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Thinking seriously about a bike


bjoeaull
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UPDATE: To any new readers, I decided to not go the bike route, just too much to risk! Thanks everyone!

 

So a local ad on craigslist had my attention. It was for a 2010 Harley Davidson Sportster Iron 883 matte black. I have never really been a bike guy but appreciated them. But this one made me really want one. The only hold backs are or course the money, it makes the wife nervous, and I have 3 little kids. I wouldn't want anything to happen to me for the sake of my family. But with all that in mind I would always wear a helmet, take a training course, and really only get it out randomly to enjoy, mostly a toy that I can take pride in and have fun on when its a nice day and I'm free.

Plus I think to enjoy the harley lifestyle as a hobby would be fun too. Not to mention something else to clean up and shine! Speaking of which what could I use on the matte paint, anyone familiar with it?

So anyone with an input or familiar with this scenario please chime in. I have been thinking it over for like 5 days, and went and checked it out today, that made me want it more, although it did seem somewhat intimidating! haha

Edited by bjoeaull
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Haha, thanks guys, those were the responses I wanted to see! I know, its a great looking bike, and to be able to get a slightly used one for a touch under $7k seems like a great deal for a sick bike! Kind of a bare bones raw bike, they claim it as the anti chrome, which I like on bikes.

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Loved my bike for 3 years. My wife was pregnant with my son Jaiden (8 yrs now) when I had my R1. It was fun hanging out with the guys and riding, there's nothing like that feeling of the open road.

 

That being said, everyone I rode with was better and more experienced than me, and one night I was trying to hang with them on a windey, curvy road...and I ended up high siding the bike at 60 MPH into the woods. Once I realized I was still alive, I talked it over with my wife, and I ended up selling the bike. Too many close calls for my liking.

 

Now cruisers are a bit different, and I would say I was being young and stupid I guess. I would just say be vigilant at all times, what I noticed was how fast traffic comes up on you, and that most drivers don't give bikers the respect they deserve. I had a few close calls, which worried me, so I ended up selling. It was definately fun. Take all the safety precautions you can, accidents happen so quickly, and anyone with a car or a truck will win that battle.

 

Just please be safe man...but I say go for it, just be safe.

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Loved my bike for 3 years. My wife was pregnant with my son Jaiden (8 yrs now) when I had my R1. It was fun hanging out with the guys and riding, there's nothing like that feeling of the open road.

 

That being said, everyone I rode with was better and more experienced than me, and one night I was trying to hang with them on a windey, curvy road...and I ended up high siding the bike at 60 MPH into the woods. Once I realized I was still alive, I talked it over with my wife, and I ended up selling the bike. Too many close calls for my liking.

 

Now cruisers are a bit different, and I would say I was being young and stupid I guess. I would just say be vigilant at all times, what I noticed was how fast traffic comes up on you, and that most drivers don't give bikers the respect they deserve. I had a few close calls, which worried me, so I ended up selling. It was definately fun. Take all the safety precautions you can, accidents happen so quickly, and anyone with a car or a truck will win that battle.

 

Just please be safe man...but I say go for it, just be safe.

 

I hear you! I am going into this situation already nervous and aware of the risk. So I think it will stay with me. I am a family man, we do everything as a family, I go to all the kids things. So they will always be in my thoughts, I think that will keep me playing it safe. But generally with bikes, its the other drivers you gotta pay attention to. I really plan on it being a town cruiser, not many highway trips. My town is fairly small, not many roads over 35mph - 45mph.

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I hear you! I am going into this situation already nervous and aware of the risk. So I think it will stay with me. I am a family man, we do everything as a family, I go to all the kids things. So they will always be in my thoughts, I think that will keep me playing it safe. But generally with bikes, its the other drivers you gotta pay attention to. I really plan on it being a town cruiser, not many highway trips. My town is fairly small, not many roads over 35mph - 45mph.

 

A good friend once told me. Once you stop losing that nervous/aware feeling and lose respect for the bike. Then it's time to worry:thumbsup:

 

You'll be OK. Enjoy it!

