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A Few Things To Know About Harley Davidson Motorcycles For Sale

People interested in motorcycles know the value of the best models, and one of the most desired is Harley Davidson. Harley Davidson motorcycles are unique in design – they all have some version of a V-Twin engine and are designed for street or highway riding. The company is offering 35 different models for 2019 with prices ranging from around $6,900 to over $50,000. However, the majority of Harley’s 2019 line pricing is in line with other well known motorcycle company’s offerings – companies like BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Ducati and Triumph.

People who haven’t been in the market for a motorcycle recently (or first-timers) may experience some sticker shock. However, like automobiles, today’s state of the art motorcycles have massive technological improvements that make them safer, more reliable, and easier to ride than their predecessors. These improvements always come at a cost, but in case you haven’t noticed, car prices have gone up some to over the years (I bought a brand new Shelby GT500 in 1969 for $6500 out the door). Also, for you folks who haven’t had a chance to ride a big-bore bike recently – or at all, my suggestion is that you take a test ride before you decide. Most Harley dealerships have certain days when Harley corporate personnel visit and conduct the test rides. Finally, for those of you looking to move over from motorcycles that have small-bore, high RPM engines like the “racing” style bikes you see on the street, be prepared for some serious low-end power. Harley lists its engine specs by torque, not horsepower, and the raw power from the huge cylinders will be immediately apparent when you twist the throttle no matter what engine size you choose. The largest engine Harley offers this year is a 114 cubic inch monster – that’s a 1.8 liter engine – larger than some automobile engines!

Buying a pre-owned Harley Davidson motorcycle has many benefits for potential owners, but don’t expect cheap here. Harley motorcycles are considered by many of their owners to be a blank canvas that can be made unique to the owner through the addition of  thousands of aftermarket and Harley Davidson factory customization items. There are some truly beautiful Harleys out there for sale. An added bonus is that when a Harley owner goes to the trouble and expense of customizing a bike, it generally follows that the owner will take exceptional care of it. As a result, Harley Davidson motorcycles have the best overall resale value in the world. Many models are known to have added value with time.

However, if you are looking for bargain Harleys, you could try auctions and swap meets. Motorcycles sold during auctions include new and used. Both can have affordable prices – just do your research on the model you want before jumping into any bidding or swap negotiation so you have an idea of what your desired bike is worth. Motorcycles bought from dealers may be a little more expensive, but can have a guarantee to the customer. This is because many dealers offer good services due to high competition.

How you choose to pay for your new ride is the same as that for buying any type of vehicle. You can get a loan for a motorcycle bought through dealers or lending institutions and many of these institutions support dealers. If you buy a bike from a private individual or at an auction however, the rule is generally cash on the barrelhead.  Read more »

Some Unusual Harley Davidson Motorcycles

Harley Davidson, from its earliest beginnings, has never been a company to go with the accepted norms. They have experimented with single cylinder, V-twins (air cooled and, more recently, liquid-cooled), and opposed-cylinder engines. While most of the engines were (and are) of the 4-stroke variety, Harley did produce some small, single-cylinder 2-stroke powered motorcycles in the 1970’s when the AMF Corporation owned the company.

There were also some specialized models for use by the military and the police introduced in the early 1940’s – among them the XA and the Servicar.

The Harley XA was an opposed-twin, shaft drive motorcycle designed for battlefield use during WWII. It was based on BMW’s motorcycle designs in use by the German Armed Forces at the time. Only 1000 were ordered for evaluation, but by the time they went into production, the US Armed Forces had already decided on the Jeep as the general purpose vehicle of choice.

                                 1942 Harley Davidson XA

With a production run from 1932 to 1973, the HD Servicar was Harley’s first production trike. It could be ordered with or without a built-in tow-bar and a small or large box. It had a rigid, differential-driven rear axle and a reverse gear. It was offered first during the great depression era in an effort to boost Harley’s sales into new markets. It became a popular means of transportation for police departments across the country.

