For the first time since 2000 there will not be a Ford F-Series Harley-Davidson edition truck available to the masses. This seems a little odd given the relationship and the shared milestones of both Harley-Davidson and Ford. Both companies are the same age so it seems celebrating together makes sense. Marking 110 years of sales to the public is outstanding no matter what your product, but when you are pioneers in your field, that ups the ante’. Over the years Ford didn’t offer up the “Same truck with different wheels and paint”, instead they have given us vastly different models. The early years seemed to be geared towards interior comfort largely due to it’s 4 captains chairs assuring overcrowding would not be an issue. To ensure the ride was worth the price of admission, Ford supercharged the motor after a couple years, had it roll around on 20″ wheels and tires, and kept the badges clean and classy.
Taking a step away from the street/sport versions of the past and into heavy-duty 4×4 territory, for 2004, the fifth Harley-Davidson special edition Ford was a larger-than-life Super Duty. Surprisingly most of the first run of the Super-Duty versions were crew cabs with diesels, leaving a small amount ( less than 10% of production) in the other body style offerings. Seeing a keen interest in the big trucks appeal, Ford stayed the course one more year and for 2005 unveiled another Super Duty version. Keeping true to form, wheels, paint, and interior appointments received special attention setting the H-D models apart from the others.
Like most success stories, Ford and Harley-Davidson decided to not get rutted and changed the platform the H-D/Ford alliance appeared on. The 2006 H-D F-150 debuted on 22″ wheels, a first for the light truck market, and was offered in 2wd and AWD models. Running with a blacked out theme, headlights and taillights were smoked, bumpers blackened, and aside from the wheels and exhaust tips, it was a black truck. Carrying the darkness inside, a high gloss black piano finish was applied with a few chrome accents thrown about. 2007 saw the return of a supercharged motor, last seen in 2004. This time Ford welcomed in longtime partner Saleen to force feed the trusty 5.4L V-8, waking up 450 ponies and settling on 500 lbs-ft of torque delivering more wicked grins than a con-artists convention.
2008 marked 105 years for both companies, and the conglomeration was prepared to celebrate in the highest regard. With Harley choosing 1 color scheme to mark the anniversary bikes, Ford followed suit and had a like colored painted truck ready. Vivid Black and Vintage Copper(along with monochrome black with striping) seemed to be the preferred color, undoubtedly to share the stage in unison. Shifting gears, the co-conspirators threw all of us a curve ball when they announced 2008 H-D models would be available in F-150, F-250, and F-350 configurations. So whatever you needed your truck to do, Ford had a Harley-Davidson Edition just for you.
2009 marked the first time H-D branding was extended to Ford’s toughest pickup, the 2009 F-450 Super Duty. The F-450 offered a 6.4-liter Powerstroke V-8 diesel power plant with blue flames running from the side vents all the way to the box side of the truck. As with the still-available F-250/350 single-rear-wheel models, each individually numbered Harley-Davidson F-450’s flame scheme is carried through to the gauges in the instrument panel. The perforated black-leather-wrapped seats, door panels and center console cover reveal blue leather underneath, giving the same blue-flame effect as the exterior. Harley-Davidson badges appear on the fenders and tailgate, along with “Harley-Davidson” on the bed side.
2010 saw Ford revert back to a single model offering , that by all accounts was the most boring or insignificant to date. There were no powerhouse performance stats, 1 body style on a single platform, and aside from new seating surface coverings, the only positive area to highlight is the newly designed “Sport Tuned Suspension” “It drives pretty darn well—for a truck, that is. It has an all-around good ride and is comfortable on the highway, especially considering the 22s.”says Car and Driver’s DAVID GLUCKMAN.
The 2011 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Edition has been said to be “A truck guy’s dream, big, bad, anti-green, and politically incorrect as can be.” Adding the 6.2-liter engine in the Harley-Davidson F-150 makes it the big dog of the new engine lineup the half-ton line received for 2011. With the largest displacement, as well as the most horsepower (411) and the most torque (434 pound-feet) the H-D F-150 fire has been reignited. Attitude is what Harley is all about, and for 2011 Ford’s F-150 Harley-Davidson delivered a truck bed full.
Interior accoutrements such as trim and media seem to highlight the 2012 model, as well as a first time availability of white as a color choice.( White Platinum Tri-Coat to be exact) Ford does deserve a pat on the back for leading the way in the “Technotainment” department with it’s Sync audio system. Aside from that not much else has changed.
2013 leaves the Team K and G Cycles Crew(www.kandgcycles.com) disappointed as there is no mention of a H-D F-Series in conjunction with their 110th birthdays. I have a suspicion a 110th Anniversary model is in the works, but just not ready to be released till the last possible moment. If you look back, some of the most popular H-D Fords weren’t released until late winter. I hope I am right in thinking neither Ford nor Harley wants to miss out on a major opportunity and we will see best example to date of the storied partnership.