It's the classic lone biker cliche of thinking I'm some sort of badass on the open asphalt with the wind in my hair, the drone of a deafening exhaust, and the attitude that shows no regard to the law -- a fictional Hollywood nomad character riding off into the sunset. Only I'm not actually on a Harley-Davidson bike, but in a 2012 Ford F-150 SuperCrew Harley-Davidson Edition truck that's saturated in its iconic spirit. The only thing repeating in my mind while behind the wheel this tough looking truck is the 1960s rebel without a cause anthem by the Canadian-American rock group Steppenwolf "Born To Be Wild."
The lonely rider is no fashionista, but this F-150 truck is dressed to the nines in a super-metallic tuxedo black with classic hot-rod-inspired snakeskin-texture side graphics. A unique six-bar billet-style bright-chrome grille, front fascia, retractable side steps, black-out headlight trim, and chrome bedside Harley-Davidson badging separate this F-150 from the rest of the wolf pack. Ford keeps up with the latest automotive fashion by giving the truck new standard 22-inch 5-spoke machined-aluminum wheels with a flat-black face and Harley-Davidson logo center caps and wrapped in 275/45R22 112V Pirelli Scorpion Zero all-weather tires.
The reptile theme carries into the interior with near-black snakeskin leather-trimmed seats with Harley-Davidson emblems. The center console cover gets a prominent Harley-Davidson badge, and the snakeskin covers the top and bottom sections of the steering wheel. Dash, door, and interior trim pieces also get the metallic tuxedo-black shine.
"Get your motor runnin'." - The F-150 Harley-Davidson is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission and a powerful 6.2-liter gasoline V-8 with 411 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque. Our truck ran 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds and 15.0 at 93.5 mph on the quarter mile -- and sounds mean at open throttle. Also on board is a 37-gallon tank -- that's 10 more gallons than in an F-150 equipped with a V-6. Our truck stopped from 60 mph in 113 feet, an impressive 20 feet shorter than our long-term F-150 EcoBoost we tested recently.
"Head out on the highway." - So, we did, from our El Segundo offices to Kingman, Arizona. We set out late in the evening and had to tackle the parking lots we called freeways. No lane splitting in this full-size beast. Instead of the wind in my hair, I had the A/C on full blast to keep us cool and collected. It took about four hours to move 130 miles before we made it to the I-40 that connects Barstow, California, to Kingman. Then it was smooth sailing under the full moon for the next 210 miles. Burning the midnight oil while listing to '70s on 7, The Bridge, and Alt Nation on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio we roared down the open highway. The temperature gauge read 105 degrees outside, and we could feel the heat on the windows as we reached our destination at midnight.
"Lookin' for adventure. And whatever comes our way." - The true nature of this road trip wasn't to be one with the open road or be that mysterious road warrior you find in urban fairytales. I went to Arizona, to pick up my five-year-old nephew and take him back home with me for a week of summer vacation fun. And, coincidentally, he shares the same Harley name. Our SuperCrew cab holds five adults with plenty of room to spare. Over the next six days, it toted four adults and a child seat as we racked up just a little over 1000 miles with an average of 14.5 mpg. Keeping with the open-road theme, we headed south on the 15 to the San Diego Zoo, back up to Anaheim to spend the day in Cars Land at the Happiest Place on Earth, and Laguna Beach just to cruise PCH in style. We also hit up the Lake Elsinore outlets for their big Fourth of July sales, and used the truck to carry river rock and sand we'd purchased for a back yard project. And the whole time, the intro of "Born To Be Wild" was thumping in my head.
"Take the world in a love embrace." - The 2012 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Edition is best described as a large piece of American metal drenched in an all-American attitude with a soul formed by American hands. The only things missing are the flag and the fireworks.
|2012 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson |
|BASE PRICE ||$53,300 |
|PRICE AS TESTED|| $53,925 |
|VEHICLE LAYOUT|| Front engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door truck|
|ENGINE|| 6.2L/411-hp/434-lb-ft SOHC 16-valve V-8 |
|TRANSMISSION|| 6-speed automatic|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)|| 6145 lb (56/44%)|
|WHEELBASE|| 144.5 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT|| 231.9 x 79.2 x 76.7 in|
|0-60 MPH ||6.4 sec|
|QUARTER MILE|| 15.0 sec @ 93.5 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH ||113 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION|| 0.76 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT ||28.3 sec @ 0.59 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON|| 12/16 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY ||281/211 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS ||1.43 lb/mile|