Jensen Beeler at A&R has kicked off a 3-part series on what Harley-Davidson needs to do to prevent the company from dying along with their aging demographic. He starts off with the same premise I wrote about last summer, but really drills down into the details. It’s a fantastic piece about H-D’s ongoing marketing failure. Read the whole thing.
This weekend, I took the FJR in for its 24,000 mile service, and while I was there, decided to try a new set of tires. I’ve heard lots of good things about the Michelin Pilot Road 2CT tire, but the price was a bit offputting. So I’ve been on Bridgestone BT021s since I bought it. North County House of Motorcycles has a good deal on the PR2s, however, so, I decided to try them out. I’ve only put about 100 miles on them since I picked the bike up Saturday evening, but I have to say…wow!
The difference in handling was immediately noticeable. With the BT021s, the FJR had to be pushed a fair amount to drop into a turn. Steady as a rock once you found your angle, but a little effort was needed. Not so with the PR2s. Simply moving your upper body, and shifting on the seat is enough to initiate the lean. In fact, it falls in so easily, I still haven’t gotten used to it.
What really saurpises me is how grippy they are, though. As I was riding back home, I was racing against an incoming rainstorm…and I lost. About 10 miles from the house, riding down Highway 78 in San Marcos, I got hammered with a downpour. I never got the feeling that I was anything less than firmly planted, even with less than 10 miles on the new tires. Indeed, at one point, a car in front of me slammed on his brakes, and I applied mine firmly–fortunately, I was hanging back far enough so that I didn’t have to panic stop–and the tires performed flawlessly.
So far, I haven’t pushed it really hard, even on the curvy route I take to and from work, but the Pilot road 2 has so far exceeded my expectations. I’ve been told the BT021 is a grippier, sportier tire, so we’ll see how the PR2 works when I start to really blaze through the valley road, but so far, I’m very impressed and pleased with the Michelins.