Exclusive First Drive: 2012 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150

3 F-150 HD snow
Any time a celebrity relationship lasts more than a decade, you wonder how the couple keeps it from getting stale and if there’s enough substance underneath for the relationship to continue.  Maybe they’re not actual celebrities, but the Ford and Harley-Davidson relationship, now in its 12th year, has definitely given birth to some amazing offspring.

Over that time, there have been 10 F-150s and six Super Duty models, with the first F-450 model in 2009. In all, more than 70,000 Harley F-Series packages have been sold since 1999.

With all those years of success behind Ford and Harley, their relationship might be showing signs of conflict. In fact, the newest Ford Harley truck in the lineup might be the most awkward progeny to date. 

The 2012 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 is relatively unchanged from last year: It has the same 6.2-liter V-8 under the hood and more Harley-Davidson emblems than you can count. But the model now offers a new four-wheel-drive transfer case and a few new design details. As it turns out, the transfer case is largely responsible for this truck’s oddly conflicted personality.

More than ever before, this new Harley F-150 is a confused combination of performance truck styling with weakened real-truck capabilities.

Last year, Ford made manufacturing the F-150 simpler by reducing the number of transfer cases available to just two units--one that offers an "all-wheel-drive" setting (for Lariat and higher packages) and one that does not (for XLT and lower packages, and Raptor). The new transfer case has a setting called "4A," which stands for automatic all-wheel drive. This setting allows the vehicle to effectively have a full-time all-wheel-drive mode--you can just set it and forget it. However, it should be noted that Ford’s all-wheel -drive mode is different from GM’s 4WD transfer cases for full-size pickups and SUVs. The Ford system does not send power to all four wheels until it actually detects some amount of slip. The "Auto" setting on GM trucks sends power to all four wheels all the time, but can vary the proportion instantaneously based on multiple sensor input. 

9 F-150 HD gauges
One of the advantages of Ford’s new, smarter, transfer case is that the 4A setting effectively runs like a normal rear-drive vehicle, running more efficiently, in typical high-traction situations. But as soon as any wheel slip is detected, front or rear, the front drive axle engages like a light switch until the sensors determine that front drive is no longer needed. Then the system goes back to a conventional rear drive feel.

This is in contrast to the 4-High or 4-Low settings, which basically lock the center differential and split 50/50 the available engine torque between the front and rear drive shafts. The front axle is open, while the Harley package includes the rear-locking differential that can be engaged only in low range, which makes sense for a rock crawler but not really for a sportier performance truck (especially with 22-inch rims and low-profile tires).

This is the first Harley F-150 to offer a transfer case with a low-range gear; all other Harley F-150s have been rear- or all-wheel drive. And, yes, four-wheel drive was offered in Super Duty Harley-Davidson models. 

We drove the 2012 Harley F-150 on a road trip up Interstate 94 from Chicago to Milwaukee, the birthplace of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

The route allowed us to do some comfortable, wintertime cruising as we averaged about 65 mph on the open road, with temperatures hovering around 40 degrees. At that speed, the Harley F-150 lumbered along around 1,700 rpm, and our computer readout told us we were averaging around 17.2 mpg over our 100-mile highway cruise. By the end of the trip, with two gas fill-ups under our belt by the time we turned in the truck, we had an overall average of 14.2 mpg in the city, which included a rush-hour drive out of Chicago and an accidental tour of downtown Milwaukee, running from the Harley-Davidson Museum (see our tour story) to the company’s headquarters on West Juneau Avenue, about a mile and half away. 

2 F-150 HD engine
The Harley package comes standard with the larger 36-gallon tank, allowing the big V-8 to take the F-150 somewhere between 400 and 600 miles on one tank of fuel, depending on how you drive. And just like last year, all 2012 Harleys come with 3.73:1 gears. At this time, no alternate gearing or engine options are available (which is too bad; we’d like to see a 3.55:1 EcoBoost at some point).  

EPA fuel economy numbers aren’t pretty for the V-8 Harley F-150: 12/16 mpg city/highway and 13 mpg combined. 

Among the truck’s strengths, the throaty rumble of the exhaust note is our favorite. As you might expect, the big-bore, twin-spark-plug V-8 engine makes 411 horsepower and 434 pounds-feet of torque, stuffing a lot of power through the manifolds and tubes. The 6R80 six-speed transmission was a little quick to upshift when motoring through traffic (it would be nice and clearly appropriate with the Harley edition to offer some kind of Sport mode), but we continue to appreciate the thumb-touch gearshift button that allows for quicker and more assured manual shifting. That said, we have to note this is one of the smartest downshifting transmissions of any pickup truck, which becomes even more apparent when mated to the power of this V-8. In some cases the transmission dropped from 6th to 3rd gear when we needed to put the hammer down, causing a launch worthy of any sports car’s respect. 

