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Would I do it again?

By Wom Battle

An interesting question was posted as a comment on my Nice Ride with BD1 Harley Davidson blog entry a little while back that went

"it's nearly been one year since you bought your bike. I am interested to know whether you'd do it all again. If you could have done something different, what would it be? When you decided to buy your bike, did you look at any other tourers?"

Knowing what I do now I would definitely by another motorcycle in a heartbeat if I was without one.  I'm still kicking myself for waiting for so long.  Not only am I getting all the enjoyment from it that I experienced in the pre-missus-and-kids days the motorcycle has really given my son and I an opportunity for shared experiences and bonding away from X Boxes, School, Work and Home.  My eldest daughter is also showing an interest and my youngest can't wait until she's old enough to have a go... It's great!  One of the best things I ever did.

Would I buy another Harley Davidson? Definitely yes, if my budget extended to it.  If it didn't, I'd buy something else without a second thought just so I had a bike not sure what though.

I'm less interested in getting from Newcastle to Broken Hill in 8 hours than I used to be and while I've proven that even a massive Road King can be pushed around corners quite fast my memories of pushing the ST 1100 very hard many years ago are still very fond, but happily left in the past.  So I'm not feeling like having the Harley Davidson isn't "settling" for slow, it's a preference.

The things I like about the Road King.. it looks great, it sounds great, people stop and look at it.  I'm tall and it's a big bike..it fits me. It's heavy and you can sit on it all day two up and ride for miles and miles and miles.  You can hit a kangaroo on it and not fall off every time.  In my opinion Harley Davidsons are very well designed.  Things fit together, you can take things off and put them back on in seconds, screens, seats, Tour Packs, Sissy Bars, paniers, luggage.  If you need something particular to enhance your use of the Harley, you can buy it and generally have a few options to choose from. Service and spares don't seem to be a problem even for really old ones. There's lots and lots of after market choices for accessories if you don't like the Harley Davidson original options.

The negatives.. They are motorcycles and are expensive to buy, run and service.  So was my ST 1100 because to do a service properly plenty of plastic needed to be taken off.  I'm thinking that there's probably not that much difference in the servicing costs, tyres etc of other brands but I could have bought a brand new Boulevarde for the same price I paid for my original 10 year old Harley Road King.  I could have bought two Boulevarde's for the price I paid for my new 2009 Road King.  But in five years time I probably wouldn't get the same money for the two Boulevarde's I'll get for the Road King, so there's the investment potential.

From a social perspective I've really enjoyed the Harley Owners Group (HOG) rallies I've been to and the opportunities to ride in an organised group. There is something in the HOG marketing guff that Harley Davidson espouse, it has been an experience being involved in the local Chapter.  I've been provided with truckloads of valuable information by chatting with the members about my bike, touring and destinations. It's nice to have somewhere a long way away to go and have something to do that includes your bike when you get there. I can't wait to strike out for Mt Isa in August!  I'm not aware that other brands support and encourage their owners as much or in the same way Harley Davidson does. Admittedly a long time ago I've had Hondas, Yamahas and Suzukis with no sign of an owners group.  I'm aware of the Ducatisti but they don't have a bike I fit on.

What would I do differently?  I regret not anticipating the idiosyncracies of air cooled engines.  I would have had the oil cooler fitted on day 1 if I had thought that through and waited a little longer for some of the bling.  Doing lots of k's loaded up with luggage, if my budget had extended to it on day 1 I would probably have had the bike delivered with the 103 kit or at least the Super Tuner and a phase II air cleaner kit.  It really improves touring in 6th and the kit has made it more fun, not that it wasn't fun as a stock engine.  Again, these decisions come down to budget and are my preferences based on my use of the bike, not everyone will need them. These decisions come from living with the bike and learning more about it but you can't really change that process.

Looking back, I rode a BMW, a Triumph Rocket, a V-Star and an 09 H-D Road King (which at the time I ironically didn't like much) before I rode my 98 Road King that I instantly felt completely at home on and bought straight away.  Later when I rode the '09 and was more familiar with the Harley "feel" the decision to move to it was easy.  I didn't ride any other tourers at that time. In the Harley Davidson range I've since ridden a Street Glide and and Ultra, I've ridden a Boulevarde M109 and I'm very happy with my choice of the Road King.  I'm sure I would have enjoyed anything I decided on, particularly the BMW's but given the fun I'm having on the Harley Davidson. I don't think I rushed in and definitely think I've got the right bike for me at the moment.  I certainly haven't once wondered what it might be like to own something else.

But a Harley Davidson is not the right bike for everybody.




Glad to hear you're still enjoying your bike. Harleys are a bit quirky, you either love em or hate em!! Keep up the good work, I love reading your blog..

Posted by Rob, 10/05/2010 2:24:08 pm

Great to see your enjoying your HOG and the local Hog chapter. Being a chapter member since 2004 i certainly agree with the knowledge gained and great fun had by all.

Posted by smithy, 22/05/2010 2:22:53 pm

Disclaimer: This non commercial website and its content is not affiliated with or associated in any way with the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Harley-Davidson Australia, the Harley-Davidson Owners Group® or any Harley-Davidson® Dealers in Australia.  The use of the terms Harley-Davidson, and Road King® are unavoidable because that's what I own and ride.  This website,  called "My Harley Davidson" , and any opinions or comments expressed herein are purely about my Harley-Davidson Road King ownership experience, a truly great experience at that. I have no intention whatsoever to infringe on any trademarks or copyright ownership of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company or anyone else.

February 2019