I'm not knocking the bikes if I was going to do a lot of cross country trips a full bagger Harley it would be-I just don't and never will understand why a certain brand bike changes riders so much
I don't think the brand changes riders. I think certain people are attracted to the brand. Those certain people who can't afford the brand are still the same people when on the other brands that they can afford. Just like those attracted to Supersports or Adventure or scooters.
I get way more waves from car drivers and pedestrians when I am on my Harley than I have ever gotten on any other bike. Especially in small towns across America.
I tell people I am not a biker. I am a motorcycle enthusiast, or I am a rider.
So the hard core mean bikers have one attitude, but the BMW riders have a whole other attitude of snobby "I'm better and richer than you."
What has attracted me to Harley touring bikes is that I can very easily change the ergonomics to fit me. The availability of handlebars, floorboards, seats, controls, etc. to make it a mile eater are so numerous it is almost overwhelming.
Also, my previous touring bike, Vulcan Voyager 1700 was covered in plastics that buzzed and vibrated and had to be hunted down during my 60,000 miles of ownership. The Tour Pack was permanently mounted so you couldn't easily remove it if you wanted to lighten the bike for local riding. Very few accessories were available. and the real clincher that Harley has over the Japanese is the availability of parts for the bike down to a hinge, a connector, etc. If you broke a part on the tour pack, you had to buy an entire tour pack for $1500 where Harley will sell each individual part separately. I even got a book of every part for the bikes.
Harley also builds a lot of plug and play harnesses so you don't have to go chopping into the wiring to add something. If you need a custom harness, there are aftermarket companies making them, or you can order the correct molex connector and pins from Harley and build your own.
Ohlins even makes adjustable suspension for Harleys front and rear. The newest touring bikes don't really need suspension replaced unless you are really riding the bike near the limits.