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harleybiker
09-11-2004, 04:07 AM
Have been told by a Road King owner that because this will be my first bike, I should start smaller.....Dyna or Softail. I will be taking the rider course in October and hopefully placing my order soon after. Tell me what you think. I really have my heart set on a RK. Thanks. :blink2:

hb

arthureld
09-11-2004, 04:35 AM
I origanally thought I would be better off starting smaller but many people here encouraged me to try the RK. So I rented one and got used to it real fast. I also rented a Haratige Softail and liked it, but not as much as the RK. I had to wait a long time to complete the rider's course and get my license before I could rent so I know it is hard to be patient. But renting before you buy is the way to go. Rent every one you think you might want then decide. To answer your question, no the RK is not to much. But try it first.

bikerTrash
09-11-2004, 05:51 AM
No, I think that the RK is one of the better bikes HD produces. As a matter of fact, the RK is my next bike. 2yrs to payoff on my Fatboy. You should be able to handle that bike. Like everyone else says - Rent one first and ask tons of questions..

Wide
09-11-2004, 06:34 AM
Best bet is to rent one & make a decision from that, plus you'll have a blast doing so :D

wreckerman
09-11-2004, 02:23 PM
good advice from all , the rk rules and is very easy to handel, just because i have owened a few does not make me biases,, or does it ???? :P

buck
09-11-2004, 03:31 PM
I was in the same boat. Never owned a street bike and wanted a harley for years. Wife finally said i could buy one. We went shopping and I was looking at sportsters. All my friends said dont buy a small bike because you will want something bigger in less than a year.Wife said if i bought a new bike it had to last 10 years before i could buy another bike. Well i ended up buying an 05 road king clasic. No regrets at all. Great driving bike,handles great, extremely well balanced. So glad i chose a Road King Classic. Good luck

HawkDriver
01-08-2005, 02:40 AM
It's funny- I was told the exact opposite. I was going to start smaller and all my buddies said don't do it. Their advice was go right for the RK, it is just a better bike for what I was going to do. They all started smaller and ended up with the RK's(to a man). I bought a RK custom and I love it and have NO regrets!

rockhead
01-08-2005, 02:46 AM
NO REGRETS ON MY RK PURCHASE.

Horse
01-08-2005, 03:28 AM
Have been told by a Road King owner that because this will be my first bike, I should start smaller.....Dyna or Softail. I will be taking the rider course in October and hopefully placing my order soon after. Tell me what you think. I really have my heart set on a RK. Thanks. :blink2:

hb

Lots of good advise from all. It's is not really an easy question to answer. The RK is possibly the best of HD line for a lot of reasons, but being "your first bike" is not on the top of the list.

You mentioned that your will be taking the rider course in October and I was wondering if you presently have a motorcycle license? And what riding experience do you have? If you do have a license than rent a variety of
different HD models and invest the time to make a logical decision. If you do not have a license, and limited riding experience I would suggest that you start riding early next spring, even if this means a smaller / lighter ride for 2 to 3 months on a lighter bike and get your license. Than rent one of each type HD, soft tail, Dyna and touring.

xxxflhrci
01-08-2005, 08:56 AM
The Road King or any of the Touring models are actually better handling bikes at slow speeds where some newer riders tend to mess up and drop bikes. The Touring models all have reversed triple trees. The steering neck is in front of the fork tubes. When you ride slow, the bike does not have any "flop" in the front end. Flop is that heavy felling that the bike has when going slow and turning the bars. If you turn the front end too far or are going slow, the bike just kind of flops over pulling it to the ground. It happens suddenly and new riders are prone to dropping bikes instead of getting on the gas a little and correcting the situation. Most experienced riders never even notice it or realize that it exists until they ride a Tourer that doesn't flop or ride a chopper with a long front end that has a large amount of flop.

Overall, I would say that the RK is the better Tourer for the beginner, because it doesn't have the fairing or Tourpak that will often intimidate the new rider into believing that he is on an overwhelming large bike.

macsRKC
01-10-2005, 04:30 PM
Go with the RK!! It was also my first street bike. I'm 6'-0" @ 175lbs. I thought it would be too big a bike. I tested the Heritage and the RKC. Not so. Liked the RKC's ride and found it was easily maneuverable at slow speeds. Rides like a dream. You definitely won't be disappointed. :D

anarchy
01-10-2005, 06:38 PM
i was in the same situation... never owed a bike, never rode (except my borthers around the block a couple times)... i ended up getting my RK at the end of july and taking the new rider course in august. possibly due to excellent instruction, i don't regret getting the my RK at all... i was originally thinking of somethig along the lines of a sportster. i think i would have wanted a new bike by now if i hadn't gotten the RK.

tradrockrat
01-10-2005, 07:10 PM
Harley biker, I hate to be the one to say it, but I'm a firm believer in learning on small bikes. I tell anybody who asks that they should spend the first few months on the road on a bike that won't take over and run off. By that I mean a bike with the power to get around and thats it. I learned on a 250 and while that may be TOO small, you might wan to invest in a 500 beater to ride on for a few months before taking off down the freeway during rushhour on a big twin. It gives you the opportunity to learn how to handle being invisible to others on the road without worrying about you bikes condition.

Just MHO.

Harley-Ray
01-12-2005, 06:12 AM
If you have no or very limited riding experience it's prpbably a sensible idea to learn on a beater, if you are thinking about a Road King and decide on something smaller, Sporty or Dyna, I can pretty much guarantee you will be switching to a Road king or seriously considering it as soon as you feel comfortable on the smaller bike. I love my Road King which I bought after owning a Sporty less than 30 days. From reading these posts I can see I'm not the only one to upgrade after a short time.

Maybe consider a Buell Blast from a HD dealership that is selling their used Rider's Edge bike??? (to learn on)

jazda
01-12-2005, 06:41 AM
I'll have to agree with those who said learn on something smaller,,,,, just till you have had all the wrong things happen and you learn what to do in situations you wish you weren't in....... sometimes easier on a smaller bike,,,, just to get familiar with the dexterity and stratagey you will need....... don't go too small.... 500 to 600cc or a bit better should be enough for learning....
good luck and Ride Safe man.......
B)

momsridin
01-12-2005, 03:20 PM
Here goes for my limited experience and knowledge. I hadn't been on a bike in 23 years. Even years ago I had limited experience. I bought my sporty new to learn on. I choose the sportster because of the weight. I was lusting for a softail deuce but I couldn't lift it off the kickstand. My only regret about not starting with a used smaller bike is the fear of damage to my baby. I could man handle the little class bikes. The confidence was 100% on them. The Sporty is heavier which makes me nervous on the slow riding drills. I think the bottom line is how much self descipline you have. Can you stay within your own personal limits only pushing them when your ready to advance skills with practice and control. If you can do it starting at your skill level and gradually work up then maybe it would be ok for you. Ultimately has to be your decision. It's a lot of power under you and the temptation to push it is really there. I now wish I had a little bike to practice on and my HD to ride on once I had it down pat. Dang the cash flow problems..... Who knows in a few years I may graduate to a big boy bike myself. Be safe and good luck :D

TexasFatBoy
01-12-2005, 04:39 PM
Excellent points, mom! The key issue for me in getting the Mrs. and old beater is that I know (or at least expect) the stupid stuff to happen - i.e. forgot to put the kickstand down, not enough confidence in slow maneuvers and the bike starts to go over and ya can't stop it from hittin' the ground, etc.

I know I won't cringe nearly as much if it happens on a beater as I would if I saw a brand new RK going over and breakin' mirrors, levers, scratching cases, etc.

momsridin
01-12-2005, 06:20 PM
Excellent points, mom! The key issue for me in getting the Mrs. and old beater is that I know (or at least expect) the stupid stuff to happen - i.e. forgot to put the kickstand down, not enough confidence in slow maneuvers and the bike starts to go over and ya can't stop it from hittin' the ground, etc.

I know I won't cringe nearly as much if it happens on a beater as I would if I saw a brand new RK going over and breakin' mirrors, levers, scratching cases, etc.
I think your doing the right thing for the Mrs. I did the stupid stuff dance on my sporty. 2 very tiny little scratches on replaceable parts because I sacrificed my body under it to keep it from getting hurt. (another step in the stupid stuff dance) I was bruised, scraped and sore as the devil for a week or so. I would have jumped clear if it had been a beater bike. I could have been badly hurt if it had been a bigger bike. Live and learn I guess. :rolleyes:

RoadKingScot
01-12-2005, 11:21 PM
Hi Harleybiker. I learnt to ride at Riders Edge in the UK in October 2004. Prior to going on their new rider course all I had ever ridden was 50cc trials bikes and once I rode a 250cc motorcross bike on a mud track. On the first day of the course I was on a 125cc and this was like riding my bicycle and I could literaly throw the thin around. The next day I rode a 500cc Buell Blast and again this was fairly easy. We then took the Buells out on the road and gained our CBT (basic training certificate). At the end of the third day I was promoted to an 883 sporster with forward controlls. I noticed the change in weight and power immediately, but soon found I could do ride u'turns, weaving in and out of cones and emergency stops. The bike was great but on the next day I asked to try a big twin so I was then put on a Fat boy. To tell the truth I didn't experience a lot of difference between the sporster and the fat boy. In fact, once I had got used to the extra weight I found the fat boy easier to ride. On the last day of the course I even took my test on the fat boy. I was then able to try out the whole Harley range to see what I liked best. I found the easiest bikes to ride were the Heritage Softail, Road King and the biggest suprise of all was that the VROD was really easy to ride.

