Harley-Davidson launches Roadster at Canada’s largest bike rally

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The new Harley-Davidson Roadster was unveiled on Friday by the Davidson family at PD13, Canada’s largest motorcycle rally, which takes place every Friday the 13th, in Port Dover, Ontario. Bill and Karen Davidson – great-grandchildren to company co-founder William G. Davidson – gave Canadian riders the first look at the Roadster, priced at $12,999 and at home in urban landscapes and on twisting roads alike.

“With 75 per cent of Canadians living in urban environments, we are thrilled to be adding the Roadster to our roster.  We now offer eight city-friendly Harley-Davidson motorcycles priced under $13,000, making our line-up more accessible than ever before,” said Anoop Prakash, Managing Director, Harley-Davidson Canada. “The Roadster will be a natural fit for riding in the city, with the added performance to get out of town and experience the many epic summer events across the country, like PD13.”

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The new Roadster model joins the Dark Custom lineup with a minimalist design inspired by classic racing motorcycles and current trends in stripped-down, naked custom bikes and a profile reminiscent of racing Sportster motorcycles from the 1950s and 1960s.

The bike was launched amid fanfare, including a Live Mural Experience, painted by artist David Arrigo and given away as a grand prize. The canvas wasn’t the only thing getting inked, though, as The Black Pearl tattoo parlour team was also on-site.

The star of the show, however, was the all-new Roadster, unveiled at noon.

“The Roadster is a new chapter in the Harley-Davidson story,” said Bill Davidson. “And a new chapter in the Sportster story as well. The Roadster is a mash-up of styling genres, but the intent was to build a rider’s motorcycle, a Sportster that’s lean and powerful and connects the rider to the road.”

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The Roadster delivers modern performance with a combination of new wheels and tires mated to premium suspension components and an air-cooled 1200cc V-Twin engine that delivers a strong pulse of mid-range torque. The 19-inch front and 18-inch rear Offset-Split 5-Spoke cast aluminum wheels were designed specifically for the Roadster and contribute to its balanced, athletic stance.

“We wanted to give the Roadster some DNA from the high-performance KHR models of the mid-50s, and later Sportsters tuned for the drag strip,” said Ben McGinley, Industrial Designer, Harley-Davidson, also on-hand for the launch. “Those bikes had fenders cut to the struts, the small fuel tank, and were stripped to their bare essentials to achieve a singular performance purpose.”

The Roadster’s suspension is enhanced by new 43mm inverted single-cartridge forks with tri-rate springs, gripped in robust triple clamps and rear suspension featuring gas-charged emulsion coil-over shocks and tri-rate springs with adjustable pre-load and offers greater suspension travel than any other Sportster model – 4.5 inches in front and 3.2-inches in the rear. Outstanding stopping power is achieved with dual 11.8-inch floating rotors on the front wheel. The Roadster is available with optional ABS brakes.

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The Roadster puts its rider in an aggressive posture with a new low-rise handlebar and mid-mount foot controls that center the rider’s weight over the classic profile of the 3.3-gallon Sportster fuel tank. The Harley-Davidson Roadster model will be offered in four color choices: Vivid Black with a charcoal denim pinstripe; Black Denim with a red pinstripe; Velocity Red Sunglo with a red pinstripe; and two-tone Billet Silver/Vivid Black with a burgundy pinstripe. – CNW

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