1. Autos
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

>>Find us on Facebook<<
>>Follow us on Twitter<<

The sun hasn't set on our long-term Triumph Bonneville, but it's certainly nearing the horizon. And with the Bonnie nearly retired, it's high time we lined up our next long term bike.

This time around, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company offers up a 12 month ownership experience... and since you'll be reading about this motorcycle for a full year, I thought I'd put the choice in your hands, just like I did with Honda and Triumph.

So check out these four options plucked from Harley's 2011 lineup-- the Forty-Eight, Fat Boy Lo, V-Rod Muscle, and XR1200-- and cast your vote in our 2011 Long Term Harley-Davidson Moto Poll by clicking the links below the photos. You can only vote once, so make your click count!

Harley Davidson Long Term Review
The hunkered down Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight may not be the most long distance-friendly ride, but this Dark Custom is one helluva stylish Sportster.
>>Click Here to Vote for the 2011 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight<<

Harley Davidson Long Term Review
The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo boasts the lowest seat height of any H-D, but this 731 pound bad boy is anything but a beginner bike.
>>Click Here to Vote for the 2011 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo<<

Harley Davidson Long Term Review
The Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle-- arguably the most controversial Hog-- is a low-slung hot rod boasting the only liquid-cooled engine in the H-D lineup.
>>Click Here to Vote for the 2011 Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle<<

Harley Davidson Long Term Review
Carrying a virtual torch for the vanished Buell brand, Harley's 2011 XR1200X is more performance-oriented than ever, with uprated brakes and suspension.
>>Click Here to Vote for the 2011 Harley-Davidson XR1200X<<

>>Click Here to See the Poll Results Without Voting<<


Photos © Harley-Davidson; click for info on each bike

January 12, 2011 at 7:44 am
(1) Joe says:

They all look good to me but I voted for the V Rod.

January 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm
(2) Luiz Laba says:

I have been riding for 35 years; I have always had Japanese motorcycles and loved them all.
The best power bikes I ever had (in the past) were Yamaha and Kawasaki, the most comfortable bikes I have ridden were Hondas, and the worst but cool and interesting to have was a Harley XL1200N, which only lasted 2 months in my hands due to poor seating position and lack of suspension for riding with passenger.
Now the hottest bike I ever had is my current 2011 VRSC-F (Harley Muscle), there is a few cons which can be corrected with some MUST HAVE add-ons to the bike:
Rear foot peg extension, water hose cover, detachable windshield and a MUST MUST backrest for your passenger.
The most I enjoy on the H.D. Muscle is the unique design, the liquid cooled two large piston POWERFUL engine and the riding position, just amazing.
My vote after all these years with all different types of bikes is definitely the VRSC-F and I have to say, Harley gained another loyal customer since the VRSC-F.

Ride safe.

January 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm
(3) Sarge says:

The bike choices for “long-term” rides come up short in my opinion. The 2011 Electra Glide Ultra Classic Limited offers complete comfort and a full complement of goodies for long-term ownership (however, that high-end bike is not an option for this poll). The XR1200X would be my 2nd choice, but only as a commuter bike. Today, there is stiff competition across the major brands in the commuter bike line-up.

January 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm
(4) Mick says:

Let’s see…
-A cool, unique factory-built “custom” motorcycle that exudes style and swagger, while returning respectable performance
-An overweight, underpowered, underengineered heap designed for 300-lb. lawyers and orthodontists
-A ‘hot rod’ that is so focused on going fast in a straight line, that it crapped out on the concepts of “turning” and “ergonomics” (seriously, the V-Rod is quite possibly the most uncomfortable bike ever made)
-An attempt by HD to lure back the sport-riders they ticked off when they carpet-bombed Buell (which I refuse to acknowledge on principal alone)

I’ll take the Forty-Eight any day of the week. Seriously, I really, really want a Forty-Eight.

Remember, not every motorcyclist takes daily 500-mile jaunts. I’d wager that most riders (and most of your readers) would post less than 5k a year. I don’t need a couch for my commute. But style…that’s a widely desired trait that will constantly vindicate your purchase.

January 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm
(5) Joe says:

I don’t agree with Mick when he says most readers on here put less the 5k on a yr. I put on over 11k a yr for the last 6 yrs. Seems the way most readers on here post (they seem very passionate about bikes) I would guess they all put a lot of miles on their bikes every yr.

