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Tuesday, 2 September 2014


Harley launches 2015 models

FOLLOWING the early launch news of the return of the Road Glide to its model range, Harley-Davidson has released details of its full 2015 motorcycle line. Commenting on the 2015 model collection, Matt Levatich, President and COO, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, said: “The broad 2015 Harley-Davidson model line-up demonstrates our commitment to delivering amazing products to our customers through world-class, customer-led product design. We are one with our riders around the world, and everything we do is about delivering what they expect and deserve from Harley-Davidson.”

Among the customer-led introductions mentioned by Levatich for 2015 are the return of the Road Glide and Road Glide Special, which were covered in AMD #182, the launch of the Freewheeler Trike, a new brake system for Softail bikes, and the introduction of the Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low and Ultra Limited Low motorcycles.
An all new model for 2015, the Harley-Davidson Freewheeler is an addition to the Motor Company’s trike selection. “With its low profile and stripped-down details inspired by classic hot rods, the Freewheeler looks sweeter than a state fair funnel cake,” said Tony Pink, Freewheeler styling lead. “From the new nacelle to the fastback seat and flat-top trunk, this trike is styled to look tight and compact. Even the new passenger hand rails are designed to flow with the bodywork.”
The Freewheeler front end is all new and features a seven-piece chrome nacelle that holds a dual halogen headlamp in a chrome bucket, and a 19in Enforcer cast-aluminum wheel with machined highlights. 

The all-new rear body shape gives the Freewheeler a low profile and incorporates a weatherproof trunk designed to hold two full-face helmets. The top-mounted trunk door opens right-to-left for easy loading and there are dual chrome mufflers with slash-down tips inset in the bottom of the trunk. The bobtail fenders terminate in a flip that exposes the rear tires and incorporates LED stop/tail/turn lamps.
The 12in mini-ape handlebar offers the tallest rise available on any Harley-Davidson motorcycle, placing the hand controls closer to the rider and reducing steering reach and effort, while the seat is shaped to move the rider forward for a better reach to the foot and hand controls, with a passenger position designed for comfort.
An air-cooled Twin Cam 103 V-twin engine produces a claimed 105ft lb of torque, and the Freewheeler is equipped with electronic cruise control, a foot-activated parking brake, electric reverse gear and a hydraulic ‘Assist and Slip’ clutch with reduced lever effort. The linked brake system operates both the front and rear brakes through the rear brake pedal. The full front brake system is applied only through the front brake lever and remains independent. 

