Superbike ownership experiences in India: Prasad Parkar shares his fascination with the Harley Davidson Iron 883

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Our Superbike Ownership column till date has been featuring screaming and restless supersports. After having featured the paramount BMW S1000RR, the lusty Ducati 848 Evo, the mighty Yamaha YZF-R1 and the suave Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade- we have a different guest to our column this time around. A motorcycle recognized by its distinctive and unmistakable sound- something that can be seen with your ears than your eyes. Bulls eye, we have a Harley Davidson!

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Meet Prasad Parkar- a son into learning his father business and a Harley enthusiast at the core. Having started riding motorcycles at the age of 17 on a humble Bajaj Pulsar 150, Prasad has always been inclined to the two-wheeled species and low revving types in particular. Despite having a BMW 320D, a Toyota Corolla Altis and a souped up Suzuki Swift at home, he has never been too fond of cars and loves the “wind in the air” feeling while going places. Prasad favours a laid back style of riding, which he believes gives a greater sense of satisfaction than the thrill of speed. Complementing his inclination and style of riding saw him have his first motorcycle once he hit the legal riding age- a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350, which now shares parking space with his “Darky” and new found love- the Harley Davidson Iron 883. Yes, the very same bike we happened to review last week, which Prasad with great confidence handed over the keys to us.

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We pose our usual set of questions to him on living with the Milwaukee Monster and the experiences he has been treated to by the Iron 883. So here we go:

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When did you buy the HD 883 Iron?
The Iron 883 made a rumbling entry into my life on 27th of February 2013, which also happened to be my birthday. And what better present could I gift myself on the day! Next year onwards, the 883 would be sharing my birthday cake too 🙂

Which bike did you own prior to the 883 Iron?
It was the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350, which post arrival of the Iron 883 has (obviously) taken a backseat and is mostly ridden by my brother.

Which other bikes do you own apart from the 883 Iron?
Again, it’s the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350.

Why only the 883 Iron? Did you consider some other bike while making a purchase decision?
Sportsbikes do give you the adrenalin rush, but I have always been in love with cruisers and Harleys in particular. Hence it was no surprise that I chose the Iron 883- it was simply love at first sight.

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What is the best part you like about your bike?
It’s the unmistakable drumming beat of a “Blockhead”- and similar to Harley followers worldwide, it’s symphony to my ears. I would love to relentlessly ride- not to cover distance but to listen to the legendary v-twin engine. The torque kick that the Iron 883 gives me on every shift has its own addiction and I love the way my baby slows down on even minor braking inputs. The Iron might be a burly motorcycle to look at, but the ease at which it handles- makes me fall in love every single time I take it out for a spin.

And the worse part?
The suspension- it’s just too stiff for my liking. For a city like Mumbai with speed-breakers at every nook and corner, it simply disturbs my rhythm of riding. Also during monsoons, the jerky ride is further amplified by potholes so large, it gives me scares of the Iron scraping its underbody.

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What has been your longest ride?
Haven’t been on any long rides as such, but I occasionally hit the highways for morning breakfast runs.

How has been the after sales experience?
The bike was recently given for servicing at the authorized service centre and I was overall satisfied by the work done on the bike.

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How much on average do you spend on service including consumables?
I spent INR 6000 overall on my last service and I feel it was pretty justified.

Any independent service centre/ mechanic you would recommend?
Going by my experience, I would recommend Authorised HD Service Centres to any Harley owner.

Where do you source the spares from?
Strictly…from the Authorised Service Centre

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What modifications have you done to the bike? What difference has it made?
The Iron 883 in stock form came with a classic solo seat. I fitted a dual seat and had to also install rear footpegs for two up riding. The factory fitted refueling cap doesn’t come with a lock, hence had to fit a lockable cap. And finally, the front crash guard with foot-grips. All this set me back by approx INR 55,000/-

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What makes up your riding gear?
Helmet, jacket and gloves- all by Harley Davidson and riding shoes.

Have you ever faced issues from cops since lot of bikes out there are grey imports and inappropriately documented?
Never till date. In fact I love the look cops give to the motorcycle when I pass by.

What would be your next bike?
My wish is to buy a Harley Davidson Fatboy or else might even settle for a Ducati Monster 696 as my next bike.

Any pointers on parking in public places?
Always ensure that the parking space isn’t too crammed for your bike and that you carry the cover to discourage on-lookers from fiddling with the controls.

What tips would you give to prospective superbike owners?
I would say one should put in ample thoughts before buying a big bike. Decide on what type of riding would you be doing often and what you are looking for in a motorcycle. Buying through the authorized channel I feel would be the best and safest bet on a new purchase.

And finally the question that we Indians love so much.. ‘kitna deti hai’? 😉
The figures vary between 15 to 17 kpl- but I’m not complaining. The rising fuel prices are definitely a matter of concern, but the pleasure I derive from riding it simply dwarfs the mileage that would be close to a family car.

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So that was it. We thank Prasad for sharing his experiences and wish him a long-lasting journey with the Iron 883 singing the traditional “potato-potato” tune. And in case he happens to bring in the Fatboy or the Monster 696- we’ll have it featured right here for sure!

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