Well, since you came to a Honda Owner Group (HOG) after 7 posts to tell us you bought a Harley instead of a Honda, you shouldn't mind if we critique your decision, right?
Where to start...motor. The HD has a Big Twin twin cam in it, 1687cc's minimum.
Honda doesn't make anything V Twin that big anymore, but if there were a leftover VTX 1800 at a Honda dealer, I promise you it would be faster, nastier, tourquier, more reliable and less expensive to run and maintain.
Even the 1300 Stateside or Fury would be as fast/quick or very close to it.
The Softail with stock exhaust is no louder than the Honda 1800. Vance and Hines each of them and the sound Honda will scare more people than the Harley...that VTX 1800 is a monster.
Suspension...hopefully you are 180lbs or less; otherwise you will find the Softail suspension inadequate and will have to upgrade those (pricey) trick shocks. Even when tweaked, Softails are the least comfortable platform HD makes.
But yes, Softails all look cool, all 564 variations they make of the platform...nobody "nicklebacks" (my euphemism, you can use it) themselves better than HD...there are waymore Softail models than there were Shadow models, for example.
So, you are buying a low-powered, expensive (in every way measurable) imitation of a Harley Davidson motorcycle...a twin cam motor with a huge list of defects in its design and a truly uncomfortable rear suspension with a decent front end, thanks to Showa (Japan).
Obviously a poor decision on the metrics.
Harleys are sold by the creation of yearning for a classic American Motorcycle and the wistful desire to relive a simpler time.
And for that experience, you will pay. Oh yes, you will pay.
Harleys are wonderful old tractors wrapped up in great Marketing & Advertising.
You'll feel cool and superior and have a sense of prestige and rebel status every time you tool down your street on that baby.
Honda doesn't make anything like a HD Softail.
Personally, I'd buy a Dyna before a Softail in a heartbeat...and it would be a carb fed Evo, not a TC. But that's just me.
But in terms of a good comparison, you should go ride a Victory before you buy a Harley....Victory's 106 motor is simply a superior motor to the TC 103.
I'll give you the Vulcan, especially the early oneI agree; expressing/discussing isn't about "winning"....unless you're Charlie Sheen (ha).
The OP directly or indirectly sought our thoughts on his decision.
My thinking is that nobody buys a Harley to experience engineering excellence...you buy a Harley to get in on the Brand message and ride a new interpretation of a traditional/antique American motorcycle.
I think I articulated my views clearly and factually...my views are shared by motorcycle critics/reviewers, owners groups in class action lawsuits, etc...it's not just some guy ranting on a message board.
And I don't think I even mentioned the cam chain adjuster pad issue, did I?
I don't hate Harleys, I like them a lot....I just don't see any point in pretending the TC is a good motor. It's not.
Same thing with the Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 motors....they used plastic oil pump gears for several years and it wasn't until lots of them blew up that they changed the design. Bum motor design.
Or the Victory 92SC...ever read about the transmissions on those things? Scary! Bum design.
I don't hate Kawasakis or Victorys either.
Harley Owners are very forgiving, it seems...I would never buy a new bike that you have to shut down in city traffic for fear of catching yourself on fire or blowing up the motor or both.
The TC b has counterbalancers to reduce vibration and no "wasted spark", so this generation of Harleys neither sounds nor feels like a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Without thousands spent on aftermarket or SE exhaust, breather mods, remapped FI and oil cooling to make a new Harley sound "correct" ...a new stock HD with stock exhausts is a shadow of its former self, pun intended.
They are softer, smoother and quieter...so where is the "thunder"? (it's at the aftermarket supply house at the SE catalog, mostly...)
(...and the rest is in the marketing. HD sells nostalgia and it sells nostalgia better than anyone this side of Happy Days.)
I think it's outrageous that "The Motor Company" is selling such a poorly designed motor...and getting away with it.
Well, at least they were getting away with it.
I mean really...what other vehicles need to be TURNED OFF AT STOPLIGHTS TO AVOID OVERHEATING??? (a ten year old Dodge Neon comes to mind, or a 1982 Renault Alliance)
It's a bum motor. The loyalty of Harley buffs is admirable, but at some point it's okay to love the Company without loving all their products. Companies make mistakes...but that doesn't mean you have to defend the mistake or go buy one.
Sure, kudos to HD for "trying" to build a big displacement air cooled v twin that meets EPA standards, but "trying" when you are a company whose very essence revolves around your Motor...is simply not good enough.
There's no point trying to argue with Captain Cut-N-Paste. He clearly has no actual experience with Harleys, not in the last few decades anyway, and bases his entire opinion on internet google searches.So...the option to shut off the rear cylinder when stopped does not help at all?
Meh. I was just asking, not arguing.There's no point trying to argue with Captain Cut-N-Paste. He clearly has no actual experience with Harleys, not in the last few decades anyway, and bases his entire opinion on internet google searches.
Meh. I was just asking, not arguing.
I never really understood the whole "H-D uses outdated tech/builds slower bikes" argument anyway, especially considering all the new options that H-D comes with...the anti-theft keyfob thingy comes to mind.
This is why I have stayed on the sidelines for this debate. I find it amazing that the biggest critics of HDs are from non-Harley owners with no actual experience with the Motor Company.There's no point trying to argue with Captain Cut-N-Paste. He clearly has no actual experience with Harleys, not in the last few decades anyway, and bases his entire opinion on internet google searches.
I know, and I've been doing my best to behave and walk away. But every now and then a little slips out..This is why I have stayed on the sidelines for this debate. I find it amazing that the biggest critics of HDs are from non-Harley owners with no actual experience with the Motor Company.
TC's are lemons??? Filthy Lies!So...the option to shut off the rear cylinder when stopped does not help at all?
H.O.- You just wouldn't understand, man.I will say that when I got stuck in a traffic jam after the fireworks on the 4th of July, I'm very glad my bike was water cooled.
Cops were posted at every intersection, which made lane splitting mostly out of the question. Took an hour and a half to get out of the jam. Saw a bunch of guys on Harleys and choppers who were walking their bikes, as they had shut them off.
I let mine idle and I just waved.....
TC's are lemons??? Filthy Lies!
It's the new customer base!....they have heat-sensitive skin. (rimshot)
Turning off your Big Twin at stoplights on a hot day is nothing new and not exclusive to TC's...Harleys are modern antiques, as are Royal Enfields.
Actually, with Enfield & Harley both building bikes in India, RE could easily be the new Buell.
That would be a great purchase...then HD has a small bike to put the old guys on, the guys that refuse to buy a TriGlide.