I bought my 05 800vnb new. Far from new now. Was my first bike, so nothing to judge it against, but my thoughts were that you really hear the mechanical parts working. Not like banging or knocking, but more like a well oiled sewing machine. A light tapping from the valve train, the chains running on the sprockets and such. This was with stock exhaust, dont hear it as much with baffles removed. I am at 97,300 miles on mine, and am sure there are many more on the road like mine. Regular oil and filter changes and ride them, and they last a long time, trouble free.