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2009 Shadow Spirit 750
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
H and H... Honda and Harley.
Asking of those that currently have one of each in their stable... or those that migrated away from Harley in favour of Honda.
I'm asking because I have the opportunity to make an addition to the number of bikes. And just curious if it's worth it or not.
I'm not talking about the dark years of AMF ownership... but modern ones...say model year 2000 and newer.
Pros and cons of them. Are they truly higher maintenance? Anything specific to watch out for?
I've ridden Harley's before, but never actually owned one. So don't know how much of what I've heard maintenance-wise is true. But I do however find it hard to believe that they would be as low maintenance as our Hondas.
I do know the prior owner of the one in question and he's had it since new. It is higher mileage, but maintained...and at around 60-70k he replaced the valvetrain to be gear driven which is much stronger than the stock setup. And it has also been bored from an 88ci to a 95ci.
Honest thoughts and experience please. :)
I'm still up in the air of whether or not to add it along with my Shadow.
 

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1995 VT1100C2
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Really depends on model rather than brand:
Honda manufactures 2 touring bikes and 6 cruisers
Harley manufactures 13 touring versions and 10 cruisers
Sport and Supersport bikes Honda has the advantage
Mini moto Is Honda only.

As far as cruisers Harleys get expensive at the higher end of $26k so the only comparison is the "48" (Sportster) and I would choose the Fury or Phantom.
CVO don't even look at the price (think mid size Lexus or MB "C" class

As far as maintenance, Honda will win out and I have heard many complaints about the HD dealership service here, however I have a feeling there are more shadow owners who do the simple DIY needed as compared to HD. However as far as maintenance you could compare the relative years maintenance schedules to see.
When I looked at 2016 sportster maintenance it seems like a lot more items every 5k miles.

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2009 Shadow Spirit 750
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
maybe because they patent that sound and in using an antiquated design in order to achieve it... that they just shake themselves to death... so every few thousand miles you have to tighten everything back up again. Not sure.
The one I'm considering is a 2005 Ultra Classic. its stock other than the bore to 95ci, gear driven for timing (so no more wornout chains/guides to replace)... and he swapped out the spoke wheels for mags so he could run tubeless. High miles but well maintained.
 

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2009 Shadow Spirit 750
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I love cruising around on my Shadow... but want another one that I can ride when my wife wants to go with me that is nice and comfortable for her too.
Not going to give up the Shadow though... she's an '09 with barely 11k on the clock.
 

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2002, Shadow Spirit 1100
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I think the Harley would be fine for the open road but not so good in lots of traffic. My Buell is only 1/2 Harley, 500cc 1 cylinder and it shakes like crazy at idle. Once underway it's not bad.
 

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maybe because they patent that sound and in using an antiquated design in order to achieve it... that they just shake themselves to death... so every few thousand miles you have to tighten everything back up again. Not sure.
The one I'm considering is a 2005 Ultra Classic. its stock other than the bore to 95ci, gear driven for timing (so no more worn-out chains/guides to replace) ... and he swapped out the spoke wheels for mags so he could run tubeless. High miles but well maintained.
I might be missing something here, I thought that Harleys are push rod engines, and the cams are gear driven one to the other.
I have a friend with a "bored" Harley that has an over-heating problem.
That could be because with the bore job he also raised the compression.
Something you could ask the owner about (compression ratio) and why the over-bore.
Mag wheels are good, lets you run tubeless tires.
jmo,
.
 
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1998 750 ACE
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Personally I do NOT like all that Heat between my thighs...
BUT???
To each his/Her Own...

BUT, I`m talking about the 2010 RoadKing I rode for a month on "test ride" to see IF I wanted to buy it...

I did Not,
@"Captain D"

No I don`t have a newer, I got my old Ironhead Sporty...
 

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03 750 ACE / Michigan
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436 Posts
A stock touring Harley of the modern era can put on miles after miles after miles with just maintenance. I've done it, I had an Evo Electra-Glide that I personally put about 80k miles on. The more performance mods that are done to it, the less reliable it will be. That's true for all motors. Myself I would not buy one that someone else has hot-rodded.
 

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03 750 ACE / Michigan
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I might be missing something here, I thought that Harleys are push rod engines, and the cams are gear driven one to the other.
I have a friend with a "bored" Harley that has an over-heating problem.
That could be because with the bore job he also raised the compression.
Something you could ask the owner about (compression ratio) and why the over-bore.
Mag wheels are good, lets you run tubeless tires.
jmo,
.
Twin Cam 88 engines had chain driven cams.
 
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2009 Shadow Spirit 750
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That’s what this one was...an 88 bored to 95
i know it was taken care of....but could either be great or a can of worms that I’d regret
 

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2009 Shadow Spirit 750
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think the Harley would be fine for the open road but not so good in lots of traffic. My Buell is only 1/2 Harley, 500cc 1 cylinder and it shakes like crazy at idle. Once underway it's not bad.
I know they have the vibration mounts to isolate it from the frame...but that just can’t be good longterm I would think
 

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My nephew schooled me on HD.
Knucklehead - Parked until the crash job [evo bagger] is off the rack. Parts hang up.
Panhead - Flipped.
Shovelhead - Flipped.
Blockhead, aka Evo - Flipped. Personally speaking, the easiest, most bulletproof of all that engine family designs.
Twinkie - 2 cam - Problem is the cam chain setup. Average life of that setup is 30k and takes the cases out with it.
Milwaukee 8 - back to single cam.

Engine families evolved as the top end is added to a change in family vs how long that top end stayed, then the change of the bottom end is redesigned. Meaning, there will be engines you can spot as in age and engine evolution in family designs. Once you see the 4 cam layout called, 'slab' side, or the 'cone' side for a single cam, you know that the cone is the later style as opposed to the to grafting of the top end change, then the bottom end changes again.

