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Discussion Starter #1
So I got a job in 2015 selling Harleys for the local dealer. I got to ride them all as one of the perks of the job. Another perk of the job was buying a Harley at employee pricing which is about 40% off retail. So when a HD-1 custom Street Bob (FXDB) came in and was pretty much exactly what I would want, I traded in my Vulcan 900 at the time and picked it up. Absolutely beautiful, traditional and authentically retro, a joy to look at in the garage...

Unfortunately that's about where it's usefulness ended. It was too small, handled like crap, was unbalanced, had a poor weight distribution, was extremely uncomfortable to ride more than 10 miles, the wife hated riding on it, vibrated like hell, was difficult to work on (like a 1960's car,) got 30mpgs, got 120 miles per 4.3 gallon tank, and cost $400 quid a year to insure with minimal coverage. (There's much more I didn't like about it, but you get the picture.) The last 18 months I owned it I rode 249 miles! I normally do 4000 a year at least. When I went to do the oil change for this season is when I realized how little I've been riding and something had to change.

SO I traded it in on Saturday for a nice new 2016 Vulcan 900 LT, what a night and day difference which I appreciated immediately. Handling and smoothness right off the lot were 100% better. The seats super comfy, and my sig other wasn't on my shoulders anymore, much more room. Add to that 180 miles between fill ups. 1 hole to put oil in instead of 3. Real fenders and $99 for 1 year of 4 times more coverage insurance. I love the leather bags and windshield the LT is the complete package. My other 900's were classics that I added a Memphis Fats to and saddlebags. The Memphis Fats was no problem but the aftermarket bags were a pain to install and remove when I needed to. The fun's back in motorcycling for me. The Harley was a real buzz kill. After owning a Dyna Harley for over 2 years I would NEVER EVER buy another one. 40% off or otherwise.

I get that Harleys are like religion, but just like most religions, at the end of the day your better off just going with what works for you... :)
 

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So I got a job in 2015 selling Harleys for the local dealer. I got to ride them all as one of the perks of the job. Another perk of the job was buying a Harley at employee pricing which is about 40% off retail. So when a HD-1 custom Street Bob (FXDB) came in and was pretty much exactly what I would want, I traded in my Vulcan 900 at the time and picked it up. Absolutely beautiful, traditional and authentically retro, a joy to look at in the garage...

Unfortunately that's about where it's usefulness ended. It was too small, handled like crap, was unbalanced, had a poor weight distribution, was extremely uncomfortable to ride more than 10 miles, the wife hated riding on it, vibrated like hell, was difficult to work on (like a 1960's car,) got 30mpgs, got 120 miles per 4.3 gallon tank, and cost $400 quid a year to insure with minimal coverage. (There's much more I didn't like about it, but you get the picture.) The last 18 months I owned it I rode 249 miles! I normally do 4000 a year at least. When I went to do the oil change for this season is when I realized how little I've been riding and something had to change.

SO I traded it in on Saturday for a nice new 2016 Vulcan 900 LT, what a night and day difference which I appreciated immediately. Handling and smoothness right off the lot were 100% better. The seats super comfy, and my sig other wasn't on my shoulders anymore, much more room. Add to that 180 miles between fill ups. 1 hole to put oil in instead of 3. Real fenders and $99 for 1 year of 4 times more coverage insurance. I love the leather bags and windshield the LT is the complete package. My other 900's were classics that I added a Memphis Fats to and saddlebags. The Memphis Fats was no problem but the aftermarket bags were a pain to install and remove when I needed to. The fun's back in motorcycling for me. The Harley was a real buzz kill. After owning a Dyna Harley for over 2 years I would NEVER EVER buy another one. 40% off or otherwise.

I get that Harleys are like religion, but just like most religions, at the end of the day your better off just going with what works for you... :)
It's crazy because everyone at work has a Harley and they love it. I went with a co-worker to the shop and meh. He was all geeked out about them and I did not find them all that amazing. Either way, it's nice to hear your opinion on the difference

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Nearly all of my friends who have motorcycles where I live have Harleys. Seems that they are popular because there is some sort of popular groupie mystique about them. But one friend tried out my VN900 and commented about how much less vibration the 900 had than his Harley. Yet the local H.O.G club is strong here.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Maybe it's because I'm a first gen American, or because I lived in Europe for a while. I don't know. I do know I have a real strong sense that something has to actual perform well to be good. From an authentic retro standpoint the Harley can't be beat. It's the real deal. From a "I need to go down the road and enjoy it" standpoint, not so much. Take away the blue smoke coming out of your shorts and there's not much left in Harley land. Now if Kawasaki sold the W800 in the USA, I'm not sure I'd actually have a Vulcan lol. I do enjoy retro, it's why I tried the Harley in the first place. But I've never seen a W800 or W650 in the flesh. Might be too small. (I'm 6'2" and 230 lbs.

