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Went and test rode 2015 Harley Road Glide Special last Friday. After I got the thing out of the parking lot without dropping it (big plus to kicking off the test ride on a positive note) I had that constant O shit feeling every time I stopped.. Once on the road I had the music cranked with no problems hearing it through my helmet at 75+. Took the first turnaround under the interstate and scraaaaaaaatch... Drug something pretty hard. Ooops, glad it was the dealers bike. :O Shrugged it off and figured at like 9000lbs I should slow my happy butt down going through the corners :laugh It's not a canyon carver.

Took it back in after about 30 minutes of comfort mellowed riding. It was a completely different feeling then I get on my 636. I have only had my butt on my 636 and a few sport tourers. Took my safety course on a pos cruiser that I hated, which is I had pretty much stayed away from Harley in general. This was very relaxing and almost zen like. I see why most of the these guy go down due to not paying attention. It took a lot of coaching myself to stay alert during the test ride and to not play with the radio, nav, cruise, phone, CB, etc. etc.

Left the dealership still on my 636. I had no desire to trade it regardless of the ride. I talked some numbers, performance upgrades, add-ons, and out the door price. Left with a good understanding of what my $25,000 would get me in the Harley world.

Leaving the dealership I was instantly back in my comfort zone.. While it was fun kicking back and enjoying life for 30 minutes, I was now back to being super alert and zipping down the road. Good thing because coming back into SA, traffic suddenly started screeching to a halt. Not a slam on the brakes type stop but we can call it a brisk stop. I had plenty of time to react as did the cars in front of me. The problem was the b1tch in the f150 behind me. I instantly check my mirror anytime I brake and watch it a lot while stopping. I could see her not slowing at all as she barreled down on me. As I hit about 20mph I could tell I was in trouble. Got back on the gas and went beside the mustang that was in front of me on the shoulder staying close up next to his door. As I got next to the window I could see him looking in the review and I started hearing the tires. I immediately goosed it again and went another car up. As we all came to a stop, I looked back to see the F150 right on top of the mustang. It was close enough I thought she hit it but apparently she stopped in time.. Lucky for me I wasnt the buffer. :thumbdown:

I immediately started thinking what if's. What if I was on that touring bike? Would I have been able to get out of the way? Would I have been paying attention? Are my skills good enough to swerve a cruiser that fast? I like to think all of the above would still be positive. My main concern was would I have been devoted enough to do all that with the new toy and how important it is to remain vigilant.

Finally met up with my cruiser buddies to sit and chat at our local hangout. They drilled me for about 2 hours on how I liked it and gave some good jabs about buying me my first Harley insignias. I didnt let on but the truth was I was already touched. I could imagine getting out away from traffic and just kicking back to relax. Being super comfortable, rocking some jams, and taking the slow corner for hundreds of miles a day.

After I blew off those chums I had some serious thinking to do. This involved spread sheets comparing weight to HP/TQ, finances, insurance quotes, and calling several close friends to get their thoughts. I honestly expected some push back but the responses I received were shocking.. I really thought you would look at these sooner. What took you so long. I think you will enjoy the hell out of it. DAFUQ? Do I friggin ride that slow? :2fingerlol: Pretty much told them to piss off but they all said the same. Called my uncle who has been riding Harley a long time. He offered his suggestions which I took with a grain.

Saturday morning came and it was engraved in my head all night. About 10 seconds after I woke up I had made up my mind..



I took it out Saturday afternoon around SA. My initial thought is I need to get used to the weight. Stop and go traffic along with side streets and stop signs. A buddy tagged along on his lo-boy and we hit a few cruiser places looking for some more touring type gear. At the end of the day I drug the foot peg twice, bought a tshirt and beanie, and was no closer to balancing this beast or having new gear.

Sunday was all countryside. We went out around Canyon lake and it was pure enjoyment. It floats down the road with ease and my biggest correction was not speeding up in the corners. Struggled on a couple of turnarounds and getting out of a parking space but had a much better day. The ribbing from my friends telling me to push the bike like a man was probably the worst part. The truth is my 5'-7" frame with a 30" inseam isn't quite enough to flat foot this bike. A problem that needs to be fixed..

Monday on the ride to work went much better. I figured out that most of the weight issues were mental and not as bad as I was making them out to be. I was way over thinking it and even nailed a few one legged stops.. The third time I hit a little gravel and figured I had better stick with two legs :cry:

Took the bike back into the dealer yesterday. When I bought the bike I paid for an upgraded exhaust, high flow air filter, a new set of cams, and a custom dyno tune with removable turner. All warrantied through Harley at a much more expensive purchase price. :yumyum: I cant leave anything alone :nana:
It's supposed to be done tomorrow and I can't wait to get it back. It really is a different animal and a lot of fun to ride. Probably not for everyone but I am almost 40. While I still like going mach 1 I am also realizing that slowing down isn't as horrid as I thought. Hope you enjoyed reading all this crap and here are a few more pics.




My kid has sat on every bike I have owned. Almost consider it a blessing at this point. He's making his kicked back screw you face..




Thinking I need a bigger garage!!
 

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Welcome to the dark side =)

You are not alone, although my 'bagger' is a Triumph Sprint ST, I did make myself a fun little HD to ride.

There is this stigma that you must like sport bikes or tourerers, or jap bikes or harleys...but not both.

I for one do not buy into that bullshit and have an appreciation for all things on two wheels. I am glad to see that I am not alone.

