Drag site icon to your taskbar to pin site. Learn More

2011 ATK 700 Cruiser First Ride

Thursday, December 9, 2010
Videos Our Sponsor
2011 ATK 700 Cruiser First Ride Video
Click to view video
Watch the ATK cruiser as we take it for a sweet ride through the back roads. Check it out in our 2011 ATK 700 Cruiser Video.
Over the years I have had the opportunity to test and race a number of bikes produced by Utah manufacturer ATK. Owner Frank White (no relation) and I talk regularly about riding, racing and the business in general. Recently he invited me to come spend a few days riding around southern Utah to see the fall colors and put some miles on the bike that will spearhead his new venture into the street bike market - the ATK 700 (Read more about this in Can ATK Cruisers Help Harley-Davidson?).

If you have followed any of my adventures here at Motorcycle-USA, you might think that testing a cruiser motorcycle is a little off my typical beat. In a way it is, but there is just something about a cruiser that speaks to the heart of so many riders. The cruiser is a uniquely American creation. When I look back to the pictures of my grandfather, a Harley dealer, riding in the ‘30s and ‘40s, the bikes from that period were all styled with that distinctive long and low flare.
2011 ATK 700
Built by S&T Motors in Korea, the 2011 ATK 700 offers riders the chance to carve memories throughout American canyons by bringing affordability to the entry-level cruiser market.
For as homegrown as that all seems, if not for the contributions of the Japanese manufacturers, our two-wheeled world might look very different today. While the metric cruisers of the ‘80s were not always the prettiest bikes, they were inexpensive, durable and plentiful. The huge popularity of these models brought motorcycling to a much larger audience of new riders.
Ultimately it would be those same riders that would help bring about the strong rebirth of Milwaukee in the 1990s as they looked to move up from their first bikes. The Motor Company that at one time was on the edge of extinction would soar once again. So as I find myself riding a cruiser once again, I cannot help but be struck by how much it is part of our collective consciousness and how natural it feels to be on the road on a good motorcycle, regardless of its origin.
The ATK 700 is manufactured in Korea by S&T Motors and ultimate plans call for assembly of these models at ATK’s Utah facility. It is built around a 687cc fuel-injected V-Twin engine. The liquid-cooled, four-valve mill has a mildly aggressive 11.5:1 compression ratio. The 90 degree cylinder angle is inherently smooth and keeps the overall height of the engine nice and low.
2011 ATK 700
The ATK 700 sources a 687cc fuel-injected V-Twin with a 90 degree cylinder angle for a smooth and mellow ride. 

The DOHC V-Twin is basically the same as that used in S&T's 650cc sportbikes, so it always feels a little racy. Both the torque and rev characteristics are impressive for a bike in this class. Claimed performance numbers are a respectable 62 horsepower and 47 lb-ft of torque at 8000 rpm.
Power is transferred through the five-speed transmission to a toothed belt final drive. The transmission ratios are wide spread, but there is plenty of grunt to keep the power delivery smooth. The belt drive features an automatic tension adjuster; therefore it is practically maintenance free. The transmission shifts smoothly, although there was a little free play in the shift linkage that I found annoying.
Helping contribute to the wide and low-slung look are the machined aluminum wheels. The front rides on a 120 series 16-inch tire and the rear a 170/80/15. The wheels themselves are a nice blend of machined surfaces contrasted by painted black insets. The single 300mm floating front disc brake features a four-piston caliper. Out back is a 270mm disc with a two-piston binder. Braking power is strong, but does require a healthy amount of lever effort.
2011 ATK 700
Overall the bike maintains the cruiser style through the flared fenders, exhaust and tank. Additionally, the tank mounted instrument panel (below) is designed well and has great contrast at night.2011 ATK 700
Our road trip started just outside St. George, Utah. As the bikes rolled up, my first impression was how much the ATK has a complete cruiser styling package. All of the styling details are in sync with each other. The dramatic flare of the fenders, exhaust and tank all flow nicely. The bike sits very low with a 27-inch seat height. The forward controls, pull back bars and tank mounted gauges all contribute to the cruiser’s stance.

