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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that some of you have given up your Star bikes and are now riding Harleys, but are still here on the forum. These questions are mostly for you, but anyone can give an opinion.
I do look at the motorcycle listings on Craigslist daily. It always amazes me how much more Harleys cost, no matter what age. Are they really worth that much more? I’ve had friends in my 50 years of riding that had them in the past, so I’ve been able to ride them quite a few times. It didn’t seem like THAT much of a difference to me, and in the past, it seemed maintenance was a problem. I think about a friend’s 1200 Sportster that I rode often (he and his wife had matching bikes, she stopped wanting to ride as much. What could I do but help him out? I was between bikes at that point). I really feel that my 1100 is quicker than that bike was, and it was abused before I got it. All it took was a valve adjustment and it runs like a top.
As to Harley riders, why don’t they ever even give you a glance? It’s like they think you are beneath them. Out on the Roadie, the only time recently that I got a nod at a stop sign was more about the fact that I walk my dogs almost daily past a local barber shop where the barber always has his Harley parked outside. Everyone recognizes me and my dogs, so I think he was surprised to see me pulling up next to him. So he was acknowledging ME, not my ride.
Just wondering.
 

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Here is mine. And I had a really good time with people from this forum at our annual “Yamaha meeting” just few weeks ago. You worry about it too much IMO. Don’t mix up Harley riders and Harley snobs. I personally like all bikes and I don’t care what you ride (well if it’s not a scooter lol) so to me it’s all about riding community, people you meet along the way and fun. As to why I switched to a Harley - well, it’s hard to explain, I just like it. It’s not about speed, performance, etc. I think it’s more about network and community. And yes, my Harley has a soul, I know I know good old cliche :)

By the way check “2022 Yamaha meet and greet” thread in regional discussions- southeast, we’re already planning next year endeavor!






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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here is mine. And I had a really good time with people from this forum at our annual “Yamaha meeting” just few weeks ago. You worry about it too much IMO. Don’t mix up Harley riders and Harley snobs. I personally like all bikes and I don’t care what you ride (well if it’s not a scooter lol) so to me it’s all about riding community, people you meet along the way and fun. As to why I switched to a Harley - well, it’s hard to explain, I just like it. It’s not about speed, performance, etc. I think it’s more about network and community. And yes, my Harley has a soul, I know I know good old cliche :)

By the way check “2022 Yamaha meet and greet” thread in regional discussions- southeast, we’re already planning next year endeavor!






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My question was less about the snobs, and more about why they cost so much more, no matter what age, even if they are in years with known maintenance issues.
 

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My question was less about the snobs, and more about why they cost so much more, no matter what age, even if they are in years with known maintenance issues.
Marketing, brand image, demand and people’s agreement to pay more for the brand name. Like iPhone. If no one agreed to pay then prices would drop, that’s just how market works. So as long as people are ok to pay for overpriced things and demand remains high those things will hold their “value”. Either it’s a Harley or Swiss watch or whatever that “premium” brand is. They sell you an “elite club membership” of course, that’s just my opinion.


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Supply and demand. I like the iPhone analogy. Some feel it's a superior product and are willing to pay the premium. I'm an Apple/iPhone guy and I can see some of the logic. I think Harley makes some very nice looking bikes. There is the aftermarket support which is second to none, and a dealer in most towns you ride through of much size. So that network is there.

I'm also a frugal person so when I get a new iPhone (because I like the interface and feel it's a better product in some ways that are important to me) it's not the latest model...or the second latest model...as I can get a lot of that value from an older model at a lower price point.

For me I love my Yamaha Road Star, it's got the styling similar to a Harley and that's the look I desire. It has a good reputation for being reliable and a good value. But I wish it had the aftermarket support today that a Harley of the same vintage has, along with a dealer network that was focused on bikes and not SxS, ATV, and other non bike things.

Another analogy might be a Mercedes-Benz. There's something about rolling up in one that makes you feel you've arrived. There are people that feel that status is worth the $$. So it's all in what you value. There aren't any right or wrong answers here.
 

