Tag Archives: Motorbikes

Harley-Davidson trademarks Rude Boy

Harley-Davidson trademarks often end up as names for their motorcycles, but in this case, Rude Boy will be used for their upcoming range of electric bicycles.

The company has struck some trouble with the recent launch of their LiveWire electric motorcycle:

  • The bike was delayed a month going into North America dealerships;
  • Several dealerships refused to pay big money to instal DC fast chargers in order to sell them;
  • Sales have also been a disaster as customers have baulked at the $US29,950 (about $A44,000 when it arrives in Australia late next year) ticket price; and
  • They temporarily pulled the plug on production to fix a problem with one charger.

    Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle electric highways short circuit
    Riding the LiveWire in Orgeon

Rude Boy electric bicycles

The company has filed its application for the Rude Boy trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office for use with “electric bicycles; electric bicycle parts and accessories”.

Harley already has a Fat Boy Softail motorcycle which has been a huge success over the years, so they will be hoping for the same with with Rude Boy.

So far Harley has shown three pedal-assisted electric bicycles, an electric scooter and electric balance bikes for kids.

Harley and Indian announce 2018 sales results electric scooter bicycle
harley electric scooter

With Harley sales down and an ageing demographic, the company is keen to bring in new, younger customers.

This shift toward two-wheeled electric bicycles is part of their future-proofing strategy.

Harley electric bicycle LiveWire ID specs rude boy bicycles
Harley electric mountain bike

Harley has previously shown their electric mountain bike (above) and their electric bicycle prototypes (below) under the “Future Vehicles” tab on their website.

We expect the latter will be the Rude Boy bikes.Harley-Davidson electric bicycle balance kids rude boy bicycles

It says they are not yet available for sale, but “coming soon” and “future models shown may not be available in all markets”.

They include mid-mounted electric motors, belt drive and one with a step-through “female” frame.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Why You Should Change Your Old Electric Scooter

(Sponsored post)

Scooters are not just meant for kids. If you want to avoid the hassles of parking your car or being stuck in traffic, then you should invest in buying a scooter. Electric scooters also come with a variety of features allowing you to choose one that will suit your needs. Whether you are an urban commuter or you want to take on nature travel, you must get a scooter suitable for your needs. Also, the engine noise associated with motocross tracks is a bit of a turn-off; hence, you must replace your old electric scooter with a better one.

1. Improvement in battery technology

More companies today are producing better electric scooters. This has increased competition in battery production. These recent years have been characterized by environmental-friendly and economical scooters. It is, thus, necessary for you to change your old electric scooter to allow yourself to experience the joy of these newer, improved batteries. These electric scooters have long-lasting batteries, which enables you to travel for up to 43 miles per charge. Also, battery consumption when the scooter is motionless remains minimal, so your charge will last longer.

2. Affordability

The electric cars are pricey, and biking is exhausting. Consequently, scooters are the most viable option. This means that to save some cash, you only have to change the old scooter for a newer model. Also, if you do not take a long-distance journey, scooters are better than electric bikes. They are available at affordable prices with great qualities. If the scooter is damaged, it is easier for you to get spare parts. The repairs will also not cost as much as they used to for the older models; click here for more information on repairs and pricing.

3. Speed Increase

With many electric scooter models released recently, most companies are competing to provide higher speeds and more control to the buyers. There are scooters, today, that go at an average speed of 60mph. This is why you should replace your old scooter and increase your speed. You cannot afford to miss the new upcoming powerful motors, which are equal to 400cc engine hence guaranteeing you great speed.

4. Better Appearance

You can change your scooter and get a better and fancy looking one. Most of them now come with a pillion passenger seat. They have stylish and contemporary designs. This means that they are more elegant and boost your self-esteem when you are riding around the city. The new models are equipped with a larger cargo box hence allowing you to carry more luggages.

5. Greater Control

The upcoming scooters are equipped with powerful motors, thus allowing the users to handle all acceleration of the motor. This means that you will not need a clutch and a gearbox. Besides, the scooters are environmentally friendly. This makes the new electric scooters efficient hence fun to ride.

