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Basem Wasef

2012 Harley-Davidson Lineup to Break Tradition With Water-Cooled Engines

By April 1, 2011

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Liquid Cooled Harley Davidsons

>>UPDATE: April Fools jokes aside, here's the real, official 2012 Harley-Davidson Lineup and the 2012 Harley-Davidson CVO Lineup<<

Harley-Davidson's notoriously nostalgic, 108 year practice of building only air-cooled engines (with the exception, of course, of the V-Rod Night Rod Special and V-Rod Muscle) is about to come to a screeching halt. Thanks to certification documents leaked by the EPA and California Air Resources Board, all engines in the 2012 Harley-Davidson lineup will feature a radiator discreetly wedged between each model's downtubes.

A Harley-Davidson representative reluctantly admitted that the change was coming when confronted with the allegation. "For over a century, our bikes have exuded a singular feel and an unmistakable exhaust note," the spokesperson said during a phone interview, "but toughening emissions regulations and practical considerations have forced us to modernize our powerplants."

The rep suggested that the benefits were not limited to clean air; the new liquid-cooled engines produce up to 35 percent more horsepower, and run considerably cooler than their predecessors-- with a reduction in the signature potato-potato exhaust volume. The radiators, manufactured in Japan by Denso, are purpose built for the H-D application, and feature a similar design to the slim units found on Honda's Fury chopper. All models will feature traditional placement except the XR1200X, which will incorporate a side-mounted radiator. Rumors that the V-Rod will be discontinued due to "redundancy" have not yet been confirmed.

"The time has come," the rep told me, "and our valued customers will soon see that Harley-Davidson is committed to embracing a cleaner and greener future."

>>If you believed this story, check the date-- yep, it was published on April Fools day! Harley-Davidson has not released any plans to add water-cooled engines to their lineup.<<


Photo Basem Wasef; click to enlarge

April 1, 2011 at 11:06 am
(1) Joe says:

It’s Apr 1!!!

April 1, 2011 at 11:08 am
(2) Rion says:

You actually had me going for second there.

April 1, 2011 at 11:32 am
(3) Jon K says:

Holy SH*T I hope that is all this is… Just some kind of BAD JOKE…..
If this is true, is this truly the beginning of the end for the American Icon?

April 1, 2011 at 11:37 am
(4) Phoebe says:

Tee hee! Very funny.

April 1, 2011 at 11:54 am
(5) blaze3016 says:

Say it ain’t so !!!! April Fools!!!

April 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm
(6) Pete says:

Funny…I thought it was a pretty good idea and about friggin time!.

The one I got a bang out (comments closed) was the 3 wheel routine…..
Nobody bit!!

April 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm
(7) motorcycles says:

Ah, I had fun with this one! :)

Don’t know why comments were closed on the other post, but they’re open now.

Happy April Fools’!


April 1, 2011 at 2:54 pm
(8) Dabber says:

I don’t like April fools! I’m gullible. I’m reading and saying to myself “finally” HD is doing something. You got me last year too. Gooberhead!

April 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm
(9) TonyT says:

LOL, good story you got a few people on the HD Forums Australia.

First thing I checked was the date :)

April 1, 2011 at 9:22 pm
(10) Carrie says:

Who slapped the tank badge on that Honda Fury in your picture?

April 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm
(11) Norm says:

Ya Got me!- until I realised the date of the item, APRIL FOOL’s DAY!, that is!.

April 6, 2011 at 10:42 am
(12) kngwngmik says:

Although I don’t own one yet. Let it be known that the air cooled V Twin Harley Davidson engine and friends of course (meaning all its components and what have you) is protected by law as a national treasure for now and all eternity.

April 6, 2011 at 11:12 am
(13) FrankG says:

I only wish it were true!
You had me happy there for a sec…

April 6, 2011 at 1:45 pm
(14) Wrench says:

Nice Aprils Fool post, but the reality is how long will it really be before Harley is forced to abandon the air cooled technology? Not now but soon?

