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blacklab

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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.
 

FairWeatherSmoker

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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 !!

 

Donasay

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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.
 

Ryanh1801

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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.
 

Joker

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You live in Oregon you'd be better off buying a boat. :D

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

jdoiv

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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.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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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.
 

rfidd

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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
 

wihophead

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It boils down to how much you want to spend and what kind of riding you do.
You can get a Super Glide for 12K or a Road King for just over 17K. I have had a couple Sportsters, a 2000 Wide Glide, a 2002 Fat Boy and I now have a 2008 Street Glide. I have only had 1 issue with the neck bearing on the Wide Glide.

Harleys are much more reliable now, comparing the new Harleys to bikes built in the early 90s is like comparing apples to oranges. They have been totally redesigned with 96" twin cams and 6 speed transmissions, the touring bikes now have Brembo brakes and electronic throttles and the list goes on.
You don't have to spend a ton of money on chrome and accessories, I did that once and I will NEVER do that again.

My BIL works for Harley so I get a nice discount but even without that i would still buy a Harley. When I get a little older it may be a BMW.

My BIL puts an average of 14K a year on his Harleys with absolutely no problems and the same can be said for most of our Hog club. My FIL use to put and average of 30K on his BMW 1200LT but he has had a few issues a couple being major but that could have just been a lemon. He usually buys a new one at 100K or so. If you do some research you will find Goldwings have their share of problems too some being major...bottom line they are only machines and they will all last longer with proper care.
 

brauhaus

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Honda is the brand I really like, HD are nice looking bikes, but I've known a few HD owner's that have sold their bikes... reasons unknown to me... i guess resale is decent on them...

I've been debating whether or not to get a bike, the way the weather has been around here I'd almost get a good 10 months use of it...

When i started looking everyone told me to start out small and then work my way up... 650cc and up is where you wanna start... if you are like me (running with some experience but not enough to confidently hop on a 1100cc bike and take off) then 650 should be enough to keep up with other rides and not feel like cars behind you are pushing you around.
 

Sir Humpsalot

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If you want to participate in group rides, be a part of the Harley mystique, pick up chicks in bars, then bottom line, there is no substitute for a Harley. I mean, I just can't deny it. And don't let people tell you Harleys aren't reliable, they are just fine in that regard. Nevertheless, a harley is a harley. It lets you into a certain club and that's cool if you like to join clubs.

However, if you think to yourself, "Hey, riding is pretty cool. I bet it feels great. I'd love to go riding around town, do a few errands, maybe check out a few interesting roads at my own pace", then buy something else. Personally, I hate group rides. There's always some noobs riding stupid/drunk (whether on sportbikes or cruisers) and being in close proximity puts you at risk... it also can serve as guilt by association. Not to mention the fact that I always thought parades were kind of lame. So, as a general rule, there are very few people I ever willingly ride with. That's just a personal decision I've made, and I gotta say, when you strip away the mystique of Harleys and the way other non-riders think about harleys, there's really not much else there (besides being american made) that really justifies their premium price tag.

Anyway, there's more in the world than just cruisers and crotch rockets. Educate yourself about the different kinds of bikes.

Some styles include... touring bikes which have bags and a good amount of power and allow you to pack enough stuff for a weekend trip for two. Touring bikes can be of the cruiser (Road King) or sportbike (Triumph Sprint ST) variety. They're both big bikes, but just have a different "slant" to them.

Then there's cruisers like harleys, but there's also standards. Things like moto-guzzis which are generally more upright. This is a nice balance between sport and cruising and, probably, the most comfortable of all bikes for longer distances. It's just kind of a sitting-up position rather than humping a football (crotch rocket) or spreading for a gyno exam (cruiser).

Then there's Dual Purpose bikes. Ever wanted to explore a trail into the wilderness? Check out advrider.com for some truly awesome stories and adventures.
 

wihophead

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Sir Humpsalot said:
I'd love to go riding around town, do a few errands, maybe check out a few interesting roads at my own pace", then buy something else.
I am not sure I understand that statement....
Only buy a Harley if you plan on doing group rides???

I do very little group riding, in fact it is not uncommon for just the wife an I to do a 250 mile scenic ride on a nice day.

Although I will be doing a small group ride to the BMW MOA rally in Wyoming this July though. It is a short 2000 mile round trip......;)
 

e lo

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Harleys are great for what they are, but IMHO most of what they are is image. HDs are reliable, true, but they are less reliable than most of the Japanese cruisers. Hondas, for example, are considered the Swiss watches of the motorcycle world. I had an '88 VFR 700 (not a cruiser, of course, but a Honda nonetheless) that had been left outside uncovered in the Michigan winters for I don't know how many years (but at least 3) before I found it. A little carb work (well, ok, a lot of carb work; it's a V4, after all) and a new battery, and it ran like a top.

