The Harley-Davidson 2021 "Live" Virtual Product Launch

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6,282
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Scruffy City
There was no huge news.

Basically what is referred to in sport bike world as BNG (Bold New Graphics) Harley's twist is a splash of chrome.

Disappointing presentation, seemed mostly (if not all) prerecorded...

A You Tuber said it was not really a product launch but a website launch which seems about right.

Guess 21 models have been trickling out for a few weeks anyway...

I do like the 114 in the Street Bob and the Low Rider S...

Apparently the touring bikes going back to cable clutches is old news.

The Streets, Roadster and the Deluxe are gone along with quite a few others...
 
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163
There was no huge news.

Basically what is referred to in sport bike world as BNG (Bold New Graphics) Harley's twist is a splash of chrome.

Disappointing presentation, seemed mostly (if not all) prerecorded...

A You Tuber said it was not really a product launch but a website launch which seems about right.

Guess 21 models have been trickling out for a few weeks anyway...

I do like the 114 in the Street Bob and the Low Rider S...

Apparently the touring bikes going back to cable clutches is old news.

The Streets, Roadster and the Deluxe are gone along with quite a few others...
Why are they going back to cable clutches?
 

DuckRyder

Thread starter
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6,282
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Scruffy City
Why are they going back to cable clutches?

Rider feedback was the reason given.
components of which were - Feel of the friction zone, hydraulic did not really reduce effort (one of the original points of going to it) and of course changing the length of the cable is easier if swapping bars than changing the clutch hydraulics. Laidlaw may have said some of that... frankly i wasn't paying much attention to that part.


 
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2,092
Location
missouri
Hydraulic clutches also change the engagement point as they get hot, much more than cable. This works against muscle memory, In a seldom used vehicle the hyd clutch also requires more maintenance in fluid changes. Repair can be more expensive. Custom clutch levers are more difficult.

For their target audience, cable is probably better.
 
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4,853
Location
South Carolina
Hydraulic clutches also change the engagement point as they get hot, much more than cable. This works against muscle memory, In a seldom used vehicle the hyd clutch also requires more maintenance in fluid changes. Repair can be more expensive. Custom clutch levers are more difficult.

For their target audience, cable is probably better.
When I bought my 14 Road King I was so happy it had a cable vs. the other touring bikes hydraulic. Took them time to get the "bugs" out, recalls I think ect . But for me, the RK was for simplicity and not sure why the need for the hydraulic clutch. If anything goes wrong with the RK, new cable, done. No maintenance, so even though I pretty much have the thought of buying a newer bike anymore completely out of my head.
Im glad to see them go back to cable for such a simple task. But that is just me and know I am the odd one out just for the fact of preferring a Road King over the others.
 

DuckRyder

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Also 2 other things I picked up cruising the interwebs:

Apparently Harley has ended their association with Vance and Hines (whatever that means)

Mentioned in conjunction with this as a change to the ECM that I gather prevents immediately tuning them - I’ll have to investigate this further.
 
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5,646
Location
the canyons
Also 2 other things I picked up cruising the interwebs:

Apparently Harley has ended their association with Vance and Hines (whatever that means)

Mentioned in conjunction with this as a change to the ECM that I gather prevents immediately tuning them - I’ll have to investigate this further.
It means that Harley is struggling to survive, just like the rest of the powersports industry. Since their customer base is shrinking along with revenue, they cut company sponsorship in Dragracing and Flattrack. Leaving potential sponsorship to individual dealers who might be willing or able to make a sound financial case for sponsoring riders or racing in some capacity.
 

DuckRyder

Thread starter
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Scruffy City
It means that Harley is struggling to survive, just like the rest of the powersports industry. Since their customer base is shrinking along with revenue, they cut company sponsorship in Dragracing and Flattrack. Leaving potential sponsorship to individual dealers who might be willing or able to make a sound financial case for sponsoring riders or racing in some capacity.

Fair enough, that makes more sense than the way I heard it stated that the ECM was somehow changed to prevent an FP3 connecting easily... Little more digging says Fuel Moto reports the touring bikes have a new Delphi ECM with different connectors, don't know if others remain unchanged or are just unverified as yet...
 
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Colorado, USA
Agreed, a hydraulic clutch can have issues when it gets hot. However when was the last time a Harley had an issue with a clutch getting overheated? I guess if guys are drag racing them?
 