We didn’t get a chance to run the new Harley F-150 on a track, but we’re guessing the overall zero-to-60-mph time would be right on top of the 2011 model, which Motor Trend track-tested during its time with the truck at a scorching 6.4 seconds. 

As we noted earlier, among the more significant changes in the 2012 Harley F-150 is the transfer case, which has permanent all-wheel-drive capability and part-time low-range capability (a new addition for higher trim levels such as Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Harley). We especially appreciated this new feature when about 6 inches of snow fell overnight in Milwaukee, causing some questionable conditions on all the roads through and around the city. Being able to flip the transfer case dial into all-wheel drive gave us the sure-footedness needed to keep the truck under control and moving with traffic, even with very erratic grip conditions on the road. 

We even got to pull out a late-90s front-wheel-drive Honda CR-V that was parked nose-in into a downhill curb at the Harley museum. Snow plows had wedged a pile of snow behind the back tires to the point the front tires couldn’t push them up and over the berm. The passengers were standing there in the snow with a strap in hand when we almost drove by. We probably could have tugged the CR-V in 4A or 4-High, but we opted to pull it out gently in low range, pulling the vehicle through the snow mounds.

6 F-150 HD museum snow
Unfortunately, it was during the snow flurries when we discovered the Harley front-end styling package does not allow for a tow-hook option. So we wrapped the strap around the lower control arm — certainly not the best choice, but standing in the Wisconsin cold, we weren’t going to delay — and gently tugged the CR-V to better ground. Who would have thought that high-profile Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires had so much grip in snow? For the rest of the day, as we drove around the neighborhoods and city streets of Milwaukee, we had a great deal of fun driving in 4A with traction control turned off. 

Other minor changes for the 2012 Harley F-150 include interior and exterior designs — one we like, the other not so much. Whereas the 2011 model was offered with brushed aluminum inserts, this year there are several more stylish leather snakeskin accents throughout — on the seats, steering wheel and center console. At first glance, it’s subtle enough to miss, but once your eye catches the inlayed texture and color changes when contrasted with the formal black dashboard and trim pieces, the snakeskin pieces look very cool and tie into the Harley mystique quite well.

Outside, the design changes don’t work so well. The new Harley F-150 graphics package almost looks like some windblown clothing or material is stuck onto the side of the truck. Also, if you look closely, the snakeskin design also appears on the exterior graphics package. Interesting for sure, but the leather look on the outside of the truck doesn’t work as well as inside. They missed it with that one.

Likewise, the new rims have a “wavy gravy” look that doesn’t seem masculine or aggressive — it’s sort of odd that they look like they’re melting or losing their shape. Add to that the fact that the high-profile 275/45R22 tires look like rubber bands on a four-wheel-drive truck, and we begin to pick up on some odd personality conflicts with this truck. Calling this Harley F-150 schizophrenic would be an overstatement, but combined with the real four-wheel-drive transfer case, it does seem to lack some design and engineering consistency. Is it a performance truck, or does it want to be a real truck? Trying to be both means it’s likely not to do either very well. 

4 F-150 HD wheels
As to the “truck-ness” of the new Harley F-150, except for the years they were based on the Super Duty platforms, these partner packages have never really been hard workers. The gross vehicle weight rating of our test truck — a short-bed SuperCrew — was 7,350 pounds, and the as-tested weight was 6,240 pounds, leaving a total payload weight of 1,110 pounds. That’s certainly not horrible, but only if you’re comparing it to an F-150 SVT Raptor (which, we might add, seems to be a much better example of a clearly executed design and engineering exercise).

However, if you compare these figures to other SuperCrew 4x4 F-150 models, you are losing almost 700 pounds in payload and more than 3,000 pounds in towing capacity. (Our 4x4 could tow up to 7,300 pounds). For payload, if you add a few passengers to the Harley, you’re looking at the bed capacity being about 700 pounds, about half the capacity of a Honda Ridgeline — not so good for a full-size pickup. (We know criticizing the truck for these types of shortcomings might be a little like criticizing a Porsche 911 for not offering a DVD entertainment system for backseat passengers, but it’s worth pointing out.)


