Reading these comments I find no matter what you ride, the thought processes are the same regarding brand loyalty. I have a Harley and when my Harley buddies discovered I bought a Honda the most common comment I heard was "no way in hell I'd own a damn Honda". Seems Honda riders harbor the same sentiment.
It's sad people will close their minds to different riding experiences. Neither one is better than the other, just different.
When I asked the question, it wasn't particularly about Harley as a brand, more on the different styles of riding. But someone asked, so the specific Harley I had was a 2001 Wide Glide that I half inherited from my cousin, who rode hard and loved his bike, but didn't take care of himself with the same vigor. Died in his sleep of a massive heart attack at 50. Bloody shame.
That Harley was an awesome beast. I used to call it the Weeble. On the highway, that low centre of gravity kept things very steady indeed and it's low seat height made tipping the thing over darn near impossible. The chrome was as no other, and the view over the bars was all open road. Handling wise - it's a completely different situation from ST-Ella. The killer for me on the Harley was the mini-ape hangers, backless driver seat, and forward controls. My lower back is significantly shot, and even my ST1100 is starting to cause trouble. On the Harley, I was good an hour or so before a mandatory mini-yoga session. But if I had a passenger on board, the bike would tilt back slightly, and I was in pain after about 20 minutes. All that said, I do miss the character of all that torque and chrome. That said, I find something almost primal and satisfying about the cruiser seating position. Primal just like a pistol feels in your hand (and I'm Canadian - don't own a pistol - but love the feel of it).
But my back doesn't miss it at all.
As an aside, I've also had a Honda V45 and in some ways, that was the most comfortable bike I've owned - go figure - either that or my 1980 CB900 Custom. Even further aside, I'm now considering whether to go to a Goldwing - thinking it [I]might[I] be easier on my lower back. If I do, I'll be stepping back in time quite a bit. The budget won't allow for extra motorcycle money and used 'wings don't come cheap here.
Anyway. Great comments. Thanks!
Life is Goo
1950 BSA Bantam 125cc (three years older than me), Yamaha 125cc (in Iran), Honda SuperDream 250cc, Yamaha XJ400 Seca, Yamaha XJ600N, Suzuki GSX-F 750 Katana, Honda ST1300A (current)
I'm really enjoying this thread, so I'll share my thots/experiences. Sorry, it's not about an ST1100, or an old Harley, but included is an ST and a Harley; hope it still counts. For that matter, there is an 1100, just not an ST1100. Sigh, details, on with the story.
In '90 I bought a leftover (can't remember) '88 or '89 Suzuki Katana 1100. It was Suzuki's sport tourer at the time. Factory hard bags, 1150cc, 130hp right out of the crate, chain drive, oil cooled, even had an electric windshield that went up and down, I don't think much more than 3 inches, about the size of a sheet of letter paper. But man did that thing go - and handle - it was like a sled on rails. Main problem with that bike (more truthfully the problem with me) was that I could not control myself from riding that thing in a very unsafe and illegal manner. It was that powerful, and that smooth. It would have killed me, without a doubt.
So I sold it; only put about 1800 km on it, got what I paid for it, and considered myself fortunate to come away from that experience with only good memories; all of them including big grins. And, ironically, the guy that bought it from me killed himself on it - he was on the wrong side of the road on an uphill curve, had a head-on with a 1 ton cube van. That REALLY shook me up.
Which put me firmly in the field of the motto at the time: SPEED KILLS - PLAY IT SAFE, BUY A HARLEY.
So that's what I did - I bought a Harley. '91 Softail Custom, FXSTC, 1340cc, bought it slightly used, not more than 1500 km on it. Man was that thing beautiful. And it got me to ride in the way a guy should be riding if he wants to survive.
Rode the Harley for 2 years, put somewhere around 50,000 km on it. I was proud as can be of that bike. Never once let me down, took me all kinds of places including Sturgis, tons of smiles and grins. And never once got me a speeding ticket. Because what it did the very best, was all within legal limits.
Sold the Harley, got what I paid for it (that happened a lot back then with Harleys), and didn't do a lot of riding for several years.
I honestly cannot say one of those bikes was more fun than the other. But they were definitely totally different bikes, the fun that they made, the way they made me grin, was for totally different reasons. I do not regret owning either one of them. In fact, while I'm remembering this, I wish I still had both of them now. But I don't.
Fast forward to today; I'm a little more grown up now, and a lot older, and I ride an ST1300. In my opinion, the best of both (of the bikes mentioned above) worlds, at least as close as possible. And it gives me grins every time I ride it.
And that right there is the reason we ride, for the grins we get.
It's true that I get a wide grin when I drive my nephew's old pickup truck, or my girlfriend's Land Rover DiscoveryII, or when I ride my cousin's Honda PA-50. But I wouldn't want to have to go too far in them. The grin wears off fast! Only my GTI or my ST will make me grin for hours on end!
Armoric Designs monowheel trailer + EC trailer isolation relay
Fiamm Freeway blaster hi and lo, Hyperlites flashing brake and turn, Talon T3300 motorcycle theft alarm
Cardo Scala Rider G4 bluetooth intercom
I can relate. My Softail is fun sub-60mph around town and on leisurely rides in the country. The ST is just fun no matter the speed and definitely the choice for the long haul adventure. But they're both offer a buttload of fun. I keep saying one of my bikes needs to go, but I can't choose between them.
Funny, but my wife likes the comfort of the ST but prefers to ride on the Harley. Probably feels safer on the latter.
Mine was very upset with me when I bought the Honda.....She wanted the black leather and big seat of the Electra-glide and was ready to settle for the Road Glide.
I could have been happy on either.
I'm going up to Illinois this weekend to meet a bud who just bought his dream.....A new Street glide. I am looking forward to riding with him again. It's been a long time!
I think even a 10 horsepower single can be "grinny" if the road weather and drivers attitude are in the right place. I had a KZ250 in high school and it was a blast to drive at the time! I think if I laid down over the tank and tucked in behind the speedo I could get it to go 71mph!!
Gee, I own both but the ST is the old one, I like both.
This may sound odd but, I prefer the HD for the long haul.
I FOLLOW the open roads as I travel a new Highway I haven't traveled before..........
Lady Rider of 07 HD FLHX, 97 ST1100, occasional pillion
first evaluate your needs. then choose a bike...my need is to be able to travel 600 miles on mostly paved roads..straight and not so straight....which bike would give me the most pleasure for that type of day (ride)