Bike handles loose

by Angela

Hi all, I am a new rider and have a Sportser 03, 883. She was recently in the shop because she was stalling and popping and needed to be checked out completely. Now that she runs better and does not stall anymore, I have a new issue. It feels, to me, when I speed up or turn, that the bike is almost sliding underneath me and might just slide to either side and go down. The same feeling as your car hydroplaning or hitting a patch of black ice. Is this normal after tightening shocks for a stiffer ride or just me?? all comments welcome

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Aug 21, 2012
by: sharky

hi, yes please tell us the result, i have the same bike, with the same problem...

Jul 21, 2012
Bike handles loose
by: Angela

Thanks getting bike checked today and thinking it is something with the rear wheel. I'll post results to share with others, thanks.

Jul 20, 2012
Bike handles loose
by: Turtle

A simple thing that could be your problem, if you have spoke wheels, have the HD shop check for loose spokes.

Jul 20, 2012
Bike handles loose
by: Turtle

If you have spoke wheels have the HD shop check to see if the spokes are loose.

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wont start or fire at plugs ,no spark

by chris

bike let me down on motorway ,filled up with fuel at garage ans smelt sulpher like ,thought it was from garage ,10 mins later bike went dead in fast lane ,got it to the lay by6 ,bike was totally dead apart from the lights , had a problem before a month earlyer ,it was the cdi unit ,it got fryed i think judging by the smnell coming off it ,not sure if the rectfirer is over charging causing it to blow when on the motorway as around town etc its perfectly fine,just on the motorway at high speeds ,checked battery at home ,it was dead ,replaced with new 1 ,still bike dead mundone spark leads off coil ,turned over ,nothing at all ,no spark! replaced cdi unit with 2 others off ebay still no luck .. either they both dead or theres another problem ,any help please ,thanks ....the bike is a 93 kaw zzr600....

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Jul 18, 2012
Stating the obvious..
by: TammyT

Well, I hate to state the obvious, but I would take it to a reputable bike shop for a diagnostic and complete check-out. Your life depends on your bike, and stalling in the fast lane is one way to get yourself killed. Sorry, I don't have any other advice, since I am not a mechanic.

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oil level changing

by barbara padgett
(ball ground ga)

when i changed my oil the level was full when i drained it maybe a half of qt came out and now i put the required about in in the morning it will be on level i ride to work and get thaere its overfull what happen to the oil and now that it seems to be back is it my pump

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Jul 27, 2012
oil level
by: Turtle

What kind of motorcycle are you riding? Is there any possibility that you may have drained the transmission rather than the crank case? Transmissions usually contain less than 1 quart whereas the crank case would hold a minimum of 3 quarts.

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Rash/chafing in horrible places!

by Tonya

Hi everyone!
I live in California, central California to be exact. It is hot as heck here and of course we went riding on a hot hot day. Well besides the fun we had I ended up with the rash from hell in the crook of my leg. You know the place, your bikini line. Help!?!?!


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Jul 10, 2012
Rash and Chafing
by: Turtle

My husband and I are from the deep south and are also long-distance riders. There are three things that really do help. 1st there is underware that is wicking made by Exficcio and can be purchased on line at Exficcio.com or at a hiking store about $18.00 but WELL worth it, NO SWEAT! The next two things work well Balmex dipper rash medicine for babies and MONKEY BUTT powder that has a drying agent in it. Works great! Hope this solves your problem.

Jul 06, 2012
Coconut Oil
by: Gypsy Spirit

Hi Tonya ...

I don't know why this works but I swear by it! I rub a little coconut oil in with the water on my skin after I shower. It keeps my skin from getting dried out from the wind and sun and will also turn a little bit of a burn to a tan.

I began including my nether regions in this ritual to sooth what I refer to as "diaper rash" and found that using it thus also prevents the rash!

NOTE: If it feels greasy, you're either using too much oil or not enough water! Oils and lotions don't hydrate the skin, water does. The oil or lotion is just there to keep the water from evaporating away.

No need to reapply oil through out the day, just rub a little water onto your arms, face, where ever and pat dry to "freshen up" while on the road.

A quart is about $5 in the food section of Walmart and lasts for months. No perfumes, dyes, preservatives.

Ride comfortable!

