2024 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler: A Comprehensive Guide On Features, Specs, And Pricing - SUV VEHICLE

2024 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler: A Comprehensive Guide On Features, Specs, And Pricing

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Harley-Davidson’s Freewheeler serves as the stoplight burner for the trike family with its large engine and the lowest curb weight of the three models in the trike family tree. The Milwaukee-Eight 117 cranks out the power, and since it has dual rear tires, wide ones at that, more of the power gets transmitted to the larger contact patches for blistering acceleration that pulls all the way to the red line. There’s no wasted power pushing a fairing or a big windshield, even though that leaves the pilot more exposed to the wind for a more wearisome ride, especially over long distances. However, the capacious trunk can carry some pretty serious groceries, or a getaway bag for a weekend trip.




A major rebuild in 2018 for MY2019 saw the trike platform re-imagined from the ground up with a solid rear axle and the predecessor to the current Reflex Defensive Rider System safety package to help keep it under control. Of the three trike models, the Freewheeler looks most like the trikes of old, specifically the famed Harley-Davidson Servi-car that would see police service into the ’90s for meter maids.

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2024 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler

Expert Opinion: Solid and stable, the Harley-Davidson Freewheeler is confidence inspiring whether you need the form-stability of the tripod wheel arrangement or not. It’s also arguably easier to accelerate down range since you don’t have to participate in keeping the thing balanced, so you can just focus on steering and acceleration.

Engine
1,868 cc V-twin

Transmission
6-speed manual

Horsepower
90 HP @ 4,750 RPM

Torque
119 LB-FT @ 2,750 RPM

Driveline
RWD

MSRP
$31,999 – $33,499
Pros
  • Modern, but with classic DNA
  • Decent acceleration
  • Outstanding ride-control electronics suite
  • Reverse gear is very handy
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Engine could be bigger
  • Locked into blackout underpinnings

What’s New For 2024


Harley-Davidson reworked the trike platform for MY19 with a new look, new frame, new engine, and fresh electronics. This new frame has a solid rear axle and an easy-adjust rear preload feature that lets you dial in for changes in passenger/cargo weight without the benefit of tools. At this point, it boasts the full array of ride-control electronics, and not the vanilla stuff either. This is the lean-sensitive variety. If that makes no sense for a vehicle that doesn’t lean, just remember that the inertial measurement unit also reads movement through a six-axis spread that informs and moderates the interventions from the ABS, Linked Brakes, and Traction Control systems based on the calculated available traction. The bodywork is a carryover from the rebuild, though the rims and front fender would again change for the ’23 model-year. That carries over to MY24 as well as the blackout finish that replaced the chrome trim.

2024 Highlights

  • Old-school front end
  • Boss blackout treatment
  • Custom-style, low-profile hoops
  • Powerful, mid-tier engine
  • Robust electronics package


2024 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler Performance And Capability

2023 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler cruising through town
Harley-Davidson

Of the Milwaukee-Eight sizes, the 2024 Freewheeler’s M-8 114 is the first tier north of the base-model 107 cubic-inch engine to bring a little extra oomph to the table. The 2024 H-D Freewheeler produces 90 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque. This torque figure makes it relatively hard to stall out or lug the engine. Keep in mind the huge dual rear contact patches grips the road like no bike tire could, and the corner-sensitive traction control system lets you get the most out of the mill without breaking the rear end loose.


A return to the single-cam Big Twin design means the nosecone area also returns to the norm from the Twin Cam days, along with the pushrod-tube geometry. An aesthetic difference, but one I prefer. Each head houses a quartet of poppets, hence the “Eight” component of the name, with self-adjusting hydraulic lifters but none of the Variable Valve Timing available on the larger engines in this family. A 102 mm bore and 114.3 mm stroke gives it a 1,868 cc displacement and a middling compression ratio of 10.5-to-1 that should tolerate mid-grade gas just fine. Cooling fins on the jugs remove most of the waste heat. However, an oil-cooler adds a little extra thermal protection for the engine’s lifeblood.

An Assist & Slip clutch adds a layer of mechanical drag-torque management with a light clutch lever pull weight and broad friction range that makes the bike both smoother and easier to handle. The Freewheeler’s top speed is about 110 MPH, and it seems to get excellent gas mileage at the 75 MPH mark, which is perfect for cruising down the superslab. It also sports an electric reverse feature that makes parking lot maneuvers a breeze without having to plan ahead as you park.


