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  1. #1
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    2014 Harley Davidson Motorcycles Redefined with Project Rushmore


    Okay, I begin this diatribe with a disclaimer. I am not the motorcycle enthusiast that the new Harley Davidson Project RUSHMORE Touring bikes are aimed at.

    That out of the way, I can enter into the compliment sandwich that nearly every management training seminar preaches. The best part of this press release is that the power trains of the brand new Touring line have been reworked. They feature a new Twin Cooled High Output Twin Cam 103, or the High Output Twin Cam 103 powertrains. For you, the rider, this means better passing power, and better stopping power with the Linked Brakes and ABS. Add to that, the new Daymaker LED and Dual Halogen lighting, for better visibility, you have the cocktail for better rider confidence while at the handle bars. I like all of these things. More power, for because, better stopping to reign in all that power, and why not better lighting? It all makes absolute sense. Harley Davidson has always been about being muscle bikes. Sportys with 1200cc motors... 103 cubic inch motors in the lead sleds. I get it. Hell, I even like it. Do we really need all that power, no, but why not?

    Project Rushmore is billed as the people's Harley Davidson as they are touting that they "listened to the riders out in the real world" to design the new line. To paraphrase, "We are giving the end users what they are asking for." End users being the guys who are buying what bikes? Last year's bike? How about the owners that have been swinging a leg over the same 'ol metal for 15 years? I guess those guys aren't the Harley riders that they are looking to sell bikes to. I don't know about you guys, but I for one cannot afford to go get this year's model and trade the one that I am still making payments on. I intend on making sweet love to my girl for a whole lot of years.

    This brings me to where this whole thing falls apart. It can be summed up in a singular, glaring, slap in the face to motorcycling world... "Infotainment." What the hell is any form of "infotainment" system doing on a motorcycle? I get the radio, or iPod connectivity for some speakers on those long rides. So often, oh so often a guy on a Harley with his stereo system cranked to full effing blast, so that I, and everyone else in the whole parking lot can hear that he is listening to Molly Hatchet's "Flirtin' with Disaster." We get it. You are here. I like to listen to music when I drive, absolutely, and when I was younger, I put the big systems in my cars so that every one in the parking lot knew that I was listening to "Gin and Juice." I do not, however think that it has a place on two wheels.

    GPS should be triangulated at the rest stop where the group can decide what route we are taking. I thought that was the fun part. Figuring out who, what, when, and where with everyone around cold water bottles while you stretch your legs. If you don't know the area, then you take your time, make a few mistakes, turn around, and get there when you get there. When did motorcycle touring get the point where the Point B pin was the point? I thought it was the blue line in between A and B. Again, I may just be misguided, and miss the point.

    I like the integration of the Bluetooth for your helmet com systems. It is nice to talk to those in the group, and the person pressed against your body. This makes sense. But again, a misguided link in the chain is the "text to speech" technology on a motorcycle. I don't get it. We, as a whole country, are trying to get cagers to put the phones down and stop texting. Is constant text communication necessary on a motorcycle ride?!? Really? And in the Promotional video to follow, the screen pops up with "Incoming Call BOSS" and the rider so rebelliously clicks "Ignore." Come on! Phone calls, and text messages can wait for me to not be cruising down the road at highway speeds, in the dark without a seatbelt, or a roll cage. I don't text while driving, so why on EARTH would I do it while riding a motorcycle. The thing that I do to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. You know "Freedom Machine."

    And now for the other slice of tasty bread in the compliment sandwich. The new fairing that actually got developed in a wind tunnel and reduces head buffeting by 20%. The ergonomics have been reworked to allow for a few more miles in the saddle, and wider, deeper seats so you can not feel guilty about ordering the chicken fry at dinner. They make the bags more convenient to get in and out of, and the wheels are lighter. I like all of this. Absolutely. By in large, I like what the new touring bikes bring to the table, less the "infotainment." I get enough infotainment in my car, at my desk, and on my couch. I don't need it while I am riding to air out my head. I prefer to keep my eyes on the road, listen to the wind, and watch the miles click by.

    I just may be in the wrong consumer group for these bikes. Chime in if you disagree, or agree. I have my flame suit on, so fire away. HA!




    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Davidson Press Release
    PROJECT RUSHMORE REDEFINES 2014 HARLEY-DAVIDSON MOTORCYCLES
    MILWAUKEE (August 19, 2013)
    – Harley-Davidson has created a new generation of American freedom machines. In the largest scale new model launch in the company's 110-year history, Project RUSHMORE encompasses eight new motorcycles that feature improved power and braking performance, enhanced rider ergonomics, and dramatic styling updates that completely redefine and fundamentally transform the touring motorcyclist's experience.

