So, I want to buy a Harley

That ad campaign worked for me! Which one do I buy?

Yes, I’m a girl. I am stronger than I look, though. Of course I’ll take a riding class. Any opinions?


  1. El gato says:

    When I bought my first bike I wanted to go right for the Electraglide, but my riding relatives told me it was too heavy to learn on, so I bought a Softail Heritage Classic. I took the riding class at WCTC and 5 months later I ordered the Electraglide. It was the right thing to do, and even now I have to be very careful not to let it fall over because it’s very top heavy.

    I’d suggest taking the riding class before getting a bike. My sister-in-law crashed and broke her leg while in the class and decided riding wasn’t for her other than as passenger. Once you’re doing the range part of the course, and you feel comfortable on a bike, you can go to a dealer and sit on the bikes to see which one is the right size for you. If you don’t want to pay the price for a Harley, the Yamaha RoadStar is a dandy bike.

    One thing to remember, don’t buy a new bike! The days of waiting lists, no depreciation, and not many used bikes are long gone. There are plenty of used Harleys available, although this is actually the wrong time of year to be buying any bike…unless it’s a Schwinn!

  2. Wilson828 says:

    Buy a Honda … they have mufflers … don’t contribute to the noise pollution that the Harley’s cause.

  3. El gato says:

    Harley have mufflers too. The riders swap them out for something that sounds like a motorcycle. If you swap the air cleaner and mufflers to allow good airflow you increase the power at least 10% too. Wilson obviously isn’t an enthusiast.

  4. Shame on you, Wilson.

  5. Wilson828 says:

    No, … I’m not an enthusiast …. I believe that motorcycles should be outlawed and that includes those bass vibrating cars that cause so much noise too. There outta be a law.

  6. Uhoh. My mommy just told me I can’t have one.

  7. Cheri M. says:

    My brother has one, loves it. Although at one time I remember him riding in a Harley parade with friends of his and a cousin who were owners, back when my brother owned a different brand. As I recall the Harleys overheated during the slow pace of the parade because they were air-cooled… his bike at the time had a fluid coolant system and did well.

    I’ve seen the 3-wheel motorcycles and the those with side-cars… seem like they’d offer greater visibility and be safer??

  8. El gato says:

    Ah I see Wilson is one of those who don’t enjoy freedom! I do hate the fools with straight pipes winding up their engines on a campground at 5:00a.m. or 2:00 a.m. and that’s what should be outlawed. Come to think of it…it is! I bet you’d like to outlaw smoking too. But I bet you enjoy your liquor!

    I have moderately louder mufflers on my bike and I don’t wind up the engine to make noise. They are on strictly for performance, and I do like it quiet on the highway. I also wear earplugs because the wind noise starts to damage hearing after 40 minutes. With my plugs in the radio is probably louder than the exhaust! 🙂

    I hate those cars with the boom boxes in them blasting away, but I console myself with knowing that those fools will be hard of hearing when they are older.

  9. Semi-trucks are more annoying than a Harley anyday.

    I’ll likely never venture to drive either machines, but i’m with Gato on this one.

  10. Kelly Frank says:

    I don’t have a problem with the muffler noise issue as long as it’s not in the middle of the night and it isn’t intentional revving of the engine.

    My girls actually love to hear motorcycles going by, they think it’s their Papa (who lives in California) coming to visit them!! It’s pretty cute!

    My bigger beef is that riders in this state do not have to ride with helmets on. If we make seatbelts a law for rider protection, why can’t we mandate helmets for the same reason?

  11. Growing up, my dad told me never to ride on a motorcycle. I ended up marrying a guy with one!

    I have ridden with a helmet and without. I prefer with, my husband without. Helmet hair is a serious problem though.

    We decided riding isn’t that much fun anymore. Can’t have a good conversation or sip espresso while enjoying an outing. Husband still has his Honda Goldwing (?) though. With the price of gas going up, it may come in handy again.

    I think your scooter is more my speed.

