RiderForums.com - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I attended the Harley Baton Rouge garage party Saturday and took a bunch of demo rides on the 2011 bikes, and honestly had a good time!

First up was a Sportster 1200, the forward controls felt really, really weird at first but I got used to it. Between the seat design and the forward controls I felt like I was going to fall off the back of the bike under acceleration. It also had very little ground clearance. It was very fun to scrape the exhaust on a brand new Harley with 9 miles on it though!

Switched to one of the Dyna models, dont know which one exactly. It was more comfortable and had more clearance than the Sportster but I still scraped it, the controls were more rear set which felt more natural to me. Probably my favorite of the Harley's for riding experience. It turned well and didn't feel as big as it was.

Then was a Heritage model with bags, windshield, everything. It was like riding a sofa, kinda boring. The big windshield had me sweating in a full helmet and jacket too, no windflow.

Rode a softail with floorbards and forward controls, by then I was used to the controls but it had ridiculously little clearance, scraped it 4 times in the little 10 mile loop and I wasn't even trying. Forward thrust was fun but the handling limitations were silly.

Biggest kick of the day for me? Big Dog chopper. Don't know which model,but it was ridiculous. Huge tire, silly stretch, loud pipes. It rode rough as hell and turned like a barge, but you cant help but have fun on something like that. It had some power too, lots of torque.

I didn't get to ride a V-rod, we had one more ride to go and I let my buddy ride it instead. He loved it though, especially the braking compared to the other harleys.

In summary it was a great day on two wheels, the Harley Baton Rouge team was great to hang out with and they really tolerated us young sport bikers beating on their new rides and actually encouraged us a bit!


Me, probably the only person ever to ride a Big Dog with so much gear on.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,329 Posts
Thanks

Thanks for the quick review Topgunz1. :alcy: Your experience on the Harleys sound similar to my recent experience on the Victorys. Fine enough machines... Just so very different from what I am accustomed to and currently prefer.

It is nice though to be able to actually ride those machines and get a real feel for them.

I like your picture and particularly the Caption!!! :bud:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,328 Posts
Nice write up. Reminds of of the time I stopped in at the dealer in all my sport leathers and he let me take a Star Raider for a ride. The Cruiser guys were staring at me in full racing gear on a bike that was new to the market. I couldn't help but smile as I gave them a wave.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
On 09/30 & 10/01, I too did Harley demo rides but at Bikes Blues & BBQ in Faytetteville AR. I had only ridden one Harley before that back in 2008 in Milwaukee.

Took my wife the first day to take her on a ride on the Concours 14 but Kawasaki wasn't there this year so she talked me into taking her on other bikes. First was the Ultra Classic trike, had to watch a training video before you could ride one. My wife liked it but not my style and she nearly fainted when the Harley guy told her the cost. Then she wants to ride the fully dressed Ultra Classic mc. I was nervous as hell knowing how heavy those things are. Since she's not used to getting onto a motorcycle, we talk several minutes about how she is to mount it. I get all set, she puts her foot on the floorboard and grabs my shoulder literally pulling me off the bike. I was able to keep it from crashing to the ground very hard but I sure was sore for a couple of days from trying to hold it up. Anyway, bike was checked out by the Harley people and they insisted we take it for the ride. This time I leave the kick stand down as she mounts. Once moving, the bike wasn't too bad but way bigger than I like. We get back, take our helmets off, and the Harley check in guy asks us what we think of the bike. My wife responds "it would have been better but he was so nervous the bike shook the entire time" as she holds her hands up shaking them. I look at her and say "b****, that was the engine not my hands" but I was nervous the entire time on it.

She didn't want to ride on any of the other Harleys so she talks me into riding the Can Am Spyder. I was surprised at how easy it was to handle but the whole thing seemed cheaply made.

Since the Concours 14 wasn't there and the FJR was, we rode the FJR. My wife really liked it except it didn't have the trunk so she could rest her back on it. It was nice tho how she would squeeze her thighs around me when we accelerated! End of day 1

I go back down by myself on day 2. Yamaha wouldn't let you ride but 2 times in one day so I sign up to ride the FJR again and the V-Max. Our escorts took us for a very spirited ride on both and I had a blast. The V-Max is one awesome torque producing machine but way too easy to spin the back tire. The FJR was very smooth and very easy to handle.

