Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    My Ride
    Harley-Davidson 1200 Custome - TBC
    Posts
    3
    Thanked: 1

    Potential New Harley Owner

    Hi All,

    I'm very close to joining the Harley fraternity, I think.

    I have owned bikes in the past, I started on a Yamaha RZ350R in my late teens in South Africa and many moons later, the bug bit again in the UK and I bought a Suzuki GSX-R600L1 and then a Ducati Monster 1100 EVO.

    I loved the Yamaha, fond memories of that and while I really liked the GSX-R, the sports riding position hurt my lower back. The Ducati solved that, but I didn't ride much in the UK. I'm a fair-weather rider.

    Anyway, last year I moved to The Algarve in Portugal and the fabulous climate here has made me want a bike again. My father, who is 70 this year, called me recently and talked about buying a Harley for his birthday when he visits for his annual 3 month stay at his apartment down the road from my home. This got us thinking of buying two so that we could ride together. He arrives in a week or so and a trip to the local HD Dealer is on the cards.

    Early research suggest the Sportster 1200 Custom might be the one we go for. I've never ridden a Harley, the closest I've come is looking at them at a huge dealership near my sister's home in Houston, TX with my brother-in-law. The true custom bikes on display there are always absolute works of art.

    So, guess it won't be long before I find out what riding a Harley is actually like! I'm not looking for fast riding or even great agility around corners, I rode the Ducati like a saint, preferring just to coast along and enjoy the scenery, all of which lends me to think a Harley might suit me.

    I'll continue to read the Threads here and gain more advice and owner-experience.

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Coolbanana For This Useful Post:

    bluenose-1956 (06-12-2018)

  3. #2
    Senior Member Face's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Manchester
    My Ride
    XL1200C
    Posts
    149
    Thanked: 56
    Welcome to the forum, obrigado (a?) for your post. I’ve been to Albufeira, Praia da Rocha and Vilamoura, enjoyed the country very much. I didn’t venture on the roads so not sure what they’re like, but I’ve owned a XL1200C for two weeks and she definitely likes long open roads where you can use the torque and enjoy that famous Harley note. Cornering on the Sportster is fine for me, you won’t want to corner fast anyway, you’ll find out why when you ride one. The slow pace of life in the Algarve should be suited to a Harley, so long as the fuelling is right (Stage 1) for more comfortable riding at slower speeds.

    Here’s a thread about a rally in Faro.

    http://harleyforum.org.uk/showthread...highlight=Faro

  4. #3
    Senior Member andyrattle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Norwich, UK
    My Ride
    Harley-Davidson 48
    Posts
    430
    Thanked: 98
    Seems like a Harley would be perfect for you. Make sure you ride a dyna (now discontinued if they still have any) or a softtail as well. The sportsters are quite raw and not as suited to long distance but feel a bit more like the real deal. (for some of us!). You also need to decide foot position. It defines the ride and bike you might want.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Fife
    My Ride
    2016 Harley-Davidson 883 iron
    Posts
    3,427
    Thanked: 620
    Welcome tae the forum fae Fife in scotland. You'll get lots of advice on which bike to ride, but at the end of the day it's your choice, so get test riding all the bikes you like. I like sportsters for their raw feel and do distances on mine, they handle great, but they are not for everyone. Whatever you choose, have fun trying out the bikes.
    FTW )

  6. #5
    Senior Member bluenose-1956's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Halifax, United Kingdom.
    My Ride
    2011 XL883N Iron
    Posts
    4,040
    Thanked: 1410
    Hello Coolbanana,

    A warm welcome to the forum from Calderdale in West Yorkshire,


    Harley-Davidson's aren't like ordinary motorcycles, they have a heart and a soul that owners would describe as character, they're a warts and all kind of machine too. In 2011 when I was looking for a new motorcycle, I wanted one that would be reminiscent of my old Triumph's which were build by the good men and women of Meriden near Coventry. I Travelled to the Triumph dealership on Shipley to look at the then current Triumph Bonneville's assembled in Hinckley, Leicestershire with parts made in Thailand, they looked too much like Japanese copies of the Meriden machines so I passed on them as they were unsuitable. Next I went to Moto Strada, also in Shipley to look at the Moto Guzzi and Moto Morini range, they didn't take my fancy either so I next looked at the Indian built Royal Enfield's at Earnshaws in Huddersfield, the largest machine they produced was a 500cc single which I declared too small a capacity for my requirements.

