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I have a 2017 RGU that I am very happy with. With 38k miles only routine maintenance and a front wheel bearing. I kept my bike mechanically stock. Only changes made have been for comfort - seat, highway pegs, quick release tour pack. I have no plans to part with my shark.

I keep hearing about the low cost of Gold Wing maintenance compared to the Harley. My buddy told me about the effort to replace an air filter on a Gold Wing. I just watched a YouTube video on this. You have to take half the bike apart to get to it - probably a 3 to 4 hour job for a do-it-yourself guy.

I also keep hearing about how BMWs last forever. Another buddy has a K1600 with 32k miles on it. He needs a new rear shock. The part is $1,200 - not covered by his maintenance contract because it is a wear item.

I truly believe the most cost effective way to have a touring bike is to buy a Harley that you love, keep it well-maintained and fix things as needed. I'll keep chugging along on my farm tractor of a bike.

Cheers
Emil
 

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I would absolutely agree. Harley’s are definitely more user friendly and easier to work on. Parts are more reasonable and much more available from dealers and aftermarket. This helps with costs tremendously.

Now for the different bikes being better? That’s a whole ‘nother opinionated and potentially hate filled thread.

I do like the BMW K series, but they aren’t owner maintenance friendly and they don’t have a good stereo....
 

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We are all in search of the perfect bike - which doesn't exist. I guess you just have to look at the way you ride and balance your priorities. I just finished a road trip with a friend on a K1600. It is an incredible machine. I rode it and was impressed.

He needed new tires on the trip. After spending the morning on the phone, he found someone an hour away that would touch a BMW.
 

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I've been through quite a few BMW bikes....they are VERY digital tech heavy...can't even look at a wiring diagram without having the bike plugged in, and if the 'net is down....well, you're screwed. That S1000RR though....that thing is a marvel of modern motorcycle design. Powerful, easy to work on, hauls ass....great bike.
 

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i'm with the op. i think the people who bang on hd for the 'expense' of maintenance are just parroting what they've heard from another ill-informed person.

i did a comparison between an indian and a harley concerning maintenance. not only was the interval shorter on the indian, but you also had extra stuff that had to be done which upped the labor and consequently, cost of the service. like a valve adjustment.

and if you think hd has expensive parts, just check out their optional line of parts. if you think $400 is high for hd slip ons, how does over $800 sound to you? at least we've got the aftermarket which forces hd to at least be somewhat competitive. indian doesn't have that, yet (if ever)
 

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the only "routine" maintenance i ever do is fluid changes.
in between those i keep a close eye and ear on how the bike runs.

most of the maintenance upgrades are creature comforts and not required, but are satisfying.
the aftermarket for HDs ensures availability AND affordability.

and that's the way uh huh, uh huh, i like it!
 

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I hear you! My dealer says every 5,000 miles I need 3 fluids changed at a cost of $460. So if I had 38,000 miles (op) I would have more than $3,000 into oil/fluid changes. Hard to sallow $460 every 5,000 miles.
 

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Years ago I read a motto that said: “Harley Davidson, turning bikers into mechanics since 1903......”
I think this is a true statement, while engine and transmission are very long lasting reliable (especially if you don’t play with cams or other tricks), the remaining parts of the bikes depends heavily on maintenance quality if you want them to last. This is also very true in Italy, where most wrenchers don understand English at all.
I invested in maintenance manuals and tool and found out that that was the best way to maintain the bike, not all the brands are like HD in terms of private maintainability and this is the main reason why I love it.
The other point is that the “doityourself” thing make the bike hugely more affordable through the times, and it is fun as well as riding it
 

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I hear you! My dealer says every 5,000 miles I need 3 fluids changed at a cost of $460. So if I had 38,000 miles (op) I would have more than $3,000 into oil/fluid changes. Hard to sallow $460 every 5,000 miles.
Your dealer is a thief. Per the manual, oil @5k, primary @10k and tranny @20k. Like mentioned above. Find a new dealer.

Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk
 

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Your dealer is a thief. Per the manual, oil @5k, primary @10k and tranny @20k. Like mentioned above. Find a new dealer.

Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk

+1 His dealer must be one of the fucktards left over from the "golden days" of the '90s. Not only does he suggest cutting the intervals by 1/2 and 3/4, he wants $460. for a fluid change. I'd find myself a new dealer or an independent ASAP. My indie charges me $200 for all three holes - when I actually need all 3 done.
 

