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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In another thread, @Bird Dog brought up his 1980 super glide.

Fuel tank Tire Wheel Automotive fuel system Automotive lighting


(I grabbed a picture of the net)

This was, at the time, a "real man's bike" and what everyone I knew aspired to own.

Specs: 1207 cc engine rated at 65 horsepower.

Flash forward:
My Indian Scout 1130cc 100hp bike is considered an "entry level" bike. Most female riders of Indians are featured on this bike.

Wheel Tire Fuel tank Motor vehicle Automotive tire


Now we need 1800cc's.....and more (Triumph Rocket 2300cc)
Wheel Tire Helmet Motorcycle helmet Automotive tire


What's Harley up to now? 117 cu. in. --- 1917 cc engine.

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Motorcycle Vehicle


My question---

Does engine size dictate to some degree what you must own?

I admit to teasing my HD brethren when my Victory had a 106 and theirs had "only" a 103, lol.

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There used to be a motorcycle club in this area whose slogan was, 74 or more. They were talkin cubic inches if I recall correctly. For a lot of people size is a very important. For me, while size is nice to have, the ability to consistently go the distance seems to be just as important. At least from what I've experienced throughout my life. 馃檪
 

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At 5' 8" tall you would think size would matter....it doesn't. I've never had a "Napoleon Complex". Bigger is better is something I've dubbed 2'-itis. (I've got an 18' boat....I've got a 20'er....now I've got a 22'er) and on and on. IMHO, if you're buying anything.... boat, motorcycle, house, wife with bigger tits....well not wife, you will never be happy. You're not buying for you're own preference or taste. You're trying to impress someone else. I bought a 2014 Chief Classic because I like the looks and have been very impressed with the power and accessories. I haven't done any Stage 2 upgrades, haven't changed anything about the bike except accessorize to my personal taste. If someone likes what I've done, thank you. If you don't, or if you're offended because its an Indian, I don't care. This bike is for ME, not you. I will admit teasing my brother for buying a MeToo with a 110 cc engine and having 1 cc more. (MeToo = "What do you ride? Street Glide. Oh yeah, me too") Our Dad told me once my brother bought a Harley and I told him "I used to settle too". I saw my first Indian in person in the late 1970's and even though I had a Harley then, I knew I wanted one. Fast forward 40 years and many bikes and grey hairs later, I have one. It's for me and I have no plans to trade it in, sell it or upgrade. I like this one. I did run into 4 Harley riders up in Montana once and they asked me why I would ride an Indian and wondered if I was a disgruntled Harley rider, I said no, and told them my history. I also mentioned how I liked how Indian didn't copy Harley's and that they sounded under certain situations sounded like a "Jacobs Radial" (airplane engine). Turns out they were all airplane mechanics. We got along just fine.
 

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IMHO, the "size matters" wars between HD and Indian are ridiculous. I love my 116 but it is much more engine than I will ever need. Also, the longevity of these large powerplants may not be as good as the smaller displacement engines . . . 11:1 compression has to take it's toll at some point. The most reliable bike I ever owned was an 800cc BMW back in 83 . . . 8.5:1 compression . . . a gutless wonder . . . but would run forever and never let me down. I may not ever get another bike due to my age but if I do, I'm going to downsize. Just because a bike has a1900cc engine doesn't make it a "Man's Bike". JMHO . . . .
 

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Sensitivity WARNING: What follows is an opinion. It is not meant to denigrate or ridicule (I have to make sure I add the PC disclaimer!) :eek:

Usually, it's just a pissin' contest. Chasing horsepower and cubic inches, trying to outdo somebody else.
And, that's fine. It's their money. But I am sometimes amused at the stage 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.... upgrades that are done without suspension and brake upgrades, and ridden leisurely down backroads on weekends.
The manufacturers certainly help by constantly one upping each other.
I found out long ago that I am not a skilled enough rider to utilize 100, 120, etc horsepower. My wife's 100 hp Scout is awesome, but my 61 hp Triumph Speedmaster or my 77 hp Bonneville are plenty for me.
There's some truth to the old saying "it's more fun to ride a slow bike fast than to ride a fast bike slow".
 

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Remember in the 70s when Honda came out with the 鈥淔OUR!鈥. A 350 Four was considered a decent road bike. A 750 Four was a serious touring frame.
One of my friends rode from Indiana to Florida on a 350 Four. Now, a 750 Anything is too small to be seriously considered for a road trip.
 

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I have a different take. My 116 bbk rm is adequate, but by no means is it fast. The 111 it came with was inadequate. When you go to pass someone on a country backroad you want the bike to do it effortlessly. Getting stuck behind a truck when the twisties are approaching is infuriating. My pan America has the power to effortlessly pass by the obstacles. Interstate, back road, whatever. It鈥檚 got the power. By modern bike standards, it isn鈥檛 even a fast bike!! You can easily purchase a 200 hp Japanese bike for less money. I genuinely feel on today鈥檚 roads, a faster bike is a safer bike if the rider has any amount of maturity.
 
