Monday, March 27, 2017

Living the Harley Life



To be honest I have hardly spent any time in the saddle of a Harley Davidson specially here on our shores. A couple of years back around Boston I spent two days on a Electra Glide on another occasion in New Zealand I spend a couple of days on a Road King exploring the South Island (a must do) and last year Harley Davidson sent me a Road King to potter around Mumbai for a week. So when the invitation to come and be a part of the 3 day Harley Owners Group (HOG) celebration in Goa and the fact that I would have a Street Glide Special (Milwaukee Eight) to my self for the three days it was a no brainer. I was packed and ready to leave.

The celebrations entailed three evenings packed with of all sorts of stuff. There was music by Pat Savage an International HOG rider who is spending time in India making a documentary on the community and Vir Das and Alien Chutney were at hand to entertain the hordes of riders that had ridden in from as far as Chandigarh and Guwahati. Every dealership in India showcased a custom motorcycle their chapter had built.

One evening was dedicated to felicitating those riders who had munched many many miles across India on their steeds. I never realised how close knit the Harley community is and how the brand has got lots of people riding again after many years and by jove they are riding. There are people racking up huge number of miles every year and that is good to see.

For me the fun bit of the celebration was the fact that the days were not busy at all and that gave me time to explore the state of Goa. After a hearty breakfast I would get on the bike and just head out into a direction (I dare say with the music playing from inbuilt entertainment system on the bike). Since Goa is almost a second home to me I would think of a spot I had not been to (more like a lunch spot with great food) and all the small roads and tracks that I have missed riding down and I headed out in that direction.

I love the way the Special looks. Matt black with buckets of chrome I think I am developing a real love for the bagger styling. The bike comes packed with all sorts of features like cruise control, GPS (worked pretty well in Goa), Entertainment System, a charging dock that if you plug your device in its syncs up to the Infotainment system (I used it to charge my GoPro batteries). The new Eight is a dream to ride. It may look huge but once you are riding it its quite nimble for its size but its the new engine that is the most impressive. Its quiet and effortless and very quick to respond and I think it doesn't vibrate as much when it starts up. Apart from that while riding around in the Goa traffic or on the narrow back lanes of Goa. The bike never seemed hot and toasty (in Goa it can be a real pain) the new liquid cooling and redesigned exhaust works like a charm to keep the temperature down for the rider.

I spent so much time in the saddle those three days that I thought I was going to run out of roads to ride in Goa. What a fun three days it was. Thank you Harley Davidson for Inviting me I had a blast.

P.S - Now about that Road Glide...