Harley Unleashes New Street Rod, Plus 883 Roadster and Anniversary 1550cc Fat Boy Motorcycles

New Street Rod is an aggressive variation of the V-Rod. The Sportster 883R returns in rubber-mounted form, and a big-bore anniversary model celebrates 15 years of Fat Boys.

Harley-Davidson has announced three new motorcycles. Headlining the list is the 2006 Street Rod, Motorcyclist Magazine's March-issue cover bike. The Street Rod a performance variant of the V-Rod, using the same engine with slightly improved power, and a significantly upgraded chassis and revised ergonomics. The changes shift the V-Rod performance cruiser into what Harley calls a roadster, a motorcycle others might call a sporting standard or naked bike.

2006 VRSCR Street Rod

The March issue of Motorcyclist contains an in-depth look at and ride on the Street-Rod, but we will touch on the highlights here and follow-up in a day or two with a brief riding impression. The liquid-cooled 1130cc 60-degree V-twin engine is mechanically identical to the V-Rod, but the new exhaust system, which also provides more lean angle, adds about three horsepower for a claimed 120-hp total for U.S. models.

A look at the Street Rod's front end says reams about its performance intentions. Inverted 43mm fork legs are clutched by massive (and pretty) alloy triple clamps, which put them about six degrees closer to vertical than the cruiser's legs and shorten the wheelbase .7 inch. The fork is also longer. Instead of the cruiser's disc wheel, the roadster has a 10-spoke item, stopped very effectively by a pair of 300mm discs and four-piston Brembo calipers (the first time Brembos have been used on a street Harley). The instrument cluster is the same style but its face is bigger and more readable, especially the tach, The handlebar is flatter and its riser is shorter. Combined with footpegs moved back under the rider, a flatter, roomier saddle, and a taller seat height (31.0 versus 27.1 for the V-Rod or an inch lower with a rider aboard) created by longer shocks, the riding position is substantially changed, from laid-back to slightly canted forward.

The under-seat fuel tank holds an additional 1.3 gallons of fuel (for 5.0 gallons total) thanks to rearranged frame rails. The radiator shroud, fenders, 10-spoke wheels (optional for the V-Rod) and saddle also change the profile slightly, though it's clearly part of the VR family.

The MSRP for the VRSCR Street Rod is $16,495 in black (which includes a black frame) or $16,740 for pearl colors—yellow, black cherry, blue or orange—with a sliver frame. Shipping, California emissions and the optional security system ($275) are additional. Street Rods are due in dealers immediately.

Harley's Release on the Street Rod

The following is Harley's complete press release on the V-Rod:

_MILWAUKEE (January 24, 2005) - In the court of public opinion, the all-new 2006 VRSCR Street Rod might appear guilty of using steroids. But the newest member of the liquid-cooled family of Harley-Davidson motorcycles gets its reputation honestly by combining an upright riding position, 40-degree lean angle and a retuned suspension to deliver a Harley-Davidson that marries custom looks with agile performance.

"Harley-Davidson's racing genes flow throughout the new Street Rod," said Bill Davidson, Harley-Davidson director of marketing, motorcycle product development. "The spirit of our strong racing heritage and the recent success of our NHRA Pro Stock Championship season is evident in the feel and performance of this premium, hot rod roadster."

Carrying on the VRSC family tradition, the Street Rod wields the explosive power of the liquid-cooled, 1130cc Revolution V-Twin engine. In addition, the engine is cradled in a hydroformed, tubular perimeter frame topped with stylized bodywork. A clipped rear fender and 180mm-wide rear tire carry the family looks as well. However, the fuel-injected, 60-degree V-Twin has been pumped up with a pair of chrome straight-shot dual exhaust pipes that help boost horsepower to 120 hp at 8,250 rpm while maintaining its 9,000-rpm redline.

The Street Rod's distinct styling and upright riding position are the result of a new suspension combination, highlighted by massive 43mm inverted forks. Aero-cut polished, forged aluminum triple clamps are equally robust and deliver a steeper rake/fork angle (30/32 degrees) for more aggressive handling in the corners. The change in rake and fork angle shortens the bike's wheelbase by 0.7 inches (to 66.8 inches). When matched with performance suspension calibration on the rear shocks, the set up delivers a sporty, performance-oriented ride.

