You should read all the bitchin' on the Harley Instagram site about the new 2018 models
. . . it's really kinda gross. People's thumbs start typing before anything else (like a brain) kicks in . . . I was always brought up, like if you can't say anything constructive, don't say shit. But, in today's world, you know what I'm talkin' about . . . no disrespect, just saying.....
Here's why I might know something,
'cause I grew up with a dad who is one of the most respected mechanics in the area. Where you were maybe around 1,2 or 10 Harley riders back-in-the-day . . . I was around hundreds. Riders who needed work. You got major feedback. They were from all aspects of Harley-Davidson riders: Long distance, drag racers, dirt trackers, clubbers, touring, customizers, do-it-yourselfers . . . all of them.
I remember when the FXR came out.
Rubber mount. A rubber mounted shovelhead with a 5 speed transmission? (too much shifting) Belt drive (biker's called it "rubber band drive") What a joke. "That belt won't hold." "Now Harley took away "the mystique" and the vibration of what makes a Harley a Harley . . . bitch bitch bitch. The FXR wasn't
an immediate success. It was kinda a "sissy bike" No shit. Wide Glide? YES - FXR? (not for real bikers). The only dudes riding those silly FXRTs were guys who didn't want the BMW. It was built to compete with the Windjammer equipped Honda's and Kawasaki's . . . no shit. They didn't make a whole lot of 'em (that's why there ain't a lot of 'em around . . . A lighter weight (single guy rider) traveling Harley. Before the FXRT your choice for light weight was a full dressed Sportster XLH (like my black one). Soon the FXR got ridden, word got around. The "old bikers" liked the cushion. They liked low-maintenance. Away went the choppers, here came the FXRs and the rest is history. Just like the history of the JD, the history of the VL, the 45, the history of the Knuckle, the Pan, the XLCH, the Softail, the Dyna, the Buell, the FLHX . . . it's just more history. The history of Harley-Davidson Motor Co.
"Times Don't Change - Men Do."
I don't know who originally said that, but it's a solid statement. If you like Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, and have a lifetime commitment towards them (like I do) different models come and go, and it's interesting to see what factory design changes happen every model year. I see a lot of bitching, but you can't compare a sportbike to a Harley to a CRF to a Ural to a ???? They are different animals made for different purposes. Half these bitchin' dudes can't even change their own head gaskets or know where the bolts go, so they have no idea what it takes to build a machine. I say, ride one, strip it, jam it, stroke it, paint it . . . do whatever you want, but it's still a new H-D design with their latest engine, attempting to improve power and handling. Fail or not, I'd like to see them succeed on the track and on the street. I don't own a new Harley, but feel I help the company through promotion and feedback towards riders I talk with, who ride new Harleys. I attend events where 95% of the motorcycles are Harley-Davidsons. I still buy genuine Harley oil and run it in all my bikes. I frequent the local Harley dealership, and refer them to potential customers for sales and service. I'll keep riding my old iron 'cause it's what I know and it's a tribute to the motorcycles Harley-Davidson once manufactured in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - and prove to the younger generations that you can ride old Harley iron and have a hell of a lot of fun.
I wouldn't hesitate in a minute to pack this thing up, fill it with fuel, gear up . . and hit the road for a multi-state tour of super slabs and back roads. The headlight is ugly, but I'll bet it lights up the road through fog and darkness. The bags look solid. I'd ditch the reflectors - The blacked out lower windshield is neat. Maybe a short sissybar . . . I'll bet it'd go 100,000 miles.
But, I still like panheads.