Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic


Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
mps photo studio

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

16 photos

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
mps photo studio

On June 6, 2018, the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic 114 endurance test with 221 km on the clock entered the endurance test.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
mps photo studio

Sissybar: quickly assembled and, thanks to the practical click-turn locks, also dismantled if necessary. The workmanship should be better in detail, the welds are too rough – especially in relation to the price: 260.00 euros.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
Jens Moller-Tollner

Passenger back cushion: attached within five minutes with adhesive strips and two screws, noticeably increases the passenger comfort. Price: 85.00 euros.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
mps photo studio

Luggage rack: it can be fitted quickly, but it is exactly in the middle of the license plate. This works with narrow US license plates, but not with us with the 20 cm high ones.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
mps photo studio

Lithium-ion battery: The battery is 5.2 kg lighter from the original accessories. Installation is not that easy, but there is nothing to criticize about the function. It is expensive: 309.00 euros.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
mps photo studio

Plastic license plate: for drivers of vehicles with strong vibrations. It is attached with Velcro. Holes cannot tear or damage the flexible label. The hold is great even on jogging slopes.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
mps photo studio

For grown-ups: Tallboy Two-Up Seat-Deluxe from Harley (506.00 euros). This means that the pilot sits a good 6 cm further back. The pillion also benefits from a lush, padded space.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
mps photo studio

New brake pads: The pressure point is harder and more constant than before, but you still need four strong fingers to stop very quickly. Nonetheless: if only delayed at the front, the Harley with the TRW pads is faster. The conversion is therefore worthwhile.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
mps photo studio

Miller accessory exhaust: top quality workmanship; is easier to assemble than the original. Around 600 g lighter at 7.2 kg. The sound: close to the original. The service: almost identical. Price: 1098.00 euros

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
mps photo studio

Dunlop Harley-Davidson D401 F: Factory-fitted tires. They worked inconspicuously, did not set any highlights in everyday use, and there were no reasons for criticism. However, they didn’t have to prove themselves too often in the wet or in the cold season. The tires were swapped after 14,349 km, although the front tire would have allowed even more distance.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
mps photo studio

Metzeler Cruisetec: It lasted almost 20,000 km and impressed with its good driving behavior and suitability for wet conditions. As far as possible, the Metzeler are making the Heritage almost an active motorbike that is perfectly suitable for banking.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
mps photo studio

Pirelli Night Dragon: After the adulation for the Metzeler tire, the feedback on the Pirelli is more sober, which is why it was only used a little over 2,000 km. Cold and wet grip could not convince, in places the rear tire spun when driving off on a wet road.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
Markus Biebricher

Lake Garda: Our endurance test Harley Davidson Heritage drives as an escort vehicle on a photo production.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
Markus Biebricher

Rainer chases the American bride skyward so that the running boards scratch.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

The long-term test bike was of course equipped with a high windshield and side cases.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

The Heritage can convey the Harley myth well.

Endurance test of the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

Final balance after 50,000 test kilometers

The VW Beetle used to be the inspiration for unconditional reliability. Transferred to the here and now, the endurance test Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic 114 takes over the Beetle legacy. Indestructible, reliable, an endurance runner.

The MOTORRAD endurance test, the toughest distance test for bikes. Selected two-wheelers have to prove themselves here, to prove themselves as loyal companions day in and day out. And please do not surrender to seasonal capers such as ice, snow or road salt. With the right tires, you can do that too Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic 114. Because Pirelli’s Night Dragon proved to be more of a slipping than a safe power transmitter of the fat 152 Nm torque in cold and wet conditions, it had to go down again after a good 2,000 kilometers. Otherwise the Harley would have simply stood there too long, significantly more than the usual two years that most motorcycles need to master the required 50,000 kilometers. And in almost all cases they do not appear on the clock without planned intermediate stops. This is exactly what the endurance test is supposed to bring to light. Where has a product possibly not been fully developed? Which updates does a manufacturer incorporate during the distance? And in the worst case: Why does a bike stop – only for a short time or even permanently?

The Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic 114 entered the long-term test stage on June 6, 2018. And let’s be honest: she didn’t feel pure sympathy. The number of those who consciously want to commit themselves to the more leisurely riding style with a Harley is low. The MOTORRAD crew prefer to indulge in driving dynamics. It was no different with the Harley. Contrary to other empirical values ​​on the part of the Harley technicians, the endurance test Heritage used three sets of original brake pads and a test accessory pad at the front over the test distance – while a single set at the rear survived the entire 50,000 kilometers. According to Harley’s relevant service experience, it is often the other way around among heritage owners. Which only underlines: The big 114 engine and the entire bike were not spared.

"A scandal. For the writer."

Eager readers will definitely remember the interim results of the Harley endurance test in MOTORRAD 23/2019 (no trace of wear

So basically everything has been said. What a search for words is for the author means kudos for Harley. There is no better way to master the 50,000 kilometers from the point of view of reliability. A big movie theater. So if nothing happened while drifting along the country road or the motorway, what about after dismantling? Basically, the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic 114 retains its reliable character. The oil pump has slight scores. But they do not restrict the function. And the camshaft alone: ​​as if it had just fallen off the shelf in Milwaukee. No trace of wear and tear. This statement could be made for many other parts. The gear? Immaculate condition. The crankshaft? Tip top. The balance shafts? Virtually new condition. Before starting an endurance test, there is often speculation about whether the engine can simply be reassembled after it has been dismantled. With the Harley-Davidson, that fits almost 100 percent. Get new seals and off you go in reverse order.

Idle often remains undetectable

At least almost. The clutch friction plates, which are installed in two different thicknesses, are no longer the latest. The thickness of the thinner disks in the clutch basket has reached the level of wear, it is necessary to replace it before reassembly. But blame the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic 114? Not at all, after all, the clutch transmitted the Ami-V2’s rich torque mountain without complaint until the end of the endurance test. However: Entries about the clutch and the transmission can be found over the 50,000 kilometers not only in the logbook, but also in numerous letters from readers. The controllability is not the best, the transmission requires a lot of power, especially when the engine is cold, the idling often remains undetectable. Not nice, but also not a flaw for the final long-term test assessment.

The Harley has to accept point deductions elsewhere. Since the company does not define any degree of wear for the cylinders and pistons, only the running clearance between these two components counts. Ideally, this is between 0.06 and 0.09 millimeters. This fits a cylinder of the endurance tester, the play is exactly at the upper limit of these values, whereby there is still air up to the prescribed wear dimension for the running play of 0.104 millimeters. With the second cylinder, however, this clearance is 0.110 millimeters. It is therefore not only outside of the ideal values, but also slightly above the wear limit specified by Harley. Even if it is only a wafer-thin six thousandth of a millimeter – that’s over it.

1st place in the endurance test final table

For classification, however, it must be noted: Up to the end of the endurance test, the fat V2 ran without bitches and abnormalities, pulsed as calmly and calmly through the speed range as at the beginning of the 50,000 kilometers. Because no real oil consumption was measurable either, and the final performance measurement also revealed the best values, this small measurement weakness is not credited unduly to the engine. Had it not been dismantled on the workbench, there would have been no reason to investigate the game, since the engine put up with ignition after ignition without any criticism. At the end of all tests, the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic 114 not only races confidently over the 50,000-kilometer mark, but also takes first place in the endurance test final table – on par with Yamaha’s MT-07. Although it shows her a long nose in terms of costs per kilometer – the Harley is not very cheap under this aspect – its really low loss of value, its endurance without failures and the good overall condition of its engine parts ensure that it moves forward unstoppably pushes.

At the end of the interim report, the author had announced it: If the 114 Heritage would land at number one, a declaration of love would be due. Well, dear Harley, my heart doesn’t belong to you, but your completely capricious demeanor, your robust character impressed me very much. You are quite rightly the new reliability champ!