I also absolutely LOVE my Suzuki SV650, and it's been 100% rock solid, even flogging at the track as often as I can. It began life as a standard (neither a cruiser nor a crotch rocket, as mentioned above), but is race/track oriented now after a lot of suspension and control work.

And while I agree with the vast majority of what Sir Humpsalot said, I do have to object to the group rides comment. I go on group rides all the time on my SV. The group is of standard and sportbike riders, mostly, not cruiser riders, though. But we still definitely do it, and so do guys on Japanese cruisers. My dad rides (among other bikes) a Vulcan, and he goes on group rides down in Tucson all the time.

Finally -- if this will be your first bike, absolutely buy a used one. There are two types of riders in the world: those who have dropped their bikes, and those who are going to drop their bikes. If it's your first bike, you WILL drop it, be it backing out of your garage, at a red light, getting gas, etc... It just happens, and it's a whole lot easier to take if somebody else has already done it for you and there's already a scuff or two. It also hurts a lot less to drop a $3K bike than a $17K bike. :)

Really finally -- take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation training course! It's $25, it's offered nationwide, it gives you a discount on your insurance, it can substitute for the driving portion of your license exam in most states, and it provides you with a foundation in the basics of safe, defensive motorcycle riding.
 

DUCCCC

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Ryanh1801 said:
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.
I call BS on that. I ride a Ducati, but I owned a '98 XL1200 sport for years and had ZERO problems with it. I have seen plenty of 50K plus mile HDs with simple basic maintenance done. Feel free to say you don't care for Harley riders, of lifestyle, or even that they're for posers, but the Evo and BT motored HDs are very reliable. It was the AMC years that had QC issues, but that was decades ago.

Honda does make a great bike, but you're really showing a lack of knowledge about bikes in general to state what you have.

To the OP:
Take a look at the recent Triumphs. They're pretty sweet retro machines, and the last couple years are pretty reliable machines as well. I think the only issue many have with them at the moment is that they're being made in Thailand. Many dealers have some of the '07s around still at pretty decent prices. I also really dig the Victory line, but they're every bit as pricey as a HD. I think that when Arlen Ness and a number of other highly respected HD customizers started doing metric bikes a number of years ago it really opened the flood gates, and riding a foreign cruiser doesn't get the same disrespect it used to. OK, it still gets some, but nowhere near what it used to:D . I think the Royal Star would be a sweet machine for eating up some serious highway miles.

Whatever you decide, do yourself a favor and really learn to ride properly. Take the MSF course and concentrate on riding smart. I'm not saying to ride like a granny, just to learn the proper way to handle your machine. It really makes riding more fun when you know how to deal with common situations, particularly times that most young riders don't bother to practice, like tight U-turns and slow speed maneuvering that really shows inexperience when someone drops their machine at under 5 mph. ( I know, bad grammar there, run on and on...). If this is your first bike I wouldn't bother getting your dream bike, as you are going to drop it. Not might. You will drop it, maybe just on the driveway, or at the gas station, but it will go down.

ETA: Just wanted to add I think the Honda Magna V4s are great bikes. There's some great deals on used ones, they have a fantastic motor, and there's plenty of aftermarket goodies if you want to fix one up.
 

david_42

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Another Honda Shadow owner. Just the 650, but it does everything I want, quietly.
 

ScoutMan

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Victory, from Polaris. Best of both worlds in my opinion. American Made, tons of custom options, good performance, priced less than a Harley(at least in my area anyway) and has been as reliable as my friends japanese bikes so far.

dscn4891.jpg
 

Bernie Brewer

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Someday I'll own a Hog, prolly when the kids are grown and gone. My current bike is a 79 Yamaha 750 Triple. Bought it used in 84 and drove it over 20 years before it started to die ever so slowly. Currently it's sitting in the shed awaiting some carb work and a regulator. I probably will retire it.
 

Bedlam

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Sir Humpsalot said:
.

Anyway, there's more in the world than just cruisers and crotch rockets. Educate yourself about the different kinds of bikes.

Some styles include... touring bikes which have bags and a good amount of power and allow you to pack enough stuff for a weekend trip for two. Touring bikes can be of the cruiser (Road King) or sportbike (Triumph Sprint ST) variety. They're both big bikes, but just have a different "slant" to them.

Then there's cruisers like harleys, but there's also standards. Things like moto-guzzis which are generally more upright. This is a nice balance between sport and cruising and, probably, the most comfortable of all bikes for longer distances. It's just kind of a sitting-up position rather than humping a football (crotch rocket) or spreading for a gyno exam (cruiser).

