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Old 24th March 2012, 14:56   #1
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Default Harley Davidson SuperLow to Super Glide Custom and now the Fat Boy

After moving back from the US where as a student life offered me the opportunity to ride many cars and many bikes... here I am back in India, almost 16 years later...

And to cut that long story -

The SuperLow booked a few months ago, arrived, many thanks to the staff at Seven Islands Harley Davidson, Bandra, Mumbai.



In the past years, I have been riding many sports bikes and three kinds of Harleys, and have refrained from critical commenting out of deference to vehicles that I do not own, or afford to.

Then my mom, all of 70+years jumped pillion! And my son awaited his turn- to turn 18 before getting to ride...

Harley Davidson SuperLow to Super Glide Custom and now the Fat Boy-img2012032300053.jpg

The SuperLow arrived, and possibly the first mistake I made was not to insist on the rear stock shocker be raised to its stiffest. The 'soft' setting is pathetic and I cannot wait to barge into the service center to have it twisted around.
Harley Davidson SuperLow to Super Glide Custom and now the Fat Boy-img_6209.jpg

Harley Davidson SuperLow to Super Glide Custom and now the Fat Boy-img_6210.jpg

The fears of the 'grounding' of the bottom, were there- but on the ride from Bandra-Andheri-Powai we went over many speed breakers and undulations- none of which bothered the bike, or grazed the base.

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Its the first this this morning, that on a side road that you have these 'failed in drafting' technician designed half-moon bumps that brushed the pivot of the side (jiffy) stand. And I realised I had to come back that way too. And we took it at a diagonal. but the thing was about 10" wide, so we walked and still grazed it. And then again on the road rom Worli SeaFace to Old Passport office- scrape. Ugh.


I guess the 12.5" Progressive Heavy Duty Shocks and Progressive Fork Springs are in order.

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The rear pillion seat is a fine attempt at 'Mission Imposible 4' thrill at every gear change. Given you would possible have many different pillion riders, a set of side plates and a sissy bar is a must.

The 17 L tank is a very good asset. There were a few at the store who could ride around in the same PIN code all day and be happy with the tank of the '48' and not think twice about fueling twice a day. Experience from others gets you about 14KmpL in the city to abut 24KmpL with sedate riding on the highways. I will update on this as we ride more.

The thumb-starter is a single push- positive emotion button. The solid'notch first gear and light clutch is sure to give even a first time rider good confidence. However, the first left or right turn that you take, brings you all the threads and Forum discussions of grounding- and nothing wrong happens- its fine. The clearance is low, but it aint all that bad. Once you glide over the first speedbreaker, with the car behind wondering what a superbike is doing at 3KmpH... nothing happens, and then you realise that the bad ones are the poorly designed bumps. What i am actually fearing now - is the multiple bumps on the Goa highway, and at a few places on the Pune-Kolhapur stretch, especially around toll nakas.

To my mind the Iron 883 riders have no such issues, and therefore, it seems that either you plonk in the 883's rear shocks and Damper Tubes- setting you abck between 18-25K from a H-D service station, or then hunt around and import Progressive parts as mentioned by me elsewhere on the Forum.

Second gear onwards, there is a RUSH- that will simply power through traffic and on curves- it will beg to lean and run. I think 'Rush' is the word to describe the acceleration and the bull like feeling. No other word seems to work.

having seen a 4Km traffic jam on the Lalbaug Flyover that went on till JJ hospital- the lessons form two days is quick- wear jeans, and full length that too, wear good socks, and good shoes. The heat will get you otherwise- from the rear cylinder cooling and the vent of the lower exhaust...

The speedometer with its trips and clock are useful and the lack of a tach is annoying...

The rush of acceleration, the stability on turns, the ability to weave in traffic if required- the high speed capability- and more than all - the tons of charm, the sound and to use the internet phrase- 'eyeballs.'

If one pic could sum it up, here is one taken by a Manish when I got off at his house...

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Last edited by GTO : 27th March 2012 at 10:19. Reason: Correcting one picture
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Old 27th March 2012, 10:18   #2
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Default Re: Harley Davidson SuperLow XL883 L Finally arrived

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorbikes / Imports section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 27th March 2012, 11:40   #3
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Default Re: Harley Davidson SuperLow XL883 L Finally arrived

Congratulations H&A!

How is the ride quality?
You have ridden the bike pretty extensively on our roads or lack thereof, is the Harley back friendly?

