New member, bike hunting

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by dirkspiv, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. dirkspiv

    dirkspiv New Member

    Hi folks,

    I've just completed my MSF course and am looking for a bike. I'm 50, and have never ridden a motorcycle before. I have a good friend who rides a BMW with ABS brakes, who swears by them, especially for a new rider.

    I really want a motorcycle with ABS, and I'd really like to have a HD. Like many newbies, I don't think I want to start out with a V-ROD (although that would be my goal down the road especially if they can improve fuel economy), but I'm not seeing smaller HDs listing ABS as an option, even in 2010.

    I'm spoiled driving a 06 Jetta TDI, which routinely gets 44+ mpg overall. I'd like my motorcyle to get at least 40 mpg.

    I can buy a 2009 BMW FS650GS with 2700 miles on it and ABS...and it gets 55-60mpg for 10K from my friend. It's a sweet deal, but I'd really rather ride a HD.

    To complicate matters further, I've had two ulnar nerve transpositions (relocated the "funny bone nerve") to avoid losing the use of both arms to muscle atrophy. The operations were very successful...I can play guitar and mandolin as if the surgeries had never happened.

    I am concerned that the strong vibration in many of the HD models would end up being uncomfortable and or painful when riding. I read that the V-Rods run very smoothly. Are there other HDs with ABS that also run smoothly without much vibration?

    Thanks in advance for any insight and advice you can offer.:cheers

    Can smaller HDs be retrofitted with ABS?


  2. JumperPlains

    JumperPlains New Member

    I bought an 09 Road King last fall and put 8500 kms on it this summer. I am 58 years old and have no problem handling the bike. I actually have no idea what kind of gas mileage I get. I am sure it is over 40 mpg but I have never bothered to check. It needs gas to run so I put it in. I guess the issue with vibration must come from the older model HDs because mine is as smooth as silk. The motor vibrates when it idles, but the minute you give it some throttle, it evens right out. The 6th gear is an overdrive and makes it even smoother. I don't have ABS brakes so I cannot comment on this, other than to say, the Brembo brakes on mine do the job. I have ridden Yamahas and a Honda and enjoyed them as well. Enjoy whatever you get. Good luck in your search.
  3. nakkers

    nakkers Junior Member

    The majority of collisions occur from travelling too fast for a corner and hitting an object followed by on coming vehicles making a left hand turn. ABS can be a factor to avoid a collision but don't think it's safety casts too far.

    Don't let ABS be the lone factor in your decision. HD bikes are generally heavy manchines and ABS only addes to any vehicles' stopping distance. Although you can control the bike better under hard/panic stopping manuvers, there are a host of other driving techniques that will benefit you more than just ABS.

    Another small tid bit of info. ABS has not proven to be more safe than non-ABS equiped vehicles. Science doesn't look for the reasons but, the studies show this. Some opinions are that people that assume their vehicles equiped with ABS will be safer, will rely on them more only to result in a collision because they didn't take defensive and proactive decisions to consider avoiding the collision. I think that is reaching too far but, I'm not one to drink the cool aid on anything until I've had time to review several view points. I could very well be off base here. And you could decide on purchasing a machine without ABS and then second guess it's abilities which, doesn't help matters. There are benefits to ABS, and other safety options. Just take the time to research them out before using them as your purchase criteria.

    Good luck in your search and let us know what you end up with.

  4. biscuit

    biscuit Junior Member

    You probably should start with a smaller and cheaper bike:mayhap a 250/350/ roadbike,or a larger capacity dual purpose bike.

    By your own admission,you have NO experience,and a smaller,lighter and less valuable bike will teach you more valuable lessons.Also,imagine if biking isnt for you.

    Lighter bikes allow you more freedom to learn(they can be thrown around with more confidence) AND fall,and the end result isnt anywhere near as heartbreaking as if you've dropped a $10-20k bike.

    Ride a cheaper little- un for a year.WHEN you have that experience under your belt and you know you want to continue,buy what you want.

    Seriously,you'll be a better rider and probably live longer.:s
  5. SkootchNC

    SkootchNC Active Member

    Have you riden either bike?
    In truth... only YOU can tell which bike is right for you. As this is a H-D site... the replies will be mostly PRO- Harley, on a BMW site, the opposite.
    Frankly When asked, I tell novice riders to start with smaller, used metric bikes. they are plentiful, and inexpensive. Once a rider spends a season (or less) they have a clearer idea of the sort of riding they enjoy.

    As far as "fuel economy" goes.... as with everything else.... HOW you drive, makes a big difference
  6. smkinnan

    smkinnan Active Member

    Welcome to the forum....

    My Road King gets 44-46 mpg and has ABS. I prefer its handling to the smaller Dyna I had for a while. Like others have said here, it depends on the rider. Maybe a smaller bike would be better. Get out and ride a couple of them so you can make an educated choice. Good luck. Keep us posted. :small3d004:
  7. springer03

    springer03 Active Member

    :lolrolling My 03 Heritage Springer gets 24-26 mpg... Was told by dealer that if I could afford to buy the gas not to worry about it. Rocket Harley Huntsville Al
  8. lionsm53

    lionsm53 Banned

    Try out several bikes, (maybe even different brands); rent them for the weekend; talk to folks; don't be intimidated by any bike, just take it slow and don't ride beyond your capablilities. Buy the one that you want to keep for the rest of your life from the start; you will have no regrets..

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Sound advise from previous smaller metric to start makes good sense as 883cc is comparable torque and power wise to most middleweight rockets regarding power (though they are 100 pounds lighter). You are on the right path regarding a good used bike...probably 2-5 years old would not be such a high investment, but $10k is quite high priced admission price to enter the world of motorcycling.

    Even the so-called smaller Sportsters NEW are $10k...but ABS willl only be found on the Big-Twin Touring Bikes from 2009 probably out of your reach in an HD model anyway.

    If HD is a MUST, you really cannot go wrong with one the feels comfortable and easy to ride FOR you and is a very personal choice, it is just a challenge to handle the weight and power if not used to it. Most modern models have rubber mounted, balanced engines, some with isolated bars, with the vibes coming from the intensional and "patented" firing pattern of engine...and should not be a problem

    BOBFLHTC Active Member

    Plenty of sound advice already given. I’ve owned a succession of British (before they were collectibles) and Metric bikes as I couldn’t afford a Harley. I bought in the off season and after using them sold most for more than I paid. I would recommend crash bars (install some if the bike doesn’t have any) and full leathers. It’s probably best to ride alone for a while so you are not tempted to ride above your skill level. Stay safe.