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Thread: Prototype OHV H-D

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    435

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    I guess that's why there were no problems with the first VL's and the Twin-cams. Your not doing anything if you never make a mistake. Sure AMF had problems early on but so did others. I can't find anything wrong with my all original last year AMF FXB.
    DrSprocket

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Beautiful Northern New Mexico
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    2,799

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    AMF tried to do too much too soon. They bumped production up by more than double the first couple years (and quadruple by a couple years more) they were there, and production could not keep up. The 1000cc Sportsters were some of the worst. The cylinder castings were so bad that on many of them we routinely pulled them at the 1000 mile service (if the oil consumption wasn't so bad as to appear to be a mosquito fogger, if so at much less mileage!) and bored and refitted them. A boring bar run through them would touch at random high points all over the bore. The new Sportster frames broke, the FL and FX fenders split, engines were missing important internal bits, left case bushings came loose in the casting, alternators melted, the list could go on a long time. Any good running 350 twin Japanese bike could spank any of them. It was a dismal time. I did primarily warranty work and wreck rebuilds. And warranty was often complete engine or transmission rebuilds, not to mention porous castings, scored pistons, horrible brakes. Much could be laid right at AMF's door. H-D had designed some of the newer models, but AMF declined to test them thoroughly before foisting them on the public.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    24

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    Rubone
    Yeah thats about what I was hearing at the Dealership I worked at right after AMF was bought out -Just sabatoge type stories from the factory and a generally bad product- but that changed fairly quickly once AMF was out and Rappin Ron Reagan came to the rescue to give them some breathing room-the Softail was the talk of the town and it got better from there !! I have a pic -me sitting on the first year one while it was still partially in the CRATE !! The crazy deal with the Softails people were putting bob tail fenders on bikes for years, before H-D did the first Softail, my Sporty included !!
    I had swore them off once I sold my Sportster but came back for a 2003 FLSTFI but they rode like crap in the wind JMO- my FXCW is a great ride when I get a chance...But would not be my choice to ride cross country.
    Yeah you worked there during some bleak times for the Motor Co. but it seemed where we were- once the Softail came out then the Fatboy it was Good times then of course the late 90's when you had waiting lists to get a BIKE !!!!Walk into a Dealership and all the bikes were sold with signs on the seat saying so in our area about 1999 or 2000 till 2004 !!!
    "you gonna sit there and argue ......or FISH " Claude Leadbetter

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    24

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    Rich
    Hey that might be the bright spot the belt driven Sturgis -what a cool bike and your Smart to have kept it !!! They did re issue a newer model years later correct ?
    1982 correct ?
    "you gonna sit there and argue ......or FISH " Claude Leadbetter

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    435

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    Claude, They made the Sturgis in '80 to '82 with the '82 model having a special badge on the front fender to show the family was back in the saddle. They came back out with it in the Dyna chassis in the early '90's for a year or two.
    DrSprocket

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1,126

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    Mike wilson in Cedar Rapids also dropped the HD franchise & went with honda in 1965,because of pressure from the Motor Co.He had originally been an HD financed startup dealership.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
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    4,185

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    Getting back to the original topic; I sure wish Harley-Davidson had gone into production with the OHV 45. No one can say how that would have worked out in the marketplace, but it would have been great for future collectors. It was a beautiful motor, and would have been a lot of fun for hot-rodders, and performance junkies of the day. I guess from H-D's point of view, it would have been competition for their Big Twin OHVs, but then the Sportster built it's own following, and customer base. Tough decisions on the corporate level.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  8. #18

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    Their greed prevented them from asking the all-important questions. But then, Ford made the same mistake in 1958...

    1. Major marketing rule still true after 100 years: if you build something new, its target must be people who otherwise would not buy your existing products.
    "Aside from existing and future owners of H-D twins, in 1937 their entire new market is current and future Indian Scout owners, the Chief is too expensive, the Crocker is much too expensive, and British imports don't have any presence yet. Will this work? It's more expensive than a good used car. Who would buy it, and why?"

    2. Selling points for the new bike:
    "It has as nearly many parts as the big twin OHV (many of which never tested), atill needs development time and money, has lower power per pound, costs almost as much to build, requires its own line of service/maintenance/repair for dealers to stock, it's slower, and the price difference may not make it attractive."

  9. #19

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    there were no problems with the first VL's

    Sarcasm, I assume?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    182

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    Quote Originally Posted by 41craig View Post
    fxcw64: This bike was for sale on Ebay 4 or 5 months ago, with the same listing info. I can't remember what it sold for, but it was not cheap ! I guess the buyer backed out or something.
    Craig
    I just talked to a friend about this bike. It sold, on Ebay, 5 or 6 months ago for about $140,000.00. Now this guy wants $250,000.00.
    Craig

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