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2012 Harley-Davidson Models Updates

started by Roadking at 11:12:23 pm on Aug 18, 2011 in Bike Reviews

Motorcycle manufacturers continue to play it safe in the face of a still-strained economy, and perhaps there’s no surer sign of this than the limited number of wholly new motorbikes the major brands are rolling out for the 2012 model year.

Victory recently announced a couple new-ish models (Cross Country Tour and Cross Roads Classic LE), but in essence these new bikes are more or less iterations of existing bikes. The High-Ball, announced in January 2011, was issued as an early-release 2012 model and is perhaps the most-new model from Victory.

Harley-Davidson is also keeping risk to a minimum thus far for 2012 as it, too, has a limited amount of new product on the shelf. We recently reviewed the 2012 Dyna Switchback – a two-for-one bike, if you will, it’s the only machine that constitutes a new model from H-D.

But the Milwaukee-based bike maker also updated its V-Rod line.

The 10th Anniversary V-Rod is a silvery version that pays homage to the original ‘Rod released 10 years ago, while the V-Rod Night Rod Special also went under the pen for its own improvements. Both motorcycles received a heavy dose of revision to rider ergos and some seriously lighter new wheels, among other enhancements. Look for an upcoming review covering both refreshed ‘Rods.

When it comes to bold new stuff from Harley, though, that’s the meat of it. However, H-D did grace several areas of its entire product lineup with some notable updates. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new across the 2012 Harley-Davidson line.

Twin Cam 103 now standard on Touring, Softails and most Dynas

Several years ago the TC 103 was standard only on Harley’s in-house custom line known as CVO (Custom Vehicle Operations). While the CVO line now utilizes the Screamin’ Eagle 110 V-Twin, the 103 was otherwise only an available upgrade option on select models as late as last year. For 2012 the Twin Cam 103 is the standard mill in all Touring models, Softails and Dyna motorcycles, with the Dyna Street Bob and Dyna Super Glide Custom retaining the Twin Cam 96 in order to remain price-point models.

Harley claims the 103 makes as much as 6% more peak power than the Twin Cam 96’s claimed 94 hp at 3500 rpm.

The touring models also benefit from an oil cooler in order to offset the wind flow-limiting effects of the tourers’ additional bodywork (fairing lowers). Finally, the PowerPak – Twin Cam 103 upgrade option from 2011 – is eliminated for 2012, as a large portion of the lineup now has the TC103 as standard.

$1195 Security Package (Security System and ABS) – now also available on Dyna models

Harley’s ABS is no longer a standalone option, as it’s now coupled with Harley’s proximity-fob keyless ignition to create the Security Package option. The package remains as an option for V-Rods, Softails and various Touring models, with the following three models receiving the package as standard equipment: Road King Classic, Electra Glide Ultra Limited and Road Glide Ultra. Package pricing of $1195 remains the same as last year.

Touring models updates

In addition to the Twin Cam 103 for all touring models, other updates include a new front fairing wind deflector for the Road Glide Ultra, and new optional tubeless Chrome Profile laced (spoke) wheels.

This new tubeless aluminum rim utilizes a new rim seal and molded valve stem to allow use of tubeless tires. Along with the benefit of easier tire installation, this new tubeless wheel set also provides a 30% reduction in spin inertia according to Harley’s Bjorn Christensen. The obvious benefit of a lighter wheel is less rotational mass, which in turn means lighter effort steering/handling, as well as improved suspension control – all good things for you. This new wire wheel is available for all touring models except the Electra Glide Ultra Limited.

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Joined: 2011-05-12 03:34:14
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