Triumph versus Harley - Triumph Bobber Forum
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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Triumph versus Harley

After 4500 kilometres on my Triumph Bobber, and 52,000 km on my HD Road King, I'd like to contribute my personal short & straight comparison of the two, concerning the feel of the ride; for me the most important factor of motorcycling.
They're both like chalk & cheese of course, and I've had few Triumphs and Harleys in the past so I think the best way to describe the difference from my view is;

When I sit on and ride a Triumph, it's like becoming part of a single unit; being one with the machine; all controls feel like extensions of my limbs. Tight and responsive.

On a Harley I feel like I'm driving a horse and carriage with me being pulled by the horses while sitting in the carriage.

Both are great of course, just hugely different.

Anyone care to share their experiences in this particular comparison?

Cheers!
mike

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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 01:00 PM
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Nice - and interesting comparison.
From all the bikes i´ve had over the years, i have never owned a Harley. But tomorrow, me and my Bobber will be out riding with over 100 Harleys! Earplugs are the first thing on my list
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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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I bet they are, I bet they are!
Have a wicked time tomorrow mate, you'll definately draw some attention being the only bobber on the island!

mike

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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 11:49 PM
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The bike before my bobber was a 12 Harley 48, bobber is better in all categories except automatic turn signal cancellation...I miss that.
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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-19-2017, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Tall Tree View Post
The bike before my bobber was a 12 Harley 48, bobber is better in all categories except automatic turn signal cancellation...I miss that.
the automatic turn signal cancellation on my sportster was nice, but it only works after making like a sharp turn - doesn't work for simple lane changing though. the thing that i never felt comfortable with (even after riding it for 10 years) was how harley's have each turn signal on the corresponding side of the handlebars. left turn signal is button on left, while the right turn signal is a button on the right. left was okay to activate, but the right was always felt awkward as you sort of had to release the throttle to push the button. also no cancellation button, so if you needed to turn the signal off you had to press the button a second time. so no real way of knowing if you've turned off the blinkers except having to take your eyes off the road and glance down at your instrument panel to check that they are off. don't know why harleys designed their signals this way (don't know if any other brand also has this.) but so glad the bobber is like most all bikes with the simple one-handed switch and push-in cancellation button. do love that cancellation button. i get paranoid that i may have my blinkers accidentally on while riding so periodically i find my self just pushing that button in as a habit for peace of mind that they aren't left on (great that its something you can do without taking eyes off road, etc.) i'm sure you've all seen the occasional car on the road/freeways that are driving with their blinkers constantly on. it's definitely not something you want to see with someone on a motorcycle, as it can be potentially dangerous, with others thinking you're changing lanes or turning when you aren't. sorry for the long post! didn't know i had so much to say about turn signals.

well, so back on main topic: my previous bike was a sportster 883 and i loved it. but going from that to the bobber is such a change. think mike the bike had a great analogy and summed it up nicely: the bobber does feel like an extension of my body - i feel one with the bike. he said his road king felt like a horse and carriage, so i can say that my sportster i guess felt like being on the back of a horse.
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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-19-2017, 01:25 AM
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The bike before my bobber was a 12 Harley 48, bobber is better in all categories except automatic turn signal cancellation...I miss that.
Accessories do exist for that problem: https://www.amazon.com/Smart-Turn-Sy.../dp/B06XD71KSW
I don´t have any personal experience with that module, so cannot comment on its performance or reliability.
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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-19-2017, 06:07 AM
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I bet they are, I bet they are!
Have a wicked time tomorrow mate, you'll definately draw some attention being the only bobber on the island!

mike
Some pics from this morning (sorry to hijack your post...)
I felt for the people living in that area. The sound of hundreds of revving Harleys (and a single Bobber ) was quite something!!!!











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Last edited by eisen77; 11-20-2017 at 02:50 AM.
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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-19-2017, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike the Bike View Post
After 4500 kilometres on my Triumph Bobber, and 52,000 km on my HD Road King, I'd like to contribute my personal short & straight comparison of the two, concerning the feel of the ride; for me the most important factor of motorcycling.
They're both like chalk & cheese of course, and I've had few Triumphs and Harleys in the past so I think the best way to describe the difference from my view is;

When I sit on and ride a Triumph, it's like becoming part of a single unit; being one with the machine; all controls feel like extensions of my limbs. Tight and responsive.

On a Harley I feel like I'm driving a horse and carriage with me being pulled by the horses while sitting in the carriage.

Both are great of course, just hugely different.

Anyone care to share their experiences in this particular comparison?

Cheers!
mike
Mike, I initially rejected your assessment, but upon pondering this simple distinction, I agree that this was a fairly good comparison if one were pressed to cite a single comparison.

My difficulty in coming to terms with the comparison was--and you qualified your statement by citing that the two bikes are hugely different--that the two bikes are almost too different to be compared. It's also difficult to isolate the different sensual responses received that comprises the overall 'feel' of the bikes. Bike weight, sound, putting it in gear, the take-off, power, and handling. How one is positioned in the saddle and the posture of the rest of the body. After ignoring the Harley for a month, then getting on it, the feel almost defies a comparison and requires a mile or so down the road to get re-acclimated.

I currently have an Ultra Low and Bobber, but have had a Road King, two Deluxes, Superglide, and Sportster in the past. With Triumph, I've had 2 modern Bonnevilles, 2010 Thunderbird, and a T120 way back when.

Overall, the Triumphs are refined and precise. The Harleys exudes raw power, and are rugged. Both seem to handle well in their own way. In a sense, they compliment each other, as there are times when I crave a raw feel and times when a more refined ride is in order. Not with the Bobber (since I've had it only since late July), I would get somewhat bored on the Bonnie (too smooth) and need a shaking.
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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-19-2017, 01:59 PM
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I agree with Mike's description of the Bobber. You just feel as one with the bike.

I have two other bikes, a Ducati Diavel and a Triumph Tiger 800 roadie. I love them all. My distinctions:

Bobber: FUN. Just the most all-round fun you can have and brilliant in runs below 200 miles, which is >90% of the rides I do. The best out-of-the-box bike I've ever had.

Diavel: MENTAL. Goes beyond fun into excitement, adrenaline, terror. Superb bike. Not great for multi-day riding without significant farkling.

Tiger: SENSIBLE. You can use for everyday commuting to Sunday blasts to multi-day touring. A little farkling goes a long way (new screen, Rox risers). Ace.

- P
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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-19-2017, 03:13 PM
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When my friends and I climb off their Harleys and jump on the Bobber the most common feeling we have is it feels like a 90HP bicycle. Its 100 or 200 lbs lighter depending on which Harley and it just handles better. Its an extremely fun bike to ride and I have expanded my range to just over 300 miles with just a swingarm bag!

When the Indian demo truck came around this summer I demoed an Indian Vintage which is my favorite Indian. It was my fourth time on a Vintage and I thought I loved the bike but I couldn't wait to get back on my Bobber, its just so "flickable" .

For anything under a 300 mile ride I prefer the Bobber and that is 95% of my riding right now!

Last edited by BOBBYP; 11-19-2017 at 03:15 PM.
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