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Why do records sound so much better than digital?

Sal1950

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An air-cooled twin vs a liquid-cooled six?
Air cooled Harleys are not what is currently available.
Yep, Your expert buddy needs to go back to school Matt.
I think the TOTL Ultra H-D engine has been liquid cooled for close to 10 years now.
My H-D V-Rod has been liquid since it's intro in 2002, that's 20 years for the math deprived.
But the air-cooled H-Ds are still around too, many riders demand them.
Lighter, less complexity, less to go wrong.
BMW, Ducati, Moto Guzzi, more still do air-cooled.
Personally I've never been a bagger type guy.
I go back to the 60s when the first thing we did was strip off all that overweight garbage and throw it in the trash.
Bagger guys equate the size of their bikes to their pecker, wrong. :facepalm: LOL
 

Newman

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Air cooled Harleys are not what is currently available. The new engines are water cooled high tech engines.
The very newest are completely ICE-free!

Pretty soon the “cowboy-wannabee” Harley cohort, who, complete with their leather chaps, imagine themselves as modern-day John Wayne characters singing “Wand’rin Star” as they slowly putter around the bitumen oil wastes, are going to refer to the brand they love(d) as an echo from the past.

(Good to see that’s not you Sal!)
 

Sal1950

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The very newest are completely ICE-free!
Last I heard, that electric H-D program was trash-canned.
No body wanted them.
 

MattHooper

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Air cooled Harleys are not what is currently available. The new engines are water cooled high tech engines. What you are repeating no longer is accurate. Harley had to change to meet emissions standards and attract younger motorcyclists.
I have one of the new Goldwings. It weighs 832 pounds with a full tank of gas and makes maybe 100 horsepower. It is tuned for gobs of torque and I find the acceleration more than adequate. The Harley Pan America weighs 540 pounds with a full tank and makes 150 horsepower. Do the math on horsepower to weight ratio and Harley wins big. Honda knows what they are doing but so does Harley.......

Well he's ridden (and written about) lots of Harleys so I have a feeling he knows what he's talking about.

But in any case...is it your and Sal's contention that Harley's are in fact SOTA in the realm of motorcycles? (Or are they just really good for Harleys?)

Or more to the point, is Sal's ride a SOTA motorcycle?
 

MattHooper

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My friend writes...of the Harleys:

"They have liquid-cooled heads, but the engines are still primarily air and oil cooled. So they partially came into the late 90s with this tech. Wouldn't want to rush into anything..."

Harley's he's tested, riding weeks on each:

2022 CVO Road Glide
2017 Street Glide
2018 Road King
2011 Street Glide
2013 V-rod
2021 Pan America
2020 Live Wire
2018 Fat Bob
2016 Ultra Low
2009 (I think) CVO Ultra Glide
2010 48 Sportster
 

Sal1950

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Pretty soon the “cowboy-wannabee” Harley cohort, who, complete with their leather chaps, imagine themselves as modern-day John Wayne characters singing “Wand’rin Star” as they slowly putter around the bitumen oil wastes, are going to refer to the brand they love(d) as an echo from the past.

(Good to see that’s not you Sal!)
Why point to H-D only, have you looked at todays bagger market?
That 1,000 lb Honda Gold Wing was a ridiculous elephant for MANY years and the rest of the Jap and Euro's aren't much better.
I tip my hat to Honda who finally knocked off 100lb+ last year.
They only miss having a toilet to be called a 2 wheeled RV.
Wanta show me how hard-core you are, ride a 1947 H-D with a rigid frame and springer front end from NY to LA
Only stopping to fuel and piss, which will run red after the first 1k miles from the beating on your kidneys.
Todays wimps wouldn't get 50 miles before they cried uncle and went to the closest bar. LOL

Well he's ridden (and written about) lots of Harleys so I have a feeling he knows what he's talking about.
Not so much if he's still talking about touring H-D's as air cooled.
But in any case...is it your and Sal's contention that Harley's are in fact SOTA in the realm of motorcycles? (Or are they just really good for Harleys?)
What's SOTA? Yea, they build some cruisers that are as good or better than any cruiser out there.
Beyond that, I grade a bike by which one will get you laid the most.
For that, H-D leads the TOTL by miles and miles.
This being ASR, I can provide 50+ years of evidence for that if you'd like.
 

Holmz

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I think that we have proven that a Harley, a Vespa, a Honda, a Moto Guzzi, and a BMW can all get down the road on two wheels and provide some sense of pride of ownership for the owners of the machines.

