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Firstly I'm a noob to riding.. I have a bike but it doesn't run and hasn't since i bought it. I guess you could call it my first bike but I don't suppose it counts. Yesterday that changed when I found a sportster in the classifieds.

I had never even considered buying a Harley. For one they are WAY outside of my price range. On top of that, they aren't very impressive on paper. They seem to have way more engine than they should for the HP they make. They also look really heavy. Plus I am the Anti-Chrome incarnate. Never the less. The lack of a bike dealership around here coupled with the low number of riders means you take what comes along when looking for a used bike. So having purchased this beast I tried to figure out what endeared people to these so called "inferior" bikes.

I scoured the internet fan sites and parts shops looking for an idea of what "it" was and it was a visit to youtube that put me on the right track.

Search youtube for dirt bikes. You will find a pile of video's of quick and agile bikes that rarely have both wheels on the ground. wild and acrobatic. I get that. hooligans unite.. anywhere they damn well please..

Search again for sport bikes. The videos are all over the map but they focus on going fast.. very fast.. there are lot's of video's of speedometer's and handlebar views of the highway at breakneck (and every other bone) speeds..

Then search for the Harleys.. Most of these video's are of the bike.. idling in the driveway while the rider circles around it with a camera.. maybe taps the throttle a few times. Then they'll usually hop on and make a couple passes by the driveway and then shut it down.

They aren't prized for the same things that other bikes are prizes for.. it's not fast.. its not agile.. In my opinion they aren't even much to look at. But something about them is inately beautiful. They say people either "get it" or they don't with the harley's. I think some people are just not sure what "it" is to look for.

So I went down the street to sit on a friends Harley (my own won't be delivered for a couple days.).. I sat on it and started it up.. I'm still not sure what "It" is.. But I can tell you that "It" can be had in the driveway without ever taking the bike out on the road. It's kinda like your favorite old T-shirt that's full of holes that your wife complains to you about getting rid of. yet you feel compelled to wear it every sunday anyway. It's a certain comfort that has nothing to do with ergonomics. In other words it's all in your head and probably most importantly your ears.

I didn't want a Harley.. I wanted a Honda dirt bike.. This sportster has NONE of the qualities I was looking for in a bike but somehow it picked me.. And I think me and the sporty are gonna do just fine together too..
 

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I've hated my Shovelhead for 15 long years. So much so that I've poured more than enough money into it to buy two new HDs...or 4 UJMs. I hate it even more because it's running while my shiny Kawi Concours is down with a blown alternator...$500 to fix. I hate it because every time I think of selling it for a down payment on a new bike because I know for sure I'll hate myself for the rest of my life for having done so.

One of the few things I learned in college was from my 101 Psy. class. Hate is the closest emotion to love, and that which we hate we are most likely to love, and vice-versa.

BTW I'd LOVE to hear from anybody who as an alternator laying around their garage. Who's good with Craig's List and stuff? It's a 1998 engine. I'll pay a commission if you find one cheap!
 

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I can't stand them either that's why I've bought 5 of them over the years, just for the pleasure of selling them. I usually ride the wheels off them first just so they'll wear out faster, then the new owner can hate them too.

Plus they're built in the US by skilled Union workers, I hate them even more, what right do they have to a decent middle class lifestyle when they spend all day building reliable bikes that up until '08 anyway looked pretty cool? All that does is entice some poor schmuck to spend his hard earned coin on a rolling train wreck instead of that nice new Dinnette set the little missus was looking at.
 

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There are other bikes that have a "thing" about them too. But, I'll not deny that Harley knows their market. They are THE definition of success in the moto-world.
 

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Library of congress Reference 4832784E



Thoughts on Harley Davidson's Mystique (1913)
by Chief Twin Eagles of the Three Nations



Abstract - Harley marketing, powerful medicine.

 

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BTW I'd LOVE to hear from anybody who as an alternator laying around their garage. Who's good with Craig's List and stuff? It's a 1998 engine. I'll pay a commission if you find one cheap!
I believe this one will work, but it may have less output than your '98:

eBay Motors: 87 ZG1000 ZG 1000 CONCOURS ALTERNATOR #3 (item 230129046883 end time Aug-10-07 05:35:13 PDT)

Can't beat the price, though. Consult Concours Owners Group home page.

There are three others on ebay, later models but going for $289.00

Good luck!
 
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