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Pegasus trapped in a human body on a motorcycle
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Discussion Starter #1
It is pretty well known that I am a huge fan (almost rabid) of the 1st gen Yamaha V-Max. Have been since I was 12, when the bike first came out. It took me forever to finally get one, but I did.

After a few years on her, I have discovered that, just maybe, the V-Max is not the correct bike for me. Yes, it is pretty comfortable, and physically fits me well. It has all the power I need. (and then more) And it is one that moves my soul.

That being said, it is not the bike I am needing.

One of the biggest things about the V-Max is the sheer power of the bike, and how aggressively the power comes on. Seriously... There have been more than a few times when I was wishing for less power. Also, less aggressiveness from the engine in how it delivers its power would make for a more relaxed ride. That would help in me feeling less tired after a ride.

I looked around, and found many that come close to having a riding position that is comfortable, and even a few that felt perfect. Sadly, none fit the bill.

Then I looked at some Harleys.
Two in particular; the Fat Boy and the V-rod.

Yes, I am strongly considering getting myself a Harley Davidson.

(waits for the angry mob with pitchforks)



Yes, I feel as if I am committing blasphemy and heresy by even considering this. But, if there is a chance that I can end up on a bike that better suits my needs, then I really should consider it.

As I mentioned, the two that seemed to fit me best that I have looked at (and fit within my price range) are the Fat Boy and the V-rod.

The V-rod I am considering is an 02. It has an aftermarket (Screaming Eagle) exhaust on it, which means the only controls that fit are the forward controls. I can barely reach them. Another V-rod, with the mid mount controls, felt perfect. The bike itself felt extremely well balanced. It has enough mass to it to feel steady, but with the balance of it, the bike does not feel heavy. I am told that it does have less power than the V-Max, but other sources say it may still have more than I want, and may be a bit more aggressive in its delivery than I desire. Also, there is the issue of the forward controls. HD offered models with mid mount controls, and an exhaust to match. I have to find out of those will fit on an 02 or not, and if they do, how much will it be to get the items so I can do the swap?

The Fat Boy I saw was too new and too pricey for me. But the bike felt nearly perfect. I would need an older one that was in decent enough shape, but falls within the price range that I can afford.

Suggestions, people?

Will the exhaust and controls I need fit on an 02 V-rod? Will it have a powerband that is civil enough that the bike does not wear me out? How does it handle. The same questions (except the exhaust/midmount controls one) can be asked about the Fat Boy.

Anything at all that you guys can share with me about the two bikes will be helpful.
 

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Veteran Member
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I have a Sportster and an Ultra Glide. I love them both, but I am not a Harley "fanboy". I think you could be very happy on a Harley for the type of riding you want. I can't speak for the Vrod, as I have never ridden one. But the Fatboy has an engine like that in my Ultra. You would love it. The engine is a slow revving engine with gobs of torque right off idle. This makes for a very easy to ride bike. No need to wring it out, and very smooth delivery. And despite what a lot of people like to say, they still get up and move pretty quick, should the need/want arise. It's no VMax, but still can be a lot of fun.

And the Fatboy is about as low maintenance as they come. With belt final drive, air cooling, and hydraulic lifters, it's all about riding time instead of wrenching time. This is one of my favorite things about the air cooled HDs.
 

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Save them all!
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4,278 Posts
Discord, at it again...

Funny, but the only HD I have ridden was a mid 2000s Fat Boy and it seemed to fit me really well, too. Everything felt like it was exactly where it should be... just didn't "move" me.. at least that one.

I like the V-Rod though, cool bike. Different.
 

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Pegasus trapped in a human body on a motorcycle
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Discussion Starter #4
Ok, that is two pluses for the Fat Boy... Need more info on the V-Rod
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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I have heard that the V-rod is a lot more aggressive than the air cooled twins.
 

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The seating position is certainly more aggressive. And without having rode one myself, I have heard it is a more aggressive, higher revving engine making power higher in the powerband than it's air cooled HD brothers.
 

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Have you looked at any of the Victory bikes? They are also mildly tuned V-twins and different models fit different people's tastes. Their touring lines have large floorboards so you get to use whatever part you want for a fit. The foot controls move front to back so it can adjust to your preferences.
 