                    1942 Harley Davidson Servicar

 

                1949 Harley Davidson Police Servicar

In the 1950’s and into the late 1960’s, Harley produced a series of single-cylinder 2-stroke bikes modeled after European models in vogue at the time. The “Hummer” is one such example. It was based on a German DKW design: the DKW RT125. This design was part of German WWII reparations, and the design was given to the three major allies, USA, Great Britain and Russia, each of whom made their own copies of the design. The Hummer was the US’s copy.

                       1959 Harley Hummer Model S-125

Originally designed with a 125cc engine, this motorcycle spawned a group of other small-bore 2-stroke bikes including the S-165 (a 165cc engine) and the Pacer, which had a 175cc engine and a production run from 1962-1965.

                               1966 Harley 175cc Pacer

Harley also produced a series of bikes based on Italian single-cylinder, 4-stroke designs, among them the Aermacchi Sprint with the original 250cc (almost) horizontally-mounted engine. Harley later offered a 350cc model.

                                  1966 Harley Sprint 350

Interestingly, even into the late 1970’s, Aermacchi’s designs were in use by Harley. They produced the “Shortster” a 90cc 2-stroke minibike.

                                        1977 Harley 90cc Shortster

In more modern times, Harley branched into liquid-cooled V-twins in the form of the V-Rod, produced from 2001 through 2017. The engine was developed in cooperation with Porsche and is a Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) design based on Harley’s Revolution engine. Originally just one model was made, although eventually 11 different model were produced. The 2017 model year saw two model, the V-Rod Muscle and the Night Rod Special. While this bike looks like a normal Harley in many respects, the engineers at Harley did some interesting things to it. For one, the “gas tank” on top of the engine isn’t the gas tank – it’s the air cleaner box. The gas tank is actually behind the engine, under the driver’s seat.

                                                1977 Harley V-Rod

Finally we come to Harley’s latest “unusual” bike – the 2020 LiveWire. Yep,Harley is dipping their toe into the electric vehicle business. While overall range is fairly limited at the moment (about 110 miles as of 2019), you know that will get better as the tech improves. Performance ain’t too shabby, though – 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds. To quote Mazda: “Zoom-Zoom!”

                                             2020 Harley LiveWire

We hope you have enjoyed this little trip through some of Harley’s more unusual bikes. Take care & happy touring!

The Joy of the Harley Davidson Electra Glide

The concept of the Harley Davidson Electra Glide biker has been the inspiration to numerous Hollywood movies, endless classic rock songs, and even world famous and critically acclaimed novels. However, this lifestyle is far from fictitious.

Many bikers live every day for the sole purpose of their bare knuckles and to enjoy the sensation of being exposed to the elements while traveling to an unknown destination. Harley Davidson holds these bikers separate from all the rest. They have taken love and respect for the motorcycle and have developed a lifelong passion for riding. It is because of this undeniable commitment and free-spirited living that Harley Davidson designed, created and produced the Electra Glide.

First introduced in 1965, Harley Davidson Electra Glide offers just about everything a serious and passionate biker needs and if there are any additional requests it’s designed is easily customized with limitless upgrades and additional accessories. To say that the Electra Glide became an instant classic is an understatement.

Traveling on a Harley Davidson Electra Glide is made even more convenient and comfortable due to the additional classic touring handlebars, injection-molded GTX saddlebags and trunk, full-length adjustable passenger footboards, and a traditional one-piece two-up leather seat. Of course they have lots of additional bells & whistles to make touring the most enjoyable experience possible – GPS navigation, AM/FM/Sirius Satellite Radio, rider/passenger intercom and optional CB radio communications.

The Electra Glides are big, bold & beautiful. They all have the Milwaukee-Eight® engine, so power for 2-up riding, passing and hill-country riding is no problem. Stopping is no issue either. This bike comes stock with Brembo® anti-lock brakes front & rear. For a bike of this size – Harley advertises 877 pounds in factory trim – it handles well. The “Batwing” faring up front breaks the wind just enough to take the pressure off the rider without giving up what touring bike enthusiasts enjoy most – the feeling of cruising in the open air.

