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Old 05-04-2013, 09:16 PM   #1
Domromer OP
Desert Rat
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Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
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Which luxury tourer?

I've owned a slew of dual sports and my current rides are a DL650 and Dl1000. I've done every mod possible to both these bikes and I can never ride either for more than a few hours without my neck and back becoming very sore. I've toyed with the idea of getting an 1150gs, but how much better of a tourer would it be than the Strom. I just can't imagine it would be a night and day difference.

So I've always been interested in luxury touring bikes. I've ridden a GL1800 a few times. I rented and Electra Glide and took it for a 300 mile day trip. The Electra glide was super comfortable all except a seam right at the front of the seat which annoyed me. I never got a chance to take the wing for a long ride so I can't really speak to that.

So being that both bikes fill the same niche and they are priced similar. If you were to choose between the two which would you choose? And why?

In the end I know it will come down to a test ride but I want to hear what you guys think. I'm open to both bikes. I've owned Hondas in the past and you can't beat the quality. I've done the big day trip in the EG so I know it's comfy. I guess my only reservation with the EG is I've never seen myself as a cruiser guy.. Especially a Harley.. I'm just not a chaps and doo rag kinda guy. But I know that's not a reason to not buy a bike if it's the right bike... Ok enough rambling from me. What do you guys think?
If all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you ever got. ... A desert rat explores the south.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:19 PM   #2
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Any of the HD touring bikes would be a good choice. I recently ordered a Road King. I'm an Aerostich kind of guy. There are quite a few HD riders who don't go outlaw....

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Old 05-04-2013, 10:44 PM   #3
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Now I'm going to have to look for this front seam you mentioned on my Ultra seat.

My first Harley after tons of bikes. Like it. While the doo rag folks are the majority, no one will care what you wear, based on my experience.
Living the fullest life means leaving a history of goodness behind you for others to remember.

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Old 05-05-2013, 02:39 AM   #4
Domromer OP
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Originally Posted by BCC View Post
Now I'm going to have to look for this front seam you mentioned on my Ultra seat.

My first Harley after tons of bikes. Like it. While the doo rag folks are the majority, no one will care what you wear, based on my experience.
This was on an 01 EG
If all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you ever got. ... A desert rat explores the south.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:03 AM   #5
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Honda now has the new Goldwing F6B. If you have not checked that one out, look it up. I am going to probably be trading my Rocket 3 in on one.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Domromer View Post
This was on an 01 EG
If your thinking of buying new, you should test ride the current HDs. New frame in '09 handles much better than the '01 you rode, bigger gas tank and 6 speed tranny in '07 and now all are 103" since '12 compared to the 88" you rode.

Seats and handlebars are easily changed on these bikes. Never rode a Wing but a buddy rented one for a weekend, he really liked the ride quality but described the overall experience to be more like a 2 wheeled convertible as opposed to a motorcycle.

Either bike would be great for distance touring.

FWIW, I have a '12 Road Glide Custom, a '09 XR1200 and an '09 DR650....all three fill different niches but if I could have only one bike I'd keep the Road Glide no question.
Any day on a dirt road is a great day
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:07 AM   #7
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the Goldwing is the gold standard in the long distance touring segment. I've always admired them but the sea of buttons and arces of plastic always put me off. They also tend to be more seating restrictive due to the boxer heads to the front and the passenger area to the rear. The F6B eases that tho it likely would need a new screen for serious touring duty.
Try one.

On the Harley side the Road King will get you 90% of the touring benefit of the FL line will a lot less of the overkill. I put about 60,000 miles on one w/o any issues. Any of the FL's are easy to adapt to your particular needs. Whatever you want, there is a part for that.

As I come off DR's and DL's and KLR's tho, none of the mega-touring bikes ever quite felt right to me tho for long. If you haven't tried them, I'd look into a proper sport touring bike (ST, FJR, RT, C14 etc). In those you get most of touring ablity and comfort in a smaller, more sporting package. I currently have an ST1300 which is by far and away the best long distance bike I've ever owned. Fast, comfortable, huge range, quiet, lots of storage and it never breaks. Compared to the DR its massive. Compared to a Wing or King its relatively svelt. Coming off a dual sport, I think you may tend to find full-up touring bikes just too big (tho comfy).
“many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased”- Steinbeck
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:11 AM   #8
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If you can get to an Eagle Rider, they typically rent both big Harleys and 'Wings. I was always a sportbike guy, and currently have a big Adv bike (Aprilia). However, the current Road King is one of the best "all day comfortable" bikes out there - I rented one for a day and after 6 hours, neither my back nor butt were sore, I was really shocked. The Aprilia numbs my rear in about two hours most times. The riding poisition is dead neutral for normal-sized riders, and they're surprisingly agile at legal speeds.
Speed never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary, that's what gets you. - Jeremy Clarkson
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:56 AM   #9
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You might want to check out a Road Glide as well they're a little ugly but your used to that with the Strom and I own both. If you were to go with a 09 or newer Harley they have a seat demo program were you can go out and try a seat before you buy. The new Victories are nice as well.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:05 AM   #10
Yankee Dog
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Gold Wing. The standard by which all others are measured. If I was going to ride a pig, I wouldn't bother looking at anything else.
2005 Ural
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:08 AM   #11
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Location: Metro Detroit - almost like offroad riding
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I have a 1999 Electraglide Ultra Classic and it is what I consider to be my 'main ride.' I commute to work on it and take it on my adventure rides as well. Like already mentioned, I wear my Aerostich and Schuberth helmet and have a ball with it. The only thing I wish it had was ABS.