Edited by 07RS4
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Lots of pros & cons to consider. I love Harleys, and a Sportster is a great bike around town. You might look around and see if you can find a 1200, and how much more it would cost. The 883 is okay, and some people keep them, lots of people trade up pretty quick though. You can always put on a big bore

kit on the 883 though.

You are spot on about taking the MSF class, and never lose respect for the bike.

I've been riding a long time. I even tried to quit when my son was in middle school, thinking I should hang it up for the family. That lasted a little a over a year, I missed it too much, had to get another. My wife understood.

My last parting thought, you never see a Harley outside a psychiatrists office.

Good luck.

Bruce

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Lots of pros & cons to consider. I love Harleys, and a Sportster is a great bike around town. You might look around and see if you can find a 1200, and how much more it would cost. The 883 is okay, and some people keep them, lots of people trade up pretty quick though. You can always put on a big bore

kit on the 883 though.

You are spot on about taking the MSF class, and never lose respect for the bike.

I've been riding a long time. I even tried to quit when my son was in middle school, thinking I should hang it up for the family. That lasted a little a over a year, I missed it too much, had to get another. My wife understood.

My last parting thought, you never see a Harley outside a psychiatrists office.

Good luck.

Bruce

 

Good thoughts! I hear you on the stress reliever, with 3 kids 5 and under, plus I own a restaurant, I could use an unwinder. My other stress reliever is running/weight training/bicycling. Never hurts to add another out!

 

I think I will be fine for a while with the 883, like you said, theres power adders out there if I get the itch. :burnout:

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First off, I love bikes..always been a passion of mine, I love messing with them, riding them, and making them! I have my preferences (and bias) as all motorcycle owners do..just like car guys are divided so are we..All said and done I can appreciate ANY bike for what it is and represents. For me I bought each one for freedom and thoughts, just me and no one else.

 

I see you're taking this seriously mentioning family, kids etc...that's great!! I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY....HIGHLY recommend the MSF safety course for both new riders and old ones..you will ALWAYS learn something new there that might just save your life one day!

 

All of THAT said.....I'm not trying to sway you one way or another and I might get in trouble for this but frankly I don't care!! Everyone should be FULLY aware of the risks involved and the dice they roll every time they decide to go for a ride...please Adams forums be kind to me..I only wish to help another human being and a curious potential fellow rider...:grouphug: I don't mean to be a Debby Downer or anything, trust me I tell every single person that's thinking about or considering getting a bike this following message and quote: Motorcycles are dangerous..PERIOD! There is no seat belt, air bags, "crumple zones" ect. you are COMPLETELY exposed!! I always wear a helmet and no shatter eye wear..granted thats about it..now please let me tell you the best advice I've ever gotten..actually I read it. It was an article in The Horse magazine (Mag about real choppers, old school, barebones, hardtails), which is my personal preference, the article was written by George The Painter (GTP) in the August of 2009 issue..he said, discussing safety "Think about it man, you're strapping two wheels to a motor, throwing your leg over the top of it and basically holding on for dear life as you propel yourself headlong down the highway, completely unprotected, and invisible to any other vehicles around you. You're nothing but a bump in the road!" He goes on later to say "take a look at why you are doing this and figure out if it means enough to you to roll the dice with your life every time you let the clutch out. If there is any doubt in your mind at all...quit!! I'm serious. This is not something to be taken lightly. The minute you do you'll end up in a ditch somewhere spitting out teeth and listening to your last breath gargling its way through your crushed windpipe." And then goes on "If you're not willing to give up your life for that one ride when you step over the seat then you have NO BUSINESS whatsoever being on a motorcycle!"