Due to their size and lighting scheme, Electra Glides are easily spotted by motorists who might otherwise ignore a motorcycle on the road. A headlamp + two driving lights up front and wrap-around tail/brake light on the trunk in addition to the fender-mounted tail/brake light in the rear make this ride hard to miss. Speaking of the trunk – Harley calls it a “TourPak” – it gives the Electra Glide the largest storage volume of all touring bikes – even larger than Honda’s Goldwing.

For those who like to tour solo, Harley has just introduced the Electra Glide Standard – a single seat, slightly stripped down version of the touring classic:

As you can see, there is no TourPak or Infotainment system. The Infotainment area has been converted to a glove box. It still has electronic cruise control (included) and ABS brakes as an option – some amenities MUST be maintained – it IS an Electra Glide, after all. Consider it the sports car of the Electra Glide line and as Henry Ford famously said about his Model T – “It comes in any color you want, as long as it’s black”. Pssst – fully loaded its also $6990 cheaper than the Electra Glide Ultra Classic.

Hop on, crank it up & happy touring.

Harley Davidson Touring Bikes

Harley Davidson has been manufacturing motorcycles for over a century. They have several models of what is considered a “Touring Motorcycle”.  These bikes were introduced by Harley in the early 1980’s and include the following model lines: Road King, Road Glide, Electra Glide, Street Glide, the CVO (Custom Vehicle Operations) series introduced in 1999 and the Tri Glide three-wheeler introduced in 2009. The 2019 model lines include the Road King, Road King Special, Street Glide, Street Glide Special, Road Glide, Road Glide Special, Road Glide Ultra, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Ultra Limited Low, Ultra Limited, Tri Glide Ultra and the CVO series.

Touring bikes tend to be larger and heavier than “Street” or “Sport” bikes, leading to a smoother and more comfortable long-distance ride. The latest models have many features such as GPS navigation, stereo radios, intercom and bike-to-bike communications via Bluetooth or CB radio transmission and cruise control. These bikes also have anti-lock braking systems as either an option (about $795) or as a standard feature on the more expensive models like the “Ultra” series.

If you want to compare these  great bikes go here.

The CVO Series is the top of the line in Harley touring. It comes standard with the most powerful factory engine Harley makes and has all the electronic goodies too, such as a premium infotainment system with Harley’s best factory loudspeakers. The infotainment system also has tire air pressure monitoring (and warnings) and air temperature along with other useful information. However, if you can’t afford the hefty price tag that comes with the CVO series ($ 40,000+), then many of the other touring bikes offer most of the same features as add-ons (with the exception of the CVO 117 cubic inch engine).

The Harley Davidson Boom! GTS Information System

Harley Davidson boom GTS (GPS Touch Screen) information system has received an enhanced display and a large group of different features which has made it much more perfect. Its touchscreen and sides have gotten a more modern look, and the framework currently has a compatibility of the Apple play and also the hand-voice recognition.

It first made headlines back in 2013/2014, but the Boom! Infotainment system was due for some upgrades, so for 2019, the new Boom! Box GTS infotainment system gets an improved display, a faster processor for enhanced performance, and a host of other features to make it even more compatible with external programs. The touchscreen and frame get a more contemporary look, and the system now has Apple CarPlay compatibility (when a microphone is used with Harley’s optional Genuine Motor Accessories headsets) as well as hands-free voice recognition, which is a welcome plus.

Probably most noticeable is the 6.5-inch Boom! Box GTS display. It has a Gorilla Glass touchscreen surface that goes edge to edge in a modern design that mimics the latest high-end automotive displays, and its surface treatment minimizes reflection for better visibility in daylight. The improved TFT (Thin Film Transistor) display screen now has 100 percent more resolution, higher contrast, and is optimized for use in wet or dry conditions.

