I went to the Americade rally in Lake George, NY on Friday afternoon and the highlight of the day turned out to be a short demo ride on a Boss Hoss motorcycle. In many respects, riding a motorcycle powered by a small block Chevy motor was exactly what I imagined it would be – big, heavy, and plenty of power.
The first thing you notice when you sit on this thing is how big this bike is. The gas tank is huge, the handlebars are wide, and your legs are spread far apart. The seat height seemed perfect for me and I had no trouble touching the ground flat footed. I was surprised at how easy it came up off of the kickstand. It really didn’t feel much heavier than my Ultra Classic and the balance is quite good.
After a few minutes sitting on the bike and getting familiar with the controls, it was time to fire-up the motor. As the motor started up the sound of the V8 motor at idle is awesome and every time you hit the throttle, the bike rocks back and forth from the torque.
After sitting there idling for a minute or two, it was time to take off for the demo ride. It’s a bit odd riding this bike because there’s no clutch on the left – you just drop it in gear with the front brake on and when you let go of the brake, it takes off.
Once we started heading down the road, it became quite obvious that this bike is ridiculously over powered. Small amounts of throttle make the bike accelerate without hesitation. I would imagine that hitting the gas at 60 mph would result in instant tire smoke. With the 2 speed transmission, you don’t even consider shifting to second gear until 60 mph. The training video we watched before riding the bikes said that you can go 120mph in first gear. Second gear is overdrive and only used when cruising at 60 mph or higher. For this short supervised ride, I don’t think the tach ever went above 3000 rpm’s so I really didn’t get to experience the full power of the motor.
We turned onto a road with some nice easy turns. Going around corners doesn’t seem like one of this bike’s strengths. I’m sure that more time in the seat would make it more comfortable on twisty roads, but it did seem a bit awkward for the short time I rode it. Stopping at traffic lights was surprisingly easy because the bike is quite well balanced. However, the width of the motor does mean that my legs were touching the heat shields on the headers. While I didn’t get burned, I could certainly feel the heat from the exhaust.
After about 10 minutes, the ride was over. I was quite impressed overall. The bike is well balanced, fairly easy to ride, and has more power than any motorcycle should have. The size of the bike is something that would take some getting used to. When I got back on my Ultra Classic after riding the Boss Hoss, the Harley felt small and of course, lacking power. It really would be easy to get used to having 350hp at the twist of your right hand.
If you ever get a chance to take a demo ride on a Boss Hoss, I’d recommend that you go for it. You won’t be sorry.