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View Poll Results: What bike would you rather ride?
Harley 6 50.00%
Import 6 50.00%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-24-2006, 09:58 AM   #1
Goatboy
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This morning I came in to work, and was immediatly was bombarded with "Dude, you HAVE to get you a Screamin Eagle Harley" from a guy who works next to me. He had taken a trip to a friends Harley shop, and came back with visions of Harleys in his head. Last week he was telling me of how he was enjoying playing Tourist Trophey on his PS2, and how awesome the bikes on the game were. Then, after coming back from a Harley dealer, he can't do enough bashing of import bikes, and he's never ridden either one.

So, I figured this would be a good topic...

Here's my opinion...

American bikes are ok bikes; I think there's some really damn nice looking Buells and Harleys out there. My problem is, they're a good $5-6,000 MORE than Kawasakis, Hondas, Yamahas, Triumphs, etc. They're not any faster, bigger, etc. than the imports. Most people I know that ride a Harley wouldn't go with anything else, but, they're also the people who tend to ride a name more than a bike. The best opinions I've heard are the people who have ridden both, and %95 of those guys have ended up selling their Harleys and gone with a more reliable bike for way less money. One guy who actualy still owned both a Harley and a Kawasaki said he'll never get rid of his Kawi cause he's got to have something to ride to backtrack his trips on his Harley to pick up the stuff on his Harley that fell off.

SO, for you bike guys, what would you rather buy for a bike that you were going to ride; Harley or Import?

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Old 07-24-2006, 10:53 AM   #2
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first off, you can't really compare harley's to imports...it's the whole "if i had to tell you, you wouldn't get it" mentality that goes w/ the harley. I would say that any import is probably gonna be better performance, more reliable, and cost less.

some people would argue that harley's are better because of the v-rod drag bikes that harley uses in drag races, when from what i understand, the harley makes alot more power because its a twin and not a 4. I think there are restrictions put on the import bikes in this kind of racing that make for an unfair advantage towards harley...i really dont know though since i watch MOTOGP

ride what u like IMO...owning a harley will cost more, but u will be riding a harley...kinda like riding a Ducati...i guess
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Old 07-24-2006, 02:50 PM   #3
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I have ridden both and I have to say Harleys are not made for comfort, they are loud and rattle your teeth in your skull. I am much happier on an import just cruising along and not being rattled to death...just MHO.

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Old 07-24-2006, 03:09 PM   #4
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I have both. I love to ride my Hog and Reddood, you've rode the older ones. The new ones ride like Goldwings.

I like them both. It's what ever looks good to me is what I like.
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:12 PM   #5
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I guess when you say imports you are not talking about crotchrockets.

comparing Harley to imports is like comparing the Vette to imports.

Imports are cheaper and more reliable but its not a Harley.

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Old 07-24-2006, 09:40 PM   #6
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i think harleys definately look cooler and what not

but if i had to ride one id definately get a crotch rocket.. better gas mileage and better comfort.