P.S. As a post-menopausal woman I've found that this strategy has other benefits as well! ;)

Jul 05, 2012
heat rash
by: Lynn - Florida

I agree with all the comments so far. I actually saw the Anti-Monkey Butt powder at Walmart recently in the foot powder section and grabbed a container. I put it under my bra and any other region that needs it. Hubby uses it too.
Sheep skin seat cover is on my wish list. I've been using a kayak seat pad that has helped a bit. Here in Florida we get used to sweating all summer & try to wear undergarments that will breathe. Thank goodness for the armored mesh jackets!

Jul 05, 2012
sheepskin and powder
by: Sproket

Ditto that to Alaska Leather's sheepskin cover. Mine makes the world of difference. Also, buy yourself some Anti-Monkey Butt Powder. I've seen it at Rite-Aid drugstores or get it online. You'll be much happier with the two of them combined.

Jul 05, 2012
monkey butt
by: Anonymous

Monkey Butt Powder, works great

Jul 05, 2012
Seat cover next time
by: Anonymous

I would suggest getting a sheep skin cover for ur seat....Alaska Leather has some nice ones. It really helps. As for ur misery now, perhaps a gold bond powder of some type.
I believe it is HOT everywhere. Here on East coast we are melting..lol
Ride safe and stay hydrated

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by gaz

"hi my harley just stopped starting its been working fine and we just got back from a 600 mile trip everything else is working but there is no power getting to the starter"

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Jul 30, 2012
Check your charge system
by: Gypsy Spirit

Hi Gaz ...

Ran into a similar problem with my Sporty on a long distance ride. It turned out I had an intermittent voltage regulator (went through a couple batteries first). The tell tale sign was that my headlight would sometimes be really bright, and other times more its normal intensity with no apparent rhyme or reason. I only noticed it riding at night.

Ride Safe!

Jul 30, 2012
Battery Tender
by: Mike

It's most likely your battery. Invest a small price for a battery tender. Check and make sure that your battery is charging and if so, hook the tender up as interacted and this will help maintain the life of your battery. I see by your email address that you are in the UK. This tender should be able to be purchased at any Motorcycle/ATV supplier and is not Harley specific.

Happy riding!


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Make shift GPS

by Mike
(Saint John,New Brunswick,Canada)

I have looked up the cost of a Gps made for Motorcycles and from what I have looked at so far they are very expensive like beteen 3 and 5 hundred dollars . I am wondering ,if I can take my gps out of my car (it just plugs into the lighter socket) and use it on my motorcycle. Has anyone out there ever done this before ?? and if so how was it done??

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Jul 30, 2012
GPS. really

Just study the maps before you go. GPS mounted on the handlebar od a bike just seems like another distraction. Might as well be reading a text message while your riding. Tuck in your saddle bag and refer to it when you need to.

Jul 29, 2012
Thanks and what would be a great motorcycle route to take??
by: Mike

Thanks for all of you that gave me info on GPS for motorcycles. I would like in a few weeks to travel from Bangor,Maine to Williamburg Virgina.However,I would like to take some senic and good riding routes rather than just go straight I-95. I am looking at a two to three day ride to get there. Can anyone out there suggest a way to do this.

Jul 28, 2012
by: AnonymousChiefgopher

U need to get a waterproof box to put on ur bike to put the car gps in it. The plug runs out the back and keeps everything waterproof. I use a Garmin 1490. Ram aqua box is what we use on our bikes. All u have to do is adjust the angle to see clearly. We have used this configuration for over 6 months in rain night and bright daylight with no problems. 80.00 bucks for the aqua box and 200.00 bucks for the gps. Good luck.

Jul 28, 2012
Make shift GPS
by: Engela

The difference between a GPS for Bikes and the one you use in your car is: you can't really see the maps properly on the car GPS because of the sun's reflection.

The bike GPS is especially made for bikers because it has a special screen and it is water resistant for when it rains. As far as I know the voltage on the car gps is different than the bike gps.

Hope it helps.

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by joelbird

I'm working on a harley fxr and it is dragging hard when cranking. I've replaced the starter, battery, solnoid, battery cables, ignition switch. Check all connections and grounds. Check all the ohms readings and still having problems. any help????

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Jul 09, 2012
by: Keya

Did you check wiring integrity and run a voltage drop test? I do not know which part of the system you checked the ohm. Did you check the starter relay? Have you rechecked your connections, using a test light?

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Motorcycle weight for Ladies


I have a Regal Raptor 350cc Cruiser. I really enjoy the bike alot but I am considering to buy a Honda Shadow 750 or 1100 for more power and want it to be me lifetime bike.

My concern is the weight of the bike, if it maybe would be too heavy for me to ride and control? The Regal Raptor is a very light bike.

Kindly give me your comments and advise.


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Aug 01, 2012
Motorcycle weight for Ladies
by: Engela

Hi Suntee

Thanks very much for the encouragement. I can't wait to get the Honda Shadow 750.
Enjoy the ride.

Jul 31, 2012
Motorcycle weight for Ladies
by: Suntee

I have a 2002 Honda Spirit 750.I am 5'1 and weigh 100 pounds and I have no trouble balancing or controlling my bike. I do think doing strength exercises helps both with your legs as well as your arms. You will be fime with the bigger bike.......the more you ride the more confident you will be
Good Luck

Jul 25, 2012
Motorcycle weight for Ladies
by: Engela

Thanks so much for the encouragements. I am not worried about the weight anymore now, but as you guys have said, it is the balance that counts.
I have a lot of confidence now and will definitely buy either the Honda Shadow 750 or 1100.

As soon as I have my new bike, I will let you know how it goes. I can't wait!

Jul 24, 2012
Yamaha 950
by: Anonymous

You might consider a Yamaha Vstar 950. I love my bike. Its weighs about 615 pounds which is a little heavy, I have to be careful where I park, etc. because I have trouble backing up if my front end is headed down hill. But the balance and handling far out weighs the weight. I have a 27/28" inseam and I could flat foot, but I did have it lowered 1.5". A friend of mine did have a Honda 750 and just loves it so I don't think you can go wrong with it.
Be safe and enjoy!

Jul 24, 2012
weight of bike
by: chiefgopher

I have a shadow aero 750. I absolutely love it. I changed the stock seat and put on a mustang seat and what a difference it made. I rode 2200 mile round trip last week and the only thing that was not tired when I got home was my backside. I can ride from tank to tank on it and not get the tired but syndrome. The center of gravity on the 750 is low so it makes it really easy to balance even on those long sweeping exit ramps. you dont feel like you are going to fall over when taking those kinds of turns. they are actually fun for me now. the new set did bump up the hieght very little. I can still touch and by almost completely flat footed. I have a 28" inseam and a 2" heel on my riding shoes. I sit very comfortable and do not burn my leg on the muffler or feel unbalanced at a stop. This is my first and probably my last bike. I love it so much that if I had to replace it I would get another 750 aero. hope this helps. keep on riding.

Jul 24, 2012
Motorcycle weight for Ladies
by: Engela

Thanks very much for the comments. Maybe I should then rather go for the 750 instead of the 1100 because the height of the bike is also very important for me.

Jul 24, 2012
Honda Shadow wt.
by: Anonymous

I have a Honda Shadow 600 and 1100. I really enjoy both. The 600 is lighter but balance is balance. You startwith the600 untilyouget comfortable then go to the1100. The 1100 has great balance and handles well. I find the 600 my feet are flat on the ground but the 1100 in higher. Have put shorter shocks onthe 1100 but then I hit bottom really hard. So hadto go back to original shocks. Now I have to maintain better balance when I am stopped with the1100. Don't worry about the wt. Go for balance and feet on the ground until riding with confidence.
Good luck.

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Motorcycle Fashion and Safety

by Micki
(New Mexico)

Hi, all...

I'm researching to write an article on how women riders deal with wearing protective gear when they're on their way to work and then look professional when they arrive.

I'm retired from the college environment and I used to work with a lady who would wear a dress under her leather chaps. She'd just bunch it up as best she could and then take the chaps off at work. Her dresses needed very little ironing, of course. She never looked messy--not even her hair. Now I'm reading on your site about helmet hair and such.

I'm not a rider, but I am an EMT and am willing to offer help to anyone who has questions about trauma or such topics. I'm NOT a doctor, so no advice. Am just willing to explain what can happen to the body when injuries occur.

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Nov 08, 2012
Motorcycle Racing Boots-Motorbike Touring Boots-Fashion Boots
by: saleh