In terms of overall value, we fully expect Ford to sell every Harley package it makes. But with a base price of $52,990 (Download Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 monroney) for the 4x4, you can imagine that not much is left on the options list for a customer to choose. Among our favorite details, the 8-inch touch-screen integrates the voice-activated navigation system, climate control and SiriusXM satellite radio. 

We continue to be huge fans of the 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen, which sits between the tachometer and speedometer. It gives us access to all sorts of information about fuel economy, towing performance and even four-wheel-drive advice. Other standard features include a power moonroof, rearview camera, rear heated seats, ambient lighting, remote start, 110-volt power inverter and more. Our test unit came with a bed extender ($250) and a tailgate step ($375), giving us a grand total of $53,615. 

What’s the bottom line here? This is clearly an impressive vehicle, and Ford continues to be the best in the industry at executing these types of themed vehicles. But this particular Harley-Ford pairing might be overreaching with this 4WD model. Sure, you get a lot for your money, but what kind of truck, chock full of tradeoffs, are you really getting here? If they want it to be their sport truck, it should be better. If it just wants to be their priciest premium trim package, it should be able to do more. 

To put the most positive spin on this, it's a great sport truck that also offers some four-wheel-drive (and all-wheel-drive) capability (sans tow hooks and an all-terrain treads). But to put a more realistic spin on it, you’re getting much less capability for your money and paying a premium for it.  

11 F-150 HD headrest

10 F-150 HD console

12 F-150 HD Juneau

Comments

Mark one error, Should be FX4 and lower vs. XLT and lower.

"Last year, Ford made manufacturing the F-150 simpler by reducing the number of transfer cases available to just two units--one that offers an "all-wheel-drive" setting (for Lariat and higher packages) and one that does not (for XLT and lower packages, and Raptor)."

I'm confused now:

One guy claims a 6.2L outruns a EB. Yet someone else says a Hemi out runs a 6.2L. Yet we know a EB outruns a Hemi.

Come on guys get it straight! hahaha

This site is getting boring bcuz its affiliated with ford. Ford news every wk........ "yawn".....

TRX4 TOMMY, WOW! When I say upgraded I mean from when the engine was new. Hemi had 345 hp in it's first year. 6.2 has 411 in it's first year. That's 66 more hp! The upgraded Hemi has 390 hp! The 6.2 hasn't been upgraded yet! After a few years, Ford will UPGRADE the 6.2 that the 5.7 can't come close to! That's why I laugh at people like you! I can't believe I had to explain this like I was talking to a kid! Now I'm not saying the Hemi is junk, but to compare it to the 6.2 is laughable!

You guys or babies or whatever u are waste your time complaining about this when their are trucks out there driving around on 14 inch wheels and 16 inch tall tires or ones with 22+ inch wheels and practically no sidewall...WOW I wouldnt be surprised to see horrible aftermarket styling choices on your trucks(if you really own one) that compared side by side would make the Harley F150 look like a "real" truck lol.

TRX4 TOMMY, In the 2008 Light truck shootout on this site the Ram ran 0-60 in 7.64 seconds. The 2011 HD F-150 ran it in 6.4 seconds as stated in this write-up. That's 1.24 seconds slower! Tell me again where the Hemi can outrun the 6.2? You need a reality check son!

@ Jm well said . funny how people Spin there crap to make there Truck better .... HEMI lmfao ....

@XTW, my Polaris as I previously said. It is an incredible AWD system, and it sounds like this new F150 has one just as good. I had a Chevy with the AWD previously, and I hated it. It was useless.

I can see the morons are out in full force on this thread. Good lord.

@ Cory Its funny that you give kudos to JM. I too hate it when people try to spin crap. Just like when JM campared an 08 Hemi (one year before the power upgrade) to the new Harley F-150 6.2L. And the 0-60 time JM quotes was done by another source and never verified in the article. Crap was definitly spun by you and JM.

Jordan, JM compared the Hemi that was in the 2008 Shootout. The 2008 Shoutout had all 2009 trucks. 2009 Hemi has 390 hp the same as the 2012 Hemi. The spin stops here.

http://special-reports.pickuptrucks.com/2008/11/2009-dodge-ram.html

Well said, JM.

It was useless.

Well said, Alex.

