Oxford (07 June 2013) - At the end of March this year, Harley-Davidson invited Europe’s motorcycle press to attend the riding launch of the new Breakout – the standard version of the Breakout™ that was first seen in CVO trim in autumn 2012. The riding launch took place in and around the coastal roads and hills of Marseille, South of France.
As well as the usual plethora of specialist Harley and custom V-twin magazines and general biking titles, Harley-Davidson UK & Ireland also took the extreme step of inviting several journalists from magazines that err towards the sportier side of motorcycling. Although the Breakout is as far removed from a plastic sports machine like water is from Sahara sand, Harley-Davidson had an inkling the performance of Breakout’s Twin cam 103B™ engine and Softail® chassis would appeal to even more people than fans and owners of Harley-Davidson® machinery.
The outcome of the launch was better than anyone could have hoped for. Not only did the motorcycling journalists enjoy riding the Breakout, glowing reports from all quarters of the press firmly and thickly underlined what we already knew…
“I see this being the custom Softail that a lot of people have been waiting for. It is certainly the custom Softail that I’ve been waiting for, ticking every box apart from the fast cornering: it looks right, it has the right proportions and angles, and it’s a blast to ride hard!” – American-V
“The Breakout is yet another Harley that looks great, with a magnificent engine…The 103 engine – familiar from Harley’s Touring range, and being used more and more on bikes from other Harley families – is plenty powerful enough, always able to give you a big surge of torque whenever you open the throttle. It’s smooth for such a big V-twin and should give a respectable 40mpg or so.” – Ride
“Several hours later and it's time to stop for lunch. I lift my 'crashed too often’ body off the bike and I'm struck by how fresh I feel. No backache, no tingling hands, no discomfort at all. I may as well have just gotten off a Goldwing… I'm rewarded with a wonderfully positive action and feel from the gearbox. I lift my right foot onto the peg and as I move off I 'get' the low seat and forward pegs. Combined with the handlebar position they make for a very comfortable ergonomic arrangement… This is a clean bike, devoid of all unnecessary extras, a classic and indeed very beautiful motorcycle.” – Bike Buyers Guide
“In tight hairpins or open sweepers the Breakout hogs the tarmac – and never feels as if its bulk will get the better of the pilot… much of this machine’s allure lies in the styling. And the Motor Company has gone to town here.” – Bike
“I was also surprised at the acceleration and relatively smooth gear shifts. It’s comfortable at acceptable speeds and once used to it, you relax into the ride, hum associated rock anthems and begin to see the Route 66 sign as a bucket list inclusion… I liked the Breakout, it looks great, it’s properly good fun when you get the hang of it and suited the good weather and open roads” – Fast Bikes
“In stark contrast to the high-revving superbike engine we’re used to at, er, SuperBike magazine, the Harley engine’s best feature is the great big sack of torque from the moment you ease away from tickover. The monstrous 103ci (1690cc) engine thuds through the lower rev range, accelerating the big Breakout towards the horizon with a strangely smooth waft of thrust… The nerdy engineers among us will find it difficult not to love the attention to detail that goes into keeping a retro look with modern bike usability, and the clever way this is achieved is always worth a look. If you’ve never seen a Harley up close and asked about the features I recommend you have a little nose around one at some point, it’s quite surprising.” – Superbike
“It's a complex contrast of old versus new and if you have well-worn preconceptions about what Harleys are like, the Breakout will challenge those preconceptions. Take one for a test ride and like me, you might find yourself making space for it in your 10-bike dream garage.” – Visordown
Reading insightful reports is all well and good but as we all know the absolute proof is in the riding the bike yourself. All official Harley-Davidson® dealerships have a Breakout demonstrator machine available for test rides. Availability and booking can be completed here or simply call or pop in to your nearest authorised Harley-Davidson dealership for more information.