SEE ALSO: Ford Buyer's Guide
Ford F-Series pickups and Harley-Davidson motorcycles are both true American icons. The F-truck has been the best-selling full- size pickup since seemingly just after the last Ice Age (the last 23 years, actually), and Harleys are among the most popular motorcycles. So what could be more natural than a Harley-Davidson edition of the F150? (An F150 version of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, with a pickup bed? Hmmm, no, probably not.)
The first collaboration between Harley and Ford was the 2000 F150 Harley-Davidson SuperCab, a factory custom version of a two-wheel drive extended-cab F150 in black with orange pinstriping, with the 260-horsepower 5.4-liter "Triton" V8, 20-inch chromed alloy wheels, a special exhaust system, and enough chrome trim and Harley-Davidson badges to look right at home in Daytona during Bike Week or at Sturgis for the annual Sturgis Rally. In fact, it was introduced at the 1999 Sturgis Rally, and approximately 8000 examples were built.
The "SuperCrew" is the newest F150 body style, a four-full- door crew cab truck for the personal use market. So it makes sense that this year's Harley-Davidson F150 would be based on the SuperCrew. Much like last year's Harley-Davidson SuperCab, this year's SuperCrew version is, as was said about the Model T, available in any color you want...as long as it's black. The pinstriping pattern is slightly different, and gray joins the orange for another traditional Harley look. Naturally, there's plenty of chrome. And, of course, it was introduced at the 2000 Sturgis Rally. Is this now a tradition? It's starting to look that way. Collect the entire set....
Underneath, the 2001 F150 Harley-Davidson is an F150 SuperCrew, with the 260-hp 5.4-liter Triton V8 and a lowered suspension featuring chromed 20-inch wheels and 275/45 tires. It's big, bad, powerful, and loud, and one has been my transportation for the past week. It's been entertaining, and has drawn plenty of attention. And, even without the Harley-Davidson trim, the SuperCrew is a great idea, combining truly useful interior space with a functional cargo box. Think of it as an Expedition with a very large trunk.
APPEARANCE: The F150 Harley-Davidson looks right at home next to a custom Harley motorcycle. The basic F150 is a handsome vehicle in any form, and the Harley-Davidson model's special trim just adds to its looks. All-American custom truck and motorcycle styling cues are combined, in black and chrome with a "ground- effects" front bumper fascia and billet-look grille. The 20-inch chromed five-spoke alloy wheels and P275/45 Goodyears and slightly lowered suspension give it a mildly "slammed" look without the impracticality of a seriously lowered vehicle, while the tubular chrome "nerf bars" under the doors look like Harley exhaust pipes. (They are strictly for looks, and are definitely not running boards.) The real exhaust exist from underneath the right rear corner thorough large-diameter, chromed, "slash-cut" twin pipes that look to be right out of a custom bike parts catalog. A thin orange and wider gray stripe above the rocker panels help identify it as a Harley- Davidson F150, as do large "bar-and-shield" badges on the front fenders. The five and a half-foot cargo box has a bed extender similar to that of the Explorer Sport Trac, lengthening it to seven feet, and a rubber mat embossed with a huge Harley-Davidson logo that should probably be kept in the owner's living room for security - it's (too) easily removable and, well, Harley memorabilia is popular....
COMFORT: The SuperCrew crew cab is even more accessible than Ford's SuperCab four-door extended cab, with four real front-hinged doors. The passenger cabin is a foot longer than that of the SuperCab, for real-human sized rear seat room. Although the regular SuperCrew has a choice of front bench or captain's chairs and a 60/40 split folding rear bench, the Harley-Davidson model has four captain's chairs in pleated black leather with chrome bar-and-shield badges. They are the automotive equivalent of the saddle on a Harley motorcycle. Leather is also found on the steering wheel. The front seat controls are chromed, naturally. The console box says "Harley-Davidson" on its leather-trimmed lid, and "spun metal" engine-turned-look instruments and yet another bar-and-shield badge by the instrument cluster further differentiate the HD150 from other Ford trucks.
ROADABILITY: Like a custom Harley bike, the F150 Harley- Davidson is a cruiser, not a road racer. It's a raw-boned pickup that makes no more excuses for being a pickup than a custom Harley would make for not being a soul-less, sanitized-for-your-protection two-wheeled transportation appliance. The ride is firm, and reasonably comfortable for a truck. But, at the first highway expansion joint, you'll know it's a solid axle pickup, not a plush luxury sedan. Those custom P275/45 HR20 Goodyear Eagle GTII tires don't give the air-suspension effect that regular, high-profile truck tires do. Hey, chalk it up to character. Both Harleys and the F150 Harley-Davidson have plenty, and that's what enthusiasts want. Boring vehicles need not apply.
PERFORMANCE: Harleys of the two-wheeled variety are renowned for their exhaust note, shifting-optional torque, and acceleration at low-to-medium speeds. The F150 Harley-Davidson fits right in. The rumble of a big V8 is just as archetypally American as that of a 45-degree V-twin, and the 5.4-liter overhead cam "Triton" V8's 260 horsepower and healthy 350 lb-ft of torque move the 4800 lb beast quickly enough around town and on the highway. The four-speed automatic transmission is the perfect match for the engine's power characteristics.
CONCLUSIONS: The Ford F150 Harley-Davidson is the closest thing to a four-wheeled Harley-Davidson motorcycle on the road today.
SPECIFICATIONS 2001 Ford F150 Harley Davidson SuperCrew Base Price $ n/a Price As Tested $ n/a Engine Type single overhead cam 16-valve V8 Engine Size 5.4 liters / 330 cu. in. Horsepower 260 @ 4500 rpm Torque (lb-ft) 350@ 2500 rpm Transmission 4-speed electronically-controlled automatic Wheelbase / Length 138.5 in. / 225.9 in. Curb Weight approx. 4800 lbs. Pounds Per Horsepower 18.5 Fuel Capacity 25 gal. Fuel Requirement unleaded regular gasoline, 87 octane Tires P275/45 HR20 Goodyear Eagle GTII Brakes, front/rear vented disc / solid disc, antilock standard Suspension, front/rear independent double wishbone / solid axle with leaf springs Drivetrain front engine, rear-wheel drive PERFORMANCE EPA Fuel Economy - miles per gallon city / highway / observed n/a / n/a / 16 0 to 60 mph 9.0 sec (est) OPTIONS AND CHARGES Sliding rear window $ n/a CD changer $ n/a