- A bigger bang
- Big Twin Technology 2007 – Harley-Davidson FXSTC Softail Custom
- Damn fat V-Rods – Harley-Davidson FXSTC Softail Custom
Driving report Harley models 2007
A bigger bang
Harley-Davidson is retiring the Twin Cam 88. In 2007 the Americans ignited a new evolutionary stage of the original 45-degree engine, the Twin Cam 96. It powers all Dynas, Softails and Touring models. With more displacement, more pressure and a much better sound.
They are on tour again, the Rolling Stones. “A bigger bang” is the name of the tour, like the current CD. Straight implemented with catchy rhythms and performed with virtuosity. The longest-serving rock band in the world never gets tired, not while playing and certainly not at all when cashing in. The Stones, which have matured into living legends, have been around under this name for 44 years. Harleys have been pounding the asphalt stages of the world for 103 years.
The most famous Rockopas and the most famous motorcycle manufacturers on this planet have millions of devoted followers worldwide. Both companies grew into a self-explanatory myth. You love or you hate them. They went through turbulent times, were on the verge of liquidation or bankruptcy. But they always got back to their feet and ultimately stayed true to each other despite new band members and models. Your secret of success? Probably quoting yourself over and over again.
And so most of the bikes from Milwaukee look as if they had seen the Stones’ first concert live. Jumpin ?? Jack Flash. This will not change in 2007 with the “Twin Cam 96” engine for the Big Twins. Good news: A bigger bang made by HThanks to a full 111.1 millimeters stroke, arley-Davidson now has 96 cubic inches, eight more than before. Makes 1584 cc instead of the previous 1449 cc in all Dynas, Softails and Touring models. When it comes to power, Harley and Rolls Royce have it: enough. After all, more torque is now available across the entire speed range. A V2 engine continues to work immovably, the two high cylinders, as always, spread by 45 degrees to the brand and victory symbols and cooled by the breath of the airstream. Inside, two camshafts located below rotate as usual, pushing bumpers visible from afar. As before, a duplex chain transfers the power from the lead-heavy crankshaft to the clutch, and a toothed belt from the gearbox to the rear wheel. Everything as usual? No. Welcome to the machine! The company proudly reports that this engine »has over 700 new or modified parts compared to its predecessor«, see page 13.
Wow, who would have thought a Harley engine was made up of so many parts? Every screw, every oil duct, every cooling fin must have been counted. Precision work in detail, evolution instead of revolution, that is what is meant. Even if a brand new model sparkles under the California sun, the Softail Custom, code-named FXSTC. A real chopper, yes, there is still something like that. The fork is endlessly long, the front tire narrow, the bench boldly tiered and raised at the end. Everything like on the “Captain America”, Peter Fonda’s machine in “Easy Rider”.
The shiny chrome something looks like one of the many US tuning companies has chopped it, but it is standard through and through. Steel Wheels, as an album by the Stones was called in 1989? Not at all. At the rear a slightly slotted aluminum disc wheel rotates. The Softail Custom shares the fat bike with the Fat Boy, which has been legendary since »Terminator II«. Pah, who cares about unsprung masses? Sympathy for the devil! The narrow toothed belt of the 2007 models creates space for the 200 rear roller on both types. Hardly wider than the Belt Drive: the 90 mm cutting disc for front tires with an impressive 21 inch diameter. Feist.
Just like the sitting posture. The bum falls on the first floor of the quilted “King and Queen” bench, the hands reach out to the arms of the “Ape Hanger” handlebar. Hanging on the monkey swing you always have dry, well-cooled armpits. Guaranteed. The legs stretch out towards the horizon, the feet rest somewhere beyond the mighty V-Zwos on rubber with the Harley logo. “Made in USA” is proudly emblazoned on it. Beast of Burden? Well, it fits, tension is not an issue.