Congrats on the purchase and I hope you really enjoy riding her.
 

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Wow...great write up! :bigthumb:

Funny....I am strongly considering selling my 05' zx6r and picking up a 2012 vulcan 900 left over for very very cheap. I have a 2012 so this is tempting....to cruise in the summer with that wind...calm..relaxed...and not always on edge. So I am right there with you in the reasoning.

Proud of ya...just don't get rid of your zx6r! :laugh
 

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Awesome! I've tossed the idea of a Harley around too, but more like a V-Rod or something. I love your ZX too though! Was just in SA last weekend. Reminded me of how I don't miss that traffic being back in Corpus for so long...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That was a great review!
...it leaking yet? :lol
Not worried about leaks at all.. Every new Harley now comes with a gift certificate for 100lbs of free kitty litter. It's why they put the bags on the back to begin with.

Buy me one? :)
LOL, the hard part was spending as much on that as the new R1M or the H2

Welcome to the dark side =)
You are not alone, although my 'bagger' is a Triumph Sprint ST, I did make myself a fun little HD to ride.
There is this stigma that you must like sport bikes or tourerers, or jap bikes or harleys...but not both.
I for one do not buy into that bullshit and have an appreciation for all things on two wheels. I am glad to see that I am not alone.
Congrats on the purchase and I hope you really enjoy riding her.
Thanks, definitely not alone. The hardest part is splitting time between groups and bikes. Took my 636 out last night and still had just as much fun. Glad she isnt jealous :tounge2:

Wow...great write up! :bigthumb:
Funny....I am strongly considering selling my 05' zx6r and picking up a 2012 vulcan 900 left over for very very cheap. I have a 2012 so this is tempting....to cruise in the summer with that wind...calm..relaxed...and not always on edge. So I am right there with you in the reasoning.
Proud of ya...just don't get rid of your zx6r! :laugh
No reason to sell my 2013. Its paid off and one of the best bikes I have ever owned.

Awesome! I've tossed the idea of a Harley around too, but more like a V-Rod or something. I love your ZX too though! Was just in SA last weekend. Reminded me of how I don't miss that traffic being back in Corpus for so long...
The traffic is worse here every year and I almost took a job in Corpus just for that reason. Then I remembered why I only lived there a year before: Humidity, showers, constant winds.. Love to visit, but no desire to stay. :)
 

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Yea I grew up here, but went to school in SA. Had the base not been here for work, I don't think I would have came back! I really liked SA
 

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I'm in that club...same age, same thinking. HD SOftail and Zx6r in the garage. Both are not costing me anything, but I can see a day coming where I enjoy owning the 636 more than riding it. My riding has become more about stealing a few moments of relaxing fresh air and not so much excitement. Not so sure yet though considered selling it last year...liking it again this year so go figure. Nice to have options.
 

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awesome review.

i also have a Harley. The wife is the principal driver of it, but its a great bike.

1994 sportster. picked it up with 9000 km on the clock, and it left puddles as if you were pouring oil straight out of the bottle onto the ground. So once winter rolled around, i tore it down, rebuilt the top end, freshened everything up, gave it a nice custom fade to pearlescent black paint job and its an absolute blast to ride.

i prefer the zx6r a million times more than it, but there are days where its a solid choice to fire up and ride around on. Even for a small harley, it feels like im sitting on a couch and can just get lazy :p
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Love having options. I'm more on the bagger but it's actually just more convenient. Sissy bar, luggage rack windshield radio.. I can see this being my main ride but still enjoy getting out and breaking an occasional law.. Nothing has changed in that regard.

Yeah really any cruiser is easier on the body and old Harleys made a mess. If you can get used to the power difference, loss of nimbleness, and gawking fat old woman, its a great experience. I've actually had people yell there address at me and tell me to stop by to visit. It's a different world for sure. Helps that I'm naturally sexy but still..:devious
 

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I've said it before; HD understands the market. They build a really good bike for the street. If you only intend to ride at the speed limit, they are one of the better platforms to do that on. Fit, finish, aftermarket support like nobody's business. They do chrome and trim better than any other manufacturer.

I just wish the scale of the things were a bit more realistic. Victory, HD, Indian..... all of those bikes are well over 700 lbs, and near 7' long. If you look at a 1940's Indian, it's about the same size as a Ninja. Why did they get so big?
 

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I've never been a big fan of HD cruiser type bikes, not because of the ride experience, but because of the essentially obsolete designs they expect you to ride. Heavy Iron frame, low revving engine are the norm.
Then I saw the Indian Scout.
Wow, relatively light weight, Aluminium frame,9000 rpm redine?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9UoffLzmvA

I can see why Polaris motorcycles sales are up 70%, and HD's are down.
 

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I've never been a big fan of HD cruiser type bikes, not because of the ride experience, but because of the essentially obsolete designs they expect you to ride. Heavy Iron frame, low revving engine are the norm.
Then I saw the Indian Scout.
Wow, relatively light weight, Aluminium frame,9000 rpm redine?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9UoffLzmvA

I can see why Polaris motorcycles sales are up 70%, and HD's are down.
The original Victory SC model was designed from the outset to outhandle anything build in Milwaukee. Better ground clearance, stiffer frame, stronger forks, stornger swingarm... 20 years later, they're still doing the same things well, and now they have high quality motors as well.

But they're still 7' long.....
 
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