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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I remember when I saw this ad for the very first time..It was March 1980...
I tought it was a great idea at that time..hmmm, obviously I was not the only one..I say no more...:rolleyes:
 

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Danny F. said:
I remember when I saw this ad for the very first time..It was March 1980...
I tought it was a great idea at that time..hmmm, obviously I was not the only one..I say no more...:rolleyes:
I thought a guy from St. Louis designed that. I also heard he approached Harley but the weren't interested at the time.

Then when he left they had their spy camera film developed and promptly began making the Softail!

I made the spy camera part up.
 

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StraightPipez said:
I thought a guy from St. Louis designed that. I also heard he approached Harley but the weren't interested at the time.

Then when he left they had their spy camera film developed and promptly began making the Softail!

I made the spy camera part up.
I had read in some sort of "history of HD" book,that they (HD) bought the guys design and employed him promptly to help in the development......kinda like they did Eric Buell

I could be wrong
 

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Slim said:
I had read in some sort of "history of HD" book,that they (HD) bought the guys design and employed him promptly to help in the development......kinda like they did Eric Buell

I could be wrong
Or you could right, and I could be wrong...
 

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The whole history on this, including how Harley got this design is in the August, 1984 issue of Supercycle. They got the frame design and manufacturing rights from Davis, not a name. Davis also had two other designs, one with two coilover shock absorbers below the seat, like a Vincent, and another with a coilover monoshock design that went from the middle of the seatpost tube to right below the back of the seat (this frame design looked exactly like the softail frame H-D built, save for the shock).

Also, look thru your magazines, and look for the name Don Orr. Don worked with Neil McNeal at AMEN when they came up with the Savior plunger frame, then he started Triton Engineering, sold that and started the Machine Shop.

The name "Softail" was his, that's why Davis called his frames both the "Sub-Shock" and the "Easy Tail". Don't believe Harley when they say it was devised "in house". Don Orr sued H-D almost 15 years ago over this, and guess what? He still doesn't have a resolution.
 

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StraightPipez said:
I thought a guy from St. Louis designed that. I also heard he approached Harley but the weren't interested at the time.
Then when he left they had their spy camera film developed and promptly began making the Softail!

I made the spy camera part up.
Ummmm, the ad above says St. Louis, MO
Yeah, it was Bill Davis......
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hmmm..look how Santee named their plunjer frames back in '79...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Gerry said:
Where do you find all that old stuff? Or is it just because I was 3 years old in ´78? :D
Hey Gerry! Well, I got close to 3000 magazines , catalogs, flyers...
(bikes that is, not counting Hot-Rods, Street Rods, etc..)
I was with my nose into them from when I was about 10 years old..that is now 32 years..! That, and a slight form of a photographic memory as they call it, results in seeing a magazine cover and instantly in most cases I know which bikes are in there..
Scary to be honnest..:D
 

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Danny F. said:
Hey Gerry! Well, I got close to 3000 magazines , catalogs, flyers...
(bikes that is, not counting Hot-Rods, Street Rods, etc..)
I was with my nose into them from when I was about 10 years old..that is now 32 years..! That, and a slight form of a photographic memory as they call it, results in seeing a magazine cover and instantly in most cases I know which bikes are in there..
Scary to be honnest..:D
That´s a lot of stuff to remember. Ok..than I don´t have to worry. :D
 

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Danny F. said:
a slight form of a photographic memory as they call it, results in seeing a magazine cover and instantly in most cases I know which bikes are in there..
you obviously missed the 70s :p
 

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Danny F. said:
Hmmm..look how Santee named their plunjer frames back in '79...
Well, maybe Santee was calling their frames the "Softail", because in 1971 (according to Don Orr) Gene Schaffer (without permission from his other two still-existing partners, Don Orr and George Vose) goes to work for Derek Whitehead (owner of Santee at that time) and sells him all the tooling from the old "Original Machine Shop", along with the name "Softail" - which he didn't have full ownership of. Whitehead trademarks "Softail" in 1972.

Derek Whitehead sold Harley the name "Softail" in 1983.
 

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Gerry said:
Thanks Irish Rich for the story! Great to get some background infos!
I´d like to post those infos on my german board. Is that ok? Would certainly add a link to shamrock.
Well, everything in Supercycle is out there already, but I left a lot of holes in the story on purpose. I may write up what I have some day. I've been sitting on the background information for 12 years, I can wait a little longer........
 
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