According to Harley-Davidson, the new 2019 FXDR 114 delivers moto-aggression with a technical edge and resembles a drag racer crossed-bred with a fighter jet. Pretty strong words, those. Let’s take a closer look.
The newest addition to the Harley-Davidson lineup is the FXDR 114, which is set to take Harley-Davidson closer to the current date. Undoubtedly to the outrage of the purists, Harley-Davidson uses, for instance, composite materials instead of steel in the model’s bodywork.
Below the somewhat radical styling lies a traditional Harley-setup, albeit with a twist. The propelling force of the FXDR comes from the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine, which is bolted to a softail frame. According to Harley, aluminium and composite components are used liberally for weight savings.
– This motorcycle is really a blast to ride, says David Latz, Lead Product Manager at Harley-Davidson.
– The FXDR 114 surrounds the very capable Softail chassis with Milwaukee-Eight 114 power, premium front and rear suspension and a host of new weight-saving components and materials. This is a power cruiser that delivers exceptional ride and handling characteristics.
A step towards a lighter weight
The aluminium swingarm saves over 6,5 kgs compared to the steel swingarm generally used in Softail models with a 240 section rear tyre. As this weight is unspring, it should have a significant impact on handling.
The lightweight 18-inch rear disc wheel is also made of aluminium. The 19-inch forged aluminium front wheel is designed to be light with its thin spokes.
The steel subframe, fender and supports are replaced with an aluminium subframe and composite tail section. Also both fenders are made of lightweight composite.
Styling inspiration for the FXDR comes from the drag strip. According to Harley, the styling “communicates a commitment to all-out performance”.
– The look of the FXDR 114 expresses its performance potential and highlights the technical features that set it apart from the rest of the Softail line-up, says Brad Richards, Vice President of Styling and Design.
– The drag-bike influence is strong with the raked and inverted front end, massive intake and exhaust, proportional contrast between the wheels, and the clipped tail section. But we made sure that purely technical elements like the aluminum swingarm, fully integrated digital instrumentation within the rider controls, and exposed external suspension adjuster are highlighted as well and help define this bike’s mission, which is pure performance, not just straight-line performance.
A speed screen frames the LED headlamp and helps breaks the wind, while a stretched 4.4-gallon fuel tank the bike’s profile. A race-inspired lower fairing conceals much of the oil cooler. The tail section is clipped short in drag bike/stunter style to expose the 240mm rear tire. A solo seat flows seamlessly into the tail section. A cover on the top of the tail section can be removed to reveal a storage compartment within the subframe.
A molded composite rear fender is designed to hug the tire and move with the suspension – the idea is that it becomes nearly invisible when the bike is in motion. A rear lighting module and license plate fixture is secured to an aluminum spar mounted to the left side of the swingarm, leaving the right side of the rear wheel exposed.
The FXDR 114 is equipped with the most powerful engine offered in the Softail chassis, a Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin, which is tuned to produce 160 Nm of torque at 3500. The shape of the forward-facing air intake is inspired by Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines drag bikes. Besides looking good, it’s designed to improve airflow into the engine. The exiting of air is managed by a new 2-into-1 exhaust, which is tuned for a throaty rumble and shaped to maximize lean angle.
Advances in cylinder head design and precision oil cooling allow a 10.0:1 compression ratio. The engine is rigid-mounted to further stiffen the frame, in order to further enhance steering response. The engine uses two balance shafts to reduce vibration at idle.
Eye on handling
Harley-Davidson have tuned the softail chassis for more responsive handling, to make the FXDR a proper rider’s motorcycle. The swingarm geometry is optimized and the rear shock has an external hydraulic preload adjustment. The front suspension is handled by 43mm USD forks. The lean angle of the FXDR is greatest of all the softail models – although slightly below 33 degrees is nothing spectacular, it’s quite decent considering it’s still a softail.
In the front the deceleration is managed by ABS-equipped 300mm dual disc brakes.
|Seat Height||720 mm|
|Fuel Capacity||16.7 l|
|Dry weight||289 kg|
|Engine Torque||160 Nm|
|Transmission||6-Speed Cruise Drive|
Wheels and tyres
|Wheels||Gloss/satin black, split 5-spoke, Ace cast aluminum with laser etched graphics|
|Tyre Front||120/70ZR-19 60W|
|Tyre Rear||240/40R-18 79V|