Complementing the suspension changes is a generous 40-degree lean angle and Brembo four-piston caliper brakes with 300mm dual front rotors. The Street Rod's handlebar and risers are shorter and less swept back. Combined with mid-mounted foot controls and a higher 30-in. seat height, this places the rider forward and into an aggressive position for attacking corners. Fuel capacity of the Street Rod is five gallons.

Adding to the Street Rod's muscular looks are standard 10-spoke Staggered Cast Aluminum wheels, while radial, ZR-rated Dunlop tires deliver the performance message to the pavement with authority.

The VRSCR Street Rod is available in five stunning color options, including Vivid Black with a black frame, or Black Cherry, Rich Sunglo Blue, Mirage Orange and Yellow Pearl all with a silver-leaf frame. Highlighting each paint option is the silver and black engine with polished covers, plus selected, blacked-out components.

The Harley-Davidson VRSCR Street Rod is a 2006 model available now at Harley-Davidson dealerships._

2005 Sportster 883R Brings Back XR750 Style

The new 883R revives the model of the same designation but does it with the new rubber-mount chassis, making it much smoother and more rideable. The primary thrust of the treatment is the orange-and-black Harley-racing-colors paint scheme (although it's also available in black), which is backed up by black finishes on the engine, air cleaner, fork sliders, shocks and headlight eyebrow. The bike also gets dual disc brakes up front.

Harley's suggested prices for the 883R are $7,595 for black or Racing Orange for $7,815 (before shipping, California emissions and options).

The following is Harley's release on the 883R:

_The Sportster XL883R pays tribute to the famed Harley-Davidson XR dirt track racers with eye-catching, race-inspired styling elements. Most noticeable are the blacked-out Evolution powertrain and race-ready 883R graphics on the classic, orange 3.3-gallon fuel tank.

A staggered shorty dual exhaust system and dual front disc brakes reflect the 883R's competitive DNA. Blacked-out components like fork sliders, headlamp eyebrow, handlebars, air cleaner cover and rear shock springs enhance its distinctive style and make it a fun bike to ride.

Like all 2005 model year Sportsters, the 883R offers uncompromised comfort and handling thanks to its redesigned-in-2004 Evolution engine that's rubber-mounted to a stronger, more rigid frame._

2005 15th Anniversary Edition FLSTFI Fat Boy Celebrates a Decade and a Half of Fat

Before low-carb diets, there was the first Fat Boy. For 15 years, the plumpest member of the Softail family has ridden at or near the top of the list of America's favorite motorcycles. Now Harley celebrates the fact that you can't be too rich or too fat with a special version of the Fat Boy and has bulked up the engine to 1550cc. This first full-production Harley to use that displacement, though we speculate that it will be more widely deployed in the future, considering that most of Harley's competitors' big twins are 1500cc or more, making its current 1450cc seem diminutive, even though it out-performs many bigger V-twins. Fuel-injection is the only intake option on the anniversary Fat Boy.

The rest of the changes are mostly cosmetic. There is a new seat, chrome on the signature disc wheels and gold striping on air cleaner cover, timer cover and ignition switch plate. A 24K gold-plated tank emblem completes the anniversary treatment.

It will be sold in black or silver, either of which carries a $18,495 MSRP, though many dealers probably put a premium on them.

This is Harley's statement about the Anniversary Fat Boy:

_For 15 years the Fat Boy has ruled the heavyweight cruiser class by blending classic hardtail styling with a heart-pounding counter-balanced V-Twin engine. The 15th Anniversary Edition Fat Boy commemorates the model's journey with an extra helping of chrome, performance and style.

Its signature solid disc wheels have been chromed, making a visual statement that's as powerful as it is custom. The two color options--Vivid Black and Brilliant Silver, a nod to the original color introduced in 1990--are complemented by a matched paint scheme on its counter-balanced V-Twin motor. A 24K gold-plated tank emblem and unique Badlander-inspired, double-stitched seam seat, gold striped air cleaner cover, timer cover and ignition switch plate are unique custom treatments.

Driving that point home is a big bore, fuel-injected 1550cc Twin Cam 95 engine producing 87.1-ft.-lbs. of torque at 4000 rpm. It's counterbalanced and solid-mounted to deliver the Softail's tightly-framed, timeless style and strong roll-on power with just the right amount of feedback to the rider. The 15th Anniversary Fat Boy will be available until June 2005, while supplies last._

The R version of the Sportster 883 brings racing-inspired graphics and dual-disc front brakes.
The 15th Anniversary Fat Boy is the first standard-production Harley motorcycle with the 1550cc engine.