Buying a Harley Davidson is a dream come true for so many. This includes bikers and non-bikers alike. Who does not want or picture the open road and the roar of the engine when they think of a Harley?
The brand and bike epitomize everything desirable about the life of a biker. Or this is what you may think. On the other hand, there are a growing number of reasons why not to buy a Harley Davidson.
These reasons are supported by a growing number of bikers, and one of the reasons is not just because your partner doesn’t want you to buy a motorcycle, although this too could be true.
Here we will chart a few reasons which at the very least should give you food for thought if you are considering a Harley purchase.
Are Harleys Overpriced Junk?
We would not ever go as far as saying that Harley’s are junk. They are definitely a finely crafted machine and one which does deliver performance and feeling in abundance.
This is one of the key reasons why many people do buy a Harley. They provide a feel for the bike and your journey which is almost unmatchable.
The pricing though is severe. You certainly pay for the excellent ride and nostalgia provided by a Harley. They can cost as much as 3-4 times the price of other European or Japanese bikes.
This does not really mean that they are overpriced, since they are produced mostly in the US where the labor costs are much higher than their rivals, these are simply the kind of prices they need to command in order to remain in business.
What you do need to ask yourself though is exactly that. Is it worth paying 3-4 times more for your Harley Davidson than another brand of bike? If you cannot truly say yes, then perhaps they are not the best bike for your money.
Reliability and Service Costs
Nobody would argue that the Harley Davidson is an amazing machine in terms of how they are designed and the power they emanate. They are however known to be more service intensive than other bikes.
This is a cost which you ultimately may have to bear. A simple bike tune-up can cost between $60-$100, but with a Harley Davidson, you can expect this cost to be significantly higher.
Part of the reasoning is how special the bikes themselves are and how much care mechanics want to treat them with. The other reasons are that as with the bike, many of the parts are US made and simply cost more.
The next reason is the specialist knowledge which is needed to provide a top quality service to a Harley requires experience. This does not come without a premium.
It is tough to say a Harley Davidson is unreliable, but the simple fact is that in line with being more service intensive, they often require more frequent attention.
This is likely nothing major, and simply related to the fact that there is so much going on inside the amazing machine. Nevertheless, if you want something that has you never needing repairs or shop visits, a Harley probably is not the choice for you.
Declining Resale Market
Very much in line with the previous points we have made is this one about the resale market for your Harley. Now, this is a market which certainly still exists, though it is nowhere near as active as it would have been 20, 10, even 5 years ago.
The reason behind much of this inactivity is the fact people are realizing how difficult Harley ownership can be from a cost and labor perspective.
Increasingly so, people are looking for bikes which are easy to ride and easy to care for. They simply do not have the time or disposable income to invest in a Harley.
All this ultimately means that where you could once rely on a vibrant resale market to get a great price for your used Harley that may no longer be the case.
That may be perfectly fine if you intend holding on to your Harley, building a collection, and not worrying about the resale value. In other situations though, perhaps you should include brands of bike beyond Harley Davidson in your search.
Will Your Harley be Ridden?
This may seem like a strange question, but statistics from recent surveys have shown that as many as 80% of Harley owners do not ride their bikes on a regular basis.
This links back to our previous point on building a collection. Sure, everyone is entitled to their own philosophy on how their bike should be used, but in reality, prior to purchasing a Harley, this is a point which you should consider deeply.
If you are willing to pay well in excess of the price for another brand then surely you should let it experience the road on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the reality can be somewhat different.
Whether it is to preserve the bikes condition, or you simply do not have the time you expected to ride, you need to assess whether Harley ownership is the best choice for you.
There are many great Japanese or European bike models which you could purchase for a much lower price if you only intend to ride them occasionally. A Harley Davidson, while a machine of great beauty, makes for a very expensive garage ornament.
In the end, a good Harley Davidson remains one of the most sought after and best bikes on the market. It can be the pinnacle of lifelong bike ownership for so many.
Before you decide to purchase though, just make sure you are in the know about all of the facts, costs, and challenges of owning a Harley.
If you have considered these points carefully, then by all means go out, purchase a Harley, and enjoy the ride. If not though, you really ought to consider another bike brand.