My 'other' toy is a BMW K1200GT which does have ABS and a rocket engine I believe.

So, I will interject two other bikes to your list, especially if looking used:
1. BMW R1200RT - not really a 'luxury touring' bike but a no-nonsense sport tourer. Much better road manners than a GS and the riding position you are looking for.
2. BMW K1200LT - yes, they look like "Geo Metro's" without the doors as my wife likes to describe them but they have more character than a Goldwing and better road manners than the Ultra. The LT is likely the best handling luxury sport tourer available, besides the new K1600GTL.

If I did not already have an air-cooled twin I would likely have an RT. If I already did not have my luxury 'Ultra' I would probably have an LT.
2006 BMW K1200GT (the Jagdpanther has arrived as of 5-Aug-2011)
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:54 AM   #12
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Had the Gold Wing, found it capable but boring. Foot position was cramped (I'm 6'+). Electronics worked perfectly, but I always wondered what it would cost if there was a problem somewhere down the line. Works best when used regularly - doesn't like to sit still through long winters.

On the other side, my wife liked it the best of all the bikes I've had. Quiet enough for her to read, listen to the radio and comfortable enough for her to nap.

If I were going big again, I'd get the Electra Glide.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:26 AM   #13
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Never rode one but I'm sure a wing is the best freeway mile eater out there plus the honda quality thing, but it brings with it the honda boring thing. At least in my mind? Both the bmw RT & K bikes are great mile eaters and the RT especially is no slouth when it gets twisty. They have big a rider/touring following for a reason!! I'd have an RT except for maintenance horror stories? But Really, I'm a Harley guy when I want to log some miles. They may not be the fastest, smoothest, most dependable, technically advanced or even a very good motorcycle but the dealer network and aftermarket is fantastic and they have a "soul" that puts a smile on my face. And that is what riding is about to me.
Get a Roadglide ultra before they quit making them next year!
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Retired and living off the interest on the money I owe.

0ldhippie screwed with this post 05-05-2013 at 10:31 AM
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:57 AM   #14
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Domromer, also consider the Victory Vision. I test rode one and it was pretty nice especially the power windshield. Besides the massive size the only negative to me was the small side case capacity. I also tested a BMW R1200RT which seemed like a great mile muncher for a relatively lightweight bike but I had mechanical issues with my last BMW R bike. I went with the Harley Ultra Classic and am supper happy with it after I found a windshield that I could look over and that didn’t buffet my head. Very comfy on a 6 day 2000 mile Blue Ridge Parkway trip including a 650 mile day. The bike was great in the turns also but wasn’t ideal for the Tail of the Dragon or gravel roads but did it. If gravel gets between the belt and sprocket it can shred the belt so if you are going to do much unpaved road you might not want a belt or will need a belt guard.

Harleys are reliable, any part you can dream of is available, and like Honda there are dealers or independent service everywhere.

Your pictures of the lowcountry are great. If you are around Wednesday, we are meeting down at Salty Mike’s
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:08 PM   #15
Jimmy the Heater
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I'll throw my 2 cents in even though it's probably not worth that. The big tourers that I've ridden are GW1200 & 1800, Road Glide and Ultra Classic, BMW K1200LT, Kawi Voyager 1700, and Royal Star Tour deluxe.

Each one has its strong and weak points for sure. I'll try to sum up as briefly as possible.

Wing 1800-Hippo with ballet shoes, big heavy bike that eats miles and handles surprisingly well. Very few maintenance surprises and not a lot of character. Smooooooooth.

Road & Ultra-Not a bunch of power, but adequate. Classic exhaust sound. Very very comfy, competent in the turns. Their big strength is the dealer network, easy to work on, and customizing options. If you don't like something, there will be an option to change it.

BMW K1200LT-If you can keep up with the maintenance and deal with the quirks it's a good bike. Handles very well for such a giant. Spooky handling below 5mph. Nice to ride, hard to own.

Kawi Voyager 1700-Most comfy bike I've ever been on seating wise. Mediocre suspension. Engine responds very well to tweaking. Very low CoG. Really loved this bike.

Royal Star-My favorite engine, just wish it was fuel injected. Second in power to the Wing, smooth but still has character, A little top heavy compared to the V Twins and Wing but not nearly as bad as the BMW.

If I was picking up one of these it would be between the Royal Star and the Voyager.....Probably with the Royal Star getting the nod in the end because of the better suspension.
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