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Old 09-22-2013, 06:36 AM   #1
IrishCatholic OP
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Harley Davidson Demo Day Experience

My two Triumphs are at the Austin, TX BMW/Triumph dealer for sale as I wait for my new GS to finish crossing the pond (as our friends in England say) so I attended a local Harley Davidson Demo Day event yesterday and had a great time - I highly encourage everyone to consider doing this. For what it's worth, here's my experience.
We rode in "formation" about 5 or 6 miles on each bike, which is a new experience for me. We behaved like a fast moving funeral procession without a good reason to be disrupting everyone else's travels - I was not real comfortable being in a pack of bikes riding at the speed limit in the left lane on the highway with cars passing us on the right. I didn't like being one of "those guys".
I first rode the new water cooled Ultra Limited - very comfortable, great stereo and wind protection, handled well for its size - just a really fun, laid back, really big cruiser. I could see myself cruising around the countryside on this - very mellow.
Next I rode a Softail Deluxe - footboards scraped on every turn (startled the crap out of me in the parking lot, it became fun when I expected it). It was low and slow - just my opinion. I can't see riding one of these.
The v rod was next - fundamentally a different bike than the others! A much more ordinary acceleration experience than the others but having my feet sticking straight out is unsettling, to say the least. It was a tiring position to maintain and I'm not interested in riding one again.
Last, but not least, I rode the Ultra trike - it was so strange! You have to muscle this non-leaning thing slowly around the turns - just strange - I totally don't get it and I'm really glad I rode it - once.
About half the demo riders appeared to be under the age of 35 and the rest of us appeared to be over 45 (I'm being kind). Everyone was very friendly - it was a fun, welcoming environment - I'm glad I went and I will likely go again - why pass up a chance to ride a bunch of brand new bikes, especially when they are so different from what I ride. Now, if I could just find the Ural Demo Day event to check out riding with the sidecar ...
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Old 09-22-2013, 06:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by IrishCatholic View Post
- I was not real comfortable being in a pack of bikes riding at the speed limit in the left lane on the highway with cars passing us on the right. I didn't like being one of "those guys".
You rode at the speed limit? How douchebaggery.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by IrishCatholic View Post
I first rode the new water cooled Ultra Limited - very comfortable, great stereo and wind protection, handled well for its size - just a really fun, laid back, really big cruiser. I could see myself cruising around the countryside on this - very mellow.
...
But how about 8 -10k miles for a month or more cross country?
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:10 AM   #4
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You rode at the speed limit? How douchebaggery.
Many states have "keep right except to pass" laws. It allows for better overall traffic flow.

http://www.mit.edu/~jfc/right.html

"Most states follow the Uniform Vehicle Code and require drivers to keep right if they are going slower than the normal speed of traffic (regardless of the speed limit; see below)"


"The Uniform Vehicle Code states:
Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic ...
Note that this law refers to the "normal" speed of traffic, not the "legal" speed of traffic. The 60 MPH driver in a 55 MPH zone where everybody else is going 65 MPH must move right. "
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:15 AM   #5
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Yeah. Ride organizer needs to be reminded of this.

Otherwise, sounds interesting, getting to ride a few different bikes. Former coworker has a VRod and loves it, pushes it hard and is NOT one of the left lane slowpokes. But he doesn't like traditional Harleys.
Mrs1911fan and I have been discussing getting a large road bike for extended tours; HDs are high on the list. They've been building baggers for a looong time and many riders agree their stuff works. I'm more of a BMW or Concours kinda guy, but we'll see what pops up when we are ready to buy.


