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hd_pete 05-09-2006 12:17 PM

Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?
I had a Harley Road King for about 7 years and just shy of 40K miles. It was absolutely reliable. No problems ever. The only thing that rusted was the surface of the rear brake rotor. I would just rub it with a bit of steel wool from time to time to get rid of the rust color. Brakes on mine weren't the greatest but the newer ones have improved quite a bit. I'd recommend going with the cast wheels. If you do get spokes, remember that they are chrome plated, not stainless, so they will take a lot of tedious polishing if you want to keep them looking new.

I took my Road King on many trips. They are pretty slow, acceleration kind of sucks, especially with a passenger and loaded for touring. There is a plus side to that huge lump of underpowered engine. When you're out in the open somewhere in North Dakota and the wind starts to howl, all that weight down low keeps you nice and stable. You don't get blown around nearly as much as with some other bikes. Same with passing and being passed by trucks on the interstate.

Resale value is good but not great. I think the days of selling a used Harley for what you originally paid are over. Still, I paid $17K and 7 years and 40K miles later got 12K for it. I certainly got my 5K of fun out of it.

Last year I sold my Harley and bought a BMW GS. Very different bike and I'm enjoying it a lot. Like all bikes there are pluses and minuses to both.

The whole motorcycle thing is about fun, isn't it? So if you want a Harley go get yourself one. You only live once, enjoy it, be friendly to ALL bikers, and screw what anyone else might think!

Fenton 05-09-2006 12:45 PM

Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?
I can't speak for everyone, but, I enjoy this topic.

joesdr650 05-09-2006 12:46 PM

Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?
Out of about 50 bikes owned since 1969 four have been Harleys. Two of the six bikes I own now are HD, a FXD and XL1200R.

At this point I can say I probably will own at least one HD for the rest of my riding career. I like the feel of the bikes, the quality of construction, the aftermarket support and I have a very good local dealer.

Many of your observations about solidness, tradition and the sense of history associated with their bikes are also an attraction to me. I don't tend to buy in so much to the notion of family/club but that says more about me.

The drive belts are pretty darn tough. My FXD has 25k on it and I picked up a rock about a year ago in the belt, it took a chunk out of it but did not punch through and has shown no sign its not perfectly sound since then. parts may rust if you leave your bike out in the rain and don't keep it garaged but thats true of anything and in fact I think the quality of HD chrome finish seems at least as good and usually better than most other brands I've owned. I've toured my FXD in lots of different kinds of weather and see very little sign of any corrosion.

The why of owning a particular motorcycle isn't something you can always come up with a rational explaination for. So often its more about whether or not the bike speaks to you. You're not buying a blender so how you feel about it is a big deal.

KillerKowalski 05-09-2006 01:00 PM

Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?
This kinda sounds like an advertisement. Anyhow...

I like good things that don't change just for the sake of change.

To be fair, the changes that most manufacturers apply to their bikes, HD included, are changes for better performance, reliability, whathaveyou. HD just does it less frequently.

Say what you will about H-D but the company is a survivor

I'm not entirely sure, but I believe that they owe their present good fortune to a good deal of corporate welfare back in the day.

HD's are cool. They're definitely good to have parked outside when you're at the bar (my EX500 isn't exactly a chick magnet). I just think that with all the money that they aren't spending on R&D, their relatively low-tech bikes should have a price tag to match. an EX500.

Most people don't get a bike for any functional reason, it's just a toy. As such, you should buy whatever you think is coolest. Go for it.

Buzglyd 05-09-2006 01:13 PM

Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?
Beats workin'

Don_Ohio 05-09-2006 01:33 PM

Take a look at Victory
Victorys are american made....check 'em out. Better looking, and better quality.

No, I don't own one....never had a cruiser, prob'ly never will. But, the HD owners who are so smug, and arrogant, would be much better off if they lost their attitude. I truly believe that much of it is that they're scared of the more powerful bikes, and compensate by acting like HD is theeee best. Sorry, it just ain't so. I rode to Daytona 3 years ago, 2300 miles total, and saw TWO Harleys on the road....all the others were on trailers, or trucks. Gimme' a break! Too many wannabees on HD's. They ruined it for the rest of them.

sfcdjevans 05-09-2006 01:35 PM

Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?
Well have at it then. Just clean up when you're done.

lindsey 05-09-2006 01:37 PM

Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?
If you want a Harley buy one. I am a bit sore about the whole "buy American, buy Harley" crap, though. I got into a verbal argument, and later got sucker-punched, over my failure to buy American, and my belligerence when confronted. Ironically, I own a Kawi Concours that was probably made at the plant in Nebraska.

balpo 05-09-2006 02:27 PM

Re: What is it about Harley-Davidson?
I wouldn't go near one for a long time. I really liked lightweights that handled well. But, I rented one because that was the only thing they rented and it grew on me. Torque is a very good thing. They aren't knee draggers, but if you are out to enjoy the ride they have their own quite real charm. I actually enjoy the rubber mount sportster. But, I would have never enjoyed a Harley if I had stuck with Fat Boy. So, go rent a couple of em but make sure you try one with midmounts rather than forward mount controls.

ksquid 05-09-2006 02:35 PM

Are you looking at the same chart I am
Sportbikes routinely stop below 120 ft.. The Cruisers on the list are above that some are really 130 ft... Mean Streak has sport bike components like the Yamaha Warrior.. I noticed you didn't link the HD crap..

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