Milwaukee, Wisconsin - This is the first of the new Harley-Davidson models for 2015, the Road Glide Special. It's actually the return of a popular and successful nameplate of previous years, but product planning manager Mike Goche insists that this is a whole new bike.
Shown for the first time in public this week at the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota - well ahead of the announcement of the complete 2015 model line-up - the sleek, shark-nose Road Glide Special tourer is based on the customer-led Project Rushmore product development effort.
Shaped by hours of wind tunnel testing, the new frame-mounted Road Glide Special fairing is 35mm narrower than the previous version , with a grandly-named 'triple splitstream vent' that's intended to reduce head buffeting while still providing comfortable airflow around the rider, directly above a pair of brilliant white 'Daymaker' LED headlights.
Inside the fairing you'll find a Boom Box 6.5GT infotainment system with touch screen and GPS navigation, which can also be controlled by dual joysticks mounted in the switchgear, on a new swept-back handlebar.
A 1690cc '103' V-twin engine provides 138Nm with just a twist of the throttle, through a six-speed gearbox and belt final drive to a fat 180/65 - 16 rear tyre.
Touring features include hard panniers with 'one-touch' lids, cruise control, linked brakes with ABS and hand-adjustable low-profile rear suspension.
The Road Glide Special will be released in South Africa in September 2014 at R309 995.
Engine: 1690cc Air-cooled four-stroke V-twin.
Bore x stroke: 98.4 x 111.1mm.
Compression ratio: 10.0:1.
Valvegear: Pushrod with two overhead valves per cylinder.
Power: 53.7kW at 5500rpm.
Torque: 138Nm at 3500rpm.
Induction: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection with one 46mm Delphi throttle body.
Ignition: Digital electronic.
Clutch: Cable-operated multiplate wet clutch.
Transmission: Six-speed constant-mesh gearbox with final drive by toothed belt.
Front Suspension: 49mm conventional cartridge forks.
Rear Suspension: Dual hydraulic shock absorbers air-adjustable for preload.
Front brakes: Dual 300mm discs with Brembo four-piston callipers and ABS.
Rear brake: 300mm disc with four-piston calliper and ABS.
Front tyre: 130/80 - 17 tubeless.
Rear tyre: 180/65 - 16 tubeless.
Seat height: 696mm.
Kerb Weight: 385kg.
Fuel tank: 22.7 litres.
Fuel consumption (claimed): 5.6 litres per 100km.
Price: R309 995.