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Old 09-22-2013, 08:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dranrab Luap View Post
Many states have "keep right except to pass" laws. It allows for better overall traffic flow.

http://www.mit.edu/~jfc/right.html

"Most states follow the Uniform Vehicle Code and require drivers to keep right if they are going slower than the normal speed of traffic (regardless of the speed limit; see below)"


"The Uniform Vehicle Code states:
Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic ...
Note that this law refers to the "normal" speed of traffic, not the "legal" speed of traffic. The 60 MPH driver in a 55 MPH zone where everybody else is going 65 MPH must move right. "
Yup...one of my biggest pet peeves. Left lane hangers. If only it were enforced. Think of the revenue. For that matter if only SO many common sense traffic laws were enforced. But alas it's easy to set speed traps.
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Robert_W View Post
But how about 8 -10k miles for a month or more cross country?
None better.

(unless you prefer a Sport Touring Standard)
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Vertical C View Post
You rode at the speed limit? How douchebaggery.
I know - you're not in control when you're "in formation".
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:39 AM   #9
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But how about 8 -10k miles for a month or more cross country?
We didn't ride far, but it's hard not to smile with the great sound system, plush seat and Harley rumble. I plan to rent one this fall for a day for a change of pace. If I ever manage to own a stable of bikes, the HD Ultra will surely be included. I didn't "get" the Harley thing until I rode an Ultra - they are fun, fun, fun.
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:04 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by IrishCatholic View Post
We didn't ride far, but it's hard not to smile with the great sound system, plush seat and Harley rumble. I plan to rent one this fall for a day for a change of pace. If I ever manage to own a stable of bikes, the HD Ultra will surely be included. I didn't "get" the Harley thing until I rode an Ultra - they are fun, fun, fun.
Before you buy an Ultra, be sure to ride a Victory Cross Country Tour and compare bottom line prices.
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:14 AM   #11
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About 10-12 years ago HD must have spent a fortune on Dealer Demo Days. This was back in the day when long waiting lists and MSRP + $$$ would get you a Bike. The VRod was brand new on the market. Filled out one of those Business reply cards and a few weeks later received an invitation to attend, rode their MC's, ate some good BBQ, along with the food one of the Bikini Girls hands me a $50 gift card to redeem on the spot. Forgot to tell Wife about the Bikini Girls but did mention the voucher. Received no arm twisting and no pressure from the Dealer. Bought some Korean made HD branded perforated gloves, net cost was like $4 with tax. Gloves lasted 3 seasons.
Liked the XL1200S, the Road King felt lighter once underway, the VRod was way smoother and faster than the others. HD's have nice paint and nothing fell off. Years later heard Dealer Days had Hot Dogs, no Bikini Girls, and no vouchers.
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:33 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dranrab Luap View Post
Before you buy an Ultra, be sure to ride a Victory Cross Country Tour and compare bottom line prices.
... And the ride quality. Then look at a three year old Victory and see how it aged and how much it is worth. (Or isn't worth)
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:49 AM   #13
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You rode at the speed limit? How douchebaggery.
If you are getting passed on the right, then yes it qualifies as douchebaggery.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:03 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
... And the ride quality. Then look at a three year old Victory and see how it aged and how much it is worth. (Or isn't worth)
And the handling. While some might call the Victory more nimble, I find it twitchy and for a long ride, requires too much constant input to truly eat the miles.

Also take a look at the controls... looks like they raided the 80's parts bin at Honda; especially the cruise control
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:16 AM   #15
Dranrab Luap
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And the handling. While some might call the Victory more nimble, I find it twitchy and for a long ride, requires too much constant input to truly eat the miles.

Also take a look at the controls... looks like they raided the 80's parts bin at Honda; especially the cruise control
Harley paint looks better than Victory and the cruise and radio controls look like they were designed into the machine rather than an afterthought. Other than that, I think the rest of the bike looks more "modern" than the Harley. I was at a bike night at a local restaurant a few weeks ago and I struck up a conversation with someone looking at my bike. He said man there isn't a straight line on the bike. All the lines flow together so nicely. Appearance is subjective though.

My bike is not twitchy at all. I even said on one forum post that I feel like the bike steers itself. It seems to intuitively know where I want it to go. It is lighter feeling than the classic to me, but not at all twitchy. Different people prefer a different feel in a bike though.
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