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Old 07-27-2013, 05:21 PM   #1
cutler686 OP
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Thinking of Harley for 2 up comfort

I have owned a DL650 for a few years now following a number of sport bikes. I mainly ride by myself however my wife has been increasingly interested in riding with me and the little 650 is just not the best handling bike with myself 190lbs wife 150lbs and a few pounds of gear for a day trip.

I have always liked the idea of a GS or RT however my local BMW dealer is a real pain in the but to deal with, and doesn't even like you to test their bikes unless you are about to write a check.

A few weeks back my local Harley dealer had a ride event in which Harley came with a semi truck of 2013 bikes for customers to ride. I never rode a Harley before so the wife and I attended. We drove an ultra, road king and deluxe. The wife really liked the lower seat position of the bikes and seemed to like the road king the best.

I am a little unsure of the weight though. Once we got moving it was ok, however in parking lot maneuvering, all but the Deluxe felt like they where much more than the 700+ lbs that they were.

Do you Harley riders ever get used to the weight of these bikes, or just learn how to manage it? Wife like the back seat but I am not sure if I want to deal with that weight on a day to day commuting.

Thoughts?

Thanks!!
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:44 PM   #2
Bob204bc
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The short answer is....... ready for it?.......... you'll get used to it.

I ride a K12LT and I assure you that Harley touring bikes are easy handlers at all speeds and are most especially good at low speeds. The softtail you mentioned would be a lousy touring bike for you and your wife.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:08 PM   #3
foxtrapper
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I'm short, and handle my 800+ lb Road King with ease. Yes it's heavy, but the weight is low slung. Honestly, it's easier for me to deal with than say an old Honda CB360, which weighs less, but has me tippy-toed and carries its weight up high.

Shoving the bike backwards is the only time I find the weight of the Road King to be a challenge. Backwards out of my shed onto the soft dirt, and backwards up a grade.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:34 PM   #4
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The answer is, you effectively doubled the weight you are used to. Looking down at a wider tank can play strange things on the mind too.
Depending on the pillions position that can exaggerate the feel. You said it, when moving the weight is gone. Test rides are great, but it takes longer than that to get the feel of a new bike. None of the big twins, HD, Victory, Kawasaki will be as crisp as the DL. the longer wheel base and HP to weight are different.
You may also be great for a certain bike but need some seat tweaking to tune your riding position. This has happened to me a lot and a different from factory seat is in the agenda on every bike. I haven't ridden one that I got along with the factory offering for long, but you get an idea.
If you really like it, take a weekend rental and decide, if you can find it. HD is about the easiest to find so you should be in business.

Happy Hunting
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:45 PM   #5
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You will get use to the weight but you may not like it. Seems to me a guy coming from a sport bike background would be more comfy with a lighter bike and one that can turn corners.

I've owned several H-D, along with other bikes, from 1980-2004. Have no issue with H-D's but they are what they are and at this point they are not for me.

May I suggest you take a look at the Triumph line..... Trophy, Tiger, Sprint, or if your interest in a cruiser style perhaps a Thunderbird.


Regards, Paul
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:06 PM   #6
XT_Driftwood
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When my wife wanted to start riding with me, we first rode two-up on her father's K1200LT. The weight was initially a bit of a shock, but I got used to it very quickly.

We ended up buying a Harley FXDXT, a Dyna- not one of the models people recommend for two-up. But it works for us and it's lighter than the Harley's you demo'ed. Combined my wife and I weigh around 325. If you're in that ballpark you might want to demo a Switchback.
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:18 PM   #7
cutler686 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadscum View Post
May I suggest you take a look at the Triumph line..... Trophy, Tiger, Sprint, or if your interest in a cruiser style perhaps a Thunderbird.
Regards, Paul
Thanks to all for your comments.

I like some of the offerings from Triumph however Servicing is a concern for me as I live in a rural community near Green Bay WI. There are a few of the common Powersports (honda, yamaha ext..) dealers and about a dozen Harley shops.

I think I am going to rent an ultra and/or a road king for a weekend and go from there. I honestly felt that the ultra and the road king handled about the same, I think the only reason that my wife liked the king better than the ultra is she felt trapped between my back rest and the large tour pack. Something I am sure she would get used to. Thanks again all..
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutler686 View Post
Thanks to all for your comments.

I like some of the offerings from Triumph however Servicing is a concern for me as I live in a rural community near Green Bay WI. There are a few of the common Powersports (honda, yamaha ext..) dealers and about a dozen Harley shops.

