Let's talk honestly about Harley-Davidson's current offerings [Archive] - Glock Talk

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fnfalman
11-14-2005, 10:02
Ride what you want to ride and all that good jazz aside, I really would like to know why the "slow" mentality in modern H-Ds. Let's talk honestly and be civil about this because I'm truly curious.

I'm not quite of a speed nut, but I do like a fast motorcycle, and I really think that H-D got something there with the V-Rod and Street Rod series. But I've seen so many "hard core" Harley riders denouncing these bikes as not "real" Harleys. So what is a "real" Harley? Same thing with the Sportster series that seem to get knocked down pretty good by the "hard core" Harley riders.

I'm not professing to be an H-D enthusiast but I know enough about motorcycling to remember how H-Ds were pretty hot stuff back in the days and they still acquit themselves quite well on dirt track. And then there's drag racing where the V-Rod is currently doing fabulously.

So where did the slow & heavy cruiser mentality come in? Harley has a proud racing heritage, so why are the "real" Harley riders keep harping about if one were to want a fast bike then get something else? Why can't one want a "real" Harley that's also fast and handles decently?

H-D riders, please enlighten me.

DaisyCutter
11-14-2005, 11:04
I think the only "Real" Harley riders, are the ones that don't care what anyone else rides. When someone strives to fit an image of "Harley" and denounces others that vary from that image... they've become a poser. Harleys IMO don't have varying levels of realness. Lastly, I'm not a Harley fan, but I'd ride a stock Sportster before I straddled one of those gawdawful overhyped choppers.

The last Harley I rode was a new mid-90's Sportster. I noted a great deal of vibration, and the engine performance and brakes were sub-par. IMO, that description fits the image of the ideal Harley. ;)

BikerRN
11-14-2005, 14:09
The so called "Real Harley Riders" knock the V-Rod because it's not a traditional air cooled Harley. Back in the day the Sportster was the first real "Superbike" but has now been downgraded to a woman's bike.

Personally I think it's all about gratification and ego for 90% of the RUBS out there. Most of them trailer their bike to events. Me, I rode wherever I had to go, managed to do 10,000 miles in one year just riding to lunch. I met so many Harley riders that were proud of only doing 2,000 miles in 3 years but had attended 5 Rallies.

I used to ride an FXD but now ride a Ducati. The Duc is 10X the bike the Harley is and I can do the same long distances but have better performance in the twisties with better brakes, engine, suspension, and what not. Personally I don't care what you ride, just that you ride. If you spend more time polishing than riding I don't want to know you.

fnfalman
11-14-2005, 15:00
BikerRN,

But it's not fair to compare a Multistrada to a cruiser. Or comparing a crotch rocket to a cruiser. I guess I'm looking for answers not how Harleys are compared to other makes but compared to each other. And why would Harley owners themselves would consider other H-D products to be not "real" Harleys.

I mean I don't see a BMW owner would say something like the F-series or the K-series aren't real BMWs because they aren't flat twins. Or if you want fast, then buy something else.

NMGlocker
11-14-2005, 17:46
Originally posted by fnfalman
I mean I don't see a BMW owner would say something like the F-series or the K-series aren't real BMWs because they aren't flat twins.
That's because all BMW's have one thing in common....... they are horribly ugly.
;g
The "real" Harley riders seem to be stuck in the 50's and 60's. Real Harley's are low, wide, slow cruisers, that vibrate and make a lot of noise.
A real Harley is the absolute best bike made...... if you want to convert gasoline into noise and vibration without any nasty by-products (like horsepower).

epsylum
11-14-2005, 17:57
Originally posted by NMGlocker
A real Harley is the absolute best bike made...... if you want to convert gasoline into noise and vibration without any nasty by-products (like horsepower).
;z

Personally, if I were in the market for a cruiser, Yamaha would get my dough. More specifically a Road Star Warrior.

As for the "real Harley rider" thing. Real harley riders don't give a damn what other people ride, only the posers do. Real Harley riders don't get all dressed up in S&M leather and fringe, they get on with whatever they have on. I can respect a real harley rider as they are doing what they like to do and can respect others that are doing the same.

BTW reminds me of a Jesse James interview I read in a magazine. In it he said he is a "huge fan" of the Hayabusa and hates "Harley people" and prefers "sportbike guys". He said "all Harley guys are like "hey check out my new chaps"". Now by my defenition Jesse is a real harley guy. He respects other aspects of bike riding , not just his own thing.

hayabusa200
11-14-2005, 21:31
[QUOTE]Originally posted by NMGlocker
[B]That's because all BMW's have one thing in common....... they are horribly ugly.

Come on now, not all BMWs are ugly. I have a K1200LT and believe it or not, I get compliments all the time, even from the harley crowd. I never cared for them before either, but after owning one, I can honestly say its the best bike I have ever had. Now regarding the Vrod, most Harley people that I know actually do appreciate the Vrod for what it is, its the jap bike technology I think they despise. If you think about it, what has harley "really" changed in regards to technology. Not a whole lot, but people still love them. Its still a freekn lawnmower engine, but they sure do sound good. And by the way, I have owned atleast 6 harleys.;)

wvwayne
11-15-2005, 01:36
Some people say that the Sportster is a Girls bike.I simply do not see this.The Sportster (was) Harleys hot rod before the VRod came out,and the VRod is still the only Harley product that will beat the Sportster.A new 1200 Sporster with a stage one kit will put about 85 HP to the pavement.Most 95 inch Big Twins can't even match that at the crank.Now for the people not in the know, a stage one kit for a Sporster is Pipes,Air Cleaner and rejet the carb.Now maybe I am getting old but a 1200 Sportster with a stage one will run the QT mile at about 12.2 sec.The same as the new ZO 6 Corvette and nobody is calling it slow or a girls car.;Q

epsylum
11-15-2005, 07:12
Originally posted by wvwayne
Some people say that the Sportster is a Girls bike.I simply do not see this.The Sportster (was) Harleys hot rod before the VRod came out,and the VRod is still the only Harley product that will beat the Sportster.A new 1200 Sporster with a stage one kit will put about 85 HP to the pavement.Most 95 inch Big Twins can't even match that at the crank.Now for the people not in the know, a stage one kit for a Sporster is Pipes,Air Cleaner and rejet the carb.Now maybe I am getting old but a 1200 Sportster with a stage one will run the QT mile at about 12.2 sec.The same as the new ZO 6 Corvette and nobody is calling it slow or a girls car.;Q

To be fair, bikes are supposed to beat cars in a straight line. I mean a Hayabusa beats the crap out of a McLaren F1 or a Porsche Carerra GT. Even my old GPz 1100 will spank most cars on the road.

I think the Vrod would be more "Harley" if Harley actually designed the entire thing. They took the easy way out and paid someone to design thier engine (Porsche), instead of actually learning how to do it themselves. Kind of like how GM thought they could "buy" a LeMans win with thier Cadillac LMP car instead of doing it the hard way like Audi. The Audi is in the record books and everyone forgets about the Cadillac.

BushyAR15
11-15-2005, 07:27
I currently own a V-rod. I consider myself a motorcyclist, having done some touring, RoadRaced for many years. Anyways, people think that the V-rod is not a real harley because its not air-cooled and doesn't have that "classic" harley look.

The V-rod is not a big seller in the US. One of the few bikes that actually dropped in price some. But the V-Rod is hugely popular everywhere else in the world.

Also alot of people incorrectly believe that Porsche designed the engine. Not true. Porsche took the H-D VR1000 engine used for Roadracing and helped "massage" that into the current Revolution motor.


Originally posted by epsylum
To be fair, bikes are supposed to beat cars in a straight line. I mean a Hayabusa beats the crap out of a McLaren F1 or a Porsche Carerra GT. Even my old GPz 1100 will spank most cars on the road.

