Five ways to choose the right motorcycle for you

Is it an old question in the United States, or was it at least until Indian He threw in the towel in 1953. But now he’s back, ever since Polaris bought Indian and started manufacturing new modern versions in 2013 (based on his nearly 20 years of experience building Victory motorcycles). Either way, both Harley davidson And Indians are genuine U.S. royalty, as are Coca-Cola, Levis, and the Trump Organization, and as such they both enjoy an authenticity that non-native brands can only envy when it comes to penetrating the American market. Here are a few things to consider if you’ve decided to take the plunge.

5. The heritage thing

Harley-Davidson vs Indian heritage

Although both Indian and Harley-Davidson are accepted into the educated American motorcycle society, Indian is still the upstart for new money and as such is not as universally accepted by the old guard. Some even look down at the newcomer, horrified that the Indian name was damaged many times after the original Indian factory in Springfield, Massachusetts, stopped producing in 1953. The 60-year span in the lineage between then and when Polaris started Completely Original New Indian Construction in 2013 is seen by some purists as a black mark against the reputation of the Indians. Some claim that the company that includes “since 1901” on its bikes and marketing materials is an assault that will not continue, man.

Harley-Davidson, on the other hand, has been pulling bikes out of Milwaukee since 1903 virtually non-stop, despite some near-death experiences on the road, and is probably the most recognized motorcycle brand in the world. A true cult following has been achieved. If that kind of inheritance is important to you, and if you want to be welcomed into the inner sanctuary, the HD dealer is where you should go.

But I think it’s safe to say, as Rhett Butler did, most of us don’t really care.

Advantage: Harley-Davidson

4. Entry level models

Harley-Davidson Street 750

Harley makes it easy to access your bag with its 750 Street model – XG750 – A great little bike starting at $ 7,599 – 750 cc is really only “small” by American V-Twin standards (46 cubic inches in America). In fact, the Street 750 is one of our favorite entry-level bikes. That little engine is one of the most modern in the HD lineup, given its liquid-cooled design and superior chamber, so HD purists probably haven’t fully embraced it. His loss, really. With its light weight, low seat, and fast performance, the Street is a great bike for beginners and a lot of fun for experienced riders, too.

Harley-Davidson Iron 883 Sportster

However, the bike that most HD wannabes start with would be the venerable Sportster, which the Motor Company has been producing since 1957 in Many Iterations For many worshipers, it’s not a real Harley unless it has an air-cooled 45-degree V-Twin engine with shiny pushrod tubes, and the Sportster offers it. To attract buyers, Harley sets up the Sportster base model Iron 883The price is $ 8,999.

Indian Scout Bobber Sixty

Meanwhile, Indian attempts to set the hook with his Indian Scout Sixty, for exactly the same $ 8,999. Coincidence? We think not. Where the Sportster’s 883cc engine resides, Indian places a modern 1000cc (61 cubic inch) liquid-cooled engine that produces substantially more power than the Harley engine. The Indian is longer, lower in the seat, better suspended, and therefore more fun to drive for most of us.

Harley Advantage, if you like 750th Street

Indian advantage, if you want something a little bigger and faster

3. Speed ​​and performance? Or style and attitude?

Harley-Davidson vs performance and Indian style

Baggers, cruise-style motorcycles with built-in panniers, are the best-selling in the US and Harley’s Street glide It is probably the best-selling large bicycle in the United States. For good reasons: With storage bags and wind protection fairing, the baggers are ideal for everything from running out of a gallon of milk to traveling to Sturgis or wherever.

Harley-Davidson Street Slip

Harley’s Street Glide gets its latest Milwaukee-Eight (M8) air-cooled V-Twin, which rates 111 pound-feet of torque at just 3,250 rpm. For $ 21,999, its base Street Glide model has almost everything you need: electronic cruise control, ABS braking, Harley’s Bluetooth-ready boom! Infotainment system in a box with a color screen and, most importantly, an aspect that dates back to around 1945.

