Friday on my Mind
"Gonna have fun in the city
Be with my girl, she's so pretty
She looks fine tonight
She is out of sight to me
Tonight I'll spend my bread, tonight
I'll lose my head, tonight
I've got to get to night"
My first experience with a Heritage Softail was following Bob’s ‘96 model around the Hunter Valley and Northern Rivers of NSW for the last few years of the previous millennium.
It was always in pristine condition and Bob and his brother Alan always set a cracking pace as 'road captains' on our regular weekend runs up the Valley and beyond.
“It’s f***ing Salmon!!!” he would glower at us, along with assorted threats of violent retribution - if we were ever game enough to call it pink - at any of the pub stops we frequented along the way. Halcyon days.
It wasn’t until 2011 that I managed my first decent ride on one – and it turned out to be a minor epic.
I’d thrown a leg over a few shop bikes and had one as a day-loaner in between, but in November ’11 Harley flew me, Brum and several other magazine types over to Perth to meet up with Bill Davidson and a ride down to Margaret River for the annual HOG Rally.
Lil' Bill and Big Dave
After photographing the first two days of the HOG shindig the Co-pilot arrived in the ‘Golden West’ and we set off, 2-up, charged with producing a touring story and travelogue for the HOG Magazine, aboard a magnificent white 96 cube model.
We covered almost 1,500km through the bottom corner of the state in a few days - in great comfort and with tons of style. And that’s where the Heritage was entrenched as one of my favourite ‘do it all Harleys’. It cruised, it toured and it ‘show-biked’ eminently well.
Then in 2013 I was dispatched to cover the HOG Rally in Auckland for Heavy Duty. My ride for that weekend was a 103 Cube Silver and Blue Model. The improvements in the bike were noticeable: more power, torque and responsiveness - and I rode the wheels off it for the duration of the event.
Fast-forward to 2014 and a gorgeous Silver 103 Cube landed in my garage and I spent a week riding it around Brisbane and the Gold Coast Hinterland - and loved every minute of it.
I always thought appreciating the Heritage was a mindset and I enjoyed the connection with the brand’s history and aesthetic.
I didn’t mind it dragging the footboards or its moderate lean angles when hooking in, I was always too busy feeling good about riding it and the way it purred along the boulevards to worry about going ten tenths.
And all *that* is why this Friday is going to interesting. A 2019 Heritage Classic, replete with the latest incarnation of the 114 ‘coooobic’ inch Milwaukee 8 engine has arrived and is currently being serviced at Morgan & Wacker, Brisbane in preparation for collection as a Heavy Duty Magazine test bike.
Very interesting indeed – I have some benchmarks and history to compare it to - I’ll keep you posted and blog some of the test rides and impressions. Full test will be in Heavy Duty # 164
As my Kiwi Pals would say, “Fizzing at the bung”.