I know if I had paid the $18,000.00 msrp on that thing I'd be telling everyone how great it was because I'd have been stuck with it! Trading it in for what I paid for it was a no brainer.
 

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I have had four Harley's myself although they were just the bottom of the barrel Sportsters.Looked great parked at the curb but like you I also found that was where it ended.Spent thousands on those bikes trying to make them something they would never be.Welcome back to the Vulcan 900!!
 

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Several in our local cruiser group are HD owners, and swear by them. And, we metrics like to tease them. All and all my opinion is, what I get for what I have to pay puts a smile on my face. And, there's money left for gas and cool mods. :)
 

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Well I went from an Kawasaki kz1100 to intruder 1400 to Vulcan 900 (good bike for what it is) It just wasn't enough torque for me 2 up riding to nomad 1700 which drove me to an Electra glide classic. In which I grin ear to ear on. The problem for me on the 1700 was all the plastic (speaking and ratting) and when my cruise went out had to buy the whole assembly at $400 could not just buy the cruise switch. So I did not fix it. Bought a different bike.
 

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It's crazy because everyone at work has a Harley and they love it. I went with a co-worker to the shop and meh. He was all geeked out about them and I did not find them all that amazing. Either way, it's nice to hear your opinion on the difference

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Do you think they are all going to admit that they all pissed their money away ...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I went from an Kawasaki kz1100 to intruder 1400 to Vulcan 900 (good bike for what it is) It just wasn't enough torque for me 2 up riding to nomad 1700 which drove me to an Electra glide classic. In which I grin ear to ear on. The problem for me on the 1700 was all the plastic (speaking and ratting) and when my cruise went out had to buy the whole assembly at $400 could not just buy the cruise switch. So I did not fix it. Bought a different bike.
2017 Electra Glide Ultra Classic is $26,000.00 and change. A 2017 Voyager 1700 is $17,000 with a 1000 off sale. For $10,000.00 you save, you can buy a lot of cruise assemblies. Just sayin' :)

I'm not into touring bikes with fairings and hard cases, radios, etc, and the only ones I've ridden were the Harleys when I was working there. I don't know if I didn't like them because they were touring bikes, Harleys or both Harleys AND touring bikes.
 

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I really don't want to be a Harley basher. Generally, I'm a "to each her/his own" person. If you ride and are not a jerk when you do, then you're ok with me.

That said, there's a difference between what looks good on paper versus reality. I call it the conflict between my head and my heart. Any Harley that worked for me on paper just didn't work for me in my heart and visa versa. I loved the bigger Ultra Glide but really couldn't maneuver it well, especially at low speeds. Heck I had one hell of a time getting it off the kickstand. But once on the highway, that sucker was awesome, especially if you're just going straight or in easy, slopey turns. But the little ones like the Heritage Classic did nothing for me and was still hard to move around my driveway. And then there's all that chrome that I had no desire to clean all the time! I strongly considered a blacked out Fat Boy Low for a while, but with all the accessories, we're talking $20K. That just didn't seem right in my head. Everything vibrated like crazy and maintenance is super expensive on the Harleys.

The Vulcan does it all for me. Only one exception, still wish I had a 6th gear but then I'd have to go up to a 1700 and lose all my low speed maneuverability. So a Vulcan 900 Classic with all the accessories I want to throw at it is still less than $10K and just perfect for me. Head and heart all in one.
 

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I agree ride what you like and enjoy it.

I never cared for the looks of a full dresser as well. But I got to say on a trip or a long ride they are nice.

Where I live it is all country roads 55mph plus Mostly 2 up. So I have very little town riding. I would not own a sportster or some of the other bikes Harley makes. When I owned my 9 it was a good bike. I decided I wanted more cc's. After a 500 mile trip riding 2 up with some pretty steep hills.

