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Old 03-29-2012, 09:21 AM   #91
Kamloopsrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KradmelderSA View Post
Harleys. An enigma.

I don't like the Harley image and lifestyle. Not the original one or the new style poser one adapted by the doctors lawyers and yuppies riding harleys. But I could have a harley and avoid the lifestyle. No need for a bald head, outlaw look, a goatee, tatoos, a pony tail or long hair or earings, or even a beer gut to ride a harley. Im short haired, conservative, no stomach, a professional person , my only body markings are non-voluntary, dont wear jeans ever. No reason I cant ride a harley and stay that way. Buy a harley without buying the BS lifestyle.

I dont like making a big noise and irritating neighbours. I go ride at the crack of dawn. Not nursing a hangover.

I dont like the clownish harley costumes. I could still wear my fabric airflow jacket and peak helmet if I like. No need for leathers, jean vests, a piss pot on my head, studs or chains to ride a harley.

I dont like the big Harley group rides with road captains etc. BMW does it as well and I dont have to go on them. Could still ride solo

I dont like to be pretentious or visible. I could select a harley without all that chrome, tassles, leather and studs etc

I dont like the 30 km or so 'rides' that passes for riding in harley circles. Its more like a circus parade than a ride. I do 800 km days. But I could take a harley and do long trips without parading where i can be seen.


So most things people complain about harleys can be avoided.


But the ultimate test is that riding tar only bores me. Any idiot can twist the throttle on tar. I would never be able to sit on a harley and pass by intersections with gravel roads and know i cant go down there.

So harleys and superbikes, thank you but no thank you.This boy like remote gravel roads, is happy with a muddy bike, and dont need no HOG, Motorcycle clubs, or some huge road cruiser.

Not saying its a bad bike. It just isnt for me. the Harley lifestyle and mine are poles apart. The Harley bike and how I like to ride are poles apart. So when I overtake Harleys on the road I whiz by and never look back, and thank my lucky stars Im not on that harley, and am even more grateful that I dont need to dress like a clown for image just to go and ride.

Okay, who says you can't ride a Harley down gravel roads? It's not the majority of my riding or the reason I own a Harley, but I've put a fair number of miles on gravel roads.
I'm an old fart (57) and grew up riding any bike, anywhere. We've gotten so brainwashed that we now believe we need 6 different bikes in the garage.
We fill up the empty spaces in our lives with material things instead of spending the money on experiences.
Find a bike that suits the majority of your riding and ride the friggin' thing. Never mind what or how the other guy rides, or what someone says you need in order to ride. You get better by riding under less than ideal conditions, not by having the perfect gear and ideally suited bike. I have a big heavy bike that is a dream to ride long distances on pavement, it's a handful on gravel but that doesn't stop me from doing it.
The nice part about it is when I finally get where we're going the Vstrom guys have camp set up.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:50 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe1 View Post
Bueller, very well stated.
+1. I really like Harley's and would probably buy one someday, but right now, I have found other bikes that fit the type of riding I like to do.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:07 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KradmelderSA View Post
I don't like the Harley image and lifestyle. Not the original one...

But the ultimate test is that riding tar only bores me. Any idiot can twist the throttle on tar. I would never be able to sit on a harley and pass by intersections with gravel roads and know i cant go down there.
Which "original" image are we talking about? Up until the 60's, Harley riders were seen as average respectable folks, and most still are, by the way. A little more adventurous maybe, but normal just the same. Back then, the "bikers" you're thinking of weren't welcome in the Harley shop where both my parents worked. In the 50's, common riding wear was black slacks, white shirt (often with a tie), and a cap. In the 20's one of the first nicknames for Harleys was "the grey silent fellow", and conveyed respect for the machine.

Yes, the image is different today, but no one forces you to be "that guy".

And as for your ultimate test, that is pure bull. Yes, any idiot can twist the throttle on tar, but any decent rider can also take a Harley down a gravel road. They've been fully capable of gravel and a lot worse since 1903, and I've been doing it on them (off and on as I'm not married to any brand) since 1961. Never dropped a Harley in gravel either. Sure, in this age of a dedicated bike for each type of riding, there are ones that are better suited for that purpose than any Harley, but don't believe it can't be done. If you'd like some proof, google Peter Forwood.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:35 PM   #94
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I'd be totally fucked if my bike couldn't be ridden on gravel... cause there's a shit ton of it in my driveway!


My bike does not mind it or any groomed forest road at all... YMMV.



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Old 03-29-2012, 05:35 PM   #95
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Nothing wrong with Harley Davidsons, you don't buy a Jeep to race around a roadcourse or burn up the 1/4 mile. As for their handling, for an 800+ lb bike, it handles extremely well, its the ground clearance that is the limiting factor. I would have to question the OP's riding experience for having bought one then cry about it afterwards.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:39 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Cakeeater View Post
This is a foolish comment. I've owned a Honda, Kawasaki, Honda, Honda, Suzuki, Honda and Harley.

My two favorites are Kawasaki and Harley.