Features To Consider When Buying a New Scooter

Ducati Super SOCO electric scooters
Ducati Super SOCO electric scooter

· Electric Motor

Before you choose a scooter for yourself, you need to consider whether you can climb mountains on the scooter. If your grounds are not smooth, then you need to choose an electric scooter with a motor that is powerful enough to allow you to climb fast without any issue. At least a 350-watt motor should do the trick.

· Range

You will have to consider how far the batteries can go on a single charge before you buy one. The range will also vary depending on whether you will be riding on flat ground or rough terrain. Temperatures will also affect the mileage of the scooter. You should put that into consideration too.

· Portability

The last thing you want is an electric scooter that is too heavy to carry around. One thing is for certain; you will not always be riding your scooter. Sometimes you will have to carry it around. While all scooters are relatively smaller, some are heavier than others. This difference could cause a huge problem for you. Whether you are buying online or from a brick and motor store, you need to consider how much weight you can handle versus how much the scooter weighs.

Conclusion

Old electric scooters put you at high risk of an accident. Also, sticking to your old machine limits you from experiencing the great power that comes with the new upcoming one. The British government is now subsidizing the production of electric scooters. Hence, they are inviting more innovation and more producers to enlarge the Market. You cannot afford to miss such new inventions, which will be revolutionary in the upcoming days.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley-Davidson plugs LiveWire back in

Production of the Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire motorcycle has started again after being stalled a few days this week over a problem with one home charger.

The company says it was only a “single occurrence”. There was no problem with the motorcycle, only the charger.

“We take pride in our rigorous quality assurance measures and our drive to deliver the world’s best motorcycles,” their press statement says.

They had asked owners only to charge their bikes with the DC fast charger supplied at some HD dealerships. However, they say it is now safe to use any method to charge them.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycleHarley-Davidson's electric LiveWire short circuit
LiveWires on DC fast chargers

Even though it doesn’t arrive in Australia until late next year, Harley-Davidson Australia had issued this statement:

As we lead in the electrification of motorcycles, we have delivered our first LiveWire motorcycles to authorized LiveWire dealers. We recently discovered a non-standard condition during a final quality check; stopped production and deliveries; and began additional testing and analysis, which is progressing well. We are in close contact with our LiveWire dealers and customers and have assured them they can continue to ride LiveWire motorcycles. As usual, we’re keeping high quality as our top priority.

We also asked how many Aussie orders they had and how many dealers were installing the DC fast charger:

We are not in a position to share any specific details and we are currently working closely with our dealer network as we get ready to welcome what will be a very exciting product for Australian and New Zealand customers.

Phone and other electrical devices can have issues with chargers overheating and causing a fire.

In March, the entire fleet of 18 Energica electric motorcycles for the MotoE series were destroyed in a blaze that was blamed on a short circuit in one of the charging units.

electric garage fire energica short circuit
Energica garage explodes in flame

Electric fires

Electric vehicle and charger fires can be caused by short-circuits, power surges, impact, excessive discharge or overheating.

They also cause special concerns for fire fighters.

Lithium batteries are obviously made with lithium which is highly flammable and stored in mineral oil.

short circuit
Tesla goes up in flames

While it is not toxic, it can cause nausea, diarrhoea, dizziness, muscle weakness, fatigue and a dazed feeling.

Electric vehicle and battery fires can also release sulphuric acid, carbon monoxide, copper and cobalt.

Fire fighters can’t douse the flames with water as the high voltage can cause an electric shock or electrocution.

Instead, they have to disconnect the power supply (usually an orange plug) and contain the fire to let it burn itself out.

LiveWire short circuit

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle electric highways short circuit
Riding the LiveWire in Orgeon

This temporary hiccup with Harley’s electric motorcycle program follows a month delay in deliveries to US dealerships where it has created a lot of interest, but not a lot of sales.

Buyers are apparently baulking at the $US29,990 price (about $A44,000).

