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beemvayman
03-31-2010, 03:54 AM
Fellow members, I would appreciate your learned opinion and hope it'll help me make a sane decision. I'm on the verge of obtaining a new-to-me 08 Harley Davidson Fat Bob;
not to replace my beloved R1200R but as a teammate for it. Are H-Ds money pits? Has anyone had experience with this particular model? I've looked at the H-D forums but, unlike us, those guys never critique or critisize their bikes. They're in rah rah lockstep and not very informative. Anyhow, I'm asking for your advice so that I may avert a possible pitfall. Or do you think it's a good idea? Thank you all in advance for your assistance.:dunno

jforgo
03-31-2010, 05:57 AM
OK, I am not a Harley guy. But I know a BMW guy who also has a Harley - does his own wrenching, etc. Also, my taxi driver (who actually comes all the way out here) is an old school HD fan - no logo clothing, does his own work, rides every ice free day, etc. They both say the best Harleys are the late 90's Evo ones - easiest to work on, don't break parts, no fancy electronics, perfected design, reliable etc. These people are definitely not posers, so I personally would take their word on this.

jimfastcar
03-31-2010, 08:26 AM
I used to ride a Dyna Glide and then an Ultra before my RT 4 years ago. I will submit that HD builds "old-fashioned" bikes less as a product of their Engineering Dept than their Marketing Dept.
They have created as we all well know a very good Brand, and the product supports the Brand
To suggest they are techically inferior is in my view, incorrect, they are simpler machines than ours on purpose. They are generally quite reliable, and the stories of them marking their territory (oil spills) etc are not fair for the current generation.
Go ahead and buy one, it will add a different dimension to your riding experience.
I no longer own one, because my main interest in riding is travel and for that, the RT is far superior than the Ultra, and also a far sight easier on the ears and the aging bones. For an afternoon ride around town, the Fat Bob will be a lot of fun.
PS - please do not put straight pipes on it....

osbornk
03-31-2010, 12:48 PM
I think the bike with stock pipes would be great for local riding on straight roads. My cousin has one of similar vintage and it has been dependable.

Ken

braddog
03-31-2010, 01:25 PM
Air cooled, belt-driven, no valve adjustments, dealers everywhere.

Harley cleaned up their act from their AMF days and now make a very good motorcycle.

Motodan
03-31-2010, 01:54 PM
Not a money pit unless you want to make it one with chrome add ons and engine mods

criminaldesign
03-31-2010, 04:37 PM
Harley cleaned up their act from their AMF days and now make a very good motorcycle.

My Dad said one of his better Harley's was an AMF.

He rides his Ultra Classic long distance a number of times a years and has done Iron Butt runs. He's thought he may go to a BMW tour bike when the Ultra Classic is done, but said he'll stick with Harley. He has a /6 among a few other makes of bikes.

He does have a story he loves to tell about a cam bearing issue on in New England and a rental truck. They are machines and sh*t happens.

XTrooper
03-31-2010, 05:08 PM
In my experience, the late-model (twin-cam) H-D bikes have been rock-solid reliable.

akbeemer
03-31-2010, 05:24 PM
Never rode a Harley, but I hang out with several Harley riders. I do not care for them.... the bike, not the riders. It has as more to do with riding position and the look of the bikes than with mechanical reliability and functionality. If you like the look and ride of the bike then why not?

lkchris
03-31-2010, 09:12 PM
In my experience, the late-model (twin-cam) H-D bikes have been rock-solid reliable.

Porsche-designed engines, after all.

XTrooper
03-31-2010, 10:16 PM
Porsche-designed engines, after all.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. ;)

Only the water-cooled Revolution V-Twin engine used exclusively in the V-Rod line was designed in collaboration with Porsche.

All the other Harley-Davidson engines including their current air-cooled "twin cam" are strictly in-house designs.