I think the Vrod would be more "Harley" if Harley actually designed the entire thing. They took the easy way out and paid someone to design thier engine (Porsche), instead of actually learning how to do it themselves. Kind of like how GM thought they could "buy" a LeMans win with thier Cadillac LMP car instead of doing it the hard way like Audi. The Audi is in the record books and everyone forgets about the Cadillac.

fnfalman
11-15-2005, 08:58
Originally posted by hayabusa200
[QUOTE]Originally posted by NMGlocker
[B] Now regarding the Vrod, most Harley people that I know actually do appreciate the Vrod for what it is, its the jap bike technology I think they despise. If you think about it, what has harley "really" changed in regards to technology. Not a whole lot, but people still love them. Its still a freekn lawnmower engine, but they sure do sound good. And by the way, I have owned atleast 6 harleys.;)

Now I'm really confused. What Jap bike technology? Porsche helped massage the engine (I also think that Cosworth has something to do with it too) and it is now water-cooled. As far as Jap bike technology on Harleys, the regular ones have Jap parts (brake, shock and carburation).

I'm rather surprised that I am not hearing more from the Harley guys as to why they would differentiate themselves from the Sportster and the V-Rod series.

NMGlocker
11-15-2005, 09:55
Originally posted by wvwayne
Now maybe I am getting old but a 1200 Sportster with a stage one will run the QT mile at about 12.2 sec.The same as the new ZO 6 Corvette and nobody is calling it slow or a girls car.
A girl here in town has a 12 sec. Dodge Neon....... and it IS a girls car.
;)
Maybe "real" Harley riders understand their place in life..... "slower traffic must keep right".
Seriously, a Harley is strictly a Saturday night cruiser, something to be seen (and heard) on.
Maybe "real" Harley riders know that the Sportster and VRod are just poser bikes. When you buy a "performance" Harley, you are the ultimate poser.

H-D&GLOCK
11-15-2005, 10:05
I have had full dressed cruisers and a 1200 sportster. The sportster was faster and snappier than any of my other Harleys. Real fun in town, hot dogging, but not much for the long run, too rough a ride and too small a gas tank. Test rode a V-Rod at a rally, and I just did not like the look feel or ride or it. But that is just my opinion, it is still a Harley. Just not for me.

Markcuda
11-15-2005, 10:28
About half you peeps are nothin' but wannabe bike ouners anyway :cool:
http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?username=markcuda

wvwayne
11-15-2005, 10:43
Originally posted by epsylum
To be fair, bikes are supposed to beat cars in a straight line. I mean a Hayabusa beats the crap out of a McLaren F1 or a Porsche Carerra GT. Even my old GPz 1100 will spank most cars on the road.

I think the Vrod would be more "Harley" if Harley actually designed the entire thing. They took the easy way out and paid someone to design thier engine (Porsche), instead of actually learning how to do it themselves. Kind of like how GM thought they could "buy" a LeMans win with thier Cadillac LMP car instead of doing it the hard way like Audi. The Audi is in the record books and everyone forgets about the Cadillac. I have a subscription to Road&Track and I do not see many 12 sec. street cars,so in that light I would say that a sportster will spank most street cars also.I might also add that this tread is about Harley Davidson Motor Cycles And How They Compair To Oneanother Not Scuzukies.
;f

TimP
11-15-2005, 12:13
I think the average Harley owner likes to be seen, and much as he likes to ride. Flancy chrome, loud pipes, custom paint, HD leather etc etc etc. Then you have some that like harleys and like to ride. I see these more as your Vrod and sportster owners.

Then you have your jap bike riders ( my group ). We like going fast, performance, and don't give a crap what anybody else thinks.

Of course there are exceptions to each one, but those are the averages as I see it.

If I was buying a cruiser, it would not be a harley. Yamaha Road Star Warrior.

BikerRN
11-15-2005, 12:22
Why do Harley Riders consider the Sportster a Girl's bike?:: I don't know they just do.

Why isn't the V-Rod considered a real Harley?:: I don't know it just ain't.

OK, that's the most long-winded logical explanation I can give. Personally I think the V-Rod engine in the Electraglide would be a killer touring scoot.

wolfy692005
11-15-2005, 13:08
i am what some say is a "hard core" harley rider. I do have a job and i dont wear colors. But i ride a lot. I dont care what you ride either, i have had really great friends who ride anything and everything and each have there own good points and bad. The new harleys are slow. Harley will tell you it is because of the EPA restrictions, but in reality it is the engine design (with the cam or cams in the lower position and with pushrods moving the valve train) you can make horse power this way but it is more expesive than overhead cams etc. I do like the air cooled v-twin design, but i built and yes i mean built not like OCC that mostly assemble bikes, to cruse. It does exactly what i want it to do and how i want it to, If harley or anyone else did that i would buy one and not build it, but thay dont. I do have a 120hp engine with a 6 speed tranny and can cruse at 90 all day if i want ( and do a lot) but i have no desire to " do the twisties at that speed" not that there is anything at all wrong with that, i just dont want to do it. I dont care if anyone else in the world likes my bike, they dont have to ride it. I would never tell anyone that they are not good enough to ride with me because they do or dont ride a harley or any other bike for that matter, i ride with people because i like the people not the bike. I have helped many a stranded person i never knew just because they were on the side of the road. I will stop if they are on a harley but my knowlage in not good on other bikes, but the systems are the same. if i can help i usually do.. i have put on average 12,000 miles a year on my custom chopper the last 4 years that i have ad it finished, and it is in need of a new rear tire right now as the cords are showing through. by the way anyone want to go for a ride? maybe go pop off a couple at the local range?
have a great day.
;f

TimP
11-15-2005, 13:19
Originally posted by wolfy692005
i am what some say is a "hard core" harley rider. I do have a job and i dont wear colors. But i ride a lot. I dont care what you ride either, i have had really great friends who ride anything and everything and each have there own good points and bad. The new harleys are slow. Harley will tell you it is because of the EPA restrictions, but in reality it is the engine design (with the cam or cams in the lower position and with pushrods moving the valve train) you can make horse power this way but it is more expesive than overhead cams etc. I do like the air cooled v-twin design, but i built and yes i mean built not like OCC that mostly assemble bikes, to cruse. It does exactly what i want it to do and how i want it to, If harley or anyone else did that i would buy one and not build it, but thay dont. I do have a 120hp engine with a 6 speed tranny and can cruse at 90 all day if i want ( and do a lot) but i have no desire to " do the twisties at that speed" not that there is anything at all wrong with that, i just dont want to do it. I dont care if anyone else in the world likes my bike, they dont have to ride it. I would never tell anyone that they are not good enough to ride with me because they do or dont ride a harley or any other bike for that matter, i ride with people because i like the people not the bike. I have helped many a stranded person i never knew just because they were on the side of the road. I will stop if they are on a harley but my knowlage in not good on other bikes, but the systems are the same. if i can help i usually do.. i have put on average 12,000 miles a year on my custom chopper the last 4 years that i have ad it finished, and it is in need of a new rear tire right now as the cords are showing through. by the way anyone want to go for a ride? maybe go pop off a couple at the local range?
have a great day.
;f

^c

Markcuda
11-15-2005, 14:20
i have put on average 12,000 miles a year on my custom chopper the last 4 years
Cool :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:
2003 was 43,054 miles.
2004 was 68,000 miles.
And this year so far, I have 56,962 miles. :cool: :cool:

fnfalman
11-15-2005, 14:26
First of all, I'm a bit disappointed with the Harley bashing in this thread. This thread wasn't meant to be a Harley basher. If I were to want to bash H-D products, I can do so just fine. I was simply looking for some inputs from H-D owners as to why they look down on certain products from their own marque.

PS Eight months worth of riding and I am at a hair shy of 20,000-miles on both of my bikes. And that's just the weekend rides. I'm not even commuting.:)

Markcuda
11-15-2005, 14:36
Not all but more so than not, the non Harley riders are green with envy :cool:
Peeps, if you met the people that I have on the rode(I'v been in all the lower 48 states)with my Ultra, you would come away with the same conclusion =envy, boardering on jealousy
;n

Cryptoboy
11-15-2005, 15:35
BikerRN, not all Harley riders consider the Sporty a girls bike. Quite a few do consider it a beginners bike, but that's not necessarily true either I think. I ride with several sales guys from a local Harley dealership, and several of them started on Sporties. A few still ride them, and a few have moved up to bigger bikes. One of the things Harley riders don't like about the V-Rod is the sound. It is, stock, a very quiet bike!

