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Thread: Raced a Harley

  1. #1
    RRzone Elite CharlieHo's Avatar
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    Default Raced a Harley

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I raced a Harley today and after some really hard riding I managed to PASS the guy. I was riding on one of those really, really twisting sections of canyon road with no straight sections to speak of and where most of the curves have warning signs that say "15 MPH".

    I knew if I was going to pass one of those monsters with those big-cubic-inch motors, it would have to be a place like this where handling and rider skill are more important than horsepower alone.

    I saw the guy up ahead as I exited one of the turns and knew I could catch him, but it wouldn't be easy. I concentrated on my braking and cornering. three corners later, I was on his fender. Catching him was one thing; passing him would prove to be another.

    Two corners later, I pulled up next to him as we sailed down the mountain. I think he was shocked to see me next to him, as I nearly got by him before he could recover. Next corner, same thing. I'd manage to pull up next to him as we started to enter the corners but when we came out he'd get on the throttle and outpower me. His horsepower was almost too much to overcome, but this only made me
    more determined than ever.

    My only hope was to outbrake him. I held off squeezing the lever until the last instant. I kept my nerve while he lost his. In an instant I was by him. Corner after corner, I could hear the roar of his engine as he struggled to keep up. Three more miles to go before the road straightens out and he would pass me for good.

    But now I was in the lead and he would no longer hold me back. I stretched out my lead and by the time we reached the bottom of the canyon, he was more than a full corner behind. I could no longer see him in my rear-view mirror.

    Once the road did straighten out, it seemed like it took miles before he passed me, but it was probably just a few hundred yards. I was no match for that kind of horsepower, but it was done. In the tightest section of road, where bravery and skill count for more than horspower and deep pockets, I had passed him. though it was not easy, I had won the race to the bottom of the canyon and I had preserved the proud tradition of another of America's best bikes.

    I will always remember that moment. I don't think I've ever pedaled so hard in my life. And some of the credit must go to Schwinn, as well. They really make a great bicycle...

  2. #2
    RRzone Elder 66droptop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    This whole time I was wondering what kind of drugs you were on that made you slower than a Harley in a straight line. Then I thought maybe you were riding a pocket bike perhaps, or maybe a neighbor kid's plastic Big Wheel trike.

    Passing Harleys on bikes like ours is like back in highschool when I'd hop in with the JV kids during breaks between sets so I could run double the track workout.

  3. #3
    Meh. Derator. jawhn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    That cracked me up, too. Like Rob, I was thinking "WTF!?!?!?" until the last sentence. Hehe.

    Sad thing is, it -could- be true, if the downhill slope was steep enough...
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    RRzone Elder 66droptop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    My buddy's dad with the Vmax and GT40 replica rides bikes now instead of racing. Anyhow, he wants me to pace them on the 9 at 50mph. They'll draft behind me, then pop out and sprint past. Something along those lines. Anyhow, those guys can get going pretty quick. Those skinny wheels aren't the greatest for cornering though. Those bikes literally weigh something like 5lbs. I wing those things around the garage with as much effort as scratching my nose.

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    RRzone Elder xraycatj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    See I was thinking that the Harley had a ton of motor work done....like a dyno tuned, bored and stroked TLR motor and some suspension work...good read.....


















    oh one more thing........LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES.... (j/k)
    Hidden Content Fortunately I keep my feathers numbered for just such an occasion. Hidden Content

  6. #6
    RRzone Member yamahor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    No joke, I know a guy with a Harley that I couldn't shake in the twisties, and I was giving my 900 HELL!!!! Of course, the bike had a $12,000 engine, against my $4,000 900, but still, it was the fact I couldn't shake a HARLEY!! Okay, so the dude knew how to ride ......

