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Progressive project RUSHMORE melds styling and function

Progressive project RUSHMORE melds styling and function

Written by  on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 11:29

Respect the heritage, but move it forward. That was the mission of the Project RUSHMORE team tasked with restyling the 2014 Harley-Davidson® Touring and Trike models. Form and function progressed together as stylists working alongside engineers devised new shapes that are crisp, modern, aerodynamic, lighter in weight, and pleasing to touch. The styling team influenced every aspect of the new motorcycles, from the contours of the iconic Bat Wing fairing to the tactile feel of new hand control switches, and brought complete continuity to the design aesthetic. The motorcycles are undoubtedly new, yet undeniably built by the Harley-Davison Motor Company.

“When we got this assignment, we knew that we were messing with the Holy Grail of motorcycles,” said Brian Nelson, lead stylist on Project RUSHMORE. “We don’t do trend bikes or fashion-statement motorcycles. We try to make something that will last forever. But, we also have an obligation to move the Brand forward to make it look and function better. Project RUSHMORE was a tremendous opportunity to enhance many facets of these Harley-Davidson® models.”

Almost every visible element of the six 2014 Harley-Davidson® Touring and Trike models has been restyled, including the wheels, bodywork, luggage, instrument displays, and hand controls, each with the goal of improving both the look and the function of each component.

·         New Bat Wing Fairing: The new fairing is the most obvious styling change for 2014, in part because its shape is so familiar to riders and non-riders alike. The new Bat Wing fairing represents an intense collaboration between stylists and engineers. The two teams worked together to create a shape that is a fresh yet recognizable interpretation of an iconic design, and also provides a significant reduction in head buffeting to the rider. The centred intake port for the splitstream vent transitions smoothly to the base of the windshield. Other changes to the fairing shape are more subtle. Coverage in front of the hand controls is slightly larger, and there is more overhang of the headlamp.

·         One-Touch Design: A functional element applied to the Tour-Pak®, saddlebags, jukebox, fairing lower storage compartments, and fuel tank door permits latching and unlatching with a simple press or pull of a finger.

·         New Tour-Pak®: Its crisp new shape makes the new Tour-Pak® appear more compact, but it actually offers 4 per cent more capacity than the previous Tour-Pak design, and it still holds two full-face helmets. New LED rear lighting is less intrusive within the rear corners of the Tour-Pak®. The single one-touch latch and a new self-centering catch and retractable tether make it possible to open and close the Tour-Pak® lid with one hand. The Tour-Pak® lock is now integrated into the latch. New premium hinges eliminate exposed rivets. The interior features a new liner material and a new map and tool kit pouch. The new Tour-Pak® luggage support structure looks cleaner and allows one inch of adjustment for the Tour-Pak® to move forward or backward to reposition the passenger backrest.

·         New Saddlebags: The new hard saddlebags have a sleeker shape that complements the Tour-Pak®, and offer about 1 per cent more capacity. New one-touch latch handles are located between the seat and the saddlebag. A new hinge design makes it possible to open the lid with one hand. The tubular saddlebag guards have been reshaped to increase passenger leg room while still providing protection for the bags. The new saddlebag supports are made of cast aluminum and are cleaner looking, lighter in weight, comprise fewer parts, and provide better bag alignment than the steel supports they replaced. The new supports also accommodate easier installation of accessory docking kits for backrests and racks.

·         New Jukebox Compartment: The new jukebox compartment on the fairing dash features a USB port for charging and connecting to mobile phones and other electronic devices. The jukebox compartment features a cushioned bottom and water-resistant foam seal around the one-touch door.

·         New Fairing Lowers Storage: The storage compartments in the lower fairings offer 37 per cent more capacity than the previous design and feature hinged doors with one-touch latches. A new sliding latch for the fairing vent door is easier to use.


·         New Hand Controls: The shape, feel, position, and function of all hand controls have been improved. Hand control buttons have a dished shape and angle that better fits the thumb or finger and provides positive engagement. Switch texture and keystroke was designed to provide better feel and feedback. The cruise control button is moved to the left hand control so the right hand no longer has to maintain the throttle and engage the control. All infotainment functions are controlled through thumb-operated five-way joysticks located on the left and right hand control areas. A new trip switch trigger on the back of the left hand control cycles the LCD screen on the speedometer through odometer, trip, range to empty, clock, and gear displays. Five open panel switches are prewired for installation of accessories.

·         New Gauges: Designed to be easier to read in all conditions, the new speedometer and tachometer on all fairing-equipped models feature a 10 per cent larger viewing area and 68 per cent wider numbers. Warning lights and the speedometer screen are also larger and more visible. The fuel and volt gauges are 28 per cent larger. The oil pressure and ambient air temperature displays have been moved to the Boom!™ Box infotainment screen. The Ultra Limited gauges have an elevated and lighted “stadium” tic band around the perimeter. A larger number font is also featured on the Road King® model’s speedometer.

·         New Fenders: All 2014 Harley-Davidson® Touring models feature a more contemporary front fender design. The steel fender has a streamlined shape, and the skirt has been cut higher to expose more of the front wheel. The fender is also tilted forward slightly to level it with the ground. The rail and rubber bumper have been removed from the Electra Glide® Ultra Classic® and Ultra Limited models, and those models and the Road King® model have a sleeker tip light. At the rear, the Electra Glide® Ultra Classic® and Ultra Limited models have the turn signals relocated to the Tour-Pak®, and the rubber fender bumper has been eliminated. The rear fender rubber bumper and tip guard has also been removed from the Road King® model.

·         New Wheels: All Touring models feature new Original Equipment cast aluminum wheels designed to be lighter and stiffer than previous wheel styles. The Street Glide® and Street Glide® Special models are equipped with the five-spoke Enforcer cast aluminum wheel and feature a new 19-inch diameter front wheel. Other Touring models are fitted with the new 10-spoke Impeller cast aluminum wheels, with an 18-inch diameter front wheel. All models have a 16-inch diameter rear wheel.

About Deeley Harley-Davidson® Canada

Deeley Harley-Davidson® Canada is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles, Genuine Motor Parts and Accessories, and MotorClothes® apparel, which are provided through a national network of authorized Harley-Davidson® Retailers. Office and distribution warehouse facilities are located in Richmond, British Columbia, and Concord, Ontario.

-- From Deeley Harley-Davidson


Published in Industry News

Graeme Jones

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