Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST (2022 – on) Review: Unleashing the Spirit of a Modern Sports Tourer
When it comes to the Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST, you might be surprised to hear it labeled as a sports tourer. However, it’s crucial to consider that Harley’s perspective on what defines a sports tourer significantly differs from that of Japanese manufacturers. In this review, we delve into the captivating world of the Low Rider ST, exploring its features, performance, and uniqueness that sets it apart.
The Heart of Power: Milwaukee-Eight Engine
At the core of the Low Rider ST lies the remarkable 117 High-Performance Milwaukee-Eight engine. This powerhouse not only captivates enthusiasts but also sets the tone for the entire riding experience. Unlike its Japanese counterparts, Harley-Davidson embraces a distinctive approach to crafting motorcycles, and this engine stands as a testament to their philosophy.
A Chassis that Defies Expectations
The Low Rider ST boasts a chassis derived from the Harley-Davidson Softail platform. This foundation, balanced and sporty, defies its weight of 327kg, allowing for an exhilarating experience in the twists and turns. The California-inspired ‘tall’ bagger concept finds its groove on UK roads, making the Low Rider ST an impressive companion on any journey.
Embracing Modern Aesthetics
In a sleek modern grey color, the Low Rider ST exudes contemporary charm. However, it’s worth noting that this color option comes at a premium of £375 over the classic black. Despite this, the design’s aesthetics remain captivating and fitting for the urban environment, making it a stylish addition to the UK streets.
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Mastering the Ride: Control and Performance
The Low Rider ST, drawing inspiration from the Californian ‘tall bike’ movement, elevates the rider’s position on the motorcycle. This shift not only adds to its sporting potential but also enhances ground clearance for improved agility. While the ST doesn’t claim the throne as the ‘King Of The Baggers,’ its balanced low-speed control and confident cornering provide a thrill that’s hard to resist.
The braking system, equipped with braided lines and a reliable ABS, defies expectations for a Harley model. The brakes bite with unexpected force, ensuring ample stopping power and enhanced safety on the road.
Unveiling the Engine’s Power
Harley-Davidson introduces the Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine to models beyond their exclusive CVO range, marking a pivotal moment. This engine stands out not for its headline power figure, but for its remarkable torque delivery. With a staggering 125ftlb of torque produced at just 3500rpm, the Milwaukee-Eight 117 is a true marvel of engineering.
The engine’s character aligns perfectly with the slightly sportier outlook of the Low Rider ST. However, the absence of standard traction control raises questions, considering the abundance of torque. While the Michelin Scorcher tires perform admirably, a basic traction control system would undoubtedly enhance safety, particularly in wet conditions.
Crafting Quality and Reliability
Harley-Davidson’s Milwaukee-Eight motor, in its 117 format, boasts a history of reliability since its introduction in 2018. Despite being oil/air-cooled, this motor proves its durability and performance. The build quality of the Low Rider ST shines through the meticulous use of Wrinkle Black, Gloss Black, and Satin Black finishes, exuding an intimidating yet elegant aesthetic.
Value and Rivals in Perspective
With service intervals of 5000 miles and hydraulic self-adjusting lifters, the Milwaukee-Eight motor offers both convenience and cost-effectiveness. Service costs and maintenance are reasonable, solidifying Harley-Davidson’s reputation for delivering value to its riders.
As for its rivals, the Low Rider ST holds its ground impressively. Its price of £19,677 competes against the likes of Indian and BMW offerings, standing tall as a unique option that riders often gravitate toward, driven by the allure of the Harley-Davidson brand.
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Unraveling the Equipment
Considering the price tag of the Low Rider ST, expectations run high for its equipment. While ABS, cruise control, and a USB port come standard, electronic features remain relatively limited. Additional options, such as the Inner Fairing Audio Kit, offer enhanced connectivity, albeit at an extra cost. Notably, the list of official Parts and Accessories ensures personalization possibilities for those seeking a truly unique riding experience.
Technical Specifications at a Glance
- Engine size: 1923cc
- Engine type: Air/oil-cooled, 8v, V-twin
- Frame type: Tubular steel
- Fuel capacity: 18.9 litres
- Seat height: 720mm
- Bike weight: 327kg
- Front suspension: 43mm, inverted forks, non-adjustable
- Rear suspension: Single rear shock, adjustable pre-load
- Front brake: 2 x 300mm discs with four-piston caliper. ABS
- Rear brake: 292mm single disc with two-piston caliper
- Front tyre size: 110/90 x 19
- Rear tyre size: 180/70 x 16
Efficiency, Costs, and Performance
- Average fuel consumption: 47 mpg
- Annual road tax: £111
- Annual service cost: £250
- New price: £19,677
- Used price: £16,500 – £18,800
- Warranty term: Two years
- Top speed: 120 mph
In conclusion, the Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST (2022 – on) encapsulates the spirit of a modern sports tourer. It defies conventions and offers a distinctive experience that resonates with riders seeking a blend of style, performance, and heritage. With its powerful Milwaukee-Eight engine, impressive chassis, and iconic aesthetics, the Low Rider ST stands as a testament to Harley-Davidson’s dedication to crafting motorcycles that evoke passion and excitement. Embrace the road ahead and unleash your inner rider with the Low Rider ST.