Start me up! Halley, halley, halley, despite new starters, it rumbles a lot. If he? S not able to catapult the two 95 pistons up to enough speed right away, there will be a huge blow. But now the Big Twin is fully there. And how! After long years of sound sadness, it sounds legal
Harley finally as deep and full, as the burly appearance always led one to expect: a dull, not too loud “potato, potato”.
Intelligent technology ensures the nice bubbling in idle. The upper silencer is less attenuated. A computer-controlled flap reduces the flow of gas to this voodoo lounge in city traffic. Together with a second flap in the air filter, this lowers »anti-social noise« (quote from Harley). And so could limit the trend towards illegal pots. Especially since modifications inside the engine reduce the mechanical noise. This means that the intake and exhaust noises come across more clearly.
Despite the new six-speed transmission, the »Klonk« was retained when shifting. A development engineer says: “In the world of Harley, we don ?? t like radical changes.” Just don’t change anything too much. After all, despite the long shift travel, the gears always clicked precisely, only the idling occasionally does not; the connections fit better than in the old five-speed box. You quickly stepped through the aisles, ending up in number six, which is reported by a tiny display on the speedometer. Like the V2, the gearbox including the final ratio is the same for all Big Twins. Isn’t there something missing? No killer clutch, “pussy clutch” (quote from a Harley driver) is the order of the day.
Noticeably more confident than its 88 predecessor, it hardly pushes externally
distinguishable Twin Cam 96. Although the Softail engines are the weakest Big Twins because of their two balance shafts, at least the 2007 models now produce 71 hp, seven more than before, with a measurement method that is less optimistic according to Harley. It’s not a performance explosion, but it’s a whole lot more casual. Simply bigger this big twin. Not the biggest, though. The Japanese and Triumph offer more displacement and power in the long fork class. So what? It ?? s only rock ?? n ?? Roll. A Harley is a Harley, is a Harley. As individual as Mick Jagger, she does not want to compete with technically more modern competitors.
When stationary, the Dyna and, above all, Touring models used for comparison shake more wildly than a Yamaha SR 500 once did; the entire porch trembles, like Keith Richards may have had on heroin withdrawal. When idling, the Softail’s Twin Cam 96 B runs much quieter, very smooth: B stands for “Balanced”, which means the balance shafts. When driving, the good vibrations of the rigidly bolted Softail engines are more present than those of the rubber-mounted colleagues in Dyna, Road King & Co. The perceived thrust also depends, logically, on the weight class of the respective flat iron. A massive 317 kilograms even with this Big Mac
by Chopper. The freedom of inclination with the American way of schleif stands or falls with the position of the notches and silencers. Trend: guys with running boards are the first to grate it.
Although the Softail Custom also looks like a rigid frame rear, the hidden, newly tuned central spring strut »soft tail« does not do a bad job. It bounces, it cushions, what more could you want? Honestly, that’s enough. On the right roads, with the right attitude to cruising mode, everything is fine. Tempo 90, easy going. The front single pane needs a lot of hand strength? Yes and? The feeling is right. Farms, firmament and backward traffic curve completely in the chrome of the lamp bell. I can’t get no satisfaction.
That grooved. At least in California, where the traffic rolls extremely casually even on highways. And people like to be crazy. Like Wayne and his wife Carol on San Diego Beach. They have 16 motorcycles, four pickups, a Mercedes, and a couple of jet skis. They shouldn’t care that the Softail Custom costs a hefty 18045 euros. After all, the Twin Cam 96 models are hardly more expensive than the 88. No, your self-made custom bikes are more important here and now? with pedal drive and even longer forks (see left below). They even steal the show from the Harleys. Oh, and Wayne likes the Stones.