When having to wait to ride the Yamahas, I decided to ride Harleys instead of just standing around. I start off with the 1200 Sportster, extremely rough riding and didn't seem to have very much power for that big of an engine. Harley guy talks me into riding a Wide Glide, much more comfortable and powerful, I was kinda of surprised with it & first time I took a curve, the floorboard scraped and whoa, not used to that. The Harley guy then talks me into riding the Fat Boy since I liked the Wide Glide. Holy Cow Batman!! Still not my style of riding but I liked the balance of power, ease of turning, comfortable seat for my skinny butt, and you could scrape a floorboard with confidence. I decided to ride the Ultra Classic again, much easier to ride without the wife on it!!! I rode a couple of other Harleys, just don't recall what they were as they didn't impress me at all. I too didn't ride any of the V-rod series. I too had difficulty with the forward floorboards & I never really got comfortable with them.

Anyone who hasn't done demo rides before should plan for one. They are a blast!! Oh.....I got a lot of stares from the sleeveless hard-core types because I wore full gear but I saw several others wearing full gear too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,328 Posts
On 09/30 & 10/01, I too did Harley demo rides but at Bikes Blues & BBQ in Faytetteville AR. I had only ridden one Harley before that back in 2008 in Milwaukee.

Took my wife the first day to take her on a ride on the Concours 14 but Kawasaki wasn't there this year... .
I wonder if Kawasaki wasn't there because their dealer meeting was that week. I saw a european version of the new Ninja 1000 that had the same GIVI saddlebags that I have on the Ninja 650. That might be what I go to when the 650 is spent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
I wonder if Kawasaki wasn't there because their dealer meeting was that week. I saw a european version of the new Ninja 1000 that had the same GIVI saddlebags that I have on the Ninja 650. That might be what I go to when the 650 is spent.
My friend who works at a local Kawasaki dealership told me that Kawasaki had their nationwide conference in Las Vegas the same week/week-end & that's why they weren't at BB&BBQ this year.

Yeah, that Ninja 1000 looks pretty tempting except the 32+ inch seat height. I figure my 650 will have near 75,000 miles on it by this time next year, one never knows!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,108 Posts
I rode a Harley once. We were bump starting it after the battery died, and we needed my fat rump to weigh the wheel down during the compression stroke.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
929 Posts
I rode a Harley once. We were bump starting it after the battery died, and we needed my fat rump to weigh the wheel down during the compression stroke.
:killingme
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Besides the V-Rod the other one I really wanted to ride was the XR1200X, they seem pretty well received by all the magazines. Alas, none were available to demo.

I wish the stars would have aligned for me to attend the Triumph and Ducati demos in New Orleans but they were both scheduled on my work weekends.

My day riding cruisers, plus the first two-up ride with my wife on the Gixxer, have me eyeing the cruiser market though! It would be nice to have another bike that was still fun but comfortable and could 2-up a bit easier. too many bills, maybe one day!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,328 Posts
Besides the V-Rod the other one I really wanted to ride was the XR1200X, they seem pretty well received by all the magazines. Alas, none were available to demo.

I wish the stars would have aligned for me to attend the Triumph and Ducati demos in New Orleans but they were both scheduled on my work weekends.

My day riding cruisers, plus the first two-up ride with my wife on the Gixxer, have me eyeing the cruiser market though! It would be nice to have another bike that was still fun but comfortable and could 2-up a bit easier. too many bills, maybe one day!
Have you taken a look at the mean streak? One of the best cross-over cruisers for the sport rider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Besides the V-Rod the other one I really wanted to ride was the XR1200X, they seem pretty well received by all the magazines. Alas, none were available to demo.

I wish the stars would have aligned for me to attend the Triumph and Ducati demos in New Orleans but they were both scheduled on my work weekends.

My day riding cruisers, plus the first two-up ride with my wife on the Gixxer, have me eyeing the cruiser market though! It would be nice to have another bike that was still fun but comfortable and could 2-up a bit easier. too many bills, maybe one day!

The Ducati Diavel

:FIREdevil:FIREdevil:FIREdevil:FIREdevil

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,328 Posts
The Ducati Diavel

:FIREdevil:FIREdevil:FIREdevil:FIREdevil

I like unique and different, but I find many of the ducatis to be just plane fugly. I understand that it is a european thing, like strange eye glasses and shoes, but not for me thank you very much.

Now triumph on the other hand has some pretty awesome looking rides.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top