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I've been on the back of them. I've seen them rolling around town. But I've never had one under my control

Currently I'm living at a family friends house in Oklahoma while I do my summer internship, Unfortunately I wasn't able to drag the SV down with me, so I will be away from it till September. The person I'm staying with has a pair of harleys, and seems to think he'll be able to convert me to a harley guy before the end of the summer. I told him that it would be quite a tall order. One of his bikes is a cool 75 anniversary.... Electraglide(i think)..? Its an AMF Harley Davidson and its got some 75'th anniversary banners on it. It looks pretty cool. And he has a softail.

I was on the Softail deluxe Springer Classic, with mini apes, and forward controls. First off the mini apes (about shoulder level for me) weren't all that bad. the thing that bothered me the most, was the forward controls. A few times I went to shift, and I either kicked the air, or tapped the giant floor board like it was my old bass pedal. It didn't take that long to get adjusted, but even after getting a pretty good feel for the shifting and braking with the goofball controls, I still didn't like it.

It has some flavor of sharktail exhausts. Which weren't too obnoxious. But I fell like the Harley riders in the episode of southpark every time I rode through a small town. WABWABWABWABWABABABWAWBABABWWAWABWBAW.

The bike I was on was running dry so we pulled into a gas station and I filled it up. He asked how I like it and the first thing I said was "forward controls are stupid" But I did say how smooth it rode. He told me to really hammer it so i could feel the torque from the 1450cc engine. The ride was pretty smooth aside from the occasional roughness from the springer front end. But over all I can easily see comfort on those long mile days.


When the road opened up (pretty quickly out here) I gave it the beans in first gear from a slow start. I was less than impressed. I've ridden big bore bikes before (Japanese) and I was expecting a bit more guts from this bike. On a an aggressive roll on the throttle on my dad's ZRX the front end will come right up. Heck, the SV's front end will come up in first from a 15 mph rolling start without the clutch

Now I'm not judging the Harley because it doesn't want to wheelie, I was just expecting more acceleration than I had. It sure wasn't slow. But it sure wasn't mind blowing.

I will say that I wasn't going all out. The bike didn't have an effing tach on it so I didn't want to be beating the snot out of a borrowed bike. I did go WOT a few times just not all the way to the rev limiter.

Most of the roads out these ways are straight. But we did have a few bends. After I was feeling confident riding the big old pig, I decided to give it a little bit of oomph into a corner. about a third of the way into the corner the footboard made contact with the asphault. :angry5: Just a little touch but enough to bother me. Toward the end of the night we went right at a green light. I thought I had learned my lesson about cornering so I went real slow, but no, the nice grinding noise showed up again as I went around the corner. It was a whole lot louder than the last one. The bike's owner heard it too.


In all, It wasn't terrible, but the lack of handling is a huge price to pay for a small amount of comfort. I still don't see the appeal, and I think I gave it a **** good chance.
 

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I used to have to hang off my XS400 because the pegs would scrape. The SV does not require hanging off at the speeds I am comfortable riding it.
 

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I've only ridden three HD's. The first one belonged to a friend who had injured his ankle on a road trip, and I rode the bike a few hundred feet though a 4" deep gravel parking lot. So I discount those impressions. :)

The next 2 were at a multi-brand demo day. The V-rod had a really nice motor. It pulled stongly and smoothly right up to the rev limiter. In fact, it pulled so well that I bumped the rev limiter several times. The brakes were good. I did not like the forward controls, and the bike did nothing special for me, other than the nice engine and brakes.

I also rode an XR1200X. That was a nice bike. Other than the normal HD quirks - key location, 1" bars, small fuel tank, turn signal switches and muffler location - it was a really fun bike. At demo day speeds, it accelerated, braked and handled well. If I had the fantasy choice of quitting bikes or exclusively ride the XR, I wouldn't feel abused. My respect for HD went up dramatically. Still not on my shopping list, but it shows that HD could build bikes for the rest of us, if it weren't for the demands of their current customer base.
 

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I'd bet what you ground on that slow right hander was actually the muffler bracket. Mine used to do that ALL THE TIME!!!!! If I had to be perfectly honest with myself, I do miss the hand controls... The Buells are really chunky and cheap looking. The Fat Boy's were sculpted and pretty. I still think the HD turn signal switches were easier to use, and the self canceling feature was really nice. So basically, I miss the turn signal switches. Haha!
 

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I remember the first time I got on one, it took me three tries and I had to look to figure out where my feet went. I took off and tried to find something under/behind me to put them on. I literally had to look to find to forward controls. Man did that thing suck at everything, but it did feel like I was reclining on a lazyboy.
 

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Different style bikes for different purposes. If I was infinitely wealthy, I would have a Harley (or another cruiser) to add to my stable for long trips. I have ridden 2 cruisers in my life. My step fathers Intruder 800 was what I learned on before I decided I wanted to get the SV. I barely remember anything about riding it because I was just so excited to be on a motorcycle. I bought my brother a Vulcan 500 this year and had to test ride it because he had just gotten his license. I couldnt get past my feet not being under me at first so I can only imagine what forward controls would be like. That being said, it was comfortable to just cruise nice and easy with. I want to test ride a Harley at some point. They are overpriced and they underperform but they are comfortable and I grew up around them so they hold nostalgia for me. Plus, you cant be a real man unless you ride a Harley right?
 

