Hey there everyone, so in the spring I am going to get my first bike. I have wanted one my whole life but my responsible side, and my wife
have postponed this and now I'm 43 and the waiting is over, it's just time to stop not living life as I dream to. I rode a some as a kid, Honda trail bikes that were my grandfathers when I was about 12-15 but haven't ridden since then. So I have been reading a lot, trying to learn and prepare, and be thoughtful about jumping into the world of riding... I am SUPER excited! So my plan is to take the riding course in the spring and then go test ride the bikes that I am interested in and then buy one. Most likely I will be buying used, and I have a bunch of questions for you all, sorry if some of these are dumb, but I am going to ask them anyway...k?
I don't plan on taking long cross country road trips, I would like to avoid the highway and spend my time on the back roads, and specifically the mountains in Colorado summers. My wife (who has not been a fan of this idea but just recently we are coming to a new understanding about what I need in my life and so has decided to be or act
ok with this whole thing
has asked that the bike have a passenger seat so she can ride with me (so this got me thinking away from the HD Sportster or Iron 883)
1. I know I want a cruiser but am struggling to decide which I should be MORE focused on. I know that the BIGGEST factor in my decision should be (and will be) how it feels to ride each of these. But I wanted to tell you all my list so that you could tell me if there is a bad option that I should forget, or if there is a particularly good option, or whatever... so here are the bikes I really like in no particular order:
HD Fat Boy
Vicory Vegas 8-Ball
Indian Dark Horse
I don't know if any of those are "too much" bike for a newbie or not, I am 6 foot and 185 lbs. The truth is that the dark horse is so new that I won't be able to find it used for my price range anyway (I would like to keep under $10K)
Here are more questions on my mind...
2. The Heartland conversion that I see on a fair number of HDs. Sure looks cool, is the wide tire in the back a good or bad idea for a new rider? I understand it makes the bike less nimble for turning, the big tire wanting to stay up and straight... true?
3. Ape hangers (they are stock on the Highball) is that a bad idea for a new rider? and how prevelant is the problem of hands going numb on those? I have felt that from time to time as I mountain bike on single tracks and while I don't think I have any particular issue with that kind of thing it got me wondering. I am in pretty good shape actually, not amazing, but pretty good.
4. Getting drowsy while riding? Is this the same as it is in a car?
5. I don't have any friends that ride, and while I am ok with riding alone (and it sounds like lots of riders prefer this) I wouldn't mind finding a friend or two to ride with. Shootin the sh!t with on any an all topics as we explore the world around. How would I go about developing that? I love to chat about the meaningful things of life, and I don't get all worked up about it, I love to hear about people and their stories and why they believe the things they do, that's just good stuff when emotions can be kept out of it (I know that can be hard to come by, but it's awesome when it's found)
6. HD vs. the world --- I know at the end of the day, it's my bike and if I love it, that's all that matters, but as much as I do really like those non-HD bikes, I have a hard time shaking the myth and legend of HD and so... I guess I don't have a specific question about this... but opinions welcome... even if I love a non-HD bike, will I always wish it were a HD? I know you can't answer that for me...
7. Reliability of HDs --- I understand the older HDs have a lot of maintenance issues but that at some point the quality control at HD took a big step forward. Is that true? What year was that? Even with that improvement by HD, are there still significant issues? jamesrussellpublishing.biz/beforeyoubuyharley.html Before You Buy Harley I found this article and it seemed pretty well informed, is it? Do I have to count on the HD engine failing at some point?
I'm pretty sure I have some other questions too, but I am going to call that good for now and hear what you all have to say... thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.