When we see and hear them go by we do not think, “that is a car”, nor do we think, “That is a horse”, nor do we think, “that is an airplane.” It is clearly a motorcycle.

This is much the same to playing digital, tape or vinyl and use all thinking, “that system is playing music or other sounds.”
 

Blumlein 88

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Why point to H-D only, have you looked at todays bagger market?
That 1,000 lb Honda Gold Wing was a ridiculous elephant for MANY years and the rest of the Jap and Euro's aren't much better.
I tip my hat to Honda who finally knocked off 100lb+ last year.
They only miss having a toilet to be called a 2 wheeled RV.
Wanta show me how hard-core you are, ride a 1947 H-D with a rigid frame and springer front end from NY to LA
Only stopping to fuel and piss, which will run red after the first 1k miles from the beating on your kidneys.
Todays wimps wouldn't get 50 miles before they cried uncle and went to the closest bar. LOL


Not so much if he's still talking about touring H-D's as air cooled.

What's SOTA? Yea, they build some cruisers that are as good or better than any cruiser out there.
Beyond that, I grade a bike by which one will get you laid the most.
For that, H-D leads the TOTL by miles and miles.
This being ASR, I can provide 50+ years of evidence for that if you'd like.
I am guessing the only blind testing was blind drunk? ;)
 

Doctor Big

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Air cooled Harleys are not what is currently available. The new engines are water cooled high tech engines. What you are repeating no longer is accurate. Harley had to change to meet emissions standards and attract younger motorcyclists.
I have one of the new Goldwings. It weighs 832 pounds with a full tank of gas and makes maybe 100 horsepower. It is tuned for gobs of torque and I find the acceleration more than adequate. The Harley Pan America weighs 540 pounds with a full tank and makes 150 horsepower. Do the math on horsepower to weight ratio and Harley wins big. Honda knows what they are doing but so does Harley.......
Hey Bob - I'm Matt Hooper's buddy. I've been writing for a print motorcycle mag for 19 years now, and in that time I've written about and tested well over 120 motorcycles and of those at least 11 are Harleys. Probably more, but I'm likely forgetting some. The list is:
2022 CVO Road Glide
2017 Street Glide
2018 Road King
2011 Street Glide
2013 V-rod
2021 Pan America
2020 Live Wire
2018 Fat Bob (the olive-drab one)
2016 Ultra Low
2009 (I think) CVO Ultra Glide
2010 48 Sportster

As an aside, they're still air cooled. Only the heads are liquid cooled, which had to happen so they could pass emissions. Went along nicely with the four-valve head. The pre-4-valve bikes really ran out of steam above 4500 or so RPM - the new heads bumped that by 500 RPM or so which felt nice.

I don't think it's reasonable to compare the GW to the Pan America - they're totally different bikes for totally different purposes. The PA is better compared to the KTM1290 or the BMW 1250, and it's certainly competitive. It's a great new motor. When I first rode the PA, I felt like I could reverse-engineer HD's design parameters. They likely brought in a KTM and a BMW, dismantled them, and thereby figured out how to design an adventure bike, and they did a great job. That said, our off-road editor broke the frame coming down off a jump which pissed off the HD folks to no end.

As you can see above, I've ridden plenty of those 45degree twin touring bikes, and loved them all (except for the Ultra Low and 48, both of which fucked my back right up as they've got essentially zero suspension) They're machines from a bye-gone age, all ferris wheels and cotton candy. Heavy, slow, poor handling, but with a huge dollop of charm. They go fine in a straight line, and can eat up the miles with ease. But state of the art? Jesus man, the motors on these things are better served running a log splitter. Pushrods? Oh boy. This tech is from what? 1942 with a freshening up in the 80s?

In any objective comparison the Goldwing (which I've also spent a fair bit of saddle time) is a far superior motorcycle in anything but the arm-waving charm department. Again the touring HDs aren't bad bikes - they're a hill of fun. But they are so far from state of the art it's not even worth arguing about.

And this Sal guy is the one who's arguing against LPs while he's riding an anachronism from the middle of the last century? And likely without a helmet? Give me a break.
 
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Sal1950

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Newman

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Last I heard, that electric H-D program was trash-canned.
Nobody wanted them.
Today's HD website:-
Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 10.39.09 am.png


The future has always been a difficult concept for Harley riders to grasp. Like you say "nobody wants it" - at least not in the traditional cohort -- you know, the mob that thinks an engine released in 1909 is basically unsurpassed in 2022, as long as you keep updating it (with things everyone else has had for 25+ years) and making it bigger, bigger, and even bigger.

