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Harley fires up with Porsche engines

by CAR magazine on 24/07/2001

Comments: 0

German sports car manufacturer Porsche will develop new engines for Harley-Davidson to help the US motorcycle manufacturer raise its profile in Europe.

Luxury carmaker Porsche will develop new engines for Harley-Davidson to help the US motorcycle manufacturer raise its profile in Europe.

The German company has contributed engineering and research expertise for Harley-Davidson’s “Revolution” engine. The American manufacturer hopes to break into Europe where it will compete with Ducati, BMW and Triumph for the sports-cruiser market.

The company boasts 46,3 per cent of the North American market for large motorcycles, but only 7,4 per cent in Europe.

It would not give financial details of the five-year agreement. Porsche already makes 17 per cent of its annual revenues from engineering contracts.

The aptly-named revolution engine is completely different from the “old Knucklehead” with a 60 degree V angle, twin cylinders, dual overhead cams, four-valve heads, Harley’s own electronic fuel injection and high energy plug-top ignition coils.

Harley has utilised technology from its VR 1000 Superbike raced in the US AMA championship, helping the 1130 cm3 Revolution unit pump out 86 kW at 8 250 r/min.

It also has a new five-speed transmission, which uses a combination of spur and helical gears for reduced noise and smoother short-shifting.

The new motorcycle also has a more aerodynamic front headlight assembly and integrated clamshell instrumentation, which features a speedo, tacho, fuel gauge, warning lights and a start-up self-diagnostic check.

The V-rod Cruisers, due to be launched at the end of the year, will be assembled in Kansas City.