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Harley Sportster vs Yamaha R6?

I’ve had set my mind on a Harley Davidson Sportster but when I told my friends I’m getting a Harley, they said they’re expensive POS and are for gays and outlaw biker gangs! They want me to get a sports bike aka crotch rocket like R6. They thinks its cooler and doesn’t break as often as a Harley.
So should I get an R6 600cc or Sportster 1200cc? They’re selling for roughly the same price (brand new)?
I’m 6’2 BTW and have rode YZ250′s before.
Are Harleys overpriced? Do they’ve terrible reliability? And which one is cooler in your opinion?

15 Responses to Harley Sportster vs Yamaha R6?

  1. The Sportster is certainly not an overpriced bike and Harley is not an unreliable bike ,,,,, plus they are easy to work on .

    What it really boils down to is the type of riding you plan to do .

  2. Avatar PRINCE OF DARKNESS
    PRINCE OF DARKNESS says:

    It depends a lot on to what you’re comparing
    them to!
    If you compare Harleys to custom choppers from
    OCC, American Ironhorse, or Big Dog then they
    seems VERY CHEAP. A basic custom chopper
    costs roughly around $35K! Whereas the most
    expensive Harley Davidson, The Road Glide
    Custom CVO costs $33k!
    When you compare them to Victory or Indian
    then they seems REASONABILY priced.
    But when compared to offerings from “The Big
    4″; they’ll eventually start to look expensive!
    Here is an example:
    Yamaha Raider has a massive 1,800cc push rod
    V-Twin motor which makes quite a lot more
    torque & hp compared to a 103 cu-in Harley
    Evolution Motor. It costs $14,500, while a
    compareable offering from HD, The Fat Boy costs
    $17,000!
    A bigger engine, better performance for $2,500
    less! Not to mention same POTATO POTATO
    exhaust note!
    Keep in mind its a NEUTRAL & HONEST opinion as
    I’m not into crusiers!
    Lastly, From what I understand from your post:
    “My friends likes this, they hates that. They said
    this is cool, they said that is a POS.”
    Shut-up and Grow-up!!!
    RIDE WHAT YOU WANT, NOT WHAT YOUR
    FRIENDS WANTS!
    NOW SOMETHING ABOUT THAT HARLEY IMAGE.
    From what I’ve seen. 10-15% of Harley riders are
    real bikers. They ride everyday rain or shine. They
    respect and wave at other riders whatever they’re
    riding a scooter or a rocket.
    The rest is consist of posers. They ride only in
    weekends for only an hour or two and look down
    at any non-HD rider. Never wave back unless the
    other is on a Harley too! Narrow minded fools is
    what I call them.
    All I can say is:
    Be the 10%. Be a REAL BIKER not a POSER!
    BTW R6 is way too much for a novice! Just
    GOOGLE it!
    Good Luck.

  3. Avatar pedro7of9
    pedro7of9 says:

    because you and ur “friends” worry about looking/acting gay id say its too late.. a scooter is what you need

  4. Avatar Candid Chris
    Candid Chris says:

    Do you pick what clothes you wear or do you let your mother dress you?

    Grow up, pick what you want!
    I don’t like either of your choices for a good street-bike but that’s just me.

  5. Previous dirt bike experience is not good enough to jump on a super sport bike or a litre-plus sized cruiser.

    I suggest you start smaller and work up your street riding experience before considering either of those bikes ( and not be so easily swayed by what your friends say ).

  6. Buy the bike you want. It’s your money and you are the one who has to be happy about it.

    Personally, I wouldn’t buy either one. One is a paint shaker and the other one rides like crap on the street (it’s made for the track). I would buy a bike that is made for street riding, where I like to ride.

  7. Avatar pinemiser
    pinemiser says:

    These bikes are at opposite ends of the spectrum, one extreme to the other. Pick the bike that you want, not what others tell you to buy. The sportster is a poor motorcycle (paint shaker) and a R6 is a widow maker. Most fatalities on motorcycles are young inexperienced riders on race bikes.