Performance Specifications

Engine

Milwaukee-Eight® 114, Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; four valves per cylinder

Displacement

1,868 cc

Bore x Stroke

4.016 in x 4.5 in

Compression

10.5 : 1

Power

90 HP @ 4,750 RPM

Torque (1349)

119 LB-FT @ 2,750 RPM

Fuel System

Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)

Final Drive

Belt, 30/70 ratio

Clutch

Mechanically actuated 10 plate, wet Assist & Slip

Gearbox

6-Speed Cruise Drive®

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Design And Styling

The Freewheeler displays the H-D trike’s history with its fat front end and beer-can fork skirts that hide the entire swept area of the rwu forks, a front end that hails back to the earliest hydraulic forks in the 1940s. A cyclops headlight keeps to tradition, even to the point of sticking to halogen bulbs rather than LED emitters with incandescent blinkers and taillight. The sheet metal is the same as last year with the new, custom-cut front fender to go with the bobbed rear fenders, while the rest of the bodywork is pretty much a carryover.


In classic style, the tank console houses the ignition switch and a single round analog gauge backs up an idiot light array in the upper handlebar riser clamp face to complete the instrumentation. A deep-scoop seat rides at 26.2 inches off the ground, not that it matters much since you’ll never have to put your feet down to Fred Flintstone around the parking lot or support it at stops. Both pilot and pillion enjoy full footboard support, while the latter has a beefy set of J.C. bars as solid anchors. The rear box opens to the side with 2 square-feet of dry, secure storage that lends the Freewheeler some errand-running and light-touring capacity.

Specifications And Dimensions

Length

103 in

Width

55.3 in

Height

45.3 in

Seat Height, Laden/Unladen

26.2 in/ 27.6 in

Wheelbase

65.7 in

Ground Clearance

4.9 in

Fuel Capacity

6 gals w/ 1 gal reserve

Curb Weight

1,131 lbs

Dry Weight

1,093 lbs

Luggage Capacity

2 cu ft


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Chassis And Handling

2023 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler cruising through the countryside
Harley-Davidson

Mild steel was the material of choice for the double-downtube/dual-cradle frame on the Freewheeler that boasts a square cross-section backbone for extra strength and rigidity. The expanded swingarm section likewise runs mild-steel, rectangular cross-section members with plate junctions, all married together through MIG welding. Out back, the axle is a solid, one-piece design rather than having individually-articulated rear wheels. On the one hand, this feels great at speed on reasonably smooth roads, but the downside is that it transmits more road shock into the pilot, and it can be a little squirrely when crossing train tracks or changing lanes with a height difference and a shoulder you have to cross.


The steering head sets a rake angle of 26 degrees from the vertical, but there must be an offset in the triple tree because the actual fork angle is 32.2 degrees with 3.96 inches of trail. This gives extra-stable tracking, even at speed. H-D opted for a set of 49 mm Showa forks with the Dual Bending Valve technology that delivers event-driven damping adjustments for a ride far superior to plain vanilla stems, even if there are no manual adjustments involved.

A pair of emulsion-type shocks take care of business in the rear with the usual spanner-type adjuster for the preload setting. Once set, there’s a hand-adjustable knob under the seat that allows you to quickly adjust for changes in passenger and cargo weight without the benefit of tools. The cast-aluminum rims are made for the low-profile tires that came along a few years back with Dunlop H-D Series bias blackwalls in a 130/60-19 ahead of a pair of almost automotive-like rear hoops in a 215/45-18. This puts more power where the rubber meets the road for solid hole shots with plenty of roll-on in reserve. As for brakeage, the front wheel has dual 300 mm discs and four-bore calipers with another 270 mm disc and a single-pot anchor on each of the two rear tires. Corner-sensitive ABS comes stock.