Some dealers are even rejecting the expensive DC fast-charger installation which is a requirement of being able to sell the bike.

PR exercise

So Harley has two major PR exercises going at the moment to rescue the LiveWire.

Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor are currently shooting Long Way Up from the bottom to the top of the Americas, riding LiveWire motorcycles.

Charley and Ewan adventure on LiveWire
Ewan and Charley pack their LiveWire bikes for the trip

And now HD has brought in Hollywood action star Jason Momoa who plays Aquaman and Khal Drogo to test ride the bike.

“Harley wanted me to test one of the new LiveWires, I was kind of like ehhh. I like the idea of it but I wanted to hear it,” says Jason who is more at home on pushrod fuel burners.

While filming on the Gold Coast in 2017, he took delivery of a Softail.

Now he says he is stoked by the electric bike.

“I have never been on anything this fast, it kind of blew my mind,” he says.

“I am in love with it, it’s amazing and I look forward to the future of many more of these bikes.

“It’s so fast, faster than I need, it’s amazing. It’s good for the planet, beautiful, we’re moving with the times.

“Best part is, it’s the future. You can have this and your old one. It’s amazing.”

Harley is going to need a lot of star power to help the LiveWire over this current short circuit!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW F 850 GS Rallye and R coming?

BMW Motorrad could soon be adding a limited-edition F 850 GS Rallye and an F 850 R production bike to its expanding line-up.

The company has prepared a special F 850 GS Rallye for the annual International GS Trophy Oceania competition in February 2020 in New Zealand.

While they have been specially prepared for the GS Trophy, we reckon they are so attractive the company will make a limited production run.BMW F 850 GS Rallye for NZ GS Trophy

BMW has already made at least 140 of the GS Rallye models for the competition and possibly more as replacements in the event of crashes or failures.

So there are probably also more sitting in storage waiting for release next year.

BMW usually uses the big 1200 (now 1250) machines for the Trophy and has produced 1200 GS Rallye X models for production.

It used the smaller F model in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

The BMW F 850 GS Rallye Trophy comes with special black and yellow colours and graphics, gold anodised forks and a host of features from the BMW Motorrad catalogue. 

GS Rallye features: 

  • High handlebars 14 mm higher than standard;
  • Enduro footrests plus adjustable foot brake lever and gear lever;
  • Hand protectors made of impact-resistant and UV-resistant plastic;
  • Engine protection bar made of electropolished stainless steel for lightness and longevity;
  • Enduro engine guard made of aluminium;
  • Rallye seat is narrower, taller and has more padding;
  • Water-resistant tail bag;
  • LED auxiliary headlights in a compact aluminium housing;
  • Headlight protection; and
  • Touring windshield with adjustment.

F 850 R

BMW F 850 R
BMW F 850 R patent image

Meanwhile, F 850 R patent images have been leaked ahead of its tipped unveiling at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan in a couple of weeks along with their new R 18 cruiser.

Apart from the new engine, the mages shows the bike has a new swingarm, new frame, bodywork, instrument panel, fuel tank and smaller exhaust now on the left. 

We expect the engine may be differently tuned for more midrange oomph than the F 850 GS.BMW F 850 R patent image

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

CFMoto 650GT is third model in the range

CFMOTO Australia has added the third 650cc model to the range, called the 650GT ABS which is a “grand tourer”.

It will cost just $8490 ride away and joins the naked 650NK at $6490 and the 650MT at $7490 including a free set of panniers valued at $650 until the end of the year.

Comparative models are the Honda CBR650L ($9999 +ORC), Kawasaki 650L ($9999 +ORC), Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 (from $84440 ride-away), Suzuki SV650 LAMS ($8990 +ORC) and Yamaha MT-07 $9999 +ORC).

That makes the CFMoto 650 range among the cheapest 650cc learner-approved road-going motorcycles in our market.

Not only do they represent good value, but our long-term test on the 650MT shows they are reliable.