    Countless ideas. Thousands of hours of research and testing. Eight extraordinary motorcycles. Project RUSHMORE introduces technology and design enhancements that will recalibrate the expectations of the touring motorcyclist: Savvy electronic controls and infotainment. Aerodynamics born in the wind tunnel. Bodywork shaped by the most-respected styling team in the industry. Comfort good for endless miles and, of course, more American V-Twin power. The road trip will never be the same.

    Project RUSHMORE is the result of an entirely new way to produce motorcycles. In a process that invokes the voice of the customer throughout an accelerated development program, the ideas and dreams of thousands of motorcyclists are allowed to percolate with those of Harley-Davidson employees.

    "Project RUSHMORE is a pure expression of our relationship with our customers and a shared passion for riding motorcycles," said Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "It's resulted in some outstanding innovations, but from day one we've been focused on taking the total rider and passenger experience to the next level. We get there together, we come together - to quote the Beatles - through a process that uses not just formal feedback, but the kind of input we get from listening to customers out on the road, in the real world, and then blends that with our engineering and styling expertise. For years at Harley-Davidson we've been saying that we ride with you. Project RUSHMORE elevates that devotion to a higher level."

    Building on the technological foundation that established the company's dominant leadership in the touring motorcycle segment, eight new 2014 Harley-Davidson models, including Road King®, Street Glide®, Street Glide® Special, Electra Glide® Ultra Classic®, Ultra Limited, Tri Glide® Ultra, CVO Ultra Limited and CVO Road King® feature innovative Project RUSHMORE-inspired enhancements. They slot into four customer-defined categories:

    - Control: Project RUSHMORE bikes pass faster, stop quicker and see farther at night, thus inspiring rider confidence. Each model features the new Twin-Cooled™ High Output Twin Cam 103™ or the High Output Twin Cam 103™ powertrains, Reflex™ Linked Brakes with ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System), and Daymaker™ LED and Dual Halogen lighting.
    - Infotainment: New color-screen Boom! - Box infotainment systems feature the first original-equipment voice recognition and touchscreen for music, GPS navigation and phone in motorcycling, with quality audio, Bluetooth® connectivity, text-to-speech technology, plus support for intercom and CB communications in a single module.
    - Feel: Aerodynamics and ergonomics come together to improve comfort -- from the new Batwing fairing with splitstream venting, which reduces head buffeting by 20 percent, to best-in-class ride for passengers with wider and deeper seats and new back and arm rests.
    - Style: The form and the function of many components are improved - a reshaped Tour-Pak® and saddlebags with convenient One-Touch latches, sleeker fenders, lighter cast aluminum wheels and intuitive hand control switches.
    Last edited by veraderock; 08-20-2013 at 06:28 PM.

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  3. #2
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    GPS should be triangulated at the rest stop where the group can decide what route we are taking. I thought that was the fun part. Figuring out who, what, when, and where with everyone around cold water bottles while you stretch your legs. If you don't know the area, then you take your time, make a few mistakes, turn around, and get there when you get there. When did motorcycle touring get the point where the Point B pin was the point? I thought it was the blue line in between A and B. Again, I may just be misguided, and miss the point.


    so what happens when i get to insert city here and actually need to find something. that's what the in dash GPS is for. sure i can probably memorize the route. or i could have a big arrow in the middle of the dash telling me to get off at the next exit. and who doesnt like a POI reference telling them that the worlds largest non stick frying pan is 30 miles to the north of their current location. or a list of all the historical markers along side texas roads.

    and sure when you've got a group folks need to know the routes. but most of my riding is solo. and sometimes that means i wind up in the middle of nowhere looking for a gas station or just something resembling civilization.



    Last edited by slozomby; 08-20-2013 at 06:53 PM.

  4. #3
    Y2K
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    Quote Originally Posted by slozomby View Post
    most of my riding is solo. and sometimes that means i wind up in the middle of nowhere looking for a gas station or just something resembling civilization.
    I'm all about that......






  5. #4
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    How old is GPS for the civilian market? How old is motorcycle touring? I think that a folded map in the middle of nowhere is beautiful. If you are really THAT lost, I am positive that you have your phone in your pocket that has GPS on that. I don't need my bike to have another GPS system on it.

    This is the same thing as the backup camera commercials airing nowadays selling SUVs to suburban moms. They depict a world where children playing near a driveway have no chance of survival without backup camera equipped SUVs. I am pretty sure that I survived my dad's beat up 2nd Gen GMC Sierra work truck, and that thing had a pair of vise grips to roll the windows up and down, not a backup camera.

    What happened to maps?!? Do they still exist? I miss them. When you had to actually use your brain and plan instead of just point your tires where the yellow arrow is pointing. Don't get me wrong, I love me some GPS when my girlfriend is with me, and we are trying to get to a certain place on time. Touring is a little different. That is more about the ride than the destination.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickJ View Post
    How old is GPS for the civilian market? How old is motorcycle touring? I think that a folded map in the middle of nowhere is beautiful. If you are really THAT lost, I am positive that you have your phone in your pocket that has GPS on that. I don't need my bike to have another GPS system on it.

    This is the same thing as the backup camera commercials airing nowadays selling SUVs to suburban moms. They depict a world where children playing near a driveway have no chance of survival without backup camera equipped SUVs. I am pretty sure that I survived my dad's beat up 2nd Gen GMC Sierra work truck, and that thing had a pair of vise grips to roll the windows up and down, not a backup camera.

    What happened to maps?!? Do they still exist? I miss them. When you had to actually use your brain and plan instead of just point your tires where the yellow arrow is pointing. Don't get me wrong, I love me some GPS when my girlfriend is with me, and we are trying to get to a certain place on time. Touring is a little different. That is more about the ride than the destination.
    i think the thing your missing is you assume everyone has a bike for different occasions. i know folks who's only bike is a big touring bike ( wing, ultra, spyder) and its their primary means of transportation. and most of them have a garmin bolted to the bike.

  7. #6
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    Fair enough. I will give you that GPS is not my main gripe here. It is the phone integration on the bike. Speech to text and a hands free setup on a motorcycle is too much.

    If you look at the advertising with ad man's eyes, you will see that they are marketing to the male, age 32 - 48, mid/upper management, white guy with good teeth. When marketing a product it is important to represent the person that you are marketing to in the ad. It helps the buyer to replace the actors with himself/herself in that situation. Look at the video. This GUY named SCOTT, is WHITE, has friends who also have H-D's, listens to awkward Beetles covers by obscure Irish bands (that are much cheaper to license than the actual Beatles), has a BOSS who he rebelliously ignores because he is on his bike. He does not look like the kind of guy who has a bike as his only means of transport.

    I say again, I am not the target market for this bike, so maybe I just don't get it. It just doesn't connect with me, and that is fine. Not all products are for everyone.

  8. #7
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    i'll have to agree with not needing phone/voice integration on my bike. but once you've got bluetooth for stereo/intercoms everything else is just a few thousand lines of code. and it doesnt pay to lag behind the offerings that bmw or the goldwing have. most of the high end garmins have bluetooth concentrator functions as well for voice/txt2speech.

    as for marketing. well it pays to advertise to the people with 30k of disposable income. everyone else will just buy their bikes when they get tired of pulling it out of the garage to polish it. if i had 30k sitting around i'd consider buying one.

    i'll have to say im not in their target demographic either. but i do love me some tech.

  9. #8
    Y2K
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    I toured for years without even a cell phone, always made it home somehow lol.
    People these days are so lost without their tech gadgets it's pathetic really, how soft we've become.
    I'm old enough to have survived cars without seatbelts, ridden bikes as a kid without a helmet (there were no bike helmets).
    I walked a mile home after getting off the school bus every day,no Mom with a minivan waiting at the bus stop. (there were pretty much no minivans lol )
    Dad bought me a .22 rifle when I was 7 and taught me how to shoot it,already knew gun safety from my BB gun.
    I'd walk into the woods behind the house and shoot all alone, I knew it was time to come in for dinner when Dad would whistle real loud.
    I went out for little league baseball and made the team,not every kid made the team and the ones that didn't survived and did other things,most would watch the games.
    We didn't have cell phones,heck we had a party line lol,we didn't have a color TV just a 13" black and white (no remote) that got all of 5 channels,we didn't have a microwave oven or a fridge with ice and water or a lot of other things that people can't live without these days but somehow we got along just fine.
    GPS?...meh

