10 Things I Hate About My Harley

After riding motorcycles for over 30 years I recently decided to buy a Harley…

I have to say, many of my friends and family were floored. I come from a performance background and buying a Harley is something I simply never considered. Over the years I have established a reputation poking fun of those Harley riders. In my opinion, it’s all in good fun. I will ride with anyone. There are a ton of serious issues we can get upset at each other about that carry far more weight than what type of bike we all ride. But for years if you were on a Harley, you were going to get the brunt of it if you were riding with me.

So after years of bashing the Harley loyal I decided to go out and buy one. WHY? My reasoning was simple. I wanted to learn about the bikes and see what all the hype was all about. Maybe if I spent some time riding one I would come away with a different opinion. So after a discussion with my wife and some serious convincing of my Harley friends, I began looking for my first Harley. I asked a bunch of questions and gathered a consensus of what would be the best bike for me. A whole lot of advice and hours of research later, I decided on a Dyna. I found a 2007 Super Glide on Craigslist and decided to go take a look at it. I thought this would be a good choice simply because the bike was fuel injected and according to my friends, had decent handling characteristics. I may be old but I still ride a road bike pretty aggressive. I wanted to have something that would perform decently on the roads.

The bike only had 23K miles and I picked it up for $5300 bucks. I took my wife to look at the bike and when I loaded it into the truck, unbeknownst to me, she took a picture and posted it on Facebook. Instantly my phone started blowing up! It was comical how many people called me that day. I literally had friends call me that I hadn’t spoken to in years! All of them asking the same question…..”Did you really buy a Harley?”

Things I Hate About My Harley

As soon as I got the bike home I started taking it apart. The first thing to come off was the Ape hangers and I dropped the forks to change the fork oil. I put tracker bars on the bike, changed all the fluids, greased all the joints and went through all the components. Threw on a new set of hoops and took it for a ride. After 10 minutes on the bike, I felt the need to start heading back home. The front suspension felt unstable and shoddy, the brakes sucked, and the rear felt springy. On deceleration the handlebars vibrated violently and the bike handled for sh*t. I kept looking at the front wheel wondering if I forgot to tighten something. The first corner I went into quickly reminded me what I was riding. The rear of the bike wallowed in the middle of the turn like I was riding a gold fish! That combined with the front end dive and the vibration from the bars when I dropped the throttle got me thinking about my wife and kids! Not good!

I was convinced there was something wrong with the bike. Once I got the bike home I called one of my Harley buddies to come ride the bike. Jay showed up, hopped on the bike and went roaring down the road. After about 15 minutes I started to worry…He wasn’t back and I was afraid something did go wrong. After about 10 more minutes of freaking out, I heard the bike heading back. Jay whipped in the drive, put the kick stand out and said…”MAN! This thing is great! You got a good deal!”

I didn’t know how to respond…I was speechless.

I’ve been a Harley owner for six months now, and I have to admit…I still don’t get it. There are quite a few things that I have come across that I simply don’t understand concerning the bike. I definitely learned a lot in the last six months but not much of it makes any sense to me.

So here is my list of top 10 things I hate about my Harley.

  1. Things I Hate About My HarleySuspension- The suspension on the bike is way too soft. I ended up putting a Progressive Suspension Mono-tube kit in the 49mm forks and adding a set of Progressive 444 shocks. This helped things tremendously!
  2. Hardware- I understand we all need to save some money, but the hardware Harley uses to put the bikes together could be way better. I have seen better looking hardware come stock on a Big wheel!
  3. Drain plugs- You shouldn’t give a torque spec on an oil drain plug when you didn’t leave enough space to get a torque wrench on the plug. You also shouldn’t have to wrap said plug in Teflon tape so it doesn’t leak! How about a copper washer and a flat surface? Just like every other OEM on the planet.
  4. Oil changes- I really have to spend an hour cleaning the front of the motor every time I change the oil? Yeah I know I can buy a piece of plastic for 20 bucks that I have to shove under the filter so it doesn’t make a mess…but I shouldn’t have to do that!
  5. Stock horn- It’s safe to say I will be making an upgrade.
  6. Blinker indicators- Why would you put these on the dash so I have to look down to see if my auto shut off blinker is still on? Do you want me to notice the car in front of me that just slammed on their brakes? Wear a full face helmet and its worse! Put the blinker indicators where we can see them without having to take our eyes off the road!
  7. Convenience- I have to remove the exhaust to change the clutch cable and have to remove the shift linkage to get to the oil filter. You cannot be serious.
  8. Brakes- I know these bikes are heavy, but the brakes should make the bike stop. The brakes on this bike have serious room for improvement! I have ridden the new models too and the brakes are about the same.
  9. Painted hand controls- I know people like to go buy plastic covers for these ugly black controls, but painting them so they look like garbage after a few years is ridiculous. Two Words…POWDER COAT!
  10. Fasteners- I don’t have bags on this bike but you need to mount a tool chest on the rear fender if you want to be prepared. SAE, Metric, Torx, Allen heads….make up your mind!

