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Harley-Davidson Road Glide

Is that a Hondley-Davidson?

On the highway, the Road King lives up to the name. 96 cu. in. laughs when passing or on inclines, and the 6 speed transmission beckons 85 MPH cruising. HD is “not new at this” and the Road King testifies. Japanese road bikes I’ve ridden have no soul, a sterile distant connection. The bike says; “You know what you are doing. Enjoy.” Harley’s ‘mystique’ for me is a gut level connection that hit me in less than 100 miles. In contrast, when a Harley speaks, it’s more like; “We know what we’re doing and we don’t just build and sell bikes. We ride them.” The past allegiances of Harley owners excused oil leaks and issues with Made in U.S.A. A retired CBS Executive on a dealer serviced Road King claimed 90K miles on the original bore and cylinders. Synthetic oil works. HD’s separate gear and motor design differ from the wet clutched Honda, mandating no synthetics.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide

Harley Trophies:

  • Solid on Freeway & back road cruises with inspiring curve attack in a 740 lb. bike
  • 6 gallon fuel capacity in a narrower, taller tank than Honda
  • Ergonomics wins hands down.
  • Intimacy with passenger easy.
  • Durable, practical hardware everywhere. Steel fenders. Impressive dual disc front brake. Quiet, clean belt drive. Fit and finish top rate. After market Rinehart pipes a bit quiet. This bike’s air horns generate shock waves. Tall windshield works fine.

Harley Takes:

  • Initial Price (‘08 Road King bought 2-14-09) $20K
  • Current approximate retail $11,565 Kelly Dealer Blue Book
  • New Battery $234.63
  • 10K mile Service $669.80
  • Saddle bag latches stymied by chrome trim.
  • Harley weighs 740 lbs. on 63.5“ wheelbase & holds 6 gallons premium fuel

Honda Trophies:

  • Power train reliability reputation and shaft drive
  • Low initial, parts & maintenance costs
  • New Battery $140.00
  • 16K Service $329.86 out the door

Honda Takes:

  • Initial Price New 2004 VTX 1300 ‘S’ $9199.00
  • Current approximate retail $4000.00 Kelly Dealer Blue Book
  • 150 mile range is so-so, and the tank is wide at the seat so spread your legs
  • Tall back rest on Honda requires a bent knee saddle up process for driver. Passenger sits much higher than pilot. Seat height and tall back rest make passenger mount and dismount a gymnastic spectacle. No intimacy. Replace both seats.
  • Low overall gearing with tight ratios. Wrung out at 100 MPH
  • Plastic chrome on Honda engine & side covers is cheesy
  • Passenger pegs MUST be moved forward for long rides
  • Floorboards drag when leaned over; could go up an inch
  • Longer wheelbase than the Road King, but carries it’s weight differently
  • Honda weighs 670 lbs. on 65.7“ wheelbase & holds 4.8 gallons

ChickMagnetLarge

From the Sidewalk.

Sold on the Harley Road King, eh? You should also look at the Indian and Victory bikes. Arlen Ness endorsing Victory says plenty and the owners concur, also citing good reliability. New cost of Victory vs. new Harley is very competitive.

Honda in this case likely decided to change later models rather than recall the problem bikes. In public view, a recall would question overlooked engineering, quality control of parts, assembly and prototype testing. Lawsuits predictable.

About the Author:

Word Monger A.K.A. Tazatator – Originally from western Pa., my ‘enthusiasm’ began as woods/enduro rider when Huskys had metal tanks & Hodakas won desert races. Dirt bikes were HARD to ride fast. Dirt Bike magazine moment: Lost 1 cowboy boot in Sepulveda Basin sand wash whilst retrieving XL 350 of equal value. Conservative Estimate of So. Ca. miles logged commuting: 100K

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21 comments

  1. @pillioness Indeed. Is that a Hondley-Davidson? https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM

  2. .@lifestylecycles No caption? Perhaps there’s some #bikers who will read my ‘Is that a Hondley-Davidson?’ piece: https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM

  3. @MTilburyAuthor Should time; better yet your curiosity permit; A critique of my non fiction appreciated: https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM

  4. Best Regards @edwindearborn My recent, absolutely unique comparison of dissimilar, used motorcycles: https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM

  5. @mez_merrill Word. As an almost life time motorcycle enthusiast, here’s my unique among the press piece: https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM

  6. RT @Tazatator: @mez_merrill Word. As an almost life time motorcycle enthusiast, here’s my unique among the press piece: https://t.co/3D4Fdd…

  7. @DailyBikers Smile. A glance in the mirror will answer; cuz ‘nosy neighbors’. btw, “Is that a Hondley-Davidson?” https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM

  8. Later tweeps. On the Road @YouMotorcycle #Bikers and… Many still ask; “Is that a Hondley-Davidson?” https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM

  9. @HardCoreAds Word. TY. Bimmer Scoot Pilot; “BMW makes Cars?” Me- “Honda makes Cars?” https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM

  10. @JeffreyWolfeMBF My Recent “Is that a Hondley-Davidson?” via @YouMotorcycle : https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM

  11. RT @Tazatator: @DaRogueReporter Pgh., Pa. orig. 35 years later, Ready to move outta this crap dump. Had enuf. Recent piece: https://t.co/3D…

  12. Read my Discoveries when a 7 Year Recess from #motorcycles ends. My ‘Purchase’ VS. #Harley Road King: https://t.co/3D4FdcTrBe

  13. A great review – you covered all the pers and answered all the potential questions. You sold me on the Harley – but I’m sticking to my Yamaha FJR 1300 AS for now.

  14. @NiekoGloss TY. “Motorcyclist”? Cool. My investors are asking #1. Why did you follow ‘taz’? #2. Did you read his https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM

  15. @shahnawazkarim here’s one for pavement gobblers (I wrote) https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM

  16. RT @Tazatator: @WheelsGuru Yo. here’s my unique comparison piece: Hondley-Davidson? https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM

  17. @mikkonieminen Yo. Here’s my recent: https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM Pop it to your Editor if you might> Cheers!

  18. @yebalnik @Angelaselden9 @trumpology @umpire43 1st Ride on HD #RoadKing. #VTX1300 #Bikers My comparison Article: https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM

  19. TY @Vivi_AnnJa @R2RAssist @Haag_N_Daz @MontanaS20 @hdkingoftheroad
    Here’s a #HD Bike test only I could write. https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM

  20. @usedupcop TY. #InjuredWarrior Ride. 800+#bikers Irvine HD 2 Chino. My HD/ Honda “comparo”:https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM https://t.co/isD7ktTiMl

  21. RT @Tazatator: @usedupcop TY. #InjuredWarrior Ride. 800+#bikers Irvine HD 2 Chino. My HD/ Honda “comparo”:https://t.co/3D4Fddb2sM https://t…