I was a little concerned about my comfort level on such a low bike. As it turns out the forward controls stretch my legs out suitably well and the bars are an easy reach. The foot controls are adjustable and can be moved rearward to accommodate shorter riders.
Once I was instructed where to insert the key on the right side of the engine (I told you I’m not a cruiser guy), the 700 fired right to life. The exhaust note has a nice muted rumble, just enough to instill a little character. As I had literally jumped off a dirt bike and on to the cruiser, it took me a few minutes to get my bearings. Once settled I quickly became accustomed to the new surroundings and set out to enjoy the ride ahead.
Easing my way through town quickly brought up two of the very few shortcomings of the ATK. Over uneven pavement the suspension action leaves a bit to be desired. Both ends are harsh and it hobby horses around. Once out of town and at speeds over 25 mph, this issue disappeared and the overall ride quality on the highway was very good.
The other issue is that the fuel injection is abrupt at low speeds. In stop-and-go situations it takes a gentle hand to keep the power delivery smooth. Again, once on the road the throttle response is excellent.
2011 ATK 700
Out on the open highway the ATK is torquey and runs smoothly in each gear thanks to its fuel injection.
We head south out of Hurricane, Utah working our way towards Kanab. As the road opens up I get a chance to really focus on the ride quality. My initial reaction is just how solid the torque characteristics are. For the most part highway riding is a matter of just putting the 700 in high gear and leaving it there. It will pull from low revs smoothly and with some authority, acting like a much larger mill.
This brings into view the other nice features of the fuel injection. The engine runs clean and strong through the entire rev range. It never has that feeling of being plugged up. On the second morning of our ride we wake up to a strong layer of frost. One stab at the starter and the ATK fires to life and settles into idle with no fussing.
The tank mounted instrument cluster works fairly well. The dial speedometer is paired with digital displays for trip meters and fuel gauge. The cluster has a nice color contrast and the illumination at night makes it easy to read without being overly bright. The digital readouts are a little small to read at speed.
The fuel gauge never seemed to move and when it finally did I was convinced that it must not be very accurate. Yet that evening when we fueled the bike it took less than three gallons. As our pace was rather leisurely through the national parks of southern Utah, we never burned a whole tank of fuel in one day, but I estimate the mileage at nearly 60 mpg. That should easily net a range of over 200 miles-per-tank.
As the miles added up I found that I was pleasantly surprised by my time on the ATK. The seating position is typical cruiser, putting most of your body up against the wind. The seat is well padded and as long as I remembered not to slouch too much I was fairly comfortable for extended riding sessions.
2011 ATK 700
With a claimed 62 horsepower, the ATK always delivered slightly more than expected and offered our contributor the chance to sit back and enjoy the cruiser experience. 
The motor always gives just a little more than expected, both power and torque. Of course we are not talking about setting any performance records here, but with a claimed 62 horses it stands up well against the competition in the class.
As for the chassis, other than the rough suspension action at low speeds, the ride is always spot on. It will handle a spirited romp through the mountains with ease. There are no protruding parts to hit the ground and the suspension holds the bike up well under braking and cornering. The chassis turns into the corner with little effort and tracks well, though there is a slight tendency to stand up under braking. With minimal effort and smooth riding the 700 will hustle along pretty good.
For the open road the nearly 66-inch wheel base gives a solid road feel. Blasts from oncoming trucks don’t upset the bike. The stock Shinko tires are reasonably suited to the task. The low seat height helps make the 700 act lighter than its claimed 530-pound curb weight. The good overall balance makes it easy to manage at low speeds.
I give it high marks for overall fit and feel. The LED taillight integrates nicely and the rear projection head lamp works well. Some of the trim parts are chrome over plastic design but few of those can be recognized beyond ten feet. The action of the forward control shifter is a little sloppy. It was one of the few things that I felt gave the bike a cheap feel.
Our test bike is a preproduction model as some of the final styling elements have yet to be decided, particularly the color choices and final graphics. I wasn’t that wild over the black and brown color scheme of this unit. Frank was in agreement with me, so expect some changes in the production versions.
2011 ATK 700
Although it's labeled as an entry-level cruiser, many will find that the ATK 700 meets or exceeds that categorization.
One of the things I enjoyed most about my time with the ATK 700 was that it put me in that “cruiser” mode. I spent more time enjoying the ride versus being concerned about the destination. I also received more thumbs up and positive comments from onlookers than I have seen in the last year. No one asked what it was or where it came from, they just liked it. I am not sure that there is a whole lot more one could ask of the motorcycling experience than that.
This is being billed as an entry level bike. I’m not sure that everyone will get on board with that concept. It seems like a pretty complete package and many riders may find this is all the bike they desire.