Personally, I started out on Buell (Blast). Great beginners bike, we liked it so much that we bought a 2nd one for my wife (we took our MSF course together). I considered the Sportster when it was time to move on, but to be honest, I didn't like the small fuel tank on them (that's changed with the 2004 models). Ended up with a Lowrider instead. That was a great bike, carb'ed, and I had no problems with in for the 10,000 miles I rode on it (a friend of mine has over 40k on the same bike). Since my wife likes to ride with me alot, and we're both bigger, I decided to get an Electra Glide Standard. It has plenty of power for me (enough to get around cars/trucks and such, and get me up to a nice cruising speed of 85-90mph), gets great gas mileage, and is quite comfortable (my father in law, who owns a 2001 Goldwing, even thinks the comfort level is close to his bike).

TimP, quite a few of the sportbike riders I have met are more apt to talk smack or try to get me to race them. That, to me at least, makes me think they give a crap about what people think of them. On the other hand, I've been stopped at a light next to a few sport riders and have no problems saying hey, nice bike to them (but then, I love sportbikes too!) Quite a few of the 'real' Harley riders, either currently own a sportbike or sport-tourer type, or did in the past, and their backs can't handle the position anymore (I just can't justify more than 1 bike to my wife! ;f ) And you are right, that Yamaha Warrior is one amazing bike! I didn't like it as much as my Lowrider though, it just felt different enough to me to not enjoy the ride as much.

Riding a Harley is more about riding a classic machine, not the most current techological marvel out there. Take a look at the Harley's from the 50's for example, the DuoGlide if I recall correctly. If you put that side by side with a current model Road King, they are almost identical in appearance! That's where the Harley appeal comes into play, it takes people back to 'simpler' times.

I'm a Harley rider, and I love all of their bikes (some more than others!) I don't consider myself much different from most Harley riders, and am more interested in riding, than what I am wearing, or how good I look while out there.

wolfy692005
11-15-2005, 15:59
Originally posted by Markcuda
Cool :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:
2003 was 43,054 miles.
2004 was 68,000 miles.
And this year so far, I have 56,962 miles. :cool: :cool:
holy cow man now that is some riding.... you are da man,,,
most people just dont understand how much riding even 15,000 miles a year really is... you are way up there.. congrates

fnfalman
11-15-2005, 16:31
Originally posted by Cryptoboy
One of the things Harley riders don't like about the V-Rod is the sound. It is, stock, a very quiet bike!


All bikes regardless of makes and models, in stock forms, are quiet as death. They all have to meet noise standards of, like, 80-dB. I've encountered a few open pipe V-Rods and they sound loud. But they don't have the potato-potato lump like the aircooled V-twin. They have the pom-pom-pom thump of a modern V-twin like the Japanese or Italian twins.

epsylum
11-15-2005, 22:42
Originally posted by fnfalman
[BBut they don't have the potato-potato lump like the aircooled V-twin. They have the pom-pom-pom thump of a modern V-twin like the Japanese or Italian twins. [/B]

Because it's a twin pin crank (modern) instead of a single pin crank (ancient). That allows them to space the power impulses further apart and helps make better power. I agree they sound more like a VTR than a FLHXSNnka.....

If I HAD to buy a Harley, the Vrod would be it. But, luckily I don't.

Cryptoboy
11-16-2005, 00:09
Originally posted by epsylum
Because it's a twin pin crank (modern) instead of a single pin crank (ancient). That allows them to space the power impulses further apart and helps make better power. I agree they sound more like a VTR than a FLHXSNnka.....

If I HAD to buy a Harley, the Vrod would be it. But, luckily I don't.

You're wrong, you have to buy a Harley! I'm holding your avatar hostage until you do! ;z (Homer rules!)

BikerRN
11-16-2005, 01:27
fnf;

Maybe I don't understand your question. Lord knows it ain't the first time I didn't understand something. I tried to answer it, but I really couldn't give you a good answer.

I never said the Sportie was a girl's bike, I just said some people consider it so. As far as the V-Rod, I'm waiting for the engine to be put in the Electraglide body. I think one person here said the new Harley offerings, sans the V-Rod, harken back to an earlier time and I think this is the appeal of Harley.

Harley has capitalized on America wanting to get back to a simpler time in America and their marketing department is very good at projecting that image.

OK, I'm going to shut up now.

DunedinDragon
11-16-2005, 06:36
My first time in this forum and guess what the first thread I read is. Sheeesh!!

I'm 52 and have been riding since I got my first bike at 13. Yes, I ride a Harley (Deuce). I also have a Yamaha FZ6. I have owned, in the past, BMW's, Suzuki cruisers and dirt bikes, Honda cruisers, even owned a moped once. There are a few humorous quotes I've come across in my years of riding, but the one that captures it best for me is:

"It used to be about bikes, now it's a *******ing fashion show!"

And don't think you're immune from that statement just because you ride a sport bike. I can't count the number of times I've came across a group of sport bike riders that, based on their clothing, obviously spent WAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY too much time watching Power Rangers as kids.

It's like Sigs versus Glocks, AR15s versus AK-47s...and the list goes on and on and on.

IMHO bikes are not about building an identity by acting and dressing the same as others that ride the same kind of bike as you, they're supposed to be about a sense of freedom that comes from the wind in your face, and nothing more. Personally I ride my Harley wearing shorts and tennis shoes, the same as when I ride my FZ6. And I don't typically ride it to bike rallys. Hint: if you're at a bike rally, you're NOT riding!!!

Give it a break. All bikes are not the same because they address different types of people and needs..and that's it. If you want to go fast and have a very nimble bike and are willing to sacrifice some comfort, get a sport bike. If you want to sacrifice a bit of speed and handling for a little more comfort, get a V-rod. If you like the feel of torque off the stoplight and want to ride in relative comfort for long distances, get a cruiser. You want the ultimate long-range cruising bike, get a GWing or BMW. Just because you found what suits you best doesn't make it the BEST. It makes it the BEST for you.

And that's why I tend to have more than one bike at a time, because what's best for me changes depending on my mood.

To quote Toby Keith:

"Breathe some air that tastes like freedom.....I think it's time for me to ride..."

;f ;f ;f ;f ;f ;f :soap:

fnfalman
11-16-2005, 08:58
DundinDragon,

Well said, indeed. It's just that I was curious to note the vehemence that a lot of Harley owners hold toward a certain product or products of the brand. Like I said before, I don't hear how the Honda CBR guys knocking on the Honda VTX guy or vice versa the way the Harley guys knock on the Sportster and the V-Rod series. So I was just asking a question; specifically for the Harley owners, as to what constitutes a "real" Harley. That's it. There was already a thread on why Harleys are junk or why rice burners are junk. I didn't want this thread to be the same thing.

And I think that some of you have answered my question as to how the V-Rod with its Revolution engine doesn't give the old timey feel of the regular Harley twin. I can understand that because I favor the BMW flat twin over the BMW single, parallel twin or inline four.

But the Sportster utilizes the old style V-twin and if anything harkens back more toward the Harley heritage than any of the current offerings. Yet it gets no respect. Why is that? Is it because it's not expensive enough? Not big enough?

whogasak47
11-16-2005, 09:46
A real Harley is the absolute best bike made...... if you want to convert gasoline into noise and vibration without any nasty by-products (like horsepower). [/B][/QUOTE]
Thats the good description of a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
From the Harley riders I know the Softtail is the only real motorcycle. Unless i talk to the sporty riders and they say the others are too heavy and have terrible handling. (except the FXR)
all seem to like this group. the FL drivers seem to think theis is the only real Harley cause all the others are either barbikes or for townies. They say a real Harley is made for the Open road . And none
of them like the V-rod or Buell much. My guess is that the air cooled v-twin croud is not about state of the art stuff . Like great brakes,more horsepower than you can use,and handling(curves and twisties). Cause thats not what they do.I do not get the V rod , What do you do with it? The Buell I Get. The only thig wrong with it is ,that you have go to a H-D dealer to check em out. Not worth my trouble. Good Luck and Ride Safe

fnfalman
11-16-2005, 11:03
What's the V-Rod? It's a power cruiser in the likes of the VTX1800, the new Suzuki Boulevardier and the old V-Max.

For some people, they prefer to have fast acceleration despite the cruiser configuration.

