I found the FXDR hammered off the line with neck-snapping torque, almost 50% more than the V-Rod.
In fact, its feet-and-hands-forward stance will remind many of the sadly-now-axed V-Rod.
While the water-cooled 1247cc V-Rod engine produced 93kW of power and 113.9Nm of torque, the ballsier 114 cubic-inch (1868cc) Milwaukee Eight air-cooled engine produces only 61kW but a whopping 162Nm of real-world torque.
Seriously, this FXDR is quick.
It may not have the same drag-strip top-end fizz as the V-Rod, but it does go around corners, even though the “DR” in its name indicates “drag race”.
They are not great lean angles, but enough to turn a winding road into a fun fair.
Lean angle is 32.6° on the left and 32.8° on the right thanks to the chamfered exhaust shape. It’s the best of Harley’s big twins and only beaten by the Street Rod (37.3° right, 40.2° left).
However, you have to remember to pick your heels up as your corner or you will chamfer your precious Johnny Rebs on the tarmac as I did. I suppose they now match the chamfered exhaust!
It changes direction and turns into corners so nimbly and you can forget it has 240mm Michelin Scorcher II rubber on the rear.
This has been achieved by pulling the triple clamps back toward the bike to reduce trail.
However, I found the forks, now with dual-bending valves, a little too lively and it chattered a bit over high-frequency bumps.
A steering damper could be in order – never thought I’d say that about a Harley!
Once you have passed the apex and want to stand the bike back up to power on to the next straight, that torque provides missile-like launch oomph.
When you come to the next bend, the dual discs up front and lack of dive allow you to brake deep into the corner.
This is the first Harley with clip-on handlebars. I found the feet-and-body-forward riding position awkward on the launch.
Harley-Davidson Australia has pulled the clip-ons back a little and it is much more comfortable now.
If you don’t like them you can pop out the “FXDR” plate on the triple clamp and attach any type of handlebars you like.
Style is subjective and I’m not quite hooked on the white, but it does look mean in black or bronze.
There are many details to love about the bike. I love the way the Harley logo is always pointing the right way on the fuel cap, the drag-inspired air snorkel and the mix and match of finishes – bronze, brushed steel, crackle black, orange highlights, etc.
However, the standard exhaust looks like a vacuum cleaner stuck on the side and you’ll be tempted to get the stunning aftermarket exhaust that comes in titanium and carbon fibre.
Finish all round is great, although there is an ugly weld on the exposed frame behind the triple clamps.
FXDR has discrete digital instruments similar to the neat unit on the Breakout.
They may be small but the instruments display a host of information including a permanent gear indicator display.
You can toggle through the rest of the information — odo, two trip meters, range, revs and clock — via a switch on the left handlebar.
Sun creates glare on the instruments, but since they have a small convex clear screen, you just move your head a small amount and the glare is gone.
At night the Daymarker headlight is one of the best on any motorcycle with bright and wide illumination but no gaps.