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FLHTCSE Ride Report

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Took the FLHTCSE for a 70 mile run last night afterwork.  Here are some early comments about the bike:

Being 6.4", the stock windshield is to low.  The air comes off the fairing funny and makes the sounds like when you only open the front windows of a car.  Being that high causes the radio to sound distorted.  When I leaned over a few inches, the sound went away and the radio sounded great.  Taller riders will probably need to go with a higher windshield.

The bike comes with a special owners manual.  The break-in speeds are a little higher.  The biggest thing it recommends is not to exceed 3500 rpms in any gear during the first 500 miles.  The book claims you can run up to 75mph in 5 gear during the first 500 miles.

I have never had a front fairing before.  Georgia nights have been fairly cool this week.  I was amazed at how little wind gets to my hands.  I wore opened fingered gloves and was comfortable even with the outside temperature at 60 degrees.

As handling goes, its the best Harley I have owned so far (this is my 4th bike).  It seems very stable at all speeds.  Feels like I could ride with no hands.  Corners very well.  Havent done any hairpins yet, but did some nice sweeping turns.  

This bike is almost a inch lower then most touring models.  I had to go over several speed bumps, it hasnt bottomed out yet.

Gas mileage seems a little higher too, which is suprising me.  I guess the larger engine doesnt have to work as hard.  I am at 130 miles and the guage still reads half a tank.  Will wait and see what actual mileage is when i have to fill up.

Sound - Actually for a stock Harley, its sounds pretty good.  When its idiling it sounds just like a bike with high performance pipes.  At higher speeds, it still has a nice sound but just kind of quite.  Not as quite as my friend's 03 ultra with stock pipes.

Great to hear your thoughts. I have one due in in three weeks so we can compare notes. I am right at 6'0 so it will be interesting to see how the wind hits me! Keep us posted on other thoughts and comments and I will do the same.

Ok I have sold everything. I have all my money together to purchase mine when it comes in. I ordered a orange one so I guess I will be waiting for awhile. I wonder if the orange one goes faster then the Black/Blue one, Ha Ha Ha.

Ride Report #2:  70 Miles after work.

103 Cubic inch engine, Kickin Stereo System, rider's backrest, cruise control:  This bike was made to go on long rides.  Why in the hell would Harley put such a terrible seat on a $30,000 bike.  I am a fairly thin person, so I dont have much padding of my own on my back half.  I put 20,000 miles on my Road King stock seat.  After a few hundred miles, I would start to butt crawl.  But the seat on the FLHTCSE, my butt hurts after 10 miles.  If you are curious about what the seat will feel like.  Put a piece of plywood in your car seat and drive to work.  Thats about the same feeling.  I dont think I will even wait for the 1000 mile service to change this piece of sh##!

On the plus side, the riders back rest is awesome.  This is a feature every touring bike should have.  Once I replace the seat, having a backrest like this will make long (300 to 400) mile days a breeze.

If you enjoy music while you ride, you will love the stereo on this bad boy.  I road with a friend last night, he said it was pretty clear following me at 55 mph when I had it cranked up.  Once I raise my windshield height, I shouldnt have to crank it all the way up at high speeds.

Bike Color:  Starlight Black stands for "weird purple"  It looks great, but I dont know if Harley should have used the word black.  If you get this color scheme, I hope you enjoy washing your bike.  This color scheme shows every bit of dust and all water marks.  If you use S100 wax, make sure it doesnt have any smears.  That will show as well.  Those of you getting the orange and black probably wont have this problem.

Wheels:  The wheels on this bike are beautiful, but how in the hell do you clean them with dual breaks?  My Road King had stock wheels.  I never really worried about getting them to clean since they really cant be seen by the breaks and saddlebags.  But the chrome wheels on the FLHTCSE standout alot.  

Insurance:  Having the 103 caused my insurance rate to go up, but having the siren from hell reduces the rate so it kind of washes out in the end.  Progressive also gave me a discount for being a HOG member and for passing the Advance Riders course a year ago.  So when it was all over, my new insurance was actually cheaper then my Road King.

i dont know if thats the same backrest that came on the 02 SERK, but i hated it. used it on the ride home from the dealers about 110 miles then took it off and havent used it since. the stingray seat isnt the most comfortable either. but i have survived days ridng between 300-500+ miles so i havent changed it yet, no plans to currently. i've tried to keep the original looks of the bike as best i can.


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