If you recall the economic recession in the 1980s, you should be familiar with the iconic 1980 Harley-Davidson FXB 1340 Sturgis. It is a one-rider and first-generation motorcycle from the Brown Family collection. The bike came into the limelight during the Sturgis Rally, one of the most talked-about motorbike rallies worldwide. Let's delve into the story behind the FXB 1340 Sturgis and its specifications without further ado.
The history of the American Harley-Davidson motorcycles
In 1901, William Sylvester Harley began designing small engines for bicycles. Three years later, he created a more sophisticated prototype for the bike for racing at the State Fair Park, where it took position four. Harley knew that his genius idea and bike's success would translate into massive sales. True to his prediction, the engine of his brand was up for grabs in the winter of 1905. Before building his first factory, Harley produced limited quantities of these assembled motorcycles. He knew collecting them manually wasn't practical because the demand for these machines had begun rising. So, he built his first factory, producing 50 motorbikes with single-cylinder engines. In 1907, Harley presented a more improved bike with a V-Twin engine at the Chicago Auto Show. Everyone was impressed, and it didn't take long before his company became the leader in the US list of motorbike makers. Come 1920, Harley-Davidson was the world's leading motorbike manufacturer. Due to the increased demand for his products, Harley added a drop-like gasoline tank to his lineup. It was easy differentiating his bikes from his competitors' products thanks to the front brakes and powerful engines with lower valve arrangements. In 2010, Harley-Davidson's bikes were rated the most economical and reliable. The company has up to five lines of motorbikes, and the modern designs rely on Harley-Davidson's liquid cooling system. Currently, the company has an extra factory for producing V-Rods.
Remembering the 1980 Harley-Davidson FXB 1340 Sturgis
The FXB 1340 Sturgis was Harley-Davidson's motorcycle lineup designed by Willie G. Davidson, the Harley-Davidson's grandson. According to Mecum, Davidson wanted to carry his grandfather's legacy by incorporating significant 1960s and '70s trends using forks and raked-out frames to the bike. Consequently, more Harley-Davidson owners got inspired and began slicing the frames of their bikes, creating a more sophisticated chopper look. Before this bike emerged, preceding motorbikes lacked heat-resistant and adequate horsepower properties. The idea behind cutting the bikes' frames was to provide an extra-large airbox to increase horsepower and good weight distribution. Davidson also wanted to increase overall safety for bikers. However, the massive restructuring wasn't enough to attract massive sales, according to Moonrider.
During the 1980s, Harley requested the federal government impose a stricter tariff on imported motorbikes to popularize their machine. However, this didn't work to their advantage because Harley-Davidson's predecessors had a bad reputation for having mechanical problems. The economic recession further perpetuated the plummeting of sales in Harley's collection. Over the years, critics argue that Harley-Davidson has feared alienating the base, which is why the ever-changing society might not find their bikes appealing. It's unclear if the bikes only appeal to baby boomers and the current youth. Think of it this way; Not everyone is a fan of Coca-Cola. So, all the company did was create other varieties like Dasani, Minute Maid Fanta, Sprite, and the likes. That means if a person's health status prevents them from taking carbonated drinks, they can drink the fruity brands instead. So, there's always something for everyone. If Harley had chosen this route, its competitors like Kawasaki, Honda, BMW, and Yamaha wouldn't have outperformed them. Harley hasn't diversified by drawing its bases to its other products for some reason. Some analysts predict that it might not appeal to the younger generation as more of its bikes mostly attract people in their 50s and 60s. Suppose Harley-Davidson draws its base, hoping to attract young people; in that case, subsequent shipments might not prevail in the market for long. However, there's always a silver lining for each situation that looks challenging, and H-D's only way out is to reinvent its line.
Color scheme and seating capacity
The 1980 Sturgis model has longer front forks from the XL Sportster line. The "FX" is a combination of the FL and XL models. The FXB is heat-resistant and has an all-black paint scheme with a wrinkle-finish on the engine. On the other hand, its wheels have orange accents. The one-rider bike has a two-piece seat fit for the rider and passenger.
Engine and transmission
The Harley-Davidson 1340 has a V2 four-stroke engine capable of producing a maximum peak output power of 67.000 HP (48.9 kW) at 5800 RPM, while the torque is 69.0 Nm at 3000 RPM. The drivetrain can reach a speed of 170.0 km/h (105.6 mph). With two valves per cylinder, the bike relies on an air-cooling system that protects the engine from overheating. It also has an analog CDI ignition system and Keihin fuel system.
Chassis, suspension, brakes, and wheels
Unless you're new to the motorbiking world, it will be in your best interest to know how the chassis influences this bike's strength and ability to handle well. First-generation motorcycle frames come in many frames whose materials come from steel tubes, either bent or welded together. Harley-Davidson's prototype has telescopic forks for the front suspension, while the rear suspension is a swinging fork. The bike's front and rear brakes are made from one disc, each measuring 255 mm in diameter.
Physical measurements and capacities
According to motorcycledb.com, Harley-Davidson's total weight is 278.0 kg (612.9 pounds) with a full tank. If you adjust the seat to its lowest setting, it will be 780 mm (29.1 inches) in height. The maximum fuel capacity this machine can handle is 15.50 liters (4.10 US gallons), while the oil capacity is 3.80 liters (4.02 quarts).
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Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith