Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson introduces power-boosted 2016 line-up

Harley-Davidson introduces pow...
2016 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra
2016 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra
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2016 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim S (foreground) and Fat Boy S (background)
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2016 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim S (foreground) and Fat Boy S (background)
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2016 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim S
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2016 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra
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2016 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra
2016 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight
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2016 Harley-Davidson Street 500/750
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2016 Harley-Davidson Street 500/750
2016 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic
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2016 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

Two newspecial Softail models with high performance engines, two new Dark CustomSportsters and the return of the Road Glide Ultra spearhead Harley-Davidson’s2016 line-up.

Two monthsago the Harley-Davidson Motor Company presented its 2015 second-quarter (Q2) earningsdisplaying a minor drop in the range of 1 percent compared to the same periodlast year. While the situation may not be severe, the company’s stock has beenunder some pressure since the beginning of 2015 and a return to positive figureswould be most welcome.

H-D appears to hold its ground in the global market, yet a closerlook at the data reveals a revenue rise only in the Asia-Pacific region where booming markets such as India and China, which represent relatively new territory for big motorcycles, offer immense growth possibilities. In every other market we note a slight,yet noticeable drop, with the exception of Europe, Middle East and Africa whichunderstandably take the biggest hit.

2016 Harley-Davidson Street 500/750
2016 Harley-Davidson Street 500/750

The 2016 line-up features some powerfulnew motorcycles and updates to existing models that you'd expect almost any rider in the street to ask for. The biggest overhaul in the company's history (dubbed Project Rushmore) has been taking effect in the last two years, and during that time Harley will no doubt have collected an abundance of customer feedback. One result of this is the return of the ever popular Road Glide series – whose abolitionfrom the company’s lineup in 2014 was not well received – culminating in the return of the Road Glide Ultra for 2016.

Upgradeslike the beefed-up brakes of the entry level Street series and the newSportsters with higher spec suspension are another indication that Harley-Davidsonis listening to people’s remarks, especially in these two families that includeits most affordable models – the entry point for tomorrow’sloyal customers.

Let’s takea closer look at the highlights of the 2016 model line-up.

S-seriesSoftails

2016 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim S (foreground) and Fat Boy S (background)
2016 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim S (foreground) and Fat Boy S (background)

Two new limitededition models are introduced for 2016, the Fat Boy S and the Softail Slim S. Bothare equipped with the Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine, a high-powered unitthat until now was reserved only for the exclusive CVO (Custom VehicleOperations) models.

As is thecase for all Softail models as of 2016, electronic throttle and cruise control willbe part of the standard equipment.

The Fat BoyS will be available in an all-black color scheme, while the Softail Slim S optsfor a olive gold look.

Prices areyet to be announced for these two limited editions.

Road GlideUltra

2016 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra
2016 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra

Two years agoHarley-Davidson scrapped the Road Glide family from its Touring line-up. In2015 the basic Road Glide and the Special return, having undergone theProject Rushmore treatment. Now it’s time for the top of the line FLTRU RoadGlide Ultra to come back.

The Road Glide Ultra is powered by the Twin-Cooled High Output Twin Cam 103 engine and sports ABS,cruise control, radio and a security system as standard equipment.

The high endbagger will go for $25,699 to $26,999 in the US depending on the color option.

XL1200X Forty-Eight

2016 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight
2016 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

Based onthe large capacity Sportster, the Forty-Eight comes with a fresh Dark Customstyling and several technical improvements.

The mostimportant updates for 2016 feature new front forks with cartridge technologyand triple-rate progressive springs, combined with new triple clamps and afork brace, as well as afresh pair of emulsion rear shock absorbers with 50 mm of preloadadjustability.

Upgrades also include a newly designed seat, new cast aluminum wheels, blackbelt guard and chrome exhaust shields.

The new Forty-Eight will be available in USA for an MSRP ranging from$11,199 to $11,649, depending on the color of choice.

Iron 883

2016 Harley-Davidson Iron 883
2016 Harley-Davidson Iron 883

The updates previewed for the Iron 883 are similar to those Harley-Davidsonapplied to the Forty-Eight. The bobber that is based on the smaller capacitySportster model gets a new front cartridge fork and two rear emulsion shockswith adjustable preload.

Several blacked-out elements include the belt guard, front fender, brakerotor, air cleaner cover and both exhaust mufflers.

