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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hiya, joined this forum about 6 months ago when I bought a 1987 600 Transalp. Mainly bought because the narrow country lanes where I live are frequently covered in mud, slime and cow
cow sh*t, and I wanted a chance to wash this less often ;




She's a 2004 Softail Standard, my 6th Harley, and there's been one in my garage since I bought my first in 1989, so you could say I'm a fan. There's usually been at least one other bike keeping the Harley company, but don't we all end up with more than one bike whenever we can afford to?
As I'm posting this in the HD section I guess I'm preaching to the converted to some extent, but having read through this and other forums I do notice the poor old Harleys getting a bit of a slagging from time to time. I am genuinely at a loss to see why they generate such negativity, often outright hatred, it's just a bike for f*ck's sake!
I actually chose my 1st Harley almost by accident, I had a Guzzi California 11 at the time and when the mk 111 came out I was really disappointed to find I just didn't fit it comfortably. Looking around for other options I decided that the Harley almost looked as good. What can I say? I've been in love with V twins since my first CX500 in 1977, and once I felt that Harley thump I was hooked.
Please don't ever tell me that Harleys only do straight roads, mine have been over the Alps several times, two up with camping gear, and I'd have to ride a fair way from my house to find a straight road anyway. Okay, it's no sports bike, but neither are lots of other bikes either, I reckon my Transalp handles pretty well but it wouldn't be any quicker on a cross country route than the Harley.
I know they get slagged for being noisy too, and yes I agree that any bike with straight through pipes is going to be anti-social, but why pretend that only applies to Harleys? I like my bikes to sound like a "proper" motorbike, that's why my CX had Dunstall silencers and why the pipes on my Harley are louder than standard but still baffled. Just like the after market pipe on my Transalp!
I agree that some HD riders give proper bikers a bad name with the dressing up as bad ass dudes, but I see no difference from the guys who dress up in leather romper suits to ride their sports bikes on sunny Sundays. They're all acting out some kind of fantasy. If you want to talk about real bikers, my brother in law commutes 30 miles every day in all weathers on a Chinese 125 because that's all he can afford after providing for his family, now that's a real biker.
BTW, the Transalp idea hasn't actually saved me from too much bike washing, the damn thing's turned out to be so good I've totally fallen for it, I can't bear to leave it covered in crap, so it gets washed just as often as the Harley now!
 

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Nice write up.
I have never tried a Harley, I think I might even like it.
But leather chaps? no way. Fantasy sports bike riders are just as 'cool'.
 

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proper bikers are the biggest bunch of arseholes I ever met they are even worse than normal people ****ing sheep the lot of them . myself I try not to judge people I don't see someone on any make or model of bike and assume anything about them I let them make up my mind about them themselves but at the end of the day I don't really care what they are like the world is full of arseholes bikers and non bikers . whilst out riding on my Harley Davidson in the past I have stopped up to talk to other Harley riders most of whom I found ignorant bastards .

I complemented their bikes but they never even looked at mine probably jealous as mind was perfect out of the factory and not customised by the previous owner like theirs . I also met arseholes on ducati's bandit 1200's or what ever . I was admireing a bmw touring bike at the beach when its owner and his wife came over to say hello he also had a Harley to some people that would spell double bad but he was double good a real nice friendly bloke who just loved his bikes . I would have been happy out to stop and shoot the shit but I was with my family and we were just heading home . as a result of meeting so many miserable gits in my travels I don't ever strike up a conversation with proper bikers any more . however if I see someone stopped on the side of the road I stop to offer assistance if they are good I just keep on going no chat at all if they need a help out of fuel or what ever I will help that's of course unless they are on a Harley if they are then I don't want to cramp their style by stopping on a 25 year old Honda that cost less that their kuryakyn chrome light switch covers and controls on their beach bars that they paid $50 an hour to have them fitted for them and anyway I don't ****ing need their attitude im so rich , im so hard , im so cool **** em . :lol:
 

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I have had 'modern' Harleys for the the last 25 years, starting with 85 evo FXR, then 85 FLH ex NYPD police bike through to a 95 Ultra Classic. Also had some Sportsters ranging from 59 XLCH replica (from XLH) to 2005 883. Had oldies before that -1915 and 1925 1000's and since 1990ish some Pans and Shovels.
I like them for the relaxed ride but they are now getting to be rather large lumps for me to handle, but the Harley is the only bike my wife can ride pillion on, likes the wrap round armchair seat. I get on better with the Softail and Dyna but wife did not like the pillion so stick with the Ultra.
I have owned stagger crank Hondas almost as long starting with a 89 Transalp through Africas and XLV and back to Transalps and currently their original ancestor the VT500.
Do not tend to use the Harley in the winter as the local roads I ride are filthy, the TA is much easier to clean and the Honda finish is more robust.
 

