I owned a 2005 Harley Soft-Tail Deuce for several months; I bought it off a buddy who was in a financial bind. Oddly enough, I was considering a Rocket III at the time. I thought that the Harley would give me a taste of how a heavier bike would handle. If it suited me; I could always trade up later. Ownership could be best described as lukewarm.
1. Getting on and moving off feels like launching a supertanker; you
do get used to it though.
2. It's a bike that drives like a car; due to it's neutral handling
and 'wooden' brakes. This was my biggest 'turn-off' that later
influenced me to trade it in on a new truck.
3. Every component on the bike, down to the last fastener is
robust; as if it were built by Chicago Bridge and Iron.
1. In the time my buddy and I owned the bike, other than
semi-regular maintenance; it never needed repairs of any kind.
Until I got it, it was stored on a front porch with a plastic tarp
thrown over it. Whatever negative issues folks may have with
the brand; I found the build quality to be on par with anything
else on the market.
2. The engine pulls like a freight train. There's no need to 'row the
gearbox'. You can be one or two gears off; just roll on more
throttle. Contrary to popular belief, the engine is not weak, it
just has a lower power-band. If you flog it, it gets up to 110 MPH
as quickly as my Thruxton; while dragging an extra 200 lbs or so.
3. The demand keeps the resale value high; not as high as before,
but still not too shabby. Auto dealers are so desperate to sell
cars that I found one that took it on trade-in for the same price
that I paid for it.
4. Riding one at parking lot speeds forces you to exploit/work the
friction zone on the clutch. It's the most effective control on the
bike. With practice they will turn tight; but you have to do your
In short, Harleys aren't for everyone. They don't do much for me; but owning one wasn't a nightmare. It's more a matter of tastes in configuration and style; heavier bikes just don't cut it for the type of riding I like. There are folks who put a lot of miles on them; they're not all garage queens ridden by pretenders from bar to bar. .........................James.