  10. #9
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    bah the key maps for harris county were 1.5" thick and weighed 5 lbs. now i can fit every city in the US in a postage stamp. progress is good.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Y2K View Post
    I toured for years without even a cell phone, always made it home somehow lol.
    People these days are so lost without their tech gadgets it's pathetic really, how soft we've become.
    I'm old enough to have survived cars without seatbelts, ridden bikes as a kid without a helmet (there were no bike helmets).
    I walked a mile home after getting off the school bus every day,no Mom with a minivan waiting at the bus stop. (there were pretty much no minivans lol )
    Dad bought me a .22 rifle when I was 7 and taught me how to shoot it,already knew gun safety from my BB gun.
    I'd walk into the woods behind the house and shoot all alone, I knew it was time to come in for dinner when Dad would whistle real loud.
    I went out for little league baseball and made the team,not every kid made the team and the ones that didn't survived and did other things,most would watch the games.
    We didn't have cell phones,heck we had a party line lol,we didn't have a color TV just a 13" black and white (no remote) that got all of 5 channels,we didn't have a microwave oven or a fridge with ice and water or a lot of other things that people can't live without these days but somehow we got along just fine.
    GPS?...meh
    Couldnt have said it better.

  12. #11
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    How does one discover the places that are not on the map if they don't get off the main roads once in a while? I've found that carrying cash is a good thing instead of just a debit or credit card, as I have been so far off course that gas stations were too far away! Paying a farmer for some fuel out of their tank can only be done on a cash basis. If you truly have a destination, a GPS is useful, whether it be the one on your phone or one strapped to the bike, it will get you there without fail... but I don't believe that every ride is about the destination, but rather the journey.
    When did motorcycle touring get the point where the Point B pin was the point? I thought it was the blue line in between A and B.
    So I guess my 2 cents is that gadgets have their place, but I, too ate dirt and lived, had a remote that was attached with a cord, and dialed a rotary phone. Old fashioned or not, I also agree that texting should not mix with riding, unless it is a passenger.

  13. #12
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    So now what's wrong with being WHITE and affluent????? Watch TV commercials and you'd swear that white folks aren't the "Demographic target" for much of anything anymore. I have no racial guilt nor animosity but revisionist history and sociological planners will change everything if it's allowed to go on.

    I like the new HD's and especially the new water cooling.

    I have all of that fancy electronic stuff on my new Wing and I only use the cruise, heated seat and grips and the 320 watt stereo and enjoy turnin' it up to hear Chopin, Mozart, Wagner, Holtz etc---guess that stereotypes me-huh!

    Sam
    Last edited by Porkie; 08-23-2013 at 12:20 PM.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Y2K View Post
    I toured for years without even a cell phone, always made it home somehow lol.
    People these days are so lost without their tech gadgets it's pathetic really, how soft we've become.
    I'm old enough to have survived cars without seatbelts, ridden bikes as a kid without a helmet (there were no bike helmets).
    I walked a mile home after getting off the school bus every day,no Mom with a minivan waiting at the bus stop. (there were pretty much no minivans lol )
    Dad bought me a .22 rifle when I was 7 and taught me how to shoot it,already knew gun safety from my BB gun.
    I'd walk into the woods behind the house and shoot all alone, I knew it was time to come in for dinner when Dad would whistle real loud.
    I went out for little league baseball and made the team,not every kid made the team and the ones that didn't survived and did other things,most would watch the games.
    We didn't have cell phones,heck we had a party line lol,we didn't have a color TV just a 13" black and white (no remote) that got all of 5 channels,we didn't have a microwave oven or a fridge with ice and water or a lot of other things that people can't live without these days but somehow we got along just fine.
    GPS?...meh
    Amen, well said, exactly the same sentiments apply down here in Australia

  15. #14
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    I understand where you are coming from.

    I'm researching to buy a used Ultra now but they are not cheap and many have high miles.

    This new one really has some nice lines and perhaps some really nice additions however it's about the ride not about the gadgets.
    CooleyM50

    Riding Bumble Bee the fearless 2008 Yellow, black and gray M50.

    Designer of the M50 Chin Spoiler and 2" Riser Block.
    Manufacture of the M50 1" Riser Block, 2" Smooth and Fluted Riser Block, Chin Spoiler, DK's Rear Filler Plate and soon coming UHL Plate and Front Brake MC CAP.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CooleyM50 View Post
    I understand where you are coming from.

    I'm researching to buy a used Ultra now but they are not cheap and many have high miles.

    This new one really has some nice lines and perhaps some really nice additions however it's about the ride not about the gadgets.
    Maybe...but the latest techno-babble says you're wrong. I'm just listening for the old familiar "but wait..there's more!" thing from the infomercials.

    Hmm...maybe they'll throw in an extra bike for only three easy payments of $9.99. That'd be the day! LOL
    I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure...


 

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