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Why do people love Harley Davidson motorcycles?

This is a discussion on Why do people love Harley Davidson motorcycles? within the Harley Davidson forums, part of the Manufacturers category; The way I see it, they are overpriced, underengineered, slow, heavy, and loud. I don't understand it. Why pay more ...


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Old 01-17-2009   #1
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Default Why do people love Harley Davidson motorcycles?

The way I see it, they are overpriced, underengineered, slow, heavy, and loud. I don't understand it. Why pay more money for something that lacks quality, performance, and reliability?I must have hit a nerveAnd I didn't know the other people with the same last initial as me.
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Old 01-18-2009   #2
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because americans take faaaaaaar too much pride in'american made'...although i can't really say shit about it... i want a 68 camaro ss... american made muscle... it will guzzle gas like a wine-o at a wine expo... but i STILL MUST HAVE IT....it's a status symbol...""The way I see it"You obviously are clueless. Why does anyone desire a bike that sounds like a moped, looks like melted chewing gum, is REALLY uncomfortable to ride (though Buffy will never admit it), is made of 2-liter pop bottles, and usually painted tutti-frutti queer colors?REAL men like a little noise, Harley's engineering is top-shelf, and the only slow Harley is a broken Harley. If you ever rode one you would know. But you haven't, have you?"why do you insist on annoying everyone with loud ass pipes? it doesn't make you any safer on the bike... and ti's just as annoying as those fuckers who go down the road rattling my house with their bass at 2 in the morning..... why do you insist on buying and owning a bike brand name that is known for puking fluid out of every seal and crevice?can't say you don't have a point on the comfort portion though... as for the rest, you're just like xbox/ps3 fanboys....oh i don't ride a cruiser or a crotch rocket, so i'm not taking sides.... i'm speaking from facts...BTW american made shit can be (and often is) just as bad as shit from china or taiwan.... whether anyone here will actually admit it or not... ford's american made is it not? i rest my case.
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Old 01-18-2009   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara B View Post
The way I see it, they are overpriced, underengineered, slow, heavy, and loud. I don't understand it. Why pay more money for something that lacks quality, performance, and reliability?I must have hit a nerveAnd I didn't know the other people with the same last initial as me.
Well, you don't see it to well.

Lacks quality? At one time yes, now the quality is excelent, ever since HD was bought back from AMF "The Motor Company" has been working to make the bikes the best. Performance: Although HD won't come right out and state it, you get about 80 HP - BUT they WILL state you get nearly 90 Ft. LBS of tourque. Now how much power to you really need for a cruiser? Loud? That's not standard equipment; you need to pay extra for that. Under engineered? Just as much tech in today's offerings as any other brand. Closed Loop fuel Injection is standard, as is internal counter-balancers, proximity key less ignition, six speed transmission, fuel computer, automatic turn signal canceling (that really works!) AGM batteries and LED lights...some of these features you don't find on other brands. Reliability? They don't break down - when you get a new on you get a 24 month unlimited mileage warranty - you don't get unlimited mileage with a BMW!

The bikes are fine - the fan club has problems. The first thing your typical owner does is rip the quiet and effective free flowing exhaust off and put on and new system than runs from obnoxiously to painfully loud-why this is I don't know. Looking in from the outside someone sees a slow moving badly riden motorcycle making a great deal of noise, and just assumes that the bike is a piece of cr*p. In reality the motorcycles handle surprisingly well for what they are, and although not a rocket ship are capable of doing what ever needs to be done from a speed/acceleration perspective. It's the rider that projecting this unfavorable image of the machine. These are the poses you see - not the real riders.

So to you I say - don't throw rocks untill you have ridden one for many miles; you'll find it's a reliable ride that runs fine, gets good fuel economy and fufills it's mission well.
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Old 05-13-2009   #4
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While noise does not always equal power, there is a direct relation.
But really, it is not about being loud and abnoxious, it is about power.

I was running a V&H 2 into 1, which was nice, but after switching to the thunderheader... that flatspot at 2500-3000RPM disappeared.
Sooooo nice!

For me, I like the torque aspect of harleys. Low end power is diferent than top end.

