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  1. #1

    Former/Current HD Riders

    Wife is interested in a Harley Deuce for sale in the neighborhood. She doesn't want to pilot, just ride behind me. I know it would be a stark change from the R1150RT I ride (and will continue to ride) almost daily. For any that might have experience in the matter, how well or badly does a softail, particularly the Deuce, ride and handle? I envision something more similar to my R75 than my R1150.
    Last edited by 175781; 04-20-2012 at 01:57 PM.
    R75/6, Non functioning 2014 FJR1300A

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Austin, Minn


    Be very cautious here. Keeping in mind, everybody's body is different,
    here's my experience.
    I have had 6 BMWs and 4 Harleys.
    I have a current Road King and 04 K1200GT.
    I had a Deuce and I got rid of it as soon as I could.
    The feet forward position and the laid back body just did not work for me.
    I felt like I couldn't go fast.
    I likened it to trying to run fast while leaning backwards.
    The ergos on regular HDs are more normal.
    The 'softtail' versions of HD all have the feet forward position.
    They do look cool tho and
    a lot of people ride 'softtail' Harleys and like them.
    Try to take a long test ride if you can.
    Maybe leaning back into your passenger would be a good thing tho.

    On another point tho, I've done more repair on the BMWs than the HDs.
    2004 K1200GT II 2013 K1300S 2004 K1200GT
    1996 K1100RS 2005 R1200GS 2000 K1200RS
    1995 K75S 2009 HD Road King plus others

  3. #3
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    south of Los Angeles
    Personal ownership is 2 Harleys in the past; had and have many local friends with assorted HDs.

    The twin-shock versions are more comfortable (my girl at the time could fall asleep on the back of my FLHTC!) and handle better than the Softtails. Disadvantage of the Dynas is that the motor mount alignment/tension is Absolutely Critical for handling, and many shops do Not know how to set this up correctly.
    (Side note: exhaust on one side only makes primary case work less tedious.)

    At that time I also had a couple of friends with Gold Wings. My FLH would easily out-handle them up on Angeles Crest (easy to scrape both sides with non-Harley tires and shocks), but of course they'd out-power me on the straights.

    But Softtails do look good. She'd be sitting lower, also need to examine her available leg room; maybe she's tired of being way up, or cramped? On the other hand, you need to discuss whose bike it is, who's paying for it and maintaining it, etc... "Emotional" purchases are often regretted later.

  4. #4
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    mattituck new york

    my brother got his wife one

    the front wheel may look cool to some folks but does not contribute to handling nor does the slightly excesssive rake.
    he's getting a bigger wheel.

    Last edited by f14rio; 04-20-2012 at 03:35 PM.
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  5. #5
    I use to own a Deuce. A wonderful bike, factory custom styling (front forks, stretched tank, rear wheel, etc.), and I had no problems with. It was a blast on mountain roads and handled fine. A nice in-the-bike feel to it. That said, it is more of a bike for a single rider. Very compromising for a passenger.

  6. #6
    No longer a member here
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Any Softail is not a bike on which a passenger will feel really comfortable. The seat pad is usually too small, the suspension not really comfortable and the relatively high position of the passenger behind the driver will expose her to a lot of wind pressure. My wife and i still like tor ide our FXSTS ever so often, but these are shorter, Sunday afternoon rides through the park system or to the icecream place.

  7. #7
    General consensus is, for an hour or two on the weekend, wife and I might enjoy. But it sounds like it would never be the go-to bike in the garage for my 80 mile round trip commute, even solo, right?
    R75/6, Non functioning 2014 FJR1300A

  8. #8
    Let's go scooterboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Nipomo, Ca
    I have had H-D's since 1984 and like them a lot, including the softtail. But 400 miles on it is a very long day. However, I can ride my 1100GS for 7 or 800 miles a day and feel fine. The Harley is for state trips, but for serious road work I use the BMW
    Ride far enough today so you can't come home untill tomorrow. 1998 BMW 1100GS
    IBA# 47129

  9. #9

    Just Do It!

    Like other posting in this thread, I own both a HD ('04 Road King Classic - FLHRCI) and BMW ('03 R1150R) as well. The newest HD was a 2011 Road Glide - awesome bike and newest BMW was a 2009 R12GSA - awesome as well. NOTE: retirement is approaching and preserving cash, thus the older models in the garage!

    Anyway...I am with others on the softails....great for one rider and two in a pinch - even though you do see 'em riding two-up and loaded down - just not for me. I have always liked the looks of a Deuce with the solid rear wheel, stretched tank, etc. - and the factory paint colors are very very well done. If the bike has been remotely close to being well maintained, you should have not problems. I have found current HDs to be virtually bullet proof.

    Even though I scribe to the "easier to ask forgiveness than permission" philosophy, I would go for it given you already have the permission!

    Good luck with your decision and remember, if you (or your SO doesn't like the pilion) don't like it, you can more than likely sell it quickly as it is a popular model.

  10. #10
    Rpbump USN RET CPO Rpbump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Jacksonville, FL

    Thumbs up

    The best person to decide what to ride is the potential owner. Let her ride several different makes/models to see what she is comfortable with. The HD sits lower and allows persons with shorter legs to flat foot the bike at rest. This is a great advantage for smaller/lighter riders. Aftermarket parts for HD abound and the bikes can be serviced just about anywhere in North America. You will be impressed with the excellant gas mileage ( I have gotten 51 mpg cruising back roads between Jacksonville, FL and Savannah, GA). The Duece is certainly not the handling bike a GS or RT is but can be a big confidence builder for a novice rider. Another plus is the resale value. I ride my CLC for long trips (over 400 miles to/from) and the FSXTI in the heat and on local trips. Excellant aftermarket seats for the Duece are available fron Mustang, Corbin, Sargent, and many other manufacturers.
    Cave Contents: 1980 R100RT/Ural Sidecar, 2004 R1200CLC, 2006 HD FSXTI
    Ride Safe

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Lethbridge Alberta
    Quote Originally Posted by 175781 View Post
    General consensus is, for an hour or two on the weekend, wife and I might enjoy. But it sounds like it would never be the go-to bike in the garage for my 80 mile round trip commute, even solo, right?
    My wife and I ride an 08 Heritage Softail on many 400 mile days with no issues. I had purchased the bigger pillon seat for her and then this last winter I put a signature series touring seat on the bike. To make a long story short when I last went looking for a new to me bike we tried out both a Gl1800 ( Goldwing ) and the Heritage Softail. The Softail won out, primarily because my wife found less wind on her and found the bike much more stable in our notorious winds. The Softail was a much more useful all around everyday bike. It's just fun to ride.

    The last BMW bike I had ( not counting my 71 airhead project ) was a 2000 R1100R which was fine solo but a bit cramped with 2 up, and greatly affected by the wind in this part of the country. Very good bike in the twisties, but got blown around alot and top heavy when it was loaded up with a tank bag etc.

    The Heritage is no BMW, but is a very good touring platform, if you don't mind some wind. Within its lean limits it handles fine in the twisties, but you soon realize that's not what the bike is really designed for. I've found the Heritage a very good all around bike, maintenance is a snap, and in my view keeping the Harley stock is the way to go.

    If your wife is height/inseam challenged then she'll enjoy the softail family. Good luck on your search. Take them for a good test drive at a Demo day or borrow a friends.
    1995 R100Rt with Kenna Sidecar, 1998 VT1100T

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