Yamaha Starbike Forum banner
21 - 40 of 69 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
1,161 Posts
Reaction score
1,668
I was riding a Burgman 650 when I mentioned a particular BMW to a friend of mine. She said she loved that bike. I asked her, if I were to get one, would she ride on it with me. She said no, you ride a scooter, you don't know how to shift.

Well that did it. I had to prove her wrong. I went and bought a Triumph Trophy. Its 45 miles from my house to the motorcycle stores. After riding the Triumph for about 10 miles I headed for the stores, I couldn't ride it. I found it difficult to turn and I got cramps in my legs. I went to the metric dealer, the one I bought the scooter from, and tried to trade it. He didn't want to do business, so I went down the street to the Harley dealer. I asked him to not make me ride the Triumph home and he didn't. I went home on a Heritage Classic. That started my relationship with Harley.

I don't have a Harley anymore. I do like them better than the Yamahas and the Suzukis I've had. To me, they do a lot of little things, that if you don't spend time with you won't notice right of the bat. The problem though, is all those little things costs add up; so you end up with a more expensive machine. I'm not a mechanic and I don't like working on bikes, so I mainly do comfort and lighting mods. I never had a problem. As @lesblank pointed out, it seems the ones that have the trouble are the same people that change everything.

I do like the Harley dealership network. I did some traveling on my RGU from one end of the country to the other if I ran into any trouble a dealer wasn't very far away. Twice, each on different trips, one on the RGU and one on the Electraglide, I had some minor issues I wanted to be looked at. Each time, without an appointment the dealers worked me into their schedule and I was back on my way within a couple of hours.

Its been pointed out that anything you want is available for them either from Harley or the aftermarket, even years later. I'm not finding that to be true for the Yamahas. les also mentioned the weight, both of my touring bikes ran around 950 lbs. They were difficult to back up and if it went down, I was not able to pick it up by myself. And yes, they are expensive.

Since I sold the RGU I haven't been back on that forum. The last time I was there, there was a discussion about the new Head guy at Harley. They were talking about decreasing production numbers so they could drive up the price and make them more exclusive. I understand Harley has also instituted a Certified Used program, similar to what some of the car manufacturers are doing.

I was interested in learning more about the Indian Challenger (its challenging the Road Glide). From what I was able to find, it may not be living up to all the hype. It weighs more than the Stratoiner but less than the Road Glide. I'm riding less now than I used to. I may discover that the Yamaha is my last bike.
 

· Registered
08 Road Star 1700
Joined
·
1,820 Posts
Reaction score
2,550
When I was a little guy maybe 6 or 7 there was a local police officer that had a Harley dresser that was either salmon or pink color. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen with the full set of bag and bumper lights.When I think HD that is what comes to mind and probably always will. I said then someday I will own one.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,425 Posts
Reaction score
4,934
I have no prejudice about Harley riders. I get that a few do not define the brand. I respect they have been able to continue their brand loyalty for so many years. Pricey?? Absolutely… worth it? That is up to the purchaser. I say ride what you want… wave to whomever you want…
4 of my friends own them. I ride with all of them when given the opportunity. They are great people that just happen to own Harley's. I have been out riding by myself...I wave...If they dont wave back I dont lose any sleep over it. Classify them as snobs? Never...I can not tell you how many times I have been face to face with people or walking past them and I say hello.. Some reply back...others seem terrified they were spoken to by a stranger. So I guess in the long run there are other things in my life that can upset my apple cart...whether somebody owns a Harley and is or is not a snob is not one of them....One of my Harley guys always says....He who angers you, controls you. One of the things I do like is I see multiple MC clubs participate in all kinds of charity rides and events. They seem to give freely of their time and resources while staying true to their brand. To that end I take my hat off to them!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Reaction score
1,023
I'll add here that over the years I've had people comment on or ask me about my 'Harley' (see my Honda VTX 1300 below) and when I inform them it's a Honda sometimes its an invitation for them to rag on Harley thinking that's what I want to hear. It's usually, "Well Harley's are overpriced, unreliable and they break down all the time." These are all sweeping generalizations and anyone who's researched the brand will know this. I'll break these down:

  • Yes, they are overpriced, but they also retain their value more if kept up.
  • Harley made some really problematic versions over the years (60's and 70's AMF years) that has tainted the reputation. They are less reliable than say Honda, but if maintained well they are quite reliable, especially the Sportster.
  • Harley sells a huge amount of motorcycles in the U.S., so there are more of them on the roads to see broken down.
  • Harley is modified more than other brands so they are more prone to break-downs caused by the mods.
I've never owned a Harley, but when I hear Harley bashing I try to give Harley credit where it's due, and try to dispel myths and clear up false, sweeping generalizations. I also like to point out the what bike a person chooses is a personal choice— so if the Harley sound is more important to a rider than top ranked reliability, or if the name is worth paying twice what they could pay for similar class metric bike, that is their choice.

I think all riders can thank Harley for the general popularity of motorcycle riding in general, that enabled the competition to push that popularity even further to benefit all riders today.

Tire Wheel Plant Fuel tank Automotive fuel system


Tire Plant Wheel Land vehicle Automotive fuel system
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,530 Posts
Reaction score
3,899
Like House O' Pain and I am sure others, I get "Nice Harley." When I out & about. Sometimes I politely correct them, but usually I just say thanks.
I've also had Harley riders say that my bike is the best sounding "Jap bike" they've heard. This is where I go into my shpeal how the VStar models were Yamaha's copycat of the Harley's touring models. And Yamaha discovered how to stop the oil leaks HD is known for.

Ride smart. Ride often!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,530 Posts
Reaction score
3,899
I am on a conference call at work right now, so I figured I'd look at prices of BRAND NEW touring motorcycles. All the brands touring models are within a similar price range.
Now the difference is the used bikes. Thus the discussion of this thread.
Just thought I'd throw this out here.

Ride smart. Ride often!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Reaction score
230
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.
I went the other way. Had a '03 Night Train - sold it and bought a heavily modified Roadliner (in avatar). It was a solid bike, but Harley infuriates me as a mechanic. Always expensive special tools required to perform any internal engine maintenance, repairs, or mods. At 5' 4", the air cleaner forced my leg outward, uncomfortably. On top off all that, to get any real power out of one costs a friggin fortune. Not for me. Harley has become a wealthy man's status symbol, IMO.

I ended up getting rid of the Roadliner, too. I wasn't a fan of FI - with the mods I had, getting the mixture where I wanted it on the crap fuel for sale in MA was always expensive & a big PITA. I went back to basics & held onto my '74 RD350. It's a perfect fit for my size, and with the extensive mods I've done, it's an absolute blast to ride. Huge bonus, it's the easiest bike to tear down on the planet. :)

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Vehicle


Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive fuel system


Tire Wheel Vehicle Fuel tank Automotive fuel system
 

· Registered
2007 V Star 650 Silverado
Joined
·
101 Posts
Reaction score
198
I've never ridden one myself--I'm not opposed to the idea but just anecdotally, when I was shopping used bikes, I wanted to stay at or under about 3000 dollars. Spending more would have been possible but just not particularly justifiable on our budget. Anyway, when you go on Craigslist etc. and filter the price down to 3000 max, guess what--there are few to no Harleys that come in under that threshold. That's really about the size of it. Like others mentioned it's up to each rider to determine if the price of a given bike is "worth it" and it's really no one else's business--but for me to own one would probably make motorcycling a larger portion of my overall budget than I fell is necessary.

In my experience, the people who don't wave at me span the spectrum. I can't say Harley riders have been any less likely to wave than any other group. I try to wave at everyone, even the scooters, although I can't always. Sometimes my left hand needs to be on the clutch at the "waving moment" etc.