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Right, Harley's.... :D
I always get upset when people refer to Wnter hacks. I recently bought a 1987 BMW K75S.
I hated the fact that even the seller said ideal Winter hack/commuter. Another advertised recently said the same. This is a very nice handlng shaft driven bike. Clean, powerful, nice.
How does this relate to Harley? Well, personally and I know we are not all the same, I like riders to know about bikes; maybe because I am interested in mechanics.
I spent six months working for a Harley dealer, hated it. Many, not all, were interested in the chrome, not the riding. Warranty claims for the tiniest speck of nothing in the chrome drove me crazy. I can't blame people for not wanting to ride in the rain, but don't treat any bike less, because of the weather.
I have to say, I had no problem riding the Harleys, very enjoyable. But maybe I am or was affected by people's views of Harleys. I also have a 1980 R65 and I also find narrow minded views of BM riders.
I ride, I commute, I have toured, I have been on three Enduro holidays, I do all my own maintenance.
All I can say, as long as you ride and courteous to other rider, then great.
I too hate the morons who ride badly on a Sunday.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I spent six months working for a Harley dealer, hated it. Many, not all, were interested in the chrome, not the riding.
Had to smile when I read that.

I bought my current Harley from Riders in Bristol. When I went to pick it up I asked the salesman to throw in a set of standard bar grips so I could replace the totally impractical chrome jobbies it had fitted. He couldn't understand why I wanted to change them and said as much to the parts guy, who replied with "perhaps he actually wants to ride the f*cking thing". Made me laugh anyway.

One thing I will say is that perhaps Harley encourage a "better than the rest" mentality within their dealerships, and maybe this rubs off on some of the customers? I've got to be honest here and admit that I've stuck with Harleys in spite of the dealers rather than because of them, luckily I do own a set of spanners so my bikes never go back to the dealer once bought.

BTW, did you know there are two national Harley Davidson Clubs in UK? One is sponsored by the dealers and called HARLEY OWNERS GROUP, and I'm a life member of the other club, the HARLEY RIDERS CLUB. I think the middle word in those two names tells you all you need to know about the attitudes of those two clubs.

As for riding in rain, well yeah, of course my Harley gets wet, contrary to what some would have you believe they don't dissolve in the rain. Having said that, the Transalp is still more fun on muddy slimy lanes, if only because I worry less knowing I can pick it up if I need too!
 

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luckily I do own a set of spanners so my bikes never go back to the dealer once bought.
A Harley owner who know what spanners are!!! :D

Hats off to you. You're a rider:thumbup:

I spent five of those six months in the service department. Guess what, they would bump service jobs if they got the chance to fit chrome. I had customers who had brought their bike in for a service, were sitting there and I had to tell them their service would be delayed, or, on more than one occasion, I had to ask them if they could reschedule!!!!! Bear in mind they were already booked in and there!!!!!

I know I'm no good to dealers, I buy second hand bikes and do all my own work.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
A Harley owner who know what spanners are!!! :D

Hats off to you. You're a rider:thumbup:
:laughing6:

I did my apprenticeship with British Steel so I know what a big hammer is too !

Bikes owned (listed in the order I bought em, but not necessarily in the order they were sold, I once owned 6 at the same time) ;

FS1E, CJ250, CB250G5, CX500, Vespa 90, GT250 (Ram Air), C50, Garelli Tiger Cross, C70, GS850 (Suzuki not BMW), another Garelli Tiger Cross, RS250, DT175, CB500T, another CX500, 400 Four, XBR500, GL500, another GS850, SR250, Guzzi California 11, HD Heritage, 250 Superdream (with sidecar!) HD Electra Glide, HD 883 Sportster, Enfield (Madras) 350 Bullet, Guzzi California 1100EFI, HD Softail, VN800,YBR125, Guzzi Zigalo 90 (Google it!), another CX500 (yeah, okay I like em!), another CB500T, another CB250G5 (ex French millitary), another HD Heritage, another HD Softail, Transalp 600.

I think that's the lot (for now) but the memory's not what it was, I may have forgotten one or two,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Whatever you ride, if it makes you smile it's a bloody good bike IMHO.

Bugger! Had to edit the post, just remembered the W650 !
 

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I had A GS850 (but BM not Suzuki)

I daren't list all my bikes, the Internet might slow down thinking it is a denial of service attack!

I've had too many bikes. I thought I was looking for the dream, but I think I just enjoyed the looking, fixing etc.

And.... I do know what what a Zigolo is, my wife and I rode down to Mandello for the 2006 GMG when I had my T3. Went on the BM though, as I blew a baffle out two days before the trip on the T3
 
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