Water Cooled!

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August 28, 2013 | By: Scott Holton

Here a few weeks ago, Mother Harley brought out this year’s new models.  Across the board there are relatively few surprises except on the new Ultra Classic and the new Tri-Glide. A few years ago, I saw where the Harley Davidson Motor Company applied for a patent for water cooled big twin heads. Well, this year they are putting those puppies to use. The top of the line Ultra Classic and the Tri-Glides are the first official “Waterhogs” sporting two small radiators mounted in the fairing lowers in the highway bars. An electric water pump is mounted where a conventional oil cooler used to mount. Adding water cooling does not leave enough room up front for an oil cooler (I’m not a fan of this).

Water cooled 1

The way the radiators are placed is supposed to direct the heated air away from your legs. I would certainly hope so! I suppose I’ve known since the advent of the V-rod that water cooling was coming down the pike, but it’s a bit of a shock that it is now here. What do you think? We are asking your opinion of the new “Waterhogs”? Is there any hope for future Harley models?

Water cooled 2

 

 

 

 

Is this the finish of Harley as we know it?

If interested in all the details of Harley’s new models, they have a very nice presentation on their website, titled “Project Rushmore.”

Comments (290)

I bought my 2000 fatboy new, some motor work and some chrome and I wouldn’t swap it for anything except maybe a streetglide. 60k on it now. Still rides great…

Wonder why the new Indian is such a success at 111 CU in

Game theory. The more complex a machine gets the more problems you are likely to have. Keep it as mechanically simple as possible.

Motorcycles and guns, if it feels right buy it.

Motorcycles and guns, if it feel right buy it.

Just thinking out loud, but why didn’t/hasn’t Harley tired a light touring bike with the V-ROD engine first? Would seem like a cheaper way to test the Touring waters with a water-cooled engine and see if the public like the idea.
As for water cooling, I believe Harley has just seen the EPA handwriting on the wall, and responding accordingly. Unlike many other changes they have been able to meter out in small quantities over the years, this is one of those things that the switch is either off or on. No middle ground.
You can either bash them for this now, or bash them for going out of business later. Don’t forget, Harley passed on the water-cooled Nova engine in order to stick with the Evo concept, when they had such a clear option (and other factors). They really aren’t out to ruin anybody’s ride, as some people make it sound.

Purchased a new 2014 ultra limited and having problems with coolant overflow. Happens randomly. Rode 60 mi one day no problem. Rode 10 mi next day, stopped and coolant ran out overflow. Dealer don’t know much, said it was overfilled and they are learning too. BS on overfill too much and that’s great when dealer don’t know. Lookin for dealer that can help. Got to be bad componet in system

Ed, not sure I this will help. But I have heard that some of these bikes the clamp on the water pump had been tighten down to much and it can crack the tube. But not sure how true but it was a dealer that told me

the radiator cap was bad on my mine, it built up pressure and pushed it into the overflow bottle, the cap fixed it

That’s not good but at least it was easy. Any other things you don’t like about the new bike?

Found out it was a bad filler tube. The top was warped causing a sealing problem with the radiator cap. Ed P

Why doesn’t H-D just tell the EPA to shove their emissions & mpg requirements? Most of the guys who ride Harley Davidsons wouldn’t hesitate to do exactly that, but I guess the corporate weenie-benders at H-D don’t have a full set of balls between them all.

I’m sick of buying and driving vehicles that are undependable, under-powered, and nearly impossible to work on, because the manufacturers of American cars & motorcycles won’t tell the government to kiss their collective asses. If they would join forces and take a stand for their customers, the manufacturers could easily silence the EPA.

Instead, we have Corvettes, Mustangs, and Challengers that require an engineering degree just to change the spark plugs, and now Harley Davidson, the official ride of those who don’t follow the rules, catering to those who make up the rules… as evidenced with their “wet heads”, designed solely to comply with the EPA’s emissions requirements.

If H-D won’t grow a set, then maybe it’s time to just pack it all in, throw up our hands, and refuse to buy anything else from H-D until they start to appreciate their customer base once again. Until then, I’ve heard something about another American motorcycle…

I agree why buying a bike,that requires to go to a shop and pay $100.00/hour.
that’s why I ride older bikes,if I brake down on the road I can fix it,on the side off the road,unstead off having to wait for some one to pick me up and pay$$$$$,at a dealer

Amen B you said everything I was thinking. You know I was thinking of buying a new bike to replace my 06 road king but now will keep it cause I won’t have water heads and hydraulic clutches and don’t like the friggin 02 sensors. So in the end Harley will lose they have already lost my 20-30 k I would have spent. Harley D. Grow some Balls and tell the Mafia I mean government to p*ss off !!!! Nicky D.

That’s wasn’t looking for speed in that bike. Damn spell check.

Hodge podge.
HD has carried parts over in true wisconsin bailing wire
Fashion since it fitted sportster parts to dirt bikes.
The only reason they made a water head is to
Cool the diaper dispenser they call the tri glide.
I have owned 4 HDs. The 07 and 08 ultras burst my
Love bubble. Hot slow wobbly heavy loud and pretty but outdated agrucultural engineering.
Now the 09 BMW GT I have smokes them. Quiet loaded with tech options light fast as hell 155hp 90 torq thats right 90ftlb
Pretty but slightly buzzy at 6k rpm with a red line of 11k
42mpg and will pass a HD so fast they are stunned
Xenon headlight dazzles cops into reaching for their rulebook
HARLEY CHEESE CUTTERS ARE FOR POSUERS

Them BMW’s are nice. But ugly!!!! My R/T looks like a crotch rocket. Rides great. But I bought my Harley because I like the way it looks.sounds and rides. All metal fenders not cheap plastic wasn’t looking for sore in that bike. But does well over the speed limit when I want it too. Sofar 35,000 miles nothing broke. Oh wait I did have a latch come loose on one of my saddle bags.

If it works don’t mess with it!

Electronics and weather are generally incompatible hence the need for enclosures such as IP 67/8/9 etc so if the throttle works with cable in the rain, leave it alone. You can always swap the cables around if one breaks, like I did between Thailand and Malaysia. Can you do that with wire?

Water and cooling, absolutely necessary for a car in heavy traffic. Not so for a bike, the most reliable engines are air cooled VW and Porsche. They use the alternator fan to draw air over the engine. Also they cool the oil with a conventional radiator, used in the African Sahara and Far East equatorial belt, with fantastic results.

So overall I trust cable and air-cool.

what good is it if it’s watercooled and no fans to cool the water if you are in still standing traffic?
I travelled with my 1942 fl trough Africa 40000 mile trip back in 1982
from Belgium,to luxembough,france,spain,to morocco
(Africa) all they way as far as you can ride staid with nomads in the sahara desert,from there to tunesia,algeria,and back to Belgium,were I lived at that time,without having any problem on my knuckle
in those days I made many long trips to all the super ralleys in Europe.and this doing at 80 mi/hour on these oldies I had back than
no the new generation off Harleys have no class,you might aswell buy a Honda
juls

They do have fans one each radiator Julien. But you are right, it wouldn’t do any good not to have fans on the radiators in stopped or slow traffic.
I’m not a Harley person, but they might have a decent idea if they can get the bugs worked out.
One would think if they decided to water cool the heads, the would water cool the cylinders as well, but it might drive the cost up too far. But they are too expensive as it stands now even with air cooling.

well if they can’t do it right,than leave it the way it is,not a half fast job,as I would say,do it all the way or not at all.
when I went to look at the bikes I didn’t see any fans,but atleast they got that,if you say they do.
this might be the end off Harley Davidson unless they come up with something better
juls

I agree. If you look at the pic that is in color, you can see on the right side of the pic, mounted on the back side of the radiator is the fan, and there is one on each side.
Air cooling has worked since the advent of bikes. Like you said if it works leave it alone, but unfortunately for us here in the states, we have these cheap ass emission laws. Bikes run lean enough as it is, but with the new laws bikes are running leaner than before.
We will see if they work or not.

I,m 62 years of age and have been riding Harley’s for 44 years,when I heard about the water cooled engines,i could,t believe it so a went to look at them,
water cooled heads?biggest junk I ever seen,just like the twin cams,but even wourse,what should have been cooled should be the cinlinder,not the heads,and were is the fan to cool the water,well I guesse they didn’t think about that.
so what good is it when you are in none moving traffic?it still doesn’t cool anything.
if I wanted a (car on 2 wheels I would go with a Honda or bmw)
reason I stay with the old Harley’s is because the have class,not a twin cam or a watercooled Harley with a big stereo, thes are bike for idiots that can’t even change a spark plug
if I want a big stereo on my bike a rather buy a car,not a motor cycle
I take a knuckle,flathead ,panhead shovel,and evo any day than lower myself to ride this junk Harley designed
juls

I,m 62 years of age,and have been riding Harley,s for 44 years,if I wanted a water cooled bike (car on 2 wheels)I would buy a Honda or bmw,the reason I still ride older Harley’s is because they got class,i even don’t like the twin cams,its the biggest junk Harley ever made,and now they are going to even bigger junk,water cooled heads!
here again you can see how stupid they are at the factory,the cooling should be at the cilinders,not the heads,and were is the cooling fan to cool the water?
what good is it if there is no fan? to cool the water,so if you are in traffic you engine still will overheat!
here again you can see how stupid they are!
I stick with my pan’s ,knuckles,and shovelheads
the evo’s are ok
all the later stuff is junk and I will never lower myself to ride it.
but who ‘m I?
just an old Harley antousiast
juls

Now this is funny!!!!
I ride my bike. The last thing I think of when I open my garage when going on a cross country trip is hmmmm should i take my twin cam or pan? Twin cam and radio baby!!!!!
But then again who am I? I also own a Norton, BMW and Honda. Sorry though….. I ride an Ultra cross country.

well good for you

Thanks! I just don’t think I have enough time off work to ride the Pan. But I do love it.

well for myself I love riding my 1951 panhead and my 1974 fxe all original including paint,engines never been toughed

I think Harley has definitely moved in the right direction. I’ve ridden large displacement bikes since 1974 when 750-1000cc’s were the biggest bikes you could find. Suzuki had a two cycle H2O cooled bike the GT750, I ran that bike till it would go no more, over 125,000 miles! H2O cooling allowed that. I will surely look into the new 2014′s because of the new cooling system, as my modified (stage 3 motor work) 2004 Ultra does get quite hot in heavy traffic and around town. Way to go Motor Company!

I’m in my 50′s and I have been riding Harleys since I was 17. In my life time I have seen major changes to the company’s bikes and the changes are always met with outrage by loyalists (i consider myself in that group). However when I heard that Harley was water-cooling I thought wow! what great potential for more horsepower (hp=heat) I remember a seeing a bike (knucklehead) that some garage mechanic built water jackets around the heads, he broke a bunch of speed records at Bonneville (i do like to go fast). Needless to say I went out and purchased one (traded in an 2004 CVO electric glide) to sit along side my shovel and pan heads in the garage (can never have too many) but I have about 700 miles on my new Limited and love it! It is a great daily commuter. 40 miles to the gallon, great music system, navigation (with a twisty road option). I have learned that there is always room for one more motorsicle in my garage, learning to embrace new trends wasn’t easy for me either but now that I have I am better for it. I love and ride my old Harleys faithfully and would not sell them for anything but when it comes time for a ride to Sturgis I will choose my water-cooled monster first. Wake up loyalists and smell the coffee change is upon us, enjoy all the new HP potential!

Drjerkl you are such a hater. You could spend every minute of every day on forums and blogs etc that totally agree with you but you come to a discussion of HD water cooling and what? Yada Yada spew spew.
You are boring dude!