 

As I said I'm not trying to sway you one way or the other...riding has been and always will be one of the best most enjoyable experiences in my entire life!! I have been very lucky, privileged and honored to be a part of that scene for a short amount of time, restored 4 bikes 1 is my current complete one off custom..when the time comes and its coming soon it will probably be one of the hardest things to let go of because so much of ME is in it. I take great pride and great joy in that bike and it's my baby, but it's time to move on to new things. Look at whats driving you into motorcycling, weigh the risks, for me it was TOTALLY worth it, every second!! LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!! I just want ya to grasp how real a risk this is, remember the old saying 'its not you that you have to worry about...its everyone else!'

 

Happy motoring :burnout:

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I love motorcycles and love riding but if you haven't owned a bike before, that's a lot of motorcycle for your first bike. My advice if you do end up getting a bike, go out and take AMA's rider course. You will learn stuff that you didn't know about. Motorcycles are a different animal and a bike that big can get away from you quickly. So if you do get a bike, ride smart, remember that if you have an accident in a car, you usually only bend metal and break plastic, but on a motorcycle you lose skin and tissue and break bones. You can not be too careful and when on a bike you have to ride defensively every minute, you can never relax. But they are still a lot of fun.

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So a local ad on craigslist had my attention. It was for a 2010 Harley Davidson Sportster Iron 883 matte black. I have never really been a bike guy but appreciated them. But this one made me really want one. The only hold backs are or course the money, it makes the wife nervous, and I have 3 little kids. I wouldn't want anything to happen to me for the sake of my family. But with all that in mind I would always wear a helmet, take a training course, and really only get it out randomly to enjoy, mostly a toy that I can take pride in and have fun on when its a nice day and I'm free.

Plus I think to enjoy the harley lifestyle as a hobby would be fun too. Not to mention something else to clean up and shine! Speaking of which what could I use on the matte paint, anyone familiar with it?

So anyone with an input or familiar with this scenario please chime in. I have been thinking it over for like 5 days, and went and checked it out today, that made me want it more, although it did seem somewhat intimidating! haha

 

If you don't mind a little advise from a guy who's been riding motorcycles since I was about 12 years old.

 

First rule I always go by. When you think you have "Thoroughly mastered" the bike and can learn no more - sell it, give it away, whatever! I've had a few bike brothers that are no longer among the living because they said they could do anything they wanted on their bikes.

 

With having a wife and 3 little kids and worry about something happening to you, again, sell it or give it away or don't buy it to begin with. "Something" always happens when you ride a bike. Little mechanical things would be the least of your worries. It's those "cagers" - people who drive cars/trucks, etc that can cause something to happen to you, regardless of how much experience you have on one.

 

Wearing a helmet is viewed by some as not being cool. And there are certain States that let you ride without one. However, if you get this bike, ensure that you spend as much money as you can afford to get the best helmet. There are warning labels that usually come with the bike or inside the helmet that states: "Warning, if you drop this helmet do not wear it again, purchase a new one - or words to that effect. They are made of fiberglass and some, like one I have, is made out of Kevlar. When dropped it causes very small fractures in the material. So if in a wreck, you are wearing something that is not as good as it was originally intended for.

 

Yes - take the basic training course and then take all the higher level ones offered. The more information/training you get could possible ensure you will arrive home safely.

 

Riding it, as you stated, "randomly." Why?? Again if you are worried about your wife and 3 kids, ride it as often as you can - "As Often As You Can!! That is how you will gain experience. And please, until you feel comfortable with it, only ride it - practice - in empty parking lots or on a large field of mowed grass. You "will" lay it over while learning and you will possible lay it over as you are going through a corner at 55+ mph. It happens to the best of us. Even slow turning, you will, do to some small thing you forgot, lay it over. And regardless if riding slow or fast, when you lay a bike down, it happens so fast and if you come out of it okay, you're going to be standing there asking yourself what happened.

 

I know you, like other riders, do view their bikes as "toys" and only ride them once in awhile. Pardon me for preaching but never consider a motorcycle as a toy. A hobby - yes.

