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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Beyond The Wall

    Default TWO WHEELS

    One of the Junior Staffers and I took a motorcycle class last year. And I keep running into people that are astounded that I don't own a motorcycle. is fucking time to change that. But I confess to knowing little of what is out there. So two wheeled the sensei.

    I expect 100% road time. I have the Jeep for the dirt and rocks. I want status as well as performance. A Timex will tell time as well as a Rolex but tell a totally different tale about the wearer. I like the looks and ethos of Harley, but don't know what I don't know.

    So....I am all ears.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    I was a BMW snob for 25 years - and they’ve only gotten sexier and more flashy! (BTW - my K100 RS with a a Luftmeister turbo was AWESOME!!! Speedo only showed up to 160:). Best bike they make is the GS 1200, but it is a tall bike, and their ugliest ride!
    Ducks are wonderful - and smaller - bikes, and have a wonderful exhaust note. Get one in red, if you go that route:)


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    In a positive state of mind
    BMWs are great road bikes and great for long distance rides. Harleys and Indians are quintessentially 'Merican. Triumph Bonnevilles are classic and classy. Hondas, and the other "rice rockets" are meh. Get two -- one for "play time" and one for the road.

    2022 Bonneville T120 | For the Ride (
    Last edited by P.D.; 06-21-2021 at 09:24 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    All my info is a little dated. Hope it helps.

    I have found that an upright riding position feels best for my body and I hurt less. Think Paris-Dakar BMW, standard cruisers, V Max , etc…

    Harleys seemed to hold value best.

    Ride a bunch of different types and styles and see what is comfortable and appeals.
    A lot of this is body type specific, example with 34” inseam the Paris-Dakar 1000 1990 works well, for shorter legs not so much.

    Think about what accessories you want and their availability , for example hard lockable saddle bags.

    I was always happy with Corbin seats.

    I never had crotch rockets for long, too uncomfortable.
    It can also be harder to maintain all around awareness in the bent over position.

    For 6 years I spent 2 days each year at Pridmore’s CLASS school at Road Atlanta.
    On the track crotch rockets weight the front tire for braking and cornering and reduce wind drag. Over 80 mph they are OK.
    Crotch rockets are not comfortable for me off the track.

    I Ran BMW Paris-Dakar 1000 1990 and GS1100 2 days each on Road Atlanta. I enjoyed that, they corner better than you would expect.

    I have ridden and owned the following among others:
    1977 Electra Glide Sport, basically a Police bike set up
    Dyna Glide early 1990s
    Moo Glide Soft Tail early 1990s

    Paris-Dakar 1000 1990
    K1100RS did not like it for distance, cooked your leg.

    1993 V max fast

    Kawasaki Ninja 1100D fast handled well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    I have 50 plus years in the saddle of various makes of motorcycles. I've owned Euro, Jap and US bikes. Until 15 years ago all my bikes were high horsepower race bikes, but as I aged my neck, arms and back couldn't deal with the bent over posture. Some of that is due to numerous injuries (not MC related) and advancing years (now 66).

    For the past decade and half I've been riding touring bikes. I started out with BMW (RT1200R) and in 2012 I switched over to Harley. I traded my 2012 Ultra Limited for a 2018 Roadglide Ultra back in Dec of 2017 and that's still my current ride.

    First you need to determine what type of street riding you intend to do and you may need to start on a smaller bike than what you really want in the beginning for learning purposes. This is especially true for a novice or someone with little or no experience on heavy weight touring bikes.

    Also, as much as I loved my beemer, it was a royal pain in the ass. Just like BMW cars, they are high tech and crap fails way more than it should. I loved riding BMWs and did several multi-week cross country tours on mine. Unfortunately, I had numerous electrical failures and then at 19K miles the rear dif went out. It then took 3 weeks before BMW decided they would warranty the repair even though it was still under factory warranty. After dealing with other BMW "warranty" repairs this was the last straw. I really did like the bike, just couldn't put up with crap failing all the time. This is just my experience and others may have faired better with the brand.

    Now to my current touring bikes. I stayed away from Harley due to my sportster experience back in the mid 70's. What a pile of junk! From the late 70's till mid 2000's I bought Jap bikes. Extremely reliable, but dealer service was always spotty. Back in 2008, on a whim I bought a 1200 Buell. That bike was an absolute blast to ride around town and especially through curvy country roads, but it definitely was not a touring bike. The Buell got me to start looking at Harley (Buell was owned by Harley at the time). I had such great luck with the Buell and the Harley dealer network I then switched over to Harley and got rid of my BMW.

