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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 12 Apr 2004
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Harleys

This may seem like a really stupid assed question, but has anyone travelled in Europe successfully in a big Harley, such as an FLSTC, FLHT or FLHR?
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  #2  
Old 12 Apr 2004
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No such thing as a really stupid assed question!

BUT I just can't resist - (I AM joking... )

IN a big Harley, not that I know of, seems awfully uncomfortable, even a Harley sized tail trunk is a bit small - but ON, sure.

Lots of Harleys in Europe, of all kinds and sizes. Go, you'll have a great time - some of the best riding in the world! The Alps are guaranteed to blow you away - incredible riding experience.

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  #3  
Old 12 Apr 2004
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You may want to look at -
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/forwood/
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  #4  
Old 13 Apr 2004
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Grant,
I have been looking on this site slightly more than cursorily the past few months, and there seemed to be scant reference to Harleys.

In any event, in particular I'd like to know of anyone else's first hand Harley touring experiences. Are the louder pipes on Harleys a problem in the European gendarmes viewpoint? Is obtaining service/parts for the bike routine or an ordeal?

John - Thanks for the link! I now have some reading to catch up with.

Any other info greatly appreciated.

Thanks, and adios,
Chris
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  #5  
Old 13 Apr 2004
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You won't see a lot of references to Harleys - they are very much in the minority for long distance, overland touring. They do work, as folks like the Forwoods prove, but crossing the Sahara, or nasty mountain roads, isn't exactly their strong area.

People have ridden around the world on just about everything you can imagine, so it's first and foremost up to YOU to make your own decision. What YOU like and YOU enjoy riding, and YOU are familiar with mechanically, all bears on the decision of what YOU ride.

An interesting search on the site:

"Harley" gets some 577 hits, "Honda" 1000 odd, "BMW" 1830.

Check out the Harley results, some interesting stories.

To answer your questions, parts aren't an issue. Lots of dealers with good parts supplies. No worries.

Noise CAN be an issue, but it's all relative. Open pipes will get you a ticket, especially in the UK, any reasonable muffler no problem.

Personally I like a quiet bike for a long tour, it's much less tiring, and less annoying to others when you arrive somewhere strange and want something.

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  #6  
Old 13 Apr 2004
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Here is a link I posted here a while back. It is about some harley riders and where they took their bikes before special dirt bikes were made. Photo's included.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...5&pagenumber=1

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  #7  
Old 16 Apr 2004
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My brother recently bought a Harley and nagged me into a tour of France and Spain. ( He has done the incredibly fashionable ' turn 40 and get a motorbike ' thing going on in Britain ).

I must admit the Harley was very solid and more than able to cope. Absolutely no worries, there.

Whether we admit it or not, I think all bikers know that to the non- biking public a Harley is the ONLY bike, the real thing. So expect crowds to gather - again, not a problem is you want to meet people.

Naturally, Big Bruv had fitted the US pipes and had the carb tweak so the bike could be heard from Pluto. I agree with the above from Grant, I found this
very uncomfortable to deal with - the pipes would set off car alarms as we rode through French villages.

He , however, would not have it any other way.

It is true that these noise levels can get you into trouble, but a recent survey showed that very few Harley riders get pulled over in Britain for this - a cop said it was because they tend to ride safely in the first place.

Can't gaurantee it, but I'd say ride safe and you should have a ball!
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  #8  
Old 18 Apr 2004
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I want to be the First american to go around the world on a sportster 883? why simple I don,t think it ever been done. YET?
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  #9  
Old 18 Apr 2004
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Sorry Solo, it's been done. Search the site and you should find the info.

Sharon Whitman and Bill Berwick rode a pair of Sporties around, finished in October 2003.

From their site:

"First Sportsters to be driven around the world. Sharon is the First Woman to drive a Harley-Davidson around the world. Bill is the Fourth Man to drive a Harley-Davidson around the world.

We completed over 100,000 continuous miles, in 63 countries, through six continents."

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  #10  
Old 21 Apr 2004
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JUST READ THE STORY WHAT A TRIP. SOUND LIKE A GRAT WOULD TOUR MAYBE ONE DAY.

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  #11  
Old 21 Apr 2004
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Texrider

I've used to ride an Electra-Glide ('96), and thorougly enjoyed trips through both the Alps and Pyrenees. Longest one was from the UK down to Gibralter, via. Portugal, and followed the Mediterranean coast of Spain before east to west through the Pyrenees.

Two problems though - after 2/3 the way through the Pyreness, I decided there was no point in continuing due to visibilty of about 25 yards (all the way!), then the oil pump blew 60 miles from the English Channel ferry port. Ended up being picked up via. HOG assistance, and pushing my bike on and off the ferry.

Apart from all that, lots of Harleys in Europe, and quite capable of negotiating those mountain hairpins! Although I used to have a Wide-Glide, which was odd (to say the least) on roundabouts, so I dare say would be hard work going round hundreds of hairpins. Even on the FLHTC, the autoroute is quite welcome after hundreds of miles through the Alps.

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  #12  
Old 22 Apr 2004
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The thing I like about harleys is no matter how much wight you pale on them thay can pull it with ease.

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  #13  
Old 23 Apr 2004
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When are they going metric so you dont have to buy a new tool kit as well!
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