 

Let me pre-warn you if you don't mind. That "hobby" is like detailing and buying products from Adam. Once ya get into it, if you're not careful, the hobby quickly produces a huge "wish list" and you will quickly find yourself really getting into the Harley lifestyle. :jester:

 

It's a beautiful bike. However I haven't any idea what you, if you buy it, could put on the paint. The other thing about that type of bike - it's small and fairly easy to handle/learn on.

 

I could sit here and write a dozen things of what you shouldn't or should do if you get it as far as riding it. However, get into the first training course you can and again, move on up to the next level and then the next.

 

Some Cagers, for whatever reasons, just don't pay attention to a motorcycle rider. I'll give you one quick tip. While riding in City traffic. If you see a stopped car, waiting to get into the traffic flow you are in, always watch the front tire. If you see that wheel moving, you can be pretty sure it's going to pull right out in front of you and if you don't know how to quickly react, you will T-Bone it.

 

I wish you the best of luck trying to talk your wife into getting it. :help:

The best of luck riding and enjoying it. It is indeed a great hobby, especially when you stop for gas and meet other riders because you will end up having a great time by just talking to them and about "bikes."

 

Finally, be so very safe riding it no matter if in City traffic, on the Interstates or just a good 'ol two lane road. Keep a pocket camera with you at all times because on a bike you some how seem to see things you normally wouldn't see while driving your vehicle.

 

And one more thing. Don't care what the dealer's service department says or anybody tells you, stay away from using the Harley oil and go with a good synthetic like Amsoil or Moble 1. Even though you can run it longer before oil changes, forget that and change your oil every 3,000 miles. You can use the synthetic in all "three holes" on a Harley. Also forget about getting 2 - 3%+ gas mileage increase. I sold Amsoil and that's just not true.

 

Keep the forum informed if you buy it. Love to see more pictures of it.

Edited by Corners
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^ I totally agree, there is a ton of things to learn about riding, and the advice about wearing a QUALITY helmet is right on. I never liked the when the law in Pennsylvania made you wear a helmet, but I would never, ever think of getting on a bike without a helmet, long pants, and gloves.

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Wow thanks everyone! I got some very detailed feedback, and I appreciate that. Its easy to envision the fun that can be had, but we don't always picture the negatives in that dream. I can't say that I feel any better about the decision as of now, but I have new things to consider thanks to you all! When I said toy, I didn't mean to make light of the machine. I greatly understand its power and danger. But just was describing enjoying a piece of machinery as a hobby and to take pride in it. This decision went into a new level of thought for me. So thanks everyone for the great feedback!

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Thanks for that Vince, that was a real from the heart comment. It's a tough decision, the safety is the biggest concern for me. I still have some thinking to do.

 

No worries man! I just wanted to share that with you...having a bike like I said has truely been one of the greatest experiences and joys in my life but there are risks I think about everytime I sit on it..if I think "ya know what?" then I dont ride it. I'm 26 I have no family of my own no kids...but I will someday..and while when I get rid of this last one it will be painful and I will have the urge to ride again I'm sure...I'm not too positive about those risks and rewards being worth it. One last piece of advice, actually 2...do what you love and cherish what you love and care for regardless of what others may think, if that's getting a bike or not it doesn't matter it's YOUR life and YOUR decision. And secondly I advise taking the MSF course before actually buying a motorcycle it'll get you acquainted and in touch with what to do and not to do..I got one before taking the course so had to self teach but if I were to do it over again id take a course first no shame in it, as I saw "riders of years" either learn something or couldn't perform a maneuver correctly. That's all I'm gonna say other than mines for sale ;)

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Honestly, id suggest finding some other stress reliever/escape/toy, maybe something you could involve the wife and kids in. Like a boat maybe. Honestly, if you're wife's not happy about it, why put her through that? Ask your kids if they're ok with the risk of losing their dad. How would you have felt to lose your dad at their age?

 

I know you'd do everything to be safe, but stuff happens out the. Drunks. Unexpected potholes and debris n the road. People on cell phones. People fiddling with their gps. Rain. The variables are endless. Plus, it sounds like you've got a lot on your mind.... Work, kids, etc... Honestly, when riding you need to really focus on the ride, not the zillion other things in your life.

