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What I have right now is a V-Star 1100 silverado and a V-Strom 1k. What I wold like is something lighter, more maneuverable, louder and more obnoxious for annoying the neighbors and tearing up the twisty, narrow cow-path roads that we have up here in New England. I am considering several bikes and the Bolt is one of them.

However, it has been compared, ad-neausium, with the 883 Iron, which in and of itself is pretty cool. But, if one were to start down that road, why wouldn't you look at the 1200 Sportster? Other than the fact that that would make my "little" bike larger in displacement and a good deal more powerful than my "big" bike, with them living up to their billing in physical dimensions only.With the two bikes being so close in price (with the Bolt costing more since I'm interested in the C-Spec bike) why NOT get the Harley and all that comes with it as far as heritage, tradition, Merican Pride and all that? Of course, if one was to purchase a Sportster, why would one settle for the 883 when the 1200 exists? It seems to me that the Bolt is it's own end-game. People buy a Bolt because they want a Bolt. On the other hand it seems like the 883 is a stepping stone to at least the 1200 Sportster if not the Big Twin range and all that that bring$ with it.

So, how about it Bolt Owners? Are you satisfied with your 883 "clone"? Do you wish that you had bought the HD product? The next bike size up?
 

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Well Noreaster, I ride a 950t, similar to the Bolt. I've sat on the Bolt and ridden my buddies 883. All three are similar except for the price. My buds 883's alternator went out three times in less than a year. The Bolt has outshines the 883 in nearly every category to date. People buy a Harley because they want a Harley. Is the heritage and higher long term cost of ownership worth the tradition? Is the higher cost of gear worth it because it has the HD logo on it? It all comes down to: you pays your money, you takes your pick.
 

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My suggestion would be to ride both ànd then decide based on how you like it. You can own a HD and still wear the same gear you do now. Just because you own a HD doesn't mean everything you wear HAS to have an HD logo. As far as maint. I can't answer that but I will say I have a hard time believing your Harley will be in the shop as much as some folks here claim. I seriously doubt the company would be as large as it is if their products were as unreliable as non owners say they are.
Keith I am not writing this directed at you. I just wrote it simply because quite often when an HD is mentioned on this forum they are depected as spending as much time in the shop as on the road almost. I just don't get it.
 

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I totally understand Summer, and Noreaster my reply to your thread was not intended to be offensive to you or any of our members that are Harley owners. My point was merely this, why pay more for a name in a bike or accessories? My wife went to buy a pair of riding boots. The HD brand was $299.99. Same manufacturer w/o a logo was $99.99.
I'm old school in believing if you pay more, you should get more. One can't deny the aftermarket for HD'S is phenomenal. Yamaha should sit up and take notice. When my buddies alternator kept going out, he was told it was due to the new Japanese wiring harness HD was now using and that was changed in 2012. We have a local club mostly of LEO'S and Firefighters. They do a lot of charity work and I've attended some of their events. One of the members told me he'd like for me to join, but said since I don't ride an American bike, I couldn't be in the club. I asked him, "American made or American assembled", I didn't get a response. When I think of heritage and tradition, I think of Indian motorcycles, the first initial American made motorcycle, them and HD'S racing heritage are unsurpassed. Again I believe it boils down to your own budget and preference. I own/ride a Yamaha because of the low maintenance cost, reliability, and lower annual insurance rate, but that's just me. I like all brands and riders and would like the same in return. It's kinda sad when attending bike night that a burly HD rider backs in next to me, looks down his nose and says, "you ain't shi$ unless you ride a hog"!
 

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I have to agree with Summers post. I'm on my first Harley, yes maybe so someday, some Harley's might be a little more troublesome but its highly over stated and most times the trouble are small issues, as even consumer reports stated, not major repairs.

I just passed 7000 miles on my 14 Road King, no warranty work yet but I will need to have the front spark plug wire replaced as it was chaffing against the bottom of the gas tank, as we know, a non issue.
And let's be realistic, you will always know someone with a Harley issue and there are more Harley's sold every year then all other bikes combined over 600cc. Anyway 7000 miles later, I am still in awe every time I take the bike out, just got back from a trip to the Smoky Mountains too, thing pulls up mountains like a bear.

