The SuperLow is assembled in India, is relatively affordable and is as sleek as any Harley.
Harley-Davidson has begun assembling and selling its sleek SuperLow in India. A relatively affordable price tag makes this an entry-level Harley, but does that make it any less of a Harley?
As the name suggests, the SuperLow sits low slung with macho, stretched proportions nicely balancing on neat alloy rims and low profile radials. There are acres of chrome, with several alloy parts including splayed-out telescopic forks machined to a smart dull shine. A short front mudguard adds style, as does a smart, circular, 55/60 watt headlight capped by a nifty shield. The speedometer console is simple, a bold, single body unit that goes well with cruiser character. The handlebar, which holds beautifully finished mirrors, curves back to its rider. The SuperLow has superb palm grips, a pair of solid-feeling, smoothly machined alloy levers and switches that are in typical Harley format. An elongated, teardrop-shaped, 17-litre fuel tank — with a staid and out-of-place-looking tank cap — leads into a smartly contoured rider saddle, behind which looms the substantial rear mudguard, onto which are mounted the bike's tail-light and number plate. Harley needs to address the fact that the SuperLow sells without a pillion seat or footrests, and you have to shell out Rs. 10,647 to add these essential bits to your bike.
The massive exposed V-twin engine is the Superlow's major draw, sitting just 100mm off the floor, with glinting chrome shrouds and handsome twin silencers snaking out from each cylinder. Even its Harley trademark toothed belt drive system looks a treat. The SuperLow feels robust enough to last a generation or two.
The SuperLow's four-stroke, 883cc engine looks purposeful, sitting beneath in painstakingly finished, V-twin format. It is air cooled, with pushrod-actuated valves, and cruiser-suited long-stroke cylinder dimensions of 76.2mm x 96.8mm. You get electronic, sequential port fuel injection (ESPFI) and a compression ratio of 8.9:1.
The clutch is superbly-weighted, actuating smoothly with a positive feel. The five-speed gearbox shifts in a one-down-four-up pattern, and feels true-blue Harley. While the gears shift with a mechanical feel, quick shifts are not very encouraging but precise when properly timed without false neutrals to play spoilsport.
At home in India
The SuperLow has all the ingredients to excel in India, its short, nicely-spaced ratios allowing the approximately 50bhp motorcycle to easily gobble through its wide, torque-loaded (7.1kgm at 3750rpm) and hiccup-free power band, and enabling the heavy bike to feel quite at home around town. You sometimes search for and miss a sixth cog when cruising at close to 125kph in top gear, but the SuperLow still carries adequate punch in reserve at this speed. Top speed is in the region of 150kph, although you never need to pull the SuperLow this hard. The big Harley is best enjoyed lazily rumbling along at sedate rpm. Short-shifting the gears feels natural on this motorcycle, and you don't have to downshift to pass traffic even when belting along at speeds north of 100kph.
Its pair of flowing silencers bark out a throaty, deep exhaust rumble and you could even ramp things up by fitting on a set of Screamin' Eagle exhaust pipes as seen on the bike here, available from a starting price of approximately Rs .22,000, to have your motorcycle hammering out a more vociferous note.
The SuperLow is stable, quick and light to manoeuvre, thanks to Harley having got steering and suspension geometry perfectly sorted, plus having centered so much of the machine's 251kg close to the ground. You get tremendous grip from the tubeless, low-profile radial tyres, helping the bike corner as though clamped on rails. The SuperLow remains a well-behaved motorcycle, so long as you remember this is a cruiser that does carry some handling limitations.
Ride quality is firm, only bordering on the harsh when riding on really poor road surfaces. Overall, the bike delivers a reassuring feel at high speed on good roads. You get used to the low ground clearance, and you may ease the problem by climbing speedbreakers at a slight angle, instead of charging straight into them. The SuperLow is equipped with powerful brakes — a dual-piston single disc brake up front and single piston disc brake at the rear.
Don't expect excellent numbers on the fuel economy front. The heavy 883cc motorcycle returns between 15kpl to 20kpl at best.
At Rs. 5,50,000, the Superlow is affordable since Harley has started assembling the Superlow at its spanking new assembly plant at Bawan, Haryana. You can even choose to pay via monthly instalments as low as Rs. 10,165 if you consider a 60-month loan, making the SuperLow a whole lot of bike for your money.