Notes from the endurance test

Mileage: 49,999, 7/2020

At the final end of the endurance test, MOTORRAD action team tour guide Daniel Lengwenus gathered last impressions of the Harley-Davidson Softail Heritage:

1. The Harley is not really made for people under six feet tall. When you are smaller, the HD becomes a stretching instrument. If you really sit down in the recessed seat, then you can no longer reach anything sensibly. The handlebars when turning, foot brakes and gears can then only be reached by moving forward.

2. The saddlebags can also be opened if you have stowed a large Ortlieb travel bag on the pillion seat – but still acceptable. The opening mechanism suits you very well. The Sissibar also stabilizes a second bag and makes the HD a competent travel device, also for a camping holiday.

3. I have never experienced a more complicated oil check. And I’ve been riding all kinds of motorcycles for over 40 years now. Does that have anything to do with northern Indian myths and the procedure was devised by a medicine man?

4. I discovered two bottle cages. Two small half-liter bottles fit perfectly behind the window. Since they cannot get away and are cooled by the wind. OK, at 35 degrees in the Stuttgart boiler it was more heating than cooling …

Daniel Lengwenus

Bottle holder discovered: Two small half-liter bottles fit perfectly behind the Harley windshield.

5. Speaking of heating: In summer temperatures above 30 degrees, the HD can only be driven by people who pour two ladles in the sauna at 95 degrees. The huge engine unit generates heat like a fresh, still hot asphalt surface. You can hardly stand that in the Stuttgart boiler. If you dress thinly, you risk a scorched right calf. Stop and go in the city center at 34 degrees was a borderline experience.

Mileage: 42,300, May 2020

After the next service (cost 283.70 euros) and the new TÜV / HU were on the program at around 40,000 kilometers, Daniel Lengwenus grabbed the endurance test Harley, freshly fitted with MIchelin Commander III, for an extensive excursion: "The Harley is a comfortable travel device as long as you leave the cruise control at 120 km / h. Amazingly, it only acknowledges 5 km / h more with significantly more vibrations and drafts, everything is immediately a lot more strenuous and then not worth the effort. At 120 km / h you usually achieve an average of around 110 km / h. That is enough to make good progress in Germany. OK, speed is different, but the Harley also stands for comfortable travel. And that works very well with her. The funny thing is that it only starts when it is idling. This is really very old school. Or is a sensor broken here?"

Daniel Lengwenus.

The Harley-Davidson is now 43,200 kilometers.

"In addition, when you first shift into first gear in the morning, all neighbors are woken up. And unfortunately it is difficult to find idle with the engine running. It works best with the engine switched off and without the clutch pulled up out of first gear. But that doesn’t always work either. It is very annoying that the lock shackle protrudes a good five centimeters into the suitcase, which makes loading whole bags very difficult. It doesn’t have to be like that, it’s really bad school! Consumption of 5.5 at 120 km / h and 5.9 at 130 km / h is okay in view of the displacement of almost two liters. The torque is gigantic and so is the thrust up to 3,500 rpm. But as described, the leisurely bubbling cruising is the parade discipline of this Harley. Gladly again."

Mileage: 36,047, 10/2019

Imre Paulovits

MOTORCYCLE sports reporter Imre Paulovits was on a GP tour to Spain with the Harley: In all honesty, after the experience with back pain from other long tours with Harleys, I wasn’t exactly keen to go that far with the Heritage, but my fears were completely for no reason. The seating position and the bench allow relaxed travel even over 1,500 kilometers, the windshield offers good wind protection without a vacuum effect, so long stages are a pleasure. The fact that the handlebars are way too high only bothers at the beginning, you get used to it very quickly. The Big Twin is above all doubts, potters inconspicuously but with emphasis and you always feel confident with it. The consumption is also moderate, so you can drive almost 300 kilometers on one tank of fuel. The fuel gauge is quite accurate and reliably tells you when to refuel.

