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post #1 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 7:59 am Thread Starter
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help me understand

Ok, I know there are a lot of Harley riders here, and I don't mean to start any flame wars, but help me understand something.

There's 2 guys here at the office in the market for a new bike.

One guy had a Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 and got run off the road by one of those unattentive drivers. He's ok, but his bike was totalled. He told me he's taking the insurance money, selling his wife's very seldom ridden 650, and buying a Road King.

The other guy used to have a Yamaha Voyager. He had it for about 2 yrs and sold it because it was "too much of a pain getting in and out of the shed". Now, 2 yrs later, he's in the market again. Ok, cool. I told him he could buy my LT and he seemed interested, so yesterday I let him take it for a test ride.

First, he's never had a bike with a centerstand and wanted to know how to get it off. Then he was intimidated by here size. Once he fired her up and popped her into gear he was amazed at how easy it went into gear. "I didn't even hear it or feel it." he said. I just grinned. Then he had a hard time with his feet - he was trying to put them too far forward and kept kicking the lower fairing. And off he goes. When he gets back he wants to know how to put it up on the centerstand. "Do I get off first?" Yep, it's a lot easier that way. "oh, so it's a 2 step process. sidestand, then centerstand." Yep. "Nice bike, but I felt like I was leaning too far forward." huh???? He likes riding in that gynecology position.

So at lunch we go to the local dealer so he can look at Hondas, Yamahas, and Kawasakis. I have him sit on an FJR. "I'm leaning too far forward." geez. As we're leaving he says he's having a hard time deciding because he keeps comparing the storage capacity of the Venture with the cruisers he's looking at. I asked what was keeping him from getting another Venture. "They're $17,000!!! If I'm going to pay that much, I'll get a Harley!"

And that finally leads into where I need help. What the heck is it with this Harley craze???? If they're such great bikes, how come I see so many for sale in the paper and everywhere else? I just don't get it.


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'99K1200LT - "Bertha" - gone, but not forgotten!
'86 Concours - "Horse with no name" (under reconstructive surgery)
'06 K1200GT - "Road Rocket"
Marshall, Tx


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post #2 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 8:18 am
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It's just the idea and the "privilege" of saying "I got a Harley". You don't have to ride-em far, just to the local hang-out and instant cool factor kicks in. Show up on another brand and ask if people want to go for a ride with you. Naw...maybe later.

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post #3 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 8:26 am
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If I have explain, you wouldn't understand

So goes the T shirt and helmet sticker. I am fortunate enough to be a rider of both a HD Ultra Classic and an 05 LT, for the life of me, I can not understand all the Harley bashing on this site. Harley's are an antique designed bike that has been upgraded but does not have the high tech goodies we LT riders take for granted and that is why I bought the LT. I feel safer on it. I know that there is a significant number of Harley riders who have garage queens and are posers. But guess what, the same can be said of BMW riders.

I guess it boils down to "different strokes for different folks". Bikers are bikers, no matter what they ride and I have met some very fine people on both. We are all in it together agains the people in cages.

There are big differences between the Ultra and the LT. So much so, that I almost sold mine within the first six months of ownership. I was very uncomfortable on it at first. Dropped it 3 times in the first six months.
I got used to it. Last year I did 16000 on the LT and only 6000 on the HD. I guess I am voting with my ass. However, before I bought the LT, I rode between 18000 an 22000 miles yearly on the Ultra and so did most of the people I hang with.

I am not sure I answered your question. Like I said: If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand.

Ultra LT

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post #4 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 8:41 am
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A couple of possible answers: There are so many for sale because there are so many out there period.

The "RUBBIE" factor comes and goes. Some guys hit the mid-life-crisis, buy a bike, ride it for a few weeks, let it sit in the garage for a year or two, and discover the battery died, the wife is getting grumpy, or they just need the money free for the next toy ... maybe a boat or an Escalade or something.

Everyone else has one.

If you buy a Harley, you never have to answer the question of why you bought a [Vulcan, Star, Shadow, Valkyrie, Vincent Black Shadow, etc.] instead of a Harley. (Okay, one should *never* have to explain why one bought a Vincent Black Shadow!)

Maybe deep down inside you know that the novelty will wear off in a year or so, and Harleys *do* hold their resale value very well... because someone else needs the MLC bike.


The real answer: every case is different. Why dontcha ask the guys who want a Harley why they really want the Harley?

If you look at the map and don't care where you are, you're not lost.

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post #5 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 8:46 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraLT
So goes the T shirt and helmet sticker. I am fortunate enough to be a rider of both a HD Ultra Classic and an 05 LT, for the life of me, I can not understand all the Harley bashing on this site. Harley's are an antique designed bike that has been upgraded but does not have the high tech goodies we LT riders take for granted and that is why I bought the LT. I feel safer on it. I know that there is a significant number of Harley riders who have garage queens and are posers. But guess what, the same can be said of BMW riders.

