This Harley's for little girls

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To us, this 2011 Harley SuperLow is the pick of The Motor Company‘s new
range. To start with, it’s simple, cheap (at $7,999 it’s now the
cheapest Hog) and features a host of common-sense technical improvements
that should make it better to ride. So why’s it for girls?

Look at it. There’s nothing here that says “Aww, aren’t you cute, a chick that wants to ride along with her man.” There’s no tribal flower color schemes, no pink paint. No frilly lace tassles (these may be available as an optional extra). But, it does have a super, extra, ultra low seat height, just 25.5 inches. Perfect for petite biker babes. Thank you Harley for not condescending to women.

Harley didn’t just stop with the low seat. With the intention of making the SuperLow as easy-to-ride and maneuverable as possible, it fitted common sense mid-mount footpegs that’ll actually enable riders to use the brakes and gear while, well, riding. There’s also less trail in the front suspension for quicker steering and the wheels and tires have been spec’d to reduce unsprung weight to further boost responsiveness. Yes, we did just write “reduce unsprung weight” in an article about a Harley.

The SuperLow is based around the Sportster 883, as the name suggests using the 883cc, 55lb/ft v-twin. Despite weighing in a leviathan 563lbs (wet), the SuperLow should carry its center-of-gravity super low, making it easy to manuever at low speeds. Fuel economy is 45mpg (city)/60mpg (highway).

This is exactly the sort of high-value, high-utility bike perfectly targeted at a specific niche that Harley and other manufacturers should be offering. That doesn’t mean they have to cut out the high-margin ExtraFirmTugJob XLR-TARD from the range, but bikes like this are actually capable of providing a service — practical transportation — to their users. Yay, Harley, you finally get it.

As for the rest of the 2011 Harley range? Well, it reads like an RV brochure. Speakers are up in size, there’s more standard chrome and some new paint schemes. It’ not even interesting enough to make fun of.

  • Jamie

    This bike would be just about perfect if the rear suspension was a tad higher up (I know it is supposed to be short).

    I am a girl and I really like this. I was all set to get a Bonne but I will have to check this out.

    • http://Http:// Garrick

      Stick with the Bonneville. It has about 10 more horse power, weights noticably less, and handles Ike a dream. I like my Hogs, but Triumph has a much better entry level bike.

      • motoguru

        As someone who’s had the chance to ride a ’10 Bonnie and ’10 Iron back to back, I agree, go with the Bonnie.

        • Jamie

          But we are not talking about the Iron, I said I wanted to check out this because of the new features.

          I have ridden the base Bonne and the Iron as well, but it would be foolish to not try this new model out.

          Hell, even Wes likes it, so there must be something worth checking out.

          • Jamie

            ..also, about the v7 classic. I checked that one out (online) based on the above. It looks cool and it is very simmilar to the Bonnie and Superlow but by far the lightest.

            ’10 MG V7 MSRP: $8,790.00, 35hp and 55@3600 and 436.5lbs

            ’10 HD Superlow: MSRP: $7,999 ?HP and 55@3500 and 563lbs

            ’10 Triumph Bonnie: MSRP:$7699 66hp and 50@5800 – 495lbs

            Problem with the Bonnie is the seat is almost 30 inches off the ground! I am only 5″

            Wes, can you do a comparison test with new riders in mind?

    • Hank

      Agreed with the higher rear suspension, this looks like the same shocks used on the Nightster, and my back took a beating after owning one for a while.

      However, it may be borderline starting to look like a Japanese UJM if the rear suspension gets too long. All for the better in my opinion.

  • Ben

    My problem with this is that, if the seat height and pegs are similar to the Sportster Low/Nightster, then the mid-pegs are just in a really uncomfortable position for me. I sat on my buddy’s Nightster before he got front controls installed and it was really too low for that peg position. To be fair, I am tall, so what didn’t work for me may well be good for shorter riders.

    • HootieWho

      Raising the suspension to ten feet is not going to make the mid controls any further away.

  • HootieWho

    So basically you guys are ok with all the Sportsters less the 48?

    You dont hate the XR1200X
    You approve of the Superlow
    Everyone seems to like the Iron and Nightster (not sure of your opinions on these)

    Did you realize that only the 48 now comes with forward controls?

