I bought the bike last Saturday and only rode it about one mile until Friday. Up to that point, I was wondering if I had made a mistake. Would I like the way it handled? Was it just a little too crazy fast for me? Would I ever want to ride it with my SEUC sitting in the garage? Could I ride a bike without a radio and enjoy it at all? Could I handle all of the wind?
Friday night after work, I brought the SEUC home and hopped on the Vrod for a quick ride. I took the first few curves very slowly, not knowing what to expect from the handling. Everything I have heard involved making a strong effort to put the bike through the turns. It seemed to handle pretty normal to me. Then I hit a 4-lane and cracked it up over 100 real quick and I was a bit shaken at how quickly it all happened. Then I headed back home since it was getting dark and I could see that my headlamp was aimed at only about 5 feet in front of the bike. That was my fault. I took the headlamp off as part of my complete detailing of the bike during the week and never thought about aiming the lamps.
Saturday morning, when I got on the bike, it suddenly felt familiar to me. I was glad I took that short ride the night before. I felt pretty comfortable on straight stretches but still a bit timid on anything with a curve involved. As the day went on, I got better with the curves and I was a total maniac on the straight stretches.
This morning, I got on the bike and I felt like I had been riding it for years. I found myself looking forward to the curves almost as much as long straight stretches. I haven't had it over 115 yet, but I hit that range probably too many times today.
So, with the weekend riding behind me, here's what I gathered about the bike. WOW! What a freakin' blast to ride! The bike is fast, the gears are smooth, and I love the way it handles. I like that fact that I can accelerate to about any speed I feel comfortable with in a hurry. It pulls well in all gears. I have a Windvest windshield on there, and I don't think I want to take it off. I don't mind the wind factor at all assuming a decent temperature outside, but I don't think I want more that what I am getting with the windshield in place. I think I can get used to having 2 bikes and I'm now certain that I will find time to put both to use. As far as the headlamp goes, I aimed it as soon as got home Friday night and came home after dark on Saturday. The low beam was okay, but threw off a strange light pattern that was kind of scattered with bright and dim areas all over the place. I don't quite understand it. The high beam worked great. I wasn't expecting it to work so well. The Brembo brakes on the bike are awesome. As for comfort, I didn't do any real long rides, but for the 400 or so miles I put on in the last 2 days, it was perfection. I have the Sundowner seat and I did not have the slightest discomfort anywhere, other than the clutch lever being a bit tight and made long lights a little less than comfortable.
Now, the bad things. The mirrors vibrate badly during any acceleration and all I see are blurs of headlamps behind me. I miss the radio a lot. I kept reaching for the volume control and it wasn't there. I even tried riding close to one of my friends that blasts his tunes, but it just wasn't the same. The fuel tank, 3.7 gallons, is way too small. I found a few places that offer a 5+ gallon tank and I'll consider adding that. The gas mileage was terrible, but I did try to take it easy for a bit on a few full tanks, and I could see that the mileage remaining kept rising. The problem is that I don't ride easy like that, so I'll have to get used to getting terrible mileage. That things really eats the gas when you are constantly getting on it. The bigger tank is probably my only solution to not filling up 3 to 4 times per day on a local ride. I put one of those frame bags on the bike yesterday. Guess what. Not nearly enough storage space. I don't want to put saddlebags on this bike. I think it ruins the looks of the bike. I would say I will be limited to riding this bike only on the nicest of days, so I don't have to worry about carrying any weather gear with me. All of my bikes have been baggers for several years and that's probably the hardest change to go through. I bought a can of cleaner while I was at the dealer to pick up the frame bag, and I didn't even think about the fact that I had nowhere to put it. It's still in a friend's saddlebag.
So, mirror vibration, lack of music, small gas tank, and no storage space are the biggest problems on the bike. If someone has a solution for the vibrating mirrors, I have solutions that will work for me for all of the other shortcomings.
My last thought...I love this bike and anyone that says that these are not real Harleys and has other negative thoughts on these bikes, they need to ride one for about 3 days. At least that's how long it took me to realize how happy I am that I bought it.