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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all!! I have been on this forum for about a month, just taking in all the info and such. I am what some would call a "gear head", I love to work on all sorts of trucks and cars, and I'm sure a Harley if I had one. I love the idea of getting a Harley to take out riding. I have never driven a motorcycle before, and only ridden on one once when I was about 6. I am now 17 and have become interested in them, especially Harleys. I don't know much about the different kinds of Harleys or their engines and transmissions etc. I just know I think that the Softails look really cool. I guess I was just wondering what kind of Harley I should look into more keeping in mind that I love the look of a Softail, love to do mechanic work, and love speed! So I need a bike that i can modify for much better performance. I'm sure yall will be able to help, so let's here your opinions!!
Thanks
-Jonathan
 

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Jonathon, I just posted on another thread that a member (much older than you!) has choices of his first bike. You, too, have choices. My preference is a H/D but you can ride any kind of bike that peaks your fancy.

Before you make any decisions about bikes, you should take the msf course. I'm not trying to sound like a Dad. Everyone should take the course. And you will see it recommend regularly on the Forums. After you take the course, you can think seriously about a bike.

As much as I'd like to recommend a Softtail to you, I think a man your age would prefer a different bike. For a number of reasons. Please take no offense. None intended.

Your biggest obstacle will be cost. If you have your heart set on a H/D, I'd recommend a Sportster. Plenty of pep. Much lower cost. Alternatively, I'd suggest you consider some of the Buell models.

'hope you take this post in the positive way it was intended. We'd like to see you post here again. Enjoy the Forums.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am not offended at all!! That is exactly the kind of info I am looking for. Thanks! You assumed correctly about the money factor. I do not have any money now to complete my current project, much less buy something else. Anyway, I am more interested in doing research on the different bikes and mods to do to them, as opposed to actually buying a bike. I will just have to dream about that for a while until I am 18(as far as I know you have to be 18 to get a motorcycle license) and have enough money to do this. Also, I would like to know what are the pros and cons of some bikes, especially on the tech side, such as engine size, brakes, transmission and other stuff. Thanks
-Jonathan
 

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Hey ox, nice to have you with us!!

It seems you've been bitten by the Harley bug, all of us here can certainly relate.

Pasadenajims advice makes alot of sense.Nobody in here is gonna "slam" ya for riding or starting out on a non HD bike, many of us started out just that way.

Before making a big money commitment you should definitely take the MSF course.See what motorcycling has to offer, what it does for ya.If you find it's something you can't live without a used Japanese model can be had for cheap.You can learn on this, make your mistakes on it like we all did,get your confidence up & take it from there.

There are a bunch of great sites that can answer alot of your questions concerning models. Checkout Harleys website first.

Like pasadenajim said, I don't want to sound like a Dad either, just some things to think about.

I hope you get alot of opinions on this, there are plenty of experienced people around here who'll be more than happy to help you out!

Good Luck & post often!
guido
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies guys! I was on a used cycle website earlier just looking at the different models for sale. Pasadenajim, you mentioned a sportster, which I looked at and thought was a pretty cool looking bike as well as being much closer to my price range. What can you guys tell me about these bikes?? It seemed the older ones had smaller engines than the newer ones, but what years are better than others? I was also wondering if there were any good websites to look at performance engine products for Harleys. Thanks
-Jonathan
 

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I just want to say I am proud of the brothers who have answered this young man so far. One of the most important things we can do is pass on to the younger generation the traditions of RIDING.

Ox, welcome to the forum. Take your time and learn and keep asking questions.

Because of your sign off, I am adding a link where you can continue to get additional information on top of what you get here.


http://home.earthlink.net/~bellwood/


The world of folks who share the wind is vast and diverse.

If you don't mind me asking. How tall are you and how much do you weigh. That does play into a proper response to your question.

Again, welcome.
 

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Welcome Ox. I think you are going about this whole bike thing the right way. I actually started on a 1963 Bridgestone 90cc. At present I have an 883 Sportster and a Dyna Glide. Love the sportster. The 883 is a blast to ride. Enough power to get you into trouble if you want but also a good bike to upgrade to 1200cc if you feel the need for speed! Do your homework, take the safety course and hope to see ya on the road someday:D
Sheepboy
 

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If ya' look around, ox, you'll be able to find ya' a low mileage used Sportster for a fair price. There are lots of low mileage Sporties out there. And you'll have plenty of opportunity to modify that puppy to make her peppier.

Often times during the msf course, students are given an "assignment " of picking out a bike. I encourage you to not get your heart set on a bike until you've taken the msf course.

Look forward to seeing you post again.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Alright, you guys are great! Keep the advice comin! Jimmy, I am about 5'10" and 150 pounds, not too big, but I suppose average. I guess that will factor into how much bike I can handle. Almost everybody that has posted mentioned the "MSF". I am not exactly sure what that is, but I assume it is some sort of motorcycle riding/safety course.
Thanks
-Jonathan
 

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MSF= Motorcycle Safety Foundation
http://www.msf-usa.org/
I finally took one because it was a military requirement. Had been riding for years before I went to the class. Went in with the mindset of "Hrmph what can the POSSIBLY show me on riding?" Man was I wrong. The people who teach those classes know their stuff. I can site numerous occasions where techniques that I learned that day saved my ass on the road from some moron in his cage who would rather babble on his cell phone then pay attention to little ol' me scootin along.
 
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