I’m in my 50′s and I have been riding Harleys since I was 17. In my life time I have seen major changes to the company’s bikes and the changes are always met with outrage by loyalists (i consider myself in that group). However when I heard that Harley was water-cooling I thought wow! what great potential for more horsepower (hp=heat) I remember a seeing a bike (knucklehead) that some garage mechanic built water jackets around the heads, he broke a bunch of speed records at Bonneville (i do like to go fast). Needless to say I went out and purchased one (traded in an 2004 CVO electric glide) to sit along side my shovel and pan heads in the garage (can never have too many) but I have about 700 miles on my new Limited and love it! It is a great daily commuter. 40 miles to the gallon, great music system, navigation (with a twisty road option). I have learned that there is always room for one more motorsicle in my garage, learning to embrace new trends wasn’t easy for me either but now that I have I am better for it. I love and ride my old Harleys faithfully and would not sell them for anything but when it comes time for a ride to Sturgis I will choose my water-cooled monster first. Wake up loyalists and smell the coffee change is upon us, enjoy all the new HP potential!

I already know 2 people who bought new 2014 models and don’t like them. One so much so, took the bike back with a little over 300 miles on it to get their old bike back. They took a $4000 loss on giving up the new bike over what they paid. But they hated it that much. My suggestion would be to do your homeowork before you buy and test ride it a few times before handing over your money. Not everyone likes all of this new technology. I’d wait a year so they get the bugs worked out of it.

Your friend is a re**rd….$4000 loss? What a douche!
My 2014 is a peach and runs better than any other year.

Needless to say, my 2010 FLHTC will be my last Harley. If I have to go with a water cooled bike, that’s no problem. The market is full of cheaper and more dependable motorcycles that are water cooled.When it came time to upgrade my wife’s 2009 883low, they didn’t want to give us anything in trade for it. So she’s been very happy on her Honda VTX 1300. Life does go on.

I own both a 2003 HD Ultra Classic, as well as a ‘Custom’ with a S&S 93cu in Shovel ‘style’ motor. I much prefer the S&S motor, but the Harley dependability. I prefer the normally asperated motor, over the elect. fuel injection.
I think Harley is going in the wrong direction & should stick with their signature style instead of becoming like the Japanese or Germans.
I believe there would be a larger market for older style motors with newer technology inside. Similar to my S&S Shovelhead, or Flathead Power’s Knuckleheads & Panheads. As I indicated, my motor looks and sounds like a shovelhead, but oils like an Evo. My mechanic called it a ‘State of the art’ shovelhead motor.
Motors like rhis, coming from HD’s factory, on new ‘Vintage’ style bikes would be directly competitive with the new Indian motorcycles.

J & P also its the ultra classic limited that has water cooled heads not the ultra classic yet !

I just purchased a 2014 ultra classic ! I’ve put about 850 on it now in the break-in period. The reason I bought it over the limited is because of the radiators ! Why would Harley put them inside of a part that cannot be removed. Im am not s fan of the lower fairings. I took mine off last week when I brought it home, in the future the ultra will have the radiators as well and will not be able to remove the fairings ! Over all , I love the bike. I wasn’t for sure I would like the changes but I think Harley did well with the overhaul which I think has been needing for a long time !

I just received a flyer in the mail from Harley, touting new products. On the cover it says “New Choices, No Rules.” This made me think, that isn’t right. There are rules, like emissions rules. To me this marketing statement indicates Harley is still selling this outlaw-ish image. But that is a small era of Harley tradition. Before the 60′s, Harley had a different image, did it not?

I say they should have talk to BMW before the water cooling, BMW has been keeping theirs oil and air cooled and just look at the longevity it has gotten them. RIP old schoolers

I like the idea of water cooling for Harley. You ever been in 90 degree in town on a Harley Not fun when it does not want to idle and your leg is on fire time for Harley to step up with better design and build a modern bike I hope to see much more design q’s come down the pipe I’m thinking of adding a new ultra glide to join my 2004 R K Custom this may help me decide to buy new and not 2 – 3 yr old used good work Harley please continue this attitude

These new water cooled or twin cooled Harley’s don’t run much cooler. This is all for performance. To meet emissions they had to knock the performance way down. Now with cooling the exhaust valve they can get peek performance out of the engine. This is what I was told. But I did hear they are way better.

A good friend bought one and fiund that the air flows right to his legs. On 90 and 95 egree days, would you want all that hot air on your legs? He was pi**ed beyond belief. The air should have ben ducted towards the bottom so it did not affect the rider. Get the ducting right, and it will be acceptable.

I do not like the fact of water cooled Harleys,but the reality is they will be there sooner than we would like. When the V Rod came out, that was the signal.

Boys, f**king relax will ya. You like buy it. You don,t like don,t buy it. I am 56. I have owned many. Riding since 16. Years old. For me and my 2013 fatboy, we get along and simply enjoy the ride. So just relax and enjoy the ride. Yes?

Harley Davidson is beginning, AGAIN, to loose focus. True, the VRod has been successful, but not a huge hit, and the buell made the company look desperate and way out of balance. Harley needs to stick with tried and true. Sure, make design flaw improvements, but improve on what you already have. Screw the stockholders. Be happy with your market share and let your riders relax in knowing that a 2014 FLSTCI will fit as good or better than a 1998. Keep the tradition and you’ll keep a loyal customer base.

When are you going to be offering a product to fill in the hideous hole in the saddlebag supports of the ’14 H-D touuring bikes. From the rear it looks like something is missing or fell off. Regards

I think it will go over big in the Police market as over the years that market has gone down due to the the Motor Cops having to park & idle their bikes so much in their daily shifts. Most departments have gone to water cooled motors for this reason and also most motor cops I’ve talked with say the acceleration factor on the Harley isn’t up to par with with the Honda or other water cooled rides that they have been on. Remember they use these rides 8 hours a day on a work week as they are considered a work bike and needs to hold up under sometimes harsh conditions. I on the other hand have a 09 Street Glide that I am very satisfied with for my pleasure riding and probably would not buy a water head.

I don’t like it at all. Leave them alone. Harley break down all the time my a*s. 10 years on 2 and never in the shop and never a break down. Someone talked about wanna be biker and riding what someone else thinks you should ride. Everyone I know rides Harley’s because its what we love and its who we are. We/I ride what I/we want. No one tells me WTF to ride. No greater bike or ride was ever made than Harley Davidson. Keep your water I’ll take air any damn day.

Harley the greatest ever? Ya sure and I suppose the south is gonna rise again to. This rad thing will just be an interim fix until they build a new engine without the cooling or cam chain issues, pemature rocker failure etc etc. You know something with a large capacity oil reserve, oil cooler and better oil pump. An engine that you check the oil twice a season as opposed to every gas stop. Something that doesn’t use neanderthal technology like a primary chain. Harley has built some beautiful bikes that have unfortunately come with inferior engines. When they build better engines they’ll still be top dog, or hog or pig or whatever. The wannabe bad a** is dying and being replaced by reliability.

Well it’s about time! I have heard the rumors for years but couldn’t wait any longer. Went and bought a BMW this year. I told everybody that I love my Harley but want going to take it on long trips anymore. I’ll wait a year or two to see how these new water cooled bikes do. If they get good reviews I’ll get me one.

I think it’s going to be the next thing to happen to the Harley’s. With the sales of the Japanese bikes and there water cooled engines, Harley has to try and gain some of it’s sales back. Look at Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Star motorcycles. Some or all of there cruiser bikes are water cooled. Plus Harley need to come down on the price on some if not all of there bikes. Why would you want to buy a Sporters at twelve thousand when you can go get a bigger and better riding cruiser bike like one of the Japanese bikes for around eight thousand. When I’m out riding and I see more people on Jap bikes than Harley’s now. And this isn’t just those crotch rockets the younger guys and women ride. They are the cruiser bikes like the Kawasaki Vulcan900, the Star 950, and so on. I am sorry to say this, but the Japanese have made a better riding, handling and performing bike. Harley is like the American Automakers who had to catch up with the Japanese to make a better product. If you look at some of the parts on some Harley’s you will find parts made in Japan on them. There isn’t to many thing you can’t find parts made in Japan on them now.

Water cooled. Huh. Like my 2013 Dyna Wideglide just the way it is.

The “waterhead” is only on the limited, not the Ultra. This is a $27,000 motorcycle, most leave the dealer with new pipes,muffler,air cleaners,efi mgmt devices, etc.. Necessary changes to bypass the catalytic converter. The “reason for the heat”about now, we’re up another two grand. Supply is controlled, they are selling very fast for a product this expensive. Very impressive ride, lotta torque. Let’s face it,if you can afford it you’ll love it. If not, trade it for the Ultra, it’s only money!

How does Indian build an air cooled motor and not have the EPA “crawl up their a**?”

This is a typical HD “interim” technology…real water passage heads will show up in a couple of years…

If I wanted a water cooled bike with an infotainment system- I would by a BMW- 6 cylinder power!…but no thanks. I will ride my air cooled Harley until I am unable.

RIP Harley Davidson..its been a great ride…till now.

wait I mean air cooled is where its at less moving parts cheaper to work on!

Air cooled is where its at less moving parts less problems

It was only a matter of time for Harley to come up with an acceptable water cooling configuration for their big touring rigs. I have to give them credit for trying their damnest not to do anything to radical thus p*ssing off the core customer base. Hiding the cooling fins in the lower fairings was a stroke of genius. As far as if it actually works only time will tell. Living here in Florida I can’t wait to see how it handles idling in formation at one of our famous Florida Bike Rallys. I think Harley had to act for another reason. In 2011 Polarus Industries, a three billion dollar company, bought and revived the Indian brand motorcycle. With three very competitively priced Indian models debuting for 2104 H-D should be looking very warily over their shoulders. Indian has the cultural and historical capital, as the first true American made motorcycle, to take on H-D in the market place.

Just a little FYI
Honda sales for 2013 = around 70,000 units this is all size motorcycles on and off road
Yamaha = around 85,000.
BMW sales = around 90,000 units.
Harley Davidson = around 250,000 units.
Now if any one has a recall or issue with there product lets say 10% where are most of the problems going to be?
I see BMW going somewhere but I don’t see Harley losing the market in my lifetime. But I’m 45

THIS GOES COMPLETELY AGAINST THE GRAIN OF HARLEY.. IF I WANTED THIS CRAP I WOULD BUY A HONDA!!!!

Water cooled sucks

Oh and another thing Willy G Davidson and his last great idea the V-Rod how many of those damn things do you see around NOT MANY because if I wanted a rice rocket I can get one a lot cheaper from japan

WTF Is Harley doing the V-Rod was bad enough now this. If it isn’t broke don’t fix it!!

Deduct the t-shirt sales and harleys sales would suck.If they insist on marketing to riders that don,t know a screwdriver from a wrench they are going to have to sell the company back to that bowling ball company. EFI should be optionalalong with motors like shovels,pans and knuckels. Build the funny bikes for the yuppies. Build the real harles for the real riders.

Funny, but no real facts here Gordon.
Harley out sells any of the other motorcycles buy at least 150,000 units a year! That right a year. Now with t-shirt sales there a $5.7 billion company.
Now I don’t neither does anyone else consider myself a yuppie type. But my bike does have EFI oh wait so does my pick-up. Just say-in

I can see those two models needing it due to so much fairing and larger motoers running lean. If they ever put it on anything else I wud never buy one. Or buy one, take a that crap off, replace top end with coventional parts, rework injection so not so lean and run it

Came off HD in 05 and got a Victory Vegas,now on #3 and can’t go back. No water in a my 2010 CrossRoads, with 70% air cooled and 30% oil cooled, and never runs hot. If HD could come up with motor as bullet proof as VIC, might go back.

