Harley-Davidson Low Rider Review
- Published On: 24 May 2018
- 4 min read
What is Harley’s new Low Rider like to ride?
The Low Rider was preferred by custom motorcycle builders for a long time, but despite its popularity overseas, the Low Rider was never sold in India. The Low Rider is now part of the brand’s Softail family and it received the same thorough makeover as the rest of 2017 Softails. Now, the brand-new Low Rider was recently launched alongside the Deluxe as the sixth addition to the family in India. So, what’s it like to ride?
The new Milwaukee Eight engine feels calm and refined. The 1753cc V-Twin comes to life with a mild rumble, and then settles into a lazy idle. The six-speed gearbox engages with a nice clunk and with 144Nm at your disposal, you’ll never feel like you’re lacking for power. The bike is great on the highway too and can cruise at 120kph with ease.
The Low Rider managed hit 100kph in a quick 4.59 seconds. Despite it being this quick, its more adapted to natural cruising down the highway in a relaxed manner. In traffic, this bike can be tedious courtesy its heavy clutch, but there’s lots of grunt available at all speeds. The riding position feels a bit cramped, but the handlebars are ergonomically set, however the centre-set footpegs take some time to get used to. You are sat comfortably upright and its low, 680mm saddle height will please shorter riders too.
The chassis is much stiffer, and the dynamics are much improved. In fact, it masks its 305kg weight quite well. Bear in mind though, it isn’t the most agile motorcycle to ride in traffic and the turning radius is also quite wide. The bike’s ride is almost like you’re on a magic-carpet ride. The new monoshock and telescopic fork by Showa let the Low Rider glide over bumps and undulations – this is easily one of the most comfortable cruisers around. Also, don’t let the name throw you off, the bike never scrapes if you’re gentle over speed-breakers.
The bike is fitted with a single-disc brake unit on both ends along with a smooth, dual channel ABS. For a bike this heavy, the brakes are solid, but they feel wooden and you have to put in strong effort to get the best out of them.
This bike looks charming – the round headlamp, large 19-litre fuel tank, pullback bars, generous saddle and the shotgun style mufflers look classic Harley. The dual instrument console on the fuel tank, which has an analogue tachometer and speedometer add to its appeal. There even is a small digital display for details like an odometer, trip meter, fuel gauge, gear position indicator and range. You get modern tech like an LED headlight and cast aluminium alloy wheels. The bike also gets keyless ignition with an in-built safety system that sets of an alarm if someone moves the bike without the key.
This bike is for Harley traditionalists - its retro lines will make sure you attract the right amount of attention, and it’s a bike that has scope to be customised. At Rs 13.59 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), it’s also the second most affordable motorcycle in the new Softail family after the Street Bob, making it one of the smartest bikes to invest in from the family.