Harley Davidson Day Out



I have been riding motorcycles for 47 years now and have never had the opportunity to ride one of these American motorcycles that have been made since 1903.


I thought it would be good to try one of the Harleys out and contacted Greg at Norwich Harley Davidson to ask if I could hire one, and he was generous enough to say that they could let me have one out on a demonstration.  



I have an old workmate, Ian Bassett, who has also spent a lot of time in Australia, and has 2 of these motorcycles. We wanted to have a ride out for some time but due to other commitments we have not been able to. I contacted him and we organised a day to go to Norwich Harley Davidson to see when I could have a bike out.


It is 06/09/2012 and we went to see Keith at Norwich Harley and he showed me the bike that I would most likely have out. I had to have a sit on it and to my pleasure it suited me as my legs are short. Although I liked some of the bikes I hired in the past they were much taller and this was more suitable for me.


We decided it would be good to set a day in a couple of weeks and hoped we would have some good weather then. I thanked Keith for his help and said I would contact him soon and left feeling quite excited about the ride.



That is a very smart bike and sitting on this bike with both feet on the floor felt great.


It was now 4/10/2012 and when I got up I said to my wife it is a nice day but it is quite cold and I will be lucky to try a bike out this year the way things are going.


I had to stay at home as my wife needed the car and I had to wait for a recorded delivery letter to be delivered. While I was waiting I texted my mate Ian and told him I could not organise a bike out today as I was tied up and it would have been hard to get down into Norwich.


Ian texted back and said it is a nice day and would be good, so I rang his home number and spoke to him. He said don’t worry I will come and pick you up on the bike if you have not got to wait long-so I agreed.


I then rang Norwich Harley Davidson to see if it was possible for me to get a bike out at such short notice, and when I spoke to Greg, a very helpful person in sales, he said it would be OK. He said come down and sit on one and see what you would like to try. As you can imagine I was very pleased to think I was able to have this happen.

I texted back to Ian and told him it was all OK.




Ian came to pick me up on the above bike. It is a 1340 FXST Soft Tail Standard Harley and he also has an 883 Sportster. I had not seen this one before. I am not used to being a pillion but it did not take long to feel very comfortable on the back and I was quite impressed at how easily it handled sharp corners.


We soon arrived at Ber Street at the Norwich Harley Centre where I went in to speak to Greg and also introduce myself. The showroom is nicely set out and very pleasant to go into. Greg offered me either an 883 Roadster or a 1200. Either of them was nice and I chose the 1200-not for any reason really but I think I fancied trying it out. It is really good to get a chance to have one as a demonstration as you can really find out what they are like.




These were the 2 bikes offered to me-the white and red one is the 883 Sportster and the yellow one is the 1200 which I chose.


Greg showed me the various things like how the alarm works and all the switches etc.


Then we were ready for the off, so I put the bike in gear and let the clutch out and as I did I thought it was going off without me! It was brilliant-very little slipping of the clutch was needed and then you are away. I could see this being a great day, although we only had about 5 hours out as it was just about noon and they wanted it back at 5 pm.


I went off first and Ian followed me. We went through the city and out on the North Walsham Road, intending to take the coast road as far as we could with the time we had.





These Photo were taken near North Walsham railway station.


The Harley was quite a nice ride but the single seat was becoming quite hard and if it was mine it would have been the first thing that I changed to something more comfortable. I think a real nice dual seat would have made quite a difference to it.


The North Walsham Road soon came to an end and we turned off onto the main road to the coast. I liked this road as there are lots of bends and twists in it and I have ridden it on many Japanese bikes. It is ideal for those 600cc sport and Trail bikes.


Although the Harley handled all the bends extremely well and the ride was very enjoyable I think I made a mistake on the type of roads to take it on,as it should have been taken on a dual carriage way  to just cruise along at 60 or 70 MPH.




We stopped in Sheringham as I was not used to the riding position and for a drink, which was very nice.



It was very nice at Sheringham-the sea and the sky were blue and surprisingly enough quite warm for England in October.


Ian is good to ride with as he is ‘steady steady’ and that is exactly what you want on a day like this one.


We headed off round the coast to Wells Next The Sea, some 10 or 12 miles away and as we came into Wells we had to come off the main road and down to the front where we stopped in the car park and had a rest and took a couple of photos.








It was now 3 o’clock and we realised it was a straight trip back to Norwich from Wells.  It was a good trip back and the roads were a bit straighter than the coast road which allowed us to ride a bit faster. There was a quick stop at the petrol station on the way back before returning the bike.


I got back to the shop and Greg was busy with a customer, so I had a word with Keith and he booked it back in for me. They are really pleasant people in that showroom and anyone will always be treated well.


I would really like to take that bike out again but on a road such as the A11 where I could cruise down it at 60 or 70 MPH which is what it is really built for and would do that job extremely well I am sure.


There are 3 changes that I personally would make on this bike and that would be a larger fuel tank, a really comfortable seat and slightly different handlebars just so I would not need to stretch out so far, but all in all it is a very impressive bike.


As Ian said to me it is not unusual to change things on a Harley as everyone makes some sort of change or other and they all become different.


I think Ian was spot on as far as going out that day-it was bright and warm and really a great day for England in October.