Arguably the most iconic of all motorcycle brands across the globe, Harley-Davidson will be celebrating its 120th year in style with three brand new models and no fewer than six limited edition variants.
The three new models, the Breakout, Nightster Special and Freewheeler fall into the performance cruiser, middleweight sport and trike categories respectively. Meanwhile, the new anniversary limited editions see exclusive 120th-anniversary paint, finishes and detailing added to a wide spectrum of the Harley-Davidson family.
“Since 1903, Harley-Davidson has pioneered American motorcycle design, technology, and performance, and today marks the beginning of a year-long celebration of Harley-Davidson’s 120th Anniversary,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson. “We’re excited to share the first release of 2023 Harley-Davidson motorcycles, with more to come later in the year. 2023 is going to be an unforgettable milestone for the company, celebrating the history, culture and community of Harley-Davidson.”
The first of the three new models, the Breakout, offers what Harley-Davidson describes as more muscle, courtesy of the Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-Twin through the standard production in-house powertrain, stretched over a long and lean chopper profile. Starting at £24,195 (up to £24,635 for colour options), you’ll find an 18.9-litre fuel tank, topped with a low-profile chrome console, which not only extends the riding range of the Breakout, but also the overall profile of the motorcycle and a new handlebar riser sees the polished stainless steel bars sit 19mm taller than previous models.
Chrome detailing is found throughout the new Breakout model with all-new 26-spoke cast aluminium finished in gloss black with machined details. Meanwhile, Harley-Davidson states that the Softail chassis provides classic hardtail lines, whilst retaining a modern ride and handling performance.
The latest edition to the Nightster family, the new Special model, features a range of style and technical upgrades from the original model launched last April. One of the more significant changes to the Nightster is the all-new TFT display, replacing the previous analogue/LCD display of the original Nightster. The new setup features a full infotainment screen when connected via Bluetooth to the rider’s mobile device, with most functions only working if wearing a Bluetooth headset underneath your helmet.
Visual changes include the immediately noticeable switch from seven-spoke cast alloy wheels to 14-spoke, with a tyre pressure monitoring system. Meanwhile, a new handlebar riser brings the control two inches higher and an inch further back, which Harley-Davidson claims puts the rider in a more ‘commanding’ position on the road. The Nightster Special continues to draw its power from the Revolution Max 975T liquid-cooled V-Twin engine and starts at £15,395, jumping up to £15,770 for colour options.
The Freewheeler has been given a fresh, more aggressive look for the anniversary year. Almost all of the chrome details on the previous model have been replaced with black styling instead, with the headlamp nacelle, powertrain, exhaust and footrests among those to have the darker hue. The switch instantly changes the character of the bike on looks alone, which is claimed to lean on the trike’s ‘raw, hot-rod attitude’.
It’s not just a colour change, however, as the new Freewheeler now sits on low-profile tyres on 18-inch wheels, replacing the 15-inch offerings from the previous model, and with exposed rear lug nuts to give a more performance-based feel. The Freewheeler will start at £31,495, with colour options again taking it up to £32,345 for a two-tone design.
With such a significant anniversary being celebrated in 2023, Harley-Davidson has pulled out all the stops to ensure that the milestone is honoured accordingly. The headline anniversary edition is the ‘very-limited, super-premium’ CVO Road Glide Limited Anniversary model, offering what Harley-Davidson states is its most intricate paint scheme ever offered. Panels of Heirloom Red are applied over a base coat of Anniversary Black, each outlined with a bright red pinstripe and a hand-applied gold paint scallop. There are also subtle details dotted within the panels, portraying the head and wings of a soaring eagle.
The eagle appears again, this time in an art deco style, on the gold-plated tank medallion, while additional details include an Alcantara seat with gold and red stitching, gold-tone powertrain inserts and bright red rocker boxes and pushrod tube collars. Pricing for this anniversary edition sits at £50,395 and will be limited to just 1,500 examples worldwide.
An alternative version of the anniversary paint scheme will be offered on six additional special editions, with the designs inspired by early Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Each will feature a classic panelled paint scheme, based around the Heirloom Red colour, and outlined with a darker Midnight Crimson fade and bright red pinstriping. An art deco eagle tank medallion, red powertrain inserts and seat covers with red side panels and gold Harley-Davidson logo are also included.