Then there's Dual Purpose bikes. Ever wanted to explore a trail into the wilderness? Check out advrider.com for some truly awesome stories and adventures.
This is the 2nd-best advice written on this thread. (The WINNING advice is about taking MSF courses!!) Don't write off "standard" bikes, or the "streetfighter" types. I LOOOVE a good, simple, flickable bike to thrash around some corners. Dualsports rock!

I have 3 bikes, for 3 different purposes. Mine all happen to be BMW's, but they are really, really different from each other. We like old bikes and working on them ourselves, so that opens up a lot more possibilities for us. Beemers work for us and we like the BMW community a lot, too...Beemer folks tend to camp and rallys are centered toward riding, not being nekkid and acting the fool. Suits us!

The most important thing to do is to get whatever bike gives you the "Wheeeeee!" factor. That's what it's all about, isn't it? Don't go by looks alone, get on the thing and see if it gets your blood pumpin'. After all, when you're ridin' it, you aren't lookin' at it! (Which explains why mine never get washed. Except in the rain.)

Online info is also good. There's a great riding group in your area:


http://wetleather.com/

and lots of good threads about first bike advice on here:

http://www.twtex.com

(although the site has been down today for some reason. Trust me, it usually isn't! )

Best of luck
 
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blacklab

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Guys, thanks for all of the great advice. I love this site for this reason-tons of great/honest advice from good peeps.

I have actually already taken the safety course in my area. I wanted to be able to test ride bikes I was looking at and have my license before I bought.

Does anyone out there have a Suzuki Boulevard? Those seem to fit the 'looks cool', 'used', and 'reliable' categories. There's also the Yamaha V-Star, seems like sort of the same deal.

I am 6 ft, 210 lbs, so I prolly don't need the 1000cc model, but 650 seems small? I don't know, we used Honda Shadow 250's in my course and those were wimpy.

Also-:off: Just cracked my first AG brew(Ed's Haus PA). After 1 week in the bottle it's money! Amazing how much better AG is. Of course, I'm brewing up two AG batches this weekend!
 

Ryanh1801

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ma2brew said:
I call BS on that. I ride a Ducati, but I owned a '98 XL1200 sport for years and had ZERO problems with it. I have seen plenty of 50K plus mile HDs with simple basic maintenance done. Feel free to say you don't care for Harley riders, of lifestyle, or even that they're for posers, but the Evo and BT motored HDs are very reliable. It was the AMC years that had QC issues, but that was decades ago.

Honda does make a great bike, but you're really showing a lack of knowledge about bikes in general to state what you have.
Please educate me. Cause I would love to hear. I have owned both brand of bikes and will never even consider buying a HD again. People that say HD are reliable are in denial, pure and simple. Course the only riding I do now is on the dirt, I would rather not take the chance of get road rash/run over anymore.
 

Joker

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My father has had Harleys for 15+ years now with zero problems.
 

Jesse17

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When I was 17 or 18, I bought a 76' - 78' Kawasaki 650 that was punched out to 750. This was someones project bike that looked good, but was a piece of (well, you know). I don't know if it was just the incompetent guy who built the bike, but I really got a bad taste for Kawasaki from that bike.

My next bike was a '82 Suzuki GS1100G. I LOVE that bike. The problem was it was old, and I was broke. I rode it for several years, and finally gave it away because I couldn't afford to fix the numerous things that were wrong with it, and SWMBO always wanted to ride with me. It was one think for me to ride on a death trap, but I didn't want SWMBO on it too.

That being said, I want to get another bike someday, and it will be in the neighborhood of 1000 - 1200 CCs. I don't like hogs, and I don't like rice rockets, which is why I haven't got another one yet. I didn't realize that anyone still makes Standard bikes. I will have to check these out.

My advise to you: Don't get anything but a hog if it's the comradery you're looking for, get a Goldwing if it's touring you're looking for, and a Standard if you just want to have fun around town/country roads and short tours.
 

wihophead

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Ryanh1801 said:
Please educate me. Cause I would love to hear. I have owned both brand of bikes and will never even consider buying a HD again. People that say HD are reliable are in denial, pure and simple. Course the only riding I do now is on the dirt, I would rather not take the chance of get road rash/run over anymore.
Please tell us the model and year of the bike....I can't imagine you owned many Harley's at the age of 22.

I have owned a Kawasaki KZ650 no problems, Honda Shadow 750 a few electrical problems, Honda Shadow 1100 no problems but only had it 2 years, 2 1200 Sportsters No problems, Dyna Wide Glide defective neck bearing, Fat Boy no problems, Street Glide no problems yet but only 3500 miles.

