Choosing a Harley Davidson Motorcycle

Published: 27th July 2010
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If you've decided you want to buy a Harley Davidson, the next step is deciding what model is right for you. There are five basic kinds of Harleys, each with its own set of characteristics and options. You'll want to give some thought as to your riding needs, your preferences, your riding ability, and your personality before choosing your bike. This is true whether you are looking for a new or used Harley.

Touring Bikes

The Road King, Sharknose and Glides are all considered to be touring bikes. Each of these models has its own distinctive look and personality. For example, the Road King has a classic retro look which appeals to many riders. These bikes are comfortable for long rides, but they are also very heavy bikes. Especially for the beginner rider, these bikes can sometimes be just a bit too much to handle.


Lighter than a touring bike, the softails actually look a lot like the hardtails from the 1960s. These bikes are quite popular and are a great choice for somebody looking for a daily rider. Softails are also quite popular among those who wish to customize their Harley. The popular Fat Boy and Heritage models, sometimes referred to as cruisers, fall into this category.


The traditional styling and large twin engines make the Dyna a popular choice among Harley fans. They have a dual shock rear end suspension, which is similar to what the touring bikes have. However, they also have a lighter front end, similar to a Softail or a Sportser. The Super Glide, Wide Glide, Low Rider, and Street Bobs are all Dyna models. The Dyna is considered by some to be a street class bike.


First introduced in 1957, the Sportsters are a smaller and lighter bike. During their early years, they were often used as racing motorcycles. Sportsters are popular among those who prefer smaller bikes, such as women or those of smaller stature. These bikes are also popular with beginner riders. Available in two engine sizes, the 883 and 1200, the Sportster is also less expensive than the larger models. One can often find a Sportster for about half the price of one of the larger models.

VRSC Bikes

The newest offering from Harley, the VRSC bikes are quite different from the other models. These powerful bikes have the look of an imported sports bike, while still retaining the overall look and spirit of a Harley. The engine is water cooled instead of air cooled, which is a break in tradition for Harley Davidson. The V-Rod falls into this category.

Once you've chosen your favorite model, you should visit a dealership and give it a closer look. Make sure the size and weight feel right for you, and take it for a ride if you can. You'll undoubtedly be spending a lot of time riding your Harley, so you'll want to make sure you choose the best model for your needs. Once you're convinced it's the Harley for you, you'll be ready to join the ranks of thousands of other happy Harley owners.

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