Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) unveiled its new lineup of 2014 motorcycle models here last night during the company's Annual Dealer Meeting. The star of the show is not a single bike – rather eight new bikes under the banner Project RUSHMORE, the outcome of a new customer-driven product development effort, which Harley-Davidson implemented to re-engineer the world's best-selling line of touring motorcycles. The road trip will never be the same.
In the largest scale new model launch in the company's 110-year history, Project RUSHMORE encompasses eight new motorcycles that feature improved power and braking performance, enhanced rider ergonomics, and dramatic styling updates that completely redefine and fundamentally transform the touring motorcyclist's experience.
"Project RUSHMORE is the first project to reap the benefits of our product development transformation," said Matt Levatich, President and Chief Operating Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. "We've been one with our riders and dealers for 110 years, and we're now doing a much, much better job bringing their insights and needs into great new bikes; and getting the job done 30 percent faster so they can enjoy it all sooner! The world's best – and best selling – touring bike just got a whole lot better because of the inspiration of our riders and the talent and dedication of our employees.
"The great new Project RUSHMORE content is proof of the new power of Harley-Davidson product development. And the only true way to appreciate what Project RUSHMORE delivers is by swinging your leg over one of these new motorcycles," added Levatich.
BUILT BY RIDERS, FOR RIDERS
Building on the technological foundation that established the company's clear leadership in the touring motorcycle segment, eight new 2014 Harley-Davidson Touring, Trike and Custom Vehicle Operations models, including Road King®, Street Glide®, Street Glide® Special, Electra Glide® Ultra Classic®, Ultra Limited, Tri Glide® Ultra, CVO Ultra Limited and CVO Road King® feature innovative Project RUSHMORE-inspired enhancements in four key areas:
Control: Project RUSHMORE bikes pass faster, stop quicker and see farther at night, thus inspiring rider confidence. Some models feature the new Twin-Cooled™ High Output Twin Cam 103™ while others get the new High Output Twin Cam 103™ powertrain – both with fuel injection. Reflex™ Linked Brakes with ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) is new for all models and the new Daymaker™ LED is also standard on some models while others get new Dual Halogen lighting.
Infotainment: New color-screen Boom! ™ Box infotainment systems feature the first original-equipment voice recognition and touchscreen for music, GPS navigation and phone in motorcycling, with quality audio, Bluetooth® connectivity, text-to-speech technology, plus support for intercom and CB communications in a single module.
Feel: Aerodynamics and ergonomics come together to improve comfort -- from the new Batwing fairing with splitstream venting, which reduces head buffeting by 20 percent, to best-in-class ride for passengers with wider and deeper seats and new back and arm rests.
Style: The form and the function of many components are improved – a larger Tour-Pak® and saddlebags with convenient One-Touch latches, sleeker fenders, lighter cast aluminum wheels and intuitive hand control switches.
To bring Project RUSHMORE to life, Harley-Davidson created its first-ever global marketing campaign under the "United by Independents" thematic. A :60 television commercial called "Our Night," that's fueled by a modern cover of The Beatles' anthem "Come Together" anchors the fully integrated marketing effort.
In true Harley-Davidson fashion, the company "crowd-sourced" the global music industry to reimagine the iconic song. Dozens of bands shared its vision, but The Strypes, a young, high-energy rock and blues band from Ireland, rose to the top. The band will use the song as its North American debut.
Additionally, Harley-Davidson "crowd-sourced" the talent for the commercial. Real riders star in the spot and the commercial closes with a montage of the faces of Harley-Davidson fans and employees – all cast through social media.
NEW STYLING, CUSTOMIZATION AND ABS PROFILED IN 2014 LINE-UP
Additional headlines from the 2014 Harley-Davidson lineup include the restyled Fat Bob® model, the availability of anti-lock brakes on all five 2014 Sportster models and the continued integration of H-D1™ Factory Customization.
The web-based H-D1 Factory Customization program allows customers to select factory-installed options that personalize fit, function and style to the Sportster 1200 Custom and Street Bob.
All new 2014 models, including Project RUSHMORE bikes will be on dealer showroom floors in the U.S. starting this week.