Looking to buy my first bike.

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by cumminspwrd02, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. cumminspwrd02

    cumminspwrd02 New Member

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    Hi, I'm new to the forum and to bikes. I've been wanting to own a Harley since I was a kid (24 now) and now I can afford one. I'd like to buy a new or lightly used harley. THis will be my first bike, I've not road a one before. I have been on quads, 3wheelers, sleds, and most other types of equipment but not motorcycles. I've been looking at the XL1200L sportster, the XL1200C sportster, and the Dyna Super glide. I have done a little research and have seen that the 1200 is more of a favorite than the 883 is when it comes to sprtster models. What would you recomend for a first bike, I'd like to stick with HD and not and import bike. Also I do plan on doing my own maintenance, I am a diesel mechanic by trade. Sorry for the long winded post and thanks to any replies!
     
  2. R. Lewis

    R. Lewis Senior Member Retired Moderators

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    First of all -- welcome aboard and take the riding course. find a dealer that rents scooters and try a couple. Are you going to do any 2-up riding, long runs are a few questions to answer. Take your time and find "your" bike!!! Also welcome to the world of H D motorcycles and chrommie add-ons!!!!! :D
     
  3. cumminspwrd02

    cumminspwrd02 New Member

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    I would use the bike for rides on the weekend in the spring/summer/fall seasons and commuting to work on nice days during the summer.The girlfriend and I would ride on the bike together, but for the most part it would just be me. I saw on the H-D website a thing for first time riders to take classes through their local dealer. I also have a friend who teaches an ABATE class in my area too. I've been thinking about geting a bike for while and with the price of diesel fuel lately and bike would be a nice commuter in the summer compared to my dodge. Winter time I can drive the truck. Whats a good recomendation on a starter bike?
     
  4. R. Lewis

    R. Lewis Senior Member Retired Moderators

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    Whats a good recomendation on a starter bike?

    One that fits YOU and YOUR lifestyle ! The bikes you mentioned are great bikes but if you and your girlfriend are going to ride a bit, IMO, look at something a touch bit bigger, if you think it is in the cards!!Try a few out but as stated before take your time. If it's new or a "well cared for" should be looked at with the same mind set -- "this bike is going to be mine and I will be the one taking care of it" Keep us updated with your choices that you look at and ride!!
     
  5. Big Dot

    Big Dot Member

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    Hey, welcome to the forum I'm new here too. Lots of good info. I think when I post this my bike will show on the left. It's a loaded 04 1200 custom. These are great bikes. I'm 6'2", 210 lbs and I've had some "too big" passengers onboard with no problems. If you ride one with the stock seat over 50 miles your butt will probably decide you don't want it. I put the 15" Mustang seat with the smaller pillion on mine and love it. I was afraid it might look to big, but after installing I'm sure I made the right decision. Now I'm cruising in comfort.
     
  6. Fourdogs

    Fourdogs Junior Member

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    Like the others here..first welcome..you love it here..and really can't add to what the others have said....take your time...Let your girl friend get involved with you...specially if she the one...thats gonna be your wife. My neighbor had a Sporty for a few years before he upgraded...and for the most part he and his wife did very well with it was a 1200..of course he up graded the seat...If you intend to buy a Sporty and plan on riding for sometime you may want to consider a used Sporty..I say this because there are a lot of really nice Sportys out there for sale ..only because the rides seem to upgrade to bigger bikes...but by all means take your time..get your lady involved..and the very best of luck to ya!..BTW I got on my very first bike ever when I was 58..am 62 now..and I love It!..I have a Standard Road King.
     
  7. My first harley was a 1200 sporty and i love it, the wife said ill upgrade in a few years and she my be right. but by then ill have her twisting the grip on the sporty herself lol . i told her im making it mine not to sale or trade in . and from what i have read on here if you can ride the sporty you can ride any harley , so for me the sporty was the right one for my first bike. but the stock seat will have to goooooo as everyone here already said . the wife wont even ride till i get the new one put on
     
  8. Flashback

    Flashback Active Member

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    Welcome!!!.... That being said since you've said you have never riden a bike before the advice given about taking the rider course is essential. As to bikes Sporty's are a great bike but tend to have a little higher center of gravity than some other models. My suggestion would be to tak the rider course and get your feet wet. If you take to riding like a duck to water great then your ready for whatever feels right to you. If you a little hesitant still after the riding course you may want to start with omething a little lighter till you get your confidence up. It's really an individual experience and everyone gets there at their own speed. Again welcome to the riders world and enjoy!
     
  9. bikermonkey

    bikermonkey Active Member

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    A bike is no different than a car, it has to meet your riding needs, not your ego. Sure I want the custom HD chopper all lean and mean with a 103 and fatty rear. But then I ride a lot,, ride two up,, take long trips,, carry the usual rain suit, few tools, ect.ect.ect……… so seems the Fatboy was for me ! Looks sharp solo,, takes two up nicely, load her down for that trip to Key West, go to work daily…. So just think it out and you’ll get the most out of your bike with less compromise.
     
  10. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Welcome!!

    I have to agree with most everyone else:
    Step One - take a course!! Either the Harley sponsored one or one given By the MSF (Basic Rider Course)
    Step Two - seriously think about how a bike fits your intended riding "style". Go to a Demo Days event at a nearby dealer or do tons of research to narrow down your choices and then spend time on a couple rentals.
    Step Three - weigh the pros and cons of used vs. new - use the search function of any Harley forum and you'll get TONS of hits on this topic!
    Step Four - buy something and get out there and ride! Take your time and slowly build your confidence at a safe pace. Riding two up is totally different than solo. Stay away from group rides and infamous "Tail of the Dragon" roads for a while.

    I speak from experience - bought a XL1200C a year ago because it was in my budget and I had the mistaken impression that it was the Harley entry level model. WRONG! It's a lot of machine and is set up different than any other Harley. My wife hated riding on the back, even with an upgraded Mustang seat. I hated getting on the freeway and going 70MPH in a straight line - sporty's just weren't designed for that.

    Ended up trading for a Street Glide last month - instant love affair! Fun on the twisties, rock solid on the interstate, wife loves sitting in back, tunes, fairing,etc.

    I guess the moral of my long post is - TAKE YOUR TIME and get it right the first time.