I love the Harley`s - But

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by NorThai, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. NorThai

    NorThai Ol'Timer

    I love the Harley`s - But someone told me not to even think about bay one because they seem not handling the warme weather, and that they are not as reliable as example a Yamaha or Honda?

    So, is there anything true in this? Will I just be paying much money for the Harley name and end up with much trouble?

    Please advice me about the Harley`s, are they worth the money or will I be better of whit a jap cruise bike?

    I would consider bay a Harley, but not older then a 5 year bike.
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  3. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    I am really not the right person to advise you about Harley as I see them as well built, but poor in comfort, handling and performance.
    I suggest you get up to Chiang Mai for the bike week 5th and 6th December. You will see many, many Harleys and their riders there. So you can check their opinions and also Harley have a huge stand so you can talk to them direct and sit on a few models. (and maybe some bikes as well)
  4. NorThai

    NorThai Ol'Timer

    Nice one JG :D Well, today (later on) I will take my girlfreind out for a ride on here new Kawasaki Boss 175, you now the one, your where there when we bougt it :wink:
  5. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    NorThai, for me it would be a matter of finances & services to make this decision. If you want a cruiser, other than HD there's only the Vulcan 900 from Kawasaki here new on the market which also means, cheaper, more service facilities and especially all over the country, you won't loose so much on depreciationv value compared to any HD. For a new Vulcan 900 you will merely get a battered down HD.................
    Just look up the Kawa thread in this forum and web away at their local site :lol:
    Being aircooled engines, the 'shaker-twins' :evil: from Milwaukee won't be exactly perfect for any red traffic light here in LOS......a friend of mine rode his for 30 km at 140km/h speed, when then stopping at a petrol station, she was belching out blue oily smoke and didn't want to start up at all............another thing, whenever there's some hilly roads with bends, well he was nearly thrown off twice just on the way to Kan in trying to follow other bikes around turns in the same speed.
    For me they are more suitable for Bkk's RCA which is a straight stretch of road in front of bars & pubs, a place where everybody will hear you, see you and say; vely litch, mut maneeee..............choppppaaaaaaaa, works with some same as Viagra.............
    Cheers, FR
  6. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    Cruisers or choppers are made for the open country, endless miles of paved roads. If you spend a lot of time on the freeway at american speeds, a Harley is fine. Then again a Vulcan 900 is, too.
    But for city traffic, short rides, hilly areas, poor roads a fat, heavy Harley is the last thing I'd want! I've found out how much fun light bikes can be, how much easier they are to handle in a parking lot, how quick they change lanes. And I'm rarely going faster than 120km/h, even on the highway, so theoretically a little Honda Phantom 200 would be the better bike. - A couple if friends of mine went north with a Phantom and a BMW K1200LT (yes, the one that looks like a shop on wheels); the first day on the highway they were both okay, the Phantom going 130km/h, the BMW having the advantage to pull away anytime. But after that they spent a few days in the hills and the Phantom rider had to wait for the BMW rider - he took breaks because he was sweating! Up and down and left and right was a real work out.
    If you love cruisers, get a Vulcan 900, it's good value for the money and will not let you down. There are also some older 600cc Steeds with green books.
    I've had a Intruder 1400, it was a great bike, but I won't get another cruiser; they are too limited for real riding and I don't like the seating position, feet forward, every bump goes up your spine. But I like seeing them around, the Harleys sound great, so go ahead!
  7. bikerbob

    bikerbob Ol'Timer

    Hi Nortai. I can see you are riding a Dragstar 400. How about upgrading to an 1100cc? Or how about a Roadstar?

  8. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    I did last year MHS and that was lots of fun in my LT,not sweating too much, no mre than normally,, your friends,, maybe they need to go gym... :wink: , no just joking, LT is 420Kg bike nd need very good phycic to ride,especially in twisty roads, but will handle really nice, KZ is correct, it wont will competition agains smaller bike in those roads, but it hs not ment to be to do so, LT as gold wong is made for comfort and yes larger highways but i have done small roads,gravel roads, mountain roads, and happy with it.
    Serive wice, I would not advice any one who not live inCM or BKK or Patta or phuket to buy one as service for that bike i only those mentioned cities, im just now picking up my bike from CM and taking her back home with 1000km ride tomorrow.
    Come to CM bike week and yo will see many different kind of bikes.

