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It's interesting you bring up Ducati, a company tied to the use of "desmo" engine. This is another company that has elected not to develop an inline 4 (which was once considered) or to abandon their trademark valve configuration largely for reasons of tradition (read just about any article about the new engine to confirm this). No doubt you will say they have had racing success, but that points more to the difference in types of motorcycle between Harley and Ducati. That Ducati is able to do what they have with their engine is incredible. If they were to use different technology it would probably be even better.



Harley has made major advances with the twin cam. That it works so well given the fundamental problems with the design is amazing.



I am really curious by all these people that say they woud buy a Harley if they made a world class engine. Do you now ride metric cruisers? Or are you expecting Harley/Buell to compete against things like the 996 or Mille or RC51? Harley's torque output is competitive or superior to most metric cruisers (the Valk being a clear exception). Yamaha even tried to program "pulse" into its massive V-Twin to mimic the feel of a Harley engine.



And that is the thing Harley riders can't explain. That loping rythm of the single-pin 45 degree V-Twin just does something to some of us. Others see that some thing as a failure. I don't like the feel of inline 4 motorcycles. I didn't like the amazing smoothness and quietness of the Goldwing. The boxer from BMW does nothing for me. I cannot fathom why anyone would want a Hayabusa for street use. A 'busa rider probably can't fathom what it is about the Harley engine that speaks to me. What is great is that there are so many different brands/models to choose from that each of us can probably find something we like.
 

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1) I pay about 200 less a year for insurance for my Electra Glide Ultra Classic than I did for my old Nighthawk.



2) Let's compare apples to apples. Those considering both a Harley and a Japanese standard would likely not be considering a high priced big twin. They would be considering something like a sportster 1200 or 883 -- the latter is less expensive than many small bore metric cruisers. And, contrary to popular belief, is often available at MSRP. The 883 is actually less than a Nighthawk.



3) Customization. Again, compare apples to apples. Most metric cruisers will be customized as well. Often,these parts are comparable in price to those available for Harleys. Metric cruisers do not hold their value as well as Harleys. There may be a few exceptions, but not many.



4) We won't even talk about your financial assumptions that the extra cash would be invested, not spent on other things. Looking at the savings rate for Americans, the money would more than likely be spent on a nicer car or a surround sound system. People like myself choose a crappy car compared to what I could afford to ride the motorcycle of my choosing. In short, if I didn't ride a Harley (10-15,000 miles a year), I would probably not be driving a '95 Dodge Neon. People that don't ride their Harleys and buy them just to have would probably spend the money not spent on a Harley on golf or boats or something else. In that respect, the Harley might be a wiser investment.



5) The loan. Again, most people looking at an 18,000 dollar Harley would probably be comparison shopping with either BMW (also holds value well) or other, more expensive, metric cruisers. They would take out less in loans on the metric cruiser, but the difference in resale would probably balance the loss.



6) I agree with you in theory. It does make more financial sense to buy an inexpensive standard than one of the more expensive Harleys. But as I noted, people considering a Springer Softail are not likely to be satisfied with a Nighthawk. Most people citing resale value do not base their decision purely on that fact. Those that do buy harleys purely as investments are likely to resale them almost instantly with less than 1000 miles on the odometer. These people almost always make money. Those that buy them, spend $2000+ on accessories, ride it 5000 miles over a few years then try to sell it, are probably not using the resale argument as their primary defense for buying the motorcyle. Either that or they are dumb. At the very least, those that buy it "for investment" or not going to keep it for the 10 years you build into your argument.



7) Ride what you like. I ride a Harley. Used to ride a nighthawk. The Harley gives me infinitely more pleasure. If the standard makes you happy, go for it.
 

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Re: You squids are pole smokers

1) Post you name. If you don't want to register, at least put it in your post.

2) www.motorcycleworld.com will put you in touch with a dealer that charges list.

3) Call dealers in VA (you have a working knowledge of computers -- do a search on the Harley site for VA dealers). Some charge over list, some don't. Some have models on the floor. Waynesboro HD had a Softail at list last week and an Ultra Classic at way over list because it came from the factory with a custom paint job that cost several thousand (through the Harley custom paint plan). That's where I bought my Harley. I waited 4 1/2 months so I could get the color I wanted. Roanoke Valley HD had a Road King, an Ultra and a Dyna SuperGlide on the floor, all at list a few weeks ago. Some of these shops hesitate to sell out of area because they can lose bikes the next year for competing with other dealers. Some hesitate to sell out of area because they have plenty of local demand -- a local rider is more likely to buy accessories and use the service department at their shop. Some dealers are perfectly willing to sell out of area.

4) Most Harley riders have very minor mechanical issues. Though my last Harley -- a '97 only had one glitch with a headset over 30,000 miles. I never used oil. I had two recalls -- that doesn't seem out of line with several other manufacturers. How many recalls on cam-chain tensioners for the 'busa alone? Neither recall on my bike was for an item than could have caused my engine to seize and throw me off the bike.

5) I wear black shirts sometimes. I also occasionally wear a tie when commuting to work on my Harley. I don't own a do-rag. I wear a helmet liner. On the other hand, my dad wears Harley shirts most of the time.

6) My '01 Ultra had one mechanical glitch -- but it was self induced (insufficiently tightened battery cable -- sometimes I can be an idiot). I am so far unimpressed with the key fob for my security system, but it works well enough. I have had one service notice. The dealer called me and scheduled an appointment before I even got the letter from Harley.

7) Not all Harley riders will have this same experience. Not all will have no problems. No two riders of any brand will have identical experiences or have good dealers. My local Honda/Kawasaki/Suzuki/Ducati dealer allows no test rides. My Harley dealer has a minimum of two demo models at any time. All you need is a driver's license. In other areas, Harley dealers suck and Honda dealers are good.

8) What Harley rider wants to kick your ass on your superbike? We aren't looking for that kind of ride. That doesn't mean we don't appreciate racing, it means that we don't want to ride a racebike on the street.

9) The attitude works both ways. Some Harley riders are asses. Some are not. Some sport bike riders are asses. Being divisive serves no one.
 
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