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Discussion Starter #1
I am now 66 and after several years fighting major health problems I started a bucket list - you know things you have to do or have before the plant you...or in my case incinerate!!!

So I have my new TW and thought a man should have a Harley between his legs before he dies. Soooo this past week I went our and rode several Sportsters - not into driving a tank like cruiser style the Sportster seemed doable.

So here is the Harley report:

They have a very authoritive exhaust and throb nicely
They are like jewelry with enough chrome to dazzle any eye
They come in gorgeous colors
They might improve you bad boy image
You can wear a Durag and not have people run and hide thinking you are a gangster
You can feel like a "Rebel" on your ride
You can fantasize that young girls still want you since you are a "Biker"

OK so Harleys are cool - what I was not prepared for is that the Sportster rides like a buckboard and that big two lung motor vibrates like hell. It feels like I was driving a tank with hundred pound handlebars and the sound would make my neighbors hate me.

Gravely disappointed I threw all my Harley research into the garage - erased my links and thought I might as well go for a ride on the TW since it was too early to get drunk or jump my wife.

As I putted down the street headed for the desert I noticed my TW was really nimble and fun....then I noticed even with the DG exhaust it was not obnoxious. I rode a few whoops and thought about how bone jarring that Harley would have been.

When I came back I rode around the hood for a while and lamented I was not feeling cool like a Harley under my butt would make me...but I was still smiling that my little 200cc steed takes me on adventures and smoothes out bumps WAY better than the Harley.

I am not sure but when I closed the door on the garage with the TW put away it was either smiling or smirking that it had beat out a Harley!!!

Rik
 

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I have had 20-some bikes and am close to your age. never had much of an interest in the Hardly... 'er Harleys. I don't think most harley riders are "cool", for my "bad-boy" image bike I rode a yamaha V-max which I recently had 2 of. If you want something that rumbles, is a cruiser that will out-perform most Harleys and will be less trouble and cost much less why not get a Japanese cruiser? Unless you see some "mystique" in the Harley name or something which I will never understand... I think the mistique is a mistake. I have the TW plus at 2003 Suzuki VS1400 which has as much chrome, sounds as "good" (too loud for me really) and handles better than most Harleys and can get air with just a twist of the throttle without touching the clutch... paid about $4000. If this link works it's a video of it last summer. I actually feel like a bit of a rebel on the TW :)

Summer2013 (1)CROP.JPG
 

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Two different animals for sure. At least you got to ride one. Yes, everyone should before they kick the bucket. They are unique bikes and I love mine, but know I can't ride it forever with health problems and getting older. When I can no longer ride my HD as a bike, I will turn it into a trike or add a sidecar most likely. If you think the ones you rode vibrated a lot, you should have tried them before the engines were rubber mounted. I am sure you have seen the old Harley riders who always had a cresent wrench hanging from their keys or side. Older HD's were notorious for vibrating things loose.
For us older folks, the TW can extend our riding years quite a bit. As long as I can get my leg over the TW seat, I'll always have one.

Thanks, I enjoyed your post!
 
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I'm in WI and its Harley's 110th anniversary. So to say I am sick of seing Harleys lol. Most of them give me dirty looks on my TW anyways. We had an eight mile long parade on Wed, talk about loud!
 

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I have told my friends for many years that I ride the other "H" name instead of a Harley, because I enjoy riding, not running wrenches. When I grew up Harleys were called "one way" bikes, because you rode them out, and pushed them home. It never mattered to me what was under me. I rode to enjoy the experience of feeling the air, the temperature changes, the open vision around you, and of course, the sexist part of having a lady tight up behind you in the second seat. Its all good!!! I do find a lot of pleasure of riding my TW200's because of the simplicity and forgiveness it offers. I too, will ride until I can no longer get my leg over the seat.
Mel
 

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I went for a ride with friend a who owns several cool bikes. A Honda RC30, a Ducati Monster that has been punched out, cammed and whatever else you can do with them, and a Sportster. We did Ortega Hwy with Dan Gurney and his buddies. I rode the Sportser. We stopped at the Outlook at the top and everybody swapped bikes. I grabbed the Ducati. The Sportster just sat there, with no one wanting to ride it.
 