YAY lets pay 10,000 more dollars for a sticker that says Harley-Davidson yay no different then normal f-150 i rember when trucks were made simple and made for work not for people to buy them and use them for nothing

@ Realist - offended by my "go yell at Fiat" comment/joke? Why would I call them Mercedes Ram? DaimlerBenz was the proper name for the company. In the past I have commented on the foreign owned Chrysler by Daimler Benz and made in Mexico. I used them as a counterpoint to the usual anti-Japanese Toyota commentary.
I don't care who owns what, with the exception of GMC. I don't like governments bailing out by socializing business or banks.
I like the Union Silverado comment. Whould that be union as in UAW or union as USA union?
Obama Sierra? I've already refered to GMC as (OMG) Obama Motor Group. So that one isn't new.

I wouldn't brag too much about the Hemi. It seems many Dodge/chrysler fans bring up the Hemi Top Fuel arguement all the time. Poor arguement really - Top Fuel engine build/configuration rules only allow what amounts to be a "hemi" anyway. Since this is a Harley truck thread, I have a realistic counterpoint: Your Hemi is best argument is like a Harley guy saying their V-Twin is best, but the rules only allow Harley engines like AHDRA (All Harley Drag Racing Assoc).
The Hemi is a good engine but it is a long ways from being the best performance engine in the world. A F1 engine with a 17,000 rpm limit, and 900 HP is much more impressive from a technical and performance perspective.

Ford has gone to the mantra of "One Ford". The goal is to pare down to 25-30 global platforms. That will save billions on R&D, and on build costs. They will keep the F-Series and Mustang for NA as they are great sellers here. Both are North American cash cows for Ford.
I'm willing to bet that Fiat will go with a similar "global" strategy. I wouldn't get all puffy chested about Ferrari or Masserati. Fiat has considered selling one or both to buy the remaining UAW shares in Chrysler. I think that Fiat will do great things with Chrysler. We'll probably see more rebadged Fiat stuff show up in NA than rebadged Chrysler/Dodge stuff show up in Europe. Europeans tend to see NA vehicles as cheep plastic, gutless, land barges that are afraid of corners.

GMC seems to like China. Smart move really. The Chinese and the Indians are the only ones with money to spend right now.

There is only $1200. dif between a loaded Harley and Plat with a 6.2 and only $2000. dif on a Lariat with a 6.2 similarly equipped. So basically you're paying $1000-$200 more for the Harley feaures. That's not bad at all.

"when Chrysler was owned by Mercedes,you never called them a Mercedes Ram,explain yourselves"

That's easy. Chrsyler was owned and sold by Mercedes at a time before comments on pickuptrucks.com were allowed. Back in the early days of pickuptrucks.com there were just articles, no comments.

Ram is taking down Ford in 2012.

Lou:

I didn't realize it was so hard to contact any Ram dealership and ask to test a truck and then go pick it up, in exchange for advertising the dealership.

Boy, that is real thinking outside of the box. But I know it is still hard for you to understand.

If it is so easy, just go out and test it yourself at the dealership. A 6 speed trans is nothing to get worked up about. Ford had a 6 speed in their HD in 2008. GM had a 6 sped in 2007. Who really cares about 6 speeds? It's nothing new. So Ram is late to the party and everyone is supposed to drop what they are doing and test a 6 speed like it's something new or something? I don't think so. They will get to it when they can.

@Jm: I have no idea who TEXT Tommy is, but the fact that you think 434 ft pounds of torque is so great then that explains it. You see, the Hemi was out 8 years ago, your spin about "upgrades" holds no water. The 6.2 was designed and built 8 years later. You move 8 years down the road YOU, no wait a minute, I myself, think technoligy should be advanced. Nope, lol it's just a heavy arse engine that must be revved like a smaller Hemi designed much earlier with surprisingly low tech, then. The present SMALLER Hemi makes about 71.4 foot pounds torque per liter. If the 6.2 made that amount it would be closer to 443 ft pounds torque. Oh yeah, the Hemi does it at a lower peak rpm of 4000, 400 or 500 less rpm then the bigger engine. If you would take a look at the dyno numbers FORD has comparing their engines to others, you would see the Hemi for awhile is pretty darn close to that bigger engine. Your UPGRADE SHOULDA HAPPENED in those 8 YEARS!