Cakeeater
That explains everything nicely
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:57 PM   #97
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Most of the Harley riders I know have from 30-40 years of riding experience... and yet they buy Harleys... Most of the Harley haters I know have a year or two of experience repeated 3 or 4 times... Weird huh?
Huh, been on motorcycles since 1978 and even sold them for about 10 of those years. I've logged over 400K miles in that time and never once had the slightest inkling of buying a hardley.

Have I ridden them? Sure. Everything from a '56 panhead (no electric start and yes I kicked it) to a modern day FL twin cam. Would one reside in my garage if I had several bikes? Nope.

I have prerequisites for any street only motorcycle that resides in my garage. 1) It must make 100 rwhp. 2) It has to have a good set of brakes. 3) Adjustable suspension front and rear. 4) Must be able to run on 87 octane fuel. That's the list. Pretty easy and simple. Does hardley make anything that fits all four of those criteria? Nope! Does my FJR? Ohhhh yeeeaaahhhhhh

I should have noted that I buy and ride motorcycles, not lifestyles!

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Old 03-29-2012, 06:15 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by soldierguy View Post
I never understood Harleys. I got hung up on the stereotype, and that stereotype does NOT fit me at all. I feel out of place in a Harley dealership. I prefer textile over leather. I wear all the gear all the time. I'll ride in 20 degree weather if the roads are clear & dry. I'll ride in the rain now and then for fun. I like dirt roads. I hate the idea of a trailer queen. Overly tanned former MILFs with fake hooters don't do it for me. So I just never really understood Harleys.

Until I rode one.

The only Harley I've ever ridden is owned by my brother. He's got a Fat Bob. In 30 seconds on his bike, I understood why people buy them. They're comfortable. Loads of torque. The sound can be good, depending on pipe selection. TONS of ways to customize them and make them your own.

The ride on the Fat Bob put a smile on my face. A very different smile than I get with my Dorsoduro or Brutale, but a smile nonetheless.

I may never own a Harley, or maybe I will someday...can't say for sure. But I can at least appreciate them now, and that's a good thing.
I now added H-D, next to my BMW GS, in my garage as well. The H-D don't changed my riding style at all...I still ride fast, still wear my textile gear, Sidi boots, full face helmet, still ride solo, and still ride in Colorado winter.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:32 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by ec90t View Post
Huh, been on motorcycles since 1978 and even sold them for about 10 of those years. I've logged over 400K miles in that time and never once had the slightest inkling of buying a hardley.

Have I ridden them? Sure. Everything from a '56 panhead (no electric start and yes I kicked it) to a modern day FL twin cam. Would one reside in my garage if I had several bikes? Nope.

I have prerequisites for any street only motorcycle that resides in my garage. 1) It must make 100 rwhp. 2) It has to have a
All Panheads were kickers except a 1965 Electra Glide, the last year they sold Harleys with that engine.

Kick starting a Panhead is no big deal. At 5'8", 155 lbs (at the time), and being partially permanently disabled I had no trouble doing it. Just make sure you don't have too much advance dialed in or you're going to regret it.

I also had an FJR - an '06 model. It was a fantastic motorcycle. But there's nothing about the 30,000 miles I put on that bike that in any way diminished the fun I had on the two Harleys it shared the garage with. And for the record, I've owned 100 + HP MoCo products. I actually prefer them closer to stock. It's a better use of those engines to use the torque and short shift them a bit.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:06 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Bueller View Post
All Panheads were kickers except a 1965 Electra Glide, the last year they sold Harleys with that engine.

I also had an FJR - an '06 model. It was a fantastic motorcycle. But there's nothing about the 30,000 miles I put on that bike that in any way diminished the fun I had on the two Harleys it shared the garage with. And for the record, I've owned 100 + HP MoCo products. I actually prefer them closer to stock. It's a better use of those engines to use the torque and short shift them a bit.
A lot of those old hardleys were refited with electric start that's the reason why I made my comment. I've riden a few of the early "steamers" (old hardley slang for TITN) and found them lacking even compared to a 750 Four.

When I speak of 100 rwhp, I'm refering to Rear Wheel Horse Power. That's the true measure, no at some mythical rated crank. And I'm talking about these numbers being generated on 87 octane fuel with zero runabilty issues. Oh yeah, the engine is stock and the pipes quiet. The engine is quite torqey and quite happy pulling from 2K rpms in any gear. How about the adjustable suspension and the brakes? I'll bet you are going to tell me that the brakes on a hardley are as good as the ones on the FJR. Then you are going to tell me how the suspension is just as good and refined as the stock FJR's is.

I'll stand behind my original statement, the more you know about motorcycles the less you want a hardley.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:17 PM   #101
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I started this mess...

Wow, I guess I'm the first guy in the history of motorcycling that bought a bike and didn't like it. Glad to know I have that distinction. Do I get some type of award?

Seriously, I test rode this bike before I bought it. Unfortunately I didn't have a 50 mile test ride as it would have exposed the areas I didn't get along with. I could live with some of the shortcomings but it just ain't comfortable for me. The upright riding position puts a strain on my back that didn't show up until I took it for a long ride. Now the ache starts after about 5 miles. At 57 I am too old and cranky to put up with it.