Again, for exactly the same $ 21,999, Indian offers its most modern take on that classic design with its clean blade. Challenger, a completely new model for 2019. In contrast to the HD’s air-cooled V-Twin, the Challenger’s new Powerplus engine is a superior liquid-cooled chamber design, which rates 128 ft-lb of torque at 3,800 rpm – And 122 horsepower at the top, at 5500 rpm. Unsurprisingly, the Indian offers better performance than the Street Glide in terms of driving and handling, with superior suspension and brakes, and sportier driving.

At the same time, both are wonderful to ride. For some people, the final performance is important, for others, not so much. What camp are you in?

Indian FTR 1200

Speaking of performance, Indian also offers its new for 2019 FTR1200, a real naked American sports bike in the field of the Ducati Monster, but with an American touch. It all makes sense when you understand that the FTR is imitating the FTR750 The flat track racer that Indian has dominated that sport since his debut in 2017.

Harley-Davidson Livewire

Harley really doesn’t have anything like the FTR1200, but it does have extremely cool LiveWire, which is what you need if you want to wow the crowd by introducing yourself on a $ 30,000 electric motorcycle.

Performance: Indian advantage

2. Distributor and After Sales Support

Scottsdale's Harley-Davidson announces itself as the largest in the world.

Many people do not want to buy a motorcycle (or any vehicle) that does not have many dealers for assistance. Perhaps because it’s been around for so long, Harley dealers are also scattered across the United States and internationally. Many of them are more like religious gathering places than motorcycle dealerships, attended by true believers and often with first-class salons where the brotherhood meets. Many people who like to ride their bikes make a point to visit them on the way for free coffee (don’t forget the T-shirt), and it is helpful to have a dealer nearby in case you suffer a crash or accident. Tire that you can’t fix yourself. You can even join HOG, Harley Owners Group and become a bona fide member of the club.

Group of Indian motorcyclists

Indian doesn’t have such an extensive dealer network, but it does have its own Indian Motorcycle Riders (IMR) group, and both are growing.

Fortunately, bikes don’t break down nearly as much as they used to, and there are still plenty of independent bike shops across the country that can handle emergencies and routine maintenance.

If adding accessories is your thing, it’s hard to probe a deeper hole than Harley owners can mine parts. As a result of that, along with the ancient and deep knowledge base, it’s going to be a while before India’s customization opportunities catch up.

For other motorcyclists, familiarity breeds contempt.

Advantage: Harley-Davidson

1. Know yourself

Harley-Davidson vs India

Truly, this is a first world puzzle, Karen. Be honest and find out what you will primarily use your Indian or Harley for. If it’s for social engagement, Harley still rules the chicken coop, if only. On the other hand, at least one guy we know who owns both says his new Vintage Boss attracts more attention, but mostly from older people who think it’s an antique and want to know what year. For luxurious long-distance travel, both brands offer such great hyped bikes: Harley’s $ 44,000 CVO Limited and the Indians $ 39k Roadmaster Elite – You couldn’t feel anyone’s pain in either of them.

When it comes to Harley or Indian, in fact, the month The staff often ends up as divided as the rest of the world. We try to be completely objective and base our comparison tests strictly on driving, performance and features, but it never fails that when the bikes are parked, after the first beer, someone will drop a dagrabbit only me I like it the (insert the bike here) better! There are many intangibles that are as divergent as the types and personalities of the human body; one bicycle suits you better than the other. An engine feels better between your legs. Motorcycles are inherently subjective. Fortunately, there is an easy solution: open a new tab and schedule a test ride on the bikes that interest you. Visit those bike forums and Facebook groups. Enjoy the trip.

Advantage: everyone.

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Related reading:

Bagger Battle: Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Vs. Indian Challenger Limited
Big Dam Tour: Seven Baggers For Seven Brosephuses
The Great American $ 9k Cruise-Off: HD Iron 883 vs. Indian Scout Sixty
National Retro Roadster Shootout: Harley-Davidson Street 750 vs. Moto Guzzi V7 II Stone vs. Triumph Street Twin