2011 ATK 700 First Ride Photo Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Slideshow
2011 ATK 700 SPECS
2011 ATK 700

Engine: Liquid-cooled V-Twin
Displacement: 678.2cc
Bore & Stroke: 81.5 x 65mm
Peak Horsepower (claimed): 62 at 8000 rpm 
Peak Torque (claimed): 47 / 63.7 @ 7000 rpm
Valve System: DOHC, four-valve head
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Starter: Electric
Fueling: Electronic Fuel Injection
Fuel Requirements: Regular
Ram Air Indiction: No
Fuel Type: Gas
Carburetor: No
Carburetion Type: Fuel Injected
Front Brake: Single 300mm disc with four-piston caliper
Rear Brake: Single 270mm disc with two-piston caliper
Dry Weight (claimed): 505 pounds 
Wet Weight (claimed): 538 pounds
MSRP: $7499
Other Cruiser Motorcycle First Looks
BMW Unveils Concept 101 Bagger in Italy
BMW unveiled its Concept 101 today at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este, Italy, the performance bagger built with the help of Roland Sands.
Moto Guzzi Displays 2016 Cruisers at Daytona
Moto Guzzi displayed two updated cruisers planned for the 2016 model year at Daytona Bike Weeek, the El Dorado 1400 and Audace 1400.
2016 Victory Magnum X-1 First Look
Victory introduced its latest big-wheeled bagger at Bike Week, the 2016 Magnum X-1 rollin' 21-inches large up front on Black Billet wheels to go along with a 200-watt, 10 speaker audio system.
2016 Indian Dark Horse First Look
Indian Motorcycle introduced the newest member of the Chief line, the 2016 Dark Horse, to crowds at the Chicago IMS.
2015 Triumph Rocket X LE First Look
Triumph is celebrating 10 years of production of its iconic Rocket III with a limited edition run called the 2015 Rocket X.
2015 Moto Guzzi Audace and Eldorado 1st Look
Moto Guzzi unveiled two new versions of its California 1400 at EICMA, a classic styled 2015 Eldorado and a more hot-rodded model dubbed the 2015 Audace.
2015 Star Bolt C-Spec Unveiled at AIMExpo
Yamaha revealed a new café inspired Star Bolt during the 2014 AIMExpo, the C-Spec. Star also announced Bullet Cowl versions of its Raider and Stryker models as well.
2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S First Look
Kawasaki unveiled its new 2015 Vulcan S cruiser during the 2014 AIMExpo, a 650cc liquid-cooled Parallel Twin.
Arch Motorcycles KRGT-1 First Look
Arch Motorcycles has released its production version of the KRGT-1 performance cruiser, a powerful machine with a lofty price tag.
2015 Kawasaki Cruiser First Looks
Check out details of Kawasaki's cruiser line-up for 2015.

Login or sign up to comment.

Mbikelog   September 26, 2012 06:53 AM
It doesn't really matter what type of bike or what brand as long as your riding on two wheels. For example, Harley is in my heart, but not in my wallet. I currently ride a 2005 Suzuki C50 Boulevard. A comparable HD softail would have cost me $10,000 more than the $5750 I spent on my then, 1 year old C50 with 900 miles. It's all about the ride, not the brand. Have fun, stay safe.
RJ   April 19, 2011 03:08 PM
People have gotten lost in the sport. Cruisers are not about conforming to the mainstream, it's about having a little bit of uniqueness tucked away in your garage. It's about pulling it out, firing it up, and riding to a local stop and making others gawk trying to figure out if their bike is better matched against your own. People get so caught up in the marketing hype from manufacturers it's sickening. There is a market for unique and straying away from the expected norms no matter what the brand.
Darin -Chilly White is a Frank White Crony  January 1, 2011 07:01 PM
Check out the race story on ATKUSA.com. Chilly has been in Frank's pocket for years. Do you really think he is going to give an honest review of this kimchee crap?
Nate -Harley finger pointing  December 17, 2010 08:53 AM
You all realize that HD has nothing in this ATK thing right? The concept ATK has put together is to import these re-badged Hyosung ST7's and work on developing an ATK dealership network focusing on existing HD dealers.

