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Ok, so I have took the rider course, got most of the newbie gear...now I just need a bike. I have now been looking for about 3 months. I first feel in love with the 2011 Nightrod. After sitting on it and talking to a few knowledgeable sales guys at the local Harley dealerships I have decided that my 6'4 height is just too big on that bike. I now have my eye on a Fatboy lo. I was looking at a few local dealership the other day and came across a 2011 with about 4,000 miles on it for $15,995. So I called up the dealership to make sure the bike was still there, and after a little bit of conversation with the sales guy I made a comment on how I am sure he will have a little bit of room on the $15,995 number...The young sales guy then said I will save you about $1,500 of the retail price of a 2012 HD Fatboy lo. I said well then why would anyone buy the used one... he kinda laughed and said most people won't - they will buy a new one.

Now as i have been in the car business for about 10 years I know how we negotiate on New and Used cars - but when it comes to the Harley products I am in the dark. What should I expect to save on a New Harley (off MSRP) esp. considering I am going in to the dealership in December???

Financing: Has anyone purchased a New HD in the last 2-3 months?? if so did you finance?? appox. what is your APR and for how long??? If you go to HD webpage - when you calculate your own payment they have a rate there or 9.99% - is that what HD Finance really charges???

ANY ADVICE would be great! Thank you V-Twin world!!!
 

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What I learned buying two Harleys this year:

Your understanding of the car business is completely unrelated to buying a Harley. Don't even try to equate the two. Motorcycle and recreational vehicle sales in general are also unlike the Harley sales environment. You salesman was telling you the truth.

I bought my 2012 trike sight-unseen two months before delivery and paid MSRP. I got some good bennies on the back end of the deal (including $1K to spend on stuff at the dealership). However, there was no better deal around at any other dealer. I looked.

If you want to dicker and get a great (or at least a better) price, get yourself $15K in crisp, one-hundred dollar bills, and go negotiate a Harley from a private seller who's in a crunch to get rid of a toy he can no longer afford.

If you need to get financing during/after the purchase, you'll most likely need to work through the dealer. Otherwise, go get a loan from your credit union, and get your financing first.

I also bought a used Harley for my wife - a 2008 Fat Boy. It was still pricey (around $15K), but I met the previous owner (a great guy), got to see all the maintenance records, plus it was LOADED with extras including V&H Big Shots, SE Heavy Breather, upgraded cams, map, and dyno. Lots of cool chrome doodads, back rest, small luggage rack, never dropped or wrecked. 19K miles. My wife LOVES it, and it really rocks.

Harleys have strong resale values - even above KBB numbers. It's the way it is. You need to decide what's important to you. If you value the bike's provenance, and want the peace-of-mind of having a dealer-backed purchase, suck it up, and pay the price at the dealer. If you want to look for a "deal", go get yourself some cash and troll through the papers/craigslist, etc.
 

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I bought a 2011 Road King back in September. My credit rating is pretty good, so they gave me 4.9% for 48 months. It would have been a little over 5% for 60 months. Check with your bank or credit union before you go there.

It was tough to negotiate price. They did move a little on my trade in.

They'll give you a discount on options.

I didn't like all the paperwork charges which were BS in my book, but by the time I realized how much they were adding in, I'd already said OK to the deal.

When you are asking them for an out-the-door price, ask them to dispose of those.
 

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To All:

Ok, so I have took the rider course, got most of the newbie gear...now I just need a bike. I have now been looking for about 3 months. I first feel in love with the 2011 Nightrod. After sitting on it and talking to a few knowledgeable sales guys at the local Harley dealerships I have decided that my 6'4 height is just too big on that bike. I now have my eye on a Fatboy lo. I was looking at a few local dealership the other day and came across a 2011 with about 4,000 miles on it for $15,995. So I called up the dealership to make sure the bike was still there, and after a little bit of conversation with the sales guy I made a comment on how I am sure he will have a little bit of room on the $15,995 number...The young sales guy then said I will save you about $1,500 of the retail price of a 2012 HD Fatboy lo. I said well then why would anyone buy the used one... he kinda laughed and said most people won't - they will buy a new one.

Now as i have been in the car business for about 10 years I know how we negotiate on New and Used cars - but when it comes to the Harley products I am in the dark. What should I expect to save on a New Harley (off MSRP) esp. considering I am going in to the dealership in December???

Financing: Has anyone purchased a New HD in the last 2-3 months?? if so did you finance?? appox. what is your APR and for how long??? If you go to HD webpage - when you calculate your own payment they have a rate there or 9.99% - is that what HD Finance really charges???

