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2009 Softail Rocker C

2009 Softail Rocker C

Thanks to
Hacienda
Harley-Davidson

for providing
the motorcycle

2009 Softail Rocker C
2008 Harley Davidson Dyna Fat Bob ™
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Hacienda Harley-Davidson
2009 Softail Rocker C

by Kirk Johnson
Oct 2008


MSRP as tested $19,449

About the Rocker C

2009 Softail Rocker C Specs
Engine Air-Cooled, Twin Cam 96B,
96 Cu. Inch
Engine Torque 87.90 ft lbs @ 2750 rpm*
Transmission 6-speed Cruise Drive
Fuel System Electronic sequential Port
Fuel Injection
Primary Drive Chain
Final Drive The New Carbon Fiber Belt

Tire Size

Front  90/90-R19 52H
Rear 240/40-R18 79V

Rake 36°
Running Weight
720 lbs.
Seat Height 27.4 in.
*They never quote HP. I find the *87.9 ft. lbs a stretch. That reading is more than likely at the crankshaft. If you put these bikes on a Dyno – you will not see any numbers like these at the rear wheel. The numbers are from the Harley-Davidson Web site.

The Rocker or the Rocker C is the Custom Chopper created for the person that has cast a glancing view to the custom or chopper motorcycles that have populated the scene a few years back. The problem with some of the past customs or choppers was the price and reliability. Some of the custom designed parts, chopped frames and extended forks gave the creations a terrific profile, but, often times created riding and dependability problems. This is not to say that all customs and choppers had a problem, but there were some with problems and of course resale was always a concern for these special creations.
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Now Harley has a factory custom chopper that has a lot of the upgrades without the extremes often associated with some of the creations of the past. Plus, it was engineered and designed for reliability and ride ability that very few people can create without the deep pockets of someone like Harley-Davidson. Now, with the Rocker, you can have your chopper profile, dependability and service ability with a huge selection of off the shelf performance and chrome upgrades.

What makes this a Harley is the Softail frame with a rigid mounted Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection 96B twin Cam, 6 Speed power plant. And of course all of the hand controls are the same throughout the line as for brake pedals and hand controls. It has a speedometer, no tach, with the turn signal and neutral indicators in a little display on the fuel tank.

What sets this beast apart from the standard line is the extended front forks and large 240 mm rear tire. The wheelbase of this custom is only about 5 inches longer (69.2 inches) than the standard Softail. Besides the chopper profile, they enhanced the custom look with a rear fender that hugs the oversized rear tire with custom wheels by mounting it to the swing arm and finished it with a nice color keyed frame.

On the Rocker C, if you haven’t noticed, they have what appears to be a solo design. But, should you get lucky, there is a passenger seat that is conveniently hidden under the solo seat. It appears to be a little torture pad. But should you need it, it could be your friend. Just a quick note about the seat; I rode the Rocker with it hidden under the seat and with it in place. Now for vanity reasons, you would want the hard solo look for bar hopping, but should you venture out on the road, with the seat in place, it actually gives a little lower back support for more comfort.

As you can see in the picture there is a stage one upgrade. This included new exhaust pipes and dyno tuned remapping. I recommend this upgrade for all Harleys, with the exception of the V-rod, for performance reasons. Pictured are the Vance and Hines Big Radius 2 into 2 Black pipes that sell for $799.22. This is a great upgrade.

Test Ride

I have ridden choppers in the past and never really like the ride. It was a full time job to manage that 300 rear tire over uneven pavement and speed bumps and the turning radius was poor when you turn around or when maneuvering around in a parking lot. Climbing on the Rocker the first thing that I noticed was the nice low seat. Your feet are flat on the ground and with your legs bent, you have the feeling that you are wearing the bike rather than just sitting in it. After grabbing the slightly curved back handlebars on risers, I noticed that they had internal wiring. That gave it a very nice clean look. But not to be distracted with the great look of this new toy, I wanted to find out if this machine really rides like any of the Harley’s that I have ever been on.

Surprisingly, after getting out of the parking lot, I noticed very little difference from most of the softails that I have been on in the past. The upgraded Vance and Hines pipes sounded great and low end torque increase from the stock Softail was noticeable. The steering was light and easy. It was nothing like some of the choppers from the past.

The Twin Cam B power plant is very smooth, even with setting at idle stopped. After negotiating some nice long curves on the back roads, you notice that you lean a little more then on some of the shorter wheel base machines. Then with a slight twist of the grip, the extra low-end torque really felt good powering out of corners. This is a very easy to ride custom. Just to see if there were any problems with turning, I slowed to a crawl and made a u-turn on a two lane, it was a piece of cake.

After finding an on-ramp to the local freeway, I was able to find the throttle limit and was pleasantly surprised at the power. Straight as a rocket, you could easily find a three digit number by the time you have to merge with traffic. Then of course, you have to grab a little brake to blend into with all of the cages. On the freeway, it rides like a dream. With the sixth gear, you can idle down the road with ease and you always have plenty of power.

Summary

I rode this Rocker on curvy roads to interstate riding and, at all times, found that this little Rocker was a champ and a pleasure to ride. It is obviously not a cruiser, nor is it a Buell, but you could spend the day on the bike and feel great at days end. What really sets this ride apart is the styling. Even with the exotic styling, for a Harley, it is a very tame ride when compared to the old style hardtail choppers. It is a ride that you want to be seen on.

Ride safe,

Kirk
Phoenixbikers.com

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