HD does not have anything at all to do with it.
Fred M. -glenn johnson  December 16, 2010 03:25 PM
It's taken you long enough to admit it. According to a Cycle World magazine poll in September, "What bike are you looking most forward to in 2011?": ---- Kawasaki ZX-10R:16%, ---- Suzuki GSX-R600:9%, ---- Whatever sportbike Erik Buell makes:75% ---- But you've got the ladies all figured out. You know that what really gets them hot is riding on the back of a Kawasaki imitation of a Harley. Oh yeah! They've got no interest in guys riding fast sport bikes. That's why Valentino Rossi can't get laid. And who'd want some woman like this who rides a Buell? http://www.textundbild.at/bild/motorrad/transluzent/images/01%20-%20linke%20Spur.jpg
glenn johnson -RE; FRED  December 16, 2010 12:28 PM
Fred, I conceed..your are right. Buell is a true success story of marketing genius. As the bikes became increasingly butt-ugly, sales went-through-the-roof. I really wish Ducati, for example, would follow Eric's selling philosophy. You know the 916, was a total sales flop. I mean, nobody, bought it based on it's looks. What manufacturer wanted to be known for producing the sexiest bike ever. The 999 , for example, was such a monster seller, that the gave the designer a huge bonus...they showed him the door. The first R1 , another ugly bike that never won praises for it's looks. So, nobody bought it either. Why make it look the same today? And why would Henry Ford in later years offer the model T in other colors then black? The plainer the looking the car means better sales, right. P.s., money for women is never an turn-on. The emptier the man's pocket, the bigger the turn-on. Hugh Hefner never got laid. So, ATK, should be another cookie-cutter cruiser maker, becouse that market is the future. Why make something that would stand-out. Oh, Ducati's new musle-bike, another bike that will never win best bike becouse of looks. It will be another selling flop for ducati...They should have hired Eric Buell to do the design look..he know what sells. He must be getting laid alot now. Women love success stories. Guys on buells, now, that is what really gets them going. I see girls on the backs of buell's all the time, I have to wipe the spittle from myself, I am sooo jealous.
Fred M. -@Ricky Bobby  December 16, 2010 03:13 AM
Ricky Bobby stammered "Dude, Take a bath. Brush your teeth. Wash your clothes. Comb your hair. Shave your face. Then you'll get a woman that has teeth." A woman is a "who," not a "that." It's the cruiser riders who think that personal hygiene and cleanliness is a fashion sin. Plus, you don't understand the difference between personal appearance and personal hygiene. I said that women were less concerned about appearance, not hygiene. My woman is an Ivy League graduate who graduated summa cum laude. So you giving me advice about attracting classy women is like Sarah Palin telling Stephen Hawking about the value of a good education.
Ricky Bobby -To Fred M.  December 15, 2010 05:04 PM
Fred said,
"Most women are far less concerned about men's physical appearance than they are about his personality, sense of humor, interests,..."

