By Evans Brasfield Editor Score: 83.0%
2016 Harley-Davidson Roadster
Editor Score: 83.0%
A freight train of 20 motorcycles works its way through the rolling hills of southern France on a roller-coaster of silky smooth but undulating pavement, cresting hills, strafing banked turns, and dancing side-to-side through endless esses. Entering the mostly second-gear corners, bikes largely nose-to-tail, the riders take a variety of lines, occasionally scrubbing off a little speed mid-corner – or sometimes more than a little in the case of a sneaky decreasing-radius – with a judicious application of brakes while leaned over, peg feelers just skimming the pavement. Other times, if the situation requires, they adjust their lines, sometimes slightly overlapping wheels as people who are comfortable on the track often do (even if it doesn’t really allow enough margin for error on the street). Then the corner ends, and the throttles twist, widening the gaps slightly, only to accordion back together in the next braking zone.
While the scenario may sound like the typical sportbike press introduction, this was, instead, a swarm of Harley-Davidson motorcycles – primarily the just announced Roadster with a smattering of Low Rider S models thrown in for good measure. The road in question was the perfect culmination of three days of riding along the coast and in the mountains between Marseilles and St. Tropez and back again.
Harley-Davidson created a true roadster, stripped down to the bare essentials.
At first blush, the location for this riding introduction of the Roadster seems a bit odd for the uniquely American manufacturer. However, once you learn that the 1200 Sportster-based Forty-Eight is one of the top-selling models …read more