    Baby steps!

  • JamesGang

    Amazingly it lost 27 pounds vs the outgoing Low.

  • Mark D.

    That’s a good looking bike, especially in orange/white. Still a bit hefty for somebody who is small enough to fit comfortably on it. But $8k? That’s a good price. I’d MUCH rather rock this Harley than a new Bonnie.

  • Beast Incarnate

    But… but… HFL is supposed to condemn everything Harley. Bastards.

    My girlfriend would be very interested in this. As much as she likes the look of sportbikes, she wants her first bike to be flat-foot approved. Drop it down low!

  • JamesGang

    Bonne weighs in at 495lbs vs the 563lbs Sporty.

    The Sporty is up a little on TQ: 55 @ 3500 vs. 50 @ 5,800rpm on the Trumpet.

    Seems like a pretty good comparison test for Wes!

  • kat

    yeah for no pink, and no flowers! i hate that apparently all girls love pink and flowers. turns out not so much! cool to see them waking up a bit. :)

  • Mark Ryan Sallee

    I can dig it. I prefer the schemes on the Iron, but this’d do.

  • HootieWho

    Put those wheels on the Iron to drop a few pounds. I guess the Superlow wheels are good for 20+ lbs difference (plus the 2.5 gallons less of fuel with the Iron)

  • Richard Gozinya

    Was looking at the 2011 line up, noticed they got rid of the basic Super Glide and V-Rod. Looks like the big twins are just the really high priced, dressed up models these days. The Night Rod Special has also lost some of its cool factor, a bike Harley describes as, “Pitch black and sinister as hell.” Coming in bright orange and dayglo yellow just doesn’t sound right.

    • HootieWho

      …and Black. You have to admit the regular Vrod was lame and it was super redundant with the Night Rod. Add some color to the Night Rod and you reduce the model redundancy and focus on the one that people actually purchased (in small numbers but still more than the VRSC). Makes sense to me.

      Did you also notice ABS is available on everything except the Dynas and Sporties?

      • Richard Gozinya

        Didn’t notice that. And yeah, it does make some sense, it’s just the name, and description of the bike, then seeing it in blindingly bright and nauseatingly cheerful yellow. I didn’t notice the ABS thing, but it makes some sense. The touring family’s all about being feature packed, the V-Rods are considered very high spec in Harley land, and the Softails are for people who think the V-Rod is scary.

        Oh, and yeah, the SuperLow is definitely Harley catering to the women demographic. They even got that Women Riders Now website an exclusive review.

  • keith

    Great paint, great price.

  • Michael

    Five Hundred and Sixty Three Pounds. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that motorcycle should weight more than 420 lb. Factor in 130 lb for typical (attractive) female and her gear and all of the sudden that bike will have a hard time getting out of its own way.

    It is a good looking bike, but that weight is indefensible.

    • Richard Gozinya

      For a Harley it’s not exactly overweight. It’d definitely be better if they were lighter, but given the number of Harleys out there, and the Sportster line up being the biggest seller around, Harley has no motivation to make them lighter.

      But if we’re going to wish for things, why not wish they’d put the Buell XB12 motor into the XR1200? More power, more torque, and better fuel economy than what they settled on. I know there’s some builders who’ve put the Buell motors into choppers and bobbers, so it’s obviously possible.

      • Teebles

        Can’t we just wish for Buell?

        • Richard Gozinya

          You could, but that’s even further out of reach.

      • geonerd

        putting a buell motor in the xr isn’t a bad idea. doubt harley would do it though, given their penchant for pimping acce$$ories and upgrades.

      • Michael

        Shit buddy, my old XB9S’ 984 cc Thunderstorm mill would leave most modern Harley motors for quivering dead. Damn I miss that bike.

        At least that super low has reduced in-sprung weight.

  • Ceolwulf

    It looks like someone sat on the back. Someone very very fat. And squished it permanently.

  • pauljones

    It’s an 883 Low. With a different name and paint job. I don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, I like Harleys; I want one as my next bike. But you guys are very vocal when it comes to criticizing Harley for making half-assed products and not “getting it”. So, now, they rename the 883 Low and give it new paint colors. And you guys are, comparatively speaking, going wild about.

