Originally Posted by davevv
There are also a lot of us on Harleys that buy them simply because we prefer the "feel" of a Harley.... No other bike, and I've owned bikes from all the major manufacturers over the years, provides me the same satisfaction and enjoyment in every day street use or touring.
Sure, the "lifestyle" and status sells a lot of Harleys to Harley "owners". But the feel and sound of a Harley sells a lot of them to Harley "riders" as well. If that's what you like, you can't get it anywhere else. Moto Guzzi is the only marque that comes close, and I've owned three of those over the years also.
1. Have ridden Harley's for years and tens of thousands of miles, but, there are other good motorcycles too. I bought a Strom a couple of years ago for adventure touring, and made a focused effort to ride it most of the time after buying it. It was light and fun to ride in the city compared to the heavy Harley. I did not have to be as deliberate with it as I do with a Harley.
After about three weeks of only riding the Strom, I took the Harley out for an errand, and found myself patting the side of the gas tank like you would pat the side of a good horse's neck while riding. That caused an epiphany: Harley's have soul. I've ridden my current Harley in 44 states, have crossed the Rockies in a snow storm, and seen the sun rise on the Blue Ridge Mountains, have seen the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf, and many many rivers lake and streams, have seen the congestion of LA, NY, all at rush hour, and seen the barren desolateness of the west side of the Dakotas in 70 mph winds, have scraped the frost off it in the morning at 23 degrees, and have stepped inside a gas station freezer to cool off at 103 degrees, have crossed the Delaware Bay on a ferry, and ridden under the Chesapeake Bay in a tunnel, have cruised lonely western highways at 100+, and crawled along beautiful National Parkways at legal limits. And in all those adventures, I never once wished for a different motorcycle to share the experiences with. I could not have asked for a better, more comfortable motorcycle with which to tour the country. And that's not just because it is flat out comfortable, but because it has soul. It's not just a disposable machine, it's a riding partner.
The Strom, a nice motorcycle, was just a machine, a mechanical device useful for a purpose. It was not a living creature that became a partner.
2. Sounds like the OP's wife attended a Harley Rider's Edge class, a factory sponsored training program to bring new riders into the world of motorcycles. Yes, it is basically the MSF's class, but that's okay. The point is, Harley is the only factory making the effort to welcome new riders and interested people into motorcycling. If you were a new want-to-be-rider, would you want to go somewhere you were made to feel welcome, or would you want to go somewhere indifferent to you? That's really a no-brainer.
3. I get a kick out of Harley-haters who feel superior, wondering why the masses don't agree with them. What's it matter?! You either get the Harley, or you don't, and so what? It either speaks to you, or it doesn't. Find something that works well for you, and go enjoy life, and stop worrying about what other's find enjoyable to them. (That does not apply to the OP's wife, whom I assume as a new rider was just having new rider questions.)