Tri Glide Trike Leads Harley Davidson's 2009 Lineup
Yes, folks, you read it here first (or maybe second or third) but the heartily awaited conventional Harley Davidson Lehman Trike is now officially bearing a Harley Davidson title as the world's first Tri Glide!
Although it is a traditional Lehman Trike with two wheels in the back, instead of the long rumored leaning trike with one wheel in the back and two in the front Revolutionary Trike, this motorcycle is amazingly significant as it represents Harley Davidson's first formal foray into trikes in well over two decades.
This true Harley Davidson Trike will be sold at official Harley dealers and of course carry the conventional warranty. The single most significant aspect of this motorcycle is that the entire frame of the Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide has been modified to become a trike, unlike conventional trikes by Lehman and other manufacturers which take a basic motorcycle frame and chop it up to add the different rear end. This frame lends itself to a completely different geometry which is optimized for the handling characteristics of a trike instead of a two wheeled motorcycle.
The forks have been extended by 1.78 inches, and the rake increased dramatically from 29.25 to a full 32 degrees to aid stability in steering. The rear axle assembly features an aluminum center section with steel axle tubes, it bears a Hayes Brake dual disc brake system, and it is suspended by dual air adjustable shock absorbers. The belt final drive is carried over from the Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide and should do a superb job of transmitting all that power and torque from that Twin Cam 103 cubic inch V-Twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) through that 6 speed Cruise Drive transmission and onto that shiny new rear end!
The Tri Glide even has a lever actuated integrated parking brake! I can't believe how badly I want one! Now all I have to do is find someone to lend me $29,990!
That's the really great news about the 2009 Harley lineup as some long time favorites have disappeared. In a highly questionable marketing move, Harley Davidson is eliminating the base-model 883 Sportster as well as the Wide Glide. The VRod line is losing the Night Rod (er... yah... so what...) but gaining a new model called The Muscle which cleans up the ugly bugly lines of the VRod a bit, but still makes it look like something that might have come from the Lifan or Hyosung styling departments.
Harley's Buell Motorcycle Company has the added the 1125CR which is proof positive that my old Daytona drinkin' bud Willie G. Davidson reads my Hubs and agrees that the number one motorcycle on the 10 Ugliest Motorcycles List should not be one of his bikes. The 1125 CR is the nicest looking and most conventionally styled Buell in years, and although I could live without the whatever the heck scoopy thingy that protrudes out the front of the bike over the front cylinder and looks like a leftover prop from The Dark Knight, the rest is borderline aesthetically acceptable.
Harley needs to go farther to update its lineup for today's new realities. Although the Tri Glide is a great first step, they still have a long way to go! Are you reading now, Willie G.?
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