Enjoy your ride and ride safe!
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Old 27th March 2012, 11:43   #4
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Default Re: Harley Davidson SuperLow XL883 L Finally arrived

Congratulations. The bike is looking good. Thanks for sharing.Ride Safe.
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Old 27th March 2012, 12:35   #5
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Default Re: Harley Davidson SuperLow XL883 L Finally arrived

Hearty Congratulations on your new ride. I hope you enjoy every moment of your ride on that beauty. She is a stunner. Am sure you are getting all the attention when you are out riding.
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Old 27th March 2012, 12:58   #6
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Default Re: Harley Davidson SuperLow XL883 L Finally arrived

Congratulations H & A for your exotic ride. Thanks for sharing. What was the on road price for this beauty? I know it is only 3 days after your post but do share your highway experience pertaining to handling, overtaking, riding comfort, braking and response of the throttle as and when you take your bike on highway. Also how was your dealer experience and how much time was taken for the delivery? I know its too many questions at a time but couldn't resist the temptation to ask all of them .
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Old 27th March 2012, 12:59   #7
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Default Re: Harley Davidson SuperLow XL883 L Finally arrived

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer & Anvil View Post
After moving back from the US where as a student life offered me the opportunity to ride many cars and many bikes... here I am back in India, almost 16 years later...

................
Hearty congratulations mate. The bike looks killer in this colour. I have always been a huge fan of H-Ds.

I am a little scared for the rear tail light. The way it is sticking out, please be wary of auto rickshaws.

By the way, you stay in Powai? The area seems very very familiar.
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Old 27th March 2012, 18:23   #8
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Default Re: Harley Davidson SuperLow XL883 L Finally arrived

Riding Harleys- I wouldnt say extensive in India- No.

I restrict my comments to the bike I own- it is a tad low, therefore allows a fantastic ride in terms of CG (as opposed to its dismal GC)- with two-up the bike is pliant, till about 60-65KmpH- really fantastic, soft ride and the bike stiffens up after that and you will hit every sharp ride in road level. If you drive along Mumbais' pride, Marine Drive, you will only then realise that our Municipal Corporation cannot build one flat level road- it hurts.

At every signal you can let all others scoot ahead and then put it in second and crack the throttle and hold it open till you hit 80 in what seems like a split.

Unlike the 650 Ninja that would despatch others two-wheelers with disdain, this bullies its way through- if you have seen American Football- this is the running back.

Handling - like I said its just stable and a fantastic runner, and no other place to be than waiting behind twenty other bikes and cars, and sitting low in idle- silent- then boom. On the highway, you and the air-cooled twins are at their best and you just dont want to stop.Thats more than anything else I could say about the highway manners.

Overtaking- you have to drop a gear, the almost square engine is short on revs and the about 70hp, make you work a gear or two down and then move for the overtake. With ample power, once mentally committed, you will barge through.

Straight line braking is good, and maybe the brake pads are new, it still doesnt have the bite, and funny to compare, its front brakes like the Bullet 350 Classic- meaning it works, but there is no diving front forks... no soaking up the speed and all good stuff. Just some dive and a steady stop... On curves as well, the rear discs do a fine job, but if you try and downshift and brake you are looking at -what do they call it- 'torque induced skid'- but the balance of the bike is wonderful.

Headlights stay on, and half of Indias Alpha-male population is ready to dive across your front to tell you 'light chalu hai' ('headlight is on') and that does get a bit scary.

Dealer experience is good, the prices of accessories are all 'good' and 'nice' and you need to be prepared to spend. Importing all accessories after your get the relevant part numbers, is possible, but you will land up with a 15-20% saving on the parts- so you figure how that goes.

Anything that is not slim built or not 'balance-gifted' cannot ride on the bike on the pillion seat. So then the 'side plates + sissy bar +leather backrest' combination is required, but out of stock...

Dealer experience is good, but you have to be patient for them to recognize you as a serious buyer. Once you spend a good 45 mins on a saturday afternoon there, you will understand what they go through- with RTO asking them- 'Why this engine has to be so big?' 'Why the tank is so small' and on and on... and then stranger ones come in to buy the H-D bike cover costing upwards of $200- 'yeh mere R15 ko fit hoga?'- its just entertaining. So, be patient, its a large value buy for 99% of India, my request is to behave with calm and you will be treated well. This is just a personal opinion though.

The wait is anywhere from 3-5 months, with my getting lucky for the year-ending billing drama and all that good stuff -

We will post about the average later tonight, thats a burning question, the first tank was about 16, from Bandra to Powai in decent traffic. Now it did the eastern highways and western highways around the city- am expecting around 20+ as i am home, not logged in on some 3G network on JVLR...

I must thank all of you on the Forum for your describing the bikes you have, the ones you ride, and the happiness it brings you. Its what kept my Harley memory going from 1994-

KD.

