Buying my first Harley

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Knapper-UK, Jul 23, 2021.

  1. Knapper-UK

    Knapper-UK Been here awhile

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    I'm buying a Harley in September. A Sport Guide is looking favourite at the moment. I've ridden it against Street Bobs, a Fat Boy and a Breakout and IMO it's by a country mile Harley's most agile, versatile and all round useful bike. My only nagging doubt is that it only comes with the 107 engine.
    I quite like the Heritage Classic because it has the 114 but am I talking myself into a heavier and less sharp bike just for the sake of a few cubes that won't make much difference?

    I've been trying to find out on Harley forums what the crack is with tuning kits for 107 SG's but they haven't been much help. Those who've got a 114 model say no amount of tuning, even a stage 4 will turn a 107 into a 114 and a 114 is just better. They would say that.. The dealer said buy the stage 2 kit with the cams and a good exhaust for the 107 and you won't tell the difference. And they would say that as well.

    And I'm baffled (:-)) by the exhaust options.
    There aren't nearly as many aftermarket systems (or aftermarket anything) for Sport Glides and I can't work out which is best. I'm assuming a 2 into 1 offers the best performance, which I want, but I don't want stupid loud and I see that a lot of pipes for Harleys are painted mild steel which I can see turning orange in pretty short order in cold and damp UK.
    I'm thinking Vance and Hines pro pipe but it looks very loud.

    Any tips for a newbie?
    #1
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  2. Gordon Bennett

    Gordon Bennett I know

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  3. Knapper-UK

    Knapper-UK Been here awhile

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    Thanks. I'mm reading through that.
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  4. Philthy64

    Philthy64 Been here awhile

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    G'day Knapper

    I have placed an order for a Street Glide and I cant wait for it to arrive.

    The difference between a 114 and a 107 is a little over 100cc - would you really not buy it because of 100cc?

    Of course there are differences in the 107 and the 114 but for me it is not a deal breaker. I have ordered mine with a SE Big Sucker air cleaner, S&S Pro-Street 2:1 pipes (that follow the same lines as the original headers with hark back to the early shovel 2:1's), an SE Torque cam and a tuner. I reckon that will be every bit as much fun as a 114 and you get the SportGlide Chassis, suspension and features.

    Whatever you decide, I hope you enjoy it.
    Cheers
    Philthy
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  5. Cogswell

    Cogswell Road General

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    How about just buy the bike and put a few thousand miles on it to see how you like it.

    This buying a new bike and throwing thousands of extra dollars at it for whatever stage kit etc seems to be a bit of schoolyard peer pressure to me. Maybe I'm just cheap...

    Enjoy your new bike whatever you get !
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  6. Philthy64

    Philthy64 Been here awhile

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    G'day Cogswell,
    Not sure if you've spent time on Harleys and while i agree that it is a fair bit of cash to splash at a new bike, the results are worth the investment and a "doughy" motor comes to life. Each to their own.

    We both agree that we hope Knapper makes the right decision for him.
    Cheers

    Philthy
    #6
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  7. augerdin

    augerdin Continuously amazed.

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    Howdy, for what this is worth and it is just my limited experience, I much prefer the 107 motor. The 114 is a fun motor but not for long term. A couple years ago I rode a variety of models, some with 114 and some with the 107. The 107 motor just seemed more pleasant, less busy and didn't throw off as much heat. The difference in acceleration were not a deal breaker for me. The 107 motor seemed like a long term companion and the 114 was a fun rowdy noisy acquaintance that I would only spend the occasional pub night with and hope I made it home unscathed. If that makes sense, and that may be what you are looking for. Really, with either motor you can't go wrong, but if you want the 114 then nothing will makeup up for that. Keep us updated as enquiring minds and all that. Cheers!
    #7
  8. Cogswell

    Cogswell Road General

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    I've only got about 20K miles on HD, I spent most of my riding life on German opposed twins. I use my HD as a touring mount and it does what it was designed to do very well and has enough beans for me. If I was wanting something as a performance machine I would probably start with a different platform. :thumb
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  9. Philthy64

    Philthy64 Been here awhile

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    You're probably right - I have two TC88's as my most modern bikes and a stock 107 is probably more than I need, but the difference a cam and a tuner made to the TC's just got me hooked. Let's just say I goy a rush of blood :evil And OP's question was 107 vs 114 - I think my 107 will be every bit as lively as a stock 114 so I don't see the 107 vs 114 being a reason not to buy a 107.
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  10. Carl Childers

    Carl Childers Ghost in the Machine

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    The new motors aren't the anemic Evo's of years back, they're pretty good right out of the box. How much more power do you need before it becomes about dick wagging?
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  11. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    "No amount of tuning will make a 107 like a 114, even a stage 4;" are these guys for real? The 114 has, what, an 8hp and similar torque advantage over the 107? A stage 1 with thoughtful exhaust, intake and tuning choices on a 107 will already handily surpass a 114, and the Sport Glide will out-handle the Heritage stock-for-stock anyway, so just get the bike you like and ignore the penis waving morons in the corner.

