to the SuperCab, of course, is the longer bed that can accommodate more
cargo. Toting a custom Harley in the bed still requires a lowered tailgate,
but there’s additional clearance for longer models. Chrome tie-downs
and a rubber mat with the Harley logo accent the bed.
is dressed in black aniline leather and trimmed with plenty of chrome.
The captains chairs up front sports a die-cast Harley logo embedded in
the leather. Piano Black surfaces on the center stack and door panels
are flanked by logo-patterned graphic treatments. Chromed-ringed gauges
and HVAC vents add to the custom accents throughout the interior. For
those keeping score, a serialized nickel plate boasts the truck’s
production date and number. Power sliding rear window and power adjustable
pedals made our truck easier to bond with. Other interior amenities on
our test vehicle that were highly appreciated included heated seats, satellite
radio, power moonroof and reverse-sensing system.
Our test vehicle had the all-wheel-drive option. In AWD, the system monitors
wheel speed and throttle position to determine the amount of power sent
to the front wheels. By selecting the locked mode, the truck runs in 4WD
full time. The H-D is also available in 2-wheel-drive. Price difference
is about $3,500.
In front of the transfer case is a 4-speed automatic and 5.4-liter V8
engine. Rated at 300 horsepower with 365 lb-ft of peak torque, the powertrain
is capable of giving the H-D a towing capacity of 8600 pounds. Payload
rating is 1460 pounds. With a curb weight just under 5,700 pounds and
3.73:1 rear gears, the F-150 Harley isn’t exactly a speed demon.
Acceleration is adequate but hardly spirited. One certainly longs for
previous H-D models that were supercharged and weighed about 700 or 800
pounds less. Engineers did give the engine a meaner exhaust note.
The sport-tuned suspension is pleasant enough for most driving situations
but don’t expect to carve any canyons and keep up with an aging
Lightning. The new Ford platform is heavy, regardless of the increased
frame stiffness that minimizes shake and shudder. Much of the riding-comfort
equation can be attributed to the improved seats and excellent feel of
the leather. On the positive side, the truck is very quiet, a compliment
often given to the new generation F-150 platform.
Willie G. Davidson about the challenges of coming up with new ideas for
the Harley-Davidson edition. He praised the teams from Harley and Ford
that he works with but never said it was easy. This edition doesn’t
have the surprise element of the first edition. The next three years of
the SuperCrew Harley models were highlighted by the 2003 anniversary edition
(both Harley and Ford celebrated their 100th birthdays). With a supercharged
engine and beautiful black/silver two-tone paint job, it was a stunning
tribute for both companies. The Super Duty model has morphed into a cross
between the Harley and King Ranch and is more of a cosmetic package. There
are no performance upgrades with the Super Duty Harley. Hopefully the
2006 H-D is a stepping stone to a more dramatic edition for the future.
With the absence of the SVT Lightning, the Harley team has a greater opportunity
to take the F-150 to a much higher level than what is available now.