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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have recently decided to look into getting an additional bike or possibly selling mine and buying another.
I have been really wanting bags and a fairing so I felt like I could take longer rides or trips.
Now I love this 9, don't get me wrong on this. And I'm not trying to offend those that have altered their bikes with bags and windshields. But I love the lines of this bike so much that I just can't put on a windshield and bags. It's like putting on a snowplow on a Corvette, it just doesn't work.

So I have been looking at a number of possible additions or replacements. Top of the list has been the Victory Cross Roads, but I haven't ridden one yet. Also to make my riding friends happier guys I also have been eyeing the Street and Road Glides.
Yesterday I had a day off and tell the wife I'm going to look at bikes. I end up at St. Charles Harley Davidson in St. Charles MO (St. Louis area). The salesman is a good guy and listens to my likes and dislikes. And I ask him to talk to me about the Road Glide. He tells me a Road Glide and a Street Glide are basiclly the same bike and that the difference is just the fixed fairing on the Road Glide. He then says I should ride it. I figured that he meant a used one out on the lot. But nope he says this one, all clean and shiney on the showroom floor. So he checks my ins. and lic. and out the door we go.

Outside I was disappointed the he didn't give me much of a walk around on the bike. I had told him I had been riding 30+ years but had never thrown a leg over a Harley. LOL he did show me how to turn up the radio volume, but forgot to show me the goofy turn signal setup that Harley uses. Next he gives me the ride route he'd like me to take...in case I break down! So I hop on and look it over for a few seconds and adjust the mirrors. I hit the start button and look up and the sales guy is gone...poof! I had a couple of questions to ask and he's a ghost. My first question was...does this thing shake like this ALL of the time? It shook worse than anything I had ever riden or even dreamed of. I had no idea Harley guys thought this was the reason to pay $20,000 for a bike. I blip the throttle a couple of times to get an idea about whats about to happen. I let out the clutch and it took off rather nicely and smoothed out as soon as the machine started moving. Funny Harley puts in the vibration at idle where most want it to be smooth. If a car idled like a Harley does we'd all be taking our cars to the junkyard.

Ok so I take off and surprisingly it's a nice ride. The suspension soaked up bumps and rode pretty good. Next I head out onto the highway.
I'm turning onto the on ramp and looking for the way to get my right turn signal on. Come on...2 switches for the signals...really? Now they are self cancelling and that was a nice feature. So as I accelerate up the ramp I must have forgotten something...the engine. It was so linear in it's power it felt like a sewing machine. I never felt any sense of acceleration just a feeling of "come on baby, let's get going". As I get the bike up to speed I start checking out the fairing and how it feels. At around 45 it was ok. But that's when it started, as I approached 55 I noticed my head starting to buffet(SP).
At 65 it was trying to rip my sunglasses off my head. Even my 9 doesn't do that. I noticed the the air did hit me at a higher point than it does on the 9. But I think because of the fairing compressing the air upward, when it does get across/over the fairing it comes over with a vengence. This was the last thing I was expecting. To get bounced around by air from behind a fixed full fairing...not good. So I get to the turn around point and exit the highway and have to sit at a stop light, and there it goes again, the unbelievable shaking. Now I did and do expect some vibration from a Harley. I do understand the single crank pin engineering and the results of that design. But omg I never thought it would be this much.

The Ride back...
I wanted to see what she had, I thought maybe it was first acceleration jitters on that first on ramp. So this time I gag it getting on the highway. I twist it wide open and...well to tell you the truth, not much happened. It felt the same as the first time, it just pulled for a longer period of time. On the ride back, I approached the dealership the same way I had come in on my 9 and had noticed the rough road on my 9. The Glide was much smoother and soaked up the road bumps much better than the 9. I get back to the dealership and re-notice how high the bike sat off the ground. Only the balls of my feet touched the ground. On the Street Glide I was flat footed, so it's slightly lower.