I guess it boils down to "different strokes for different folks". Bikers are bikers, no matter what they ride and I have met some very fine people on both. We are all in it together agains the people in cages.

There are big differences between the Ultra and the LT. So much so, that I almost sold mine within the first six months of ownership. I was very uncomfortable on it at first. Dropped it 3 times in the first six months.
I got used to it. Last year I did 16000 on the LT and only 6000 on the HD. I guess I am voting with my ass. However, before I bought the LT, I rode between 18000 an 22000 miles yearly on the Ultra and so did most of the people I hang with.

I am not sure I answered your question. Like I said: If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand.

Ultra LT

Riding is life. All else is just waiting.
I'm not bashing Harleys at all. I just don't see the mystic of it all. Harley seems to have one heck of a marketing team and scheme. There's not too many other brands that have people buying t-shirts, decals, jackets, belt buckles, etc when they don't even own a bike of that brand. It's scary. It's almost cult-like.

I did ask my friend what the deal was with a Harley. He said it was the cool factor of owning one and that chicks dig it. Ok, whatever.

And I know this next statement is going to start something, but I gotta say it: I don't consider myself a biker. I am a motorcyclist. To me, a biker conjures up images of sleazy, greasy, leather clad thugs on motorcycles.


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'99K1200LT - "Bertha" - gone, but not forgotten!
'86 Concours - "Horse with no name" (under reconstructive surgery)
'06 K1200GT - "Road Rocket"
Marshall, Tx


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post #6 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 8:48 am
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Yup, "Bones" has got it right,
buy a Harley and you instantly belong to the "biggest" bike club in the world.

I think most people are influenced by what they see
and we all know there are a lot more Harleys out there than anything else,
also motorcycles (like women) are usually desired from an emotional perspective,
like oooh doesn't that look good or man wouldn't that be nice.

Ownership especially after you can see through the chrome (or make up)
takes on another "tone" that's why there are so many for sale (Harley's that is)

There was a time when I would not even look at anything that wasn't HD,
it just wasn't a motorcycle.

When I started riding a BMW my Harley "buddies" looked at me like I had gone "queer"
and treated me accordingly, none of them wanted to go for a ride with me, I wasn't "cool" enough.

They are content to "ride" a couple thousand miles a year as long as it is to the right places
and events where they can be seen and be close to their likeminded "brothers"
who are (in their opinion) the only "true" bikers
and all of them "other" bikes are for sissies.

I can't speak for all of them nor all of us,
But personally I dream of some deserted desert highway or mountain pass
rather than next Saturday night at the local "bike night" event.


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

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post #7 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 9:17 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwsdad
There's not too many other brands that have people buying t-shirts, decals, jackets, belt buckles, etc when they don't even own a bike of that brand. It's scary. It's almost cult-like.
...and... How many other companies or products can you name whose owners or clients actually TATTOO that company's logo on their bodies?

Once... only once... I saw Corvette logo tattood on a woman's ankle. It was a woman who was in a Corvette club on a rally.


H-D could probably sue thousands of tattoo artists and millions of people for copyright infringement for unauthorized use of the bar-and-shield logo. But they would be utterly stoopid to do so.

If you look at the map and don't care where you are, you're not lost.

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post #8 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 9:23 am
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"BLING" and perceived "tough" attitude, which includes HD cologne...

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post #9 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 9:44 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juggler
...and... How many other companies or products can you name whose owners or clients actually TATTOO that company's logo on their bodies?

Once... only once... I saw Corvette logo tattood on a woman's ankle. It was a woman who was in a Corvette club on a rally.


H-D could probably sue thousands of tattoo artists and millions of people for copyright infringement for unauthorized use of the bar-and-shield logo. But they would be utterly stoopid to do so.
Now, that brings up an interesting thought. If'n I was into tattoos, I just might get one with Kawasaki just to be a smartass. But then, I'd probably be the only one that would understand.

Thanks for the sounding board, guys!


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'99K1200LT - "Bertha" - gone, but not forgotten!
'86 Concours - "Horse with no name" (under reconstructive surgery)
'06 K1200GT - "Road Rocket"
Marshall, Tx


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post #10 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 10:02 am
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If you're gonna get a tattoo, here's some advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwsdad
Now, that brings up an interesting thought. If'n I was into tattoos, I just might get one with Kawasaki just to be a smartass. But then, I'd probably be the only one that would understand.

