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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
At work on Saturday night a few of us bike owners got into a conversation about helmet laws (No laws in Iowa) and about the pros and cons and who should wear them and who shouldnt have to. Anyways we agreed that it should be a riders choice whether you wear a helmet or not with exception for children and new motorcycle riders for the first year. Anyways one bike conversation led to another and one of the guys (Ducati rider) said, I think you shouldnt be able to even own a bike unless you have a certain IQ as to which another guy (Vulcan rider) replied, but that means Harley Davidson would lose over half it sales!! Well us who dont own Harleys immediately starting pissing ourselves laughing but what was even funnier was the HD owners reactions......Effin Pricks, F U, one got up and walked away...it was funnier than hell.....Didnt know Harley Owners were so sensitive.
 

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Fellas, what I'm about to say is a generalization brought on by many decades of exposure to the evolution the Harley rider "lifestyle," so don't climb down my throat and/or bombard me with the exceptions you know. OK?
Like most cult type groups, certain H-D riders tell themselves lies and they tell them so often that they eventually believe them to be truths. We all know what they think and say about helmets that have no basis in truth, but here's another one I won't forget...
During the filming for a PBS program about the biker lifestyle at a rural park I rode into, the producer asked me over to provide some outsider insight. When it was a wrap, the film crew told us to go down the road to a restaurant and they'd treat us to a meal there. It was a cold and drizzly day and as I was mounting my first gen Yamaha Venture, the 1%er next me admitted he'd really like to add a windshield to his bike for days like this, but his buddies told him that will destroy the handling. So Scot, what you experienced was hypersensitivity to a belief pattern that demands not only conformity but respect.
 

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After nearly 40 consecutive years in the motorcycle life riding all brands including lotsa HD's and seeing the Yuppie HD market movement come and go I am convinced that HD owners are more likely to be attracted to the "lifestyle" then actually riding the bike. Their take on HD is we get less and we are proud of being dumbed down. Can't confuse them with logic. Just check out as proof any Craigslist of the significant numbers of Low mileage HD's for sale.. YMMV.
 

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alot of truth in that Ricz. when one owns a certain brand of whatever. THEY want to believe they made the best choice for whatever reason and yes they will believe or lie to themselves even if they know they have an inferior product.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Fellas, what I'm about to say is a generalization brought on by many decades of exposure to the evolution the Harley rider "lifestyle," so don't climb down my throat and/or bombard me with the exceptions you know. OK?
Like most cult type groups, certain H-D riders tell themselves lies and they tell them so often that they eventually believe them to be truths. We all know what they think and say about helmets that have no basis in truth, but here's another one I won't forget...
During the filming for a PBS program about the biker lifestyle at a rural park I rode into, the producer asked me over to provide some outsider insight. When it was a wrap, the film crew told us to go down the road to a restaurant and they'd treat us to a meal there. It was a cold and drizzly day and as I was mounting my first gen Yamaha Venture, the 1%er next me admitted he'd really like to add a windshield to his bike for days like this, but his buddies told him that will destroy the handling. So Scot, what you experienced was hypersensitivity to a belief pattern that demands not only conformity but respect.
I believe you Ricz, they Harley guys at work are all good guys we all get on great and often make fun of each other, shooting the **** as they say, but their reaction to a joke made about Harley was nutz, thats what made it so funny, it was just liked we had insulted their Moms *L*
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I also believe a lot of Harleys are bought through peer pressure and not always cause theyre making the best choice but the need to fit in. A young kid at my work rides a Suzuki sports bike but told me he's selling it to buy a Harley, I said why and his answer was cause all his buddies have them.

I also know a couple of guys at the Abate of Iowa who do teach the MSF and are Harley riders, theyre sick of the amount of people who go straight out and buy HD because they think people will look down their nose at them if they buy anything else.

Im also tired of hearing Harley riders saying to me (after looking at my bike) that they "nearly" bought a Victory.
 

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Being an old fart has its advantages and one of them is being able to be very honest to younger guys without fear of getting decked. Many are the times I have come out of a store I rode to and there will be a guy or two or three checking out my XR. At least one will be a Harley rider and usually admits to liking what Victory is doing. I tell him that our two local dealers have demo bikes and he should give one a try. I'll jokingly warn him that after that ride, he may not go back to liking his Harley. The response I usually get is (you guessed it) "My friends all ride Harleys and they'd laugh at me." To that I reply, "You appear to have left high school a long time ago but continue to allow peer pressure to run your life. So you'll ride what you know is a second rate bike just to please your friends." They'll look down and mutter something about me being right.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
"You appear to have left high school a long time ago but continue to allow peer pressure to run your life. So you'll ride what you know is a second rate bike just to please your friends." They'll look down and mutter something about me being right.
Thats very true but as im not an old fart yet Id probably end up in a few fisty cuffs If I said that *L* but it is a valid point
 

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"My friends all ride Harleys and they'd laugh at me." To that I reply, "You appear to have left high school a long time ago but continue to allow peer pressure to run your life. So you'll ride what you know is a second rate bike just to please your friends." They'll look down and mutter something about me being right.
The guy that bought my '06 Royal Star Venture was quite hesitant to make the deal because all his "buddies" rode Harleys ... but he loved the bike and we did the deal ... and I've seen him several times since and he's got no regrets and still rides with his Harley buddies. Apparently all are not ruled by peer pressure.
 