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Supply and demand. I like the iPhone analogy. Some feel it's a superior product and are willing to pay the premium. I'm an Apple/iPhone guy and I can see some of the logic. I think Harley makes some very nice looking bikes. There is the aftermarket support which is second to none, and a dealer in most towns you ride through of much size. So that network is there.

I'm also a frugal person so when I get a new iPhone (because I like the interface and feel it's a better product in some ways that are important to me) it's not the latest model...or the second latest model...as I can get a lot of that value from an older model at a lower price point.

For me I love my Yamaha Road Star, it's got the styling similar to a Harley and that's the look I desire. It has a good reputation for being reliable and a good value. But I wish it had the aftermarket support today that a Harley of the same vintage has, along with a dealer network that was focused on bikes and not SxS, ATV, and other non bike things.

Another analogy might be a Mercedes-Benz. There's something about rolling up in one that makes you feel you've arrived. There are people that feel that status is worth the $$. So it's all in what you value. There aren't any right or wrong answers here.
And Harley was similar to an Indian which came first. They got the market for what ever reason and kept it. I have owned a few and think they are great. I just wanted to try another big V twin. Funny the nod thing. Old dudes say hi middle age guy's don't seem to. New Harley and the Ralph Barger wanna be attitude ha like me when I was young.
 

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It's true everybody is different. I'm on the other end of the spectrum.
I've never been impressed by a name. I refuse to wear clothing that has somebody else' name on it. (designer)

The only thing I'm impressed with is substance, not fluff.
If a Harley costs twice as much as my Kawasaki, it needs to be twice as comfortable, twice as smooth, require half the maintenance.
I always look at value so rarely purchase the BIG name brand.
Many times folks buy the BIG name brand simply because they don't know much about what they are purchasing and figure that if everybody else is buying this brand it must be good.
 

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Just like any other commodity the asking price is whatever the market will pay. New Harley's are costlier because you are largely paying for a brand, just like when someone buys a Nike tennis shoe, or a Ralph Lauren polo shirt. It's not about product superiority, but about brand and cost for new.

All that being said, the price of metric (i.e. Star & Yamaha) used bikes is climbing because they are selling for more and used buyers are turning to the v-twins (increased demand) as an alternative to Harley, but Harley will likely continue to be higher priced for equivalent used cruisers.

As for Harley snobs, they will always exist as long as humans with tiny egos need to 'one up' someone to feel superior. Just an FYI, there are also plenty of Honda Gold Wing snobs, BMW snobs, etc.

Since Harley sells so many bikes the average of snobs to bikes on the road lends itself to simply math and percentages. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Plus when you start at $50k for your road glide , when you sell it after 3 years with 10k miles you want more for it because you are still making payments
I like Apple products, but don't buy them, I can't justify the price. That being said, I can't justify $50k for a Harley either. As to supply and demand that others have spoken of, looking on Craigslist, there is a vast supply of Harleys as compared to others. One would think that prices would come DOWN some................
 

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I like Apple products, but don't buy them, I can't justify the price. That being said, I can't justify $50k for a Harley either. As to supply and demand that others have spoken of, looking on Craigslist, there is a vast supply of Harleys as compared to others. One would think that prices would come DOWN some................
There is certainly no supply shortage! Look at cycletrader - same thing!
 