The Street Rod has the revised suspension that result in much sportier intentions. It's kind of split between a cruiser and a roadster.

wvwayne
11-16-2005, 11:08
Originally posted by fnfalman
DundinDragon,

Well said, indeed. It's just that I was curious to note the vehemence that a lot of Harley owners hold toward a certain product or products of the brand. Like I said before, I don't hear how the Honda CBR guys knocking on the Honda VTX guy or vice versa the way the Harley guys knock on the Sportster and the V-Rod series. So I was just asking a question; specifically for the Harley owners, as to what constitutes a "real" Harley. That's it. There was already a thread on why Harleys are junk or why rice burners are junk. I didn't want this thread to be the same thing.

And I think that some of you have answered my question as to how the V-Rod with its Revolution engine doesn't give the old timey feel of the regular Harley twin. I can understand that because I favor the BMW flat twin over the BMW single, parallel twin or inline four.

But the Sportster utilizes the old style V-twin and if anything harkens back more toward the Harley heritage than any of the current offerings. Yet it gets no respect. Why is that? Is it because it's not expensive enough? Not big enough? I may have got off on the wrong foot from an impression stand point.I like all Harleys and would love to own one of each.Each has it's place in the market,I think sportsters are cool but would have never owned one before the 2004s because of the heavy VIBEs.The V Rods are everybit a Harley Davidson and I hated them at first but have since warmed up to them(If I ever get the bug to go 150 mph on a motorcycle again I might buy one)At this stage in my life I am looking for comfort with a radio-CD player and some COOL factor so Iam going to order a new Street Glide.
:cool:

DunedinDragon
11-16-2005, 11:29
Back to the original thread....

I can't say I've even ridden a V-Rod, but it appears to me to be a pretty solid design, and I salute Harley for trying something new. I would never go so far as to say that only a softtail is a "real" Harley, even though I own one. I also happened to own a Low Rider until I sold it last year, and it was a great bike with a lot more "spice" to it than the 88B on my Deuce.

As far as Sportsters, they're great individual bikes for zooming around town, but you have to live with the trade-off of how they ride on the highway..can you say soreass here? But they are pretty spicy because of the low weight and they're LOTS of fun in cornering similar to the way old Triumphs used to be.

They're all Harleys. Each bike in their lineup has it's strong and weak points. The big riding differences (aside from bulkiness) really boils down to engine and suspension setups. Most people don't pay as much attention to that as they do the styling. As for me, I like my Harley's slim and nimble, but very road capable. I subscribe to Jesse James's credo that "if it don't fit in your pockets, it don't go." That's why I ride a Deuce, but a Springer or Night Train would suit me just as well.

fnfalman
11-16-2005, 13:15
Cool. I appreciate those feedbacks. Other Harley riders are welcome to chime in.

Compy
11-16-2005, 15:04
The first bike I bought was a Harley Night Train. I bought this bike because I had always wanted a Harley and it just plain looked cool to me. I had friends at the time that rode cruisers and sportbikes from different makes. They nor I cared what each other rode. I wasn't into riding fast and I went into the purchase knowing it would get spanked by just about everything else out there on the road. Fast wasn't what I was going for.

After selling it a few years ago, I am now into sportbikes. I have a Honda 919 right now and am looking at either adding an '05 ZX-10R or the new '06 GSXR-750. I have found the sportbikes a bit easier to ride around town and seem more comfortable, especially on long rides. The Harley would make my back hurt after a hundred mile ride where my 919 I can go for 300-500 miles before feeling sore.

So, the jist is I think most Harley buyers go into the purchase knowing they aren't getting the fastest, most high-tech bike available. They are getting something that fits what they want which is what matters. My roomate just ordered a brand new Victory. Will I ride with him? Yell yeah. He nor I care what kind of bike you ride, just ride something!

I will always appreciate cruisers for their history and looks. I will never own one again, however. I have found the style of bike that fits me. That's what matters.

Cryptoboy
11-16-2005, 15:55
Originally posted by Nosferatu
The first bike I bought was a Harley Night Train. I bought this bike because I had always wanted a Harley and it just plain looked cool to me. I had friends at the time that rode cruisers and sportbikes from different makes. They nor I cared what each other rode. I wasn't into riding fast and I went into the purchase knowing it would get spanked by just about everything else out there on the road. Fast wasn't what I was going for.

After selling it a few years ago, I am now into sportbikes. I have a Honda 919 right now and am looking at either adding an '05 ZX-10R or the new '06 GSXR-750. I have found the sportbikes a bit easier to ride around town and seem more comfortable, especially on long rides. The Harley would make my back hurt after a hundred mile ride where my 919 I can go for 300-500 miles before feeling sore.

I will always appreciate cruisers for their history and looks. I will never own one again, however. I have found the style of bike that fits me. That's what matters.

Wow, I think you are the first person I've ever heard that felt a sportbike is more comfortable than a cruiser! ;f You usually hear the opposite, people switching from sportbikes to cruisers or tourers because their backs can't handle long rides on a sportbike!

Personally, I'd go for the GSXR 750 myself. But then, that was the very first bike I rode in high school (don't tell my mom!), so I have a leaning towards that particular model (that and the fact that it's a rarer model to see on the road. Not too many 750cc sportbikes out there anymore!)

epsylum
11-16-2005, 17:56
I like those new Victories (the ones with the bugs worked out ;)). They look pretty dang good too. Something about how they make thier engine look that makes it look like a custom. They have a "machined" look to the engine. More cruisers should go for that look. I am not into chrome. It's way to dang flashy. I like blacked out frames, engines and exhaust wrap. Shiny is for paint, not wheels or engines.

That being said, the only cruiser I have ever actually thought about buying is the Yamaha Roadstar Warrior, especially the blacked out one. That thing just looks mean and puts out about as much torque as a Hayabusa IIRC.

As for the cruisers being more comfotable thing. Well, it depends on the sportbike it's being compared to. Standard type sportbikes put you in a very upright and natural postition, the supersports put you in a pretty uncomofortable tuck usually, but then again comfort is not why you buy one. I think my 84 GPz is one of the most comfortable bikes ever, especially with the Corbin solo seat. Some cruisers can get extreme the other way and have way too much of you weight on your ...... well backside and legs way too far forward. You wind up in a scoleosis inducing hunched over position.

There is plenty of inbetween in either cruisers or sportbikes.

hd67xlch
11-16-2005, 18:25
that I got as HS graduation present in 1976. Its 1967 xlch, and I wouldnt trade the thing in on any new bike. I worked for HD for 10 years as a wrench and Ive ridden about every kinda HD out there. But I still always go back to the simple bikes (sportsters). My 67 has no battery, just a generator and magneto, and has worked fine for almost 40 years now.

Granted I have rebuilt the thing at least 10 times over the years but always because of personal changes not problems with the bike. I also have a 1956 khk model, a 1976 xlh model and a 1984 xlh model. I guess you could say I like sportsters!

Im what would be considered hardcore, I still believe that if it doesnt have a kickstarter it aint a real Harley. Im also in the camp, that any stroked/tuned sportster will eat up any big twin on the road. My 76 xlh is stroked to 86" and it has run low 10s in quarter before.

As far as the girl thing, I doubt that anyone here could even start a kickstart sporty with 11:1 compression ratio without breaking their ankle or knee, its a skill that is gone nowadays. Ive seen several so called HD experts try to start that stroked 86" motor, and Ive also watched several of them leave in ambulances because they didnt retard the magneto and it pushed their knee out of joint.Bottom line is if you wanna play the part as a biker be prepared to pay the price.

Later

norton
11-16-2005, 18:36
My 2 cents
First of all, hardcore oldtime BMW riders do not consider anything other then the aircooled Flat twin to be a real BMW. There are factions inside the BMW group. I know. I have listened to the discussions over campfires at the annual BMW rally in Daytona.

I think the reason Harley riders call sporties girls bikes, is cause they have been downgraded (to 883cc) and seats have been lowered etc. The original Sportster was considered a rocket ship, but its just an overweight dud today.

I have owned or ridden about every bike brand made in the last 30 years. From Bridgestone, BMW, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Harley, Husky, Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Excelsior Henderson, Victory, Triumph-both the original and current-Norton, Benelli, and probably some others I have forgotten. I owned an example of most of the previous, and the ones I didn't own I got to ride because friends for dealers were kind enough to let me.

