HARLEY-Davidson engineers have developed a completely new frame for the Company’s 2009 range of Touring models. The new design is said to improve comfort and functionality while preserving the timeless character of the bikes.
n addition to the new frame, the triple trees, swingarm, engine mounts, exhaust system, rear fender, wheels and tires have also been redesigned. However, key visual elements such as the front end, fuel tank, saddlebags and Tour-Pak are essentially unchanged to maintain the model’s heritage.
The new Touring chassis is a single-spar, rigid backbone style that provides a 70lb increase in carrying capacity, and is manufactured with the latest coordinated motion robotic welding process. The new design results in a 50 percent reduction in parts, and a 50 percent reduction in the total length of welds used on the frame. T-studs have been eliminated, and the components of the new frame are joined with cast and forged node-tube joints.
A separate bolt-on tail section isolates the main frame from the tail frame, providing more product-design flexibility, while the new swingarm is manufactured from a two-piece, deep-drawn shell with a forged pivot section.
The new chassis also allow for a change to 17in front wheel from a 16in (except for the Road King Classic, which has 16in wheels front and rear). At the rear the width of the 16in wheel is increased to 5in from 3in. Rear tires are new Dunlop D407 Multi-Tread with a 180mm section, designed specifically for the new Harley-Davidson Touring chassis. At the front a 130/80-17 tire is used.
“In 2009, Harley-Davidson will mark its 15th consecutive year of leading the touring segment in market share,” said Bill Davidson, Harley-Davidson Vice President, Core Customer Marketing. “Our dedication to constant improvement of Harley-Davidson motorcycles brings the new chassis and other upgrades for 2009 to deliver a new level of agility and responsiveness, rider and passenger comfort and cargo capacity.”