Dude, Take a bath. Brush your teeth. Wash your clothes. Comb your hair. Shave your face. Then you'll get a woman that has teeth.
Fred M. -Re: Glenn Johnson  December 15, 2010 02:27 PM
Glenn, wipe the spittle off! You're getting all worked up. It's not either/or; A person doesn't have to either value styling above everything on all choices or assign it no value on any choice. When I buy a sport bike, I pay attention to performance and how well it fits me. I look at performance numbers and engineering features -- like the vacuum-assisted slipper clutch and the ZTL brakes on my Buell 1125CR. Styling is way down on my list (but the Buells look fine anyway). The old saying is "race on Sunday, sell on Monday," not "look all pretty on Sunday, sell on Monday." Buying a sport bike base on styling is analogous to choosing a cruiser based on lap times at Laguna Seca. If I were buying a bike primarily on looks, I'd probably get a Royal Enfield C5 -- and I may. I bought a Genuine Stella, which is basically a rebadged Vespa PX150, because I like the classic styling. You keep going back to the house example. When was the last time you heard a real estate agent explain that the most important thing about a house is "styling, styling, styling"? Mine always said it's "location, location, location." As to my personal appearance, I'm just so damned handsome that I forget that others are not similarly blessed. ;) But here's a clue for you: Most women are far less concerned about men's physical appearance than they are about his personality, sense of humor, interests, intelligence, and how successful he is. Proof: Christie Brinkley married Billy Joel. Julia Roberts married Lyle Lovett.
Lee -Harley...  December 15, 2010 01:49 PM
Did you guys know that the guy in the movie "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" road a Harley? Must be a Baby-Boomer thing.
glenn johnson -RE RE RE FRED  December 15, 2010 09:05 AM
You did not really read my first post. It is about marketing. Eveything sold needs to be marketable or it will not sell. I don't care what the product is. Whether it is a wing-nut or a wing; it must be distributed then sold. Your first sense is your sight. Unless, you do not have sight you will base your choice on visual attraction first. It,s in are dna. You know breasts are for producing milk, only. A butt is for sitting, only. How many sports figures have ugly wifes and girlfriends. Do you buy the nice fresh perfect apple or do you buy the bruised-up nasty one and pay double for it. When you go house-hunting; apparently, you do not bring your wife. Ah, this old vacant warehouse will do just fine. Also, you must not like to date becouse you don't care how you look. You are above fashion. Must be nice not needing mirror. So, I guess I am the vain, odd-ball and the whole auto & motorcycle industry need to dump their product designer departments. Have the engineering department take over the whole process. Also, get rid of all tv, magazine ads, becouse nobody cares what the stuff looks like anyhow. Especially, motorcycles sold in america. Nobody buy a bike as a toy. It is their primary mode of transportation for the whole family. Why, heck, every mother and wife loves to see there son and husband buy a motorcycle. Sorry, its that dang visual thing again. I have to learn to do all my actions by touch and smell. Mmmm..my finger smells pretty good.
Marcus -Fred -Haha  December 15, 2010 06:41 AM
Hahaha I ride a cruiser Fred and I thought your post was hilarious (In a good way). I've often made the same teenage click analogy of "Vanity Riders" whether they be on Harleys or Hyabusas.
Fred M. -Re: Glenn Johnson  December 15, 2010 03:48 AM
glenn johnson wrote "Fred , show me one review article or long term test with a buell that did not leave the moto-journalist stranded." Motorcyclist magazine, March 2010: "With 8700 miles on the clock, the only real problem the 1125CR has had was two blown rear turn signals." "I owned an ATK when they were a quality usa made dirt-bike; rotex[sic] bullet-proof motor." I own a Buell that's a quality, USA-made street bike; Rotax bullet-proof motor. Or are Rotax engines only "bullet-proof" when they are on ATKs and unreliable when they are on Buells, Aprilias, and other bikes you have not bought? "Sorry, Fred, you alone being buell's best customer wasn't enough to keep them a float." Buell was shut down because Harley was failing, not Buell. Harley had reported a single quarter 84% profit drop. They decided to cut all non-Harley costs (Buell and MV Agusta R&D, marketing, advertising, employees, etc.) and plow the money into keeping Harley from going under. They took a massive bailout loan of $2.3 billion from the Bush administration. They had layoffs. They renegotiated labor contracts. "Oh, I'm sorry, you don't ride cruisers. That's odd, I thought that the cruiser market was booming." The Justin Bieber music market is booming, but I don't buy his CDs either. "Oh, yeah, cruisers are about looks and style. That not you. Who in there right mind makes their purchase on anything based on looks. Food, cars, homes, clothing, never a thought on looks.thought on looks." I buy my food based on taste and nutritional content, not "looks and style." The heavy, winter parka that I'm going to be putting on (it's 22 degrees F) was bought for warmth and comfort rather than appearance. I chose my home based on quality of construction, square footage, lot size, and location, not looks and style. How insecure do you have to be to choose your food, clothes, motorcycle, and even your home based on trying to fit-in and impress people? I feel like I'm talking to a teenage girl; You are so concerned with style, and looks, and popularity, and being noticed, and being part of some clique with matching motrcycles and matching outfits. Maybe you can all ride to the mall and make nasty comments about the people there: "Oh... my... God! That food he's eating is like so not pretty." "And did you see his jacket? It's like totally 2004!" "And that helmet like totally covers up his face. I mean, like why would you even ride if people can't see your face?" "Hey, let's go get matching tattoos! It will be so totally bitchin'!"
glenn johnson -RE:Fred  December 14, 2010 05:39 PM
Fred , show me one review article or long term test with a buell that did not leave the moto-journalist stranded. I owned an ATK when they were a quality usa made dirt-bike; rotex bullet-proof motor. Sorry, Fred, you alone being buell's best customer wasn't enough to keep them a float. I give ATK two years at best; unless you want to be their best customer. Oh, I'm sorry, you don't ride cruisers. That's odd, I thought that the cruiser market was booming. Oh, yeah, cruisers are about looks and style. That not you. Who in there right mind makes their purchase on anything based on looks. Food, cars, homes, clothing, never a thought on looks.
Fred M. -Buell is no failure -- Harley is.  December 14, 2010 10:28 AM
@Glenn Johnson: Buell buyers are not so shallow and vain that they buy bikes based on appearance. We buy them based on performance. You cruiser guys just don't get it; My sport bikes are not fashion accessories. I don't buy them to get the attention, approval, respect, admiration, etc. of others. I don't put straight pipes on them so that people have to notice me. I buy them because I like to ride a bike that performs well. P.S. The most reliable bike that was sold from a Harley dealership in recent years was a Buell -- and that's based on cold-hard statistics that Harley tracked.
Fred M. -Try reading Harley's on annual reports  December 14, 2010 10:19 AM
Woodco100 wrote: "Dudes, HD sold 200,000 bikes last year, made a profit and thier stock is booming." So what? That doesn't mean that the company is healthy for the long term. Even Harley's own disclosures to investors state that the aging demographic of Harley customers is a serious risk to Harley's long-term profitability. And older customers just aren't worth much in the long term. Pull your head out of the sand. Harley understands the problem. They told their investors it is a problem. They made deals with Buell, MV, and ATK to try to deal with the problem of not attracting young buyers to HD dealers.
Howie S. -Oops  December 13, 2010 05:59 PM
It's not very good looking but at least it has plastic parts and no saddle bags for the same price you can get a 900 Kawasaki or Yamaha or....and.... blah blah blah oh yeah it doesn't handle or ride smooth at low speeds either...really? What are they thinking? Maybe the air is thin in Utah. It's pretty Girlie, but I can get an 883 and Harley bragging rights for close to the same price (and yeah the bragging part is sarcastic) and they do actually handle very well... so ... Dang, I guess almost any other bike is better . . . Trumpets, Kaws, Yamaha etc etc etc..
glenn johnson -Kawasaki Vulcan  December 13, 2010 07:29 AM
From dirt bikes to cruisers. They say it takes fives years to develop a bike. If I was a small company and my next product was neither going to make it or break it; I would make a product that was unique & would make a splash. I'm sorry they did not think ahead well enough at future markets. They made a cheap-looking kawaski. Are cruisers the future? Are people going to put down hard earned money on an obscure bike with limited to no dealer support when they can buy the same product easily everywhere else. Look at Buell. sorry, nice guy and all , but a marketing failure. His bikes from the beginning where ugly to the very end, butt-ugly. When nobody buys, no revenue for r&d, so technology and reliablity suffer . Mv is a small compnany; how many ugly bikes do they make? Why didn't they make an awesome adventurer-tourer..make more sense from their history in desert-racing..what the hell do I know?
Woodco100 -HD is doing fine  December 11, 2010 01:47 PM
Dudes, HD sold 200,000 bikes last year, made a profit and thier stock is booming.

If you can find a metric shop still open, the sales guy is likely watching monster trucks with his feet up.

Get real, lots of young guys buy HD.
Scooter -The over 50 Hfarley crowd  December 11, 2010 10:47 AM
The Harley customer base is aging into nursing homes and grave yards and more and more communities are enacting noise ordinances against loud mufflers. If the nationwide factory exhaust system comes to past that would be the death knoll for Harley. Most of there sales are to aging buyers who want to look tough on a loud motorcycle on weekends. The Harley is a very poor excuse for American manufacturing. It is a dated design with a poor low horsepower motor that has been around since the first Christmas. I think Harley could care less as they are selling the moronic lifestyle and not modern hi tech motorcycles. Harley wants to sell you a t shirt, leather jacket, wall clock, belt buckle and other worthless overpriced crap because that is were the money is and the Harley lets play dress up crowd lovers that crap.
Alan -I agree with Fred M.  December 10, 2010 06:18 PM
I've owned three bikes and haven't owned a Harley yet, but that's more because I'm not yet ready to own two at a time, as opposed to not wanting a Harley. You can say all you want about their unreliability (although that has improved a lot), poor value, etc.; they still are an American icon, and desirable notwithstanding their shortcomings. I've owned a jap cruiser in the past and sold it for a sportbike, but miss the cruiser thang. When I do go cruiser again, I will have to keep my sportbike, as I'm addicted to how it handles in the twisties, and the cruiser will have to be a Harley, because no matter how much I liked my jap cruiser, it just wasn't a Harley. Sorry

But - Harley's customer base is aging (like me), and they need to do something about that. What I cannot understand is why they started to fix it, with Buell, and then cut him loose. Then, to further mystify me, after they do that, they come up with this lame idea to sell ATK's, to bring in new buyers? First, they could sell a first-time buyer a used Sportster - the real deal HD - for the same money. Second, that has got to be the fugliest motor on a cruiser I ever saw - looks like half of a cheap sportbike motor. Third, if the young guys want crotch rockets or dirt bikes (and that's why they're not buying HD), why try to lure them with a cheapo cruiser, instead of building some HD-branded dirt bikes and crotch rockets?

I'm afraid HD is getting like GM in the 70's and 80's - living off past glory and taping classic names onto bikes that at best are simply retreads of the past, while letting the future slip away. Maybe they don't have the R & D money now and are trying to make it through this tough time, this ATK thing is just a bridge rather than a long-term business plan, and HD will come out with some truely new models that appeal to youngsters when things turn around.