SCJACK
03-31-2010, 11:27 PM
I had a 90 Soft-tail Springer and a 91 Ultra (Full Dresser). The Springer was my wife's and we put a Motorvation sidecar on it. We rode both for over 25k miles before we sold them and never had a problem with either one. I performed all of the maintenance and they were easy to work on. I haven't owned a Harley since then because I think they're severely overpriced but my experience with Harley was excellent.

TexasT
04-01-2010, 12:08 AM
My buddy loves his Harley, and he was a sport bike guy for decades before he bought it. I also have a Triumph America cruiser, obviously not a Harley, but it is fun to ride something a bit different from my beloved R1200R. And after taking the Roadster to my first ride with the Patriot Guard, I think I'll stick to the Triumph so I fit in better with all the black Harleys and Hondas!

My wife also prefers the ride on the America, so it is certainly worth while to have it around, even though I do most of my riding on the Roadster these days! Whatever makes you happy!

T

ragtoplvr
04-01-2010, 02:09 PM
There were some cam bearing problems on some in the mid 90's. But lots of kits to fix in the aftermarket, not that hard to do.

Most are rock solid as long as you only put a pipe and intake on them and do not hop them way up. A good pipe and intake, and rejet or remap, will add a good 15, 20 horsepower. Maintenance is cheap, easy and only every 5K miles.

The nice thing about Harley opposed to BMW is the aftermarket. If Harley were to make a fragile final drive like BMW did (or still does?) the aftermarket would have at least one stronger final drive design out there, probably 3 or 4 at a nice price and chrome plated to boot. Want a reverse, aftermarket has one. 6 or now 7 speed, aftermarket has it.

So no matter what the weak link might be on one you buy, there is a solution.

For short trips, dating, socializing, tooling around on a Sunday afternoon, you can not beat a Harley. Great fuel mileage too.

Now to ride twisties, there are better choices.

If you can only have 1 bike, I would not pick HD. But if you can have 2 or 3, well HD would be one of them. I have yet to ride a bike that did not make me smile.

My $.02

Rod

cycleman2
04-03-2010, 01:29 AM
I don't think the bike itself is the concern, just wheither you'll like the cruiser style of riding. I find that style of bike very heavy at low speed and not that well handling at anything but going in a straight line.

That being said for just crusing around the city it might be OK.

Trickster
04-03-2010, 01:45 AM
whatsup?,
Have you ridden it?
Did you like it?
Buy it.
Fat Bobs' are a very nice HD experience, and no they are no longer oil seeping money pits.

Now if you want to farkelize the bike in chrome, and yourself in HD attire, it will cost some $$$.

But so does the BMW experience.

Like all makes, they have good and bad points, but still make you smile.

Do it.:laugh

ragtoplvr
04-03-2010, 02:06 AM
Most all Harley dealers rent bikes, and most will apply your rental to purchase if you buy in a time window.

Go rent one, if it makes you smile and you can afford it, get it. Life is too short as is. I would much rather spend $300 renting for a weekend, and know it is not for me, than buy one and discover that fact.

They even have ABS on the touring bikes now, and it does work well. It's only money, and the economy needs stimulated anyway.

The bikes speak different things, and your ride is a different experience. That is good.

Stay away from ones that have more than just a pipe and intake. They can be made to put out over 100 horse, but not for long. Not what they are about anyway, not to me.

If I could afford multiple bikes, I would have one.

Rod

James.A
04-03-2010, 02:08 AM
All the riders I know like their Harleys. They've come a long way. They are not Airheads, but I believe the are better than modern beemers. Way better availability to find dealer support.

f14rio
04-10-2010, 06:18 PM
Q: What's the cheapest thing on a BMW Motorcycle?
A: The rider

Q: What's the difference between a Harley and a Hoover?
A: The position of the dirtbag
..
i have one of each
:)
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2793/4496547887_118e909c1a_m.jpg

MAYLETT
04-10-2010, 08:23 PM
Last year, when I bought my most recent bike, it came down to a decision between an HD Fat Bob and an RT.