  8. they dont compare at all. One is a v twin standard [sportster is not a cruiser] the other is an inline four sport bike. Harley Davidson motorcycles are just as reliable as any other if you leave them stock. Start adding performance upgrades and you can lose that reliability. [not always] R6 is a lot of machine for a begginer even if you have ridden in the dirt. the sportster will will be more forgiving as it is not anywhere near as fast or quick. In addition you sound like you just want to be like your friends,dress like them, have a bike cause they do. Be your own person and get what you like and have your own style!
    .

  9. Avatar XT rider
    XT rider says:

    what helmet do you wear? if it is a top-end Arai or Shoei then clearly the R6 is for you.

  10. Avatar Yesterday was better
    Yesterday was better says:

    A sportster is not a Harley

    It is considered a Miata. If you are not gay or a chick then a superglide is the bare minimum.

  11. Huh? Gays and outlaw biker gangs? Are you looking at movies from the 1950′s-1960′s, or are you looking at current reality? The REAL “biker gangs” are those riding R6′s and other “sport” bikes. Read the news! Harley riders do not block traffic so they can set up a circus on the freeway. Harley riders do not attack innocent drivers.

    Whatever. Your question:

    Q. Are Harleys overpriced? Do they’ve terrible reliability? And which one is cooler in your opinion?

    1. Harley Davidson motorcycles cost the same as similar motorcycles ($9 MSRP difference between an 883 Iron and the Yamaha Bolt they advertise as being comparable.)
    2. Harley Davidson bikes are extremely reliable, as are Japanese, Italian, English, German, Taiwanese, etc.. THINK! What is going to break, a Cruiser? Or a Sport bike screaming sliding flopping on the side as someone pulls a wheelie or stoppie?
    3. Cooler? Someone who picks a motorcycle because their “friends” have similar? Or someone who understands ** Ride Your Own Ride **

  12. Your ‘Coolness factor’ rest largely only in your self opinion ….not in my outside opinion.

    The difference between the two bikes are on the entire extreme outside ends of the motorcycle riding experience.

    You have to choose, not me! If you want to choose the R6 extreme…and you in here asking a question like you just have… Know that the R6 should not be your first bike in the ‘Sport Bike’ format. The motor is placed high up in the frame to allow extreme cornering at an extreme speeds with inside lean into the curve. That will produce a high center of gravity, hard to control and unforgiving format for a ‘learner motorcycle’. Mastering that format produces a motorcycle that will lavishly complement you when you are correct in corner entery but will be unforgiving and bite extremely hard when you are in error!

  13. Avatar Shellback
    Shellback says:

    I have had both sport bikes and cruisers like the Harley. Harley Davidson bikes are good bikes and are great for longer trips than a crotch rocket is thats for sure.

    I currently own a sport bike but I am going back to a cruiser when I get another one, sure the sport bike is fun, but only for so long, but on longer hauls like I do I wish I had my old Honda or Harley back and they were fun too.

    When I get more money saved to buy another toy I will be going back to a cruiser.

    The choice is yours Harley Davidsons are good bikes I have seen them with over 100k on them and they run like new, how many sport bikes can I say that about not many!

    I don’t have a coolness factor because I like them all.

  14. Avatar PSEBowhunterHunter
    PSEBowhunterHunter says:

    Aren't Harley sportsters the cheapest and worst performing ones out the bunch? Look at the hondas, Yamaha v stars, and vulcans. You will be much happier with the price tag and performance with these. My dad has a 2002 Honda vtx1800 with the radiator scoop behind the front tire. It is very sporty looking and it is a 4 second 0-60 bike. Almost like a sports bike. The Honda will eat a Harley . I would recommend looking for one you won't be disappointed!

  15. Avatar Stephen Innes
    Stephen Innes says:

    my friend was a motorbike dealer and would not have anything to do with Harley . have you heard this by a Harley by the best ride a mile and walk the rest ?get the yam