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Harley-Davidson - Converting gasoline into noise for over one hundred years!

(I like Harleys, and have owned 4 of them, but usually can't wait to get rid of them)
 

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Great post and precisely matches my feeling about the "Kings of the Roads". I really do love Harley's.

I also was the GM at a very big Honda/ Kawasaki/KTM shop. We got a few real nice Hogs traded in for our bikes and I had. My pick when ever I wanted.
I never was a big fan of the open road and never honestly got in to the cruising mentality on big bikes. I did however put a few miles on Gold Wings and could have had one of them for rock bottom prices.

No contest here and the Gold Wing wins in absolutely every category over any Harley ever made. Kawasaki had a few nice cruisers back then that would also have been my choice over the Hogs. Coming from my aircraft mechanics background during Vietnam we had to safety wire every nut and fastener on the choppers because of vibration and I can't understand how a Harley can possibly hold itself together. The few times I have put a few miles on the Harley's I remember a warm and fuzzy, almost numb, feeling on my rear and thighs for a good while after I got off.

It is a "Statement" and I highly doubt any one buys a big Harley if they plan on any sort of 2 Up road tripping. I could ride a Gold Wing in comfort until my bladder says stop but the same trip would require many pit stops on a Hog.

GaryL
 

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I have never had the urge to own, let alone ride a Harley. They are just not my style. What I can do without is the attitude that I get from many Harley riders. ( like you are somehow inferior because you are riding a bike that isn't a Harley ) I have had co- workers ask when am I going to get a " real " bike? I laughed them off and said that I already have several, and none of them are Harleys. It does not matter if I was on my Honda, Triumph, Yamaha, or Suzuki. For the life of me, I can't see why some are so snobbish when all but one of my bikes ( guess which ) will smoke them in most every category. ( they got me in the noise category for sure) The way I see it, we all share something in common, that feeling of adventure and freedom experienced while we ride. I still wave to the Harley riders anyway. ( probably 2/3 wave back ) I don't count the ape hangers, because a wave back could be a disaster in the making. Rubber side down, Dave
 

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Yeah some of them do have attitudes for sure. I can't understand that either. I feel the same way you do, that we all share something in common. I ride one and there are lots of them that don't even wave to other Harley riders. (mostly the bad boy riders/gangs) I wave to any rider I go by, wether it be a Harley, a crotch rocket, a scooter or a moped. It does surprise some of the guys on the scooters or mopeds though, that a big ol guy on a Harley waved at them. :)
 

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Harleys are way over rated in my book. Some how they sold the idea to the American people that they are the baddest thing around and if you aint on a harley your on junk. Dont get me wrong i dont hate them. I started off riding my grandpa's 81 sportster and my dad has a harley. I had alot of fun riding it but now that ive ridden other bikes i wouldnt buy one. To me they are briggs & Stratton technology withl fuel injection and a BMW price tag. Which seems to be the opposite mentality of most TW riders. Alot of guys i work with have Harleys and they are in the shop more than on the road. Mostly electrical issues and stuff rattling loose. I bought the wife a honda reflex scooter last year and we rode it downtown Indianapolis during moto gp a few weeks ago. Anyway they shut down the main drag and the circle. Motorcycles only allowed and its so packed you cant move. So we were stuck in the hardley moving line of bikes and we get beside a lady on a custom harley and she looks over and snirks up her nose like your riding a P.O.S. scooter. Well 5 minutes later her bikes start's spitting and popping and dies. Its obviously over heating and she cant hardley keep it running. She looked back at us and i gave her the same look. They were over heating everywhere. I guess people dont understand air cooled bikes aint made for idling around. 90% of harley riders around here wont waive at the scooter, they just act like its not there. Speaking of the vmax our local yamaha dealer had a demo day last year and it was one of the bikes on my bucket list to ride. Ive ridden a hand full of 1,000cc inline sports bike and nothing ive ever ridden compares to MR. MAX. It has torque squared. With my 150lb but on it, it would ignite the tire anywhere in the first two gears and towards the top of third. Its an outrite beast. Plus v-4 bikes to me sound the best especially with an aftermarket pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Post Script: Today I was at a stop light with a brand new Harley in the lane next to me. He was idling and his front tire was shaking so hard I thought I could not see the spokes. Then I noticed that his whole head was shaking...even more funny was his gal on the back had...well lets say a bit of extra thigh tissue and it was jiggling like Jello in time to the bike exhaust....not pretty.