I park the bike and go back into the dealership and find my salesman. He asks "how great was that?" Sorry you guys out there that own Harleys as well as 9's but I started to laugh. He says "that good?". So I had to let him down gently and told him that it wasn't the right bike for me. I did go through the reasons it didn't work for me. He lets me know that we can "fix" all those things with accessories. In my head I start doing the math 20 grand plus $2000-3000 in add ons plus tax and fees and I'm up to $25000-$26000...SAY WHAT!
I did thank the guy for the test ride. I have been a bike and car salesman and know the drill so I asked him if he wanted me to talk to his manager about the sale. He said "nope" I'm the top salesman here so I don't have to go through that kind of silliness. He also showed me a new Yamaha Stratoliner. It's an ok bike, except from straight ahead. You could put a highway billboard on the front of the fairing and not get anything on the fairing glass itself, it's big. When I said no the the Yamaha he said I wasn't buying into the "Harley Lifestyle" was I? I said I have a really cool bike that I like and ride with all kinds of different people. The life style I am into is riding not branding. He then tells me about his ZX this and R1 that and he has a Harley but he'd rather ride the ZX. Nuff Said!!

Ok so here's the results.
On a 1 - 10 scale:
Fit and Finish.....8
Ride quality.......9
Seating.............6
Bags................6 (too small)
Kick Stand.........8
Fairing..............4 (that may be too high)
Foot placement...6 (shifter design sucked)
Braking.............7
Engine..............2 (from vibration to acceleration...bad)
Transmission......7 (not much different than what we are used to)
Price vs. Value....3 (yea yea I know, the resale is better, but so what)

To finish up...the Glides seem to have too much of the wrong stuff (engine vibration and lack of power) and need more of the right stuff to really make these bikes "must haves".
At $20000 just for the bike I just don't see it.
I looked at a new 2008 left over Gold Wing over the weekend loaded with GPS and air bags...$19995, no not the same bike and it was a left over but for the cash you're spending it makes you think.

Sorry folks I guess I just don't get "The Lifestyle".

Still in love with my 9!!

Jeff / Foo

P.S. sorry this was soooo long but it needed to be said...lol.
 

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$5,000 (maybe not even that) worth of bike and $20,000 for the "lifestyle" :a20:
 

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You might want to check out the Victory Cross Roads or Cross Country. The bike is very similar to the Street Glide and Road Glide but has better power and handling. Not 9 power, but better than Harley. Of course it doesn't take much to perform better than a Harley.

If I were to add another bike to the stable, this would be it.

http://www.polarisindustries.com/en...011/Touring/Cross-Country/Pages/Overview.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yea the Cross Roads is on my short list (even shorter after yesterday).
Sat on a 2011 Cross Roads the other day. It wasn't serivced yet so
no ride that day. The seat seems very comfortable to me. I felt like
I was sitting in the bike not just on it. I wish our 9's had a cushier seat.

So next test ride will be a Cross Roads. I'll review that one after the ride.

I hope I can figure out how to keep my 9. It is such a cool bike in so
many ways. From style to power and great handling it's a great bike.
But it's just not made to look good with a fairing and bags...IMHO.

Jeff / Foo
 

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I hope I can figure out how to keep my 9. It is such a cool bike in so
many ways. From style to power and great handling it's a great bike.
But it's just not made to look good with a fairing and bags...IMHO.

Jeff / Foo[/QUOTE]

I think the M109R looks real good with the older Corbin fairings, i think it looks better than most baggers to be honest.

I bought the Kawasaki C14 and is a blast to ride, long distance i can put 400 miles a day easy...

 

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Jeff,

Man I laughed out loud when I read your post. I love how you were curious so you went to check it out, only to experience the exact same thing as me :a20:

Here's a picture of me and my buddy when we rode to Key West last year. I had the Road Glide and he had the Street Glide.

I rode most of the way in 5th gear because it was absolutely gutless in 6th, even on the highway :dontknow:

After about 300kms of riding my back actually hurt, a lot. I found that the street glide had a bit more of a "Sportier" feel to it but I have no evidence to that claim except for the butt-on-seat meter. at 5'11 I think I may of actually been too tall for the bike. I've ridden 300kms on my 9 just for fun and my bike doesn't hurt nearly as much, but I also have the Suzuki gel seat.