    Regarding JG comment's abt asking HD riders opinion of they own bike's,, i think non of them would say NO dont buy it....Thailand HD is Status bike as in USA or any country, huge communities all around.

    you might wanna check your country men in Mai Pen rai group from Pattaya, most of them are from Norway, they have they own web page, just google it...
  9. NorThai

    NorThai Ol'Timer

    Thank`s alot gays. Yes, I have to say that the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Costum relly looks nice :wink:
    Well, as I undestand it, it will come with numberplate and Greenbook for 460.000 bath :D
    http://www.kawasakibigbike.com/images/n ... stom01.jpg

    I might just drive up to Udon Thani tomorrow and have a closer look :wink:
  10. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    LT is 420Kg bike and need very good phycic to ride,especially in twisty roads, but will handle really nice, KZ is correct, it wont will competition agains smaller bike in those roads, but it hs not ment to be to do so, LT as gold wong is made for comfort and yes larger highways but i have done small roads,gravel roads, mountain roads, and happy with it.

    Marco is right about the LT. It When it is underway, you would not know it weighs 420Kg as it is almost perfectly balanced with the engine offset to drivetrain. For its size, a better handling bike cannot be found. But a Harley is not engineered like an LT by any stretch.

    As others have mentioned, Harley's are best suited for straight line cruising and mild twisties. You can still have fun on one in the GT, but smaller/lighter is where you want to be to really get the most of what the area has to offer. For the money you plan to spend on a Harley, a KTM 690SMC Supermoto would be fantastic for those roads at only 140Kg. Totally different bikes, but you can always fit it with side cases for the longer trips.

    And don't underestimate the heat factor. I've seen Harleys start smoking and literally start to cook the oil while crawling along for extended periods in a traffic situation. For a 35C+ region in the city, a water cooled bike is almost mandatory in my opinion. But those Vulcan's are fine bikes too. Good luck with whatever you decide.
  11. black cat

    black cat Active Member

    I beg to differ on the Kawasaki being the only other new cruiser available here. Head along to Britbikes Triumph. From the "small" Speedmaster and America, through the large Thunderbird, to the collosal Rocket III, better heritage than a Harley and better suited to Thailand.
  12. ajahnlau

    ajahnlau Active Member

    There are thousands of HD's in Thailand. Never heard of any heat problems.
  13. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    To be honest i havent heard heat problem as well, but Thousends of other's, but again, with elderly HD's or higly modifyed Choppers, i think new one's works well..
  14. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    To be honest i havent heard heat problem as well, but Thousends of other's, but again, with elderly HD's or higly modifyed Choppers, i think new one's works well..
    Glad to hear the HD's appear to be handling the Thai climate. I just know what I have seen over the years here in the states. The most recent occasion was on Hwy 15 out of Las Vegas where a big rig had overturned and blocked the 2 left lanes with traffic creeping along. Saw large groups of HD riders off to the side with smoking bikes. Same thing at MotoGP 2005 getting into the race. Backed up and HD's dropping like flies.

    So I'm sure they work fine 99% of the time, just know there are times when they may not due to the above. And always use a turbo-diesel rated oil in those things as a regular oil will fry and leave nasty deposits on the bearings.
  15. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    I think the US highway police knows why they ride Kawasaki or BMW in most states; even though they're very proud of american made products they wised up.
  16. ajahnlau

    ajahnlau Active Member

    Here I thought it was price.
  17. chiangmairich

    chiangmairich Ol'Timer

    Just wonder why the US agencies use foreign made products,it certainly has nothing to with reliability with Harleys.

    The most travelled bike in the world is a 94 Tour Glide with over 550,000 Km on it now and travelled to every country in the world.

