Spy Shot Madness: Part 1 – Harley-Davidson Road Glide, Freewheeler

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For some reason, there were a lot of new spy shots floating around the web this week, including new bikes from Ducati, BMW, Harley-Davidson and Ducati.

Usually, the busiest time of the year for spy shots is the week before the EICMA show in Milan.

All the manufacturers sweat it out, waiting for the competition to tip their hand; once the first few snaps come out, the Euro manufacturers in particular release a flood of images through backchannels. It helps when a few intrepid local journalists come up with clever ways to sneak into the halls for advance shots …

This week, though, we had shots of all sorts of new bikes, with no rhyme or reason. Read on:

Behold, the Freewheeler - or so the photographer claims. Photo: Motorcycle-USA.com/ KGP Spy Photography
Behold, the Freewheeler – or so the photographer claims. Photo: Motorcycle-USA.com/ KGP Spy Photography

Motorcycle-USA.com has run spy pix of two new Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the Freewheeler trike and the updated Road Glide.

The Motor Company has been in the trike business for years, with their Servi-Car model outfitting everyone from ice cream vendors to police, back in the days when they were a cheap alternative to a car (the 1930s to the 1970s). Now they build the Tri-Glide model, but there’s more competition in the three-wheeled market all the time, from aftermarket modifiers like Lehmann, and newer designs from Bombardier or Piaggio.

Here's the view from behind. Photo: Motorcycle-USA.com/KGP Spy Photography
Here’s the view from behind. Photo: Motorcycle-USA.com/KGP Spy Photography

KGP Spy Photos, who took both of these shots for Motorcycle-USA.com, says Harley-Davidson trademarked the name “Freewheeler” for a three-wheeled vehicle last year. We don’t know if that’s correct or not, but the photos seem to show an air-cooled trike built around a Big Twin that’s pretty polished, and ready for production.

The Tri-Glide is basically a touring bike with a third wheel, but the Freewheeler has no fairings or luggage; presumably, it’s a getaway vehicle for the bad-buttocked dentists and lawyers who are unsteady on their legs, or whose wives worry about them on one of those dangerous two-wheeled vehicles and think they’re safer on a trike …

The Road Glide still has a shark-nose fairing, but it's been updated. Photo: Motorcycle-USA/KGP Spy Photography
The Road Glide still has a shark-nose fairing, but it’s been updated. Photo: Motorcycle-USA/KGP Spy Photography

Motorcycle-USA also had shots of a new Harley-Davidson Road Glide. Last year, Harley-Davidson ruffled a few feathers by canceling Road Glide models. That move was tied up with the lineup shuffle that happened when they introduced the new Project Rushmore machines. There was also some gossip that the changes came after a machine used to make the Road Glide fairings was damaged.

With that in mind, it’s interesting to note that one of the most visible changes to the Road Glide is a new front fairing. Other changes include a revised front brake rotor, possibly indicating ABS as standard, says Motorcycle-USA. They also claim the luggage configuration indicates this is a standard Road Glide model, not an Ultra or Classic or Limited or whatever.

The Road Glide, from the back. Photo: Motorcycle-USA.com/KGP Spy Photography
The Road Glide, from the back. Photo: Motorcycle-USA.com/KGP Spy Photography

It’s also interesting to note this machine still has an air-cooled motor. While Harley-Davidson has introduced the Twin-Cooled motor for their touring lineup and the liquid-cooled Revolution motor to their new Street 500 and 750, this machine still has the old radiator-free 103, with six-speed, although it seems it’s the High Output version.

Both of these machines are said to be ready for official release later this summer.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Golden opportunity squandered by Harley again. A real chance to do something special with the Road Glide like put the V-Rod motor in it, integrate the lower fairings to hide the rads and give the Big Wing a real run for the money.

    It is nice to see HD is thinking of their buyers though. I mean putting and extra wheel at the back so the doddering old farts that still buy Harleys don’t fall down and break a hip at traffics lights is moving. Good on ya Harley Davidson. I need a tissue

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