I was also surprised at how well it behaves, even on brisk country roads. You have to take it by the horns and grab it hard, you just have to ignore the fact that it gets fidgety over bumps in an inclined position, but the long trail always gets back on track. Sure, that’s not the way I moved her, not target group-oriented, but when I was riding a group of sports bikes with her in the Spanish mountains for an hour, I got a standing ovation when we stopped together at a gas station. I found it all the more annoying in the rain that the grip of the tires in wet conditions leaves a lot to be desired. The tread was not quite fresh anymore, a tire change is certainly due, but she pushed the front wheel far too early and she also wedged out too early when applying the gas. Her profession is clearly cruising, in the Spanish semi-desert this was a majestic experience with her.

The panniers offer a lot of space, but my backpack with computer and everyday equipment fit into one. However, the fact that the shackle of the lock protrudes into the packing area is not a good solution because it makes loading extremely difficult. The packing machines are only waterproof in one direction: what rains in never comes out again. So you always have to carefully pack the things you carry in the panniers in plastic bags beforehand if you don’t want to experience a wet miracle.

Mileage: 32,172, 09/2019

MOTORRAD editor Klaus Herder recently traveled around 2,350 kilometers with the Harley-Davidson Heritage 114 endurance test and gives feedback.

Engine: I like it very much, wonderful pressure from the cellar, always between 1,800 and 3,000 / min (recommended motorway speed) can be driven smoothly and jerk-free, more revolutions don’t make you grin. And unlike my colleague Heinrich Lingner, I think the throttle response and clutch control are perfect. Sound also great – not plump, but strikingly pithy when the shower is opened. Already fits perfectly in series production.

Transmission: But what really annoys me is this gearbox. The translation is completely okay, but the noise generated, especially when downshifting (rolling down at the traffic light) is cruel, the effort is immense – I always had the feeling of having to break a board. I’ve been driving HD non-stop privately since 1985, but I’ve never come across anything like that. Probably supposed to be like that "Agricultural machinery charm" or similar. Just this much: my Porsche Junior Diesel Tractor from 1962 can be switched much quieter and smoother! If it is standard, it would be reason enough NOT to buy this motorcycle.

Klaus Herder

MOTORRAD editor Klaus Herder: At Harley-Davidson in Hanover, there was a software update so that the speedometer no longer drains the battery. I was made aware of this by the CTEK loading light."

Landing gear: I don’t really like the Softail frames (they just don’t look good), I’m an avowed Dyna fan. But I have to admit without envy that with the new chassis you can iron lively, stable and extremely comfortably over rough (Autobahn) faults (e.g. A81, Neuenstadt-Mockmuhl), where my Dynas (currently Low Rider S from 2016 ) would have already hoisted the white flag. The brakes are, well, there. For almost 25 mille, however, a double disc would not be asking too much in my opinion.

Miscellaneous: The bench is very comfortable. 800 kilometers in a row were easily feasible for men over 90 pounds without problems with the buttocks. And although I don’t like running boards either: These are great – high enough so that it doesn’t scratch until late, wide and long enough to be able to vary the position of the legs on long tours.

The Operation of the turn signals is foolproof and easily feasible with ultra-sausage gloves, just a shame that the mini control lights are out of view and the automatic turn signal reset intervenes far too early for my taste. Scrolling through the menu, setting the time and zeroing the Trip odometer are easy as pie, even for a computer honk like me. And the operation of the Auxiliary lights is ingeniously simple.
The Range display reports low tide in the tank far too early. Even after 15 kilometers with LOW display (which is displayed after the remaining range and usually causes a little panic), no more than 16 liters fit in, making three liters (around 50 kilometers) of rest that is not used.
The Windshield is – depending on body size and helmet – not optimal. At 185 height and with the Arai Profile, I was exposed to violent turbulence. Since speeds over 140 km / h are no fun, although the engine could bring a lot more completely relaxed. Changing the helmet to the Schuberth C3 pro: quieter without earplugs than Arai with; and can be driven fairly smoothly up to 150 km / h. Nevertheless: Either a decent fairing like with the tourers. Or none at all. This heritage fuss is best suited for slim dwarf seats.
And the Panniers can also save HD. Bad enough that hardly anything fits in there. But even worse, the locking bracket is so large and in the middle that even stuffing soft luggage into it is quite tedious.

