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I stopped by the Harley Davidson shop.

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by tessalino, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. zuma

    zuma Been here awhile

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    In the USA you can't get a test ride on an Indian or Victory? I don't know about Indian, but in Australia you can have a Victory for the weekend to see if you like it. Last time I was in a Victory/Indian dealership I showed passing interest in the Judge, straight up the salesman told me I could have one for a weekend if I wished.
    #61
  2. BadKarma

    BadKarma Long timer Super Supporter

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    Live dangerously...
    #62
  3. ninja97

    ninja97 Been here awhile

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    The only reason Harley dealers always have people in there is they are all buying shiny things. I owned a Harley back in the early nineties and it did not leak oil and started every time, can't even remember what it was but it was not for me. Straight line was ok but show it a corner and it wanted to go straight or scrape every thing into the road, so after one month it had to go, then bought a 1200 sportster and that was ok, filling the tank every 80 miles was a joke but it did go round corners in its own way. And to think I traded my 73 Bonniville on a Harley was a huge mistake but we live and learn. Each to there own I guess but riding a bike is all about how it makes you feel. Lucky I am not old enough at 54 to buy a cruiser so I will stick with my DR 650 and my 15 year old ZX600 Ninja. 2 bikes for the price of one Harley and close to the same weight, bargain .
    #63
  4. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Wonder what you'd had there as a first bike. For every Dyna, Touring and VRod has a better lean angle than a 1200 Sportster. Only a few of the softails are a limited or worse.
    #64
  5. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    Why in the world would someone buy an 800+ pound, long wheelbase, large rake and trail Touring bike, and then complain about cornering ability, and lean angle??? Touring bikes are for... well... touring! As in long distance, comfortable, smooth riding, stability on the open highway, luggage carrying ability.

    I don't think anyone buys a HD Touring bike to utilize as a performance, knee-down means of motorcycling. That is why the sportbike platform was introduced. They are lighter, shorter wheelbase, and small rake and trail.

    This is like comparing a Cadillac Limo to a Lotus. Makes zero sense.

    Bob
    #65
  6. sdmichael

    sdmichael Long timer

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    Perhaps not "knee down" but a lot of roads that you would take while touring will be twisty enough to warrant better clearance. why artificially limit your route with a bije that scrapes often?
    #66
  7. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    For the record:

    I've toured extensively around the USA, including Deals Gap, Smokey Mountains, Ozarks, the Dakota's/Black Hills, Blue Ridge Parkway, the Rockies, etc. on a HD Road King. If any, there is sometimes a little "scraping" on the footboards, but they are sprung and pivoted for that reason. When you are riding two-up with a full load of luggage for the long haul, you probably should be focused on touring, getting safely to your destination, and enjoying the journey, etc.

    If one wants to knee-down, and challenge the twisties, a Sportbike would be the obvious better choice.

    Dilemna is: A 3000 mile journey two-up on a sportbike? Where to pack the required luggage? Rear end (Butt) comfort on a tiny, thin passenger seat? Hours on end on the open highway without a windshield? Fuel stops every 100 miles?

    Sure, it's up to the individual as far as what comfort level he wants to have, and how refreshed or exhausted he aims to be at the end. There ARE some folks that go cross country on Honda Dreams!!! I see masochists!:D

    It's a personal choice, without any real rights or wrongs. That said, neither is "wrong" as a result of that personal choice.

    Lastly, is a bikes "Lean" angle the deciding factor? Or is the individual riders experience and ability, corner approach, and correct body positioning through a corner that makes for a well done turn?

    The riders experience and ability far overshadows the bikes "potential" ability. Buying a performance sportbike does not instantly make the rider a well rounded racer. Years of practice, training, and experience do. Note that the highest accident and fatality rate is unfortunately from riders on sportbikes. And... young riders (18-26 years old) at that, somewhat adding weight to my last point.

    We are all individuals, with differing reasons to ride bikes, different taste in motorcycle choice, and different styles of riding as a result. There is - or shouldn't be - any wrong or right way to do any of that. To suggest so is lame, and not worth the argument/discussion.

    I thought we were talking about dealerships!:lol3

    Bob
    #67
  8. ctfz1

    ctfz1 been there

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    Any motorcycle discussion tends to range a bit. Bikes have to fit rider, rider to bikes. Just saying. Still.
    Though I have not ridden a Gold Wing since the 90's, they certainly then leaned well, even fully loaded. BMW too. They do it, it seems a shame when H does not.
    Harley, though officially narrow engined, trades on low saddle height as a big feature. And yes, many models, especially the most popular ones, seem unconcerned with corners or shock travel.
    Can not say many H riders care or complain. The way most are ridden, makes little difference under normal ride conditions.
    #68
  9. BadKarma

    BadKarma Long timer Super Supporter

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    You can still navigate those roads, not at the speeds you can on a sport bike but it's not as if you can't still ride briskly on the "twisty bits"...