It basically amounted to deciding whether to get the bike I really wanted (The Fat Bob) or the bike that would allow me to ride the way I wanted (The RT). I love the look of the HD Dynas and Softails, but for practical purposes, like distance riding, handling, passenger, wind/weather protection, etc., they don't measure up to what I needed. I've never been drawn to the looks of BMW bikes, but they most definitely excel at the actual experience of riding.

What finally pushed me to an RT happened during January. Even on clear, sunny days I noticed that there were no Harleys to be seen, but BMW riders were on the road ÔÇö despite the cold. When it came right down to it, I decided that riding the bike was more important than looking at it. Given more money and a bigger garage, I likely would have bought both.

Harley's are great bikes, my friends own them and love them, but buying an HD is more about an affair of the heart than it is about function. Unlike other affairs of the heart, your R1200R won't mind a bit sharing you with a mistress. (If you can call a Fat Bob a mistress, I guess. :blush)

My advice, for what it's worth, as long as you're planning to keep the R1200R, get the Fat Bob too. :thumb

Rpbump
04-11-2010, 01:21 AM
I own a 1996 Sportster & a 2006 Softtail FXSTI, both are reliable and fun to ride. My CLC is for trips over 200 miles or when I know its going to rain. ABS brakes, Cruise Control, & a motor that runs smoothest at 3200>4100rpm can really spoil a rider. Ride Safe :usa :usa

angysdad
04-12-2010, 10:29 PM
In the early '90s, I rode frequently with a buddy who had an EVO softtail (86?). I had an 1986 R65. I would constantly lose him in the curves. He would say, 'It the bike'. Once we swapped rides. I lost him again. When he caught up, he said,'I didn't know my bike could lean that far over'. We discovered it was the rider and not the bike. I was VERY impressed with the handling. I stopped bad-mouthing HDs that day. I still poke fun at the HD riders though ;)
If you like...if you want it...if you can afford it...buy it!
Luke...come over to the dark side...

cbck1200s
05-04-2010, 04:35 PM
Fellow members, I would appreciate your learned opinion and hope it'll help me make a sane decision. I'm on the verge of obtaining a new-to-me 08 Harley Davidson Fat Bob;
not to replace my beloved R1200R but as a teammate for it. Are H-Ds money pits? Has anyone had experience with this particular model? I've looked at the H-D forums but, unlike us, those guys never critique or critisize their bikes. They're in rah rah lockstep and not very informative. Anyhow, I'm asking for your advice so that I may avert a possible pitfall. Or do you think it's a good idea? Thank you all in advance for your assistance.:dunno

One of my last bikes was a 93 Victory Vegas. Before I purchased the bike I did some comparison research between Victory and H-D and most reviewers admitted that while the Victory was probably a better engineered bike overall the big disadvantage was....it wasn't a Harley.

When you contemplate a H-D purchase you are not buying engineering you're buying a lifestyle. The bikes are big, beefy, loud (if you own a Harley you have to butcher the exhaust so you can be heard 3 blocks away), under-powered for the most part considering they have a 1500 +CC engine but they make a statement.

The choice of statement is a personal thing. Does this mean you'll need to purchase a set of leather jacket and chaps, a beenie helmet (H-D rider's wouldn't be caught dead in a full faced helmet or depending on your state a helmet at all), wear bandana's with H-D logos on them and maybe pick up a couple of tats?

