Harley-Davidson DRT Experience 2023; Riding The New Harley Line-Up

A full day spent in Thailand, talking and riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Read all about our time at the 2023 Harley-Davidson DRT Experience in Khao Yai, Thailand.

By Kingshuk Dutta


1 mins read


Published on July 13, 2023

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  • Car&Bike was at the 2023 Harley-Davidson DRT Experience
  • We sampled a bunch of models from Harley's 2023 line-up
  • We rode the bikes on dirt, road and track (DRT)

Imagine this! Right in front of you is the entire line-up of the latest Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and you get to ride whichever model you want! Well, I did not have to imagine that because that is exactly what I actually did, at the 2023 Harley-Davidson DRT experience held in Khao Yai, Thailand. Now, a quick disclaimer here. We weren’t invited to test ride the 2023 line-up of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, rather we were invited to experience them briefly, to get a taste of what the 2023 line-up is all about. 

Harley Davidson Thailand 5

Also Read: All-New Harley-Davidson X440 Ridden


DRT stands for dirt, road and track. And we were at ‘8-Speed Khao Yai’, a cute little automotive playground, which had a 1 km long racetrack and a 1.1 km long off-road trail for us to sample. And then, a 50-odd kilometre road ride through the Thai countryside. Needless to say, I was more than excited, looking at what the day had in store for me. So, after a quick breakfast and briefing session, it was time to don our riding gear and then hit the track. 


Track Experience

Harley Davidson Thailand 10

We were allotted 5 laps on the Harley-Davidson Nightster Special and then 5 laps with the Sportster S. So, off with the Nightster Special first, I spent the first two laps getting comfy with the bike and the track. The Nightster Special proved to be crazy fun on the track, with its Revolution Max 975T engine. With 95 Nm of torque, strong bottom end and mid-range, the Nightster Special is a hoot and a half when it comes to pushing the pace. 


Also Read: Harley-Davidson X440: All You Need To Know 

Harley Davidson Thailand 9

Then came the Sportster S. It gets the bigger Revolution Max 1250 engine, the same as the one on the Pan America. It is definitely the sexier motorcycle to look at, with its big and chunky front tyre and an LED bar of a headlight. But the FAT tyre also means that the turn-ins need more effort and strength on the handlebar. At the same time, I will admit that riding the Sportster S is an experience in itself. I will say it is an acquired taste and even in the short time that I spent with it, I definitely wanted to ride more of the motorcycle. 

Harley Davidson Thailand 4

Dirt Experience 

After our session on the track, with the Nightster and the Sportster, it was time to take on the short trail, with the Pan America ADV. For 2023, the Harley ADV gets a new shade, which it calls Industrial Yellow. Not too loud, not too mellow. Yes, poetry is not one of my gifts, as is evident. But the new yellow colour scheme does look good on the big, burly adventure bike. And that is the only update on the bike. Rest everything else, stays the same.  

Harley Davidson Thailand 3

The trail was just 1.1 km long and it was, well easy! A couple of sections were technical, but for the most part, it was easy. There was an incline with loose dirt, a small rocky section and a patch of water. Riding the Pan Am was fun and the kind of grunt it generates, makes it easy for the rider to get out of a tricky situation. All one has to do is give it more gas. It is heavy, but not unmanageable off the road. 


Also Read: Harley-Davidson X440 Launched In India 


Road Experience

Harley Davidson Thailand 2

And for the last session, we had a 50-kilometre ride on the road, from the 8-speed circuit to the Khao Yai National Park. The ride took us through a highway and beautiful country roads. My choice for road was the 2023 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special. God, it’s massive! It is bigger than few 1 bhk apartments in Mumbai! 

FR 6 A7552

And if you are riding the Road Glide, you can be sure that everybody on the road, will be looking at you. It is a massive machine and on open roads, with minimal traffic, few motorcycles can match its comfort and sheer presence. On the move, the weight disappears magically and in case you want to flex even more, a simple twist of the throttle will send the Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin engine in a tizzy! With a monstrous 158 Nm of peak torque coming in at just 3,850 rpm, and max power of 92.5 bhp coming in at 5,250 rpm, the 387 kg behemoth is propelled forward with a sense of urgency that one may not necessarily associate it with! 


Taste of Harley

Harley Davidson Thailand 1

The day was spent riding motorcycles and meeting like-minded journalists from various countries of South-East Asia, an important market for the company. And what better way to spend your day than to talk and ride Harleys! 

Harley Davidson Thailand 13

Like we said earlier, it was an exercise in familiarising the 2023 line-up to a bunch of journalists, customers, and influencers from South-East Asia. From an India perspective, it becomes even more important now that Harley has a reduced presence. 

Harley Davidson Thailand 6

A bunch of motorcycles from the 2023 line-up have already made their way or will make their way to India soon. And what better way to familiarise India with new Harleys than to give us a taste beforehand. (Privilege much!)


Photography: Harley-Davidson Asia 


Last Updated on July 13, 2023

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