Originally Posted by XMagnaRider
You will get many opinions about Harleys. There are many models, but I assume you are referring to the popular "big twins" (Softails, Dynas, and Touring models).
One common trait that I have found on all of the big twin Harleys that I have ridden is that there is a lot of vibration when the bike is fully stopped, such as when you are waiting at a traffic light. The word "vibration" is generous; it could easily be described as shaking, or even "violent shaking". This is true whether the engine is counterbalanced and/or rubber mounted. Letting go of the brakes (if you are on level ground) reduces the effect.
These traits are somewhat common among large V-Twin motorcycles. I have ridden Victory and Star (Yamaha), too. The Victory is the same; the Star is somewhat smoother. It is definitely a part of the mystique and fun of owning the big twin -type bikes. For me, it was a significant factor for why I didn't buy one.
Once the bike starts rolling, the shaking stops, and the ride can be very smooth indeed, especially on the touring models.
Depending on the model, the legs-forward seating position may or may not be comfortable for you. Keep in mind that you may not have underneath footpegs to stand on when going over bumps, which may be rough on your tailbone. Some Harleys have floorboards, others have more traditional footpeg positions, but usually give you mount points to attach "highway pegs".
More than any other brand, Harleys can be customized to fit your personal taste, but the custom parts can be expensive, and you won't get your customization "investment" back when you sell the bike.
In the 'States, having a Harley is your ticket to many active clubs and groups. I would guess that the number and variety of the Harley-oriented clubs far exceeds all other motorcycle clubs and groups combined. I have no idea whether this is true in Romania.
Harleys are definitely a very different experience compared with your K1200GT.
Doru, all big twin softail models have counterbalanced engines that are rigid mounted in the frame. This means almost no vibration at all, All other big twins have no counterbalancer and the engines are rubber mounted.
It will blow you away to look at one when it is idling. It looks like the engine is going to jump out of the frame.
All of the models with running boards for foot rests will scrape very easily in corners extemely limiting your lean angle. The forward control type models suffer far less from this problem.
The brakes are terrible on most models when compared to those on the GT.
Some of the 08 models can be ordered with Brembo brakes with twin disc front and ABS which apparently work very well but remember you are trying to stop about 450kg when solo.
The new bikes starve for fuel and air to meet EU emmission standards and as a result have no performance and the engine runs so hot it will cook your balls. The stock dual exhausts also prevent them from breathing out whatever fuel and air they do suck in.
You will need an aftermarket engine management system(Thundermax) and aftermarket highflow air filter, and a decent exhaust and when youve done all that it will be a lot more fun to ride and cooler too.
The sound is special, you will get comments and looks wherever you go, the feel of doing 100ks an hour while in 6th doing about 1800rpm is magic so if money isnt a problem do it and have fun and if you dont like it sell it.
The Road king (no counterbalancing) is my personal fave but there are lots of models. The HD website is excellent and has lots of info on all of the models.