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  1. #1
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    Default bike purchasing question regarding new vs old

    I will preface where my question stems from.

    I have never ever bought brand new. wait a few years and everyone sells there bike half price. sold.
    i have never been a fan of shine, chrome or "stuff".
    lately the softail has me hankering for a new bike.
    the sport glide. i can road trip if need be but can drive spiritedly if i wanted to.

    anyways......new is nice....but old is much cheaper and i can hack, scratch and do what i want without much pain.
    the question is..........

    Has anyone buy new and later regretted (not because of the $ really) but really wish they bought old because ease of work and modding etc/
    Has anyone buy old and used and regretted not getting new and workign right?

    I have bought some nice things. buy once cry once and ended up crying again anyways because new failed me.
    Last edited by rabies; 07-28-2022 at 12:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    I came up on pre 1971 motorcycles. When I married I had a '55 Panhead. Then life and kids happened, I sold the Pan and agreed to hold off on buying another bike till my youngest was in college.

    The day she was accepted I went and bought a brand new 2008 UltraGlide. It was an amazing motorcycle but 100% wrong for me. I rode it for 4 years and sold it, bought a boat, sold that, and bought the '56 Panhead that became the Desert Rose.

    Do I regret buying the Ultra, yes actually I do, I was so much happier with the Panhead, even when it was not running! What I failed to do was think about where and when I would realistically ride the Ultra. Doing the hour long commutes each day in stop and go traffic is NOT what that bike was designed for. Turned a nice highway cruiser into a ball roasting pig. But that's just my experience.

  3. #3
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    Out of the 9 bikes I currently have the newest one is a 2005 and that thing is a nightmare, not a Harley (actually the only non Harley I own). I like the old stuff but they always need attention. I work at a HD dealer so I always think about buying something new that starts when it supposed, has a warranty and runs circles around my 60hp antique tractors, but they just don't do it for me. As fun as it is to ride a modern new bike I prefer the old stuff even though I barely know how to keep them on the road and I am constantly banging on them with a hammer to try and fix them. I do think that very soon I will break down and buy a new Low Rider S or something like that.

  4. #4
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    I solved the reliability issue ages ago with a new 1988 FXR but that was only because there were no Evos for sale in my area and it was my treat to self for making rank.

    Otherwise I'd have run previously owned (the second an MSO becomes a title the vehicle is "used") bikes for life and the rest of mine are as were all my many four-wheeled vehicles.

    My used equipment is on me to keep working right and that's the way I like it. Newest bike is a 1994 FXLR.

    Is your mortgage paid off? Buy whatever ya like. If not, what's the wisest use of your money and how big is your emergency cushion and savings account? If your other machines are pre-Evo that's one thing but any Evo big twin should be fine to take anywhere unless it's been neglected. (I do replace the complete charging system (rotor, stator, regulator) and belt if applicable when I get a used HD as the alternative of riding until failure (charging systems are consumable on anything) doesn't make me smile.

    New HD (non-bagger) prices are nearly flat in constant dollars and if you keep bikes for life the cost is no big deal.

  5. #5
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    Never saw the allure in buying a new vehicle, but that’s just me. Always figured let the high rollers or debt lovers take the ding the first few years and pick it up when they’ve traded it in due to something else catching their eye.

    It’s funny, Farmall once made a comment on a thread that resonated with me as it described a philosophy I subscribe to so well. It was something to the tune of “I could afford to go out and buy a brand new F-350 dually, because I would never go out and buy a brand new F-350 dually.” That’s wisdom in my book.

  6. #6
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    Of course thrift permits masochistic indulgence in (more) old motorbikes but I'm never in debt.

    Speaking of truck prices consider Dragstews custom Cornbinder.

    Even with all the goodies it's gotta be surprisingly reasonable compared to a new ride, it's kool, and it's simple so when done it will be good for another lifetime. The drivetrain doesn't require the Lockheed Fort Worth plant to rebuild and parts will be available for a century if T-Model Fords (brass era is much older than a century) are anything to go by. With what's in it that beast should be able to haul ass while towing home even more goodies. I'm looking forward to crawling under it when I pick up my parts.

  7. #7
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    While I agree with not going in debt for a new vehicle, with cars there is a certain pleasure from owning something with a warranty and at least a window of time it is low maintenance. With very few exceptions we tend to drive um till they drop and then pass em down to one of the kids, so depreciation is not an issue. Plus it is nice to break in seats to my ass, not have to adapt to the shape of someone else's butt, lol.

  8. #8
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    I don't buy new anymore. Since I grew up, I can't look at losing 20% because I signed a piece of paper and be okay with it.

    So, yeah.. I do regret buying new.

    But it works for some people? Most of my friends buy new bikes. Are you okay with dropping 30K on a new Harley? Do you like what they're offering for that price, or do you like the older offerings? Is product and the warranty service more important than buying used and saving a lot of money?

    How handy and well equipped are you to deal with used Harley BS? If you have to hire it all done, that can be a problem.

    Are you a daytripper or do you tour? If you're traveling long distances regularly, the warranty would be nice.

    You get a long way from home and something happens to an old bike? You're either fixing it yourself or renting a UHaul.

    New or used isn't a simple question, because it is really about you.


  9. #9
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    New is no-muss-no- fuss. That obviously comes with a price. Lightly used is the way to go for headache free and pre-scratched as you said.

    Story time...

    I prospected for a club on a swingarm shovel. Rode hard and had many maintenance issues. Even had an Ol' Timer tell me the bike would not survive the environment. Patched in and built a fast and loud Evo rigid while the shovel was "resting". I moved up to another club and knew the rigid wouldnt hack it when doing 1200 mile trips. Thats when I got smart and bought a Road King. 5 years old, 10K miles and not a scratch on it. I put 60K miles on that before I had to decide if I wanted to spend money on repairs or finance a new, high dollar luxury barge or quit the club and build a Panhead. Im much happier on the Pan.
    Last edited by Tater66; 08-01-2022 at 2:05 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tater66 View Post
    Im much happier on the Pan.
    ;-)

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