I hope so, because love 'em or hate 'em, if Harley goes, a huge part of motorcycle history and excitement will go, too. I'm old enought to remember seeing Easy Rider in a movie theater, and let me tell you, there was nobody else a lot of us kids wanted to be back then but Wyatt, riding that Panhead chopper through Monument Valley.
BA -fugly  December 10, 2010 05:13 PM
Am I the only one who finds this thing appallingly ugly? Seriously, a little part of me died when I first saw it.
Matt -TG  December 10, 2010 02:49 PM
TG Both those models retail for above $8000. Although I admit I would probably be more inclined to just bite the bullet and spend an extra few hundred for either of those bikes.
Fred M. -It's not how many they sell, it's who they sell them to  December 10, 2010 02:34 PM
@Woodco100: "You can rank out HD all day long if you like. People want thier bikes, they buy thier bike, they ride'm and love em." Harley knows that there is a problem when their average customer age is approaching the half-century mark and the average age is going up every year. That means that their existing customer base is aging and they aren't bringing in enough new customers to replace the ones that are dying off. Harley already had to introduce a trike for their elderly, balance-impaired clientele. That's why they keep desperately searching for some kind of crossover bike that can bring a younger crowd into the dealers. If they don't, they are screwed. You can't sell motorcycles to people who are in nursing homes or coffins.
Bob Wheeler -$7499?  December 10, 2010 01:56 PM
For the same amount of money spent on this ATK, you can buy a Triumph Bonneville. No contest
TG -Korean for more than Japanese  December 10, 2010 12:35 PM
Sorry, for $7500 I'll take a Vulcan 900 or Star 950 any day of the week.
Spike -V-rod motor should be in all harleys.  December 10, 2010 12:05 PM
The Harley crowd will not buy the v-rod because it does not sound cool without a muffler. It is too bad because the v-rod motor is light years ahead of the ancient stock Harley v-twin. Harley sales numbers are way off. Harley counts a sale when the bike leaves the factory to the dealer not when the bike is sold to the public. So the Harley sales number should really be cut in half as about half of there production is sitting in warehouses or dealers. Harley should put the v-rod motor in all there bikes and drop the air cooled motor. I would guess that 60% of the Harleys sold are now for sale. The newspapers are full of used Harleys. If I was stupid enough to buy a Harley I sure would not buy a new one when I can get an almost new one for half off. All I would need then is a pony tail, tattoos and a pirate outfit and I can cruise the bars with the rest of the Harley morons. Oh - don't forget - I'll have to remove the muffler so my Harley will at least sound like it has some power.
The Soosh -traditions continue  December 10, 2010 11:08 AM
US motorcycle companies have a tradition of making bad business decisions, missing the mark, and failing into the dust. ATK is just continuing that tradition. How patriotic. I expect to see these on sale at Pepboys next to all the other Asian crapcycles and scooters now piling up in our landfills. Hey ATK, make a standard, do something useful, cool, original and retro. Korean Krome? Really?!?
milwaukee mike -ATK= Hyosung  December 10, 2010 06:54 AM
If real HD riders are ignoring the V-Rods,...just think how many of these will be collecting dust in the showrooms.
Niki -Woodco100  December 10, 2010 05:16 AM
"HD controls over $60 (yes 2/3s) of the entire market above 600cc for ALL bikes" Hahaha, You know that is probably why I can't find any of the Harley crotch rockets or sport touring bikes you speak of in dealerships. They must just all be sold out due to popularity. =)
snail -Woodco100 - whatever no spell check  December 9, 2010 11:00 PM
"HD controls over $60 (yes 2/3s) of the entire market" - what is 60$ maybe %, and by the way 60% is not 2/3?!
Their not thier
riding not rideing
"Who gives a rats behind what they do in Europe. I live and ride in the USA." I do and we are in big trouble, math and language skills will be essential to be competitive. Oh boy..

Woodco100 -whatever  December 9, 2010 08:20 PM
Gee, maybe they can capture 1/2 of 1% of a shrinking market. HD controls over $60 (yes 2/3s) of the entire market above 600cc for all bikes. That leaves 1/3 for everyone else to split up.

You can rank out HD all day long if you like. People want thier bikes, they buy thier bike, they ride'm and love em.

Rideing bikes is fun and a hobby to most folks. HD fills that perfectly. Who gives a rats behind what they do in Europe. I live and ride in the USA.