All joking aside...my only complaint about H-D is the attitude of some of the riders. When I'm on the road I give a thumb's up to anyone passing by, :wave even guys or gals on scooters. I figure, what the heck...anything that gets you out on the road is OK with me. Most give me the wave back except for....you guessed it, H-D riders. :(

I wish I could afford to buy a garage full of bikes but my wife keeps me in check and I'm happy for now with my K1200S. If I could you might find a K1200GT, Ducati GT 1000 and maybe a Superbike 1198 in the garage along with the K1200S but sorry to say, there wouldn't be a H-D.
cbcK1200s - Colin
:bikes

BobFV1
05-04-2010, 05:30 PM
Surprised nobody has mentioned it - and it probably goes without saying, but you know you need a different set of tools for the Harley, right?

f14rio
05-04-2010, 05:39 PM
you can get a tattoo. who ever heard of bmw tattoos?
i have an '87 r80 and an '09 harley crossbones. they seem to get along okay.
...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29251424@N00/4496547887/

MWS
05-04-2010, 08:11 PM
Lynn's 05 Softtail Deluxe was a good, dependable bike. I just wasn't a very compfy tourer for her. It had 39K on it when we sold it, and cost of ownership was cheaper than my 04 GT.
Hope she like the R1100S for distance travel, we haven't done a long trip yet.

For a second bike....go for it!

ultracyclist
05-04-2010, 08:37 PM
I know many people who have an H-D and pick one: BMW, Ducati, Triumph, a Japanese bike, Guzzi, you name it.
They enjoy their bikes. Period.

I am in Milwaukee and we are all hoping that H-D stays here. That means they need to sell some bikes.
NOt to hijack this thread, but looking to cut $54 million is a tall order without eliminating a line of bike.

ragtoplvr
05-04-2010, 09:13 PM
They need to cut 54 million, so how much is the CEO cutting his salary to share the sacrifice??? How about the board of directors?

If they were serious, rather than greedy, I expect different course of actions.

Sorry, but management made the bad decisions, and now workers pay. Not right.

Not right at all.

Rod

rockbottom
05-14-2010, 12:05 AM
you can get a tattoo. who ever heard of bmw tattoos?

My salesman. (http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i162/ssif21/17859_1336288568552_1271247928_9917.jpg)

cruise_carter
05-14-2010, 01:36 AM
Are H-Ds money pits? Has anyone had experience with this particular model? I've looked at the H-D forums but, unlike us, those guys never critique or critisize their bikes. They're in rah rah lockstep and not very informative.

First off, HD are not money pits. Do the usual service on it and it will last a long time. My current 2002 Electra Glide Classic has almost 100,000 km on it. Secondly, not sure what forum you were looking at but the HD Forums I am on, guys are very informative (mostly) and helpful. If someone is having a bad time with a bike or parts, they can be very vocal about it to the forum members.

I've owned a lot of different bikes over the last 30 years, 2 of them Harleys. Have been happy with both.

My current 02 is simple to work on, air cooled, carb instead of EFI, belt drive.
It's a very nice comfortable ride for me.

SirRonny
05-14-2010, 03:09 AM
My last 3 bikes have all been Harleys and I can honestly say they were super reliable, didn't leak oil and were cheap to maintain. Along with the tremendous dealer network and aftermarket parts availability, they have a lot going for them. They do have their imperfections, just like our BMWs do. We have final drive issues, H-D twin cams have the cam chain tensioner issues. (btw, I have all the tools for sale to change those if anyone is interested.:))

But with all that being said, I like my RT better for what kind of riding I do in my life right now. The RT is more comfortable for the long haul and with all the creature comforts it holds, like the heated grips and seats, ABS, the on board computer, things like that are what trip my trigger now days. I do still miss the simplicity of the Harley though.

If I had the money to have another bike, I would for sure have another Harley in the stable. If you like the bike, go for it, you won't be unhappy I guarantee.

Ron

boxermaf
05-14-2010, 04:31 AM
Of all the H-D bikes, the only ones that I would consider owning would be either the Fat-B or the Road King. IF I had a large enough garage and enough mad-money to spend so I could keep my Kawasaki sport-tourer, my R65LS, and an R100 with a sidecar rig and an H-D I would have one. Maybe someday.

I would also go for a not-too-old model with carb setup instead of EFI - I have seen a number of riders with the newer EFI pumped bikes getting stuck. Buth then again, I've seen BMWs with EFI getting stuck on the side of the road, too.