The new Iron 883 is priced at US$8,849 for the solid color optionsand $9,299 for the Hard Candy Custom colors.

Othermodels

2016 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic
2016 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

Here's a quick run down of other notable changes to the range:

  • At publicrequest, the Street 750 and 500 models get upgraded Brembo brakes.
  • All themembers of the Softail family feature for the first time electronic throttleand cruise control as standard.
  • The 2016Heritage Softail Classic enjoys refreshed styling and a new engine, theair-cooled High Output Twin Cam 103.
  • The High OutputTwin Cam 103 is as of 2015 the standard engine for all Dyna models – althoughfor some reason the Street Bob is excluded from this update.

Source:Harley-Davidson

8 comments
AlanJMorgan
Drop in sales is not due to the "bike" itself, but rather from the ATTITUDE of the Dealerships. After rising high for close to decade, the "take-it or leave-it" attitude needs a major adjustment. A few few well deserved "lean" years may give them an incentive to DEAL. Harley owners are typically an older demographic. As they get older they are looking for other options to continue the sport. One example is the Trike. Why would any reasonable person spend @+34K when there is another AMERICAN made option, that is 4K -10K less, has more features, safer, easier to drive, and will out perform Harley in the twisties given the same experience level of the riders. 4K-10K is a lot of green just to say "it's a Harley!"
VegasGeorge
As I see it, the only reason to buy a Harley instead of another brand is that whole Harley "bad boy" image that comes with it. The ironic thing is that image originated with Brando in "The Wild One" movie in which he was riding ....... a Triumph. So, if you are looking for more motorcycle for about the same money, check out the Triumphs. You could still get a black leather jacket to go with it, but don't count on riding with your local MC. They get pretty snotty about anything other than a make believe Triumph, or what they call a "Harley."
chidrbmt
Yawn. Polaris/Victory/Indian seems to be working hard to widen their products & customers. H.D. just plods along,same old,same old.
unklmurray
Sounds like there are a bunch of traitors out there I refuse to ride anything that doesn't say HARLEY-DAVIDSON on it I'll Ride eBikes But if I was to ride a Motorcycle,it will have 2 Be a HARLEY-DAVIDSON.
Phoghat
Harley Davidson: First in the hearts of poseurs everywhere. I have been riding for more than 50 years, have owned pretty much one of everything, including 2 HDs, separated by 60 years in model years. Unfortunately, that's prety much all that separated them. Big, heavy, crap tranny all the same
ChrisLeavitt
Where are the specs? I'm particularly interested to know whether these "high-performance engines" are actually high-performance, and whether HD is doing anything to reduce weight to improve performance. If you don't care about performance, there are many other options that will save money. If you care about performance, there are several options that will cater to your taste much better than Harley (myself, for example - I ride a Ducati Diavel. More power, far lighter, much more nimble, hardly more expensive than a V-Rod. Looks much cooler too, in my opinion). Harley's sales are dropping everywhere but Asia because people are starting to realize that HD has nothing to offer but a name. Sales in Asia are improving because they know HD's are a large part of Western culture and of course that's a cool thing to emulate. But they'll catch up with the times too, once America does.
Dr.Veritas
I'm astounded! I thought I was practically the only one that didn't understand the Harley attraction. I've ridden a few bikes over the years and that loud rattling Harley with the most unsynchronized of transmissions fairly takes its toll on the rider after just 30 minutes. I wouldn't call myself a traitor because I've never liked Harleys. I think you could more accurately call me a hater. Maybe we there should be a club for us? My son showed me the South Park episode that made fun of Harley riders of sorts. I had to laugh watching that. To each his own but I didn't like my neighbor years ago getting up and roaring off at 0700 with straight pipes no muffler.
unklmurray
Yeah,I'm gonna get my Harley Davidson Tattoo covered up......I used to be proud of the fact that I road nothing but Harley's,But now days I can't even take one for a test ride......I don't have nor have I ever had a Motorsickle permit......I have never worn a bucket,I guess I could wear a legal brain bucket.....but I guess if I want to ride again I'll have to steal me a decent ride.....my first one would only be in some museum.....In 68'I got a 47'Knuckle / suicide hardtail.......I haven't it or one like it in......a long time.....I swiped one in 88' but then got busted for having too much fun and haven't ridden since.....Now I'm too old for the suicide jockey......LOL