Harley also says the Boom! Box GTS processes faster, has more memory, and is more responsive than the previous Boom! Box 6.5 GT system. It has a start-up time of just 10 seconds, and a route calculation time of just 2.5 seconds. The interface is now more responsive to familiar smartphone gestures like pinching, swiping, and dragging. The new home screen display is also simpler to navigate. As you can see in the image, there are just three key system buttons: Navigation, Phone, and Music. The individual Navigation, Phone, and Music screens feature condensed information that’s easy to read and navigate, while the new Quick Jump feature allows easy access to Navigation, Audio, and Vehicle info. Press and hold Home on the left-hand control for the pop-up menu. A new Back button has been added to the right-hand control. There is a high-contrast viewing mode and the background colors are also user-modifiable. The whole GTS system can be managed through either the touchscreen (even with gloves) or with the thumb-operated five-way joysticks located on the left- and right-hand controls.

Motorcycle Touring Safety

The motorcycle has always been an exciting and efficient way to move. Since its establishment in 1867, two wheels have taken many people where they need to go. It has been used by some for daily travel and others as a weekly entertainment activity.

Motorcycle development:

Motorcycles have been around far longer than most people suspect – somewhere around 150 years. In 1867, Sylvester Howard Roper, built a coal-fired steam powered motorcycle.

1867 Roper Motorcycle

In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler (yes, the same Daimler that started the Mercedes car company) built this gas-powered motorcycle.

1885 Daimler Motorcycle

In 1903, William Harley, Arthur Davidson, Walter Davidson and William Davidson founded the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company and rolled out their first motorcycle.

1903 Harley Davidson Motorcycle

Obviously, technology and engineering have made motorcycles infinitely safer and more reliable. But, until we all have more personal protection,

Safety Suit

riding will always be a calculated risk. It’s a known fact that the onus is on motorcyclists to have a safe and pleasant ride. Drivers who have never ridden a motorcycle in traffic are generally less aware of bikers. I have been involved in several instances where the driver of an oncoming car looked straight at me then made a left turn as if I wasn’t there. This kind of incident happens all the time to riders; people in cars just don’t register a motorcycle as an object in the road to be avoided.

Motorcycle safety:
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Basics Of Motorcycle Touring

What will you be doing on your next vacation? If you haven’t considered a road trip on your motorcycle, perhaps it’s time to rethink your options. One of the best ways to achieve this is to organize a motorcycle tour and it doesn’t matter if you are going alone, with your significant other or in a group. There aren’t many ways to experience that “get away from it all” feeling these days, but a motorcycle tour is certainly one of them.

Let’s take a moment to think about planning for a successful and fun tour. You’ll need to think about how long the tour is, what shape your ride is in, what shape your wallet is in and what shape you’re in.

How long will your planned tour be? Tour planning is made simpler by researching routes that have been ridden and documented for their scenic beauty and “fun factor”. Harley & others publish touring handbooks online that are worth researching. They are on the Harley site under “Owners / Plan Your Ride / Ride Planner”. There are some amazing tours out there! How about the “Tail of the Dragon” in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, “Three Twisted Sisters” in central Texas or along the “Skyline Drive” in Virginia, just to name a few.

How many days do you expect to be on the road? Could you stretch that number of days if you need to drive fewer miles each day? What type(s) of terrain will you expect to be in? Long stretches of straight highway are generally less popular for motorcycle touring trips – it’s usually the twistier and hillier the better. But, whichever trek you choose means that your motorcycle’s tires better be up to the task. You might consider talking with whoever puts the tires on your bike about the length of your journey vs. the current condition of your tires.

Speaking of tires, be sure to check the load limit of your ride & adjust the tire pressures accordingly. Tires that are in good enough shape for no-luggage, single-rider around-town trips could heat-fail during a long, luggage-packed trip. You should also take your ride to a certified mechanic and have it gone over with a fine-toothed comb to identify any issues that might cause a breakdown on the planned trip.

From the Harley websites, here are a couple of URL’s you might want to check out while planning your trip:

What to pack: https://www.harley-davidson.com/us/en/owners/plan-your-ride/road-trip-tips/checklist.html

Planning your trip: https://www.harley-davidson.com/us/en/owners/plan-your-ride/road-trip-tips.html
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