Thanks for the sounding board, guys!
Well, from one who is fairly heavily tattooed (I'm not called Tat for no reason), let me offer some advice:
Never get the following tattooed on your body -
1) name of wife or husband (that can change)
2) name of significant other (see #1)
3) brand name of anything you drive/ride (#1 applies again)

If you really feel you absolutely must have a name etched into your flesh, consider these possibilities:
1) your pet (even if it dies, your "new" pet won't get jealous)
2) your kids (no matter what happens, your kids are your kids)
3) your own name / nickname (unless you're a guy, and your nickname is "Sweetums" - not a good idea)

Beautify America - Get a Tattoo!
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post #11 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 10:08 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwsdad
Now, that brings up an interesting thought. If'n I was into tattoos, I just might get one with Kawasaki just to be a smartass. But then, I'd probably be the only one that would understand.
Hey... here's an opportunity for someone... a tattoo booth at the CCR. Bring lots of blue ink.

If you look at the map and don't care where you are, you're not lost.

2000 K1200LT
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post #12 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 10:12 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tat_n_Telle
3) brand name of anything you drive/ride (#1 applies again)
Would your Ducati *really* get jealous of your Norton tattoo???

If you look at the map and don't care where you are, you're not lost.

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post #13 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 10:41 am
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Thumbs up For me, it is the ride quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwsdad
Ok, I know there are a lot of Harley riders here, and I don't mean to start any flame wars, but help me understand something.

There's 2 guys here at the office in the market for a new bike.

One guy had a Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 and got run off the road by one of those unattentive drivers. He's ok, but his bike was totalled. He told me he's taking the insurance money, selling his wife's very seldom ridden 650, and buying a Road King.

The other guy used to have a Yamaha Voyager. He had it for about 2 yrs and sold it because it was "too much of a pain getting in and out of the shed". Now, 2 yrs later, he's in the market again. Ok, cool. I told him he could buy my LT and he seemed interested, so yesterday I let him take it for a test ride.

First, he's never had a bike with a centerstand and wanted to know how to get it off. Then he was intimidated by here size. Once he fired her up and popped her into gear he was amazed at how easy it went into gear. "I didn't even hear it or feel it." he said. I just grinned. Then he had a hard time with his feet - he was trying to put them too far forward and kept kicking the lower fairing. And off he goes. When he gets back he wants to know how to put it up on the centerstand. "Do I get off first?" Yep, it's a lot easier that way. "oh, so it's a 2 step process. sidestand, then centerstand." Yep. "Nice bike, but I felt like I was leaning too far forward." huh???? He likes riding in that gynecology position.

So at lunch we go to the local dealer so he can look at Hondas, Yamahas, and Kawasakis. I have him sit on an FJR. "I'm leaning too far forward." geez. As we're leaving he says he's having a hard time deciding because he keeps comparing the storage capacity of the Venture with the cruisers he's looking at. I asked what was keeping him from getting another Venture. "They're $17,000!!! If I'm going to pay that much, I'll get a Harley!"

And that finally leads into where I need help. What the heck is it with this Harley craze???? If they're such great bikes, how come I see so many for sale in the paper and everywhere else? I just don't get it.
HD shipped 329,017 bikes in 2005 and recorded the highest EPS yet of $3.41 (Earnings per Share). HD has 1,300 dealers and over 9,700 employees. They have built a loyal advocate base globally. BMW, building bikes since 1923, shipped about 1/3 that number in 2005. Personally, I ride BMW. Being forced to rent HD in some locations, I always get off thinking I am glad I don't own it. The vibrations, the controls, the feel of the HD are foreign to me. This is just how I feel about the quality of the ride. The quiet power of the BMW relates more to me than the noise or bravado of the HD. When my 427 Corvette was stolen I bought the 911 Porsche. Never did go back to the big V8. Frankly, I am happy for HD, their employees and the dealers who make a great profit serving the HD fans. Sad to see some BMW dealers failing as they can not hit that tipping point where they thrive. Perhaps the new model line extension will help more dealers succeed? If I had the Leno garage, I might own a few HD's. But, so many other things would be in that garage before an HD.

Rob Nelson

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2006 K1200GT [now lives in Wisconsin]
Grey Goose
2002 K1200LTC [now lives in Georgia]
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More than 132,000 (recently corrected higher) motorcycle riders have died in traffic crashes since the enactment of the Highway Safety Act of 1966 and The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966. Be careful out there.
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post #14 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 11:01 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraLT
So goes the T shirt and helmet sticker...
Every time I hear that I ask, "if you had to explain, could you?" To me, it means there are no tangible reasons, only subjectivity and thats OK. Buy what you like to ride. Cruiser, standard, sport...each have owners that will tell you that it is the most comfortable or controllable based on what they have experienced. I'm not going to bash someone for what they ride anymore than I would judge them, or label them for it. I don't have to understand it cuz it ain't my bike

I buy bikes for what they do, how they fit my needs, not what they are. But, that's me.