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Just got home to be able to reply. This is going to be pretty long. My 2001 Vstar 1100 was my first cruiser that I bought for commuting comíng from sport bikes in 2013. The 1100 was cheap ($1700), low mileage (1700 miles), great cosmetic shape, that was my wife's ex that had let sit for a few years, didn't run due to carbs gummed up. Got it running perfectly in an afternoon. Made a great commuter, 65k in three years. The wife and I started wanting to go on multiple day trips. We did a few, Austin, San Antonio, all around the Texas Hill Country, about 4 to 6 hour drive from Houston. We were out growing out of what the 1100 was designed for. We started looking for a bigger bike that fit my poor boy budget. Short list was a used Vstar 1300, older Venture, Goldwing or Electra Glide. We test drove all of them. Wife likes the ride of the HD the best. Let me say I wasn't a huge HD fan. A deal presented itself in 2018. Owner needed cash quickly. Paid $4k for the 2006 HD Electra Glide in perfect shape with only 17k miles on it. I bought it with the intent to flip it and buy something else. Well the more I rode it, the more I liked it. I use it as a daily commuter and at first I was not sure about that. But it's worked out pretty good. It's a big bike for this old man and I must think about making sure I don't have to back it up much, I really can't. Heck, when wife is with me she gets off and pushes me back. That used to get to my ego some, well actually a lot, but it is what it is. Now for being a Harley owner. I'm proud of my bike, not because it's a Harley, but because it's a nice bike. I wave at any bike, heck, I wave at scooters. I don't do the Harley, I'm better than you thing at all. Now would I have paid the 10k actually value of my bike, NO. But I'm blessed the deal came along. One thing about HD holding their value that I haven't seen discussed here in depth, parts availability. I can buy anything, and I mean anything for my bike either from the dealer or any of the 100s of supporting aftermarket suppliers. To me this adds value to the bike. Unfortunately some parts for the Vstar line is getting slim. Who wants to buy anything that part availability is starting to dry up. I still think the Vstar is one of the best bikes ever sold. Would I buy another one? Absolutely! Now why did I stay on this forum? First, I've made some great friends here. I've been lucky to have meet face to face with 19 forum members. All were exactly the type of folks I want to hang around, friendly! Second, I've got a fair amount of mechanical experience with the Vstar that others can benefit from, and I like helping. Guess you can say I'm a HD owner with a Metric attitude. Ride often and safe, whatever you own.
 

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When I was in the Memphis metro area, I kept a record of motorcycles broken down on the side of the road.
I did it to gig two of my best friends who owned HDs, and were constantly trying to get me to buy one. I kept the record for 5 years when I was both on and off duty.
At the end of the 5 years, I showed my buddies the results, and they were shocked! EVERY bike that was broken down, not out of gas, was an HD.
Now I respect all brands and people, and I’ve voiced by opinion on the forum before, but for some reason, I constantly get the HD snobs. Even at the rally a few weeks ago, I got them when we were shopping at the Biker Shop in Maggie Valley. Now I admit to wearing my Vstar jacket, but I’m proud to ride a Vstar just as they are proud to wear their HD clothing.
I was recently asked when I was going to upgrade from my RoadStar. I’d thought about it, but after riding it at the rally, I decided on the way home that I’m satisfied with what I have. It’s an FI model, has the 1700 cc engine, and has plenty of power, torque, and handles so much better with the new tires.
The biggest thing is it’s paid for! The styling is similar to an HD, but I bought because it’s a Yamaha, and they’re not prone to fail. I’d thought about an Eluder like Monica was thinking, but with the issues several SVTC owners are/were having, we’re staying away from them.
When I took my MSF course back home it was at an HD dealership. We all rode the Harley 600’s, most uncomfortable and poorly designed bike I’ve ever rode, and I’ve ridden them all. The only non snobs I know currently are Les and Oscar. I agree with them, it’s not what you ride, but that you ride.
I give the biker wave to everyone, including scooters and can am/trikes. I figure that at least they’re out there.
I admit that if I ever buy outside of Yamaha, it would be Indian. They’re the only American made bikes. HD’s are no longer American made, their wiring harnesses are Japanese, and their chrome parts are made in China, so when an HD says that, I just chuckle.
Enjoy what you ride, no matter what it is and how much you paid for it. I tend to be frugal and could never justify paying 50k for a seasonal mode of transportation, but that’s just me.


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I got my 05 ultra because me and my wife were talking about a bigger bike and then one of my customers said they were selling theirs. He has gotten into an accident at work a couple years ago and hurt his shoulder. He was unable to ride for a couple years and when he finally could, he no longer felt comfortable on the heavy bike. We were actually planning on getting a Gold Wing next spring but we got to good of a deal on this one to pass on. So basically for me, the bike found me.

I can honestly say that after a couple months and a couple thousand miles of interstate travel, I understand why there is such a following. I wouldn't consider myself a Harley only guy, but I'm afraid I would miss the rumble to much if I switched to a gold wing. Plus I think part of it for me is with the way the world is now a days, I want to support my fellow Americans where I can.

