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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-07-2010, 05:04 PM
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Hardtail vs Softail

I am looking to pick up a custom frame and I wanted to hear from you guys first about your thoughts on the ride quality between a hard/softail. I have never ridden a rigid, but I have heard plenty of horror stories - however it seems everyone and their mother makes rigids or hardtail conversion kits, which leads me to believe it's not as bad as some make it out to be.

How do you think a bike built on a DNA Softail Bobber frame would compare to a comparable rigid frame after an hour or two on the road?

Thoughts?
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:16 PM
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With a rigid the ride is harsh, but some aftermarket Softails aren't much better. I like the looks of a hardtail, clean, minimalist. DO NOT build something that you think other people will think is cool, build what YOU think is cool. I will tell you that if you build a hardtail you will learn where every pothole in the roads around your area are, but I wouldn't have it any other way...
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:40 PM
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and if you build the hard tail right and set it up right its a good ride
rode one for three years as my only trans
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:10 PM
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#1 Beg borrow or steal a rigid and ride one for yourself....!0 minutes into that ride will tell you more then 20 pages of responses on CC.

I like hartails as much as the next guy (OK maybe not quite as much but I do like the looks) but motorcycles are for riding not just looking at. Take a look at ebay sometime and notice the miles on the bikes for sale, you will see a lot of rigid bikes that have under 1000 miles for sale and what that says to me is that guy liked the looks but then when he rode the bike a few times the ride was so brutal that they just never opted to ride it much after that thus making it sellable.

Captain America and others who put in a lot of miles on hardtails are a rare breed so you have to know how much your willing to put up with before you go the hartail route. Also, more things to consider are your age, your back health and the conditions of the roads you are most likely going to be riding on. If your young, healthy and have been on one before and loved it...then go hardtail!

It always kills me to see guys flattening their rear tires or installing 5 inch seat springs to try to get a less punishing ride out of their hard tail. Under inflated tires wear poorly, and decrease performance, mileage and handling. And big tall ass springs under the seat take away all the cool factor you get from a rigid
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vision View Post
#1 Beg borrow or steal a rigid and ride one for yourself....!0 minutes into that ride will tell you more then 20 pages of responses on CC.

I like hartails as much as the next guy (OK maybe not quite as much but I do like the looks) but motorcycles are for riding not just looking at. Take a look at ebay sometime and notice the miles on the bikes for sale, you will see a lot of rigid bikes that have under 1000 miles for sale and what that says to me is that guy liked the looks but then when he rode the bike a few times the ride was so brutal that they just never opted to ride it much after that thus making it sellable.

Captain America and others who put in a lot of miles on hardtails are a rare breed so you have to know how much your willing to put up with before you go the hartail route. Also, more things to consider are your age, your back health and the conditions of the roads you are most likely going to be riding on. If your young, healthy and have been on one before and loved it...then go hardtail!

It always kills me to see guys flattening their rear tires or installing 5 inch seat springs to try to get a less punishing ride out of their hard tail. Under inflated tires wear poorly, and decrease performance, mileage and handling. And big tall ass springs under the seat take away all the cool factor you get from a rigid
Great advice!!
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vision View Post
#1 Beg borrow or steal a rigid and ride one for yourself....!0 minutes into that ride will tell you more then 20 pages of responses on CC...
Excellent advice....my first bike was a Triumph hardtail with a Girder and it was like sitting on a pogo stick, it rode bad, it handled bad but I was 19 and I loved it. 24 years later I still love ridin' my rigid(a much more refined one) but an FLH is now my workhorse and my wife is glad about that...if you plan on going 2 up a Softail is the way to go....but like vision said, if you can, ride one , it won't take long to make your decision.
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:55 PM
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i recently bought a softail for the wife and i to travel on, and the rigid i have is mainly for tearing up the town. although when i first built it, seven years ago, it was a daily summer driver. you do have to build or buy something that appeals to your tastes or needs. personally, nothing beats a rigid frame, in my opinion.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:43 PM
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Here's my $.02. I have both a softail and a rigid, and I'd have to say that I actually enjoy the rigid a little more. Granted, I haven't taken the rigid out on any 200 mile rides or anything, but just around town I feel it's a better ride. I have mine set up with mid controls, which makes me lean more forward. Going over bumps, my body pivots at the hips, not sending the shock wave up the spine. A while back, there was some road construction here, and the lanes were grated. I hit the bump where the road transitioned from the grated surface back to a smoothe surface (about a 3 or 4 inch bump) on the rigid, and I just slightly popped up on the seat. Didn't feel a thing. The next day, I rode my softail, and even though I had suspension, and FORWARD controls, that same bump about made me shit out a kidney. I don't run low air pressure on the rigid like a lot of people suggest due to the fact that I have very little tire/fender clearance. I run max pressure in the tires. I believe the key to a good ride on a rigid is your riding posture. Like I said, just my $.02.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrohead70 View Post
Here's my $.02. I have both a softail and a rigid, and I'd have to say that I actually enjoy the rigid a little more. Granted, I haven't taken the rigid out on any 200 mile rides or anything, but just around town I feel it's a better ride. I have mine set up with mid controls, which makes me lean more forward. Going over bumps, my body pivots at the hips, not sending the shock wave up the spine. A while back, there was some road construction here, and the lanes were grated. I hit the bump where the road transitioned from the grated surface back to a smoothe surface (about a 3 or 4 inch bump) on the rigid, and I just slightly popped up on the seat. Didn't feel a thing. The next day, I rode my softail, and even though I had suspension, and FORWARD controls, that same bump about made me shit out a kidney. I don't run low air pressure on the rigid like a lot of people suggest due to the fact that I have very little tire/fender clearance. I run max pressure in the tires. I believe the key to a good ride on a rigid is your riding posture. Like I said, just my $.02.
Would you mind posting a pic of both of your bikes, (or at least your rigid)?
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:40 PM
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You could have the best of both worlds and use a ridgid frame with air bags under the seat, that's what I am going to do and I saw on some of the biker build off shows that some of the builders used them too, I saw someone on this website with the air bags under the seat before I saw them on biker build off

I know someone sells a kit but from what I have read you can make the kit yourself a lot cheaper
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autoguy View Post
You could have the best of both worlds and use a ridgid frame with air bags under the seat, that's what I am going to do and I saw on some of the biker build off shows that some of the builders used them too, I saw someone on this website with the air bags under the seat before I saw them on biker build off

I know someone sells a kit but from what I have read you can make the kit yourself a lot cheaper
Like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGis_..._order&list=UL

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Old 11-07-2010, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soul View Post
Yep, exactly like that

A link to a diy install and to the kit by Paul cox

http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/s....php?p=2303665

http://www.streetchopperweb.com/tech...ils/index.html

Last edited by autoguy; 11-07-2010 at 11:50 PM..
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:21 AM
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For sure....Ride a rigid before you invest thousands in a bike you can't live with every day...I have one and ride it almost every day but when the wife and I have a road trip in mind,its the Softail all the way...
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soul View Post
Would you mind posting a pic of both of your bikes, (or at least your rigid)?


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Old 11-08-2010, 08:02 AM
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For me a rigid is the only way to go, I have had several and the bike I finished this past weekend I added a single airbag under the seat and it really does make a huge difference. You can keep the rigid look and add a little comfort at the same time. I added a pic during the build process
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