In December I tried out a softail deluxe, heritage softail and Road King at my local dealer. In the end I plumped for the Road King (but all three bikes were equally rideable) and took delivery two weeks later. I have so far done 173 miles and growing with confidence every day. I did drop the bike on the fist day, because I tried to turn very slowly from a standing start and lost my balance. I managed to put the bike down gently though and only put a 1mm scratch on an engine bar. If you do drop a Road King though it's difficult to pick up on your own and I had to get help. Perhaps someone can give some advice about picking up a dropped bike.

What I'm trying to say is that it is possible to learn from scratch and go straight to the Road King. I've done it and I'm loving it. The only thing to remember is to know your limits and remember that a bike can be dangerous. If you're tense or scared the riding can really take it out of you and make things more difficult, so relax and take a break. Try to do everything smoothly and it will be a lot easier.

Oh yes. Don't forget to post a picture of the Road King when you get it.

If you have any specific questions about how I'm getting on with my RK as a new rider please feel free to send me a mail. And take a look at the pictures in my album.

Horse
01-12-2005, 11:25 PM
Very well stated Road King Scot.

TexasFatBoy
01-12-2005, 11:37 PM
Here are a couple of links for picking up a downed motorcycle:

From the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Foundation HERE (http://www.motorcyclesafety.state.mn.us/pages/tips_pages/tips_lift.html)

And here's a demonstration of a 5'3", 118 lb. lady pickin up her nearly 600 lb. BMW at Pink Ribbon Rides (http://www.pinkribbonrides.com/dropped.html)

If you follow these techniques, just about anyone of any size should be able to pick up just about any bike.

Horse
01-12-2005, 11:48 PM
Thanks TFB, good review for all riders.

kapenagary
01-13-2005, 10:00 PM
Some HD dealers will sell you a Sportster and give you your full purchase price back if you trade it in on a larger bike within a year. That's seems like a reasonable option.

macsRKC
01-13-2005, 10:10 PM
Here are a couple of links for picking up a downed motorcycle:

From the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Foundation HERE (http://www.motorcyclesafety.state.mn.us/pages/tips_pages/tips_lift.html)

And here's a demonstration of a 5'3", 118 lb. lady pickin up her nearly 600 lb. BMW at Pink Ribbon Rides (http://www.pinkribbonrides.com/dropped.html)

If you follow these techniques, just about anyone of any size should be able to pick up just about any bike.

In this month's issue, American Iron had an article on this subject, too.

Tony
01-14-2005, 04:51 PM
My Road King is perfect in my opinion. Its really easy to manuver in slow traffic, glides along like a dream at higher speed, and I couldnt be happier. Renting is the best thing to do in my opinion.

Case in Point: I had bought my wife an 05 Sporty and road it home for her...WOW what an awkward ride for me. Being 6' and 260, I couldnt believe how wierd it felt. She passed the rider course on her first try with flying colors. So I was trying to get her something easy to ride, but she is having a little trouble with it. I had to get her a different bike to ride, (yeah, a import V-Twin, but it was cheap and the dealer will buy it back) as the Sporty was a bit awkward and she is riding all over on the other bike, which is lower and like a Dyna. Now Im wondering if I should have gotten a Glide or Low Rider for her...lol

Mungo
01-18-2005, 09:50 PM
Perhaps I've been riding too long. I've read through all of these posts.

Generally everyone says smaller bike to learn on. Perhaps that should be redefined?

- A cafe bike with a long wheel base is hard to maneuver.
- A 600 cafe bike has a bit more umph than my RK.
- The degree of rake has a lot to do with the maneuverability. (i.e. choppers)

And don't yell at me, but my friend's 750 Honda Spirit is quite a bit more lively than my HD RK (I'm working on engine enhancements)

So, what is a good learning bike?

BTW and FWIW, I love my Road King.

johnnyb57
01-18-2005, 10:01 PM
its all about how you present it....

wreckerman
01-18-2005, 10:29 PM
my self i think the honda rebel is one of the best to train on , or something in that size range but no bigger then a 650 but more like a 500 you have to use some commen sence here

hotharleychick
01-19-2005, 12:09 AM
Oops, someone was using my puter.

whitewalls
01-20-2005, 02:40 PM
I'm 55, never owned or drove or rode a bike...took the rider's edge training course then bought a new '05 RK. Very first time I got up on it I peed my pants because it was SO BIG. I had knots in my stomach for two months EVERYTIME I RODE IT but I WAS CAREFUL and TOOK IT SLOW. Now everytime I sling a leg over I'm IN HEAVEN and so thankful I decided on this one. If you have ANY sense of balance you'll have no problems and after you park her and walk away and look back your heart will skip a little beat just lookin' at it sittin' there waitin' for you to come back and get back on.