Of course that group is going to reject the future, and Harley don't expect the existing HD 'Glide' and 'Low' owners to go there. They are planning for surviving when the baby boomers leave this mortal realm and are no longer living their boyhood dreams in retirement. Good on 'em.
 

Bob from Florida

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Hey Bob - I'm Matt Hooper's buddy. I've been writing for a print motorcycle mag for 19 years now, and in that time I've written about and tested well over 120 motorcycles and of those at least 11 are Harleys. Probably more, but I'm likely forgetting some. The list is:
2022 CVO Road Glide
2017 Street Glide
2018 Road King
2011 Street Glide
2013 V-rod
2021 Pan America
2020 Live Wire
2018 Fat Bob (the olive-drab one)
2016 Ultra Low
2009 (I think) CVO Ultra Glide
2010 48 Sportster

As an aside, they're still air cooled. Only the heads are liquid cooled, which had to happen so they could pass emissions. Went along nicely with the four-valve head. The pre-4-valve bikes really ran out of steam above 4500 or so RPM - the new heads bumped that by 500 RPM or so which felt nice.

I don't think it's reasonable to compare the GW to the Pan America - they're totally different bikes for totally different purposes. The PA is better compared to the KTM1290 or the BMW 1250, and it's certainly competitive. It's a great new motor. When I first rode the PA, I felt like I could reverse-engineer HD's design parameters. They likely brought in a KTM and a BMW, dismantled them, and thereby figured out how to design an adventure bike, and they did a great job. That said, our off-road editor broke the frame coming down off a jump which pissed off the HD folks to no end.

As you can see above, I've ridden plenty of those 45degree twin touring bikes, and loved them all (except for the Ultra Low and 48, both of which fucked my back right up as they've got essentially zero suspension) They're machines from a bye-gone age, all ferris wheels and cotton candy. Heavy, slow, poor handling, but with a huge dollop of charm. They go fine in a straight line, and can eat up the miles with ease. But state of the art? Jesus man, the motors on these things are better served running a log splitter. Pushrods? Oh boy. This tech is from what? 1942 with a freshening up in the 80s?

In any objective comparison the Goldwing (which I've also spent a fair bit of saddle time) is a far superior motorcycle in anything but the arm-waving charm department. Again the touring HDs aren't bad bikes - they're a hill of fun. But they are so far from state of the art it's not even worth arguing about.

And this Sal guy is the one who's arguing against LPs while he's riding an anachronism from the middle of the last century? And likely without a helmet? Give me a break.
Perhaps I was not clear. I have actually never ridden a Harley. The closest experience was a buddy of mine - that owned a Honda dealership - had me test the Honda American Classic back in the early 1990's. I took it out for about an hour passing by a number on envious bikers at the dealership who by their expressions wondering why first dibs fell to me. Since I always owned bikes with upright to slightly leaned forward posture the American Classic felt quite "foreign". Came back from a 50 mile ride with the impression of terrific straight line performance but could not get used to properly do corners at the speeds I was used to. I know its possible as one of the guys in my riding group rides a Harley and had no problems keeping up. The typical Harley - low seat, limited suspension and lean angles just doesn't get me interested. I almost tested a XR1200 because it was converted over to upright seating but instead bought a used 2005 R1150GSA. The new Pan America is the only Harley currently available that I want to test. Claiming the heads are the only thing water cooled sounds like an odd complaint. Last time I checked BMW was doing the same thing with their water boxer engine. The PA seems to have a list of advanced rider aids typical of KTM. ABS, various traction control features - including lean angle TC, wheelie control, and riding modes are typical perks nowadays. My 2018 Goldwing Tour has ABS, riding modes, and traction control but none of the more advanced TC. I used to have a Honda Pacific Coast with the Shadow 800 V-Twin engine that had push rods. That's right - an engine with self adjusting valves. What a concept, no dealing with valve adjustments. The new PA engine had variable valve timing and self adjusting valves. Like I am going to miss doing that or paying someone to do that. Every 6000 miles on the R1150 GSA had me adjusting valves. At least the flat twin minimized the disassembly. My wing will be due for its 24,000 mile inspection soon and while the flat six engine is easier to get the valve covers off the Honda Unicam system is a mixed bag. Intake valves are bucket and shim that requires cam shaft removal if you have to adjust. The exhaust valves are screw adjust via followers. Hopefully all the intakes will be in spec but 12 possible intakes to be out and 12 exhaust valves to adds up to some time. Also the wings air filter is due for its first replacement and is a 4 hour job. Yes it seems Honda decided long ago the the motorcycle would be built around the air filter resulting in the 4 hour replacment! The BMW air filter took 5 minutes. Don't get me wrong about the wing - despite its size and weight it has sport bike manners when it comes to the twistier roads and it does long distance rides with ease.

