Surprisingly Affordable Classic Harley-Davidson Motorcycles - SlashGear (2023)

Surprisingly Affordable Classic Harley-Davidson Motorcycles - SlashGear (1)


Vonlucas mitchell/March 31, 2023 10:06 a.m. EST

Harley-Davidson needs no introduction among motorcycle fans. As a premium brand with legendary status, their machines are known to be reassuringly expensive, especially when purchased new. However, some Harley fans may be surprised by their reasonable prices in used markets, with many models selling for less than $10,000 for a bike in good condition. For about the same money you'd pay for a new mid-size Japanese sports bike or small used car, you could be hitting the roads on a really promising bike.

Like all vehicles of a certain age, vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycles are not without their quirks and quirks, but for anyone who likes to tinker or is happy to save a little money to repair their bike, a Used Harley is a job. of love that comes back in spades So let's put on our leathers and cheer on our pigs as we take a look at some of the best budget bikes to come off the Harley-Davidson production line in Milwaukee.

Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

Surprisingly Affordable Classic Harley-Davidson Motorcycles - SlashGear (2)

Daniel Bond/Shutterstock

In the 1980s, the Japanese dominated the motorcycle world, with fiberglass-clad sportbikes like the Suzuki GSSX R-750 and Kawasaki GPZ900R Ninja dominating much of the market. Harley Davidson responded to this trend not by offering a similarly-bodied race machine, but by going back to its roots with a modern classic reminiscent of 1950s Harleys. Thus, the Heritage Softail was born.

With its full fenders, running board and low seat, the Softail Classic's vintage styling belies its excellent modern engine. Riders of this 1,690cc V-Twin enjoy the best of both worlds, offering the performance, comfort and riding capabilities of a modern motorcycle while maintaining its effortlessly modern look. Even today, a new Heritage Softail Classic will cost upwards of $20,000, but if you're lucky, you can pick up a model in good condition circa 2011 for about half that price.

Harley davidson sportster ferro 883

Surprisingly Affordable Classic Harley-Davidson Motorcycles - SlashGear (3)

Harley Davidson

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While this entry-level cruiser is a bit "strong" for a street-oriented machine, it still looks and feels like a Harley with its air-cooled V-twin engine and "bobber" styling. Competitors include the Indian Scout and the excellent Triumph T100 Bonneville, but for fans of the H-D brand there is no substitute. In many ways, it's a shame that the Sportster Iron 883's performance doesn't quite live up to its looks, with lackluster high-rev performance and vibration seeping through the pedals and rendering the exterior mirrors useless.

But of course, none of that matters when you hop on the beast and take it for a ride around town. Because the Sportster Iron 883 is a thing of beauty, and most people looking for a practical motorcycle would be looking for something else entirely. It's as if Harley put low performance on the priority list for the 883, as evidenced by the single front disc brake and stiff suspension with just 3.6 inches of travel. However, if he wants to impress his friends and save a few bucks at the same time, he can pick up a low-mileage 2015 model for as little as $7,000.

Harley-Davidson Softail Evo

Surprisingly Affordable Classic Harley-Davidson Motorcycles - SlashGear (4)


Things weren't always easy for Harley-Davidson, and in the late 1970s the company experienced major upheaval when it became independent of its parent company, AMF. Around this time, the US government enacted noise and emissions regulations for all engines, requiring Harley to develop a new engine to replace the outdated "Shovelhead" block that had its roots in the 1920s. .

The result was the Evolution (or "Blockhead") engine, which was installed in all Harley-Davidson V-Twin motorcycles beginning with the Softail Evo in 1984.

This manufacturing modification significantly improved the Harley-Davidson product line, as the new engine did not leak oil (for which Shovelhead engines were known), ran cooler, and produced far fewer emissions. In short, Harley was forced to modernize and it got much better. Sales soared and the company was saved from a potential downfall, thanks in no small part to the excellent Softail Evo bike, which has been around for fifteen years and is available at a bargain price on today's used market. A late 1990s model in good condition should cost around $6,000, and as a bonus, it won't leave black puddles on your garage floor.

Calle Harley-Davidson 750

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Foto por M/Shutterstock

When you think of a typical Harley-Davidson, you usually think of a big hog with a low seat, forward-facing footpegs, and monkey bars, but the brand is more diverse than many realize. An example of this is the Street 750, which weighs in at 489 pounds and is one of the slimmest bikes in the Harley lineup. Street-oriented, as the name suggests, it's agile, has an upright and comfortable riding position, and is an ideal entry-level bike for anyone who follows the H-D brand but doesn't want to dive in deep right away.

