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Discussion Starter #1
"If I had to" do it all again, I'd still buy a Harley. In spite of those who don't have much use for them, or at least their high prices (which I admit, ARE indeed "high"). I have had a wonderful experience, both with the Fatboy and now with the Road Glide.

I realize of course, that I could have just as much fun with another Honda, and I can't say anything against the two that I owned.

There is just something about the capturing affect of the Harley that I can't put my finger on. Some will say the "potatopotatopotato," and others will say the "American made" factor...........still others will talk about the engine, the comfort..........whatever it is.......I'm glad I went down this path.

If I had to admit to any prejudices, it would be true of me to say that I don't have much tolerance for scooters. Sure, they are "two-wheelers" just like me, but............well......I'll leave it there. I'm not too keen on (pardon) "Rice Rockets," at least from the point of view of the riding posture and moreso the behavior of some who scare the living crap outa folks on the highway, and are likely to be the next fatality statistic. Not MY cup of tea.

I've thought about an Indian, and the now defunct Victory bikes. I like the uniqueness of them both. I even thought it might be fun to find a late-sixties Honda 350 just for the frig of it.........riding it around town every now and then. Maybe some sort of "rehab" bike that I can tear down in my garage. We'll see.

But for just enjoying the ride..........I'll take my full faring cruiser any day of the week!! The fact that it is a Harley, is the icing on the cake!
 

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I think harleys are overpriced too but, I have no problem with whatever people choose to spend their own money on. I love my valkyrie for the opposite reasons. It's one of the smoothest, quietest bikes ever made. It's heavy though, and that might be their only flaw. I'm not sure I'd ever care to ride a v-twin again after this. Except maybe the indian scout. Would like to try riding one. Might make for a good little backup bike.
As far as made in america, harleys are just assembled here, pretty much all the parts are sourced internationally so, not really sure that counts. I don't consider them any more american made than the old honda valkyries made in marysville, ohio.
Sport bikes don't fit me well and I always thought they were a bit ugly anyways so, I agree with you about the rice racers. If only they'd keep their crazy stuff off the public roads, I'd be fine with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I knew a young man once, who wanted to be a motorcycle racer. Professional type racing, with a team and all that. He had the drive to win, and loved those type of bikes (not dragsters, but track racers). I lost track of him some years ago, but I wonder if he ever made it to the big leagues.

If someone wants to ride that type of bike, I believe it should be on a track somewhere. Not on public streets. Just because they are capable of incredible speeds, and are so maneuverable and all that.

The first year that the Valkyrie came out, I fell in love with it's look. Looked essentially like someone had taken a V8 motor, and mounted it on a bike frame! Impressive as HECK, as far as I'm concerned!! Never did buy one though. Over the years, they have kind of minimized that look however. If I found one that was in someone's garage, with some unbelievably low miles on it, from the first model year..........I'd be sorely tempted.

My wife is really enthusiast. She's ridden with me since day 1 and loves it. That goes a LONG way when it comes to enjoyment. Sometimes I like to ride alone, but it IS soooo much more fun with her along! That said, I don't like group riding much (unless I'm leading a group to my favorite oceanside haunt, like I do every year), because it restricts me more than I like. On a FEW rides in the past, I have ducked out after the first 20 miles or so............just "because."
 

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I'm not young enough to want to go fast all the time but I can understand the dream. Too bad we can't go back in time and get a do-over.
I have the new valk, the 2014 model, newer tech, better efficiency and power. I think the old valks are what a bike should look like, but I just didn't want to have to deal with trying to sync 6 carbs or whatever. :)
You are lucky to have someone special who shares your passion. Very few people are that fortunate.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
At 60, which just happened to me this past Sunday, I can tell you that having a "do over" in a few situations in my life, would be a wonderful thing. I would be a better husband, I would be more careful with what I said in certain situations, and what I did. But since we don't have any opportunities to fix the past, I just try every day to do it better than I used to do it.

I had this dream you see, that one day I would get a touring bike, and the wife and I would go on nice day trips on beautiful country roads, and enjoy riding the bike together. That only happened a couple of times with my first wife of 37 years, before she got desperately sick and couldn't ride the bike anymore with me. Then, after my first wife was gone, I met someone new, and we haven't even been married a year yet. One day, she and I decided to stop by a local Harley Davidson dealership, and look at their touring bikes. The bike I was currently riding, was a fat boy, all of 600 pounds soaking wet, and now she was having me look at bikes that were 900 pounds plus.

naturally the salesman wanted to know if we wanted to take it for a test ride, and my new wife had a big grin on her face, so naturally I agreed. We took it out of the dealership and around the corner. We were in a town that I was unfamiliar with, so not only did I have a much heavier bike underneath me, but I also had a rider, and I was on strange roads and I didn't know where I was going. This was her town.