  7. #7
    gixerkiller
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    Quote Originally Posted by yamahor
    No joke, I know a guy with a Harley that I couldn't shake in the twisties, and I was giving my 900 HELL!!!! Of course, the bike had a $12,000 engine, against my $4,000 900, but still, it was the fact I couldn't shake a HARLEY!! Okay, so the dude knew how to ride ......
    wow dude! even when i was riding a ysr50 i never had to worry about Hardly Movinsons'. [maybe in the straights]

  8. #8
    RRzone Member Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    The story by CharlieHo of his duel with the Harley made me realize I'm not alone here. I'm gonna take an awful chance here (I might step on some toes and get kicked out), and publish on this forum a story called "The Mystery". I wrote it for a Norwegian bike mag in 2004.

    Here goes:

    The Mystery
    A motorcycle story

    I’m looking out the window from 33000 feet. Through the haze far below the endless American prairie is rolling forward, with its checkerboard of roads and fields. My thoughts are flowing easily and unrestricted after a Gin & Tonic or three. To a Norwegian used to see tiny fields wedged between rocks and fiords, there’s something alien about all this space. Suddenly, snap, I have the answer to one of life’s big mysteries.

    The mystery is why Americans insist on making bikes that cannot turn. And why the rest of the world has accepted that it’s perfectly OK to make bikes that cannot turn. And then they go ahead making copies of these deficient bikes, by the hundreds of thousands. I’d been wondering about this for years and years.

    I remember a bike trip some years ago. We were going south through Telemark somewhere, cruising comfortably on my VFR I was hypnotized by the view in my mirrors, filled with the shower of sparks from the footboards of the Harley behind me. I also remembered the first time on a borrowed chopper, a Suzuki Intruder. I caught the heel of my boot in a pothole at the very first roundabout. Nearly fell off. It’s an absolute mystery to me why bikes like that are made.

    Take it easy now, dear Harley-dude, calm down. Count to ten. Breathe deeply, relax and lean back. Let me carry on for a while, let me swim the deep water here and talk about things that I, clearly, know f… all about. Humor me, and see how far out in the boondocks I end up.

    First accept that the Buell, with all its fabulous drivability and style, is just a parenthesis, a small and insignificant pimple on the big American biker ass. It’s just the exception that confirms the rule. Instead, dig out you memories from when you were a kid. Fast forward over Hopalong and the Cowboy movies; stop when you come to the cars. Run projector. Rebel without a cause, American Graffiti, Cannonball run. What do you see? Traffic lights, gunning the engine, cars racing. To the next light. Or over a cliff. Or over an endless road in an endless landscape. A car flat out towards you in the heat haze. Pedal to the metal. No scenes where anybody is turning, are there?

    Long ago I crossed this continent by car. Non stop. Miami to LA, in a 72 Pontiac Bonneville Safari. 400 Cubic inches of V8 slurping away under the hood. An endless and monotonous journey, only interrupted by the clanking of the filler pistol. Out on the highway, hit the cruise button, one finger on the wheel. The sun coming up in the windscreen, passing on the right side and disappearing in the mirror. It’s far and longer than far. The stereo is playing The Band, the Doobie Brothers, Electric Light Orchestra, Foreigner. Not to mention the Beach Boys:

    “I’ve got a competition clutch and a four on the floor
    Baby I’ve got the fastest set of wheels in town
    Comin’ off the line when the light turns green
    Well she blows’em off the water like you never seen
    I get pushed out of shape and it’s hard to steer
    When I get rubber in all four gears.”

    Pay attention now, Harley-dude. There’s nothing about turning in that song either. Remarkable how little attention is spent on suspension. Not a single letter about shocks, brakes or other essential components that we have the utmost use for where I come from.
    The essential in the USA is that those things are unessential. Now what the hell has all this got to do with bikes, I hear you asking, this guy has gone full tilt. It’s coming, it’s coming.

