Harley-Davidson introduces power-boosted 2016 line-up
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.