Things I Hate About My HarleyHere is the deal. I have to admit I also love some things about my Harley. I love the endless selection of products that you can buy for Harley Davidson motorcycles. Customizing this bike has been fun! I love the six speed transmission and I like some of the comfort the bike provides at highway speeds. I like the sound of the bike. I didn’t at first, but now it has kinda grown on me.

Most of all I love the passion that people have for the Harley Davidson brand. I have met more people riding this bike than I have before. People love to talk about their Harleys!

In my opinion, if you are going to buy a brand new Harley you should expect so much more. That’s the point. Selling bikes at a premium price that don’t perform and have obvious shortcomings is just not acceptable in this day and age. You may love your Harley but you can’t argue these points very easily. I really would like to see Harley Davidson step it up in the future. They could definitely make some improvements that would benefit the rider and the reputation of the brand. Here’s to hoping they do!

Editor’s note: Now that Lowell is a Harley Davidson owner he has set up his dirt bike like a Harley…it’s safe to say that subconsciously he has converted to a loyal Harley Davidson rider. 


Things I Hate About My Harley

 

About the Author:

Meet Lowell Anderson, J&P Cycles director of brands. In this position, he is responsible for the assortment, design and development of products for our private label brands. Prior to joining the J&P team, Lowell was a senior manager for KTM North America Inc., where he was responsible for designing, developing and marketing all the KTM hard parts and clothing for the KTM Hard Equipment product line. Lowell has a passion for everything on two wheels. He still enjoys riding both street and dirt bikes. In his spare time, Lowell enjoys working on his bikes, building metric bobbers and spending time with his family and friends.

55 Comments

  1. Bill March 27, 2017 at 9:49 am

    When I was 16 I was givin a board out Kawasaki 90 rode it till I blew it up then I got a 1973 Yamaha RD 350 that bike was fast as hell even by today’s standards I finally sold it and got my 1st car and didn’t ride agin till my 40s when my son was 13 and got him a dirt bike and I got a Yamaha TW 200 street and trail ya a big man on a little bike lol then I got my 2000 sporty and I was reborn i love that bike and I still have it and I also have a 2004 springer & love it to I don’t think it’s the image of riding HD as the hard core riders all tell me to get rid of the sporty it’s for girls screw em I love riding the sporty and the springer im not trying to impress anyone there’s just nothin like the feeling of riding HD

  2. Mike Green March 27, 2017 at 6:40 am

    The only issues I have are 1) the oil plug should be like the tranny plug Vertical 2) the Oil Filter should be vertical but I tried on the last filter change to not use the 20 dollar piece of plastic I put this in the trash and went with a piece of cardboard made it about 12 inches long 5 or 6 inches wide and bent it into a half circle and pushed it up under the oil filter and placed the drain pan under the end I broke the filter lose first then after placing the cardboard hand unscrewed it was perfect not a drop on the frame or on my lift table. Using the 20 dollar piece of junk I always had oil all over everything. 3) the design of the rear axle to get it out I have to unbolt the saddle bag protection so I can get the axle out. Maybe they could come up with a design that will enable you to pull the rear axle with out having to remove all these bolts. Now would I trade my HD in for something else not a chance in hell………

  3. Rudolph Morgan March 27, 2017 at 4:31 am

    Never liked the bikes never considered buying one. I do find the V-Rod to be exceptional though!

  4. Angry!!!! March 26, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    I agree with the blog. Harley have a good product but it is a shame they don’t complete it with good finishes. The small things matter. To all the nay stayers each to their own!!!!!!

