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.