January 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm
(6) Mick says:

*slow clap*

January 12, 2011 at 4:25 pm
(7) Joe says:

Mick, I’m proud I get out and ride a lot, and I’m not one of those people (you I’m guessing) that has a bike that sits in the garage collecting dust most of the time.

January 12, 2011 at 4:45 pm
(8) MadDog says:

Several of my bikes get less than 5,000 miles per year. In fact my 1975 Suzuki GT250 still has less than 5,000 miles. But my Harley got 10,000 miles last year. And my Kawasaki got 15,000 miles last year. If I had a 48, it might have less than 5,000 miles in 35 years, but it would look cool doing it. I say do the long-term on the XR1200X. XR riders seem to be riders, as opposed to parkers.

January 12, 2011 at 4:52 pm
(9) Mick says:

Wow, way to make a public message board your own personal bully playground. Back off, Joe. You know, come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve put up a single post on this site that you haven’t personally degraded or attacked. Everytime I have insight to offer (and anyone that knows me personally understands why my insight is pretty valuable, and is smart enough to listen), you’re quick to jump into “keyboard commando” mode and shoot it down.

And your personal attack on me this time is laughable, at best. Not only could you not be anymore wrong about my riding habits (you probably don’t even have a clue about what type of riding I do anyway), but it would be great if some action was finally taken against you, instead of letting you throw these topics WAY off course everytime. What else should I expect from such a “proud” rider that doesn’t even know the difference between a v-twin and inline-four.

You should really learn to spend more time talking about the blog topics, and less time whining about the other riders and their comments. That’s not what we’re here for.

Sorry Basem, but this’ll be my last time stopping by to get victimized by some faceless hack who can’t respect others’ opinions. Good luck with whatever bike wins the votes.

January 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm
(10) Basem Wasef - Motorcycles Guide, About.com says:


It seems I’m constantly scratching my head at the whole Harley thing… why are there always arguments when it comes to H-D?

We motorcyclists– no matter what we ride– have more similarities than differences.


January 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm
(11) Joe says:

That is a question I have ask myself many a time Basem. Can’t figure it out, Why hate?? Mick, I guess it’s ok to write sarcasm “slow clap” to me and for me not to be offended but if I say something like your bike sits a lot more then mine you go off the deep end. In post 5 of mine a said I disagree with something you said (I think there are a lot of people on here that ride more then 5k a yr), so? I have to agree with everything you or someone else says on here? I do agree with you on 1 point this time Mick, maybe this blog isn’t for you.

January 14, 2011 at 11:03 am
(12) Rider says:

I HATE to do it BUT, I agree with H.D. LOVER JOE. THE V-ROD. The only H.D. I like, a smooth runing Bike and I am a H.D. hater. Willie G you get some things right.

January 14, 2011 at 3:15 pm
(13) Joe says:

Between Rider and Mick I am so feeling the love in this post. LOL It’s ok, I can take a ribbing. Rider, I respect your honesty, at least you say you hate HD although I still can’t understand why anyone would hate a model or brand of bike. Like Basem said “We motorcyclists– no matter what we ride– have more similarities than differences. “

January 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm
(14) Rider says:

Joe, Joe, Joe, I like the V-Rod nice bike–But, H.D. will get rid of this bike. Rode one and I liked this bike. H.D. riders don`t like this bike.—IT IS WATER COOLED and don`t fit. Willie G. did right with bike.
Joe I have owned a H.D. and it was a yellow lemmon. and it was not a AMF Harley. I hated that bike, sold it at a lost. I called it pushy–I pushed it more than I rode it. At least my old BSA run, leaked oil like British bikes did. Joe I have had a Allstate motorcycle, a on the road off the rode Honda, 125cc. A H.D. A KZ 400 Kawaski, A BSA, A Vespa motor scooter–fast little thing. Fun to ride. Now I own a Yamaha Royal Star Venture. KEEP ON RIDING JOE–ONE DAY IT WILL GET HARD TO KEEP UP THE BIKE—TRIKE TIME THEN–

January 14, 2011 at 11:06 pm
(15) Joe says:

Rider, I think we have been down this story before, you told me about the bad luck you had with an HD you had and I told you about a friend of mine that has a Road Star and he had nothing but problems with (2 Stators 1 clutch in 40k miles). Guess it can happen to anyone as far as getting a lemon. Glad we do agree on the V rod, shame that it looks like it won’t win.

