Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Jacksonville, NC 28540
It's not great handling, but pretty good. Mostly due to the sixteen in wheels, light weight, and short wheelbase. It's got pretty responsive brakes (front and rear disk, although singles). No real power to speak of. But, for what HD wanted, and Eric Buell was tasked, it is a decent bike. Harley felt they were losing to the imports in the entry level department. So, the Blast was designed to suit the entry level concerns. It's simple to operate, handles well (I didn't say it handles uber awesome, but well) and is relatively easy to maintain.
My wife was driving circles around folks when she took her MSF course, and she's only ridden a couple hundred miles. Now... taking that sucker out on the road? Well... at 225 lbs... I'm not doing it again. After years of over 140 hp and 75 lb ft of torque, I CAN NOT ride something that low on power again! I fealt at the mercy of everything, including the wind, with only pretty good handling to my favor. Put a suspension under it, more power, better pegs, better transmission, multiple cylinder motor, dual disk front brakes, a better (lower) set of bars, a modern headlight, and exhaust that doesn't stop you from driving out of your driveway, a carberator that isn't made from spare parts of forgetten vehicles, and a few other things ( like mirrors that aren't out on stalks so all they can do is shake ) on it, and you have a half decent starter bike. Or... you just buy something else.
In defense of the Blast, I'd like to say, they made a bike capable of gaining the trust of a beginner. But the beginner needs to go from the DMV or MSF course to a dealer, and get a more roadworthy bike afterwards.
1991 FZR 1000 - built 1040 with race cams, Akrapovic full exhaust, and mild suspension work
2004 YZF R1 - Graves full exhaust, velocity stacks, BMC race filter, and Power Commander. Rear Ohlins. Forks rblt with Race Tech springs and Gold Valves.
2005 20th Anniversary V-Max (0098/2000) - T boost,
2005 YZF R6 track bike - Graves full exhaust, Race Tech suspension