    If you guys are that excited by this, I have news for you: this bike has been available for a while now. I can show you the brochures. Seriously, all they did here was tweak the suspension on the basic 883 low.

    What gives here? Either you guys are a little confused, or Harley has understood for a while now.

    • Richard Gozinya

      Apparently there’s been some other changes, trail, seat, handlebars, fuel tank. Those are the things I remember from the review.

  • Ammerlander

    Compare this to Moto Guzzi´s V7 Classic.
    I know which one I´d choose.

  • Adam

    Nice looking bike, in static shots – but it’s still got the problem that all of the lowered Sportsters have – severely limited rear suspension travel that’ll murder your kidneys on imperfect pavement. It’s still a step in a good direction, in terms of giving short people something to ride, and putting another basic bike on the market that doesn’t look cheap or flimsy.

    I would, however, like to see HD use more of the Buell motor technology and weight-reduction technology in the future, though I know it’s got a slim-to-non-existent chance of happening.

  • eric

    I don’t know why everyone complains about the short shocks. I know they suck, but HD has obviously determined that this is what their buyers want. It only takes about $300 and about an hour or so to swap out for longer ones, if that’s your preference. HD knows this, too. I actually would like to see them offer those lighter wheels as options through the entire sportster line, which I’m sure they’ll do.

    Still waiting on the XR’s diet plan…

  • Odie

    ExtraFirmTugJob XLR-TARD
    Har, har, har

  • DoctorNine

    What they changed, they got right. Low price is a great move. Harleys are generally way overpriced. And losing weight is always a good thing. Low seat height for young people learning to ride, also good. Now, if they would lose their congenital fear of anything except a teardrop tank, and move that damned air intake away from the right knee area, it might even be as good as a real motorcycle. Maybe.

  • through-the-years

    @ Ammerlander: Compare this to Moto Guzzi´s V7 Classic. I know which one I´d choose.

    I’d take the Guzzi V7 all day long over this.

  • Judas
  • Travis

    Woooo! Alright Harley welcome to the 80′s…. Thats pushing it… Welcome to the 70′s!

  • Dan

    they aim this at new riders, and the lean angle is a measly 25 degrees? you’re gonna be dragging frame and crashing in no time! idiots! give it some ground clearance so it can lean safely!

    …and there’s no excuse for the water buffalo curb weight either. again, aimed at new riders??? hello?

    get a bonneville. and grow longer legs. bet you wished you ate your veggies as a kid so you would have grown taller, eh?

    • Jamie

      I am Asian and a girl, not sure if the Wheaties would help.

      As a new ride, I am not sure I will be leaning any bike past 25 degrees for some time.

      • pauljones

        Heh, I’m a 5’11″ Irish guy, and even I find 30″ seat heights a bit higher than I am comfortable with. I like Sportsters, but if you plan on riding a long distance, that slammed suspension that’s found on all Sportsters now can be a little bit rough. Harley does sell different suspensions for the bike, so you can get a softer ride, but at the expense of a higher seat height.

        The only other thing I would really recommend that has a low seat height would be the Honda Shadow line; with the exception of the RS, the Honda Shadow line has a seat height of 25.7 inches. The only real trade-off is that in my opinion, they don’t feel nearly as well balanced as Sportsters do; the Sportsters hide their weight much better.

        Beyond that, there is the Suzuki S40/S50, which have 27 inch seat heights, but are a bit lighter than the Shadow or the Sportster. I own an Intruder 800, which was renamed the S50, as my first bike. It was a little big to start of with, but I can tell you it’s a great bike. You just have to watch out for that front rake when maneuvering the bike at low speeds.

        The Kawasaki Vulcan 900 is in the same class, but it’s a much heavier bike and has a 27 inch seat height; it also doesn’t feel nearly as well balanced. The VStar Custom is about the same weight as the Sportster, but it has a higher seat height.

      • Grant Ray

        Hi Jamie, how long have you been riding? What kind of bikes have you ridden on the back of? How comfortable are you with speed, weight and power? Have your cars been hotrods or economy Corollas? These questions may sound corny, but the answers will mean a lot in terms of making good suggestions for you.

        I haven’t ridden any Sportsters recently (still waiting, Paul!) but I’ve ridden just about every other decent starter bike out there.

