What we’ve got here is something of a Brewster’s Millions situation. That’s a pretty dated reference, I know, but I can’t think of anything more recent with a similar theme.
READ MORE: 2018 Harley-Davidson Street Bob – First Ride
For those who aren’t old and busted, Brewster’s Millions is a film starring Richard Pryor and John Candy. In it, Richard Pryor learns that he is to inherit $300 million, but only if he manages to spend $30 million. It’s a weak and convoluted premise, but, hey, it’s a 1980s Richard Pryor comedy – his films weren’t exactly high art.
Anyhoo, third paragraph in, burying the lede, Harley-Davidson got in touch not too long ago to ask if I’d be interested in a long-term loan of a 2018 Street Bob. That is, I would get a press bike for longer than the industry standard of two weeks – in this case, I’d get it for five months. After taking a moment (approximately half a zeptosecond) for careful consideration my answer was something along the lines of: “yesyesyesyespleasepleasepleasecanihaveitnow?”
“OK, but there’s a catch,” said Harley’s representative. “If we give you the bike for that long, we expect you to ride it a lot. Go lots of places, do lots of things. If it sits in your garage the whole time we’ll be disappointed.”
How is that a catch? I’m pretty sure every motorcyclist would like to be sent home with that sort of instruction: “Babe, put on your gear, we gotta go ride. The Harley guys said so. Our hands are tied on this one, I’m afraid. We’ll have to wait until never to redecorate the spare room.”
I picked up the Street Bob on Tuesday. Harley says I can keep it until 1 November. My quiet hope is that five months will be so long Harley’s team will forget it gave the bike to me and I’ll be able to keep it forever. Alternatively, I may attempt to rack up such high mileage on the thing that its resale value upon return will be such that I can actually afford to buy it.
That latter tactic won’t be hard. Within 30 seconds of pulling away from Harley’s UK distribution center I was laughing out loud, instantly reminded of why the Street Bob is my overall favorite Harley. The Sport Glide is more practical, the Fat Bob is better handling, the Road Glide is waaaaay more comfortable, but the Street Bob is something special. As I wrote in my initial review: “The Street Bob makes you detour through town, makes you seek out Main Street or the seaside promenade.”
So, I’ll be riding it a lot. But just rolling from ice cream parlor to ice cream parlor hardly makes a good story, does it? I should be doing really cool stuff with this bike, racking up tales to share around the nursing home once my body gives out on me. And that’s where I’m hoping you can help me come up with ideas.
I’m planning on taking this thing camping. I am also very seriously considering riding it to Prague to attend Harley’s 115th anniversary party – because that is such an inappropriate use for the Street Bob. When Intermot rolls around in October, I’ll be using the Street Bob to get to Cologne, Germany. But what else do you think I should do?
If Harley had given you a bike and told you that you had to use it, what plans would you be making? Where would you go? What adventures would you seek out?
I’ll immediately veto one suggestion I feel people will make: I won’t be taking the Street Bob off road. That’s not because I don’t think it wouldn’t result in a hilarious tale, but I feel Harley will want its bike back at the end of this. I don’t have the best record when it comes to keeping bikes upright on dirt.
Beyond that, though, I’m keen to know: what would you do?