Interesting thing happened the other day, well it wasn’t exactly an impulse thing. I had been planning for a while but at the point of execution it was still impulsive. I managed to buy a real life Harley Davidson Motorbike and my good old C500 now has a younger sibling. It is a bit like the Williams sisters the younger one is much bigger in CC 🙂
Yes I know, been an RE fan but then I was also an HD fan. So, just did it!
There, now that I have broken the news, let’s talk a bit about the ride.
My word, what a ride.
The sheer acceleration and feeling of power is awesome enough but to top it off, there is the sense of much more power available to tap in to, if you want. The cruise speed I have been on is around 120 and have hit a peak of 140kph. But the bike still has a lot more to give. Don’t think I am going above 140 anytime soon, but that’s only because I am drawing a line there. I was amazed at the way the bike moves from 120 to 140. At 120, open the throttle on a flat road and there is a smooth movement of the needle to 140. Scary!
While talking of speed one needs to talk of braking as well. While I have read that the Superlow braking isn’t the greatest, I am quite happy with the way the bike slows and stops so far. No cause for complaint. Use both brakes simultaneously and the bike slows down without a wobble and stops when and where I want it to.
Speaking of wobbles, there are none. At 120 the Superlow has fewer rear view mirror vibrations than the C500 does at say 60 KPH. The bike is almost 100 kilos heavier. Cruising at 120 it is absolutely rock-steady.
The bike sits a lot closer to the ground. The rider is part of the bike in this case. The much larger rear tyres and the lower centre of gravity make it a great bike to take corners and turns. On winding roads and sweeping curves it is a pleasure to ride.
But seriously there is a lot of power under your butt here. This is a machine that tests your self-control. All that power to tap, you need to be sure about yourself before releasing that power.
Some specs of the bike from the Harley site –
- Length 2,215 mm
- Seat Height, Unladen 695 mm
- Ground Clearance 100 mm
- Rake (steering head) (deg) 31.1
- Trail 145 mm
- Wheelbase 1,500 mm
- Tires, Front Specification 120/70 ZR-18 59W
- Tires, Rear Specification 150/60 ZR-17 66W
With the territory comes some additional hazards and therefore requirements for safety.
When your cruise speed moves up from 80 to 120 kph you need to make sure you have the right equipment to support your ride.
The basics to have in place, a good riding jacket with armor, a very good helmet (preferably full face), Knee and shin protectors – these are a bit tricky to get right (more further down) and good shoes.
I went and got knee + shin protectors from Dainese, a lot of my friends who ride similar bikes recommended it. They sit snug on my legs and give me good confidence on their ability to protect. Shoes deserve a complete blog post of their own, so I shall desist. Also I am still riding with my Salomon hiking shoes and need to get a proper riding pair. But the bike itself has blown such a large hole in the pocket that it will be a few months before I will get the shoes I want.
Well the bike looks a beaut !!
Keep riding and stay safe! Adios!