 5.23 seconds 0-60. The Yamaha FJ1300 averaged 3.78 seconds 0-60.

    To put that acceleration in another way, it only took the FJR1300 .14 of a mile to reach 100mph, but it took the
    Harley FLHTP .39 of a mile to reach 100mph, nearly three times as long.

    If you've got a speeder doing 75mph in a 55 mph zone, you're obviously going to have to significantly over 75mph to catch up to them, so the 0-100 test is very relevant, and the fact that the Harley takes three times as long to do it, is a serious officer safety issue.

    Yes
    , there are V-twin engines that are capable of high speeds, and some can even be competitive race bikes, but those are specially designed and the bikes themselves are very light.


    I'm not sure what you're trying to get at here- the heavier a motorcycle is, the slower it is. Harley-Davidsons are both very heavy, and very slow, for no legitimate functional reason.

    Compare this with something like the inline-4 engine common on many Japanese sport bikes. This style of engine has high horsepower (total power) but relatively low torque.
    The "inline-4 engine common to many Japanese sport bikes" is not a "style".

    And since horsepower and torque are inseparably tied together through arithmetic, you cannot get horsepower without torque. That's why the Kawasaki ZX14R puts out significantly more torque than any air-cooled Harley-Davidson road motorcycle.

    They're designed to rev much higher to get to all that power.
    More accurately, Harley-Davidsons are designed to rev much lower in order to put out so much less power.

    As such, they generally don't start that fast, but ultimately can generate much more speed.
    We've already covered this- read the report. The motorcycle with the highest top speed, accelerated from a standstill MUCH quicker than the Harley-Davidsons.

    I realize this a gross simplification...
    It wasn't a gross simplification- it was mostly just wrong.

    ...it gives some idea of why it is HD bikes perform the way they do.
    This is not about why Harley-Davidsons "perform" the way they do. This is about why Harley-Davidsons FAIL to perform.
    Last edited by Aidokea; 01-11-2020, 05:16 AM.

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    • #47
      Feel free to geek out as much as you want. We can discuss BMEP (Brake Mean Effective Pressure), VE (Volumetric Efficiency), connecting rod ratios, piston speed, stoichiometric ratios, whatever you want.
      Are you an old school gearhead? From my previous quarter mile racing days with small block Chevrolets. Rod ratios, piston speeds,TDC dwell in addition to a myriad of others were at the top of our lists because they are interconnected. I'm truly amazed that manufacturers are utilizing all aspects with great success for increased performance.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Aidokea View Post

        You're avoiding the question- is there a legitimate NEED for Harleys to be that slow?



        Feel free to geek out as much as you want. We can discuss BMEP (Brake Mean Effective Pressure), VE (Volumetric Efficiency), connecting rod ratios, piston speed, stoichiometric ratios, whatever you want.



        There is so much wrong there, it's hard to know where to start. But here goes...

        There is nothing about the V-twin engine configuration that causes it to produce any more torque than any other engine configuration. The Yamaha V-Star 250, for example, only puts out about 15 pound-feet of torque.

        And there is nothing about the V-twin engine configuration that causes it to "run out of power relatively low in their rev range". The V-twin powered Yamaha TZ250 peaks at over 12,000 rpm, and makes good power to 14,000 rpm.



        This is all wrong too.

        Harley-Davidson motorcycles are MUCH less comfortable for touring, as compared to other, more competent touring motorcycles like the BMW K1600GTL.

        And "all-day riding/touring" is not what Harley-Davidsons are designed for- Harley-Davidsons are designed for a particular visual aesthetic, in the absence of any legitimate functional purpose. They are generally the largest, heaviest, and most expensive element of the costume of non-riding posers exploring their Walter Mitty delusions.



        Harley-Davidsons are not "beasts". They're just impotent and morbidly obese.



        You should read the Michigan State Police report that I linked in my first post.

        The Harleys most definitely do NOT "tend to get off the line quickly". The stock Harley FLHTP averaged 5.23 seconds 0-60. The Yamaha FJ1300 averaged 3.78 seconds 0-60.

        To put that acceleration in another way, it only took the FJR1300 .14 of a mile to reach 100mph, but it took the
        [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]Harley FLHTP .39 of a mile to reach 100mph, nearly three times as long.

        If you've got a speeder doing 75mph in a 55 mph zone, you're obviously going to have to significantly over 75mph to catch up to them, so the 0-100 test is very relevant, and the fact that the Harley takes three times as long to do it, is a serious officer safety issue.



        I'm not sure what you're trying to get at here- the heavier a motorcycle is, the slower it is. Harley-Davidsons are both very heavy, and very slow, for no legitimate functional reason.



        The "inline-4 engine common to many Japanese sport bikes" is not a "style".

        And since horsepower and torque are inseparably tied together through arithmetic, you cannot get horsepower without torque. That's why the Kawasaki ZX14R puts out significantly more torque than any air-cooled Harley-Davidson road motorcycle.



        More accurately, Harley-Davidsons are designed to rev much lower in order to put out so much less power.



        We've already covered this- read the report. The motorcycle with the highest top speed, accelerated from a standstill MUCH quicker than the Harley-Davidsons.