My wife told me the other day she got waved at by a bunch of Harley guys...while riding her bicycle! Maybe there's some other meaning there but I'll just assume they were being nice!

Finally, at some point in the next year I will have the opportunity to try a Harley for the first time. I had booked a rental through Eagle Rider for a trip we were going to take on the West coast, but we had to cancel the trip and ER only refunds in the form of credit. So I need to find an excuse to use that rental sometime...I'll let you guys know what I think after that!
 

· Administrator - "Loose Nut" - Bandera, Texas
2001 VS1100 Classic (sold), 2006 HD EG(totaled) 2006 Vulcan 900 and 2019 HD Freewheeler (current)
Joined
·
15,290 Posts
Reaction score
25,416
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,561 Posts
Reaction score
11,336
When I got out of the Air Force and got my first job Bartels Harley opened up two doors down from us. I put a down payment on a new 82 orange and black Sportster 883. But because of a incompetent insurance agent who could not get the paperwork to the dealer. I got my down payment back and went on a road trip to Big Sur in Eugenes 73 Torino. It worked out I found a recently rebuilt 1974 Honda 750Four for $600.00.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Strat man

· Premium Member
2014 statoliner deluxe
Joined
·
530 Posts
Reaction score
250
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.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Well said 👏
 

· Registered
05 Harley Ultra Classic and 09 Vstar 1100
Joined
·
163 Posts
Reaction score
242
What is really meant by "made in America" is: "assembled in America with global components"

This applies to everything, not just motorcycles.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Reaction score
1,023
Back in my teens, I remember hearing that Harley riders had a lot of nationalistic/patriotic pride in telling the 'Jap' bike owners their bikes were "Made in USA." I own a Honda VTX 1300 also made in the USA. Even Harley's made in the US have a lot of parts made out of the US, but if someone wants to claim they are more patriotic than you are because they only buy US made....whatever, these people are really in need of some kind of ego/worth validation so feel sorry for them and give them a big 'thumbs up' for buying American. :rolleyes:

Reminds me of all the whacko's waving American flags made in Japan. Self-delusion is a scary thing. :eek:
 

· Registered
2012 xvs650a classic
Joined
·
159 Posts
Reaction score
330
i remember a local knob getting his new harley's first service was giving us a bit of grief as jap riders, getting to thinking he needed a good punch in the face, ol' mate stepped up and pointed to the words "made in Japan" on the inside of the harley's fork legs .. tosspot was almost in tears , lol.
 

· Registered
05 Harley Ultra Classic and 09 Vstar 1100
Joined
·
163 Posts
Reaction score
242
i remember a local knob getting his new harley's first service was giving us a bit of grief as jap riders, getting to thinking he needed a good punch in the face, ol' mate stepped up and pointed to the words "made in Japan" on the inside of the harley's fork legs .. tosspot was almost in tears , lol.
As a Harley rider I can confirm that there are many parts that are made elsewhere. Infact, you probably need more tools in your box because some parts are standard and some are metric. A good example is the 36mm socket I just bought to remove the rear axel nut for a tire change.

At least on the Yamaha I only need metric tools.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,193 Posts
Reaction score
14,459
The older Harleys also had overseas parts, Harley used Boshe voltage regulators on the 70's Sportsters and Shovelheads
 

· Registered
2010 Stratoliner Deluxe
Joined
·
327 Posts
Reaction score
296
I'm fairness to Harley guys, the sheer volume of Harleys out there means that there is a lot of Harley culture snobs we all encounter. Even though I believe it is a minority of Harley guys, there's a lot of them. I don't have anything against Harley or Harley riders, but the bulk of "Harley Culture" types tend to be real jerks.

They are usually easily identified by riding Harleys WITH tribal arm tattoos and wearing Affliction shirts. That's the trifecta of Harley Culture.;)
 
21 - 40 of 69 Posts
Top