CFMoto 650MT update 650gt
Our long-term test 650MT

CFMoto 650GT

CFMoto’s grand tourer comes standard with a large colour auto dimming TFT display, adjustable windscreen and USB and 12 volt charging sockets on either side in the cockpit. Panniers are also available as an option.

The 650GT ABS is powered by the same 41.5kW (LAMS restricted) 650cc parallel twin engine as used in the 650NK and 650MT variants.

It is managed by a Bosch EFI system delivering a user-friendly power curve, perfect for new riders. CFMoto 650GT

The hydraulic brakes are supplied by Spanish company J.Juan with a Continental ABS.

It is shod with Metzeler tyres and claims to have a “plush ride” on the KYB conventional telescopic forks and cantilever KYB rear monoshock.

CFMoto also claims the low seat height of 795mm will provide a relaxed riding position.

They say it will appeal to commuters, tourers and learner riders.

The 650GT ABS is available in two colour options, Concept Blue or Nebula Black and is backed by CFMOTO’s two-year, unlimited km warranty.CFMoto 650GT

KTM links

Like the other models in the CFMoto range, the 650GT has European styling thanks to Austrian design house Kiska which also designs KTM motorcycles.

CFMoto  has close ties with KTM, making their bikes in China for the domestic market.

This collaboration will lead to a host of new motorcycle models to be released by CFMoto over 2020/21.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Yamaha steps up its electric program

Yamaha is stepping up its electric program with removable batteries, but not in a full-size electric motorcycle.

That’s probably just as well as Harley-Davidson has hit a short circuit with the introduction of its LiveWire.

Instead, Yamaha will unveil two electric scooters, an electric bicycle, an electric mobility scooter and an electric personal scooter at next week’s 46th Tokyo Motor Show.

Yamaha has not revealed many details of its new electric program at the Tokyo show, but they do promise fast-charging, extra range and removable batteries.

Electric program

So far, Yamaha has only produced the electric PES1 (Passion Electric Street) road bike and PED1 (Passion Electric Dirt), but neither is available in Australia.

In June, Yamaha unveiled their EC-05 electric scooter with Gogoro lithium-ion battery packs you can easily swap at a convenient roadside vending machine.

Yamaha Gogoro battery swap electric scooter
Yamaha electric scooter with removable Gogoro battery

Yamaha was also recently believed to be co-operating with the other Japanese motorcycle manufacturers to standardise electric motorcycle and scooter technology, including charging infrastructure and swappable battery packs.

In Tokyo they will unveil the small E02 scooter and classic-looking E-Vino, both with removable batteries.

There will also be a YPJ-YZ pedal-assisted e-bike, an electric tilting three-wheelers mobility scooter, and the electric Land Link Concept.

The latter uses artificial intelligence image recognition technology to autonomously move over “vast” outdoor terrain. It is likely designed to transport cargo.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley-Davidson LiveWire hits short circuit

Harley-Davidson’s electric LiveWire motorcycle has hit a short circuit with production stopped for a “nonstandard condition” involving the home charger.

The company has asked owners only to charge their bikes with the DC fast charger supplied at some HD dealerships.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycleHarley-Davidson's electric LiveWire short circuit
LIveWires on DC fast chargers

There is no other information from the company.

Even though it doesn’t arrive in Australia until late next year, we asked Harley-Davidson Australia for comment and received an unusual stoney silence.

Which leaves us speculating.

The strongest possibility is that the home chargers overheat which could cause a fire.

In March, the entire fleet of 18 Energica electric motorcycles for the MotoE series were destroyed in a blaze that was blamed on a short circuit in one of the charging units.

electric garage fire energica short circuit
Energica garage explodes in flame

Electric fires

Electric vehicle and charger fires can be caused by short-circuits, power surges, impact, excessive discharge or overheating.

They also cause special concerns for fire fighters.

Lithium batteries are obviously made with lithium which is highly flammable and stored in mineral oil.

short circuit
Tesla goes up in flames

While it is not toxic, it can cause nausea, diarrhoea, dizziness, muscle weakness, fatigue and a dazed feeling.