        • pauljones

          So it goes. Give it time, and the manufacturers will start being more active in recognizing you guys as major players.

          The questions do seem corny, but they are the right questions to ask. I wish someone had asked me those questions when I started off. I’d probably have been a good deal more confident in understanding my own riding preferences, and thusly more comfortable out on the road.

          As for the Sportsters, well, let’s just say that many Harley critics have a fair point. Harley is often slow to evolve their bikes, so if you’ve ridden a Sportster in the last five years, things haven’t changed too much, other than the fact that they seem to get smoother over time. I still don’t quite get the hype over the SuperLow, though; aside from a few minor adjustments, it’s really not a whole lot different from the old 883 Low that I can tell.

        • Jamie

          Ok lets see:

          I drive a silver 03 Honda Civic.

          I want a bike for commuting to work, I don’t recall really any significant ridding on the back of one.

          I just recently learned to ride from the MSF course. I think we had Honda Rebels or something similar. Whatever they were seemed sort of chintzy and weird looking.

          I will freely admit the looks of the bike are very important to me. Probably more so than things like lean angles (which honestly I have no bearing of reference).

          Speed, weight, and power? Is this dirty talk? As far as the Motorcycle, I dont really know. Arnt these answers relative?

          • Grant Ray

            Yes, the answers are relative. That’s kind of the point, since the “right bike” is also relative. Unless you’re up really early, I’m going to assume you’re not in California and that lane splitting is not an option. And as you are commuting to work, I’ll go ahead and assume interstate use as well. You’re 5′ so you probably don’t want a bike that’s too top heavy, as that will be harder to maneuver at low speeds. You also seem okay with a 30″ seat-height, which is good.

            On the cheap end and small but still awesome end is the Suzuki TU250. Not too powerful but still feels comfy and can totally handle buzzing around the business loops to get to work. If I can feel comfortable on the BQE, you’ll be fine. $3700, out the door w/ warranty, and you can totally rock a classic cafe racer or street tracker look as Japan has huge custom industry built around the TU. Personally, this is the best starter bike out there for what you pay and what you need, hands down. If you absolutely can’t consider the TU for some reason and feel you need a bigger bike, then I’ve got more suggestions.

            You seem to want classic style, so I’ll leave out the obvious nods to the 250 and 400 Ninjas and stick with air-cooled bikes.

            You’ve ridden the Bonnie, but I think you might like the engine on the Scrambler better. It’s more predictable and, personally, more fun and engaging. That said, the either of the Triumphs are going to be big and a little top heavy for you. They’ve got great bones though and are easy to handle once you get going.

            Sadly, the Moto Guzzi V7 Classic is a tad too tall for you in stock form, but call and see if they offer better seats to accommodate. Because it’s a fantastic, light-weight commuter with a better chassis than either of the Triumphs and definitely more engaging than the Bonnie. If I remember right, it’s the most expensive of all the bikes I’m suggesting, but totally worth it.

            If you feel your inner American pulling at you, go ride the Harley Super Low with the revised rake and suspension to see what you think. The seat is low, but the weight is still high and a touch awkward in slow turning situations thanks to the engine. This is not a bike you want to drop making a turn in stop-and-go traffic. It’ll be perfectly fine on the highways with all that weight, but may be a little tough for someone of your size to get out of a hairy situation.

            Here’s one of the coolest bikes made right now. The Ural ST. Fantastic low center of gravity, totally predictable, not too powerful yet capable in all situations. Handmade buckets of 100% reliable awesomeness, plus style for miles. Brembo brakes, Marzocchi forks, Ducati ignition, kickstart(!!!) as well as electric start and almost as light as the Moto Guzzi. Call them to talk about getting the right seat option for you and to see if there’s a rep in your area with one for you to test ride. $8000 to start in black.

            Finally, pulling up to a bar on any of these, or just pulling up to any place really, you should be ready for attention.

            • Jamie

              Thanks Grant!

              The V7 is out because I have no idea where to find one. Not the most prevalent bike.

              I never heard of the Tu250. I looked it up and it looks awesome and the price is even better! I will for sure look into that one.

              The Ural? New to me and I so I had to look that one up as well. Neat but not for me, and no where to buy one of those locally either. Besides, I don’t think I am THAT cool.

