Sunday, March 2, 2014

Things I didn't know, vol, XCIII

Riding a small motorcycle over 100 miles of twisty roads can let your muscles tell you just how old you are. It's not the miles, it's the years. Fortunately, I have a cunning plan to recover.

So riddle me this, Harley riders all: should I buy the big-ass bike with all the bells and whistles (for bis-ass $$$) or should I get a modest bike for half the price and invest $1500 on a good seal with back rest for two up, bags, and a faring? I can plausibly install these (and floor boards) by myself.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Peter said...

Buy a BMW.

(Sorry - couldn't resist!)


Bryn said...

Just a thought on adding on bits of your choice to the mid-price bike; check what it does to your insurance first.
I do not know about Stateside insurance, but in the UK any added parts make the bike a non-standard vehicle requiring a special (usually more expensive) quote. You may also find that the non-standard parts are classed as removable accessories and are not covered by insurance unless another driver was at fault - so if you drop the bike, the fairing & other breakables may be a total loss.
please don't ask how I know this, I cried enough at the time...... /whimpers at the memory../
I now ride a standard 27 year old BMW K100RT, fitted with BMW hard luggage for longer journeys - classed as standard by my insurance company.

Dave H said...

You know what the real cure for sore muscles is, right? Hair of the dog.

I have no opinion on what kind of bike you should get. My personal preference would be the mid-sized bike with accessories. It's not the better choice, it's just what my choice would be.

Will you be able to get a scabbard for your Lee-Enfield for the mid-sized bike?

Jay G said...

My $0.02? Get the bigger bike with the accessories on it.

Two reasons. First off, it's done. You want to spend your time riding, not searching shops hither and yon to find the right parts. Secondly, it can be a LOT more expensive to add parts later.

Trust me on this...

(Although I do happen to have a new advertiser who might be able to hook a blogson up...) ;)

LoFan John said...

Cheer up, young whippersnapper, it's not the years. It's the miles on that bike. I recall making a three-hour trip on a 250 when I was 20 (and it was a two-stroke 250, so you know that was a good while ago). Three hours of fighting crosswinds and the side-blast from larger vehicles, and then three hours of sitting in a recliner waiting for my shoulders and arms to relax. You will find new vitality and resilience when you have a bigger machine for long rides.

Nosmo King said...

I'm going to support Jay G on this: Get what you want up front (although my choice wouldn't be a Harley....which is completely beside the point).

He's right - package deals are cheaper, as is the time you'll save hunting stuff and spinning wrenches. And you can be pretty sure the stuff that's already on the bike fits the bike; the same cannot always be said for accessories from myriad vendors you'll wrestle with yourself.

And, I'm curious; you went with the Rebel because it seemed like a good idea to start small and grow from there. You outgrew the Rebel pretty quickly, which came as no surprise to most of us; a 250 just isn't that big. It only sounds big.

So now we see you considering a large bike, or a "medium" larger one onto which you can add accessories.

Given the pace at which you outgrew the Rebel, is it not reasonable to think that a certain degree of dissatisfaction will mainfest itself in short order should you procure the "medium" larger bike?

I just googled "Atlanta+Harley Rental" and got a ton of hits. Maybe a two-day weekend rental to assuage some concerns?

Tony Tsquared said...

Are you going to be a bar hopper or going on overnight trips on the bike? If you are going on short trips the mid size is the way to go - I would look at the BMW boxer engine bikes. They are a proven durable design.

If you are looking to ride all day the HD Glides will fit the bill very nicely. When I was 50 I jumped on my Electra Glide Standard after an 8 hour work day and rode 450 miles (about 8 hours) without a hitch. I then got up the next morning and drove 45 miles to Daytona to bike week and put-putted around all day and had no sore body parts when I got back in that night. I cant do that with my son's Vulcan 750.

selkiemaine said...

Rent or borrow a big bagger, so you can determine if you're going to want one. Personally, I love my Road Glide.

JPD said...

I am also in the market for a used bike. 61 years old. I like the long trips. Sold my Harley. After 40 years, just tired of getting beat to death. I took a friends BMW to Durango, CO. 2000 mile round trip.

Best ride of my life. So, in my case, used BMW.

Borepatch said...

Tony, since what I really want is a bike that the Missus is comfortable riding, it's likely that most trips would be day outings. Suggests less a focus on the bags. Me, I'd love overnights (and camping), but think I'd be mostly on my own.

burt said...

Buy the d*mned bike already!!!

Glen Filthie said...

You have to decide why you ride BP.

There is functionally only one reason to ride a Harley - and that is the so-called 'Harley Mystique'. People may scoff, but I believe in it myself - there is a certain pride and satisfaction in riding an American legend.

In the real world of gears, pistons, spark plugs and rubber - where practicality, durability and reliability are king - the metric bikes win hands down. The Harley is NOT better bike in this regard...but it is no worse either.

For me - I am a rider out to see the world. My bike comes home covered in bugs, slime and road dust. A little rust on the chrome doesn't bother me at all. I take care of my machine but I don't want to pamper it.

Just my two cents.