PHOTOS: From Bikaner to Jaisalmer on Harley XR1200X – Rediff Getahead

24 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on PHOTOS: From Bikaner to Jaisalmer on Harley XR1200X – Rediff Getahead
Harley-Davidson XR1200X

PHOTOS: From Bikaner to Jaisalmer on Harley XR1200X

Abhinav Mishra

TopGear took a spin on Harley’s sportiest bike through Rajasthan. Here’s how the beast responded to desert, rain, grime and the tar.

Y ou have balls of steel. That’s what people tell you when you do something really crazy or courageous. Something that involves a certain amount of risk.

Something that may probably make others shudder. No, I’m not talking about clicking candid pictures of your boss at a party and putting it on Facebook. Obviously something like that does make you worthy of a pat on the back, but that’s pretty much it.

But when I say balls of steel I mean it in an Evel way. Yes, I said Evel, not evil. As a kid, you’ve probably heard Evel’s holy name. He would have been your inspiration when you attempted stupid stunts on your bicycle.

Sure, your parents blew a fuse when they discovered your shenanigans. But to

your friends, you were the Evel Knievel of the neighbourhood.

Evel Knievel was an American legend, a daredevil who made a living doing ramp-to-ramp jumps on a motorcycle.

And one of his most famous jumps was on a Harley Davidson XR750 over 19 cars. That was a world record in 1971. A record held by Evel for 27 years before being broken by someone else.

Again on an XR750.

Jumping records were not the only thing Evel broke. In a career that spanned over a decade-and-a-half, Evel also made it to the Guinness Book of World Records — not for a jump, but for having broken the most number of bones in a lifetime.

Harley-Davidson XR1200X

That’s 433 broken bones if you’re interested.

Why this sudden history lesson on an American daredevil, you ask? Well, because I’m riding a Harley-Davidson XR1200X, a bike that pays homage to the XR750. The XR750 was Evel’s favourite bike, apart from being Harley’s most successful dirt track racer.

So yes, unlike a lot of Harleys, which come with large padded seats to rest fat bottoms, the XR1200X is meant for a slightly different breed of riders.

I don’t really dislike the Fat Boy or the Road King, but I think they’re just too big for our kind of roads. That and their laidback riding positions can make it pretty cumbersome to manoeuvre those bikes in city traffic. So it was refreshing to see a Harley that was as comfortable leaning into corners as it was cruising down straight roads.

The route that we chose for the XR-X was NH15, from Bikaner to Jaisalmer. This route would help the bike see good tarmac and also a bit of dirt. As mentioned earlier, the bike does have a certain dirt-track pedigree and I was sure it wouldn’t mind kicking some dirt.

Image: Harley XR1200X

Photographs: Varun Chawla/TopGear

Harley-Davidson XR1200X
Harley-Davidson XR1200X

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