    My Road King seldom touches down and I'm riding that bike very briskly.. If I feel the need for more speed than it can safely handle I have an FXR, more than that a Buell Ulysses. I'm also looking into a Multistrada, because, well because.. Make no mistake though, any HD currently produced can exceed the speed limit on any road in my state. That hardly seems like a limitation.:ear
    #69
  10. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    Fuel stops 170 miles... Trailer for the camping gear... Oh, and an enthusiastic pillion rider! :evil

    [​IMG]
    #70
  11. RxZ

    RxZ Legal Drug Dealer

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    Harley :deal

    I do not have the numbers in front of me, but I am pretty sure that Harley outsold all other brands of motorcycles COMBINED the past few years in the US.

    I wouldn't mind a Sportster myself :evil
    #71
  12. ninja97

    ninja97 Been here awhile

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    I guess here but not certain only ever been to Los Angeles but roads in the states are a whole lot better than the roads down under. It is not all about getting the knee down but it is about enjoying the ride so when you have it in the back of your mind that if you go around a corner and hit a bump or pot hole and the bike grounds out it is just unnerving. ADV bikes are popular here along with BMW,s with good suspension. Just a matter of horses for courses I guess, most guys here are more your wanna be bikers that buy Harley's, suits with money, because they no cheap here, polish it all week and hope the sun shines on the week end types. I am not wealthy so I have to be practical when selecting a bike, go anywhere do anything type of thing, and my DR suits my needs, Harley to me is more of a luxury than practical. After all you can tour on anything, Honda CT 110 from Australia to London.
    #72
  13. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    This argument of higher Harley sales numbers always comes up.

    It is also undeniably true that the intelligence of the average person is just average. And half of the people dumber than that. :D

    Sorry, that was a cheap shot. But it does sort of illustrate the cartoonishly simplistic nature of these arguments.

    And apparently they come up frequently. I just got warned about it in another thread. So let's take a different tack. Harley fans, please tell us SPECIFICALLY what it is about your Harley that you like.

    I'm guessing the responses will center around style, workmanship, sound, mechanical presence, brotherhood, culture, lifestyle, etc, etc. That's because Harley is an icon far more than it is a motorcycle. When someone disses Harleys (the motorcycles) it is taken as an insult against the whole culture. The faithful circle the wagons and warfare ensues.

    Worship whatever you like. But I submit no one can make a convincing argument that speaking in terms of function, Harley motorcycles (not the culture, the motorcycles themselves) generally range from wretched to mediocre to OK-but-very-limited. Any time there are numbers involved, Harleys lose. Weight, braking, lean angle, 1/4 mile times, roll-on times, lap times, you get the idea.

    For example, We just had Harley boosters defending big footboard-scrapers as if a touring rig isn't supposed to be a sportbike. It's a good thing BMW and Yamaha and Triumph, and well, just about every other manufacturer didn't know that, otherwise we wouldn't have the wonderfully well-rounded tourers and sport-tourers they all make. Everyone else makes a tourer that, in the right hands, will give the squids a big surprise in the canyons. That also means it can help save your bacon when you encounter the kamikaze du jour.

    If you like Harleys, that's fine. We're all different and like different things. It's OK. Just admit that it's the culture, the vibe, the look, even the fart pipes you like. If you catch yourself appreciating the function of your Harley as compared to some other bike, BE SPECIFIC and see if it withstands the test of reality.

    There are plenty of us outside the world of Harleys who would like to know exactly what it is you like about the motorcycles. Only. Not any of that other stuff. If your response is any form of, "You either get it or you don't," I'm sorry to inform you we will be unimpressed. Yes, character counts. But what are you willing to give up for it?

    Please tell us what you adore about the motorcycles. No one likes the warfare.
    #73
  14. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

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    Not even close. Harley sold around 75K last year. Total sales Here:

    [​IMG]

    So that is more like 16% of sales, a far far cry from 51%
    #74
  15. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com Zut alors!

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    I think that Harley is also a part of our country's history and its enjoyable to keep our motorcycling history alive. I restored my DuoGlide and its never let me down in 25 years. I feel that I have received a type of pleasure and satisfaction from my DuoGlide that could never equaled by my Super Tenere. There is a direct correlation between taking care of an old bike and it taking care of you in return.
    [​IMG]

    My Super Tenere is a nice motorcycle but, really nothing more special than a new car, it takes me where I want to go in a fast and comfortable manner, without any worries. Do I need the Super Tenere? No. But it is nice to have.
    The really important motorcycles in one's life are the ones you feel you can't live without. I could live without my Super Tenere.
    [​IMG]

    My Buell S3 is not perfect, but it is very much like an older Italian bike in many ways, exciting, good sounding, good handling and great to look at even when standing still and most importantly it is a blast to ride. It also requires some attention, now and then - but my hobby is maintaining my motorcycles so I don't mind the extra care and feeding the Buell needs. I connect with my Buell and it connects with me.
    [​IMG]
    #75
  16. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam Supporter

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    In a word, the comfort.

