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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Had one too many (non motorcyclist) people ask what sort of Harley it is.
Not any more..................
 

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I have it worst. I have a 99 Shadow ACE that is de-badged and everyone, even Harley riders asking if it's a Harley.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I even had one conversation go;

Hey that's a nice bike.
Thanks.
What model is it?
It's a Voyager Custom.
Oh right, I've not heard of that model, how long have Harley made them?
It's not a Harley.
Are you sure?
 

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Like it or not, agree with it or not, accept it or not . . . but Harley Davidson builds the standard that all other cruiser and touring motorcycles are measured against in this world! LOL!
 

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LOL, it happens to me all the time with my VN2000, being a push rod engine is even harder for them not to think it's one.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Like it or not, agree with it or not, accept it or not . . . but Harley Davidson builds the standard that all other cruiser and touring motorcycles are measured against in this world! LOL!
Yes I know, I've owned 2, still own one. My Kawasaki does everything better than either. I also test rode an Ultra, and the Kawasaki beats that too, by a country mile.

It's a shame the Harley reputation is let down today by poor build quality, and stuff that doesn't work, like the new duo cooled heads and infotainment thingy.

The sad thing is Harley actually nailed the best engine, frame and riding position design for a motorcycle, but other manufacturers improved and refined it.

If Harley is the standard for cruiser and touring today, then it is a very poor standard that is easily beaten. Just ask all the Law Enforcement agencies that are switching over to Victory.
 

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Yes I know, I've owned 2, still own one. My Kawasaki does everything better than either. I also test rode an Ultra, and the Kawasaki beats that too, by a country mile.

It's a shame the Harley reputation is let down today by poor build quality, and stuff that doesn't work, like the new duo cooled heads and infotainment thingy.

The sad thing is Harley actually nailed the best engine, frame and riding position design for a motorcycle, but other manufacturers improved and refined it.

If Harley is the standard for cruiser and touring today, then it is a very poor standard that is easily beaten. Just ask all the Law Enforcement agencies that are switching over to Victory.
Hey, you can have your opinion - doesn't bother me. My Harley does just about everything better than my Vulcan does. LOL!
 

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:waving:
Like it or not, agree with it or not, accept it or not . . . but Harley Davidson builds the standard that all other cruiser and touring motorcycles are measured against in this world! LOL!
Harley is just the first thing most people think of when they see a cruiser. Most cagers don't even know of other brands like Victory or Indian. Growing up I always wanted a Harley, who didn't? But since I started riding with a Honda, I just loved it and when I tested a Harley, it didn't hold a candle to Honda. Now I just stay away from them and the riders cause most of them are d*#ks that don't even waive back. :waving:
 

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:waving:

Harley is just the first thing most people think of when they see a cruiser. Most cagers don't even know of other brands like Victory or Indian. Growing up I always wanted a Harley, who didn't? But since I started riding with a Honda, I just loved it and when I tested a Harley, it didn't hold a candle to Honda. Now I just stay away from them and the riders cause most of them are d*#ks that don't even waive back. :waving:
Or wave back! LMAO!
 

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I too get the question of what type of Harley my 07' customized Vulcan 900 is. I have no issues with Harley just don't prefer them. In fact my wife wants one this year.
People tell me that rather than making my bike look like a Harley, just go out and buy on. I didn't make my bike look like a Harley, I made it look the way I wanted it to. Bikes are personal for most of us and I am not trying to pass mine off as something else. It still has the badge on the tank.
Proud owner of a Vulcan!
 

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I too get the question of what type of Harley my 07' customized Vulcan 900 is. I have no issues with Harley just don't prefer them. In fact my wife wants one this year.
People tell me that rather than making my bike look like a Harley, just go out and buy on. I didn't make my bike look like a Harley, I made it look the way I wanted it to. Bikes are personal for most of us and I am not trying to pass mine off as something else. It still has the badge on the tank.
Proud owner of a Vulcan!
Or wave back! LMAO!
:disapointed: I thought I fixed that. LOL
 

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Hey, you can have your opinion - doesn't bother me. My Harley does just about everything better than my Vulcan does. LOL!
Maybe not everything, but I'm right there with you. They each have a special place in my heart as well. I think Harley gets a bad rap because of the bugs in the systems that were mentioned. Those systems are fairly new and will undoubtedly take a few years to make them perfect, if that's even possible. I work in the automotive industry and know first hand how it is when a new platform is launched. There is a huge demand with much pressure to succeed that things often get pushed through and approved even though there are known flaws in the new platform as a whole. It's more important to be on time and not delay initial launch than it is to perfect the problems. That comes later and a higher cost, usually for the consumer.

