ROAD TEST: 2014 Harley-Davidson Low Rider Review

Story / Bike Photos: Heath “The Chief “ Cofran Riding Shot: Christina Cofran

IMG_3988As a writer for the magazine, we get to pick up new bikes and ride them for a few weeks so we can give our best understanding of them. I have ridden a bunch of really cool bikes and I enjoy seeing what each of them has to offer. I have to admit, when I got the call to try the new Harley Low Rider, I looked online and saw some pictures of the bike and told myself, eh…. Ok. Despite my Editor, CD, assuring me of the Low Rider’s long and proud history and popularity, let’s just say I wasn’t very hyped.

I’m going to fast forward to riding my bike over to the fleet center to pick up the Low Rider. I still had the eh mentality. The guy rolled the bike out, and I looked at it and suddenly was like, hmmm.., this thing looks pretty sweet. The first thing I loved about the bike was the 2-tone paint job and sweet 4.7-gallon petrol tank. The big oversized painted logo on the tank was eye catching and I dug the whiskey colored metal flake. The chunky aluminum wheels looked very hot rod race inspired and I was stoked. I handed over the keys to my bike and went for the trade out.

The first thing I noticed as I ripped off down the street was the stock exhaust. I looked down after I let on the throttle just to see if it was an after market pipe. It wasn’t. It was stock?? I was impressed by the deep, rich, rumble sound! As you know, most stock bikes sound like you could ride it through the library and deliver tea to all the studying students. Ha ha, well not this motorcycle! I think a lot of that has to do with the power of this motor. Harley planted an air-cooled Twin Cam 103 injected V-Twin fun generator with a displacement of 1690cc. The motor is nicely decked out in that wrinkle black and chrome icing. We can’t forget about the six-speed cruise drive transmission; oh it’s so cool to be able to slam down into that 6th gear on the freeway. Yes, adds nice smile to your face too huh? It also pushes out a nice 75 Hp at 5010 rpm and 126 Nm of torque at 3,500 rpm’s and all of that exhales nicely thought a throaty 2-into-1 exhaust.

A brief trip in Harley history tell us that the LOW RIDER was actually a shovel head power cruiser that was first released in 1977. It had been out of production for the last 5 years and now, but she’s back!

Here’s another cool factoid on this bike; the Low Rider is only the 2nd bike in the Dyna family to come with dual front disc brakes! These twin 300mm floating rotors with 4 piston calipers. What all this means is better stopping power when you need it. No, this doesn’t mean you can join the freestyle street motor team with stoppies, it means you are safer on the road! Oh, and don’t forget – you can get ABS on this limbo game champ.

The bike I tested had the Amber Whiskey /Vivid Black paint set up. There are 2 other colors you can choose from. (Vivid Black) (Brilliant Silver / Vivid Black) All of which really look nicely with the polished front end, wrinkle black and chrome power train, chrome-plated fender strut covers and the nice badging on the battery box cover. The headlight is topped off with a clean hood style eyebrow that also serves switch hitter as both the headlight and handlebar riser mount. The new wrinkle black console with speedo and tach ties in nicely with the rest of the bike.

The bike is called the “LOW RIDER” , no, not because it comes with airbags so you can bounce up and down the street listening to WAR, this bikes seat is only 25.4” off the ground. I mean really, Napoleon himself could ride this baby. Joking aside, this bike is low and the seat is very comfortable. The first day out, I rode for 150 miles and never had any issues with comfort. Speaking of low, usually when I ride these Harley’s, it feels like I barely turn and I scrape the pegs. This bike has the pegs a little higher off the ground then most. It was a comforting feeling to go into some corners and not worry about a spark fest. Staying in the comfort side of this Low Rider, I also want to point out some of the other cool elements that this bike has. The unique handlebar riser gives you 2.4” of adjustability, and also the seat design always you 1.5” of adjustability! Now, that is sweet, huh?

So after a 5-year hiatus looks like Harley-Davidson made a smart decision to bring back this beauty and add some modern touches to what you as a rider would love. You have to set up your own test ride and give this bike a try! You will not be disappointed.

Chief

2014 - Harley-Davidson Low Rider

Specifications:

DIMENSIONS
Length 92.3 in.
Seat Height, Laden 25.4 in.
Seat Height, Unladen 26.8 in.
Ground Clearance 4.13 in.
Rake (steering head) (deg) 30.5
Trail 5.1 in.
Wheelbase 64.2 in.
Tires, Front Specification 100/90B19 57H
Tires, Rear Specification 160/70B17 73V
Fuel Capacity 4.7 gal.
Oil Capacity (w/filter) 3 qt.
Weight, As Shipped 644 lb.
Weight, In Running Order 666 lb.

ENGINE
Engine Air-cooled, Twin Cam 103™
Bore 3.87 in.
Stroke 4.374 in.
Displacement 103.1 cu in
Compression Ratio 9.6:1
Fuel System Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection

DRIVETRAIN
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Gear Ratios (overall) 1st 9.311
Gear Ratios (overall) 2nd 6.454
Gear Ratios (overall) 3rd 4.793
Gear Ratios (overall) 4th 3.882
Gear Ratios (overall) 5th 3.307
Gear Ratios (overall) 6th 2.79

CHASSIS
Wheels, Optional Style Type Chrome Steel Laced
Wheels, Front Type Black, Split 5-Spoke Cast Aluminum
Wheels, Rear Type Black, Split 5-Spoke Cast Aluminum
Brakes, Caliper Type 4-piston fixed front, and 2-piston torquefree floating rear

PERFORMANCE
Engine Torque Testing Method SAE J1349
Engine Torque 98.8 ft-lb
Engine Torque (rpm) 3,500
Lean Angle, Right (deg.) 29.5
Lean Angle, Left (deg.) 30.5
Fuel Economy: Combined City/Hwy 43 mpg

ELECTRIC
Lights (as per country regulation), Indicator Lamps High beam, directional light bar, neutral, low oil pressure, engine diagnostics, turn signals, security system(optional), 6-speed, low fuel warnings

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