What you ride really does not matter. If it makes you happy, thats all that matters. Just be assured that no matter what it is, there will always be someone out there who thinks your ride is a piece of crap

NMGlocker
11-16-2005, 21:32
Originally posted by hd67xlch
Im also in the camp, that any stroked/tuned sportster will eat up any big twin on the road. My 76 xlh is stroked to 86" and it has run low 10s in quarter before.
Whatcha callin a "big twin"?

A Ducati 999 V-twin does 10.29 @ 133.65mph straight off the showroom floor. And that is with 160mph+ superbike gearing.

A Aprilia RSV Tuono 1000 V-twin does 10.91 @ 127.8mph stock.

A Honda RC51 V-twin does 10.49 @ 132.7mph stock.

Cryptoboy
11-16-2005, 22:00
Originally posted by NMGlocker
Whatcha callin a "big twin"?

A Ducati 999 V-twin does 10.29 @ 133.65mph straight off the showroom floor. And that is with 160mph+ superbike gearing.

A Aprilia RSV Tuono 1000 V-twin does 10.91 @ 127.8mph stock.

A Honda RC51 V-twin does 10.49 @ 132.7mph stock.

A big twin is typically over 1200cc in size.........

wvwayne
11-17-2005, 00:15
Originally posted by NMGlocker
Whatcha callin a "big twin"?

A Ducati 999 V-twin does 10.29 @ 133.65mph straight off the showroom floor. And that is with 160mph+ superbike gearing.

A Aprilia RSV Tuono 1000 V-twin does 10.91 @ 127.8mph stock.

A Honda RC51 V-twin does 10.49 @ 132.7mph stock. If Harley didn't put the V Rod motor in such an over weight sled you would see those kind of numbers out of it.

DunedinDragon
11-17-2005, 02:59
Originally posted by wvwayne
If Harley didn't put the V Rod motor in such an over weight sled you would see those kind of numbers out of it.

And that's exactly the point. The V-Rod is not meant to be a quarter-mile queen. From a manufacturer's perspective, that's a field that already has way too many competitors. Harley was smart not to go after that with the V-Rod.

epsylum
11-17-2005, 05:18
Originally posted by DunedinDragon
And that's exactly the point. The V-Rod is not meant to be a quarter-mile queen. From a manufacturer's perspective, that's a field that already has way too many competitors. Harley was smart not to go after that with the V-Rod.

Well then why do they have a version with a wheelie bar and an air shifter?

http://www.dragbike.com/dbnews/templates/features_template.asp?articleid=1439&zoneid=3

DunedinDragon
11-17-2005, 05:50
Originally posted by epsylum
Well then why do they have a version with a wheelie bar and an air shifter?

http://www.dragbike.com/dbnews/templates/features_template.asp?articleid=1439&zoneid=3

"They" (HD) don't have one. You can take a 9mm Glock 17 and turn it into a carbine, but you still don't REALLY have a carbine. Glock didn't design their G17 to address the carbine market and HD didn't build the V-Rod to be a drag bike. Engineers are given design points to design to. The reason the V-Rod is as heavy as it is is due to the design point of being road worthy.

August
11-17-2005, 08:35
If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand.

You either get it, or you don't. People who try to apply tutonic engineering and Japanese Kaizen to H-D motorcycles are clearly missing the point.

You can't quantify passion. You can't put quality (in the non-pedantic sense of the word) in a spreadsheet. And, you can't make people understand H-D if they don't already get it. So, WeeHopper, you will not find an answer to your question here.

Where would you find an answer? Well, I suggest you get involved in motorcycling. Buy a beemer, ride an Iron butt. Buy a Honda, ride an Iron butt. Buy an H-D, ride an Iron butt. Then, and only then, will you understand the qualities of these bikes. Two are dependable (not the ones you're thinking), one is comfortable (not the one you're thinking), two have a charming personality (not the one's you're thinking), and one is just right for you (not the one you're thinking).

Personally, I currently ride H-D products. However, I really want an ST1300 in the worst way. All my buddies who own the Kraut have had major breakdowns and other reliability problems.

If you are interested in riding on hiways in the United States of America, and have no intention to break the law, then there is one bike that is clearly developed to do this -- all day, everyday, for as long as you change the oil and add gas. That bike is, of course, an FL.

NMGlocker
11-17-2005, 09:33
Originally posted by Cryptoboy
A big twin is typically over 1200cc in size.........
LMAO.......
How come Ferrari doesn't win in NASCAR?
If you narrow the list of competition down enough that you are the only competitor..... voila! We can all be winners!
This is always my biggest contention with Harley enthusiasts.
A Harley is an exceptional Saturday night cruiser (in a nostalgic way), and they even make a decent touring bike. But when the enthusiast try and claim they make a decent sportbike.......
;Q

NMGlocker
11-17-2005, 09:45
Originally posted by August
If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand.
I'll play along..........

"Yugo makes the best luxury car on the road, if I have to explain, you wouldn't understand."

"Lorcin makes the best pistol, if I have to explain, you wouldn't understand."

"Rat skin makes the best underwear, if I have to explain, you wouldn't understand."

"Yani makes the best music, if I have to explain, you wouldn't understand."

;f

DunedinDragon
11-17-2005, 09:46
Originally posted by NMGlocker
But when the enthusiast try and claim they make a decent sportbike.......
;Q

Who said Harley is making a sportbike??

I certainly wasn't Harley-Davidson.

NMGlocker
11-17-2005, 09:51
Originally posted by DunedinDragon
Who said Harley is making a sportbike??

I certainly wasn't Harley-Davidson.
Did you actually read the line you quoted?
I said that the "enthusiasts" claim HD makes a sportbike.
Read a few posts up where the "fastest big V-twin" comment was thrown around.
btw: doesn't H-D now own Buell? Isn't Buell considered a H-D sportbike?

Three-Five-Seven
11-17-2005, 12:48
Hey, NMGlocker, sorry to hear about your advanced case of recto-encephylitis. Maybe a little bit of motorcylcle riding will clear that up for you.:soap:

NMGlocker
11-17-2005, 13:12
Riding 2000 miles last month didn't cure me?
;g
Don't shoot the messenger because I told you "Your emperor has no clothes".

DunedinDragon
11-17-2005, 16:33
Originally posted by NMGlocker
Isn't Buell considered a H-D sportbike?

Not by Harley...it's considered a "fun" bike and a good "starter" bike.

Clearly you have some grudge against HD's and/or their owners. I don't know what it is and I don't particularly care. I come in here to talk bikes, whatever kind of bike trips your trigger, as long as it has an engine and two wheels it's kewl.

BTW...I'm sure you must get tired of people telling you Glocks KB all the time, huh??

Cryptoboy
11-17-2005, 16:55
Originally posted by NMGlocker
LMAO.......
How come Ferrari doesn't win in NASCAR?
If you narrow the list of competition down enough that you are the only competitor..... voila! We can all be winners!
This is always my biggest contention with Harley enthusiasts.
A Harley is an exceptional Saturday night cruiser (in a nostalgic way), and they even make a decent touring bike. But when the enthusiast try and claim they make a decent sportbike.......
;Q

I haven't met a Harley enthusiast yet that has tried to call ANY Harley a sportbike, much less a decent one! Where did you pull that one from? ;Q

And for your information, Yamaha (Road Star), Honda (VTX1800), and Kawasaki (Vulcan 1600 Mean Streak) all make 'big twin' cruisers. I believe Suzuki does as well. Of course, don't forget Victory for that matter! That's not much narrowing of the list when you get down to it.

So what was with your contention with Harley enthusiasts again? That they like their bikes more than the metric cruisers, even the other 'big twins'? Even if the metrics are faster? Why is that any different than a guy riding a Yamaha R1 liking his bike more than a GSXR1000 (or a Buell Firebolt for that matter, to cover all the bases)?

Dunedin, that's an excellent analogy (the 'Glock KB issue')!!!

wvwayne
11-19-2005, 01:40
I like my Glock too,even if they do KB and are made out of cheap plastic;Y

Clydeglide
11-19-2005, 06:23
Originally posted by NMGlocker
Isn't Buell considered a H-D sportbike?

Not by most insurance companies. Or liter bike owners, or.....