@Frank: nope. I would expect more from a 6.2 engine with all the technoligy Ford claims. It's funny how the Ford side of the house wants to compare torque and rpm numbers with the little V-6, which may be the premiem engine, but it's in the class by itself cause it's the only turbo one. Yes, that engine is a great concept, lots of low speed power, lets see how it lasts in the real world. But yet when we want to compare two naturally aspirated engines, the Ford camp doesn't like it. Its actually apples to apples, unlike Jm who thinks we should see what the 6.2 does with technoligy from about 2017. If I had such a heavy truck as a Raptor with heavy wheels and tires I would want low speed torque. Now mind you, 434 is alot of torque, but you need how many cubic inches to move it? Oh, and the current Hemi was designed on 2007 tech, while current 6.2 was 2009. Yup, thats progress! Or, regress? And the 6.2 weighs what? I bet the 6.4 Hemi is alot lighter, thumps it with about 470 or so ft pounds trq, with MDS to boot! Now that would be technoligy! The Tundra 5.7 makes more torque per inch then the 6.2, once again, at a lower rpm. 2005/2006 tech.

@SanFord - that isn't how the game is played. To formally test a truck you need to go through the brand's PR department and get access to the test fleet(IIRC). A dealer might be swayed by such an offer, but is there a dealer that would hand over a truck to get thrashed and then take it back for just some bandwidth? The depreciation isn't worth it. My understanding is that any test machine that the manufacture uses is destroyed at the end of its testing cycle. On top of that - Most tests run for a minimum of a week. Who will insure the truck, and carry liability?

@TRX4 TOMMY - I'm not totally impressed with the 6.2 either. It seems to be a bit "old school". I've always fealt that the main reason for the 6.2 was to serve as a "plan B" if the EB3.5 fell on its face in the sales department. It does seem to be a "revver" for an engine that was supposed to replace the V10 and 5.4 in commercial applications.
The 6.2 Ford did beat the Ram 5.7 in the HD shootout. The main advantage the 6.2 had was on the hill tests. That is probably where RPM comes in handy.
On the subject of hill tests - the Tundra 5.7 was conspicuous by its absence on Ford's Davis Dam test. I'm with you with the assumption that the Tundra would beat the 3.5 EB. The whole "Tundra is no threat to Ford" excuse doesn't hold water. If that is the case, why did Ford include the Tundra on their "washboard" test.

PUTC needs to run a shootout with all of the available engines. I'd be really curious to see how the 5.0, 3.5 EB, and 6.2 stacked up against each other in a test. It also would be nice to see the pecking order of every engine out there. I've never been happy with premium engine only truck shootouts. Most guys don't buy the biggest and baddest engine. I bet Chevy sells 10:1 5.3 versus 6.2. Ford's 6.2 in 1/2 tons is probably chump change. Ram sells tons of 5.7's because it doesn't make sense to get the smaller V8 from a power, and mpg perspective. Tundra does have a decent smaller V8, but why get it when the 5.7 isn't much worse on fuel.

Lou:

Bigger dealers use specific "test drive" vehicles all of the time. They are used till the end of the MY and then given a huge discount. Use one of those vehicles.

Cory:

I believe that the Hemi 2500 Ram and 6 speed combo will finally have "drivability" to replace my current Cummins. I would love another diesel, but can't afford the 8k price for upgrading. Also unfortunately, my local dealer is too small to do the "test drive vehicle" that I described above, and won't let me pull some of my trailers on test drives.

BTW what are you even bitching for? Sounds like you don't want to hear what the Ram HD Hemi combo is capable of. After all, the Ram (with the old 5 speed) did beat the SD/6.2/6speed combo in most of the tests done at the last HD shootout.

I just wish this current guy running this place would test trucks, that haven't been done yet, instead of running the same damn things over and over again.

@SanFord - I see your point. The local dealers in my area a few years back (I think as part of a national promotion) had offered drive for a week type demo's, but too many trucks were coming back wrecked or where used as a free work truck.

@Jm; I aint your son. I SAID the HEMI itself makes more power per inch. And at some points on the dyno curve Ford has showing you how much power and capability, it makes about the same torque at say 3500 rpm. Something like that. That shootout shows the OLD 545 trans ratios. With the 3:1 first, 1.67 second. It's trans gear ratios slow it, but it is a very reliable trans used since about 2000. The NEW one has about 3.25 or 3.30? 1st gear and about a 1.8 second which will help lots. Will it make the 5.7 run as fast in the quarter or to 60? I don't know? I bet it makes it more driver friendly and faster too. Driveability. I guess if you are obsessed with drag racing or seeing how fast you can move a 10K trailer then thats for you. It will also eat more gas then the Hemi, but for some, ah, whats money. I would say if the Hemi 6 speed can't move it good enough, you might as well get a diesel. The 6.2 is low tech old school. They coulda done better. The time for their upgrade was when it first came out, Ford has learned a thing or three about making power since the 2009 Hemi came out. Why didn't they apply it? They spent their money money on the ecoboost, and hope you will be happy with the 6.2.