Dave Hoogerland

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'02 K1200LTC "The Silver Snoopy" (gone but not forgotten)
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post #15 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 11:01 am
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I had a couple of Yamaha V-Maxes, loved em. I have had my Road King Classic for about six years, love it, and even enjoy detailing all of the chrome farkles I have installed over the years. I don't like riding it for more than a couple of hours at a clip, but have ridden it L.A. - Dallas. I have had the LT for about two and a half months, and love it.

Each of the bikes was different from the others (well, V-Max 1 & 2 were similar, but several model years apart). Each bike had it's unique plusses and minuses, and each gave/gives me lots of enjoyment.

I have seen many BMW folks often dog the HDs, and many HD folks bash the BMWs. So what? Buy what you want, ride what you have, and enjoy the freedom of being out in the open air on two wheels. Poseur? "Real" rider? Who gets to define the criteria, and what makes them right? Recently, there was a thread here on whether mauve is a sissy color. Who cares? If you like it, if it's a good bike that you can afford, and if you are buying it for yourself and you are the rider, God bless you, and enjoy the ride. Join me for a ride anytime you are in the area and I'm free.

Me, I enjoy the shiny, flashy, noisy, vibrating ride of my Harley. In contrast, I also enjoy the smooth, relatively quiet, and butt and hand-warming ride of my LT. I ride each bike differently, and each responds back differently. My Harley riding friends don't care which bike I bring out when we ride, they're happy to see me and that we had the opportunity to share time and fellowship riding together. I trust my BMW riding friends will have that same level of acceptance.

Somethig to think about: We may become friends because we ride the same kind of bike and that common interest initially brought us together. However, if you remain my friend only because of what brand of motorcycle I ride, that opens up a whole new dialog. . .

Antony (Tripod)
Dallas' Northern Suburbs
-----------------------------------------------

If you want to be happy for a day, drink.
If you want to be happy for a year, marry.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime, ride a motorcycle.

-----------------------------------------------


'05 K1200LT - Dark Graphite - RIP 04 OCT 2015
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'99 Road King Classic - Custom Blue/Silver & Chrome - "My Baby" Gone but forever in my heart!

and many, many others.
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post #16 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 11:03 am
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As a non HD owner and one that's asked similar questions, I've sorta come to this perspective:

When you ask 'Joe-six Pack' on the street almost any question about motorcycles - the image that pops in his head is an HD. It's sorta like 'Thermos' or 'Kleenex' - in the popular consumer market, HD == motorcycle.

Talk to a guy who's hit that stage in life when the kids are almost out of the house, career is good and things look a tad less exciting overall. His remembered youth, his culture leads him to consider something 'less than normal' but still acceptable. Mmm, a motorcycle maybe. Boom - HD, game over.

Once in the game, in the cult-ure, they 'gotchya'. The well designed and implemented social and marketing machine grab hold and there they are.

Now, folks I've hung 'round with that are making a conscious decision to get a motorcycles as transportation or for a stated purpose, they research things, try stuff out - look around. Yea, even some of them go HD, but seems most go something else. One even went 'near HD' and got a Buell.

Then there're the 'OG' riders. Like the guy 2 blocks over that has a half dozen frames, god only knows how many parts scattered around the house and yard. His buds come 'round on some weekends with their HDs and they all wrench together. Sort of a roving tech session I guess. I've dropped in on occasion to share a brew or two - they're curious about the LT, but not overly so. Very polite about it - rudest comment I've had was 'she sounds like a sewing machine'. They've got 'their thing' and they've been doing it for decades. Maybe it's comfortable, familiar in an otherwise hostile and dynamic world. Maybe like soda brands - it's what's 'been' for so long, why consider something else?

Sorry, no real data to back some of that - just an empirical observation from an equally puzzled rider. Only part that really matters to me - other than as a curiosity point - is when they're going down the road, HD riders grin too.

Tate

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post #17 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 11:24 am
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I agree almost 100% with Deputy 5211. I have an Ultra still, and I loved it when it was new, and I love it now. BUT, Since I bought my LT, I hardly ever ride it, because I LOVE my LT so much more, and it is more fun to ride. It doesn't mean I don't still enjoy riding my Ultra. My Harley friends really don't care what I ride, except I can't go to HOG Chapter rides on the LT, because the club rules don't allow it. I certainly understand why too. It is a club for Harley owners. Heck, I even ride my LT to my local Harley dealer on Saturday morning for coffee, and even the owner of the Dealership has admired the bike. As far is why one might want to spend $17000 on a Harley and not some other bike, I suspect it has alot to do with resale. Most bikes, the LT's included, don't hold the resale like Harley's do--although I think that is changing some all the time. I certainly would have a hard time spending $22000 on a new LT when I can wait a year and buy the bike with low miles for $5000-7000 less. I might be willing to spend that money on a new Harley though, if I wanted a Harley again. BTW, I am selling my Harley, but it isn't because I don't like it!
One last item. I read a few weeks ago, the by next year there will be on the market tattoo ink that can be easily removed by one laser treatment, instead of the many it now requires. So for all you people who want a gf, wife, bike etc tattoo, hang in there!!! If you later don't like it, you can have it removed. jrlakin
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post #18 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 1:13 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juggler
...and... How many other companies or products can you name whose owners or clients actually TATTOO that company's logo on their bodies?
You haven't met my wife, Michelle.


