Harley Life Introduction

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Coastie3202, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. Coastie3202

    Coastie3202 King of MY Mountain

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,315
    Location:
    Cottage Grove, Oregon
    65 years old, started riding at 15, owned close to 50 motorcycles during that time, of almost every make and purpose. Did the sport bike thing, sport touring thing, did the cruiser thing on Jap cruisers, standards, dual sports, and all out dirt machines. But never owned a Harley. Why? Who knows, just no interest in black leather, dew rags, chains on my wallet, oil spots in the garage, and the fear that parts were going to vibrate off the bike, among other reasons associated to the Pirate lifestyle. Well at 64 I actually convinced myself to take the leap and buy a Harley Street Glide. Figured what the hell why not. No, I did not lay out the big bucks for a new HD. No $40k+ CVO, no huge debt to figure out whether I would like a Harley. Bought a very nice stock 2014 Street Glide with less than 7k miles on it, stored indoors, and maintained properly. Well after riding the HD this past summer I can say that I now get it. The big V-twin, sturdy built bagger is fun to ride at sedate speeds. Slowing down and enjoying the view is kinda nice. So of course I joined a forum of like minded(?) Harley riders. That's when the shit show began.

    I thought that members of the AdvRider Forum were a weird and eclectic group. Nope, you guys are alright. In the Harley forum I spend hours sometimes scrolling through posts reading how these "bikers" put huge wagon wheel front rims on (clown bike), air ride rear suspension, then bitch about how the bike handles like shit. I read whining posts about how the stereo systems on these boats sound like shit, and read descriptions of the thousands of dollars "bikers" put into their stereo systems, along with loud pipes, just so they can continue to bitch about how they can't hear their stereo over their pipes. Tons of stories about putting big cam kits into the bike followed by complaints of engine reliability. Circus lights that make the bike glow as it goes down the street, and on and on. Oh, and the search for the perfect whip to hang from the front brake level in case they get accosted while riding down the street with their loud pipes and blaring stereos.

    I have been reminded why I never went to a Harley in all these years, and realize that it had nothing to do with the bike at all. But..........I do love my Street Glide and will continue to own it. Mine has a stereo but I could care less. In fact I have never even turned it on and have no interest. The wife loves the Harley because she no longer has to try to climb onto the back of my KTM 1290 Super Adventure (5' tall with short legs that are getting old), and her ass is more comfortable on the HD than the bench on the KTM. In fact she says "don't change anything on the Harley, I love it just the way it is.." So, the KTM Super Adventure is mine, the Harley Street Glide is hers, and I am her chauffeur when she wants to go ride with me. That's fine with me. But don't call me a "biker", I am a rider, and could give a f*ck about the HD black leather, dew rag image. And if you want to listen to a stereo while riding take the truck.

    Okay, my rant/ramble is over. Carry on.
    65672550_10214292047686855_8779759454854840320_o.jpg thumbnail (6).jpg
    #1
  2. davidji

    davidji bike curious

    Joined:
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    Location:
    california
    I'll bet I'm not the only one who thought this would be about using a car tire.

    Nice looking bikes. I like that color for the Harley.

    Haven't spent much time there, but I have some cool memories of Cottage Grove.

    I thought people normally write "do-rag", since it's 'do from hairdo.
    #2
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  3. Coastie3202

    Coastie3202 King of MY Mountain

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Cottage Grove, Oregon
    I didn't even think about going with a car tire rear being called The Dark Side. I knew about it, just didn't think. I'll see if I can change that.
    I misspelled do-rag, solid proof that I am not a subscriber.
    Cottage Grove is a great place to live and an excellent launching point for epic rides.
    #3
  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
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    13,643
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    I have some friends who ride Harleys but don't fit the Harley "pirate" image. You are not alone out there.
    #4
  5. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2018
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    New York
    I know what you mean. I have rented so many electra glides over the years while on vacation and as you say they are comfy and chug along 2 up like little tractors. I take it that it is the same bike with a different fairing. Very nice bike. I am tempted to buy one myself, they seem built to last and for what you get the price is right. Also the built in nav system is great.

