Дата публикации: 2018-05-27 17:12
After it was all over, as I sat there killing time waiting for my ride to the airport and watching the rally car track get set up for the X Games at Circuit of the Americas , I really wanted to like the kids (some of them bearded) on the BMX bikes on the Jumbotron, but it’s hard. I think my generation needs the gasoline, preferably Ethyl.
Speaking of which, H-D claims 96 mpg I saw 65 miles on gallons, so that’s about right. The -gallon capacity might cause problems for Western-state riders. The other thing that might limit long-distance range is significant vibration that creeps into the handlebars at around 85 mph in spite of the engine’s counterbalancer.
Nobody expected a drag racer, so nobody should be disappointed, but the new liquid-cooled V-Twin runs great, with no stumbles or flat spots, right from idle – and it’s flexible enough to pull from 85 or 95 mph in top gear no problem.
The seat is actually remarkably comfy, soft and nicely shaped, for about an hour. Later in the day, after you’ve been on it a few hours, it feels maybe a little too soft, but that’s such a personal thing. Your numbage may vary. (And H-D’s accessory catalog is already on the case with three seats – a Tallboy, a café solo and a reduced reach one, which scoots the rider even lower and inches forward.)
The stock headlight on our Sportster project bike was dim and dull after 66 years of service so we upgraded with a Harley Daymaker in. LED Headlamp.
In town, the other Great Leap Forward is inches of rear suspension travel – which is about more than the Iron 888, and the Street actually absorbs most bumps instead of bludgeoning them with its back tire. The back tire itself is an unusual-sized, flat-profiled Michelin Scorcher with unusually tall sidewalls, which also seems to be really bump-compliant. It’s a 695/75 R65, which I thought maybe the design department had asked for. But Mark Daniels, lead designer on the Street, says the tire was specced by engineering. In any case, the Street goes wherever you point its skinny little 87mm fork tubes with enthusiasm, and likes to be treated disrespectfully like some kind of naked sportbike, even. It’s happy to be flung into corners and put away wet.
So, if you can get beyond the seating position, limited shock travel, peculiar handling (due to the wide rear tire) and excessive rear cylinder heat, the Night Rod Special is a helluva motorcycle. It’s fast and gorgeous and showcases a level of performance unseen in other Harley-Davidson models save for the the V-Rod Muscle.
Suspension is not exactly sophisticated, but well-sprung for my 665 pounds, if a little underdamped when the going gets sporty and bumpy. There’s enough cornering clearance to have some fun but not enough to let you forget you’re riding a Harley. The brakes are old-school ABS, ie., the 797mm front disc doesn’t feel powerful enough to lock the wheel. Actual ABS is not available.
Where H-D sometimes goes to great lengths to hide cables and wires on some of its bikes, on the Street it seems to have left everything exposed on purpose. Maybe they’ll be selling a Dark Custom Trim Kit, like they sell to cover the wheels and propane tank on your mobile home? Maybe that’s unfair?
The Rod’s clamshell riding position is another area that drew some ire from our testers. “Forward pegs and drag race handlebar are a ridiculous combo,” says “Whatever!” Editor, John Burns.