Randy Prade
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Just ride it!
Meet Riley

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post #19 of 36 Old Feb 21st, 2007, 1:42 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwsdad
I'm not bashing Harleys at all. I just don't see the mystic of it all. Harley seems to have one heck of a marketing team and scheme. There's not too many other brands that have people buying t-shirts, decals, jackets, belt buckles, etc when they don't even own a bike of that brand. It's scary. It's almost cult-like.

I did ask my friend what the deal was with a Harley. He said it was the cool factor of owning one and that chicks dig it. Ok, whatever.

And I know this next statement is going to start something, but I gotta say it: I don't consider myself a biker. I am a motorcyclist. To me, a biker conjures up images of sleazy, greasy, leather clad thugs on motorcycles.
Don't forget the visors for your dog at Pet Smart!! I can't believe the HD pet accessories Pet Smart has. Someone told me HD makes more on the clothing and other accessories than on their motorcycles. That's marketing.

Denny
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post #20 of 36 Old Feb 22nd, 2007, 8:51 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputy5211
I have seen many BMW folks often dog the HDs, and many HD folks bash the BMWs. So what? Buy what you want, ride what you have, and enjoy the freedom of being out in the open air on two wheels. Poseur? "Real" rider? Who gets to define the criteria, and what makes them right? Recently, there was a thread here on whether mauve is a sissy color. Who cares? If you like it, if it's a good bike that you can afford, and if you are buying it for yourself and you are the rider, God bless you, and enjoy the ride. Join me for a ride anytime you are in the area and I'm free.. . .
I agree, ride what you like. In April, the local Gold Wing chapter will have their rally and I go every year. I will hear more Harley bashing at that rally then I could hear loud pipes in Sturgis.

"BONES" <///><
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post #21 of 36 Old Feb 22nd, 2007, 11:00 am
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Impressions are really important to the HD crowd

And crowd it is...as mentioned before, HD has 30% of the market, BMW about 1.3% in the USA. A vast difference in numbers makes so many more dealers viable, and accessory companies flourish. Accessories include the make up: tats, hair, sunglasses, beard, 'stash, and the costuming; all branded clothing, vests, not armored jackets and no helmet, then the bike itself; the chrome, the engine upgrades and the noise-making alterations...all by the thousands of variations and thousands of dollars to go with, just so you can look like the next HD clone. The Japanese plus Triumph sell more combined cruisers than HD, but most of them try to look like the HD folks, so you cannot tell them apart on the road.

Its amazing to watch on all levels, and is an unparalleled marketing plan and results. Very enviable.

Me, I go too fast and fall too much to keep a "nice" bike. I'd be keeping my HD in the garage (aint gonna happen) or bawling every time I got/gave a ding on the chromium. I can take it or leave it until one goes by with a straight pipe, then it reminds me of this one:
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post #22 of 36 Old Feb 22nd, 2007, 8:18 pm
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While many people use motorcycles to get from A to B, a Honda Civic is cheaper than a BMW K1200LT or a R1200GS (judging from personal experience). Setting the cheap transportation argument aside, a motorcycle is for fun - it's a toy. If you can stipulate to that assertion, then what's so difficult to understand about the choice to buy a Harley in lieu of a BMW?

Harley's are cool to some people ... it floats their boat, blows their hair back, makes them feel young ... or whatever the case may be. Is it really necessary to apply logic to the decision?

All that said, I've never been attracted to Harley's. I'll never forget the first time I judged a Harley rider: I was at a stoplight on a Suzuki when a Sportster pulled up next to me. The straight pipes were deafening, oil was dripping on the pavement, and the rider's teeth were chattering (in fact his who body was quivering) from the vibration. I couldn't help myself -- I just busted out laughing. To each their own.

Regards,
John
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post #23 of 36 Old Feb 23rd, 2007, 9:09 am
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Ahem....

From my observations, North America (mostly the U.S.) is the only place in the world where motorcycles are generally considered as recreation, not transportation. (I think this explains a lot of why many very good, mid-size sensible bikes (like the Honda Transalp or the Aprillia Moto6.5) never made it here or never succeeded here.)

