Sportbike versus Harley Davidson

So, in today’s post, we look at the critical differences between riding a Harley compared to riding a sportbike. Around the world, we have seen extreme hardship and frustration over the past year due to the Corona Virus. It has certainly been trying times, and if you are anything like myself, you would be feeling some form of anxiety and frustration. Yes, it has a lot to do with being indoors and working from home. Bearing this in mind, we feel that if there were ever a time to get into riding a motorcycle, this would be perfect.  

I have personally been riding on the racetrack and roads since 1997 and have been blessed with being able to ride the world’s fastest Superbikes. At the same time, I have also had my share of fun on Harley-Davidsons or V Twin motorcycles. So with this in mind, let me break down my opinion regarding Harley-Davidsons, Sportbikes and the critical differences that one should consider when purchasing a new motorcycle.

Motorcycle riding: Key considerations to take into account when looking to start riding as a hobby.

Maybe you are looking to start riding motorcycles as a new hobby. At this point, you probably can expect to be doing a ton of research regarding what would be the best type of motorcycle to satisfy your craving for adrenaline. Well, I believe that you would find your fair share of adrenaline from both Sportbike and Harley Davidson/ V Twin motorbikes. HD motorcycles were not always considered for someone like myself who grew up on the racetrack and always rode superbikes. 

I fell into the category of being unable to believe that a Harley Davidson would ever be able to provide any adrenaline or inspiration. Well, truthfully, I was wrong. About five years ago, I got my first Harley Davidson Dyna. I still have this motorcycle today as I was genuinely amazed by the enjoyment factor that this motorcycle had provided me.

Essential factors to consider when buying a new motorcycle.

I believe that when looking to start motorcycling as a hobby, it is critical to take into account the following factors

  • What am I looking to get out of my riding?
  • What sort of image do I want to portray?
  • Am I fully aware of the speeds and prepared to accept the risks of riding a modern-era sportbike?
  • Do I have or believe in my ability to control a sportbike at high speeds.
  • Am I a person who can ride with a level head?
  • Will I ride within my limits and respect the fact that all modern-era Sportbikes are extremely potent?
  • What is my current level of skill for riding a bike?

The above merely represents a few questions you should consider asking yourself when looking to start with riding. From my perspective, I would like to say that if you are a beginner with no previous riding experience, do not jump straight onto a sportbike. Consider a V Twin as an alternative option due to the following reasons

  • Less aggressive riding style.
  • More forgiving when it comes to overall rideability,
  • Fast but does not feel overwhelming!
  • More relaxed and spacious.
  • Less pressure to ride fast by fellow riders.
  • Lots of performance is still available out of a Harley.
  • Don’t underestimate a Harley Davidson!
  • Sportbikes are, most of the time, too fast for a beginner.
  • V Twin/ HD motorbikes offer you the chance to learn in a more relaxed riding position.
  • Overall a Harley will feel less threatening.

Harley Davidson: The perfect bike for beginners?

I believe that Harley Davidson produces fantastic motorcycles, and you don’t have to be a beginner to appreciate the value these motorbikes offer. I was stubborn before getting my HD Dyna. However, once I started to ride the Dyna, I was transformed by its ability to bring me back into space where I could enjoy riding on the roads again. Before getting into riding the Dyna, I had always ridden with sportbikes on the road. I was used to riding at hazardous speeds, and even though I could handle the power, I always felt as though this was just a bit too close to the edge for the public roads environment. The Dyna was a blessing and provided me with the opportunity to relax and enjoy riding all over again.

I found more time to breathe and relax, and in turn, riding became somewhat meditative again. What a relief this was! The critical takeaway from all this is that for a beginner looking to enter the riding scene, I would recommend going for a Harley Davidson. It will offer a more therapeutic experience and also give you the chance to enter the motorcycle riding scene with a greater sense of ease and, more likely, higher confidence. Please bear in mind that by no means am I against the choice of a Sportbike for the roads as a beginner riders option. It’s just that with the current level of skill that is required to ride a sportbike, I feel that from my own experience, you will most likely enjoy the “art of riding” better by starting on a motorcycle designed to be less of a threat than a full-blown sportbike.

Harley Davidson versus Sportbike

The lowdown: Differences between Harley Davidson and sportbikes.

It’s not hard to visually spot the difference when looking at the different classes of motorcycles. From purely an aesthetic point of view, a Harley gives off a different vibe or image. Sportbikes, to me, are more for a slightly younger type of crowd. Sportbikes are edgy and aggressive, so the kind of riders you can expect to encounter will most often be more competitive. With that said, I have also seen some pretty insane Harley Davidson riders who genuinely know how to extract the maximum from these bikes. Harleys generally have a slightly older appeal with a heavy emphasis on the fashion side. You will want to get yourself in line with regards to being up to date with some Harley Davidson apparel. Be prepared to spend, though, as the HD brand is not for the faint-hearted. It is very over-priced in my opinion. 

A sportbike will give those looking for insane corner speeds combined with stomach-wrenching top speed a truly incredible high. Yes, it’s almost as though you have had a life-changing experience every time you arrive home from a 2-hour riding session in which you get in touch with speeds of 250 km/ph and more. Sportbikes give you pure adrenaline, and I think it is only valid to say that if you are prepared to put your life on the line due to your lack of experience, then a Sportbike can be considered. Truthfully, it will light your life up in a different kind of way compared to a Harley Davidson. However, with that said, it could also kill you a lot faster than being on a Harley Davidson.

Harley Davidson and Sportbike

Harley Davidson motorcycles: A lot faster than you think!

Yes, an HD motorbike can indeed get to some severe cornering, and they are by no means slow. I have been pleasantly surprised to discover more about riding lately on my Dyna than I ever thought possible. There is a big difference in the style you need to adopt to ride a Harley Davidson fast. I was determined to see what the Dyna could do, so I pushed it to the limits and found that it was pretty impressive. If your riding is on point, you will seriously enjoy riding a Harley as it’s not something we see every day. One tends to associate these motorcycles with a more relaxed view. But, this is where I can say that although the Harley weighs a ton, it can still go pretty dam well! I was very impressed to be passing sportbike riders on my last ride through the mountain passes. Ok, I will say they may not have been going very fast, but it is still not every day you get to see a Harley flying through the mountain passes. Well, that was me just a few days ago, and I learned a new form of respect for the HD Dyna. 

Harley Davidson versus sportbike

Closing thoughts

Are you choosing a new motorcycle? Well, if that is the case, then consider your previous riding experience. If you are a total beginner, then you may find some of the points above interesting. Motorcycle riding, whether on an HD bike or sportbike, is still not a game. Make your final choices with a genuine appreciation for the rules of gravity and check yourself before you wreck yourself. Most of all, I feel it’s important to say that the latest sportbikes and even the older models do go so fast that you should respect the machine if you are a beginner. It’s my personal preference these days at the age of 36 to ride the Harley as I feel a greater sense of enjoyment due to less risk. With that said, I realize that the day may come again in which I feel the need to get my knee down and do some severe race-craft with a sportbike, but for now, I’m going to take it easy on the roads. After all, I have fallen off enough on the racetrack. Please enjoy your riding and take time to appreciate the “art of riding” whether you are on a Sportbike or Harley Davidson ride safe and always keep a level head! We hope you enjoyed this article on some of the differences between riding a Harley Davidson compared to a sportbike. See you soon.

For interest’s sake, our blog was recently awarded position 54 out of the top 100 on Feedspot. Check out their website for further information – Top 100 Motorcycle Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2021

differences between sportbike and harley Davidson