When the program kicked off, we researched and talked with customers around the world. A thousand riders, in seven different global cities, about what they wanted to see in the next generation of Harley Big Twin. And as we compiled that information, we saw some themes emerge about wanting more power for a variety of reasons, including riding two-up, loaded down, back roads, passing power. In addition to that, they wanted a cooler riding experience with less heat. Then they talked about better fit for the rider—air cleaner, primary changes—to enable more fit for more customers. Global customers were coming to the US and renting US-spec Harley-Davidsons and noticing how much more power they had versus the global Harley-Davidsons in other countries. We wanted to address that. We were looking to deliver universal power around the world.
Finally, and most importantly, customers wanted to maintain the look, sound, and feel of our bikes. In the end, we did all of those things and developed a powertrain that delivers more power, 10 percent more torque than Twin Cams, delivers quick acceleration, so it’s two to three bike lengths ahead of a Twin Cam at 60 miles per hour and one to two lengths at 80 miles per hour. We achieved better gas mileage, less heat on the rider and passenger, a smoother, more refined feel, less mechanical powertrain noise, created an internal counterbalancer that reduced vibration at idle, and improved output charging to 50 percent for touring riders. The kind of customer benefits we wanted.