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Re:Never owned a Harley
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TOPIC: Re:Never owned a Harley
#1009478
grubsie (User)
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Never owned a Harley 3 Weeks, 2 Days ago  
Until now.



Not beating up on Harley, just my experience

I posted a while back that I was thinking after 50 years of riding everything else, about buying a Harley for the first time just because. Because it seems everywhere you go, Harley's are the predominant bike. Also the "Harley Mystique", the comradery etc. I always have several bikes to ride so the HD was never going to be my main ride anyway, just something different. Well after a lot of research, my main goal was reliability. I know, that's an oxymoron when it comes to HD's, but that was the goal nonetheless. My research dwindled it down to the late EVO engines 1996-1998 as the most reliable as long as they were carbureted vs FI. Most mechanics will not even attempt working on the FI models as they were notoriously bad.

I came across a 1997 carbureted Road King for very short money, so I figured what the hell, time to see what this "Mystique" is all about. Well folks, I have to say. besides more bikers waving to me on the road than on anything else I have ever ridden, the "Mystique" is gone. I am not impressed to say the least. Except for the incredible low end grunt, there is nothing else there that impresses me. The low end grunt is something else though. The bike is totally stock. My RSV or RS will put this bike to shame all day every day. Absolutely no comparison in power. The riding position is way more cramped than my RSV and my RS. It was even more crowded riding 2 up. The Mrs. took 1 ride and will never get back on it.

The funny thing is that I was determined to give the bike a real go. You guys who have been riding for years and love bikes like I do are always interested in another ride and want to get to know the the bike and it's personality. It's just not working with this bike. I knocked myself out this week to get all the household chores done during the week so I could finally take the Road King out for a full day of riding today. To really get to know her. About an hour in, there was a vibration in the front that sounded like metal on metal vibrating badly. Turning the wheel right to left at a stop made it worse. Got the bike home , put it on a lift and discovered that the wheel bearings are on their way out. The bike only has 18K miles on it. Went on an HD forum and discovered that this is a known problem and has been for years. Even from the early EVO's until now.

Ordered new bearings and will replace them when they come in. The next thing I plan on doing is to put a for sale sign on it. In all the years I have been riding, I have never had a wheel bearing problem with any bike I have ever owned (not that it couldn't happen), even in my motocross years i never had a problem. I have been restoring old 1960's Hondas for years and never had a wheel bearing problem. In the process of restoring a 1951 BSA Bantam D! that has been sitting for years and no wheel bearing problems. As much as I tried to love the Road King, I just couldn't get into it. Under powered, under geared and overall rough handling. Especially with the stock handlebars that by the way, I found out that everyone changes because they are ridiculously unproportioned for the average rider.

Side note:

My neighbor is a diehard HD guy. When I told him about the wheel bearing issue, he just shrugged his shoulders and told me that his 2014 Road Glide That he paid 26K for, has had the front wheel bearings replaced twice. What struck me funny was how casually he said it like it was just "normal" routine maintenance. Not to mention, his engine blew up because of the notorious cam tensioners at 30K on the clock, yet he still makes fun of my "Jap" bikes that have never had an engine blow up no matter how bad I neglect them.



Like I stated earlier. Not beating up on HD. Their just not for me.



So if your in the market for a low mile 1997 Road King, PM me.
 
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Last Edit: 2017/04/30 00:17 By grubsie.
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#1009480
Father_Pobasturd (User)
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Re:Never owned a Harley 3 Weeks, 2 Days ago  
I've had 9 H-D's. 5 Sportsters and 4 Big Twins, 1 Panhead, 2 Shovelheads and 1 Evo. I tried to love them. I wanted to love them. I tattooed them on me. But I got little to no love in return. Only hate and betrayal. I will never go back. For years I thought, well, it's just the nature of a big air cooled V-twin, an antiquated design which has no place in the 21st century. But no, the Road Star has shown me there is a way to make it work, and work well.
 
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#1009483
SKWEARpeg (User)
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Re:Never owned a Harley 3 Weeks, 2 Days ago  
My 95 Springer was a pretty bike. The paint and chrome, were awesome. When I walked in the store and told them I was interested in purchasing a Springer, they looked down their nose at me. Certain I needed a proper HD education, so I could call the bike by its proper string of letters.
I spent a lot of money just to fit on it. A forward kit and some Kury flip out peg things to move my feet forward enough, so my knees didn't feel like they were always being pushed away from the bike.
Although our stock seats get a lot of grief, the one on my 95, was a world class piece of junk. I was 30 pounds lighter then.

When I rode the HD past the Yamaha dealer in Springfield Illinois one day in 1999, I saw my first Roadie. I was bitten by reality. It took me until about 5 years ago(when I joined here)to finally buy one. A couple of years later, I bought another Roadie and mounted a Springer on the front.....which as it turned out, was the only real reason I purchased the HD to start with.

The HD snob level in Illinois, seemed a lot higher. Here in the Pcola area, not so much.
 
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#1009491
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Re:Never owned a Harley 3 Weeks, 2 Days ago  
father Po , i love u man! but this thread sums up the HD HYPNOSIS!!!

AT 58 years, never owned an HD, another old biker told me,when i asked him if i should get one, he said , you made it this far, keep going.......


