Buying my first Harley

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

  1. BC360

    BC360 Adventurer

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    107 vs 114.
    The 114 is maybe 10% better.
    My 114 street bob topped out at 115mph.
    Im sure the 107 isn't much different.

    If you are going to do anything past a stage 2 in the motor, buy a new compensator.
    My stock 114 at 2300 miles grenaded its compensator.
    Warranty covered it... But don't risk it if you're going to throw power at these m8 bikes.
    A torque cam, pipe, intake, GOOD tune. You're ready to rock.
    #21
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  2. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    I always recommend customers ride the bike for a few months before deciding to change anything unless they feel they have to. Other than seat 'cause they suck. Mine didn't stay on it a week.

    BTW the new compensator is just like the old compensator. Unless you buy after market like the Dark Horse or Baker.
    #22
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  3. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Hey....the top speed is limited by the ECM.
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  4. Knapper-UK

    Knapper-UK Been here awhile

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    TBH I uncork pretty much every bike I buy anyway. In fact the only one in recent years I haven't touched (performance wise at least) has been the KTM 1190 but that is in line for a Vandemon decat exhaust system, a DNA airbox and a custom map.
    I tend to do induction mods the way most people change screens and grips, not least to get rid of poor fueling caused by European emissions regs, which plagues every new bike this side if the pond.
    The Harley Stage 2 is pretty much what I would do with any bike. I would be buying a better exhaust system anyway and upgrading the air cleaner so the cams are really the only step above and beyond what I'd normally do.

    The thing about getting the upgrade straight away is it's a bargaining lever at the dealers. I'm a cash buyer and when you slap you wad of paper on the counter, that's the time to negotiate a few extras. They won't give you a deal if you come back six months later. And at least, because it's a Harley, if it all goes horribly wrong I doubt I'll lose much money if I did sell it on. But I don't think I will.
    #24
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  5. wannabe1

    wannabe1 Been here awhile

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    Just buy the 107. I speak coming off riding a 95 cubic inch electra glide standard (slightly modded) for the last 10 years. I never felt a lack of power or torque. It would throw you back on the seat and go as fast as I wanted or needed to go. I'm sure the 107 will be great.
    #25
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  6. BC360

    BC360 Adventurer

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    115 is fast enough!
    Also kinda weird how these bikes don't bounce off the rev limiter. It's like it just stops there and holds.
    Very smooth motor, transmission is great IMO.

    Yeah, after warranty Im going darkhorse compensator.
    #26
  7. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    It uses the fly by wire throttle plate mechanism. Gently closes the plate until the desired result is found.

    Yeah I think I am too. Baker makes a nice one but it's not rebuildable like the DarkHorse.
    #27
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  8. advmgm

    advmgm Long timer

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    Advice for you?
    Buy something else.
    #28
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  9. Knapper-UK

    Knapper-UK Been here awhile

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    Such as?
    I'm buying a Harley - well a cruiser anyway - because I want a relaxed comfy tourer and all-rounder that will allow me to enjoy the place I'm riding through rather than just attacking the tarmac all the time.

    Cannot bear the look of any of the Indians. I've tried an X-Diavel and I was just left feeling that engine should be in a proper Ducati. The old Triumph Rocket 3s do nothing for me at all and the latest 2.5L model is out of my price range.
    The only other contenders were a Triumph Thunderbird 1700 Storm or a Guzzi 1400 Custom. Both are getting thin on the ground now in the UK. The Triumph will blow any stock Harley into the weeds but it's an obsolete model for which Triumph's spares support is diminishing. Harleys at least are designed to be keepers.


    I watched a UK Youtube vid made by a Scottish guy (forget his name) who said quite simply that riding his Harley (it was a Sport Glide as it happened) just put him in a good frame of mind. He couldn't quantify it more precisely than that. I get that. It makes no sense on paper. But you don't ride bikes on paper..
    #29
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  10. Vistavette

    Vistavette Been here awhile

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    I agree. I miss my Ultra Classic often and love riding my Dyna Super Glide Custom. My BMW is a "better" long distance traveler, but nothing matches the way my Harley's make me feel
    #30
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  11. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Some do. Have to 'cause they cannot speak from experience. Enjoy the Sport Glide.
    #31
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  12. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Only way I'm sure of is replace the ECM with a ThunderMax. I've heard the PowerVision will do that however don't know for sure.
    #32
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  13. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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    Wow, guess I don’t know what I’m missing. Ignorance is bliss.
    #33
  14. Bikejockey

    Bikejockey Adventurer

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    knapper
    My last HD was a 15 road glide special with the 103. I wasnt happy with the performance so I did intake and exhaust better but not enough.
    So I did cnc ported heads , cams and injectors TTS tuner. Some $4k later it was pretty good dynoed at just about 100 hp and I think 113 ftlbs.
    The down side was now if I got 30mi/gal I was doing good. Its all a trade off anything you do effects something else. It was much more fun to ride though.
    Now I'm riding a GS I like them all. Only GOD knows what I'll be on next.
    #34
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  15. Manifold

    Manifold Long timer

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    Hope the OP doesn't mind me posting here but seems like a few knowledgeable owners here.

