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  • April 13, 2012
  • Gabe Ets-Hokin
  • Richard Van Laar and West Coast Motors
  • 50 Comments

A Beautiful Hoax: 2013 Harley-Davidson FXDX

Some of our readers here at MD  post they’d like to see a Harley-Davidson that, from their anti-cruiser perspective,  not only looks good, but handles and goes well, too. Problem is, H-D doesn’t usually do very well on the sales floor with high-performance models like the V-Rod and XR1200X, which  make up around a single digit percentage of total sales. If you want the mythical handling and performance these jaded readers want from Milwaukee iron, you have to spend some time modifying a stock bike, especially if it’s big Twin power and torque you crave.

So imagine the surprise and hope stirred up  when a certain post popped up on the XR1200 riders forum. An XR owner in Holland claimed a local dealer had  just uncrated a 2013 FXDX — big news, as H-D hadn’t made an FXDX since 2005. AKA the Dyna Super Glide Sport, the 1999-2005 FXDX was the twin-shock Dyna frame with a Twin Cam 88 motor, adjustable Showa suspension and dual front disc brakes with four-piston calipers.

The alleged 2013 FXDX looked enough like a factory product to fool at least one blogger, if not more. Not only did the fit, finish and design of the bike resemble a freshly built H-D, but the dealership — West Coast Motors in Alkmaar, Holland — packed the bike for shipment in an actual H-D packing crate, complete with quality-assurance stickers, dunnage and VIN labels on the crate. The friendly local XR owner, Richard Van Laar, snapped photos of the bike as it was being “unpacked,” as well as additional photos of the bike on the showroom floor.

Photos of the bike showed us something intriguing, if imaginary. The front end is quite plainly the large-diameter inverted Showa fork from the XR1200, complete with the 292mm brake discs and four-piston calipers and steel brake lines. A snazzy chin spoiler provides subtle good looks to the bike’s underbelly. In back, what looks like Öhlins shocks — longer than stock — provide a better (and fully adjustable) ride as well as more cornering clearance, and they’re bolted to an XR1200 cast-aluminum swingarm. The stock Super Glide dual exhaust has been ditched for a two-into-one system with a sportbike-style muffler with a plain aluminum finish. If it’s a fake, it’s pretty convincing, but when MD reader Randy D. pointed it out to us on an H-D discussion forum, other forum participants noted the fact that there were two VINs on the crate (one a 2013, one older), plus a label for the 96 cubic-inch motor on the air cleaner — suspicious when H-D told us last year the 103 motor is going in all the new big Twin models (a few carryover models excepted).

So we fired a quick email to H-D Media Relations Manager Jennifer Hoyer. “Just a dealership trying to get attention … and it worked. A hoax.” She also told us categorically there is no 2013 FXDX—period. So it was a clever custom build.

Who did it and why? A call to West Coast Motors was answered by the builder himself, Bas Leek. When he set about building himself a sweet-handling Dyna ready for high-speed European roads, he wanted it to look like a factory ride: “I don’t like aftermarket parts,” he told me in almost-perfect English. So the goal was to build a bike that looked like it rolled out of an H-D assembly plant. A stock XR1200 front end was grafted to the front, but the rear swingarm was more work — it was welded and modded by a local machine shop (where Bas worked while he was in college), converting it to work with the right-side brake and left-side belt of the Dyna. It was then powder coated to look like a factory finish. The swingarm got bolted to a set of modified fully-adjustable Öhlins dual shocks, with reservoirs removed to give the bike a more factory look.

The finishing touch is the Akrapovic (say “Ah-craw-paw-vitch, but don’t feel bad — Bas pronounced it wrong too) exhaust, cleverly finished to look like a stock item. It’s loud and makes good power — Bas expects to see over 100 horsepower on the dyno — but it also has an optional quiet insert to avoid trouble with the authorities when he takes it touring this summer.

But why post it to his Facebook page as a stock bike? He told me that he was “making a little bit of an April Fool’s joke,” but he also wanted to “see if people are liking something like this … we’d love to see it come from the MoCo.”

We would too! An MD tip of the hat to Bas and his crew at West Coast Motors for a job well done.

50 Comments

  1. Doc says:

    SJ, you are absolutely right. And not only that, how much hi-tech does a person need to be happy? You’re a pretty sorry individual if your tech meter has to be pegged 100% 24/7. Harley riders used to say, “If I have to explain it to you, you wouldn’t understand”. Some people on here just don’t get it.