Ford can't do anything right ? when there is an Article about a FORD it gets Picked apart. SO MANY HATERS !!!!! its sad ....

@Lou: Ford definetly didn't want the Tundra there, I agree. They showed on the wasboard and another test where they put a bar across the back end with ends that will spark when hitting the ground, and they ran it around the cone course. They chose what they want to show. But it's advertising. Of course not many or any at all will show where they dont shine as well.

I would have thought they would have built a bigger higher tech version of the 5.4, with the same low speed charactoristics the 5.4 has. What, max torque @3500 or so? Thats the power band I picture an F-250 gasser or a Ram 2500 having, in my opinion. Same as the 5.4, just more power for the more weight. Maybe somday they will stroke the Hemi, and take out some bore. It's pretty good now though. Waiting on 8 speeds!

They need to lower the truck a bit, people arn't going to be taking these things off road and an at least slightly lowered look would fit its sport look better.

It always makes me laugh when people compare the peak torque values of the 5.4L to the 6.2L. Sure.....the 5.4L peaks at 3500rpm, while the 6.2L peaks at 4500rpm. That doesn't tell you the whole story though.

If you compare the actual torque curves the 6.2L blows the 5.4L away throughout the curve. It's a much broader torque curve than the 5.4L, which was severely handicapped by the Modular's 100mm bore spacing.

Think of it this way.......sure, at 3500rpms the 5.4L is making a solid 365ft-lbs tq in F150 guise. However, at 3500rpm the 6.2L is still laying down ~400ft-lbs tq!

Even better, at 2000rpm, the 6.2L is making nearly 375ft-lbs tq. The 5.4L? Doesn't even hit 325ft-lbs.

It's the same when you compare the 5.7L HEMI to Ford's 6.2L. Sure, there is a good portion of the curve where they roughly overlap (~3000 to ~4000rpms). However, under 3000rpm and over 4,000rpm the 6.2L has a definite advantage in torque.

Could Ford have put more into the 6.2L? Sure. At 580lbs it's a darn heavy engine. About 55lbs heavier than the old 5.4L 3v, nearly 100lbs heavier than the 5.7L Hemi and nearly 150lbs heavier than the all-aluminum 6.2L Vortec. An aluminum block would have really helped there. It also lacks things like variable displacement and direct injection, which might help with fuel economy.

That's the downside. The upside is, the 6.2L is brand new architecture. It doesn't have the same limitations the Modular engine line had and Ford obviously left a lot of room on the table for future improvements.....besides things like variable displacement and direct injection.

For example, the 115mm bore spacing means we could see greater displacements than anything from GM's modern smallblock (110mm spacing) or Chrysler's modern Hemi (113mm spacing). The 2v SOHC design can easily be changed to a 4v DOHC design (with twin Variable Cam Timing) if need be, unlike the competitors OHV designs. The cast iron block can become aluminum or compacted graphite to save weight.

All in all, for an engine that already makes as much horsepower and torque as it does, it's absurd just how much could still be done to the Boss engine architecture if Ford sees the need. The Ecoboost might be Ford's baby, but the Boss is their caged pitbull.

YAY lets pay 10,000 more dollars for a sticker that says Harley-Davidson yay no different then normal f-150 i rember when trucks were made simple and made for work not for people to buy them and use them for nothing

Posted by: Ram | Feb 23, 2012 10:02:22 PM

Amen! This truck is nothing more than a cash cow for Ford, just like the Queen Ranch, etc. I don't understand the need for multiple luxury trim levels. The Ford guys don't see a problem with it though. Of course not.

@ Don - I agree, this is supposed to be a sport truck. I think the supercharged 5.4 Harley Davidson's pre-'04 looked great. Actually, I think they were the ONLY 97-03 F-150's that looked good. I guess the Lightning looked good too, but that's besides the point.

This should be a hi-performance street truck, not a wanna-be 4x4 with it's claws removed.

@ Don - I agree, this is supposed to be a sport truck. I think the supercharged 5.4 Harley Davidson's pre-'04 looked great. Actually, I think they were the ONLY 97-03 F-150's that looked good. I guess the Lightning looked good too, but that's besides the point.

This should be a hi-performance street truck, not a wanna-be 4x4 with it's claws removed.

