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  1. #1
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    Oct 2017
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    2018 Street Bob test drive

    A few weeks back I organised with Warr a testdrive of a 2017 Softail Slim.

    I am in the market for a new (to me) Harley. I settled on the Softail line as I want to have a 200+ mile range and always loved the look of the old Fatboy.

    With the new 2018 bikes I found myself with a bit of a dilemma. I have read everything I could about the new M8 Softails and it seems like they are a big step forward towards a more modern bike.

    But I am not sure I want that.

    I could go and buy a BMW R Nine T if I wanted performance and comfort and reliability and speed and mpg and so on.

    So when I test drove a 2018 Fatboy I was a little confused and, dare I say it, disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, the bike was great from an objective point of view, but I was missing the sense of occasion that I always associated with Harleys.

    On here you guys suggested I tried a pre 2018 bike, so I was looking forward to riding the 2017 Slim.

    The Slim is the bike I will go for. Either in Twin Cam or M8 form. It is the bike with the least visual changes from 2017 to 2018, so now it is just a question on which one to go for.

    I woke up (it was Sunday) and it was a glorious day. I was quite excited. My appointment was at 11am. I was just about to leave home when I received a call from Warr…. The battery on the 2017 Slim was dead. And since it was Sunday there was no technician who would be able to swap it from another bike. They apologised profusely and asked me if there was any other bike that I wanted to try.

    I was a bit disappointed, but since I had already organised my day around going into London I decided I would try Street Bob.

    I must say I was not too excited about it. I don’t particularly like the mini ape bars, the mid controls and small headlight.

    As I sat on the bike I immediately felt a little cramped. I am 6’2” and I wished I had a little more leg room. But I press the starter button and off I went.

    This engine is really fantastic. I really can’t compare it with the TC, but in absolute terms the 107 is a peach. It’s torquey but also eager to rev. Also it feels more “connected” to the bike than on the 2018 Fatboy. Maybe it’s the bike being lighter or less padding on the seat, but it all felt more organic.

    The mini ape bars were also a revelation. They were actually quite cool and with the Screaming Eagles slip ons and the phenomenal throttle response of the M8 I was having a lot of fun.

    I still felt a little cramped, the mid-fwd controls not my favourite and the seat was not eally that supportive…. But this bike is a hoot.
    I reluctantly pulled back into Warr’s parking lot after an hour. I was so pumped and had a big smile on my face. I had to resist not to write a check there and then….

    Now I really need to drive the Slims…. They still do not have a 2018 Slim as a demo bike, and ideally I would like to try them back to back.
    I think I narrowed it down to either a 2016/17 Slim S (in olive green) or 2018 Slim (denim black). If the difference is not night and day, I know which one I really want to go for…

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to 911teo For This Useful Post:

    bluenose-1956 (12-21-2017)

  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Surrey
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    Where do you live? Somewhere like Guildford or Reading may have a wider range to test

  4. #3
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
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    2016 Harley-Davidson 883 iron
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    You'll find Warrs have a less than good reputation From a lot of us that have been there. Look at other dealers. There will be a harley to suite you, just have gun with test rides. For some us, like me, we know exactly what we want from the get go. For others it's a bit of biker retail therapy to get to the right bike. Having ridden 2models from the new softail range, they are great bikes, better than older models, but to smooth for me. I prefer the older, more character filled models.
    FTW )

  5. #4
    Member
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    Oct 2017
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    Triumph Bonneville
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooty View Post
    Where do you live? Somewhere like Guildford or Reading may have a wider range to test
    I am close to Guildford.

    I want a Slim. Either a 2016 S or a 2018. But up until 2 weeks ago nobody had a 2018 Slim demo bike.

    Then again the weather has not been the best to try out new bikes.

    I am happy to wait till next year.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
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    2016 Harley-Davidson 883 iron
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    Let us know how you get on. By all accounts the new softails are more polished, better suspended, better handling, better braked and more powerful. The downside is less character (imho).
    FTW )

  7. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Roadglide Ultra
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    Try Shaws near Eastbourne after the holidays they have he lot I think.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to wildy For This Useful Post:

    911teo (12-23-2017)

  9. #7
    Senior Member bluenose-1956's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Halifax, United Kingdom.
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    2011 XL883N Iron
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildy View Post
    Try Shaws near Eastbourne after the holidays they have he lot I think.

    I bought one of these Shaws H-D Owner Pack bags from them for £5 including delivery. I keep my workshop manual in it.

    s-l225 (1).jpg

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to bluenose-1956 For This Useful Post:

    911teo (12-23-2017)

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