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Pegasus trapped in a human body on a motorcycle
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9,208 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I have heard that the V-rod is a lot more aggressive than the air cooled twins.
The seating position is certainly more aggressive. And without having rode one myself, I have heard it is a more aggressive, higher revving engine making power higher in the powerband than it's air cooled HD brothers.
I was informed by someone who has just recently owned an 06 V-rod, and has also ridden my bike more than once, the V-rod is still less aggressive than the V-Max. Still, it may be more of a revving bike than I am looking for. The best thing I can do is to do a test ride. (Gotta do that on one with the mid mount controls. I can barely reach the forward controls) With the Fat Boy, the big thing is will it feel too sedate for me?

Have you looked at any of the Victory bikes? They are also mildly tuned V-twins and different models fit different people's tastes. Their touring lines have large floorboards so you get to use whatever part you want for a fit. The foot controls move front to back so it can adjust to your preferences.
If I can find one that actually fits me, and is within my price range, then I shall check them out as well. Only issue is finding one that fits me in my price range.
 

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A Vegas that is 5 or 6 years old should be quite affordable. You are the only one that can judge fit.
 

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Hero of Legend
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Congrats on joining the dark side, Dash. Your cookies are on the way.

Get yourself a Harley, and join the cruiser crowd. Then grow a manly beard, and all that. \m/
 

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Biker Dash, the fun about deciding to get a new bike is that it's the perfect excuse to ride a whole lot of different bikes :)

I'm a cruiser guy myself, mainly because I'm challenged in the inside leg measurement and at my age I'm a dawdler rather than a screamer. Can't imagine riding on a sports bike with my chest glued to the fuel tank and my heels jammed up the crack of my bum.

Try anything that you can get a ride on. And there's nothing wrong with getting a Harley, everybody should have a bike that suits their physique and riding style. And if that bike is a Harley, then go for it.
 

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American Legion Rider
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23,542 Posts
BD, hit up your local Harley dealerships. Let them put you on what you need. Then try to find one in your price range. I can't help you on what the Vrod feels like as far as power band goes. Just have a friend that road one. All he said was it was scary fast. But he didn't say how that was delivered. Since he didn't, I assume it just has a higher top range than other Harleys but isn't delivered uncontrollably.

I honestly can't imagine Harley building a bike that just all of a sudden dumps power on you. Their thing is slow and easy. But the Vrod is different so can't honestly say. It is a Harley so with that comes a ton of aftermarket goodies. I'm sure you can find anything you want for it. We've already talked about some of those. Good luck in your search but hit the dealers. They'll jump through hoops to put you on one.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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I would have never, EVER considered a Harley..... until I road the 1200 version of the Sportster that Warren's GF, Bonnie, rides.

It is as "pure" a motorcycle as ever was. Fun, forgiving, powerful, corners ... perfectly. Doesn't want to fall over into the turn nor do you have to horse it around a corner.

On our "guys rides" not a single person who took a turn on it didn't get off with a ****-eating grin and a favorable comment toward this bike.

I"m tellin' ya, it's like your first day on a motorcycle it's so... authentic. A perfect exhaust note, nice loud horns,

So sure, look at the V-rod, the Fat Boy, but while you're down there at HD take a ride on a 1200 Sporty. Just for grins. It will remind you of WHY you started riding in the first place.
 

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Gone.
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Have you looked at any of the Victory bikes? They are also mildly tuned V-twins and different models fit different people's tastes. Their touring lines have large floorboards so you get to use whatever part you want for a fit. The foot controls move front to back so it can adjust to your preferences.
I was wondering who was going to be the first to say, "Don't get what you want, get my brand instead!"

:smiley_drinkcoffee:
 

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I was finally able to test ride some Harleys this year at a demo event. I was mostly impressed, except for those friggen stupid SPLIT turn signal switches(!) Why the heck does Harley need to go their own way with that? For those who don't know, on a Harley (all of them?) the 'left turn' switch is located on the left side of the handlebar, and the 'right turn' switch is on the right side :confused: does any other manufacture do that?

Ok.. /rant off :biggrin:

I rode 2 V-rods, a night rod & a V-rod muscle. The Night Rod was indeed nice, & a better ergonomic (for me) than the muscle version. I'm 6' tall & do prefer a cruiser format of ride.

Dash, have you looked at the Fat Bobs? I took one of those out & REALLY liked it a lot. At this time it would probably be my Harley of choice if I needed to pick 1 today.
 

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It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye
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Problem with owning a Harley, is I keep having to talk myself out of buying another.
I've talked to a few Vrod owners that were disappointed with the seating position. Make sure you test ride one first.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Nordic you don't like the split turn signals? Try an older Harley still has the split signals and you have to hold them on the entire time you want to indicate. Make your thumbs stronger.
 
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