Again, just a matter of what a rider prefers.

I have had my XL 1200 S for 11 years and it has been very reliable.

But now i want to see what all the fuss about Ducati is!
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Old 05-13-2009   #5
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Originally Posted by StefkaRose View Post
But now i want to see what all the fuss about Ducati is!
You can make that noisy too!
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Old 05-13-2009   #6
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John with less than a tolerant viewpoint:

Quote:
Originally Posted by StefkaRose View Post
While noise does not always equal power, there is a direct relation.
But really, it is not about being loud and abnoxious, it is about power.

If you bought a Harley-Davidson for power you are an idiot. even BMW has bikes that will run circles around them without any modifications what so ever.

No, it's about the noise. Most guys with loud pipes can't ride their bikes worth a darn.

"If you think loud pipes save lives, Imagine what learning to ride that thing could do!"

There are several exhaust systems available aftermarket that reduce back pressure and are also effective mufflers. You get more power after re-chiping or re-jetting, but you don't annoy people. Job done.

There is a large contingent that seems to feel it's their god given birth right to piss everyone off within a 6 block radius while they ride their bikes abusively up and down the main drag at 3 in the morning. You know what that does? Hurts everyone who rides a motorcycle. Campgrounds and motels get closed to motorcycles, towns won't host motorcycle events, scenic roads are closed to motorcycles...and on and on. The populace doesn't remember the quiet and well mannered motorcyclist, they remember the obnoxious. For some reason the local constabulary is remiss in enforcing noise laws until there are numerous complaints. Then the town council is pressed into "doing something" and that something always seems to limit all motorcyclists enjoyment of what ever they control.

John: I own two Harley-Davidsons, both with stock pipes.
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Old 05-18-2009   #7
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John,

While I just recently started reading posts here, I have seen your replies and they seem mostly intelligent, so....

WHAT IS WITH THE NAME CALLING?????
Did we transport back to 3rd grade?

you imply that I am an "idiot" for buying a harley for the power?

a friendly: FU pal.

I specified "low end" power, aka torque, not horsepower. If i wanted HP, I would have bought a sport bike. But to be quite honest with you, I do not ride with the knee dragging skill that sport bikes are designed for.
that is why I love my sportster. It totally suits my riding style and ability. Just enough power to keep me engaged, but not too much so I am in over my head. It handles quite well and I am just as in love with it as i was 10 years ago.

and boo hoo, the loud pipe guys, raining on your parade.

just so you know, my pipes arent THAT loud, and even if they were, i dont roar them down the main drag at all hours.

and I kinda like hearing bikes out on the streets, ... at every hour

if the guys who intentionally get loud pipes just to piss guys like you off ran stock pipes all day, forever: they would still find a way to piss you off, and you would still find another reason to bitch.

Just so you know, i am not an idiot or a poser, i ride for the sheer experience and love of riding. I could care less if you or anyone else thinks my pipes are too loud. I run them because they get my bike to perform the way i want it to.

And sure, the American mystique of HD is cool and all, but i would still ride this bike if it were made in Italy, or Japan, or Borneo! becuase i like this bike.

But i am an American and always will be, and we like our freedom!
So while you are free to call me an idiot, I am free to run whatever exhaust i think is best for my bike.

and really, who runs a stock exhaust on a harley???? certainly not an idiot?

I know we are all just having fun here and out on the road, and I don't take any of it too seriously. I just had to say something,

Either way, ride safe!
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Old 05-18-2009   #8
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StefkaRose,

That post you responded to wasn't meant as an attack on you, although you took it as such.

I can throw rocks because I own not one but two Harley-Davidsonís. I run stock pipes. I like my bikes quiet and I ride fast. I also have 17 other motorcycles. Right now, parked next to the Harley '08 Softail I have a '97 Honda Valkyrie. It doesn't have the panache of the HD, but it will run rings around it. More power, more torque, smoother ride better handling.

You see, the HD has a common crank pin engine (the V-Rod motor has a staggered crank pin) so just by design it really isn't a twin (although it has two cylinders) operationally it's more like one and a half cylinders. This is what gives the motorcycle such a unique sound - Honda also came out with a Shadow ACE with a common crank pin engine - it sounded like a Harley Ė Potato - Potato - so much so HD tried to sue Honda by saying the noise a Harley made was a trade mark? Didn't work. With that design you get cool sounds - but not a great deal of power.