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I consider Indian & Harley air cooled V's similar to tractor engines. Great stump pullers but not necessarily fast moto's. Unless of course much $$ is parted with. If I wanted a low to mid RPM bike that would both yank stumps and go fast, my choice would be Triumph R3... now that thar is a man's MC :cool:
 

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I have a different take. My 116 bbk rm is adequate, but by no means is it fast. The 111 it came with was inadequate. When you go to pass someone on a country backroad you want the bike to do it effortlessly. Getting stuck behind a truck when the twisties are approaching is infuriating. My pan America has the power to effortlessly pass by the obstacles. Interstate, back road, whatever. It鈥檚 got the power. By modern bike standards, it isn鈥檛 even a fast bike!! You can easily purchase a 200 hp Japanese bike for less money. I genuinely feel on today鈥檚 roads, a faster bike is a safer bike if the rider has any amount of maturity.
I鈥檓 the opposite on the 116 BBK.
My 2014 was such a great bike, the engine loped along at low rpm and had all the power I ever needed. I even rode a couple with cams, tunes, and tuners, but the stock 111 with a PVCX was perfect.
I traded it with 90.000 miles on a 2019 with the BBK and have had to adjust to the new engine. The 116 is cold natured, wants more rpm, and is a little bit jerky below 2000 rpm. It doesn鈥檛 really seem to have any more 鈥渟eat of the pants鈥 performance.
I do love the bike, just happy that I did not spend the extra money to have this mod.
 

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I consider Indian & Harley air cooled V's similar to tractor engines. Great stump pullers but not necessarily fast moto's. Unless of course much $$ is parted with. If I wanted a low to mid RPM bike that would both yank stumps and go fast, my choice would be Triumph R3... now that thar is a man's MC :cool:
Years ago when that motorcycle first came out I read a report on it in I believe it was Cycle World magazine. It said this bike is not for amateur Riders, almost like a disclaimer at the start of the article. I have yet to get on one of them but I sure would like to someday.
 

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The funny part is that Honda started the whole "bigger is better" thing back in 2002 with the VTX1800.
 

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Years ago when that motorcycle first came out I read a report on it in I believe it was Cycle World magazine. It said this bike is not for amateur Riders, almost like a disclaimer at the start of the article. I have yet to get on one of them but I sure would like to someday.
I guess you're talking about the Rocket 3, I have one but my motive for getting it has nothing to do with one-upmanship but it does have something of the challenge of riding a big beast of a bike. Initially it was about the bling...at the time I had no bike that stood out in any particular way but I was at my dealer's and there was a 2 tone blue with extra chrome trim, lights, bags and pinstriping and not a Harley and ok money. I wasn't familiar with the Triumph Rocket so it was new to me but it had a 2300cc badge! and as soon as I showed interest I was offered a ride. So off I went with a bit of trepidation, I needn't have worried, it was a soft, gentle machine, very easy to ride especially at low speed. Out on the road it was a blast with massive grunt; overtaking? What's that? Anyway, I didn't buy it because it had a real twitch over road yumps especially when cornering. The dealer looked at it and called me back for another test ride - nothing to lose and a free ride. But it was much the same.
However, the bling didn't matter anymore, I was hooked and I searched out a later year all black one. I still have it and always enjoy riding it. Best I can describe it, it's like a big, soft and gentle fluffy bear but I'm always aware that if I get it wrong it'll tear my head off.

With regard to the twitchiness, my black one had a similar feel but not as pronounced, it turned out to be an easy fix. The rear swingarm bearings are taper rollers and needed tightening, job done.


If you get a chance, give one a ride is mho.
 

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Years ago when that motorcycle first came out I read a report on it in I believe it was Cycle World magazine. It said this bike is not for amateur Riders, almost like a disclaimer at the start of the article. I have yet to get on one of them but I sure would like to someday.
Odd butt true... I was looking at/for a Rocket when I came across my Vintage on Craigslist. Green'n cream, prettiest bike I'd ever seen. Road trip to PA, test drive, bought the Vintage. But I did have the opportunity to test drive a used Rocket previous to buying the Vintage, think was a 2009. I rode my then FLHP to the sellers house about 35ish miles from me. The guy selling it let me test ride it, and did tell me not to "get on it" too quickly. Adding, "its got balls, it ain't no Harley Davidson". He was right. The bike was actually the touring model, a bagger, but had the Roadster tune, about 145 hp I believe. Instant and abundant tq., big power, super quick. The bike is aptly named. If you get the chance to ride one do it!! :cool:
 

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Remember in the 70s when Honda came out with the 鈥淔OUR!鈥. A 350 Four was considered a decent road bike. A 750 Four was a serious touring frame.
One of my friends rode from Indiana to Florida on a 350 Four. Now, a 750 Anything is too small to be seriously considered for a road trip.
I put 98k+ miles on a 72 Honda CB350/4. Made ironbutt rides before there any IBA. Except for routine maintenance I never put a wrench on it.
 
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I was part timing at a friend's shop when the R3 came out, 2004 I think(?). I remember being underwhelmed by the look and how heavy it felt at parking lot speeds.
Then I took it out for a short spin. Wow. Once it was moving, the weight disappeared. Once the throttle was twisted, everything disappeared.
Hell of a machine. I haven't ridden a new one. 180 hp is a bit intimidating. Well, maybe just a quick demo.....
 

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I guess to understand what is a "real mans bike" We first have to consider who gives a shit. I still have a 79 Superglide and I have a Gilroy with a 124 S&S in it. They are both great bikes as is my 1200S Sportster. All different and each one is a great bike in its own way. I does not bother me a bit to take my "Girls bike" out for a Sunday ride. It will take a Ducati or a rice rocket to keep up with me.
 
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