The new braking system introduced on Softail models for 2015 is said by the Motor Company to deliver improved modulation and responsiveness and decrease hand lever effort by 40 percent. In addition, ABS is now standard on all Softail models and optional on the Slim. New front brake components used on the motorcycles include a rigid four-piston fixed front brake caliper with 34 and 32mm pistons coated to minimize initial displacement, brake pads with high-output friction material, a new master cylinder with a higher mechanical ratio, and a new 300mm front brake rotor.
To cater for smaller riders H-D has introduced the Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low and Ultra Limited Low motorcycles, which share the same specification as the regular models, but have subtle changes to make them easier to ride and handle at low speed and standstill. Among the differences are a seat height of 25.6in (1.7in lower than the standard models, and that is claimed to be the lowest of any premium touring motorcycle on the market today), which is said to allow more riders to place both feet flat on the ground when the motorcycle is stopped. A new low-profile seat reduces the reach to the foot controls and the front and rear suspension lowers the bike’s center of gravity and makes it easier to lift the motorcycle off its side stand. The width of both the primary drive housing and derby cover has been reduced to further improve leg clearance to the ground and a new handlebar places the hand controls 2in closer to the rider, while smaller diameter grips reduce finger reach to the brake and clutch levers. In addition, a new passenger footboard mount allows the footboards to be folded up out of the way when pushing the motorcycle in a garage or driveway.
“With these new models we are addressing the important issue of fit, perhaps the ultimate expression of personalization,” said Michelle Kumbier, Harley-Davidson Senior VP of Motorcycle Operations. “These Low models will allow many riders to feel more comfortable and more confident when they settle into the seat.”
After previously launching the new Road Glides, the Motor Company has now added a version of the new model to the CVO range. The 2015 CVO Road Glide Ultra has a new frame-mounted fairing with triple splitstream vents and a 13.5-inch touring windshield that is said to virtually eliminate head buffeting. An exclusive 1.25in chrome handlebar offers more pullback and height to put the rider in an ideal touring posture and the color-matched inner fairing holds a color touchscreen Boom! Box 6.5 GT infotainment system with 3D GPS and 6.5in Boom! Bagger speakers with 75w-per channel amplification.
Given the touring nature of the bike it has Project RUSHMORE features including Reflex linked brakes with ABS, One-Touch design latches and 49mm forks. A dual-control heated seat, polished chrome Slicer custom wheels, removable luggage liners, back-lit hand control and dash switches and a high-output charging system are also standard equipment.
The new CVO range continues with the introduction for 2015 of the CVO Street Glide which features a new Boom! audio system that produces 600w of power through four bi-amped front and rear three-way speakers, and four exclusive color options for the intricate paint scheme.
In addition for the first time in a Street Glide the CVO model is powered by the Screamin’ Eagle Twin-Cooled Twin Cam 110” motor.
Custom features on the CVO Street Glide include new five-spoke polished chrome Aggressor wheels, extended saddlebags, Airflow Collection accessories from hand grips to muffler caps, a custom CVO seat, Daymaker LED headlamp and Wind Splitter windscreen.
To complete the CVO family for 2015 the Motor Company has the CVO Softail Deluxe with Art Deco-style paint scheme, wide whitewall tires, an all-new braking system, a Road Tech zumo 660 GPS Navigator integrated into the windshield, a 24in seat height, and the 2015 CVO Limited, which is distinguished by its new polished-chrome Slicer wheels, Airflow Collection black rubber and chrome highlighted heated hand grips, brake pedal pad, shifter peg and rider and passenger floorboards with complementary shifter and rear brake levers and a new air cleaner cover. Further refinements include the color touchscreen Boom! Box 6.5 GT infotainment system with 3D GPS and 6.5-inch Boom! Bagger speakers with 75-watt per channel amplification.
The 2015 selection continues with the two Street models; 500 and 750. First seen at the end of 2013, both of the bikes are powered by the new liquid-cooled Revolution X, 60-degree V-twin engine with four valves per head, which is matched to a six speed transmission. H-D describes the Street models as: “Built for tight turns and quick moves. The suspension is tuned for the roughest urban roads.”
Moving up the scale, for 2015 there are six motorcycles in the Sportster family; 1200T SuperLow, 883L SuperLow, Iron 883, 1200 Custom, Forty-Eight and Seventy-Two.
Low Rider, Street Bob, Fat Bob, Wide Glide and Switchback are the five models that make up the Dyna model range for 2015.
Featuring a new brake system the Softail line-up is made up of the Breakout, Heritage Softail Classic, Fat Boy, Fat Boy Lo, Softail Deluxe and Softail Slim. In addition to the revised brakes, all of the Softail models feature a counter-balanced Twin Cam 103B motor and six-speed Cruise Drive transmission.
Project Rushmore continues to be used in the Touring model line-up with the Boom! Box infotainment system featuring on all of the motorcycles, which for 2015 are the Road Glide, Road Glide Special, Road King, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low, Electra Glide Ultra Limited, Electra Glide Ultra Limited Low, Street Glide and Street Glide Special.

There are two new V-Rod models for 2015; the Night Rod Special and the V-Rod Muscle. The Night Rod Special features lightweight wheels and an ergonomic fit with reduced reach to both the rider footpegs and handlebar, while for optimum handling it has inverted forks and a re-tuned rear suspension. It also has a race-bred clutch with ‘slipper’ action, which helps ease drivetrain effort during downshifting on the five-speed transmission, as well as Brembo brakes and Michelin Scorcher ‘11’ radial tires.
The V-Rod Muscle has a fastback-style tail section covering a 240 tire, air scoops and an airbox to complement the 1250 cc liquid-cooled Revolution engine.
While the Freewheeler is a new trike model for 2015, the Tri Glide Ultra Classic is carried over unchanged from 2014.