    Finally I went to Leeds Harley-Davidson with the aim of buying an XL1200X "Forty-Eight", after sitting on one in the showroom I realised that the feet forward riding stance wasn't for me. I then spotted a used XL883N "Iron" in denim black, that fitted the bill as far as I was concerned, Leeds H-D didn't have a new "Iron" on their premises but they had one at one of their sister dealerships, St Ledger H-D in Doncaster. I gave Leeds H-D a deposit and a brand new "Iron" was ordered for me but alas, before I could take delivery of my new "Iron" the franchise company went into liquidation, so the H-D dealerships in Leeds, Doncaster and Manchester were no more. After getting my deposit back from the receivers I finally bought my new "Iron" from Preston H-D. The "Iron" doesn't handle as well as my old Bonneville's, but it certainly has their old school charm and character.

    There have been rumours that due to ever increasing emission restrictions, H-D might be forced to stop producing the air cooled Sportster's, the bottom end of the Sportster's motor has mainly remained unchanged since the model was introduced in 1957. It has served Harley-Davidson well as an introduction machine for 61 years, it might be phased out in 2020 when H-D introduce their Revolation "Livewire" electric motorcycle. It will be a sad day for Sporty riders when the last XL model rolls off the production line. If you really want a Sportster, buy one while you still can, H-D will continue to sell the watercooled XG "Revolution" range in 500cc and 750cc. It will be a big step up from the XG750 to the Milwaulkee Eight V-twins in the future as there are no plans as yet to replace the 1200cc Sportster with another machine of it's capacity.

    Good luck with choosing and buying your new Harley-Davidson.


    Where it all began, a 1957 Sportster.

    1957Sportster.jpg

  7. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    My Ride
    Harley-Davidson 1200 Custome - TBC
    Posts
    3
    Thanked: 1
    Cheers for the replies Guy's!

    This part of Portugal is very laid-back to what I am used to in the UK. The roads are also largely quiet in comparison too, in fact, I have driven the entire stretch from Albufeira to Faro on the motorway in Winter at 10am (still nice and sunny) and not seen another car! Ok, that's unusual but you get the idea, outside of the tourist seasons, it can be really quiet here and ideal for cruising.


    I've lost my 'need for speed', left it behind some time ago already. These day's I just want to enjoy the thrill the freedom a bike offers coupled with taking in the scenery around me, checking out various destinations and then riding leisurely home.

    I would say, I do not want my feet far forward and to be stretching to reach the handlebars. I'm looking for comfort, almost a natural seating position so guess sorta half-way between sports and feeling like I'm laying back. So when I visit the H-D Dealer, I'll be sure to mention that and sit on a few bikes to see what suits me best.

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    My Ride
    A proper bike
    Posts
    514
    Thanked: 131
    Look at the 1200C range. For your purposes, they'll offer probably the most relaxed ride. Forward controls don't mean feet that far outstretched, it means a relaxed slightly feet forwards riding position that is much much more comfortable than the spine crushing riding position offered by the mid controls which I found hideously uncomfortable as it is very cramped, partly as the seat height to pegs distance isn't that great. (I have a bad back though which may have been exacerbated by the mid riding position).

