By on August 31, 2018

Image: Harley-Davidson

It was always a weird partnership, but, despite ending five years ago, it seems a struggling Harley-Davidson can’t stop thinking about its ex.

For more than a decade, Ford Motor Company sold Harley Davidson Edition F-150s to consumers whose other car was a bike. The “wow” factor varied, as over the years the model morphed from an appearance package to a performance variant to a luxury castle, only to be muscled aside by a growing roster of high-end trims.

Well, Ford and Harley-Davidson are back at it, but it isn’t an official reunion.

This time, the only involvement on the part of Ford is that its F-150s serve as the basis for a conversion. Indiana-based Tuscany Motor Co., maker of illustrious custom brodozers, has come aboard to make it happen. Together, the two companies hope to generate awareness, as well as interest, among would-be owners and Ford dealers.

Tuscany and Ford go way back, as the Indiana company remains a Ford-approved specialty vehicle manufacturer and vendor. The limited-edition, 700-horsepower Shelby F-150 displayed at the 2015 SEMA show was Tuscany’s doing.

Image: Harley-Davidson

Like looking at concept trucks? Harley, which has enough on its plate already, hopes you do. The company’s concept truck (aka Harley-Davidson Truck) went live at the motorcycle maker’s 115th anniversary bash in Wisconsin on Wednesday. Apparently, this truck aims to remind viewers of Harley’s Fat Boy model, though the casual observer might insist it looks more like a 2019 Ford F-150.

On all corners, you’ll find unique 22-inch aluminum wheels shod in all-terrain rubber, and Tuscany has also punched vents in the front fenders that it claims are functional. The grille and similarly perforated bumper cap accommodate black honeycomb mesh and, in the case of the bumper, an obnoxious LED light bar. A new Raptor-style hood sees its own honeycomb.

Beneath the beast, a BDS Suspension lift and FOX shock absorbers lend the truck an off-roading prowess its 22-inch wheels might have a problem with. (Content subject to change, Tuscany warns.) Elsewhere, Harley-Davidson’s presence rings out loud and proud from every nook and cranny.

If brash driving is your bag, Harley wants to hear from you.

[Image: Harley-Davidson/Tuscany Motor Co.]

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65 Comments on “Escorted Out of the Ford Club, Harley-Davidson Goes It Alone...”


  • avatar
    jh26036

    This LED light bar trend needs to stop right now.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      they’re fine for their intended purpose, but the 20-year-old morons who leave them blazing at full brightness all the time on the road need to be yanked out of their cabs and smacked around like the brats they are.

    • 0 avatar
      thalter

      This. How are these things legal for on-road use?

    • 0 avatar
      BunkerMan

      I’ve driven in a few white outs over the past couple of years, and I will say that the bars make it easy to see oncoming traffic when they have them turned on. Off road they are nice too. Just because some yahoos put them on their brodozers doesn’t mean they aren’t useful in other situations.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    If this one is anything like the other Tuscany conversions, it will be a $30k+ markup for $8k worth of parts. No thanks.

  • avatar
    RSF

    Ehh. Hopefully those wheels are one of the things subject to change.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Does anyone else feel that HD has had their run? I don’t find the equipment they offer to be useful in anyway shape or form. Mostly, when at a traffic light I look at a hot vibrating mess making a ridiculous amount of noise.

    I know it is an ‘American institution’ but jeebus they took it too far to the leathered extreme, which is now a bunch of fat boomers.

    As for the truck above, silly. The HD crowd, as mentioned above, are largely overweight boomers. To find success they should go look at the late 90’s or early 00’s HD F150 that 2wd has 22’s and was lowered just a tad. That would work perfect for the target audience as their is zero chance they can heft themselves into this bro-dozer.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I’ve never liked their motorcycles, and I’m square in the middle of the Boomer generation. They are sort of trapped in what has been a profitable niche, building these large, slow, shakey motorcyles for people who like that sort of thing. Increasingly, those who wanted such a thing already have it, and their market is going to shrink over time. They’ll have to diversify into something else.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        victim of their own image, I guess. the new (2017+) big twins have had most (Touring) or all (Softail) of the vibration counterbalanced out. and with the Dyna dead (thankfully) the only “old” one left is the Sportster which most predictions believe will be killed off within a year when the new modular platform bikes start coming out. Yes, starting next (calendar) year there’ll be an H-D adventure bike, electric bike, and (*gasp*) naked sport bike.

