2015 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Test Ride AIM Expo Orlando 2015

Oh man, Harley Davidson. I’m not really that much of a cruiser kind of person, but my buddy who was there wanted to give them a shot. I wasn’t going to just stand around, so here we are.

Engine

Now Harley Davidson is not known for their engine’s technical prowess, and amazing power numbers. It’s more about the experience, I guess. I don’t get it. I was on the Sportster 1200, a large engine. A large V Twin engine. It just felt very sluggish. Twins are supposed to be torquey and this was not doing it for me. It just felt heavy and slow.

Ergonomics

Another reason why I’m not a cruiser guy, I need to feel like I am in control. I’ve ridden a Honda Goldwing before, considered to be one of the most comfortable bikes, and I always felt like I had control over the bike. But on this Harley, I felt like I was being pulled in different directions, with different parts of my body. I was bending over and stretching at the same time. It was comfortable, but I never felt like, “If I get into a panic situation,” like I’d be able to 100% get out of it.

Handling

I have no qualms about the suspension. It was a comfortable ride, there was no brake dive, and I did like how it took corners. I could see myself dragging pegs on it. I actually think the handling was better than the engine, a redeeming quality.

Styling

Harley Davidson is about American excess. Sparkle paint, tassels, loud colors, speakers, radios, all that jazz. My bike was in a beautiful blue flake, but the glitter was too much. If it was a gloss blue, I would have liked it. Like I mention in the video, I like the cockpit view of this bike. I liked how the mirrors were set up, under the bars, and can understand the aesthetic they were going for.

Anything Noteworthy

This bike, for me, was just slow and heavy. Not great in straight lines, but was a blast to plow through the corners with. I like tea, but this was not my cup of it. The bike was bearable, but to think about buying it from a test drive, would be out of the question.