This low and reasonably light (for a Bagger) middleweight is easy to manouevre and is a joy to ride smoothly and sensibly. Push on and it all gets a bit wobbly but this is a bike you want to sit back on and enjoy the scenery.
The familiar Bonneville twin is a reliable puppy of a motor, pulling away easily, revving freely and consistently, bounding happily enough up to 80-or-so and always being soft, pliant yet useful. There’s no shocks or scares here.
In some areas the LT comes over as a little cheap or ‘budget’. The single dial speedo carried over from the base model looks crudely ‘tacked on’, like the aftermarket clocks you’d find on s streetfighter; there’s only one colour choice; and, perhaps inevitably, it also lacks the extra riding lights and chrome, white walls and more that help make the Thunderbird version so desireable.
The LT (with LT standing for ‘Light Touring’) is essentially the first of a new breed of ‘baby baggers’ – mini Road King-style touring cruisers defined by their plexiglass screens and (usually soft) panniers.
Based on the America its timing looks set to capitalise on the introduction of its big brother, the 1600cc Thunderbird LT, earlier this year. But how much of the ‘big bagger’ experience do you get with the smaller, cheaper version? And who’s it for?
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If you like the style, you’re getting a temptingly decent amount of bike with the new America LT. These are all the extras you get with the LT...
Screen - Tall, plexiglass affair is similar to that on its recently-introduced Thunderbird LT big brother in being easily detachable via a pair of spring-loaded levers at each side of the screen.
Panniers - Leather, retro-styled panniers are claimed to be showerproof and cleverly fasten with quick release plastic clips underneath the cosmetic metal buckles.
Back rest - Or ‘sissy bar’, to use the correct, US vernacular, is again similar to that on its Thunderbird LT big brother and adds comfort and security for any pillion passenger.
Footboards - To complete the ‘bagger’ style the LT gets full-sized footboards, complete with a heel-toe gearchange on the left, in place of the bog America’s footpegs. Ground clearance is reduced a tad, but on the whole they improve comfort.