Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Reviews on Cycle Insider (74)
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John T from Cen Cal, California says:

I bought this in July on the advice of others after having crashed my bike. It's a pretty bike, that's for sure. It handles so much differently than w

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Voted Most Helpful Review 2009 Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought this in July on the advice of others after having crashed my bike. It's a pretty bike, that's for sure. It handles so much differently than what I was used to that for the first 50 miles I thought I had made a mistake. With more and more miles I began to like it better. I recently went 2800 miles in 6 days through Nevada, Utah and Colorado. Tight mountain roads require a good deal of effort to steer while long relatively straight roads are darn near effortless. This bike is immune to crosswinds and the cruise control works perfectly. My only complaint is that it leaves the factory with a severely restricted intake and exhaust. I had to travel in 5th gear heading westbound on I-70 out of Denver (even got passed by a BMW K750 pulling a tent trailer!!). On the flats, it's hard to get 3000 rpm in 6th gear - it feels like it's out of breath. You'd never know you that have 103 cu.in. of engine between your legs. So it's time to open the breathing passages and harness some of that power that I'm sure is in there somewhere. Fuel mileage for the trip was a consistent 33 mph with a few tanks at 40 mpg while riding through the twisties at 9000+ ft. - go figure. Overall, it's a keeper. My wife loves the comfort. Slow down, take your time and enjoy the scenary. Sorry for the long review but if you're considering spending this type of money for a bike, you deserve an honest opinion.
- John T, Cen Cal, California

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2013-12-22 2009 Harley-Davidson Softail Cross Bones Motorcycles View Listings

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Well it's been a couple years and a few thousand miles since my last review. I said I would keep the bike and so far so good. I have not had any issues with the bike. I used a simple $22 relocation kit for the front turn signals, did it myself piece of cake and now I can use any of the three different types of bars I have. The stock seat is awesome. I have not replaced it because it is so comfortable that I just haven't thought of messing with that, yet working on other things. This bike looks real good with some old 1941 handlebars. They look like eyebrows when the bike is approaching you. They are low but give you good handling and clear the tank easy, but at $425 dollars, bars were rather pricey. Oh well, that's what we work for. Keep riding and if your contmplating a Springer, go for it. They are instant classic and I really enjoy how different they are to other bikes.
- Steven Zesati, Waipahu, Hawaii

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2013-02-05 2009 Harley-Davidson CVO Softail Springer Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought this bike new 3/30/10 and it is fun to ride. It has plenty of power, handles nice and I love the springer. The only problem is you can't leave it alone. Everybody wants to touch the beautiful flame paint job. It's the best bike made by Harley. It's a privilege to own.
- ed wolf, christiansburg, Virginia

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2012-10-04 2009 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Nightster Motorcycles View Listings

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Well the ride is rough so I can see me upgrading the shocks and seat. Other than that I love the bike. I can't stay off it. I just make up any reason to go for a ride, short rides though (rough). I love the looks and the ride at low or high speed is great. You'd never know the bike's 545 lbs. It feels more like 200 lbs., like a dirt bike I had 30 years ago. Oh yeah, I should have mentioned I retired and thought I had to have a Nightster. I love the old time look, forward controls.
- Scott, Lake Havasu, Arizona

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2012-09-28 2009 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom Motorcycles View Listings

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I have owned this bike three full years, and purchased it new. I use it for commuting and transportation, riding about 3k-4k miles per year March - November. In Maine, that means I ride in temperatures ranging from 20 deg. F to 90 deg. F (20 deg. F is only bearable because my commute is 15-20 minutes). The Sportster is my third bike. It handles well for a cruiser/standard, and has good power for a 1200 cc V-twin. Gas mileage varies from the low 40s in mixed city/highway riding to nearly 50 mpg. on extended rides on secondary roads. Most maintenance is simple enough to do at home with basic tools and a repair manual. The main weaknesses of the bike are the suspension and seat. Personally, I would also prefer a cast 19 inch front wheel. My only issue so far has been a loose ground cable connection at the battery, which left me stranded beside the road a few weeks ago. My wife came with my truck and tools, and I fixed it in about 15 minutes. This is the price you pay for riding a non-counterbalanced V-twin.
- Mainer, Central part of state, Maine

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2012-09-16 2009 Harley-Davidson Softail Custom Motorcycles View Listings

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After riding Japanese bikes since I was 16, I decided to buy my first Harley, at the age of 49, for my retirement in Bulgaria. What a fantastic bike. On the poorly surfaced motorways or up in the mountains, it's a pleasure to ride solo or with the girlfriend on the back. But there is a problem with spares, as there are no dealerships in Bulgaria.
- rexa1100, plovdiv, Bulgaria

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2012-08-05 2009 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide Motorcycles View Listings