    I am sure the HD forums must be a douche fest. Although the Harley riders are usually friendly, I cannot ride with any group of them. At least around here a group HD ride is a 2 hour discussion of the accessory catalog followed by hours hanging around the dealership complaining about how everyone in town is a freak. We chug along at 20 mph on a straight road, and then someone usually falls over at a stop to complete the experience.

    I had to laugh this summer when one of them wanted to drag race my DL1000. From a red light. In the middle of town. I declined.
    #5
  6. Coastie3202

    Coastie3202 King of MY Mountain

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
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    Location:
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    There is a small group (5) of Harley riders in my neighborhood that I ride with and trust me they don't ride slow. They also aren't the kind of riders who shune other types of bikes. In fact I will occasionally show up for a ride on the KTM and they welcome me, and often use me as a scout to determine if a section of gravel road is passable by them. I also don't hang out at the dealerships. I've been invited to join the local HOG chapter but after attending one meeting as guest I declined the invitation. I don't own enough leather and patches to fit in. LOL.
    #6
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  7. Traxx

    Traxx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 14, 2016
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Ft Worth Texas
    You are not alone, and there are a lot more regular people on Harleys than the Pirate brigade on Harleys. Unfortunately the Pirate brigade is louder and get noticed more.
    #7
  8. Hamamelis

    Hamamelis Inmate

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    RVA, Beast Coast
    Another group of Harley riders that buck convention seem to be many of my friends under 40 - that lot really loves Sportsters and Dynas, generally relatively tastefully tweaked and meant to be as capable in the city as in the twisties! There's a reason one of my dream non-ADV bikes is a Sportster Roadster
    #8
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  9. kruzuki

    kruzuki Gear in the Machine

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I love my Super Glide. Like you, I've had every sort of bike over the years and I love the Harley for what it is as a motorcycle, period. It can hustle through the curves, cruise sedately down the boulevard or munch miles on the highway.

    I don't wear a stitch of HD branded gear when I ride. My Dainese gear fits me just fine and will protect me in a fall. When I'm off the bike, you'd never know I rode a Harley.
    #9
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  10. Coastie3202

    Coastie3202 King of MY Mountain

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    It's the bagger crowd that like to take capable rides and turn them into circus vehicles, then complain about the quality of Harleys. Hmmmm, they put extended bags on their Glide and long sharkfin pipes and now the "piece of shit Harley won't corner properly" without dragging shit. LOL. Why take a perfectly good bike and ruin every aspect just so you can look cool? Mystery to me. But that is why they are bikers and not riders. And the quickest way to lose me from a group ride is to have one douche who seems to think I want to listen to his loud f*ck'n stereo while I ride anywhere near him. I'll drop from the group and go listen to the music of my exhaust instead.
    #10
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  11. Coastie3202

    Coastie3202 King of MY Mountain

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    Aug 10, 2008
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    Location:
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    To be fair I feel the same way about boaters and campers who feel that everyone else wants to be entertained by their music.
    #11
  12. Emu1500

    Emu1500 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2016
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Toronto
    68 years old, been a lic. rider for 52 years ... Bought my first Harley 10 years ago this month ... traded her for my 14 Limited 5 years ago this month ... She had over 100,000 miles on her and my Limited is just 700 miles from turning 100,000 miles as well. Don't dress like a pirate ... never been or tried to be a weekend warrior wannabee ... just like bikes. Spent the last decade camping on month long bike trips ... One year left in May and returned home in Sept. ... the stereo comes in handy when stopped and the sun is ducking out of sight. ... As for attire ... I wear a do-rag, keeps the sweat and hair away from the helmet innards (helmet lasts longer if clean) ... Helmet sports an Indian logo sticker, a memento from attending the 2013 Sturgis launch ... All the Harley T-shirts have been given to me over the years as gifts (Christmas etc.) long before owning one. ... Basically, just do my own thing ... let others do their's ... After all, isn't that what motorcycles is all about? ... Doing your own thing ... your way. Enjoy your Street Glide ... May your Harley experience be as great and trouble free as mine has and continues to be. Enjoy.
    #12
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  13. Patek

    Patek Long timer

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    Feb 17, 2015
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    1,000
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Don't go into the "off topic" section of the HD forums if you don't like the main portion. I went in there and there was straight up hate speech, talk of linching our president at the time etc. I forgot which forum this was on but it was the one with the all orange background. No moderators stepping in and any time anyone said anything to the contrary, they were called all sorts of names that I can't repeat here.

