Following the release of the Low Rider, SuperLow 1200T and Street 500/750 earlier this year, Harley-Davidson recently launched its full 2015 lineup in Sonoma, California. The Road Glide returns with extensive updates, the new Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low and Ultra Limited Low accommodate shorter riders, and there are four Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) models: Limited, Road Glide Ultra, Street Glide and Softail Deluxe.
And now there’s a second member of the Trike family called the Freewheeler, a hot-rod three-wheeler with 12-inch mini ape-hanger handlebars, bobtail fenders and lots of chrome. Although built on the same chassis as the Tri Glide, the Freewheeler is more compact. Foregoing the fairing and Tour-Pak and streamlining the design reduced its claimed 1,082-pound curb weight by 133 pounds compared to the Tri Glide. Out front is a big chrome nacelle housing a Dual Halogen headlight and a 19-inch Enforcer cast-aluminum wheel, paired with two 15-inchers out back that flank a waterproof trunk with a top-loading door and 2 cubic feet of space (enough for two full-face helmets).
Those mini apes reduce reach to the handlebar, and the seat brings the rider forward in the cockpit, making the Freewheeler ideal for small-to-average sized riders. Those big rear contact patches put the air-cooled High Output Twin Cam 103 V-twin’s ample grunt to good use, and the taut rear suspension keeps the wheels on the road but feels harsh over rough pavement. Steering effort is light for a trike but requires more muscle than any two-wheeler, and the triple disc brakes slow things down in a hurry as long as you apply plenty of pressure on the rear pedal. A parking brake and electric reverse gear are standard, but ABS is not available.
Lighter, sleeker and cheaper than the Tri Glide, the Freewheeler is available in Vivid Black for $24,999, or Amber Whiskey or Superior Blue for $25,499.
2015 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler
Base Price: $24,999
Price as Tested: $25,499 (color)
Engine Type: Air-cooled, transverse 45-degree V-twin, OHV, 2 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 1,690cc (103ci)
Bore x Stroke: 98.4 x 111.1mm
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: Belt
Wheelbase: 66.0 in.
Rake/Trail: 26 degrees/3.96 in.
Seat Height: 27.5 in.
Claimed Wet Weight: 1,082 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 6.0 gals., last 1.0 gal. warning light on
(This article was published in Kickstarts in the November 2015 issue of Rider magazine.)