January 15, 2011 at 9:23 am
(16) Pete says:

Wow…that was fun!
Hey Joe.
(“Hey Joe”…hmmmm..that would make a great song title…)
It’s usually you and I doing the HD / Cruiser thing vs Sport Bikes…I feel left out!
Why does HD generate such positive & negative passion, animosity and yelling & screaming??
The 1st person who figures it out, fer gawds sake post it!

The one thing I’ve never understood is why most Cruiser guys have such a hate on for liquid cooling?? Imagine where we’d be in terms of transportation & sport if it weren’t for progress.
Liquid cooling, twin cam, 4 valve, Fuel Injection, clean running engines, brakes that work, chassis’ that will go around a corner, parts that don’t fall off, oil that stays in the engine..it all advances the product, the sport, the feel, the entire experience. If it wasn’t for progress we’d still be using flat head Fords, pre war Harleys – oh wait they still are(: … damn there I go again..SORRY -, cloth covered bi planes and coal powered steamships.
I’m not a cruiser fan, but live & let live.
Mick “anyone that knows me personally understands why my insight is pretty valuable, and is smart enough to listen”. I can’t imagine where we’d all be without the benefit of your wisdom and insight. Spare me….save it for the bar or your girl friend.
You remind me of Sxxx Hawk or whatever his name was from the Hells Angels imparting his nuggets of wisdom. Now THAT was fun!

January 15, 2011 at 12:47 pm
(17) Joe says:

Hey Pete, sorry you were late to the I love Joe party. LOL The war with you and the 1%’s was also classic. Yeah, good times, good times! As far as cruisers, I guess cruiser buyers are traditionalists when it comes to air cooled motors, DOHV motors and water cooling is not for them. Most are looking for low end torque not high speed and not whipping around corners real fast. Most are more into comfort and 2 up riding and the ease of working on their bike for servicing . I guess it’s tough for sportbike riders and cruiser riders to understand their different riding styles but you sum it well with “live & let live”. P.S. Which bike did you vote for Pete?

January 15, 2011 at 9:14 pm
(18) Rider says:

Joe, Pete, Ride what you want to,BUT RIDE. I hate to say this but I would ride a H.D. than ride a sport bike, getting to old for the sport bike and my back can`t take the bending over. I guess it is what you like—Joe I hope the V-Rod will live. HAVE A CHANCE TO BUY ONE. I am thinking about it.—Pete I like the touring bikes–you know Radio, gps, mp3 player, cruise control–Ride on Joe—Wish it was warm so I can ride–No more snow and iceand I live in North Carolina on the coast.

January 16, 2011 at 10:53 am
(19) Joe says:

Hey Rider, I hope you and everyone else has a good riding season in the New Year.

January 16, 2011 at 4:51 pm
(20) ryde4ever says:

Glad to see the XR1200x leading the way. It is a decent do it all bike from HD. It can at least keep up in the twisties.
I have test rode a couple of them. Fun bikes. Way better than the regular Sportsters when it comes to comfort and handling. No air cleaner hitting your leg and no pegs eating asphalt at stop sign turns. The sad thing is that I test rode a Ulysses shortly after and it put the XR to shame! Oh Harley, what were you thinking when you killed Buell?
Whichever bike gets voted in, your review stories will be interesting. Thanks for letting the readers partake in the selection.

January 17, 2011 at 10:46 am
(21) Dabber says:

I vote for the long term test of XR 1200 nothing else but maybe the 48 interests me. HD could do alot more with the revolution motor than the current packages. Everything else is been there done that. Chillax people.

January 18, 2011 at 11:11 am
(22) Robb says:

Basem: Your point is a good one. We should be united by our 2 wheel passions, not divided by them.

For that reason I voted for the XR1200. It is the one bike that bridges the gap between sport riders and cruisers – a Harley that handles. Your long term analysis and perspectives are sure to make for an interesting article.

January 18, 2011 at 1:16 pm
(23) olddirttracker says:

I have been riding for over40 years , all makes and models.
Actually own 4 harleys at this time. while i like the choice of a harley for your long term motorcycle, your choices of models is very poor for comfort, handleing, and performance. any sportster is at the best an entry level bike for beginners and lacking in every aspect, the v-rod is a bust for harley and you cant give them away on resale. I currently own and favor the FLHK street glide, It is based on on a touring platform,yet it is low, agile, fast and looks awesome. I respectfully suggest you do more research before acting.