:cool:

NMGlocker
11-19-2005, 18:36
Precision handling. Raw Power. Exotic style. It's the ultimate sport-riding experience.
http://www.buell.com

Clydeglide
11-19-2005, 19:13
Originally posted by NMGlocker
Precision handling. Raw Power. Exotic style. It's the ultimate sport-riding experience.
http://www.buell.com

Put down the Kool Aid and step away from the motorcycle! LOL

Hey, I like Buells. My wife had an X1 before the Busa. I hated the X1 but liked the Busa so much I bought one for myself.

I just don't believe everything I read from a manufacturers marketing department.

And yes, I've met Erik and think he's a good guy. But he is selling product.

:cool:

HollowHead
11-19-2005, 23:02
Here's my XL...uncomfortable, brutal and makes those who call it a "starter girl's bike" sit when they pee.

stinx
11-20-2005, 08:31
I like my Roadking because its old school, I bought the bike to cruise around on and not worry about speed or high speed handeling and cornering. I plan on keeping my Roadking for a long time. On the other hand I hope to be adding an 05, 0r 06 BMW 1200RT touring bike to the Garage. I test drove the BMW last week. A awsome all around bike, phenominal brakes, great motor, nice handeling. I could easily ride this bike 4-500 miles a day.

ejd8829
11-20-2005, 13:52
O.k......

I've read most of the post of this thread and finally decided to chime in.

I'm not going to brag about all the miles I've put on my scooters or bag on any one manufacture.

IMO: Harley has always been a symbol of america. Since 1903 they have been a symbol of sport, extreme living and freedom. My upbringing has always been patriotic...I'm not saying that anyone that buys a Honda or any other "rice burner" is less patriotic. I've always supported the "buy American" slogan. I know, some Harley parts are made in Korea, china, and Japan, but the company is in Milwaukee...American jobs. Look at the history of the "Fatboy" its named after "Fatman" and "little boy" the bombs that were dropped on Japan to end the war in the pacific. Thats not why I bought the Fatboy, but if that isn't a symbol of a patriotic company what is.

I don't think you see so much bagging on the Sportsters as much anymore. there are some RUB's out there that think they're "playing the part" if they wear a leather bandana on the weekends and call it a chics bike. I've seen more sportsters chopped and beefed up in garages that would spank any $40,000.00 S&S motored chopper with a gay paint job. Depending on the group one might ride with you'll hear guys catching crap for riding any bike with bags or a windshield....those are for "old guys" or "if I wanted a windshield I'd drive my cage. But I'll tell you nothing turns my gut more than seeing a RUB on a $40,000 Texas Chopper wearing cargo shorts, a polo shirt, white sneakers with ankle socks and a bandana!!

As far as the V-Rod story: you guys probably know it better than me. But I do know that most die hard Harley owners see it as an insult to the whole nastolgic biker world. How can you get on your scoot and live the good ol' days if you don't look the part. Its to sporty looking and dose'nt have the classic H-D motor. If you want to buy speed by a V-Rod, if want to "make" power buy a Harley. Back in the day chics loved the rebel life men would lead, the Harley symbolized you had a rebel side to you, RUB or not. The V-Rod is more of the Yuppie approach. Kind of like BMW.

I guess you see the same thing with Colt owners? I have 9 Colts and three Glocks. The Colts are more of a symbol, the Glocks are just plain ol' combat guns.

BushyAR15
11-21-2005, 07:24
Now I've got to add my .02....

Honda Goldwings are assembled right here in the good ol' USA. So, if you buy one aren't you keeping Americans employed? There are other Japanese motorcycles assembled here in the USA as well. Based on your reasoning below, buying a Honda GoldWing IS keeping jobs in America. I'm not trying to start a "flame" war, or defend any manufacturer, I'm just saying your logic is inconsistent.

I've always wanted a Harley, but the biggest problem I had with them, was they were so underpowered. I believe why can't you have the power with the looks? The V-Rod answers that issue, thats why I own one.

I must strongly disagree with your comment that the V-rod is the "Yuppie" approach. The whole "Rubbie" or "Rich Urban Biker" aka Yuppie bikers, labeling started in the early 90s. There was no V-Rod then. If you look at what the Rubbies ride, you'll find far more Fatboys, Dynaglides, etc... If you talk to them about Harley choices, V-Rod isn't on the top of their list. The "Rubbies" are the first to claim that the V-Rod is not a real Harley.

The V-Rod was the Harley's very smart approach to obtain a market share of that "power cruiser" market that bikes such as the Yamaha Roadstar Warrior would have cornered. If not for the V-Rod, I'd be riding some Japanese power cruiser.

When I hang out at the local Harley shop, I'm amazed to hear who owns some of those V-Rods. Its not the "idealistic" 20-40 year old rider, its the old school guys. Sure their are young guys but their are alot of old time Harley riders that own one along with side with their Springer or whatever they ride.

The V-Rod was Harleys answer to motorcyclist like me. Those that want performance and handling in Harley package. Harley is able to sell bikes to those on the fence who like me wanted a Harley but didn't want something that was under-powered...


My thoughts and not flaming.....



Originally posted by ejd8829
O.k......

I've read most of the post of this thread and finally decided to chime in.


I'm not going to brag about all the miles I've put on my scooters or bag on any one manufacture.

IMO: Harley has always been a symbol of america. Since 1903 they have been a symbol of sport, extreme living and freedom. My upbringing has always been patriotic...I'm not saying that anyone that buys a Honda or any other "rice burner" is less patriotic. I've always supported the "buy American" slogan. I know, some Harley parts are made in Korea, china, and Japan, but the company is in Milwaukee...American jobs. Look at the history of the "Fatboy" its named after "Fatman" and "little boy" the bombs that were dropped on Japan to end the war in the pacific. Thats not why I bought the Fatboy, but if that isn't a symbol of a patriotic company what is.

I don't think you see so much bagging on the Sportsters as much anymore. there are some RUB's out there that think they're "playing the part" if they wear a leather bandana on the weekends and call it a chics bike. I've seen more sportsters chopped and beefed up in garages that would spank any $40,000.00 S&S motored chopper with a gay paint job. Depending on the group one might ride with you'll hear guys catching crap for riding any bike with bags or a windshield....those are for "old guys" or "if I wanted a windshield I'd drive my cage. But I'll tell you nothing turns my gut more than seeing a RUB on a $40,000 Texas Chopper wearing cargo shorts, a polo shirt, white sneakers with ankle socks and a bandana!!

As far as the V-Rod story: you guys probably know it better than me. But I do know that most die hard Harley owners see it as an insult to the whole nastolgic biker world. How can you get on your scoot and live the good ol' days if you don't look the part. Its to sporty looking and dose'nt have the classic H-D motor. If you want to buy speed by a V-Rod, if want to "make" power buy a Harley. Back in the day chics loved the rebel life men would lead, the Harley symbolized you had a rebel side to you, RUB or not. The V-Rod is more of the Yuppie approach. Kind of like BMW.

I guess you see the same thing with Colt owners? I have 9 Colts and three Glocks. The Colts are more of a symbol, the Glocks are just plain ol' combat guns.

epsylum
11-21-2005, 10:12
Originally posted by BushyAR15
Now I've got to add my .02....

Honda Goldwings are assembled right here in the good ol' USA. So, if you buy one aren't you keeping Americans employed? There are other Japanese motorcycles assembled here in the USA as well. Based on your reasoning below, buying a Honda GoldWing IS keeping jobs in America. I'm not trying to start a "flame" war, or defend any manufacturer, I'm just saying your logic is inconsistent.

I've always wanted a Harley, but the biggest problem I had with them, was they were so underpowered. I believe why can't you have the power with the looks? The V-Rod answers that issue, thats why I own one.

I must strongly disagree with your comment that the V-rod is the "Yuppie" approach. The whole "Rubbie" or "Rich Urban Biker" aka Yuppie bikers, labeling started in the early 90s. There was no V-Rod then. If you look at what the Rubbies ride, you'll find far more Fatboys, Dynaglides, etc... If you talk to them about Harley choices, V-Rod isn't on the top of their list. The "Rubbies" are the first to claim that the V-Rod is not a real Harley.

The V-Rod was the Harley's very smart approach to obtain a market share of that "power cruiser" market that bikes such as the Yamaha Roadstar Warrior would have cornered. If not for the V-Rod, I'd be riding some Japanese power cruiser.

When I hang out at the local Harley shop, I'm amazed to hear who owns some of those V-Rods. Its not the "idealistic" 20-40 year old rider, its the old school guys. Sure their are young guys but their are alot of old time Harley riders that own one along with side with their Springer or whatever they ride.