Harley is so far gone in trying to keep up with the Jones that they lost all hope of recovery

Have to disagree Robert. Harley still out sells any other more motorcycle by huge numbers. I once thought BMW had a chance to be the top selling bike until I saw the numbers. Not a chance at least not soon.

Harley has always been Harley change is not needed

i give them five years and they are going to be begging people to come back they have had way to many mechanical and electrical problems along with the drop of models that make it harder to find aftermarket part’s high cost of shop time i have already heard loyal riders say you do not buy a new h,d with out the extended warranty. good sale slogan ride today push it to the dealer tomorrow.

Well I’ve told people BMW would lead the market in 10 years that was about 2 years ago. So maybe ill be right. But got me I have many miles on my Harley’s and sofar I can’t complain they have been good.

Then stay on the Victory my friend because that will never happen. My next bike will be a Raider. One of the best cruisers on the market. Waaaaaay better than a Harley. Check out some pics of the raider with a harley fairing and hard bags on it on the internet, Looks better than a harley.

I did not read all the comments left because after reading so many I felt like I was in a wanna be biker forum group , Guess I’m OLD SCHOOL and I am only 45 , Come on MAN UP !!, Keeping up with technology is cool , But crap like oh my leg gets to hot , or I bought this or that because I don’t have to do this or that, I can ride forever and not have to fix this or that , REAL MEN like ADVENTURE !!!!! SHIT HAPPEN’S Deal with it like pioneer’s did, That’s what gave us the freedom to be who we are and should be, We go and discover, Use whats available make things work when thing break , Create and use your head for some thing other then a place to put a cool banana to keep the sun from burning your bald spot that you got from stressing out because some one might find out your a poser in stead of scratching it while thinking about how to get on the road again and see what ells there is out there to explore and experience in life !! Any way I could keep going but what it comes down to is this if it works for you fine go for it, but don’t try to compare APPLES to LEMON’S (called IMPORTS !!)

Now that has got to be the dumbest, stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. You go spend 20k or more for a bike only to have it break down, so you can have the adventure of fixing it, not riding it. These days all harley riders are posers. People buy harleys for a couple reasons, 1 to pose as hard core riders, 2 because they are stupid and have nothing better to do than throw away money, 3 because they are not man enough to ride what they want to ride. Gotta be like the next guy. Trying to look like the bad boy biker gang type. My brother has an 07 softail thats been in the shop times in 2 months. Our ride consists of me riding my Yamaha up to the Harley stealership to sit out in the parking lot waiting for the Harley mechanic to tell him whether or not he can have his bike back to ride. Yeah thats riding LOL. Imports lemons? I’ve had my yamaha longer than he’s had his Harley and my yammy has never been to the shop. Not once and still going strong. Have you read all the harley horror stories my friend? Wake up. A real rider rides what he wants to ride, not what everyone else things he should ride. For me, I’d rather ride than look at my beautiful Harley through the mechanics window.

Well you little sweety, just keep riding your rice. I have put 149,000 miles on my 93 Softail and still going strong. All I have had to do is change oil and tires, and have gone all over this country. So if that makes me a poser so you can feel better about your tame ride have a good little ride around twon. I will be out on the hyways and byways .

Who u callin sweetie u faggit? My bike will blow the wheels off your slow ass harley, light to light, highway or twisties, I will smoke that slow ass shit you got. I doubt very seriously u have that many trouble free miles on your bike. Harleys are shit, always have been and always will be. You know it and so does the rest of the people on this post.

Hey DrJekyl30….If you’re on the East Coast I’ll invite you to five or six real friendly bars….I’d appreciate you telling anyone at one of these bars that all Harley’s are sh*t…I’ll be on a ’56 Pan..If you can..show up with a ’56 Yamaha, Honda or any other non-American bike.. If you really think you bike is fast I have three other Harley’s that I would love to see TRY to get by….To each his own, but don’t bad mouth anyone’s bike unless you will show up to back it up.

Hey JD, I will crush you with my Raider. Just got it, haven’t even modded it yet. Smoked my brother’s Harley which Dyno’d at 81hp/96ftlb tq. Left him like it was nothing. I will gladly see you on the road or track any day. Unless you have a turbo, supercharger, or a shot of nitrous you have nothing coming. That piece of crap you ride will probably break down 10ft off the line trying to keep up with me.

I just wanted to say that i rode my evo for over 28 years and loved it, very few problems except for things shaking loose, , and a little oil seepage, have had a lot fewer problems then my buddies have had with current models. when i was ready for a new ride wanted another harley just couldn’t justify $4.000 more for a lesser bike, I ended up buying an ’09 vulcan nomad 103cui water cooled bagger , been to sturgis 3 times since, not one problem,20,000 trouble free miles.

As I said I have nothing against Harleys especially since I don’t own one. I do ride with guys that own Harleys but somebody said something on another thread, maybe he was on this one that cracked me up but it was so true. Why buy an import when you can buy an 800lb HD that makes 30hp and unreliable. But hey, IT’S A HARLEY LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I do have to say they look good though LOL.

Tha is funny. But I got over 165,000 on Harley’s. Just normal mantiance. I guess I do get lucky every once and awhile.

I’m not a Harley person, but with the advent of water cooling on their bikes, it piqued my interest. I have owned several water cooled bikes over they years, Vulcans and Boulevards. Both are water cooled and shaft drive. I got spoiled on them, and I most likely will never own a chain or belt drive bike.
I hope it catches on with the die hard Harley riders.
Harley’s have always been too expensive for me, and I can see the prices going up even more with this add on.
Time will tell.

Bill, I thought the belt was a bad idea when they first came out back in the 80′s, and I still worry when I ride if it will leave me stranded. But, with the mileage I have on mine, I have to admit they do last a long time. They used to recommend replacement at 60,000, which most riders will never attain, but with over twice that much on mine, with no appreciable sign of wear, you have to wonder how long it will last. I’m told now, you just have to check them out every so often, and monitor it’s condition. Something a lot of riders don’t want to do. As for me, I’ll stick with belt drive, or chain as my 63FL has. Harley had a shaft drive many years ago, and abandoned the idea, although it was just for the war effort in the desert prototype.

I am not too sure about Harley going with water cooling, maybe it is needed for the new emission rules but I have always loved the simple nature of the beast, have towed a trailer all around Australia in temperatures as high as 50 deg C and the only addition was an oil cooler. I just hope that there will be air cooled models for us simpler folks

the idea of water cooled sucks

I’d owned and ridden nothing but Harley for over 30 years and every one whether sold, traded, or destroyed had high mileage, until my last one. I bought a new 2007 Ultra and quickly found out that the 96ci was a heat producing piece o’ crap. It all had to do with EPA stuff and leaning out the fuel mixture to make it pass emissions testing. Tried everything to get the heat down with no luck. At 36,000 miles on the 2nd motor and 2nd tranny, I traded it for a 2012 Goldwing. Best move I’ve made since I started riding in 1963! I ride further, faster, cooler, and more comfortably than ever! I may consider a new HD in a few years, after they’ve proven the new water cooling, but for now, this old man will stick with the Wing!

Right on Rick. Been riding the Wing(s) since 1988. Would never ride anything that wasn’t water cooled and shaft driven. These things just work and never give trouble. I have logged close to 200k in my Gold Wings and cant see any reason to go back to anything else it would be a step backward..

Harley’s are air cooled 45 degree V-twins. The V-rod isn’t a Harley, if I would want a water pumper ( I don’t ) I would by a Honda.

The V-Rod is a Harley, made in north Kansas City, MO. In the past, Harley has made other engines besides the 45 degree V-twins. And you probably can’t afford to buy a Honda anyway, much less a Harley.

Exactly how is a VROD not a Harley. It has been built right along side the Sportsters in Kansas City for more than ten years now. My titles says Harley-Davidson. My insurance papers say Harley-Davidson. When I need any parts I have to go to Harley-Davidson to order them. Willy G Davidson played a huge role in designing the VRSC Series. You still have to go to a Harley-Davidson to buy one new. The VROD is a Harley-Davidson get over it. Yes Porsche played a role in refining the motor for production but they had also done that for earlier air cooled bikes as well.

i am james houk unless there are 2 of us i did not post any coment about harlys water cooling WHAT IS GOING ON HERE????

I think its great if it works.

I just traded in my 2010 limited for a 2014 limited. The 2010 had 42.000 on it was still running strong. I live in eastern washington and on summer days my right leg will be on fire at stop lights. Weather is allready cooling down fast so we’ll have to wait until next year to see about the heat. Bike rides great and has lots more pull than the 2010. Also stops better and corners like a dream. Lots of cool stuff with the new stereo and lighting system also.

Good for Harley, we are well out of the 1900′s. They make the bikes look the same, but inside is the up to date tech. Besides real Harley lovers know that there is more to owning a Harley than meets the eye.

Like what? Whats more to owning a harley than meets the eye? Educate us?

If Harley’s are such a piece of crap why do the rice burner riders always compare their bikes to them?Could it be that they would really like to ride a piece of Amerian history but just can’t come up with the bucks.Last time I checked I don’t remember anything about a rice burner being riden in ww2,and one more thing.When you try to get ride of your piece of plastic see how much money you get for it.I’m just saying!!!

Scooter the comparison thing came about because of a song written in the mid 1900s calling out the foreign bikes. Why do you guys hold on to Harley’s nutsack so hard? Even Sonny Barger, Hells Angels Oakland chapter president admitted that Harley’s are junk. Said if he had to do it over again he’d ride a Honda. And that’s the guy you all look up to. As far as bikes being ridden in the war, what the hell does that have to do with anything? Are you riding a bike that was ridden in the war? Have you ever even seen one of those bikes in person? Probably not. Your bike or the bike you will buy wasn’t ridden in the war so what does that have to do with anything. The only thing on your bike that is a piece of history is the name on the bike and that’s it. And dig this man, if I wanted a Harley I’d buy one. Money isn’t a problem. I just don’t like spending my money foolishly. Buying a Harley is foolish when it’s going to spend most of it’s life in the shop. That’s my honest opinion and I’m entitled to it.

THIS MODIFICATION WILL TAKE TIME TO CATCH ON. MAY JUST MAKE MY 2012 Ipresent ULTRA A LITTLE MORE DESIRERABLE TO THE DIE HARD RIDERS. HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE.

The lack of water cooling is precisely why I sold my Harley in 2008, after riding a Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad and falling in love with it. I have been waiting for Harley to offer water cooled big bikes, and it looks like my prayers might finally be answered. I will wait a few years to see if they get it perfected, then buy my next Harley!

I was told the ultra is not water cooled, the limited is.

You were told right

You are correct I bought a limited 2014 the exhaust exits at like 320 degrees rather than the standard not water cooled 580 degrees but thats not the only change the project Rushmore bikes all have linked ABS, built in bluetooth, GPS 49 mm front forks floating rotors and on and on great bike I have 2000 miles on it and love it

Have to agree with you Dominick. Traded 2012 Ultra for the 2014 CVO Limited. Lots less heat in traffic and while stopped at lights. Better handling front-end, better air-flow around rider and passenger, faster stopping distances, awesome electronics package, more passenger comfort with larger seat and ergonomic changes to backrest-speakers and arm-rests. The 110 Screaming Eagle mill gets the blood flowing. Wallet is lighter but heart is happier.

With the twin cam engine running so hot I suppose the water cooling was inevitable. BTW, while “Waterhog” is pretty cute, in keeping with HD naming tradition (flathead, knucklehead, panhead etc.) Most folks I’ve heard are calling it the “Wethead”.