I guess I was really predisposed to buying the bike before I looked at it because it looked so freakin cool. And, I owned Harley's in the past and the memories of Sturgis, Daytona, Laughlin, etc., in the early 90's were some of the best riding times of my life. I guess I thought I could recapture that from 20+ years ago.

I did a triathlon 25 years ago. I trained incredibly hard and made it a part of my life. I tried to do it again 20 years later. The body was older, the motivation was gone, different priorities and it just wasn't the same. But I tried. And then I moved on to something else. Now I know better.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:20 PM   #102
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I loved my Harley. I owned a 2004 Sportster 883 Custom. It wasnt the fastest, but it was fun, I rode it in every weather, and temperatures down to -6. The bike has been in mud, water above the exhaust. (kinda cool, looks like a diesel submarine). fire roads, and pulled a camping trailer. The bike was tragically killed in September 2011 by a 17 yo in an 89 chevy truck. By some miracle I wasn't killed too. I had over 92,000 miles on that bike. All in all I would recommend a Harley to anyone that wants a rock solid, bulletproof motorcycle. Yes there are posers dressed in pretty new leather that thinks if the bike gets rained on its going to melt or rust, BUT there are also real bikers out there that ride Harleys, and are not afraid to ride them the way they were intended. One side note, women LOVE riding 600 pound vibrators.
Now I have a 2006 Triumph Scrambler, I love it. Better in many ways to a sportster, but we will see if it holds up like the Sportster did.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:27 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by tri650 View Post
....... Now I know better.

Maybe. Or maybe you'll get the urge again.

I went from KTM950 to RoadKing last summer. Liked the torque and comfort but not much else. Sold it last month, fortunately for bit more than II paid for it. Second Harley for me and I'm financially ahead on the transaction.

I can't rule out another a few years from now for long trips. It'll be the new frame that doesn't feel like it bends in 80mph+ sweepers.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:32 PM   #104
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Kamloopsrider--I too have always ridden whatever I had in every way I desired. I currently have a K8 GSXR600 that sees duty as a commuter, regardless of the weather. I don't do a lot of off road stuff, nearly none at all, but I wouldn't hesitate should I desire to do so (although, I will never be a dirt riding kinda guy). I have modded it to suit me...an on-going process that seems to be self-generating.

Heck, I drove an '89 Aerostar up steep mountain paths int he rockies, across lakes in TX, and anywhere else I chose. Treat the bike the same way. I figure the more I ride it the better I will be at riding it. I don't get a lot of miles, but I do get a lot of conditions and my confidence grows.

I too am an old fart....seems strange, and I don't have the money for a stable. So, what ever bike I have at the moment must do everything I need it to. Sure, the bike does change from time to time, but each one is pressed into the same service.

I would gladly take an XR1200. I would be the weirdo with the hard bags on it, riding it back and forth to work, letting the rain make it pretty; its the way I roll.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:33 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by ec90t View Post
A lot of those old hardleys were refited with electric start that's the reason why I made my comment. I've riden a few of the early "steamers" (old hardley slang for TITN) and found them lacking even compared to a 750 Four.

When I speak of 100 rwhp, I'm refering to Rear Wheel Horse Power. That's the true measure, no at some mythical rated crank. And I'm talking about these numbers being generated on 87 octane fuel with zero runabilty issues. Oh yeah, the engine is stock and the pipes quiet. The engine is quite torqey and quite happy pulling from 2K rpms in any gear. How about the adjustable suspension and the brakes? I'll bet you are going to tell me that the brakes on a hardley are as good as the ones on the FJR. Then you are going to tell me how the suspension is just as good and refined as the stock FJR's is.

I'll stand behind my original statement, the more you know about motorcycles the less you want a hardley.
Maybe you missed the part where I said I owned an FJR for 30,000 miles. In fact, I used the Dynojet Dyno to set throttle body synch on that bike at cruising speed. I dialed 15% load, locked the throttle at 70 mph in 5th, and dialed them in. Made for a very nice and smooth riding bike. I also did a couple of dyno pulls with that bike. It made 127 rear wheel horsepower - oops, I mean RWHP . Other interesting bikes of note I played with on that Dyno included my '08 Gold Wing that made 105 RWHP (and was already making 89 Ft Lbs of torque at 1100 RPM ), and a few of my track bikes I tuned.

Again, the lack of absolute power, adjustable suspension, or racing brakes has never diminished the sheer joy I've gotten from loping along on a winding country road on a warm sunny day riding a Harley. The non adjustable suspension still absorbs bumps. The lackluster brakes are still capable of locking both wheels. And 99% of the time, the 70 hp engine is being significantly under-utilized with the few horsepower required to maintain cruise, or approximately 25 horsepower used to accelerate. In fact, the higher performing the bike, in general the more boring it is to ride on a public road. The track is a different story, but then again I've never taken a Harley to a track day.

I once made it from lower central Missouri to my home in S.E. Ohio in a little over 7 hours on that FJR. Averaged almost 100 mph. It's probably a good thing I don't tour on that bike anymore. Probably wouldn't have a license for long.
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