 

I rode a bike for almost exactly 10,000 miles when I was in my early 20s. I lived in hawaii (big island) where there was little traffic, no 4 lane highways, no cell phones, perfect weather, and l lot of drivers aware of bikers. STILL there were close calls. when I sold the bike I thought to myself, "you had your fun, you were lucky, and you got it out of your system." I've never looked back, and now, in my 40s, I'd never consider riding a bike in today's traffic.

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This is from a rider with nearly 40 years experience riding. I was Director of our HOG Club for seven years and a Road Captain for 10. Riding a Harley is the most fun on two wheels that I have ever had. And, I've owned motocross and the "go fast" sport bikes. Riding a motorcycle has been a great stress reliever for me.

 

However, w/ young kids, I recommend you give this decision a bit more thought. The Sportster will be a "me" toy and a "me" stress reliever. If you make the Sporster yours, I suggest you make sure you have plenty of disability insurance in place in case you're hurt and can't work. If you don't have one, I also suggest you consider having a family toy that will involve everyone.

 

The best piece of advice I rec'd came when I was just learning to ride and I think of it often -

 

"Ride like you're invisible".

 

Too many folks, young and old alike are in too big of a hurry and simply don't see motorcyclists.

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I have a young one and two motorcycles. I haven't ridden them in two years. I need to get them out of storage so I can set them up correctly for long term storage.

 

It kills me to let them sit... Maybe I'll sell them...

 

Chris

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I've been riding 20 years, not including my years as a kid on the back of my Dad's bike (not sure that's even legal anymore). Riding is in my DNA, and I plan to do it as long as I'm physically able, but I don't have kids so my perspective is different than yours. Several of my friends I rode with in my early 20s quit riding when they started a family, and a lot of the folks I ride with now are older and have grown kids, so I guess a lot of folks weigh that and choose not to ride for a while. But as someone else mentioned, aside from the safety concerns I think another factor is that most folks choose family-oriented hobbies and get a boat or something more conducive to including the kids.

But like I said, I learned to love motorcycles by riding with my Dad, so it doesn't have to be a solo activity. And a lot of folks start riding dirt bikes and ATVs at a young age, so that might be a way for you to get started riding and include everyone.

Here's what HD recommends for their denim paint: Denim Paint Cleaner | Genuine Motor Accessories | Harley-Davidson USA (check out the video). It seems Adams Waterless Wash would be the ticket, but hopefully someone else with experience can say for sure.

Apparently this is from a HD service bulletin on denim paint care: Service Procedure

Cleaning Black Denim paint:

 

For heavy deposits on finish:

 

Use a grease cutting dishwashing detergent and a clean H-D wash-mitt (P/N 94760-99). Dilute dishwashing detergent per instructions provided by manufacturer and rinse thoroughly with clean water.

For light deposits on finish:

Use ammonia based glass cleaner and a soft H-D Soft-Cloth (HD-94656-98).

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Thanks again everyone! I have decided to put this idea to rest and maybe revisit the thought when I get older. Too much at risk. I will try to find another hobby or something. But I appreciate all the feedback, it basically helped me come to this conclusion.

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UPDATE: To any new readers, I decided to not go the bike route, just too much to risk! Thanks everyone!

 

In a way I'm sorry to hear that but in another way I think you made the right decision. Wife - 3 kids. Would be an absolute shame if you went on a ride and didn't make it back home.

 

Think about this for awhile. A lot of guys like you that have a wife and small kids and want to buy a bike, end up making the same decision you did. However as time passes and the kids are grown up, then you might sit down with wife and kids and talk this over. Don't know your age but I've known men and women, in their "golden years" that took the safety course, bought bikes for each one and are living a good life by just taking rides together, meeting new people, enjoying what there is out there to see. So one day you may decide to go that route.

 

Regardless, it's your decision and I highly respect you for making it. :2thumbs:

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