More Harley myths shot down...

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by alii1959, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    After nearly 3K on my '04 RK I can say that nearly all that I had ever heard about Harley's is crap!

    I just returned from a trip to Tennessee (970+ miles) and have learned even more about my "new" ride.

    First, it seems to get more comfortable the longer I ride it. Most bikes are good at first and it gets uglier, for me at least, from there. I was more comfortable at the end of my 400+ mile day on the RK than I was when it started. I really didn't want to get off of it...but, I was at my daughter's front door and she would really have frowned on my riding it up the stairs.

    Second, I noticed as I rode through some really tight sections of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, that this big girl loves the technical part. I mostly used engine braking to set up corners and she just flew through them....at speeds the sportbike guys would've said were impossible. Yes, the floorboards are a bit sharper now, but hey isn't that what they are for??? I absolutely loved the predictability and stability that the RK has. I realize that a GSXR, CBRR, or FZR would've been faster, but I was quick enough and I was able to carry all of my crap and be comfortable too.

    I got stuck behind a delivery truck for a few miles along with a bunch of other people...when the truck pulled off the fun began. Had a sporty car behind me....for a while. Though I'd have to pull over and let him pass, until I looked in the mirror and he was disappearing behind me. I wasn't trying to press, I think I could have gone faster, yet I left him for dead. With a bit of shifter work and engine braking and conservative braking I was zipping along quite nicely. Still can't hardly believe the actual lean angle this big girl can achieve, if you don't mind scraping/folding the floorboards a bit.

    Third, Harley's can surely handle the heat. Yesterday (6/29) was brutal. 110+ in places. Yet, even stuck in traffic the motor never acted "funny". It started right up after each stop....most for liquids for me. And it idled just fine for minutes on end without a hiccup. (On Thursday I rode through Shelbyville, Tn and got stuck in a construction site in Unionville, Tn. I was idling in the obsessive heat for over 20 minutes and it never seemed to have a problem.) Yes, I could feel the heat from the engine, but I have never had a bike that I would call cool in traffic. The heat from the Harley was no worse than the heat from my '01 Triumph Sprint.

    Overall: great trip, outstanding bike.

    I will be posting a ride report soon as I figure out which pictures to use...I am a terrible photog which complicates the process.
    #1
  2. scrannel

    scrannel Scrannel

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    Glad you like your bike. The sports car fell behind because he wasn't racing to begin with. You don't have enough rubber on the ground to beat a good driver (even an OK one) with a sports car in the curves...unless it's a Spitfire or something.
    #2
  3. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    Not disagreeing at all. I was just surprised he disappeared so quickly. I never have thought that I was "Speed racer" or something, just an interesting twist.

    I am constantly surprised at how capable this bike is. I thought that I'd be giving up a lot from the types of bikes I had before. I was wrong.

    And, this is the only bike I have ever had that I never seem to want to get off of. The others were fun, but not like this.

    I just hope that everyone finds a bike that does this for them...Harley or not.

    I still find it remarkable that in the isolated parts of my ride I found very few bikes. The ones that I did see were typical....Harleys and a BMW or two. There was one exception a triumvirate of KLRs that I saw on a lonely backroad in Tennessee.
    #3
  4. dc1450

    dc1450 Adventurer

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    Yeah, been doing it for years, love the Harleys, love all motorcycles but I keep gravitating back to the HDs.
    #4
  5. Tuna Helper

    Tuna Helper Rawrr!

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    Last summer I laid down 4000to miles in a week on a borrowed Ultra Classic. The guys I was with and I were doing 500what mile days. Other than wishing I had a backrest it was very comfortable and did not wear me out like a 500friend mile day on my Buell would have. Yes I would buy one if I found one in my price range.
    #5
  6. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    That's fantastic. Honesty? I'm afraid to ride one. I'm afraid because I know I'd probably like it and I can't afford one.

    On the other hand, my friend rode a 2004 Honda Shadow yesterday and said it handled so badly he felt nervous riding it around town. Apparently he couldn't even lean the thing to go around a normal street bend without scraping. He also said it felt awkward, heavy and HOT.

    Not all cruisers are created equally....
    #6
  7. Dave in Wi

    Dave in Wi Long timer

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    Every time I ride a Road King I come away thinking what a nice bike it is. It's really surprising how well it handles considering it's size. It has that "fun to ride" quality that is really hard to describe. I will own one someday.
    #7
  8. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    Turn off predictive text and you won't have those idiotic android inserted words showing up after numbers when you text or post from your phone.
    #8
  9. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    I agree most cruisers, even Harleys, don't corner well to me. But, the touring bikes are a whole different breed. I can't believe how different the families are in the Harley line-up. And, I think the Road King splits the difference quite well. I can be ridden as a cruiser, but put the bags back on with a luggage rack....mile muncher!!

    For me, the RK has fulfilled the promise motorcycling made to me in the early 1980s. Just wish I had ridden one sooner.

    The price is high for a new one, but mine was used...and with a bit of wallet screaming I was able to afford one.

    I hope everyone finds a ride, that is for them, like this one is becoming for me.
    #9
  10. goinssr

    goinssr Crazy S.O.B.

