Harley-Davidson on a roll
The Motor Company launches two more new 2014 bikes
There are now two more new Harley-Davidson motorcycles that will be rolling onto showroom floors for the 2014 model year: the 2014 Harley-Davidson Low Rider®, which returns to the Dyna family lineup following a 5-year hiatus (the last Low Rider® was a 2009 model); and the Sportster stable bows with a new SuperLow® model – the XL1200T, joining the 883 Low, which continues into the current year. These latest mid-year releases complete the largest new-model launch in Harley-Davidson’s 110-year history.
Earlier, Harley Davidson gave birth to its first all-new platform to be introduced in 13 years. Based on that new platform, were two new models aimed at attracting and inspiring new, younger riders around the globe were: the Harley-Davidson Street 750 and the Harley-Davidson Street 500, designed for urban environments and featuring all-new liquid-cooled Revolution X™ powertrains in a Dark Custom™ theme. Both bikes were designed to deliver agile handling with Harley’s look and familiar sound to fans around the world.
Both of those all-new bikes feature a new Revolution X engine, housed in a new, narrow and lean chassis built for agility, with a super-low seat height, new suspension and broad handlebar sweep designed to provide confidence and maneuverability when managing tight turns and making fast moves. Both signature Dark Custom motorcycles are executed in a premium, minimalist style, without forsaking Harley-Davidson’s DNA. The new Street bikes are leaner in stature and meaner in attitude in other words, the real deal, made of real steel. Both the Street 500 and Street 750 are scheduled to go on sale with pricing starting at $6,700 – $7,500 U.S. MSRP respectively.
The Street 750 is powered by a 749cc liquid-cooled 60-degree, 8-valve, V-Twin Revolution X™ motor with a 2 into 1 right side exhaust, linked to a 6-speed sequential manual transmission that gears motive energy to the rear wheel via a belt drive. The Street 500’s power is provided by a 494cc liquid-cooled 60-degree, 8-valve, V-Twin Revolution X™ motor. Both bikes weigh in at 480 pounds wet and ready to ride, with mid-mounted foot controls, and handlebars designed to provide an easy lock-to-lock sweep.
Braking is handled by single caliper disc brakes fore and aft, and the bikes will roll on 17-inch alloy spoke wheels up front and a 15-inch unit in the rear, with a 59.5-inch wheelbase, featuring specially tuned suspension, consisting of reverse forks forward and coil over shocks aft. The Harley-Davidson Street 750 comes with a two-up seat with passenger footpegs, a metal tanks and fenders, bullet turn signals and LED taillamp, a locking gas cap, forks and ignition.
Enter the latest two gems from Harley-Davidson – first, the 2014 H-D SuperLow Sportster model which comes equipped with essential touring features, the SuperLow 1200T model was created specifically to get more riders on the long-haul route to adventure with a signature style, enhanced comfort level, displaying the prestige of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Harley-Davidson for the first time, with the creation of the SuperLow, combines its SuperLow chassis with the performance of an Evolution® 1200 V-Twin engine, rather than an 883 motor. The suspension and tire package are ready for longer distance cruising, complete with luggage and a passenger aboard. The riding position was calibrated to serve riders from 5’ 1” to 5’ 7” in height with an easy reach to the ground, and with optimally placed handlebars and foot controls. The SuperLow 1200T tips the scale at 118 pounds less than the lightest Harley-Davidson Big Twin touring motorcycle.
Ergonomic adjustments, along with a selection of touring accessories to an already popular motorcycle platform, have been added to allow touring on an appealing motorcycle that provides performance, while inspiring confidence, during life-defining moments on the open road.
Important touring features of the Harley-Davidson SuperLow 1200T include locking saddlebags and a detachable windshield. Saddlebag mounting hardware incorporates quick-detachable docking points, making it possible to easily add an accessory rack or backrest. Rear shock absorbers are pre-load adjustable, accommodating luggage and passenger weight with the two-up Reduced Reach® touring seat. Mini footboards provide added comfort for both rider and passenger, and the rider foot position is three inches forward from the SuperLow® 883 model making it easier to place feet flat on the ground and to reach the side stand.
The H-D SuperLow 1200T rides on black and silver split five-spoke cast aluminum wheels, and features a special cloisonné tank medallion and plenty of bling. Both solid and two-tone paint schemes are available.
The SuperLow 1200T delivers the same easy-handling chassis dynamics originally developed for the SuperLow 883. Fork angle, wheel sizes and radial tires were engineered as a package to aid in reducing steering effort and to provide responsive handling. Available as factory-installed options, an Anti-lock Braking System and the H-D® Smart Security System with a proximity-based security fob and keyless ignition provide additional confidence-inspiring security and control.