So I have had 5 Harleys and the only issue was a bad neck bearing which was covered even after the warranty was up is this denial??
 

wihophead

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Ryanh1801 said:
I bet it has never leaked oil either. :rolleyes:
It is funny how people who don't know anything about Harleys think all Harleys leak oil, this goes back to the day when they used chain oilers and the crappy AMF days fact is oil leakage simply is not an issue on the new bikes.
 

Jesse17

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Oh, that last post reminded me. I would also sugest shaft drive. I can't imagine buying another chain (or belt) drive, after having my GS1100 with the shaft drive!
 

Ryanh1801

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wihophead said:
Please tell us the model and year of the bike....I can't imagine you owned many Harley's at the age of 22.

I have owned a Kawasaki KZ650 no problems, Honda Shadow 750 a few electrical problems, Honda Shadow 1100 no problems but only had it 2 years, 2 1200 Sportsters No problems, Dyna Wide Glide defective neck bearing, Fat Boy no problems, Street Glide no problems yet but only 3500 miles.

So I have had 5 Harleys and the only issue was a bad neck bearing which was covered even after the warranty was up is this denial??

Just a little 883 sportster that I got a deal on that I could not pass up, I think it had about 1500 miles on it when I got it. My fav. quote from a HD mechanic is, after I fought and fought with gaskets trying to get the oil leaks to stop, it would fix it for about 300-500 miles then start again. He told me I was doing it wrong and that they would have to install them, at this point I just said fine... About 400 miles later blowing oil out again... The service Manager told me, "Thats just what they do":rolleyes: So I sold it for way more than I bought it for and never looked back.
 
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Ryan, I used to be on your side. I think I used to say something like, "I'll never own one of those loud, crappy, shaking, vibrating, leaking, broken Harley Davidsons." Then my Dad bought a 2006 Sportster 1200 and told me how much he loved it. He talked me into one, and now I'm of a far different opinion. I, too, love my 2006 1200. I've had zero problems so far, it doesn't leak, it runs smoothly, and it's really a pleasure to ride. I know they aren't for everyone, but it seems that your opinion is a bit extreme.

On the other hand, I can't wholeheartedly recommend one, especially for someone on a budget. They tend to be expensive, and I wish that Harley would do some basic accessorizing for the price they charge. For example, the stock seat on mine was GARBAGE, and I paid $250 to replace it with something comfortable.

I would've looked harder at the Victory bikes except that I got a great deal on the Sportster. There are a few models that fit me pretty well, and they are quite a bit less expensive than HD.

The best bang for the buck will be in a used import cruiser. blacklab, I think that's probably where you should focus, given your riding experience and your responses so far.
 

wihophead

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Ryanh1801 said:
Just a little 883 sportster that I got a deal on that I could not pass up, I think it had about 1500 miles on it when I got it. My fav. quote from a HD mechanic is, after I fought and fought with gaskets trying to get the oil leaks to stop, it would fix it for about 300-500 miles then start again. He told me I was doing it wrong and that they would have to install them, at this point I just said fine... About 400 miles later blowing oil out again... The service Manager told me, "Thats just what they do":rolleyes: So I sold it for way more than I bought it for and never looked back.
What year was it? Was it a rocker cover? If the tech said that he is a total incompetent idiot. There is a possibility there was a casting defect which happens in all brands at one point or another. Saying that all Harleys are not reliable simply because you had a problem with the cheapest model available that you bough used which never even left you stranded is kind of bad information.

But then again I am from the Milwaukee area so I may be biased...LOL

So is anyone coming to the 105th????
 

Brewiz

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Time for me to jump in, been riding for over 30yrs had all types and sizes but this one has been the best by far:


1998 Harely Davidson Road King 76,500 miles with NO major problems and just routine mtc. I have ridden it from Atlanta to Amarillo to Yellowstone to Sturgis and back home (14 days and over 5000 miles) and it never gave me any trouble. It has also taken me to Texas a few times again no problems.

But, the bottom line is to find something that you can afford and that you are comfortable on. If that is a Jap bike or a Eruo bike or an American bike
that doesn't matter, it's that you want to ride and that is the best way to see this great country.....
 

wihophead

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Yuri_Rage said:
Ryan, I used to be on your side. I think I used to say something like, "I'll never own one of those loud, crappy, shaking, vibrating, leaking, broken Harley Davidsons." Then my Dad bought a 2006 Sportster 1200 and told me how much he loved it. He talked me into one, and now I'm of a far different opinion. I, too, love my 2006 1200. I've had zero problems so far, it doesn't leak, it runs smoothly, and it's really a pleasure to ride. I know they aren't for everyone, but it seems that your opinion is a bit extreme.