One this I would suggest to the OP, and I know this doesn't matter to everyone, but to me, you get what you pay for, if your one to admire, fit, finish, quality of materials, put a Bolt side by side with the HD, notice the materials, fit, finish, if they look the same to you, get the bolt, but if your one to notice and care for the quality of even the simplest things right down to the brake lines, then consider the Harley.
I don't know much about the 883 and 1200.

Harley is just a small motorcycle company compared to the international major big corporations that turn out everything from musical instruments to motor boats and engines.

Harley gets a lot of things right and why their success. The biggest surprise of all for me, is the aftermarket equipment available to me, even the Harley branded stuff is quite reasonable and highest of quality. Example, I just got a Harley rear LED taillight, quality is beautiful and from others told me they are very happy with it, hope to put it on soon. The price to me on line was only $133. Delivered from a Harley Dealership, list 160. The major LED players have similar aftermarket units for the same price and higher, making the HD part to me a bargain and its DOT approved... Ok, I got to get back to work!
 

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Sorry to take this off topic but Keith and Alarmguy, you both make good points. There is definitely some stigma and sometimes arrogance among the HD crown but that is also with any group. Go to a Chevy show and try to start a conversation about your Ford. I also believe there are just as many metric owners that feel as strongly against HDs as HD owners towards Metric riders. Some here on this forum.
Yes they have their problems and every dealer I have ever visited had a full service dept., but look at the numbers of hogs out there and the miles turned compared to every other cruiser brand. Yes the parts and bikes are expensive but you get much more for your money than just a bike. From my experience, every HD dealer I ever walked into was full on nice people that acted like they were truly glad to see you and help you with what you needed. Plus you could choose from thousands of accessories "in stock" for your bike. I do not get that from any other brand dealers I have visited. And as far as clothing, it's not all bad. I bought my helmet and my jacket (non-licensed) along with two pair of HD boots (on clearance) and gloves for less than every other metric dealer I had visited that particular weekend. The local cycle gear included.

I go back to my very first comment to the OP, ride both and buy what YOU like and the heck with what others think!
 

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Excellent point Summer, and you're right. I really do wish that Yamaha had shops like HD tho. Any HD shop I've been in had tons of accessories on hand, any they were happy to do business with you.
Just glad we all have a chance at individual input and respect one another's opinions.
 

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I dont understand why people are allowed to come on here and bash a Yammy. Harley's rep is well earned, buy what you like and are comfortable with just please dont come on a yammy board and tell us how grand ($$$) you Harley is, we dont care.
 

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I would steer clear of the Iron 883 unless you want to shell out an additional $500 or so for a new suspension. There are two different Sportster suspensions based on which sub-model you choose. I think the 48 also has the low suspension of the Iron and it is harsh. My girlfriend and I have been test riding Sportsters, Softails, Dynas and Bolts recently. The Sportster 1200T was OK. She loved the Fatboy but holy expensive! She rode a Bolt yesterday with the Cobra slipon and that was it for her. I own an Electraglide, she rides a 250 V-star, I've owned a softail and plenty of Yamahas. I think a Bolt will be our next purchase. Today's Harleys are much better quality than most people may think but when you do have a problem the all tell you, "Oh yeah, that's normal." I love my Harley but it will probably be my last one.
 

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I love my Road Star but if it came down to a Bolt or 883 Sportster I would likely take the Bolt . But between a Bolt and a 1200 Sportster I`d go for the 1200 , providing money was not a factor .
 

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... People buy a Harley because they want a Harley. Is the heritage and higher long term cost of ownership worth the tradition? Is the higher cost of gear worth it because it has the HD logo on it? It all comes down to: you pays your money, you takes your pick.
Higher long term ownership? I doubt anyone can document that. My experience with my 14 Road King has been very favorable so far. Past bikes were a Suzuki c50 and Vstar 1300 tourer.

I find buying accessories for the bike the same and in many cases cheaper then the metrics.

Example, upgraded my taillight to an LED. I decided to go with the Harley LED tailight because of the OEM quality and the fact that is DOT approved, all the other after market taillights were more money and much more money. I would have been stuck paying more for a light for my vstar.

After market seats are the same or less, quality luggage racks etc, same or less. Most cases, HD OEM parts are less then metric parts.
Including things like airfilters, spark plugs, god forbid you need a new drive belt on the vstar you will pay close to double the price of a OEM HD.

