New – Touring in the spotlight and a new V-Rod – Used HARLEY-DAVIDSON

NEW FOR 2009

Touring in the spotlight and a new V-Rod

New - Touring in the spotlight and a new V-Rod - Used HARLEY-DAVIDSON

Harley-Davidson presents for next year a new VRSC model with an evocative name: the V-Rod Muscle … But the manufacturer has also sharpened an entire range: that of the Touring, whose chassis has been completely revised…


In 2009, the Harley-Davidson "Power Cruisers" – the V-Rod and the Night Rod Special – will be joined by a third thief: the V-Rod Muscle! At the same time, some models will be retouched, such as the Dyna Street Bob or the Heritage Softail Classic…

But what is probably the big novelty of 2009 is the complete remodeling of the cycle part of the five Touring that are the Road King, Road King Classic, Street Glide, Electra Glide Standard and Ultra Classic Electra Glide.

"In their classic appearance, our 2009 Touring motorcycles are significantly new.", specifies Matthew Knott, European public relations and communications manager, before adding:"it is almost certain that no motorcycle to date has such a unique profile as that of a Harley-Davidson Touring, and we have been able to retain the character of each model while improving drivability. on many points". Warning the eyes…

Pampered Touring

While keeping intact the respective styles of its Road King, Road King Classic, Street Glide, Street Glide Standard and Ultra Classic Electra Glide, the King of the highways announces the arrival "a new chassis designed to offer better handling, greater load capacity and improved comfort for rider and passenger".

"The 2009 Touring models are part of a series of technical innovations launched following a study carried out by Harley-Davidson in 2002, and the result of direct exchanges during the 100th anniversary of Harley-Davidson in 2003 with customers who accumulated together approximately 75 million kilometers", recalls the manufacturer.

We remember that in 2007, Harley had partly met the expectations of its customers by equipping its Touring – and all of its "Big Twins" – with a new engine called Twin Cam 96, with a 6 transmission. gears, an active intake and exhaust system and a relaxed clutch (read).

New chassis…

"Redesigned from the wheels to the handlebarsHarley-Davidson insists, so it was the Touring chassis’ turn to undergo a makeover.undisputed masters of the road"- according to the expression of their progenitor – deserved that !

However, according to engineers’ calculations, the new chassis would have gained 67% of rigidity compared to the 2008 model. And to attest to this figure, Harley does not hesitate to go into details….

"The frame has benefited from the latest robotic welding technology, which provides unmatched dimensional accuracy and assembly quality, as well as impeccable frame alignment. The shape of the frame allows 50% fewer parts to be used and the total length of welds to be reduced by 50%. Elbow tubes and T-studs have been eliminated, and parts of the new frame are joined by alloy stops, cast and forged"… And presto: 20% more rigidity in the frame !

The rear section is now independent of the frame: "bolted, it provides better quality control during manufacture and more flexibility during design", specifies the Milwaukee firm which can at the same time more carefully align the rear fender and its wheel.

In addition, the new swing arm "composed of a stamped cup in two parts with forged axle support"would be, still according to the manufacturer,"60% more rigid than the rectangular box section it replaces".

…new wheels…

And Harley-Davidson did not stop there: the engine isolation system was also corrected to reduce vibration from motorcycles in neutral: "the new system replaces the single front insulation with a double front insulation with a single assembly bar", specifies Harley.

To further improve handling, HD will now fit new 17-inch aluminum wheels up front, instead of the previous 16. Note that the Street Gilde will receive a set of wheels "with hole in cast aluminum, stronger and lighter".

Finally the American number one warns that all his Touring will be equipped "new Dunlop Multi-Tread tires designed specifically for Harley-Davidson’s new Touring chassis", whose design,"including a harder central structure and a softer side structure, improves road holding and extends tire life by 25%", assures the brand.

Wider (180 / 65-16), the rear tire for its part will increase the loading capacity, another renowned asset of this type of Harley … Finally, as a result of all its modifications, the front and rear suspensions have been recalibrated. . On the other hand, "the inclination of the steering column and the fork angle remain the same, respectively 26 and 29.3 degrees". Bikers will appreciate.

…fine-tuned engine and amenities !

From an engine point of view, we note the appearance of a new 2-in-1-into-2 manifold with integrated catalyst and a new one-piece heat shield (against two previously) "for optimal assembly and a clean silhouette", underlines Harley-Davidson.

The manufacturer has also improved the acceleration of its cattle – which can reach 413 kg in running condition for the Ultra Classic Electra Glide! – by removing two teeth on the rear pinion: 66 instead of exactly 68. The other side of the coin is that the Touring will do more on the fast track…

Also at the rear, the insulation system has been revised while the rear wheel compensator "is now integrated into the hub, resulting in a clean silhouette by removing the bolted bowl", readily admits the manufacturer.

The increase in the wheelbase – feared by many two-wheelers, since it affects the agility of the vehicle – has made it possible to move back the saddlebags with which all Touring models are equipped, and to offer more space to passenger’s legs.

