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The Demo Truck was in town (long post, photo heavy)

  #1  
Old 09-21-2018, 04:44 PM
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Default The Demo Truck was in town (long post, photo heavy)

The demo truck was in town and I had some use-or-lose vacation, so I took the day off (me dealer was okay with it) and went down to check out some of the new bikes. It was about 90į out and there wasnít a lot of shade on their loop so I didnít ride everything they brought...but I got out on 8 or 9 different bikes. Iíll post some pics and some of my impressions below...

Bike 1 was the FXDR 114. I really wanted to like this bike...but Iím definitely not the target market. The route we took didnít have enough turns or open areas to really see how it took corners, but I will say that it steers nice, itís stable but still fairly quick. Brakes are good, not great, but the riding position is just all wonky to me. Most of the older riders didnít care for it, either looks or ride...but unfortunately, I spoke to some 20-somethings who werenít too crazy about it either. I was hoping HD had a minor hit on their hands, but Iím not so sure now. The rear end treatment is almost universally disliked, the air box is annoying, and the riding position is, for me, a deal-breaker.


Sport Glide. I love the concept of this bike and I was really impressed with its overall feel. I think the bags should be a bit larger and the clamshell design kind of limits their usefulness, but I really liked this bike and the way it rode. Iíd like to see it with a 114 and dual front disks, though.


Next up was a CVO Roadie in the Mako Blue fade color. I mostly wanted to ride this one to see if it had a rattly top end like my 117 does...and yeah, it does. In fact, all of the 117s I listened to were pretty clattery. I liked the color but I wish it had the blue coming up a bit higher...the back of it looked too black to me. In fact, most of the CVO colors I saw were kind of underwhelming to me.


Then I took out a new Fat Boy 114. That bike hauled. Nice ergos, decent seat, but I managed to scrape the boards in a very shallow turn - this bike would NOT be fun in the twisties, at least not stock. But I liked the looks and that 114 in there is a nice motor.


Next was the CVO SG in the Wineberry or whatever it is. Again, I was underwhelmed with the color, although I will say itís nicer in person than it is online. Great color if you donít really want to stand out. The bike is nice, of course, even with the rattly 117. Plenty of power and superb fit and finish. After being on a RG for the past year it was odd to be back on a batwing bike, but I liked it.

I must have forgotten to snap a pic, but I also rode a SGS with the 114. Thatís a strong motor, really. It didnít feel quite as ďimmediateĒ as the 117, but itís miles beyond my old 103 in both power and refinement. Riding a CVO spoils you, though, and not having the goodies on the Special was kind of a bummer...but itís still a lot of bike for the money.



Then I hopped on a 48. Man, now THATíS a motorcycle. I kept looking for the kickstarter! Everything you need and nothing you want. I would love to have one of these as a second bike. Itís just a helluva lot of fun. I told the rep ďthis isnít a motorcycle, itís a time machine.Ē I hadnít ridden a Sporty since the 80s and this one still felt pretty much the same (but nicer). No wonder these are still so popular. Left me grinning ear-to-ear.


Next up was a Deluxe. I could roll some miles on this bike...comfy seat, good ergos, nice power, and lots of chrome! This is a nice, fun motorcycle. Thumbs up!


Fat Bob 114. Hahahahahahaha! This bike is a riot. It feels like a scooter, really - you look out over the dash and just see road. The 114 pulls hard, it actually corners, and itís (dare I say it?) flickable. Iím surprised I donít see more of these on the road.


My overall impression is that Harley has a nice lineup, especially for us guys on the older end of the spectrum. I know a lot has been posted about attracting younger riders and I think theyíre making progress...but costs are always going to be an issue. At the end of the day, though, these are nice, well-built motorcycles and I think they have a lot of appeal for a lot of people. Iím happy to see them showing off new motors and new designs and I really hope their Adv and Streetfighter models are competitive on both performance and price.

All in all, it was a great way to spend a day.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2018, 05:08 PM
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thanks for sharing your thoughts, especially since I missed my local dealer's demo truck. I had to smile on your comments about the sporty...exactly why I cannot part with mine, just too dang fun!
 
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Old 09-21-2018, 05:20 PM
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Good photos, I haven't been to a dealer to look at them yet. Sport Glide is the only one that tugs at me.
 
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Old 09-21-2018, 05:24 PM
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Damn if I were younger that sport glide would be mine......
The FXDR is badass also except that pipe has to go .....
 
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Old 09-21-2018, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Tarkus60 View Post
Damn if I were younger that sport glide would be mine......
The FXDR is badass also except that pipe has to go .....
I am guessing that after-thought rear fender on the FXDR is the first thing new owners chuck into the garbage.
 
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Old 09-21-2018, 05:35 PM
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Great report. I doubt we'll get a demo truck full of bikes way up here like you did, so I partially live vicariously through guys like you who post pix, reports and impressions.

I appreciate it.

I ride a RKC, but have always wanted to try a Sporty. I've never ridden anything else, so I am anxious for the day. Sounds like it'll be fun !
 
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Old 09-21-2018, 06:31 PM
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If Harley ever decide to put the 114 in the Sport Glide i might be tempted.
 
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Old 09-21-2018, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Faulkner View Post
If Harley ever decide to put the 114 in the Sport Glide i might be tempted.
After riding all the other 114s then riding the 107 in a bike with ĒSportĒ right in its name made me wonder why they didnít offer it...I think if they made a Sport Glide S with the 114 and dual disks theyíd have an awesome bike on their hands. I was really surprised how much I liked it.
 
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:10 PM
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The street bob looks like an awesome bike. I didn't find the seat too comfortable but it sure looks like it would be a fun toy to play around town in.
 
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:11 PM
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I also test rode the FXDR and a few softails.

Aesthetics are subjective. But, in person the FXDR looks cheap to me. The airbox and exhaust pipe kind of look like a bolt-on piece of plastic, as do the turn signals front and rear. The fender, seat and rear cowling also look and feel chintzy. Fit and finish is great with tight tolerances everywhere. But overall, it just looks cheap. Best way I can describe the aesthetics.It's like the goal was to make everything look like a piece of plastic that was bolted onto the frame.

The rider triangle also is not my cup of tea. But again, subjective. IMO, the FXDR is basically a suped-up breakout, both in geometry and rider position.. Basically, it's just a Softail Breakout Special.
 

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