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bmadson
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   Posted 11/21/2005 7:57 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Duke takes a ride the quickest accelerating production vehicle of all time, and gets top honors by becoming the fastest journalist ever to ride it. Check out Duke's writeup on the 2006 Harley-Davidson Destroyer.
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x2468
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   Posted 11/21/2005 9:00 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
dam. i'd like to see that motor in a buell or the street rod.


Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4
Kawasaki Kx250

You don't stop riding cuz you get old, you get old cuz you stop riding. ride till you die.

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Moto-Pat
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   Posted 11/22/2005 8:45 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Great bike and a great job by Kevin on and off the bike. I think it’s good that Harley is producing a ready to race bike. Sense they pulled out of superbike they really haven’t had a ready to compete bike like other manufacture. Superbike never did much for them as far as race on Sunday sell on Monday but this should really give them something to talk about. Hope they do the same for flat track.
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TTT
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   Posted 11/22/2005 9:21 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
So Kevin, there has to be a certain satisfaction in kicking ass on all the other journalists, no?

And while I'm not all that into drag racing this must have been one of the better introductions Harley (or any other manufacturer) has done from a PR standpoint.
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Kevin Duke
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   Posted 11/22/2005 10:04 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Sure, TTT, it is rewarding to be the best at anything, especially among a group of your peers who are all fairly talented riders. It seems like I have a knack at dragracing, as I also took top honors a couple of years ago when Yamaha invited the press corp to Pomona to sample the Patrick Racing Warrior and for a fun elimination contest on stock Warriors. At both events, my sub-150-lb weight was a frequent topic of discussion...
 
Since the Destroyer is the quickest bike I've ever sampled, it was a memorable press introduction and will undoubtedly provide lots of positive PR for Harley. But that in no way overshadows what is a well-sorted vehicle that seems to be very durable and a cost-effective way to go racing. Harley should be proud of what they've done.


-KD, MCUSA Editor

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Smax
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   Posted 11/22/2005 10:38 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Dukester: thanks for the positive words abt. dragracing, often shunned by those not in the know, and congrats fer being the Ace of the meet...

I especially liked: "For those who've never taken an angry trip down a dragstrip, you're missing out on one of two-wheeling's best thrill rides... Hey, this is cool!... The anticipation I felt was similar to the time I jumped out of an airplane, putting my cognitive trust in science even in the face of something that seems irrational...".

So many say: "What??....that's not racing...anybody can do that...".

Two-thumbs up!! (Still, I think it's nearly obsene that it costs $32K to go 9-sec. when a Jap liter'll do it for so much less...but anything to promote my fav. sport!).


quiet GSX-R 1100

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Kevin Duke
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   Posted 11/22/2005 11:26 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks, Smax. Sure, $32K to go 9 seconds is a bit pricey, but keep in mind this bike is knocking on the door of the 8-second barrier and that it will have its own dedicated race class which should be ultra-competitive. Who knows, maybe Harley will let me have a Destroyer for a weekend so I could experience the race scene close-up?  


-KD, MCUSA Editor

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jon
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   Posted 11/22/2005 7:47 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
nice!!!
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DB Cooper
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   Posted 11/22/2005 8:40 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
The fastest journalist is quite a title. That is until I got a good look at the sorry lot of guys you smoked. I think I saw my grandmother towards the back of the group.
 
Ha!  Good job Kevo.
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Evans89
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   Posted 11/22/2005 9:53 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
How would that hd stand up against an equaly prepped 'busa?:p  If suzuki would make it? A drag ready hayabusa. GSX1300? For about $20kscool
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jon
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   Posted 11/22/2005 10:28 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Evans89 said...
How would that hd stand up against an equaly prepped 'busa?:p  If suzuki would make it? A drag ready hayabusa. GSX1300? For about $20kscool
Evans,
 
although very pricey, i still think it's good that hd produced a 9 sec. track bike but this is a good busa article that also mentioned the v-rod.
 
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AK Duc
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   Posted 11/23/2005 4:13 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
WOW! I'm impressed!
I too liked what was said about goin down a strip. I don't do it because I want my clutches to last as long as possible, especially on a Ducati!
Speaking of clutches, I'm very impressed with the durability of the machine! All those runs! WOW!
Great article. The write-up and photography is as impressive as the machine. Very well done. Thank you, MH
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1KPerDay
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   Posted 11/23/2005 9:58 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Great job, Kev. Congrats on the "win," too! cool


'It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times'?!? You stupid monkey!!
 

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Kevin Duke
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   Posted 11/23/2005 1:30 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks for the good words, guys. Hopefully I'll get to enter a Destroyer in an actual race, which would take the excitement level up a factor of 10.
 
As for the $20K race-only Hayabusa from the factory, it's just a dream. Give credit to Harley for actually building it.


-KD, MCUSA Editor

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Top Dawg
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   Posted 11/23/2005 2:30 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Kevin - do you have an idea of what their break-even production numbers would have to be? 600 units seems a little low but I'm sure the bean-counters have done their homework on this one. Probably helps that they're using pre-existing tooling for a lot of the bike.


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S.O.M.A.

