ThunderPress East

EAST APRIL 2018

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13 www.thunderpress.net THUNDER PRESS April 2018 13 than other Sportsters the Roadster still transitions lithely. Riders can carry quite a bit of speed into turns because it maintains its composure at lean and the peg placement allows for healthy lean angles. The Roadster's peg feel- ers were spared the intense grinding sessions I subject most Sportsters to. But I do have a grievance with the foot pegs. For a rider my height they're mounted directly where I want to place my feet at a stop and on more than one occasion I gouged my legs on them trying to muscle the bike in and out of parking spots. This minor issue aside, the inverted fork and emulsion shocks shine the most with the stability they provide when tear- ing up the twisty stuff. Another move that pays off is the additional rotor on the front. The dual-disc arrangement provides a generous amount of braking power. I was pleased with the calibration as the initial bite isn't overly aggres- sive but the calipers grab fi rmly and exert strong, steady pressure and don't fade. The strength of the dual front calipers is a good thing because the single rear brake is soft and lacks power. Even when I got on the pedal hard, the intervals of the ABS pulse felt like they were spaced a bit too far apart. The system keeps the rear from locking up but stopping distance is long when I used the back brake only. Equilibrium is attained when used in conjunction with the front, though, because when I came up and around a bend on a rural road at almost 70 mph to fi nd a bus in the other lane just beginning to put out its stop sign, the Roadster's braking package quickly brought me to a halt whereas my wife, who was riding with me on her 2004 Sportster 1200 Custom, went sliding past, her rear wheel locked and back tire fi ghting for traction. After almost 1,000 miles in the saddle of the 2018 Roadster, the low- profi le, two-up seat is breaking in nicely. Even with the deep scoop and relatively thin design it's been plenty comfortable up to a couple hours straight. By then, the low fuel light in the gauge will undoubtedly be on because it seems like I'm gassing up all the time. Granted, I love the look of the tank, especially when the sun makes the fl ake in the paint sparkle, but the low fuel light pops on after burning through only a couple gal- lons of the 3.3-gallon tank. One other caveat pertaining to the tank: It's so thin that when I'm hard on the brakes I slide forward resulting in a blow below the belt. Not fun. While visibility of the gauge seemed to be a problem on the 2016 Roadster, I had no qualms with the new 4-inch gauge on the 2018. It's an analog tach for the most part, with speed displayed in a small digital window. Riders can toggle through rudimentary information with a button on the left switch housing— basics like mileage, trip meters, time and rpm. Harley designed the Roadster to stand apart from other Sportsters. Styling cues that help give it a hot- rod vibe include the black legs of its inverted fork, the sweep of its tank and its fastback seat, the raised rear with its chopped fender, the black cut-out heat shields on its shorty dual exhaust and the gritty fi nish on the air cleaner cover, cylinder heads and engine covers. The sum of its parts make you want to rev it up and drop the clutch. Its upgraded suspension and front brake let you push it above the standard Sportster threshold. While I pined for a pop at the throttle to match the other perfor- mance upgrades, the more I've ridden the Roadster, the more it's grown on me. Confi dence has expanded, corner speeds have improved, and I'm eager to get back into the game and fl y through the grid like Flynn on a Light Cycle. The 2018 Harley-Davidson Roadster has an MSRP $11,299- Vivid Black, $11,649-Color, and $11,849-Two-Tone. The ABS option is $795 and the optional security sys- tem is $395. 4 Romping around Oregon has been a blast on the 2018 Harley Roadster The front of the 2018 Roadster features a sharp-looking 19-inch wheel with its spokes offset and split along with a powerful set of dual discs The fl ake in the Sumatra Brown paint glimmers in the last rays of the day Harley eschewed shiny chrome fi nishes and went with gritty textures and a blacked-out engine, covers, and components on the 2018 Roadster

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