For 110 years, motorcycle legend Harley-Davidson has been producing bikes that have fueled the desire of motorbike riders, enthusiasts and collectors all over the world.Owning a Harley Davidson or at least riding one on an epic journey of adventure scores high on peoples’ “most wanted things to do before I die” list.
It is for those reasons that all Harley-Davidson fans are filled with excitement after a recent announcement that the American company has announced a new line-up for 2014; one that has arguably left their competitors shaking in their leathers, collectors drooling at the chance to add to their pride and joys, and fans twitching at the chance to test-ride one of the new models.Before announcing their latest range, Harley-Davidson decided that with their new motorbikes they would aim to improve their customers’ riding experience by seeking customer comments and feedback with “Project Rushmore.”Adam Wright, one of Harley Davidson’s Directors of Marketing, says, “Our aim was to listen to what our customers wanted and deliver on every aspect, from style and infotainment to control and feel. Model year 2014 represents an extremely exciting period of change for Harley-Davidson.”The new 2014 Project Rushmore range sees lots of categories of motorbike get styling and development overhauls including The CVOs, sportsters, touring bikes and the Fat Bob. The changes include cosmetic makeovers, more power, anti-lock brakes, brighter headlights, and high-output twin-cam 103-two-cylinder engines (in the tourers), while a big improvement in safety is provided courtesy of the “Reflex System” which makes the front and rear brakes of the bikes work together by linking them. Arguably, these major changes have been needed for a while after the company’s previous policy of just making subtle changes.The changes don’t just stop at the mechanics of the new range, and a nifty and exciting infotainment package features improved music, communication and navigation options including touch screen capability and voice recognition.Overall, the new range sounds like heaven for Harley-Davidson fans and, whilst nobody can be sure how the new bikes will fare, riders, enthusiasts and collectors will no doubt be queuing up to get a closer look.Paul Turner, from motorbike insurance specialists Carole Nash, says: “Personally I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these exciting new Harleys to find out how they stack up against the vintage Harley experience! The addition of gizmos and gadgets can only add to rather than detract from the unique feeling that is riding a Harley Davidson.”
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.