    Recently I arrived in Whitcita, Kansas. Remember John Candy and Steve Martin in the film “Planes, trains & automobiles”? You know, where Steve Martin does not make it home on Christmas because he was stuck somehow smack in the middle of nowhere? And he ends up riding with John Candy and his seven piece Polish Polka Only Orchestra? That’s Wichita. Nothing much happens in Wichita, I thought. Until I saw the bike in a glass case in the airport arrivals hall. A beautiful jewel of a Custom Chopper, with a 255 rear tire and liberally sprinkled with throughout with delightfully machined trinkets, chrome and special paint.

    “This is a Big Dog Motorcycle, made in Wichita”, Kansas, the placard said. My first reaction - naturally enough – is that you have to be an American to appreciate your bike being called a fat mutt. Then again, they call their Harleys for Hogs, which I believe is a mature and well fed male pig. So the T-shirt slogan “Forget your Hog, buy a Dog” really got me thinking for a while.

    Two days later a brilliant female connection got me into the factory for a tour. At Big Dog they mass produce amazingly pretty special bikes. All unique, at least if you count the custom paint and trim options. 270 dudes and 20 girls assemble 1700 cc S&S engines in low-rider frames, paint frames, tanks and fenders. 7000 bikes a year they build out here on the prairie, 30 bikes a day, all unbelievably beautiful. They have the ability to build anything there, design wise. And then they make choppers with a ridiculously long fork and good acceleration, costing 4 times what you pay for a GSX-R 750. And selling them like hotcakes, too. What a country. What a market. But can these bikes turn? Nope.

    It’s not surprising that the average man in the street does not have a clue about bikes over here. In the relatively enlightened year 2005 you can watch in the new movie “Torque” that the hero, untraditionally equipped with a 200 HP plastic rocket, is struggling to catch up with the bad guy on his 50 HP Harley. Totally wild. But people actually believe it’s true. ”So you ride one of them plastic bikes, eh? Well I’ve got a Harley, man. Some real power you know. Only bike to have, man.” Pathetic.

    By the way, there are millions of bikes in the US. You hardly ever see them, though. On a trailer going to Sturgis or Spring break you see them. They’re just not on the roads, except maybe downtown somewhere and where ever downtown is. Cause you don’t ride over here unless somebody is watching you. On an unmentionable number of trips thru 35 states I have never, ever, seen anybody fully suited up with decent leather, lid and gloves. No wonder in that heat. So much cooler to cruise in a T-shirt, bandanna and sunglasses, bronzed by the ever present sun and with a light coat of flies on your teeth. Of course it is!

    Just then, with my brain running loose and easy, I see it. The answer to one of life’s big mysteries. The whole thing just clicks into place. What I’ve been pondering so long. Why they insist making bikes that won’t turn. I look down on the flat checkerboard, searching my harddisk drive for images from the air over other states. Of course! It’s all so simple.

    They don’t have turns over here.
    A bad day on the track beats a good day at work - anytime...

  9. #9
    RRzone Elder Blademan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    Some of it seems about right. There are ton's of Harleys here on the east cost. I guess you gotts have the mountains near ya for some good turns. I would like a cruiser but no way would I get one that was raked out to hell and back. For the same reason . . . I want a bike that can turn when I need it too, and not just for cosmetics
    When life hands you lemons . . . cut'em up . . . put'em in a Corona . . . and drink. Problem solved !! Hidden Content

  10. #10
    RRzone Elite CharlieHo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    The story by CharlieHo of his duel with the Harley made me realize I'm not alone here. I'm gonna take an awful chance here (I might step on some toes and get kicked out), and publish on this forum a story called "The Mystery". I wrote it for a Norwegian bike mag in 2004.
    You can't get kicked out for telling the truth... I have to ride the mountains by myself because few others have the machinery, or ability, or neither, to go riding with me... let alone the gear I insist they wear if they do manage to tag along.

    "It's too fu@@@ng hot to wear something like that!!" "Don't you feel stupid wearing racing gear while riding on the street?" I guess as long as posers hang out at fuel stops I'll always hear those questions there ;-) You'd think they'd at least want to tag along for a short distance to show off their "skillz", oh wait, they probably do, but I never see 'em that far behind........