ANY ADVICE would be great! Thank you V-Twin world!!!
My advice for what it’s worth…go to Craigslist, buy something used but well kept with low miles. Then buy a service guide, a set of tools and if you REALLY need it a Fix my Hog DVD or something. You’ll save a ton of money, learn a lot more about your bike and ultimately enjoy it more.
 

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Let me take a couple of possibly unpopular positions for this forum...

Don't borrow money for toys.

That VRod will haul your 6'4" around just fine, but maybe not in the same comfort as the VTwins...especially long trips. The the HP and torque and 'ease' of driving and shifting around town exceed any other stock Harleys I have been around. (That applies to forward control VRods, why on earth anybody would drive one with mid-controls is beyond me, they cause me great pain.)

You can get great deals if you are willing to travel, because Harley prices ARE depressed in several parts of the country...a patient fellow with cash in hand and a willingness to ship or travel can get some great deals.

I understand what works for me might not work for others, but, there you are.

(I own a 2005 Softail Deuce and a 2008 VRod/Nightrod)
 

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Dealers (reputable ones that is) will only use HD financing for the sub-prime credit rating buyer. You can do better many places if you have a good credit score. My latest bike I negotiated a 2.9% 3 year rate at my credit union (their published rate is 4.49%).

As someone mentioned, check out CL, you should be able to do a lot better than $15,xxx for an '11 FB. I don't understand though why at 6'04" you want a Fatboy Low, a nice bike for a stumpy 5'08" er like me. You sound more Road King height to me.
 

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Weather dependent I would always test ride the bike I was considering before purchasing. Back in 2006 I thought I wanted a street glide but I did a 4 hour rental at my local HD dealership and I rode the street glide and road glide and I purchased the road glide. Here in Southern California I have seen discounts on some new bikes at a various dealerships. I just received a email from my dealership announcing 1% APR on new (2011/2012 in stock) bikes.
 

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Let me take a couple of possibly unpopular positions for this forum...

Don't borrow money for toys.

That VRod will haul your 6'4" around just fine, but maybe not in the same comfort as the VTwins...especially long trips. The the HP and torque and 'ease' of driving and shifting around town exceed any other stock Harleys I have been around. (That applies to forward control VRods, why on earth anybody would drive one with mid-controls is beyond me, they cause me great pain.)

You can get great deals if you are willing to travel, because Harley prices ARE depressed in several parts of the country...a patient fellow with cash in hand and a willingness to ship or travel can get some great deals.

I understand what works for me might not work for others, but, there you are.

(I own a 2005 Softail Deuce and a 2008 VRod/Nightrod)
I agree with most of this. For toys like motorcycles - especially used ones - it should be a cash transaction. If you can't afford cash, buy a cheaper bike (Honda, etc.). If you still can't afford to pay cash, get a part-time job and save it up until you can pay cash.

Yes, if you're willing to travel, you can save on the bike (if you're paying cash), but you'll need to deduct your travel expenses from your "great deal" savings. Also, if you find out a few days later there's some kind of problem, you're now at a loss to take it up with the seller, unless you like lots of travel.

I got my used Fat Boy from my dealer. Could I have gotten a better deal on one from some stranger posting on CL or a dealer or private party in Las Vegas? Sure.

But I have a salesman I trust, a service department I trust, and a dealership that will back up my purchase. That's worth money to me. I am not looking to become a Harley mechanic in my mid-50's, and no - wrenching on my bike does NOT give me more enjoyment. It's a personal thing with me, and not for everyone.
 

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To All:
What should I expect to save on a New Harley (off MSRP) esp. considering I am going in to the dealership in December???

Financing: Has anyone purchased a New HD in the last 2-3 months?? if so did you finance?? appox. what is your APR and for how long??? If you go to HD webpage - when you calculate your own payment they have a rate there or 9.99% - is that what HD Finance really charges???

ANY ADVICE would be great! Thank you V-Twin world!!!
My .02

1. Focus on what you want, not on what you can "afford."
2. Save for it, don't borrow against it.
3. Once you're in the financial position to put at least 50% down, which should included insurance, taxes and license plates, start shopping for an interest rate.

Good luck :)
 

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First off you dont want to buy used from a dealer if you dont have to.Like stated go through a individual take cash or set up financining before hand and take some cash.
Second check out the Victory bikes.Good machines cost less than HD and still have great power handling and style.You can get a 3-5 yr old one for a fraction of HD.Granted the resale isnt as much but neither is the buy in.Heck you may not even like the riding as much as you think you will.Easier to recoup $7000 than $15000 if you dont like riding.If you do and still feel the NEED for a HD save the cash up and go for it.
 

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You asked, I will offer an opinion. The truth is a New bike is only New for the first -100 miles or the first payment. It then becomes just another used bike.

