Long May It Run.
I was well into my maiden voyage aboard Harley’s 2019 Heritage Classic when Neil Young’s Timeless Classic spooled up in my earpiece.
“We've been through some things together
With trunks of memories still to come
We found things to do in stormy weather
Long may you run”
If you want a recipe for transporting yourself to a very, very happy place, take that song, add a dash of this bike and roll in the road over Mt Glorious, west of Brisbane - and you’ve got something you could bottle.
It turned out I collected the 'Rawhide and Vivid Black' 114 Cube Classic from Morgan & Wacker this morning. It worked out easier to get a lift in today, rather than yesterday as previously mooted.
After collection I was going to do a few errands around town before heading home - but by the time I got to Oxley and finished the to-do list I thought, “Well … stuff it. May as well keep going.”
Before I knew it I was at Fernvale and heading for the hills and a rendezvous with an Iced Coffee at the Mt Glorious Café. I have to say, I was enamoured with this bike, right from the get-go.
By the time I cleared the dealership and headed uptown I knew this was a machine that I was going to *really* enjoy. Even for a big guy like me it is super comfortable and feels quite roomy. The motor in this one is exceptionally smooth too. I’ve tested some 114’s that shook more than others. This unit is as good as the original Fat Boy I tested and noticeably smoother than the 114 Breakout.
It would benefit from Stage 1 treatment at least, but even still it chugs along very rewardingly.
On the M2 Freeway I dialled in the cruise control and the bike was a delight. On the open road sections before and after Fernvale the chassis and suspension package soaked up the worst of the truck ruts and potholes on offer. I even gave it a quick squirt up a dirt road by Wivenhoe Pocket and it’s quite capable there too (belt drives notwithstanding).
The combination of 130-section front and 150 rear makes for what I think is the most sure footed and nimble of the Footboard equipped M8's. It chucks around beautifully and feels very, very planted on the road.
On the twisty bits up the hill to the Café the ground clearance proved OK – not as good as the FXDR – the last bike I punted up there, but better that a previous gen. Heritage Softail – quite a bit better in fact.
On the 30kph signed corners the footboards had the gentlest of kisses on the tarmac at 60kph and the 20’s were fine at 40-45.
Coming down the hill was equally enjoyable. The brakes are really good. The last bike I rode that could be this easily ridden with genuine one-finger lever action was a sportsbike. They aren’t ‘brutal’ stoppers – but they are very good and require minimal effort.
Back across town in the mid afternoon Brizzy heat the bike didn’t stumble or fart once. The gearbox is excellent too – sure-shifting and confidence inspiring, in fact the whole package is. I got home mid afternoon grinning like an idiot.
Looks-wise, I like it a lot. I don’t think it’s quite as aesthetically pleasing as the Anniversary Heritage Softail that Mick was coincidentally picking up from M&W at the same time I was collecting the Presser, but the Classic is appealing to look at nonetheless.
I know it’s a long bow to draw, but from some angles it reminded me of Al’s perfect WLA – probably due to the blacked out lower screen.
Anyway, that’s the first impressions. More to follow. Maybe a decent fang down the coast tomorrow.
Full test will be Heavy Duty #164.
“Long may you run, long may you run
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.”