Babes In Golfland
Rollin' around the streets of the touristville that is the Coachella Valley we got a little more insight into our babies. The two bargain bikes were far more suited to life in the city. The pullback bars, while tiring at a long stretch offered good leverage, and combined with their lithe steering and low center of gravity both the Sportster and Shadow worked pretty good. They both had transmission issues though, the Honda is squishy-soft, while the Harley goes clunk and has a heavy clutch with an inconsistent disengagement. The Aero's brakes were good in the stop-and-go, with the front brake strong enough to make up for the only drum rear in the test. The 883's brakes were a weak spot, slowing the bike, but having very wooden feel at the levers. The rear was more effective than the front, which, for a beginning rider, is not a good thing. Also, the 883's levers themselves are set close to the bars for smaller riders, but some of us big monkeys had trouble getting our armored gloves in and out from behind them. The Vulcan's brakes are a concern as well with a good initial bite that goes soft , so in a panic stop a firm hand is required. The America has adjustable levers, which is a nice way to adapt to different riders, and good, solid braking, as does the V-Star 950 which is equipped with the only floating brake rotor in the test.