Your gonna do what? On a Harley?!

Discussion in 'Americas' started by ironman44, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. ironman44

    ironman44 Adventurer

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    I am taking 9-12 months off work and touring all of the Americas. I currently own a Harley 2008 Street Glide. I have 12k on it since buying it new in May and seems to be running fine. No major problems. It fits me well, rides like a Cadillac, and there are HD dealers everywhere, even in Buenos Aires, where my wife will be flying out to meet me for a few weeks during my tour.

    My main question is am I crazy to be attempting this trip on an HD? I find myself stopping frequently at the BMW dealer, drooling over the 1200GS. It certainly seems better equipped to handle a wider variety of road conditions although they cant match the dealer support throughout the Americas. I am not an experienced off-roader and when looking at my bicycles, I have a fixed gear and a road bike, no Mountain bike 'cause am really not a big fan of Mountain biking. (no offense to anyone, I admire Mnt Bikers but I just dont find any enjoyment in spending 1 full day going maybe 20-30 miles on single track). I think this might hold true for off roading on a motorcycle as well?
    Anyways, I think most of my time would be spent on the paved roads. So why not a Harley? Do any of you have any experience or know anyone who has made such a trip on a HD bagger?
    I absolutely love this forum and have great respect for all of your expertice and wisdom. Your replies would be greatly appreciated.
    I ride alone, and not part of the HD culture so feel free to flame away in this regard! [​IMG]:D
    #1
  2. lowflyer

    lowflyer Doubleplusgood

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    Ride what you have and don't worry about it. The Harley will do great. Your bike does not have to look like an adventure tourer to do adventure touring. :nah
    #2
  3. AndyT

    AndyT Been here awhile

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    I met an Australian couple, who were riding around the world two up on an Electra Glide, in Ushuaia. Go for it!

    If you want to go al the way to the tip, you have to do about 80 miles of gravel on the island of Tierra del Fuego, otherwise you can stay on pavment.
    #3
  4. msells

    msells Been here awhile

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    Go for it.

    http://www.aerostich.com/catalog/US/Riding-The-Edge-p-16628.html I don't know if I'm more impressed that he did it without legs or that he did it on a Shovelhead. :eek1 I don't know what sort of parts/tools to suggest for a late model Harley since my knowledge ends at Evo. Maybe ask an honest mechanic what $50-100 worth of small parts he would suggest carrying as spares for your particular model.
    #4
  5. widebmw

    widebmw Been here awhile

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  6. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Have fun, I don't see any reason not to do it if you enjoy the bike. (coming from a MTB'er who doesn't see any fun in peddling on a smooth road.... but does lots of it for transportation;)
    #6
  7. groop

    groop So much to ponder

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    Ride the hog You will be fine. I've toured on both my Softail and GS. Different bikes, but you will appreciate the comfort the HD has to offer. You also shouldn't have issues with the EFI and the ABS will be appreciated.

    I'm jealous of your adventure. Enjoy it!
    #7
  8. nilsso1

    nilsso1 Been here awhile

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    My main question is am I crazy to be attempting this trip on an HD? I find myself stopping frequently at the BMW dealer, drooling over the 1200GS.



    I think you will be fine on a Harley, but if you are drooling over a GS than go buy one, I think you answered your own question,

    I did the same thing, took two years to buy one, found a used GSA, upgraded the windshield, and been very happy with it, Wanted a GS but the GSA was mint shape less than 3000 miles and cheaper than a GS, I now have it out of my system,

    good luck
    #8
  9. Bajarider2000

    Bajarider2000 Been here awhile

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    When are you heading out on the trip?
    #9
  10. 308nut

    308nut Adventurer

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    Go for it, should be a great time,
    I have an 06 Street Glide and an 01 R1100R either would do just fine.


    Have fun and be safe.



    Wade
    #10
  11. Mountain

    Mountain Adventurer

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    We've been busy working, the lads in Central and South America have been busy paving. You can ride the whole way on pavment except the portion in TDF, as mentioned. Peter and Kay have ridden their Harley in an unbelieveable number of countries, many with worse roads.

