International Lonestar Harley-Davidson Special Edition - Haulers

There are thousands of ways you can pledge your allegiance to Harley-Davidson and the V-twin for which it stands when you're not actually riding one. Tattoos. Decals. Doo-rags. Scary lingerie. But until the Newport News Shipbuilding Company introduces the USS Willie G. aircraft carrier, this is the top of the aspirational food chain. The spec sheet alone tells you that much. Topped off with 300 gallons of diesel fuel, the luxuriously appointed, two-door Class 8 tractor weighs in right at 22,000 pounds. Climb-and we do mean climb-into the cab and that expanse of hood covers your basic Navistar Maxforce 15: an inline, six-cylinder, intercooled turbo-diesel carrying 40 quarts of oil and 42 quarts of coolant. Though it won't fit on our dyno, International claims 550 horsepower at the 2000-rpm operational rev limit. Torque, however, is the story, as the strongest Maxforce six makes 1850 lb.-ft. of the stuff-roughly equivalent to the maximum output of 20 of the Motor Company's Twin-Cam 96 twins. We're talking about some serious twist here, with a bling factor to match.

Black paint set off with silver and orange pinstriping is your first clue. Traverse the 270-inch wheelbase and slide those watery eyes across an impressive inventory of genuine H-D embellishments. Headlights come right out of Harley's Screamin' Eagle catalog. Inspired by International's 1939 D-Series, the artfully aerodynamic grill carries tastefully placed Harley logos. Hallowed bar-and-shield logos are engraved, sewn, stamped, embossed and even debossed on the leather door panels inside. Close that door and you're surrounded by more black leather and dark rosewood cabinetry than a suite at the Four Seasons. Now turn around: That's the bedroom; a "sleeper" in long-haul parlance. A couch by day, it unfurls into a 42-inch-wide inner-spring or memory-foam mattress. Take your pick. And yes, Virginia, that's a hardwood walnut and maple floor. Extravagant? Maybe. Unless you're on the road for three weeks every month; then it's home. A $155,000 home, including the $5500 cost of the Harley-Davidson Special Edition package. If that's not enough, there are further options to overwhelm the most ambitious Harley fan.

Since nobody on our masthead has a current commercial license, actual driving impressions come from those who do. Once you master the 18-speed gearbox-a certified art form in itself-the 15.2-liter turbo-diesel's prodigious torque moves all 11 tons of leather, wood and steel down the road smartly enough. Top speed is a purely theoretical 95 mph. Air brakes are essentially devoid of discernable feel, so slowing down can be as tricky as speeding up. On the plus side, the interior is surprisingly quiet at speed, and air suspension smoothes out the average under-maintained freeway quite well. Still, there's something about rolling down the road on 24.5-inch aluminum wheels in something big enough to haul the whole Motorcyclist test fleet. If you're more accustomed to hauling stuff in a 5700-lb. Toyota Tundra, that something is abject terror. Living your Optimus-Prime-Does-Sturgis dream might sound like fun, but this driver's seat is best left to the 250 lucky long-haul professionals who will actually own one of these limited-edition rigs. Walk us through that 18-speed again and breakfast is on us.

Price as tested $155,000
Engine type l-c inline-six, turbo-diesel
Valve train DOHC, 24v
Displacement 15,207cc
Transmission 18-speed
Horsepower 550 bhp @ 2000 rpm
Torque 1850 lb.-ft. @ 1200 rpm
Front Suspension Hendrikson Mono-Leaf Springs
Rear Suspension International's IROS
Brakes Meritor Q-Plus S-cam with Bendix ABS
Front Tires (2) 11R24.5 Goodyear Unisteel G395
Rear Tires (8) 11R24.5 Goodyear Unisteel G362
The 6 x 4-foot sleeper goes from mobile boardroom to bedroom. That leather couch unfolds into a sumptous 42-inch-wide bunk.
Data and controls are readily accessible behind the wheel. Engine-turned plate atop the shifter says LoneStar 001 belongs to Willie G. Davidson.