The V-Rod was Harleys answer to motorcyclist like me. Those that want performance and handling in Harley package. Harley is able to sell bikes to those on the fence who like me wanted a Harley but didn't want something that was under-powered...


My thoughts and not flaming.....

Good point. The only 2 people I know that own V-rods are NOT yuppies. One makes not much more money than me (trust me, it's not that much) the other is a mid 20 year old motorcycle mechanic. They have succeeded in making a Harley for non-Harley people. I have said before and will say again, if I had to buy a Harley the V-rod is it.

TimP
11-21-2005, 10:38
The V-rod is a nice bike. Good power, nice looks, and its a Harley. But as for as that goes, the road star warrior has my nod.

Timothy658
11-21-2005, 15:37
Anybody have pics of the V-Rod or the Roadstar Warrior?

mmsig229
11-21-2005, 22:35
OK, my turn. I've had all different types of bikes. My first Harley was a cafe racer. A 1977 XLCR, should have kept it but the Shovelhead required more maint than I was able to give it. I then bought a 1200 Sporty. After a S&S Super E, and a dyna Ignition, the bike was a monster. Pulled hard in every gear, And didn't vibrate too bad after I changed the gearing. I then bought a FXST (softail). hate to say it, but after you ride a big twin, a Sporty is just too uncomfortable. I've also added a Honda 929RR to keep the Sporty, and FXST company. The Jap bikes are incredibly fast, and the technology is mind boggling. I don't care what someone else rides, there's room enough for whatever you like. I also have a 1969 Triumph TR6R in boxes, but that's another story...PS, my buddy has a Vrod. I've ridden it and wasn't too impressed. Doesn't have the soul of my pimped out FXST, or the speed/handling of my 929RR....JMHO......

hitecrednek
12-07-2005, 19:19
I'll stand up for the Sportster.

Its a fun bike to commute with.

sounds cool without loud pipes; like an old steam engine? "ticka-ticka-ticka"

low enough to get on without a step ladder. I just checked out a V-strom; couldn't even get a leg over it!

kids wave at you.

its got history behind it.

HD is family.

I"ve got a 883 and and a FXST.....I don't like the big bikes with the FL forks; they are too hard to corner.

cons of HD- too many aftermarket parts are made in the orient, and the leather is sucky.

hitecrednek
12-07-2005, 19:22
photo of the fxst in Plymouth, vt.

Markcuda
12-07-2005, 19:23
cons of HD- too many aftermarket parts are made in the orient, and the leather is sucky.
Get use to it :)

fnfalman
12-08-2005, 09:28
Originally posted by Markcuda
Get use to it :)

I hate to say it, but without some of those Oriental parts, the Harleys might not be what they are today but more like what they were back in the 1980s.

Markcuda
12-08-2005, 09:34
My Harley, 2003 Ultra Classic has abunch of Jap parts, I sure don't care.
I'm sure there are other countries that have helped build my Ultra but I sure don't care, I wanted the bike, did not matter to me where the parts came from :cool:
Ride what ever trips your triger :cool:

fnfalman
12-08-2005, 12:14
I wouldn't mind Jap parts like the carburation/injection units in my bike either. My trust in Teutonic engineering only goes so far and I have no faith in Italian engineering.;g

hitecrednek
12-08-2005, 12:47
so I don't know what is worse-

Jap parts

or-

AMF

;g

DaveGT
12-09-2005, 00:18
Been following this thread with interest, waiting to see what direction it took before chiming in.

As with any post about motorcycles in a general discussion, there will be those on both sides who jump in quick to pound their chests, boast about their ride and bash others. I usually attribute that to age and figure it will pass like greasy food at a roadside truck stop in the middle of the night.

The question that started this discussion was when Harley riders started making the shift towards the heavier, big touring rigs. The answer to that is demographics. The average age of Harley riders is shifting upward, especially so as more riders come on board after raising families, putting kids through college, then turning to long forgotten dreams. As the age of Harley riders riders increases, more and more are just looking for a ride to go on trips in relative comfort.

One poster on this thread has an obvious disdain for Harleys and has made a lot of references about how far they are ridden, that they are nothing but Saturday night cruiser bikes, etc. Those kind of comments don't really add to any intelligent conversation about motorcycles, they are nothing but 'bashing' a particular brand and remind me of junior high school conversations. I am 56 years old, and have been riding Harley-Davidsons since I purchased my first Harley when I returned from Vietnam in 1970. I've pretty much ridden the whole range of the product line, and probably did my fair share to keep several dealerships open along the way.

In my 35 years of riding, I have cris-crossed the country and done some mighty long trips on a wide variety of Harleys. Along the way, I spent time as a motorcycle officer, then continued in the safety aspect of motorcycling as an MSF Instructor for both the basic and advanced courses. Since I live way out in the boonies of north Texas, the Department of Public Safety utilized me as a roving instructor, teaching courses in Abilene, Dallas, Lubbock, Amarillo, and Wichita Falls. One look at a Texas map will offer proof of the mileage I put on for many years in support of motorcycle safety. When I had to have a second knee replacement and could no longer spend long hours on a training range, Harley-Davidson asked me if I would be interested in being the H-D and HOG State Safety Coordinator, taking care of all of H-D's safety concerns throughout Texas. In that capacity, I conducted 1 hour safety seminars at rallies all over Texas and at HOG rallies all over the country. I was heavily involved in the publicity aspect of motorcycling and about safety. On Harley's 90th Anniversary ride, I was the Safety Officer on the ride from Texas to Milwaukee and did all the radio, television and newspaper interviews along the way. When the Governor of Texas was presented with a Harley Sportster to promote Motorcycle Safety Awareness month in Texas, I was there for the presentation that drew worldwide media attention and I also took the opportunity to have a long talk with her about motorcycle safety... which she was solidly behind. That exposure led to a spot on the Governor's Motorcycle Safety Advisory Committee.

As an MSF Instructor, I taught classes to riders of all brands, and had a good relationship with everyone I met. I did not push a brand, nor did I knock a brand, my role was to further the cause of safe motorcycle riders, no matter what they rode. Working on the Governor's committee involved legislation that affected all riders on all brands of motorcycles.

The jobs associated with my motorcycling career have all involved long hours in the saddle and untold mileage. I've run 1000 mile days and done 1800 mile trips in two days, whatever it took. I've been on 500 mile day rides with folks on Sportsters, Dyna's, Softtails, Dressers, and even with friends who ride old evolution or knucklehead bikes, and even a few on late 40's model Indians. It didn't matter what they rode or how far the journey was, it didn't matter if someone broke down along the way... we were all in it together.

The current group I have been riding with for many years are all older riders like myself, on a variety of bikes. From Harleys to Gold Wings, to BMW's, to some of the Japanese branded sport cruisers, it doesn't matter.... we are all in it together.

In 2003 I had the misfortune to hit a deer while riding my Ultra with a group of 11 other riders in the central Texas Hill Country. My injuries were so bad, the State Trooper that responded called a medical helicopter right to the accident location. While I am able to ride again, I am still recovering. The accident basically broke the entire right side of my body. Leathers and a helmet kept minor injuries to a minimum, mine were all serious trauma type injuries from the impact, then bouncing and cartwheeling down the highway. After the accident, the other riders (of all different brands) stayed with my motorcycle until it could be secured. They also made sure it was transported back to my dealer, hundreds of miles away.... with their own pickups and trailers that they called home for and had their wives bring. They also took care of all my belongings back at the motel, and made sure everything was delivered to my wife. When I was in the hospital, literally hundreds of people from all over the country called. I was not able to talk on the phone for a few days, the nurses kept a log of everyone that I still have today. Then the flowers, cards, and other means of caring began to arrive.... from all over the country, and from riders of all different brands of motorcycles that I had met over the years. Did anyone care that I was riding a particular brand at the time of the accident ? NO, it was motorcycle riders coming together because one of their own had gone down.

When I look back on the last 35 years, I smile. The memories of so many good people that I have met along the way are still fresh in my mind. All riders, all sharing a common dream... no matter the brand they rode or style of riding they did. To me, that's what motorcycling is all about, not listening to someone who is ill-informed or just spouting off personal opinion or self absorbed chest thumping to cover up a lack of maturity or real knowledge.

