Auto-Glide Old School
Auto-Glide Old School
Auto-Glide Belt Drive
2006 Ridley Old School
by Kirk Johnson
as tested $18,500
Here we go folks, this was a little different. I had a magic carpet
ride the other day. I rode the Ridely Motorcycle. This is definitely
not a Prostreet bike for the often-needed adrenalin rush we sometimes
require. What this bike does offer is a great alternative for
some riders that want to take control and grab the handlebars
and ride off into the sunset. By that I mean if you have been
on the back of a bike as a passenger and wanted to move to the
front of the bike, but the heavy bikes with all of those gears
take the fun out of the transition, here you go.
Ridley offers a no shifting, no clutch lever to pull, light (445
pounds), very low seated (24”) motorcycle that is so easy
ride all that you have to do is twist the grip and go. It is powered
by a 750 cc four-stroke two-cylinder V Twin motor with the Ridley
can be a very forgiving entry bike that has until now kept some
people out of the market. This would be a great ride for anyone
that does not like to shift or needs a really low seat. In the
past a lot of gals have used the 883 Sportster as an entry bike
to the Harley world. With this lower seat, lighter weight and
being automatic should place this ride several notches above the
ole 883. They have gone after some of the good old classic looks
that are popular today. By doing this the Ridley will look to
a casual observer on the side of the road to be a much bigger
bike than it really is.
The new 2006 Old School Ridley that I rode is a step back to a
time when gangster white walls, springer front ends and ape hangers
were all the rage. In early 2005, Clay Ridley built himself the
first Auto-Glide Old School. The tremendous amount of interest
in the custom Auto-Glide brought Clay to add it to this year’s
The old School shown has several optional items that include a
springer front end, chrome ape hanger handlebars, black wire wheels,
vintage white wall tires, bobbed five gallon tank, and sprung
solo seat. Wheels come in either Black, Red or Pink with available
matching colored handlebars.
They also have the Auto-Glide TT, Auto-Glide Classic, and Auto-Glide
Sport. (For pics see below) One of the best options this
year is the New Belt Final Drive optional that replaces the X-Ring
Chain final drive. This is one of the biggest improvements for
the Auto-Glide Model in years.
To start the engine you have to push the button by the right grip
just like any Harley. You also have to hold the front brake on
to get the engine to crank. This was no big deal – the thing
you have to get used to is that there is no clutch lever at all.
I felt naked without the trusted clutch lever. But you know what,
after being underway for a couple of seconds; you do not really
miss the clutch lever. The constant speed auto clutch mechanism
never lets the engine rev very high making it feel like it is
time to shift, hence the missing clutch lever never really comes
When you have to stop or start you get an itchy hand and foot
wanting to grab a gear. Someone starting out for the first time
would not have that feeling though. The little Ridley does have
a good sound to it. Unlike a new Harley, you can hear the exhaust
– it doesn’t sound too bad for stock.
heading east on McDowell I headed for the on-ramp to the 101.
The little Ridley did a nice job getting up to speed. I would
say that it is faster than the 883. With the short on-ramp, I
was doing 70 by the time that I got to the 101 and I was able
to easily merge with the traffic.
It is not a fast bike of course, but it is respectable. It has
some shortcomings on acceleration from 75 on up. It will do 80
no problem. And it feels like it would do 80 all day. You just
do not want to have to accelerate and pass from that speed. That
is not what the bike is made for and I am sure that the market
for this bike is not concerned about this aspect.
This would be a great bike to cruise around town and any back
roads like the way to Prescott through Wickenburg. I am sure this
would give any rider that wanted this kind of ride a lot of trouble
free happiness, either on the streets or the back highways.
I did not spend a lot of time on the bike. It was fun and any
time you can let the air blow though your hair while holding onto
a set of handlebars is great. This was so easy to ride that it
should open up the market for more riders. I just hope they find
out about this neat new bike.
The little Ridley is easy to ride and fun. If you have a very
short inseam, this is the bike for you. Because of the lightweight
and no shifting, this bike should open up new markets for new
riders. If you are looking at the H-D 883, you should really consider
this bike too. The down side is the lack of power over about 75.
But that is no different than the 883. The price points are a
little high. But you get a lot for what you get and no other motorcycle
offers what this bike can deliver.