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Choosing the Right Harley-Davidson for Your Ride: The Art of Fitment

Harley-Davidson motorcycles, often simply referred to as "Harleys," have long been synonymous with freedom, adventure, and the open road. Riding a Harley is a dream for many, and that dream comes true in various forms and models. However, it's essential to understand that not all Harleys are created equal, and choosing the wrong one for your needs can make the ride more challenging than it should be. In this blog post, we'll explore the factors that make a Harley "hard to ride" and the importance of fitment in ensuring a seamless and enjoyable riding experience. We'll also discuss different Harley models suitable for specific types of riding, from scenic Vermont roads to bustling New York City streets and beyond.

So, which model is the Hardest Harley-Davidson to Ride?  This is an interesting question which has an even more interesting answer.  The truth is that ALL Harley’s are hard to ride if you choose the wrong one for you.

Let us say you are planning to ride cross country from Vermont to Oregon.  What an epic journey that would be!  But, suppose you choose an Iron 1200 with old-school spring suspension to get you there because you love the glittery paint set.  THAT would be a hard bike to ride. 

Imagine that you live in New York City and plan on zipping around the traffic-jammed streets of Gotham on an Ultra Limited. You love the comfort and the infotainment options so you choose that bike.  THAT would be a hard bike to ride.

Maybe you are a 6’-6”, 250-pound, middle linebacker and choose a Nightster Special with mid-mounted controls to ride with your buddies on a long cruise through the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  It looks badass and your girlfriend, who will be on the back, thinks you look sexy on it.  THAT would be a hard Harley to ride.

The Pan America with its high ground clearance and seat height would be very hard to ride if you are a 5’-2” woman who just got her endorsement and is venturing out on her first ride. But it looks so cool with those knobby tires and hard saddlebags!

See a pattern here?  In each of these situations, the rider chooses a bike that does not fit their body or intended use. All of those, otherwise wonderful machines, will be hard to ride.  That is why fitment is so important to us here at Wilkins Harley-Davidson.

The Importance of Fitment

Just like selecting the right pair of shoes for a specific activity, choosing the perfect Harley-Davidson for your riding adventures is crucial. Fitment, or how well a motorcycle suits your body and intended use, can make the difference between a thrilling ride and an uncomfortable struggle. Our motto at Wilkins Harley-Davidson is simple: a bike must feel right and fit you organically. We often refer to the "riders triangle" – the position and relationship between your hands, your seat, and your feet. Understanding this formula is key to finding a Harley that's easy to ride. Each rider has a unique physique and sense of comfort, so it's essential to test-ride various models to make the best choice. A great fitment leads to many unforgettable miles on the road, while a poor fitment can turn even the most magnificent Harley into a "hard to ride" experience.


Choosing the Right Model

Harley-Davidson offers a wide range of motorcycle families, each designed for specific types of riding. It's vital to identify the type of riding you'll be doing most often to make an informed choice. Here are some of the key Harley-Davidson model families:

  • Touring Class: For long-distance riders, models like the Street Glide and Ultra Limited offer comfort and advanced features for those epic journeys through beautiful states like Vermont and Northern New York.
  • Sportster Class: If you're into nimble machines and spirited rides through the twisties, consider models like the Sportster S, known for their lightweight and agility.
  • Adventure Class: The Pan America Special is perfect for those who crave off-road adventures and explore dirt back roads in picturesque locations like New Hampshire.
  • Softail Class: For versatility and a variety of scenarios, Softail class bikes like the Low Rider S and the classic Softail Deluxe offer a fantastic riding experience.
  • Trikes: Riders who prefer the stability of three wheels will find models like the Tri-Glide Ultra and the all-new Road Glide 3 an excellent choice.

In conclusion, the key to making any Harley-Davidson an easy-to-ride machine is to carefully consider your objectives, capabilities, and body type. At Wilkins Harley-Davidson, we start with the premise that the right fitment ensures a seamless and enjoyable riding experience. Once you've narrowed down your choices to the right bike for you, an open road full of adventure awaits. So, choose wisely and remember that there really is no such thing as a "hard to ride" Harley-Davidson when you've found the perfect match for your needs and preferences.

While you are considering what Harley-Davidson is right for you be sure to check out what Harley-Davidson did in 2023!