KORE boots raises performance and safety to new and unmatched levels with its innovative design, structural protection and comfort.
KORE have been able to use their knowledge and expertise to create a range of boots which are safe, comfortable, and cost efficient. So when you slide into your KORE boots you can be confident that you are safe and well protected so you can concentrate on more important things, like riding!
KORE Comfort Fit, developed as a result of years, has always been one of the strong points of KORE products. This special and virtually entirely manual technique allows the boot to be shaped on a “mould” that faithfully reproduces the anatomy of the foot, making the product exceptionally comfortable and ideal for prolonged use in different situations daily.
KORE boots are a great combination for on & off the road. Our boots have all the important features for riding: shifter pad, protection shells, waterproof material & our dynamic designs are for daily use with great comfort & fitting.
KORE boots are made of genuine Leather/TPU material, Air-Mesh breathable lining, Plastic/Rubber protection on shin & ankle, Rubber oiled soul, Original YKK Zips etc, Double stitched in all high stress areas and Zipper & Velcro closure system.
The inner part uses a special construction of open edges and an upper collar fitted with an elastic band to adapt perfectly to the shape of the leg offering excellent comfort. This inner part works in synergy with the outer structure that, equipped with the Adjustable Fit System, wraps the calf, respecting its anatomy and offering a wide range of adjustment.

Jul 24, 2012
by: ATL

I agree with Judy 100%.

I rarely wear my work clothes under my gear but take it and change after I get there. I know women/have seen women who feel that all their gear has to match and it has to match their m/c. I bought my gear to protect me should I have an unexpected off and it's done just that both times I've been down in 23 yrs. I just leave enough time to change since I wear all the gear all the time...gloves,armored pants & jacket (hiviz), boots, and a full face helmet. It doesn't bother me if people think I'm a guy with the way things are now. Rather be safe than sorry. I have thin, fine hair so I wear it short and helmet hair isn't a big issue. I would put on my eye makeup at home but all the I put after I got to work...on my time and not company time.
I even have a modulator on both my m/c's and folks will still pull out in front of me or cut me off. As already stated..they are eating or putting on makeup or guys shaving or fussing at the kids or reading books/maps and then throw in that cell phone and texting and we have to be more alert than ever. As one bumper sticker says: "WE ARE DYING TO BE SEEN". People LOOK but they don't SEE. Some don't bother to even give the impression that they looked they just keep on driving/turning/etc because it's a ME FIRST mentality.
Spread the word that we are out there..LOOK TWICE, SAVE A LIFE..and.. MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE

Jul 23, 2012
Ride to Work
by: Lynn - FL

I am lucky enough to have a small closet where to hang work clothes. I keep several work shoes under my desk. The only time I don't ride to work is during our rainy season in the summer months and even then I can get some days in.

I wear all my gear, all the time.

Jul 23, 2012
I am a Legal Secretary
by: Cindy

The one day I wore my work pants and shoes on the bike I foolishly dumped it. Fortunately the clothes cleaned up. Now, I wear my riding jeans and shoes, carry my work clothes in a back pack or the saddle bags and change at the office. Rather not have to replace work clothes...

Jul 23, 2012
Answer to Judy
by: Micki

Judy, perhaps my original post is misleading. The fact that I'm doing research on women's habits of riding and looking professional when they get to work has nothing to do with the fact that I'm an EMT.

There are two different comments.
1. My main purpose is to get info from you all about the clothing thing.

2. I happen to be an EMT. I can't contribute to your column about riding because I'm not a rider. I was just saying I do have things I can contribute in the line of medical. I'm not about to lecture anyone about the dangers of this or that because we should all be mature enough to know that we can die at home by looking at our gas tank with a lit match.

Hope this clears up any confusion!

Regarding what I'm hearing from about the clothing ideas, it's great insight. I'd like to hear more!

Jul 22, 2012
Carry in your professional wear
by: TammyT

I used to leave for work super early in the a.m. and go directly to the gym and then to work. Carried my skirt, blouse and shoes in a duffle bag and wore my workout gear from home. It's no big deal to get ready when you get to work. Many offices now have gyms and locker rooms. Another thing that bicycle riders would do, on Monday they would drive their cars in and take in 4 days worth of clothes for the rest of the week, and leave them at work to change into when they got there. I'm not sure what your status as an EMT has to do with this question, or why you are asking, but there is my answer.

Jul 21, 2012
Functional Fashion
by: Gypsy Spirit

Hi Micki ...

Regarding your question about looking professional at work after riding a bike in ...

When I worked in a professional environment
I used to just arrive 10-15 minutes early and change, touch up my makeup, comb my hair, etc.

Helmet hair is something relative to the kind of hair you have, so there is no one answer. Mine is long, but very fine, so I just put it up in a clip inside the helmet to keep it from tangling in the wind, and the twist actually gives it a nice wave and some body when I let it down again.

