WORLD FIRST TEST 2017 H-D FREEWHEELER
Leave your prejudices at the kerb – this is a terrific trike
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