              I am going to ride the HD, the various Triumphs, and for sure the TU250.

              I will let you know how I do!


        • Hank

          Last I talked to Paul he was pretty excited over “something you’ll like in the 2011 lineup,” so I’d bet he’s trying to get one in your hands as I type this. Especially given the positive (or at least not negative) initial response.

          • pauljones

            I have no power to get a bike in the hands of Wes and Grant. I don’t even work in the industry. And, ironically, I’m the one having a skeptical reaction to this. It’s a fine bike, but I am somewhat amused that Harley just got praised on HFL for doing the very thing we hate most about them: tossing around a new paint job and tweaks, rather than doing something actually innovative. As far as I can tell, they took the 883 Low, repainted it, made a few minor tweaks, and then slapped a different name on it. Suddenly, they’re brilliant, whereas beforehand, the 883 Low was a lame duck.

            Personally, I don’t get it. I would rather have seen Harley do something like create a 500 thumper as an entry-level bike. It would have been cool, an interesting twist to Harleys, and has a lot of historical precedent, even within Harley-Davidson history. Instead, we get…the SuperLow.

            So it goes.

            • Grant Ray

              Paul, that thumper is supposed to be on it’s way. We have yet to say the Super Low is brilliant, so slow down there, hoss. We’re just happy they’re doing something to make better bikes. And any time Harley takes steps to change handling for the better, we’re absolutely going to talk about it and praise them for it. Even if those steps are tiny baby steps.

      • Dan

        25 degrees is nothing when it comes to lean. even in the MSF class you’ll be leaning further over than that, trust me.

        the more lean angle you have before hard parts touch down, the better.

  • CafeRacer1200

    It’s nice enough. Weight is an issue, but the styling is good. Obviously, it will sell on the name alone. I still think I’d pick the Bonneville over this though. The final deciders if I were a new rider would be whether I could touch down on the Bonneville and what the difference in the insurance would be.

    • HammSammich

      Not sure about this Harley, but insurance on a Bonnie is dirt-cheap. I suspect that they are within a few dollars of eachother to insure.

  • John Grinde

    May I express my stunned amazement that anyone would consider this Sportster or a Triumph Bonneville an entry-level bike…

    • pauljones

      I would agree with you, but I really can’t say anything, considering my first bike is an 800. In the end, for me, the beginner bike was whatever bike I could get my hands on. In the case of my Intruder, is was nearby (it was my uncle’s) and the price was right (free). So that, more than the size of the bike, determined what my first bike was going to be.

    • cWj


  • Joe P.

    Meh, stick with a new Bonneville and avoid the stigma (thank you South Park).

    • Mark D.

      This may be fairly insignificant, but as somebody who has 3x more mechanical ambition than skill, the fact that the valves never need to be adjusted, and it has a chain drive (no lube and clean!) is a huge factor for a newbie, and a big plus for HD.

      Jamie, my riding buddy is 5’3″, 100 lbs soaking wet; she said she was very comfortable on the Suzuki S40, but wound up buying a Ninja 250, and couldn’t be happier! Seat height numbers are always a little deceiving; the Ninja’s is 30″ I think, but its so narrow, she can flat-foot.

  • RJ

    HFL: “There’s also less trail in the front suspension for quicker steering and the wheels and tires have been spec’d to reduce unsprung weight to further boost responsiveness. Yes, we did just write “reduce unsprung weight” in an article about a Harley.”

    Reduce unsprung weight? This bike weighs 562 lbs wet. The Iron 883 weighs 565 lbs wet. Difference of 1.5 lbs per wheel? Although it’s a step in the right direction, it’s not much difference.

    The XL rubber-mounted engine frame has big heavy castings. Until HD counter-balances the engine (like Softails) and solids mounts it in a new lighter frame with an aluminum swingarm, the Sportsters will remain 100 lbs too heavy. 562 lbs is not good for an entry-level bike.

    The rest of the bike is nice, except for the slammed shocks, but these can be replaced….

    • HootieWho

      RJ says: Reduce unsprung weight? This bike weighs 562 lbs wet. The Iron 883 weighs 565 lbs wet. Difference of 1.5 lbs per wheel? Although it’s a step in the right direction, it’s not much difference.


