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

India Today - - WHEELS - RAHUL GHOSH

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).

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