Never mind I never have to adjust valves, my OEM tires will go at least 12,000 miles front and rear. So far one year and 7,000 miles and have not needed any work done.

Im only posting this for the benefit of the OP, people will always know a bad Harley story but just remember every year more harleys are sold then all other makes combined in the USA, so someone will always have a story to tell.

BTW, if I was considering a BOLT or 883 I might be tempted by the bolt but all things equal I would hands down that 1200 over the bolt.

(crap, I see I already posted in this thread, geez... well, Ill leave it here anyway.)
 

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Higher long term ownership? I doubt anyone can document that.
sure you can. the auto industry easily does it. considering a recent study that found harleys more often than most major manufacturers to experience repairs inside the first 3 years of ownership (i'll look for it later but it's been posted on this site before), how harley repairs seem to be notoriously more costly than others, harley gear being more expensive, and harley bikes generally being more expensive in each class, i would definitely agree that total cost of ownership of a harley is higher than, say, any jap bike of similar class.

that's great that you haven't had any repairs and were able to find cheap parts, but you have to look at the whole picture, the whole industry.

but i'd say harley owners usually save more on helmets than jap owners since it seems fewer harley bikers wear helmets, from my experience.
 

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sure you can. the auto industry easily does it. considering a recent study that found harleys more often than most major manufacturers to experience repairs inside the first 3 years of ownership (i'll look for it later but it's been posted on this site before), how harley repairs seem to be notoriously more costly than others, harley gear being more expensive, and harley bikes generally being more expensive in each class, i would definitely agree that total cost of ownership of a harley is higher than, say, any jap bike of similar class.

that's great that you haven't had any repairs and were able to find cheap parts, but you have to look at the whole picture, the whole industry.

but i'd say harley owners usually save more on helmets than jap owners since it seems fewer harley bikers wear helmets, from my experience.
There is no industry report that states the above. If there was, it would be at the top of every metric forum, sadly, its just heresy.

Harley bashing is a common thread on metric forums, not sure why, but you never or VERY rarely (i have yet to see one) see metric bashing on Harley forums. in almost a year, never saw a Harley thread bashing a metric, in metric forums I see one every week, hmmmm ... maybe Harley owners like the ride and (more then some) metric owners feel ... ???

oops, lets not forget depreciation when calculating ...
 

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90% of message board posters who bash Harleys have never owned or even ridden one. It's actually pretty funny.
How do you know this? I guess I'm in the 10% although I'm not bashing HD. But I admit to never owned or ridden a Bolt. I just like the looks better and it gets high praise in print.
 

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There is no industry report that states the above. If there was, it would be at the top of every metric forum, sadly, its just heresy.
not sure if you mean the auto cost of ownership, or the motorcycle repairs report. so here's both:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/05/motorcycle-reliability-and-owner-satisfaction/index.htm

https://rideapart.com/articles/most-reliable-motorcycles

http://www.edmunds.com/tco.html
http://www.kbb.com/new-cars/total-cost-of-ownership


not sure if you misunderstood me or was just flat out calling me a liar...





Harley bashing is a common thread on metric forums, not sure why, but you never or VERY rarely (i have yet to see one) see metric bashing on Harley forums. in almost a year, never saw a Harley thread bashing a metric, in metric forums I see one every week, hmmmm ... maybe Harley owners like the ride and (more then some) metric owners feel ... ???
i don't see a whole lot of harley "bashing" on here, but instead people saying why they prefer a metric over a harley for specific reasons. i suspect it might just be because YOU'RE ON A METRIC FORUM. you expect the majority of people here to say they like harleys better? do you think people here are treating harley bikes or owners in an unfair manner? why the need to be so defensive? they're at the top of the food chain, they probably don't need people running to protect them. on a metric forum site.

guess it depends on your definition of "bashing", and "common thread", but i also go on harley forums from time to time and i don't see any more harley bashing on metric forums than i do jap bashing on harley forums. actually, i would say people on the metric forums show a lot more respect towards harley bikes than the people on harley forums show toward jap bikes. i see a lot of people on this site in particular giving praise to harleys. some actually stating they would rather own a harley if not for the higher price/costs. something i rarely, if ever, see on a harley forum is someone giving praise to a jap bike/owner. and when they bash jap bikes, they can get pretty mean.

maybe you and i just go on different forums. or maybe people just see what they want to see.
 
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