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Dr. Bob,
If they are apples and oranges what is the best and worst of each? Why are Harleys so much more $$$? I live by Cooks Corner here in OC and it is 90% Harleys. No two Harley's are a like and the following is dedicated. The Asian bikes have a divided market they are pretty much the same. I am not trying to answer my own questions but looking for the pros and cons of each.
I posted the question here because of the Suzuki preference and I currently ride a Bandit and this site has good feedback.
Thanks for the information guys.
Loki Ca, you have a point.
Christopher1013
My take on HDs is you're paying for a name and an image. Take away the HD image and what do you have? Is an HD really worth that kind of money? And if you buy and HD, are you buying it for yourself or are you buying so other people can see you on an HD? Personally, I'd go with the Suzuki. It's engine is designed in 'this' century, not the last. It's liquid cooled and you won't have to take out a loan and give up your first born for parts and maintenance. Then, ask yourself, which will I have more fun on.
 

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IMO, and this is not a bashing HD, but I believe engine quality is better on Suzuki, but fit and finish is better on HD. I don't like the look of the huge primary sticking out of the sides of the HD. If the M90 would be built more like the M50 instead of the M109, I'd upgrade to it, similar to the old model name Maurauder 800 and 1600 that did look alike. They had the M95 for a year or two then discontinued it.
 

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Just bought a C109R

i have just taken a delivery of a C109Rk9 and i have just completed my first short ride (380ks 236 miles) and i have just written a review(my first ever) on the bike. I hope it helps
Pete from Australia
 

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The best thing about not buying a Harley is you will never have to go to a Harley dealership. Of course if you like walking past rows of Chinese made leather halter tops and misc other Chinese goods you may like it. Im sorta kidding. I loved my Sportster and it ran perfect. I simply don't like bikes with twin rear shocks or air cooled engines.
 

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To clear up the chain /belt issue,all new Harleys have an enclosed oil bath tripple row chain primary drive and a belt final drive.
I may be bias but I'd spend the extra money on the H-D,you'll have a bike that will stand the test of time and always be rebuildable,pretty much any jap cruiser will loose value over time much more than the Harley and eventually be hard to get parts and service for rendering it obsolete.
My bike is almost 13 years old now and more to the point is still a great bike at 172,000 miles.
If....no not if but when then engine gets tired on the Suk good luck getting it rebuilt,the dealer will try to sell you a new bike because they don't do rebuilds and motors if still available cost more than the bike is worth.
Harley has a factory rebuild program and also sells complete crate engines,that and most dealers do rebuilds in house as well as performance upgrads from mild to wild,you won't get that at Suzuki.
 

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I just jumped over to a Victory with an air cooled engine and it is not as bad as I thought. A little warm on my right leg. I also looked at getting a Harley road king or street glide. Both are great bikes with some of the best paint and chrome you can get in a bike but price and fit is what drove me away. The resale value on a Harley does not mean as much as it used to, atleast in my neck of the woods. Our local classifides are full of used bikes and 9 out of 10 are HD's and the majority of those are newer models. The SG's are holding pretty good but the rest are selling really cheap. I looked at a couple of gently used Road Kings that were a few years old for much less than the MSRP but I just couldn't fit on them very well (long legs) plus I wanted my next bike to be a new one. As far as engine rebuilds go, for the majority of riders (including myself), they will not put enough miles on them to ever see a rebuild unless they abuse the crap out of them. The main thing is to buy what you like and can afford, all bikes made these days are very reliable.
 

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I just jumped over to a Victory with an air cooled engine and it is not as bad as I thought. A little warm on my right leg. I also looked at getting a Harley road king or street glide. Both are great bikes with some of the best paint and chrome you can get in a bike but price and fit is what drove me away. The resale value on a Harley does not mean as much as it used to, atleast in my neck of the woods. Our local classifides are full of used bikes and 9 out of 10 are HD's and the majority of those are newer models. The SG's are holding pretty good but the rest are selling really cheap. I looked at a couple of gently used Road Kings that were a few years old for much less than the MSRP but I just couldn't fit on them very well (long legs) plus I wanted my next bike to be a new one. As far as engine rebuilds go, for the majority of riders (including myself), they will not put enough miles on them to ever see a rebuild unless they abuse the crap out of them. The main thing is to buy what you like and can afford, all bikes made these days are very reliable.
Good points but once your warranty is up low miles or not if an engine or trans fails on a brand X cruiser you're up a creek pretty much,just look around this site and you'll find a few in that boat.
(the jury is still out on Vic,they're not old enough yet)
Resale on H-D late model bikes has slipped but so has everything else in the recession,you'll see all those bikes bounce back when things turn around,mark my words,I saw the same after the Carter recession years.
Long term resale is atill far and away the best even though down like classic cars or whatever but you'll still pay a lot more for a 30 years old Harley than any similar metric which will be dirt cheap because parts and service are practially non existant and not cost affective.
Even my 13 year old Harley still has some value despite it's 172,000 miles and patina from use,you couldn't get squat from a metic with those miles on it if you could find one that survived that many.
If I had the time money and space I'd be buying up some used H-D's and classic cars,maybe some guns and antiques etc as well and stashing them away for better times and resale.
I'f I'd have done that in the late 1970's and early 1980's I'd be retired now lol.
 

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"Good points but once your warranty is up low miles or not if an engine or trans fails on a brand X cruiser you're up a creek pretty much,just look around this site and you'll find a few in that boat."
Y2K, are you trying to say that the new HD engines are bullet proof and never break down after warranty? I don't know about the HD's in your neck of the woods but everybody and their momma has one down here and have had a few buddies/family members over the years with some serious engine/tranny problems on their HD's. I've also been reading about some problems with the new 103 but then again you could read about problems with any engine. I am not a supporter of any company and even though I went with Victory over an HD I do not owe them anything and don't plan on being a cheerleader for them either nor any bike company.
 

