JACK OF ALL HARLEYS

Hamilton News - - PROP­ERTY GUIDE -

movie star. Although the re­lease of The Bar and Shield’s first elec­tric mo­tor­cy­cle — pos­si­bly a road go­ing ver­sion of 2014’s Project Livewire — is sched­uled for next year, it’s bikes like the very cool and highly ver­sa­tile Sport Glide that are go­ing to keep the brand rel­e­vant.

When it comes to Har­ley’s big twin en­gines, the Mil­wau­kee-eight is a gem, as it should be con­sid­er­ing the R&D that went into pro­duc­ing it.

I’ve re­cently rid­den 114cu in­car­na­tions in the form of the Fat Bob and Fat Boy but the Sport Glide comes with the smaller 107cu ver­sion of Har­ley’s lat­est and great­est engine. And you know what? I think it’s the bet­ter pick of the two after rid­ing the Sport Glide. Although the 114 is an ab­so­lute torque mon­ster, ready and dev­as­tat­ingly able to smoke rear tyres at will, the 107 — es­pe­cially in the Sport Glide — feels like a much more sport­ing choice. I did no­tice low down in the revs at town speeds — roughly 2200rpm and be­low — that the bike wasn’t par­tic­u­larly happy off the throt­tle, but as soon as you got about 2500rpm, the Mil­wau­keeeight comes alive and heads at full noise to the rev limiter.

It feels gen­uinely sporty, be­fit­ting a bike with a name such as Sport Glide.

A good move by Har­ley as I doubt prospec­tive rid­ers would be le­nient if the Sport Glide didn’t have that sporty feel to it.

The Glide as­pect, of course, comes from the new Sof­tail fam­ily chas­sis, which when com­bined with a thin — by Har­ley-david­son stan­dards — 180-sec­tion rear tyre re­ally makes for a bike that is as easy to tip in as it is to sit on and look cool.

Sure, it is still a foot-for­ward Amer­i­can cruiser — mean­ing cor­ner­ing clear­ance dries up much faster than a bike with cen­tralised pegs — but that is what you buy into when you opt for the im­age as­so­ci­ated with those for­ward con­trols.

With about 28 de­grees of lean each side, you’ve still got more than enough to truly hus­tle the Sport Glide about, even on our more twisty routes.

But it isn’t its han­dling or the engine that makes the Sport Glide spe­cial in the Sof­tail range, or the en­tire Har­ley-david­son fam­ily. It’s the bike’s abil­ity to rapidly switch be­tween per­son­al­i­ties at a seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble speed. $29,495 1745cc Mil­wau­kee-eight 107

● Looks good, rides well,

plenty of fea­tures

-

● Only comes in 107cu engine con­fig­u­ra­tion, you’ll need some­where safe to store re­mov­able lug­gage and fair­ing.

2018 HAR­LEY-DAVID­SON

SPORT GLIDE PRICE: ENGINE:

The trick to it is in its mini-fair­ing — well, that’s what Har­ley call it — and sad­dle­bags. While de­tach­able sad­dle­bags are noth­ing new, a de­tach­able fair­ing isn’t some­thing we’re used to, but all it takes is un­do­ing two clamps on the big USD forks and it pops right off ex­pos­ing the tra­di­tional cool that is an ex­posed cir­cu­lar head­light.

Once the rather cool “Man­tis” wheels start rolling, you can al­most for­get you’re rid­ing a Har­ley. It truly does strad­dle more classes than any of the other ma­chines in the stable and will con­tinue to do so un­til, hope­fully, the rebirth of the Buell Ulysses in some form as part of the plan for 100 new mod­els be­fore 2027. Un­til then, if you want a Har­ley that can com­fort­ably do a bit of every­thing out on the road, the Sport Glide is you’re after.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.