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Old 12-31-2011, 01:48 PM   #1
hobo99 OP
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: galva, Illinios
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I hate too say it....but talk me into a Harley

I want to start by saying this is a great forum, filled with helpful people!

I never thought I'd be thinking about buying a Harley davidson, but here I am. I'm looking for a bike that will be comfortable for 2up weekend trips, low to the ground ( I'm 5'8" with a 30 in inseam) good value for money, and good aftermarket support.

I'm looking at large frame HD's like an Electra glide or road king. Iv sat on several, they seem spatious but heavy and a bit clumsy for low speed ridding- should I be concerned about this? I commute 2hours a day on the interstate that would be my mane use for the bike.

My current ride is an 09 versys, even with a lowering kit it is too tall for me and the wife refuses to ride with me for this reason. On long trips the versys feels cramped in the leg area, that's what I'm trying to get away from with a cruiser. I'm not looking for an extreme amount of power, but at least what I have with my versys.

Anyone want to talk me into or out of a Harley?
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:54 PM   #2
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I know a guy who is buying an Electra Glide this spring for the exact reasons you've stated.

I happen to think the Yamaha Stratoliner and its variants are very nice looking bikes as well, and probably a lot cheaper, particularly if you buy used.

But there is something that just looks right about a black road king with matching bags...

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Old 12-31-2011, 02:06 PM   #3
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The Harley tourers are great for two up, especially if you're vertically challenged. I've had two FLHTs (Electra Glide Standard); a '97 and my '07. Both were great commuter bikes, and long distance haulers. They are heavy so you need to plan ahead of how you park(always nose uphill). But the center of gravity is so low, it makes them easy to pick up if you happen to drop it. They handle easily, but are limited on cornering clearance. The newest ones have improved lean angles, if that's in your budget. There are numerous seat options, in case you need to get closer to the ground. Dealers usually let you test ride; go for it.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:09 PM   #4
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That Road King looks really nice!
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:09 PM   #5
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We use our Harley for two up overnight trips and it works great. I wasn't into cruisers but my wife loves them and they've really grown on me. Great rides.

Rent one.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:25 PM   #6
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In before this becomes another Harley-bashing thread.

I've owned a Harley for the last 7 years, and a Harley Touring bike for the last 2. I'd still own it had it not been totaled in the wreck I had 6 weeks ago.

If you can handle the foot-forward riding position, there's nothing better for eating up vast stretches of pavement than an Electra Glide. My wreck was two years to the day after I bought my FLHTK, and I was 20 miles shy of 47,000 miles on it. The wife and I had several 600-800 mile days on it, and I did several solo 1,000+ mile days. It was not uncommon to feel my wife's or daughter's helmet tap into the back of mine when they dozed off on the back seat during trips.

My Limited weighed a hair over 900 pounds, and unless you were picking it up, you'd never know it. They're incredibly well-balanced and easy to handle at parking lot speeds (much more so than either a 'Wing or a K1600), and even with their limited lean angles are a hoot to hustle through winding roads. They aren't sport tourers by any stretch, but they're massively competent bikes given what they are.

They're also very easy to work on, and there's a huge aftermarket for various farkles and go-fast goodies. With a couple of tweaks (and once you've gotten used to the bike), you can flat-out embarrass unsuspecting riders on "superior" machines. And you can carry a week's worth of stuff in absolute comfort.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:52 PM   #7
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I'll second what train says...

I've posted plenty here on my conversion from harley hater to harley owner in the past two years. Part of it was I just started liking them... Part of it was the better half...the way for me to justify the expense was to have a happy wife. I know, i retired my nuts long ago but my wife simply loved riding on teh back of a Harley tourer. Moreso than a Wing, st1300, bmw 1200rt, and other 'touring bikes'. She was fine with the purchase cuz she likes riding behind my Road Glide.

I've a 32 inch inseam and added a seat pad to get my butt farther off the ground...I still flatfoot it easy. And I have riden with plenty of passengers, including my 200 lb dad (!) and honestly I didn't notice it much.

The bikes are spendy, they won't win any drag races, but the newer 09 brake very well and handle waaaay better than most people expect. Low speed handling is awesome. I practice my walking speed figure-8s all the time and i've never come close to dropping the bike.

Plus they look pretty nice.