I enjoy riding my bike, but I own it for commuting. Being able to take the HOV lane cuts my commute time in half on an average day and much much more on days when traffic is bad. My LT gets better mileage than my car, although the other costs of ownership are higher. I get to park in the motorcycle parking area right by the door instead of somewhere out in the expanse of parking lot.

For me, any bike that has a radio, saddlebags for my lunch and laptop, enough power to ride safely on the freeway (gotta be able to out-accelerate oblivious cagers), and enough lights to see and be seen will serve the purpose. The weather protection, heated grips, and heated seat make it that much nicer. I could do pretty much the same thing on an Electraglide.

My LT is my commuter. Is that so difficult to understand?

If you look at the map and don't care where you are, you're not lost.

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post #24 of 36 Old Feb 23rd, 2007, 9:54 am
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Talking

Hats off to Deputy 5211...words well spoken. This debate will go on as long as men have testicles and change in their pockets. I've been riding since the ripe old age of 6 and started out on rice-burners, ( mini bikes ) and tore up the neighborhood. From then on out I was hooked. I put a Honda 350 sl into the front of a car at 60 mph being a dumb ass, 14 and thinking I was bullet proof. Ah, getting back to the point. I've had HD's loved them all, ( 5 ) for the cruising sene and the chick magnets. Now a little older I decided to change riding styles, and looked for a bike to handle twisties and long distance touring. The LT was and is the best bet for my style and what I want. My two older brothers are die-hard Harley fans and haven't said anything bad about the LT, well except...is that thing running? Alot of comments I get from my HD buddies that truly do ride is: that thing looks fast just setting their...man turn your stereo down I can't hear my loud pipes...you have a heated what ???...do that wind shield thing again...reverse, damn I want one....how far can you lean that thing ???....will you stop and wait for us at the end of the twisties...can my SO ride bitch with you so she can get warm, ( heated seat and back rest )...you get how many mpg on that big ass bike...damn, you stopped so fast on that wet road you scared the hell outa me...and so on.
My older brother, ( who has been with me at the STC in WNC and figured out that LT meant lap top ) went with me to the Barber Motorsports Vintage Festival and had a ball. Mostly european stuff their and some HD also, but he was enjoying all the brands. We left WNC going to Al, 8 hrs. in the pouring rain !!!
Long story short..ride what you love, love what you ride and don't lower yourself to the point of arguing the brand or the rider. We all may switch brands, add another to the stable some day, and have to reflect on this conversation.
Just my thoughts!
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post #25 of 36 Old Feb 23rd, 2007, 3:45 pm
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I equate owning a Harley to owning two other vehicles that I have owned...a Corvette and an MG. They all have their very own charactaristic appeal but are basically very high maintenance. Like a boat, the second happiest day is when you buy it, the happiest day is when you sell it.

I have ridden the new Road King...it is not a bad bike, not at all! Just not for me.

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post #26 of 36 Old Feb 23rd, 2007, 4:55 pm
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My friend Snake Boot Pete, a respected HD engine builder here in Daytona died this past December and his wife Jan put together a ride in his honor. Running late the morning of the ride, I found my hotrod Softail with a dead battery so I decided WTH I'll ride the LT, it's about Pete not the bike. As expected at the start there are about 150 big inch HD's and one lonely LT. Only a couple of other riders paid much attention to the LT, or the other bikes for that matter. What was important that day was their brother Pete. The true HD crowd really are family, and I believe that this is what a lot of folks find attractive about the "HD culture".

Anyway, it was a fun day ride and on a long stretch of country road a few bikes broke rank, then all the big dogs twisted their wrists for Pete, so I figured I'd let the LT due what it likes best, run in the high revs. At the next stop I overheard a couple of the leaders of the pack who were admirering the LT say "I was doin a buck-ten when this guy went by me, the only thing I heard was Led Zeplin on the stereo", (made my day). Even though I wasn't on my HD I was still part of the family. It's all about riding with freinds no matter what bike your on. -Chuck-

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post #27 of 36 Old Feb 23rd, 2007, 5:32 pm
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Was there anything in my post that suggested I had a difficult time understanding that some people use their motorcycle for transportation? I think not. Nor, do I bash anyone for using their bike for utility purposes. Clearly, a bike is more fun to ride than driving a Civic! More power to you for comminuting on your LT!
Still, I think the total cost of ownership is higher for the LT or GS compared to an economy car.
I'm a ATGATT rider (10 minutes to gear up and inspect the bike, 5 minutes to un-gear). I live 6 miles from work, and my early morning commute takes 15 minutes from door to door. City drivers in Albuquerque are terrible - I just got run over by one in December. So, it would not make a lot of sense to ride to work. When I gear up, it's for a 30 minute ride minimum. If I lived that far from work, I'd reconsider for fun sake. However, it'd still make more sense to drive the Civic because there are two kids to bring home from school in the afternoons. These are just a few reasons American's don't use motorcycles more for transportation.
Keep the shiny side up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by juggler
From my observations, North America (mostly the U.S.) is the only place in the world where motorcycles are generally considered as recreation, not transportation. (I think this explains a lot of why many very good, mid-size sensible bikes (like the Honda Transalp or the Aprillia Moto6.5) never made it here or never succeeded here.)

