Well, Harley-Davidson launched their 2014 model line-up today!
My reaction? I am SO happy we snagged our 2013 CVO Road King when we did, as the 2014 model couldn’t be any more different without being a different model all together: timing really is everything!
Because we waited so long we were able secure an end-of-model-year, out-the-door cost with freight, state taxes and license that was less than the MSRP of the 2014 model which doesn’t have the lowers, the audio system, the passenger back rest, or nearly as much chrome. As for the 2014’s colors and graphics our Crushed Sapphire Blue 2013 with Cold Fusion graphics, that’s way too subjective to address: either you like certain colors or you don’t. Suffices to say, we really like the Crushed Sapphire Blue: for comparison purposes, here are some side-by-sides:
Now, to be fair, the 2014 is definitely going to appeal to the Harley purists who never warmed up to the 2013 FLHRSE5 Road King model with its lower fairings and integrated audio system: after all, Road Kings aren’t supposed to have lowers or radios! Again, we’re thanking our lucky stars at this point because we’re thrilled to have the lowers, audio and very un-Road King like look and feel of our 2013 FLHRSE5.
As for some of the other changes to styling cues, there are definitely some “what were they thinking” changes in 2014. First up, those ghastly tail lights; their predecessors were so much more integrated-looking:
As for the front-end treatment with the painted headlight shroud and uppers, once again it’s a pretty subjective thing: it’s very CVO, but I’m glad ours was chromed and, well, gotta love the lowers!
Well, that was my knee-jerk reaction and in summary:
Pros for 2014:
- The new bags look to be an improvement relative to volume, ease of use, etc.
- The new steering head / forks should be of benefit, just not thrilled with the powdercoat vs. chrome.
- Linked brakes are a big plus; had those on my ’98 CBR1100XX… but without ABS. Good combination!
- Brighter lighting is also huge; I’ve had to drop $160 to give more punch to my turn signal/running lights.
- Loosing the lowers will be a plus for RK afficianados and folks who were bothered by the loss of airflow.
- $1,500 MSRP price point drop helps with affordability, but the take-aways were worth a lot more than $1,500.
Cons for 2014:
- Not feeling the love for the color selections and graphics that I did for all three of last year’s options.
- Definitely not feeling much love for the the switch to blacked-out trim on the engine and bars; smacks of cost-cutting similar to what was done with the new Wide Glides.
- The rear fascia / tail light treatment is truly a WTF; I can’t find a tie-in with any thing else on the bike.
- No rear passenger backrest is a hit to the package value only because it was included in the 2013.
- The loss of the lowers is huge; it’s one of the things that made the 2013 FLHRSE5 attractive to me.
- The audio system wasn’t something I cared about on the 2013 until we fired it up; now it’s a big plus: love it.
There’s actually quite a lot of “new stuff” from Harley for 2014, but since I’ve recently taken myself out of the market I’ll let most of that slide and/or be addressed by the folks who are in the market, i.e., Twin-Cooled / Water Cooled cylinder head system with radiators in side pod / fairings, new bat wing fairing design, new electronics, etc.
Again, just really, really glad the sun, the moon and the stars aligned for us on the model, color and price of our FLHRSE5. NO regrets.