Electric vehicle and battery fires can also release sulphuric acid, carbon monoxide, copper and cobalt.

Fire fighters can’t douse the flames with water as the high voltage can cause an electric shock or electrocution.

Instead, they have to disconnect the power supply (usually an orange plug) and contain the fire to let it burn itself out.

LiveWire short circuit

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle electric highways short circuit
Riding the LiveWire in Orgeon

This short circuit to Harley’s electric motorcycle program follows a month delay in deliveries to US dealerships where it has created a lot of interest, but not a lot of sales.

Buyers are apparently baulking at the $US29,990 price (about $A44,000).

Some dealers are even rejecting the expensive DC fast-charger installation which is a requirement of being able to sell the bike.

PR exercise

So Harley has two major PR exercises going at the moment to rescue the LiveWire.

Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor are currently shooting Long Way Up from the bottom to the top of the Americas, riding LiveWire motorcycles.

Charley and Ewan adventure on LiveWire
Ewan and Charley pack their LiveWire bikes for the trip

And now HD has brought in Hollywood action star Jason Momoa who plays Aquaman and Khal Drogo to test ride the bike.

“Harley wanted me to test one of the new LiveWires, I was kind of like ehhh. I like the idea of it but I wanted to hear it,” says Jason who is more at home on pushrod fuel burners.

While filming on the Gold Coast in 2017, he took delivery of a Softail.

Now he says he is stoked by the electric bike.

“I have never been on anything this fast, it kind of blew my mind,” he says.

“I am in love with it, it’s amazing and I look forward to the future of many more of these bikes.

“It’s so fast, faster than I need, it’s amazing. It’s good for the planet, beautiful, we’re moving with the times.

“Best part is, it’s the future. You can have this and your old one. It’s amazing.”

Harley is going to need a lot of star power to help the LiveWire over this current short circuit!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW R 18 cruiser spy photos surface

Spy photos of the production version of the BMW R 18 cruiser prototype that dropped jaws earlier this year now comes with an oil cooler, longer pipes, bags and a fatter front tyre.

We expected there would be some differences between the beautiful and simplistic prototype and it seems engine cooling for emissions regulations will be the real spoiler of the production model.

BMW Concept R8 cruiser r 18 heritage
BMW R 18 cruiser concept

No surprises there.

The production version is expected to be unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan next month.

Spy photos2020 BMW R 1800

We’re not sure where these spy shots came from as we have seen them on many websites, each with their own watermark over them. These are all from Motorcycle.com who say they “received them”.

Unfortunately they don’t show all of the bike as it is loaded on to a truck with a blue tarp covering most of the machine.2020 BMW R 1800

However, we can see the 1800cc boxer engine is pretty much the same as the prototype, except for that oil cooler and, of course, EFI instead of the carburettors on the prototype.

That chrome-fronted engine is going to cop a lot of wear from stones thrown up from the front wheel!2020 BMW R 1800

We can also see the pipes are much longer and the front wheel is smaller with a fatter tyre.2020 BMW R 1800

The prototype front wheel has a 21-inch wheel with a 110mm or 120mm tyre. The production version is likely a 17 or 18-inch with a 130mm or wider tyre.

Like the prototype, the front wheel has twin discs and spokes.

Because of the changed wheel geometry, it seems the front forks may also be a slightly tighter rake and trail.

BMW Concept R 18 cruiser
R 18 prototype

BMW designers have thankfully retained the lovely drop tank, exposed chrome-plated drive shaft and the simple steel cradle frame.

Let’s hope they have also retained the single, simple, lamp-shaped headlight.

Obviously the production version will have indicators, instruments and mirrors that the concept didn’t. And we doubt those back-to-front levers will be used.

Two versions2020 BMW R 1800

There appear to be a couple of versions of this bike; cruiser and tourer.

