2016-11-02 07:11:50+0000 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Bike
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It was love at first sight.

Before I dropped by Harley Davidson Canada’s office in Vaughan, I’d already watched countless videos of the Roadster in action but it didn’t prepare me for how badass this bike looked in real life!

Nothing else in Harley Davidson’s lineup looks quite like the Roadster, and the surprisingly forward riding position is a not so subtle nod towards the cafe racer style of bikes. It’s an eye turner. Even though I only had it for a few days, I had many people come over to the bike asking about it or simply admiring the bike’s beautiful lines and aggressive stance.

“Enough about the looks” you say, “How does it ride?”

Well I’m glad you asked. As noted above, I only had it for a few days due to some scheduling issues and they were in the middle of a busy week but I did manage to do a fair bit of highway and city riding with the Roadster.

On the highway, this bike is very confident and surprisingly little vibration. I’m not a huge fan of handlebar vibration as it seems to stir up my carpel tunnel badly but the Roadster was purring nicely at highway speeds without much vibration at all. Any prolonged highway rides would definitely benefit from a windshield but you could say that about most naked bikes.

Riding in the city is fine as long as you’re ok with being stopped and asked about the bike a lot. The forward riding stance can get a bit annoying in stop and go traffic as you’ll be sitting up and leaning down again and again.

The Roadster’s engine is a 1200cc V-Twin that has all the character of a Harley. But you know what? I don’t think anyone is going to buy a Roadster based on something rational as engine performance or handling.

I mean really, just look at this sexy beast:

In the 2016 Roadster, Harley Davidson has done an amazing job of making a bike that will appeal to a new generation of riders while still keeping to the Harley aesthetic.

By no means is this a perfect bike but I suspect that people are going to buy this based on the pure emotional draw.

For those a bit more on the fence, here’s a short list of Pros and Cons based the time I had with the 2016 Roadster:

Pros:

  • This may be subjective but I think it’s the most badass looking bike out there
  • Smooth power delivery
  • Mirrors are good
  • Excellent exhaust notes
  • Did I mention that you’ll look like a total badass on this bike?

Cons:

  • Rear brake is oddly squeaky
  • Forward riding stance can get annoying in the city as you’ll sit up and lean down often
  • My knees felt a bit too high up and bent more than expected in the riding stance
  • Very hard to read the digital display on the tachometer
  • The footpegs are in the middle and makes it quite awkward when walking the bike

I really enjoyed my short time with the 2016 Harley Davidson Roadster and it’s on my short list of bikes to consider for my next upgrade.

In the meantime, I will enjoy the memories of riding the most badass looking bike in Toronto.

Ken Seto is the CEO of Toronto game studio, Massive Damage Inc. They just released Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander, a hit indie space strategy game for PC & Mac.

9 Comments
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@modmax ermagard it's modmax, too! The five year old game that was the ultimate pocket-friend experience with a side of zboes. Got a roommate and a soul sister from that one, so thanks for that!

 
  • alex
  • 2016-11-07T14:12:19-05:00

 @modmax Damnit - I meant underneath. I like leaning forward, I don't like forward pegs. I guess it comes from starting on sport bikes

 
  • modmax
  • 2016-11-07T14:01:35-05:00

@ltlblqhrt that's a 5yr old mobile game, it only has a few players left

 
  • modmax
  • 2016-11-07T13:59:17-05:00

@alex the pegs are right underneath, not forward. And riding position leans more forward, with some weight on your arms.

 

What happened to Please Stay Calm?

 
  • alex
  • 2016-11-07T10:00:16-05:00

Forward pegs? Upright riding position? now I'm more interested...

 

Nice writup

 
  • lazyb8s
  • 2016-11-02T20:07:44-04:00

Nice write up. I definitely think this should be at the top of your list of upgrades. I'm absolutely thrilled with my 1200c.

 
  • marina
  • 2016-11-02T13:06:32-04:00

Nice look for your Tinder profile.