Regarding the shaking, yeah they do that real bad. And it doesn't even feel good after a while. I used to describe it as "Going on a gravel road at running speed". Even on a smooth road, the moment you are below 20kph and having the clutch in, your shaking your brains (and going over gravel)

Yes, they do surprisingly have a smooth take off but that's pretty much it. I don't like the automatic indicators, they make you lazy! I just make it a habit to touch the indicator reset after every turn... not that hard!

All in all I felt the same way about the bike(s) as you did... but one thing for sure those Harleys have that we don't have (with out upgrades) is the Cruise Crontrol and CD player. Man I LOVED both of those features! The music came out very clear and able to be much louder then reasonable as well.. The cruise control I admit was a favorite feature, it worked exactly like a cars cruise control.

 

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$5,000 (maybe not even that) worth of bike and $20,000 for the "lifestyle" :a20:
Haha :bigthumbsup: Now that is funny... and true :duck:
 

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I felt the same thing, that why the NINE IS FINE, in every respect, oh did I mention I give it a 10.:bigthumbsup::doorag::doorag:
 

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Baggers

While I have to disagree on the bags and fairing on a 109 statement (I know, just our opinions), the rest of your experience is the same as mine.
But the Harley experience is just what lots of folks want, you can't argue with their popularity, about 95% of the bikes in this area are Harleys. And for them, it's all they want. The fact that they cost so much just makes them more desireable. Even if they know anything about other bikes, most don't and don't want to know, it would screw up their thinking they have the best bikes made. Performance has nothing to do with it. Other bikes are "crap" or "too fast". That's about as far as they've thought it through. And since all their friends and family think the same way, they are happy to be in the majority.
These guys get their bikes "modded" at the dealers with Genuine Harley parts (even if they are made in Japan), and don't even change their own oil. So it's not surprising it's such an antiquated, slow bike in need of big bucks to make it function well. It's a lifestyle, not a motorcycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And just to restate...my opinion on the fairing and bags are my own twisted
ways of thinking.
LOL I can't even stand to look at my 9 when the rear seat and backrest
are on (means my wife is going for a ride..sorry honey).
I just find the bike "right" the way it comes from the factory with just a few
subtle personal touches...debadging, lowering.

I don't think I have seen in person a 9 dressed out with bags and a fairing,
so I may think more of it in person than in pic's.:bigthumbsup:

Jeff / Foo
 

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I rented a bagged Harley while my 109 was in for repairs. When I returned it, the lady at the counter asked how I liked the bike. I was honest when I told her the radio was great.
 
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Maybe try a Honda st 1300 they are a real nice ride,a bit sterile and souless but comfortable and good looking.:bigthumbsup:
 

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Foo, You gotta try a C109R or RT. I rode a Harley for 4 years that I didn't have to pay for. When it came time for me to buy one, I looked elsewhere. I really like the C because they have plenty of power and are very comfortable. The only downfall is that hard bags are aftermarket only. With that being said, Corbin makes a really nice set of bags for the C's. Don't count it out until you give it a ride.
 

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I had exactly the same challenge. The wife wants to go touring and I spent a lot of effort and money setting the M up as a tourer only to discover I hate it as a tourer. I wanted my M back the way I like it.

So I looked around for a tourer, tried all the full dress things, sports tourers etc. Problem was they didn't have the power of the M. So I went out and bought a C109 :). Same power, same engine, brilliant as a tourer!.
 

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I also have bags, corbon seats and now I have a Street Glide M109R :bigthumbsup: and i didnt spend $20,000 and i have all my M109 perks.... U can try these on for size before you jump ship.
 

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I thought I wanted to try a Harley again after the little VTX1300, but it didn't take long to remember why I wasn't a Harley rider. Found this new 09 C109RT for 11,999 two weeks ago and bought it. I have 1,259 miles and I love it more and more.
 

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Has the feel come back to your hands, and your vision back from the vibration:dontknow:
 

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If you are looking for another opinion on your "second" bike, I would also vote for a GoldWing. I have the 9 for fun riding, and the Wing for touring. Would not give up either bike!! Leaving next week for DC and will be taking the Wing! But will be riding the 9 around town until then.
 
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