Still deciding on first Harley. Few questions.

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by SCGamecock, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. SCGamecock

    SCGamecock Member

    Hi all,

    The wife and I just got home from Daytona. We were a week late for bike week but still enjoyed our time at HD, J&P, Houlagin's and Iron Horse. I am hoping to attend my first Bike week in 2014. In the mean time I am still trying to narrow down what I want and would like some help in deciding.

    1. I have been set on a Road King but I like the front fairing look of the street glide just not the price. What is the difference between an RK and an SG? i.e. frame, length, suspension etc..

    2. Do people add the SG front fairing to their RK's?? If so how hard and what all is needed?

    3. I love the Black Cherry color and it looks like I will need to go back to a 2007 model to get it. My concern is, should I be concerned with FI vs. Carb??? I have heard that there are\were a lot of issues with the FI's. Is this true? If so what years to stay away from?

    4. I think I have asked this one before so I apologize if I have. I am pretty sure that used from a private owner is the way I go since cost is much lower and add-ons already made compared to what a dealer would charge. Any advice on how to shop for a used private owner bike? Any reason not to buy used other than just having the perceived assurances when buying from a dealer???

    5. Do online bluebook values reflect what a used bike should actually sell for??

    Thanks all!

  2. trickydoc

    trickydoc Active Member

    1. Road Glide, Road King. Same frame, most everything same except sheet metal.
    2. Don't know, sounds like a lot more trouble than its worth.
    3. I have FI and love, some others may have a carb and love it. I have had both and like FI better.
    4. Cycle Trader, Craigs List. Do you know any local indys in your area? Check out some local shops. Lots of times my local guy knows several people selling bikes and he may also have some on consignment. Don't like Craigs list, too many scammers, but I do look
    5. Sorry you missed Bike Week, HD usally sets up around Daytona Speedway with demo rides. last time we went, I rode bout every bike they had. They do require you to have boots, eyeware, and sign a disclamer.
    Happy shopping
  3. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Wade - welcome to the forum!

    1. RK vs. SG - coincidentally, these were the exact same two models I narrowed my choices down to 5 years ago when looking at purchasing my next HD after riding a Sportster for about a year. They're both in the Touring family so frame, suspension, tires, and many other things are exactly the same. Major difference is the windshield vs. the fairing. Fairing gives you better protection on the hands, more gauges, and the stereo. However, it also adds weight to the front end so it will handle just a bit differently at low speed maneuvers. You also lose the ability to pop off the windshield like you can on a RK for a different look.

    2. I've never heard of anyone actually adding the complete HD fairing to a RK. There are several after market companies that make fairings for Harley's that usually include a stereo system but, IMHO, they still look like an add on and not as nice as a model that has the fairing right from the start.

    3. What have you heard about FI problems? Usually a very reliable system. Are you sure you're not thinking of the TBW (throttle by wire) system? I had heard fears initially that this system would stick wide open and cause you to lose control of the bike but I've never heard of it happening. Again, it seems to be a pretty reliable system but some folks just don't like it compared to cables.

    4. Buying from a private owner usually saves you money. Takes a lot of leg work and research but there are some real low mileage gems out there sitting in garages! Don't over pay for add ons (rule of thumb is around 10 cents on the dollar) unless they're things that you definitely would have added yourself.

    5. Like anything else, NADA, KBB, etc. are primarily guides. They don't reflect the buyer/seller climate in your particular area and they certainly don't reflect the emotional impact when you find your perfect bike!

    Good luck and let us know what you decide on!!!
  4. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    1) Same frames, the S.G. has 1" lower suspension.
    2) There are aftermarket Batwings available for the R.K., but to actually
    put a S.G. fairing and gauges on a R.K. would be very expensive. Get
    the model you really want. It will pay off in satisfaction.
    3) Fuel inj. from '02 up is made by Delphi, and mostly problem free.
    4) I searched searched Craigslist, every city within 300 miles from me. A
    lot of mouse clicks, but it paid off. You will learn Craigslist shortcuts for
    searching. I gave my seller nothing for add ons. I was not interested in
    making a new friend, just a good deal for me. There are pitfalls, I'd
    suggest having a qualified person or dealer look before buying.
    5) Bluebook values are for a retail establishment that has a lot of
    exposure, traffic, implied backing, and financing. I went by wholesale
    and trade in values.

    Window shopping on Ebay can teach you a lot (advanced search) You can compare pictures of different models. The subtle differences between a Street Glide, Classic and Ultra Classic will become noticeable. Have fun shopping for your bike, I did.
    P.S. This is the sellers time of year. And I really like my Black Cherry bike!
  5. SCGamecock

    SCGamecock Member

    Thank you all!!! The wife is behind me on the purchase as long as I get what I want at a good price and it is in excellent shape. I have had wayyyy to many old car projects for her to say yes to a bike project.

    A friend of mine told me to stay away from the mid 2000 model FI's because the module(???) would go bad and leave you stranded.... He prefers a carb. That is about all I know so wanted to check it out before deciding.

    I am 6'6" 250 so I need the bigger touring models in order to be comfortable. I like a lot of the other models but my knees are too bent and I kinda look like a circus ape riding it!!!

    Thanks again for all the info!
  6. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    I forgot a couple things.

    You mention the 2007 model year Street Glide because of the color. Unless your budget absolutely dictates buying this year or earlier, I wouldn't go that far back.

    The 2008 model year Touring bikes is when Harley added the 6 gallon fuel tanks and Brembo brakes. 2009 got the updated frame and beefier rear tire. I'm not sure when ABS was introduced but I know it's much more common to find it on newer bikes.

    I'm not as tall as you but I weigh in the same ballpark. If big guys like us carry a passenger a lot, the lower suspension of the SG becomes a factor. Less travel than the other touring bikes looks cooler but you'll bottom out your suspension more often going over bumps. You can switch to standard EG shocks fairly cheaply - tall guy like you should still have no problems flat footing the bike even with the resulting higher seat height. Or you can go after market like Progressive and get some shocks that vastly improve the ride over stock.

    Like Breeze pointed out, the FI is a non-issue on most bikes nowadays.
  7. gusotto

    gusotto Junior Member

    You can do short demo rides at the dealer or rent a bike for a day.
    A couple of dollars spent trying out a bike might be best in the long run.

    I like my '07 Ultra.
    Last year for a real throttle cable.
    I don't have to worry about a computer controlled throttle.
    My tank might only be 5 gallons vs. 6 gallons but so what.
    I always stop for a rest anyway.
    Then I get gas.

    Mustang seat and Progressive Suspension shocks (f/r) and I'm ready for a cross-country (comfortable) ride.
  8. triglidedave

    triglidedave New Member

    use cycle

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    I would try for an 09 model year. Yes the 1" lower suspension on the RG is a factor to look into. One inch lower makes a differance you Don't need.

    I like the heavier frame on the 09 and NO cats unless Calif model.

    Looking at the 09 and finding the one you want WILL be a lot less than new. BUT finding the one you want With or Without the extras Might be a little tougher.
    Completely stock 09 Low Mileage (about 10,000 miles or under)(King I'd perfer) OR one with a full stage one would be the one to get. Then you could put your Own Extras on it over time.

    That is how I would go........ for A 09 not a 10-11-12-13 for me.

  10. SCGamecock

    SCGamecock Member