In the press they call this a ‘long term test’, of which I’ve done a few, but I’ve never had a vehicle that’s given me anywhere near as many smiles per mile back as this Harley-Davidson Roadster.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve driven a lot of amazing cars. A day with a Ferrari 458 sticks out amongst all of them as the best thing I’ve ever driven, a ridiculously useable car that you’d never get tired of opening your garage door to.
Hot on those heels there’s a 430 Scuderia in a torrential M4 downpour. A Porsche 911 GT2 on an unbridled M6 Toll Road. An Aston Martin DBS through the streets of Le Mans in the supercar parade before race day. A Caterham R500 Superlight with shotgun like sequential box and fire spitting pipes through the streets of London. The first ever GT-R on British soil from London to Liverpool, and then onto the Isle of Man’s unrestricted, closed country roads.
The list could go on, but you get my point; I’ve been incredibly fortunate in the car world.
But all of those – as thoroughly amazing as they were – never drained the adrenaline supply as hard as my Roadster does, every day.
Motorbikes never fail to amaze me that you’re sitting out in the wild, on top of an engine, with a couple of wheels. Every time I start the engine, my heart rate increases. My senses throttle up to 11, accessing a different plane of existence that I don’t get to experience in any other way.
Even just my hour ride to work every morning gives me a new experience, each mile increasing the connection with my bike. I still can’t believe, truth be told, that I actually passed my test and got legal. The thrill of being able to ride matches the ride itself – it’s always there on the periphery of my thoughts, just waiting to be unlocked.
I’ve had many great experiences with wheeled vehicles in my life, but none of them come close to the pure, unbridled joy that I get from riding a motorcycle.
I bloody love it.
And for me right now, this bike is the perfect set-up – I can cruise when I want to, rail corners when I need to, tuck in and let the world and my worries disappear in a blur around me. It does everything I need it to, and rewards me for consistency.
You can keep your supercars, I’ll keep my Harley.