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Potential 1st time HD owner - Ultra Classic!!

5367 Views 25 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  dragula07

New user here and also potential first time HD owner (I own a Yamaha Vstar now)!!! I like this board. Been reading around for the past couple of hours (eyes are sore :eek: ) and seems like a good group of people here.

I was looking at a new Sportster 1200 or Dyna Wide glide. I really like the Ultra Classics but by the time I add accessories, helmets, etc. it will be well over $20k.

My friends' dad has a 1997 Ultra Classic Fuel Injected Shriners edition (he is a shriner) that he is going to sell. It only has 1300 original miles on it (he had one of his legs amputated due to a spider bite about six months after he bought the bike). It has been garaged and he fires it up regularly but obviously can't drive it. He has about $3000 worth of chrome add-ons and will sell the two microphone helmets and all of the original chrome pieces he replaced with it.

The one drawback is that the bike was wrecked by my friend (not his dad) but was 100% repaired by the same dealer he bought it from. He slid off the road in a curve and it rolled once. Almost all of the fiberglass was replaced and the gas tank. It looks like it should still be on the showroom floor. he is going to let me keep it for about a week to drive it and see if I like it.

So my question is: He will sell it to me for $18k otherwise he is going to advertise it for $20k. Is $18k a fair price? This bike is very sentimental to him and he would like to see it go to someone he knows. The shrine is very important to him.

Thanks for any help!!
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too much!

I wouldn't pay a dime over NADA average retail value for this or any bike, which is $15,415. See http://www2.nadaguides.com/

Considering the bike has been rolled, I would have someone that knows Harleys look over the bike very carefully for hidden damage!

Just to give you a reference, I bought a 1998 FLHTC Electra Glide Classic (one step below the Ultra, and carburated) in May 2001 for $13,750. It had only 2800 miles on it and 1.5 years of extended warranty left.

Personally, I would look for another bike (that hasn't been wrecked). You should be able to get a much better deal on an EVO powered bagger.

- OldBoy99
Welcome aboard! You're right. There are a lot of good folks here. ;)

Now about your question, according to kbb, the RETAIL on a '97 FLHTCI is about $19.5. The wholesale or trade-in value is about $13.5. So with the low miles and a lot of chrome, your bud isn't seriously mistreating you. BUT he's not really doing you any BIG favors!!!

The bike is 5 years old. While the touring models don't change a lot from year to year, a '97 is a Evo engine, not a TC-88, the new engine. Many folks swear by the EVO. I imagine the bike is stock with only 1300 miles; however, the TC-88 powerplant is a substantial improvement over the Evo. Also, I'm concerned that the bike hasn't been ridden. Sometimes just "starting" a bike and letting it run in the garage for short periods of times isn't all that helpful.

If you're spending $18K, with careful planning you can purchase several NEW TC-88 models for less than $18. And for slightly more than $18K, you can purchase a 2002 FLHTC (while the Classic is not the Ultra, the Classic is a very respectable ride!) and you can certainly purchase a new Standard for a lot less. With a new bike, you have the enjoyment of customizing it the way you want.

If your buddy wants to drop the price, go for it. Otherwise, IMHO hold out for a new or at least newer bike in that price range.

And we're glad your here.
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I can give you sympathy or I can give you facts,

It would largely depend on the type of person you are and how you intend to ride the bike.

If your intent is helping your friend, by all means, nothing wrong with a 97 bike, other then a price that appears a little high for the present market and the considerable risk of buying an accident bike regardless of who repaired it. It could be better then new or it could be a can of worms, you will have no recourse once you hand over the money.

From a strictly motorcycle point of view you can get a new 02 FLHT standard for less, it will run circles around it, and it will have a warranty, even a new FLHTC will only be a couple of bucks more, at that price it simply does not make sense.
Everybody posting at the same time, eh?