Conclusion: Great engine, stable chassis. However, as an old Harley fan and driver, I still don’t want to be very enthusiastic. Brakes, gears, discs, mini-bags – there are simply too many half-baked details that are out of proportion to the lavish purchase price. And somehow I also find them a bit too smooth and boring. Nothing half and nothing whole. Objectively, my Dyna Low Rider S may possibly be less capable than the Heritage – at least in terms of chassis. But the bottom line is that I wouldn’t trade them in a thousand cold winters.

Mileage: 27,900, 07/2019

Guest driver Heinrich Lingner, test editor at auto motor und sport, took the Harley on an 800 km weekend trip under the wheels.

Phew, where do you start? I liked e.g. the comfortable chassis, only short, severe bumps hit through, but given the very short suspension travel, this is acceptable. After you have got used to the mass and dimensions of this two-wheeler, the handling is also ok. At least as soon as the plane rolls. When maneuvering and driving very slowly, I found the Heritage comparatively difficult to control. But this is also due to the need to get used to the controllability of gas and clutch. In addition, the braking system could respond more crisply.

Also great, with restrictions, is the high-torque engine. And now come the restrictions: The performance characteristics with the rapidly and steeply rising torque mountain are a bit too intense for me. Dosing the power on the rear wheel is difficult, even small movements of the gas lead to hard work. I find my 20 year old carburettor Harley more harmonious.

I don’t want to say much about the look and style of the bike, just this much: I somehow like the old Heritages with chrome and whitewall tires better, this is a little bit of show and pseudo-customizing for me. For this Heritage, as for some other current Harleys: It looks like its own replica.

Heinrich Lingner

As a touring motorcycle, this Harley seems to me to be less than average. The wind protection is modest, behind the windscreen there are various vortex zones which, in my case, press the airstream uncomfortably against the lower edge of the helmet. Incidentally, this also means that when it rains you are soaked after a short time, even in the area that should actually be protected by the pane.

The sitting position is uncomfortable in the long run with my size (1.89), the knee angle is never right, no matter where you put the boots on the step. The panniers are narrow, so that hardly anything fits in, not waterproof and there are hardly any other storage options for luggage.

For such an expensive motorcycle, the instrument unit makes a loveless impression with the black plastic cover and the tiny digital displays for fuel level, trip distance etc. and the very small control lights.

But what bothered me most is the stubborn gear. I also like mechanical feedback, but that’s a bit too much for me. I also found it difficult to hit neutral when coasting, which is easier on many other (old and new) motorcycles. What I noticed during the oil check: The side cover on the right is loose.

Heinrich Lingner

Conclusion after around 800 km? Somehow not my Harley, more like an ice cream parlor motorcycle that is only good for short trips. If I drive a Harley, it should either be a real touring bucket or something similar to a chopper.

Mileage: 26,692, 06/2019

Editor Thorsten Dentges traveled around 1,700 kilometers with the Harley over a long weekend. The trip led to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Thurngen. There was minimal camping equipment and the most important utensils for going out in the evening: "Everything fit perfectly in the suitcase, which (luckily) did not have to prove its tightness at 37 degrees and blazing sun. The suitcases seem rather inferior. The ergonomics for traveling keep surprising me. Despite the easy rider posture, I found it completely comfortable, first day 800 kilometers with only short breaks no problem. However, due to a lack of grip on the running boards from a speed of 130 km / h, the shoes always slide backwards due to the pressure of the airstream. Was it because of my rather loose boot-cut biker jeans? The tires (Metzeler) have good grip and convey a lot of security in corners. Maneuvering is quite easy because of the tight steering angle. I like the motorcycle, a great cruiser for one-man trips with a high proportion of country roads, and didn’t seem overwhelmed or too fat even on the smallest connecting routes through the lake district."