    Sounds like you have a realistic view of what you are actually going to ride, this is not the norm as most bikes are selected and outfitted like they might have to complete the Paris-Dakar at the drop of a hat. Of course these will spend most of their time riding the same roads as you.

    One thing to be aware of is clearance. There are a million topes/sleeping policemen/speed bumps in places like mexico and many of these are quite big. If you bike is too low, you'll be dragging you bottom over quite a few of these. And clearance also is good for some of the bigger potholes and for riding your bike into the lobby of the hotel where you can park it for safety.
    #11
  12. GRBTA

    GRBTA GRBTA

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    We just returned from 14 days on the back roads of BC & the Yukon we had about 5200 miles with about 500 on dirt and questionable "paved" roads. This is a picture of a buddy's bike who went with us on a brand new (less than 500 miles on it when we started) Yamaha VStar. It is not a Harley, but he had not done extensive dirt riding before, he did great and believe it or not his bike cleaned up like new when he got home! He even got the calcium road spray off his leather bags. Just keep the shinnier side up (which will be relative as you travel)... and watch the potholes you're a little low.

    Attached Files:

    #12
  13. smokinjoe

    smokinjoe hippie kicker

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    :clap

    Good for you!! Run what ya brung!

    I've had great adventures on road bikes. One thing you need to think about is that the roads were absolute junk when the Knucklehead was new!

    Keep up on the preventive maintenance, services and tire changes. I don't see a problem at all.
    #13
  14. xbhpindia

    xbhpindia Indian Rider

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    GO for it mate. Harleys wuld be great on most roads. The comfort would be great..I believe so...
    #14
  15. Benjava

    Benjava ?

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    I don't know how you can get them without inside contacts but if I was doing that I would ry and get some Police tires. Dunlop makes them for all Harley models and they run flat and have a really thick side wall. indestructible.
    #15
  16. ironman44

    ironman44 Adventurer

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    You guys are pretty dang helpful and wise too! Thanks so much!
    In January / February of this year, I rode a Triumph cruiser through all of Baja, ferried across to Mazatlan, down to Guat. and then headed straight up the middle of Mexico on my way back home to Denver. Was a beautiful trip, and yep, I have never seen so many different designs of topes in all my life!. From the size of baseballs to basket-balls.
    I sold the Trumpet to get the HD as my wife likes doing long weekend kinds of touring and also because I was raised on HD, originally being from Milwaukee.

    The trip reports you shared from HD tourers were inspiring and am now resolute in taking the HD. Havent been back to the BMW dealer; maybe for the next big tour... we shall see.

    I am heading out in January, and like my trip in January of this year, will just wait for a window of opportunity with the weather. I am wired for the cold, just wont ride in the snow. Although I saved a small section of Baja, (from Cabo east around the cape to La Paz), for another time, I dont think I will take that route this time. I want to spend some time in Oaxaca, (Spanish classes), and the Yucatan before heading further south. Not really sure about attempting an assault on Ushuai, but who knows?

    Thanks again for all your help. See you out on the road!
    #16
  17. DirtFun

    DirtFun Been here awhile

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    Huh, stop the drooling and get the proper tool for the job. You'll think you died and went to heaven after your first 1000 miles on the R1200GS. It can be set up with all the creature comforts. My wife really liked riding on the back seat on our GS. She said she could see extremely well and felt more part of the ride.
    #17
  18. nigelcorn

    nigelcorn Wannabe.

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    I just glanced over the other posts, so I'm sorry if this was already posted, but check this out:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=248187

    I am not a huge Harley fan, but Cavebiker's reports has been one of my favorites so far on advrider. That is saying something.
    #18
  19. Dave Noel

    Dave Noel Giv'er

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    I don't, I think this couple was, but they did it anyway. The rider is whats important not so much the ride.
    #19
  20. ironman44

    ironman44 Adventurer

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    Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement folks. Due to some unforseen circumstances, (namely me saying I am outta here), I left Monday afternoon. I started posting a trip log in the trip section entitled "Wondering while I wander" or something like that...
    #20