What may surprise some is that this smaller-displacement 750cc engine makes ten more horsepower than the Sportster 883's much bigger block, and while it's not a street rocket, it's significantly quicker than its counterpart. cousin bobber. Unfortunately, to keep the price of this entry-level bike down, Harley had to make some compromises, resulting in a messy wiring harness and questionable machining that you just wouldn't see on cruisers from the big Japanese brands, like the Honda Shadow 750 Equivalent Still Got It You get a real Harley for your money, which can be as low as $4,000 for an older model.

Harley-Davidson Street Bar

Surprisingly Affordable Classic Harley-Davidson Motorcycles - SlashGear (6)


Three years after Harley-Davidson introduced the Street 750, the Street Rod rolled off the assembly line to critical acclaim. The frankly sloppy issues that plagued its predecessor were resolved, and all seemed right with the world. Small by Harley standards, this quirky machine competed with street bikes of its day, like the Triumph Street Twin or the Honda CB500F. It's basically a sportier version of the Street 750 built for performance, but it's still a Harley, hands down.

One issue that was addressed with this next-gen street bike was the brakes, as Harley dubbed dual front discs and ABS as an option. The relatively short stroke was increased to 4.6 inches, which improves handling, and the overall fit and finish was hard to fault. For those looking for a smaller motorcycle from a big brand, you could do a lot worse than a used Harley-Davidson Street Rod, although taller riders may have their knees around their ears as the riding position is quite cramped. That said, for the bargain price of around $7,000, you might be willing to sacrifice a little comfort.

harley davidson iron 1200

Surprisingly Affordable Classic Harley-Davidson Motorcycles - SlashGear (7)

Betto Rodríguez/Shutterstock

If the two "Street" models are marketed as entry-level bikes by Harley-Davidson standards, then the Iron 1200 is the big daddy of the Sportster family, and that mighty patriarch is a real draw. With its wide, low seat, semi-monkey hangers, and open footpegs, you get a Harley stance as soon as you land in the saddle.

While it scores ten points for looks alone, the Iron 1200 isn't without a few issues that have become par for the course for Harley-Davidson. Its 1202cc engine is considered by some to be too powerful for its lightweight frame and lacks the handling of other Sportys. It is reported to have weak front brakes (dual discs and Brembo calipers notwithstanding), and their vibrations feel like driving a tumble dryer on the highway. But these are typical attributes that Harley owners expect, and as eccentric members of the family, they fully embrace the quirks. Finally, the Iron 1200 is undeniably great, and at around $9,000 for a recently used model, it represents excellent value for money.

Custom Harley-Davidson Road Glide

Surprisingly Affordable Classic Harley-Davidson Motorcycles - SlashGear (8)


Harley is known for its big touring bikes, and the Road Glide was its flagship bike when it was introduced in 1979 against the mighty Honda Gold Wing, which then dominated the cruiser touring market. Notable for being sandwiched stem-to-stern between a semi-shallow stern and bagging stern, her appearance falls somewhere between the classic old-school cruisers of the 1960s and 1970s and the more contemporary style of her European and Japanese counterparts. . While this is in keeping with the overall Harley-Davidson aesthetic, some may find it a bit boxy, with even the newer editions looking a bit dated.

Plus, this is a bike that performs well over long distances, with a comfortable riding position, excellent wind protection, and added luxuries like a sound system and built-in speaker. The Road Glide Custom is a modern classic that is still in high demand today, with recently used vehicles going for well over $30,000. So it may come as a surprise that you can buy a slightly older model for less than a third of that price and still offer many of the high-end features this premium model is known for.

harley davidson forty eight

Surprisingly Affordable Classic Harley-Davidson Motorcycles - SlashGear (9)


There is no question that the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight is a great looking motorcycle. However, when it comes to H-D and the battle between function and form, he not only loses function, but also takes a punch comparable to Tyson Fury's 12-shot. As such, other models in the Sportster line have been plagued by vibration issues, handling issues, and comfort issues, but these are the same bikes that grace posters on bedroom, office, and garage walls around the world. . It seems that Harley Davidson really knows their customer base very well and knows exactly what is being sold and to whom.

The Forty-Eight is named for the year its peanut-style fuel tank was introduced, but despite some retro attributes, this bobber has styling to suit modern tastes. A rubber-mounted engine block helped alleviate some vibration issues, its low solo seat is comfortable, and features include a long, low frame and chunky tires, a belt final drive, and the ubiquitous 45-degree V-twin engine from the company. a 1200 cc displacement engine. Yes, it's a custom model built primarily for concerts (who'd have thought undermount mirrors would be such a good idea?), but you can pick up a 2010 model for under $4,000, which is small. undeniably great machine.

