WORLD FIRST TEST 2017 H-D FREEWHEELER

Leave your prej­u­dices at the kerb – this is a ter­rific trike

Motorcycle News (UK) - - New Bikes - PHIL WEST MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

Har­ley’s trikes are fairly new to the UK, hav­ing been avail­able in the US for years, but for 2017, fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful in­tro­duc­tion of the full-dress Triglide in 2015, es­sen­tially a three­wheeled ver­sion of the Elec­traglide Ul­tra Clas­sic, there’s sud­denly now two dif­fer­ent ver­sions avail­able. Say hello to the new, Mil­wau­kee-eight­pow­ered, Har­ley Freewheeler.

And it’s a hoot – well, for a trike at least. There’s not room to go into the whole trike v bike thing here, all the dis­ad­van­tages of a car plus all the dis­ad­van­tages of a bike, for ex­am­ple. For what it is, and how it works, how­ever, the Freewheeler cer­tainly de­liv­ers.

Ba­si­cally a smaller, cheaper, chopped down more hot rod-styled ver­sion of the Triglide, like all 2017’s Har­ley tour­ers it has the lat­est Mil­wau­kee-eight four-valve mo­tor (here in oil-cooled trim) and up­rated sus­pen­sion. With a shorter wheel­base, less weight and more min­i­mal body­work it’s much leaner than the Triglide and ar­guably more stylish, too, yet still re­tains a de­cent boot.

And as a ride, once ac­cus­tomed to it, it’s a dod­dle and great fun as well. Re­lease the foot brake and, in a straight line, it’s iden­ti­cal to con­ven­tional Har­ley – but rigidly up­right. Corners ad­mit­tedly, re­quire greater ef­fort and a fair bit of body Eng­lish to tiller round, but its noth­ing most rid­ers can’t han­dle. And, on top of that, there’s an elec­tric re­verse gear for park­ing.

‘For what it is and how it works, the Freewheeler cer­tainly de­liv­ers’

If 1950s-styled three-wheeled hot rods are your thing, you’re in luck

That Mil­wau­kee-eight mo­tor pumps out plenty of power un­der the tank

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