  5. Marcus March 26, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I have toured on Buell cycles for years, and last year bought a Dyna Superglide. Two things I worry about while touring on this bike are that there is no chance at replacing the drive belt on the side of the road unlike a sportster. The second is why there isn’t a center stand.

    • Lowell Anderson March 27, 2017 at 7:16 am

      I have wondered why there is no center stand as well. I had an 83 Shadow…it had a center stand.Thanks for the comment!

    • Lee March 27, 2017 at 8:36 am

      Can’t say about all Sportsters but my ’07 is a big deal to replace the belt. When I noticed that a belt replacement isn’t included in the maintenance schedule I called the dealer – answer was, there is no replacement interval, the belts outlast the bikes. I’m 165 lbs, seldom have a passenger, no jackrabbit starts, but for those who put more pressure on their belts – if they start to stretch, fray, or crack, you could change it before a trip. Since Harley rudely makes me remove the swing arm to lube the bearings, that’s also a good time to replace the belt for insurance.

  6. John March 26, 2017 at 7:10 am

    Sorry to hear you had problems with the used bike you bought. That’s the chance we take when we buy someone’s else’s problem……..Everyone has the right to their own opinion, whether sweet or sour. I have enjoyed all the comments on your blog……..I love to ride every chance I get. I can only ride a bike that I can sit up and stretch out on for comfort…..What I love about my bike is the roar it makes. I love that it sets off every car alarm in a parking garage. I love how everyone stops in their tracks to look at me as I pass by. …I also love the balance it has. …..I ride to escape the stress of Work and harsh realities in life. I ride to be Free and independent….We are all related, because we are bike riders, thru and thru………Make your Journey a memory…..Happy Trails Lowell, no matter what type of bike you ride.

  7. Bc March 26, 2017 at 12:26 am

    Good article I was a$$ opposite had a 93 soft tail looked great sounded great ran and drove great test drove a cbr 600 huh… my bike sucks! 6 months later own a gsxr 1000 never looked back

  8. Steve March 25, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Rode a 99 Honda valkyrie for many years. Always been a Honda guy and thought that bike could not be beat for how I like to ride. My brother is a Harley guy and I’ve given him crap for years. And always tell him I ride the Valk cause I wanted a bike made in USA that was dependable. I’ve had an itch for a new bike and look at Goldwings and really liked the F6B. Last weekend the Harly store had a demo ride event. Went over just for grins and rode a Roadglide Ultra. It blew me away! Bought a brand new 2017 that day. Beats the Honda offerings in every way. Even price. Could not be happier! Just wish the weather would give me a break to ride more!

  9. Jay March 25, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    I bought my first Harley while attending the American Motorcycle Institute in Daytona in 1993. It was a 1974 XLCH with a raked neck and 10″ over forks. A cage driver decided to make a left turn right in front of me and destroyed it so I got a Shovelhead FXR and rode it until I got a 1996 Dyna Convertible which comes with dual front disc brakes. I still own that bike although it’s currently on my lift getting a full face lift with all new chrome and a Wide Glide front end and bobbed fenders. Last year I picked up a 1995 Road King so the wife wouldn’t have to ride the fender of my solo seated Dyna. Anyway I’ll have my Dyna till the day I die and I have no doubt that that Evo will still be running strong. Something I’m sure isn’t true of the Honda V45 Magna and Silverwing I rode to school all those years ago before I could afford a real motorcycle. Simply get a new right fork lower that you can add a brake to along with a set of chrome hand controls with a dual disk master cylinder and you will have a bike that will last the rest of your life and as you get older you will age into loveing what it does well rather than hating what it wasn’t designed to be. Ride long and keep the shiny side up man.

  10. Ant March 25, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Granted you said you have ridden bikes for 30 years, one is to assume not Harleys. So it easy to believe you should not expect to get off a sport bike to get on a Harley and give an unbiased opinion. Comparing apples and oranges is what you are doing! They are very different, accept it and move on..

  11. Dale Smith March 25, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Great article Lowell, I agree that for the price, the design and quality should be better. For me I consider it a challenge to overcome shortcomings of the brand. For perspective ride a Ural sidecar, it will make you’re Dyna feel like a Cadillac!

  12. RG March 25, 2017 at 11:10 am

    The hardware has ALWAYS drove me nuts!!! Cant believe they don’t use polished stainless, would probably only cost a couple hundred dollars per bike. That cadmium just cheapens the whole look of the bike unbelievable.