    Been offered a RK Custom TC, think it's a 2006. Neighbour who doesn't ride these days, around 20k miles. It's pretty mint, great condition. He's not done anything with the plastic cam tensioners though.

    Apart from checking the tensioners and changing the stock bars (terrible wrist angle, don't know how he did 20 miles nevermind 20k), any other issues with the RKC this age?
    #35
  16. Knapper-UK

    Knapper-UK Been here awhile

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    "Making the motor do what it should do" hits the nail on the head. I've got a KTM 1290 Superduke, which I bought new completely stock. After 2000 miles I had the Akra Evo full system fitted (which is £2000). And I plan to fit a DNA stgae 3 airbox, Rottweiler intakes and a custom map. It isn't a case of wanting more power particularly, it already had over 170 bhp at the crank, more better power from a better power delivery. I particularly want to re-trim the progressive ride-by-wire throttle ramp which forces you to twist the throttle further than is instinctive to unlock the power, and that's annoying. I want a throttle that feels like it's connected by a cable directly to the back tyre.
    The nicer sound from the pipe is just a bonus. The main improvement is a much fatter bottom end and a better (if still imperfect) throttle connection. KTM claim a 12 bhp boost from fitting the Akra system. I very much doubt it delivers that, but it FEELS like it does because of the way it plumps out the torque curve, and that's what matters. It feel like the bike KTM meant it to be before that had to strangle it with emissions compliance.
    (Though that is a racket as well, because European automotive giants lobby the EU Commission intensely to get precisely these regulation put in place. I'm sure they're just deeply concerned about the environment (yeah right) but the spin-off, coincidentally of course, is the creation an accessories money tree and the suppression of aftermarket competition. But that is a whole other thread).

    It would be with the same aim with the Harley of "finishing off" the bike, rather than trying to make it something it isn't. It should be spot-on straight out of the crate of course, for the money they cost, but we all know big business and big government doesn't work like that.
    #36
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  17. Knapper-UK

    Knapper-UK Been here awhile

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    Thanks ANG. That's exactly the stuff I need to know. The pipe was a concern. The choice is bewildering. I was assuming a 2 into 1 was the way to go for best power and torque and I think I'd trust V&H to get it right. Few makers have had more practice with Harleys.
    When you say the quiet baffles, I take it they're louder than stock? As I said above, how the bike feels is far more important that just adding noise for the sake of it. But even so, a Harley without a bit of rumble doesn't feel complete and the stock Sport Glide is a sewing machine. But I don't want to burst my own eardrums or annoy the neighbours. And if you've got a stupid-loud Harley, other bikers think you're a cock - with some justification..
    I've noticed a few SG owners have gone for the Tabs slip-on because you get a choice of three baffles. But for me it still looks to long and heavy and I want to dial down the chrome. I'll probably swap the stock primary cover and a few other bits for black chrome items. Just think it looks better. Probably comes from living in the damp UK: chrome generally turns orange over here.
    #37
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  18. Knapper-UK

    Knapper-UK Been here awhile

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    I accept that I'll lose a bit of fuel economy but I can live with that. And I'm used to it. I have a Ducati 1098 Streetfighter which I had blue-printed and tuned. Gave it almost a 25bhp and 20 ft/lb boost but did up the thirst somewhat. I'd usually get about 30 miles on reserve from the fuel light. I was at a bike meet one day and the fuel light came on. There was a fuel station almost right next door to the meet but it didn't sell 97 octane fuel which the bike ran better on, so I pushed on to get back to town and some better fuel. It was about 20 miles and I would have made it comfortably before the tuning work. This time I ran out after ten miles... Lesson learned.
    #38
  19. Trackjunkie21

    Trackjunkie21 Been here awhile

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    Dynojet PowerVision.
    #39
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  20. BUZZARD II

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer Supporter

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    I've had Harleys since '79. That was a 74 cube Shovelhead Superglide Lowrider. Then a couple of Electra Glides. The guys that chase cubic inches are what keeps them in business. But the truth is all those stage kits do is help you go in a loud straight line just a little bit faster. It does nothing to help the bike handle. To me going around turns is a pretty significant reason to ride.

    Now don't get me wrong riding a Harley is very cool. They have the best paint, chrome, sound and jiffy stand in the business. Buy one and ride it for how good it makes you feel. But chasing bigger engines doesn't help the ride. You would be much faster with some serious suspension work.

    In 2009 they upgraded the frame somewhat to remove the "hinge" that caused the death wobble. He newer models are better, but nowhere near the 21st. century. Buy the bike because you like the style, color or sound. Chasing speed is useless. They don't turn. A 20 year old Goldwing will blow you away on a straight interstate or Deals Gap. That's fact.
    #40