But even with all that said, I love em both, and don't plan on ever getting rid of either. They each have their place in our lives and get used plenty. I actually like the way my old electra glide handles better than my Vulcan does, but the Vulcan has a better ride suspension. Even though it only has 1 rear shock vs the 2 on the EG, go figure. Must be the extra weight in the EG. But the EG has the fairing and is great for colder weather and longer trips with more storage. Vulcan is better in hot weather being water cooled and a simple windshield. And the Vulcan has more room for me and the wife, go figure. Smaller and lighter but has a better ride and more room.
 

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Harley is the "standard" insomuch Jell-O is the standard for gelatin and Kleenex are the standard for facial tissue. Better or worse doesn't really matter. Brilliant marketing, a large market share and a historic stronghold on the industry has led folks to use "Harley" and "Cruiser" interchangeably. When people say "What kind of a Harley is that" they aren't usually asking if it's a Heritage or a Fat Boy; anyone who knows enough about H-D would know by looking at it anyway. They are asking if it's a Kawasaki Harley or a Honda Harley. Yes, seriously, they are. They mean "Harley" the same way you and I would mean "Cruiser".

And while HD has made some great innovations throughout the years, they are hardly the first. V-Twin cruisers existed for decades before Harley-Davidson first slapped a single cylinder engine onto a bicycle and connected it to the back wheel with a leather belt. Actually, they aren't even the first American company to do so (That was Indian). Peugeot, who made bicycles (Still do), slapped an engine on one of their bicycles and called it a "Velocycle" and by 1903 were using 45 degree single-pin V-Twins. The V-Twin engine was actually invented by Mr. Daimler of Daimler Chrysler fame a couple years before that. He used it in boats and cars, I don't know if that engine was ever used in a motorcycle.

The riding style of the cruiser wasn't deliberately designed, it's a natural progression. The "safety bicycle" was invented in the last half of the 19th century and it's the Bicycle you still see today. Upright riding position with two wheels of the same size and the feet directly below you. An engine was slapped on, and your feet were either placed behind or in front of the engine. As time progressed the motorcycle became 'beefier' and more than just a motorized bicycle. And this wasn't one brand doing it, it was dozens. Though only H-D had the marketing brilliance, build quality and brand image to actually be sustainable and turn something from a fad to an industry; they definitely get the credit for that one.

All that said, the Metrics came out with the true 'motorcycles' designed to be motorcycles. Not the natural progression of motorized bicycles. Ones where the rider sits in a much more aerodynamic position and the seat is larger and doesn't resemble a super oversized bicycle saddle. In other words, the "standard" motorcycle of the 70's and later, the sport bike. But, obviously, they eventually figured out that the Cruiser was the way to go. While the genre was popularized by Harley, Metrics, by sheer virtue of building cruisers, are "knock-offs" insomuch as a Chevy Malibu is a Ford Fusion knockoff. They are both 4-door sedans. It just is what it is. It's a genre, influenced by certain predecessors.

Of course, that doesn't mean Metric motorcycles don't take a LOT of cues from H-D.

Personally I really enjoy my water-cooled bike. I know some folks claim the Harley's don't get hot but that wasn't my experience. I rode a screamin-eagle road glide; even test rode an Ultra Limited I had considered at one point. Both just baked my legs and weren't really all that 'special'. Not bashing H-D or anything, sweet bikes. They look great, sound great, and there's every accessory you could want for them. But riding them didn't do anything for me.
 

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I'm just glad we still have the freedom in this country to choose what we ride...At least I think we still do, I haven't watched today's news yet....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Harley is the "standard" insomuch Jell-O is the standard for gelatin and Kleenex are the standard for facial tissue. Better or worse doesn't really matter. Brilliant marketing, a large market share and a historic stronghold on the industry has led folks to use "Harley" and "Cruiser" interchangeably. When people say "What kind of a Harley is that" they aren't usually asking if it's a Heritage or a Fat Boy; anyone who knows enough about H-D would know by looking at it anyway. They are asking if it's a Kawasaki Harley or a Honda Harley. Yes, seriously, they are. They mean "Harley" the same way you and I would mean "Cruiser".