  13. Billy B. March 25, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I have ridden everything I have had a chance to ride, from Hodakas to Harley’s to mopeds! I like them all and had pros and cons for them all. That said I can honestly say I liked them all. Somethings about two wheels that just gets me going. Ride what you will, ride what you can, ride free, ride long.

  14. Peter Marechal March 25, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Every motorcycle out there has a specific purpose in getting from point A to B. Apples and oranges…right. Now if we all had to eat apples every day it would get boring. Consequently, there are a myriad of different motorcycle designs that get you from point A to B in styles of riding/comfort, look/appeal, performance/cornering and what have you. So, my solution is to have a bike for long distance straight line performance (cruiser) and a sport bike for when I’m feeling in the mood for sportiness. I don’t have a Harley but if it makes the rider happy when riding it, I’m all for it!

  15. Dave March 25, 2017 at 10:00 am

    What I love about my Harley? …nothing that can be measured in 0-60, 60-0, how fast it goes It’s the way it makes me feel chugging down a country road at 50-55 mph on a warm sunny day. It’s the way it makes me feel when I pause for a minute just to look at it. It’s the deep relaxed sound of those two big pistons at low RPM working away under me. Nothing else even comes close.

  16. TNT March 25, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Good article, and I agree for the most part but the culture is what it is. Harley in it’s infinite wisdom has made mistakes since it’s inception, but there are always problems no matter what. I purchased a 02 Duece and I do love it but the problem with it was the damn cheap cam set up. Stupid engineers just like the government. I upgraded to fueling 525 Reapers and am totally satisfied. Good part is I found a mechanic I trust and guess what, he is not tied up with Harley’s B.S. Good riding!

  17. T March 25, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Good article, and I agree for the most part but the culture is what it is. Harley in it’s infinite wisdom has made mistakes since it’s inception, but there are always problems no matter what. I purchased a 02 Duece and I do love it but the problem with it was the damn cheap cam set up. Stupid engineers just like the government. I upgraded to fueling 525 Reapers and am totally satisfied. Good part is I found a mechanic I trust and guess what, he is not tied up with Harley’s B.S. Good riding!

  18. Daveious March 25, 2017 at 8:59 am

    I agree with your comments about suspension and brakes, my (upgraded) Iron, and my 48 both got new rear suspension. The 48 got Nightster front dampers (ground clearance) both got XR discs & calipers. custom exhausts & a proper sporty tank on the 48 Pure BLISS 😊

  19. Chritian March 25, 2017 at 8:47 am

    I own a first harley, a softail deluxe 2005, I still got it, 12 years now, 57 thousand kilometers, mint condition, 6 thousand dollars of harley davidson products on it, never touch the engine or the muffler all original and I can’t get 8 thousand dollars for it so I’m keeping it. The biggest problem I have is when I stop at a red light, my muffler is under my leg gets really hot so I can’t drive it in the city, but I love my harley in spring and autumn when it’s below 25 degrees. I love the ride.thanks for reading.

  20. Riding Enthusiast March 25, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Excellent collection of data. Harly’s have a certain mystique about them which is leading me to buy one. With your information, I’m inclined to test drive one prior to purchase. Hopefully all your data doesn’t apply to baggers! Thank you!

    • Lowell Anderson March 27, 2017 at 7:07 am

      Baggers have some other “opportunities” I have learned about. I am sure you will learn about them too. 🙂

  21. Bob March 25, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Ok now I am nervous. Just bought my first Harley. A 98 Heritage Softail. 12K miles. From a co-worker. Have not done any riding in 17 years. This is a divorce present to my self. My last bikes have all been Yamahas with an old Kawasaki tossed in. Never had any issues with the Asian bikes. The guy I brought this from is an anal retentive engineer whom I have know for years. Probably washed and waxed this bike after every ride. (he just bought a new Road King which is why this is available) Riding season is slowing creeping up on us (Minnesota) and I could not be any more excited. I will post an update if needed but the bike looks show room new.

    • Lowell Anderson March 27, 2017 at 7:22 am

      Nothing to be nervous about. Just like anything else, you’ll figure it out. Lot’s of good people on the J&P tech line if you need some advice!

  22. Carl March 25, 2017 at 7:02 am

    Do you always have to ask everyone before you are going to do something? If you didn’t like that kind of bike don’t have to buy it $ 5k you can get a nice Japanese equipment or a Honda Civic oh don’t forget to ask for permission of the wife and mama.