On the other hand, I can't wholeheartedly recommend one, especially for someone on a budget. They tend to be expensive, and I wish that Harley would do some basic accessorizing for the price they charge. For example, the stock seat on mine was GARBAGE, and I paid $250 to replace it with something comfortable.

I would've looked harder at the Victory bikes except that I got a great deal on the Sportster. There are a few models that fit me pretty well, and they are quite a bit less expensive than HD.

The best bang for the buck will be in a used import cruiser. blacklab, I think that's probably where you should focus, given your riding experience and your responses so far.

I had to laugh when I read your post because I felt the same way....that is why I bought the Shadows. I used to say "I like the look not the leak" before I knew anything about Harley Davidson.

Then I took out a friends Softail and I was hooked. I owned a couple Sportsters until I saved enough money to get my first big twin and I never looked back.
It is just a feeling you can't describe when you hop on an American icon and hit the road. The sound and the feel must be experienced by oneself to even begin to understand.
 

JohnA111

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IMHO, Harley's are two wheeled cars that are ridden from bar to bar, the majority of the time being spent maintaining, cleaning, showing, and buying accessories / clothing with HD brand on them. They don't go around corners for crap. But yes, they do offer a unique experience with loads of torque and comfort.

If that's what you like, the "mystique" of the motorcycle, go for it!

If it turns out after some time in the seat that you actually like riding a motorcycle, yearn for twisty roads and scenery, and find the experience somewhat athletic do not go for it.

I personally prefer a sportbike, having ridden both types. When soccer mommie's cell phone conversation becomes more important than my life, when she pulls in front of me, I'll take my swerving chances on my 919 rather than my old KZ1000 or Sportster.

Remember, anyone can sit down and twist their right wrist. It would be in your best interest to motorcycling to master the rest of the art - buy a standard or sport bike (not a race / RR bike). My top recommendation has to be a Suzuki SV650, Kawi EX500, or Honda 599 / Hornet.
 

DUCCCC

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Ryanh1801 said:
Please educate me. Cause I would love to hear. I have owned both brand of bikes and will never even consider buying a HD again. People that say HD are reliable are in denial, pure and simple. Course the only riding I do now is on the dirt, I would rather not take the chance of get road rash/run over anymore.
My Sportster never faltered, or dripped a drop of oil, which is way more that I can say for the 1995 Kawasaki GPz1100, which was the most troublesome POS I ever owned.
I've been riding bikes since about 1980. Aside from starting out on a Suzuki DS185 and then a RM125, my personal bikes have included a '74 Honda CB400/4, an '85 Yamaha RZ350, the '95 Kawi lemon, the '98 XL1200S, and now an '01 Ducati SS 750ie. I have experience on dirt, cruiser, standard, and sportbikes. Just as my Kawi experience left a bad taste in my mouth, it seems that you got either a bad one, or you got a poorly maintained used one. Either way it sounds like we're fortunate you're not in Harley's marketing:D . I ain't going to get in any pissin' match here, and I ain't the one who came out with FUD. RDWHAHB.
 

DUCCCC

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JohnA111 said:
...Remember, anyone can sit down and twist their right wrist. It would be in your best interest to motorcycling to master the rest of the art - buy a standard or sport bike (not a race / RR bike). My top recommendation has to be a Suzuki SV650, Kawi EX500, or Honda 599 / Hornet.
Excellent quote, and if the OP hadn't said specifically that they wanted a cruiser then I'd second the SV650 recommendation in a heartbeat.
 

sause

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I own two Jap bikes (a '76 Honda CB 750 and a '81 Kawasaki Vulcan 750) and I like them both. I have riden all the families at HD offer and I am saving my money up for Dyna for my next ride. People in my family own 4 HD's and none have had a problem in 8-10 years. I would like to say that the riders course is the best way to start riding a bike.

Edit: I even rode my Kawasaki to the Harley 100th. That was fun.
 

beergears

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Can we all agree that the safety course and just about any bike would do for now... until our friend knows what he likes better (cruise, trail, touring, a little sporty spark?)

I bet sport-touring... a good all-around compromise btwn performance, reliability, fun to ride, weather protection, ability to tour/carry tent+camping stuff.

The SV650 Suzuki base and variants are terrific bikes, easy on the wallet, and plentiful on the used market.

(I am secretly waiting for Honda to revive or start importing some models they sell overseas like the Transalp or the bigger Varadero... even with my 29" inseam!)
 
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