Ever heard of performance oriented Harley Davidsons? Before you guys think of anything else, let me remind you that Harleys are more like the things of yesteryears and Bullets which can chug along smoothly giving that proper cruiser feeling and not something on which you can go chasing someone. But wait before you give your comments. There is one Harley bike here which encourages hooligan action and that is the Harley Davidson XR1200X in India. Never heard of it. Well, I couldn’t really blame you on this front. Even I had never heard of this bike until Harley’s Mumbai dealership called us for a test ride of this machine. First glance at the Harley and I am more like “are you sure that’s a Harley?”. Very much like the G55 AMG that I saw in the Mercedes parking lot.
Peering closer revealed the Harley Davidson logo on the tank. This bike sits taller than the other Harleys and moreover, the handle bar isn’t too stretched out, cruiser fashion. So, it’s a regular street bike. The rear set foot pegs, chiseled fuel tank, higher seating position and the upswept silencers do proclaim that this is no ordinary Harley and this is the Harley Davidson XR1200X in India. The 3 spoke split alloy wheels do let you know that this bike wants to be different than the rest of its clan. This bike has a short mudguard at the front and the forks are USD. USD doesn’t mean US dollars but upside down forks. The orange color reflector is also located on this USD. The meter dials boast of semi digital instruments. The tachometer is white faced with purple fonts whereas the speedometer is housed in another pod of its own with digital readouts. The tripmeter is also digital. The tell tale lights are located below the pods. The seats have ample cushioning and are integrated split seats. The grab rail is something which can be described as utilitarian as also stylish. The brushed carbon paint that was on my test bike looked durable and somewhat suited the bike’s sporty characteristics. Another styling element or rather two which caught my eye were the twin tail pipes with one snaking across the oil sump. The other feature was the gas shock absorbers. The tail lamp was a simple unit with the indicators also look archiac. The front turn indicators are hung from the handles. Ohh!before I forget, this bike has the naked look to it.
Enough of the description of the beauty of this bike and time to take a ride on it. Thumbing the starter surprisingly didn’t produce any of the pat pat noise, typical of Harleys. Well, don’t quote me on that since this steed does have a meaty exhaust note but not the one that I am used to from all of Harley cruisers. Similar to the new norms strangulating the thump of the Bullets. Raise the revs and this Harley does sound full blown. Whacking open the throttle in first gear doesn’t lead to wheel spinning antics. It seems very easy going. But then change gears on the somewhat reluctant gearbox and this bike can vroom. So much so that there is the mad sports bike like acceleration. Hadn’t there been my helmet strapped on, I would have just felt the full force of the wind on my cheeks plus the added strain of keeping in my neck in place. A glance at the orange lit speedometer showed that I had crossed 141 kmph. What? You kidding me? I had to open the lid of the helmet and check it again. Yes, it shows 141 and it is steadily climbing up. Enough riding and now time to reign in the speed. You have to do it since this India and you never are sure which kid or animal is ready to dart into the street. Pressing the front discs revealed another thing. The Harley Davidson XR1200X in India has better stopping powers than the others from its stables. Moreover the bike is extremely stable even at triple digit speeds. Even heavy braking wouldn’t upset its composure. ABS would have made a lot of difference to the stopping power, but then it wasn’t sorely missed.
Harley Davidson XR1200X Photo Gallery
The bike weighs in at 250 kgs and initially I was a bit sceptical about its lean angle and the stuff. But then this Harley can corner and corner like it’s a sports bike. But then my over excitement resulted in a near fall when the mid of the exhausts just scraped while taking a particulary involving turn. So riding it sanely (as in not tipping too much into corners) was the next best option. Ride quality on the short ride that I got, was more firm and expect it to give you back pains if ridden constantly in traffic conditions. Now, for the power figures. The Harley Davidson XR1200X in India gets the same 1200 cc air cooled V twin engine which makes 90 Ps of peak power and 100 Nm of torque. The engine is very torquey as was evident from the starting phase of the ride. The good part is that it doesn’t slow down even at the top of its rev range and just keeps on pulling. Its somewhat agricultural feel does implore one to gun for more. Expect 0-100 times of under 6 seconds and top speeds in excess of 160 kmph. But then during the short time that the bike was with me, the super bike like heat coming from the V twin, was ready to burn the flesh from my legs. Better heat dissipation would have helped on this bike since it is projected as an everyday street bike.
End of the ride and turning over the keys of the bike to the show room’s sales man made me realize that this is one good Harley bike in India. Not marred by the hard cruiser handling or the long handle bars. Infact, Harley Davidson have rightly projected this bike as an everyday bike. It is immense fun to see a Harley Davidson blasting past the likes of the Honda CB 1000RR or more closer to home, the Kawasaki Ninja 250R. But then there are some things which need to be seriously looked into. Things like the excessive heat blast plus price need to be reigned in. Speaking of the price, the Harley Davidson XR1200X price in India is Rs 11.95 lakhs. This price is Ex- show room, Mumbai. This is because it is a CBU for the moment. If Harley Davidson decide to go the CKD route, then this bike would be a lot cheaper.