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Ricz, I couldn't have said it better. Probably woulda said it worse. Seems to me that finding a HD rider that truly just LIKES HIS BIKE for what it is is getting harder and harder. Lots of RUBs and wanna-bes out there subscribing to the lifestyle and drinkin the Kool-Aid. That was one of the reasons I didn't spend much time looking at Road Kings when I was bike shopping. I didn't want to be a part of it, and I didn't want people to think I was a part of it, from either perspective. Maybe a silly reason to shy away from a brand, but there's so much silliness revolving around the brand that mine seems pretty insignificant.
 

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During the filming for a PBS program about the biker lifestyle at a rural park I rode into, the producer asked me over to provide some outsider insight. When it was a wrap, the film crew told us to go down the road to a restaurant and they'd treat us to a meal there. It was a cold and drizzly day and as I was mounting my first gen Yamaha Venture, the 1%er next me admitted he'd really like to add a windshield to his bike for days like this, but his buddies told him that will destroy the handling. So Scot, what you experienced was hypersensitivity to a belief pattern that demands not only conformity but respect.
I don't know if the fairing thing is a good example. I have never ridden a bike with a big fork mounted fairing weighed down by an amplifier, speakers etc, but from what I've read by those who get paid to review them, that kinda thing does spoil some of the fun when the going gets twisty.

I spoke to a women at the Harley demo rides this year. She owns a Road King and her husband a Street Glide. I asked her which she preferred and she said her Road King as the fairing made steering much heavier on his. She then laughed it off as a man thing, but I'm a reasonably strong man and I prefer light handling bikes too.

She was riding a Heritage Softail that she said she liked even better than her bike. She rode in front of me and rode it well.

Anyway, this brings me to another unusual realization. After listening to Lance talk up the benefits of riding our XRs naked, I decided to finally give it a shot the other day. I confirmed that I still don't like the parachute feeling I have riding naked croozers, but what surprised me was the handling. I didn't expect removing the little plastic windshield would make much difference, but it did, and in a negative way?! The bike actually felt less planted than normal. Maybe it was windy and the wind was affecting my steering inputs, I dunno. What I do know is after I bolted the plastic window back on, voila, all was right in the world again. Weird.
 

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Having owned two harleys and been around several, I've come to the conclusion that not all Harley riders are like this, but the ones who exibit this kind of "harley-tude" are Harley riders.

I know one thing, I've gotten more "Wow I love that freakin' bike man!" and "Love that black matte paint" and "What is that?!?! Nice!!" in the last 400 miles on this High-Ball, than the 7-8 years owning two very nice Harleys. Something to be said for new and improved I guess. I don't care.. I really couldn't care less, of course it's always nice. But the 106 cubes and apes blow my skirt up and the single-pin engine satisfies that twin bump I'm used to and you can't get from a Honda. thumb up But if it's got two wheels, it's fun. I owned to Harleys, but I accept and appreciate all.

Unfortunately you will see guys in the H-D forum just dumping on the reasonable ones that appreciate all kinds of motorcycles. They have this "Get out of here, this is a Harley forum" attitude. But not all.. You can tell there are other guys who love to ride in the mix who are open-minded and haven't succumb to the Kool-Aid.

Heck, when I finally test-rode a 1900 Yamaha, I had a revelation. I realized Harley had better hope other bike makers don't really push the "Ride it you'll buy it" campaigning and get Harley riders on other bikes. I've ridden three other big twin bikes (1900 yamaha raider and roadliners, and my current High-Ball) and they all spanked either Harley I owned in just about every catagory except the amount of accessories and junk you can buy for one. And word is getting out about that fact.

All that said though, when I sat my rear on my first bike, with everything chromed out and retro (90 Heritage dolled up custom). There's no feeling like that. But I think it has more to do with an older bike that was loved on, customized and perfected.. Well except for that unmistakable drip. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I know one thing, I've gotten more "Wow I love that freakin' bike man!" and "Love that black matte paint" and "What is that?!?! Nice!!" in the last 400 miles on this High-Ball, than the 7-8 years owning two very nice Harleys.
I bet you have, I took my bike for the first time down to the YMCA this week so I could work out and also Brent at the front desk had been at me for weeks to bring it down so he could see it. Anyways I parked my bike near the building entrance/exit and I could see everyone who walked by it, either kept looking at it or stopped to check it out. I said to myself if that had been a usual black with chrome Harley would it have gotten that amount of attention.....I'm not sure but I dont think so. Most people will tell you all Harleys look the same but while I watched people look at my bike it actually made me proud to own it.....lets hope I'm still saying that 10 years from now
 

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I don't know if the fairing thing is a good example. I have never ridden a bike with a big fork mounted fairing weighed down by an amplifier, speakers etc, but from what I've read by those who get paid to review them, that kinda thing does spoil some of the fun when the going gets twisty.