Mileage: 23,032, 05/2019

Uli Baumann

Online editor Uli Baumann kidnapped the Harley on several day trips across the Swabian Alb, the Black Forest and the Vosges. His conclusion: Riding a Harley is different. You’re never really fast, but still experience incredible driving dynamics. Speed ​​limits become your friend, because on the Heritage 50 or 80 km / h is an experience and not a brake on fun. The Metzeler Cruisetec tires did noticeably good for the Dickschiff. It looks more manageable and the grip is always sufficient – even on wet slopes. However, the front tire also brings a noticeable, but harmless momentum into play when braking. The V2 inspires again and again with its rich punch from the speed basement. And dear Harley tuners: On-board the acoustic impact is also completely sufficient – there really is no need for another exhaust. The running boards have now been razed off enough that there is rarely contact with the road, even at a brisk pace.

Uli Baumann

The penetration of water into the suitcase is a structural problem. The water stops in the blind holes around the locks and slowly seeps through the lock screw connection into the suitcase. A little silicone in the assembly could work wonders here.

What is really missing: a rocker switch! Ok, a second front brake disc would also be on my wish list.

Mileage: 20,684, 4/2019

Another advantage of slim suitcases! Complete closure on the A1. Can easily slip through to the start of the traffic jam with the Heritage, the motorcycle is relatively handy and light-footed, no comparison to the cumbersome Road King, which I have just chased through Cuba for two weeks!

Mileage: 20,326, 4/2019

Thorsten Dentges

Life editor Thorsten Dentges: With the Harley over Easter to the north, that’s the plan. But first a stopover in Mainz at the cathedral, which was still missing from my sightseeing collection list. The Heritage is great as a comfortable touring motorcycle, sitting for two hours is no problem, ergonomics with a light apehanger are perfect! However, the space in the suitcases is modest, I can hardly find my jogging gear, minimal clothing and a pair of street shoes. Advantage of the slim luggage: pushing through in the busy Mainz rush hour traffic is not a problem.

After the traffic jam has cleared, it continues with a clear track at 160 km / h! I like this Harley!

Mileage: 20,000, 04/2019

Uwe Seitz

PS boss Uwe Seitz commutes to the editorial office by motorcycle every day. With the Harley he has now cracked the 20,000 km mark. The somewhat large play in the clutch cable has been adjusted.

Mileage: 19,384, 04/2019

Matthias Ackermann

MOTORRAD boss Matthias Ackermann took the Heritage on a 500 kilometer day trip with a pillion to Franconia. Here is his conclusion: good suspension comfort, powerful pulling force, direct throttle response, as expected, swallows a lot when driving quickly. The seating comfort for the driver can be praised, for the 1.90 passenger it is (a little) more uncomfortable in the long run, which repeatedly forces you to take breaks. If you are sporty, the running boards are permanently in contact with the asphalt, at higher speeds you have to see that your feet stay on the running boards.

Mileage: 15,200, 12/2018

After the autumn trip, which took the long-term fleet of vehicles to the Vosges and on which the Softail proved to be suitable for medium-mountain ranges, a tire change was inevitable.


Dancing with new soles is good, they come from Pirelli.

The rear tire had lasted at least 14,349 kilometers, the front tire would have been good for a few thousand. Now she likes Pirelli Night Dragon. But even the Italian rubbers can’t stop sportbike fan Ralf Schneider from scolding. He accuses the Harley of trying to impose a kind of composure on him that makes him mad. A nice paradox. For the rest of the test team, however, the positive impressions far outweighed it. Above all, the comfort and the very good drivability ensure words of praise in the logbook.

Mileage: 12,800, 10/2018

Markus Biebricher

The Harley can also be really fun in the Alps.

