Earlier this month, Harley-Davidson announced plans to take the company in some new and somewhat surprising ways. We’ll have to wait a little longer to see the products of this new direction, such as electric LiveWire and Pan America 1250 adventure bike, but in the meantime, and perhaps to ease the transition for more traditional Harley riders, we have the new 2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 power cruiser.
Billed as drag racer crossed with a fighter jet, the FXDR 114 offers the most powerful engine in the Softail line. But the FXDR isn’t just designed for straight-line performance; a focus on weight reduction and greater lean angle should help make it more agile than any other Softail.
Harley made weight reduction a priority for the FXDR, making use of a number of aluminum and composite components. The aluminum swingarm weighs just 13.8 pounds, compared to a typical steel Softail swingarm which weighs 24 pounds. The rear subframe is also made of aluminum while the tail is a composite material, further reducing weight by seven pounds compared to a steel subframe and fender used on other Softails. An 18-inch aluminum disc rear wheel and 19-inch forged aluminum front wheel with thin spokes also help to reduce the unsprung weight. Overall, the FXDR 114 claims a dry weight of 637 pounds.
The swingarm is suspended by a preload adjustable coil-over monoshock, offering 3.4 inches of travel for the rear wheel. An inverted 43mm single-cartridge fork with a triple-rate spring offers 5.1 inches of front-end travel. Dual 300mm front rotors are paired with four-piston calipers while a two-piston caliper is fitted to the 292mm rear disc. ABS is standard.
As its name implies, the FXDR is powered by the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine, tuned to produce 119 lb-ft. of torque at 3500rpm. Drawing inspiration from the Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines drag bikes, the FXDR 114 is equipped with a forward-facing air intake. The exposed air filter is made from a new synthetic media that does not require oiling.
The two-into-one exhaust is tuned to produce a throaty rumble. The pipes angle up slightly and end in a very un-Harley-looking silencer shaped to maximize lean angle to 32.8 degrees on the right side. Along with the 32.6-degree angle to the left, the FXDR 114 leans over more than any other Softail. Harley-Davidson also offers a Screamin’ Eagle Titanium Performance slip-on said to produce a more aggressive note while weighing 50% less than the stock muffler. The slip-on can also be combined with an air cleaner kit and street tuner in a Screamin’ Eagle Stage I performance upgrade, setting a base for further Stage II, III and IV upgrades.
The LED headlight is framed by a small screen while a race-inspired chin-fairing covers the front of the frame and the oil cooler. The 4.4-gallon fuel tank is unique to the FXDR, with a longer profile that flows towards the solo seat with a stubby tail that hides a small storage compartment.
“The look of the FXDR 114 expresses its performance potential and highlights the technical features that set it apart from the rest of the Softail line-up,” said Brad Richards, Vice President of Styling and Design. “The drag-bike influence is strong with the raked and inverted front end, massive intake and exhaust, proportional contrast between the wheels, and the clipped tail section. But we made sure that purely technical elements like the aluminum swingarm, fully integrated digital instrumentation within the rider controls, and exposed external suspension adjuster are highlighted as well and help define this bike’s mission, which is pure performance, not just straight-line performance.”
The 2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 will be offered in six color options: Vivid Black, Black Denim, Industrial Gray Denim, Wicked Red Denim, Bonneville Salt Denim and Rawhide denim. Pricing starts at $21,349 for Vivid Black and $21,749 for the other colors.