Chassis And Suspension

Frame

Mild steel, square-section backbone with twin downtubes

Swingarm

Mild steel, rectangular tube sections with plate junctions; MIG welded

Front Suspension/ Travel

49 mm Dual Bending Valve/ 4.6 in

Rear Suspension/ Travel

Hand-adjustable emulsion rear suspension/ 3 in

Rake

26°

Trail

3.96 in

Front Wheel

Cast aluminum, 19 in x 3.5 in

Rear Wheels

Cast aluminum, 18 in x 5.5 in

Front Tire

Dunlop® Harley-Davidson Series, bias blackwall, D408F MT 130/60B19 M/C 61H

Rear Tires

Dunlop® Harley-Davidson Series, radial blackwall, TK100 P215/45R18 83T

Front Brake

Dual 300 mm floating discs, 32 mm 4-piston fixed calipers

Rear Brakes

270 mm fixed discs, floating 36 mm piston calipers, integrated park brake


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2024 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler Price And Availability

MSRP on the 2024 H-D Freewheeler starts at $31,999. That’s for the Billiard Gray that serves as the new base color. The old base color, Vivid Black, is now a $600 upgrade. Arguably the most interesting colorway is the Alpine Green over Vivid Black, but it’ll set you back another $1,500. No matter which you choose, there’s no choice of the trim color with blackout as the only available option that carries over from 2023.

Pricing And Features

Features

ABS, Security Option, Cruise Control

Model ID

FLRT

Warranty

24 months (unlimited mileage)

Colors

Billiard Gray, Vivid Black, Alpine Green/Vivid Black

Price

$31,999, Black: $32,599, Two-Tone: $33,499


2024 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler Versus Its Competitors

The trike market is a little thin to say the least, especially in the larger displacement brackets, with Harley-Davidson as the only major manufacturer with two-in-back, or Delta trikes, in production. There are only a few competitors with two-in-front setups. With that in mind, I picked the Can-Am Spyder F3-S and the Niken GT from Yamaha.

How The Harley-Davidson Freewheeler Compares To The Can-Am F3-S

  • 2024 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler 2024 Can-Am Spyder F3-S
    Engine 1,868 cc V-twin 1,330 inline-3
    Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed, semi-automatic with reverse function
    Horsepower 90 HP @ 4,750 RPM 115 HP @ 7,250 RPM
    Torque 119 LB-FT @ 2,750 RPM 96 LB-FT @ 5,000 RPM
    Driveline RWD RWD
    MSRP $31,999 – $33,499 $22,099


Can-Am has been making two-in-front trikes for a while now, and so it has a fairly well-populated lineup at this point. The Spyder F3-S is the bottom-tier model for its family, but it still matches or beats the Freewheeler in some important areas such as performance, handling, and storage. The frunk carries 6.5 gallons of storage space for some errand-running and touring capability. Can-Am piles on the electronics with the usual bases covered as far as ride-safety goodies go, and also made it compatible with the BRP Connect infotainment system and the Apple CarPlay app for an edge on the H-D. The in-line triple turns out 115 horsepower and 96 pound-feet of torque, which is pretty much a sidegrade versus the Freewheeler’s M-8 114. A $22,099 starting MSRP leaves it in a good position in this particular market.

How The Harley-Davidson Freewheeler Compares To The Yamaha Nikon GT


  • 2024 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler 2023 Yamaha Niken
    Engine 1,868 cc V-twin 890 cc inline-3
    Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed manual
    Horsepower 90 HP @ 4,750 RPM 110 HP @ 10,000 RPM
    Torque 119 LB-FT @ 2,750 RPM 67 LB-FT @ 7,000 RPM
    Driveline RWD RWD
    MSRP $31,999 – $33,499 £16,416

Yamaha also goes its own way with its unusual-looking Niken model. This is another backwards trike with two wheels up front, one in back, and limited form stability. Why limited? Because this machine is in a class of one at this displacement with its lean-capable setup that delivers a trike’s traction and some of a trike’s stability, but you can lean into the corners like a two-wheeler, so you kind of get the best of both worlds. Different function brings a different look with the Niken set up more like a sportbike than its two competitors. The shine starts to fade at the engine. An 890 cc mill brings 113 ponies, but only 66.9 pounds o’ grunt. As for the upshot, it only weighs 595 pounds, so its meager torque goes further. At £16,416 in the European market, it comes under the price range when converted to USD.


He Said/She Said

He Said

My husband and fellow motorcycle writer, TJ Hinton, says,

“The Freewheeler is good for as far as it goes, but the factory doesn’t go as far as it could in its engine choice. A high-output M8 117 may have been a better choice for a ‘drag trike,’ or maybe even the 121 from the CVO lineup if you
really
want to give it some balls. Some folks might rather see a chrome option for the underpinnings, but not I.”

She Said

“The new electronics, when they came in on the last update, were huge for the trike lineup. It has a nice electronics package now, and lively performance with the Milwaukee-Eight engine. The Freewheeler is Harley’s
hotrod
trike, and handling and performance bears that out.”

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