  11. #11
    RRzone Elder xraycatj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    ass pimples.....man they hurt don't they?

    good story though. I would hate to live in the flat lands of the Midwest..Ahh, I'm so glad to live so close to the canyons...
    Hidden Content Fortunately I keep my feathers numbered for just such an occasion. Hidden Content

  12. #12
    gixerkiller
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    havn't been to california and the western states have you? canyon roads for days streets that turn nice tracks......so what if the cops are nazi ba@#$%^.

  13. #13
    RRzone Member Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    You are so right, that's a sore spot. Been to Northern California way back before the Blade was invented, other than that not much north of I-70.
    I work with aircraft and somehow end up in Florida, the east coast or on the wide open prairie. I have read about canyon carving in California, though. It would be fun to rent a bike there once. Dont know if you can rent a Blade or a sport bike. Most rentals seem to be either Harleys or Beemers. You know any places?
    A bad day on the track beats a good day at work - anytime...

  14. #14
    Secret Squirrel Member bikerdave's Avatar
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    Unhappy Re: Raced a Harley - Gear

    Hey, guys,
    I am glad to hear some one else talk about the gear gig.
    I do have a name for those who absolutely can't(?) ride without
    a salad bowl, t-shirt, shorts, flip flops(tennis shoes).
    Organ doners.
    The sad part is that the rest of the world uses the consequences of that
    to cover us all.
    Run Safe,
    Dave

  15. #15
    gixerkiller
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    You are so right, that's a sore spot. Been to Northern California way back before the Blade was invented, other than that not much north of I-70.
    I work with aircraft and somehow end up in Florida, the east coast or on the wide open prairie. I have read about canyon carving in California, though. It would be fun to rent a bike there once. Dont know if you can rent a Blade or a sport bike. Most rentals seem to be either Harleys or Beemers. You know any places?
    yeah
    call a place called DEL AMO motorsports they rent bikes like ducati and i think honda. the dealer is in a city called Del Amo, go figure.

  16. #16
    gixerkiller
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley - Gear

    Quote Originally Posted by bikerdave
    Hey, guys,
    I am glad to hear some one else talk about the gear gig.
    I do have a name for those who absolutely can't(?) ride without
    a salad bowl, t-shirt, shorts, flip flops(tennis shoes).
    Organ doners.
    The sad part is that the rest of the world uses the consequences of that
    to cover us all.
    Run Safe,
    Dave
    don't froget about the idiots who pull stunts i heavy traffic, or in a school zone. they to lump us all into one group that is why we get pulled by the p.d. and we aren't doin' anything.

  17. #17
    RRzone Elder Manic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    Quote Originally Posted by xraycatj View Post
    ass pimples.....man they hurt don't they?

    good story though. I would hate to live in the flat lands of the Midwest..Ahh, I'm so glad to live so close to the canyons...
    Hey, I live in the midwest and.... oh wait, yeah, it's flat, the only roads that might have corners are the ones by the rivers or around a lake, and their all 35. No serious switch back and elevation changes. Yes, I am planning on moving.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    I also felt once in a race on the harley, and I must say that despite the fact that I put the best air cleaner for harley 103, he clogged up at half the race, it is also terrible not turning, I several times almost crashed on the turn, in general, racing on the harley is not my thing.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Raced a Harley

    I also felt once in a race on the harley, and I must say that despite the fact that I put the best air cleaner for harley 103, he clogged up at half the race, it is also terrible not turning, I several times almost crashed on the turn, in general, racing on the harley is not my thing.

  20. #20
    Not been here that long JaredStoops's Avatar
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    Wink Re: Raced a Harley

    Quote Originally Posted by xraycatj View Post
    See I was thinking that the Harley had a ton of motor work done....like a dyno tuned, bored and stroked TLR motor and some suspension work...good read.....


















    oh one more thing........LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES.... (j/k)
    It seems funny Lol LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES

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