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Topic: Culture Warriors  (Read 6734 times)

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« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2007, 02:31:44 pm »



I used to think this, but since an experience last year on a very twisty highway, I dunno....Anyway, I try to never diss anyone else's ride.  Actually, some of the guys I met in the Harley shop were real "characters," and worth listening to.  Some of 'em...


No dissing meant on my part.  Hey!  I'm usually a Harley defender!  

You gotta admit though.  With the exception of a few models, H-D bikes are not really meant for big lean angles and high speeds.  So their clientele normally are not the types that ride the way we do.  Plus, you can be a great rider.  But when you're touching down your floorboards or pegs at every sparks-flying corner, the bike will limit your progress.  I frequently ride my Firebolt in tight twisty roads, I'm talking down to 10 mph decreasing radius.  The bike excels on those types of roads, but it kills anything big, with long wheelbases and limited ground clearance.

I actually am a bit familiar with H-D bikes.   Wink  Their sportiest model is the Street Rod (based on the V-Rod but more sportbike).  H-D claims a lean angle of up to 45 degrees on the Street Rod.  Not bad.  The Firebolt can lean up to 57 degrees.   Wow  

H-D's other sportiest model is the XLR Sportster 1200.  The "R" at the end of XL stands for "Roadster".  It is actually more a standard motorcycle than cruiser, with a slightly forward lean to the seating position, and footpegs mounted parallel to the rider's knees.  This is the bike that shares the same heart with the Buell 1203 motor.  Don't mistake the XLR Sportster with the XLH Sportster, which has a more raked front fork, bigger front wheel, lowered rear end, forward controls, and is basically a cruiser version.  
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« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2007, 02:48:08 pm »


You gotta admit though.  With the exception of a few models, H-D bikes are not really meant for big lean angles and high speeds.  So their clientele normally are not the types that ride the way we do.

Oh yeah, I agree with you here.  I bought my Buell specifically because I like riding around corners, and we have a lot of 'em in my area.  And the few cruisers I have ridden, I've found did NOT handle like the Buell (I even demo'd a H-D Street Rod, probably the highest-performance regular Harley made, and while the engine was amazing, it did NOT inspire confidence in the corners--and yes, I took it around a few).

But I tell ya, the guy I was following--and his bike certainly wasn't a Rod, and I don't think it was a Sporster either--those I can recognize--anyway, this guy could ride.  I see quite a few Harleys in my area, and most are as you describe--slow and easy in the curves, and even then I've had 'em run wide into my lane...so this one guy just kinda blew me away.  (Mind you, I did pass him in the end...)
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« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2007, 02:53:34 pm »

I once rode with a guy named Dave Hooker, who I think frequents ADV. He'd just bought a BMW GS and the guy was insanely fast. He told us stories of him riding his Road King and dusting gixxers on some the roads in eastern Washington. I didn't doubt him for a second.
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« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2007, 11:24:35 pm »

Nearly all Harleys have lean angles in the 30ish degree range.  Superglide Sports and Duece are the middle 30's.  It doesn't sound like much compared to sport bikes but it's a  whole lot more than many - sport bikers incl - are willing to use.  Some decent tires and a good pilot will go a long ways.  The FLH touring rigs with the low cg actually handle pretty well for what they are.

I didn't realize European Buells are sold along side Euro brands.  I browsed a couple of HD dealers websites in various countries and found they carried Buells also so didn't go looking further.  

I really isn't any surprise they do well in a place where exotic twins are the rule not the exception.  We have a couple of Brits at work who love 'em and think nothing of it.
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