Help Me Decide My Harley Purchase!


I have Harley fever and yes I admit it!  I’m signed up to take the Rider Safety Course on September 9 – 11.  With an anticipated license in hand and the desire to ride, I can hardly wait to get my hands on some Milwaukee Iron!  I visited my local dealer today to check out the two models that I have zeroed in on.

First one is the Nightster from the Sportster line.  This is an aggressive and nimble looking beast.  In a Black Denim finish with 1200cc engine, this bike has plenty of power.  The other key attribute that I need … it is low to the ground. Just 25.7 inches high it would provide confidence for a newbie rider.  This bike weighs 562 pounds.

Bike # 2 on my radar is the Fat Boy Lo from the Softail line.  A very different bike from the Nightster, the Fat Boy is the essence of a Harley cruiser that epitomizes the aggressive low cruiser appearance with a bad ass motor … a counter-balanced Twin Cam 103B V-Twin engine.  Harley says that to give the Fat Boy Lo model its distinctive road-hugging stance, they’ve dropped the front and rear suspension 1.15 inches. That makes it the lowest seat height of any stock Harley-Davidson model at a down and dirty 24.25 inches. Perfect for smaller riders or those who just like to feel down in the bike.  That makes is a great choice for me.  On the minus side it weighs a whopping 731 pounds.

So, should I go with the aggressive, nimble Nightster?

Or spring for the ultimate Boulevard Cruiser … The Fat Boy Lo?

5 thoughts on “Help Me Decide My Harley Purchase!

  1. If I were you, I’d learn how to ride on a used Japanese standard or cruiser. It’s not quite as heartbreaking to drop one of those. I started on a 600 cc Yamaha standard and have since owned bikes by Suzuki, Honda, and BMW. I love my Fat Boy Lo, which I recently bought after a few years away from motorcycling. I don’t think I would have wanted it as my first bike. If you go with the Sportster, you’ll probably end up wanting a larger Harley in the near future (that’s what happens to most folks).

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I agree with you on the Sportster. Most people do upgrade. What if I told you that I am now going for a used Fat Boy which is half the price of a new bike in mint condition? In fact it would cost me a bit less than a new Sportster. Let me know what you think. I’m glad you like your Fat Boy Lo. I think it’s a great bike!

  2. My only concern for you is the size of the first bike you would own. At 700+ pounds, the Fat Boy isn’t the lightest thing on the world. You might be better off starting with something smaller. As to the used bike, it might be a nice compromise decision, if you feel confident about starting out with such a big bike. The only bad thing about the used ones is that you won’t be able to get ABS brakes. These are super helpful, especially for a beginning rider. I still think you would be better off with a smaller used bike that you could sell (probably for about what you paid for it) after a year of riding, but I certainly understand why you like the Fat Boy and wish you well whatever you decide to do.

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