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  2. ride2live says:

    Define perfomance! We all have different perspectives of the word. After 25 years of riding and riding all types and styles of bikes, I come to the conclusion Horsepower does not make performance. One my bikes is a 36 horsepower DRZ supermoto, anyone who doesn’t think it is a performance machine should come on down and try to keep up (no straight aways please :))! My friend has a Fatboy that he rails with the best of the sportbike guys, I always thought imagine if that bike had a real suspension and brakes. I think these guys have hit it on the head. I’m not a cruiser guy but if I was I would seriously consider a bike like this, for around $14K.

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  3. Reinhart says:

    Thanks Brinskee, you hit the nail on the head. We do want an attractive, competitive and reasonably priced high performance bike from an American builder. It’s not too much to ask. But will it ever happen? I think not.

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  4. Chris says:

    Bottom line? For the same money, you can buy a bike some another manufacturer, stock, that blows the Harley into the weeds. The rest is just rhetoric.

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  5. Gummee says:

    How many different ‘models’ can Harley make out of 2 engines and 3 frames? (Not counting the V-Rod)

    Despite getting press, I don’t see this as anything earth-shattering. Ho-hum. Another heavy, underpowered cruiser dressed up in different bits. Wake me up when Harley does something truly innovative like sticking the V-Rod engine in a touring bike. THEN I *may* pay attention.

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  6. Jack says:

    That back fender though,straight off a 32 Chevy……my god it’s so rediculously ugly that it could pass for a real Harley.

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  7. T. Rollie says:

    I like Harleys, always have, always will. But this mixed up bike would still weigh a ton, so it couldn’t really be a sport bike. A sport bike starts with a lightweight engine and it doesn’t seem The Motor Co. is working on a lightweight Motor.

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  8. blackcayman says:

    Back when the V-Rod was being designed and released there were many variations (maybe not drawn by HD) being shown on the web. The one that caught my eye was a true “standard”. They never built it and its a shame.

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    • mickey says:

      Although i have never ridden one, at least from the articles i read, I think the Vrod would make an outstanding platform for an american sport touring machine if designed right. However I’m afraid if HD tried, they would try and make it too traditional if you get my drift with those angular skinny top open bags that Harley puts on its dressers and a bat wing fairing.

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  9. brinskee says:

    In my opinion? It looks okay but there is nothing sporty about this or any of their lineup. Look, if it has two wheels and burns gasoline it’s all good by me, but the emporer has no clothes! Pig/lipstick; they don’t call them hogs for nothing! If you wanted to make a Harley more sporty, you would have to replace the engine, the frame, the wheels, the brakes, the suspension…

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  10. Hot Dog says:

    Very nice bike. The Sheeple won’t ride this one but other bike nutts will. Move the footpegs back to take weight off my arse/spine and it’d be just right.

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  11. SJ-Steve says:

    nice to see that the H-D haters(Tom R, Steve)are still here with us typing their negativity & fear for all us us to read…

    Other then the V-Rod & XR1200R, Harley is not now in the high performance motorcycle business & I know many of you believe these 2 examples are less than hi-po bikes..that’s fine.
    H-D’s are not designed to be hi-po bikes…they are designed to do what they do best.. provide comfort along with a low CoG & lots of torque. H-D’s business model is a year after year success which means H-D customers are satisfied. The negativists (I just invented that word!)are not in the market for a Harley & they know full-well that none of the Harley models will satisfy their requirements, but they continue to bash & bash & bash Harley Davidson anyway. That is like someone wanting to buy a nice filet mignon & going into a health food store to purchase it & then being pissed off when he finds out the health food store does not sell filet mignon. & then they go back year after year to the health food store continually bitching that they don’t sell filet mignon. Someone displaying this behavior would be considered “off” just a bit…right!

    I have a 2011 FLHX (look it up if you don’t know which model it is!) with some very minor work (dyno tune, FI remap, K&N AF, ceramic coated headers). I not only keep up with my friend on his 2011 Honda Gold Wing, I take him off the line & continue to stay ahead for quite a while compared to a few short years ago. My friend can’t believe it!
    While neither of these bikes are hi-po bikes, they perform just as we want which is why I keep riding Harley’s & my friend will only ride Gold Wings. Our motorcycle requirements are satisfied. If your requirements for a bike are not satisifed by the H-D lineup, then by all means go & purchase a bike that fulfills your requirements. There is no need for all of the negative emotion being directed at H-D & their riders.

