Biker Boy: Quiet & cool
Next year's Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special promises smoother transmission, less engine heat
Things are only going to get better for Harley-Davidson enthusiasts, judging by the US motorcycle maker's 2017 Road Glide Special.
Why do we say this?
Well, we're excited about the possibility of a trickle-down effect that could improve the breed in the Harley line-up.
You see, the Road Glide Special is a tourer. It is not every rider's cup of tea but it possesses a cool engine.
Cool, as in it's not only unique-looking, but the engine runs cooler.
This is not a full-on review of the Road Glide Special, but we are stating what's obvious at first glance.
My first impressions were formed recently after taking the Road Glide Special on a 30-minute ride along smaller roads and expressways. Surprisingly, the familiar right thigh roasting effect is now gone.
The engineers have built the latest Milwaukee-Eight 107 ci engine - that's 1,750cc to the uninitiated - from the ground up.
The heat loss is explained by the muscular-looking cylinder heads with a new oil cooling system.
A redesigned exhaust system - with its catalytic converter now further aft - also helps to draw heat away from the rider's thighs.
You'll notice the reduction in vibration just by taking note of the handlebar when the bike is idling.
Our short journey was made more comfortable, thanks to a counter-balancer in the single-cam engine.
The ninth-generation engine also judders less in sixth gear especially at lower speeds. I was half-expecting the engine to bog in top gear at about 60kmh and roughly 1,200rpm showing on the clocks. But it didn't.
Now some purists may miss the mechanical-sounding "clank" when shifting gears. The sound is now more "polite" on the smoother transmission.
Overall, the 2017 Road Glide Special still rumbles to the V-twin tune and pulls harder than before, thanks to the increased displacement and torque.
But for 2017, these aren't the only improvements coming your way. Every Harley touring model gets better suspension with improved comfort and confidence in handling.
Low Rider models will also possess a touch of sophistication with keyless ignition.
WIN A HARLEY AT BIG WALK
And yes, the Street 750, which made its Hollywood debut in 2015's Avengers: Age Of Ultron superhero movie, will boast anti-lock brakes, a security system and new paint schemes.
This awesome bike will also be given away to one lucky winner at The New Paper Courts Big Walk at the Singapore Zoo on Nov 26.
Remember to get your entry form when you collect your goodie bag. Bring along the form on the day of the Big Walk and just drop it in the contest box at the Harley-Davidson Motorcycles booth at the zoo.
It's a chance that should not be missed.
And just in case you forget to take part, there will be visual reminders in the form of two Street 750 motorcycles placed near the start and finish lines of the Big Walk.