If you are going to ride a Harley maybe you gal should not wear shorts or be very skinny...she would not want to see this on video!!!
 

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I know the gals love Harley's but I'm not sure if its because no batteries are required! I see them all the time in these parts and a lot of them have that "rode hard" look on their faces. For a two banger, we should all have that long of a stroke.

GaryL
 

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Harley Davidson is a T-shirt company that sells promotional motorcycles on the side.
 

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||I started riding on a German machine - NSU- sold out of a Harley shop in 1960. That was as close as I have ever come to owning one.
Just not very interested in them or their mystique.
I do not dislike them - I just do not think there is much to desire.
So my 200 cc Tw200 which plasters a smile on my face each time I ride it is a much better choice for me at age 69.
 

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I've never owned a harley. Closest I have come is owning a buell blast.picked it up for $500.great bike. Cant see myself on a traditional hardly makeitson . Anyway the buell was Made by harley. Best of both worlds to me ..a thumper for one with the streetbike look and the rumble of a harley. Always turned heads.had a vance and hines pipe with rejet kit. Honestly though.. harleys suck. IMHO every typical wanna be bad a$$ has the same ideas ...get a few tats and a harley And that runs rampid around my area. The show "sons of anarchy" is based on the town and surrounding area i live in..I crack up when a harley rider pulls up next to me at a light . Does the typical .. huh nice bike. Then speeds off.leaves a twinkle in my eye. nothing says follower like a harley.never happens when I'm on my gs1100.
If I want to be a douche <---(its french) I just pull the baffle out of the tw when riding in town.. Lol sorry for the hijack. Touched a nerve lol
 

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Harley Davidson is a T-shirt company that sells promotional motorcycles on the side.
Lol, walked into Harley the other day and there was nothing but jewelry and clothing on the 1st floor. They even had kiddie onesies and school bags and toys. The bikes? What stock they had left was on the second floor, out of sight! :p Hilarious!
 

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Well I am 61 and still ride almost everyday, currently there are two bikes in my stable. 2010 Fat Bob, ( yes a Harley). And a 2012 TW 200. I have had a Gold Wing, St1100, pacific coast, and several others. Yet I have always owned at least one Harley in every one of my 40+ years of riding. The only bike that has ever left me stranded was a gold wing, not the bikes fault a link failed internal to the battery. Just saying if you don't take care of any bike look out.

Maybe I am the one and only lucky Harley owner, but I doubt it.

Read some stories on advrider of problems with every brand made, such as rear end problems with BMW, or issues with KTM electric's. Yeah the TW is cool, but tomorrow I will ride the Harley to SanDiego 200 miles at 80 on I-8 not the least bit concerned about pushing it back.

i won't be pulling the front wheel, (it can't), I don't run open pipes. I'm just a boring non-badass old man with my knees in the breeze. Harley's have always been fine with me.
 

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I have a 2005 TW200 and a 1999 HD Sportster. Each meets a need and each is a hoot when I use them for their intended purpose. The Tw is my concession to being 70 and still enjoying the back country here in Idaho. The Sportster is my concession to (the devil made me do it)(and loud pipes save lives).

I never have been one to tour on a bike. My motorhome is way more comfortable. So for me, it is all fun and that is what my adventures are for.


Happy Trails All

Ron in Boise
 
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