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    • brinskee says:

      I think people just want a beautiful high performance american bike that performs at the level of a Japanese superbike and has the sex appeal of a Ducati/Triumph/Aprilia. Something we can share with the rest of the world, that is sophisticated, technoligically advanced, and sophisticated. Something we can be proud of.

      Harley… Harley is none of that.

      And don’t even think about screaming “what about Buell! What about Buell!” I didn’t say choose two out of three. Performance, technology, *and* looks.

      Do it America.

      Oh and while we’re on it, price. Sure the Motus is an alright bike (the concept is interesting, but PUSHROD!? Come ON people…) but it’s insanely priced. “Tooling! Startup costs!” Bullshit. Go read Triumphs recent history. That is a modern success story and those bikes are loved the world around.

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      • SJ-Steve says:

        I agree brinskee that it might be nice to have an American motorcycle manufacturer design, build & sell a hi-po Superbike…but I doubt it will be Harley…at least any time soon. There’s always Victory…they could do it but that might go against their business model which seems to be to build a Harley “alternative”.
        It’s clear that H-D does not want to get into buidling & selling sportbikes hence the axing of Buell. I didn’t like that & don’t agree but that’s what they did & last time I looked, I really don’t have any business experience at that level to comment otherwise. But I will say this…. there are a number of posters here who repeatedly bash Harley for building what they build & then the same people bash them some more for not building what they don’t build (sportbikes)… but I’m betting that NONE of them bought a Buell when they had the chance to show their support of H-D & Buell but they all complain now.
        If an American made superbike is in such high demand, one would think that Motus would have built that instead of what they built, right? If not Motus, someone else. Too bad King Kenny doesn’t re-start KRR & rather than focus strictly on racebikes, they build a line of American-made-designed sportbikes…
        …I’m waiting for the KTM 350 Duke to break cover… I think that bike will be a “blast” to ride…. no Buell pun intended!

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    • paul246 says:

      Its a free country, where people can express their opinions, freely, as you have just done, too.

      If you don’t like it, you can move to another country where they dictate that everyone must like the motorcycle that they offer.

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      • SJ-Steve says:

        I am fine with people’s opinions paul246. But opinions are formed from emotion, not fact. Once the facts are known, opinions often change…mine do. I find that I can keep some of my emotion-based opinions… but these opinions often have nothing to do with the facts & are therefore meaningless.
        I prefer understanding my requirements & then determining what will satisfy my needs rather than getting on the emotion-driven rollercoaster fueled by clashing opinions…. once that occurs, there is no room left for facts.

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        • metric 3 says:

          I like to report ideas and comments I don’t agree with! And make up stories about how fast my bike is….. and if anyone disagrees I’ll report YOU! Right Steve?

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    • Goose says:

      Thanks, you saved me writing a long comment.

      Honestly, I feel sorry for people who’s life is so empty all they can do is put down things they don’t understand. I’ll never understand why anyone would buy a Harley “Springer” or a BMW S1000 but if it makes you happy I’m not going it call you an idiot unless you interfere with my life in some way.

      They Dyna is Harley’s version of a standard, it is a great bike as is but it would be even better with BPF forks and adjustable, high quality shocks.

      Ride on,

      Goose

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    • team222 says:

      Harley Davidson does not make performance bikes because they have failed at every attempt to do this.

      Bottom line is they simply do not have the engineering to build one, management skills oversee production and marketing or dealers/sales people that can actually sell a world class sport bike

      Look no further than Buell….Harley buys the company, promises a new motor and years later when this motor is finally available and Buell winning races…….Harley decision…..pull the plug.

      Then there was the famous NASCAR designed engine AMA roadracer……another Harley performance bike failure

      The wonderful V3……Harley funded development …..150 hp and torque at 150 was the result. Did they pursue this…..ofcourse not!

      Not only is engineering a performance bike beyond Harleys capability…..they can not even buy an established and historical performance manufacturer to get to success…….MV Agusta

      My view is all of us should be happy Harley can not build a world class performance bike…..if by some miracle they got this far Harley management would certainly take action to take turn success into yet another failure.

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  12. jay1975 says:

    The local dealer here built a Dyna Super Glide to look like a big twin Nightster. It came out quite well and looked stock at first glance.

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  13. Reinhart says:

    Harley would never build such a stupid looking bike. That rear fender is completely ridiculous. Why not just buy and XR1200X and be done with it? You would be spending less dough and getting a bike that is faster, lighter, better handling and cheaper! What an idiotic thing to put together.