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I purchased mine used (20k miles). After extensive research, I decided that I wanted an Ultra no later than 2009 in order to get the benefits of an improved ride by the larger front and rear tires; ABS brakes; electronic throttle and modular frame. I have the 96 engine and very happy with its performance. I particularly wanted the 96 since it has been around for a long time and the 103 is realitively new. I rode one bike with 103 and didn't notice any performance differences. I have ridden this bike from Maryland to South Carolina (1,300 miles round trip). The bike is extremely comfortable and although weighs over 800 lbs. it easy to ride, especially at speed. This bike does not have the torque of a VRod (my previous bike), however, I find that acceleration up to 90 is relatively effortless (How fast do you need to go?) but not racey. My only negative comment about this bike is the sixth gear. The manual states that you should engage the sixth gear at 50 mph., however, the bike "chugs" at this speed. I recommend keeping the bike in fifth gear and change to sixth only if you are going to remain above 60-65 mph. for an extended period. If you engage the six speed below 60-65 mph. in normal, non-speedway traffic, you'll be down-shifting a lot. Secondly, the fuel gauge is not accurate, however the estimated miles remaining gauge is best to measure your distance. don't expect to get high mileage around town (25-30 mpg. highway (35-40 mpg.). I love this bike and expect to have it for a long time.
- ggask, Bowie, Maryland

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2012-07-19 2009 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide Motorcycles View Listings

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I have owned my 2009 for three years. I purchased the stage 1 kit with Screaming Eagle street pipes. It really turned the 96 motor loose. The only issues I have had with the bike is like other people. The 5th gear is noisy and at 5,000 miles my dealer changed the front tire. It sounded like a snow tire I now have over 11,000 miles on the bike and 6,000 miles on the front tire and it is starting to make noise around corners or any time you lean it. I never was a fan of Dunlop tires and now I dislike them even more. I'm looking at changing my tires to Avon Cobra. My 89FLH never failed me in my 20 years of riding it with Avons on it.
- hdsurfer, eaton rapids, Michigan

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2012-03-07 2009 Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought the bike in 2010 used. It had low miles. I've ridden it very hard. It's been perfectly dependable. The rear tire and brake pads wear very fast but that's not the bikes fault. The only time it's ever thought about over heating was when it was used as a dirt bike. Average gas mileage varies from 29-47 mpg. Top speed is around 115 mph. Max cruising speed is around 90 and the best speed is 70. For a long 700 lb. motorcycle, it has good low speed manners. It's very stable and forgiving. Let out on the clutch and she moves forward.
- Me, dardanelle, Arkansas

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2011-11-19 2009 Harley-Davidson Road King Motorcycles View Listings

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I owned a 2005 Road King with the twin cam 88 and loved the bike. But 10 klm. down the road I was convinced I'd made a great choice to trade her in. The refinement of the new RC is amazing - better motor, better frame, better brakes and transmission. I had to keep looking to see if I was on a Japanese sport bike.
- Jake, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

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2011-09-04 2009 Harley-Davidson Softail Custom Motorcycles View Listings

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It's a very comfortable ride. I can go eight to nine hours easily. The high end torque is acceptable for passing. I can cruise at 75 mph. with no vibration. I get approximately 46 to 50 mpg. I live near mountains and it performs surprisingly well, although I don't challenge the mountain curves. My only complaint is I wish the rear fender didn't flair straight out but rather curved down over 1/3 of the rear tire. By the way, that fat rear tire really helps with the comfort level touring down the interstate.
- jay pritchard, morganton, North Carolina

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2011-05-24 2009 Harley-Davidson Softail Custom Motorcycles View Listings

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The bike is big but not overly so. There is enough weight that it will soak up the road yet is fairly nimble enough to take mountain roads with confidence. Not aggressively, mind you, but you won't need to use a turn out to let traffic pass. Harley's are well known for their torque and you will not be disappointed and you'll welcome it when crusing at highway speed in "6th" gear. All the controls are easy to use. The seats for both the rider & passenger are very comfortable especially on those long rides. The forward controls help the riding position as well but may be a stretch for someone under say 5'10". I don't have anything really negative to say about the bike except maybe they could find a better way to protect the front fork lowers. The clear coat gets pitted and then starts to oxidize and looks terrible after a while. Other than that the real shocker was the cost of accessories and what the dealer wanted for servicing.
- bmz, pomona, California

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2011-05-16 2009 Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 Custom Motorcycles View Listings

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I really do enjoy this bike. It was a great bike to get back into riding with. I was a little concerned about the size since I am a big guy, but this bike has more than enough to haul me around. On the highway I can reach around 90 mph. and there is still a little left. I don't know how comfortable I would be with doubleup riding for long rides but it still handles well. I'm very pleased with this bike. I'll upgrade eventually, but for now I'm more than happy.
- Daniel, Knoxville, Tennessee

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2011-03-14 2009 Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 Low Motorcycles View Listings