Oh well I bought a 2013 Electra glide. For 1000 more then the used 2012 voyager 1700 that was for sale in my area. about the same miles 15000. Oh and Electra Glide already had 16" apes, fuel processor, exhaust, cams, ported heads, dyno tuned, and some other things. Can you get cams for a 1700? NO!

So I mean ride what you like and I will ride what I like. No point in bashing other manufactures I think they all have there plus and minus. So happy and safe riding.
 

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I agree, for the displacement class, pitting a Sportster against the V900, it's no contest. Kaw builds a better mousetrap by most every measure, with a much more spacious cockpit. Heck the 900 Classic is roomier than HD's Glides. And it is a beautiful motorcycle with classic lines. For what I want in a bike, it's a keeper.
 

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I once went to a Harley Dealership. Went to check out an 883. I think it had a factory mod or two. They listed it for 8,999.99. Test drove a used model and liked it. Got all the paperwork done, minus my signature. That listed price went from 8,999.99 to almost 13,000 dollars! I never ran so fast in my life! Went to the largest import bike dealer and they had left over 2007 Honda VTX 1300's on the floor for less than the 883 listed price. All in all, I left that dealership with an awesome bike for about 9 grand with almost twice the displacement.

I've parked my 900 next to other sportsters and can't believe anyone would be happy with that small framed bike. I'm a tall guy and I wouldn't be happy on it. Although, there aren't many things that fit me very well without some sort of modification.
 

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I wanted a Street Glide Special so bad in 2015, and then my wife got pregnant. Kept my VN800B, had a little performance and comfort added. 2016 rolls around, and I'm out shopping (kid is happy/healthy and finances were figured out). The sales lady at the HD dealer wouldn't talk to my wife about the Street 750 she wanted, only about the SGS that *I* wanted. Wife bailed on that, got mad about the cost (SGS was like $25k OTD). She asked if I looked at anything else, so I did some research and found the Vaquero. Wasn't sure I'd like it, but I took it on a test ride, and I was pleasantly surprised!

Bought the Vaq a week later, and any time I go to a HD dealer (my wife bought a HD Sportster 1200 a couple months after I bought my Vaq), I check 'em out, may get one in the future, but really, my Vaq is an awesome bike :D

-John
 

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Yeah I was pretty content with the 1700 nomad I had. my frustration was trying buy aftermarket stuff for it. Or just a cruise switch there not a big market for it on the 1700's. But on a Harley if you can think of it they probably make it. I think there is a better market for things on the 900. I will agree the 900 is a much better bike then a sporty.
 

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Yeah, I don't want to throw shade on HD either, by comparing the V9 to the Sportster. They are a benchmark of the motorcycle world after all.

The Sportster isn't trying to be a Vulcan. It's more of a thing to itself. It has a sound, vibration, power delivery, an overall effect that is a rush to ride. The Vulcan offers some of that, but it is good in a lot of other areas the Sportster isn't so good, both design-wise and ergonomic.
 

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I bought my Custom from a guy "upgrading" to a Harley. His loss is my gain. :D But I could tell it was really tough for him to sell this bike. That made me even more confident of my purchase.

Before this I had a Triumph Sprint. I thought that was the kind of bike I wanted but it never won me over. For being a touring bike it got very uncomfortable after about two hours. Then it always felt so big and cumbersome. Just a few minutes on my Vulcan test ride and I never looked back. Now if I could just get that pesky Indian Scout to stop tempting me...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Not sure what a Sportster has to do with a Vulcan 900, not even in the same size class. The Sportster is a TINY MC. The Vulcan 900 is about the same size as a Fat Boy or Heritage Special, and actually not as cramped as either of those for taller riders. (I'm 6'2")

Take away the tremendous marketing and your left with a very fine 1962 vintage MC. That's good in some ways and bad in others depending on what your MC ownership expectations are. I'm just trying to go down the road with the wife not complaining and with as minimal hassle and maximum comfort as I can afford. The Vulcan makes me look forward to riding, the Harley made me not want to ride anymore. It's really as simple as that.
 

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To the comment about the new Harley 8 having eight valves (like the VN900), Harley actually had eight valve racing engines way way back. But they never went into the production engines (non V-Rod) until the recent 8.

But, why so long Harley? Harley has the know-how to build pretty much whatever they want. But then they also know what sells, again and again. So they stick to the old designs to keep selling.
 
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