Submit that this is a cobbled together “partially water cooled” motor, vs. V-Rod or other make water cooled models that were designed that way from the start. I live in Florida, but this holds no interest for me at all. Reminds me of GM’s half-baked attempt to turn a gasoline engine into a diesel years ago.

Submit that his is a cobbled together “partially water cooled” motor, vs. V-Rod or other make water cooled models that were designed that way from the start. I live in Florida, but this holds no interest for me at all. Reminds me of GM’s half-baked attempt to turn a gasoline engine into a diesel years ago.

I am a fan of water cooling after my experience with my Honda Magna. I wish my Harley Sportster were as trouble free and ran a constant temperature as the Honda does. I wonder if the dual radiator setup doesn’t add a lot of complexity and troubles to the Harley.

Good news that they have started to produce the water cooled engines. I have checked a few of them out in the dealerships and it looks nicely done. While I ride a sporty, quite a few of my friends ride newer softails and Ultra’s and the heat from the exhaust was a significant issue.

For those of you saying Harley cannot build a motor, my 06 Sporty has 102,000 miles on it and the only work done to it was a head gasket at 20K. Bike uses a quart of oil every 5K and still runs strong. For those that think this is unusual, I know quite a few other sporty riders with anywhere from 75 – 125K on them and they have never been touched either.

Also, my 96 FLSTN has 36K on it and it with no issues either.

I’m 60 years old. I always wanted a Harley and got my first one in 2006. Still riding it today and have only had a flat tire and a new battery this year. It’s been a good bike but I am scared about all this cam chain stuff I’m reading about!!

I must admit that in stop and go traffic, she get’s mighty hot. My right legs feels like it’s burning some days. I’ve Power Commandered it so it’s not so lean and that has helped.

But tell me this, when’s the last time you saw someone in there 20′s or 30′s riding a HOG? It seems like every magazine I read with a HOG event and everyone I passed on a HOG is an old fat grey haired dude with a chin beard like myself.

The youngsters of today are a lot different than the Easy Rider wanna be’s of yesteryear. Those were great days for sure!!

I don’t think Harley has a choice. It’s the EPA that screwing them up and the fact that a young man would rather rider a Vespa that a HOG. Too bad!!

I hope they are not done.

I’ve got a Fatboy right now but will be retiring soon and will probably get a Road King if they don’t discontinue that model too.

Time will tell!!

My dad bought an 05 Heritage that he and my mom rode when I was in highschool. A year or so later, my mom bought a 99 Sportster from my uncle. I was hooked on the idea of having one. Finally, almost 10 years later, My mom got a 2013 Heritage and passed the Sporty down to me. I’m 25 years old, and own a Harley, and would own nothing but a Harley.

Yeah, the twin cam engine needs more cooling, but first Harley needs to correct its out dated internal design; things like changing to a gear driven cam and using welded crankshafts, upgrading poorly designed starters and alternators, etc. The current attempt at watercooling will only result in more bikes spending time in Harley`s expensive service shops. But the past few years it seems like Harley is more interested in making money than its former commitment to quality and long lasting bikes.

I had a 2006 HD Electra Glide that vapor locked on me while crossing Texas last July. The heat was unbarable. We tour and pull a trailer which also seems to put a strain on the V-Twin. I average just over 19,000 miles a year on a bike. If HD would have offered the water cooled engine for the Electra Glide before I bought my Goldwing, I may have considered the Harley. However, I ride too far, too fast, too often to ride anything but a Goldwing. My heart still belongs to Harley, but my a** belongs on a Honda.

where has harley been for the last 30 years, its about time they caught up to the modern world. cushman had a watercooled head years ago, if you want performance,ride and realibility put your butt on a goldwing. 300,000 miles and still runs like a new one.

300,000! That’s great! But I just don’t look good on a Goldwing. Maybe a Triumph rocket 3

the comment about 300,000 on a goldwing is valid. Many people buy them for that very reason…except decide that 225,000 is enough before another one warranted. That’s where Harley needs to be.

I beleave it’s true. I’m working on that many miles on my Roadking 170,000 more to go.

I barfed a little at your tripe….Do you speak with an English accent?? That would complete your image.

Change is inevitable, even at Harley Davidson. How well it works out will be a matter of time. I’m perfectly happy with my 1999 DWG. I think I would miss the romanticism of the air cooled twin.

I moved out to Phoenix AZ in 1988. Riding in the summers 110+ degree heat just bakes those Harley motors. All I heard was “snap, crackle, pop. In 2008 I bought a new Anniversary V-Rod. I’m 59 years old and riding light to light or getting stuck in gridlock traffic, the only one who’s taking a heat beating is me. That bike just laughs at it. Liguid cooling has it’s place trust me. And the only repair I ever had to have on it since I bought it was the fuel gauge sending unit. Oh! And I turned it into a bagger with a paint matching batwing fairing, hard saddlebags and engine guard hard lowers. I get plenty of postive comments with it. Even from the old schools riders.

It was in the cards that Harley would turn to water cooling. With fuel economy and emissions regulations Harley has to water cool thier engines. Larger displacements create more heat. This is something the Japenese and Europeans have known.

I am amazed that Harley would apply for a patient for water cooling on their bikes where & when water cooling has been in use across the board in all bikes for so long its hard to remember. Its kinda like patienting the tar toads to ride on. What a waist of effort & money.. Why not concentrate their effort to improving the bike overall…

It’s about time HD got off of their a**. The motor needs to be cooled throughout. Hooray HD.

Sorry guys it wasn’t letting me respond. Buy no major issues I didn’t mean nothing went wrong. I just considered the trimming cains normal maintance. I have put 3 set of adjusters in and ready for the 4th. Two speedo sensors and a sater and wheel bearings. As for the other guy yes an oil pressure gauge is good just not the shitty one Harley provides us. It’s all over the place.
PS: also I we t through a lot of tires.
The new 2011 I got 22,000 out of my stock rear tire! Same with the front you have to love that

Well what do you expect. They been selling Harley’s these past few years to mindless sheep who can barely figure out how to wipe their butt. So now let’s just make more of jap bike. With this. The old riders just build their own bike. Harley is just Hog Crap these days

Can’t believe all the b’tchin! My 2006 TC88 Superglide has 20,000+ on it and never in the shop except for recalls. I have riden it to FL from IL 3 times. 80mph all day. No probs. Have ridden Alligator Parkway in south FL at 85mph and outside temp was 102*F. I don’t know how it survived, but never even a mis-fire. I get hot, but my HD just keeps tickin……

FINALLY! Now I am finally excited to see a new Harley Model. I thought the VROD was an excellent decision in trying to creep into the muscle dept with a porshe pusher. But this? I am excited for you HD. I believe this will draw quite a few tech savy guys to this American Icon who know the value of liquid cooled. Nothing saves a block like water when you are idling on a scorcher day in heavy traffic.

WaterHawg, nope been call the wifes new Tri-G, the swimming pig

Good info.. I’m sure it’ll work its way into something great.. purists beware.. it’s all got to do with emissions I think. Keeps me riding older bikes. my newest is 04 road king, and thinking about working on the fuel injection is freaky, but I will when I need.. just more to learn. all in all,, its all good

Cooler engines last longer. Harley needs to be competitive with other manufactures. If you want an old school bike buy one. As long as it says Harley and goes potatoe potatoe it will sale.

Flat head
Pan head
Knuckle head
Block head
SHOWER head

Water head

Call it what you want, but the Water Head is a Cool Head.

I worked for a American car company for 32 years. We let the imports beat us up with better tech and lower prices for years, until they nearly put us out of business. They were able to capture a large portion of the younger buyers, who are now older and buying luxury imports. I think Harley is correct in what they are doing. A lot of younger buyers are not making Harley their first bike and Harley will never get all of them back. To survive, they must change.

I knew it was coming. With the growing cubic inches water was the only way to go. It was either water or stop getting bigger.

great article for sure, i am an old soul at heart it kills me to have to change thats why i ride a 38 EL
but when it comes down to it Change is imminent
dont have to love it but have to accept it for what it is
just grin and bear it. Watercool, air cool rubberside down all the same

Flat head
Pan head
Knuckle head
Block head
Water head

Harley had no choice. With the EPA emission requirements, the HD air cooled engines are set so lein they are cooking themselves. Harley’s water cooling concept is a cheap band aid, and they will use their customers as usual to test this product. In recent years with declining new vehicle sales, Harley is making it up by gouging it’s customers on parts pricing, I.E. $155.00 for a fuel filter on a 2000 fuel injected model, not long ago, it was $28.00.
My next bike will be a Gold Wing, or a Victory!

Water cooled………..IMHO if they want to make a water cooled motor………make one!!!! I think this is a half assed effort. The idea of a water cooled bike is not a bad one but the purists may disagree. I have rode harleys for many years now and haven’t had any major issues. Every motor company has teething problems with new bikes.

Love the idea, I ride my bikes hard and far. I’ve not had many issues with my 99 roadking (130,000 miles) or my 11 Ultra (36,000). I love everything about my Harley. But have tossed around getting a bike with better up to date tec.. Now I think Harley has stepped it up with out changeing the look much at all. The latches on my saddle bag and trunk on my 11 suck. The gauges oil pressure and temp useless the rest of them hard to read. Power from my 96″ motor well lets just say my 88″ blows it out of the water. I wont buy one of these Waterhogs this 1st year there out but I’m in for one soon.
Heres one more thing I think Harley should do Warrenty!!!!!! Back there product 6 years or 60,000 miles. This would shut up anyone that bitches about the bikes always breaking, they make alot of money and by far sell more bike in the U.S.A. then any other company.
The best part , most Harley owners in 6 years dont even put on 10,000 miles so it would be a great selling point and it backs us long haulers up.
Now with that said it also puts them in the top end with the warrenty and piece of mind. This will sell bikes.

Oil pressure gauge is useless? I ride a lot I have a 2010 cvo street glide with 60,000 miles. I hope you pay attention and use the oil gauge. You can tell if your lite on oil by the pressure. Hope you check your oil on a regular basis.

How did you get so many miles on your bike with no issues? You must have never put in a cam; or any big bore mods. I had 31;500 miles on my 06 Classic; and the motor had to come apart twice already. I traded it in because it was always in the shop for something. So what is your secret or are you just lucky? My last bike was a POS and unreliable. I had to put the big bore kit in because an 800 lb bike with a 88ci motor; was so grossly underpowered.

Your bike must have been put together on a monday a.m.

My 2006 FLHT TC88 went away in 2009 at 24k also for being a POS and engine problems HD Motor Co was too chickensh*t to stand behind, even under their famous extended warranty. It was the second brand new HD lemon in a row. My 2009 BMW is almost due for a battery, and has had 3 sets of tires. It rides better, runs better, brakes better, gets better fuel mileage, corners better, and is much faster and more dependable then either of my last two brand new HD full dresser touring bikes. I WAS a lifelong diehard HD fan……no longer.

Like Goose I’m curious about how you got so many miles on your bike as well. My brother has an 07 Softail Standard with 20k miles on it and it’s been in the shop 4 times in the last 2 months. Another buddy of mine went through 3 HDs before he finally gave up. So I’m curious as to how you managed to get 130k miles on your bike with no major issues. It’s common knowledge that HDs have sucky engines that always breaks down. Look at the dreaded cam chain tensioners. That’s just one example. I’ve seen 3 people end up walking away from HD risking bad credit all over that issue. So please tell us your JT. Oh and I have to say this. Meanwhile my Yamaha has never been in the shop, not even for an oil change. Waiting to ride with my brother but we have to wait for him to get his bike back from HD, bummer.

I have 134,000 on my 01 Road King, with, in my opinion, no major issues. I have replaced the tensioners 4 times, had a lifter go bad and replaced it, along with the cam it scored up, and just replaced the rear master cylinder. I just got back from a 2000 mile trip, pulling a camper trailer, and no problems. 65-75mph all the way, in the Tennessee and Missouri hills. I’m very pleased with the way mine handles and rides.
Every manufacturer has call backs, every one.

The roadkings rock! I just got back from 14 days out west then up the coast to WA and back to OH. 7,000 miles. I had one problem…. Seem you have to put gas in these things to make them run. It was an awesome trip!

I’ve had 2 Harleys since 2000. 2000 Wide Glide TC88, stage 1 air, custom exhaust, gear drive stage 1 cams, only in the shop for the scheduled maintenance(every 5k), bike had about 55k on it when I traded it in for a 2006 Softail Nightrain TC88, same mods done as the WG. I loved this bike, again only trips to the shop were for scheduled maintenance. I lost this bike in Sept. ’12 when a tire/wheel came off a travel trailer and hit me. Bike was totaled with only 48k on the clock. I belong to a HOG chapter with about 100 members and most have similar stories. some have had problems, I won’t lie, most due to bad dealer/mechanic issues. I would have trusted either bike to have taken me anywhere, anytime at a drop of the hat. Why did I trade out the WG? Fell in love with the look of the Nightrain. The only thing I can say is regular maintenance and Synthetic Oil, I swear by that stuff for my bikes and cars. My wife also rides a ’04 Low Rider, stage 1 air and pipes, with about 35K on it, the only thing she has had to do was to update the cam tensioners. I’ve had Yamahas and Hondas over the past 45 years, both good bikes, but I ride a Harley, I haven’t seen or ridden anything that would make me change my mind. I’m glad you prefer another brand of bike. But in the end, it’s not what you ride, it’s that you do ride.

First off Mark G let me say thanks for your reply and not getting all bent out of shape about the comments. Personally I don’t prefer one bike over another. As I said my brother has a Harley and it’s been in the shop 4 times in 2 months, he just bought it 2 months ago. I have several other buddies that have Harley’s, some don’t have any problems that I know of but most of them do. One guy I know got so fed up with his bike, 3rd or 4th one, he took it back to the dealership and walked away from it, that’s how bad it got for him. Swears he will never buy another one. I am glad you are ok from the accident and hope nothing like that ever happens to you again. Ride on friend.

It’s about time HD got off of their ass. The motor needs to be cooled throughout. Hooray HD. A 6 year warranty would be great but HD want do. Would you? Also is your 88 stock? Thx.

My 88 is stock other then a stage one air filter kit. I would do a 6 yr warranty. It won’t be long before the metric bike do a 6 yr warranty in my opinion and I just can’t see why a great American company can’t or won’t do it 1st. You watch when they do it Harley will follow the next year. I just wish they would lead it.

I think the new water cooled heads are a great advancement in Harley’s engine technology. They will only help with performance by keeping engine temperatures down, and esthetically, you can’t even tell they’re there. HD did a great job of combining this technology into the bike without destroying that classic look. Can’t wait to see if the Road Glide will return with these!

Harleys suck. If you are a good mechanic then go out and buy one. I rode the BEST to 11 States and all the way to Sturgis and it was so funny seeing all the “tough” guys look so cool on the side of the road waiting for the oil temp to go down. I owned 7 Harleys and am so effen glad I sold them all to own a maintenance free bike, the Kawasaki Vulcan 2000. Like most of the comments I read, Harley should have never tried the big engines. Not good bikes, it’s mainly for the nostalgia. Very sad how we had to pay for color schemes and more money to beef up the motor. It was all about the money and never the ride. Good luck with your hogs.

I’m a V-Rod owner after having an air-cooled Sportster for many years. If HD ever puts a 6-speed tranny with a V-Rod engine in a bagger, I’m buying it. A 2015 Road Glide? We’ll have to wait for next year. Yes, I’d like more low-end torque in my V-Rod but that motor is unbelievable. Years ahead of its time. Water is in the future, not air, and HD already has the mill for it. If the next generation HDs are built with a V-Rod like engine, that’s not a bad thing but a good one.

Same here, couldn’t agree with you more. Also, those concerned withthe deletion of the oil cooler to make way for the water (coolant really) cooling, need to realize that the liquid cooling AND running synthetic oil should make up for the removal of the oil cooler.

Check out Cyclevision’s Road Rod. The use Road Glide parts and make a bagger out of a V-Rod. Very cool.

Ask any repair shop how many rebuilds they done on a V rod motor. None! The one shop out here says he has never had to work on since they opened 15 yrs ago. Those motors are indestructible; yet my twin cam with only 31500 miles; motor has been apart twice. People beat on those Vrod motors; they wont break yet HD refuses to put their most reliable motor in their other bikes. Also; learned my lesson doing the SE big bore mods on my twin cam. What a joke; you lose 70% or more reliablilty.

If the cooling system hoses and connections/accessories are designed to LAST, and survive the vibrations and flexing imposed upon them by the Harley engine, water cooling my be a GOOD thing, but if it fails before 50,000 miles or 10 years, as the twin cam motors were known to do, it will NOT be good, ESPECIALLY if the factory does not remedy problems for FREE! I have owned Harley Davidson in the past, but presently own a Honda Goldwing, that now, after 109,000 miles and 20 years of faithful service, has an antifreeze leak in its cooling system, for the very FIRST time! I do hope that Harley Davidson gets the design RIGHT, and it is trouble-free and reliable, with very little expenses related to maintenance!

I work for a dealership and understand your concern. I may add though that you get ten percent MORE power than the air cooled bikes. Also, if you actually stop and look at the new bikes you can’t really tell they are liquid cooled unless you really look for it.

I don’t know what all the uproar is about. The real Harley riders will ride the water cooled bikes. Personally, I don’t have a heat issue with my 01 Road King, because I don’t ride in the city. My last trip was 2000 miles round trip, pulling a camper. My bike has 134,000 miles on the stock 88″ motor. I do have the benefit of it being carbureted, that many don’t. I don’t know how long riders have been bitching about heat issues, but now that HD has done something to help, they’re still b**ching. Go figure. Some say they are going to buy a new Indian, but how smart is that? How many bugs are there to be worked out in the new Indian engine? Will it have heat issues? No one knows for sure, do they. Time will tell, I guess.
Tons of money aside, Indian will either fail again, or be on the same plane as Victory. Yes, they’re American bikes, but will never achieve the status of HD, and that’s a fact. How many times can you put skirted fenders on a frame, add a remade engine, and sell it as a classic motorcycle. I know Indian says it’s a new engine, but it’s old technology. 3 cams has already been done, by S&S.
I’ve been riding HD’s since 75, and always will.
By the way, ask any original Indian rider what they think about the new bikes, and they’ll laugh at you.

Don’t knock it till you try (ride) it. You have the only reliable motor HD has ever made in my opinion. They just had to go bigger! Which made it hotter! Which led to this water cooling. Talk about throwing the old fenders on a the same frame with still the same pos motor. Give me a break. The new Indian is finally a success in the making. Give Polaris kudos for even attempting this historical resurrection. The new motor is powerful, smooth and OIL cooled. The bikes are beautiful and yes NOSTALGIC. There are more models coming down the pike. Imagine a Scout with the same motor.

What ever plane you think Victory is on you should ride one of those too. I did and there’s been a Cross country in my garage since 2011 where my Street Glide was supposed to sit. No worries. There’s still room for my Vintage Indian that I will be getting 2nd model year. As far as the status of HD? Survival comes to mind. HD is a life style period. They make beautiful nostalgic bikes that are under powered and unreliable. Keep your 01 88 motor bike. its a winner in my book and still easy enough to take care of. Let the newbies drink the kool aid and deal with the new crap.

Yeah there are some advantages to water cooled with sitting in traffic being the only one that as far as I’m concerned is valid. A little planning and occassionly shutting down will also fix the proble. It really comes down to, what do you want. For me and all my guys, the simplicity of riding and maintaining my scooter is what completes my lifestyle. I just want to ride what I originally fell in love with, “a Harley” a real Harley. The sound, the feel, the look and the way I feel connected by handling my own maintenance. All the changes to varying degrees with liquid cooling. True enough, I’m just an old biker, not likely to be buying a brand new scoot, but when I get a chance to buy a newer bike I’d like it to still be a “REAlL AIR COOLED HD”. Just my opinion but I personally will never ride a steam hog.

I think its awesome,for harley to keep up with the other manufacturers and they have too constantly push the design elements I think the twin cool cements the future of harley fir decades to come.

yep you are right but in the wrong direction
right into the realm of a forgotten memories and out of business.

No relation to the magazine. Maybe the waterhog will finally run as long and as fast as my kaw.

I bought my 2014 Ultra Limited 2 weeks ago. Within the first 20 miles the 103 decal fell off the air filter, it is being held on with velcro. Harley must have spent 20 cents on the velcro. Spoke to someone at Harley Corporate Customer Service and they just yes’d me. NOW I FOUND THAT THE COOLANT IS LEAKING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE LOWER FAIRING AFTER 2,000 MILES. GREAT MOTORCYCLE FOR THE DOLLAR. :{

Confucius say “Don’t buy FIRST model of new technology”

I enjoyed reading all the pros&cons here. I bought a water cooled Suzuki C50T because I couldn’t afford a Harley. My bike is perfect for me, and I hope for the riders of the new water cooled Harleys, the will have the same trouble free riding Im enjoying. They might have to get a few “bugs” out of the first ones, but thats the same with any thing the first time out.
By the way, I bought my used 2006 Suzuki in June, 2012 with 4,200 miles on it. It now has 14,178 miles and all I had to do is one valve adjustment, and two oil and filter changes. Cost, $240 for valves at dealer and $60 for both oil changes which I did.

Keep Riding Ronzo! I too own a C50 Suzuki, bought brand new in ’08. Been a GREAT bike , I do most of the service work myself and my bike now has almost 38,000 miles on it. Keep your service up and the bike will run for a long time to come. I can say I could’ve gotten as good a deal on an HD but stuck with the Suzuki due to previous back surgeries, needed a lighter bike with softer suspension. We do also own an HD Sportster 883 , been a great little bike.. no issues hardly at all. Runs great and ridden weekly. I am not pro or con on brands , love bikes and ride any brand, ha. Keep riding and ride safe!

Joel,first time I heard from another c50 owner with a shared interest. Since I have so much less mileage on mine, Id like to know when and if you replaced your rear drum brake shoes. According to the wear indicator on the backing plate, I should get at least
30,000 out of them. I just did my front disc pads although the originals had only worn down half way and were working fine. I also added a pair of 90 db buzzers to indicate when I have forgotten to cancel my turn signal which was quite often. I did so by removing my headlight, and splicing into the wires going to right and left signals. I tried to add the buzzers inside the headlight housing, but could not hear them, so I brought the wires through the hole at the back of the housing and up through a very small hole in the bottom of a vinyl pouch with a velcro flap, the kind one attaches to their windshield with adhesive. I didnt like the looks of it on the shield, so I attached it to my handlebars with two black plastic ties. Works great. Btw, the only real cost was the buzzers from Radio Shack, about $10. The plastic pouch I had was from one of the bike parts stores.

Joel if you want to reply, rather than have to scroll through all the other blogs, you could go to my email address at; frz112lc [at] aol [dot] com. Makes it much easier to correspond..Ronzo

Harley is just trying to expand its market base with this water cooled engine. If it works, the will have a new line of motorcycles to choose from.

I agree that if HD chooses to go forward with water cooled it should have two identical lines of bikes, water and traditional air cooled. I’de like to put in my two cents…..I’ve been riding for 45 years and except for my last two softails they were all metric with my last one being a Yamaha road star. I see my HD as one would see an attractive woman, too much make up takes away from its natural beauty. When a metric rider I always admired HDs paint,chrome & sound. Why would I want to take away from those? For me mounting my 06 Deluxe & riding in NorCals gold country with the sound of that motor, HOG HEAVEN…..

I do not think H-D had a choice; the EPA killed the air cooled VW years ago; I do not want that to happen to Harley. I have heard the comment that if you are not moving forward, you are going backwards. I think that applies here. I average 20,000 miles a year on my ’07 Ultra and would welcome a little engine relief while stuck in summer traffic. If I happen to benefit in cooler weather, all the better!

Heat kills engines.! if you ride your Harley to the bar and back home fine, but if you go to events that you set in traffic or travel long distances, water cooling is the way to go . The bigger the engine, the more heat. Maybe they will keep air cool models too. so we could have a choice .but water cooled engine gives you performance options that a air cooled engine can only dream of and your engine and related components will last longer . how about a v rod engine in a ultra classic and screw the micky mouse set up they have.

I’m sure Elton John will be getting the first one off the line.

I’ve said this before, HD will have to water cool if you want more hp out of an HD and stay within the epa standards it’s a no brainer. AFR’s on todays engines are lean, and heat is the outcome.

I think its about time Harley did this water cooled motors. I ride a bagger in Florida and during the summer its like riding thru hell from the heat. As soon as I can I will be replacing my 2012 bagger with a water hog more power cooler does not get any better.

Why?

I believe that a water cooled Harley is long overdue. This will be a tremendous upgrade. Air cooled motors are fine but I believe that Harley has reached the point where they have to dissipate the heat more efficiantly.

I wish they’d done oil-cooling for the exhaust valve area instead of water-cooled. We already have oil and oil coolers. I just traded up recently to a 2013 Limited. I love the bike and glad I have it. There are lots of good features in the 2014 Limiteds that I’d like to have, but water cooled exhaust valve seats is not one of them. So I’ll wear out my current motor before thinking about buying a new one; see how the water-hogs work out.

Harley could not get cam chain tensioners right on the first twin cams, i spent a grand upgrading it myself, after 50,000 miles . better wait 5 years for them to get the bugs out of the water cooled engine.

I am a proud owner of a first gen 1997 FLHTCUI, slightly underpowered but, 186,000 miles before the first major issue, a worn out lifter roller. I just purchased a 2007 FLHTCU, have put 6K on it since the purchase, it now has 9K on the odo. Way more power than the 97 and some heat but not unbearable. Would I purchase a water cooled HD……Absolutely, the two HD’s Ive had have been as dependable as my gold wings or cavalcades were.

You’re right about waiting for the new bugs to work themselves out. As far as the cam chain tensioners go, don’t forget Harley was forced to go chain drive by the EPA, to reduce noise pollution. If you don’t like the bike, then get something else. I’m so tired of hearing HD owners bitch about everything wrong with the bikes. I have a 2001 with 134,000 miles, and have put 4 sets of tensioners in mine, all without problems. Buy a Honda, or shut up.

Great point Mike. For the money we pay for a new bike, which isnt too far from what a really nice car is, you’d think that the Dyno rooms would be a very busy place. -R&D for things like the endurance and reliability of those POS cam chain tensioners, POS compensators, severe heat build up etc could have been addressed. there are plenty of other things they have done a GREAT job on.
-No excuse for slapping that stuff on without testing. And pretty much a fact they did not test those packages for long term reliability. Im not saying that they did not focus on the liquid cooling, but in the past they just put things out to the customers and move on from there, with Harley customers putting up with BS as they always have. In short, if you want to charge 26k for a tpouring bike that weighs only 800lbs, it better be bullet proof for 100k miles….

They do test and test and test . But even with cars real world is different then testing grounds. That’s why Harley typically tests prototypes for five years(from drawing to production)

Hey guys, just wanted to comment on the “water hogs”… Back in ’84 when I bought my FXRT half of the big twins had shovels and half had the evo. It will be just a matter of time before all big twins and then the piglets will follow. But it ain’t all bad…
I’ve had mine for 29 years and maybe I will hold into it awhile longer…

I have a 83 fxrt and a 99 roadglide and its looking like they will be my last Harleys. If I wanted a water cooled bike I can go buy a jap bike and not have are the problems that Harley keeps having with poor R&D.

Ive

I’ve been riding these air cooled Harley for 45 years, Knuckles, Pans, Shovels, Evos and Twin cams, lattes is a 2010 FLHTK with 61000 mile trouble free, suck it up and keep it air cooled

Well said, Glenn. I have had my Pan since 78, and my Road King since 04. Keep the faith.

I have been riding air cooled bikes for years, I have 2012 TriGlide and a 1980 ElectraGlide. The oil coolers have always kept my bikes cooled. The way I feel about this is, IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT. I was told by a salesman at Louisville Harley that the radiators were put on due to they EPA, I guess my question is. How does the radiators keep down emissions? If my SHOVELHEAD passed the VEHICLE EXHAUST TEST back in the 70s & 80s, what is differance now? Just asking. Ride safe BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

I’ve always liked the air cooled engine on a motorcycle because it can sit 3-6 months and not have to worry about screwing with anti-freeze. I’ve bought older bikes that have sat for years and just sprayed a little oil and starting fluid in the cylinder and run them. Since a lot of Harley owners don’t put a lot of miles on their bike, it’s just another hassle to worry about. Twin cams created more problems (cam adjusters for one) this will just be another problem to take to Harley stealerships to throw money into. I know EPA is the cause but they should have gone to owners to help lobby for less restrictions for them.

Road the new Ultra, nice I wouldn’t trade my ’06 FLHTCUI. However, the Limited (Waterhog) is something else. The limited water cooling is expected to lower temps by 250 deg. F. That means no additional cooler plumbing necessary. We’ll see on the test ride – then next one coming to the $ealership is formal (Blk/Blk) which is fine for me.

On the other hand, the sync’d ABS is phenom. there is an appreciable bit of extra torque and it’s quite comfortable and the new fairing vent and audio is spot on.. In fact it’s the first new HD that I didn’t come back from the test ride with a mile long list of “gotta change”. Will see what the final $$’s are, but I think I’m gonna be on a new ride before Christmas.

Del ,
I have to agree with you I was just out the York open house and rode this bike 5 times .The torque was noted immediately the brakes which I am not a fan of ABS were amazing The audio is right on and that center vent was definitely and improvement. I do have my concerns about no room for an oil cooler up front. I dont know if I would run out and trade my 2010 Ultra classic for this brand new technology yet though .It hasn’t been proven and only time will tell to see what pops up as engineering issues or flaws arrise

What the Twin Cam Harleys have always needed is more compression and more cam. Liquid cooling permits the use of both while still satisfying the EPA. The new design is a win if you like your engine to perform. If you like an overheating, underwhelming engine, stick to your early models.

There are a lot of really ignorant comments on this thread….and thats an understatement. The heat of big inch motors from 96″ on up is a real problem. As stated here and there below, the EPA has just pushed Harley into a corner. Going to this stage of water cooling was all but mandatory for HD. We all know the stone cold idiot that sits in traffic as he would with a Dodge Neon, and expects the MoCo to build an all encompassing AIR COOLED engine to live through it and any other stupidity the owner can deal out. Harley would have never leaned the engines out to pass EPA emissions if they were not threatened by the EPA. –There goes your heat problem. Almost all competitors are liquid cooled, and at some point people turn to them. Yea, S&S builds monster engines that dont overheat like the factory units…..Lets see if the EPA is crawling up their asses, of which I doubt to the degree Harley gets….
So, I look at it this way: some water cooled exhaust valve areas on big touring machines is a welcomed feature. I dont want a gold wing, and I dont htink an Ultra with water cooled ex valves is a goldwing in any way…
Most people posting negative remarks are not planning on a new bike purchase anyways, so they feel the need to bad mouth to elevate their status. Harley cannot and should not cater to you guys, they have customers to serve, and to lure in. –Its a business if you havent realized by now….
I have had plenty of Shovels and Evos that I would have loved to have some small radiator fitted to besides my oil coolers. Just as long as the V-twin doesnt stray off of what |HD has done with for 110 years…
One more point, on my recent trip to Alaska, I put 10,000 miles plus on my newer Street Glide. More miles in 3 weeks than most of these guys do in 2 years….and I would have killed to have that water cooling on about 5 different stages of my trip.

Here’ another “bad-mouth,” know-it-all sidewalk commando. F*ck Harley’s. been riding them 44 yrs. that will all cease when ai get my 2014 Indian Chieftain.

Good riddance!

F*ck Indian motorcycles. They couldn’t get it right the last time they tried to make bikes. You couldn’t keep em running.
Seriously, they wouldn’t run. So I guess they got it right this time??? Go ahead buy one you idiot.
The only good Indian bikes were very early ones.

You know it’s not an Indian it’s a POLARIS!

yes but if Harley would have stayed out of the big inch motor and left that to the owner as to how and what they wanted and needed this would not have become a problem, the motor company thought that buy using sales as a marketing guide they could come up with a solution to what they thought people wanted just by the name alone. and the have not been able to solve the heating problum since the invent of the twin cam.88

What the hell are you talking about?????
I have an 88ci. And I live in a region where it is dry and hot and I have NEVER overheated.
Run synthetic oil and you won’t have any problems.

H.D. Kept going bigger cause consumers wanted bigger(based on chopper builds and custom bike shops) the EPA is also a major factor as well with noise and emissions as well

Thank you Dickey! It is time for the Motor Company to step up. EPA is mandating it, new customers are demanding it and old school will soon die off (no offense guys…I am one too). To remain profitable, newer tech and engineering is needed. I do agree more Dyno time and work out is needed. Maybe due to the push from EPA they didn’t have the time…not an excuse they should have seen the light. The American auto industry sat back in the 60s and 70s and let the imports do all the cutting edge tech and let them farm away a generation of drivers…it almost killed the American Auto Industry. I worked for Ford…this will happen and already has. I love the old school stuff but get with it. There is a generation that is loving a lot of things that are cutting edge…

well said Dickey. I’m watching all of these comments and all are based on love of the machines, bad experiences over a lifetime of riding and simply the outright kick A$$ fun of riding. That’s what its all about- nothing else. I’ve had Harley, Goldwing, BMW, sport bikes, sport touring and love them all. ALL bikes have their weaknesses. From Harley and its overheating (if not diligently watched and fixed with a remapped FI profile) to Goldwing and its five speed tranny, to BMW cramming as much power per liter into the 1600- yes it STILL can OVERHEAT, if you don’t move, just like all small radiator bikes. How do you get 150,000 miles on a Harley? You don’t sit in traffic, slipping the clutch fully loaded and trash your oil viscosity and additive packages, or stress it with high RPM out of rev band riding. Keep riding, its the only think that keeps all of us young. Ride the bike you love.

Agree. Excellent take.

Harley has done an incredible job with FY14 line up, and for the 1st time in years, I see many, many young buyers from non-traditional Harley buying profiles coming to the stores and choosing HD.

This is amazing news, because we are talking about survivability of a brand that is catering mostly to 50+ y.o. market that is wary of spending money. “Kids” get their machines and keep spending and preserving HD myth.

bTW, I already put 700 miles on my new Ultra Limited. It is just amazing. And yes, you feel the engine temperature not killing you on the traffic lights… :)

well said Dickey. I’m watching all of these comments and all are based on love of the machines, bad experiences over a lifetime of riding and simply the outright kick A$$ fun of riding. That’s what its all about- nothing else. I’ve had Harley, Goldwing, BMW, sport bikes, sport touring and love them all. ALL bikes have their weaknesses. From Harley and its overheating (if not diligently watched and fixed with a remapped FI profile) to Goldwing and its five speed tranny, to BMW cramming as much power per liter into the 1600- yes it STILL can OVERHEAT, if you don’t move, just like all small radiator bikes. How do you get 150,000 miles on a Harley? You don’t sit in traffic, slipping the clutch fully loaded and trash your oil viscosity and additive packages, or stress it with high RPM out of rev band riding. Keep riding, its the only think that keeps all of us young. Ride the bike you love.

OOga Booga!!! Look FIre!!!…fire bad…fire real bad…

How in the world can anyone complain about finally going to a more efficient and reliable platform?? Pure ignorance…

it is no wonder why the motor company is going down hill. if it isn’t broke don’t fix it well Harley decided to break it so they could fix it like all the fuel injection and computerized mechanical junk and sticking there neck’s in big inch motors were they do not need to be

If its not broke dont fix it they need to fix the problems they have befom making new ones.

Dirtsfertaters right on Brother!

Just bought the 2014 Ultra BECAUSE IT IS WATER COOLED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If yall like tosten your nuts then go sit by the fire! this bike rocks!!!!!!!!! Bout time Harley came into the 21st century.

i think Harley is deliberately trying to destroy there image, since the invent of the twin cam models the scooters have not been the same and with fuel injection and computerized they are way more un reliable then the old amf models they say history repeats it’s self maybe this time it will be amf that saves Harley

Huh? Try ridin one of the old carb models from the beach to the mountains and tell me how that goes? And an AMF at that?? Had a Carb’d Dyna that I loved, but it was too lean at the beach and too rich in the mountains! My F.I Road King is always spot on – haven’t had a lick of trouble. Starts every time, never had to replace a worn slide or do a rejet, you name it.

IMHO, Harley had to go this route because the EPA demanded it. And yes, they have to go big on engine size because they’re getting their butts kicked by the import Big Twins (Honda VTX, Yamaha Stratoliner), Victory, and now Indian. Harley’s sound and feel great, but their stock motor has been their achilles heal. Now maybe they can churn the torque and HP that their competitors do right out of the box, and there will be one less reason for Americans to look elsewhere.

Watercooling for the tourers, yes, but if they head that way with softails, it’s goodbye FLSTN, and hello Victory…..

i have a 08 fxstc that has been nothing short of a nightmare and now they are talking about going water cooled the only reason i have kept this thing is my girl friend likes the lady’s of Harley but one look at the new Indian some of the victory models i think the Harley name in this house will a short lived memories

they have taken the almighty name and removed it from becoming a legend to becoming a forgotten memories

If a girl is the only thing keeping you on a Harley, then by all means, go elsewhere! You’re not a real HD rider anyway.
If more of you would get out and ride, and not just bar hopping, you might find out how cool the engines really run.

That’s the smartest thing I’ve read yet. American made vtwin and reliable as hell.

Victory also has liquid cooled bikes

Over the 30-something years I’ve been riding, I’ve never ridden anything other than a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Personally, I don’t like this Steamhead” idea nor do I like the throttle-by-wire. Probably because I am Old School. I’ve owned two Shovels, a Pan, an Evo and my current Twin-Cam and American motorcycle engines have always been air-cooled. VRod came out and I thought that the MOCO was trying to appeal to the rice-burner crowd ( although I don’t know why ) but I never really considered it a Harley Davidson because, like I already said, Harley’s have always been air-cooled and it didn’t fit the traditional styling of a Harley.
Some will argue that Harley Davidson’s iconic design has been around for over 100 years and it needs to change to “keep up with the times” — Why ? Because the Yuppie crowd and Wannabes want to ride their Jap bikes ( which ironically have been styled more and more to look like and sound like a Harley Davidson ) but be able to say that they ride a Harley ? Bullsh*t ! But that’s just my two cents.
I now own a 2003 Heritage. Still throttle by cable and still air-cooled. Still loud as hell and plenty fast for me. The Old School Bikers ( that I know ) would never own or ride a Steamhead any more than they would put “whisper quiet” pipes on their rides so, while our distaste for the direction that the MOCO is headed won’t change it, I, for one will not ride or own one and, when these Jap-Harley hybrids start breaking down and has to be towed to a dealership because the throttle doesn’t work or, a sensor went bad or, the coolant is in the oil or exhaust, they will be for sale everywhere for a dime-a-dozen.
No thanks MOCO, I’ll keep riding my air-cooled motorcycles which has worked just fine for over 100 years so why f*ck with it ?

right on the rich urban bikers have messed up the company because the cant handle a mans machine

i’m with you on this one joseph my thoughts exactly air cool not water all the problems that you mentioned i have seen mess up the auto industry to many sensors and throttle by wire is dangerous it almost put me of flying as our new aircraft now fly by wire when something goes wrong the operator has no control

from what i have read this far with the idea of electronic braking and all the problems i have experienced with it in the sensor’s in a closed loop system one shorts then it shuts down i don’t think that is a good idea along with water cooled trying to cool a motor they don’t know how to build and trying to make something they haven;t a clue how to do. i am old school if i could i would sell an 2008 for a shovel any day. the new ones don’t hold value and any one that knows anything about them won’t touch them or buy sell or trade

just wondered what happened with throttle. my 2009 ultra has been taking off at 3000 rpm the odd time by itself. hd dealers cannot figure it out. any help would be appreciated.

Well that about sums it up I would say 100 % with Joseph on this

Been riding for years. I say all you guy bitchin about the water hog do you drive an truck without a radio or cruise contrl dont think so. Its called progress. Just bought a 2014 Ultra Limited and I love it. So dont be jealous and if you cant afford a new one then keep riding your relics. By the I started with a 1963 Pan Shovel and graduated to a 2002 Heritage Softail, Now the Twin Cooled Ultra Limited. So I welcome progress. By the way I no longer drive my 1973 Elcamino I drive a car with air conditioning and no cassette. So you dinosaurs get over it.

Amen, I couldn’t have said it any better.

Another reason to keep my old 1995 model. Don’t want water cooled fuel injected junk. Next thing will be a joint venture between Harley and Honda

I thought they already did it was called the vrod

I think it was inevitable that HD did something to help the iconic 100+ year old V-twin. EPA has hammered away until there is nothing left. The V-rod motor is a true design miracle, but just take a look at sales, it does not look, sound or act like a big twin, so putting one in a bagger will most likely have a negative sale affect. The cost of HD’s and Porsche’s development of the V-rod motor, demands that a home be found for it, but not in a bagger.
The new 1-1/2 quart system simply circulates coolant around the exhaust valves, which is right where it’s needed. As a tuner, I have always added more and more fuel as WOT is approached, just to keep some kind of cool and keep out of detonation, so this will change the way we tune the wethead bikes. I’m really all for it, keeps the iconic big twin alive, and the heat down. As far as an oil cooler goes, there are plenty of aftermarket coolers available, with a variety of places to mount them. Add a Baker pan for more oil capacity….
Google US Patent 20110114044, it will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the system. Note the other Patents that were cited as well, you’ll see good old Eric Buell there too.

any tall rider like myself can tell you that we need more leg room so we have to remove the lowers too accomidate our long legs and/or big feet.

I won’t buy one. Just another source for trouble. I think Harley. Indian, & Victory should get together with the big 3 automakers & defy the EPA; tell them no more mandates or they will cease production. Since it’s all about the almighty dollar & has zero to do with clean air, the gummint will not want to lose the tax revenue from these companies. Time for automotive manufacturers to grow a pair.

defy the epa? or they will shut down? all the Epa will do is say , really? ok , shut down then… the EPA has been made all powerful but the idiot in cheif and idiot climate change morons… the EPA doesn’t care who they put out of business … seriously

I ride in the desert, I ride year round. I welcome the water hog. I ride an 2011 Ultra Limited.

The world of Harley-Davidson as we know it has ceased to exist! Well, not really…but sort of.

For quite some time now, the world of Harley-Davidson purists and loyalists have been mulling over the idea that at some point the traditional, iconic Harley-Davidson air-cooled engine would someday cease to exist. The fact that the Government has (for many years) been mandating ever-increasingly strict EPA restrictions on emissions pretty much dictates that, and Harley has toyed with the notion of adding water-cooling to it’s motorcycles for some time. And so it begins….

I, as so many have, been buying and riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles for decades. We buy them for their look, their sound, and mostly (I believe), their traditional design. A design that dates back to the first air-cooled V-Twin back in 1909. We are the dedicated followers, who have bought Harley-Davidson motorcycles even when the general opinion was that they were unreliable, oil-leaking machines that required constant attention and repair. We still bought them, and rode them proudly…because they were STILL Harley’s!

Well, the time has come (or so it would seem), for the Harley loyal to decide. Will we still plunk down our hard-earned dollars to ride a WATER-COOLED Harley?? For me personally, this would be a VERY difficult notion to wrap my head around! I guess time will tell…

at this point my first Harley was a 83 roadster shovel head then i bought a 08 fxstc which has been nothing short of a disaster always breaking down due to all the electronics if i cant soon find an old shovel head my time with Harley is going to come to a close. i have been a loyalist to Harley but the r,u,b club has won over the company

One of the faithful wrote “if I wanted a Goldwing, I’d buy a Goldwing”. Well, I’ve wanted a new Valkyre since mine went in a trade on a new bike for the wife 3 years ago . So, my old Wing with 104,000 miles went in a trade for the new Limited last Saturday! Never having owned a HD before I’m not really qualified to comment on old to new, I can only say I like it thus far.

I hope it will extend the life of the engine. I also know that the water can be used for heating the rider. Anyone who’s road long distances in cool to cold weather will appreciate the warm air. Anyone with improvements that can be contributed should make suggestions. I’ve owned Harleys for 40 years and I like the idea!

Did Yamaha buy Harley? Keep it original!

I will let a few people buy them and get the bugs worked out if possible. Dosent look like a very good design to me, but what do I know, I am just a tooling engineer LOL kind of like putting plummer’s tape on the oil drain plug. So you could run what is left behind in the threads when you change the oil right into the engine when you put the drain plug back in.

The radiators are a band aid for poor and outdated engineering. Worse yet is the ditching of the oil cooler.

That is a very ignorant comment. Adding watercooling is allowing these engines to FINALLY become more efficient. As you should know heat is the enemy off all internal combustion engines air cooling is a very poor compromise for maximum efficiency dry sump oiling system and running a big oil tank will help some as well but water cooling allows you to really develop an engine to it’s true potential.Water cooling ALONG with top of the line oil cooling is where it’s at now you have maximum cooling Porsche did the same thing and look how much better they started doing on the race track with water cooled heads.The Porsche Flat 6 with twin turbos and water cooled heads is a 1000 Horsepower engine and will easily live for 24 hours at Le Mans or Daytona being beat to hell and back.Now with water cooling Harley at last has an engine that can be built to last as long as the Japanese bikes.

the bigger problem is Harley is trying to build horse power with limited knowledge and expertise they should stick with a more dependable ride they have had numerous problems since they came out with the 96 and up how come s&s has a big inch motor car berated that doesn’t have heating problems it proves Harley don’t know how to build a good strong engine any more just tying to keep up with the Jones.