Posted by: toycrusher84 | Feb 24, 2012 7:46:55

Yep. The '97-'03 F-150 trucks were the worst looking F-Series ever. Goofy styling and very feminine looking.

How are people so confused about drivetrains?
There are 3 primary types.
Front wheel drive
Rear wheel drive
Four wheel drive (3 differentials)
Then there are the derivative of the primary systems.
Front wheel drive PTO (power take off)
Rear wheel drive PTO
Off-road drive (only 2 differentials)

This system is a rear wheel drive PTO. It uses a computer controlled clutch to send drive to the front axle.
That is the same as GM has been doing for 10 years, and Chrysler for 5.
The only difference is in programming.

There is not 'all-wheel drive', no full-time, no part-time. All that is marketing department nonsense.

Are we forgetting a 4v 6.2 powers the raptor XT racing truck with about 500 naturally asperated horsepower?

Obama Sierra as GM is owned by the government

Obama Sierra.. I Love it!! Perfect special edition nameplate for the Government Motors Corporate truck. Nothing I hate more than those two piles. I wish Chevrolet could have left GM in the bankruptcy and distanced themselves from those two clowns. Just returned to a single company like they started as in 1911. I have no love for GM, GM'C' or Obama.

I'll support the Chevrolet nameplate if the new Silverado brings it like no other truck ever has before but I'll never support GM as whole and I'd rather GM'C' would fall off the face of the earth already.

I actually have to disagree with your write-up. Aside from a few exceptions, If I buy a truck, I want it to have 4 wheel drive and a low range transfer case. I don't see it as a conflict in the trucks personality. Instead I see it as a capability increase. And while your argument is valid that the users of this truck don't need a low range, the fact is that for 52K, the truck should have one.

These aren't drivers of Front wheel drive crossovers who are confused when they can't make it up a hill in the snow. The guy who drops 52K on his pick-up knows exactly what he's buying. He also knows the limitations of 22 inch rims and tires. More specifically, I'm almost positive those tires are technically summer only, so in theory a new set should exist for the winter.

Anyway, I digress. From my perspective, the low range transfer case gives the driver a bit more utility. In addition, use of the low range can help make up for the tire short comings. We have an expedition limited with 18 inch rims and pirelli tires. These are not off-road tires by any means, but combined with the use of low-range, I was impressed how far I got the truck up the trail.

To put it simply, does a sport truck need 4-Low... No. But I don't consider the Harley a sport truck; i consider it a lifestyle truck. And since Harley Davidson is all about the freedom of the open road, why not give the Harley truck buyer a little more freedom to go a bit further down that trail.

I have a Truxedo Black 2008 Harley Davidson Screw F-150! It looks awesome next to my vivid black 2012 Harley FLHX Street Glide & pulls my bike trailer just fine! It is a very luxurious truck! It works just fine for me!

Tell you what guys, I kind of like the truck and that's coming from a GM guy, but I would have to be filthy rich to consider one. It's not a work truck for sure, it's a daily driver for people with cash to burn. But there is planty of those out there so that's the reason this truck exists.
Love the rims on it.

@Nathan: you are forgetting that racing trucks don't have the emmisions regs the other trucks do. If they didn't have that, camshaft profiles would be very differant. So could alot of other things.

On a superficial note: Those wheels take me back to the '80s. Not a premium look for the price.

@Paul810; Of course it makes alot more power then a 5.4! It's much bigger! The 5.4 3 valve was designed when? It should make lots more!
http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/experiencef150/?intcmp=fv-fv-a2b08c26d000886e17f12g01h17j12k09m3n0p20111

And once again, yes it makes a good deal more power then a Hemi, but it's not very flat of a torque curve. It peaks rather late, then it drops. You look at the link and see the Hemi atleast stays near it's peak for awhile, and it doesn't fall, it gradually goes down.

Bore spacing is not the only thing limiting cubic inches. But the fact you are so worried about how big it can be built to, is that the fix all? Build it bigger?

Mark
keep bringing the articles, dont mind the boneheads bitching! you can only report whats going on and lately it seems to be alot of Ford and now Ram starting to get some of the spotlight.
It would sure be nice to actually talk about the article posted instead of starting the same arguement every time about who's is bigger or badder, we all have our preferences and in most cases wont see the other side of things.

back to wishing i could afford this nice truck and wishing my practical side would allow me to say screw it and buy!

I just made the point to show that there is more potential in the motor. They havent even begun to tune it or mess with it at all. Fact is that it is the most powerful production half ton pick up engine.

