Since the first day I ride, I have never thought of Harley-Davidson since my interest is mainly sports bike and recently starts to accept adventure bike; albeit a few of my close friends is Harley-Davison hardcore fans. This experience sharing would be the first that touches Harley-Davidson.
I received a call from Harley-Davidson Malaysia to test ride the newly launch Sportster S. Without knowing how to say no, I went and boy am I glad to attend; it was one of the most unique experiences despite it being one of the ‘shortest’ media test rides I’ve attended. The Harley-Davidson Sportster was unveiled on 14th July 2021 virtually and thanks to the pandemic, we are only able to test ride is on November 5th at Goh Tong, Genting.
The Sportster S, Harley-Davidson called it a revolution; but from what I heard, many Harley-Davidson’s hardcore fans are actually against it as it no longer has the soul of Harley-Davidson with its 121 Bhp Revolution Max 1250T V-Twin engine. And of course, the notorious Harley-Davidson noise is no longer there. Not for me.
I couldn’t care less what the hardcore fans think; most importantly is there is a huge untapped market which Harley-Davidson wanted to get a bite and the untapped market is people like me. First, look, I like how it looks. It’s low, it’s huge, it’s modern and it had the V-Twin rumble which I like. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine who is not into bikes fell in love with the Sportster S and bought one immediately after he saw it in the metal.
According to the press release by Harley-Davidson, the Sportster S is equipped with plenty of technologies designed to enhance the riding experience. There is three pre-programmed riding mode which is Sport, Road and Rain; it has a very nice looking round 4.0-inch diameter TFT screen which display all instrumentation and supports infotainment generated by the rider’s Bluetooth equipped mobile device and helmet headset which include music and making or receiving phone calls.
The 1250 121 Bhp engine gives instant torque and the lightweight chassis and premium suspension only equated to a fun ride although I am wearing hard racing boots which are extremely difficult for me to change shift gear.
Now let’s talk about the price of the bike. The Sportster S starts from RM92,900 for Vivid Black and a coloured unit will cost RM95,900 both with SST.
On top of that, gracing the media ride was the new Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250, the adventure bike from Harley-Davidson which is totally out of the world. I first saw it in the metal at Harley-Davidson Petaling Jaya showroom and must admit never really like it but everything changes when I’m mounted on the seat. I must admit riding the Sportster S with a racing boot is not comfortable which caused me to be slow. I’m glad I only have to ride halfway on that. We were allowed to exchange bikes and try the Pan America.
The Pan Am is my type of bike, a bit down mood completely flipped over. The grunt of the V-Twin shivers down my spine and I enjoyed the ride. The handling was superb and I had the high spec which the seat will be lowered once we stopped the bike. That is a big plus for a shortie like me. It has 4 modes and when marshalls asked us to use the road mode, I can’t be bothered because I need the most powerful sports mode. Of course, the 4th mode would be off-road where the ABS on the rear will be off.
Well, I hope to be able to loan the bike for a longer test ride as honestly, riding down to Sempah from Goh Tong and return; although we swapped bikes, doesn’t give me the time to understand the bike and completely feel the bike. Let’s hope I can get to loan it from Harley-Davidson Malaysia soon.