Last edited by Hammer & Anvil : 27th March 2012 at 18:28. Reason: Sticky keys.
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Old 27th March 2012, 21:13   #9
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Default Re: Harley Davidson SuperLow XL883 L Finally arrived

Thats a beautiful write-up. Im also in the process of saving up for my dream Superlow. I have some questions though..

1. what was the on-road price in mumbai?

2. whats the cost of the pillion seat & rear footpegs

3. Do the dual-tone colour variants command a premium over regular red , black etc?

4. Is there any kind of crash-bar available for these HDs?

I'm concerned of the event of a crash.. scared of these 260Kgs crushing my leg.. hmm.
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Old 27th March 2012, 22:32   #10
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Default Re: Harley Davidson SuperLow XL883 L Finally arrived

[
Quote:
Originally Posted by aruncheloor View Post
Thats a beautiful write-up. Im also in the process of saving up for my dream Superlow. I have some questions though..
1. on-road price in mumbai?
2. pillion seat & rear footpegs
3. Do the dual-tone colour variants
4. crash-bar available for these HDs?
Thanks for your wishes my friend.

6.48 on Road.

No- the dual tone white looks like a 1960's US Police bike... and the black attracts galactical dust.

Yes- costs about 10-12K- its a nice 1 1/4" thick pipe... let me try and send you a pic of the same. here it is: Go to-

mandmcycles(dot)com look for 'highway bars' or then ebay yourself to the moon, you would get something for about that much.

Safe riding.
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Old 28th March 2012, 12:58   #11
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Default Re: Harley Davidson SuperLow XL883 L Finally arrived

Congrats on your new acquisition the famed HD Super Low. Wishing you miles of happiness tagged along with it.
Regarding the height, suggest you to give the nightster forks a good look. One of my friend has done the same for his 48 to improve the GC and now it stands a tad taller with around 135MM ground clearance. It might not be aesthetically appealing to all but then it serves the purpose. The rear also has seen him using the Nightster springs which have a bit more travel compared to the pathetic stock ones where there is hardly any travel.
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Old 28th March 2012, 13:47   #12
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Default Re: Harley Davidson SuperLow XL883 L Finally arrived

Many a Congratulations on your purchase H&A !!

Wishing you many a happy miles with her.

H&A need a small favor from you, could you please provide a comparo on the RE 350 and the Super Low, basically more on the performance, ride and handling part.

Thanks for the wonderful pictures there.

Happy Motoring !!
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Old 28th March 2012, 14:08   #13
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Default Re: Harley Davidson SuperLow XL883 L Finally arrived

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torquedo View Post
H&A need a small favor from you, could you please provide a comparo on the RE 350 and the Super Low, basically more on the performance, ride and handling part.
Mate are you sure you want to compare a V Twin with a single cylinder? Performance would obviously be better (not a question of both doing 100 Kmph but more about how well you do it). Ride is anyday better on a HD compared to RE but will be a lot more stiffer thanks to the hard suspension.
With my limited riding exposure to HD; cant comment much about the handling.

But then it would be really unfair to compare RE with HD; Gross Injustice to HD
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Old 28th March 2012, 14:36   #14
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Default Re: Harley Davidson SuperLow XL883 L Finally arrived

Quote:
Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Mate are you sure you want to compare a V Twin with a single cylinder? Performance would obviously be better (not a question of both doing 100 Kmph but more about how well you do it). Ride is anyday better on a HD compared to RE but will be a lot more stiffer thanks to the hard suspension.
With my limited riding exposure to HD; cant comment much about the handling.

But then it would be really unfair to compare RE with HD; Gross Injustice to HD
Hey ku69rd -

DKG has done some comparison of his Super Low with the RE 500, so this comparo is not totally uncalled for.

I am well aware on the tech specs for the RE and HD, the comparo was actually asked so that I am able to make up mind, whether to go for the RE 500 or the HD, is it worth plonking the extra bucks, when performance is my sole criterion. My bad that I did not post the reason why I was looking for the comparo.

Thanks for the inputs though, mate.

Last edited by Torquedo : 28th March 2012 at 14:37.
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Old 28th March 2012, 14:42   #15
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Default Re: Harley Davidson SuperLow XL883 L Finally arrived

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torquedo View Post
Hey ku69rd -

DKG has done some comparison of his Super Low with the RE 500, so this comparo is not totally uncalled for.
Ahh DKG Sir; must be a valid one mate . But performance wise RE is no match for HD. Again as mentioned in my previous post; its not about reaching 100 but the way you reach it.

Good Luck in your search and please do keep us posted on your best suit/fit.
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