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Aug. 11, 2008 – Touching all bike segments

August 11, 2008
Filed under Features

Harley-Davidson’s recently unveiled 2009 lineup features a redesigned chassis for its Touring family, a new three-wheeler, significant changes to its Sportster bikes and a couple of new custom options.
“Under the skin, our 2009 touring models are essentially new motorcycles,” Bill Davidson, Harley-Davidson’s vice president of Core Customer Marketing said in a press release. “There is likely no profile on the American road more distinctive than that of a Harley-Davidson Touring motorcycle, and we were able to retain the character of each model while significantly improving the riding experience in many ways.”
The chassis change for the seven-model Harley-Davidson Touring family for 2009 incorporates an all-new frame, swingarm and engine mounting system. The new chassis, based on a single-spar, rigid backbone frame, supports an increased load capacity of 70 pounds. That allows for a five-pound increase in each saddlebag and the Tour-Pak.
Harley’s touring family, the market share leader for its class, also will come with a new wheel-and-tire combination, as the front wheel’s diameter has been increased an additional inch in most cases and the width of the rear wheel has been increased by two inches. Acceleration performance also has been improved thanks to a lower final drive ratio.
The Sportster family also received upgrades for the 2009 model year, primarily to its suspension. The 883 Custom, 1200 Low and 1200 Custom’s springs and dampening rates have been recalibrated and new damping devices were installed.
Plus, all new Sportster models receive a new, low-profile front fender and the 883 and 1200 Custom models receive new rear wheels that are expected to improve ride quality.
In its power cruiser category, Harley showed off the new V-Rod Muscle and two other models, the Dyna Street Bob and the Heritage Softail Classic, received significant styling changes.
Harley also announced it would offer six new color combinations for 2009, plus three custom color combinations.

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