Every year, the motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, draws thousands of motorcyclists from all over the world to the small South Dakota town. And while everyone is welcome, a large percentage of the bikers in attendance are driving Harleys. So it's no surprise that Ford chose this year's event as the place to show off its 2012 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson pickup truck.
The 2012 truck is Ford's newest Harley-themed pickup, and the collaboration seems to be working, with combined sales of over 70,000 vehicles since the companies paired-up in 1999. Harley trucks have traveled through the F-Series lineup over the years, and included F-150s, F-250s, F-350s and even the big F-450 in 2009. Each new version of the Ford Harley-Davidson truck has been unique, and the 2012 F-150 continues that trend.
Want a closer look at the truck? Click on any photo.
F-150 Harley-Davidson Truck's Exterior
The F-150 Harley edition has unique body graphics, as always, and sports a six-bar billet style chrome grille, with a Harley badge, of course. The truck rides on 22-inch machined aluminum wheels (scroll down for a photo) and has deployable running boards that tuck up under the rocker panel when they're not needed.
For 2012, Ford added a White Platinum Tri-coat model to its standard Tuxedo Black exterior -- the first time Ford has offered a Harley-Davidson Edition in white.
The Truck's Interior
Ford builds several limited edition pickups, and never scrimps on features. The Harley truck's interior is dressed in snakeskin-like leather combined with glossy black panels. You'll also see brushed aluminum door scuff plates and satin finish chrome accents on the seats. A handcrafted cloisonne Harley-Davidson emblem, made by the same company that makes the Harley motorcycle badges, is set into the console lid and appears on each of the front seats.
A 4.2-inch productivity screen is standard on the 2012 Harley truck, and is centered between the tachometer and the speedometer. Work buttons on the steering wheel to see information like miles per gallon averages, the number of miles you can travel before emptying the tanak, and performance related displays.
An 8-inch voice activated touch screen lets you control the truck's navigation and climate systems. Sirius/XM radio is standard, and so are remote start, a 110 volt power inverter, adjustable pedal heights, heated front and rear seats, a power moonroof and a backup camera.
What's Under the Truck's Hood?
The new trucks are powered by a 6.2 liter gas V8 that came out of Ford's F-150 Raptor development program -- the engine's 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque made it a good match for the Harley-Davidson Edition pickup. This engine has the power to move the F-150 down the road empty, loaded or pulling a trailer -- the tow rating for the special edition truck is 7,500 pounds.
Ford's SelectShift automatic transmission is standard equipment on Harley trucks. The tranny operates like a normal automatic until you move the shift-lever mounted toggle switch. A flip of the switch puts you in full manual control and the transmission won't shift until you tell it to -- it remains in the same gear as long as you need it there, kind of like having a stick shift, but without the clutch.
Feature-rich limited edition trucks fill a need in the specialty trucks market, but they aren't for everyone. If you have a strong interest in both Ford and Harley-Davidson, plan to at least take a look at the 2012 model.