    Main reason why I sold mine after four months of ownership. I have lot of friends who are Harley riders so I know not everyone is like that but there were enough so that I did not want to be associated with the brand.

    Maybe I just need to find a better forum.
    #13
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  14. Traxx

    Traxx Been here awhile

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    Ft Worth Texas
    A better forum and just remember it’s a forum. I hate that you had a bad experience on a harley forum, but the majority of folks that I have meet in person are not like that. Same with some of the ADV guys here, some are a bit over the top but most that I have met in person are very down to Earth.
    #14
  15. Patek

    Patek Long timer

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    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Agreed. Some of my best friends are Harley riders so I know that is not the entire universe of riders. That site just rubbed me the wrong way. I'm sure I'll own a Harley again one day at the speed I go through machines.
    #15
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  16. Malamute

    Malamute Low speed adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2018
    Oddometer:
    483
    Location:
    Northern Rockies
    I love the machines, working on them, tinkering, building bikes, but not too into whatever the "lifestyle" seems to embrace. Ive gotten along OK with most other riders, but didnt care to ride with people that were more into drinking and going bar to bar. I met a handful of riders in Flag years ago that just liked to ride, and we did. Often finding good places to camp and hang for a weekend, or up to the North Rim of the grand Canyon or some such.

    We would often meet up and ride to Baskin Robbins for ice cream. I decided to form a club, our patch would be two double dip cones crossed in the middle, and "I" at the top and "screamers" at the bottom. Never did, but had a number or charter member volunteers. When seeing some of the sort that took themselves too seriously, id say "webees". Everyone knew what I meant. We be bad.

    Some of the forums Ive seen specific to H-Ds were bogged down in what handlebars and such stuff. Theres a few pretty good forums with arcane old knowledge on early bikes, some sharp guys. I really like the old stuff, knuckles in particular. They dont seem to ride as much as many guys here though. Theres plenty of richard heads on any forum, but theres tons of interesting stuff here, so I can ignore a lot of the fluff. :)
    #16
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  17. bigdog99

    bigdog99 Weaned and neutered

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    523
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA
    Have you ever read CSM on this forum? Talk about a circle-jerk. And name-calling is all they've got. Yeah, base your motorcycle choice on the forum members...
    #17
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  18. Malamute

    Malamute Low speed adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2018
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    483
    Location:
    Northern Rockies
    I think I may have inadvertantly made good choices, I look at new posts, perfect line, road warriors, oldies, hacks, and trip reports. Thats about enough to keep up with and satisfy my interests. Im pretty oblivious to anything else happening here.
    #18
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  19. Karlfitt

    Karlfitt Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,204
    Location:
    Colorado
    It's sometimes fun to bash Harleys. I do it sometimes.

    But,
    When I am out on the road I see more Harleys than any other bike. I've talked to many a Harley rider at Gas stations and side of the road stops. Overall nice people.

    I've rented an Harley a few times.
    The fit and finish on the bikes is excellent. But they don't fit me. For whatever reason I just don't like the cruiser riding position.
    I also rented a Victory for three days once. Fit and finish is not even close to the Harley, but if I were to get a cruiser I would look at Indian first (Victory left overs) because everything else about the bike was better. Better engine. Better Brakes. Better suspension.

    But I do see the appeal of a Harley, if they fit you.

    Ride it, enjoy it, and maybe even wave at me when I wave at you when we pass.
    #19
  20. NitroRoo

    NitroRoo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    401
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Yeah.. you aren't alone. I'm only 38 and bought an Ultra Classic (2005) nearly 2 years ago. My friends think I'm crazy, that it's an old man bike - I don't really care. I'm a motorcyclist. My grandfather restored and rode old Harleys and Indians when I was a kid, my first ride on any bike was on the back of his Ultra. I love my HD, and ride it to work almost every single day. It's super comfortable, one of the most solid bikes I've ever ridden. I have ridden many, many other bikes. I love my dirt bikes, sport bikes, and adventure bikes for what they do - but for an all around motorcycle, I love the Harley.

    And yeah, there are other cool motorcyclist types also on HD's... We know how to have fun no matter what bike we're on:

    hd3.jpg
    #20
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