I just went to the HD website and clicked on this model. It says "built to push limits". No, it is not. It is a big scooter, and in all honesty, I would rather have a Ninja 250 or 500.
So we begin with the big orange/black blimp helping me find the dealership. I thought, wow, it could be a Halloween store. When I pulled into the parking lot, I was right about both...everyone had their Harley Davidson costumes on. Even the dogs. The gay bee gees song confirmed both as well.
How do I convey this feeling I had? lmgtfy...
So OK, let's be objective. You're not here for the costume party or orgy of mental-masturbation, you're here to experience a Harley Davidson (remember, these are my thoughts BEFORE riding a Harley. I am now aware that one without the other is useless). I find my way to the tent to register. They asked me the usual questions...wait...they asked me the questions you'd expect from a Harley Davidson test ride. I'll skip the obvious truth-jokes here but you can imagine. By the way, I thought it really cute that they actually had loaner helmets...until the safety lecture, but one step at a time.
I'm off to the third tent, as instructed. Apparently the lady couldn't count, because she meant fourth. I get there and it was just as useles as the third tent. Some guy was told he had to wait 2.5 hours for his ride. Understandable...it was about noon-1pm when I got there. When it was my turn he asked me what I wanted to ride, and I told him the new sportster. I received an email about it, and I actually thought that was the only demo there was. He was confused. Now I was also. He mentioned the sportsters they have, and I mentioned to him its supposed to be the new sporty sportster. He mentioned the 48, which I know it isn't (its a retro sportster (
) and nightrider or whatever the blacked out is called. I said anything with the 1200 is fine. Oh damn, I just realized, all this time I was riding a 1200cc motorcycle?
Anyways, he gave me the 48 and I said "f- it". It's really interesting that when they're here doing a promo for hteir bikes, they dont even know what they have.
When asked about how long it would be, he said when the next ride gets in. Really? Some guy would rather wait 2.5 hours to sit on a loveseat with wheels? OK, different strokes for different folks.
So the safety lecture begins and it ends with "by the way, if anyone needs to learn how to ride, I do offer lessons". I thought it was a joke. No, he wasn't joking. This, with the loaner helmets...now I was worried. It didn't help when I saw the zx1200x and bee-lined to it (hoping someone would just hop on another sportster if they had this one) and the guy with the boat-harley next to me nearly tipped over his bike. Actually, I think he did but the footrest kept it up
I BS you not.
Staggered formation...pretty simple, right? WRONG, A__HOLE! You don't know dick! So we leave and at the very first right, everyone is all of the sudden in one lane. This is a very wide and long right turn lane, so I just naturally scooted to the top. I didn't do it on purpose or even think about it. I just figured, when everyone decides to get back into staggered formation, I'll still be in it. Really, I can't emphasize how wide the lane was, and how slow everyone was going...and to make things worse, most of the first riders STAYED in staggered formation during the turn. But oh, someone had to "straighten me out"
No passing? Idiot, I was going 5-10 mph when everyone else was merging to the right, for no reason, no traffic and a very wide turning lane. I decided to ignore him even though he wasn't one of the guys from the dealership (who didn't tell me anything). Maybe it was my blue/white jacket, maybe it was my full face helmet, but it really annoyed him that I rode NORMAL. F- him and the horse he was riding
(edit) by the way, there were two other right turns and even with no traffic, clearly visible, they stayed at the red. In California, you can turn on a red right if there's no traffic and you make a complete stop.
So what's up with all this drama before you even describe the performance of the motorcycle? Dude, its a Harley...it doesn't have performance adn it's all about image. This is a part of the review...actually, the main part.
So the bike had the torque of what I imagine a sv650 has. It vibrated pretty bad. The 1198 vibrates bad also, but not this bad...and the 1198 rips new as-sholes into unsuspecting victims whereas this thing is just a big scooter. I've owned a few bikes and I'm no stranger to vibrations on the bars, but I exaggerate not...the whole front forks, down to teh wheels, vibrate. It looks really scary and I'm not joking. I looked at the bigger bikes and saw what loooked like an air inlet? (between the cylinders) vibrating REALLY bad...like my forks. I dunno what to say about this.
The seating position was nice.
There, I said something nice. Acceleration sucks. It redlines at 7k. You get there fast (45mph I think). I will give it respect for feeling very balanced. I would feel more comfortable leaning this thing at the track or canyons than the streetfighter or 1198 I just had demo'd an hour earlier. Maybe that's because I'd worry about dropping the Ducs? And no, for the record, it didn't skewer my opinion of the Sportster. I drove a very old car from one to the other and it took me 1/2 hour to get there.
So we stayed riding in straight lines, except for turns. this thing does turn good, and feels like it has great balance. its more of a competitor to a Monster than anything.
So I went to do the kickstand and it really is weird. First, I found it quick because I knew before hand that it would be a hunt so I was mentally prepared. Second, i couldn't keep my heel on it the whole time. The rear set got in the way. So some clown comes over to help and tells me its a "toe" type.
I did it with my toe and it still couldn't do it.
So anyways, I'm thinking "now I can talk about how much harleys suck", even for a cruiser type bike. Seriously, it sucks. I saw a regular full sized cruiser...I think an Americana Triumph with 865 engine for under $6k brand new...why would I buy this instead if I just want a couch with wheels? Whatever. I go to the free grub place and i'm told i need to go inside to get a ticket...it is free though. F- you, enough is enough. This gay day parade had to come to an end. I was hoping for a free burger but i'm not going inside the gay disco for it. I just grabbed a drink (dont know if a ticket was required, probably though) and left.
Folks, it was not worth it. If you really want to experience a Harley, wait until you're 55 and 300lbs. Til then, ride something that can hurt you...or better yet, buy a car.
This isn't meant to be a dis on harley owners, but the whole culture and attitude...
...its not working.