You are about to embark on one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer. Life is a journey! You may as well be riding a Harley Davidson!
Choosing a motorcycle should be an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. However, for the beginner motorcycle rider, it may be a little intimidating. Generally, men purchase motorcycles on an impulse. Statistics show women spend more time researching their purchases. I want to outline a few points to consider when choosing a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
The Sportster models, because of their lighter weight, are popular among beginning riders. They are, however, not your only alternative. Harley-Davidson features 31 models of motorcycles grouped in 5 different families. You may be surprised to know that the characteristics of a number of them are quite similar.
I would suggest becoming familiar with all the models. Have a look at their specifications regarding weight, seat height wheelbase, etc. Sit on a few of the models. You should have that comfortable put you at ease feeling, the same feeling as sitting in your favorite easy chair.
Consider the 3 main contact points. Your hands, feet, and bottom should all be where they are most comfortable. When sitting on the motorcycle, your hands grasping the handlebars, you should have a slight bend in your elbows and knees and have your heels on the ground. As you gain experience you will able to move from a flat-footed position to resting on the balls of your feet. In the future, this will allow you a greater choice of motorcycle styles.
To get that perfect fit, you may need to experiment with the best combination of handlebar and riser. (A riser is the piece that connects the handlebar to the fork). Consider the width of the bars as well. A wider set of bars will give you more leverage.
The next part of the body that needs to be comfortable is your behind. If you have ever been on a long trip, on a hot day, as a rider or passenger you will know what I mean. There are many different kinds of accessory seats available on the market. Some have a very low profile that may not have a lot of padding. You may however need a seat like this if you have short legs. Some accessory seats can lower the seat height by as much as 2 inches.
It all depends on the type of riding you will do. For long-distance riding, I recommend a thicker wider seat for improved comfort. A seat shaped more like a chair is ideal. There are suspension lowering kits available for most of the models. A person can get the best of both worlds, a lower seat height, and a more comfortable behind.
A floorboard is the most comfortable on the feet. Some models have only foot pegs to rest your feet on. There are accessory footpegs available that are a little wider and have rubber insets to keep your feet a little more isolated from vibration. A wider peg will also give you better control.
Once you’ve decided on a model the fits, you can start to accessorize your motorcycle to suit your riding style. Take the time to compare products from different manufactures. Having the proper windshields, saddlebags and raingear will make your ride just that much better. Talk to friends and other Harley riders to get ideas. Get some books and magazines related to the subject.
Taking the time to follow these simple steps will help guide you to the start of a lifelong relationship with your Harley Davidson.