I’m not a fan of Harley going water-cooled. More stuff you have to maintain/upgrade. What they should have done is just make a bikes with top of the line oil coolers and fan setups.

What is there to maintain? How often do you change the coolant in your car? I’d venture to say, never. The same would apply here.

I’m glad the Indian is back.

they might as well for the last 15 yrs they have messed up there line of ride discontinuing models creating patents on junk that can not be changed UN reliable pis poor quality in design and function trying to build a factory hot rod hard to buy aftermarket parts due to the constant changes awful electrical wiring sensors that short out that don’t need to be on that circuit and shuts down the whole ride
to say the least i own an 2008 fxstc they should give it an fxstd it is an incurable disease

It’s about time the motor company put something on the market to cool down the big bikes. I spent hundreds of dollars on accessories and modifications on my 2007 Ultra to get the thermal issue under control. I don’t think the waterhogs will be the death of the company, I think it’ll bring back some folks who went to water cooled metric bikes to get away from the hot headed hogs.

We’ve been fine for how many years now? Over 100?? Just seems like more sh*t that can screw up on ya to me.

Brilliant move, IMHO! The bike still looks much the same. Emissions laws are going to drive a lot more changes.
Rode home from work on my 2012 Ultra in 96+ Houston traffic tonight. I want water cooling!

I say “About Time!” The V-Rod has been out for quite some time now. I too, am concerned about the heat issues on a riders legs. It also means that is the summer time you won’t be able to remove the lowers. Living in the Southwest, that becomes an important task when the temps are up in the high 90′s or 100 range.
The Motor Company is moving forward in small steps. Steps that were needed to progress to the future. This is not the end, it’s just a new chapter.

Yep I swore I would never own another Harley until they went to water cooling.Now they have and i might go back I sold a Heritage to buy my VTX 1800R if they can build something that is better than my Honda VTX 1800.So far they have nothing that is even close to being as good as my VTX.

Then why are you here?

Poorly written article. How about posting information that relate to the new product other than the obvious.

For example what exactly is the water cooling? That would be a novel idea instead of trying to coin a goofy phrase like waterhog. Pathetic.

As for water cooled big twins, I applaud the notion but the rads seem small and confined to be truly effective. I’m sure the R&D gang have the stats to support the claim but being heat exchangers they need to breath.. Real world testing did happen but you can’t figure all scenarios. If you cool the rocker boxes it might make the rider a bit more comfortable but I can not say for sure.. Time will tell!

NOT a fan. People are calling these “shower head” motors and “steaming eagles.”
In my opinion this was NOT necessary to meet CARB standard – both Victorys and Indians meet CARB standards with an oil and air cooled engine and are much more true to the vintage American vibe.
I don’t like it. It looks like a plumbers nightmare and is overly complicated and bound to have leaks and other problems. This looks more like a band-aid to keep the old HD engine technology running.
2 questions:
1. Why not do it right and design a new engine?
2. Is HD replacing the cow bell horn with a steam whistle?

[Is this the finish of Harley as we know it?]

No…actually I think it is just another page in the history of the legend. I don’t think we have seen the end of the change yet. I feel that you will soon see a completely redesigned touring bike motor completely water-cooled similar to the VRod only with more displacement and low end torque. EPA has leaned the motors out so much in the name of pollution control that they are on the verge of melting down now. Something had to be done to allow better cooling in order to not lose critical horsepower while meeting federal EPA guidelines. The new twin-cooled engines already produce more torque and horsepower than their air-cooled counterparts. Water-cooled cylinders are next, with engine-driven water pumps and radiators to completely replace the current lower fairings. I’m looking forward to it.

If I have to have “lowers” on my bike I will NOT own a Harley.

This is just progress. They have to meet the more-demanding EPA standards and it was just a matter of time before they switched to water cooled. I don’t think this makes it less “Harley”. Engines will run better, have more power, and last longer, and I’m down for it.

I think at some point Harley needs to make this transition. I live in Utah and it has been exceptionally hot. Riding in the heat of the day really, reduced my Ultra glides performance. I had a water cooled honda before this bike and it never had that problem. If bike motors get bigger you won’t have any choice but to use coolant.

Had a vrod and traded it for a road glide and I don’t have a problem with a water cooled bike but don’t make it butt ugly and don’t blow hot air up my pant leg( or any where else). The EPA will eventually mandate emissions regulations that will not be met by an air cooled engine so im not sure Harley will have an alternative to water cooling

Being the “proud” owner of the first generation flhtcui…Injected Ultra…I am in NO way a fan of HD’s first generation anything. Gotta go water-cooled eventually, but test it on the Dyno…not on my back pocket…

They finally trying to catch up to metric bikes.

All I can say is I won’t buy one

Good idea ! But in my point of vue it seem like there is too much parts involved compared to the size of the water jackets … lets see what result it gives before coming to conclusion .

Water cooling has 2 advantages – it makes quieter motorcycle engines and it can produce more horsepower because combustion chamber temps can be higher.

If the Kawasaki wins the rest of the races this year in flat track, my bet is we will see a water cooled OVC sportster soon. :)

One step closer to the ultimate. A Vrod engine in a bagger!

i trade my 2012 ultra in in a heartbeat

I just find it funny that HD has been making air cooled bikes for 110yrs, and they get upstaged by the new Indian in it’s first year under Polaris. Sounds like Harley needs to start looking elsewhere for it’s engineers.

that is so true willy g started this mess

How do you figure Indian upstaged anyone? They’re brand new and only a moron would think that they won’t have some problems. Take S&S technology, make custom valve covers and call it brand new?
I like the look of the new Indian engine, but the bike styling sucks, to me.

Indian bikes have been around as long as Harley Davidson.

Actually longer. 1901 versus 1903.

No Daddyfast, you are wrong. The Indian name has been around longer, but the bikes were discontinued in 1951. After that, they were just rebadged British bikes and then came the Taiwan dirt bikes. They may make it this time, and with the amount of money invested, should be a good bike. Time will tell.

True

great article. Will be interesting to see how harley fares with the water-cooled bikes

I agree trying to hard to keep up with the market when they are the market

sir i can not agree with you more i am on my second H,D i rode my first one for 15 years only had the motor out once to for 2 weeks to rebuild it and that was an 1983 sportster i opted out for a new 2008 fxsct that has been nothing but trouble breaks down every summer only have 22,000 miles on it don’t trust it to go on very long rides i got it new paid cash for it, did not think twice about it i would walk before i rode any thing other than but i have spent more time walking with this one than i did when i didn’t have one hence i have been looking for an original amf decal to lace right along side the h,d, i have nicked named it amfxtc

JD are you kidding me? First let me start by saying I am on the east coast and I will tell anybody anywhere that Harleys are crap. Secondly I don’t do bars. Third don’t offer me up for a fight because you don’t even know me or what kind of person I am. I’m already going to court for a fight with a so called toughguy. But at least he had the balls to look me in the eye before falling down grabbing his nose and yelling for the cops. You’re just an internet toughguy, probably some yuppie with a bike. You probably never had a fight in your entire life so take that shit somewhere else man you don’t scare me or impress me. All you fake ass bikers do the same thing, talk shit, then when I beat your ass you call the cops. Nope, I’ve fallen for that trick one too many times. Face it, your bike is a piece of shit and that’s the end of it. That’s why they are called hogs. Look up the history behind that nick name for Harleys.

Very nice! Even the 74? That’s great. My pan has been touched but it’s 80% real. It was an old cop bike. Now my 67 BMW has been all reworked and it still runs like sh@t! But that the fun of these old things.

I love the old bmw,s with the plunger suspension,i had a 1960 r27 sigle that I restored aswell ,but sold it when I needed cash,but it was fun to ride
these 2 Harleys will stay till the day I die,but I think my daughter will keep them aswell,she knows how to ride and fix them,i had a shop and worked on the for 40 years in my shop and 4 years before I had a shop.
I also worked on thriuphs ,bsa,norton,and bmw,
and still work on the bike of some old customers from when I had my shop,since the dealers won’t even look at them anymore

Ahh that explains why you like the older stuff over the twin cam version. My Norton is a 73 850 camando and it runs like a champ! As for your daughter! Way to go! I’m hopeing my son will keep my old stuff. I told him this stuff just isn’t around any more and needs to be riddin so others can see.

if I had a twin cam,1st thing I would do to it would be installing the cam gear set from S&S and get rid off that chain with tensioner
it will solve a lot off problems down the road and install the full needle bearings ,like they use to have on shovels ond older bikes,and off course the adjustable pushrods

Right on, my 1999 twin cam 88 is going on it 4th set of adjusters but it does have 130,000 on it and other then the damn starter it’s been a great bike.

well you have been lucky than,i had bike from customers,when I had my shop that I sold in 2006
that only made it to 50,000 miles,were the cambearings went out and went into the cases
I had to take the whole motor apart to clean it out,and removed to oilpan to clean all the metal from the bearings out.and install new pistons and cylinder because some of the needle bearings got between the cilinders and the pistons ,and the cylinder were so bad scard that I had to replace them.
lucky enough I had plenty off 88 cu inch cylinder that were take off and were replaced by 95 cu inch cylinder sets,i still got about 80 sets left,brand new

Yes your right. I have keep up on the mantiance and replaced them before they got to that stage. But I do have an extra set of heads and jugs that I bought off a friend for next to nothing.
Well ride on Julien! Time for me to ride out.

ok take care
juls

Ha ha A raider. Good for a schmuck who lives with his ch*nk mother and can’t afford an American made bike. Have some pride I. Your country douche bag. Buy American Bet u drive a Kia also. It might be a little faster than some Harley’s but you look and sound like a geek on a metric wanna be. Try selling it and see if you even get close to your asking price. Unless you sell it to a communist I doubt it. Let me guess you also wear skinny jeans. Lol. Go home weirdo

a little faster than some Harley’s? I will eat your lil 110 screamin eagle for lunch you lil bitch. Fuck u and fuck this country. Everything on your bike is made in Japan. Where’s your pride? Your country don’t give a shit about you and certainly not enough to give you a quality product. Far as skinny jeans go, naw I don’t wear them, but even if I did I’d still beat the shit outta you. I probably make more money than you as well. Can buy any Harley I want but don’t want junk for my money. And again I say as loudly as I can FUCK U AND FUCK YOUR COUNTRY, you are a follower, I don’t follow, I lead. The only thing you can do on a Harley is eat my dust.

Hey Jim H you lil bitch I have some stats I want to share with you. Read it and choke faggit.
Bike 1/4 mile E.T.
Yahama Star Raider 12.09*
Suzuki M109R 12.08**
HD Rocker 13.30*
HD Night Rod Special 12.47**
Honda VTX1800F 12.90**
Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 Classic 13.30**
Victory Hammer S 13.17**
Yamaha Star Warrior 13.01**

Look at the times, see where your HDs fall in line. Now these are all stock bikes. So unless you have a turbo kit, supercharger or a shot of nitrous, shut the fuck up and fall in line. Behind everybody else.

Hey JT we all do. And listen man I’m just messin around with you guys. I ride my Raider and my V-Star up to the HD Dealership all the time. They guys (salesmen and mechanics) up there know and love me well. We all joke around almost every weekend. They do keep trying to get me to buy one but that’ll never happen. Although I did come close to buying a street glide and a breakout. That street glide is like riding the cadillac of bikes. I love it. I just don’t trust the reliability of HD as a manufacturer. But I do love their bikes. I would just never own one. It’s personal preference. My Raider is beautiful, powerful, and reliable. It’s bone stock and has more hp than just about any cruiser on the road. Once I add the performance parts it’ll be a bigger beast than she already is.

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