Anyway, this brings me to another unusual realization. After listening to Lance talk up the benefits of riding our XRs naked, I decided to finally give it a shot the other day. I confirmed that I still don't like the parachute feeling I have riding naked croozers, but what surprised me was the handling. I didn't expect removing the little plastic windshield would make much difference, but it did, and in a negative way?! The bike actually felt less planted than normal. Maybe it was windy and the wind was affecting my steering inputs, I dunno. What I do know is after I bolted the plastic window back on, voila, all was right in the world again. Weird.
I did the same thing yesterday. It was fairly warm and I had not rode my XR without my short windshield so I figured I would give it a go. Bike looks great with out the shield but after 40 miles doing 60 mph on the highway I was missing my windshield and by the time I got home I felt like I had been a human paruchute. I rode without a shield on my last bike quite often but it was set up in the muscle cruieser style where I was leaned forward more and it was not bad. I also noticed the handling was a little different as well and not as good with the shield on. If you look at the specs for the X bikes it has the XC weighing in at 20 pounds more than the XR (the 2012 models) and I assume that is a XR with no shield or crash bars and the difference is the XC fairing and bars. I weighed my short windshield a while back and it was nearly 10 pounds!! At that weight the XC fairing couldn't weigh much more than that because the bars probably weigh about 10 lbs as well.
 

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Bike looks great with out the shield
The profile view from afar makes it look sleeker for sure. But up close I couldn't help but notice the cable bundles on both sides of the headlamp. Talk about questionable fit & finish. I always wondered why the Road King had such a ginormous headlamp. Now I know.

I weighed my short windshield a while back and it was nearly 10 pounds!! At that weight the XC fairing couldn't weigh much more than that because the bars probably weigh about 10 lbs as well.
Yeah, maybe they are a lot closer in weight than it appears. That Lexan on our shields is some dense plastic. Either way, I like the clear view thru a transparent screen better than looking at an automobile like dashboard. I just wish we had as nice a selection of windscreens as our XC brethren get.
 

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Former Harley Owner

I can say that I liked the looks of the Softail Classic the best. I owned a 1200 sportster until last Friday. I test drove a Road King, because of capacity and lean angle. I like the classic look on a bike also. Being 5'6" i would need to lower and get reach bars. One issue I had was the dive of the front end also.
I went down to the Victory dealership and test drove an XR and XC. I got off the XC and said I want that one. Thier are people out there that just love the looks of the Harley. I do like the looks of my XC, it is a great looking bike. The ability to ride it without spending over a grand and no nose dive was very nice. I am very happy with my purchase. I can just look at harleys if I want to there are plenty around. The tech and quality won me over.thumb up
 

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I agree, after riding in high school/college, I took a 20 year hiatus to but my next bike. Took a MSF course at a local Harley dealership where several guys told me they would only buy a Harley. I had done my research and told them I would only buy a Victory, and they looked at me like I had left the heard. Now I show up at the Harley-sponsored course to let them know there are alternatives with my Highball, but some people are simply followers.

My riding buddy has a street glide, but when he rode mine he was convinced that the "ape hangers" made for better handling. I tried to convince him the this was not the case, but he wanted to believe it was the handlebars.....



Sent from Motorcycle.com App
 

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Saddle and others; we seem to be preaching to the choir here. After decades of riding first gen Yammy Ventures, cancer and age (maybe) had me needing the low seat and CG of a cruiser AND I wanted to simplify. Hence the XR and not the XC. Like you, I enjoy ditching the windshield when the thermometer climbs - but not for highway runs. When the w/s is off, yes all those wires are exposed even more. But hey, I bought the XR cuz it handles and is comfy and had huge bags and.....
 

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Hard to find a HD rider that can separate what the bike is from what they think it means.

I still have an old FLH Shovel in the shed. It's in pieces but it's a project. It's just a bike I really like the look of. I don't think I'm God's gift or whatever when I ride it.

I dunno. We can all be guilty of taking ourselves too seriously. Pity having a bike doesn't mean we have anything in common with each other but it really doesn't.
 

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I never realized how noticeable the cables were on the XR either till I had the shield off for a couple of days. Not the best cable routing idea I have ever seen plus my heated grips switch really sticks out and looks out of place. I actually wanted a XC but after test driving both the buffeting on the XC was too much and I had not joined any Vic forums to know there was a cure. No real buffeting problems on the XR I test rode with short and med windshields plus a few thousand dollars cheaper so I went with that.
 
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