2015 Harley-Davidson Motorcycles First Look

August 26, 2014
Bryan Harley
By Bryan Harley
Cruiser Editor |Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it’s chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to ‘Merican, he rides ‘em all.

Harley-Davidson unveiled its 2015 lineup of cruiser and touring motorcycles today, the announcement highlighted by the release of a hot rod-influenced trike, a bevy of new “Low” models, and new braking components for its Softail models. Harley also heralded the return of its Road Glide for 2015, the new Glide featuring a sleeker wind-cutting Shark-Nose fairing in addition to Project Rushmore goodies like the High Output Twin Cam 103 engine and in the case of the Road Glide Special, Harley’s Reflex Linked Brake System with ABS. Read more about the new Glide in our 2015 Harley-Davidson Road Glide First Ride article.

We got wind of the new 2015 Freewheeler Trike in early July thanks to photos provided by KGP Spy Photography, Harley’s latest three-wheeler joining the Tri Glide Ultra to give The Motor Company a one-two punch in the trike category. Whereas the Tri Glide is a full-boat tourer, the Freewheeler leans more on the sporting side courtesy of 12-inch mini-apehanger handlebars, an air-cooled High Output Twin Cam 103 engine and a pared-down backside with Bobtail fenders.
“With its low profile and stripped-down details inspired by classic hot rods, the Freewheeler looks sweeter than a state fair funnel cake,” said Tony Pink, Freewheeler styling lead in company PR. “From the new nacelle to the fastback seat and flat-top trunk, this trike is styled to look tight and compact. Even the new passenger hand rails are designed to flow with the bodywork. The Freewheeler will debut with some real street cred.”

Paired to the 1690cc V-Twin is Harley’s 6-Speed Cruise Drive Transmission with an electric reverse gear to go along with a foot-activated parking brake. A hydraulic Assist and Slip clutch should make running through the gears a fuss-free affair. Cruise control comes standard.

The 2015 Harley Freewheeler features a linked braking system. Whereas the front brakes will still operate independently, the rear is linked to the front so a good stab on the rear brake pedal will activate both. Its rear shocks are air-adjustable.
According to Harley, “The Freewheeler front end is all new and features a seven-piece chrome nacelle that’s tucked tight to the forks and holds a Dual Halogen headlamp in a polished chrome bucket. A trim front fender tops a 19-inch Enforcer cast-aluminum wheel with machined highlights. The all-new rear body shape gives the Freewheeler a low, lean profile and incorporates a weatherproof trunk designed to hold two full-face helmets. The top-mounted trunk door opens right-to-left for easy loading. Dual chrome mufflers with slash-down tips are inset in the bottom of the trunk. Bobtail fenders terminate in an arrogant flip to expose the rear tires and incorporate bright LED stop/tail/turn lamps.”

The 2015 Freewheeler has an MSRP of $24,999 for a Vivid Black model while solid colors will sell for $25,499.

High on the list of “Low” models is the 2015 Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low and 2015 Ultra Limited Low. Harley’s top-shelf tourers are big sellers and the changes to the popular platform look to expand that demographic further.

It starts with a lower seat height, the 25.6-inch saddle 1.7-inches lower than the seat of Harley’s Electra Glide Ultra Classic. This was accomplished in part by a new low-profile seat and shorter reach to the foot controls. Harley claims suspension adjustments have dropped the center of gravity on the new “Low” Ultras.

Changes don’t stop there. Harley also reduced the width of the primary housing and derby cover to further help riders get firm footing. A new handlebar scoots the hand controls two inches back, while the hand grips have a smaller diameter in an effort to reduce the reach to the brake and clutch levers. They’ve even extended the toe tab on the Jiffy stand so riders don’t have to stretch so far to kick it out.

The 2015 Ultra Low models are each powered by the air-cooled High Output Twin Cam 103 engine. Both are equipped with the full array of Project Rushmore complements – Reflex Linked Brakes with ABS, a Batwing fairing with Splitstream vents, Daymaker LED headlights and Harley’s latest infotainment package. The 2015 Ultra Limited Low takes it up a notch with a 100-watt Boom! Box audio system and larger touch screen with GPS, contrast-cut Impeller wheels, two-tone paint, a Tour-Pak with an added luggage rack and travel-pak, and removable liners for the saddlebags. Pricing on the 2015 Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low ranges from $24,399 to $25,699 while MSRP on the 2015 Ultra Limited Low starts at $26,999 and peaks at $28,299.

In addition to the Ultra Classic Low and Ultra Limited Low, the treatment extends to Harley’s Sportster, Dyna, and Softail models as well. This includes the 2015 1200T SuperLow and 883L SuperLow Sportsters, the 2015 FXDL Low Rider, and the 2015 FLSTFB Fat Boy Lo.

Another highlight of Harley’s 2015 lineup is the debut of a new braking system for its 2015 Softail models. Harley says its “New front brake components include a rigid four-piston fixed front brake caliper with 34mm and 32mm pistons coated to minimize initial displacement, brake pads with high-output friction material, a new master cylinder with a higher mechanical ratio, and a new 300mm front brake rotor. The caliper and master cylinder have been restyled to enhance the looks of each model.” The changes aim to provide riders with better modulation, improved responsiveness, and lighter action at the lever, the pull of the hand lever said to be 40% lighter. ABS is a standard part of the package on all Softails except for the Softail Slim, which offers ABS as an optional feature.

Harley-Davidson’s 2015 lineup, including CVOs and trikes, is 36 models strong. The lastest crop of motorcycles from The Motor Company is slated to hit Harley-Davidson dealerships today.


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