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I'm going to ride a Harley Davidson for the first time.

By Wom Battle

Armed with some information from my accountant I returned to the Big Bike Dealership and plucked up the courage to walk into Harley Davidson Land.  The helpful sales person I had spoken to earlier in the day handed me over to the Harley Davidson specialist.  Looking at the prices that conveniently showed the weekly repayments and residuals I was confident that if I wanted to get one of these shiny beasts, I could.  Now, which one suits me....

I was shown through the range from the smallest up.  Size did matter for me and I didn't feel quite right until I got onto a Road King Classic.  There was a demo bike in the store and I organised a ride.  I ducked home, got some things ready, went back and was ready to go.  I was met with a store policy that test riders had to follow the salesperson who rode another bike.  The rules were explained to me and we went outside to the demo Road King.

An interesting sales fact provided about the bike was that you could turn the throttle forward when stopped so the rear cylinder didn't get so hot (allegedly by stopping fuel to it) so your balls didn't warm up. I hadn't considered the possibility of hot balls.  Very interesting.

The salesman then showed me through the security system how to turn it on, blinkers etc. As usual, very confusing. I got a little nervous again and all of a sudden understood why my father-in-law wouldn't drive my wife's Mercedes and won't drive her BMW. Anyhow, I was about to find out what the polarisation of the bike world was about and ride my first Harley-Davidson.

Conversation then went to riding the Harley.  Apparently the 60 minutes of test riding in the last 13 years no longer applied.  With this bike I was to use the back brake a lot more than I would on other bikes or I might not stop very well.  I wasn't to worry too much however, the Road King had dual brembos on the front, they work much better than the ones with a single front disk. But remember to use the back!

If I was worried about stalling and looking like a dick on the other bikes, this one was terrifying. It roared into life, shook vehemently and sounded very serious. I was still looking where everything was when the sales person cruised past on a Fat Boy.  I wasn't quite ready.....

I quickly looked for traffic and took off before I could think too much about what I was doing.  Fortunately, it wasn't and eventful takeoff and I was on the road.  I found the vibration quite disconcerting.  I found it quite difficult to pick the right gear to use in the heavyish traffic.  The blinker thing had me concerned, I didn't know where to look to see if they were on or off and found myself trying to look over the handlebars at the lights to see if they were flashing.  We then got out onto a bit of open space 90 - 100kph and the exerience changed.  The vibration and noise settled and I was "cruising".  This was better!

I found it difficult to focus on the bike and following the salesperson in traffic, the experience wasn't that great to be honest.  I did notice the heat on the tackle while stopped at a set of lights on the way back (I don't think I imagined it).  When I got back I felt that overall I had enjoyed it, but felt strangely puzzled by it. Stirred and shaken you might say.

The Harley Davidson Road King Classic was 35k.  I had a chance to chat to their finance people to discuss payments, terms and residuals, all were OK in terms of disposable income.  Time to go home and think more. Did my budget need reviewing again?

After the ride I dropped in next door to have another look at the Triumph Rocket III (Tourer this time).  While I was looking at them I walked past the Blue Road King I'd seen there before and dismissed as too expensive and thought to myself that it looked out of place at the BMW dealership.  On the way back to the car I walked along a the row of used Harley Davidsons on offer at the Big Bike Store and didn't really see anything I liked other than perhaps a green Heritage Softtail that was being sold for 22k.

Anyhow, home to chat to my wife and have a big think.


Disclaimer: This non commercial website and its content is not affiliated with or associated in any way with the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Harley-Davidson Australia, the Harley-Davidson Owners Group® or any Harley-Davidson® Dealers in Australia.  The use of the terms Harley-Davidson, and Road King® are unavoidable because that's what I own and ride.  This website,  called "My Harley Davidson" , and any opinions or comments expressed herein are purely about my Harley-Davidson Road King ownership experience, a truly great experience at that. I have no intention whatsoever to infringe on any trademarks or copyright ownership of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company or anyone else.

March 2021