        though I’m pretty happy with my Street Glide. no vibration and decent ride. that is, once I reduced the pre-load on the rear suspension…

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          The “naked sport bike” is being hyped as a “street fighter” like the Ducati Monster but the preliminary images show a clone of the very popular Ducati Diavel.
          The photo’s of the Harley Adventure bike are horrific. It is ugly and looks heavy.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “The photo’s of the Harley Adventure bike are horrific. It is ugly and looks heavy.”

            there’s a good looking adventure bike?

        • 0 avatar
          rocketrodeo

          You should be setting your preload based on your static sag, not your comfort. If your sag is set properly and your ride isn’t comfortable, you need to change the spring or adjust the damping.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @JimZ – I am not a fan of the duckbill snout styling endemic to the adventure class. The Harley adventure bike is ugly in comparison to others in the class and to virtually all other bikes.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @rocketrodeo – I agree on adjusting static sag but IIRC different styles of bikes require different static sag. Dirt bikes, dual sports, and supermoto’s tend to be 100mm. 110 if you prefer tighter turning. I’m assuming that long travel adventure bikes would be similar to that.
            Sport bikes are around 25 – 32 mm rear and 32 – 38 front.
            Do Harley cruisers have compression and rebound damping adjustments?

            Most higher end dual sports, dirt bikes and supermoto’s have high and low speed damping adjustments along with rebound.

            The problem with adjustable suspensions is the fact that people don’t understand how suspensions work and don’t have the rider skill and/or patience to find the best settings. I ran across this problem all of the time with younger riders on sport bikes.

          • 0 avatar
            rocketrodeo

            It’s very bike-specific. Roughly a third to a quarter of the total suspension travel between fully unloaded and loaded with rider, depending on your preferences on the comfort/performance spectrum, and after taking stiction into account.

            Not many bikes come stock with damping adjustment, and when they do it’s almost always rebound damping. You have to go aftermarket (or buy a bike with an aftermarket supplier’s suspension as a factory option, like Ohlins) to get both compression and rebound damping. I have had Works shocks built for my last couple bikes after off-the-shelf aftermarket options for previous ones. Robust design and perpetually rebuildable.
            Traxxion Dynamics and RaceTech are good for fork options. Cartridge fork emulators are the bomb for older bikes with damper rod forks. Previously I played with a combination of fork spring rates and different weights of fork oil to get close to what I wanted.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        I like the flat track 1200 styles that they make sporadically. I appreciate the baggers but wouldn’t want to own one. I think Triumph is just stealing HD’s lunch money on nostalgia rides, and Indian is kicking ass on modernizing the cruiser (the Scout is excellent imho). So HD only feels competitive on the $20k+ monsters and that doesn’t sound like it’s enough to keep HD floating. I’d add that my experience with HD’s service department was so bad that I’d never consider another HD.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Modernizing?” Most Indian bikes look like they’re straight out of 1955.

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            If you look at the details on the scout, you’ll see what I mean. Aluminum frame, dohc, liquid cooled with no fake fins, the engine is balanced, etc. and they look old fashioned from a distance but then you get up close and it’s up to date for a motorcycle with much better detailing than the Japanese cruisers.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            yes, and how many Scouts have they sold vs. how many ultra-retro huge-fender leather-tasseled Cheiftains or Roadmasters?

            Heck, you remember the Harley V-Rod, yes? it’s not like Polaris was the first on this continent to discover counterbalancing and water cooling.

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            I’m not sure what your arguing about. The scout is the direction Indian is going and it’s an up to date design. I also understand that Indian is gaining market while HD is losing it and the scout is selling well.

            I wasn’t trying to give a history lesson on attempts to modernize american cruisers starting with the v-rod. What I’m saying is that this bike is doing it right and executing well on the details that are so important on a cruiser. Better than anyone else that I can see.

          • 0 avatar
            rocketrodeo

            Porsche engineered the H-D Revolution engines that went in the V-Rods and Street Rods. Tough to call that an American design.

            Also a fan of flat-track-influenced street bikes. I built an ironhead street tracker quite a few years ago. The upcoming Indian FTR1200 is going to be difficult to resist.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @rocketrodeo – The Indian FTR1200 is the only bike that Polaris makes that I’d be interested in.
            There is ample competition in that class with Triumph and Ducati with a huge range of Scramblers.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I don’t have a strong opinion on HD bikes one way or the other, but I will admit to preferring the “cruiser” style of motorcycle.

      Sport bikes all look like they belong on the set of Super Sentai and the “cafe” or “adventure” type motorcycles are too hipster for me.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Cruiser all the way.

        Of course you can always buy a Honda Goldwing over a HD and get the “driving your barcalounger” experience.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          despite their limitations, H-D still doesn’t seem to have much trouble selling bikes. Meanwhile, someone linked me to a “blowout” sale where Honda is *still* trying to dump unsold 2014 model year Gold Wings for less than half of MSRP.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Nothing like a pair of H-D riding slow pokes holding up a line of traffic on a twisty back road, including pickups pulling 5th wheel trailers. I don’t care for the impractical ergos of pure sport bikes or even their aesthetics, my favorites are the late 60s-late 70s Japanese “standard” style, or my old ‘99 Suzuki Bandit 1200s.

        • 0 avatar
          R Henry

          That is true, yes, but there is no denying that contemporary Goldwings are a masterpiece of engineering. If you ever get a chance to ride one, you will be flat-out amazed.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “That is true, yes, but there is no denying that contemporary Goldwings are a masterpiece of engineering.”

            a “masterpiece of engineering” whose suspension basically rests on its bump stops.

            https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/does-the-new-gold-wing-have-a-big-problem

            ” If you ever get a chance to ride one, you will be flat-out amazed.”

            my feet can’t even reach the ground on those monsters, never mind trying to ride one.

            but anyway, answer me this- if the Gold Wings are so bloody awesome, why is Honda *still* trying to foist off 4-year-old unsold bikes for less than half of MSRP? Surely they could sell themselves?

          • 0 avatar
            rocketrodeo

            Because they are different bikes. Very different bikes. The new generation has very little in common with the previous ones. Much more compact engine, lighter weight, both roomier and sportier ergonomics. The Hossack fork is a major upgrade. Also a DCT available.

            What you’re calling a bump stop is an elastomer spring that also functions, yes, as a bump stop, but primarily provides progressivity to the final bit of suspension travel. Honda could have done the same thing with a triple-rate spring for considerably higher cost. Yes, it will wear out. I haven’t seen a stock bike suspension for any brand last more than 25 or 30K without significantly degrading. Most serious riders replace their suspensions as a matter of course. The article you reference is a little self-serving since the Traxxion Dynamics guy is in the business of replacing stock suspensions with more capable, tunable, and rebuildable components.

            But the stock suspension tuning makes sense for the bulk of Goldwing riders, and when the elastomers wear out, they’ll need to be replaced. Along with the shock. It will probably be a much cheaper and easier job than replacing fork seals, springs, and bushings like on a conventional telescopic fork. I do my own maintenance work and I have done this task quite a number of times, and it’s right up there with rebuilding carbs for detestable tasks.

            Gold Wings are notable for accommodating short-legged riders. If it is too tall for you, your options are indeed limited for fit.

        • 0 avatar
          rocketrodeo

          You’ve got that backwards. Goldwings have been considerably sportier than H-D’s touring baggers for quite some time. Much more power, advanced adjustable suspension, and excellent ground clearance.

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          A Goldwing is very maneuverable for what it is. Ride one on a curvy, mountain road then ride a Harley dresser and tell me which has the “barcalounger” feel.