  14. Biker King says:

    I doubt Harley will ever come with a true performance bike. They tried to roadrace and got trounced on. Then Buell tried and suceeded, but had to do it with something other than a heavy underpowered Harley engine. So for Buell’s reward, they closed him down. Harley seems only interested in cruisers and portly V-twins. I would like to cheer for them, but after that stunt with Buell, I find that hard to do now.

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    • Stinky says:

      I’m with you there. I really like my local HD dealer and was glad to be able to buy a couple of Buells from him. I feel bad that there is really nothing I see in the shop I care for. I’ve got a couple of stickers from American Torque that say FK HD. Kinda says what I feel about a lot of American Corporations. It seems to be rooted in how their CEOs are schooled.

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      • Dave says:

        A former Harley marketing persom I know told me that the reason Buell failed was because HD dealers didn’t get it and couldn’t sell it. If Buell were allowed to go outside of the HD dealer network things might’ve turned out differently but the HD dealers wouldn’t allow that either.

        HD recognizes that they’re in a similar position as Buick, Oldsmobile, Cadillac were some years ago. An old customer base with fewer new customers coming in. The average rider age today is 49, up from 40 in 2001. It won’t be long before HD needs to make some painful image shifts. Buell was an avenue for that.

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        • Jake says:

          It’s part of the *dealership* culture (many are legends in their own minds). And…, the manufacturers actual customers are the dealers.
          And many H-D dealers didn’t want Buell.

          The Yamaha FJR *automatic* failed in America partly because dealers didn’t like them.

          In old H-D history: it’s rumored that long-time H-D dealer, Reggie Pink, when told he had to order a percentage of his annual order many new, lightweight, Italian models said, “Go ahead and bill me for the damn things but don’t ship any…!”

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        • mickey says:

          I can see it now…HD branded Hover-rounds

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        • Reinhart says:

          Buell failed because it was a cross between a paint shaker and a Sportster. Sure, I was intrigued by the idea of riding a Buell when they first came out…that was until I actually rode one! If Buell was Harley’s answer to building a successful sportbike, then they need to study the market a little closer. They seem to be too concerned with distancing their current customers with a full-on sportbike, who for the most part don’t give a rat’s hiney about sportbikes. Now that Willie G. is gone there is a chance that they might build a clean sheet sportbike without valanced fenders and handlebar tassels.

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    • eehhe says:

      Where and when did Buell succeed in road racing? Anyways, performance road bike is something different from racng. Ducati Monster level of performance would be plenty for a “performance” H-D.

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      • Dave says:

        Danny Eslick won the 2009 AMA Sportbike championship on a Buell. He’ll be back on the EBR race bike next year in the Superbike class where the bike is not winning but not doing badly either.

        Sure, Danny had a 500cc advantage but so did a guy on an Aprilia who didn’t beat the 600′s often.

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        • Fred M. says:

          It’s only a 500cc advantage if they both have the same redline. What matters is how much air you can pump through the engine in a given amount of time. A 250cc engine and a 500cc engine of equal efficiency will make exactly the same horsepower if the 250cc engine has twice as high a redline.

          The reason why V-Twins are permitted larger displacements is because their piston speeds are higher due to a longer stroke, making for a lower redline.

          Different engine configurations and types make different amounts of horsepower per cc of displacement. You can’t expect a V-twin of 600cc displacement to make anywhere near the horsepower of an I4 with that displacement. And a V8 of 600cc displacement would make a lot more horsepower than the I4, again because the RPM limits could be a lot higher.

          Even extending beyond the theoretical, there are issues with cylinder filling, valve sizes, usable camshaft profiles, flame fronts, etc. that all vary with cylinder displacement. Expecting displacement to be an accurate predictor of horsepower on wildly different engine designs is just silly.

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  15. Mean Chuck says:

    Really neat bike, it might have tempted me if Triumph didn’t exist but I am sure the Thunderbird Storm would do everything better. I’ll keep my Rocket III with rearsets on it, I know it’s more fun.

    I don’t know what is the bigger shame, the fact they aren’t building it or the fact that if they did no one would buy it.

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  16. Goose says:

    Well, at least we know the ignorant Harley haters are still around.

    Too bad it is a fake, a Dyna with good suspension would be a great bike.

    Goose

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  17. morpheus says:

    Neat idea. Not hard to build really. I have a set of XR1200 forks from my ’09 (the early non adjustable types). I’ve considered having them reworked by RaceTech or the like and mounting them to my ’01 FXD. Past that get a set of decent Ohlins shocks and you have 70% of it. The swingarm is the trickiest part, not sure where they got that. The wheels look like XR1200 fare, heavy darn things, and the exhaust is something I’ve not seen.
    One nice thing about Harleys, nothing is that hard to do, more parts than you can imagine out there.