I think I am going to rent an ultra and/or a road king for a weekend and go from there. I honestly felt that the ultra and the road king handled about the same, I think the only reason that my wife liked the king better than the ultra is she felt trapped between my back rest and the large tour pack. Something I am sure she would get used to. Thanks again all..
My wife usually rides a Super Glide, but today rode pinion on my Ultra. My background is sport and adventure bikes before this.

The big Harley's are great at low speed maneuvers and I've gotten used to the weight. I would rather have my wife on the back of this bike than any of my previous bmw's or anything else.

I don't use a backrest and she was comfy.
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:00 AM   #9
Bloodweiser
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My old lady would maybe take 1 ride a year with me,
and this is for the past 10 years.

I bought a switchback last year,
now she asks me everyday to take her for a ride.
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:53 AM   #10
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Having owned several HDs, I think the Road Glide version is the best for two up touring. The fiairing is frame mounted and it is 't as hot for the passengers legs.
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:37 AM   #11
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Two up?

I just got back from a two-day 1,000 mile trip with my wife on my Road Glide Ultra. Day one was sunny and tail wind. Day two was mid-50s and 15-mph headwinds and hard rain for several hours.

She loved it.

She never liked riding on the back of more 'sporting' bikes, but she likes the Road Glide back seat. Nice backrest, her own radio jack for her helmet...she's very comfortable.

Here's one point that many riders seem to forget: many passengers (my wife, fer example...) don't want to go crazy fast, accelerate with the front wheel bouncing off the pavement, go around corners with a knee down....

Since I can't do any of that with my Road Glide, it simplifies matters

With the two of us on the bike and fully loaded, it handles well. We ride two-laners at a comfortable spirited pace. At the end of the ride she was feeling good and planning the next trip.

Weight of the bike? Keep it upright and not an issue. It's a heavy pig but it's easy to work with.

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:47 AM   #12
rider33
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[QUOTE=cutler686;21968921]

I think I am going to rent an ultra and/or a road king for a weekend and go from there. /QUOTE]

This really is the best idea as only you can tell what's right for you. It's also rather easy to rent one,
particularly in Wisconsin. Between the bikes I would offer this: its easier to dress up a Road King
(add detachable racks, back rests, topboxes etc) than it is to undress an Ultra. Also, all the FL's
are big breasts which is why they do so well two up and on the open road. Adding a lot of
extra weight to the front fork via flairings & stereos & such does nothing to reduce that. If
you feel you need a dash board take a look at the Road Glide. It has a big nose for sure
but its frame vs fork mounted.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:05 AM   #13
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Freudian slip ??? big beasts vs big breasts i cant blame ya i also prefer big breasts

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Old 07-28-2013, 09:32 AM   #14
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Greetings...
My first contribution to the site .

NO DOUBT....There will be a learning curve and adjustment period for you. However, as many already mentioned, you will get used to it. The riding technique you use when riding your duo on tarmac will be the same once you get going however, just in............ "Slow Motion"....so to speak. This is due to the different weight, performance and pure BULK of the Harley vs your current.

It sounds like the tourer is the right fit for what you want. It will allow your wife to sit in a "comfy couch" giving you that cruiser ride. Riding 2 up and cruising is best done on a bagger. I would suggest the Road Glide, Electric Glide or Street Glide also. IMHO...If you're going to go that route and ride 2 up for weekend road trips, go all out and get one with a fairing. You will also need stuff for your wifes "Stuff".

Many of the guys I ride with who have road kings, end up putting after market fairings on their bikes. They like the wind protection and stability when cruising as well as having tunes. Yes, they have a wind sheild but it's a different ride vs a full fairing. Some have even traded to a fairing bike. If you're not going to ride long distance, then save you $$ and consider the road glide or soft tail but if you ride 2 up 85% + of the time, get a bagger...GLIDE.

As for the weight. It's heavy and there is no denying that. You will just change certain things when riding a HD (Bagger) 2 up until you get used to it. For example.....>the Mrs will get off while you park (Back up). You will do a lot of feet down meanuvering until you get used to feet up while turning slow, etc. Coming to a stop will require a bit more attention with your footing. You will just have to adjust to a top heavy bike. I'm 5'4, 185 lbs, 29" inseam and have no issues handling my bike loaded 2 up with gear etc. After putting 60k miles on her, she went to sleep on my 1 time in WV on the Blue Ridge trying to make a U-turn. She was fully loaded and I was 2 up. Picked her up with no issues using the turn back towards bike, squat, lift with legs technique.

I'm actually trying to move to the DUO SPORT side as I want to venture off the tarmac seeking different adventures. So I'm currently on the hunt for a F650 - F700 GS.

Good luck.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:38 AM   #15
rider33
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what can I say, Harley's, Sturgis, my mind tends to wander............RRRRRRRRRR
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