      Well not exactly. It actually would be 20 some pounds lighter than the Iron but when you add the larger fuel tank and extra 2.5 gallons of fuel it gets more even.

      The wheels on the Superlow are much lighter than the Iron wheels so the weight is distributed differently.

  • Skip

    This is another example of Harley Davidson re-bagging there 1960′s motorcycles on the American public. This is still the same old crap that HD has been selling for years. Single front disk brake? Give me a break – I’ll stick with a Yamaha or Honda before I will buy this dated junk.

    • HootieWho

      What Yamaha or Honda that is in the same class (not sport bikes) as this bike is equipped with duel front brakes?

      Vstar 950 – Nope
      Honda Shadow – Nope (and a drum rear)
      Triumph Bonneville – Nope
      Suzuki M50
      Boulevard S50 – Nope (and drum rear)

      Try again

  • Case

    This Harley… might not suck. I agree w/ a previous comment that it’s getting closer to UJM styling, which is a big improvement in my opinion.

    But still, FIVE HUNDRED AND SIXTY THREE POUNDS. Sweet Jesus! Mix in a salad!

    Loved the discussion on entry-level bikes for shorter riders. Am going to save it for future reference. Thanks Grant.

  • Liquidogged

    A good bike to start on, or for smaller riders, that weighs 563 pounds.


    We’ve gotten used to the pork factor in Harleys, but that doesn’t make it ok. It’s lazy design and lazy engineering, and it’s not very safe either. I would never recommend a bike of this weight to a beginning or smaller rider. It would be totally unethical.

    • pauljones


      Okay, I understand the whole distaste for weight thing, but weight alone, however undesirable, does not automatically make a bike dangerous for a beginner. A lot depends on where the bike’s weight is; one major advantage of Sportsters for newer riders (myself included) is that they have a low center of gravity, and they are both predictable and forgiving.

      If we’re talking a big touring bike like a Goldwing or an Electra Glide, where the bike is not only heavy, but also has a high CG due to the weight of the luggage, I would agree with you. In fact, I still agree with you to a certain extent regarding weight (Sportsters are too heavy, and lighter is better), but to simply dismiss a bike based on that number alone really isn’t justified.

      To provide a little context, my dad’s old Honda CB400F weighed in at 420 lbs wet; granted, that’s not nearly as heavy as the Sportster, but then that’s still heavy for a 400cc bike. By comparison, a BMW R50/5 weighed 452 lbs. And yet weight is not a major concern voiced about the CB400F (at least according to my father and his friends).

      While I think that weight is certainly a major factor to be considered at all times, I don’t think that it is the only factor, and nor is recommending a “heavy” bike unethical in any way, if that bike is well-balanced and works well for the rider.

      • Liquidogged

        I’ll grant you that where the weight’s placed makes a difference, and that the weight is lower on this bike, which is a plus. But the comparison between the 883 and the 400f is bordering on silly. 420lbs wet versus 563? That’s a whole person, if that person is the one Harley is apparently targeting with this low model.

        I really can’t stand condescension and I know it might seem like that’s how I’m coming off, but fuck it: this bike is really not right for beginning riders, especially small ones. You say you’re a newer rider. Have you dumped your bike yet? Because you almost certainly will. And if you were small enough to ride this 883 and not feel like a gorilla on a tricycle, and you dumped it, and got your leg trapped under it, you’d be screwed. It’s just physics, a bike this heavy is harder to control, and it’s specifically aimed at people who are going to have less muscle mass to deal with the challenges of controlling the bike.

        I just don’t get why the bike HAS to be so heavy. Why do cruisers have to weigh a ton? Lighter makes most bikes better – goes faster, gets better mileage, stops quicker, handles better. Harley’s total disregard for one of the greatest gifts technology as brought to motorcycling – lighter, stronger materials – makes me want to crap in a bag and mail it to them. Budget chinese shitmobiles made by indentured slave infants are designed by people who care about how much the thing weighs. Harley can’t seem to do it. Their bikes are the definition of all show and no go. I was ok with that, that’s their thing. But if we’re going to start talking about how one of these overweight land barges is a good beginner bike, I’m drawing the line. What’s next? Cigarettes are good for you and Sarah Palin is as smart as my dog?