January 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm
(24) Ginger says:

I think the “48″ nails it!!! It’s got guts and looks, and in this world that is what it takes. This bike takes me back to the James Dean era, it makes me wanna roll up my jeans and my sleeves and just ride……..Total Bad Boy!!!

January 18, 2011 at 1:43 pm
(25) Terri says:

I prefer the sporster as the long term motorcycle. I have the 2009 sporster its a great machine.

January 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm
(26) David says:

which model is the FLHK? i couldnt find that anywhere.

January 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm
(27) craig says:

whoever has been designing some of these new bikes the past few years should be fired! go back to your roots and please stop making the v-rod!

January 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm
(28) Don says:

I’m a 4th generation rider who started in the dirt. Owned a lot of rides over the years mainly for the high milage I put on them. Havent found a brand that didn’t let me put the wind in my face and love my Harley. Review any of them and I’ll read it. All rides are good, some just more specialized than others. That’s why I own more than one. Thanks for your effort.

January 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm
(29) David says:

I say, get 4 people to do the test. then we can get a review on all the bikes offered. either way i will look forward to the results and feedback.

January 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm
(30) John says:

The Forty-Eight. That’s the bike that interests me the most.

Next is the Fat Boy, with V-Rod a close third.

January 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm
(31) jj says:

I currently ride an FLHR. I started back in 1969 with a 1961 Duo-Glide. I’ve ridden an FLH ever since. I don’t care to get involved in arguements over bikes. There are far more important things in this world to worry about. I ride what I ride because I love FLHs. You go ahead and ride whatever floats your boat. Go in peace. No body makes you buy a bike you don’t want.

January 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm
(32) D Mellichamp says:

’08 FXDC (103cu.in, SE-255 cams, piggy back FI controller, Vance and Hines Big Radius pipes) BRING IT ON TORQUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 18, 2011 at 8:28 pm
(33) SoCalNative says:

Please go back to the night train.

January 19, 2011 at 1:07 am
(34) FrankG says:

What can I say….

Here’s a chance to test the first Harley that looks like something new different and look who’s winning? The same old stuff that’s been around for the past 1000 years…
There’s probably 1000 tests of the Fat Boy, etc…
Why would the XR1200 not be tested? Such a success in Europe and finally a different approach from HD…

January 19, 2011 at 1:10 am
(35) FrankG says:

@ Craig
Go back to the roots?
Let’s move forward I say…
Want to keep the Fat boy and all the other look a likes, that;s fine for me but I’m all for a XR1200 with the V-Rod engine in it. Now THAT would be the bike I’d buy anytime!

And…while we’re at it… bring Buell back too!!!

January 19, 2011 at 8:08 am
(36) Joe says:

Frank, I’m sorry the bike you want to win is losing but most bikes like the XR1200 (Buell was also a bad seller) just don’t sell well here in the US. Last time Basem posted on here that 48% of sales in the US is for cruisers like the Fat boy. Just because it sells well in Europe does not mean it will here. Sporty style bikes are in the minority in the US and have been for over a decade.

January 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm
(37) osco says:

I can’t speak on the full size Harleys But If I had the money to toss I’d get me a “Fat Bob”.
I’m a workin man and ride less than 5 k a year cause I’m always workin.
You Drama mama’s can look down on if It makes ya feel
better IDC.
I got the 2008 XL1200R for Roadster XD…It’s not a “Low”
model so I can carve corners just fine.
I like the XR but the 883 gearing and small tank are not for me.
The V-Rod Is cool but I’d go tooooo fast on It.
The “Boy” Is a bit too heavy for my taste, I think the “Bob”
is lighter,,I may be wrong.
I think I have the perfect Sportster,,the “Roadster”
It Looks plenty cool to me an I don’t buy to Impress anyone.

BUT I will cast my Vote on the 48.
A springer seat, a bit taller, better shocks an ya got the perfect city bike.
Happiness Is a Warm Harley !

January 22, 2011 at 11:37 pm
(38) big6x6 says:

Long term test bikes…
I’d sure like to seem some actual “numbers” during your long term tests. Most magazine reads could be written without anyone ever even riding the bike. Why not give us some 0 to 60 and 1/4 mile numbers? What about mpg along the way? How about actual weight filled with all fluids? What about some dyno numbers after the bike is broken in and then again maybe at the end of your test? It’s always hard for me to swallow the legitimacy of a “cough, cough” REVIEW without some data. Biker enthusiast would really enjoy it.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.