    Check here www.horizonsunlimited.com/forwood/index.htm
    And here www.horizonsunlimited.com/davebarr/index.htm
  18. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    Oh yes, that's why most people choose HD when they plan to travel around the world; the well known reliability is also proven with several Paris - Dakar wins... ;-)
  19. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    HDs can be extremely reliable I have owned and raced many over 30 years

    it depends on the owners how well does he take care of his bike . I know some Pattaya HD riders who do 50,000KMs a year around Thailand .
  20. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    I rode a sportster in Thailand for 9 years never had a problem , i fitted an after marketooil cooler and used Pennzoil gold for diesel pikups oil, i sold that bike 6 years ago and its still running strong with the new Thai owner.
  21. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    And they dont want to be called rude names by children.

  22. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    HD is definitely not cheap unreliable junk as we are used to it from certain chinese makers, which seem to have gotten better in recent years; now you can actually ride a Platinum for a few months before things start to fall off. No, Harleys are massive bikes which have been produced for almost a century, they just lag a bit behind in the evolution of machinery. BMW also started out as an air-cooled two-cylinder with pushrods (albeit with shaft drive on their first model!) but has been upgraded and updated ever since; you can't really compare the engines to those made before WWII. Now BMWs even have OHC. But Harley didn't develop as much, their most revolutionary step was to build a "new" engine in 1999 (2000?) with a bigger fin area for cooling, bigger bore and shorter stroke. But they would have disappointed their followers who tried to keep up the american mystery of the "Lone Rider" on his shaking, cool sounding Harley if they would have built a more "modern" engine.
    I have nothing against Harleys, I like looking at them and like to hear the uncomparable sound (which HD even tried to patent). But what bothers me a bit is that many people think that Harleys are the best bikes on the planet, the ultimate thing on two wheels, when they are relatively unreliable, heavy, underpowered clunkers with way outdated technology.
    The argument: "it depends on the owners how well does he take care of his bike" is kind of like saying: "it's of good quality when you fix it" - same thing with the beautiful Triumphs and Nortons of the 70s and earlier; if you fiddle with them all week you can ride them on the weekend to fiddle with them during next week.
    Since there are japanese made bikes which you can hardly break no matter how hard you ride them I don't understand why people pay top dollar for american farm machinery (ouch, I said it!) just to be part of a legend which in my eyes is no legend.
  23. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    Harleys are not the best bikes on the planet they are tough and reliable beasts but cannot compare to a Ducati, Triumph ,or most Hondas on performance ,handling ..HDs are an Icon and thats what most owners want.
  24. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    Okay, and if they pay the price that's what they get. Fortunately they can sell it for a good price, too, since there are always lots of people ready to shell out money for an older model. But talking of an icon, why is it that HD has this icon status? It must have something all the other bike makers don't have. Is it just a myth?
    Often when I mention that I ride a bike I get asked: "Do you have a Harley?" even by people who don't know much about bikes. And if answer no, I have just a Honda, the rection is ah, well, maybe one day you'll get a "real" bike. If I then say I wouldn' t want a Harley, they think I'm weird.
  25. ajahnlau

    ajahnlau Active Member

    Since early 90's HD bikes are very reliable. They went thru some bad periods before that and that's what people seem to remember. When was the last time u saw 1 broken down? Jap bike owners really don't like the status they have.
  26. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    Coming from the UK, its the Jap sports bikes and maybe BMW have the status, Harleys not really in evidence and have the Hells Angel type of image.
    I had my teen days constantly solving problems and oil leaks on unreliable British bikes. Once I had discovered the performance and reliability of the Japanese bikes there has been no turning back, apart from a dive into BMW territory. I ride a bike because I enjoy the sensations, not because of the status and rather than envy I feel sorry for the discomfort that most Harley riders, particularly on the lower back, are experiencing. I have only had one 80km ride on a friends Harley, not sure of the model, its a blue one if that helps. He wanted to ride my Kawasaki Ninja. I have never felt so uncomfortable. Legs stretched way out front, arms out front, wide and high. All the weight on my lower back and I did not feel in control. Unable to use the lower half of the body to control the bike. Never again.

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