When I was in Paris, France I thought it was really cool to watch the ladies in their stiletto heels, full skirts and a big handbag over their shoulder riding their scooters to/from work! There's a cultural respect and courtesy toward motorcycles over there that you don't find here in the States ... and it's not just motorcycles, it's drivers in general! American drivers tend to be rude and self-centered.

Regarding fashion and safety, my daughter and I are looking for divided riding skirts that tie around the ankle to keep them from getting caught in the wheel, yet will hang nicely when untied. Bandanas come in handy for several things; from keeping bees out of your sleeves, staying warm/cool, covering helmet hair, to being available for use as a bandage/tourniquet in an emergency. Biker "fashion" tends to be functional.

Jul 21, 2012
by: marion

AMEN to Judy. I do believe Judy has said it all. It is the texting/talking/putting on makeup that is the danger. They would see us if they were paying attention behind the wheel.

Jul 21, 2012
I'm sure you mean well, but....
by: Judy

as a rider for over 35 years, the most common thing we have to deal with, other than idiots in cars that turn left in front of us after failing to yield the right-of-way (which is the most common way motorcyclists get injured) is the fatalistic, "well meaning" NON RIDERS who insist, ad nauseum, about telling us about their friend/uncle/relative/etc., who was in a crash and get killed, maimed or otherwise messed up on a bike, how easy it is, blah blah blah.

Do you go up to random car drivers and start telling them about all the injuries that can happen if they get in a car wreck? I'd rather doubt it.

As riders we are more than aware of the dangers implicit to not being surrounded by a couple of tons of steel, and we don't need anyone else besides the other 180 million non riders trying to warn us about how vulnerable we are or how this or that happens.

Your time would be MUCH BETTER SPENT trying to educate all the cell phone talking/texting distracted drivers to WATCH OUT FOR MOTORCYCLES and educate the public that it's not okay to say to a cop after hitting a bike, "Oh, Officer, I just didn't SEE them."

Go use your time for something beneficial and stop with the same old crap we hear endlessly from the rest of the non riding public.

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changing to larger bike!

by angela
(beaver dam wi)

Heya there ! I love to ride and have road with my parents since i was 6 but just only got my own bike 3 or so years ago after taking the riders class on a honda rebel, going from that to a 883 fuel injected iron was frustrating at times but I did learn how to handle the bike and now i am very comfortable with the size and feel almost one with it during my rides, i am pushing 40 and only 5 5 and around 130 bls, not very strong, it took me a while to learn how to pick up the bike but i eventually did being the stubborn gal i am i refused to go with some thing smaller even though most of the men in my family were pushing me to do so.
I started to look for a soft tail that i could afford with my bike up as a trade and found the ride i absolutely loved, a 1994 Harley davidson bad boy springer , I did take her for a short test ride but I had extreme difficulty pulling the clutch lever so i stayed in the parking lot! I have never road a bike that had such a difficult clutch to pull back! I asked the dealer about it and they said the best thing would to be installing a hydraulic clutch so i decided to go along with them on this, the previous owner decided to install ape hangers on this bike also and they are tilted forward, I am positive i will change the angle on the bars for sure but i am worried about the difference in handling, this bike is larger and since i havent actually had it out and around town yet i am worried about what differences i will have to deal with , I did read that the bad boy's were meant to have tight handling more so than the other soft tail models but that was with the stock bars. this bike is set up very low and the forward controls mostly fit my size except i will have to modify one of the pedals, no problem since i am a welder lol, any tips you have? thanks so much!!

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Aug 06, 2012
by: angela

thank you! I was hoping to get some thing close to the stock original bars back on the bike for now, i love the twisting and snug handling i do allot of city riding plus up north and out of state riding as well i take my current bike every were to work at 230 am and home every day its my only transportation for now (kids got the car) dont mind i love it and am used to it I do have some older sporty bars mite work mite not we'll have to see for now unless i get shorter apes like the z bars i already am used to the cables will fit a 12 rise but dont want to go any further , ill keep an eye out for the original bars and keep fingers crossed i mite find them on ebay. stay safe and thanks!

Aug 06, 2012
by: Gypsy Spirit

Hi Angela ...

It's been my experience that really low, or drag, bars provide really quick steering; while buckhorns give me better leverage. I have a friend with apes on his '91 softtail ... when I sit on his bike the bars are over my head (he's a lot taller than me!). Needless to say, I'm too uncomfortable to even try to take it down the road!

