Riding 2010 Harleys in New York City

Diana on Crossbones

What would you say if Harley-Davidson invited you to a swanky New York City party and asked you to demo ride their motorcycles in the city the following day? Hell yeah!!! And so that kinda explains what happened to Diana and myself this past weekend. Pinch me, I still don’t believe it happened!

Jay on Wide Glide

The line up of 2010 Harleys

On Wednesday October 7th Harley-Davidson held a demo ride session with writers from main stream non motorcycle media such as Maxim Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. On Thursday they held a party and invited more media, some dealers and a few riders. On Friday morning they kept the bikes out for me and Diana to demo ride in NYC. We had our choice of eight models. I was leaning towards the new CVO Softail Convertable but changed my mind to the new Fat Boy Lo since I could see myself really buying this as my next motorcycle. Diana was all set and ready to go on the new Dyna Wide Glide until she realized her feet couldn’t reach the forward controls. Seeing how all the bikes had forward controls except for one, she had to opt for the Nightster.

At the Ainsworth

We don’t know our way around New York, have never been in a city like this on motorcycles and were on unfamiliar bikes… but we were more excited than apprehensive. I guess you could say we have more balls than brains! Or just a great sense of adventure!

Fat Boy Lo

CVO Softail Convertable

Cross Bones

We rolled out from the Ainsworth on the Fat Boy Lo and the Nightster. My Low Rider has mid controls with footpegs. I never rode a bike with floor boards so the brake and heel/toe shifter felt very odd. The floor boards felt comfortable, just like a floor. My feet planted themselves there and then they completely forgot what to do. I had no control of my feet. I just worked the clutch, throttle and handbrake as my senses were on overload coming to the first intersection. A parade of pedestrians crossed the intersection on all four sides and as the traffic light turned green they sorta kinda disipated and we kinda tried to roll through them. It was so congested it was more like duck walking the bike around the first few blocks. Speaking of duck walk… the Fat Boy Lo is really Low! Very easy to duck walk! Very easy to ride due to low seat height and low center of gravity. It was like having a small motorcycle with wide handlebars, a giant headlight and a full 96ci V-Twin. What more could a short guy like myself ask for? I liked it a lot and didn’t want to bring it back. If I wasn’t 50% paying attention to the new surroundings and only 50% attention to the new Harley I would have fallen 100% in love with the machine. Did I mention it looks kick ass with the black out treatment and the satin chrome finish. Very little chrome. I almost want to call it the Exile Cycles Harley. I really liked how the big fat front wheel absorbs bumps, I felt very solid on this bike. The wide handlebars help keep the bike on track, just wish my arms were an inch longer or the bars an inch closer. It was so easy to ride I had no apprehension about swapping bikes with Diana. I felt she could handle this bike with no problem. I tell you, when Diana was on that bike I thought we had to get a matching pair of them. She loooked damn good on that thang! Very sexy! Then it hit me, this is a great motorcycle for men and for women! The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo is going to be a huge success for Harley-Davidson, especially with the female and new rider markets. And also with little guys like me who want to pretend they are Arnold in the Terminator. The only bad thing besides the too small stock mirrors was the the heat coming off the exhaust. Due to the lower seat height your leg is closer to the pipes which means toasty right leg.

Diana cruising on 2010 Nightster

Jay on the 2010 Fat Boy Lo

Diana in new York on 2010 Nightster

When I swapped with Diana I got to ride the Nightster which rode just like her old Sportster Hugger but with drag bars. It reminded me of why we traded up to big V-twins… but I never felt uncool. When I used to ride the Hugger I felt like I was on a chick bike. At least this 1200 doesn’t feel like a chick bike. It looks bad ass, and my ass felt bad. The solo seat was hard as a brick. I’m glad Diana didn’t get used to the floor boards on the Fat Boy and wanted to swap back.

Riding around New York wasn’t as scarey as I thought it would be. It’s so congested that everything is happening very slowly. I had imagined everyone coming at us at crazy speeds from every direction honking and screeching. It wasn’t like that at all. We could barely get the bikes into third gear or over 35 mph. It was like a huge parking lot and we were just tourists tooling around town on a pair of the coolest scooters.

Tooling around New York on bad to the bone 2010 Harley-Davidsons was an awesome way to see the city. I recommend you try it. We had smiles pasted on our faces. We rode by Ground Zero where there was a lot of construction going on. They are building a monument for 9/11. We took some pictures of the construction. It’s strange to see all the buildings and then this city block that doesn’t have any. We also rode by the USS Intrepid air craft carrier. People watching in NYC is definitely a must for you people watchers out there. New Yorkers know how to make a fashion statement.

ground Zero

jay at Ground Zero

Summary:

If someone invites you to party in New York and demo ride new Harley-Davidson motorcycles you say “Hell Yeah!”

The 2010 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo has kick ass styling, handles great and if you would like to buy me one I’ll take it! I’ll take two! Until then I’ll just dream about a matching pair for me and Diana.

The 2010 Nightster is a cool 1200 with awesome rat bike/bobber styling. It looks mean!

Riding around New York on motorcycles isn’t as scarey as one might think. In fact it was quite enjoyable. A great way to go sight seeing! I might go back on my own bike. It might not be as much fun as Harley-Davidson handing over two brand new 2010 motorcycles with Wisconsin manufacturer plates on them, but it could still be a good time.