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Discussion Starter #1
I've noticed from reading a number of posts that some of us who own T-Dubs also own Harleys. This is rather interesting, since to most people these two bikes are worlds apart, and there's no way that a person who would like one would also like the other. Dare I speculate that the masses are asses and that T-Dubs and Harleys have more in common than meets the eye? Why, yes.



The first Harleys were singles. They were derived from bicycles, like all motorcycles. Harleys went through a lot of changes over the years but today they are all air-cooled V-Twins (except the V-Rod, which is another story). To many, Harleys are a purist's bike - simple, elegant - no more than it needs to be... T-Dubs are the same thing: simple, air-cooled single powered bikes that spark the imagination.



So, to a purist seeking a straightforward bike, it's easy to see how a Harley and a T-Dub aren't too far apart, after all. Your comments?



-Lorddaftbiker
 

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strange because people on harleys rarely wave to me when i wave to them. almost as if they are to good for the tdub owners.haha. the ones that do wave probably also own tdubs.lol
 

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Did you know - Harleys and Outboards connection?



Many years ago when Ole Evinrude was working on one of the first outboards in his shop he had a young asst mechanic.



The guys name was Arthur Davidson as in Harley!



So wave to the boats out on those lakes when you drive by on the TW200.
 

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There is also a John Deere connection. Some of the old tractors had V-twins in them that were Harley made, direct parts replacement and all.
 

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I got my Tdub over 4 years ago... thought I'd never need another bike (or go over 55mph for that matter). Then I discovered Victory Motorcycles. To me they also share some of the uniqueness of the Tdub. Like:



Folks always ask me "what is that?" Fits both my Tdub and my Victory Vision.

"Wow that is a big rear tire / that is a big bike"

Not too many seen on the road...

Owners tend to be real geeks and gearheads...



Here is my 2009 Victory Vision Arlen Ness limited edition, #150 of 200

 

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I have both, but my Harley is a 1969 Rapido 125 single. It has the same stock gearing as the TW but it's a 2 stroke. That thing really uses the oil too, my friend calls it "the mosquito killer". I will probably end up with a Harley twin some day, I'm new to motorcycles and I wanted to start out with something that's easy to handle. The TW fits me really well and I enjoy riding it. My desire for a harley is not a macho thing, I just like the way some of the Harley's look especially the old ones. I also live in Wisconsin and actually have had family members bringing home a paycheck from the Harley factory so why not support them. I think this rivalry between Harley riders and everyone else is a little overblown. I have had more Harley riders wave at me than any other motorcycle type, when I started riding I had never heard of the waving and I called it the "Harley wave" because it was always harley guys waving at me. I assumed it was a thing between Harley riders like just like the Jeep drivers waving at each other, and I just thought they were mistaking my TW for a Harley.
 

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I got my Tdub over 4 years ago... thought I'd never need another bike (or go over 55mph for that matter). Then I discovered Victory Motorcycles. To me they also share some of the uniqueness of the Tdub. Like:



Folks always ask me "what is that?" Fits both my Tdub and my Victory Vision.

"Wow that is a big rear tire / that is a big bike"

Not too many seen on the road...

Owners tend to be real geeks and gearheads...



Here is my 2009 Victory Vision Arlen Ness limited edition, #150 of 200

That is one nice looking Victory! Also I think the Dub Harley connection has to do with the fat rear tire. At least that's what most H.D. riders comment on when they see my Dub.
 

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Many Harley baggers have the same tire width and cross section ratio as TWs.

Harleys are factory tuned way too lean, just like TWs.

Harleys and TWs both are based on antiquated engine architecture.



In their day, Harleys were the fastest things on wheels. Therefore, many crooks acquired Harleys for get-away vehicles.



Harleys got a bad rap with the portrayal of criminal elements riding them in movies of the '50s and '60s, furthering the criminal biker image.



In the '70s Harleys got a bad rap under AMF ownership, which stressed profit too highly, restricted engineering to remain competitive performance-wise with the Japanese marques, and allowed quality to slip.



Middle-aged yuppies of the '80s, most having never really done much more with their lives than sit in a cubicle 8 hours a day and flopped in front of a TV 8 hours a night longed for a way to grow testicles. They were a ripe market for the "Harley lifestyle" marketing campaign, a brilliant business move on Harley's part to advertise and sell a sense of having testicles for the small price of a Harley motorcycle--no other would do--at cheaper rates than a lifetime of psychological counseling, a price commensurate for the other alternative to suffering such a dreary life: a funeral.



It is here that the majority of Harley and TW riders generally separate. Most (estimating 85-90%) Harley riders haven't a clue about functionality--they are either projecting an image they misunderstand as having testicles or are merely lemmings chasing after the group like the littlest kid in the neighborhood's plaintiff "Wait for me! Wait for me!"