I personally like the buckhorns best and can do quick turns by counterbalancing. Really it all comes down to what fits you and the kind of riding you do. Are you more of a highway/interstate rider ... or a backroads/mountain twisties sort of girl? There are so many versions of the softail out there, when you get the chance to ride one that's set up different than yours try it out, then you'll know what you think of this kind of bar, or that position of controls, etc. and you'll know if you want it for your bike.

Love the springer! Have been thinking of converting my sporty when I have more money to play with.


Aug 05, 2012
thank you turtle !
by: angela

finally some gets it! its not about the damn brand, nor getting a bigger bike,in fact this bike sits VERY LOW and rides similar to my sporty even with its taller bars, i love it, I thought the few that read this one would realize a woman my size who isnt afraid to break the barriers men set out to try and keep us woman welders out of the all male dominated shops , especially One of the largest gator manufactures (who I will keep name off this )were i currently work building the gator lines would realize determination and heart can get us gals very far, and the muscles CAN AND WILL adapt , I am not selling myself short by admitting to being weaker than most men who easily muscle the bikes around out there but i just do things in a different way, my question started out to be very simple I only asked about handling differences under different conditions, perhaps stories from those who actually have gone through the process of trading up from a sporty to a harley softy. If i could i would keep them both , i love my current bike but need a little bit more no thanks to the know it alls who need to give me there credentials and history of riding, dont care about that just the facts, thanks again, as always say whats on your mind and dont live by any one elses rules, enjoy the freedom we still have in this country

Aug 04, 2012
Ride what you like
by: Turtle

I ride a HD Road King and love it. I am 5'4" and 128 lbs. I had a hard time pulling in the clutch leaver so I had a Easy Clutch installed (NOT hydraulic)- it is just an easier spring and not the major job of replacing everything to hydraulic. Ride what you enjoy and don't worry so much about others telling you you need a smaller motorcycle. I have a friend who barely weighs 105 and is my height and she also rides a Road King with ease. It is all in learing the proper techniques to ride before you jump out there and start riding.
Hope this helps!

Aug 02, 2012
Check out other options
by: Chris (female)

I totally agree with Judy. The few Harleys my finds have insisted I try were not small girl friendly. Top heavy, had trouble pulling the kick stand in (I'm 5'3") - just exhausting to ride. First bike was a Shadow ACE 1100 that was fine but I was on tippy toes when stopped and it was a little top heavy. When I got bike fever a few years later and sat on a VTX1300R the difference was amazing.

Low center of gravity, smooth handling, and my feet are flat on the ground with knees bent. I can just shift my body and she comes off the kick stand, is just a beautifully balanced bike. I went on many trips on my first VTX1300 and was no where near as tired after covering 400 or 500 miles as on the Shadow. I just got my second VTX1300R and look forward to many more years and miles of riding. Oh - and I am 61.

Aug 02, 2012
by: angela

thanks for the input of your riding history Judy, bike already bought done deal and i am stubborn and refuse to change down to another bike, i have tried other models at used dealerships, dont want another bike just wanted to know if any one had input on the riding differences between the sportster and the springer. Not putting any makes down or requesting an argument thanks!

Aug 02, 2012
New bike
by: Katie

Well it is exciting to get a new bike, I DO think we have to get one that suits us. Currently I ride a Suzuki 650 GSXF it is a good bike to have started and learned on but I am ready for a new bike. I am 5 '10 large boned and have been on this smaller engine bike, it has been awesoem. I have sat on TONS I mean TONS of bikes and I really am heading towards the 1300 Yamaha tourer (950 feels to small and 1100 is not fuel injected). I am going for a cruiser which will be totally different for me. We do lots of long rides and my GSXF hurts my butt and lacks good luggage. I have sat on Harleys, Hondas, Suzuki's etc and decided the Yamaha fits me best. Have you bought the bike? Because if you have to change so many things and are nervous to ride it, it might not be the bike for you! You have to really love the bike and it has to fit you!

I hope that you do well with your new bike, enjoy and be safe!

Aug 02, 2012
Get a REAL bike that fits you....there are
by: Judy

...tons of other makes that are lighter, have way more ground clearance and much better chassis setup and better suspension, more power with less weight. Since you admitted to being smaller and not very strong, you're putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage by buying an overly heavy bike with more difficult handling. The fork rake and overall longer wheelbase makes for slower chassis input and less than optimal handling compared to more standard bikes.

Why limit yourself to the same old variations of just one brand? There are FAR, FAR better bikes (also for less money) than the same old Harleys.