In some photos we can see a rear seat, rather than the prototype’s solo saddle and there are even leather saddlebags and a tall windscreen.2020 BMW R 1800

Pre-bookings have already opened around the world and a range of heritage gear to natch the bike has been released.

BMW Group Australia spokesman Nick Raman says customers are champing at the bit for the cruiser.

“Orders have been taken at a dealer level for a production equivalent of the R 18,” he says.

“The deposit amount is at the dealer’s discretion, bearing in mind pricing and specification detail have not yet been released.

“We are however very pleased with how the pre orders are tracking.”

BMW R 18 cruiser timeline

BMW has been teasing us with a return to cruisers since December 2018 when a Japanese custom shop wheeled out an R18 with a mysterious new BMW engine.BMW R18 custom concept

In April 2019 a second cruiser concept with the engine was rolled out by a Texan custom shop.

Then BMW wheeled out their BMW R 18 cruiser prototype at the 90th the Concorso d’Eleganza show at Lake Como in Italy.

There are no details, no tech specs and not even a confirmation that it has an 1800cc boxer engine, but it does look big enough.

The biggest Beemer boxer engine yet is believed to be 1798.4cc in an over-square configuration (107 x 100mm).

The Concept R18 cruiser was built for BMW Motorrad by Unique Custom Cycles of Sweden.BMW Concept R 18 cruiser

BMW R 1200 C R 18 cruiser
BMW R 1200 C

BMW only built the R 1200 C cruiser from 1997 to 2004. In recent years, it has become a collector and customiser favourite.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Electric Honda motorcycles may warn pedestrians

Future Honda electric motorcycles and scooters might feature an alarm to warn pedestrians unaware of the approaching quiet vehicle.

Japanese company has secured a patent through the Indian patent office for the device.

Honda’s compact alarm device fits under the seat with speakers on the front of the bike.

It features an audio processor that sounds the alert and controls the sound level depending on the time and the level of surrounding environmental noise.

We imagine it would be similar to the beeping tone on some vans and trucks when they are in reverse to warn pedestrians.

Most electric motorcycle and scooters make no more noise than a bicycle, so pedestrians could step out in front of them, causing a collision.

While it may be a safety device for both the rider and pedestrian, it could make traffic noise even more annoying than it is now.

Honda patents

This latest patent from Honda continues its blitzkrieg of patent applications.

honda patent drum brakes variable riding position emotions
Honda patent for variable riding position

This is one of many patents Honda has lodged in the past year and we are not sure how many of these they will put into production.

This new patent join the following from Honda over the past year:

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Step up to Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

The 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special is a massive step up in technology, but not price.

It now includes the Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS) introduced in the electric LiveWire which will be available in Australia late next year.

RDRS affects chassis control, electronic brake control and powertrain technology, basically providing a safer, more enjoyable riding experience for just $500 more than last year.

And that’s despite the fact that the Australian dollar has fallen more than 16% since January 2018 against the US dollar.

Street Glide SpecialStep up to 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

I’ve ridden Harley’s Street Glides for many years now and can understand why it is their top-selling Touring model.

What makes it “Special” is the big 114-cube Milwaukee Eight engine with a whopping 163Nm of torque.

Despite all that thump, there is no clunk on start-up. In fact, it is a refined mill married to a finessed transmission where neutral is no longer difficult to find.Step up to 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

What also makes it Special is the step up in rider-aid technology.

Their RDRS features cornering-enhanced traction control, cornering ABS, linked brakes, tyre pressure monitors,  a slipper clutch (Drag-torque Slip Control System) to prevent rear-wheel lock-ups on aggressive downshifts and even assistance to prevent you rolling backward on hill starts!

The suite of rider controls combine to provide more confidence, especially in wet or slippery road conditions.

But they don’t get in the way of your enjoyment.

In fact, you don’t really know they are there until you need them.

On a couple of my exploratory rides through the Sunshine Coast hinterland, I ended up on dirt roads and was glad to feel the engine falter as the back wheel lost traction.

It’s a soft intervention that allows a little bit of wheel spin, but not out of control.