    You wont be stretching to the bars either, like the 48 riding position, The 1200C has slightly swept back, very natural feeling and quite wide bars. Whatever standard bike you choose there are a couple of changes which most people tend to make if not before picking their bikes up, then not long afterwards. Saddle is one and shocks are another. Harley for some reason doesn't seem to want to fit decent shocks to their Sportsters. As standard, they don't have enough travel (especially when sag is accounted for) and limit ground clearance...all done on the altar of looking cool. Upgrade shocks to progressives or Hagons (not expensive and a dead easy DIY job) and also look at replacing the stock saddle for something more plush...that's it, nothing else needed unless you want the harley sound. If in Portugal, you may want to consider running the bike on straight 50 oils during the summer as the standard 20/50 multigrade may prove a little thin for the hotter running conditions over the UK.

    Whatever you choose, have fun and enjoy the experience. There's a reason that so many Harleys have appeared on UK roads over the past 5 or so years...people are getting fed up with plastic clones, sportsbikes which can only be used on the track (and even then the modern crop can barely use all their power on short circuits), and taller than the BFG massive traily styled tourers. The Harleys hark back to a gentler less rushed era and can be enjoyed to their full potential plus have the ingredients of genuine long distance touring bikes.

  9. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Ireland
    My Ride
    Dyna Superglide
    Posts
    108
    Thanked: 55
    Quote Originally Posted by Coolbanana View Post
    Cheers for the replies Guy's!

    This part of Portugal is very laid-back to what I am used to in the UK. The roads are also largely quiet in comparison too, in fact, I have driven the entire stretch from Albufeira to Faro on the motorway in Winter at 10am (still nice and sunny) and not seen another car! Ok, that's unusual but you get the idea, outside of the tourist seasons, it can be really quiet here and ideal for cruising.


    I've lost my 'need for speed', left it behind some time ago already. These day's I just want to enjoy the thrill the freedom a bike offers coupled with taking in the scenery around me, checking out various destinations and then riding leisurely home.

    I would say, I do not want my feet far forward and to be stretching to reach the handlebars. I'm looking for comfort, almost a natural seating position so guess sorta half-way between sports and feeling like I'm laying back. So when I visit the H-D Dealer, I'll be sure to mention that and sit on a few bikes to see what suits me best.
    I have a family member that lives in Lisbon, and I'm originally from Austin, Texas. I've been to Portugal many times. That piece of roadway reminds me very much of the US routes in the south west. I'm a big fan of Portugal. It is PERFECT for Harleys.

    http://www.pbase.com/wyk/portugal are a few pics I took so far
    Last edited by reindeer; 06-12-2018 at 01:12 PM.

  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to reindeer For This Useful Post:

    bluenose-1956 (06-13-2018), Coolbanana (06-13-2018)

  11. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Northwich Cheshire
    My Ride
    Harley-Davidson FXDLS low rider s
    Posts
    10
    Thanked: 7
    Hi,

    I came back to bikes after a 20 year break to have a family. I bought my first Harley a sportster Roadster and enjoyed it a lot, I then got a dyna fxdls and that is also fantastic. The best advice is as others have mentioned, try a few different models and see what makes you smile the most.
    These bikes are unique and each family of bikes have their own strengths and weaknesses.

    Enjoy finding out the bike for you and welcome aboard

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to Simmo63 For This Useful Post:

    bluenose-1956 (06-13-2018)

  13. #10
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    My Ride
    Harley-Davidson 1200 Custome - TBC
    Posts
    3
    Thanked: 1
    Quote Originally Posted by reindeer View Post
    I have a family member that lives in Lisbon, and I'm originally from Austin, Texas. I've been to Portugal many times. That piece of roadway reminds me very much of the US routes in the south west. I'm a big fan of Portugal. It is PERFECT for Harleys.

    http://www.pbase.com/wyk/portugal are a few pics I took so far

    Thank you for sharing; wonderful images there. Yes, Portugal is a great place for riding, many scenic routes to choose from and relatively fewer cars to contend with. I'm really looking forward to it.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •