Harley go heavy for birthday bash

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Harley-Davidson are going heavy for their 120th birthday celebrations in Budapest, Hungary, as they announce Australian rockers Wolfmother among the headline acts at the four-day festival.

The festival will take place over four days from Thursday, June 22 in the Puskás Aréna Park, in the centre of the city.

Also confirmed to appear is Deep Purple legend Glenn Hughes who will headline on the Sunday while Nashville female duo Larkin Poe will rock the party on Friday. In total 50 bands will perform over six stages.

In addition to the live music there will be an array of entertainment options including a wide range of riding experiences, moto shows and indoor and outdoor exhibitions featuring Harley-Davidsons both past and present.

The festival will also feature the Harley-Davidson parade which will see thousands of machines ride through the historic city.  

The American marque has also launched a number of 120th Birthday Special Editions to mark the historic year.

For information and tickets visit www.hd120budapest.hu.

Happy birthday Harley-Davidson! 2023 model range unveiled alongside special editions

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Limited Anniversary tank detail

First published January 18 and updated January 20 by Dan Sutherland

Special edition anniversary Harley-Davidson models are nothing new. Their 50th birthday was marked in 1954 with the inclusion of bronze medallions on specific machines, and the 1978 75th milestone saw special black and gold paint applied to two models.

In fact, since 1988 an anniversary tribute has been offered on select bikes every five years, and for 2023 it’s no exception – with six limited-run cruisers hitting dealers later this year.

Not content on purely producing flashy paint jobs for the big day, the Milwaukee firm have also announced a range of updates to other parts of their two- and three-wheeled line-up, with new tech, upgraded V-twin motors and more.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Limited Anniversary fairing detail

Sticking with the anniversary models for a moment, the six specials will consist of the £35,495 Ultra Limited Anniversary (1300 globally), £51,495 Tri Glide Ultra Anniversary (1100), £32,995 Street Glide Special Anniversary (1600), £32,995 Road Glide Special Anniversary (1600), £27,895 Fat Boy 114 Anniversary (3000), and £28,295 Heritage Classic 114 Anniversary (1700).

Each country’s stash of these eye-wateringly expensive propositions will be influenced by their significance in Harley’s global market share, with each machine featuring a new livery said to be inspired by the firm’s early bikes.

A nod to the past

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Ltd Anniversary right side

A mixture of deep reds, black shading, and a sprinkling of gold detailing – all bikes begin with a base coat of ‘Heirloom Red’ and receive red pinstriping to help accentuate the body paneling.

Gold finished tank medallions are also a nod to Harley’s past – with laser etched serial numbers and special black and red seat covers adding an extra special touch. 

Outside of the design, they remain mechanically identical to their standard model siblings – with the real noticeable changes coming elsewhere in the range. Let’s explore those now.

Harley-Davidson Breakout

2023 Harley-Davidson Breakout

One model getting more than pricey paint is the Harley-Davidson Breakout, which now starts from £24,195 and benefits from a new air/oil-cooled Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-twin motor, updated electronics, a bigger fuel tank, and revised styling.

The new 1923cc lump can already be found in models like the Road Glide ST and replaces the old Breakout’s 1868cc Milwaukee 114. Power is up to 99.6bhp (from 92.7bhp) at 4750rpm and torque is now 123lbft at 3500rpm – up from 114.3lbft.

The familiar booming Harley soundtrack is delivered via a two into two shotgun exhaust, with a forward-facing filter flowing more air into the near-two-litre engine.

2023 Harley-Davidson Breakout front wheel

You can now also go further without trips to the pumps too, with an 18.9-litre fuel tank taking over from the previous 13.25-litre design. This is topped by a set of chromed dials containing all your vital information, with a restyled seat employed to accommodate the extra fuel load.

But it’s not all about chrome trim and monster engines, the Breakout is also quite clever – receiving cruise control as standard, with the option to equip traction control to look after all that low range torque. This joins the ABS already equipped, plus LED lighting, keyless ignition and more.

Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Limited Anniversary

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Limited Anniversary

For 2023, Harley will be offering just one top-spec model in their 2023 Custom Vehicle Operations program: the £50,395 CVO Road Glide Limited Anniversary.

Individually numbered and dressed in a heritage paint scheme that points to Harley-Davidsons of old, this special version of the Road Glide Limited will be kept to 1500 units worldwide.