        Now, if the bike is not aimed at beginning riders, but experienced smaller riders, then maybe it makes sense. And to each their own. But the weight is inexcusable and it’s a shitty beginner bike. Done.

  • Chuluun

    It’s a nice bike. The Iron 883 looks awesome in yellow too. Superlow is heavy, but I don’t think weight is a major issue on a bike this low (it’s lighter than the sadly deleted 883R, which had a higher COG).

    No, it’s not really an entry-level bike, but if you want a low seat there isn’t much of an alternative unless you’re looking at 250s. I like the V7 Classic but I wouldn’t choose it over this; the Harley dumps all over the Guzzi for torque.

    HD still has a lot of goodwill even from those of us who’ve never considered buying one of their bikes. I just worry that they’ve painted themselves into a corner with regard to their customer base. For the past few years they’ve churned out increasingly desperate-looking attempts at ‘cool’ bikes, while their most competent, honest-to-goodness motorcycles — the 883R, 1200 Roadster and Super Glide Standard — have dropped out of the range. Those were the core of their range and they should have put more effort into promoting them than ridiculous posing accessories like the Rocker and Cross-Bones.

    • PatO

      Dude no one bought the 883R, 1200R or Super Glide Standard.

      The 883R is still available in Europe, but it is ugly.

      Why would anyone buy a 1200r over the XR1200X?

      I dont begrudge them for getting rid of the R models for ‘newer’ stuff that actually sells (the Iron, Nightster, 48, Fatbob, and Streetbob and yes even the easily chastised crossbones).

  • pauljones

    I can’t really argue with that, as I have in fact dumped the bike. Fortunately, I was only going about 15 mph, but that was enough. Not my proudest moment. And truth be told, most cruisers really are a hell of a lot heavier than they really need to be. Star began to address that somewhat with the aluminum-frame Roadliner, but that’s not much,

  • Liquidogged

    I didn’t know they made one – I’m sure Harley could too, I guess they feel they don’t need to in order to sell bikes. Glad you weren’t going too fast when it happened. Nothing like a low speed fall to sharpen you up though.

  • wyatt

    im surprised no one has mentioned the enfields? 500cc thumper motor. my ex girlfriend bought one to learn to ride on classic looks light and inexpensive. hell i used to ( borrow it ) as it was stored in my garage just cause it was so much fun to ride and it hadled great it would do 75 all day on the freeway. i hated it when she sold it and moved up. she could have given it to me !

  • ratchetface

    Subject seems as personally relevant as any to incite first time comment.

    As a 5’6″ (Irish guy as well) weighing in at a whopping 125 lbs, pretty strong for my size, a true Sportster lover with 20 years riding experience under my kidney belt….

    Them Harleys is just TOO HEAVY!

    Owned and loved all of the following – ’8? Intruder 700, ’73 CB350F, ’73 CB500K, ’77 KZ750B (twin). Wrecked the snot out of the CB350F, but felt like I had some (obviously not enough, though) control over the matter as it went down.

    Current ride is the ’77 KZ 750 twin. Love the power/twin-thump/Triumph-esque-? thing we have together, but at 500 lbs. dry, I’m never really sure I have all the control over this bike that I want. If this bike and I ever tangle, well…..hmmm.

    Hotrod car and bike guy to the bone – would love to own a Sportster, but will own a S40 when funds permit. Decent mixture of power/weight/seat height/controlability-?. Guess I just won’t get to play cool guy at the bar, though. Oh well.

  • Scottie

    Entry level depends on the rider. My first bike is a Star Stratoliner, but then I’m 6’2″ and 200 lbs.

    Would love to get my wife riding her own bike. The Bonnie would be way too tall, so this HD would be an option. However, based upon my experience I’m biased toward Star and would have her try the Star 950.

  • Bobby

    Ask a group of non-riders which motorcycle they would buy if interested in riding & 8 of 10 would say HD.

    What does this prove?

    8 of 10 people don’t know shit about motorcycles.

    Over-priced & under-powered pieces of shit for the type of person who needs to be in a flock. That’s right, the typical HD rider is a ignorant sheep bleating his/her way to the next bar.

    Fuck HD. I sincerely hope the company goes out of business soon so I can witness the emotional destruction of the millions of idiots that ride them.