I enjoy riding my bike, but I own it for commuting. Being able to take the HOV lane cuts my commute time in half on an average day and much much more on days when traffic is bad. My LT gets better mileage than my car, although the other costs of ownership are higher. I get to park in the motorcycle parking area right by the door instead of somewhere out in the expanse of parking lot.

For me, any bike that has a radio, saddlebags for my lunch and laptop, enough power to ride safely on the freeway (gotta be able to out-accelerate oblivious cagers), and enough lights to see and be seen will serve the purpose. The weather protection, heated grips, and heated seat make it that much nicer. I could do pretty much the same thing on an Electraglide.

My LT is my commuter. Is that so difficult to understand?

Regards,
John
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post #28 of 36 Old Feb 23rd, 2007, 6:10 pm
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Went to an Iron Horse shop yesterday with a friend to look at their wares, choppers and cruisers. Really nice looking, well made machines. The salesman said the standard engine put out 100 horse which should be enough for a bike weighing over 600 pounds. What did I want?? I told him 167 horse. He looked a little blank for a minute then started rattling off what they could do to get that kind of horsepower. He didn't get the point. I am just not a fan of the chopper/cruiser style bikes. They don't look comfortable or suited for long haul. But then I've never ridden one so maybe they do ride okay at least according to some. Still don't think I'd want to take one on a long ride. Plus they sure are expensive for what you get once you get past the appeal of the looks.

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post #29 of 36 Old Feb 23rd, 2007, 6:53 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juggler
...and... How many other companies or products can you name whose owners or clients actually TATTOO that company's logo on their bodies?

Once... only once... I saw Corvette logo tattood on a woman's ankle. It was a woman who was in a Corvette club on a rally.


H-D could probably sue thousands of tattoo artists and millions of people for copyright infringement for unauthorized use of the bar-and-shield logo. But they would be utterly stoopid to do so.
Yeah, I have two mini coopers that I race and love. Just don't think it would look cool to have Mini tattooed on my sholder.
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post #30 of 36 Old Feb 23rd, 2007, 7:34 pm
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Other then having Honda 350's and 360's when I first started riding, I had always liked the old boxers. I had a buddy that had a BMW 650cc and really liked the way it looked. He let me ride it to work and he rode my Suzuki 550 and I was smitten. My first beemer was a K75 and now I am on my LT. I just enjoy knowing I can head down the freeway, stereo blasting and know I will get to where I am going comfortably and not all beat up. I did have a lapse and bought a Victory, but that only lasted 6 months, then I went back to the BMW. The best benefit of the LT is my wife loves to go riding and she would never get on another bike.
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post #31 of 36 Old Feb 23rd, 2007, 9:55 pm
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Ahem... part II

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgburns
Was there anything in my post that suggested I had a difficult time understanding that some people use their motorcycle for transportation? ... These are just a few reasons American's don't use motorcycles more for transportation.
Keep the shiny side up.
Well, sorry... it was early and I hadn't gotten my first starbux so I was a bit rambly, and ventured a bit off track... The last sentence wasn't aimed at you in particular...

But you *did* say "a motorcycle is for fun - it's a toy."

I've been hearing that for most of the 25 or 30 years I've been riding, and for some of us it's just not true. There were many years that I didn't own a car -- only a motorcycle (a CB200T, then my venerable R60/5). IIRC, someone at our minitechday a couple weeks ago (Meese?) said he doesn't own a car, just the LT.

I even hear this attitude from dealers... "hey, can you get my bike done today?"

"What's the rush... it's *just* a motorcycle."


So, I guess my point should have been that as long as one has the attitude that the motorcycle is just a toy, it really doesn't matter what one rides because it's purely for recreation. But if your motorcycle is your primary means of transportation, you need it to be functional and reliable... then it *does* matter.



If we motorcyclists aren't going to take our bikes seriously, how can we expect anyone else to?



(BTW, of the daily riders parked in the motorcyle area (which is concrete, not blacktop so your sidestand doesn't sink in) we have my LT (previously my Goldwing), a triked Venture, an F650GS, a Valkyrie, a V-Star (hey, it's that blonde woman in the scheduling office!), a Road King and a Heritage Softail. Some days, when the weather is nice, there are more. But we are the daily bikers.)