HD HYPNOSIS is deep in our roots:

cop bikes
terminator bikes
army bikes
forefathers, grandfathers bikes.
and dont forget the advertising.

dont get married, just find a fat chick and giver her a house.(analogy)
dont get a HD, just borrow 25 grand , dont ride it, hope it dont break down, and lose 10 grand when you drive off the lot.

or a 4 or 5000 dollar used roadie
 
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#1009493
rginsbtx (User)
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Re:Never owned a Harley 3 Weeks, 2 Days ago  
Funny!
 
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2005 Road Star Silverado Midnight Star
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#1009494
smokescreens (User)
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Re:Never owned a Harley 3 Weeks, 2 Days ago  
I really like my hd thus far. The stock seat is mor comfortable than my ultimate seat for both myself and my wife. Seating posture is very close to the same as my roadie. Now i have the new m8 motor and i can say it blows my roadies performance out the water!

Now some things i hate about it is to work on anything so much of it need to be torn apart to get at it. I have been told by warden that changing hoses and wires for taller bars is rediculous. Exhaust comes off, fliuds drained, ect:d so much so that labor alone at a dealer is like $1,000
 
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Last Edit: 2017/04/30 07:23 By smokescreens.
 
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#1009496
BikerRon (User)
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Re:Never owned a Harley 3 Weeks, 2 Days ago  
Being around the HD riders and bikes, from time to time, for over fifty years has tempted me, but the mystique never sank in enough to go for it. I'm too much of a mechanical critic to look past the inner workings of something just for a name on the tank.

More power to the ones that love them, but it's just not me. I'm thick skinned enough that I really don't care what they think of my Jap bike.

Those talons came close a few times, tho.

 
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#1009498
Edge51 (User)
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Re:Never owned a Harley 3 Weeks, 2 Days ago  
brianmac wrote:
father Po , i love u man! but this thread sums up the HD HYPNOSIS!!!

AT 58 years, never owned an HD, another old biker told me,when i asked him if i should get one, he said , you made it this far, keep going.......


HD HYPNOSIS is deep in our roots:

cop bikes
terminator bikes
army bikes
forefathers, grandfathers bikes.
and dont forget the advertising.

dont get married, just find a fat chick and giver her a house.(analogy)
dont get a HD, just borrow 25 grand , dont ride it, hope it dont break down, and lose 10 grand when you drive off the lot.

or a 4 or 5000 dollar used roadie


I guess this about sums it up for me....my neighbour is a HD rider through and through.....he causually nods towards my R* and comments "that's the better bike right there" ...whenever anyone makes any comment comparing the 2..he has a 2002 and bought it brand new...and still owns & rides it....oh byw..he's also a HD certified Tech....
 
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#1009504
cike (User)
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Re:Never owned a Harley 3 Weeks, 2 Days ago  
Glad you love your Roadie as I do mine as well.
Whoever told you that the 1996-1998 motors where the most reliable were smoking crack. They may have been the best of the Evo motors but that is where it ends. Alot has changed in the HD technology in the last 20 years since those motors. The Evo motor was the start of HD getting there act together not the finished product. They were still working the bugs out from changing over from the AMF ownership years.
After the Evo came the twin cam in 1999 (2000 for some models) and it was used up to 2006. (better motors followed) Other than the 1999 having the wrong style cam bearings (they fixed the problem in 2000) These turned out to be really good motors as well. In 2002 or 03 they started using the Delphi EFI system that has proved to be dead reliable.
They do have their issues like all brands due. Cam chain tensioner being the big one (needed replaced about every 50k) Other than that they have been pretty good bikes from my experience.
I put 55k on a 1999, 24k on a 2001, 24k on a 96 (sporty), 15k on a 2006, 12k on my current 2012.
Yeah, I like to change bikes often. In that time I have had to replace a cam bearing (on the 99 for reason listed above) and a $15 relay, and just general maintenance. I have never had wheel bearings go out, nor do I know anyone personally that has.
If you wanted to give them a fair shot you should have gotten a 2000-up carb bike or 2002-up Delphi EFI bike.
Also consider the fact that you bought a 20 year old bike with 18k miles on it. That is less than 1k a year average riding, and i'm sure most of those miles where put on in the first couple years. I would think that any brand bike would have issues with sitting that long. A wheel bearing doesn't surprise me at all.
With all of that being said, I am not saying that HD is better than the Road Star. You are happy with your Road star, and they are awesome bikes. I have always loved all bikes, but my passion has always been HD's. A few years ago I found these road stars, and they have not stopped impressing me yet. I never even thought that I would even consider leaving HD for a different brand. The last year or so I have often caught myself wondering why I have so much money in this HD when I could sell it and buy another RS and have thousands left over, and love the bike just as much. I imagine this will probably be my last HD due to the cost more than anything.
In all honesty, 99% of HD's are great bikes, as are 99% of the Road stars. Although they are a little different, it's is hard to justify the extra money just to have an HD unless that's what you really want as they aren't better made or worsethan the Road star IMO. They just each have their own strengths and weaknesses
 
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Last Edit: 2017/04/30 09:51 By cike.
 

owning a motorcycles not a matter of life or death, its much more important than that
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#1009511
MidwestMike (User)
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Re:Never owned a Harley 3 Weeks, 2 Days ago  
smokescreens wrote:
I really like my hd thus far. The stock seat is mor comfortable than my ultimate seat for both myself and my wife. Seating posture is very close to the same as my roadie. Now i have the new m8 motor and i can say it blows my roadies performance out the water!



It's funny that you mention the seat as your first item on your new HD.

That is the part I like best whenever I get on one. They seem to have the foam amount and density perfect.
 
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