Back in late 2014 a blip on my health radar and subsequent surgery caused an immediate curtailment of my regular Harley rides.
Now, after almost eighteen months of regular visits to my GP, Specialist and of course the pathologists (who always seem to be lurking in the shadows) I’ve been given the green light to get back on the bike, subject to a few more tests next week.
During the enforced break, my enthusiasm for motor cycling waxed and waned.
With a dry weight of 719 lbs or just on 326 kilos, and fully fuelled at 761 lbs or 345.2 kilos, I had genuine doubts that I still had the physical strength to manoeuvre my Heritage Softail Classic around the shed, let alone hold it upright when I brought it to a halt out on the road.
I looked at lighter cruiser style bikes, some of which were over 100 lbs lighter but they just didn’t have the appeal of my Harley, nor did the riding position suit my body shape.
Anyway, a few weeks back, while I was having trial runs pushing the bike around the shed, I suddenly remembered that on all my previous Heritages I’d scrapped the original mini ape bars and installed Fat Boy bars instead.
Fat Boy bars are lower and slightly narrower than the standard Heritage ones. Why didn’t I make the change when I bought the current Heritage in January 2014? I haven’t the slightest idea.
So, two weeks ago I rode the Heritage over to my favourite Harley Dealer and arranged to have the Fat Boy bars fitted.
Now it so happens that every time I ride over to any Dealership anywhere for service or repairs, it rains. Now I hadn’t been on the bike in the real sense for well over a year and guess what? The weather didn’t let me down. It not only rained, it was a deluge. Over 100 klms, nearly 70 miles in the downpour and I was like a drowned rat when I finally walked into the workshop. Didn’t do much for my confidence either.
I’d discussed my riding dilemma with the chief spanner man on a previous occasion and as weight was my chief concern he suggested I fit a saddle bag quick release kit and smaller sissy bar and pad. Seemed like a great idea and I gladly accepted his advice, after all ten or 12 lbs off is better than nothing at all.
Then to compliment the deal the bike would be delivered to me at home when the work was finished. How’s that for great customer relations.
The bike is now safely back home, the boys did a terrific job and not only is the machine just a tad lighter but it looks great too. The changes have really given me two bikes for the price of one.
With the panniers and windscreen in place I’ve still got a grand touring machine.
Minus the screen and the panniers I’ve got a street machine.
Now all I have to do is wait for a fine, warm day, start the bike, roll out onto the road and work at getting my mojo back.
Now, here are two images, the first is the before, the seconds the after.
The Heritage Softail Classic complete with screen, panniers and large sissy bar and pad.
What a difference, minus the screen, panniers and large sissy bar and pad. The Fat Boy bars make a vast difference to riding position and manoeuvrability.
Pitty I can’t show you the smile on my dial.
Hoo roo for now.