Good thing we pretty much feel the same way.
Wow! Thanks for the quick replies!! I guess some of you are as bored on a Friday night as I am!;)

The dealer that repaired it has promised to repair any problems related to the wreck even though they didn't specify for how long. They are friends with the current owner of the bike and his Shrine has bought approximately 25 bikes from them since '97 so they kind of want to keep him satisfied. They just recently purchased 10 or 11 883's.
I am a little concerned about how long it sat up between "drivings" too. His son did get it out probably once a month and rode just a mile or two down the road (he wrecked it about 3 miles from his dad's house where it is stored).
If I get any kind of touring bike, I really want an Ultra Classic. Might as well go all out.
What year did the TC-88's come in? A couple of options this one has that I know I want and that is fuel injection and alloy wheels (not wire-hassle to clean).
I think if I ever had a problem with it, my friend's dad would help me out with it. He's an honest person and trusts me.....he told me I could keep it for a couple of weeks if I wanted to make sure that is what I wanted. Can't get a better test drive than that.
Thanks for the replies even though you made the decision harder!! I was hoping all of you would say "go for it"!! But, I appreciate the honest answers from people who know what their talking about.
PS - Any consistent problems with these particular bikes that ya'll are aware of????
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Just thought I would try to post a pic of the bike. I don't know if this will work since I'm new to this site, but this is the actual bike I'm looking at:
(Hope it can be seen by the time I cropped it small enough to get it under the 102k allowable size)
Cool looking bike!

The TC-88 was first introduced in the Touring models in 1999.

Everyone has their own idea about what is a "problem". Touring bikes are not for everyone. After all, a touring bike is a touring bike, not a cafe racer, canyon carver or bar hopper. ;) But since my ride is a Electra Glide Classic, I must like 'em. And I do!!! All models have little quirks, nothing unusual about that. As far as any significant problem unique to them, Touring bikes do have a reputation for something called a high speed wobble. That is a situation where the front end of the bike starts shaking uncontrollably at high speeds. I have NOT experienced such a condition--only heard guys talk about it and read about it. Allegedly, the event has something to do with the design of the bike. (However, some bikers reject the idea that the wobble can even occur at all.) From what I've been told and heard, the high speed wobble seems to be a rare occurrence usually arising at speeds in excess of 85/90 mph. I usually don't drive that fast so I don't really have any concern about the fabled high speed wobble. Maybe there are riders on the Forum who have had first hand experience with a high speed wobble?

As for being bored on a Friday night, hanging around the Forum is healthier than hanging around a bar. Can't get in too much trouble here!!!! :D
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pasadenajim said:

As for being bored on a Friday night, hanging around the Forum is healthier than hanging around a bar. Can't get in too much trouble here!!!! :D
Good Point!! Actually, I'm hoping that if I get this bike (or any UC), my Friday nights won't be so bored. There is a large rally about 30 miles from my house every Friday night for all brands, but mostly Harleys. The wife and I would like to go to it but my Vstar doesn't ride "two up" very well.

Thanks for the info!! Man, I don't want to experience a "high speed wobble" on a 800lb bike!!! I would probably only have that bike up to that speed once just to see what it will "do". Same thing I did with my Vstar when I first got it, but that was enough after that. I have no problem just cruisin' around at the posted speed limits and just enjoying the ride. If I want to impress someone with speed, I'll get a crotch rocket!!

I think you have lots of good advice about the Ultra here, but one thing you mentioned right away kinda puzzles me. You said you were considering a sportster or dyna. Those are totally different bikes than the touring bikes, especially the sportster.