      • 0 avatar
        rocketrodeo

        I’ve owned and ridden all styles of bikes over the years–dirt bikes, cruisers, standards, sport tourers, and sportbikes. I’m no fan of the current generation of insectlike sportbikes, but there is nothing I’ve owned or ridden as functionally limited as cruisers. Their bad ergos are matched only by their bad dynamics. Sport tourers are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Effortless speed, great handling, perfect ergonomics. Comfortable but still sharp in the twisties. Best machine possible for transcontinental blasts, cars not excepted.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “I’ve owned and ridden all styles of bikes over the years–dirt bikes, cruisers, standards, sport tourers, and sportbikes.”

          which of course means you’re anointed to dictate to others what they should like.

          • 0 avatar
            hubcap

            “which of course means you’re anointed to dictate to others what they should like.”

            I didn’t take it that way. I’m curious why you did?

            Everyone has their likes and dislikes. Rocketrodeo stated his coupled with the various types of motorcycles he’s owned.

            To me, it’s a more informed opinion versus someone whose owned only one type but at the end of the day, it’s an opinion.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “I didn’t take it that way. I’m curious why you did?”

            because in my experience, when someone opens a discussion by counting off their supposed credentials, they do so in an attempt to sound like an authority.

            and my experience has taught me I’ve yet to be wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            rocketrodeo

            My experience tells me that the last place to find an informed opinion on motorcycling is from a cruiser rider, unless the topic is cruisers. Those conversations run the gamut from bolt-on chrome and cupholders to loud exhausts and hatred of helmet laws.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “My experience tells me that the last place to find an informed opinion on motorcycling is from a cruiser rider, unless the topic is cruisers. ”

            I have more than one kind of bike, you presumptuous butt.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I’m sure they are nice to ride, but every “sport touring” motorcycle I know of looks like many pieces of Samsonite luggage and unfortunately I’m one of those people that care about aesthetics.

          I’m guessing most “cruiser” riders know they are trading off some (or maybe a lot of) dynamics for the style.

          • 0 avatar
            rocketrodeo

            It’s hard to say what they know. The cult of HD doesn’t offer much of an upgrade path with more capable bikes available for more skilled riders, and they usually run in packs where they are subject to the limitations of the least skilled rider in the group. Harleys and similar cruisers are more or less beginner bikes, and their riders often display horrendous skills. Their extremely modest limits don’t encourage hard or sporting riding, and it’s often painful getting stuck behind one on a curvy mountain road, watching its rider wobble through the curves. Fortunately they’re easy to pass.

            Harleys are appealing because their best features–styling and noise–are completely accessible to non-riders. Bikes that reward skill and experience have characteristic features that are of little use to non-riders or even newbies. Less showroom appeal, for sure.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “Their extremely modest limits don’t encourage hard or sporting riding, and it’s often painful getting stuck behind one on a curvy mountain road”

            Not everyone wants to channel their inner Valentino Rossi. If HD riders are universally being unsafe then that’s a problem, but some people just want to ‘cruise’ down the street to Dairy Queen on something that looks nice.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I agree with rocketrodeo. Harley doesn’t have much of a range of bikes to appeal to a variety of rider skills. The bike limits you to a very slow sedate riding style because power, suspension, braking etc. doesn’t allow anything else.
            The two most popular bike styles I see are cruisers and adventure bikes. At least with adventure bikes there is a wide array of choices. You have small to large displacement and street biased to off-road biased and everything in between.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “At least with adventure bikes there is a wide array of choices.”

            Leaving HD-specifics out of it, wouldn’t the “cruiser” class run from something like a Yamaha V-Star 250 to a Triumph Rocket III? That seems like a fairly large range to me.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @ajla – Hang out with Harley riders for a while and they will tend to deride anything that isn’t large displacement. Anything small or Japanese gets sh!t on. It is hilarious to see Canadian bikers spew crap about “Jap scrap”. I tend to shut them down by pointing out the fact that in Canada a Harley is just as much and import bike as Yamaha.