Each bike will start with a base coat of black, before an application of Heirloom Red (the same as the anniversary models) on the front fender, fairing, fairing lowers, fuel tank, side covers, bags, and more. This is then finished with a red pinstripe and a gold scallop applied by hand.

The side profile of an eagle in flight completes the look, with subtle wing details seen in the fuel tank and side bags.

Harley-Davidson range updates

2023 Harley-Davidson Fatboy

It’s not just about new bikes either and H-D have upped the spec of their cruiser models and tweaked elements of the adventure bike line-up.

Starting with the low-slung offerings, all Softail models will now come as standard with cruise control – meaning the Fat Boy, Fat Bob, Breakout, and Low Rider S – with the Low Rider ST, Heritage Classic and Sport Glide all retaining the functionality as before.

Non-lean-sensitive traction control will also be available for the newly designed Breakout, Low Rider S and Low Rider ST. Elsewhere, the dual-purpose Pan America 1250 and 1250 Special will also get a new catalyst heat shield and a black radiator fan heat shield.

Harley-Davidson Freewheeler

2023 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler

Away from two-wheelers, Harley are also marking the big day with an updated Freewheeler trike, available from £31,495.

Far from cheap (although you are paying for an extra wheel…) the updated model gets a blacked-out front end alongside gloss black cast aluminum rims. These sit at a 19in front and 18in rear, with the back units replacing the older 15in design.

Powered by the Milwaukee-Eight 114 twin-cylinder engine found elsewhere in the range, it will be yours in a choice of four colours – with the most expensive two-tone options retailing for £32,345.

Harley-Davidson Nightster

2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster

The stripped back 975cc Harley-Davidson Nightster receives even fewer mod cons for 2023 – losing the small fly screen wrapped around the single front headlight.

Harley say this is to bring the rider closer to the environment around them, however it also exposes some additional bracketry and the cheap finishing towards the rear of the headlight unit.

There are also minor graphic changes, and a revised riders’ seat cover, with the rest of the bike carrying over from its 2022 launch.

Harley-Davidson Nightster Special

2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special right side

Alongside the standard Nightster there’s now also a £15,395 Special, which builds on the base machine with a TFT dash, pillion provisions and a revised riding position.

Climbing to £15,770 for more premium paint options, the Special rolls on cast aluminum wheels reminiscent of the spoked designs found on early BMW M3 cars, with a low-slung seat height of just 698.5mm sitting behind the modest 11.7-litre fuel tank.

Unlike the standard Nightster, there’s also room for someone to come with you – thanks to a small perch located over the large rear mudguard. The dual rear shocks also come with preload adjustment, should you need to add a little more for your passenger.

2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special

Elsewhere, new features also include a 10.16cm TFT dash, with a tyre pressure monitoring system to keep track of how much air is in each hoop. There’s also mobile connectivity, and the option to cycle through three preset and one customisable riding mode. 

What’s more, there’s also cruise control as standard and a USB charging port – with handlebar risers that shift the rider’s controls upwards by 50.8mm and backwards by 25.4mm.

Being based on the Nightster, it retains the same 975cc liquid-cooled V-twin engine producing 88.8bhp at 7500rpm and 70lbft of torque at 5000rpm for sprightly low-end shove.

Harley-Davidson hint at new model releases coming this month

First published 9 January 2023 by Dan Sutherland

Harley-Davidson models on the road

Harley-Davidson will kick off their 120th anniversary celebrations on Wednesday, January 18, with online teasers hinting at a new line-up of motorcycles to mark the special occasion.

A seven second clip was uploaded to social media on January 3, playing the trademark bassy V-twin engine tones over what appears to be detail clips of a new three-wheeler that could sit alongside the current £38,795 Tri Glide Ultra.

Given away by the chunky car-like tyre shown in the clip, it’s unlikely that the American firm will mark such an occasion purely with a new trike, so expect more special liveries, trim and tech updates, and potentially some more fresh metal.


Harley-Davidson gearing up to celebrate their 120th birthday

First published 25 December 2022 by Stuart Prestidge

Puskás Aréna Park in Budapest

Harley-Davidson have announced a live event in Budapest to celebrate their 120th anniversary.

The event is part of a series of celebrations that Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson, says will “honour our rich heritage, celebrate with our fans and riding community, and reveal our newest motorcycles and product offerings”.

The Hungarian celebration will take place between June 22 and 25 and will feature 50 live bands on five stages at the city’s new Puskás Aréna Park.

Tickets can be bought at the dedicated Budapest event website.