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What is this place? 

It's a place where the beginning Harley rider can go to get performance information untainted by ego, advertising, or the desire to sell something.  
 
Why I Put This Out Here -
   I used to participate in various harley-oriented web forums. Did so for several years, in fact. I considered them to be extremely useful places to learn. There were a number of what appeared to be real experts then, all of whom were more-than-willing to share their expertise widely.  
 
   Over time, that seemed to change. The forums became more commercial, more people joined, more experts left---though there remain a few good-hearted souls who continue to try to help everyone---and the forums became almost an extension of one of the less "informational" magazines--at least in the manner and depth of the technical stuff available.  
 
   While I have been very interested in the physics and engineering of engines since I was about 7 years old or so, I am pretty much entirely self-educated. As a result, I am acutely aware that the quality of my education--and those like me--is completely dependant upon the availability of accurate, detailed, information across many, many related topics.
 
   Many people today rely on the internet as the source of much, if not all, of their information. This means the quality of that information is important. Forums have become another form of "continuing education", and just as it would be in a traditional educational institution, that quality is dependant in many respects on the motivation and education of the "instructors". In this scenario, posters are both students and instructors, and have a responsibility to be as accurate as they can. 
 
     I have no problem with people asserting the truth of what they believe--if they are doing so to help the cause of informing and educating the readers. Reasonable people can have reasonable disagreements, after all. My frustration is not even with the accuracy of their statements, since that can be resolved with further discussion.    In my opinion, far too many people who post on the forums do so simply to be seen as one of the "experts". I call these the "what he said" people. They often don't even really know what they're talking about, but they'll respond by quoting something they read on the forum as if it were gospel. It may or may not be "gospel". Point is, they have no idea if it is or not. This is voting, pure and simple. It has nothing to do with educating and helping. This does a terrible disservice to readers and to the community at large. It costs money, wastes time, and perpetuates BS.
 
    On all but the most professional and technical of engine-related forums--and not just Harley-related--there is far too much emphasis on the number of "votes" a statement gets, rather than an objective analysis of whatever it proposes. (Also a lot of time wasted in "pissing contests", but that's another topic).
 
    Examples from the HD-related forums might be the "Everyone knows" concept, i.e. "Everyone knows that..."
  • An S&S or a Mik carb is better  than...
  • Peak power is more important than power band.
  • Delphi EFI is "more sophisticated" than Marelli, and therefore will make more power.
  • A Wood W6(xyz) cam is the best for ... (for W6, substitute EV27, EV46, or whatever).
  • Equal length exhausts are important to power production.
  • And my favorite, "Harleys need backpressure in the exhaust to work properly".
   Those who know me know that I could go on and on at this point about "group wisdom", and the tendency to believe anything if it is repeated enough times by enough people. This "pseudo-information" guides people to what may not be the most appropriate choices for them---whether those choices be Harley parts... or politicians.  Yes, I could go on, but I guess I won't.
 
Anyway...
   Regardless of how many people accept anything they read or hear at face value, I still think there are some out there who want to know more than "what cam should I put in my bike". I think there are at least a few people who want to know why a particular cam might be best.
 
   Someone needs to help the new guy with this stuff. Some basic information needs to be made available, without trying to offer up a fixed recipe for building a bike. Kinda like Steve Mullen's NightRider website, but with a little more emphasis on fundamentals, and perhaps a slightly different conceptual twist. 
 
   I once proposed a series of articles for one of those free Biker Rags you see around shops. The idea was enthusiastically accepted by the publisher--until he saw the final draft, whereupon he decided that it might offend his sponsors, and so would not publish it. Yes, I was disappointed, but I understand that he was trying to make a living--and you don't do that by pissing off the people who pay the bills.
 
   After those original articles laid around for a couple years, I came across them again. I still thought it would be good if they were available to people, so I spruced them up and decided to put them on a free website such as this. 
 
   So... if you are a person who rides a Harley--especially the Evolution--and you've been bitten one too many times by something some so-called "wrench" told you, or something that you saw in a forum on the internet, try this place. If it helps you, great! Pass the link on. If you don't agree with it, that's fine too. At least you read something other than the Same Old Crap.
 
   Unless you truly have the knowledge and facts to back it up, don't waste your time emailing me telling me that in your opinion I'm full of sh!t, because I've heard it all before, and you won't get a reaction from me.
 
   Much of the information herein originated with researchers, engineers, designers, speed-shop owners, and other experienced individuals. Some has been excerpted from copyrighted material.  Much of it is just my own education and experience, combined with my understanding of the way things work. As far as I am aware, I have not violated any copyrights.
 
Hope it helps.
 
Barry the Curmudgeon
 
 
 

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All content on this site is copyrighted. You are free to download and distribute it via hard copy, electronic media, or share it as web-links, as you desire, for non-business, non-profit use with the following exception: You may not quote anything from it and claim it as your own on any media, especially a web forum--and you turds know who you are! 

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