I suggest that you try out one or more bikes before making a new bike purchase to make sure it is the right model for you and your body type. There is nothing worse than buying the bike of your dreams only to realize that you can’t ride it very long because of sore joints, back pain, knee soreness or elbow stiffness. It’s quite simply heartbreaking. Sure you can spend the money after the fact trying to make that bike comfortable and then again, why not do it right the first time so you don’t end up bitter about your investment. Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada is introducing a program called Fit Shop designed to give you the right choice without losing time and money.
Current Harley riders out there will attest to the fact that one of the first things they did when they got their Harley home was change things to personalize the bike to suit them exactly how they like it.
With the introduction of Fit Shop, your bike will come directly to you, already suited to your body type and personal preferences.
President and CEO of Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada, Malcolm Hunter said, “What we are trying to illustrate with this program is how we can get you comfortable on the bike of your choice.”
Five key features that the Fit Shop is looking at that indicate to a rider that they may need to be change some features of their bike are: sore back; feet position while stationary, sore wrists or elbows, knee position while seated on the bike and shoulder position with hands on the handlebars.
I had an opportunity to check out the Fit Shop. It starts with, in this case, a Fat Boy Softail model without a seat or handlebars. Prior to choosing the right seat, all issues of your body type are discussed. Maybe a rider needs a solo seat, or if you ride with a passenger, perhaps the rider needs a back rest to maintain an upright position. Based upon the individual circumstances, a seat is chosen and you take your position on the bike.
Next, you can choose a set of handlebars of personal preference but you may have to relinquish your personal style for rider comfort depending on the opinion of the Harley-Davidson design team member that is fitting you. Handlebar rise, width and pullback are the three key points to a comfortable set of handlebars. Each different set has a unique combination that could change your shoulder position, wrists and arms. So you may fancy a set of drag bars when actually it is the mini-apes that will provide you with a better ride.
From that point, suspension is reviewed with ground levels. There are floor plates on either side of the bike with two different heights. You put your feet on the ground as though you were standing still on your bike. The idea is to get the bike adjusted so that you maintain a flat-footed position. That will give the Fit Shop the suspension that will best suit you as a rider and you may have to raise or lower front, back or both suspension.
Carrying on from that point is placing your feet on the floorboards as though you were riding. What is being examined at this stage is your knee position. From here it may be suggested that you try another seat or that you move your leg slightly forward. If a different seat changes your leg position to the correct position – great. If not, you may be looking at moving your foot controls keeping in mind that your Fit Shop designer is looking at the position of your ankles, hips and knees.
The Fit Shop is available with Sportster, Dyna, Softail, Touring and VRSC (VRod) models. Each has its own selection of grips, seats, handlebars available in the Fit Shop program.
Don’t be in a hurry when undertaking this process. Take the time to listen to the advice. Make an appointment so you don’t get disappointed by having to wait on a busy day. The ultimate decision is yours but making that decision with all the available information will save you money in the long run not to mention you will drive the bike off the showroom floor exactly how you like it.