    • Lowell Anderson March 27, 2017 at 7:21 am

      LOL! She’s my partner and occasionally rides with me. I have learned it’s better to include her in the decision, than to pay for that decision for years to come!

  23. Krazie Kev March 25, 2017 at 6:38 am

    Harley’s are shit ,overpriced junk!🙃

  24. Mike D. March 22, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Enjoyed your article. I’m glad I’m not the only one who notices things that Harley should do better. For me and my 1997 Sportster, the list includes: 1.No tool box. First bike I’ve had without a tool box and tool set. 2.No fork lock. Just a loop to put a customer provided padlock in. 3. The seat is bolted on. No such thing as a quick release. 4.No helmet lock. 5.Have to remove the muffler to get the rear wheel off. There are a lot of maintenance items that could have been made a lot easier with a minor location adjustment of another component. 6. Having to remove the swing arm just to grease two bearings. It costs as much to grease them as to replace them. I’ll just wait till they wear out, then replace. 7.Inaccessible battery connections. 8.No dip stick for gear oil. My clutch cable developed a leak, so I have to check my gear oil periodically. It takes me about 30 minutes to do everything I have to do to check the gear oil. A dip stick or site glass would have made this a 15 second check. 9.The front turn signals also serve as running lights. Why not the rear as well? 10. All my other bikes had tachometers. Not the Harley. I really miss my tachometer. 11. Everything you said still applies.

    • Lowell Anderson March 22, 2017 at 8:28 am

      Some really good points here that I missed. Thanks for the comment!

    • Lee March 22, 2017 at 10:54 am

      I agree with your list – some minor, some no longer apply, some are absolutely inexcusable, like for a buck they could have put grease fittings on the steering head and swing arm – although when you do remove it you can drill and tap it for a fitting so it’s a one-time ordeal. First bike I’ve owned that I didn’t need to carry a tool kit. My 2007 Roadster does have a quick-release seat, tach, and 2 front brakes. You don’t need a helmet lock when you ride a Harley – everyone knows we’ll beat the crap out of a thief. Ride a gay bike, you need 2 helmet locks. Removing the muffler is a pain, but you ought to see what Japanese super sport owners go through – 2 hours to remove the fairings just to do anything.

      • Lowell Anderson March 22, 2017 at 11:41 am

        The helmet lock comment is gold!Thanks!

  25. Lee March 6, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Lowell, amazing, two different commenters called you a yuppie! Now you know! Trade that Harley for a BMW R nineT and a $900 Roland Sands jacket and just stand outside a hipster bar next to your bike!

    By now you’ve figured out that Harleys aren’t so much about motorcycling as about emotion. Because of that, there are Harley people out there who won’t tolerate any criticism. Harleys may seem overpriced but they’re the only bike besides Indian and maybe Moto Guzzi that are substantial through and through, no plastic, no pot metal. That may be a large reason why their resale value is higher than the Japanese. Lately I’ve heard Harley’s resale value is taking a beating but the m/c industry for whatever reason hasn’t yet recovered from a delayed slump due to the 2008 crash.

    • Lowell Anderson March 6, 2017 at 11:46 am

      LOL! I gotta find a hipster bar. Pretty sure my age pretty much negates me from that group.
      Harleys definitely hold a resale value better than a metric, and that was a big part of me deciding to buy one to dig into. I usually buy my bikes used or find a pile that needs rebuilt and fix and sell it. That’s what I do for fun..so I am thinking I will have no issues getting my money out of this one when I’m done. If I decide to sell it.

  26. Ryan March 4, 2017 at 3:50 am

    Sell it you yuppy…you really… really !! piss me off…you dont deserve to enjoy it… knock em all ya life …and then buy one, you certainly didn’t earn it Ryano South OZ

    • Lowell Anderson March 6, 2017 at 7:17 am

      I have to admit…I have never been called a “yuppy” before. The people that know me think this is the best comment yet!

      • Ira Sherman March 6, 2017 at 7:28 am

        Ryan has anger issues!! LOL Lowell, I love my Harley and it is the only brand I ride. But there are other manufacturers out there too. I have a friend who love his Goldwing. For me it is Harley all the way. I have a 2010 Super Glide and love her. She has over 35,000 miles on her and I have not had one day of problems with her. I change my own oil (Lucas Synth) and keep her in great shape!! To me, there is nothing better than a Harley!!