Big Twin Technology 2007 – Harley-Davidson FXSTC Softail Custom
In 2007, all Dynas, Softails and Touring models received the »Twin Cam 96« -V2 with 1584 cc. New pistons, which should be ten percent lighter including bolts, now cover a stroke of 111.1 instead of 101.6 millimeters. The bore remained unchanged at 95.3 millimeters. The compression of the unit with an even longer stroke increased from 8.9 to 9.2 to one. New camshafts should be more durable and run more quietly thanks to new drive chains and roller bearings. They also have changed inlet valve timing. The torque grew over the entire speed range. Maximum values: 122.6 Newton meters at 3000 rpm in the Dyna series (plus 17 percent), 117 Nm for the Softails (plus
15 percent) and 122.3 Nm in the touring family (plus 13 percent). Despite lambda sensors in both manifolds, Harley-Davidson speaks of “uncontrolled catalytic converters”: the new ignition / injection software is designed for efficient engine operation, not for the lowest possible emissions. Nevertheless, the air-cooled Big Twins now just about meet the Euro 3 emissions standard.
The “active inlet and outlet system” works with flaps in the exhaust and intake tract, which connect or disconnect additional volume depending on the specifications of the electronic engine control and the position of the throttle valve sensor. With certain combinations of engine speed and throttle valve position, the valves close to reduce intake volume and exhaust noise. This minimizes driving noise at low speeds, for example in city traffic. On the other hand, on the country road, the valves open to »maximize the power output and optimize the sound«. The transmission now has six claw-shift gears after the Dynas were test vehicles this year. The “Cruise Drive” christened cassette gearbox with helical gear wheels can be removed without dismantling the engine, is supposed to be quieter and offer greater shift comfort. The gear ratios are the same in all models: the sixth gear lowers the engine speed and saves fuel, 11.4 percent longer than the previous fifth. At 120 km / h there are only 2860 instead of 3230 tours.
The power connection to the rear wheel is provided by the toothed belt narrowed to an inch (2.54 centimeters), which is said to be 30 percent more durable thanks to new carbon fibers. A new pull reduces the manual force required on the clutch by seven percent; softer compression springs and a progressive deflection were already introduced this season. Because of this, the manual clutch force dropped by a total of 40 percent from model year 2005 to 2007.
There is now an automatic timing chain tensioner on the duplex chain in the primary drive, and the service flap in the primary box cover has disappeared. The lubrication system has been modified and the oil pump more powerful. Innovative: The electronic immobilizer is activated automatically as soon as the key leaves a radius of around five meters around the motorcycle.
Damn fat V-Rods – Harley-Davidson FXSTC Softail Custom
There is also news in 2007 in the liquid-cooled V-Rod family. The V-Rod, Street Rod and Night Rod are joined by the Night Rod Special (VRSCDX) and the VRSCX. What they all have in common: the pillion footpegs, which are now fixed to the frame, but are mounted quite high. Or the fully automatic, radio-activated immobilizer. In favor of a practical range, Harley donated the entire V-Rod family a significantly more voluminous, 18.9 liter tank.
And for friends of a martial appearance the Night Rod Special. Because Black is known to be beautiful, this muscle bike comes completely black, including a 121 hp engine, frame and swing arm. Only the brake discs, brake pedal and hand lever and the fork tubes still have a metallic sheen. The solid black disc wheels with orange rim rings match. The beefy appearance is topped by the cannon barrel-like black silencers with aluminum covers,
called by Harley “straight-shot dual exhaust”. The 240 mm rear roller ensures a strong finish on the drag bike, which costs € 18,345. Shorter struts and a newly contoured cushion lower the seat height of the Special to 640 millimeters.
Technically more spectacular is the VRSCX, which is limited to 400 copies for Europe. Here the “Revolution Engine” was drilled out from 1130 cm3 to 1250 cm3 using the “Screaming Eagle Big Bore Kit”. This should result in 125 horses and 116 Newton meters of torque. Visually, the “nameless” creation, for which no price has yet been set, is based on the Dragster Destroyer Cup (see a report on this in the next issue of MOTORRAD). The 19-inch wire-spoke wheel at the front appears filigree. At the rear, an 18-inch disc wheel made of light metal rotates, on which, as with the Night Rod Special, a 240 mm silt is drawn
is. Another common feature of both new models: the straight drag bar handlebar. Further information at www.harley-davidson.de.
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