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HD courting Ducati?


barncobob

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JerryMather

When I was with the former CEO of Ducati after the Laguna race last year, he mentioned that Harley and Ducati would in fact be a very match, since they don't have overlapping models or markets and it would put Harley back into World Class Racing in a big way.

 

It also doesn't hurt that they have very deep pockets that Ducati would love to tap into. tongue.gif

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Harley-Davidson and Ducati . . .

 

Hmmmm, a marriage made in heaven.

 

Just like Daimler-Chrysler, Suzuki-Kawasaki, Pam Anderson-Kid Rock . . .

 

We should all be showing our support for this possible acquisition by putting ape-hangers on our Ducs and clip-ons on our Ultra Glides.

 

OTOH, if this actually happened, can you imagine what Harley police bikes might be like in a few years?? smile.gif

 

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

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Hmmm........Maybe a desmo Buell is in the future. Imagine a 12,000 rpm Sportster motor. Now, what exactly does the motor company have to offer Ducati? Oh, yeah......Money. Sounds fair to me, as long as they don't go all AMF on Ducati.

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Money. Sounds fair to me, as long as they don't go all AMF on Ducati.

 

Yup. And don't forget H-D's world-class distribution and dealership system in North America.

 

It's funny how Italian motorcycle manufacturers, especially Ducati, have been on the brink of financial disaster for almost three decades now, and H-D doesn't have the in-house engineering capailities (or will?) to design a contemporary V-twin 'sporting' engine.

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My fear is that this would only produce chromed Duc's w/ loud pipes and helmetless riders. frown.gif

Apologizes to all of you H-D riders that do care about you own personal safety. thumbsup.gif

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baggerchris

I believe HD does have the capability to make a world class bike with the Vrod motor or variation thereof, but seem unable or unwilling to actually do it. I suppose that as long as their current ability to sell just about everything they make continues, they will just loaf along like they have. However, I don't doubt for a minute that they have plans and indeed probably some mules around in their skunk works for just such an endevor. The Vrod motor is truly wonderful and if they don't take advantage of it, they will deserve everything they will get. (or not get depending on how you look at it) I wish them well, but looking at the rubber mounted swing arms on their Baggers leave me cold. I don't see how a merger of sorts will in the long term help either brand. I am still reeling from the potential sell off of Chrysler's parts. Who for instance may end up with My favorite Jeep? Hyundai? Yipes!

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Paul Mihalka
Harley-Davidson and Ducati . . .

 

Hmmmm, a marriage made in heaven.

 

Just like Daimler-Chrysler, Suzuki-Kawasaki, Pam Anderson-Kid Rock . . .

How about Harley-Davidson/Aer-Macchi? Nothing new under the sun... wink.gif

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and H-D doesn't have the in-house engineering capailities (or will?) to design a contemporary V-twin 'sporting' engine.
I think they do have the capability (and they certainly have the reources). But given the piss poor sales of the V-Rods in the US, they may not have the motivation. For better or worse, Harley is a victim of its own success with the Twin Cam.
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Look at the attitude most dealers have about Buell. Stuck off in a corner like the red haired stepchild. If they go out of their way to not sell Buell why would one think they will do Ducati any good?

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Be the first on your block with a Ducati Davidson. It will run like a scalded cheetah but will stop at every bar you try to pass. lmao.giflmao.giflmao.giflmao.gif

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and H-D doesn't have the in-house engineering capailities (or will?) to design a contemporary V-twin 'sporting' engine.
I think they do have the capability (and they certainly have the reources). But given the piss poor sales of the V-Rods in the US, they may not have the motivation. For better or worse, Harley is a victim of its own success with the Twin Cam.

 

Like I said, they may not have the 'will' (you said motivation, and I agree). They didn't have the capability to design the V-Rod engine (or why would they have hired Porsche to 'help' them, unless they didn't trust their own engineers.) I would think today, they DO have the capability to design a 'sporting' V-twin, but their corporate logic may have gone something like this: "Lessee, we need to attract young rider. Young riders like sportbikes. We need a sportbike brand. Buell's not doing the job. We COULD design a sportbike V-twin engine, but the young sportbike guys will never accept a V-Twin engine from H-D, no matter how good it is. So the PR (and marketing) potential will be much better if we buy Ducati."

 

Fun to speculate. . .

 

But slightly OT, I always befuddled me how a (relatively) humungous and successful corporation like H-D fell flat on its face in its final years competing in AMA Superbike, when a tiny, relatively obsucre company like Aprilia (before Piaggio bought it) could field a MotoGP team and podium in their second (or was it third?) year.

 

I think H-D's biggest strengths are its rock solid history and tradition; those are also its greatest weaknesses.

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The only good that would come from this would be to maybe decrease the maintance cost. I was quoted $1000.00 to adjust my valves on my Ducati. Every 6 thousand miles. Sold that sucker quick. Bike was nice but parts must have been made of gold. Best thing that came out of Harley's try at AMA competition was the Vrod engine. This is one of Harleys best engins ever, but they can hardly give it away. This is a marketing problem not a bike problem. The Vrod is a great bike. Ducati has plently of problems that money will not cure all of them. IMHO.

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Okay, so we can expect to see a Twin Cam 96 turned 90 degrees on an Electra Glide? Guess it would help the cooling a bit.

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Like I said, they may not have the 'will' (you said motivation, and I agree). They didn't have the capability to design the V-Rod engine (or why would they have hired Porsche to 'help' them, unless they didn't trust their own engineers.)

 

They farmed the V-Rod project out to Porsche at least in part because they were in the middle of retooling the Big Twin from Evo to Twin Cam. Since the Big Twin is their life blood, it's not hard to understand their priorities. Besides, why reinvent the wheel when you can get someone like Porsche to do it?

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Okay, so we can expect to see a Twin Cam 96 turned 90 degrees on an Electra Glide? Guess it would help the cooling a bit.

 

No way. That would mean no more potato-potato. We have certain natural laws, and that would violate one of them.

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While Ducati makes some fine bikes, Harley already has everything they need to match that sort of lineup already in Buell...

 

Ulysses vs. Multistrada - Uly.

Supersport/Superbike vs. Firebolt - Tie

Lightning vs. Monster - Lightning

 

...about the only thing they don't have is a match for the ST3.

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