Lake Garda in autumn 2018. Our endurance test Harley Davidson Heritage drives as an escort vehicle on a photo production. Pilot Rainer Froberg, training manager at the MOTORRAD Action Team, lets the 330 kilo bike really fly on the roads around Monte Bondone. The road from Dro to Rifugio Viate is a race track for super athletes, supermotos and strong naked bikes, but certainly not for Harleys. But Rainer chases the American bride skyward so that the running boards scratch. She doesn’t have to lose her composure. Not even on the narrow spaghetti streets that stretch from the Rifugio via Garniga and Cimone to Arco. The Harley simply proves that it is good for all situations in life if you know how to conduct it and give it a chance. The 94 hp 114 cubic inch Milwaukee Eight V2 pushes tremendously from idle speed, at 3,000 rpm a lush 155 Newton meters are available. The handling, as soon as the Harley is in motion, is amazing for such a colossus. Overall, the trip with the Heritage was great fun. Even the motorway stages, thanks to a comfortable seat and large windshield. Thanks to suitcases and plenty of space on the pillion bench, nobody has to restrict themselves when taking luggage with them. Caution is only required when the roads are wet. Then the outmoded Dunlop series tires no longer want to build up grip. Conclusion of the Lake Garda trip: the Heritage from 2018 is a travel machine and curve queen in one. Amazing but true!

Mileage: 9,924, 09/2018

Michael Pfeiffer

Water ingress in the suitcases after driving in the rain.

MOTORRAD editor-in-chief Michael Pfeiffer on the Harley endurance test: 800 kilometers Harley in one day, the longest Harley tour in my life. Goes well because of the increased seating comfort, very good suspension, pleasant engine with a lot of boom from below. Autobahn to Cologne and back to visit Ducati Germany, they were amused but not interested.

The return trip was completely in the rain, the fairing was very well protected from the weather, and drove 371 kilometers with 16.9 liters. Disadvantage: the seat soaks up full of water through the seams, suitcases are not 100% waterproof. See image.

Mileage: 7,200, 08/2018

Stefan Kaschel

The Harley is also suitable as a long-distance travel express and for family fun.

Quickly home at the weekend: The MOTORRAD long-term test fleet has more suitable vehicles than the new Heritage Classic. But sometimes there is no other way, and so MOTORRAD author Stefan Kaschel grabbed the 300 kilo chunk with almost 1,900 cubic meters, over 150 Newton meters of torque and 94 hp for an express slide to East Westphalia. 500 kilometers there, 500 back. If possible, a little bit quickly!

And it works, not even badly. Firstly, because Kaschel installed the high and very practical, one-handed installation of the windshield, which also provides good wind protection on the green Heritage Harley. And secondly, because the 1900s have so much fuel in their mighty fuel barrel that one refueling stop per tour is enough. At least when the mighty V2 thunders around 3,000 rpm and the speed levels off around 140 to 150 km / h.

Whereby: In the literal sense of the word, it does not settle until later, from 150 items there is movement in the load. Not scary, but latent, especially when longitudinal grooves are involved. Otherwise, however, it is quite stable and comfortable, as long as the central shock absorber does not have to take any major blows. Surprisingly, the thick, shiny chrome American steamer is said to have curve qualities until the running boards scratch. And something else catches your eye again and again: the Heritage is liked by everyone – especially by those who have nothing else to do with motorcycles. Even Kaschel’s sister Jutta, otherwise unlikely to be daring, found the Harley so likeable straight away that she really wanted to go with it. What was missing was a second helmet, whereupon Papa Hartmut remembered his old flip-up helmet that had been moldy in the cellar for ages. And so there was a solution that was only workable for the moment. The sister took the driver’s helmet, the driver that of his father – but not without storing his mother’s good silk scarf temporarily and thus avoiding any direct contact between the helmet lining and skin (there are plenty of them on his head). Result: The neighbors were amazed, sister Jutta enjoyed the ride and the Harley is long back in Stuttgart. She did well.  

Mileage: 6,059, 08/2018

In everyday operation with short city trips, the Heritage has already scooped over 6,000 kilometers on the clock. Colleague Mike Schumann appreciates the cruise control and travel comfort – but only up to a speed of 140. There is also praise for the powerful engine, but the brakes should be more powerful.