If the conditions get extra slippery or the roads are wet, simply toggle the left switch block traction control (TC) button to bring up the blue cloud and rain symbol on the dashboard. This totally eliminates any wheel spin.Step up to 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

Step up to cornering aids

I also accidentally discovered the joys of Harley’s step up to cornering-enhanced linked braking and traction controls on the tight and twisty Bellthorpe Range Rd.

I came around a blind corner a little too eagerly only to find a peacock strutting its stuff across the gravelly road.

My right foot was not perched ready over the rear brake to tuck the bike into a tighter line, so I grabbed the front brake, instead.

Normally this would stand the bike up and point me directly at the peacock. But because the brakes are linked and “enhanced” for cornering, it allowed me to steer around the strutting bird.

The sprinkling of gravel also activated the Cornering Enhanced Antilock Braking System (C-ABS).

While no amount of electronic rider aids is a replacement for a step up in skill levels, it does save your bacon when a bit of inattention and bad luck could otherwise have dire results.

Step up to 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

As for the Vehicle Hold Control (VHC), it’s actually quite handy at the traffic lights.

All you do is add a bit of extra brake lever pressure when you come to a stop and it will hold the bike and allow you to relax at the lights without having to hang on to the brakes.

It lets go as soon as you let out the clutch or activate the throttle for a smooth and faultless hillstart. That’s reassuring when you are on a steep incline with a full load and a pillion!

Infotainment

I’m not a big fan of built-in infotainment systems where the music is inaudible at anything over 80km/h.

However, the integrated BOOM! Box GTS infotainment system on this bike works well.

I love the fact that the bike asks you if you would like to guided to the nearest service station if you are low on fuel or tyre pressure.

It has a TFT display with edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass that is touch sensitive, even with gloves and in the wet.

You can also control all functions from the two handlebar toggle switches.

For an extra $300 (approx) you can fit a wireless interface module that adds Apple CarPlay for access to some of your iPhone apps.

Or you can press the speech button to activate Siri and tell the system what to do.

Step up to 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
HD OneConnect app

Next year, Aussie buyers will also have access to Harley’s subscription-based OneConnect app that alerts the owner to tampering or theft and provides real-time tracking.

Handling

Suspension was updated the previous year.

It comes with Showa Dual-Bending Valve forks with bigger pistons for improved damping that takes away that “jackhammer” affect through the grips while retaining a sharp and light steering feel.

At the back, Harley moved from air shocks to emulsion shocks with 15-30% more preload adjustment using a single hand-adjustable knob behind the left pannier.

Ride quality is firm, but not harsh.

However, the rear shock is a bit short for bumpy roads and heavy loads, although I never got it to bottom out.

AeroStep up to 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

The first hint of summer arrived just in time for my test.

It’s always going to be hot sitting on top of massive V-twin behind a “barn door” fairing.

However, Harley has advanced the ignition, dropped the rear header down from the exhaust port and moved the catalytic converter rearwards to make it cooler for the rider.

It still gets hot in slow traffic and your pillion’s right leg cops a lot of the hot air that has been moved backwards.

Unfortunately, even the short sporty windscreen blocks a lot of cooling air.

Yet it also creates a bit of turbulence around the top of my helmet.

I’m 183cm, so shorter riders might find it ok. You can also buy taller screens.

I added a windscreen extension which reduced the turbulence but also diverted cooling air.Step up to 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special

Conclusion

This torque monster delivers plenty of raw grunt, but with finesse.

It will also provide a step up in comfort and safety on long trips, thanks to its suite of hi-tech rider aids.