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Old 07-25-2006, 09:37 AM   #7
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IMPORT! UUoot
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Old 07-25-2006, 05:37 PM   #8
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There's not just Harley anymore, there's also Victory and Indian for domestics, and Buell as you mentioned. Victory, Indian, and HD all go for the cruiser market. Buell is a sport bike.
Between sport and cruiser you're talking the difference between Civics and Pickups. You want one or the other usually for different reasons. Some people love the sport-bike look. Others like the cruiser look. It's personal taste. Personally I love the cruisers because i can be stopped and look just as cool as at 65mph... on a sport bike... you pretty much have to be weaving in and out of traffic at 75mph to look cool IMO.
Not necessarily... a few people I ride with have Yamahas and Kawasakis, but it's fun to dig them because that's part of being in the club.
I used to ride a Honda Magna v45, which I loved when I was in college, but honestly, my opinion is that those bikes are wannabe Harleys, and frankly not much cheaper.
Performance-wise, it doesn't matter. I have plenty of acceleration with my V-Twin and it goes plenty fast. It also has the exact style I like, more after-market support than anything else, and it's a Harley. It's a name, and you pay more for it (unless you buy it overseas through AAFES new car sales but you're paying for heritage and the whole thing about being a Harley guy. It's not a name brand, it's an icon. You pay so much for a Harley because they sell for over MSRP, meaning they sell all the bikes they make.
That goes back to the import vs American question. HD doesn't dare mess with much of the engineering in the Softails. They added EFI (you can still get carb) and some people freaked out. Part of being an icon also means you lose freedom in innovation if you mess with what people like. (See Jeep Wrangler for more on this)
So what HD has done is tweak their other lines, while still subtley while also adding the V-ROD. If you ride a Road King though, they've been very smart about integrating all the technology without screwing up the look and making it probably the best ride overall out there.
My FatBoy has EFI, but the engine isn't rubber isolated and it only has 5 speeds. But it's smooth as butter on the streets and highway, and I drive it to work daily and it gets me 50mpg. (I doubt the street bikes get much better, but I honestly don't know) 2000 miles into it and I've had zero problems. The teethrattling maintenance nightmares of the 80s (Reddood) are gone. HD came back from the brink of bankruptcy by cleaning up their reliability and innovating where they could. Reliability isn't a problem anymore, like it isn't with US cars in general. What remains is stigma from the 80s when the US industry got complacent and built shit that broke. The shit doesn't break any more now than their Japanese competitors (look at JD Power and any other reliability measure) but the reputation is hard to shake.
If you want a Harley, you get a harley. If you can't afford a Harley, you get a Yamaha Boulevard or similar clone. If you want a street bike, you wouldn'tt get a Harley anyway.
That's what it boils down to, and it's basically the same as Cadillac vs Lexus. Personal Preference. You want one or you don't.
As more people buy motorcycles for practicality sake rather than to buy a motorcycle, people may start worrying about top end performance or reliability, but I don't know of anyone who did or didn't buy one over the other because of the previously mentioned reasons.
Ride what you want because it's what you want. Leave the Consumer Reports overanalysis bullshit out of it.
I was looking at Victory's, and because motorcycles are like a disease, I'll probably buy one of those in a few years as a compliment to the Fat boy.
And then I was thinking about one of those dual-use BMWs, which are relatively cheap ($8500)...
ahh the fun of riding.
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOEBOOWORK @ Jul 25 2006, 09:37 AM) ;250689[
[img
http://powersports.honda.com/images/subcategory/motorcycles/prod_cruiserstandard_01.jpg[/img]

IMPORT! UUoot
[/b]
Right now, I believe that is by far the SEXIEST bike in production... Would LOVE to own a Rune...

But, I did happen to see today something that I'm gonna save up for. I was browsing a honda shop in a neighboring city, and saw a VFR800



It's pretty much just a high performance sportbike with some touring comfort thrown in. I figure by the time I can save up enough to buy one, I can pick a good used one up for about $5-6,000.

IMHO, Harley makes a good cruiser bike, and their sub company Buell makes a good sport bike. I guess my beef is with people who ride HD's who think any other bike is a "pussy bike". I also think the same thing of the people who who ride sportbikes and thinks anything other than a sportbike is a "pussy bike".

One thing I give Haley Davidson is their main advantage is that most of the add-on's are available upon purchase of the bike, and are authentic HD merchendise. You MIGHT get a choice of color from the factory on imports; either on the cruisers or sportbikes. Suzuki and Kawasaki are starting to come around a little, but, for the most part, any accessories on imports will have to be purchased from aftermarket companies.

Hell, I'll wave to a HD rider or an import rider; makes me no difference. It's all about the ride, right?
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Old 07-26-2006, 04:20 PM   #10
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You got it. Pretty much everyone gives you a hey/hello in some fashion, one biker to another, when you pass on the road. Around here at least. Hawaii was the best.
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