Seems like every year there’s a new piece of two wheeled machinery for me to fall in love with. This year is no different, but we’ll get to that shortly. It all started two days ago at the Harley Davidson Test Our Metal test ride at our local dealer.
The day didn’t start off the best. During the pre-ride scout, one of the ride leaders dumped a test bike and suffered a bit of rash. That took the Sportster 1200XR out of the test ride instantly. Not sure what happened to cause the dump, but a newly sealed parking lot probably had a lot to do with it. He made out fine though.
That delayed the ride by quite a bit and by the time they actually got back from the scouting run, it started to rain. Wet roads means no rides as apparently their insurance doesn’t cover them when it’s wet out. So there was a lot of waiting.
The first ride didn’t get out until early afternoon and I was bound and determined to get as many bikes out as I could before they closed up for the day.
First bike: 2011 883cc Sportster Superlow
I didn’t like the standard controls and after a while my right knee was whimpering to get stretched out. It felt like a small bike, a really small bike. Also, I don’t know if there was something wrong with this particular test bike (very possible) but it was jumpy as shit. Every other bike I rode that day had a smooth throttle, but this one was have epileptic fits every time I would let off and increase on the throttle.
It’s a really nice looking bike, easy to handle and takes corners well, but it’s definitely not for me. If it had forward controls, it would have been a lot more comfortable as the bars were in the perfect position. But that’s not hard to change, the mount points for forward controls are right there at the front of the frame…all you need is money.
Second bike: 2011 1250cc Night Rod Special
The only reason I took this one out was the fact that it was the only bike left on the second ride. I had the black and red one out for a ride last year and it killed my lower back. I’ve been on a regular workout routine for the last year and my back has gotten a lot stronger, so I was able to survive this stretch rack of a bike. This thing is still crazy powerful and the odd growl that it pumps out is rather appealing. It’s fun, but I’d never be able to ride it for a long time. At the end of the ride I was happy to step off, but smiling from the rush.
Fourth bike: 2011 1600cc Super Glide Custom
You’ll see why I skipped the third bike in just a bit.
Super Glide? I didn’t like it. It just felt like a plain old bike and I wasn’t a big fan of the seating position with standard controls. Plus it felt much fatter then it actually looked. Crazy pick up on this thing though and no lack of power with the six speed tranny. Too bad the ride was too short with not enough straight aways to take advantage of it.
Odd note: During the ride I reached up to adjust the left mirror and the whole damn thing came loose. Not only that, but the signal light below also came loose because they’re attached. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t for the vibration point on the bike. About 1/3 of the way up on the throttle, the whole bike vibrates like a runaway dildo and all I could do was watch the mirror and signal bounce around. So yeah, not the bike for me.
Third bike: 2011 1200cc Sportster 48
Meet my new love. H-D? You listening? You hit the nail on the head with this piece of machinery. It’s lean, it’s low, it’s barebones, light and a great sized engine to power it along. It only weighs 257kg wet (567lbs), so it almost feels like you are tossing around a bicycle…a really fast bicycle. It’s a feet and fists in the wind riding position with a little tiny seat to snuggle your ass in. And you better snuggle your ass in nice and tight, cause this bike is going to try and slide you out of it. I lost track of how many times I slide off the end of that seat when I cranked the throttle. It just goes and wants to keep on going like some over anxious little pony.
The two big wheels made this bike track like a dream and corners were easy to dive into, easily scraping those ridiculously long feelers. The only “problem” is the small fuel tank, you won’t be doing long long stretches on this bike with a measly 7.9L (2.1Gal), but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It gives the bike such a minimalist look and suits it so well that I wouldn’t mind taking that frequent break to fuel up and stretch out. Besides, the tank is where the bike gets it’s name from. First year of the peanut tank. I would gladly have this bike in my stable and it would be my daily ride…it would also result in me having a few speeding tickets…but I’d smile and accept it.
Best description for this bike? An adult BMX. Seriously…I love this thing. Joey you listening? Top of the Xmas list here! Ha, one can dream.