Should I Get a Yamaha or a Harley?

I'm riding a 2004 Yamaha Road Star Silverado right now. I like it a lot. But my wife seems to want something more comfortable. Basic...

I'm riding a 2004 Yamaha Road Star Silverado right now. I like it a lot. But my wife seems to want something more comfortable.

Basically, she wants the big comfy backrest and armrests, like what you get on the Harley Davidson Electra Glide Classic or Ultra Glide. What she wants, is to be able to go to sleep while riding on the road, and not have to worry about falling over.

As it stands right now, she often drifts off to sleep while riding on the back of my Road Star, but not for long. What happens is that she bangs the crown of her helmet into my back, as her way of complaining to me. I keep telling her, "then don't ride". But she won't have that. She has to ride.

So, here are my three choices...

Yamaha Royal Star Venture - this is probably the Cadillac of touring bikes, as far I can see. 1300cc V4 engine, with about 75hp at the rear wheel. Large hard bags, large trunk, comfy seats, with the large back rest and arm rests, and full fairing. Price is about $15,000.

Pros: This bike will give my wife the comfort she's looking for, and it comes with everything but the kitchen sink. It's got great power.

Cons: I can barely touch the ground! My legs are that short. The seat height is 29.5 inches. Truthfully, with my boots on, I've got my toes and the ball of my foot on the ground. But considering that this a very heavy bike, 807 pounds dry, and with my wife on the back, being that tippytoed concerns me. And I don't want to spend that kind of money on something that creates more problems than it solves.
Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe - Similar to the Royal Star Venture, but without the fairing, and the seat height is about half-inch lower. But still the same engine, and same power. Another difference is it doesn't have the trunk, and the seat is hard as a rock. Cost is about $14,000.

Pros: The seat is a little bit lower than the Venture at 29.1 inches. I can get more of my feet on the ground, and the bike is about 30 pounds lighter (787 pounds) than the Venture. Still a heavy bike though. But I like the fact that you can quickly remove the windshield, the bags, and the passenger seat, and turn it in to a solo rider.

Cons: I'd have to buy the trunk and armrests separately, and the seat would not work for my wife. I could get the Mustang Seat, which she liked on the Road Star, but I hated the Mustang rider seat. I don't think I'll like it on the Tour Deluxe either.
Harley Davidson Electra Glide Classic - Who doesn't already know this bike? In comparison to the Yamahas, the Harley has much less power, I think something like 55hp at the rear wheel? The cost is about $20,000.

Pros: It's lighter than the two Yamahas, at 776 pounds, and the seat height is even lower too, at 27.3 inches. This is probably the biggest reason why I have this bike in consideration. There's all kinds of after-market stuff available for Harleys.

Cons: It's got much less power, considerably less. When you figure my wife will be on the back of this, and with the trunk and hard bags and full faring, it's going to drag it down. I remember riding to Las Vegas Bikefest, and we had a guy on a Electra Glide Classic with his girlfriend on back, and everything stuffed with their belongings, he was having trouble keeping up with us on the grades (the rest of us sailing along at 90mph). And of course, the price, is much more than the Yamahas.
One more bike worth mentioning here is the Honda Valkyrie Interstate. You'd have to buy this used, 'cause they don't make them anymore. Very similar power to the Royal Star bikes, but with a 1500cc Flat 6. Much lighter, at 680 pounds dry, though the same seat height as the Royal Star Tour Deluxe (29.1 inches).

To sum it up, I'm leaning towards the Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe. You get the same power as the Venture, but a little more lower seat height, and way cheaper than the Harley. Yeah, I know you can add a stage 1 kit to the Harley and beef up the power, but that's more expense. But in Harley's defense, having a touring bike that I can get a both feet firmly planted on the ground is worth something to me.

Whaddya think?


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