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Gone with the wind!

Oxford (09 September 2013) - It’s well documented that the new 2014 Harley-Davidson® motorcycles are the result of a number of years’ research and development, backed by thousands of riding miles and unprecedented rider and employee input. However, perhaps most impressively, it’s the development of the new Project RUSHMORE Batwing fairing that was the biggest challenge: how do you reduce buffeting while maintaining the airflow necessary to cool powertrain components and maintain the fairing’s iconic appearance?

Development of the new Batwing fairing required the collaboration of Harley-Davidson® engineers and stylists, and initial development was aided by the virtual science of CFD (computational fluid dynamics). Prototypes that showed the most promise made it to the wind tunnel, where the Project RUSHMORE team recorded and analysed data from more than 3,000 test sessions. Subjective input from a variety of riders who experienced the fairing designs while seated on a motorcycle in the wind tunnel was also taken into account. All this took place before the fairing was even tested in real-world conditions on the road…

The key design element of the new fairing is its Splitstream vent, which is located below the windshield and alters the air pressure behind the fairing – this equalizes airflow and contributes to a significant 20% reduction in head buffeting. The vent is not adjustable and is intended to be open in almost any riding condition, however, a door controlled by a one-touch push-button closes the vent to keep rain water off the dash panel area.

On the new CVO Ultra Limited model, the fairing is topped with a lightly smoked, 9.5-inch high windshield. Other alterations to the shape of the fairing include a new contour below the windshield, slightly more coverage in front of the hand controls, and more overhang of the headlamp.

In addition, the fairing lowers were reshaped as part of over-all aerodynamic testing and to accommodate the heat exchangers for the Twin-Cooled Twin Cam 110 engine. Airflow to the rider and passenger, and to the powertrain, is improved, the adjustable vent is more effective.

For more information about Harley-Davidson’s new 2014 models, please visit www.harley-davidson.com.

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