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I picked up the bike in San Marcos and rode it home (3/14/11) - put 396 miles on it Sunday; mostly down I10. I rode the farm roads from San Marcos to Comfort. There were tight turning hill country roads to I10 and I never even scraped a foot peg much less the kick stand. The bike will hit a solid 100 mph. and cruise at 80 all day long - trust me, you will give out before the bike does. There is a foot peg vibration at 60 in 5th. gear but it goes away quickly and the suspension is stiff! I averaged 47 mpg. on the highway. It sounds to me like the last reviewer left the kick stand down when taking off.
- richard, marathon, Texas

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2011-03-12 2009 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide Motorcycles View Listings

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So far all is great for the break-in. I changed to syn oil @ 1,000 miles. The bike performs great and rides even better. My wife loves the comfort when riding along. No mechanical break downs or other problems to report about. If I had to complain about anything it would be the price of everything...base cost, upgrades, accessories, etc. But then again, all hobbies of mine are expensive.
- Joe, Gladys, Virginia

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2011-01-26 2009 Harley-Davidson Sportster Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought this bike after a 15-year absence from motorcycling. I've been closely following the XR ever since it came out, dealerships are pricing these bad boys to move. The motorcycle press gave the XR great reviews and I echo their comments. Good (not great)acceleration, straight-forward instrumention, effective brakes, nimble suspension, and sticky rear tire. I'm a 35-year-old that generally prefers sport bikes over cruisers, but this is a nice compromise. Mine is black and I have been having a hoot on it....definitely a grin producing bike.
- Jobe, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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2011-01-01 2009 Harley-Davidson Softail Custom Motorcycles View Listings

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When I first saw this bike on the dealer floor, I had to have. It fit me perfectly like an old jacket. The motor is smooth and vibration free. Fuel mileage is great if you ride normally. Spirited acceleration will dent your mileage considerably. The tranny could be smoother during shifting. Gear ratios are very well spaced. The seat is amazingly comfortable. With two up cruising, the ride is smooth and it handles additional weight with no issues. Build quality is very good as is the paint, pin striping and chrome finish. There are no oil leaks and engine oil use is nominal.
- Softail Billy, Santa Maria, California

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2010-12-14 2009 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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My wife and I love this bike. It's great to ride and great to go out to the garage and look at. It's so comfortable that after a long day of riding, you can't wait to ride some more. I owned a Goldwing for years, but this is way more fun.
- IronHorseman, Calgary, Alberta

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2010-11-06 2009 Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob Motorcycles View Listings

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Since my first review, I've installed a 2 up seat, shorter more attractive exhaust, ran an infinity fuel chip and K&N filter to upgrade my flow-thru and added some covers and other fringe here and there (not too much though). The bike has only gotten better if that was possible. I now receive good comfort from the seat and smoothness from the engine that might have been missing when it was newer and more restricted. I've ran thru two sets of D109s, moved on to the harder Metz tires and have been getting good wear with them so far, (run nitro) and good grip. It's more than I've expected, and all that I'd ever hoped for...what more can I say?
- Maxwell, Atlanta, Georgia

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2010-10-28 2009 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Motorcycles View Listings

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I've had the RG a little over a year now, and I've had a chance for a couple of long trips. When the weather got hot I decided to take off the lower fairings, which brought the buffeting back. I found some new wind deflectors that Harley just released this year, that mount in between the gas tank and forks. I also went from the Klockwerks shield to a Clearview (large). WOW! What a difference! This bike is 100% more comfortable than the stock version. With or without helmet - no buffeting! My glasses don't get ripped off my face anymore either. Well done Harley. I also added a Power Commander from FuelMoto. Right now the bike is dialed in just like I want, and I'm really looking forward to some major trips next year.
- Rob, Mukwonago, Wisconsin

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2010-10-02 2009 Harley-Davidson Sportster Motorcycles View Listings

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I have grown fond of my little XR. A suspension upgrade and taller windshield will be on Santa's list. It still corners well and has decent torque down low. I'm debating to keep or upgrade to Fat Bob with raised suspension and 103 motor!! It's a very good standard bike with Harley trimmings.
- PapaD 57, Minnesota

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2010-05-13 2009 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classic Motorcycles View Listings