I've ridden almost every brand ever made, everything from 55cc to 1500cc, Italian, German, Asian, and yes....several of my friend's Harleys, and I've yet to find ANY Harley that was even close to equal in handling, and overall value to any of the other brands.

Brand recognition, and having a history in popular culture no longer translates to being even close to "the best." It's been DECADES since
that was true....expand your horizons, and you'd be absolutely SHOCKED at what you've missed in terms of rideability.

BTW I think the Rebel is probably the most anemic, poor handling offering ever put out by Honda...yes I've ridden one, singularly unimpressive to the point of feeling almost dangerous. Okay to practice in a parking lot, that's about it. So, if you're basing your evaluation of Asian brands on that bike, you're way off, especially in quality and modern features. That would be akin to driving a Yugo for a first car, and thinking all foreign cars are that crappy!

Also, don't bother trying to trot out the old, common supposition that "I must be jealous of Harleys and can't afford one" as I currently own a dozen bikes and could easily pay cash for one. Like I said, I've ridden dozens of different bikes, including many Harleys (at my friends' insistence) and not one of them could begin to measure up to the best of the others I've ridden.

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Aug 07, 2013
2000 soft tail speedometer quits at 20 mph
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem with 2000 soft tail, but at about. 20 mph. The speedometer quits the odometer quits, and the turn signal will not cancel. I have replaced the vehicle speed sensor but problem remains. Anyone have a clue what causes this.

Jul 31, 2012
"Gremlins I think...."
by: Mike

I had the same problem and my Harley dealer told me I was hallucinating. Would love to hear how you get this dilemma solved...

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Should saddlebags be included in the price of a used motorcycle?

by Sarah R
(Buffalo NY)

I'm a new rider. I got my license from a 2-day course (which I signed up for after gaining courage from this site!) a little over a year ago. I didn't have the funds to purchase a motorcycle last year, but I've been saving up and doing research on the kind I want to buy - used, of course! But, in the midst of researching, I found that bikes being sold with the saddlebags are way overpriced (compared to kbb.com) because the cost of the saddlebags "are included in the price". Is this a normal thing to roll the entire retail purchase price of saddlebags into the cost?

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Jul 15, 2012
value of bike
by: Anonymous

For what it's worth......All the add-ons do not usually raise the value of a bike but they do help it to sell faster. I don't think it's wise to pay more than the book value. The seller will try to tell you that the bike has new brakes, a new clutch, or whatever. Don't let this move you! I had someone try to do this to me when I was looking at a bike. You just tell the seller: "Those expenses are just normal maintenace items. They don't add value to the bike." Remember, the seller wore the brakes out, that's why it has new brakes. That's part of maintenance just like oil changes. New tires are the same way; they're new because the seller wore the other set of tires out. Don't pay extra for these things. They are normal wear and tear, replacement items. And don't be shy about telling that to the seller. Yes, these kinds of things make the bike more inviting to purchase but they add NO VALUE to the bike. And if the seller tries to say that you would have to pay to put new brakes on the bike if they hadn't already done that, just say: "No, because I will not buy a bike with worn out brakes on it." I don't care how nice or how new the saddlebags are, they are not worth the full value that the seller paid for them. I would offer regular retail minus a few hundred dollars if the bike is in excellent condition only. And negotiate for the saddlebags separately. If they won't sell the bags for a very reasonable price just buy the bike and give them your phone number. Tell them to call you if they change their mind on the bags. Just keep negotiating until you are happy with the deal. They may call in a week and offer you the bags. If not, you can always call them and do some more negotiating for the bags. Just don't pay extra for items that are part of routine maintenance and don't pay much for all the extras.

Jul 13, 2012
Asking price vs. what they will sell for
by: TammyT

Just because someone is asking a particular price, doesn't mean they won't sell for less. Or as my Mom always said, "if you don't ask, you may not get". Don't be afraid to offer less than the asking price for a bike, car, or whatever. Most people expect to be bargained down a little and will actually ask for a little more than they really expect to get for it. Don't be shy to bargain, it's okay to bring up the blue book value, your budget, mileage, condition of the vehicle, and then offer what you think you should pay. You'll probably end up with a deal somewhere between what they're asking and what you offered.

Jul 12, 2012
Saddlebags included in price
by: Laura

When you buy a used bike, the price is figured on a lot of different things such as milage, the shape of the bike, if things have been added like a windshield, upgraded seat, saddlebags, chrome, brand new tires, etc. If I bought a bike for $4000 and then added on $1500 in upgrades, I'm certainly going to take that into consideration when I go to resell it. If you don't want to pay for the upgrades, purchase a used bike with no upgrades, or you can ask the person selling it if they'd consider selling it for less without the bags. They may sell them separately or keep them for their next bike.