Guest driver Hans-Jorg Gotzl from Motor Klassik feels reminded of a pre-war Bentley by the Harley: quite big, quite green and quite powerful. He is also enthusiastic about the thrust of the V2, only "clean" be hell.

Mileage: 2,630, 6/2018


At 2,151 km, the endurance test Harley rolls in for the first inspection, which includes new oil and filter. The cost of the initial inspection: 353 euros. Immediately afterwards, my colleague Baumann went on a tour of the Odenwald. He really wanted to ride the Harley, see if the Harley myth could be experienced. He can. Life on the Hertiage takes place between 1,500 and 2,000 rpm. from. Comfort speed 95 km / h. The V2 offers a full thump, the sound inspires with every throttle without being intrusive (for the driver and the environment). Slowing down occurs automatically, even if the Hertiage can really get going when necessary. The single disc in front then struggles with the total mass, but the rear one jumps in to save it. Lean angle – no problem if you don’t forget that you are riding a Harley. Only the windshield is annoying – it causes uncanny turbulence (1.90 meter tall driver). The LED headlights do not want to fit the concept at all.

The pillion comfort underground. The best co-driver in the world wanted to end the ride after an hour. Unfavorable footrest position, much too soft seat bun and always smearing the feeling backwards.

Mileage: 1,260, 06/2018


Clearly visible: raindrops on the Harley and an associated forced break on the ride.

According to his own statements, MOTORRAD intern Ferdinand Heinrich’s first experiences with a Harley took a lot of getting used to: A heavy chunk! As long as it rolls, however, it can be moved relatively easily. Just like the seating position, it takes some getting used to to get along with the Harley. The fat engine is fun, as is every gear change. This is real mechanical engineering and heavy metal! The Harley lets you feel that consistently. Positive: The standard exhaust is very present, but far from being chubby and loud. The Heritage is most fun on country roads and open motorways.

It is all the more exhausting in traffic jams and in city traffic. The fear of an embarrassing fall over grows at a slowing pace. Especially since it gets warm quickly in a traffic jam, even in cool temperatures. For the perfect tourer, the Harley lacks better lashing options and a higher or adjustable disc. For me (1.87 m), the windshield and the resulting turbulence from 110 km / h were not necessarily comfortable, even in a crouched position. 

Mileage: 500, 06/2018

It looks like a rolling heritage, and it is. The Heritage Classic 114 sends a message that every passerby intuitively understands: classic shapes and proportions. Just like back in the 60s … The flirtatiously new, fashionable LED headlights do nothing to change that. It is flanked by two additional side lights. The central shock absorber hidden in the chassis, which was completely renovated for 2018, is not visible anyway. The centerpiece, the 114 cubic inch V2, offers a real experience. Makes 1,868 cubic centimeters, 1.86 liters in the metric system. Uff.

Here, a long stroke (114.3 millimeters) meets low engine speeds, a large flywheel mass meets a surprisingly pleasant throttle response – direct and yet nice and soft. Everything together results in a fat driving experience. In the speed range between 1,500 and 3,000 tours, there are probably few motorcycle engines with so much entertainment value. Just at 3,000 revolutions, a full 155 Newton meters should be present. The input measurement will tell. Either way, that is wonderful punch! One is happy to forgive the tough turning beyond the 4,000 mark, especially since the engine only has a good 500 kilometers on the clock. A full 94 hp, listen and be amazed, should be available for 5,020 tours.

Erica Barraza Torres

Thomas Schmieder drove the new endurance test Harley to the Technik Museum in Sinsheim.

During the first drives on the motorway, the darkened pane in the lower area should have offered a little more wind protection. The Harley tourers shield better. And they brake better too, with a double disc at the front. However, there is Electra Glide & Co. not with the fat 114 V2. And with a second brake disc, the wonderfully chrome-plated wheel hub of the Heritage Classic 114 would not be so prominent.

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