Harley-Davidson CVO Fat Bob

Surprisingly Affordable Classic Harley-Davidson Motorcycles - SlashGear (10)

Jose HERNANDEZ Camera 51/Shutterstock

While we're not sure who the "Bob" in question is, let alone his eating habits, he lent his name to one of the best bikes in the Harley catalog, and we're grateful for that. Of course, it's just as likely that Bob in his nickname is referring to this cruiser's bobber design and Fat is referring to its monstrous 1802cc engine, but either way this is a remarkable machine. CVO stands for Custom Vehicle Operations, so you know you're getting something special right from the start.

With a brief production run between 2009 and 2010, the CVO Fat Bob still has legions of fans among Harley enthusiasts, and with good reason. It has great attention to detail with its aluminum dials, Alcantara-trimmed leather seats, and exuberant chrome forks, exhausts, and other accents. The premium features are too many to list here, but suffice it to say that this bike comes with a golden ignition key in a special display case. Everything about it screams exclusivity, so you'll be surprised to learn that you can pick one up for just under $7,500.

Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider S

Surprisingly Affordable Classic Harley-Davidson Motorcycles - SlashGear (11)

John Keeble/Getty Images

Henry Ford once said, "Any customer can paint their car any color they want, as long as it's black," and that's certainly true of the Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider S. This motorcycle is a beautifully Gothic masterpiece. designed. in glossy black, with just an inch of chrome on the screen and high-performance specs. In profile, its blacked-out Screamin' Eagle twin-cam V-twin engine is imposing and impressive, and the low seat that gives it its name makes it look like a crouching panther ready to pounce.

All that gushing rhetoric wouldn't make sense if the bike didn't work, and that's been the main focus of all S-series cruisers, including the Fat Boy S and Softail Slim S models. Premium suspension included, dual-disc brakes with ABS , a 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission from Harley and the brand's Heavy Breather air cleaner, rising from the right side of the beefy 110-cubic-inch engine. Every bike is the sum of its parts, and here Harley went to great lengths to ensure they delivered an exceptional machine, even if it cost $2,750 more than standard Low Riders at launch. So a 2017 Low Rider S is just $12,000 in used markets, and it's certainly making a lot of money.

Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

Surprisingly Affordable Classic Harley-Davidson Motorcycles - SlashGear (12)

Chatchai Somwat/Shutterstock

Those looking for that sweet spot between style and practicality might consider the Sportster 1200 Custom a one-size-fits-all solution. Weighing in at less than 600 pounds, this mighty Harley is easier to maneuver in traffic and is generally a much more no-nonsense, non-intimidating machine than its armored counterparts. You wouldn't turn heads hopping on a sandwich to the deli at 1200 Custom, but you might as well hold your own at bike meetups while chatting up the bearded, leather-clad masses.

Most of us would be lying if we said that looks have nothing to do with why we ride, and looking cool has probably been the main focus of Harley's marketing department for decades. However, the driving experience should always be at the top of the priority list, and that's exactly what you get with the Sportster 1200 Custom. A vintage-style, road-ready Harley-Davidson that handles corners well, is comfortable for all-day riding, and won't set you back about $9,000 for a five-year-old model.

Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide

Surprisingly Affordable Classic Harley-Davidson Motorcycles - SlashGear (13)

Universo Kalinleg/Shutterstock

Fans of FX's "Sons of Anarchy" will instantly recognize the Dyna Super Glide piloted by lead actor Jackson "Jax" Teller. This powerful yet stylish machine will appeal to those looking for a sportier ride that retains the Harley-Davidson aesthetic with plenty of punch, classic lines and hours of riding comfort. As one of Harley's best-selling motorcycles, this 1,585cc monster is surprisingly agile, which adds to its appeal as riders don't have to sit in traffic for hours waiting for a big enough gap to appear.

Another contributing factor to the popularity of the Dyna Super Glide is that this simple machine is highly customizable, as many Harley-Davidson riders like to put their personal stamp on their rides. However, despite this popularity, it is not without its problems. That includes a short-travel rear suspension that can send seismic shock waves down your spine if you smell a pothole and lackluster cornering, thanks in part to a low-hanging muffler. But those little quirks aside, the Dyna Super Glide is still a great-looking bike and one of the most practical H-D has ever made, and a well-preserved specimen from the Sons of Anarchy era can be yours for the price of bargain around 6000 ps


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