Any Harley <---> BMW Converts out there?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Iggster, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Iggster

    Iggster Tornanti über alles!

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    I am new to the adventure scene. I've been a member here for a long time but really don't have anything to post about. I have owned a HD Road King since 2004. I recently rented a F650GS in Europe and promply bought one when I returned to the states. I am a street rider - the only off-roading I do can be done on the Road King. I recently had a test ride on the 2012 1200GS and really enjoyed it. I am now considering selling the RK & 650GS for the 1200GS.

    So, I know there are some converts out there...from HD to BMW or from BMW to HD. Why did you switch? How do you feel about your choice...happy? Angry? Any regrets? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks!!
    #1
  2. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

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    I swapped a BMW for a Suzuki once. Does that count?

    I liked the Suzuki better, until the clutch went out.

    Maybe someday I will own a Harley, IDK. It seems the more I look at Harleys, the better I like Victory's. And the more I look at Victory's, the better I like Japanese cruisers. And the more I look at Jap cruisers, the better I like my FJR.
    #2
  3. Robert OK

    Robert OK Been here awhile

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    If you keep the RK and add the GS you won't have to convert. I like both and would feel pain having to get rid of either.

    That said, if I was forced to keep only one it would be the GS/GSA. I can drive further, in worse conditions and in more comfort. I also feel better parking it on the street with the aluminum side cases and crash bars as protection.
    #3
  4. ka5ysy

    ka5ysy Doug

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    Since you are mostly a street rider, might is suggest the F800GS. It is light weight, very good performance, and can be used off road much easier than the bigger 1200GS in true off-road conditions. If you really want a 1200, take a test ride on the R1200RT. It is a very versatile bike and a better choice for most road work because it has better weather protection, cruise control, and audio system if you want it. I absolutely love my 2011 RT. Best bike I have ever owned, and probably a lifetime keeper now. I could not justify the GS premium for the kind of riding I do, and much prefer the great weather protection. The RT is used as a daily driver around town much of the year.

    Find a BMW dealership and ask to ride their designated demonstrator bikes. You will quickly see the difference in the RK versus the RT/GS/GTL or F/G bikes. Be careful test riding the RT: It is very, very hard on your wallet.

    Come over to a couple of the BMW boards and ask your question:

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/

    http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/index.php?


    There are many Harley to BMW converts over there who are very happy with the transition. Generally the BMW's have much better handling, braking, ergos, performance, lean angles, ABS brakes (now standard all models), etc.

    The only thing you will find is that your Harley buddies will think you have lost your mind. Some will secretly tell you that the BMW's are much better bikes, but never in the presence of other HOG's.

    One other thing: you will discover that the BMW's are not as expensive as a lot of the big HD bikes. The current CVO prices top out around $38K for a loaded Ultra. You can buy a RT and a good dirt bike for that and have change.

    Good luck and let us know your decision.
    #4
  5. wmax351

    wmax351 Been here awhile

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    Actually, pretty much any bmw is cheaper than a Harley. (Except the sportster).

    Used, the price difference is even bigger. $5k gets you a pretty good range of used BMW's, doesn't even touch a used big twin, even back to the late shovelheads. Maybe a beater that needs work.
    #5
  6. DCLXVI

    DCLXVI Been here awhile

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    I've had both and must say that the BMW's are more refined and definitely perform better at most things. That being said they generally don't keep my interest because they bore me, working on oil heads isn't bad but K series can be a pain. I've gone back and forth a few times but now currently ride a Dyna.
    #6
  7. Juan Loboe

    Juan Loboe Been here awhile

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    Keep the Road King. Get an R1200 GS. If you don't keep the Hog, you might just end up wanting another. These are very different bikes. Owning one of each puts you in a very favorable position: able to appreciate their differences.

    I regretted selling my '06 Street Glide. I've got an Ultra Classic now, and a GSA (at least for the time being). Hope to keep both for a long time.
    #7
  8. andy57

    andy57 quiet one

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    I rode Harleys, sportsters, super glide wideglide,streetglide and switched to BMW started with a GS then GSA and now a R1200R, like other posters said go to a dealer and test ride different models get the one that brings the biggest smile to you and also fits where and how you ride. I still like Harleys but I probably will not own another I am having too much fun. :clap
    #8
  9. LookMaNoHands

    LookMaNoHands Reformed pirate...

