Motorcyclist doesn’t cover trikes often. The classic “one in front, two in back” trike is a small subsection of new motorcycle purchases. But the success of “Roadster” models from Can-Am and the Polaris Slingshot notwithstanding, traditional trikes have staying power. Some think trikes aren’t “real motorcycles.” Duly noted, thank you, next. In America, if you’ve got disposable income and time to travel in your golden years, you’re winning at life.
The 2023 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler gets a restyle and refresh for its ninth year of official existence. Also known as the FLRT, it debuted in 2015 as a leaner and meaner take on the Tri Glide Ultra Classic. It dispenses with fairings and luggage racks and focuses on the getaway part of getting away.
The front end, headlight “nacelle,” tank console, hand and foot controls, powertrain, and exhaust all get black finishes in place of previous chrome. Rear 18-inch wheels replace 15-inch wheels to give the Freewheeler a more custom stance, along with gloss black-painted cast aluminum wheels. Mini-apehangers and bobtail rear fenders round out the redesign.
The oil-and-air-cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114ci mill returns for a fifth year, along with an electric reverse gear, slash-down exhaust tips, and a trunk capable of holding 2 cubic feet. That’s 56.6 liters for readers across the pond. Rider aids include (deep breath): Cornering Enhanced Electronic Linked Braking, Cornering Enhanced Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System, and Cornering Enhanced Drag-Torque Slip Control System.
You won’t find the biggest RTB (marketing-speak for “reason to believe”) in the press release. Aftermarket trike conversions are their own cottage industry, but the Freewheeler comes straight from the factory, with a warranty, dealership support, and Milwaukee’s own engineering. What does the press release say? “Riding on three wheels has never been so awesome.” There you have it.
Still not sold on a trike? Enjoy staring at open windows and riding a rocking chair. For the rest of you, your blacked-out chariot awaits.
Available in Vivid Black, White Sand Pearl (add $750), and Bright Billiard Blue/Billiard Gray (add $1,500). MSRP starts at $29,999.
2023 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler Technical Specifications and Price
|ENGINE||Milwaukee-Eight 114ci oil/liquid-cooled V-twin|
|BORE x STROKE||4.016 in. x 4.5 in. (102.0 x 114.3mm)|
|FUEL DELIVERY||Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection, ride-by-wire|
|CLUTCH||Wet, 10-plate; mechanically actuated slip-assisted|
|CLAIMED HORSEPOWER||90 hp @ 4,750 rpm|
|CLAIMED TORQUE||122 lb.-ft. @ 2,750 rpm|
|FRONT SUSPENSION||49mm dual bending valve|
|REAR SUSPENSION||Hand-adjustable emulsion rear suspension|
|FRONT BRAKE||32mm 4-piston fixed, dual floating rotors|
|REAR BRAKE||Floating 36mm piston, fixed rotor, integrated parking brake|
|WHEELS, FRONT/REAR||Cast aluminum|
|TIRES, FRONT/REAR||Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series, bias blackwall; 130/60B-19 / Radial blackwall rear; 215/45R-18|
|SEAT HEIGHT||26.2 in.|
|FUEL CAPACITY||6.0 gal.|
|CLAIMED CURB WEIGHT||1,118 lb.|