Harley-Davidson's new performance cruiser looks set to have the ‘go’ to match its drag-strip styling. The new, street fighter-style FXDR doesn’t just have Harley’s latest, most torquey Big Twin engine, it uses an updated, lighter version of its new Softail frame which should give it the best handling of any Harley Softail.
Harley have slimmed down the chassis with a lighter, aluminium swingarm, which knocks over 4.6kg off the bike’s unsprung weight.
The forged aluminium, 19in front wheel is also light due to the super-skinny spokes (although we think that disc rear wheel wrapped in a 240 tyre probably evens things up again). Nor does the diet stop there. The seat base and subframe are made from aluminium tubing while the tail unit is composite, saving over 3kg on the steel subframe of a standard Softail. The mudguards are composite, too.
Mercifully Harley haven’t put the engine on a diet. In fact, they’ve fattened it up. It uses the bigger, 114 (1870cc) version of the Milwaukee-Eight V-twin, introduced two years ago, but Harley have strapped on a huge air intake plus a whopping great exhaust, which results in 119ftlb of torque at 3500rpm; the gruntiest version of the engine yet.
To further aid sporty handling, Harley have fitted Showa Dual Bending Valve USD forks as well as a set of clip-on handlebars.
And to cap things off the digital instruments are all hidden away behind a new moulded nose cowling.
4 Harley FXDR highlights
- Engine - Four-valve, 1870cc ‘Milwaukee-Eight’ V-twin gets bigger airbox and exhaust
- Sporty forks: Showa Dual Bending Valve forks are fully adjustable and only the second USDs on a Harley
- Chassis - Lightened frame, uprated suspension and even clip-ons hint at this Harley’s sporty side
- Wheels - Lighter forged alloy wheels cut unsprung weight to sharpen steering
David Latz, Harley-Davidson Lead Product Manager, said: "This motorcycle is really a blast to ride. The FXDR 114 surrounds the very capable Softail chassis with Milwaukee-Eight 114 power, premium front and rear suspension and a host of new weight-saving components and materials. This is a power cruiser that delivers exceptional ride and handling characteristics."
Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson Vice President of Styling and Design added: "The look of the FXDR 114 expresses its performance potential and highlights the technical features that set it apart from the rest of the Softail line-up.
"The drag-bike influence is strong with the raked and inverted front end, massive intake and exhaust, proportional contrast between the wheels and the clipped tail section. But we made sure that purely technical elements like the aluminium swingarm, fully integrated digital instrumentation within the rider controls, and exposed external suspension adjuster are highlighted as well and help define this bike’s mission, which is pure performance – not just straight-line performance."
There’s no word from Harley on pricing, yet, but with all the bling we’d expect it to be around £18,000, which would pitch it right at the Ducati Diavel.
A super-cruiser showdown is on the cards.