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Kevin Duke
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   Posted 11/23/2005 4:25 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Hey, 'Dawg. 625 Destroyers x $31,249 = nearly $20 million. Add in the fact there is no emissions testing or DOT standards to meet, and rest assured Harley is making money! The Destroyer's project manager told me they were hoping to sell a minimum of 150 units, at which point a sound business model could be made for it.


-KD, MCUSA Editor

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Top Dawg
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   Posted 11/23/2005 4:39 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
They probably only needed to sell a hundred or so to make a profit then - they obviously had a lot of the engineering work done ala V-Rod to be able to do that since that first $3 mil didn't have a lot of profit in it, if any. They did their market research pretty nicely to be able to push 625 units out the door. A production race bike is sure a cool idea and apparently appealed to a lot of racers.


'03 VN1600 Classic "Shagger"
IBA #21119
SCCMal#10028
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Kevin Duke
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   Posted 11/23/2005 5:14 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
'Dawg, you should bring your "Shagger" out to a local run-whacha-brung drag night for a little quarter-mile action of your own. It's more fun than you might imagine.


-KD, MCUSA Editor

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Top Dawg
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   Posted 11/23/2005 5:35 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
If you mean that I might enjoy racing as a spectator sport, you're right. Don't have the reaction time anymore to get on the track other than for track days though - there's a few tracks around here that host some of the best world-class racing anywhere - Sears Point, Laguna Seca, Infineon are all less than two hours away.

Wish I had the time, money, and inclination 40 years ago when I first started riding to take it up, but I settled at the time for dirt riding instead.


'03 VN1600 Classic "Shagger"
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SCCMal#10028
VROC #12939
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Kevin Duke
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   Posted 11/23/2005 5:45 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Age is no excuse, 'Dawg. Big Daddy Don Garlits was competitive in dragracing into his 60s. Anyway, I'm not suggesting you set any records, just that you get out there and have some fun. And, besides, do you want to grow old having missed out on another great motorcycle experience?


-KD, MCUSA Editor

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Top Dawg
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   Posted 11/23/2005 7:26 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I disagree about the age thing, that is at least if you come into the sport at an advanced age. Racing is a highly instinctive sport honed by years and years of practice. I know a couple of guys racing non-professionally doing trackdays at Laguna who are in their 60's & 70's but they've been dragging knee for 40+ years...I have nothing but respect for you guys who choose to do it - like I said, I wish I had taken it up earlier.

I am gonna do a trackday or two tho' - there's a track near here (Stockton) that has $20 days and a few of us are getting gear together for that in the spring - you're right in that it's a lot of fun, not to mention a real confidence builder for the streets and twisties we all love to do. Gotta find me a beater for that little venture this winter.


'03 VN1600 Classic "Shagger"
IBA #21119
SCCMal#10028
VROC #12939
S.O.M.A.

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Kevin Duke
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   Posted 11/23/2005 8:43 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
'Dawg, I was refering specifically to dragracing, which I still recommend. Glad to hear you're going to hit a race circuit for a trackday - we're huge proponents of trackdays around here. You're lucky to be near wonderful racetracks like Sears, Laguna and Thunderhill - take advantage of them!


-KD, MCUSA Editor

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TTT
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   Posted 11/24/2005 10:20 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Top Dawg said...
...I am gonna do a trackday or two tho' - there's a track near here (Stockton) that has $20 days....


Tell me more... is that the big kart track? I could afford $20, the $250 track days at Thunderhill or Sears Point are not something I could do very often.

What size bikes & what are the crowds like?
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Top Dawg
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   Posted 11/24/2005 12:12 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I'll have to verify this, but I'm pretty sure this is the place. I met a woman who races there regularly and I'll get some more info for you from her.

www.in2higear.com/html/SuperMOTO/Motorcycle.htm

No info on crowds, but I'd imagine pretty small - Joyce rides a 250 but I don't know much past that. If you'd like, PM me and I'll send her contact info along. One thing I do know is that you're required to have full gear to use the track but you probably already guessed that.


'03 VN1600 Classic "Shagger"
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VROC #12939
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1Hawk
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   Posted 11/25/2005 10:49 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Smax said...
Dukester: thanks for the positive words abt. dragracing, often shunned by those not in the know, and congrats fer being the Ace of the meet...

 

Funny, while I was at the World Finals in Pomona I got 15 minutes to talk with both team Suzuki riders.  I wanted to check on some things Smax had brought up in a post way back. Come to find out Smax was right on and there was more to follow he hadn't brought up.  Like Harley having the ability to use fuel injection while all others were stuck with carbs and the displacement issue is a joke as the V-twin gang gets almost twice the cubes.  Now, considering what team Suzuki is doing with under 100 cubes, can you imagine what it would be like if it were heads up, by by Harley.  I got to sit on the Destroyer and talked to a friend of mine that works for Harley.  While the MSRP is a bit over 31K, he doesn't think they will actually sell for that.  He indicated they may get as much as 38K for them and orders are already in, big time.
 
Years ago a car or bike had to be operated primarily by the rider or driver.  Not so anymore and electronics does so much it makes me wonder how good the equipment would be if a human actually had to operate things like a shifter or in some cases a throttle.  The sport has changed so much in 30 years it's just not the same......
 
Good read Kevin and congrats........
 
Hawk


 

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