Here at Flip's Deluxe, it only assembles one way is your look of the parts handed to me. When I saw that trend a decade or more back, I said it was a fad, flip them, and build another one with the profits. Just tonight, he sent me photos of a rolling chassis with tin. All he needs is a shovel and a trans. I said you're going to buy a leaker, it's a shovel. He comes back and said it was dry when he had it.

I'd say evo but that is slowly going obsolete and NA for OEM parts like clutch plates, wave plates, etc. Plenty of aftermarket to keep it going however.
Twinkie, would be to see if the aftermarket gear to gear setup is still available. Update needs two kits of OEM updates or their screaming eagle parts. Don't know if that's NA also for the second kit?

Last thing you want is a modded any HD engine. Big bore is an overheating issue. There are swap meets, lots of aftermarket parts to flat out build these from scratch like the nephew did.

Rubberized chassis parts finally sag, are NA for the evo models I know. Have to sacrifice another OE part that is NA, so you are stuck with the aftermarket getting back on the road. Front rubber mount is also NA and the nephew wanted the OE back on. Said aftmrk was too hard. So you have to find later models with parts still available, or save up, buy a newer model.

Hey, I'm not the sharpest spark in the firing order, but if I can do it... you want to compliment the VT with a HD, I'd start with a frame, with shocks, or hardtail with a plush set of seat springs, a S&S engine, someone's trans, 5 or 6 speed, belt drive on a hardtail, a clutch by another aftermarket jobber. All that is left is the tin of your choice, pick a year HD and it's copied, or the OE on the swap meet floor that catches your eye. Wire and fire.

 

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99' Valkyrie/North Central Indiana
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Well for about $5500 or less you can buy a Valkyrie and be a much better selection for your said reasons. Once you have a flat six w/o all the "Tupperware" aka Gold Wing.... a totally different ride. One thing for sure is if show up with Valkyrie folk will definitely always observe a "fat gurl". The photographer for our local Thunder Road chapter took pics of my bike last year and complemented her as she was a rarity to see. She was even cleaned up for the event. :giggle:

I liked my VT1100C a lot but again with two up riding it was a bit cramped in the ergonomic area but athe 2016 Heritage Softail my son used own had the exact same ergo's.
 

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Ah man that last post made me spit coffee on my keyboard!

There is a black 1999 Valkyrie for sale just south of me for $5200.00 with 30K on it. VERY tempting...
 

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2009 Shadow Spirit 750
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
One of the things I like about the people on this forum... honest and 99.9% of the time very respectful of others... great combination.
I've never been one of those that unless I'm on a Harley I don't feel like I'm riding a "real" bike kind of person. lol. I've had other opportunities to ride/own Harley's in the past. I think they make some beautiful bikes... but for me... yes I like my bike to look good...but also be able to ride and ride without constantly having to deal with lots of maintenance. Maybe I'm spoiled because the majority of the bikes I've owned my whole life have been Hondas and they have been extremely reliable for me with what I would call pretty minimal maintenance schedules. And easily done as a DIY not having to spend to take it to a mechanic versed in that brand every time it needs something.
I'm cool with it either way. If it's not really worth the hassle, then I'll focus on something else as a second bike for riding 2 up.
 

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“Dovie’andi se tovya sagain. (Time to toss the dice.)” -Mat Cauthon, ‘The Wheel of Time’

It’s all a game of probabilities, combined with your ability to look after the thing. Harley’s are less reliable than Hondas, overall. But you can get a Harley that runs flawlessly for tens of thousands of miles, and a Honda that is always in the shop! Stay away from modded bikes. Yes, but this one was done properly by someone that seems to know what they were doing, that you know personally, and has not had any of the issues typical to said mods. It has high miles with no issues! Well, that means it will continue to do so… or that it’s ready to explode… 😳

In reality, you never know! It IS a dice toss. In this case, if the deal is really good, I would go for it. Sounds like a nice, well cared for bike that will be kept that way, by someone that has the means. Keep running it on the regular, without letting it sit too long OR over-running it, and I think it will keep. If it starts to cause you concern, you can always send it on to the next owner.
 

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2013 Honda Shadow Phantom 750
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“Dovie’andi se tovya sagain. (Time to toss the dice.)” -Mat Cauthon, ‘The Wheel of Time’

It’s all a game of probabilities, combined with your ability to look after the thing. Harley’s are less reliable than Hondas, overall. But you can get a Harley that runs flawlessly for tens of thousands of miles, and a Honda that is always in the shop! Stay away from modded bikes. Yes, but this one was done properly by someone that seems to know what they were doing, that you know personally, and has not had any of the issues typical to said mods. It has high miles with no issues! Well, that means it will continue to do so… or that it’s ready to explode…

In reality, you never know! It IS a dice toss. In this case, if the deal is really good, I would go for it. Sounds like a nice, well cared for bike that will be kept that way, by someone that has the means. Keep running it on the regular, without letting it sit too long OR over-running it, and I think it will keep. If it starts to cause you concern, you can always send it on to the next owner.
^^^Sums up what I was thinking. ^^^
I say go for it!!!

But y’all know me, I’m gonna add something.

I believe that the way any vehicle runs and how long it runs is directly related to how it is cared for, both in how it is maintained and how it is operated.

I would like to have a Harley but the stories I read and hear, mainly related to cost of maintenance, keep me away. Also time is in short supply for me so that is part of it too.

When I get close to retirement I plan to get a Gold Wing trike for doing long trips with. But it just occurred to me that retirement may be a good time to finally get a basket case Harley and build me a bike like I have been wanting to do for a very long time.

Eric


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