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N.C.
IIRC the only Harley’s with hydraulic clutches prior to the M8‘s were the CVO models. My 2010 CVO Streetglide has a hydraulic clutch and my sons 2007 CVO RK has a hydraulic clutch. I do like the hydraulic actuated clutch over the cable actuated clutch better now after getting used to it. My 2009 Superglides cable clutch feels weak right at the beginning of the friction zone in comparison. No slippage, just not as positive feeling as the hydraulic clutch IMO.
 
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940
Location
Colorado, USA
Let’s take out the difference in clutch feel for the buyer, for the sake of the discussion. I.E., I don’t think clutch feel has much to do as to whether a customer buys a Harley or not.

It’s a cost saving measure that is going to get spun into anything other than that. If all of the maintenance differences were a reality for a Harley hydraulic clutch versus a cable clutch, Harley would do well to keep a hydraulic clutch and keep most of the owners coming back for service on it for the dealers sake. But this change isn’t for the dealers sake, IMO. It’s for cost savings, pure and simple, on the front end which is what keeps a company viable.

Harley Davidson warranty is two years and unlimited miles. I don’t know any hydraulic clutch in this day and age that can’t make it two years with respect to needing maintenance even when ridden sparingly. Quite honestly, cable clutches are typically looked on as lower tier than a hydraulic clutch with a respect to customer perception whether they work better or not. Just like 40 years ago people are going to have the issue when that cable goes south. Don’t visualize many modern day Harley riders thinking to throw a clutch cable in the saddle bag, and wanting or being able to change it on the fly. .
 
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Cable operated clutch and/or brakes are more prone to cable degradation if the bike is ridden a lot in the rain. Can't prevent some water from getting into the ends of the cable ... just need to maintain/lubricate them better/more if doing rain riding.
 
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N.C.
178,000 Harley touring bikes recalled in 2017 and 2018. The secondary hydraulic clutch actuators were leaking fluid internally causing the clutch not being able to disengage, which I’m sure weighed heavily on their decision to go back to cable as well. I.E., lawsuits!
 
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Deep in the heart of Jersey
I took a look at the 2021's, and what a Snore-fest that was. I was hoping for an announcement stating they had finally corrected all the problems they were having with the 2017-2020 bikes. But no dice. They're are gonna keep on making the same trouble plagued vehicles and denying anything was wrong with them , just with New and Improved colors. While pretty much every other motorcycle mfgr has mastered the art of hydraulic clutches, oil management, and watercooling, Harley still feels the need to reinvent the wheel to their way of thinking. And lets not overlook the prices are as high or higher then last years models. I haven't heard any more about their electric bicycles, or that lame electric motorcycle they thought would "Change the World". People love taking the Livewire for a test ride, but balk at really laying down the cash to buy one. And that new " Adventure" bike they won't reveal until next month would probably sell like hotcakes, if they price it right. But you know that won't happen. Plus most will check it out but like they say , never buy the first year of anything until they work the bugs out of it. There's My 2 cents.,,,
 
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gman and Cahuna, both excellent posts! Never had an issue with a hydraulic clutch on any bike. Bleed the system every few years ‘til fresh fluid comes out. Every 5 or 6 years bleed it until fresh fluid comes out, then take it down until there’s barely any left in the MC and clean out the reservoir and top it off. Good to go.

Harley has a hard time staying relevant at all, and Indian is gonna keep kicking their butt with bikes that out-perform in any measurable way you want to compare, and that WORK like they are supposed to.
 
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1,452
Location
Ca USA
Hydraulic actuating clutches are the gold standard and you're lucky
your bike is equipped because they cost more than simple cable operated
clutch... they work buttery smooth only if the brake fluid is fresh...
but when the DOT 3 or 4 Glycol fluid goes from fresh golden, then
light brown, indicating that it has absorbed progressively more
moisture. Eventually, if left unchanged beyond the recommended service
interval, the fluid will become dark brown, indicating high amounts of
water absorption and thus badly contaminated fluid will begin
corroding your parts... you may need to drain and flush the system and
rebuild the slave cylinder to have that buttery smooth feeling once

again...
RC45BremboClutch.JPG
 
Messages
158
Location
WI
gman and Cahuna, both excellent posts! Never had an issue with a hydraulic clutch on any bike. Bleed the system every few years ‘til fresh fluid comes out. Every 5 or 6 years bleed it until fresh fluid comes out, then take it down until there’s barely any left in the MC and clean out the reservoir and top it off. Good to go.

Harley has a hard time staying relevant at all, and Indian is gonna keep kicking their butt with bikes that out-perform in any measurable way you want to compare, and that WORK like they are supposed to.
Indian is having their fair share of problems with the Challenger and FTR. Unlike H-D, they just can't seem to get their fueling dialed in. Was a problem when I sold them, and still a problem now.
 
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