Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Harley's Euro Racer - Sportster XR1200 Test ride

So in my last article I posted about the nightster, which was quite a fun bike to ride. On this post I will address the other bike that u test rode on that day, which was the new harley euro inspired racer, the XR1200. On the surface it looks a little funny the front end is clearly harley but the back side looks like a clumsy tail of a giant duck or a yamaha from the 80's. The engne is sort of cool with its sand blasted finish, but the cool ends there. This bike suffers from serious identity crisis. As made apparant by it's dual analog tach with tiny digital speedo tacked on to the side of it. It can't decide whether of not it wants to be cool cruiser or racer and achieves neither in a horrible tangle of sheet metal lookng steel and plastic. The posture is more forward than most harleys, even the other sportsters in the line, made pronounced by the very far back placed pegs and controls. Like other harleys though the controls are hard to find if you are used to the ergonomically sound german or Italian or Japanese racers. The engine is not mistakenly harley as it pulls with crazy acceleration, but the handling while more nimble than a sportster due to posture, still feels luke you are driving a tractor. The controls are clunky and the clutch heavy and with the weight of the bike, the engine has to work hard, and the feeling is that it is generally inferior to any given standard bike, save maybe for the sound of the lump. (the cool vibes are gone as well ) In conclusion, this bike tried to achieve 2 different things, and manages to achieve neither.

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