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Q: Best motorcycle for my needs and wants? ( No Answer,   6 Comments )
Subject: Best motorcycle for my needs and wants?
Category: Sports and Recreation > Automotive
Asked by: nautico-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 07 Aug 2006 07:53 PDT
Expires: 07 Aug 2006 15:11 PDT
Question ID: 753400
I have had a Vespa GT200 for the last six months and love it. With its
top case that holds 4-5 bags of groceries, it's perfect for making the
almost daily trip to the supermarket (1.5 miles). Though I also enjoy
riding it on the open road at speeds up to 45-50 mph (top speed of
72), and have a windscreen, I find the crosswind buffeting a little
unsettling. I have to assume that a "real" motorcycle would afford
much more stability in that environment, and I am, therefore,
contemplating moving up to one. I know there's a good deal of
controversy over which makes are "best," and I'd like some advice on
that score. Specifically...

...what are the salient differences among the following bike makes and
what are the pros and cons of each:

and Honda?

As for engine size. I have riden and like the 2007 Harley Softail
Deluxe, which is rated at 1450cc, and so I'd like comparisons between
this model and other comparable models made by the mfrs I've listed
above. Although I don't currently contemplate taking super-long road
trips or riding on the interstates, I would like a bike with
sufficient power and heft to give me a sense of safety and security on
secondary roads, and it must have the capacity to carry groceries! :)

Clarification of Question by nautico-ga on 07 Aug 2006 15:10 PDT
Many thanks for all the helpful advice. I'm not going to rush into
this decision, but I now feel as if I have a good start in making an
intelligent choice.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Best motorcycle for my needs and wants?
From: probonopublico-ga on 07 Aug 2006 08:01 PDT
Hi Nautico

Me? I know nowt about motorbikes but my two daughters are experts and
have been riding for ever.

They both ride Kawasakis and pour scorn on Harley Davisons.

So, go for the best and win the approval of my two experts.
Subject: Re: Best motorcycle for my needs and wants?
From: markvmd-ga on 07 Aug 2006 08:05 PDT
Buy a Harley. Anything else is just a motorcycle. 

You should have increased stability over the Vespa at a minimum owing
to the increased gyroscopic effect of larger, heavier bike tires.
Subject: Re: Best motorcycle for my needs and wants?
From: sparkysko-ga on 07 Aug 2006 12:37 PDT
Harleys are junk. Get them for novelty. The noise they make is from an
off-centered engine, and ancient valve technology. It sounds nice, but
it's inefficient, and more prone to failure. Just like putting holes
in your muffler, yet more expensive. You buy a harley for the name,
and the noise. They are not 'superior'. Any other bike with an equal
engine size will produce much more power.

Ducati's are sporty bikes. Will have much more power compared to a
harley of same engine size, and probably any Ducati is faster than any
Harley. If you're upgrading from a moped, I doubt this is what you
want, unless you're looking to go racing. Have fun getting parts and
finding a place to work on it. Also there isn't much room to put

BMW and Honda motorcycles really are your best bet from what you've
listed. BMW has some nice driveshaft not chain powered bikes, which is
better than getting chain goo thrown at you, or having your leg caught
in a chain when you fall off.

Cruiser models are the best type, and BMW, Honda and Harley fit the
bill, but screw harley. Cruisers are comfortable to ride on, and
generally have much more available space to store stuff. They're
generally heavier, and, as long as you don't want to take turns at the
fastest possible speed, they perform very well.

BMW is going to have more whiz bang features, but again.. Good luck finding parts!

Honda is nice, that they have tons of dealerships everywhere to get
your bike parts at, and to have work performed, and a good likelihood
of having any part you want available.

If you were considering a Harley, and have that kind of money, thenw
hat I would look at would be the Honda Goldwing. This is the sofa of
motorcycles. You're not going to find more storage space than this
thing. I mean c'mon, what other bike has a heater for the user (With a
special bike suit to connect to the heater ducts). The thing has like
50 bazillion trunks and cargo areas. An electric reverse gear to move
the mammoth of a bike. Luckily, the center of gravity is intentionally
very low on these bikes, so it's easy to pick up again if you drop it.
Also, these things have a 6 cylinder motor that's bigger than some
cars motor. If you get blown around on a goldwing, then just give up
on bikes, or load up the pouches with lead, cuz there's not much else
you can do.

Me myself, I'm personally partial to Yamaha style cruisers. They look
very nice (Like harleys), and are cheap. 5,000$ for something that
looks like a 20,000$ harley. They also have pouches, etc, available
for their cruisers, and Yamaha parts are just as readily available as

If you don't mind spending alot of money, go for a BMW or a Honda
Goldwing. If you want to spend a little less, go for the other Honda's
or a Yamaha. If those don't do it, and you want something fast, Get a
Ninja, or the Ducati. Last but not least, get a Harley. They're
overpriced and underpowered, but they look nice, hold resale value
very well, and make you look cool.
Subject: Re: Best motorcycle for my needs and wants?
From: kemlo-ga on 07 Aug 2006 13:48 PDT
Harley has just introduced a new engine
Subject: Re: Best motorcycle for my needs and wants?
From: markvmd-ga on 07 Aug 2006 13:59 PDT
Most modern complaints about Harleys are from Honda Accord or Toyota
Camry driving yuppies who wouldn't know how to maintain a Li'l Red
Wagon much less a motorcycle.

I've never met a Ducati that could go the long haul, but my
information is admittedly 20 years old and based on my experiences in

BMWs are certainly an impressive piece of machinery. I'm intimately
familiar with an R69S and love the thing. It's been rebuilt three
times, once for the transmission. All those fiddling little balls
stuck in the shaft... *shudder*

Hondas are about as reliable as the cars they build. High-revving,
fast, easy to fix, and as much sex appeal as the couch Sparkysko
compares them to. They may still be made in the US, too.

But nothing beats a Harley. Their problems are largely a thing of the
past and their appeal is universal. Pull up in a Harley to any biker
bar and you're accepted with no problem. Pull up in one of the many
makes that try desperately to clone the look and sound of this real
bike and you'll be welcomed, but not accepted. And we'll make fun of
you when you leave. And you always tip too much, spoiling the
waitresses. Cut that out!

So to sum up, get a Harley for psychological superiority. You and
everyone around you will know you're the baddest and can afford to
spend a pile on one heckuva bike.

You know, you CAN buy a used one. Look around at how cheaply you can
pick up a BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawa, Yama, etc. Then price a used hog.
Subject: Re: Best motorcycle for my needs and wants?
From: byrd-ga on 07 Aug 2006 14:32 PDT
Y'know, as a biker, it's been my experience that it's largely sour
grapes that bad-mouths Harleys. Those who can afford 'em ride 'em;
those who can't either insult 'em, or wait 'til they've got the money
and then get one. :-)

Back in the 70s when H-D had been acquired by AMF, there might have
been some justification for complaint, but not now. There's a short
bit about that, here:
where it says, "Many Harley riders cringe when they talk about the AMF
years. Harley was forced to merge with American Machine and Foundry
(AMF) in 1969. AMF was best known as a manufacturer of bowling balls
and sports equipment. These were the years that reliability of the H-D
machine suffered most and Harleys "marked their territory" with oil
spots." Nowadays, you can't find a finer ride.

Sure, lots of Japanese or European bikes are decent too, but do check
out a handful of models of those makes you're most interested in, and
then choose based on how it feels, how it rides, how it makes you
feel, and what you can afford. Good luck!

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