            I don’t consider small displacement cruisers in the class since they are the Northern pickup dealer equivalent of a 4×2 regular cab pickup i.e. lot poison. Starter bikes in the cruiser class tend to be Harley Sportsters in the 1200 cc range and rarely the 883. Both of those bikes are seen as “chick bikes”.
            Most cruisers are cookie cutter versions of Harley Davidson regardless of brand or size. There are “muscle” cruisers like Rocket III but those tend to be hamstrung by the cruiser style over function design. Even the awesome Ducati Diavel has succumbed to the cruiser design paradigm by offering most products just in black and even offering an “X” model with forward controls.
            Adventure bikes especially the higher end ones offer more specific options tailored to subsets of adventure riders. The KTM 1290R is a hardcore bike for highly skilled aggressive offroad riders. The BMW R 1200 GS is also more focused on the type of rider that goes into more remote areas and needs to pack a ton of fuel and supplies. Each of those brands also offer a huge array of other configurations.

    • 0 avatar
      2drsedanman

      I think you are spot on. Harley definitely has a demographic/marketing challenge ahead of it. I’m not sure anyone younger than boomers is interested/can afford these type of toys in the future.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        It’s funny- I’ve read all these posts on old fat guys on HD’s. But the other day I LQTM because I saw 3 separate HDs that were all equip’d similarly (street bobs maybe-basic big model? with leather bags and a windshield), each ridden by a fairly skinny guy. Each with a checkered shirt and a similar leather vest and a helmet that appeared to be leather wrapped.
        Central wardrobe and styling department I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Harley has become the “PT Cruiser” of motorcycles, everyone who wants one has one and with no “Easy Rider” type movies to glorify their existence they will whither and die on the vine

  • avatar
    RHD

    The HD Fat Boy was named after its corpulent customer.

  • avatar
    SixspeedSi

    Does this truck come with straight pipes for “safety reasons”?

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    Awww poooor poooor down and out(their own making) Harley being single handedly DESTROYED by that big bad Ford! Look, the constant stupid Ford bashing being done on this site is petty AF. Makes you guys look pathetic.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Not my style, but I am fairly certain they will be sold as quickly as Tuscany can turn them out.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    Harley Davidson didn’t help its public image with what it did with its recent tax break. I doubt this truck will help any more.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I’ll take those rims, in 17 inch for my xlt. They scream 80s F100 more than Harley to me. I’m good with that

  • avatar
    macmcmacmac

    You are enjoying a nice brisk ride on a sunny afternoon. Rounding a corner, you suddenly find yourself on the wrong end of a pirate parade busily saving lives at 60km/h in a 80km/h zone. The road straightens up, and a passing zone appears. It will only let you pass about 1/2 of the bro’s, road captains, sergeant at arms, blockers blah, blah, blah, before it ends. The straight is much longer than that, and traffic free. Do you:

    1. Resign yourself to a 2 hr run home with one elbow on the tank supporting your helmet, on a route that would normally take you 40mins or less. You are bounded by a river one one side and there is no viable alternate route.

    2. Use the passing zone as usual and hope the bros don’t mind you slotting in to their procession when it ends.

    3. Drop the Hammamatsu Hammer and blast by the whole damn lot as they (illegally) cruise two abreast at a snail’s pace, choking up half a mile of two lane highway.

    Theoretical (cough) motorcycle is a warmed up 2004 Bandit with a mild 125hp at the wheel.

    What do you do? What DO you do?

  • avatar
    Mike_H

    The HD 115th Anniversary celebration was held in Milwaukee this weekend. I went.

    The HD themed Ford trucks were on display on the grounds of the HD Museum. I like trucks, and I like Harley Davidson. These trucks, though, were just clownishly overdone, seriously stupid looking trucks. If there is some effective cross-product marketing going on, I completely missed it, as did the tens of thousands of people at the HD Museum.

    The trucks sat there, doors and tailgate open, waiting for someone, anyone, to climb in and take a look. They were avoided like they were toxic.

    Total flub.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I’ll never understand why Ford never required Harley to make an F150 bike.

  • avatar
    macmcmacmac

    Some might say that the back of a pickup is the natural habitat of an HD, so the merger of the two is natural.

    Not me of course. I like HDs.

    I saw a sticker price on a HD themed F150 about 8-10 years ago @$78k and had to laugh.


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