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British expat in Germany...what bike to get?

 
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:04 PM
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Default British expat in Germany...what bike to get?

Hi there! I'm Steve, a british guy living in Germany (Wuppertal, near Düsseldorf).
True confessions: I don't ride a Harley!
OK, now that's off my chest ....

I've been riding bikes for nearly 30 years, on a mix of nasty old nails, Universal Jap Bikes, Sports tourers and full on sports bikes (YZF-R6, Blade, that kind of thing). I spent a few years racing short circuits in the UK, culminating in an outing at the Isle of Man. All in all, I've got about 300,000 miles under my belt.

But, more recently, I felt the need to change things a bit. Somehow, I'd finally exorcised the Speed Demon (and lived to tell the tale!). So, my current ride is a BMW R1200GS, but you know, whilst I'm really enjoying a more relaxed take on riding, somehow the Beemer isn't quite pushing my buttons.

I'm interested in changing to a Harley, probably a Dyna something, or a Softail something else (as you can see, I'm not far down this road yet!). So, here I am, looking to gauge opinions to help me decide whether this is really for me :-)

thanks in advance for any insights that folks can share with me - I'll post something more specific later, and sorry for the dumb, n00b questions that I will inevitably ask!

Steve
 
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:56 PM
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Welcome the forums.

What you will end up with will come down to your riding style and habits, you like to use the bike to it's potential and considering the roads you have available Dyna's a decent choice. Next step up with a bit more comfort and carry capacity think Road King, the new M8 engines are sweet and they made several improvements including suspension on the touring line for the 17's.

Style wise the softail platform has the looks but the suspension just isn't there and you do have some spectacular roads to play on within a few days ride. I'd say do some test ride , maybe rent the ones you may like and do a little real world hands on see what talks to you, good luck.
 
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:51 AM
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The Dyna Fat Bob has a big following in Europe. It would be a good choice for somebody with your background, as would the Low Rider.
 
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:38 AM
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Welcome Steve,

I was based in Germany for 9 years and loved every minute. With the very strict rules regarding TUV regulations over there I would imagine the best thing to do due to the fact tinkering and adding after market extras etc. can be problematic would be to buy something already approved and modified to your taste or something with everything straight out of the crate? Have a look at the CVO range if your pockets are deep enough? I think Holland have more of a Harley-Davidson following than Germany so if you are not buying new maybe a look over there may be more fruitful perhaps?

I too have 40 odd years of motorcycling behind me and my foray into the Harley-Davidson marque only began less than two years ago. I bought an ex demo 48 and soon tired of the irksome frequent fuelling stops and difficulty taking pillion. I traded in for a CVO Breakout. The Breakout is a badass looking bike and a shitpig to ride nevertheless after 8 months I have finally got to grips with this Behemoth of a bike. Mind you it is significantly heavier and longer than anything experienced before, bit like going from a leisure craft to an oil tanker.
Good luck in your quest for a Harley. If there is a decent dealership near you get a few test rides under your belt, alternatively bike meets are always a good source of information too speaking to owners.
 
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:48 AM
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Go to a dealership and see which one looks good, that fits you the best and buy it. Another way is if a dealership has a demo day and test ride every bike that you like and choose it that way. After all, it's your choice and I can't and won't tell you which one to get because everybody has their own preference on which one feels and looks the best to them and that they can afford. Good luck.
 
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:17 AM
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Harley's are ridiculously expensive in Germany. I rode a lot around the Ramstein area and it is just fantastic. Good luck on your search.
 
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:23 AM
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Welcome aboard - from NM
 
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:59 AM
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Based on your previous experience, I can't think of a Harley model that is commercially available that will suit you.
Now, if you want to "slow down and just CRUISE," then pick almost any Harley as they're the pinnacle in cruisability.
Try 'em all and see what fits you.
If you find nothing available, the Duc Diavel might be something to look into.

If none of these get you going, then it's time to go offroading and KTM is the mfr to seek.
 
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:11 AM
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You already have a BMW R1200GS, the best bike for riding in Deutschland.
 
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:53 AM
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Thanks everybody, for the warm welcome and the very constructive suggestions and comments.

It's unlikely that I'll keep the R1200GS; it's not just that it doesn't really light my fire, but given the brand's reputation, I'm also really disappointed in its build quality. (it's not a big exaggeration to compare it to a mid-80s Yamaha!)

Lots of test rides is of course important, and it's a good suggestion to rent an example of whatever model takes my fancy.

Cheers
Steve

Originally Posted by K9F View Post
Welcome Steve,

I was based in Germany for 9 years and loved every minute. With the very strict rules regarding TUV regulations over there I would imagine the best thing to do due to the fact tinkering and adding after market extras etc. can be problematic would be to buy something already approved and modified to your taste or something with everything straight out of the crate? Have a look at the CVO range if your pockets are deep enough? I think Holland have more of a Harley-Davidson following than Germany so if you are not buying new maybe a look over there may be more fruitful perhaps?

I too have 40 odd years of motorcycling behind me and my foray into the Harley-Davidson marque only began less than two years ago. I bought an ex demo 48 and soon tired of the irksome frequent fuelling stops and difficulty taking pillion. I traded in for a CVO Breakout. The Breakout is a badass looking bike and a shitpig to ride nevertheless after 8 months I have finally got to grips with this Behemoth of a bike. Mind you it is significantly heavier and longer than anything experienced before, bit like going from a leisure craft to an oil tanker.
Good luck in your quest for a Harley. If there is a decent dealership near you get a few test rides under your belt, alternatively bike meets are always a good source of information too speaking to owners.
That's really useful feedback, thanks. It's particularly experiences like yours that I'm interested in; those of riders who relatively recently started riding Harleys, particularly after a long time on other types of bike.
If you don't mind my asking, how frequent were the fuelling stops on the 48, and how do they compare on the Breakout?
I think that my budget isn't going to stretch to a CVO model, and there's a part of me that wants something old enough that I won't be hung up about dealer servicing.
The TUV thing is possibly an issue though, you're right, so I'm probably looking to buy something that I like as it is.
So, was there anything about living with a Harley that you thought "it would have been good to know *that* before I laid out cash..."?

Many thanks
Steve

Originally Posted by NORTY FLATZ View Post
Based on your previous experience, I can't think of a Harley model that is commercially available that will suit you.
Now, if you want to "slow down and just CRUISE," then pick almost any Harley as they're the pinnacle in cruisability.
Try 'em all and see what fits you.
If you find nothing available, the Duc Diavel might be something to look into.

If none of these get you going, then it's time to go offroading and KTM is the mfr to seek.
Thanks for your comments. To be honest, slowing down and taking my time to really enjoy my ride is exactly where my head's at just now.

Cheers
Steve
 

Last edited by ChickinOnaChain; 08-12-2017 at 06:36 PM.

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