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Y2K, are you trying to say that the new HD engines are bullet proof and never break down after warranty? I don't know about the HD's in your neck of the woods but everybody and their momma has one down here and have had a few buddies/family members over the years with some serious engine/tranny problems on their HD's. I've also been reading about some problems with the new 103 but then again you could read about problems with any engine. I am not a supporter of any company and even though I went with Victory over an HD I do not owe them anything and don't plan on being a cheerleader for them either nor any bike company.
Well H-D makes a hell of a lot more bikes than Vic,they make more big cruisers than anyone so it's a percentage deal,more bikes made so more with problems even if they have no higher percentage of problem bikes than brand X but that was not my point.
Harley does have a great warranty (2 years unlimited mileage and you can go extended up to 7 years) and is good at backing it up but my point is after the warranty expires a Harley can be serviced and rebuilt in a cost affective way.
Big twins have a separate case for the trans so you don't have to tear the whole motor apart to service it but tranny troubles are rare anyway,mine is all original as is the clutch and everything in the primary,even the original clutch cable at 172,000 miles.
Engines can be overhauled by most anyone with a few tools and a manual or you can have it done at an indy shop or a dealer or even send it back to the factory for a rebuild and if dealer installed get a full warranty on it,same with a new crate engine.
So many viable options is my point,brand X not so many,try to go to a Suzuki dealer and get your engine rebuilt or ask about a factory rebuild,not available and a new engine will cost more than the bike is worth if you can still get one.
H-D has quit supporting some of the older bikes and I mean like over 25 years old but the aftermarket always steps up with parts and service.
I can buy a brand new motor for a 1936 Harley (http://www.sscycle.com/product/Vintage-Flathead-Power/1936-1984-Big-Twin-Models/Engines-c172/ ) that will bolt right in and look OEM but is better in every way ,never happen if a brand X ever gets that old and hasn't been recycled lol.
I really hope Vic steps up their game and becomes a real competitor for Harley,not just in sales but in service,parts and eveyting else I just posted about H-D,it would be good for us all Harley rider or Vic.
Right now H-D is pretty much it for serious long term ownership with few exceptions,it's not unusual to meet an H-D owner with a 30 year old bike that is a one owner and a daily rider.
That is simply because of all that I put up there earlier,it's viable to keep riding one indefinately.
I know an old timer that just bought a late model Twincam and is love'n it but he still has his 1947 Knucklehead that was his daily ride for decades.

 

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I see what you are saying and I'm sure you are probably right (worked on plenty of chevy 350's but never a motorcycle motor). I have a cousin who bought one of the ugliest harleys I have ever seen early last summer, an 80's model that I assumed was an ultraglide, in metallic brown and beat all to pieces. He quickly was able to rebuild the motor and then had it lowered and painted black and now looks like a SG. I do hope Victory can make it as well, not because I own one but competetion, especially between two american companies, is a good thing. Will help keep prices down and quality up. On the other side I really have to wonder if Victory will make it for the long haul. I bought my Cross Roads because I loved the look, fit me better than any bike has so far, powerful engine, and I got it for much less than MSRP and inluded a 5 year powertrain warranty. The downside is that there are very few dealers near me and the 3 closest are all terrible to deal with. Just took my bike in for the 500 mile service and they basically just changed the oil and made sure the lights work. I asked about the belt tension and was told not to worry about it. Just downloaded a shop manual and like my M50, will be doing the work myself. Victory really needs better dealers and more of them if they are going to make it big IMO.
 

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I tried a Victory Touring Cruiser around 2002. I thought it was okay, but it needed refinement. But then they dumped it and came out with the Nessies. The Nessies were never good looking, and they kind of abandoned those of us that liked the traditional cruiser, (allthough I had always been a european/japanese bike guy, otherwise). I recently cameinto a 2002 WIde Glide. WHat a great bike! I doubt I'll ever swithch from a Harley again.
 

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I see what you are saying and I'm sure you are probably right (worked on plenty of chevy 350's but never a motorcycle motor). I have a cousin who bought one of the ugliest harleys I have ever seen early last summer, an 80's model that I assumed was an ultraglide, in metallic brown and beat all to pieces. He quickly was able to rebuild the motor and then had it lowered and painted black and now looks like a SG. I do hope Victory can make it as well, not because I own one but competetion, especially between two american companies, is a good thing. Will help keep prices down and quality up. On the other side I really have to wonder if Victory will make it for the long haul. I bought my Cross Roads because I loved the look, fit me better than any bike has so far, powerful engine, and I got it for much less than MSRP and inluded a 5 year powertrain warranty. The downside is that there are very few dealers near me and the 3 closest are all terrible to deal with. Just took my bike in for the 500 mile service and they basically just changed the oil and made sure the lights work. I asked about the belt tension and was told not to worry about it. Just downloaded a shop manual and like my M50, will be doing the work myself. Victory really needs better dealers and more of them if they are going to make it big IMO.
Good old small block Chevys,that is very much what a Harley is like so a good comparo.
Besides liking them for a number of reasons Harley's strong dealer network is one of the reasons I ride one,I've done many long road trips over the years (Summer of 2000 was 8000 miles in 14 days riding two up and loaded with camping gear) and it's nice to know there's always a dealer nearby for an oil change or tire or heaven forbid a breakdown.
Of course not all dealers are equal regardless of brand but in my experience H-D dealers as a rule take really good care of touring riders that are far from home,nice to know when it's 1500 miles back to your local dealer.


















































 
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