The next thing I knew, I was facing the entrance ramp to one of the bigger interstates in our State, and she was encouraging me to get on the highway to see how I performed at highway speeds! The guy inside me was saying, "no, don't do it," but the guy sitting on my other shoulder said, "awe, go ahead, show off!" I gave in to "the other guy."

We got up on the highway, and I did about 10 miles before I got off an exit, and spun around and did a rewind back to the dealership. I'm a good enough operator, that I managed to keep the bike upright, and managed to shift properly and all that, but I was still as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof! Talk about "baptism by fire!"

We ended up buying the bike. It's a 2013 and I forget how many tens of thousands of miles it had on it, but it may have had 40,000 miles on it. Everything worked, and it had a few amenities, and I liked it, and the wife was encouraging me to buy it, so I did. It has heated grips, it has a full faring, it has a radio, and we bought helmets with microphones.........the whole nine yards. I rode it all last season, 50% of the time with the wife on the back, and it ran fine. I've never laid a bike down more than once, and that was just turning a sharp corner on the sand at slow speed, but I laid this one down once, coming slowly out of the gas station, when I didn't give it enough gas when I should have; but we were fine and so was the bike. A half dozen grizzly looking bikers who were at the same gas station came running over to help me pick it up and make sure we were OK. That was very cool!

So we look forward to the season of riding together, with lessons learned and familiarity with the bike. My wife will get that silly grin on her face when she knows it's time to ride, and that's OK.

We'll see what THIS year brings!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Aussie Steve: yes, and especially for those of us who were named "Steve!" (lol)
 

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I like the title, "if I had too". I'm not 60 yet, but over 50, and man if you had a magic eraser for some of life's less that golden moments ... WOW!

As a young pup, I was one of those "rice rocket" guys and I have to say they were a blast and I miss those bikes, but my body would never be able to take that again. As you can see by my name, I'm a cruiser guy now and I love my Suzuki's. But I think when your a biker, you just love bikes and they all have their character and charms. The lure of the C-90 is that it is 800+ pounds but sits like a lounge chair and the center of gravity is so low, there is no sense of being heavy. The same was true with my previous Intruder.

You are blessed to have a wife that loves to ride! That does make it more fun! Ride safe!

ps. born in 64 and my name is not Steve ... lol
 

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I was taking my Suzi to the shop this morning - she's up for inspection tomorrow. On the way, I was thinking what a great bike I've got ... she's just a blast to ride. If I had a magic wand to make some changes to her, I would add ABS brakes and shave off a bit of weight (she weighs over 500 lbs - a lot of weight to force around the tight curves in my local forest), but in general, I still enjoy every minute with the old girl.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I wish (sometimes) that my Road Glide was 500 lbs + and not 900 lbs. +!! Then again, I appreciate the amenities it has, so...............

I guess the original intent of my opening post, was to warn those who are taking the plunge to a heavier bike (by significant amounts) to "go easy" and "pray hard!!" (lol)
 

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Still crazy after all these years
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My bike history has some huge jumps in it - I rode a 50ccm Vespa roller for 8 or 9 years before deciding to get a "real" bike. I moved to a 125ccm V-twin (Honda Varadero) for 2 years, then decided to get a bigger bike - and found the GSX 1400. The first test ride on the 1400 was done together with a riding instructor, to make sure that I could handle the beast. I bought her, then upgraded my license from a restricted to unrestricted motorcycle endorsement. (I was living in Switzerland at the time, which meant having to take additional training classes and re-taking the 2-part riding test - and additional costs of about $500).

Staying alive and well with that much power between my knees is a combination of having the right bike and the right attitude. My GSX is a powerful machine (106 hp), but geared for torque and not for speed - she is tame, as long as you keep your right wrist under control. As I have often told younger riders - you can easily hurt or kill yourself with a 125ccm bike, if you are not paying attention. When I see the young riders on race-replica bikes, ignoring traffic laws and basic common sense, I understand why a lot of people react aggressively when they see a bike.

I just had new tires mounted yesterday. When the shop owner handed me the keys, he reminded me that I should be careful with the new tires until they are "scrubbed." I just smiled and said yes, Suzi and I will "take it easy" for the first 100 kms. This is my 6th or 7th set of new tires on Suzi, so I know what to expect. Younger riders often think/feel that they are immortal and can defy the laws of physics. The truth can be very painful...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
..................Staying alive and well ......................... is a combination of having the right bike and the right attitude..........................Younger riders often think/feel that they are immortal and can defy the laws of physics. The truth can be very painful.
Couldn't have said it any better myself!!
 
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