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Old 02-07-2008, 07:01 PM   #1
blacklab
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Default Let's Talk Motorcycles

Hey all;

I am considering purchasing a bike. I am more of a Harley/hog guy than crotch rocket/leather suit type. My dilemma is; pony up for the Harley, or get more bike with an import?

I have heard(and seen) that the import bikes look just like the classic Harley bikes, and are quite a bit less expensive. However, here's what I'm looking for from you experienced riders: will I be missing out or disappointed? Anything different between the two as far as construction/quality?

I am not into the mystique of riding/owning a Harley so that's not really a factor, I just like the hog style better than the rice rockets.

Thanks in advance for your input.

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Old 02-07-2008, 07:11 PM   #2
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I have an Ultra Classic. It's the Harley experience/mistique you will miss if you buy a different brand. It's a snob/outlaw/biker club.

IF I were going to buy another bike, it would NOT be a Harley.

When you buy a Harley, you are buying a starter kit. To fully dress it will cost about 2X what you paid for it

Been there, done that, I would buy a Goldwing if I was going to buy another.

P>S> - I love my Harley !!

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Old 02-07-2008, 07:34 PM   #3
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If you are just learning to ride a motorcycle start out with a used cruiser that you can pick up for about 2 grand. You probably won't out grow it for a year or two and it will retain most of its value while you learn to ride or decide whether you like the hobby. I reccomend the Virago, they stopped making them in the late 90's but they look cool and can be found for aobout 2k almost anywhere. If you are under 200lbs the 535 should be fine if you are a fat*ss like me get the 750, they also make an 1100 but for some people that might be to much bike.

Don't make the mistake of starting out with something that is going to be "to much bike" for you, I have seen guys who have never ridden before go out and buy the "big harley" because it looks cool only to drop it and scuff it up within the first 3 months of owning it. Bikes can be pretty heavy pieces of equipment, and very expensive to fix so get something cheap that looks decent to start with and see if you like to ride. If you like it and find that 750 isn't enough for you to cruise down the highway, sell the beater and get a new harley or a bigger bike. If you don't like the sport sell the bike, and get most of your money back. With certain bikes, like the virago, the most you will be out is a couple hundred over the course of the season, provided you don't drop it.

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Old 02-07-2008, 07:38 PM   #4
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Personally I would never own a Harley. They are just not reliable bikes and love to break down. Honda's are where it is at for motorcycles IMO. You can ride them forever with out having a problem. Only problem is the Honda will lose its value a lot faster than a HD.

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Old 02-07-2008, 07:39 PM   #5
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You live in Oregon you'd be better off buying a boat.

Don't you remember summer last year, that was a great Thursday.

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Old 02-07-2008, 07:48 PM   #6
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http://portland.craigslist.org/clc/mcy/565880327.html
This is an add for a virago near you it is an 1100, bigger than you probably need, the 750 should be about a grand cheaper, but they have a nice cruiser look to them.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:52 PM   #7
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My first bike was a '93 Harley Fat Boy. It sure did look cool.

As FairWeatherSmoker mentioned above, get ready to start spending some serious dough. You'll want to add chrome just about everywhere and then you have to worry about the reliability. I blew the engine on mine after only a few thousand miles. Wrist pin came loose and trashed the cylinder. Luckily Harley paid for it to be fixed.

And if you find you actually like riding any kind of distance other than down to the local watering hole, you'll find that a Harley is really uncomfortable. I had mine for about 3 years, then I bought a Cagiva/Ducati Elefant.

It was a big enduro type bike that was a blast to ride, and much more comfortable. Only problem with it was finding parts and a good mechanic.

I would suggest looking at any of the Japenese bikes for both cost and maintenance reasons. They are rock solid and you'll be able to get parts easily.

Or if you have the bucks and want something that is reliable look at a BMW.

For neatness factor, check out MotoGuzzi. They used to have a bike called the California that is a cruiser type ride and it handled great. Also had a shaft drive so maintenance will be much easier.

I would also suggest buying used. Unless it is a daily vehicle and you are going to put a lot of miles on it, you'll get a better value buying used.

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Old 02-07-2008, 08:04 PM   #8
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I am a Honda Guy. 2004' Shadow Aero Ace 750cc. I weigh in at 240lbs and have never had an issue with lack of power on my daily rider. I have riden to the c-store a mile away and I had riden it 100 miles a day for over a year. Although I have never toured it.

Aside from routine maintenance and a light bulb or two, I have never had to repair anything on this bike. It has 16,000 miles and is on it's original tires and brakes. I bought mine straight from the crate with accessories for $8K including interest and have never considered a replacement.

If for any reason I do get another bike, it'll be a Goldwing simply for the luxuries it affords. Heated setas and grips. A heater. A radio. GPS, etc... The only other bike I would consider is a BMW touring.

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Old 02-07-2008, 08:27 PM   #9
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Yep, Honda for me too. 1983 Silverwing, 750 cc, full dress. Think of a baby goldwing. If you buy used, then depreciation is not a factor. I just change the oil and drive it, maintenance is very little on my Honda.

Rick

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Old 02-07-2008, 08:36 PM   #10
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Don't listen to those other guys. Get what you want, ride where you will. Enjoy.
AP ('03 UltraClassic)

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