Launching new model motorcycles will always gather the masses. When it is done in the 110th year of the manufacturer’s history, it takes on special significance. Then add a change to their ethos that although common in others, renders this launch historic. Now it must be said at the off, that Harley Davidson are one of those companies that can completely change a model and yet it looks nigh on exactly the same. Well, prepare yourselves!!
So it was that we congregated in Dublin Harley Davidson for the launch of their 2014 range, that include eight from their ‘Project RUSHMORE’ initiative, making it the largest new model launch in the history of Harley Davidson.
These eight new motorcycles are:
- Road King – 1690cc - - €23,350
- Street Glide – 1690cc - €24,195
- Street Glide Special (not available in Europe)
- Electra Glide Ultra Classic – 1690cc - €26,850
- Ultra Limited – 1690cc - €28,750
- Tri Glide Ultra – 1690cc - €36,995
- CVO Ultra Limited – 1802cc - €38,995
- CVO Road King – 1802cc - €32,995
All get styling updates, improved rider ergonomics and improved braking performance, but the main focus is on their introduction of the long-rumoured water-cooling to their top-end Touring range.
Dealer Principal, Jeff Murphy, lifted the lid on the first of these, the Twin-cooled, 103 cubic inch Electra Glide Ultra Limited, to the wide-eyed wonderment of all attendees. This same engine will also power the next generation of Harleys and will also power their new 3-wheeled trike, the Tri Glide Ultra. Other Project RUSHMORE bikes get an air-cooled High Output Twin Cam.
Being the Ultra, you can expect it to have all the toys, and it doesn’t disappoint. In their research and development of these new motorcycles, Harley boffins concentrated on four main areas; Control; Infotainment; Feel; and Style.
Here on the Ultra, the rider sits on a re-contoured seat, the pillion now getting more room and very much included in the benefits. The fairing has been redesigned to incorporate an easy to use vent that will deflect air in open road riding, reducing buffeting considerably. Said fairing now houses uber-super Daymaker LED and dual halogen lighting, and the rider now looks onto an elevated rider console, that includes new clocks and an infotainment system that via a colour screen, provides satellite navigation, radio, Bluetooth and operated via voice recognition. There is also new, more intuitive switchgear on the left and right clusters and gearchanges are now conducted via a hydraulic clutch.
A long tome favourite of mine, the Road King, also gets sprinkled with some magic dust. New handlebars now rise above that classic large chrome headlight, those new Daymaker LED’s, brighter indicators and a beefier front fork set up will undoubtedly add to this classic, comfy naked mile-eater. Linked ABS brakes allied to 4-pot Brembo callipers and cruise control will take care of your need to Stop and Go.
It gets that 6-speed, Twin Cam 103 cubic inch motor, now with a slim air box that will please the long legged like myself. €23,350 is the starting price for the 1,690cc Road King Classic in vivid black, the two-tone rising to €24,150.
The ABS system on the new motorcycles, optionally available for the first time on the Sportster range, is upgraded and includes a linked braked system for the first time on all the Touring range, which operates above 40kph. I highly recommend a chat with Brian Kirwan or Derek Smith at Dublin Harley for a tekkie insight to this very beneficial system – if they are boggled, technicians Kenny or Mark will soon add to your education.
The Fat Bob gets restyled and now goes dark with the replacement of chrome with the popular Dark Custom elements of mean, blacked-out finishes – a great look. ABS is now standard on all V-Rod models.
The top-end CVO, (Custom Vehicle Operations), range get a new CVO Road King, a CVO Limited, a new CVO Softail Deluxe and a CVO Breakout Softail chopper for those who like bling.
The Harley Davidson price range starts with the 883 Iron at €9935, or with ABS for €10,550. Dublin Harley Davidson have a bespoke in-house beginners and Advanced Rider Training programme, suitable for the complete novice, those returning to motorcycling, or those wishing to upskill. Simply ring 01 – 4642211 and Elena or Derek will arrange an introductory Failte Harley half-day session to get your horizon chasing under way.
left to right; Dealer Principal Jeff Murphy, Dublin Harley Davidson, Kevin Keyes, Adelaide Masters Irish Champion 2012 & 2013, Denis Clancy, Manager DC Racing and Ron Keyes..
By Tony Toner, BeepBeep.ie Motoring Correspondent.