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Years ago I read a motto that said: “Harley Davidson, turning bikers into mechanics since 1903......”
I think this is a true statement, while engine and transmission are very long lasting reliable (especially if you don’t play with cams or other tricks), the remaining parts of the bikes depends heavily on maintenance quality if you want them to last. This is also very true in Italy, where most wrenchers don understand English at all.
I invested in maintenance manuals and tool and found out that that was the best way to maintain the bike, not all the brands are like HD in terms of private maintainability and this is the main reason why I love it.
The other point is that the “doityourself” thing make the bike hugely more affordable through the times, and it is fun as well as riding it
over on the Motto Guzzi forum they say the same thing, but since 1921! Like Harley, they have gotten better, but dealer availability is not so good.
 

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I love my Harley, and am glad i can afford it, but bang for the buck goes to the Vulcan Voyager. They are a RGU clone and can be had for about $15k new.

i put 60,000 miles on my 2010 before trading into my first Harley.
 

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I have a 2017 RGU that I am very happy with. With 38k miles only routine maintenance and a front wheel bearing. I kept my bike mechanically stock. Only changes made have been for comfort - seat, highway pegs, quick release tour pack. I have no plans to part with my shark.

I keep hearing about the low cost of Gold Wing maintenance compared to the Harley. My buddy told me about the effort to replace an air filter on a Gold Wing. I just watched a YouTube video on this. You have to take half the bike apart to get to it - probably a 3 to 4 hour job for a do-it-yourself guy.

I also keep hearing about how BMWs last forever. Another buddy has a K1600 with 32k miles on it. He needs a new rear shock. The part is $1,200 - not covered by his maintenance contract because it is a wear item.

I truly believe the most cost effective way to have a touring bike is to buy a Harley that you love, keep it well-maintained and fix things as needed. I'll keep chugging along on my farm tractor of a bike.

Cheers
Emil
I try to look at total cost of ownership when I buy vehicles, unless of course it is a motorcycle. Here is a list of the most reliable motorcycles. This is only half the story as you need to add the cost of the parts and labor also. Based on the numbers below, unless the average cost of parts and labor for Hondas is 2X than HD, a Honda is cheaper to maintain; albeit not as much fun to ride! BMWs are overrated and too expensive to maintain IMHO.

The reliability ratings from "Moneytalksnews.com" are based on failure rates for 4-year-old bikes:

Yamaha/Star (11 percent failure rate)
Suzuki and Honda (12 percent)
Kawasaki (15 percent)
Victory (17 percent)
Harley-Davidson (26 percent)
Triumph (29 percent)
Ducati (33 percent)
BMW (40 percent)
Can-Am (42 percent)
 

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Just curious, what was the date for that article. Surprised and a little disappointed they didn't include Indian. Thanks for adding some 'facts' to this conversation. I found it interesting that Yamaha finished first. My first bike was a Yamaha back n the late '60s, and I raced Yamaha's for the next 7-8 years. They were always competitive and reliable but I was a bit surprised to see it still holds true for their street bikes today. I've owned 6 of the 10 brands shown here and my experience matches that of this survey exactly, with Ducati being the highest maintenance of what I've owned .... of course that goes back a few years.
 

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I have had most all brands of bikes over the years, and they all have advantages and disadvantages, and I think it’s an individual opinion and situation what one is able to tolerate, and/or afford! I had a BMW GT1200 that required the radiator to be removed to replace the spark plugs. But the plugs only needed to be replaced every 60,000 miles, and man was that thing a rocket! My current 2016 RGU (23000 miles) has been in the shop twice, both times for minor warranty work. Everything else I have been able to do, and I actually enjoy doing it. Might feel different if I was replacing a crankshaft ���� but the Harley had been spot on reliable. Only thing that kills me about it is their lack of engineering, such as buying a Harley seat that wears the paint off the fender, or having to put the seatrest bracket in a vice to make it fit.
 

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I've had BMWs, Triumphs, and assorted Japanese bikes. My '18 RG is my first Harley and I've been surprised at how reasonable the maintenance is compared to the European bikes. Very happy switching away from BMW super high maintenance and parts costs. I would bet that anyone complaining about H-D maintenance and parts expense has never owned a a late model Beemer!
 

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I've had BMWs, Triumphs, and assorted Japanese bikes. My '18 RG is my first Harley and I've been surprised at how reasonable the maintenance is compared to the European bikes. Very happy switching away from BMW super high maintenance and parts costs. I would bet that anyone complaining about H-D maintenance and parts expense has never owned a a late model Beemer!
I wanted a Beemer k1600, but after seeing the valve adjust interval I passed. My feet wouldn't reach the ground either.
 
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