I've stopped to help all sorts of riders on every type of two wheeled machine imaginable. From folks who broke down because they didn't know how to maintain a motorcycle, to folks who went off the road because of a lack of riding skill and ability. I've offered advice when asked, and kept my mouth shut and listened to those who had more knowledge than myself.

Other comments on this thread have to do with putting down riders who trailer their bikes to a rally or a ride location. Now I agree that there may be some who trailer just to avoid getting their ride dirty, but I have also seen all brands and models on trailers over the years.

Before a blanket condemnation is made against anyone who trailers, you might need to put yourself in their shoes to better understand why some have to trailer..... before you put them down with verbal abuse. Some have physical conditions that prevent them from riding long distances, but they can trailer to the rally and still ride while they are there. Some have family considerations... with both the husband and wife working these days in most families, they often have to take vacation together so they can do things with the kids. A truck and a trailer might be the only way of getting a whole family to a rally location. Others have time considerations due to work schedules, often friends trailering a few bikes together and splitting up driving duties is the only way some can make long distances in short periods. Some trailer from the north when it is snowing and icy, to arrive in the south at a rally and ride from there. So the blanket statements about those that trailer are just a lot of crap. If you're in this area of the country and you see a red Ford F-150 extended cab pickup pulling a white trailer with a white Ultra on it, it'll probably be me because I now fall into the category of riders who physically can't do long rides anymore... Bambi saw to that. Instead of putting me down because my re-built Ultra is on a trailer, wave and smile while you're thinking: "There goes Dave, he's on his way to ride with his friends, that deer isn't getting the best of him..."

Returning to the question that started this thread: That's why I ride an Ultra, because I am getting older and when I can ride, I appreciate the comfort. And don't get me wrong.. I would probably ride a Gold Wing if my short little legs could touch the ground !

Safe riding to all... and watch out for them pesky reindeer of Santa's !

:)

Markcuda
12-09-2005, 00:56
Dave, I knew this was you about 6 lines into your story :cool:
Very good post :)

DaveGT
12-09-2005, 01:20
Howdy Mark !

Looking forward to hearing about your 2006 mileage with the new engine.

The fellow on here that said:

Maybe 'real' Harley riders understand their place in life..... "slower traffic must keep right".

and:

"Seriously, a Harley is strictly a Saturday night cruiser, something to be seen (and heard) on."

has obviously never met you, seen what you ride, or know about your mileage totals !

Be safe,
Dave

mmsig229
12-09-2005, 14:31
Originally posted by hitecrednek
so I don't know what is worse-

Jap parts

or-

AMF

;g

Actually AMF saved HD by dumping tons of money into the company. Had they not done this, there would be no HD today.

DaveGT
12-09-2005, 15:11
Originally posted by mmsig229
Actually AMF saved HD by dumping tons of money into the company. Had they not done this, there would be no HD today.

Very true. The whole history of Harley-Davidson make the company what it is today. There isn't one piece that can be left out.

AMF bought H-D when it was about to go under. In the AMF years, the mindset was quantity versus quality. That had a very damaging effect on public interest in the product and eventually led to another nose dive. Just short of bankruptcy court, H-D managers and employees raised the funds to buy the company back, some mortgaging everything they owned in the gamble.

For a long while the product kept getting better as the mindset changed to quality over quantity. Then I believe greed set in and management thought they could make a huge profit off the 100th Anniversary of the company and flooded the market with 'special' anniversary edition models that turned out to be not so special when so many of them sat on dealer showroom floors all across the country.

In the few years since, sales have slowed, but management is trying to stay ahead of the curve with new models. Time will tell if the 'faithful' accept all the new models. The ones with the retro themes seem to be doing well at this point.

The V-Rod is a bike that H-D owners either love or hate, there doesn't seem to be much in between. Most riders understand that with government regulations becoming stricter, the V-Rod engine concept will probably be the future of H-D. But... like myself, a lot of the older riders are patiently waiting for that engine to be placed into a touring, or FLH model frame. If H-D does get around to doing that, my 02 Ultra will have company in the garage !

12-13-2005, 15:57
Dave...Thanks for saying it - all of it - better than I could.

I spend 15 years in the Army, all told, and when I meet a Marine, or a Navy vet, I ask 'em, "Whats'a matter...couldn't get in the Army?" But I say it with affection and Love for the Service, not in a vindictive, nasty way. I think there's a lot to be said for good-natured bantering of one breed against another, but only until it turns sour. Then it becomes antagonistic and poisonous and threatens to undermine the Way Of Life represented by motorcycling.

Similarly, if we don't learn to get ourselves together in the arena of gun ownership, and start recognizing that the "Screw those gun-nut handgunners" attitude exhibited by some of those who only choose to hunt, or whose interests lie in just shotgunning or riflery, will tear us all down as surely as the Bastids who attack us from the front.

One day we'll all see that there is no Democrat or Republican...only heads and tails of the same coin. It's a choice of 'these' idiots or 'those' idiots, when what we really need to to organize and elect a whole new category of idiots. Maybe we'll get lucky, but not if we simply rely on "Luck".

Dave: You spent a lot of years with Harley. You know Galen?

VAshooter
12-13-2005, 16:50
fnfalman,
In 1985 I won my last WERA Regional Roadracing Championship. They changed the class rules for the 1986 season and I realized I would have to buy all new bikes to compete the next season.
I went back to riding on the street but found I was too aggressive on the street and was headed for some serious tickets. I sold all my race bikes and fast bikes and bought a new 1986 FXRS Low Rider. I have short legs and it fit me real well. I had never owned a Harley before but I had ridden them from time to time.
The Harley is slow but it has the old FXR frame, the best frame Harley ever made, which handles very well. It won't do real sharp turns fast because of the front end geometry but it eats up the sweepers and sitting up allows you to see the country side. When I'm on the Harley I don't want to go fast. It's just not that kind of bike. They call them cruisers for a reason. It's fun to go for a ride in the country for the relaxation rather than the adrenelin rush. My Harley will be 20 years old next year. I'll admit, sometimes I go down to the Ducati store and look at the fast bikes. I think hard about a Monster (hate the name, love the bike) but I haven't taken the plunge.
I'm kind of a loner and don't hang out with other Harley riders so I don't really know why they ride what they ride. The guy down the street from me has had a Harley for 10 years and I'll bet he doesn't have 500 miles on it. He just takes it out of the garage and washes it a couple times a year.

jungleman
12-15-2005, 21:48
20 plus years ago I had two Honda's. first one was a 900cbr new.
Second was goldwing used. I enjoyed both bikes but my fingers would go numb riding them.
Last fall I purchased my first HD 2006 Heritage Classic. Love this bike. Can ride all day comfortably. There is just something about the way you sit in this ride. My fingers do not go numb anymore.
True you can not lay it down very far on turns without scraping the floor boards but thats ok for me. It's plenty fast for me, I just try to stay away from all the cages.

handy8941
01-06-2006, 12:11
I rode a Honda for almost 30 years before I bought my Sportster. Girl's bike? Nonsense!

The difference between a Harley and any other bike is that after a few hours of riding the other bike you start thinking "gee, this has been fun, I think I'll head for home and do something else."

On a Harley after the same amount of time you think, "gee, this has been fun, I wonder where that road goes?"

JohnH
01-06-2006, 14:22
Originally posted by wvwayne
Some people say that the Sportster is a Girls bike.I simply do not see this.The Sportster (was) Harleys hot rod before the VRod came out,and the VRod is still the only Harley product that will beat the Sportster.A new 1200 Sporster with a stage one kit will put about 85 HP to the pavement.Most 95 inch Big Twins can't even match that at the crank.Now for the people not in the know, a stage one kit for a Sporster is Pipes,Air Cleaner and rejet the carb.Now maybe I am getting old but a 1200 Sportster with a stage one will run the QT mile at about 12.2 sec.The same as the new ZO 6 Corvette and nobody is calling it slow or a girls car.;Q

I agree. I remember when Sportsters, Triumph Bonnevilles, and BSA Lightnings ruled the street, and the bigger Harleys were just plane ugly. The old 'Iron-Head' Sporsters are still, in my opinion, the best looking Harleys ever made. Having said that, I'd go Japanese over any Harley.