You could also check out your local Dealer(s) and see if they have a rental program. That way you could rent each bike you are interested in for a weekend and try them out. Find out which type would suit you better and which one can live with and ride, then go from there. Spending $150 or so for a weekend would sure beat spending $17,000 to find out you like another model better.
I was just logging on with the intention of starting this very same thread. I'm ready to step up, have a shot at a new Road King- cheap, but I don't have enough money. Looked in the want-ads this AM and came across a couple that caught my eye. Softtails and DynaWideGlides. Won't give up the Sporty, saving it for my Bride also. But, my question is this. Which bike is better for two-up riding? BTW, the Softtail deal looks pretty good for a 2002. TIAennis
HEy !!!!!!! don't over look the FXD. Sure it's got less bells and whistles, but IMO handles better in the twisties over the WG. At 70-80 m/hr HWY speeds there is a lot less vibration w/ the rubber mounts. It seems to be just hitting stride. There is more vibration in the ST models at those speeds. FXDWG sure is nice tho.......
I would suggest you guys hit as many showrooms as possible, sit on the bikes and talk to owners. Sometimes just sitting on a certain model "feels right" and that is an important consideration. Bike Week and Biketoberfest have the demo rides which turn you loose - unescorted (unless you ride a Buell or V-Rod) on a several mile loop. Great place to ride the different models back-to-back.
As many of us know, you tend to fall in love with the look of a particular model. Aside from looks, the Softails tend to be better for shorter riders, the Dynas better for taller. I don't feel vibration is an issue any more with the TCs but the Softails give up a few HP to spin the counterbalancers. The Softails might have a slight edge in passenger comfort since the rear fender is wider so the seat tends to be wider (depending on model).
Each model has its own look, feel and intended use but none is inherently superior to the other.
I had thought about a softail a few years ago, but we do a lot of two up riding. And we were cought in the rain and waiting to have gel put in the seat of the 84 fxsb. Anyway there were a few guys talking about their bikes, killing time waiting on the rain and their seats too.
They were saying there old ladies hated their softails and wouldn't ride with them anymore the seats were bad and there was no give in the ride when riding two up for any distance.
I ended up with a 95" FLHTCUI, it keeps us both happy.
I agree rent a few and try them two up, she'll let you know which one to buy. After all you still want to ride when you get home.
my boss bought a RoadKing in '99 or '00. He and his OL swear by it.
Every Saturday they road trip to a dealer hundred miles away get a shiet,
stop for dinner and head home. I may go this route for my next one. BTW he's about 230 and she's about 130. hope this helps.
My husband has a Duece and my experience as a passenger is that the seat is not very comfortable. We rode 60 miles Saturday and I couldn't wait to get off. The seat is very hard and I've actually ended up bruised after a long ride. I haven't ridden on a Dyna but when sitting on them on the floor I thought that the DWG seemed more comfortable. Of course you can always get a different seat but that's not cheap.
If resale is an issue, the softail wins. But in reality comfort, style, etc. should be what makes the decision. I had my heart set on a RK and when I went to buy, I sat on one and also on a Heritage. The Heritage picked me and that's what I park my ass on every day now.
As for ride and comfort, I've got a fatass at 270, but my bike is pretty comfy even with the factory seat. My OL and my girlfriend both love the stock passenger seat so there are no complaints there.
I have alot of friends with the RK and it is the king of comfort -- maybe someday I will get one, but I love the bike I have now.
You should really go the rental route and ride the crap out of it whenyou have it. Ride it around town and all, but you should also get on the highway and go 50+ miles straight to see if you are comfrtable. I rented a Deuce when I was traveling a month ago just for grins and it was a blast to ride and comfy for me, but not as nice for the passenger.
Even if you spend a few hundred renting bikes to try them out -- it could really be worth it over the long haul. Also, if you buy from a dealer that has a rental fleet, they may be willing to let you rack up some significant miles for free to get the sale.