Mitch -So Close  December 9, 2010 07:01 PM
I've heard a lot of good things about the 700's sportier cousin the GV650 and have seen it's popularity grow the last few years. It gets accolades for being the best bang for the buck at $6700 witch suits it's younger demographic quite well. Having said that there is a lot to like about the ATK 700 as well with it's adjustable controls and highway friendly characteristics. However this is a highly competitive segment in the metric market and even though the ATK is no slouch when it comes to features it's relatively obscure brand (at least to much of the young market) and lack luster fit and finish personally make the $7500 price tag seem a little hard to swallow. If it were shaved down $300-500 I think it could be a more enticing alternative to a similar sized Shadow or Star. Looking forward to seeing a comparo in the near future though (hint,hint,nudge,nudge =).
Stacy -A lot of bike??  December 9, 2010 05:26 PM
What can you get for $7500 from HD? Last I checked, a Sportster 883, which will have its ass handed to it by a $6500 Star Classic. The ATK looks about exactly like the Hyosung cruiser, and has the same motor. Should be a good buy when it's available.
Nick -Hmmmm  December 9, 2010 05:17 PM
It's just a farkled-up Hyosung, isn't it?

Even so, it might actually be preferable to the higher quality, much better looking, but super-slow Honda Shadow Limp Wrist Nancy Boy Rolling Road Block Deluxe.
Oliver -Tough Competition  December 9, 2010 12:58 PM
In this market, ATK will go up against the Honda Shadow 750 retailing at $7000. Honda quality is but impossible to beat. So the only way I see a consumer preferring ATK is if it were truly American and oozed character. But rebadging a Korean made bike into an American standard and charging more for it than a comparable Honda seems like a tough road to hoe. I support American companies but note that the only way Harley has managed to keep up with the metric market is through sheer personality and character. In this price point, a bike needs to be visceral in its appeal to compete head-to-head pricewise. Now if the bike was made by North Koreans in a secret base supervised by Kim Jong Il and smuggled in via submarine, who knows...
Scooter -Harley does not care  December 9, 2010 12:47 PM
Harley has to pay back the 600 million they borrowed from Warren Buffet and the 3.2 Billion they got from Obama before they can worry about designing a new bike. Not many people know about the Obama bail-out but it happened. Don't ever expect anything new from Harley Davidson except what they are making right now. Harley is content to sell the same old outdated bikes every year with a new paint color and a new stupid name. Harley sells the lifestyle not the motorcycle. Harley riders like loud exhaust and tall handle bars and poker runs. All the dealer has to do is organize poker runs and have a tattoo parlor next door and he will sell his out dated over priced bikes. The Harley crowd will never buy these things and the Harley salesmen will not sell them. It will be just like Buell. A Harley salesman wants to sell a Harley so he can sell you all the Harley crap like Harley t shirts, do rags and fingerless nose picker gloves. They can not make any money selling ATK bikes. You can not bring up the differences either because every other cruiser on the market is better than a outdated Harley but Harley riders do not care.
Fred M. -Harley's Dilemma  December 9, 2010 08:47 AM
Harley Davidson has never figured out how to market an entry level offering that lead to significantly more sales of Harley cruisers. They tried scooters (the Harley Topper) in the early 60s, Italian-made (Aermacchi) small-displacement motorcycles that bore the Harley name. They even tried minibikes. They tried to lure sport bikers into Harley dealerships with Buells and were planning to do the same with MV Agusta. Now this is a new one: Try to get cruiser buyers into dealerships with the ATK offering and then "up-sell" them to a Harley. The problem is that Harleys really aren't very good bikes if judged solely on how well they work. If you're not into the whole Harley nostalgia, history, and lifestyle thing, then what's the draw? Is the guy with the 62HP ATK supposed to get excited by a 48hp 883 Sportster that costs more? Harley needs to either decide to become a niche player in the nostalgia market (alongside Royal Enfields, Triumph Bonnevilles, and Kawasaki W800s) or it has to diversify and offer competitive bikes of all types. Just look at Honda. A kid can start on a 50cc dirt bike, move to an MX bike, move to an entry level street bike, and then move to a more specialized street bike, whether it's a Shadow cruiser, Gold Wing touring bike, or full-on sport bike. Or anything in-between. Harley may have dozens of "models", but they are just doing parts bin engineering. You don't see Honda trying to share a few different engines between all of the bikes that they offer. After what Harley did to Buell, and the loyal customers who bought them, many people are going to think long and hard before buying any bike not festooned with with the Harley logo and name at a Harley dealership. I hope that ATK fares better than Buell did.
Woodco100 -seems pricey  December 9, 2010 04:09 AM
You can get a lot of bike for $7500 from the big 4 and HD.