Jul 11, 2012
suzuki s50
by: Jeanette

I just purchased a used s50 suzuki boulevard 2006. It came with a windscreen, and saddle bags. I paid $3200 in canada.. It did have 27000 klms or approx
17000 miles..It had new tires, and new brakes, and we had a safety done on the bike which means it is in good shape..Just thought I would give you some reference numbers.. hope it helps..by the way... love my bike she is a beauty and so easy to handle

Jul 11, 2012
Still keeping my options open
by: Anonymous

Thanks for all the comments! I'm looking at a private sale for this particular bike. It's a Suzuki S50 Boulevard and the saddlebags do make the bike look nicer. I couldn't find the specific ones on ebay, but they do look like they're leather and they're also studded. The asking price for all is $4500 and the price I was quoted without the bags was still $4100, which is about $335 more than the kbb value for one in excellent condition - and it looks from the pics that it's in excellent condition. But I will hold out hope that if the price just isn't right for this one, there will be another bike out there waiting for me!

Jul 11, 2012
by: Anonymous

Unless the saddle bags are premium leather or have above-average features, I wouldn't pay more for them. My used bike came with bags at no additional cost.

If the seller thinks so highly of the saddle bags as to raise the price, consider them a separate purchase. Tell the seller to leave them off. You can find great bags at Cycle Gear or RevZilla.com and you won't pay through the nose.

Jul 11, 2012
by: Anonymous

It's 50/50. I personally don't do that. I sold my bike and gave away the saddle bags to make my the sell more attractive. I even gave away a tank bag too. So, keep looking....you will find a nice seller like me hehehe. Good luck! Let us know what bike you're interested in buying. 250? 500? cruiser, standard, sport, dual-sport?

Jul 11, 2012
by: Lois

When looking to trade in a bike the dealer will tell you you lose money on the accessory. So if you are looking at a dealer they didn't give much for those extras so there should be some room to bargain. If it's a private sale setting the price is up to the seller, just go prepared do your homework on what the bike costs without the extras and start dealing from there.

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have changed my pipes to vance and hines slip on.was told to do a rejet.i did that now it backfires and pops.what should i do now

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Jul 15, 2012
Factors in re-jetting carbs
by: Judy

There isn't enough specific information in your post to tell you much but expand on the basics.
What you need to know at a minimum is this:

What model & year is your bike?
What type and number of carburetor(s) came on the bike? Round or flat slide or vacuum type? When the bike was TOTALLY stock, what are the baseline carburetor settings that it had?

The best "tool" you can buy for your bike is the FACTORY service manual (rather than an aftermarket type like a Haynes or Clymer brand manual). In the chapter on the Carb(s) it should show the stock settings; e.g., main jet size, pilot (idle) jet size, air screw setting,

For most bikes--and many people don't know this--a change in the intake's air FILTRATION has a more significant influence on re-jetting requirements than putting on a less-restrictive exhaust. Have you altered the stock air filter to a less restrictive type? Another thing people may overlook when rejetting is many just think the main jet needs to go up, and they don't realize the pilot jet should also. Popping and backfiring are definitely signs of too-lean carb settings.

Carbs have parts which control and/or influence fuel flow are certain throttle settings. All of these overlap to a degree. At idle and up to about 1/4 throttle, the pilot jet controls flow; at 1/4 through about 2/3 or so, the flow is mainly influenced by the needle jet and jet needle's clip position (setting); overlapping a bit past 1/2 throttle setting the main jet controls the flow. All of these work together and overlap to a degree.

You need to find a web site specific to your bike and get an idea from others with the same bike and modification(s) what changes they have made to their jetting, to use as a baseline (guide), which won't necessarily be what you end up with, because although their bike's model and mods may be identical, each individual bike can have enough slight differences to warrant changes or differences in settings...and keep in mind that altitude (air density) can be a factor in properly jetting, too.

I good read about the basics of carbs can be found in the Sudco/Mikuni tuning manual that helps to explain the functions of how the carb's circuitry work together and overlap. It can be found here:


Good luck....don't risk engine seizure by riding around with a too-lean jetted carb! While it's not as critical for you than it is for my bikes (since mine are 2-cycle engine types) it still is VERY important to get it done, and done right. If I can learn this stuff, anyone can!

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