And while HD has made some great innovations throughout the years, they are hardly the first. V-Twin cruisers existed for decades before Harley-Davidson first slapped a single cylinder engine onto a bicycle and connected it to the back wheel with a leather belt. Actually, they aren't even the first American company to do so (That was Indian). Peugeot, who made bicycles (Still do), slapped an engine on one of their bicycles and called it a "Velocycle" and by 1903 were using 45 degree single-pin V-Twins. The V-Twin engine was actually invented by Mr. Daimler of Daimler Chrysler fame a couple years before that. He used it in boats and cars, I don't know if that engine was ever used in a motorcycle.

The riding style of the cruiser wasn't deliberately designed, it's a natural progression. The "safety bicycle" was invented in the last half of the 19th century and it's the Bicycle you still see today. Upright riding position with two wheels of the same size and the feet directly below you. An engine was slapped on, and your feet were either placed behind or in front of the engine. As time progressed the motorcycle became 'beefier' and more than just a motorized bicycle. And this wasn't one brand doing it, it was dozens. Though only H-D had the marketing brilliance, build quality and brand image to actually be sustainable and turn something from a fad to an industry; they definitely get the credit for that one.

All that said, the Metrics came out with the true 'motorcycles' designed to be motorcycles. Not the natural progression of motorized bicycles. Ones where the rider sits in a much more aerodynamic position and the seat is larger and doesn't resemble a super oversized bicycle saddle. In other words, the "standard" motorcycle of the 70's and later, the sport bike. But, obviously, they eventually figured out that the Cruiser was the way to go. While the genre was popularized by Harley, Metrics, by sheer virtue of building cruisers, are "knock-offs" insomuch as a Chevy Malibu is a Ford Fusion knockoff. They are both 4-door sedans. It just is what it is. It's a genre, influenced by certain predecessors.

Of course, that doesn't mean Metric motorcycles don't take a LOT of cues from H-D.

Personally I really enjoy my water-cooled bike. I know some folks claim the Harley's don't get hot but that wasn't my experience. I rode a screamin-eagle road glide; even test rode an Ultra Limited I had considered at one point. Both just baked my legs and weren't really all that 'special'. Not bashing H-D or anything, sweet bikes. They look great, sound great, and there's every accessory you could want for them. But riding them didn't do anything for me.
Very well put.
Thank you.
You sound like Aaron from Gas Monkey Garage. (That's a compliment).

I'm just happy to be riding, I don't mind if it says Harley or Kawasaki on the tank, or saddlebag.
 

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Harley is the "standard" insomuch Jell-O is the standard for gelatin and Kleenex are the standard for facial tissue. Better or worse doesn't really matter. Brilliant marketing, a large market share and a historic stronghold on the industry has led folks to use "Harley" and "Cruiser" interchangeably. When people say "What kind of a Harley is that" they aren't usually asking if it's a Heritage or a Fat Boy; anyone who knows enough about H-D would know by looking at it anyway. They are asking if it's a Kawasaki Harley or a Honda Harley. Yes, seriously, they are. They mean "Harley" the same way you and I would mean "Cruiser"..........
Very well put.

Coming from an automotive OE job, I would add that HD's marketing efforts and their large market share has also allowed them to be more advanced and diverse in their consumer friendly offerings. This has a large appeal to many and was really the only reason HD was on my shopping list. It's a lot easier to develop an innovative accessory or electronic gismo that will work with 2,000,000 bikes than one that will only fit 50,000. HD is able to reduce the development costs based on a per-unit sale. That same thought, however, also restricts them from making any huge system and design changes as it could impact their development advantages.
 

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I get that too. Doesn't bother me as long as they like the bike.
 

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Biggest reason I went with a Kawasaki Vulcan is because I can buy 3 or 4 of them for the price of one Harley. HD makes some pretty bikes, but they are awfully proud of 'em.

That said...I really like my VN900LT. If I ever get a "bigger" bike, I'll go for a VN1700 or 2000.
 

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Biggest reason I went with a Kawasaki Vulcan is because I can buy 3 or 4 of them for the price of one Harley. HD makes some pretty bikes, but they are awfully proud of 'em.

That said...I really like my VN900LT. If I ever get a "bigger" bike, I'll go for a VN1700 or 2000.
If you're into used bikes, you're correct. But new, have you seen how proud Kawasaki is of their bikes? a new Nomad cost almost the same price as a new Road King! LOL!!

I remember when I was trying to buy a new Vulcan 1700. It was painful . . . LOL!!!

My friend's son just got a new Vaquero last summer and said that the aftermarket for accesories on it is AWFUL. That's unfortunate,
 
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