Strange Love or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love a Harley Davidson
Ever since I started to ride I've been against Harleys. I had already dealt with enough "Wait, you're a biker chick?" from casual conversations with people that I didn't want to make it worse.
I guess I felt like Harleys belonged to the "rough around the edges, big bearded, over 65, studded, skulled" crowd. Or the dentists. The only women I had seen ride a Harley were always riding pinion, complete with bandanas and denim vests.
However, as I was looking to replace my Vulcan 900, Harleys kept coming up on my list. I needed a bike with a lower seat to fit my 5' 2" petite frame, but I also needed to be aggressive on the LA freeways.
It all came together when I went to the annual motorcycle show and sat on about 50 bikes. I had come so close to buying the new Vulcan S that I nearly purchased it a week prior, but now it just felt cheap and plasticky. I absolutely love the reliability of Kawasaki, but I just couldn't pull the trigger on the Vulcan S.
Near the end of the show, Mr. McQueen suggested I check out the Harleys. "No way!" I said, "I'm not a Harley person." But eventually, he coaxed me over and we checked out the new Iron 883. It was a gorgeous bike, even I couldn't deny it. The height was perfect, everything was made of high quality metal parts. I gave in, and scheduled a test ride.
Compared to my Vulcan 900, the Iron 883 felt like riding a horse whose rearing to go. It seemed to crave movement, and practically leapt whenever the lights turned green. Along with the smooth maneuvering and tight cornering (at least compared to my Vulcan) I was sold.
Fortunately, a few weeks later I found a 2014 model with 4800 miles on it for $6,000 from a local college student who wanted to try out a sports bike. It was even a color other than black. *Fist Pump*
As far as the specs are concerned, it's belt driven with fuel injection and weighs about 500 pounds with a 29 inch inseam. This sounds heavy, however the bike is so well balanced I hardly even notice the fact that it weighs 5x as much as I do. The seat height is perfect for a short person and I can flat foot it. The tank supposedly holds 3.3 gallons, however I usually end up filling it around 2.6 gallons after my fuel light's been on for 30 miles. You can get about 120 miles per fill up if you push it, I tend to go by the rule of 30 miles past the fuel light and I haven't had any trouble with it. I would recommend looking at getting a larger tank size though.
One of the things I really like about this bike is the build quality is top notch, there isn't any plastic on it, and everything feels really solid. There are always a huge range of customizable parts as well, so anything you're not a big fan of, you can find a part for it easy and cheap. Not to mention it has that classic cruiser look that's worth drooling over. So it has the quality, lasting durability, grin factor, and it just looks cool. All the things you want in a bike.
I still don't identify with the "Harley Biker Chick" stereotype, despite what everyone tries to tell me, but I honestly love my Harley, and I'll always recommend the Iron 883 to my fellow vertically-challenged lady riders.