Author: Phil Gauthier

Bar Swapping

So what’s with all these baggers, tourers and all around bad-@$$ bikes with tall handlebars (AKA) “Apes”? Why would anyone want any other bar (height or width) on a bike other than the stock bar? Well, for me it’s about leverage and making the bike “fit” me better. I’m on my second Harley touring bagger (a Road Glide) and I couldn’t wait to put some 12” bars on it. After I bought a Street Glide in 2017 a family member asked me what I was going to do to make it my own. I wasn’t sure what he meant. A few months later when riding with a group of buddies I noticed one of the guys had installed 12” KST Kustom bars on his Road Glide and I had to ask, “So what’s the big deal – is this just so you can look cool or like a ‘Real’ biker?” My buddy (an engineer by trade) didn’t punch me in the nose for my wise-cracking question, but rather came back with a more technical, and I must say legitimate, response.

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The Shark And The Bat

In the world of American made touring bikes, the battle for fairing dominance often comes down to personal taste (look and feel) over performance. I must admit, when initially shopping for my first bagger I was drawn to the look of the batwing fairing on the Harley Davidson Street Glide. The idea of cruising behind a set of 12” bars with my feet up on highway pegs just felt right in my mind. So in September 2017, I made that dream a reality and picked up a 2014 Street Glide.

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Rinehart Slip On – DBX Comparison

A few weeks after I bought my Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special someone asked “What are you going to do to make it yours?”  I wasn’t sure what he meant.  Later while on a ride a buddy on an older Street Glide riding behind me, at our next fuel stop stated “Man, we’ve gotta get you some sound on that thing. Those stock pipes are way too quiet.”  He then promptly lent me a set of Cobra slip-ons which he had replaced with Rineharts. I finally understood what they meant.  I had to make my bike look, ride and sound like I wanted it to.

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A Fat Boy Comes of Age

Every few years a manufacturer (motorcycle, car or otherwise) will select a certain model of a vehicle to pay homage through some sort of limited edition design. The idea is to showcase the models history and integrity within the brand while potentially opening up a new audience to the model. This being the 30th anniversary of the iconic Fat Boy® model, Harley-Davidson decided to do just that.

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A Walk Through Harley History

As an unapologetic Harley-Davidson owner and brand “Fan Boy” I was, dare I say, exuberant when the opportunity to tour the Harley-Davidson Museum recently presented itself. When I decided it was time to get back on a street bike there was no question it would be a model from the Milwaukee based icon. Since purchasing my first Harley in 2017 I’ve found myself enamored with the lore of the brand and its roots in American manufacturing and motorcycle history. Yes, the company has expanded globally in both manufacturing and distribution, but the impact that the Harley-Davidson Motor Company had in the U.S. during their early years is undeniable. I was excited to take this two-wheeled trip through time and the museum did not disappoint.

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The Sense of Speed

I was 11 years old the first time I rode a motorized two wheeled vehicle. A buddy rolled up on his Tecumseh powered mini-bike. Nothing but an engine, seat, throttle, brake lever and a pipe welded to the down tubes for pegs – no clutch or tranny.

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Shocked By The LiveWire

I wish I had a full coverage helmet. It would have been handy during my Daytona Bike Week test ride of the Harley-Davidson® LiveWire™.  Even after reading about how fast this electric two wheeled slot car was, I wasn’t prepared for the acceleration and speed of this sleek new technological wonder from the home of Milwaukee Iron.

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Challenger Accepted

Ah, the wonder of Daytona Beach Bike Week… The first major event on the motorcycle industry calendar when all the manufactures come together to present their new models to the riding public. It is also a great time for moto-journalists to test ride bikes launched for the upcoming riding season, and this year we had not one but two opportunities to test some of the hottest new bikes launched. Little did I know I would be riding one of the newest baggers that – surprisingly – makes you feel like popping a wheelie as soon as you roll on the throttle in pretty much any gear.

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