April 6, 2011 at 3:25 pm
(15) tom widger says:

Whats Willie G. have to say on this??

April 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm
(16) FrankG says:

That “technology” is at least 40 years old!!!

April 6, 2011 at 9:19 pm
(17) Joe says:

Amazing how some people can turn even a Apr. fools joke into a bashing for HD in these posts. Losers!

April 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm
(18) FrankG says:

Not loosers… just smart people expecting a great company with a great name to eventually evolve…

April 6, 2011 at 10:45 pm
(19) FrankG says:

btw… before you start I am a XR1200 owner…
That’s a Harley in case you don’t know…

April 7, 2011 at 7:07 am
(20) Joe says:

I don’t think I ever seen you say a good thing about HD on here Frank. If ya don’t like them move on, no need to bash them EVERYTIME you see a post on here that even remotely mentions HD. HD is evolving and doing ok in this bad economy. I think it’s just not evolving the way you WANT. Not everyone wants a fast bike, some people like cruisers (48% in the USA). Ride what ya like and let everyone else do the same.

April 7, 2011 at 8:47 am
(21) FrankG says:

Joe… I am NOT bashing anything… get a life!
Did you read my posts? Where is there a bash?
I even said I own a XR…
You need a new speech… Have heard your 48% way too many times and as I have answered, if your 48% is correct (if) there are 53% on the other side, right?
Enough with you…

April 7, 2011 at 11:22 am
(22) Joe says:

That’s my point Frank, YOU need a new line too, all you keep saying is HD’s are OLD and out dated. Enough! You said it over and over. I give you the same line over and over because you do it. Move on and I will! HD is going to keep making the same kind of bikes, people like the big cruiser they make, they sell a LOT of them, live with it. If you really have an XR, good for you, most HD riders like the bigger cruisers that you don’t like, so. Please stop posting the same crap every time HD is even remotely mentioned in a post and I will. P.S. Frank, 53% and 48% add up to 101%! Hope you don’t make these kind of mistakes on you taxes. lol

April 7, 2011 at 11:37 pm
(23) FrankG says:

Yep I do, and I win every time! Man you really do need a life, don’t you? what a nitty picking soul you are…

Again… answer my question … tell me where I bashed?
Saying they are out dated is not bashing, it’s a fact. Some people like it some don’t and I don’t care but nevertheless it is a fact.
I just wish they did something more modern which again they can as you can see by the VRod.
And I expressed an opinion… was not asking for yours regarding my comments. Give your opinions to the article as I did and leave me (and others that don’t agree with you) alone!
What do you do all day? Just sit in front of your computer waiting for some one to post something you don’t like?
From now on, leave me alone… maintain your comments to the articles cuz I am not responding to anymore to your ignorant comments.

April 8, 2011 at 7:17 am
(24) Joe says:

Frank, you’re weird! Which is it, first you want me to answer your question in regards to your bashing HD and then you say leave me alone? You say you “win every time”, didn’t know this was a contest, I thought it was just a place to voice opinions. Bashing is when you mention HD being out dated twice in one post like you did in this one, comments 13 and 16. We got your point in the first one but you keep saying it over and over and over. This is what you complained about me when I mention cruiser are 48% of the market in the USA. Your being a hypocrite. HAHA!!! I win!!…..opps, forgot this isn’t a contest. Sorry! lol P.S. Frank, chill out, life is to short to get all upset on a forum.

April 8, 2011 at 10:14 am
(25) peter waltman says:

It ain’t a joke or an April fools prank…..I was told this over a year ago by a Female member of the Davidson Family who ownes the largest HD Dealership in Milwaukee,no names given….It’s why the range has been changing over the past year or two with new frame mods to accomadate the taller heads…………….DON’T LAUGH!!!! IT IS TRUE!!!