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    We traded off an flht and an flstc on a pair of GSA's this summer and didn't look back. Comfort, acceleration, braking, handling and touring capabilities all blew away the bar and shield models. I do agree with a previous poster, I still love the look of the HD's but don't know that I'll ever own one again as an only bike. Maybe a road king one day when I've got the garage space to spare.
    #9
  10. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    rode a 73 Super Glide 1200 for years.. my main transportation, rain, shine, snow, etc.

    finally parked it .. mostly due to the no work rear disc brakes. first year of disc brakes for HD and they suck. at least the rear brakes sucks.. front was weak but worked every time.

    now airheads .. switching from BMW R80G/S and R90S... loving it!!!
    still got the old super glide, but have not ridden it in years...
    #10
  11. royal

    royal Don't Follow

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    I've previously owned an LT and an RT1200. Currently ride an Electra Glide. Most of the miles I put on my bike are from longer trips. I thought my BMW RT was a great tourer and a fun bike to ride. However, after the third time stranded by the side of the road, hundreds of miles from home and many miles from the nearest dealer, I said enough was enough.

    I've only had the Electra Glide since May, but I've already taken it on one big trip and numerous smaller ones. It is very different than anything I've owned previously (Mostly sport tourers), but it makes me smile every time I ride it. And you really can't beat their dealer network. Which is more important than you think if you ride long trips.

    I do like BMWs and I certainly wouldn't rule out owning one again. But, for now, I'm having a heck of a lot of fun on the big V twin.
    #11
  12. sargev55

    sargev55 Been here awhile

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    well, im not the normal harley owner,

    but i would looooooove an r60.

    have also considered the 650X country as a possible dual sport style fun bike.
    #12
  13. BCC

    BCC I know better

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    I sold a GSA a few weeks ago and got an electra ultra limited. I have less than 2000 miles on it so far. I certainly won't be doing fire roads and rougher on it. But you know, for the kinda road riding I'm doing mainly in NJ and Maryland, I really like it.

    I've upgraded the sound system, added a gps and I've done a stage 1 performance upgrade (with epa legal slip ons). I might upgrade the headlights and spotlights to led.

    I really like the bike and the whole dealer experience. Riding it, listening to tunes, makes me happy. It leans pretty good to. Though I'll use the Duc in the tight twisties.

    However....I've already cleaned it more than the GSA in 5 years of ownership.:lol3
    #13
  14. andy57

    andy57 quiet one

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    I see a familiar trend in this thread and I will again repeat it . Test ride until you find one the makes you smile, because isnt that why we all ride no matter which brand . To truly enjoy the time we spend on a motorcycle. :clap
    #14
  15. skysailor

    skysailor Rat Rider

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    You are a very confused individual. You should seek help for your problem. To a bike shop with you!
    Lyle
    #15
  16. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    #16
  17. subvet

    subvet Long timer

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    I was an HD to BMW convert. I rode HDs for years and wanted to try something else for awhile. I was riding a Soft tail model and switched to an R1100RT. I liked the technology and comfort BMW had to offer and I wanted a decent touring bike with more sportiness than the HD and to also free some of the cash I had tied up in the Soft tail. I enjoyed the ride while I had the RT but found it wasn't as versatile as the HD. Both had their pros and cons but I think if I ever get another bike again, it'll be a traditional swing-arm FLH series HD. IMO, it's the best all-around touring/cruising bike on the market (YMMV) and with the new frame changes and ABS, they are longer on the technology now and can stand up to comparable products from Europe and Japan.
    #17
  18. Iggster

    Iggster Tornanti über alles!

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    I bought a 1974 R90/6 a few years ago. That was my first BMW. I sold it a few months ago to buy a 2011 BMW F650GS. I see the R90 cruising around town here and there and I get a little teary-eyed. Great bikes!
    #18
  19. Iggster

    Iggster Tornanti über alles!

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    Well, I'm off to the dealer in a bit to ride the 1200GS & 1200RT. I think I'll ride the Road King down there to get some real comparison shopping done!
    #19
  20. Iggster

    Iggster Tornanti über alles!

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    Thanks for that thread link! So did you make the switch?
    #20