PRICING 5

  • VIVID BLACK $A39,250 ($NZ42,250)

ENGINE

  • ENGINE2Milwaukee-Eight™ 114
  • BORE102 mm
  • STROKE114 mm
  • DISPLACEMENT1,868 cc
  • COMPRESSION RATIO10.5:1
  • FUEL SYSTEMElectronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
  • EXHAUSTBlack, 2-1-2 dual exhaust with tapered mufflers

DIMENSIONS

  • LENGTH2,425 mm
  • SEAT HEIGHT, UNLADEN690 mm
  • GROUND CLEARANCE125 mm
  • RAKE (STEERING HEAD) (DEG)26
  • TRAIL173 mm
  • WHEELBASE1,625 mm
  • TYRES, FRONT SPECIFICATION130/60B19 61H
  • TYRES, REAR SPECIFICATION180/55B18 80H
  • FUEL CAPACITY22.7 l
  • OIL CAPACITY (W/FILTER)4.9 l
  • WEIGHT, AS SHIPPED359 kg
  • WEIGHT, IN RUNNING ORDER375 kg
  • LUGGAGE CAPACITY -VOLUME0.071 m3

PERFORMANCE

  • ENGINE TORQUE TESTING METHODEC 134/2014
  • ENGINE TORQUE3163 Nm
  • ENGINE TORQUE (RPM)3,000
  • LEAN ANGLE, RIGHT (DEG.)32
  • LEAN ANGLE, LEFT (DEG.)31

DRIVETRAIN

  • PRIMARY DRIVEChain, 34/46 ratio
  • GEAR RATIOS (OVERALL) 1ST9.593
  • GEAR RATIOS (OVERALL) 2ND6.65
  • GEAR RATIOS (OVERALL) 3RD4.938
  • GEAR RATIOS (OVERALL) 4TH4
  • GEAR RATIOS (OVERALL) 5TH3.407
  • GEAR RATIOS (OVERALL) 6TH2.875

CHASSIS

  • WHEELS, FRONT TYPE6Gloss Black Prodigy
  • WHEELS, REAR TYPEGloss Black Prodigy
  • BRAKES, CALIPER TYPE32 mm, 4-piston fixed front and rear

ELECTRIC

  • LIGHTS (AS PER COUNTRY REGULATION), INDICATOR LAMPSHigh beam, turn signals, neutral, low oil pressure, engine diagnostics, auxiliary lighting, cruise, ABS, immobiliser, low battery voltage, low fuel warning.
  • GAUGESGauges styled to complement each vehicle. Display features odometer, trip A, trip B, range to empty and gear indicator; and larger tell-tale indicators.

INFOTAINMENT

  • INFOTAINMENT SYSTEMBoom!™ Box GTS
  • TYPEFull Colour TFT
  • WATTS PER CHANNEL25
  • SPEAKERS2
  • SPEAKER SIZE6.5 inch BOOM standard
  • HEADSET SPECIFICATIONS (IF EQUIPPED)16-64 ohms
  • FMStandard
  • SD CARD, FLASH DRIVE AND MP3 – VIA USB CONNECTIONSupported
  • LANGUAGESEnglish (US/UK), German, Spanish(Mexico/Spain), French (Canada/France), Italian, Portuguese(Portugal/Brazil), Russian, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Turkish, Japanese
  • HANDS-FREE MOBILE PHONE – VIA BLUETOOTHStandard
  • VOICE RECOGNITION LANGUAGES: PHONE FUNCTIONS ONLYEnglish (US/UK), German, Spanish(Mexico/Spain), French (Canada/France), Italian, Portuguese(Portugal/Brazil), Russian, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Turkish, Japanese
  • VOICE RECOGNITION LANGUAGES: TUNER/MEDIA/NAVIGATIONEnglish (US/UK), German, Spanish(Mexico/Spain), French (Canada/France), Italian, Portuguese(Portugal/Brazil), Russian, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Turkish, Japanese
  • VEHICLE INFORMATION SCREEN (AIR TEMPERATURE, OIL PRESSURE AND EITMS)Standard
  • TEXT-TO-SPEECH (TTS) LANGUAGESEnglish (US/UK), German, Spanish(Mexico/Spain), French (Canada/France), Italian, Portuguese(Portugal/Brazil), Russian, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Turkish, Japanese
  • USBUSB/MTP/iPod/iPhone
  • BLUETOOTHPhone/Media Supported

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com