April 8, 2011 at 7:55 pm
(26) Pete says:

Like it or not, and all the considerable emotion aside, there is a very real possibility HD will be forced in to modernizing their engines. Air cooling – while nostalgic as hell – does not lend itself to efficiency. Fuel mapping for air coolers is all over the map (pardon the pun), thus reduction of pollutants is problematic at best. One of these days the Gov’t – probably CARB – will pass ruling forcing everyone to meet a certain standard. Gawd help our beloved sport then.
You notice emission testing like all of Canada (and all of the U.S?) is cars only? That free ride will end…not maybe, but ‘when’ is the issue. Bikes can not be tested with the same equipment they use to test cars. MC engines are so dirty, they will destroy the sensors that are calibrated to test LEV / ULEV car engines…engines that in some cases spew out cleaner ‘air’ than they took in.
Your bike & mine will be changed forever and it won’t be pretty. Air coolers like HD are probably in for the biggest change. At least PGMFI, liquid cooled engines have a fighting chance – with modifications – to meet 1990 car standards..
I have a 2010 Civic that gets much better gas mileage than my carbureted, liquid cooled 1000 twin.
Heads up folks…big brother is coming for us sooner than later.

April 9, 2011 at 9:45 am
(27) Joe says:

That is so true Pete. This is why HD is NOT outdated and ahead of the curve in a lot of stuff. All there bikes have a closed loop FI system (most cruisers do NOT have this yet) and the new 2011 softails use a LAN electronic system. Also all the Big Twins have six speed Trans(again most cruiser do not have this) which lower rpms at highway speeds. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with ya that HD and ALL BIKES will have to change because of EPA standards in the future. It is coming and soon.

April 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm
(28) Rider says:

Wow, I thought that was the best bike I have ever seen in my Good Life but There are some conclusions about this situation. the first thing that i have to say is that Harley-Davidson motorcycles are the best motorbikes ever. You can see in the bike that this kind of motorbike is not dangerous, the wheels are so big and hard, it’s important to know. so I wish I could use that bike every time i wanna but i live in Israel so I can Buy a motorcycles in CheckPost. Thank you for the review.

April 25, 2011 at 2:55 am
(29) Jukebox says:

It is only a joke if Bike World comes back and says it is. I never saw that anywhere right,so how can it be a joke? Oh I get it,it’s like Andy Kaufman,he used to play jokes on people and never tell them it was a joke. Is that what this is. Sorry,I know it is going to happen someday,Harley can’t keep making thier engines run so hot and keep up with the compatition.

April 28, 2011 at 12:22 am
(30) gottaride says:

No matter how bad people think about HD motorcycles, in terms of technology, more people buy, and like HD more than any other bikes.
Don’t take it as a wrong way! Foreign motorcycles are mostly last longer HD motorcycles, but that is not the point. :)
I love my bike!
Don’t you know what it is? ;)
Harley Davidson and vTwin Forums

June 10, 2011 at 10:50 pm
(31) Sherry says:

That is one ugly bike!!!!!!! It does not look like a Harley Sad

June 27, 2011 at 7:52 pm
(32) scott says:

They should name them TITANIC.

July 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm
(33) Donny says:

Harley Davidson engines are designed to break. The crank shaft is not true on a Harley. The tension shoe is plastic on there chain drive and clutch and snaps hard when you shift. No other modern motorcycle has chain drive they all run gears.The rocker bushings wear out,because there push rod has tension at each end and moves around. The oil pump only cools the clutch and charging system with one quart of oil and a PSI of only 3 to 8. The engine stader is in the hottest part of they engine. These are the reasons Indian and Victory motorcycles rule America made cruiser market.

September 10, 2011 at 11:13 am
(34) dave says:

What a waste of time. Why would you even post this worthless article?

August 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm
(35) murray says:

Had triumphs as a kid, 5 hondas. l Finally got an Electra Ultra, my wife would not ride with me because it was too hot, thats not all bad. It was too hot for me, i got in a traffic jamb with temps alsmost 100, it was over an hour . I felt like pushing it over in the ditch and hitchiking. Got home and sold it, I couldnt ride all last summer nor this summer. I am looking for another Honda. I sure liked that bike but you hit a hot spell on a trip and its just torture. Yeah get a rad for c sake.

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