        Enjoy whatever you decide to ride!! 🙂

  27. Steven March 1, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    i had a vmax and have had three different harleys still have one theyre all different and they are apples and oranges i miss the dresser and miss the vmax!

    • HappyWrench March 5, 2017 at 8:33 am

      I agree with this. An apples to orange comparison. I wrote a response on my blog website (HappyWrench) entitled, “10 things I love about my Harley.”

  28. MARTY March 1, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    YOU SAY YOU BEEN RIDING 30 YEARS? i HAVE BEEN RIDING SINCE I BOUGHT A 61 XLCH IN 62 TO 2017 SO FAR, YOU COMPLAIN LIKE A BIG BABY, OR A YUPPIE PUPPY WANT TO BE A HARLEY BIKER, GET WITH IT GUY, RIDE THE BITCH & WORRY ABOUT NOTHING, THE HARLEY WAS NOT MADE FOR YOU LIKE A 84 EVO 1340 DRESSER, YES I KNOW ALL ABOUT YOUR COMPLAINTS, THE NEWER THEY ARE, THE HARDER THEY ARE TO WORK ON UNLESS YOU ARE A HARLEY WRENCH LIKE ME, OH WELL BUD, GO OUT & RIDE & FORGET ABOUT YOUR COMPLAINTS & RIDE ON BRO, IN THE WIND

  29. Ken March 1, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    I love the article and comments. But………. didn’t you ride that bike before you bought it?

    Of course a seasoned Harley rider will say, LOVE IT! They are used to what Harley has given them.

    I’ve owned more bikes in the last 10 years than I care to admit, 34 is the number 100,000 miles on these over the nation.

    Trouble is I’ve lost more on resell on the last few new Harley’s because it is a “buyer’s market” out there not a sellers.
    and with what I’ve lost in the last two years I could have bought a brand new Street Glide CVO, not kidding.
    So, I’m building a bobber now and bought a new KLR650 2016 Digital Camo.

    Why did I wait this long to buy a KLR?

    Harley’s are fine, you can ride them across the country as I have and you can buy older or new which I have done.
    New is always best. Newer features like fuel injection and 6 speed and the new Milwaukee 8 is absolutely an amazing product. This new bike is better than Indian and I’ve ridden all that Indian has to offer too.

    The Victory Highball was my bike for 20 months and I put 17,000 miles on it and two sets of tires and loved that bike.
    Victory was superior but couldn’t make it……why?
    Because we like heritage and nostalgia and that’s good enough for point to point riding and good looks and something that was made by UNION people which Harley is. No other American bike nor import is Union made. Deal with it.

    So, what do you want? It’s all up to your pocket book, your riding style and your distance and locations.

    Have fun, don’t put too much in that bike because you NEVER will get it out. Trust me, I KNOW TOO MUCH.

  30. Lee March 1, 2017 at 10:23 am

    After 50 years of British, German, and Japanese bikes I became a Harley owner. Simple reason, I moved to a rural area, the closest dealer is Harley, a Sportster is cheap, simple, reliable, lowest maintenance of any bike made (no valve adjustments, no chain maintenance), the engine is pretty much unchanged since 1957. Like you, I had to do a Progressive suspension upgrade front and rear (I bought the Roadster before they dropped it and then revived it – the new one already has upgraded suspension). My bike handles just fine for a heavy bike and I would love to know why your Dyna has handling problems and why your friend doesn’t think so. A vibration is a vibration, no getting around it. As for braking, the Roadster comes with 2 front brakes and if there were any justice in this world, every Harley would have 2 front brakes – they are heavy bikes.

    • Lowell Anderson March 1, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      The majority of the handling problems were from the OEM rear shocks. The rear of the bike would not settle in a turn. Keep in mind, I understand this is not a race bike. I just want the bike to sit in the turn and not wallow. The rear shocks took care of that. I think my friend didn’t have issues in the turns simply because he doesn’t ride as aggressively in the turns. I’m usually scrapping my footpegs on the ground.
      Thanks for the comment!

      • Lee March 1, 2017 at 5:22 pm

        You’re welcome! Now I’m guessing the OEM rear shocks were completely worn out. Having bought a new Harley I can say that the first problem with OEM shocks is they bottom when riding aggressively.