        It wasn't a gross simplification- it was mostly just wrong.



        This is not about why Harley-Davidsons "perform" the way they do. This is about why Harley-Davidsons FAIL to perform.
        tvmzITbg3OJZi5Xq325E0KVFpDuLfW41vmNSba0CEV18HKu43jfivTpU-8WUWssaU8TB7jPFkpnNU6nScxGqg6QwB_4kT6APp3X4uhFSxYyYL7XQxsUE0ema4tgg1NMPGuWTmmEbug.jpg

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        • #49
          Edited : realized it is just a more detailed version of my original comment in this thread.
          Last edited by 9L81; 01-11-2020, 12:11 PM.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by retired137 View Post
            Are you an old school gearhead? From my previous quarter mile racing days with small block Chevrolets. Rod ratios, piston speeds,TDC dwell in addition to a myriad of others were at the top of our lists because they are interconnected. I'm truly amazed that manufacturers are utilizing all aspects with great success for increased performance.
            You could say that...

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            • #51
              Originally posted by L-1 View Post
              The Harley is like dating a crazy chick.
              ...that's always at that time of the month.
              This Space For Rent

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Aidokea View Post

                So if Habro offered free Nerf pistols to your agency, how would you feel about being ordered to turn in your Glock for one?

                These are both officer safety issues.
                A comparison of Nerf toys to 9mm, .357 Sig, .40, .45, etc pistols is too far of a stretch for me. My agency does what my agency does and goes with HD bikes. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't accept free Big Wheels in exchange for their HD fleet...but you never know.

                Comment


                • Aidokea
                  Aidokea commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Harley-Davidsons ARE the "Nerf toys" of motorcycling.

              • #53
                Originally posted by retired137 View Post
                Are you an old school gearhead? From my previous quarter mile racing days with small block Chevrolets. Rod ratios, piston speeds,TDC dwell in addition to a myriad of others were at the top of our lists because they are interconnected. I'm truly amazed that manufacturers are utilizing all aspects with great success for increased performance.
                Count me in. I guess Harleys are popularized due to popular culture and therefore they are well-known worldwide. At least that's how I see it. For me, I had a few rides on Harley, not my style but I guess you can just get used to it especially the uncomfortable seatpad. At least I can get one of these if that's my own bike. I'm thankful that my department didn't have any of this.

                Comment


                • #54
                  Originally posted by MarvinG View Post
                  I guess Harleys are popularized due to popular culture and therefore they are well-known worldwide. At least that's how I see it.
                  Harley-Davidsons are NOT popular worldwide. My wife and I attended the Isle Of Man TT, which is absolute motorcycle Mecca- the TT attracts more motorcycle riders than any other motorcycle function in the world. We saw tens of thousands of motorcycles of all types...but we didn't see a single Harley-Davidson there.

                  Harley-Davidsons are mostly popular with a certain subset of non-riding posers, almost all of them here in the U.S..

                  For me, I had a few rides on Harley, not my style...especially the uncomfortable seatpad.

                  I'm thankful that my department didn't have any of this.
                  I understand...

                  Comment


                  • #55
                    This thread is looking kinda like a 2-wheeled version of Ford vs. Chevy...
                    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
                    -Friedrich Nietzsche

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                    • #56
                      Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post
                      This thread is looking kinda like a 2-wheeled version of Ford vs. Chevy...
                      Not at all.

                      This has nothing to do with a subjective preference of one brand over another- this is about the objectively quantifiable weakness of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, as documented by the Michigan State Police annual tests every year.

                      Comment


                      • #57
                        I have no brand preference- I selected my last motorcycle based solely on the manufacturer's road racing contingency payment plan, which was paying $2,000 per win at that time. I served as a rider and model for a major motorcycle manufacturer's advertising campaign, riding a motorcycle that was total crap, simply because they were paying me at the rate of $1,000 an hour to do it. I don't care what it says on the side of the tank- I care about what the motorcycle offers me when I ride it.

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                        • #58
                          Kewl, a Harley bashing thread.

                          Next question, what kind of oil do you use in your Harley, and how often do you change the blinker fluid?

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                          • #59
                            Originally posted by phillyrube View Post
                            Kewl, a Harley bashing thread.
                            In spite of Harley-Davidson going SO very far out of their way to offer a plethora of material for Harley bashing threads, this is not a Harley bashing thread.

                            This thread is about the officer safety aspects of a Harley-Davidson requiring .39 mile of wide-open throttle acceleration, to accomplish what a more competent motorcycle was able to achieve in only .14 of a mile.

                            Comment


                            • #60
                              I feel meek and substandard now that I had retired from a department that uses HDs for their motor unit. I'll just continue to cower in my corner and attempt to use the minimum amount of oxygen possible.

                              In our HD's favor, they have presence and authority. Their appearance at funerals and other memorials make more of an impact on those who attend. They are more than adequate for the job they do, especially since it is against our policy to pursue on a bike. Again, best of all...they are free.

                              Personally, I thought the Bimmers were cool, but since there was no Bimmer bike dealer in my town, they were ruled out as a contender.

                              Comment

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