08 Yamaha 1100 vs 2011 Heritage Softail

by DeDe
(N. Idaho)

Hello Women Riders,

1st and foremost motorcycling is not about what you ride, but that you get out on your bike and ride.

Both the Yamaha 1100 classic and the HD Heritage Softail are two great bikes; especially for ladies with shorter legs.

I have an 08 1100 classic -loved it, 23,000 miles in two summers. Never any problems, always took me where I wanted to go. Lots of accessories available to dress it up. Yamaha quit making this bike so it will truly be a classic some day. All work on the 1100 is a royal pain in the neck! (drop pipes/boards for internal oil filter, spark plugs(4)you're pulling the fuel tank and still they are almost impossible to reach -especially front left). The 1100 is way less expensive to purchase around $150mo-60mo. Decent power and it sounds pretty good with a 2-1 pipe and intake. I would recommend this bike to anyone.

I also just purchased a Heritage Softail 2011. "Dream Bike" and I'm loving it! Still breaking it in, but realizing it corners much better, greater stability in the wind and of course much more power. 96 vs 70. You will need slip-ons or pipe and intake to make the new HD have that deep rumble HD sound. Of course price is much more - approx $350mo-84mo.The HD Softail is much heavier making it much more stable on the road. But,that much harder to back up especially with short legs. With standard configuration- 1100 allows my feet to be firmly on the ground;HD Softail I am on my tip toes. Once my reach seat arrives this will help get my feet on the ground. I didn't want to lower the bike or get the deluxe model because I want frame clearance . I have already scraped my boards on the new bike. (I scraped on the 1100 as well). The HD Heritage Softail comes well appointed; ready to tour with bags, windshield, head lamps,and sissy bar; all things that needed to be added to the 1100. Although HD prefers you take the bike to the shop for all work- oil change is now a 15min job and the plugs are easy to reach (important if you get bad gas and have a fouled plug in the middle of nowhere!) Yes ladies learn to work on your bike - doesn't mean you half to - but that you can in an emergency.

When I purchased my 1100- 3 things were key- money, weight and fit of the bike. When I purchased my Softail key points were power, fit/comfort and looks. I've found experience in the saddle and money in the bank can change what you look for in a bike.

Enjoy the Ride,

Comments for 08 Yamaha 1100 vs 2011 Heritage Softail

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Mar 28, 2011
by: Lynn - Florida

My husband added auxiliary headlights to my bike. He bought them at Walmart for $20 in the automotive section. Similar lights advertised "for motorcycles" sold for $100. They are a nice addition to the stock headlight and light the road nicely and help me be more visible to oncoming cars.

Re: repairs/maintenance. The local college that offers our motorcycle training classes also offers a basic maintenance class too. I haven't taken it yet because my husband is able to do most repairs & maintenance for me.

Keep us posted on your "dream bike" quest.

Mar 27, 2011
Thanks for Your Info
by: Tara

I found this especially informative as I'm at the point where I want my "Dream Bike" and it's hard to consider all the things you want v's all the things you need.

BTW - how tall are you? And I'm not sure if I'd prefer boards or stay with pegs. I also want to be able to get out of trouble if I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere with a bike that won't start, problem is, there's not any place that has a general course on maintenance. I read everything I can get my hands on, but it's not the same as doing.

And, when you say the HD came with headlamps, do you mean extra headlamps, or do they actually make bikes without headlamps in the US? That seems a bit odd to me.

Thanks so much for your post, I'd like to hear more....

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