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Old Yesterday, 05:01 AM   #1
Alexander B OP
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Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Sweden
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Question Economical and simple way to run a Harely Davidson?

Given the astronomical Harley Davidson prices here in Sweden, I ask for ideas on what used model and modifications you would recommend.
The idea would be to get a decently reliable, comfortable, roomy and not too big and heavy bike that is offers acceptable performance and good fuel economy. I know that one could definitely piece something like that together from the enormous selection of stock and upgrade Harley parts, but I would personally not know where to start...

I am over 6' 1", so all current Sportsters (except the XR1200) feel cramped to me.
I do not need or want a big cruiser like Electra Glide etc.
Five gears is very welcome, and GOOD brakes + suspension is a must, as I do a lot of highway commuting.
Power wise, I would guess that minimum 1200cc and 60-65 hp is enough.

Other than that, I am pretty open to suggestions.
Do you have any suggestions what model to start with and which things to upgrade?


Why I am interested in a Harley? Their strong support of older products (a Harley Davidson does not get too old or "obsolete"), the sound, the relaxed riding style and their basic use of technolgy (as in not "having everything electronically controlled and linked together") appeal to me.
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Old Yesterday, 05:48 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander B View Post
Given the astronomical Harley Davidson prices here in Sweden, I ask for ideas on what used model and modifications you would recommend.
The idea would be to get a decently reliable, comfortable, roomy and not too big and heavy bike that is offers acceptable performance and good fuel economy. I know that one could definitely piece something like that together from the enormous selection of stock and upgrade Harley parts, but I would personally not know where to start...

I am over 6' 1", so all current Sportsters (except the XR1200) feel cramped to me.
I do not need or want a big cruiser like Electra Glide etc.
Five gears is very welcome, and GOOD brakes + suspension is a must, as I do a lot of highway commuting.
Power wise, I would guess that minimum 1200cc and 60-65 hp is enough.

Other than that, I am pretty open to suggestions.
Do you have any suggestions what model to start with and which things to upgrade?


Why I am interested in a Harley? Their strong support of older products (a Harley Davidson does not get too old or "obsolete"), the sound, the relaxed riding style and their basic use of technolgy (as in not "having everything electronically controlled and linked together") appeal to me.
Based on your criteria you should be looking for an early 2000's Dyna and expect to do some suspension work.
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Old Yesterday, 06:11 AM   #3
rickcj7
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A 90s FXR!
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Old Yesterday, 06:11 AM   #4
Alexander B OP
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Thanks, bueller!
IIRC, they have fuel injection since around 2000?

rickcj7, interesting! I have a lot to learn about Harley, but the FXR sounds promising!
The sad thing is that a quick search at the Swedish counterpart to Craigslist shows pricing equal to near-new XR1200 prices for the 25+ year old FXRs... (Around $9-10
000, that is.)

Given the market prices for these oldies, would not an almost new, 2-3000 mile XR1200 be a better buy for the buck?

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Old Yesterday, 06:37 AM   #5
ARiderX
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If you're in Europe, then why a harley? They are really considered the 'foreign exclusive' option here, the luxury motorcycle, the porsche among bikes, and marketed this way too. Making them relatively more expensive than in the USA. Humans being human, the snotty, arrogant attitude (owners and dealers) comes therefore with the territory.

It is something you can avoid by riding solo and doing your own maintenance. Talking about maintenance, can you do your own? Expect bmw type prices for maintenance, but with shorter intervals. And harleys are not taken that seriously over here. In the USA, you're a genuine badass if you own one. Here, you're considered a old douche most of the time (yeah yeah, cliches I know, still...)

Why not a vn900, blacked out? Or a star 1300... That's what I would go for. Very reasonable prices second hand (6-7000 euro for a low mileage, not so old one) You're gonna be paying the same for a 14 year old, raggedy harley, with crap aftermarket shit thrown at it, usually by someone with the bad taste of blind chimpanzee...

But ok, aside from this... :) You should be looking at 2005 (+- ten years old) dyna's. The standard ones, or the fat bob or such. Try to find one with at least a few centimetres of suspension travel...
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Old Yesterday, 06:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander B View Post

I do not need or want a big cruiser

GOOD suspension is a must
this is in conflict with wanting an affordable HD
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Old Yesterday, 06:53 AM   #7
RaystheBMW
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Look at a Triumph Thunderbird too. They have a smoother engine and similar imposing cruiser look and weight. They also get very good fuel economy for a large bike. Motor is either a 1600 or 1700, depending on model.
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Old Yesterday, 06:54 AM   #8
Major Kong
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Are there any used Buell Cyclones around?
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Old Yesterday, 07:13 AM   #9
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Yeah the Buell Ulysses would be more in your riding paradigm. I'd seek out a low mileage Buell.
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Old Yesterday, 07:14 AM   #10
Alexander B OP
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ARiderX, you mostly hit the nail here.
Couple of quick bits:
- I am not a "pack rider" so no worries about blending in with the pirates. (edit: added the smiley)
- I can, and will, do my own maintenance, especially as I know the level of incompetence among most bike shops here.
- I guess most (japanese) products have a very clearly defined "end of life" / "planned obsolesence", which I really hate. As a Honda Shadow owner, I see on the Shadow forum how Honda have cancelled unique and "very hard to custom make" parts like engine- and frame parts to get the older models scrapped. It seems Harley do things differently, or at least the after market?

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Old Yesterday, 07:21 AM   #11
NJ-Brett
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Yes, the ONE great thing Harley has going for it is its (and others) support for old bikes.
Maybe that is why they are more popular then they should be, you can have, ride, see on the road, bikes that are VERY old for motorcycles.
They do not even look much different from some of the new bikes.

Besides the SR400, the Japanese stop supporting all the old bikes.
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Old Yesterday, 10:09 AM   #12
Alexander B OP
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Thanks guys,

Again, the big barges like Electra Glide, and I include the "Big Bird" in that category. Sure it is "naked", but it one big lump of metal. 308kg dry weight is 35 kg more than the Street Bob.
And it is VERY expensive, too - about $21 000 for the non-Storm one.
The Buells were sold here and I was surprised to see about 40 used ones for sale, national wide. I don't think I have ever seen one in traffic, though...

Most of them seem OK, but the Ulysses (no offense!) looks like it was built by these guys, though:

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Old Yesterday, 10:57 AM   #13
anotherguy
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Your concern with looks tells me you'll fit right in with the Pirate faction. Ride one and the looks disappear. A comfortable good handling bike that soaks up the miles an is nimble in town.
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Old Yesterday, 11:23 AM   #14
Alexander B OP
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anotherguy, I do not have a problem with unique or "thinking outside the box" designs. However, this partially looks bad since it is not purposefully designed, but rather as an afterthought, I'd say. The engine is too tall and the two exhaust pipes do not fit "inside" the frame. "Solution" is to put the generic muffler below the engine, forcing the whole bike even higher up. The unconventional use of belt drive on this sort of bike looks more than odd with the big rear drive wheel and the covers around the belt.

IMO, the bike lacks "harmony" and "flow" to the lines, while it is not technically vastly different from the bigger Ducatis, that arguably are more easy on the eyes.

That is how I see it, at least.

Please note - the one below is for sale not too far from me, so I plan on going there to have a closer look and a test ride.


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Old Yesterday, 01:01 PM   #15
Alexander B OP
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By the way, what about owning a Buell long term? Will there be parts available - everything on them clearly is not from the Harley Davidson parts store...

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