What kind of riding are you gonna be doing? How much of it two-up? What's the longest two-up trip you would want to take?
I really want an ultra classic, but I was going to "settle" for an Dyna or Sportster if I bought a new one strictly because of the price. But, I figured if a Dyna was going to run me close to $14k new, I would go ahead and spend $18k for this particular UC. I can't get a new UC for that. I have shopped around locally for used UC's but the ones that I find for under $18k have at least 15,000 miles on them (of course they haven't been wrecked either).
I am going to keep the Vstar. I love it for riding around locally and hitting the mountains some but it is useless on long trips. Real "buzzy" at higher speeds and just generally uncomfortable.
I travel with my job regularly (several times a month) on one or two night trips usually for a total mileage of 3-500 miles round trip. 80% Interstate travel although I think I would begin using backroads more often if I had a decent confortable "touring" bike. The wife may go with me sometimes.
Sounds to me like you already bought the bike, at least try to get the price down a bit. My thinking was that even a new Ultra is well worth an extra 3 or 4K and you will recover it on the other end, so you really are paying the same over the life of the bike, and riding an all around better motorcycle in particular if you intend to leave them near stock.
Regardless of how good EVO bikes might be, fact is thay have been very hard to sell over the last year or so, and this trend will increase with the large number of used TC bikes on the market. This trend is most noticeable with baggers.
The wobble is NOT what a sportbike guy would call a wobble and it is by no means uncontrollable. It is unlikely you would ever encounter it unless you push the bike near it's limit and it is exceedingly gentle, slow and selfcorrecting with an experienced rider. We discuss it mostly for academic reasons.
This personality quirk has however been corrected on the 02 bikes, with the stronger swingarm, the modified pivots and the retuned engine mounts.
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When riding two up, the late TC's also have a much closer to adequate braking system. It is not just the torquier engine.
I guess I probably do sound a little like I have my mind made up to buy this particular one, but I don't really. I want to get the most for my money.
This is still a good opportunity for me to make sure that an Ultra Classic (of any year) is what I want since he is going to let me keep it for a while to drive.
What is a good price to pay for a new Ultra Classic off the showroom floor? My local dealer is "non-negotiable". The only option I really want now is an aftermarket or "louder" exhaust. I don't care much for the stock sound.
Anybody, know what kind of interest rate you get through Harley? My credit is perfect.
I would buy a new one if I could keep my payments where I want them. I will be putting down $3-4k.

When Lisa purchased her 2002 Dyna in November, H/D Credit was running a special with a 7.9% interest rate for first tier credit & 10.9% for second tier. I do not know what the current H/D Credit rates are--your dealer would happily tell you. People First is a major Internet lender and is actively involved in a lot of motorcycle loans. They are probably the biggest motorcycle loan lender today. They had similar rates to the H/D Credit rates in November. You will locate that company if you run a search for "motorcycle loans". Their current first tier credit interest rate is 7.5% for a new purchase, and more for a used bike purchase from a dealer. More still for a purchase from an individual. You can find a payment calculator on a lot of loan sites and the H/D WEB site.

One of the "cheapest" loans you can get is against 401(k) or other retirement fund accounts.

Ride safe.
The base bike is $19,185.00 and the freight is $240.00

You got to figure between $300.00 and $800.00 depending on the paint option, and a couple hundred for set-up. $275.00 for the security system.

20K is a fair price, couple hundred more if you want a two tone pearl or a security system.

Can't help you with financing as I have no idea how this works.
You should also keep in mind that the price of a Classic is $16,220.00

Even if you want the EFi you should be able to get one of these for about 17.5 and for 400 you can add the lowers. Same bike, and all you would be missing is some of the sound system features.
HIPPO said:
You should also keep in mind that the price of a Classic is $16,220.00

Even if you want the EFi you should be able to get one of these for about 17.5 and for 400 you can add the lowers. Same bike, and all you would be missing is some of the sound system features.
Thanks Hippo! I have actually starting considering exactly that. I have a 2002 HD brochure and it looks like the only differences are that the standard doesn't have cruise, CB, lowers, or passenger volume controls for the stereo. The cruise would probably be the only thing I would miss, but I assume I could get it installed for a fee and still be below the $18k price tag???? And considerably lower than an Ultra.
I do want EFI and alloy wheels too.

This will probably just confuse you more, but here goes. I have a 91 Sportster. I rode a friend's 99 Ultra and 99 Hertage Classic. The Ultra has the TC88, and the HC has the EVO. I was hooked on the Ultra and the TC88. It is smooth, fast, and powerful. It felt much faster than the lighter HC. I ordered a 2002 FLHT Standard. They can be had for about $15,000. The 99 Ultra was very smooth and stable up to 85. I did not go faster than that, thought the bike was clearly able. The difference between the Ultra and my Sportster is huge. There is no comparison, and I thought that I was content with the Sporty.

What part of AL are you from? I am in Memphis, but I grew up in Birmingham.

Good luck.
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