    Here's my quick story....started riding dirt bikes at 7 up till 18. Then Honda 650 Nighthawk in college. Sold it because I was riding like a squid and knew if I didn't id likely get hurt or die. Waited a few years and got back into 2 stroke dirt bikes and realized crashing at 30 hurt a lot more than at 15, so sold the CR. Five years later my brother in law bought a Fatboy and I said what the hell, why'd t you buy a big, heavy, slow, poor performing piece of shit. A year later my sister stared riding an 883 Sportster.

    One day they asked me to ride with them a few friends and let me ride the 883 and damn it was it fun. I decided to get one as well to fit in with the "crowd" but I was determined to get the best performing HD as that was important to me and bought a 1200 Sportster Sport ( look it up). A couple years later and after a couple trips I realized a bigger bike would be more comfortable and bought a Softail Standard, and still in the performance mode, had the motor built where it was putting down 110 hp / 108 tq at the rear wheel.

    Eventually graduated up to a touring framed Street Glide all the while my brother in law, sister and their friends decided the HD fad was not for them. Another rider friend added a BMW 1200 GSA to his stable and got me interested in ADV bikes and introduced me to this forum.

    Reading here about how crappy HDs are got me thinking maybe there are much better bikes out there. I then bought a Triumph Tiger 1050 and planned a trip out west, we shipped the bikes (his GSA and my Tiger) from SC to Montanna with plans to ride around MT, WY, CO and UT before riding back to SC. Before leaving for the trip I was thinking about selling the Street Glide when we returned and buying a smaller dual sport. This was not my first big bike trip, previously same friend and I along with my ex-wife, riding her own Softail Deluxe crossed the country and back and we did a trip from SC up through Nova Scotia and back.

    Three days into to trip I was wishing I was back on the Street Glide, unless riding the 1050 at speeds 20+ mph over the posted limit, it was, well simply boring. And after several hours in the saddle it was uncomfortable, my legs were cramping up and I felt locked into one position with the mid pegs.

    Within 2 weeks of returning, I sold a bike, but it wasn't the Street Glide it was Triumph. Few months later picked up a DR650. Have since replaced the '06 Street Glide with a '12 Road Glide and the '09 DR with a '14 KTM 690 Enduro R.

    Truth be told the Street Glide could have been ridden everywhere we went on the Triumph, including the 50 miles of gravel forest road in MT and the 30 miles of dirt in WY.

    Sure HDs aren't made for performance and should never be compared to a sport bike or sport tourer, but again if riding at or 10-15 mpg above the posted limits on roads in the US, a modern HD is fully capable and can do so without dragging hard parts or putting the rider at any higher risk than other bikes on the same roads at the same speeds, assuming the HD rider knows how to ride a bike. Other bikes performances characteristics generally only come into play when one is significantly exceeding existing US road/traffic laws.

    In a word, for me, comfort.
    #76
  17. AndyT

    AndyT Been here awhile

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    It's only large bikes that H-D sells, and that is what is often quoted. Of bikes over 650 or 750 or something, Harley has roughly 50% of the market in the USA. Not saying whether that makes Harley's better or worse, but sales figures are what they are.
    #77
  18. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam Supporter

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    Any data on what percentage of those non-HD bikes under 650cc are road legal and not off road bikes or mopeds?

    Sales figures being what they are, I believe the topic of discussion is about street motorcycles in the US.
    #78
  19. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

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    #79
  20. ninja97

    ninja97 Been here awhile

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    It all comes down to marketing. Harley have worked very hard to build the brand since the late eighties, because if memory serves me right they were rubbish before Willie G and others bought it from AMC. Back then the old pan heads and shovels were not really the best things on the road. I am not a Harley fan but you have to give them credit for building the company up from a basket case.
    What always gets me is the price of the damn things, for the same money you pay for a Harley you can buy a Ducati with Brembo brakes, Ohlins suspension, traction control, and a lot of great engineering and race proven and with a Harley you get brakes that are low grade and non adjustable suspension. Triumph have spent a lot of the marketing on the old triumph name with the Bonniville and Thruxton to get the born again bikers back to the fold, and good luck to them and now Norton are trying to do the same thing, a bit like Indian are trying to do now with bikes that imitate the look of the old ones. But with good marketing you can sell almost anything to anyone.
    #80