The Long American Ranger
HARLEY DAVIDSON WAS CONCEPTUALISED TO ENABLE AMERICANS TO CONQUER THE ARROW STRAIGHT HIGHWAYS OF THE COUNTRY. NOW HARLEY IN INDIA WANTS INDIAN FANS TO EXPERIENCE THE SAME THRILL FINDS
The cult of biking involves going on rather long rides quite removed from the mundane office commute. But to do this one also has to lay their hands on a bike which is more inviting than the weekend snooze. So is the Harley Street Bob capable of converting you from a couch potato to a traveller? Let’s find out!
First looks are impressive thanks to the halo of being a cruiser. The Street Bob features a raked out front end which is topped up with an ‘ ape’ style handle bar. The small fender adds to the finesse of the machine and from then on, this Harley starts gathering the muscle. The big tank can hold 17.3 litres of fuel and also houses the speedo with an inbuilt digital display. This digital display doubles up into a rev counter and also serves as a trip computer. The fuel gauge on the other hand is located on the faux filler cap on the left. But the ‘ killer’ of the package has to be the paint and the medallion set on the tank. Matt black looks smooth as silk and the finish is impec-
cable. The big 1585cc blacked out V- twin motor further adds to the charm of a good looking bike. The Street Bob also features a Bobber solo seat ( yes you can have twin seats) which at 680mm from the ground is a comfortable perch to be on. The rear section looks ultra smart thanks to the chopped fender and the fat tyre also makes for a big visual which ups the coolness quotient!
Swing your leg over and the Street Bob instantly feels comfortable. Common notions suggest that the ‘ ape’ handlebars makes for an uncomfortable riding position, but once adjusted, they feel pretty good. Thumb the starter and the massive twin cylinder motor starts with a proper rumble. The whole bike starts shaking as if it is the bike which is bolted on to the bike rather than the other way round. Slot the gear into first and there is a proper mechanical clunk. You know that a few metal connections have been made and once you dump the clutch, the bike takes off in rapid pace. As you work through the gears the Harley takes little time to caress the 100kmph mark and still going rock steady. However as speeds climb past the 120kmph mark, the wind draft hitting the rider intensifies. This is a common problem with cruisers as they lack wind deflectors. At 140kmph it becomes rather violent and urges the rider to lift off! Just a small addition of a windshield is enough for the rider to go bonkers. But the real surprise came when we turned off the arrow straight highways on to the hills. The climb dance of this big burly motorcycle was one to truly enjoy. Corner after corner, the foot pegs kept scraping the tarmac and the awesome Michelins kept gripping like glue, allowing you to rev the bike.
Drawbacks? Well, there are some too! First the clutch feels hard and in the madness of stop and inch forward traffic, it is a pain. Then in comes the burning sensation! The loud exhaust pipes which offer a brilliant audio passes right below the rider’s thighs and at idling the heat burns! A shield of some sort would have made things a lot more comfortable.
So at Rs 10 lakh plus for the basic bike does the Street Bob make sense? If you are one of those who prefer going knee down on every corner stay away from this machine. But if you are a bohemian traveller, this beast is just the one for you.
HARLEYS ARE GENERALLY ASSOCIATED WITH ARROW STRAIGHT ROADS. BUT THE STREET BOB DID TAKE TO
THE HILLS RATHER WELL
THE BIG V- TWIN MOTOR OFFERS GENEROUS TORQUE WHICH COMES HANDY ON THE HILLS ( ABOVE). THE INSTRUMENT PANEL IS COMPREHENSIVE. THE FUEL CAP ON THE LEFT IS ACTUALLY THE FUEL GAUGE ( BELOW). THE MATTE BLACK PAINT METAL LOGOS LOOK VERY COOL ( RIGHT).