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I work for a company who administers service contract for motorcycles among other vehicles. We do see a lot of HD claims - most are leak related. These bikes are pretty good, but it seems if they are allowed to get hot, leaks are prone. Modifications also play a big role in reliability. An other point of intrest is ignition systems and charging systems. HDs seem prone to loose ign modules as well as regulators which can lead to the need to replace stators as well. Goldwings on the other hand - with a factory 3 yr warranty - do not have claims filled with my office with the exception of an ocational alternator. Consider cornering clearance, cost of maintence as well as your opinion to make a final choice.
 

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I ride a 2005 Yamaha FJR1300. My good friend has a 2004 Road King Clasic. It's always in the shop -- not because it breaks down -- because he's constantly having it modified.



Overall, his bike is very reliable. He had a little oil leak trouble, but I can't recall if it's because he had the engine upgraded. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a late-model Harley if reliability were my only concern. Performance? Well, that's a different consideration. He's invested several thousand in power-plant upgrades and he's still looking at my tail pipes.
 

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I have owned a couple of 'Wings...last one was a 1997.....was...gone now....I am really old school..an original 83 GS1100E Suzuki and a 2005 Road King.......60 K on the GS....14K on the Road King......Love the Harley......smooth, great fuel economy, easy to remove bags and windshield, great weather protection from the shield. I weigh 225, wife at 145.....either riding or on the pillion...even with 2 of us...suspension is great.....



Have had no problems......dealer 10K service with Synthetic oil in trans, Engine and Primary....plus install a new rear tire (first one...picked up a nail.....easily 5 K of tread remaining was $290.00 (plus tire).



Would like a 2007......for the 6 speed....yep, bigger engine has more power too....but for this almost 60 year old guy...even at the high elevations in Utah and Wyoming....Road King is no slouch....



The paint and chrome and fasteners (orange peel on front fender excepted) great quality...Hard Bags are too small in my opinion....Is it worth $18,000...no in my opinion....and the bragged qbout high resale is a myth (dealer wanted $6500 and my trade for the 2007......which lists for approximately 1500 more than the 05..as outfitted...And I find that a lot of the folks who ride Hogs are the newly rich......not even motorcyclists at heart....I prefer to ride alone....and the Harley is a nice place to spend the day. When I want to stretch my arms and smile at Japanese reliability, and tilt the horizon.....My GS is a grin maker.
 

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Just do it. Northern California is flooded with very clean low mile HDs. Many have a 5-7 year extended warranty to boot. $16k will get you an '05 fully loaded with all the "toys"

 

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"The HD camp says 'no problems' while non-HD owners say they're crap. "



I guess that statement pretty well sums it up. The ones that actually ride them say they are fine, yet the ones that never rode one one mile say they are crap. I have a 2001 E-Glide Classic with 28K on the clock. It has had zero problems and looks and runs like brand new. It's been all over the country and in every kind of weather and never let me down. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a new GoldWing either, except when it comes time for service. A GoldWing is a very complicated bike and difficult to work on, but the trade off is an electrically smooth motor and automotive dependability. Harleys are easy to work on, modify, and customize, but will not be as reliable in the long run. The Harley will have better resale, but the Wing will go the distance. Can't go wrong with either one in my book. Test ride the Wing and compare.
 

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The Toad
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Aw rubbish. You think that just because you have owned both that your opinion is worth more than that of someone who learns everything from the internet.



Well, my cousin's girlfriend's grandfather had a Harley back in the 70's and he had lots of trouble with it! At least, that's what I heard.

 

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I put 25,000 miles on a 2002 Wing, great bike comfortable lots of storage. I put 45,000 miles on a 1997 Wide Glide. In the end I preferred the Wide Glide character over the Wing comfort for my riding habits. The 1997 motor never let me down and the new ones are only better as observed by my riding buddies who ride with me, one road king and one non touring. The new Harley's are reliable, not as fast as other choices but who wants to be dragging things on fast corners loaded to the hilt.
 

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Excellent advice.. and good info. I think if it was me the test ride would mean everthing.. Problem is when you like both.. buy used ? I might start looking at that buying a 2-3 year old bike to get some variety. I know you have told me that before....
 

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I noticed the exact same line. Funny statement really.



96 Low Rider 35,000 miles. Zero problems.

03 Electra Glide 16,000 miles. Some oddball problems fixed under warranty.



No leaks with either bike. Both lightly modified.
 

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Screw the Electra-Glide, get a Road Glide. It'll handle better and will be more stable. As a plus there aren't as many on the road, at least around here.
 

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Two comments...



1. Starting in '07, the HD tourers now have fully integrated oil systems with no external oil lines, etc. (This first showed up on the '06 Dyna lines.) With the exception of a bad gasket, it would be virtually impossible for the engine to leak oil. In addition, the primary chain is now automatically tensioned and the camchain is hydraulically tensioned. As long as you keep the 3 fluids topped off (engine, primary and transmission), there's not a whole lot of maintenance for a Harley. (I've owned 5 to date and have never had a problem with any of 'em.)



2. Take a serious look at the Road Glide. With the frame mounted fairing, this is the best handling of all the Harley tourers and offers the best wind protection. It can be equipped with all the bells and whistles of the Ultra. This is the tourer that Willie G. himself rides.



my $.02
 

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Buy an 07 w/ the new 96 ci motor. Don't do ANYTHING to it but ride and service. It will last 100k mi. Check the base gaskets around 20k. Don't spend money on crap you don't need. Keeping it stock is the best way for quick resale if needed.
 

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I think they are very reliable. Maintenance is real easy. The problems with older ones ( the EVO motors ) comes mostly from the modifications done on them. That's also where you get oil leaks. I had the rocker boxes off twice on mine and it always leaks a bit the first few hundred miles and then stops after that!? But, the EVO motors needed modifications to get them to run properly, whereas it seems the newer twin cams with fuel injection should run good out of the box.
 

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Okay: Owned an 85 FLHT til 97. 40k plus miles. Replaced clutch twice(once right before selling),cylinder gasket once (at20plus K miles) starter relay once,throttle cable once,brakes once(I think). A good reliable bike. two more local owners put some miles on it with minimal problems. Sold to a guy from Arkansas who flew in,and rode it home from Md. without a hitch.

Bought a 97 FLHTCU. have put close to 40 K on it. to this point I have replaced brakes. Other than scheduled maintenance and tires,THATS IT! It now needs clutch.

If the Geezer Glide is what turns you on,BUY IT!!!! make sure you perform (or have performed) scheduled maintenance and ride carefree. One point:get a battery tender;it extends battery life from 2 years to at least 4.

 

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So far, I haven't heard of any US made vehicule more reliable than a Japanese one besides maybe of a John Deere.

By any rationale standard, I believe that the Wing is a better product. Fact is, motorcycles are not rationale and that's why Harleys sell so well.
 

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Virtually all modern motorcycles by the major manufacturers are of extraorindarily high quality. The 1970s are long gone, and modern machining and materials have lead to quality improvements for all.
 
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