I've found that a few (estimating 9-14%) Harley riders actually enjoy their Harleys. They see the good-natured shake at idle as one would his best friend's tendency to pick his nose--a point of contention that really has no influence on functionality. Their bodies are generally shaped to fit Harley ergonomics. They ride at moderate speeds, are courteous to others on the highway, operate their Harleys within the limited (compared to more modern designs) performance parameters of their antiquated design features, and enjoy themselves tremendously. No different than one who drives a 1928 Model A or a CB550 these days. These are those few Harley riders who ride with a big shit-eating grin plastered across their faces, those whose Harleys are well-maintained at home, who rarely have a breakdown, and who generally rack up lots of miles. They tend to avoid events like Sturgis and R. O. T. and Daytona Bike Week. Engines tend to be stock with minor mods and tuning rather than major performance builds. Modifications tend to lean towards function instead of bling. Most have a relatively quiet exhaust that sounds really good without the headache-inducing pounding of straight pipes. They are more likely to wear a 3/4 or full face helmet instead of a beanie, and tend towards armored gear rather than branded fashion leather. They usually pay cash for their bikes, too. These are the Harley riders who would likely choose a TW for a dualsport bike. Actually, they choose a TW for the exact same reasons they choose a Harley--the friendly power delivery, the inherent durability of low-stressed components when properly maintained, readily available parts enhanced with backwards compatibility over decades of production, and most of all, an honest personality with no surprises. These riders are usually seen riding alone or with a small group of other cruiser/bagger bikes, and those probably own TWs, too. They know exactly why a dog sticks his head out of a car window. they are easy to spot at a BBQ joint jammed with motorcyclists on a holdiay weekend--they are the small, quiet group off to the side.



Then there are the 1%ers from which the sterotype is drawn. Yes, there are a few, probably way below 1% due to the huge influx of testiclelesses buying into the "lifestyle", but most will only be seen riding with their brothers to a funeral or such. Their, uh, business interests make it unsafe for them to ride alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great comments, all. I didn't know there was a Harley-Evinrude connection or a Harley-John Deere connection, either. Kinda surprised no one has mentioned a Harley-Ferguson connection (seems like Ferguson was in bed with everyone at one point or another). This forum is rich with ideas and opinions, many of which are defensible! Glad to be a part of it.



Enjoy the Goodness,

Lorddaftbiker
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Forgot to mention, JS5Owner, I dig your Vision - it's cool, practical, & special b/c it's a limited edition. Very nice machine.



God Bless America,

Lorddaftbiker
 

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Forgot to mention, JS5Owner, I dig your Vision - it's cool, practical, & special b/c it's a limited edition. Very nice machine.



God Bless America,

Lorddaftbiker


Thanks a bunch Xracer & Lorddaftbiker for the kind words regarding my Nessy! I love the technology of the Vision product and it is cool that they are made in Spirit Lake, IA.
 

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If I was to buy a big cruiser or bagger, it would be a Victory of some sort. The styling kind of leaves me cold, though, but everyone I know who has one owned at least one Harley first, and will never go back, though some have Harleys as a second or third bike.
 

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Well, I ride an XL883 Sportster and I'm thinking of getting a TW200 (or the XT250, Honda CRF230L, or DR200 Suzuki).
 

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strange because people on harleys rarely wave to me when i wave to them. almost as if they are to good for the tdub owners.haha. the ones that do wave probably also own tdubs.lol


This has been my experience also.



Harley also has a Yamaha connection.

Years ago, when Harley was making their comeback after the AMF debacle, 60 minutes did a segment on them to find out how they were becoming so successful again. While touring the factory, a Harley exec pointed out a new building and proudly explained that raw tubing went in one end, was cut, bent, jigged, and welded by a state-of-the-art computer controlled machine, and finished frames came out the other end ready for paint. Faster, cheaper, more accurate, superior in every way. Suitably impressed, the 60 minutes guy wanted a look, but the exec steadfastly refused. The 60 minutes guy was persistent ("What are you trying to hide?", etc.,etc.) Finally, after a long discussion, the exec relented and let him see the machine, which was the size of a small house, with the brand name "Yamaha" in 2 ft tall letters across it. The reporter harassed the exec terribly, and as you can imgaine, the exec was mortified. I laughed till I cried. So the resurgence of Harley Davidson was, at least in part, thanks to Yamaha.
 

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Harley also had a connection with Mercury Marine. I had a Mercury outboard on a fishing boat, 4 of us, 2 were Harley mechanics, went to the Bahamas for a fishing vacation, and fried the starter motor first day. We popped the engine cover, pulled the starter, and one Harley guy commented that it sure looked like a Sportster starter. Unable to find a Mercury starter locally or from a dealer in South Florida, a quick call to his place of employment, and a Sportster starter was on the next Chalk's flight over. Bolted it up and had a dandy fishing trip.
 

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In a way, the resurgence of HD was accomplished on the backs of ALL the Japanese manufacturers.



Rather than fix/redesign their dinosaur Willie G. and the Boys bought their company back from AMF, then whined to Congress about the "unfair" competition and were able to get steep tarriffs imposed on Japanese imports.



I'm not hatin' on Harley. It was a brilliant move on their part, though totally despicable. The Japanese used the tarriff period by building ever more powerful and reliable sub-700cc bikes to avoid the tarriff, Harley got their heads extracted and survived on image concious buyers for long enough to actually improve their dinosaur and now everyone's got a flavor they can enjoy. Win/Win. Cumbaya.
 

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I've got a Honda ST1300, 0-60 3.5 seconds, nothing like a POS Harley, the TW is a vacation bike to ride behind my camper next to my 2 Hobie Kayaks.
 

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The ST1300 is certainly a fine bike, but has the personality of the Church Lady. I'd choose one over a 'Wing 1800. If it was a really good deal.
 

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My first bike was a 2001 tw200, a year later i bought a harley heritage softail classic.

I love both bikes.
 
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