The HD is a fun bike to ride, but if some asks me I will tell them the Honda is a better motorcycle because it is. It's bigger and more substantial. It does everything better-but it's down in the coolness factor-in the eyes of some.

Then there is my '06 BMW R-1200RT. Looks ugly. Rides better than either of the above bikes. Gets 50+ MPG, it's got lots of great features too. It'll leave the HD for dead, although I have never done a side by side roll on test the BMW would give the Valkyrie a real run, I would expect them to have similar acceleration.

Loud pipes. Really LOUD (as in no baffling at all shot-gun style) isnít cool. What bothers me about it is the negative impression it leaves on the general populace. Enough people get pissed off things happen, and these are not good things either. Look at what happened in Denver and New York. When they decided to ban motorcycles from the down town area, it affected ALL motorcycles, not just bikes with loud pipes. In Denver they have backed off of this some, but still you must have stock pipes - if they stop you, you will need to have that all important stamp on there....

Loud Pipes = Irresponsibility.
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Old 05-25-2009   #9
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[quote=John;193277]StefkaRose,

Hey John,

Thanks for your reply. I like that you are informative about things like common and staggered crank pins. I am not a mechanic, but I have hung out with them for lots of my life. I like learning the technical stuff, even though my understand is pretty basic.

And your various takes on different types of bikes? I have no doubt that those Honda Valkeries, and even their Goldwings, are compairable and even better in some ways to the HD tour bikes. Cool factor? To each, his own. Like you said: potato, potato.

And yes, I had to laugh a bit when Harley tried to say their sound was patented, because it was just so funny, yes?

And I totally see your point about how a few bad apples spoil the whole barrel. But really? Banning ALL motorcycles from a downtown area, just cuz a few folks run loud pipes? Why not just give them the tickets?

For me, it is bigger than the loud pipe issue. It is about how we as Americans are so freaking over governed, in general. Like we are a bunch of toddlers who need constant supervision. WHHHAAAAAA, I don't like how people drive with their stereos cranking crappy music with too much bass, could some please outlaw car stereos all together for me?

Part of riding motorcycles is a sense of liberty that you do not get while enclosed in a car. It doesnt matter what someone rides, how fast or how slow, how loud or how quiet, i think it would be safe to say that all riders ride for some sense of unrestricted joy, also known as freedom.

So, my defensive nature derives from these notions, not a feeling that you are picking on me personally. (although your implication of one being an idiot for buying an HD for the power did warrent my FRIENDLY f.u., No? I know things don't translate in print as well as in person.) Like I said, you seem like an intelligent and good natured guy, so thanks for the dialogue and being informative about bikes.

I know this is not a political forum, so I apologize if my rant about feeling overgoverned offends. I just kinda want to point out the other side of the coin: if loud pipes are irresponsible, then I gotta say that censorship is un-American. Maybe people wouldn't feel the need to run shot gun pipes if they didnt feel so overgoverned? Not the most mature way to retaliate, but didnt America start out as a bunch of rebel rousers to begin with?

Happy Memorial Day!

Last edited by StefkaRose; 05-25-2009 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 05-26-2009   #10
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[quote=StefkaRose;193599]
Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
StefkaRose,

Hey John,

Thanks for your reply.
And I totally see your point about how a few bad apples spoil the whole barrel. But really? Banning ALL motorcycles from a downtown area, just cuz a few folks run loud pipes? Why not just give them the tickets?
That is a very good question. As far as I can see it, if the local constabulary (police) would do their jobs and pin point the trouble spots it wouldn't need to go to a higher level. But, indeed they tried to ban ALL motorcycles from downtown areas as a response to numerous complaints from citizens. This is a "Chasing fly's with Grenades" mentality, the actions of a few hurt all. That's my problem with excessively loud pipes. Even HD is telling their customers to tone it down.

As for us, we just got back from a nice motorcycle rally. The loud pipe thing doesn't effect BMW riders.

John.
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