Brakes are Premium performance units featuring a 300mm front rotor, a rigid front brake caliper with dual 34mm pistons, and a high-efficiency aluminum front master cylinder. Rear brake rotor diameter is 260mm with dual 38mm pistons. Front and rear brakes are fitted with Original Equipment braided stainless steel brake lines that resist abrasion and enhance brake feel.
An electrical system update is included for all 2014 Sportster® models incorporating an analog speedometer with digital tachometer, restyled ergonomic hand controls, an updated wire harness and voltage regulator. New hand controls feature a left-hand trip switch to toggle through screen displays on the speedometer, including an odometer, tripmeter, gear indicator and RPM display. Additionally, new oil tank and side cover designs allow for easier access for servicing the battery and diagnostic terminal.
The air-cooled Evolution® 1200cc V-Twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection is rated at 71 ft. lbs. peak torque at 3500 rpm and has a broad powerband for easy get-away from a stop and smooth power out of corners. The powertrain is finished in black powder coat with chrome-plated covers. The Super Low rolls on Black and silver, split five-spoke aluminum wheels shod with Michelin® Scorcher™ 11T touring tires engineered for a touring payload.
A detachable 14-inch clear polycarbonate windshield may be adjusted on the forks to match varying rider heights. Lockable saddlebags come covered in durable black vinyl with chrome badges, and factory-installed rear docking hardware allows for installation of an optional luggage rack and sissy bar with backrest. Color choices include: Vivid Black, Candy Orange, and two-tone Birch White/Midnight Pearl. Pricing for the H-D Super Low XL1200T will start at $11,799 in Vivid Black.
Next up is the new 2014 Harley-Davidson Low Rider that is powered by Harley’s Twin Cam 103™ powertrain harnessed in an agile Harley-Davidson Dyna® chassis. Michelin® Scorcher™ tires are mated with suspension calibrated for comfort on long rides, with precise handling, featuring 49mm forks and new coil-over rear shocks, both with tri-rate springs. Dual front disc brakes deliver stopping power. An Anti-Lock Braking System is a factory-installed option, standard in select markets. Sculpted header pipes feed a 2-into-1 exhaust that provides a satisfying, throaty tone.
The Low Rider is designed to fit a broad range of riders in a confident, comfortable riding position straight from the factory. Harley-Davidson leveraged the science of ergonomics to develop a “perfect fit” rider position utilizing three key features: a two-position seat that can move the rider forward or backward 1.5 inches, an adjustable handlebar riser, which can each be easily adjusted by the dealer using simple hand tools, and footpegs that are relocated two inches forward. The Low Rider still lives up to its name with a seat height that is just 25.4 inches. Computer-generated rider triangles representing the extremes of the biometric targets – 5’ 1” to 6’ 1” in height – were overlaid on the Dyna chassis. Those triangles depicted not just the reach of the respective riders, but also the more critical comfort zones within the range of reach.
The original Low Rider set a styling benchmark when it was introduced in 1977, and Harley-Davidson designers went back to that milestone motorcycle for inspiration in creating a new Low Rider with a timeless authentic look. This new Low Rider, like the original, rolls on cast-aluminum wheels featuring a split five-spoke design finished in wrinkle black with diamond cut highlights.
The Twin Cam 103™ engine is rubber-mounted and is rated at 99 ft. lbs. of torque at 3500 rpm. The engine is equipped with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection and Automatic Compression Release and is mated to a 6-speed Cruise Drive® transmission. The powertrain is finished in wrinkle black powder coat with chrome-plated covers. Exhaust exits via chrome 2-into-1 pipes that emit a throaty rumble that pays homage to the original Low Rider.
A wrinkle black console holds an analog speedometer and analog tachometer, with indicator lights integrated into the tachometer. Chrome-plated rear fender strut covers feature wrinkle black cutouts, along with a chrome-plated battery box insert, also with wrinkle black highlights. The headlight will feature a classic old school visor and the front end will display a polished finish. A custom ignition switch is positioned on the left side of the bike, and a H-D® Smart Security System with hands-free, proximity-based security fob is available as a factory-installed option. Chrome steel-laced wheels are also an available option in select markets. Color choices will include: Vivid Black, two-tone Brilliant Silver/Vivid Black and two-tone Amber Whiskey/Vivid Black. The H-D Low Rider will have a starting price of $14,199.
There will be actual reviews when test units become available for riding evaluation.
Preview by Arv Voss, Auto Impressions
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.