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Old 12-31-2011, 05:35 PM   #8
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I have a really simple argument. My harleys are the only bikes my wife will sit on the back of. While they put a smile on my face, do not believe anyone that tells ya they offer any performance compared even to your versy. But for comfort and just feeling good riding around there is nothing better imho. I am currently lusting over a flat black roadglide (best of the tourers). As for all the other "cruisers"; They ain't harleys.
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:06 PM   #9
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I rode a 09 Ultra Classic last weekend on a variety of roads and speeds from stop-and-go to 85 mph. I really can't say anything good about it from a power, braking, handling, and air management point of view but that is only my opinion. They sell alot of them so they appeal to many people that have different expectations than I do.
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:16 PM   #10
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I would suggest the Harley touring bikes make a great choice. They are very comfortable and remarkable travelling bikes. I would suggest the Streetglide (FLHX) however it is the same price as the Electra Glide Classic. The E Glide has a one inch taller hieght but comes with a much more comfortable touring seat and a top case that will make travel with your wife easy.

The Harley touring bikes are very durable and with a great support system any where . There are plenty of dealers and more independant shops that offer all the technical help. Parts are reasonable and readily available. There is a very relaxed and comfortable pace they run at. It covers a lot of miles in great chunks with no fuss or muss,

The prices are not as high as you would think . There is a lot of good used bikes available , There is a signifigant demand for the 09 and later touring bikes due to a improved handling and bigger tires. The 08s and older were very good bikes but it is a matter of choice. The 08s had Brembo brakes with ABS as on option a six speed and six gallon tank, I had an 08 E Glide with a 96 inch and put 75,000 kms 45,000 miles with no issues, I now have an 11 Road Glide Ultra 103. Both had ABS and that is worth the money in my estimation.

Your wife will like the comfort and like the backrest on the Tour pack. The bags are very dry with locks and carry my wife and my luggage with room to spare. There is much to like about Harley touring bikes. If you buy one privatley you may find one with several years of transferrable Harley warranty. If you buy at a dealer they can sell the extended service plans to give you peace of mind.

I am on Harley Davidsons now for 25 years and 9 bikes now. They are constantly improving. Check with the locals in your area to find out who the good dealers and service techs are. I really think if you take one for a ride or even rent a few days you will be hooked.

Enjoy the ride.
I would rather be lost on my Harley than found at work...
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by '05Train View Post
In before this becomes another Harley-bashing thread...
Originally Posted by 0ldhippie View Post
...As for all the other "cruisers"; They ain't harleys.


I've owned several. And, as far as I'm concerned, there ain't no convincing needed...they are some of the best bikes out there. Buy an ElectraGlide (or Road King), and never look back.

If you decide to look at the StreetGlide, as MH suggested, keep in mind that some feel that it rides a little stiffer (I didn't...but, some do.)

Enjoy the ride...

Believe me...on an H-D, you will

***I tend to agree with Oldhippie...ain't nothin' like the real thing.***

I spent all my money on motorcycles, 4X4's, whiskey, and women...The rest I just wasted. (edited to fit/original phrase by "WIBO")

"There's a WEALTH of cool people and knowledge on ADV, there's also a decent sized pocket of douche bag assholes that think their ADV forum Post Count (Oddometer) is their badge at being experienced riders." goodcat8
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:47 PM   #12
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Been wanting one myself
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:05 PM   #13
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I have been fascinated by the Dyna Switchback, a lighter version of the Road King.
Against: its pricey at a factory suggested $16,500. Its still 700 pounds they say which is a lot of weight. Plus the whole Harley lifestyle thing seems a bit oppressive if you are just into riding.
For: its the usual list of sensible Harley solutions for high mileage motorcycles. No maintenance hydraulic valves, belt drive, tubeless tires and numerous accessories and tons of dealers and support all insoire long distance confidence.
The Switchback in particular appeals to me as I like to travel light and electron-free. So the smaller bags and lack of fairing radio, cruise control etc etc doesn't bother me. $16,500 plus a luggage rack and a passenger seat rest does though. And seven hundred pounds seems a lot to commute with.

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Old 12-31-2011, 07:15 PM   #14
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Ride a road glide as well as an electra glide before you decide. I love my road glide. It's the sporty bagger handles great, very comfortable. Go to a dealership that does rentals and spend a weekend on each model.
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:52 PM   #15
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You want to find out if a touring model H.D. will float your boat. How can you do this?

Here's what i did. First off i really like the Road King so, when I put the plan in motion that's what I rented. Yeah, rented for a week and a little over 1100 miles.
I found I really liked it. Very comfy. Like riding down the road sitting on your couch. There were times I'd be off the bike looking at something and felt like sitting down, well the R.K. is the most comfortable seat around so I'll go sit on it. And ride.
After the vacation though , I didn't buy one. I'm too cheap and they're not priced like normal fare.My average bike purchase is nearer to $1000 than $18,000 .
But one day if I feel it would butter my bread I'll seek out a '09 or newer one. The older ones get real nervous when you push them past 80 mph on a twisty road.
RR's Catnip Hill to Peoria ___Loopin' Seattle to WestFest
It started with some beers __1500 miles to the Dentist
Skeedaddle to Seattle______ A 30 year old on a Three Flags Run
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