Except for Real Estate my rule has been pay cash or have the cash in the bank before I borrow a dollar. Finance $15,000. = $15,000. Cash in the bank. Borrow the Money if that is what you want. You have security.

You asked, IMO buy a good used bike, ride it for a season, then decide what you want. I have bought some great bikes for 5 or 6 thousand bucks and almost always get my money back. That will NEVER happen if you buy a New bike and pay interest over 3/5 years. Check out trade in values for 4 year old bikes.
Good Luck, whatever you do.
 

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I hope you can arrange to ride a few of the various models. If you buy what you like to look at instead of what is comfortable to ride, your big ole 6 foot 4 frame is going to be hating itself after about 700 miles in a day. Electra Glides are for full grown men like yourself.
 

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Dead on advice above. Well said. As for me, I always buy used but not from dealers. They don't budge ... much. I too would suggest you sit on and ride a few before buying a Lo or Nightrod. I'm 5'11" and sold my '06 Nightrod a couple of months ago. It's short. My "new" '07 Heritage is a little short for my legs on the boards, so I would definitely look for a good "fit" for yourself. Of course, you can always modify with accessories for your height. Best of luck!!! jc
 

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Rule #1 dont buy a bike based on advise from fools! Ask yourself what your going to do on the bike !

Are you going to put on your over priced HD Jacket and Helmet and ride 2 miles to a Bar and pretend your a Biker ?

Are you plannng on taking long trips well you being from New Jersey...Head West about 2000 miles !

By yourself or with a passenger ?


Long trips and riding 2 up stay away from Sporters , Vrods and Softails ! Buy a 1- 3 year old Road King or Street Glide on a Road King get one with Hard painted Bags they hold more....look better and if you get caught in rain no big deal !

I would look for a Street glide nice bat wing fairing...and hard bags...good resale Save your money look for a fool that bought a Glide thats strapped for cash and needs to get rid of it and save about 5 grand and get a big boys bike that looks good in Town, rides great on long trips and is safe and comfortable for you a passenger

The dealers push the softails sell a **** load of them too...but they dont even come close to the ride that a Glide frame and suspension offers ! You dont have to buy New to get a Great Bike !

Avoid 95 % of all Harley Dealers hype and BS and there are great independant Shops that can perform great work for a lot less then the newbie mechanics @ your local boutquie Harley Dealer !
 

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First off you dont want to buy used from a dealer if you dont have to.Like stated go through a individual take cash or set up financining before hand and take some cash.
Second check out the Victory bikes.Good machines cost less than HD and still have great power handling and style.You can get a 3-5 yr old one for a fraction of HD.Granted the resale isnt as much but neither is the buy in.Heck you may not even like the riding as much as you think you will.Easier to recoup $7000 than $15000 if you dont like riding.If you do and still feel the NEED for a HD save the cash up and go for it.

@gree:

But not just the victory line, also consider other manufacturers. This is your first bike. Get something cheap so:

1) If you find out you don't like riding, not much lost.
2) If you drop it, it won't be a major catastrophe.
3) After riding a year, you will have more experience to determine what you rally want to ride.

I bet most of us here started out on a cheap Japanese street bike (this includes me). There's nothing wrong with that. You would have my respect for a sound decision.

rkc
 

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not that you need another opinion, but I agree with these guys..pay cash, ando you need to spen $15k.. Saw a 84 ElectraGlide for $5000 on CL, north jersey, that I would have looked at. What you spend, an how you do it, is entirely up to you. But you said you are new, keep yourself in position to make a change after you get your experience.
 

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not that you need another opinion, but I agree with these guys..pay cash, ando you need to spen $15k.. Saw a 84 ElectraGlide for $5000 on CL, north jersey, that I would have looked at. What you spend, an how you do it, is entirely up to you. But you said you are new, keep yourself in position to make a change after you get your experience.
Def wouldnt recommend a Shovelhead to a beginner.You can them reasonable but they need lots of TLC and maintenance.
 

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I just ordered a FatBob & used HD financing. They are currently offering 3.99 for 48 months, 4.99 for 60 months for tier 1 credit ratings. I think each of those goes up 1% for tier 2 credit. One dealer told me he thought they were going to extend this program into 2012 but that isn't confirmed.

As far as getting dealers to deal, good luck. I emailed 6 dealers, 3 returned my email. Everyone of them started out by saying they are MSRP. I was able to get them to eat their setup/doc fees & they threw in some extras.
 

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I bet most of us here started out on a cheap Japanese street bike (this includes me).
That's true but alot of us started on them cause we was young and broke and they was cheaper....speaking for myself and friends alone of course.

Finance or don't, nothing wrong with either. Only you can decide that. I do know that **** happens and the day when you can pay cash for one may never come. Life's to fricking short.

I believe 59panhead gives the best advice.
 
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