  12. Winegirl says:

    My spouse works for Harley product development. The bikes come out of the factory with very low noise levels–I cannot hear my husband fire his bike up in the morning when I’m standing in the kitchen next to the garage. A lot of riders put aftermarket exhausts on the bikes that cause that frakking noise. Harley management and engineers are very concerned with this problem since there are noise ordinances all over the place and it seems Harley riders in particular tend to modify their bikes and cause the problems. We’d like to continue to enjoy the freedom to earn a living by manufacturing one of the most respected “made in the USA” products out there. Or shall we just concede that market to the Japanese as well? With all freedom comes responsibility–responsibility to use the Harley product as it comes out of the factory so the product is not banned due to noise caused by the thoughtless modifications added by some riders; the responsibility to protect yourself as a rider with a DOT/Snell approved helmet, body armor clothing, motorcycle safety courses, and never drinking and driving. Society pays in all kinds of ways for those who don’t follow a few simple rules, in noise pollution, increased medical care costs for accident victims, and ultimately in loss of jobs when our home industries go out of business for many reasons.

  13. And it all goes hand in hand with local law enforcement that bother to enforce the laws on our books.

    Enforcement has been a big problem for a number of laws in the last six years.

  14. Winegirl says:

    Absolutely Cindy! I remember attending a picnic in Mequon and seeing the Mequon police stop a cyclist for excessive noise and making him WALK his motorcycle home. If only more cops would stop vehicles that are violating noise ordinances. We live near Capitol Drive and cannot have our windows open at night due to the excessive and never ending noise caused by “straight pipes” retrofitted on cycles. The minute the weather warms up, the problem starts.

  15. Scott Thinnes says:

    Harley likes to have it both ways. They love to promote the recusive life style that their customer base projects; but be a quite recluse, please.

    I love the line in their promotional creed…

    “Some of us believe in the man upstairs. All of us believe in sticking it to the man down here. ”

    Yeah, right.

    I need my louder pipes so the people in cars can hear me over the person their talking to on the cell phone.

  16. El gato says:

    Kelly, please explain why you think that big brother should order me to wear a helmet instead of allowing me to decide for myself if or when I choose to wear one. I have plenty of insurance, so don’t try to use that tired line.

    Winegirl, there is NO such thing as a DOT approved helmet! I’d like to see you in “body armor” clothing in Sturgis when it’s 100 degrees! You are NOT a biker and don’t speak for us. You may speak for some of the wannabees. If your husband really works for Harley, you should not be undermining his job with your false info. Anyone biker knows that it is “the cult following” of Harley that makes them a success. The image of being a “bad boy” when in reality one is a mild-mannered accountant, lawyer, or doctor is what sells these bikes…and noise is a part of the image. On top of that, Harley’s need to have more airflow to make them less of a pig. Compared to most foreign bikes with their engine sizes Harleys have the acceleration of a rock except for the V-rod and Sportsters. Your husband needs to give you some technical instructions!

    Scott, you are dead right! Harley is not a friend of their longterm customers who saved them from bankruptcy years ago when only bikers bought their leaky, bad products. Their 5-year anniversary “parties” are just opportunities to screw the dumb wannabees and make more money. Harley NEVER says thanks to the bikers. As an active member of MRF and ABATE I know what Harley does to undermine bikers’ rights. I like my bike but despise the Motor Company!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Cindy knows our names,and yes, Mike does work for Harley in the Product Development Center behind the Capitol Drive plant. We own a Road Glide.

    I don’t care what the temperature is, neither of us ride without the DOT/Snell approved helmet and our Roadcrafter suits. There are DOT and Snell (a higher level of head protection than the DOT versions–those credentials are stamped on the helmets. We use helmets and body armor since we don’t want to end up as “head injury Hal,” living on a ventilator while Medicaid pays for medical care after our health insurance runs out.

    The design of the bike comes first from styling. That’s why Harley Davidson vehicles don’t look like BMW’s or Yamahas. That drives the design of parts like the “airflow.” At least that’s what Willie Davidson told me when I asked him that exact question a few month ago.

    Cindy, lots of women are riding now. Take the WCTC rider’s course to see how you like it first. Then look at a Sportster or Buell as a first bike, new or used.