Ford should supercharge or twin turbo the 5.0 and use that as the premium Harley engine. The 5.0 was built with that kind of application in mind for the Mustang. The price premium for the Harley should come with a premium hot rod engine.
The V6 in the Harley would be a waste of time. Guys who like Harley's and anything associated with them like the rumble. It would be funnny as hell to see a EB 3.5 in the Harley pickup. It would sound more like a rice rocket. It would be worth doing just to frost the wannabe biker types at a traffic light. Anyone for a weekend engine swap? LOL

@Jm: I just read the heavy duty shoot out, it was a good funny read! The 6.2 with more horse power and torque from more compression and cubic inches with more gear in the transmission and more rear gear couldn't beat the Ram smaller Hemi 2500 even with the old Dodge 545. It will go faster with the new for 2012 2500 trans. Oh the Fords gear got it 30 faster but after that, game over. The Ford really sucked gas empty, but hey those things are made to haul, the new Dodge trans will help it get better loaded mileage as well. It even out pulled it with the trailer! Oh BTW, the lighter Challenger 6.4 Hemi is good for alot more low speed torque PER CUBIC INCH as well, 470 ft pounds @ 4200, bet if it was in a 1500 truck it could still get 460 ft pounds if they don't take compression out. It would get alot better mileage then this HD. (MDS) You wanna play the cubic inch game? SLAM!

@Jm: Motor Trend also tested a 2009 4x4 Hemi crew cab Laramie. Lighter then this truck, but hey, less power from a smaller engine. Their time of 5.7 to 60 is better than 6.4, and that's with Dodge 545 trans that holds it back cause of gear ratios and torque management. Good Day!

@ TRX4 TOMMY your a FIAT TROLL ...
(Laramie Crew Cab Pickup
(5.7L V8 4x4 5-speed Automatic 6.3 ft. Bed Gross weight: 8800 lbs.
Curb weight: 6440 lbs.)

(Lariat Crew Cab Pickup
6.2L V8 FFV 4x4 6-speed Automatic 6.8 ft. Bed
Gross weight: 9900 lbs.
Curb weight 6787 lbs.) <-------- fat pig !!!!

@Cory: If I am a Fiat troll, then you are a Ford troll. Good gosh, some people just can't accept that Ford's 6.2 is just old tech and the only reason it makes the power it does is due to it's size! That's all I am saying! Ford has good tech in the Ecoboost, and all the Ford folks want to talk it up, and say how the Hemi is old tech. To a degree it is, still pushrods and two valves. Pretty darn good for no turbo! But the fact the Ecoboost is new tech gets Ford talking about it, right? So they want to talk all high tech, while they bring out an old school engine?

Yeah, that F-250 is heavy. I would say put the 350 pounds in the Ram 2500 and run em, but like I keep saying, shouldn't have to cause the Ford has what? 34 more cubic inches? Dude, that's like 10% more engine. The Ford also had MORE REAR GEAR and NUMERICALLY HIGHER trans ratios. Now that 350 pounds of weight doesn't mean much! The Ford is only about 5% heavier. Oh, also the Ram had no traction control, maybe it should, maybe it shouldn't? But the Ram leaf springs didn't hop bad like the Fords. When I raced dirt track in Hawaii in the early 90s the Camaros needed traction bars to handle wheel hop. Dodges didn't need them, they know how to design a leaf! Maybe the F-250 needs traction bars too? Yeah, it has more payload in the 250. The class started as a "3/4 ton" class, and the Ram carries that, 2200 pounds atleast, plus driver. Is it my fault Ford over builds their frames? Look, I admit the Dodge trans used in that test is not as well liked for its ratios, but it is reliable. I don't say Rams are perfect. The Ford might have a stronger roof then the Ram, as the 150 does. There prob is more cab space in the Ford. Some say the Ram suspension doesn't last as long? Maybe, maybe not. Can't wait to see how the new 2500 Hemi trans does even better. I will give you an even comparison. But right now the Ford 6.2 is a peaky torque old school engine. The truck in this write up is pretty nice! It aint for me. Ford should have done their homework on the engine! Yeah, it's the most power in a half ton, only cause Ram hasn't dropped the 6.4 392 in a truck. Choose whatever you like for your 250 or 2500 series. I know I will take a lower engine speed. That's also what Ford is talking so much about with Ecoboost. It does make great low rpm power.

I agree, the 6.2 V8 has no business in the F-150.
Ford should replace the two applications with a supercharged 5.0 V8.



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