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My name is Mike (Huntsville, AL) and I ride a 2002 FLHTCUI since January of 02.

I've owned several bikes (78 Honda CB 750, 9x Vulcan 1500, 98 Valkyrie Tourer, and now an Ultra Classic); the full dresser was the only way that I could justify changing from my Valk. I put about 65,000 miles on the Valk in 3.5 years and am riding the H-D at a similar pace. Other Riders and some people often told me that "The Valk is nice, it just isn't a Harley" and other such statements. I can definitively state that they were right (not usually for the right reasons) but also "The H-D just isn't a Valkyrie, or any other modern bike".

The Ultra has a lot of things I appreciate: smooth ride, ample room, cruise control, radio etc. These are some of the things I've added to other bikes. Power/Torque is a bit lacking and the handling isn't as stable as it should be. This can be modified at an expense of $ and some reliability judging from others experience.

In any event I like the H-D for now and a few more years but will probably look to another bike eventually. There is just too much out there to blindly think/believe that H-D is hte ultimate motorcycle. It does, however, have the largest faithful following, as you all know.
 

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Traveling Man
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Hi Mike, welcome to the forum. That's an interesting story and most people here can say that they have been the same route starting out with riding metric bikes. I know very very few that would go back though. I have had so many imported bikes that when I decided to try a Harley I actually believed that I may be trying an inferior bike. Boy was I surprised! Simply the best bike I have ever owned. Clearly Harleys or not for everyone for various reasons. But I guess the main factor for choosing a Harley depends alot on what type of riding one is going to do and how much of the wrenching one intends to do ones self to keep it road worthy over the years. From a stand point of buying a bike and relying on the dealer to maintain it and keep it on the road for a short time, I didn't have a problem with metrics. But over the long haul the down time, the parts availability, the inferior quality, the complexity and accessibility of components, the cost of properly mantaining, and the ability of the parts to withstand years of use without cracking, melting, roting, or deteriorating makes it very clear to me which bike is a bike that was built to knock down many miles on the super slab with the least amount of hassels, down time, breakdowns, and headaches. I guess if i was going to buy a new bike and ride alot of miles over a short period of time and trade it in on a new one every few years i would have alot of choices of bike brands to choose from. But, I finally discovered why there is such a faithful Harley following and it's probably not for the reasons that you are guessing. My advise to anyone is to buy what you like, be proud of what you ride, learn by your experiences, and ride like the wind.
 

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Welcome aboard,dxxxiii !!

Thanks for the intro,indeed there are a hell of alot of bikes out there,nothing wrong with wanting a different one now & again.

As for me, I ride a '95 FLSTC & love it.I'm one of those gotta be a Harley geeks!

Looking forward to your posts.
guido
 

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Good post

Dxxx
I liked your comments about your ultra classic.I gave up on H-d about
back in 1985 when I got ahold of a 1979 Dresser that was AMF and a
real nightmare. I got so used to loading it in the back of a pick-up truck I could have it buttoned down in about 20minutes.

I traded it for a Goldwing and now after two Wings I'm thinking of
trying a dresser again.I like reading posts that are honestly written
as it helps me decide on my next ride.
Welcome aboard,you'll find good people here as I did.
Ride Safe
masher
 

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Welcome Dxxxiii. I have an '01 Ultra Classic and love it. I've had two metric bikes before the Harley and I'll never go back. Of course, I seriously doubt anyone here would fault you for your opinion on what YOU like to ride. The H-D may not be the ultimate motorcycle to many people but to me it is. All of us here just enjoy motorcycling.
 

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Just Like to Ride
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The main thing here is to RIDE. While it would be nice for you to ride a Harley, that decision is yours. There are definitely some nice metric bikes out there that people prefer over H-D and that's cool.

I see that commercial for the new Gold Wing and they show 2 people riding and there is about 1 foot of space between them. Either they're mighty damn slim(category I definitely don't fall into :D ) or that bike is HUGE.
 

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I agree wholeheartedly about the Gold Wing. It's gotten to the point to where it's not something you ride on, but something you ride IN.
 

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Welcome Dxxxiii, I agree with the rest of the folks it up to you what you like and ride as long as you enjoy it and what ever you have meets the purpose you are looking for and desire in a bike. I just helped a good friend shop for bikes he was looking at the Gold Wing but found out after you add a passenger you'll only have about 40 lbs of luggage before the bike is maxed out on load caring capacity. BMW are nice, anti-lock brakes are real nice to have but few dealers. He now has $ down on an Ultra, but again it's want you like and Harley does have a lot of organized events and rides for its owners and seems to care about them. But if that's not your thing than any bike will due and there are a lot of nice ones out there. Enjoy what you have and welcome to the board.
 

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I hear exactly what you're saying but can't relate 100% because I don't have my Harley (2003 Dyna Wide Glide) yet. Over 31 years of riding bikes I've owned quite a few, they were all metric, good & dependable. There are some new bikes out there I would like to own but I've been wanting (saving for) a Harley for a long time. My wife wanted me to get a Harley touring bike but it didn't feel right to me. Just like Fifthgear said, "Harleys aren't for everyone". What other new bikes out there do you like?
 

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EvilMonger
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I agree the choice is yours, in my humble opinion though I believe when I purchace a Harley I am helping myself and the economy by bying an american made product. If the dealer markup and attitude continues it will be hard to compete with the foriegn products. I live in Massachusetts and average 20-25,000 hard miles per year. I have owneda 2000 road glide, a 94,95,2000 ultra classic, an 84 wide glide, an 88fxrs, and a couple of sportsters here and there. My 2000 road glide and my 88 fxrs were my favorites. Whatever you decide do it for you not what you think everyone else thinks. Good luck in your decision.
 

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I have owned a couple of Hondas 1100 Shadows, for the money you can't go wrong but my 02 FLHT is 10 times the bike , you can pick up those used Valkries tourning bikes cheap around here, the only problem I have with goldwings and falkries is that they have a car engine.
 

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2 wheeled car

Wings & Valks do have a "car on 2 wheels" image which seems to be a
big reason that the classic image & engine are popular.The one thing that
they are missing and that is they don't sound like a motorcycle.
I don't think H-D has too much too worry about because their selling
a ton of bikes.
But , as it was said ,Riding is what its all about .
2 wheels forever!
Ride Safe
masher:cool:
 

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Infidel
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Thealien said:
... I believe when I purchace a Harley I am helping myself and the economy by bying an american made product.

f u c k i n' A BUY AMERICAN
 

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I'm on the same Train wyodude -- Buy American. Sometimes it's impossible but I always try when I have a choice. I don't have a lot of room to talk because I have owned nothing but metric bikes (all used). Metric bikes were all I could ever afford, I got them all real cheap. There is no such thing as a cheap Harley, they retain their value above and beyond anything out there.
I guess that's why I don't shop at Walmart. Try to find made in the USA on anything. All my clothes, trucks, cars, tools, materials, beer, wine............... are American made products.
 
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