At rest you can feel every gram of the 370kg kerb weight. The bottom also tends to touch on large speedbreakers, and coupled with the weight, it is a difficult machine to manage at slow speeds and in traffic. Start rolling, however, and it all becomes surprisingly manageable, even feet-up U turns. You wouldn’t want to ride around on this in traffic, though. For one, this particular version of the Thunderstroke 111 engine does not have water cooling, so once it (and you) start cooking, you’ll remain ‘on the boil’ until you get off. It is so wide, you have to view gaps in traffic with a cager’s eye. Oh, and it can’t stop on a dime, even with those large dual discs up front and standard ABS. On the highway it is comfortable, the suspension soaking up all but the harshest of bumps, and its willingness to tip into a corner making a mockery of that kerb weight. Of course, it is a cruiser, so the usual negatives remain: it is great on great roads, and bad on bad roads.
Special mention needs to be made of the Thunderstroke 111 engine – the vibrations from this 1811cc motor are more than acceptable, it is quiet with the stock exhausts, and the 136Nm of torque seems to be available right off idle. This is a very good thing, because the gearbox needs a firm leg to shift gear – very rarely have we experienced such a heavy shifter in a modern motorcycle. The clutch action is also very light and progressive for that torque figure. More of these moving monuments need to include a reverse gear like the Honda Gold Wing and BMW K1600 GTL do – it is impossible to back up these motorcycles by yourself if you’ve nosed into a parking space facing the curb.