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post #32 of 36 Old Feb 23rd, 2007, 10:38 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDragon


All together now! "We are Unique Individuals"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Dam it Dave! if you only knew how many times we have pulled that on some Insta-biker and they have no CLue!

Tom

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post #33 of 36 Old Feb 23rd, 2007, 10:51 pm
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Like all things two wheeled here. Will never bash someone else's discretionary choice. As Cycle World noted the other day... all bikes are outstanding nowadays and what matters is the kind of bike someone buys. There are bikes for cruising, for sport touring, for luxury touring, for dual-sporting, for sport, and so forth. Hear! Hear! to the diversity of the sport. It would be boring if all wore black leather and rode cruisers, or all wore Stich's talking about GPS and tank bag mounts on their Beemers, or all dressed like Power Rangers on their hyper overkill sportbikes, or everyone totally got into the dual-sport farklelization scene with errands to the grocery store the most ambitious adventure. Glad it is all a part of the two wheeled scene.

Last edited by sfarson; Feb 24th, 2007 at 1:22 am.
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post #34 of 36 Old Feb 24th, 2007, 12:54 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juggler
Well, sorry... it was early and I hadn't gotten my first starbux so I was a bit rambly, and ventured a bit off track... The last sentence wasn't aimed at you in particular...
...

But you *did* say "a motorcycle is for fun - it's a toy."
So, I guess my point should have been that as long as one has the attitude that the motorcycle is just a toy, it really doesn't matter what one rides because it's purely for recreation. But if your motorcycle is your primary means of transportation, you need it to be functional and reliable... then it *does* matter.

...

If we motorcyclists aren't going to take our bikes seriously, how can we expect anyone else to?
Yep, that's my current view - motorcycles are for FUN! At one time, thirty years ago, I only had a motorcycle for transportation. Hopefully, I'll never see those days again. I hated riding in the snow and carrying lumber home for weekend projects (talk about stupid!).

I do take my motorcycles (dare I say toys?) seriously. I'm contemplating a ride to Alaska for 2008. Hopefully, it'll work out and be a safe adventure on the new GS (not Harley) - reliability, functionality and comfort matters a lot even though it's a non-necessary trip. In fact, safety, reliability, comfort and performance matter to me for every ride! Otherwise, any bike would do, but they don't.

Have another sip of coffee if you choose to argue against this next point :
One's purpose for riding doesn't need to be out of necessity for it to be an important aspect to their life. There's nothing wrong with viewing motorcycling as enjoyment through thrills in the twisties, traveling in the open air, or embracing the adventure of a long-distance trip. If a motorcycle is for recreation, reliability and functionality is still necessary. Reliability and functionality requirements are best set according to the intended purpose of the motorcycle from a distance/time requirement regardless of whether the trip is to work, a national forest, or a friend's house.

While I might be able to ride a Honda QA-50 to Alaska (somebody probably did it), it wouldn't be very functional (comfortable and payload ready), nor would it probably be reliable for that trip. Yet, I could probably ride it to Starbucks without too much concern. Hmmm, Starbucks!

Regards,
John
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post #35 of 36 Old Feb 24th, 2007, 12:55 am
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Thumbs up

Hear, Hear!
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfarson
Like all things two wheeled here. Will never bash someone else's discretionary choice. As Cycle World noted the other day... all bikes are outstanding nowadays and what matters is the kind of bike someone buys. There are bikes for cruising, for sport touring, for luxury touring, for dual-sporting, for sport, and so forth. Here! Here! to the diversity of the sport. It would be boring if all wore black leather and rode cruisers, or all wore Stich's talking about GPS and tank bag mounts on their Beemers, or all dressed like Power Rangers on their hyper overkill sportbikes, or everyone totally got into the dual-sport farklelization scene with errands to the grocery store the most ambitious adventure. Glad it is all a part of the two wheeled scene.

Regards,
John
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post #36 of 36 Old Feb 24th, 2007, 3:45 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwsdad
....And that finally leads into where I need help. What the heck is it with this Harley craze???? If they're such great bikes, how come I see so many for sale in the paper and everywhere else? I just don't get it.
Never forget the time, about 20 years ago now, a good friend took me over to another friend's place. We walk into the living room, and what do I see? A row (maybe 6) of Harley's decorating his living room. I can still see all the wild paint and shiny chrome on the "stand" of a hard wood floor. To this day, it was still the most incredible interior "decorating" that I have ever seen!

Sure, I like to poke fun with my Harley brothers about all the "show" (and Noise), but lack of go. I do have to admit, however, some of these bikes are truly rolling artwork.

Maybe it's just all the bling puttin' the hex on the sheeple?!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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