And the comfort of said passenger is further improved thanks to the elimination of the left rear exhaust duct and the new route of the right rear duct. Heat exposure of the rider’s thighs and passenger’s calves is also reduced.

Finally, other alterations were made, such as the disappearance of the chrome bar on models not equipped with the Tour Pack. On the other hand, for those equipped with this Tour Pack – whose capacity, like that of each saddlebag, increases by 2.3 kg – Harley wanted to modify its support grid: "it is even more resistant because the tubes have not been drilled to be fixed", certifies the manufacturer.

While in 2008, ABS was fitted as standard only on the Classic Electra Glide and offered as an option on the rest of the range, the Anti-Lock Braking System will be "fitted as standard on all 2009 Touring and VRSC models, in response to strong customer demand"says Harley.

Specific alterations by model:

  • FLHR Road King: the seat has been redecorated with diamond-shaped patterns
  • FLHRC Road King Classic: Introducing Two-Tone Fender Graphics
  • FLHX Street Glide: New Exclusive Black Cast Aluminum Openwork Solid Wheels
  • FLHT Electra Glide Standard: RAS
  • FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide: short double antennas and heat deflectors placed in the middle of the frame

An even more muscular V-Rod ?

Launched in 2001, the V-Rod remains for many bikers a real "ORNI". Equipped with the liquid-cooled twin "Revolution" developed by the unlikely Harley-Davidson / Porsche duo, this surface-to-surface missile already made no compromises (read)…

But for 2009, Harley Davidson has decided to release a new V-Rod called "Muscle", just that! However, with its 123 hp at 8000 rev / min and 115 Nm from 6500 rev / min – in the free world … -, the V-Rod Muscle offers substantially the same maximum values ​​as its two older brothers: no inflation therefore for "Monsieur" Muscle !

In fact, the notion of "Muscle" relates to the aesthetics of the model: we note for example that the rear tire of 240 mm – a constant on the VRSC – is particularly highlighted on this new model, thanks to the large guard. -Rear mud sliced ​​clean and featuring an integrated LED tail light.

In order to restore the balance of the lines, Harley also cut and blackened the front fender. The satin finish of the inverted fork – "held by triple polished forged aluminum fixings", PLEASE! – and the integration of the LED indicators into the mirror brackets completes the whole thing carefully..

On the seat side, HD has fitted its 2009 novelty with a deep saddle embellished with a backrest which "keeps the rider well anchored to protect it from the thrusts of the Revolution engine", almost reassures the manufacturer !

Nevertheless, there is one point on which Site remains slightly skeptical despite Harley’s comments: "offering a natural riding position, the Muscle benefits from forward controls and an internally wired handlebar"… While we are literally bent in half on this type of machine – especially with advanced controls! – the driving position of the Muscle may not appear"natural" to everybody !

Finally, "the long profile created by the 34 degree fork angle (specific to all VRSCs, Editor’s note) is visually accentuated by the new high capacity double satin chrome exhaust", concludes Harley-Davidson.

Available in Europe from the end of 2008, the V-Rod Muscle will be available in Vivid Black – it will then cost € 18,795 – or Brilliant Silver, Dark Blue Denim and Red Hot Sunglo for € 18,995.

It should also be noted that for 2009, the three VRSCs receive new black cast aluminum five-spoke rims. And remember that all models will be delivered with ABS as standard.

Without forgetting the Dyna, Softail and Sportster !

To put an end to the 2009 novelties, Harley-Davidson also points out the "major overhaul"of his Dyna Street Bob and Heritage Softail Classic:

In addition to the silver speedometer with runtime indicator, anti-condensation gauges, new power module and low front fender, the Street Bob gets a redesign: "shortened and blackened, this is a pure and hard minimalist bobber", summarizes HD.

The Softails also inherit a new low front fender, but only the Heritage Classic has significantly improved: "enlarged passenger seat, removable passenger seat and backrest, new decoration on the seat, new raised handlebars, new handlebar attachment, new tank graphic and 3-D tank medallion, new decoration on the saddlebags, new speedometer dial retro, wide exclusive Whitewall tires, new chrome accents on the front fender and new chrome nacelle", lists Harley Davidson.

Come on, one more for the road: the recent Cross Bones (new "old-fashioned" Softail, read) will feature a new Horseshoe oil tank with "Skull" graphics designed by Willie G. Hobbyists will decipher !

As for the Sportsters, there is no reason: they too benefit from a low front fender for the same purpose "reduce the space between the mudguard and the tire and obtain a more streamlined silhouette"! The 883 Custom, 1200 Low and 1200 Custom models also receive"a recalibrated suspension and improved shock absorber for improved ride comfort".

The 883 Custom and 1200 Custom are equipped with a lighter rear wheel which "optimizes driving thanks to a reduction in unsprung mass", Harley analysis, adding that"the new 1200 Custom has a chrome-plated cast aluminum solid rear wheel, and the 883 Custom has a silver cast aluminum solid rear wheel"

Phew … See you next year for Harley-Davidson 2010 models !

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