It is hard to use price as an excuse not to consider a Harley. The venture and the eluder are not much cheaper than a street glide or road glide. But the HD will hold their value.
 

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The only non snobs I know currently are Les and Oscar. I agree with them, it’s not what you ride, but that you ride.


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Don’t forget Tim, Catherine and Christian, my friend our local Harley group of people I ride with has no snobs either. I think people who are happy and satisfied with their life tend to care less about other people choices. At the end of the day it’s all about riding community.


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And Harley was similar to an Indian which came first. They got the market for what ever reason and kept it. I have owned a few and think they are great. I just wanted to try another big V twin. Funny the nod thing. Old dudes say hi middle age guy's don't seem to. New Harley and the Ralph Barger wanna be attitude ha like me when I was young.
You mentioned Ralph "Sonny" Barger, he put this in his book and was question about Harleys in an interview in England. here it is:


Dr. Bob: On the subject of bikes, in your book you have a lot of very
good things to say about Hondas and some not so good things to say
about Harleys.
Barger: Well I don't think I've ever said anything good about Honda;
what I said is Harleys are junk, technology wise. If I was not a Hells
Angel I would probably be riding an ST1100, a BMW or a Triumph. But I
am a Hells Angel so I ride a Harley, and the one good thing I can say
about Harleys is they made me a good living; by being junk they need to
be fixed all the time.
Of the new bikes, I just got a new 2000 model in March. I've got 22000
miles on it. It runs well, its been opened up, the brakes work. It's
probably the best motor, transmission and brakes that Harley ever put
out. But in reality, technology wise, it's still a million years behind
everything else. Harleys new balancing system on their 88V motors is
the kind of thing a Caterpillar tractor had a hundred years ago. So you
can see where I'm coming from.
Dr. Bob: Do you have any kind of relationship with Harley-Davidson
Motor Company?
Barger: Absolutely none. They refuse to admit we exist. And I ride
their bike because I'm forced to by being in the club.
Dr. Bob: Is that a club rule?
Barger: It's not a club rule but I'm not gonna take the razzing
thousands of people are gonna give me for not doing.
Dr. Bob: I think after all these years Harley-Davidson Motor Company
must owe you something for what you've done for their brand.
Barger: Well they don't want to admit that we've ever done anything.
And I don't want to admit I ride one !
 

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I'll throw another thought out there, it's normally people that have modded their bike which have failures. Think about it, stock lights, no issue, change to LED you fight hyper flash or not working right, stock intake no issue, high flow intake, bike runs lean, then add fuel controller, etc. Most performance mods lead to another mod to get the right results. See where I'm going here. Harley has a huge aftermarket following, some mods work great, others not so good. Same goes for all bikes. Look at the issues that are posted here about changing something on a bike and there are issues afterwards. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for making a bike your own. I've made mods to every vehicle I've ever owned. Most of the time it works great, other times not so good. It's a fact, Harleys are modded more than any other, so they are going to have more issues.
 

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Of all the friends that own Harleys (outside this forum), let use the number of 20.
17 are ALWAYS running and haven't broken down in the 3 years I've known them. 1 had an issue from the day they bought the bike and took over 6 months of arguing to get it fixed. The other 2 only broken down because of the mods THEY DID. I will say they weren't down for long and were easy fixes.
As far as cost, it is like others said. Because of the Heritage of the company, people are drawn towards them. As well as the numerous amount after market parts and the number of places to get help on long trips.

I have loved Harleys since I was a kid. They are what made me fall in love with motorcycles. When I was getting ready to get a bike. I was planing on a used Road King. And was in the search process when this '00 RS Silverado came along for $1000. I just could not pass up that deal! I am glad too! With the wife not bring in the income needed the last 2.5 years. I would have to sold the RK because I wouldn't have been able to justify the payment.

When I get my next bike, which most likely will be brand new. I am leaning towards the Indian Challenger or Springfield. I just love the looks of them.

Ride smart. Ride often!
 
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