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I walked in to a HD dealership just to check things out. A day later I was back looking again at a used Kawasaki. Saw a 2009 EGC, inside, on the showroom floor with all the 2010's. I thought it was a new 2010 also. Well, needless to say, I ended up buying it with only 1100 km on the odometer. There were several reasons for purchasing this wonderful machine... 1.) I had a 2006 Sporty 883L. I loved it for myself yet, it was not comfy for my partner and I on it. She did not feel safe on it with the lack of room. It was also sluggish when we were both on it. 2.) My partner's cousin and her hubby (we ride with them) have a 2008 Road Glide (FLTR), all tricked out to 110 Screamin' Eagle kit Stage Three with full, detachable, touring pack. They love it and she has all the room she needs. He says she can fall asleep on the back. He took mine for a spin and was quite pissed off. I asked him what was up and he told me that he wished he had waited a tear and got the 2009 because he could feel how different it handled and braked and was seriously impressed. 3.) We want to tour with our friends but it would not really have been possible on the 883L. 4.) We decided that the next bike we get will be for the both of us. Big, with power and safety, good/reliable service record and also needed to look like we wanted to be on it. Looks awesome with the tour pack off and we like the Pewter Pearl colour. Doesn't show the dirt as much a the dark ones do. :) 5.) Our EGC was priced well and the dealership gave us a good trade in for my 2006 Sporty 883. WE ended up saving a lot from buying a 2010. that's with all the extras that were put on it from the 1st owner. 6.) We really saw that this was a great deal for a 'basically' brand new bike (exactly 1124 km / 702 miles when I picked it up). New frame and tire design, great new brakes, and all the add upgrades/accessories the previous owner (a doctor) put on it. 7.) The dealership also did the complete first service on it. This saved me! It runs great. I enjoy having all the extra room and power, especially when the two of us are on it. Feels comfortable and handles well. Yet, I am still getting used to the fact that it does not handle like the Sporty. They are two different beasts. I am not too happy with the fuel consumption. The bike is stock. If anyone has any ideas as to how I can increase my mileage and use less fuel, I'd truly appreciate it. Also, I am trying to figure out if it is necessary to always use 94 octane or if 91 and 92 will do? I did a test and found that I only got 1/2 km more on a litre using the 94 against using the 91 octane! The difference in cost is $0.03 per litre. Anyone out there have their thoughts on this? I am also happy with the fact that it has air shocks on the back. This is going to come in real handy when we are touring. The storage capacity is good for the two of us. We know we can get all we need on it when we head out on the road for a while like the fact that I can take off the tour pack and just ride with the saddle bags when I'm on my own. This seems to be a well built machine even though I have noticed after washing it that they cinched out in certain places using nuts and bolts that are already starting to show signs of rust! I guess I'll just have to replace them with something better. Hmmm... I have found it to be quite hot when having to sit at a red light in traffic. Purchased a Mid-Frame Air Deflector to help alleviate this. All in all, we are happy with our bike and are looking to enjoy many years of riding for fun and touring North America and, hopefully, Latin and South America. Okay, off for a ride now.
- Chiaroscurist, Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia

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2010-03-12 2009 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom Motorcycles View Listings

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Fast acceleration with Harley attitude. Very stable and a pleasure to ride. Excellent fit and finish along with attention to detail. 1200cc's make this bike a torque monster. Great in the city but screams for the highway.
- Greg Silver, Alberta

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2010-01-23 2009 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide Motorcycles View Listings

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This is the bike all men want. Who the heck grows up wishing that one day they will drive a Kawisaki? No one. A Harley is the top dog of bikes and the Ultra is the top of the top. Tricked out tourer, leather jacket, open road. It's no coincidence that Harley and Heaven both start with H.
- Rat, Canada

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2010-01-19 2009 Harley-Davidson Road King Motorcycles View Listings

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I waited for my first full riding season to be over before submitting this: Searched and reviewed for months the various makes and models. From the patience of the local Harley sales folks to the great people in the service department, this has been an extremely satisfying experience. I knew I wanted a bike large enough to carry a passenger, me and our stuff for a quick weekend getaway, yet small enough to have fun on by myself. With every model I looked at I kept coming back to the Road King. The bike is large enough to carry everything you need for a weekend trip and still have plenty of power to get up a go when passing on the interstate while being fully loaded with two people. A really stable, comfortable machine. We ride for hours without that stiffness. Yet when I am by myself on the twisties, she is responsive and agile. Like others the only complaint I have is the fith gear whine. Plenty of torque and a comfortable ride. The 4 point rubber engine mounting system has all but done away with the vibrations from hell that Harleys were known for. Being of short stature, I outfitted the bike with a Reach Seat. This pushed me forward and lowered my legs enough to comfortably hold the bike at a red light. She is heavy (800 lbs) and you need to respect the fact that if you drop it, you won't be picking it up by yourself. Have replaced all fluids with the synthetics. This helped the gas mileage and the whine on the 5th gear. Will be replacing the stock mufflers in the spring. With everything from the windshield to the backrest being quick disconnects, you can radically change the look of the bike within seconds. Long road trip, windshield, back rest & luggage rack go on. Riding by myself without any interstates, Off everything comes and you have a classic, big muscled bike. I would recommend for anyone who wants that in-between bike. Not a heavy cross country cruiser yet not a rough riding, bare bones sportster. If this is you, get the Road King!!!
- Bill Cote, Waterford, Connecticut

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