HARLEY DAVIDSON 883 SuperLowIts here
Once we all used to watch those American Classic movies and used to fantasize about those big bad machines with tractor-like fat tires, wide handlebars & shining chrome parts. Though you might not find many bald muscular men with kickass tattoos in India, but if you happen to live in a posh society you might notice one of those very noisy bikes with a sticker that reads “HARLEY DAVIDSON” (and yes, they are not modified Enfields anymore).
The Harley Davidson SuperLow 883 is the most basic model on offer from the legendary bike makers and it shares its heart with the much popular Iron 883. With the introduction of this model, HD has strengthened the possibility of finding a Harley Cruiser in garages instead of the middle-weight sportsbikes.The Bike
‘883 SUPERLOW’, quite a lot about the bike is there in the name itself; as the first ‘883’ signifies that the engine is from the popular Iron 883 whereas the ‘superlow’ surprises us by the eerily less ground-clearance of 100mm and seat height of 500mm. Now that’s a very concerning feature if you are looking to ride this bike anywhere other than the divided 4-lane highways. The Iron’s undercarriage used to kiss the ground at any 120mm obstacle, now further lowering this bike has made it a surprisingly low-slung cruiser. Riding on it was almost like getting our ass scratched on the road. But yeah, on a good road with beautiful sceneries, riding it would be like sitting on a sofa with your legs spread and watching Nat Geo.883cc RAW
With the inflating prices and a very unstable economy, most of us might be cursing the US-of-A. But for some speed enthusiasts like us, we still admire the Americans for their development of the V-Twin engines. Finding its huge success in the Mustang and numerous muscle cars, the V-Twins also made their way to the two wheeled speed tools. Though the Japanese Inline-parallel engines are still un-beaten in terms of reliability and overall performance, the HEAD-HAMMERing torque of a V-Twin is still a benchmark.The Superlow, comes with an Air Cooled Fuel Injected 883cc V-Twin that delivers a whooping 69Nm of Torque at 3500RPM.
Now let’s hear the story it wrote on our review day. Put on the key and a very few lights and visuals welcomed the rider. Pressed the “Engine Start” and it was like an airplane ready to take off. First rode around at a conservative pace trying to be familiarised with the huge structure that weighed double my own bike. After a while I got comfortable and was now ready to jump off my pit lane. Twisted my wrist a bit extra and the amount of force was wild enough to take my left hand grip off the handle as I was used to a mere 15Nm torque all these days. With all my guts and glory I started running the rings with this bike and its character was getting revealed and I was accustomed to it pretty soon. The HD reacts the same way it looks, its very very RAW and untamed. The Power delivery is very exciting yet the bike doesn’t really go dangerously fast. The initial adrenaline pumping take off is very enjoyable and the sound is exhilarating. Ones who are not familiar with its sound might easily imagine a Chopper landing nearby. Quite obvious due to its RAW nature, the Superlow is quite a vibey bike, that is also due to the fact that it is an air-cooled engine, and perhaps the same reason why HD riders sit with their legs wide open,THE HEAT from the engine is quite hazardous. After cranking it up there seemed to be a torment between my legs and the murmur of the engine beneath the seat is quite alarming if you happen to have a weak heart. During the ride, once I had touched 145kmph at 3rd gear which had presented me with one of the fiercest moments of my life, as the sound was deafening, the sparks from the footpeg at the corners and the vibes travelling through my body left me with my heart pumping at twice its normal rate. In a short note, “This is a BAD BOY’s Bike” and that’s how the Americans like their cruisers, “RAW”.Ride & Handling
Though its a very big bike a real heavy one, once you’re on it, all that muscle only shows up in the form of speed and power and not as any sluggish metal that you have to balance with your own skills. Being ultra low in height there is that extremely balanced and planted feel when you ride this bike. Having a straight handle bar makes it pretty easy to ride and even though its power delivery is a bit wild type to feel, but in reality the rideability of this bike is quite good. However when it comes to real life handling, its good only for the straight long highways, everywhere else the ground-clearance makes it a difficult bike to take fast corners and negotiate nimble chicanes. On our hill ride I went very tight on the curves and got some nervous moments as the bike could only take very less tilt and the foot pegs would come in contact with the tarmac. However, on good roads and long stretches the ride comfort is mind blowing and munching miles at 130kph is quite attainable with this SuperLow. Just a little disappointed when I jammed in the brakes as I found the braking of the bike a little weaker for its price tag, however I assume that might be a reason of our Sportsbike riding style in which the brakes are a bit front biased whereas in cruisers the braking is a bit biased on the rear wheels. Altogether the bike handled better that I expected at my first look.Impression
Doesn’t matter whatever I write in this column, if you’re riding a HARLEY DAVIDSON it doesn’t matter whatever the spec-sheets, reviews, critics or other riders say. At 5.5lacs, this is the most enviable bike one can buy which will earn in you maximum respect.