    I have a friend with a '18 or '19 107 Street Glide special (before all the specials became 114s) and that bike is no slouch. He's done a stage one and had it dyno-tuned, etc. It's a very quick motorcycle, especially for something that weighs almost 800lb. Don't be afraid of the 107, it's a smoother running, cooler running engine and you'll love the performance.

    Get the bike you want!
    #11
  12. Philthy64

    Philthy64 Been here awhile

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    Thats a fair question. A stage 2 in the 88 Twin Cam definitely wasn't dick wagging. It made the motors do what they should do and generated around 80HP - hardly bragging rights but livened them up with that fat torque. My bike will have a Torque based pipe and a torque cam. I'll report back when i get it about whether it is "too much" power. I do like to have a bit of fun but I have never had a bike anywhere near 100HP.
    Cheers
    Philthy
    #12
  13. Vistavette

    Vistavette Been here awhile

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    Do NOT buy a bike, especially an expensive one, and think you're going to make into something it's not already. If you don't feel it will work and satisfy you as is, buy something else. Harley or otherwise. It's like dating someone and thinking you can change part of their personality. You can't. And even if you do, it'll never be exactly right.

    I road my 2009 Ultra Classic for 9 years and 90k miles and I threw a lot of money into it chaising more power with cams, power commander, Dyno tune...in the end it was better, but became a gas hog and was still not where I wanted it. I eventually decided that any bike I had I would ride the bike as it was, and if it wasn't doing something I felt it needed to, I'd simply buy a different bike that met my needs.

    Buy a bike that you feel meets your needs and if it doesn't (apart from comfort/fit, like seat), sell it, or add a bike that does fit your needs.
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  14. Philthy64

    Philthy64 Been here awhile

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    Or buy a bike that moves your soul and then spend some money to get it to move your soul more.

    Cheers

    Philthy
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  15. Lost in the world

    Lost in the world Long timer

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    In HD talk bigger is always better! You can always load the money gun and make that 107 a 128!
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  16. shupe

    shupe Long timer

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    107 vs 114?
    Whatever level of power/acceleration you have, you'll get used to and then it just is what it is.
    You'll either be Ok with it or always want more, whether it's a stock 107 or a stage 2 114.
    Same reason they make turbo kits for Hayabusas.
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  17. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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    I ride a 107 and all my harley friends struggle to keep up, especially in the twisties. That small HP difference can more than be made up for with skill. Except maybe in a drag race. I know, I’ve been passed by s Goldwing while riding a Ducati!
    #17
  18. Vistavette

    Vistavette Been here awhile

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    I agree...never had an issue in those situations.

    The only times my Harley really let me down were on the to/from runs...meaning when I'm trying to get to/from a great ride and I have no choice but to be hustling on I-40 or I-15 with 80 mph speeds in strong wind, up-hill, trying to get away from an 18-wheeler, my 96 TC just didn't have what it needed. Maybe the 107/114 bikes do, IDK.
    #18
  19. Trackjunkie21

    Trackjunkie21 Been here awhile

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    Buy the 107, then throw a cam in if you really want to wake it up. It'll easily make over 100hp.
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  20. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    I am an experienced engine builder with dyno access. And my '20 Road King is a Bone Stock 107. With 34K miles so far. Averages...oh 47 MPG and not once have I lamented the purchase of the 107. Top gear passes uphill without downshifting are no problem. Ride solo so no data on two up riding but I'm sure it's fine.

    However if you feel the need a Stage II w/torque cam will give you HP in mid-upper 90s and 120 lb-ft. If you can get over the look a Vance & Hines ProPipe 2:1 will give the best power spread. Use the quiet baffle as the competition baffle can cause tuning issues at low rpm small throttle openings. The OEM air cleaner is good for 100+ HP and filters better than any of the Screamin' Eagle items. Use the Harley Screamin' Eagle Pro Street tuner and have the kit installed at purchase and you'll maintain full factory warranty. Any perceived shortcomings of the tuner only matter if you sit at the bar and compare dyno charts. Be aware this will reduce fuel economy considerably if that's a concern.

    IMHO and experience the 114 is not worth the $2K+ premium you pay. If you must go go big go 119 C.I. and S.E. cam. And be prepared to pass everything except a gas station. These big engines have a serious appetite for fuel. Just remember there's only one way to make more power. And that is to burn more fuel and a big bore Harley will do that with enthusiasm.

    In closing I'd say the stock 107 is the best combination for power,longevity and economy. I've gotten 50MPG several times from my 107. And with costs approaching $4 a gallon it matters to me.
    #20
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