  31. Mark March 1, 2017 at 8:37 am

    It’s all about the image.

  32. robert burns March 1, 2017 at 4:25 am

    To be honest it is like listening to a kid who just came home from their first day at ‘big school’. I had similar experiences 27 years ago when I went from performance bike to my first harley but I didn’t bitch about it. Just because the author has just found out something doesn’t make it news for everyone else. Suffice to say he has the bike still. Perhaps one of those custom parts you may purchase next is an HD pacifier. Grow a set will you?

    • Lee March 1, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      Someone put a burr in your underwear? Coffee maker break this morning? Girlfriend left you for a poet?

      • Robert Burns 258 years old this year March 6, 2017 at 7:37 am

        Wow glad to see you are at least educated to a certain level Lee and you have heard of Robert Burns. That said, I don’t drink coffee and I don’t wear underwear so “no” would be the answer to your first two queries. Thanks for asking. Nope the girlfriend is still with me after all these years, anyway, apart from that not only am I not available I am not gay so don’t live in hope I might be available to you. No need to worry about my love life, but you will have to look elsewhere I’m afraid. Best of luck in that. The point I was trying to make was that the author of the piece was bitching about Harleys and their shortcomings as if it was headline news, well how about this for advice? If you don’t like it, sell it. If you have kept it, there must be something you like about it, so stop getting on like a petulant child. I would guess most people on this forum have/had Harleys and do not need someone to tell them that Harleys are not comparable to sports bikes in handling etc. We all knew that. Some of us have known it for decades but choose to ride Harleys. There is something more than “stats” about Harleys, well any bike really. I have had many sports riders offer to shake my hand for keeping up with them on the twistys, many more pissed of that I had (my softtail is 8 feet long). To me, if you don’t like something, sell it, don’t bitch about it.

  33. Mark February 28, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Here’s my take. I’ve been riding HDs since 1975. First a 61 XLCH, then a 63FL , and finally, a 2001 FLHR.
    The XLCH was worked over when I bought it, although I didn’t know it at the time, and it would match wheels with my buddy’s Kaw 900. Needless to say, we were both surprised.
    The FL, which I still have, was my only ride from 1978-2004, when I got the 01. The wife and me went everywhere on it.
    The 01, which has 150K miles on it, is our road bike,pulling a small camper.
    Longevity speaks volumes. That said, I bought none of them to go faster than the next guy, which seems to be an issue for the writer.
    BTW, I have no issues with my brakes, so maybe he needs to look at his.

  34. Chris February 28, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    I’ve been saying most of these points for years. I grew up riding Japanese bikes and learning to work on them. I’ve still got a Harley but I am seriously disappointed in what I got for my (way too much) money. Harley really does need to step up to the bar and give us a better quality bike for as much as they cost. I’ll probably keep mine until I’m dead but I’m pretty sure my next daily rider will be something that doesn’t vibrate my fillings out or make me feel like it might be my last day on earth.

    • Mike March 25, 2017 at 9:52 am

      I have a 2000 6V Rod I’d be happy if I could just get it to idol correctly other than that runs great

  35. Ira Sherman February 28, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    I wish you well with your Harley. Looks nice!! I wouldn’t ride anything else!!! 🙂

  36. Bad Bob February 28, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    LOL. When I first got mine, I thought the front end was going to wash out every turn! I got to the point I was afraid to go more than 5 mph to turn right at an intersection.

    THEN… I figured out the handle bars were mounted in rubber and would move 1/4-1/2 inch without moving the forks, and the buddy seat I have flexes back and forth on the rear springs.

    Now, I find the limiting factor in turning the thing is getting my feet caught between the floorboards and the motor when the floor boards get knocked up by the pavement leaning over. 😀

  37. Rider February 28, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    I got a good chuckle out of your article. You are spot on for the most part. The Harley rider life and sense of family is awesome. But I think you missed the point of Harleys. While I agree that for the price you would think they would make a out the door bike better than it is but you said it yourself. There are tons of upgrades you can do to a Harley. I bought a 2015 ultra a couple years back and put over 7k into it in the first 4 months just to make it right. Yeah I know its not right but the thing about a Harley is you have to make it your own. That’s what makes them special. And damn expensive…LOL Enjoy the ride….

  38. will February 28, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    I agree with #4!!!!

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