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Topic: Looking for love  (Read 1284 times)

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bonnieboomer
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« on: March 01, 2016, 03:12:20 pm »

Fly-and-rent has worked well for this East-coaster who likes the wide open West. In the past, the market has provided ST's in SFO and SLC, where I've enjoyed an FJR and an R12RT. Now it's time to tour the Inland Empire, and the choices are much more limited. One dealer says he's going to have a rental program this year but has yet to follow through. Otherwise, it's H-D. Looking at the rates, one has to wonder how a business can afford to rent new, $20,000 machines for so little. After my first late-model test ride, I think I know how that works.

At the suggestion of the Missoula H-D rental guy, I rode to my nearby dealer to check out the offerings and see which ones might meet my simple criteria: a windshield to look over, not through; adequate luggage for a week's solo riding; and cruise control. Manager and salesman were very obliging, and after the usual chitchat I mounted a 2013 Street Glide and putted off.  

It was not a pleasant experience. After 50 years on smaller, more agile bikes, I was astounded at how hard I had to work to operate the 'Glide. Braking was marginal and turn-in ponderous. But the vibration and buffeting were literally mind-boggling. At 60, it was so intense that my helmet was rattling my eyeballs; at 70 there was a brief spell of relatively minor annoyance, and above that the buffeting returned. Even more of a surprise, at any rpm below 3500, there was no apparent torque.

Now this was a used motorcycle, although it of course looked brand-new, so it's possible that  a defect in the tuning caused some of the problems. I suggested as much to the salesman, who assured me that he would check it out and let me know. No word so far.

Based on this test ride, I wonder why anyone who loves riding would put up with such abuse. Surely not all H-D riders are masochists. Maybe they are so awed by the hype that they will put up with it so they can say they own and ride such a "classic" bit of kinetic sculpture.

Still looking for the love, and waiting to be proven wrong. Next time [if there is one] I'll try a Road Glide or maybe a smaller Dyna or Softail.

bonnieboomer
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Skee
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2016, 05:49:05 pm »

Try a Heritage Classic.  I enjoyed the one I rented.  Half the lean angle of what I'm used to, and about 2" of rear travel, but other than that, very comfortable and easy to handle. Well thought out bike.

Oh, and I got passed by more cars (2 or 3) in the few hours I was on it than I have in all the years I've been riding, including other rentals, partly because I wasn't taking any chances with a $20k rental.
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bonnieboomer
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2016, 09:05:05 am »

Have tried a Heritage Softail. A buddy and I took a nice long ride through the mountains and swapped off bikes for a while. His was easy to ride, and I would have liked it fine except for having to look through the windshield, and it felt like it almost had brakes. For his part, he dissed the heat around his feet on my C14.

It seems that Harley added a counterbalancer on this model only to help with vibrations coming through the rigid engine mounts. It works. Probably spoiled me for my 'Glide test. So yeah, if it had better brakes, decent luggage [no fringe, please] and a lower windshield, I could spend a week with a Heritage. Cruise control would be nice, too.
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2016, 11:44:15 am »

I am not a fan of any of the Glides. The Softtail chassis is light years better, and it feels much lighter than it is. The difference is astounding. But I still like the V-rod best.
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