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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all - My question: Which HD should I purchase next?

Details about what I have now:
2013 Sportster SuperLow
Upgraded to a 1200 kit
Purchased in 11/2012
Extended warranty will expire in 2017

My physical details:
I'm 5'6", weigh 150 pounds. I'm age 36.

I live in San Francisco, which has a lot of hills.

So far, I love my Sportster because it's nimble and I can zip around town. However, I'm starting to feel I'm outgrowing it; I've put 20,000 miles on it in less than 3 years; a few people have said I'm treating the Sportster like a touring bike, so I should consider upgrading. I want to upgrade, but I'm worried about the weight, especially on these steep hills.

Thoughts on what I should upgrade to? I went to the dealership, and the Fat Bob seemed like a good option. I like the fat front tire, and the 6-speed transmission. I definitely don't want something too big for my height/weight.

Thank you. --- R
 

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This is the part where usually all the non-HD owners will chime in and suggest you try their brand of bike, rather then going with another Harley. :coffeescreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Eye_m_no_angel --- I agree with you. That's why I posted it on this thread, rather than the general thread. I've been happy with HD so far, and I don't plan to switch.

Luvs2Play --- Funny! I felt the need to describe my height/weight, in order to get people's opinion on what I could handle. I'm not attempting to be a super-human by purchasing something I can't handle. Just want to be realistic.

Thank you both. Any advice would be appreciated.

R
 

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I was making a wry joke, because it seems that so many people that don't own Harley's will try to talk you out of owning one. :) I haven't a clue why they do it though. I mean, I've never owned a Suzuki, but I wouldn't try to steer someone away from buying one, especially if that's what they liked.

As for your question? I might be able to answer some specific technical questions on HD bikes, but I don't want to suggest what sort of bike you should buy. That's between you and the machine. Go sit on them. Go take a test ride or 5, or more. See what feels right for you, and what feels right for the type of riding you plan on doing. Don't be in a hurry.

Bottom line? Look for the bike that will move your soul as well as it moves your body.
 

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Yep, it's time for some test rides. Time to have a little fun. However, I wouldn't worry about your buddies comment about touring. If you are comfortable on the sporty it can handle it. You need to ask yourself what is it you want to improve if there is actually something you do. You might be surprised at how well a heavier bike can handle though.

I used to live in San Jose and visited the bay all the time on an Electra Glide. The hills never bothered me in the least. But I was a little taller and heavier than you. It's been too long for me to remember which are the good dealers out there but I know there were some.

I think the biggest question will be can the heavier bikes respond as quick as your sporty. That's going to require you and some test rides. I certainly don't want to suggest anything because of that potential difference in how you might feel. Understand?
 

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Fat Bob is 706 lbs (wet) what does your Sportster weigh?
 

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Shouldn't be any Harley that a small girl or child couldn't handle:biggrin:
Just kidding test ride and get what you like.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Eye_m_no_angel --- Agree that test ride is essential. I've test rode a few of the Dyna models last year; definitely not as nimble.

hogcowboy --- Yes, I understand. SF's steep hills are the dealbreaker for me.

Critter --- 562 + two hardcase saddlebags. Definitely <600 lbs. I work several graveyard shifts, and when I get off work, I'm exhausted; the parking lot for my apartment complex is a hill; and, there are times that I've thought to myself "wow, if this were 100 lbs heavier, I'd drop it as I'm parking on that hill". Weight is a critical factor in those moments of exhaustion.

SafetyMan --- Agree.


Thank you all.
 

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Remember that your Sporster is rather top heavy so even though you may see as much as another 200 pounds, some bikes actually handle better. Pick a time when are not exhausted to do any test rides and see if you don't find a heavier bike actually handle better. When I went from a Honda VTX1300 to my Electra Glide which was a step up in weight, even though they are similar bikes, the Harley actually handles better in parking lot situations. It's all about just not letting the bike get past that point of no return with any bike. But yes, a lighter one you can manhandle if you screw help. Just don't.:D
 

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Good luck finding your next Harley. The Fat Bob is a cool bike, but it's heavier than the FXDL Low Rider by about 40 lbs. Maybe that's not enough to make a difference to you.

In the near future technology may be helping you deal with those hills. Bosch is the electronics source for lots of motorcycle controls. They recently released a feature called hill control. It's available now on certain KTM 1290's and BMW R1200RT and K1600 bikes. It'll probably catch on and be used by other bike makers before long. Here's a video showing how it works. The video happens to demonstrate hill holder on a BMW. I'm not suggesting you switch brands. Rather, I'm just giving you a heads up on what techology is coming down the pike.

The purists will gripe that electronics don't make a better rider. And, if you live somewhere flat you'll never need it so why pay extra for it? Guys like you in San Fran will probably welcome it.

 

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Pretty good feature for those with small hands or those that just can't get the coordination of two fingered brake and throttle control. I'm not sure I could ever get past the need to continue holding the brake myself. Old dogs new trick syndrome.
 

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I'd like to switch the question around a bit, if I may......

For those of us who have NEVER owned a HD, (the most I've done is sit on a number of them in a showroom), what would you experienced owners of HD's have to say about the nuances of owning and riding a HD are?

What has been your experience from a social and mechanical point of view that the first-time buyer should be aware of, and prepared for? (presuming the answer is being given to an experienced rider).

To talk about this in the terms of cars or trucks, (for example).....you can go buy a car or truck based on your love of the body style and reputation, but in the end, when you are riding it around, it is "just a car" or "just a truck." you might get the occasional nod of approval from someone, or you might get questioned, but in the end, it is still a basic mechanical device, just like all the rest. The "skin" if you will, is what brought you to it, but the experience is the same, no matter WHO'S placard is adhered to the body.

The only REAL difference may often be the amount of money you have to pay to own it, or replace it.

-Soupy
 

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I don't about others but I feel completely different on a Harley in the way it rides. Nothing compares. And it's instant with me. It's like putting on a pair of your favorite shoes or boots. A Harley simply handles different than any other bike I've ever been on. Others come close. Some are even better in some cases. But the overall experience "fits me" and the way I like to ride. I've only had two but each time I've gone to the Harley it's been exactly the same. Why didn't I go here first?
 

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Hog:

1. HOW does it "ride?" Can you describe its uniqueness or difference?

2. HOW does it "handle?" Can you describe what makes it seem different
in the way it handles, from other types of bikes?

-Soupy
 

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I was making a wry joke, because it seems that so many people that don't own Harley's will try to talk you out of owning one. :) I haven't a clue why they do it though. I mean, I've never owned a Suzuki, but I wouldn't try to steer someone away from buying one, especially if that's what they liked.

As for your question? I might be able to answer some specific technical questions on HD bikes, but I don't want to suggest what sort of bike you should buy. That's between you and the machine. Go sit on them. Go take a test ride or 5, or more. See what feels right for you, and what feels right for the type of riding you plan on doing. Don't be in a hurry.

Bottom line? Look for the bike that will move your soul as well as it moves your body.
I agree and couldn't have been said any better than this, I love Fat Bob's except for their solid wheels. Although a lighter bike in some areas such a SF which I have been may times are nice for getting around, I like a heavier bike. Im only 150 lbs, 55 years old and I still ride a heavy bike.
 

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Hog:

1. HOW does it "ride?" Can you describe its uniqueness or difference?

2. HOW does it "handle?" Can you describe what makes it seem different
in the way it handles, from other types of bikes?

-Soupy
Nope! That would like describing a cloud to a person that was born blind. I just can't do it. Smoother and responds better to "my" input than any other is the best I can do. Someone else it might be crudely rough and unresponsive. I don't know.
 
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