Back to Harley - they do appear to be catching up nicely. A lot of folks buy Harleys....

BTW- what magazine do you write for?
 

IPunchCholla

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A comparison between audio gear and motor vehicles only goes so far.

What are the use cases for motor vehicles? Here are a few I can think of at the moment:
- Commute to/from work during rush hours
- Grocery shopping
- Get some lumber from the home improvement store for a landscaping project
- A trip down to the Florida Keys

Each of these use cases demand very different "performance attributes" -- some critical in one use case can be totally irrelevant for the others. And many people have multiple motor vehicles because of this.

The range of use cases (I can think of) for home audio gears is much narrower. Sound quality, seems to me should be a common requirement to most if not all use cases most here care about (i.e. probably not including frat house parties).

It is quite true that a Harley is not SOTA in terms of mechanical performance. The question is: What does one sacrifice by riding a Harley instead of, say, a BMW S 1000 RR for a joy ride? And what does one sacrifice by listening to vinyl instead of digital?
And my answer, as someone who listens to primarily digital on SOTA equipment, is not a huge amount. Less in fact than what I gain from the psychosomatic thrill of listening to a rock in a groove.
 

Newman

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They're spinning Livewire off into its own company.
Partially correct. They are branding it as Livewire, and it will operate as a separate business, but it remains a product of Harley Davidson Inc. HD's product categories will remain "Grand American Touring, Trike, Adventure Touring, Cruiser, Sport, and Electric". Just like Toyota and Lexus, GM and Cadillac, etc.
 

Sal1950

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They're spinning Livewire off into its own company.
They don't want their name on it. Ha Ha,
Neither would I. :facepalm:

The new Pan America is the only Harley currently available that I want to test. Claiming the heads are the only thing water cooled sounds like an odd complaint. Last time I checked BMW was doing the same thing with their water boxer engine.
The heads (combustion chamber and exhaust valve tract) are where the majority of engine heat is created.
V-Twins & flat twins have very little need for water cooling. Now inline 3s, 4's etc that have the cylinders packed tightly
side by side are a different story. Keeping engine temps under control with all engines that put the cylinders together like that, car, motorcycle, whatever
is difficult to control.
 

Vacceo

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Yep, Your expert buddy needs to go back to school Matt.
I think the TOTL Ultra H-D engine has been liquid cooled for close to 10 years now.
My H-D V-Rod has been liquid since it's intro in 2002, that's 20 years for the math deprived.
But the air-cooled H-Ds are still around too, many riders demand them.
Lighter, less complexity, less to go wrong.
BMW, Ducati, Moto Guzzi, more still do air-cooled.
Personally I've never been a bagger type guy.
I go back to the 60s when the first thing we did was strip off all that overweight garbage and throw it in the trash.
Bagger guys equate the size of their bikes to their pecker, wrong. :facepalm: LOL
Few bikes are easier to ride than a Street Bob. Here in Europe, owning one gets expensive, but when I lived in Indiana, it was dirt cheap.
 

Sal1950

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the Honda Unicam system is a mixed bag. Intake valves are bucket and shim that requires cam shaft removal if you have to adjust. The exhaust valves are screw adjust via followers. Hopefully all the intakes will be in spec but 12 possible intakes to be out and 12 exhaust valves to adds up to some time. Also the wings air filter is due for its first replacement and is a 4 hour job. Yes it seems Honda decided long ago the the motorcycle would be built around the air filter resulting in the 4 hour replacment!
That's just nuts, Harley's had hydralic lifters - IE self adjusting valves, since 1948 LOL
 

Digby

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My opinion of motorbikes, especially motocross and other ones with the god awful loud, backfiring exhausts, is that the signal/function to noise ratio is about ten times worse than anything vinyl has to offer. Why do grown men need to announce their arrival from half a mile away?

Playing vinyl I only annoy myself or my family, at worst the neighbours, with a motorbike it could be everybody in a 500m radius.
 

Holmz

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My opinion of motorbikes, especially motocross and other ones with the god awful loud, backfiring exhausts, is that the signal/function to noise ratio is about ten times worse than anything vinyl has to offer. Why do grown men need to announce their arrival from half a mile away?

Playing vinyl I only annoy myself or my family, at worst the neighbours, with a motorbike it could be everybody in a 500m radius.

A 1/2 mile is more like 800m radius… ;)
 
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