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  18. Pete says:

    nice job Bas Leek, Harley should take notice and build it. This coming from a xr1200 racer, yes A.M.A #63 as for the gap at the rear fender. That is the price one has to pay for ground clearance, well worth it. As for the rear shocks put the canisters back on as the xr1200x came stock with them. Either way beautiful bike that Harley should build!

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  19. Gham says:

    Nah,rear fender looks too thick and it makes the whole bike look portly

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    • Gabe says:

      Crud! I meant to write about that but the story got too long. He doesn’t like the bobbed H-D fenders and didn’t want to go aftermarket–he hates aftermarket Harley parts! Said it was a Dutch thing. Anyway, he says with a rider on board, the suspesnion settles down and the gap over the tire gets much less noticeable. It’s too be expected with the lower-profile wheels and longer shocks.

      The upside is more cornering clearance,Clarence!

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  20. Gary says:

    Looks like that right side will keep your feet nice and, errrr, toasty. Other than that, nice looking bike … factory or not.

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  21. Kona Ken says:

    Best looking Harley yet. That’s the one I would buy over all the other models. Too bad it doesn’t really exist in their line up.

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  22. Steve says:

    Harley’s feet forward riding position does not lend itself very well to having as much control over your machine as the more rearward foot pegs found on standard road and dirt bikes. Harleys used to come with rearward pegs until all the posers wanted to look cool riding through the local park and up to the local bar. Harleys used to sound good too, until everybody installed the loud blattity, blat, blat, blat pipes to help call attention to themselves posing when nobody was noticing.

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  23. Michael_Haz says:

    Coincidence. I stopped in at a very nice HD dealer this afternoon, just passing a bit of time kicking tires. No doubt about it, the MoCo builds some beautifully detailed and finished motorcycles. Just lovely, most of them, and it’s nice to see a line of Sportys that have price points attractive to younger buyers.

    After I left, I thought “There’s nothing here for me.” I want to add a bike to the garage, and want a lighter-weight, great-handling, well-suspended motorcycle for day rides on rural and twisty roads. I don’t need a jillion horsepower, or a 10,000 rpm redline, just sweet engine with a good torque profile. And a comfy upright seating position.

    The Hoaxly Davidson in the article could be perfect with adding a screen and small bags. Had it been the the dealership today, I would have bought it.

    Are you listening HD?

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    • Tom R says:

      No, they aren’t listening. Their loud pipes have made them deaf.

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      • Dave says:

        Besides, there are 20 Japanese models available that will do everything better and more reliably than this HD at half the price.

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        • Fuzzyson says:

          Couldn’t have said it better myself!

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        • Stinky says:

          I wish the Japanese made a sporty air cooled BIG twin. I’ve got a couple of Buells (RIP) that I dearly love. I’ve got a couple of Ducs, ditto. I have nothing against any of the Big $ (love ‘em actually) but they’re spread so thin that I pity their dealers trying to cover all the models and and genres. Harley, Ducati, Triumph cover narrower spectrums that make their dealers job easier to cover service, parts and accessories,HD has a dealer in every town and corner. I like the XR1200 but have the gas tank issue and would like it to have a bigger motor and six speed.

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          • mpolans says:

            Check out a Yamaha MT-01. Not light like Buells, but semi-sporty air cooled big twin. Also TRX 850 (might be liquid cooled).

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          • team222 says:

            Be careful for what you wish……the Japanese have had no success with large twins to compete with Ducati and they have had 30 years to figure it out

    • Michael_Haz says:

      They are such beautiful and iconic motorcycles that I wouldn’t mind paying a premium over an imported bike IF the MoCo made one with a more upright seating position and all the other things I mentioned above. The XR1200 starts to come close, but needs a larger gas tank and a couple of other things. The Switchback is interesting–but the 3″ suspension travel is a problem, given the roads around here. What I like about them is the high-quality finish, the lo-revving motor, the ease of maintenance (especially compared to my current Beemer), the high number of US dealerships, etc.

      I don’t get wound up about the loud pipes, dress like a pirate crowd. I don’t hang out in groups; they can do their thing, I’ll do mine. In the same manner, I don’t get my undies in a knot about guys who dress like Helge Pedersen for a ride to Starbucks, or kids on sportbikes who wear cow suits for a ride through the park. To each his/her/its own.

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