    I know this post is somewhat lengthy, but maybe I can impart some of my knowledge that will be helpful. Anyways, no motorcycle is perfect, but the dealership network makes the difference. I do much of my own wrenching, but if you are on a multi-day tour, knowing a Harley dealership is usually close by is reassuring especially if something does go wrong. Harley has the most extensive dealerbase in North America, including many dealers all over the world. Finally, I've always had really good service experience with most Harley dealers. I can't say that about most Jap or Euro shops. I almost forgot, the Harley parts/accessory aftermarket is huge! Harley is the motorcycle equivalent to Glock.

    To sum up, decide what kind of riding you intend to do, mostly city, short trips or full on touring? Then will you have a passenger? Believe me, passenger comfort is a big deal especially if it's your wife sitting behind you. My wife hated riding on the BMW and wouldn't ride my any of sport bikes at all. She definitely enjoys riding on my Harley touring bikes and we've done a number of multi-mile trips together.

    Finally, I do love motorcycles and ride any chance I get. I'm no expert, but I am someone with many miles in the seat and do not mind passing on any knowledge I might have to someone thinking about getting into bikes.
    Cranky Old Guy

    NRA Life Member
    GOA Life Member
    Army Jan 73 - Dec 79

    "We don't want yellow cowards in this Army. They should be killed off like rats. If not, they will go home after this war and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men. Kill off the Goddamned cowards and we will have a nation of brave men."

    “In case of doubt, attack.”
    ― George S. Patton Jr.

    "If the government is the answer, then the question is stupid!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Western WA
    Of course it all depends on what you want.

    I like the look of Harleys, but I am not willing to spend that much money on a bike. I bought a Yamaha V Star, which looks like a Harley but does not carry the price tag. It does not have the same cool points, but arguably it is a better bike.

    but I might suggest this. Start with a cheaper bike that you do not care so much about. It can still look cool, and be cool, but starting with a cheaper bike and gaining experience before you invest in something like a Harley is wise. There is a very good chance you will lay your first bike down...That pill is a lot easier to swallow with a $10,000 bike than a $30,000 bike.

    After spending a year or two on that bike, you will have a better idea of what you want and what you need.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Pistol Groundfighting, Texas

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    I won't recommend a 900 pound motorcycle for your first ride, or for anyone just getting back into riding (me). I had been out of riding for a few years and went straight back to a Harley Davidson Street Glide Special last year, one of the touring models. Heavy beast, but I survived and I love it. They are surprisingly nimble on the road and at slow speed handling. I came up on sport bikes (uncomfortable but fun) and Yamaha cruisers. Although I had ridden some Harleys throughout my life, this is actually my first Harley. I had to admit to myself that there is that certain “something” about them. It’s been mentioned before, but I can’t deny the benefit of their large dealer network.

    However, if you go with Harley I'd recommend a Heritage Classic. The bike is lighter by, I think, about 200 pounds. You also sit lower ("in" the bike instead of "on" the bike.) It has what I call the old school 1940's look. Just personal preference. But try out all of the Softail models too.

    As mentioned, Triumph is another great choice. Old school class.

    Truth be told, your first bike probably won’t be the one you stick with. As riding style develops the style of bike will likely change with it. It doesn’t hurt anything at all to start out on a lower, lighter, less expensive bike and learn how your style develops, decide if the ride really is in your blood, and of course to go ahead and get that first drop out of the way.

    It is a uniquely fun journey you are about to embark on.
    Last edited by res308; 06-22-2021 at 05:49 AM.
    Psalm 139:21,22
    Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
    I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

    The truth is hatred to those who hate truth.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Southern Living
    BMW R18 or Triumph Speedmaster. Ride both and pick the one that speaks to you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    I'm still getting my "sea legs" on a TW200. For a first road bike I'd look to the Honda Rebel 500. After a year, I would transition to a Rebel 1100 (non DCT). Be advised the the adventure bike line is the largest growing segment of the cycle world. Think Tener' 700 and Super Tener'. My next bike will either be a CRF 300 Rally or the Rebel 1100.
    Jon Payne
    Ambassador, Suarez Group of Companies
    Suarez International Law Enforcement Instructor
    Texas LTC Instructor

    The Two Most Dangerous Places in Today's World:
    1.) A Gun Free Zone
    2.) Your Comfort Zone

    I choose to live a peaceful life. It's not hard to change my mind.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    BTW, the Rebel 1100 out Harley's the Harley. It's an all around better bike, reliable, and fast AF. The Rebel 500 performs as well as the 883 Sportster if not better and rides like a Cadillac.
    Jon Payne
    Ambassador, Suarez Group of Companies
    Suarez International Law Enforcement Instructor
    Texas LTC Instructor

    The Two Most Dangerous Places in Today's World:
    1.) A Gun Free Zone
    2.) Your Comfort Zone

    I choose to live a peaceful life. It's not hard to change my mind.

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