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See, for me cruisers aren't comfortable at all. After about 30min my right knee and back start killing me! The knee because the air filter is always in the way pushing it out. My back because any the slouched positions with forward controls puts any bump straight up my spine and I can't move or stretch on the bike like I can a sport bike or standard
 

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Yeah, but then again, most sport riders don't ride a Harley with the mindset of the average Harley buyer.

The typical Harley buyer is pleased with the power of the engine (or will be pleased with the output of hop-up parts), doesn't care about scraping soft parts, or worried about being able to stop on a dime.

Unfortunately, too many of us project our standards on others.
 

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welcome to a SV forum talking about HD's... No one (at least yet) has said anything to the effect of "Harley's are crap". Only their impressions of the bikes in comparison to what we ride most often.
 

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welcome to a SV forum talking about HD's... No one (at least yet) has said anything to the effect of "Harley's are crap". Only their impressions of the bikes in comparison to what we ride most often.

It's quite obvious you haven't been here very long! My response was a "preemptive strike," if you will.
 

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Yeah, but then again, most sport riders don't ride a Harley with the mindset of the average Harley buyer.

The typical Harley buyer is pleased with the power of the engine (or will be pleased with the output of hop-up parts), doesn't care about scraping soft parts, or worried about being able to stop on a dime.

Unfortunately, too many of us project our standards on others.
Why do Harley riders go to Deals Gap? It seems like there is an excessive amount for people who don't care about grinding floorboards.
 

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Because it's a beautiful place to ride. You'll notice that most of those HD riders are going slower than we do, too. Even at a slow pace, that road is enjoyable. Actually, it's more enjoyable moving slowly, as it's too technical to "enjoy" at high speed; there's no time to relax between apexes.
 

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When the road opened up (pretty quickly out here) I gave it the beans in first gear from a slow start. I was less than impressed. I've ridden big bore bikes before (Japanese) and I was expecting a bit more guts from this bike. On a an aggressive roll on the throttle on my dad's ZRX the front end will come right up. Heck, the SV's front end will come up in first from a 15 mph rolling start without the clutch

Now I'm not judging the Harley because it doesn't want to wheelie, I was just expecting more acceleration than I had. It sure wasn't slow. But it sure wasn't mind blowing.
Two points to make to be fair.

1) A wheelie is a sign of chassis failure, it can’t take all the power the engine is making and put it to use moving the bike. There is a reason drag bikes start looking like Harleys. (and why they corner like Harleys)
2) The slow beat of a big twin can be deceptive. In comparison tests of Ducati vs an I4 they’re always writing that the Ducati seemed slow until they looked at the speedo or saw the times.

You may have been moving out faster than you realized.
 

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Unfortunately, too many of us project our standards on others.
I have tried to find out what the standards of a Harley rider are and generally I end up with the sound and slow straight rides. If that is all motorcycling was to me then I would probably have a Harley as well. To each their own. I just have a problem when they want to try and tell me how much better their Harley is than my cheaper, faster, better handling sports bike.
 

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I have tried to find out what the standards of a Harley rider are and generally I end up with the sound and slow straight rides. If that is all motorcycling was to me then I would probably have a Harley as well. To each their own. I just have a problem when they want to try and tell me how much better their Harley is than my cheaper, faster, better handling sports bike.

That's when you politely tell them that you enjoy your own Kool-aid.

And let them know yours isn't cheaper. It's less expensive. There's a BIG difference between the two.
 

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I haven't rode one yet but I always seem to be going by one local dealer everytime they're having a demo day. I'd like to try the "new" softail slim that looks old. I like the blacked out look with the red tank. I think Rider, Cycle World and Motorcyclist have all done reports on it. Common negative in all reviews is it's uncomfortable and steers heavy. If I'm going past this summer when they're having a demo day I'll stop for a test ride. I haven't seen the Avengers movie but I understand Captain America rides this bike in it...though HD seems to be targeting female riders with it...cripes...I can't have TWO CHICK BIKES!!!
 

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I'm afraid the thread may derail soon, but I'd like to offer some perspective. Most HD models will corner faster that posted speed limits w/o dragging or grinding anything. Most HD's hold resale value as well or better than other bikes. HD's offer an image as well as a product. Most HD's accelerate better than "quick" cars. The low-end torque and forward controls enhance the feeling of acceleration. As SV owners know, there is something appealing about the sounds and vibes of a V-twin. Cruisers in general and HD's in particular, outsell sportbikes and other styles by significant margins in the U.S.A. Again, for U.S. customers, there is a loyalty or patriotism factor to HD's.

Personally, I do not find forward controls comfortable. I've both waved my feet in the air and dragged them on the ground trying to find the pegs. The various cruisers I have ridden became uncomfortable after a very short time. But even though cruisers' performance envelopes are smaller than the bikes I prefer, they seem to be more than sufficient for most of their owners, who seem to enjoy them.

A toast to our riding brethren: May you enjoy your own ride!
 

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It's quite obvious you haven't been here very long! My response was a "preemptive strike," if you will.
I guess my newer mind cannot comprehend your logic. If you read back you will find that I agreed with your post, then you posted in argument.

For the record, I have nothing against HD's. They are simply not for the type of riding that I enjoy the most.
 
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