Harley Davidson Roadster Is The New Epitome Of Cool

The epitome of motorcycle cool used to be the Triumph - thanks to the likes of Steve Mcqueen and James Dean - and to some degree that legacy lives on. However, the modern classic, the bike that will be celebrated in years to come in the same way the classic Triumphs were, is the 2017 Harley Davidson Roadster. Hugh Jackman. Brad Pitt.

David Beckham. Tom Cruise. These are all gentleman that ooze cool and sweat style, and that is exactly what the latest member of the Sportster family has latched onto.

To give it to you fast, the Roadster is a lean, aggressive-looking, air-cooled V-twin, hotrod throwback with a 1,202cc engine and looks to kill. That’s what the Roadster is all about.

The Look

What makes the Roadster so standout is the way Harley has placed value and focused a large chunk of its attention. You see, more and more bikes these days are focussing on a tuned engine and race-style chassis, which is not what the Roadster is about. This is about looks. It is about its rider wearing a Milwaukee Crazy Horse cruiser jacket you can get here at Bikers Basics and open face helmet to match the sixties style of the bike. The Roadster has lowered handlebars, a peanut tank, reduced fenders, low seat and dropped rear. It is a Harley at heart, but with a sporty edge to it.

The Facts

The one that we tested was the 1,202cc four-stroke V-twin engine, as we said above, which comes with a five-speed transmission. How that translates into power and torque is something wonderful because the 60bhp 425 rpm offers one of the most exciting and comfortable rides we have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. What’s more, the top speed of 112 mph is plenty on a bike of this styling, with plenty oomph when it comes to overtaking abilities, while you’ll be able to keep on cruising for 120 miles with no problems whatsoever.

The Rivals

The biggest rival to this monster is Harley’s own Forty-Eight, which shares the same price tag (around ten grand) and the same engine and frame.

The only real difference is the layout of the handlebars, which are slightly higher, and the footrests, which are slightly more forward, while the tyres are fatter and the fuel tank is smaller. The other main rival is the Indian Scout.

The engine size may be smaller, but what it squeezes out is a staggering 100bhp. It’s stylish, it has the name, the history, the build quality and the price tag, all of which make it quite a hard decision.

The Verdict

There is just something about this bike that makes our heart stop for a moment or two and then speeds up erratically until we are able to tear our eyes away from this aggressively styled newcomer to the Harley family. Yeah, it is brisk rather than exciting to ride, but that nice thump of the exhaust and the way it pulls from low revs is wonderful to be part of. The winner for us, however, is the sixties inspiration that turns heads everywhere you go, whether that be a quiet village, the hotspots of LA or a highway traffic jam. Performance is nice, practicality is reasonable and the cool factor is unrivalled.

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