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    Owned a '95 Road King and an'07 Road King Classic and loved them both. The only reason I don't have the '07 anymore is that the wife was never comfortable on it. So it was sold and a Gold Wing bought!
    #10
  11. Tom Herold

    Tom Herold Ugh...

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    Agreed - I've owned quite a few different bikes and know how loyal people are towards certain brands, but I keep gravitating back to Harley too.

    I refuse to be called a biker, because I'm not - I'm a rider, but to each his own. My current steed is an Electra Glide Ultra and I'm really impressed with how HD's improved the line up while still retaining it's connection to it's roots.

    There will always be haters no matter the brand. For me, it's about the riding my own ride and not being concerned with other's opinions - the only one that matters is mine as I'm riding the machine. I've ridden some crappy iron, and some really good stuff I wish I still hadn't sold off. I've always appreciated the full dress touring bikes, but the Electra Glide I'm on now really impresses me. The test ride sealed the deal for me - I spent a couple of weekends test riding just about everything called a touring bike before I tried the Harley. I knew it was the one I was looking for after the first couple of miles, no doubt.

    For a 900lb bike, it has a smooth grace and predictable manners. It's certainly not a sport bike and not intended to be, it's a full-dress touring machine. The injected 103 with a 6 speed trans moves the beast with ease and the power band is matched well to the weight, and I still average 40-45mpg with an average fuel range of 230 miles between fill ups. Compared to my FJR1300 that averaged 38-42mpg and an average range 250miles, I haven't really lost much in that area.

    It's good to hear you're happy with the RK, they're really great machines! I hope you get lots of enjoyment out of it and roll up tons of safe miles! :clap
    #11
  12. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    good
    #12
  13. Robert OK

    Robert OK Been here awhile

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    Yeah to all that, and of all the baggers it's the easiest on the eyes.
    #13
  14. MiltonHog

    MiltonHog Been here awhile

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    I am glad you are enjoying the Road King, I think if more people tried actually riding a Harley touring bike as intended they would be surprized at how good they can be if ridden as intended not road raced but riding the briskly they can inspire confidence that comes pretty easily.

    I would suggest that when tires are needed replace the stock ones with either Dunlop Elite 3s or Metzler ME 880s . They make a signifigant improvement and dont cost much more than stock. I got almost 20,000 miles on mine and enjoyed better rain performance as well ,

    Good luck to you as you learn to enjoy the bike, The big improvements made in the 09 and later frames with Brembo brakes is huge. I am really enjoying the improvements on my 2011 Road Glide Ultra,
    #14
  15. 0ldhippie

    0ldhippie Been here awhile

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    As much as I don't like the motor company, I have tried to go without a harley a few times. It just doesn't work???? As good as other bikes are, harleys just make me feel like I'm riding a motorcycle. I won't buy new from a dealer though.
    #15
  16. fallingoff

    fallingoff Banned

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    a fast/good/experienced rider is fast/good on any bike.

    some of the fastest riders i've seen have been on hd's

    but some of the worst/slow/road blocks etc. i've seen on hd's

    same as other makes

    its the rider, not the bike

    imho
    2c
    no offence meant
    #16
  17. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    I personally don't care for the look of most cruisers (and I lump in any HD as a cruiser, so I guess that isn't entirely accurate), but I could see myself one day owning one, just to have. I don't think I'd have one as my only option though.

    This being said, I'd probably never own a Harley just because of all the hype that surrounds them and the typical pirate parade that is so vocal about their Harleys that rarely leave their garage. I just wouldn't want to be associated with it all. This isn't a reflection of the bikes themselves, but the mass of morons that have, IMO, soiled the name.

    Glad to hear that you're happy with your ride (and you actually ride your Harley... farther than the nearest bar that is), that's all that's important.

    When I went to Deals Gap I was behind two guys in Harleys on my first ride up. They pulled over fairly quickly to let me past them, since I was on a sportbike in a one piece leather suit, and they must have assumed they were slowing me down. That was very nice of them. However, truth me known, they were ripping through those corners faster than I thought a couple of Harleys could. I was more than happy to follow behind them. Just goes to show that rider skill means a lot more than the bike they're on (within reason, of course).
    #17
  18. EetsOK

    EetsOK Been here awhile

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    Yesterday I followed two people on HD's. The seemed to anxious and wanting to get out in front of traffic but then I realised they were just making noise and riding like asshats. Traffic opened up and they sat there, behind a pick up, revving their engines, tailgating and behaving like giant douche-bags. I tookt he opening but they stayed back, giving me the "cool guy" look and kept on making noise.
    #18
  19. ViperJustin

    ViperJustin Retired HH60G Gunner

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    Well said. And I will never own a hd because of the same reasons. There's way too many "sons of anarchy"/"devils ride" wannabes around here.
    #19
  20. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I am sold on Harley's, and would buy a new Electra Glide Classic in a heartbeat if I could afford it. Back in the '70s Harleys were crap, but the new ones are as good as anything out there. I live in the Phoenix, AZ area, and ride in 110 degree plus temps all the time. I see a lot of Harleys out there being ridden in it without problems.

    As for the Harley "image" I'm not into that, but it would not stop me from buying a Harley. I would wear the same gear I wear on my '95 Goldwing. The 'Wing is great, but too quiet and smooth for me. I love the sound and feel of a Harley. GW also has to much plastic and too many gadgets.
    #20